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Old 11-30-2011, 06:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1988 suzuki samurai tin top

hi guys i found this forum a few days ago and have read just about all the 138 pages.

i have a shot to buy a completely stock 1988 tin top

is there any reason not to buy a hard top?

besides the hard top what is different then the other samurais.

why do i not see many hard top samurais.

he wants 2300$ for it is that a good deal?

if i drop 2300$ or less on it i will have around 2k to start working on it i like almost everything from rocky road and it seems they have a good reputation would there be any reason not to buy from these guys? is 2k enough to even start or should i keep it stock until i can do it all lift shocks axels tires?

now i have worked on pree 1980 trucks for awhile so i can rebuild just about anything on them and the samurai seems to be running similar setups. but when it comes to gearing i am completly lost. if i lift it and throw bigger tires on it and re gear it will i completly lose highway drive ability? will be 31's that i would like to get under it.

if you guys can answer one or all or point new things out i would love it.

thank you very much
John
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I understand tintops were produced in lower numbers. They are said to hold heat and cool better and be quieter on the road. I have a ragtop because I wanna go topless when weather permits. Take a look at trail tough website for goodies to. Dillon there has taken very good care of me. I have no XP with other vendors yet. Enjoy!!!
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I picked up my 86 soft top for $1200. I put new OME Dakar springs, new u bolts, new poly bushings, new shocks, new soft top, new window regulators, new window channels, new aluminum door handles and pulls, Weber carb, header and 2" exhaust. I found all the exhaust bends and tubing on Amazon, of all places. I had to cross reference the part numbers with Hooker's catalog, as they don't list sizes on Amazon, just part numbers. Total additions came in at about $1800. Paint job was free leftovers from my Toyota project. Other parts came from LowRange and Petroworks. You should be able to do quite a bit, with $2000 and a little imagination.
I got involved in Samurais because they are so simple to work on and the parts are inexpensive. I've got a 71 FJ40 Toyota that I restored before switching to the Suzuki. Parts for the Samurai are easy to find and a fraction of the cost of the Toyota. I love these little trucks.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default cali sami

hey another question. what can you do and not do to a sami and it still pass smog?
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samson101 View Post
hey another question. what can you do and not do to a sami and it still pass smog?
I would think it depends on your location. No smog tests required where my Sami is registered. Otherwise, I've heard of folks keeping the stock carb and cat for smog tests and switching to "alternate" systems between registration checks renewals.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samson101 View Post
hi guys i found this forum a few days ago and have read just about all the 138 pages.

i have a shot to buy a completely stock 1988 tin top

is there any reason not to buy a hard top? no...

besides the hard top what is different then the other samurais. nothing...

why do i not see many hard top samurais. most of them have been wrecked, junked, and rusted out over 25 years.

he wants 2300$ for it is that a good deal? Sounds ok if its not rusted.

now i have worked on pree 1980 trucks for awhile so i can rebuild just about anything on them and the samurai seems to be running similar setups. but when it comes to gearing i am completly lost. if i lift it and throw bigger tires on it and re gear it will i completly lose highway drive ability? yes... will be 31's that i would like to get under it.

if you guys can answer one or all or point new things out i would love it.

thank you very much
John
I hope this helps John!!!
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default 1988 1988.5

hi guys. on a few threads and on some parts i see them labeled as 1988 and 1988.5 what is the major differences how do you tell?

thanks you guys
John
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samson101 View Post
hi guys. on a few threads and on some parts i see them labeled as 1988 and 1988.5 what is the major differences how do you tell?

thanks you guys
John
You have alot of homework to do on Samurai's. I'v spent many a sleepless nights, reading all night. Good luck!!
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The Sammis were only here in the states from 86-95, in 88.5 they went to a Square dash vent with a couple other small changes, and then in 90 they made their biggest change and upgrade by going to a 1.3 Fuel Injection system.


So if you have square vents you have an 88.5 and newer and if you have Round vents you have 86-88.

other than the Fuel injection and some other small mods they are all the same and are pretty much plug and play, regardless of wether their Tin Tops or convertibles.

Oh and Tin Tops were only made for a couple of years. Hope this helps
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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So far nobody has talked to you about the attractiveness of a tin top over a soft top.
Having had both, here is my take on it.
The hard top will feel safer if you put a roll bar in.
You can carry more gear but that may overload the small engine output.
It can keep most of your gear safer, unless someone is willing to break the glass to get in.
It will ride more quietly on the road when the running gear is screaming at 5000 RPM, especially when you add carpeting or some sound deadening.
It will keep warm in and cold out better as the doors and windows fit better.
But you cannot take the top off on a good day and without A/C the tin top can get really HOT. The ventilation is weak to nonexistent.
In the rain or the mud you don't share the space with it.
Otherwise they seem to be identical in performance.
The center of gravity is slightly lower in the soft top.
If the tintop is good mechanically, clean non rusted body and satisfactory upholstery it is a good price.

Hope this helps.
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