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Old 11-17-2012, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wink USA 16v 95 suzuki sidekick ljx 5 speed 4wd saying hello

Hello!!!! Thanks for having me as a member. I purchased a used usa, 16v 5 speed, 4wd 95 suzuki sidekick ljx and have been slow getting him up to speed.

I found the ride very harsh and very easily influenced by a guest of wind driving down the road. I also find it hard to believe a car would be mass produced with those characteristics, maybe the previous owner screwed something up?

I have installed hk red lowering springs, cheap ebay shocks, 235/75r15 avid touring tires, curt hitch, tinted the windows, installed a fancy single din dvd radio, new speakers, recharged the ac, upper grill block, replaced the side markers with leds and am attempting to replace the head lamps with hids.

The problem I am finding with HIDS is that I want to flash people and when I installed a kit with both filiment and hids the purple high beam indicator stays on and it wont work. I used 9004 bulbs. Low beams is fine. The piaa fog lamps kept blowing bulbs, found they were rusted out insde and full of water. Replacing them with an amber glass set from harbor freight.

I had a leak on the passenger side and found the upper firewall compartment full of trash, opened the access panel behind the engine and used a shop vac with a smaller hose to suck it out. The whole HVAC and blower was full of leaves, twigs, etc. Vacuumed and cleaned that out. The leak is gone, but both right side speakers do not play. I ran a new wire to the front and the rear is next.

It seems all the fluids were under serviced, so they have been changed twice. I am worried that the tranny fluid looked like mud and the transfer case had clumps and metal chips. I understand the previous owner had it stuck in 4wd for 6 months. I removed, soaked and relubed the front hub, now it will go in and out of 4wdh as you shift it.

Did the usual services you do to a new to you car, this one had 60 thousand original miles. Plugs, wires, rotor, cap, t stat, air filter, pcv, anti freeze, oil, oil filter, timing belt, accessory belts, brake fluid flush, new brake pads, adjusted rear shoes, replaced all oil in all cases, put synchro mesh in tranny, added extra grounds to shock towers and engine so the shocks are better grounded.

I have removed the roof rack, spare tire carrier to make it less top heavy and so far soo good. I left the shield in place when I installed the hitch for extra protection and painted the front skid plate black. I had mud flaps and a hood bug shield, but removed those.

Other than issues with the rke being a hit or miss and sometimes the auto door locks do not all work together I cant find the connector to the trailer hitch for the harness connector. The battery under the hood is a group 51. It looks like a battery twice its size will fit like a group 24. Did these come with such a small battery?

My future plans is to install a stainless steel exhaust system that includes a header 2 inch pipe, then send my head to 3tech to get ported, polished and new cam grind. I currently have a 5 degree cam advance wheel and it really helps to drop the power band to a more usable level, seems to top out about 5 grand. I have no plans to go off road, just street and snow or ice every few years.

Here is a video of my ljx.

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Old 11-18-2012, 05:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum. Nice clean looking car.
Regarding your trailer connector, it should be behind the left rear wheel well - all Trackicks come with this attachment.
I am surprised that with lowering the car, and throwing 235's on it, that you do not get rubbing at full extension. Many people do with the stock suspension. However, the tires fill the wheel wells really nicely!
And yes, you will find that you are quite susceptible to cross winds - this car has a pretty high center of gravity, and is kind of like a box with wheels. I don't know of any way of getting around this issue, actually (other than driving slower).
Regarding timing/tuning, etc., make sure you search the forum for proper info - do not rely on Haynes or Chilton, as they are filled with misinformation.
Just curious, when you looked at the car, did you check the chassis for rust, etc?? Also, what did you do with the spare tire??
Good luck, and enjoy the car.....
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum!

I don't know if this would help you but here is a layout of what the exhaust looks like.




It's pretty cool to see someone modding one of these little guys. I'm just trying to put humpty dumpty back together right now
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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welcome !
you expect a box kite to do well in gusty winds.
then add fat tires?
keep those tires at low inflation, or they crown and its worse.
and worst 10s on wet.

the ballistic coefficient of a cardboard box too. (go slow, and win)

60 thousand original miles
its not even broken ,in, yet . mine with 80 still had hone marks on the cylinders from day one in the CAMI plant.
a virgin.
lots of buyers, that is sure. like that.... name your price. (now that suzuki pulled the plug, more demand?)

Last edited by xxx; 11-20-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you, where do I start?

Ok, this is the exhaust I am considering Calmini Performance Exhaust Combo Kit (16 Valve, For 4 Door) CAL-SK1610 I rather have a 4 to 2 to 1 header vs a 4 to 1 as it gives more torque vs high end, but doesnt look like I have much of a choice. The muffler is pretty well rusted out and I am sure the system is partly stuffed with acorns.

Yup, 60 thousand original miles, it was in my family, my uncle, father, mother, then me. The ride is best described as a stage coach as its soo rough and it feels like it will roll. With all that I have done including the 235 75 r 15 yokohoma touring tires that is gone. It will lean an inch either way, but it feels grounded. I guess the street tire is a bit more refined in its shape, plus its lowered 2 inches with stock alloy wheels. I feel I can go 2 mo sizes up with no problems.

No spare, my other vehicle is a 2010 honda insight with a 4 kilowatt lifepo4 battery where its spare tire use to be to supply the power to the hybrid system. I use fix a flat or just call aaa when I have a flat.

Got the trailer harness connected. I want to remove the rear bumper, cut it up to install lamps in it like a range rover and power them from the harness.

