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Thread: 87 Suzuki Samurai

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    Default 87 Suzuki Samurai



    I've been without a 4x4 for a few years now but finally came into possession of this Suzuki Samurai.



    It had a few issues passing emissions but I finally got it on the third try.

    Replaced the Carburetor because I botched the first one trying to rebuild it. I'm sure it still works but I have extremely limited time to work on this thing.

    This was the carburetor when I first got it. The post that attaches the air intake was attached to the air intake and not the carburetor. It should have been in that hole in the middle. The gasket was trapped in the choke.
    I'm pretty sure that this was a rebuilt carburetor that a previous owner had installed. It had the venturri nozzle installed which I've read wasn't done at the factory until later and one of the coolant hoses to the automatic choke control isn't the original.

    One of the first things I did was to replace the factory Tape Player. I purchased a $13 two speaker amp on amazon and re-wired the speakers.





    I soldered some wires onto the PCB on the inside so that I wouldn't have to deal with a barrel connector.

    I've upgraded the set up with a cb-radio and a ram mount phablet holder.



    I mounted the antenna on the rear tire carrier and used some cushioned straps to hold the cable.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    One of the things I hated about my Jeep was that it was white. So I decided with this rig I was going to go all black. I let my nephew strip the paint off of the old hood and painted it black with Duraliner bedliner.



    I also painted the front and front fenders. going to work my way back with the doors and the back of the Samurai over the summer. I had a hell of a time getting the doors off. I bought an impact screwdriver from Harbor Freight and that has quickly become a favorite tool of mine.


    This hole in the exhaust was patched with some foil (of all stuff) and some clamps. It looks like it ripped off of the bracket at some point.

    No big deal. I used some exhaust patch tape and some strapping to fix it. I thought. I drove to Pueblo to visit my mom, a 100 mile trip.
    On the way there the engine stalled out and I had to pull over. I got the engine to start back up and was able to get the remaining 30 miles to my moms house.
    Once I got there I looked at what had happened.
    The exhaust split in two on the way there.

    I used my moms car to run to the auto parts store to get something to fix it. Luckily I hardly ever drive this thing around without my tools with me.

    I've since added a couple more clamps on each end. It passed emissions like this so I'm going to keep it for a while.
    I did pick up a complete exhaust system from Joe but the tailpipe comes straight out and I've heard that the exhaust fumes can roll back into the cab when they're routed that way. This exhaust, which I'm positive isn't the original has the tailpipe coming out to the side. I'll hold onto that exhaust just in case.

    The negative terminal on the battery was loose when I got it. We put a screw into the terminal strap to hold it tight which I knew was a temporary fix. I know I'll want to run a winch and some other lighting accessories soon so I purchased some $5 Fastronix Military Spec Battery Terminals from Amazon.
    They are quite beefier than the stock terminals.



    I didn't have a crimper or the crimps to use to on the larger main wires coming off the battery but I recently learned a trick at work. I used some big ground lugs to attach the wires. I had to drill out the mounting holes on the ground lugs to 3/8" to fit on the fastronix battery terminals.



    I've got some larger lugs saved for when I had a winch and some other electronic goodies I have planned.


    So I've noticed recently that this beast is drinking oil. I checked the dip stick last weekend and noticed that it was DRY! I changed the oil again because I've blown a few engines this way. So when I went wheeling yesterday I noticed that the oil on the dipstick was between the marks on the dip stick, which I suppose means that it ate half the oil I put it into it because the reading was at the top mark on the stick when I changed the oil. I've also had to top off the coolant a couple of times now. The temperature on the dash stays pretty consistently in the middle mark so I haven't been too worried about overheating.


    Anyway. I'll try to keep this thread updated it.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    the only kssue I had with my sami was the fuseable limk.
    every time we had a good hard pull from thw winch it would blow the fuseable link.
    we ended up using the big maxi fuses but still blew them.
    the little sami alternator just cant handle the power draw.
    thus why many folks change to a chevy unit

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    I have to chuckle at your exhaust "issue". When I purchased the YJ (driver's side front driveshaft / driver's side exhaust routing) the front DS would rub the exhaust pipe and wore a hole through it. One of my first trips with the group was MSV / Coney Flats (a crazy big 16 rig group) and there were several comments about the obnoxiously loud jeep. What, the pop-can wrapped around the hole wasn't strong enough?!?! LOL



    Your Fastronix battery terminals to ground lugs is a nice setup! I'll stash that away in my memory banks...


    EDIT: Low long would you expect a car battery to last? It looks like yours has an "Jan 09" datestamp.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    dieseldoc previously posted:
    "the only kssue I had with my sami was the fuseable limk.
    every time we had a good hard pull from thw winch it would blow the fuseable link.
    we ended up using the big maxi fuses but still blew them.
    the little sami alternator just cant handle the power draw.
    thus why many folks change to a chevy unit"

    Yeah, I want to do the GM Alternator swap. I've seen everywhere selling brackets for it. Might need some big flyback diodes for the winch if that's the case. Shouldn't blow fuses on lines that do go to the device pulling the current.

    Jim previously posted:
    "I have to chuckle at your exhaust "issue". When I purchased the YJ (driver's side front driveshaft / driver's side exhaust routing) the front DS would rub the exhaust pipe and wore a hold through it. One of my first trips with the group was MSV / Coney Flats (a crazy big 16 rig group) and there were several comments about the obnoxiously loud jeep. What, the pop-can wrapped around the hole wasn't strong enough?!?! LOL



    Your Fastronix battery terminals to ground lugs is a nice setup! I'll stash that away in my memory banks...


    EDIT: Low long would you expect a car battery to last? It looks like yours has an "Jan 09" datestamp."

