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Old 09-17-2014, 12:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New to the Zuk!

Hey everyone, just picked up my first Zuk. (Wife couldn't stand I was calling it my Jeep, so I nick named it that...)
It's a 1988, with 106K miles on it. It's in pretty good shape. Even has the back seat, which is in awesome condition. Not that I care, because it stays folded up. lol... The top is in fantastic shape, the carpet is about a 6/10.

I picked it up for dirt cheap...and you can see why. LOL!

That's my powerstroke sitting behind it in the guy's driveway. LOVE that truck, but frequent fishing trips are eating me alive! Which has lead me to the Zuk.
Wife immediately started calling it my Barbi-mobile. LOL...what ever.
I do custom paint on the side, so it didn't scare me.
Couple of days after I had it home I had a few minutes so I did a quick mask and paint job on the pink...

Already looking much better.
Then on Saturday, I woke up to one of the tires sitting on the rim (all tires were severely weather checked on the side walls)
So it was time to get new (bigger) tires.
So Monday it got some new Goodyear Wrangler Armortrac's size 29.

I had read that it was the biggest you could go without rubbing. LOL...BS!! I could ONLY back straight out of the tire shop's stall. ANY turn of the steering wheel and it rubbed hard! So the front bumper came off so I could drive home. I do plan on doing a SPOA lift on it. Maybe just an old man EMU...Not looking for anything crazy.

So as of right now, I have a chopped front bumper (had to retain blinkers) until I can figure out what direction I want to go there. I might just cut and remount the stock brackets further in, and shrink the front bumper losing the license plate.

I've already done a couple little things to it...
The seats were trashed and had PURPLE seat covers on it. UGH! So a quick search on CL I found some Geo Metro seats and swapped them out. Now the seats are a 9/10.

So all that is actually positive...So far I've put about 400 miles on it and it's been fun.

Here's the negative. I would like to be able to do the damn speed limit on the highway! lol! WOW.
I've been reading up on all kinds of things, and I really don't want to dump the money into an engine swap. I already dumped a ton of money into my Ford, and it's sitting at just about 850 lbft of torque...so if I REALLY want power, I can just hop in that. But it's ALL I can do to hold about 55 on the interstate if there is no incline. But about 60 on average.

I looked into the cams for the 1.3L engine, and it seems that they are a lot of hype. Many claims that the engine performed no better after the surgery.

I have read that the filter system is a cold air intake...not to mess with it. Ok, fair enough, but what about the stock filter? Is it really that efficient?

I found a couple of articles that claim to change out the carb. One said Harley carb, one said Toyota carb, and there was another, don't really recall what. Thoughts?

I've read about headers, but what about the rest of the system? I don't want a loud buzz box. It's loud enough from road noise as it is. I've dealt with drone before and no thanks. Are there any decent aftermarket systems out there that are a good middle road of flowing and quiet?

So the big question I have is what would be the best way to gain about 25 hp (not torque) for highway cruising? I know I could have bought smaller tires...but c'mon! We know that's not an option.

The big positive is that I've checked my mileage manually, and I'm getting a solid 40 mpg out of it. WOW!

Also, I'm reading conflicting information. 1.3L CARBED engine... But it has an ECU? Yes? No? If yes, WHY? It's CARBED?!

Anyway, look forward to hangin out with everyone, swappin war stories and knowledge.

Cheers,
Will
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Really nice. Welcome to the forum.
Mike
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1986 Samurai, 31X10.5 tires, OD paint, Complete cage, 12000 lb winch, custom homebrew front and rear bumpers, 4.59 transfercase gears, 3" springover, custom homebrew shackles, all new bushings, brakes, Harley 44 carb conversion.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've a 1988 with 140k on the odometer and run 235-70-15s with 2" spacers (no lift) and needed to cut 2" off the bumper for clearence (saved the turn signals). If you're primarily street and slow 2-tracking probably better to push the bumper forward a little. I did the Weber 32/36 on the cheap ($50 on ebay and made my own adapter) and the Thorley header with 2" exhaust. She'll run 70+ mph indicated on the flat with no headwind but that's with only 150 psi compression per cyl. Rebuild this winter with the 90-95 era pistons is planned but I still have mixed feelings about the cam.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just got some headers (ebay) and 2" free flow exhaust welded up to replace the rotten one that was there ...and can definitely tell you it picked up few horses. (especialy mid part of rev range).
Also look into doing proper service (new plugs/rotor/cap/fuel filter) made a huge power diference on mine, and maybe get new ingnition coil (i got 'accel' and very happy with how it starts up now but MSD is also good brand)...
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Only so much you can do with 1.3 Litres. I have been away from Samurais for many many years but I only ever had success with gearing when running bigger tires. Samurais only had like 3:73 gears 1.21 transfer case so 4:51 reduction. Certain Sidekick gears were bolt in and could get you better low end gearing. I can only imagine how small the 5.125 : 1 pinion gear is in my 2013 GV. I was lucky enough to have a SJ410 transfercase with 1:41 high range reduction so 29's ran much like stock tires. Weber gave much more power at partial throttle but never seemed to help much on the highway and was worse then stock off-road. Good luck with your Samurai, they have long since pretty much all rusted away up in Canada.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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sweet score!!!

i have a Sammy with a 1.6 8valve motor swap and i can hold 65mph on flat roads and thats pushing 35" tires with a lift but thats with the pedal floored. so that's an option
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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X2 on what unimogdave said about gearing. I went with 4.16 gears in the transfer case because I wanted a lower geared low range. But transfer gears also reduce the high range.

I am running 235/75/15s on my 88, my only engine mods are a Harley carb and home made adapter. With a tired stock 1.3 and those gears it will maintain 60 - 63 on level ground.

Cleared tires by doing a CJ/RUF suspension.
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Last edited by texas 87sami; 09-18-2014 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texas 87sami View Post

Cleared tires by doing a CJ/RUF suspension.

What exactly is the CJ/RUF suspension? I'm assuming CJ is Jeep CJ, but RUF?
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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RUF means Rear Under Front, as in rear Sami springs moved to the front, and yes CJ means a set of 1976 and up Jeep front CJ springs on the rear.

It takes making some spring end relocation plates, but it will really help smooth out your ride and it will give you a 2 to 2 1/2" lift.

Pretty cheap to, I paid about $125 for my CJ springs, bought new bushings for both ends of both sets of springs, and bought steel for the relocation plates and longer shackles (it takes 2" longer shackles)

I think my total is around $200 for parts and materials.

If you do a google search for Samurai CJ/RUF you will have enough to read for days.....

Or if your interested, I will try to help....
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