I see an aftermarket rear swar bar, but I cant seem to find where it use to be. I see one on ebay and neverenoughauto Addco 2051 Addco 2051 Rear Performance Anti Sway Bar Stabilizer Kit | eBay My Honda has both front and rear sway bars as well as shock tower braces and a B pillar brace to firm it up. Did the ljx have a rear sway bar or is this a bad listing?

Would the steering stabalizer help firm up the front end like the hitch did so for the rear? CALMINI Steering Stabilizer And Truss Kit CAL-SK10035

I see 2 blanks by the parking brake lever above the rear window power buttons and a D shaped one below the tilt steering wheel adustment, what did those go for or to?

What does the antilock brakes feel like when its engaged? Is it a fast reaction like a tatoo gun or a slow pulse per second?

Thanks for the cliff notes, I see I got a lot of reading. I think Ill sell my Honda before this. With the larger tires the gears and rpms feel like they match the speed out the window and seat of your pants. Its nice to go 60mph on the dash and not have everyone passing you down the road.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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RWAL. feel.?
it only works on the rear.
ive never felt one engage.
if it fails the brake lamp tells you it did.
i guess , get on grass or dirt and slam on the brakes and attempt to lock up
the rear axle, see how that feels. I think you cant fell it like ABS.
it detects this by stalling the rear axle ring gear. (see tone wheel there)
the the dumb valve opens.
just finding one 95 with a working RWAL is like , Kodak Moment. heh?

rear sway bar, most sold dont work the silly lcamp fails.
one sell asked to test theirs, and it fail. so i modifed it. to work. (welded it on)
the seller didnt like my solution, but their clamp was useless...
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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In a perfect world, when the RWAL engages, you are supposed to feel it pulse in the brake pedal, but like xxx, I have never felt this, either.
I don't understan what you mean about the car leaning an inch either way - frankly, I don't feel the need for any stablizer bars, and think that first you should check your suspension, tire pressure, etc., as there might be something amiss here that makes you feel this way.....
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think adding a rear sway bar to such a light vehicle would be a waste of time and money. IMO the money would be better spent on something that would make the most difference... like upgrading the shocks.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i dont go the money thing, that is personal.. and for sure i dont know is UTILITY or current mods. so wont go there...
how do you know that he is just trying to get better action on snow, or ice or dirt, or slow only or fast only , I dont know. nor pretend to guess. the car is versatile so utility tends to be very diverse. no?

im sure he meant, steering dampener and not bar, its not bar but a stock to stop steering wheel jerks when hitting rocks, off road. or the like.
but. antisway bars or then horrible name stabilizer bars (( there are many kinds, ways ,means and techniques.)

light my 2 mx5s are light. in fact the taller the car , the better it works.. (Archimedes lever , moves the CG !. even at 20mph.)
the sway bar is for hot dogs (or one more reason)
a hot dog
is a driver that thinks his/er High CG box is a MX5
and likes the twisties?

as you turn right
the body want to lean left (inertial forces.) (the bad, and worse for CG)
but, the sway bar , moves, up and does so on both ends and the right side
of axle goes up too, causing the rear to squat.

this prevents the dynamic CG shift, (not all of it but some)]
and handling gets better.

now the Non hot dog applications
ever driven a huge RV in huge cross-winds,or worse buffeting, CW??
ever tried, to help stop the bad behaviour. (ive done it)

yes, the same part for the same reasons. (bigger box, just the same)
and for buffeting... wow what a change. the violent tipping is transferred
to far safer squatting. (try it some time)

course nobody does any of that in a kick right? or do you....??? drive fast (50mph can be fast in any kick with buffeting cross winds, ever try that? , yah need to leave the city.....)

now the bad news.
doing so and doing it wrong, can change under/over steer and can go to the worse side. (say over steers now, but after change its worse,oops)
that part is out of my pay grade, im on circle tracker or the like../....

Last edited by xxx; 11-21-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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OEm tire sizes netted 30 mpg, I have burned almost 200 miles at half a tank. Looks like a boost in mpg, not to mention the hand calcumation for the larger size.

RWAL, I did lock up all 4 wheels and felt a pulse a second like, but nothing like hte tatoo gun feel of my Honda.

The rear sway bar I am looking to replace and or upgrade. I understand people remove sway and torsion bars to further enable off road on 4wd. DId this come with a rear bar? I want one that pivots to squat the rear for better cornering vs welded to the frame. Seems addco sells one.

With my current setup this vehicle feels like a truck, previously it felt like it was going to roll over on mild turns, off and on ramps going even at the slow posted speeds.

Tires at 35psi

This is going to be street only, snow, ice, no off road.

I see a tri y header at summit racing, ie 4 to 2 to 1 header. 1995 SUZUKI SIDEKICK Doug Thorley Tri-Y Headers 716Y-C

A 4 to 1 header gives more gains near red line, the 4 to 2 to 1 gives more off the line. Since I already have the 5 degree cam wheel from 3tech I am leaning towards the tri y header. On the other hand I love going to 5 grand in 3 gear and am leaning to the 4 to 1 header. Ultimately I want MO NOISE and a more umph usiing the seat of the pants dyno.

What do you guys think? The first exhaust system I posted is 2 inch and pretty well all there. The second one Id have to get a o2 sensor bung welded on, source the rest of the pipes. Regardless the "muffler" will be deleted or replaced with a glass pack. Yes, Ill keep the cat, but I may add a cut out.
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