    I hope it lasts long enough for me to afford a yellowtop or at least solve the other problems with the engine.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    '09 is kinda pushing it......4 years is about all you can expect.
    after that its barrowed time.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    I like the exhaust fixes. My old car in college had a major exhaust malfunction as well. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a campbells soup can and some hose clamps. Sometimes you use what you have!

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    Thanks for the replies guys. This is exhaust pipe that I fixed it with. So it at least appears to be legitimate in my mind. At least that's how I'm justifying it to myself.

    Yeah. I do want an optima battery. I had a yellow top in my Jeep but sold it when I blew the engine.


    I suppose my planned list of mods/repairs are:
    • Fix The Engine Drinking Oil/Coolant Issue - Whether this means a rebuild of the head or just a head gasket I don't know. I honestly have to DD this thing and can't really afford to be out of a vehicle at this point. But I feel like its coming...
    • Battery
    • My-Side Harley Carb Kit
    • Roof Rack - Packing Camping gear for two adults and a toddler now
    • Skid Plates - Diff Armor
    • Rear Tire Carrier
    • Rear Cage - Minimally since now I have a daughter to worry about keeping safe.
    • Full Cage - One can dream
    • The Transfercase Cradle from Zuks Off Road
    • Lockers
    • Lift - I'm going to try to resist the urge to want to put this thing on 37s. I suppose I'd be happy if I could get it on 33s as I don't ever have the money to keep a rig purely as a toy. I have Daily Drive this.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    Looks like your giving it a real good going over. I have a 87 TinTop. The snatch is only really needed if you go with the deeper transfer case gears. I run the 6.5:1 in mine, 3:73's in the axles. The low range puts to much stress on the stock mounts. As far as tires anything over 30-31 will need a engine/T-case gear swap. I run 32's on mine and with the 1.6 16v it will move down the highway. The MY-Side is the way to go if you keep the 1.3. Myron puts out a great product and will stand behind them.

    Keep up the good work. We need to save all the Samurai's we can.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    IMO, knowing where your coolant is going is top priority. So long as it's not into the chamber or lube oil will give some piece of mind.


    Patrolman previously posted:
    "My old car in college had a major exhaust malfunction as well. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a campbells soup can and some hose clamps."

    Man, I'm such a newbie as I used an thin walled pop can and not a thicker soup can (liv-n-learn!)...

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    It appears to be drinking oil faster than coolant.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    Might try pulling plugs and having a look. Head gasket coolant leak will scour the plug clean sometimes... Or if REAL excessive leave white deposits but at that point your exhaust should be sweet smelling and steam coming out.

    Also might find one plug with a lot of carbon. If so, probably head gasket. If all are bad then probably rings or valve seals.

    OR, just thinking out loud here, maybe you hooked the PCV (positive crank case ventilation) to the wrong port of the carb and your sucking oil thru the PCV into the carb?

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    flashboiler previously posted:
    "Might try pulling plugs and having a look. Head gasket coolant leak will scour the plug clean sometimes... Or if REAL excessive leave white deposits but at that point your exhaust should be sweet smelling and steam coming out.

    Also might find one plug with a lot of carbon. If so, probably head gasket. If all are bad then probably rings or valve seals.

    OR, just thinking out loud here, maybe you hooked the PCV (positive crank case ventilation) to the wrong port of the carb and your sucking oil thru the PCV into the carb?"


    Fred let's do a pressure test on the cooling system and each cyl, we can inspect the plugs and take a look at the PCV roughting. I totally agree with Andy.
    ___________
    LETS GO !!!

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    I've been sniffing the exhaust for a couple of months now looking for that sweet smell. (that sentence just sounds so off in so many ways. haha).
    Haven't looked at the plugs since I've replaced them.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    Any milkyness on the dipstick or on the underside of your radiator cap?

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    Nope. I haven't witnessed any of the typical blown head gasket symptoms.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    Well. This weekend I decided to take a chance and drive this beast 240 miles to Grand Junction to visit my girlfriends family for the the Fourth of July Weekend.
    I got some advice from another Samurai group as to some spare parts to take and set out on the road. All in all I put about 600+ Miles on the Samurai and it got great gas mileage. Around 20+mpg! Way better then the 10mpg I got in my TJ.

    Earlier in the week I swapped out every vacuum line I could find and added this check valve that was missing from the TCAC system.


    It helps keep the air going into the engine at a constant temperature and for some reason it was missing from my Samurai.

    So, as I've mentioned this thing has been drinking oil and I made sure to bring extra. I've seen this spot used for storage by other people and it fit the 5-quart jug just great.




    It drank a quart or two of oil on the trip up to Grand Junction and I have yet to see how much it drank on the way back as I just got home about 3 hours ago.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    Well it ate about half as much oil on the trip back as it ate on the trip there.

    FSM says that it could be valve stem seals in the head.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    valve stem seals will pass oil on high vacuum (like coasting downhill or to a stop light) then when you get back on the gas the exhaust will cloud blue for a few seconds.

    Rings passing oil will do it under power.

    Whats the history on this engine? I wonder if your rings are gunked up and sticking. Might explain the better oil consumption on the way home... Maybe they loosened up a bit. I'm always skeptical of snake oil fixes but in your case I might try a can of seafoam and put it in the crankcase (follow directions on can). I've heard of oil consumption problems being fixed by cleaning the ring lands on pistons with seafoam... Won't fix wore out cylinder bores but I'd give it a shot.

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    Default Re: 87 Suzuki Samurai



    Well. I've left black spots of soot on the ground outside of the tail pipe but was told that it's an a thing old engines do.
    I passed emissions so I'm thinking I'm not burning oil through the exhaust but I honestly know extremely little about engines.

    At this point I'm half tempted to just start putting in massive amounts of overtime to save for a new engine... I'd love to have some more horsepower under the hood anyway.

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