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Old 02-08-2014, 09:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default MY 89 Sammy..What do I do?

Hi all..
I am new to this site and need some advice please.
I have an 89 Samurai that I bought about 8 years ago. I use it for around my property (10 acres) as a work/yard vehicle. I also built a snow plow for it about 5 feet wide from an old plastic commercial playground slide and some metal tubing welded to frame it. The plow tilts left and right manually and raises and lowers with an electric winch. Its been a great little truck and I redid all the body, including welding a hard metal top to replace the soft bikini top it had. The back of the truck has been converted into a pick up truck type box.

I have never driven it in 4th gear or above and rarely do I even get to 3rd, always in low range 4WD. It is finicky to start until it gets fuel after aggressively pumping the pedal to feed it. if I put a small squirt of gas in the carb, it fires up instantly.

So whats up?
The engine is underpowered, I would love some more horsies under the hood. Further, I have an oil leak at the front to the point of contaminating the belt which prevents the alternator from charging. The water pump is also pooched (happened last week).

So what I would like to do is drop a v6 in it. Maybe from a vitara or something along that line. Engine and tranny together. i don't want to sink much money into it if at all possible. Its my work truck. Keeps my 300 ft driveway clear of snow....you know. I also want to drive some hydraulics off the engine and power some cylinders for the plow. I also have a 4ft snow blower powered by a 13hp honda engine I put together for it. Never made it to my little SwampHawg though. But it's in the works.

Should I just fix the engine thats in it (1.3 /1.6...I have no idea) or get a tracker/ vitarra and and make a frankenstein out of it?
Any money saving suggestions are most welcome. BTW:It is not licensed for the road and dont plan on it...

Last edited by [email protected]; 02-08-2014 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So what I would like to do is drop a v6 in it. i don't want to sink much money into it if at all possible.
Those two statements don't fit well together.
Fix the 1.3, get a rebuild kit for the carb, or, swap to a different carb. Add a header and exhaust, for a little more help. The 1.3 is easy to work on and parts are reasonable and readily available.
Electric/hydraulic pump for your snow plow. I have one on my dump trailer and it is simple, works great. Runs off a deep cycle battery that gets charged by the tow vehicle.

Last edited by Azelgin; 02-09-2014 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply...
The hydraulics I want to add are not for single use; using electric hydro power pack. I want to add a hydro pump to the engine and have PTO from it to power different things, not just the plow.
As far as rebuilding whats there, I certainly can do that. I just was wondering if it was worth the effort since the motor is getting tired, the water pump and carb need attention, and there is a front end mains leak. In the end, its still underpowered with its little engine. I thought I would bypass all that and go to a V6 or a VW diesel. Just dont know how easily it would drop into the truck.
Would a 4 cyl from a firefly or geo metro bolt up to the existing tranny?
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Thanks for the reply...
The hydraulics I want to add are not for single use; using electric hydro power pack. I want to add a hydro pump to the engine and have PTO from it to power different things, not just the plow.
As far as rebuilding whats there, I certainly can do that. I just was wondering if it was worth the effort since the motor is getting tired, the water pump and carb need attention, and there is a front end mains leak. In the end, its still underpowered with its little engine. I thought I would bypass all that and go to a V6 or a VW diesel. Just dont know how easily it would drop into the truck.
Would a 4 cyl from a firefly or geo metro bolt up to the existing tranny?
The 1.3s that were used in geo metros are the same block as a samurai. So you could use that block, put your motor mounts, head, intake manifold and accessories on it and you'd have a replacement for your old 1.3.
If you want to go to a bigger engine, I would look at the tracker/sidekick 1.6s. The 8V is 80HP and the 16V is 95HP (the stock samurai is 64HP). Those are as close to a "bolt in" engine that you are going to find. I would also recommend using the 1.6 fuel injection setup, instead of reusing your old carb. The EFI will be a little more work and $$ (depending on how much of the wiring modification you can do yourself)...but it is worth it, IMO.
There are vendors out there that sell/do everything for the 1.6 conversion...from the engine to tranny adapter plate, to the wiring harness mods. Of course you can do/make pretty much everything yourself too. Look around on the internet, the 1.6 swap has been covered 1000s of times on various suzuki/geo websites.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info!
I am not certain what model years of the Geo Metro that would fit 'as is' to the samurai tranny.
Would the Pontiac Firefly and Suzuki Swift also fit? Up to what year?
Why would I use the block alone? Could I not use the entire engine? I can pick up a donor vehicle with EFI and install the whole thing with electrical support from the donor. I want to get away from the existing carb. The extra power would be nice, but if the 1.3 swap with EFI would get me to the party, a donor car would work great!

Sadly, I drove a geo metro as a commuter car. I had 3 extra vehicles here for parts; 2 swifts and a firefly. All of which were running and I paid under $400 for each of them. I had to scrap the whole fleet in my bitter divorce settlement. She wanted the money, I have the kids, and the metro I was driving, although a 4 door sedan, was too small. I ended up with a Mazda MPV minivan.
I now have the house with 10 acres and need my Samurai which is getting tired.

I am also contemplating selling the samurai and moving to a vitara or similar v6 equipped 4x4 if I can't do an easy swap on its powerplant.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Thanks for the info!
I am not certain what model years of the Geo Metro that would fit 'as is' to the samurai tranny.
Would the Pontiac Firefly and Suzuki Swift also fit? Up to what year?
Why would I use the block alone? Could I not use the entire engine? I can pick up a donor vehicle with EFI and install the whole thing with electrical support from the donor. I want to get away from the existing carb. The extra power would be nice, but if the 1.3 swap with EFI would get me to the party, a donor car would work great!

Sadly, I drove a geo metro as a commuter car. I had 3 extra vehicles here for parts; 2 swifts and a firefly. All of which were running and I paid under $400 for each of them. I had to scrap the whole fleet in my bitter divorce settlement. She wanted the money, I have the kids, and the metro I was driving, although a 4 door sedan, was too small. I ended up with a Mazda MPV minivan.
I now have the house with 10 acres and need my Samurai which is getting tired.

I am also contemplating selling the samurai and moving to a vitara or similar v6 equipped 4x4 if I can't do an easy swap on its powerplant.
Any metro 1.3 would bolt up to the samurai tranny. I think the 1.3 started in 1995 for the metros. I don't know how long they used the 1.3. Just do an internet search, and you can find out though. Look on wikipedia.com, if nothing else.
Yes, some people do swap the metro engine in and use the metro fuel injection. I think there are some writeups on zuwharrie.com on it. You can try searching there.
I wouldn't go with the 1.0 metro engines...the 1.3s are marginal in power, the way they are.
Selling the samurai and updating to a v6 grand vitara or 2.0 vitara is also an option to. The decision is up to you.
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