Suzuki Samurai as a daily driver/longer trips? - Suzuki Forums: Suzuki Forum Site
Suzuki Forum Suzuki Forums

» Auto Insurance
» Featured Product
Wheel & Tire Center

Go Back   Suzuki Forums: Suzuki Forum Site > Suzuki Models > Suzuki Jimny, Sierra & Samurai Forum
Register Home Forum Active Topics Photo Gallery Garage Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Auto EscrowAuto LoansInsurance Advertise

Suzuki-Forums.com is the premier Suzuki All Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-27-2008, 07:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
Newbie
 
Gsqueeze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 14
Gallery: 0
Gsqueeze is on a distinguished road
Default Suzuki Samurai as a daily driver/longer trips?

Hello Samurai owners, I am looking to purchase a smaller sized off road rig and the Samurai's have peaked my interest. However, I also would like to have thie ability to take this vehicle on longer trips as well. I am thinking the trips will be less than 500 miles but it will be through the hilly highways of New Hampshire and Maine, for example. I will also probably sell my current 06 Grand Vitara for both money reasons and that I really don't like making car payments anymore.

I have driven a Samurai once when I was 19ish, and wasn't impressed with the power. 14 years later I am a bit (wee bit) more mature and don't really need that power, but I still wonder how it would perform on the highway with two people, camping gear for up to a week, and two kayaks on top. There is a Samurai on my local craigslist that looks pretty good, but I am hesitant to waste someones time just to "see if I like it."

My long winded question is: Does anyone have any experience with the Samurai as a daily driver or for long distances? Any stories and experiences are much appreciated.
Gsqueeze is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-27-2008, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: El Paso, Texas
Posts: 1,862
Gallery: 2
Billjohn is on a distinguished road
Default

My daily drivers for the last 14 years have been Samurais. If you leave the zook stock you will still be wishing for more power. The 54 screamin ponies under the hood can get you about 70mph with a tail wind. Add another passenger and camping gear and you won't see even that much. The stock gas tank combined with an average 20mpg will net you about a 200 mile range. Add a trailer (1000 lbs towing capacity) and you will get passed by everything on the road.

I have also driven a Samurai to Zookimelt before (El Paso to Attica = over 1300 miles each way). And although it can be done, it isn't the most comfortable.

So why do I still drive Sammies? Because there is alot of things you can do to them that will make them shine. Motor swaps, carb swaps, gear swaps, suspension changes and a few other tricks can make a real difference.

It's worth it when you can run a trail and do obstacles that others cringe at. It's also worth it when you can run down the highway at 80mph, step on the gas and pass the rest of the traffic - Then slow down for a radar trap where the cops don't give you a second look... It may not be a wolf in sheeps clothing, but it can be a meaner, more capable sheep...

But you have to make it happen.
Billjohn is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-28-2008, 06:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
Newbie
 
Mungo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 14
Gallery: 8
Mungo is on a distinguished road
Default

Hi I drive my zook all day aswell and wont change it. Granted the work to home jump is only 12 kms but I do regular trips to durban about 700kms away. I am running 30" tyres with an olm man emu suspention kit and rock road outfitters rear to front so all the spring are the same, I was lucky enough to experiance a spring failure in leshoto , no pleasent at all, the rest is standard, yes lacking in power but do manage to maintain about 55-60 mph on the freeway. But once you were you are going the advantages out weigh the slow speed.
Mungo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-28-2008, 11:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
Newbie
 
Gsqueeze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 14
Gallery: 0
Gsqueeze is on a distinguished road
Default

I love the attitude about the Samurais so far. I took a look at the Sammy that is for sale locally. They are asking $2650, but have come down from $3k in the last three or so weeks. It appears that the frame is rust free, or very little rust. The mounts that I have looked at appear solid. So does the running gear. It has been freshly painted, but I saw a quarter sized rust hole what appeared to be an insignificant location on the body. Otherwise the body and interior looked solid and surprisingly newish. There is no back seat, which is fine, and there appeared to be plenty enough room for my purposes.

I am curious on how the drive train would handle increased power. An engine swap would be one of my last upgrades unless it blows, and then it would probably be a Suzuki 1.6 or 1.8L. Ideally I would drop in a Toyota 2.7 if it isn't too complicated. I was thinking a slight OME lift, and front and back lockers, and kayak rack for my first round of mods. Maybe fender cutting. I would wait on a winch and bumper.
Gsqueeze is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-29-2008, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 16
Gallery: 0
clivey is on a distinguished road
Default

I always say that driving a Samurai may not be very comfortable, but it can be very comforting when you're out on a lonely dirt road/trail specially in bad weather. There's something about the weight, dimensions, and capability of that little 4x4 that, when built right, just makes it run through most obstacles.

I'm just a bit uncomfortable about the kayaks you plan to carry on the roof. A Samurai, which is narrow to begin with, loaded with kayaks on the roof might be unstable specially on off-camber situations. It just might end up lying on its side. Lifting the rig and adding large tires (to improve off-road ability) would aggravate this. This is something you might want to think about.
clivey is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-29-2008, 11:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: El Paso, Texas
Posts: 1,862
Gallery: 2
Billjohn is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by clivey View Post
I'm just a bit uncomfortable about the kayaks you plan to carry on the roof. A Samurai, which is narrow to begin with, loaded with kayaks on the roof might be unstable specially on off-camber situations. It just might end up lying on its side. Lifting the rig and adding large tires (to improve off-road ability) would aggravate this. This is something you might want to think about.
One thing I did to the Stalker project was to give the zook a wider stance by adding quality wheel spacers. They are made by Spidertrax and they call them 'adapters' but they space the wheels out 1" for a total of 2" wider wheelbase. They use Suzuki wheel studs pressed into machined aluminum spacers. It felt much better in hard turns...



This can also be achieved using offset wheels, but I wanted to keep the stock look...
Billjohn is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-29-2008, 04:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
Newbie
 
Gsqueeze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 14
Gallery: 0
Gsqueeze is on a distinguished road
Default

Clivey: Having the kayaks on the roof at highway speeds is something that I was concerned about, but I wasn't planning on taking it on trails. One of the things I was thinking about though was to tow the Sammy long distances and use it for off-roading and to park at the foot of the stream and head upstream to launch the kayaks. This way we don't have to paddle up river. This is especially nice in the rivers with rapids.

Billjohn: I have seen those spidertrax, but I wondered if they would be detrimental in anyway because the wheels weren't mounted directly to the hubs. I suppose it is not since you seem to have better ability to maneuver.
Gsqueeze is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-29-2008, 05:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: El Paso, Texas
Posts: 1,862
Gallery: 2
Billjohn is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gsqueeze View Post
Billjohn: I have seen those spidertrax, but I wondered if they would be detrimental in anyway because the wheels weren't mounted directly to the hubs. I suppose it is not since you seem to have better ability to maneuver.
On the Stalker, we can take high speed turns without any fear of tipping (55-65mph) and we have seen no problems with bearing wear or component failure.

I also use a set on the front axle of my trail zook. I beat the heck out of it on the rocks and I have never had a component failure or bearing wear problem.

I have been known to destroy wheels out on the trail (rock rash, out-of-round crushes from hard drops), so I was glad to know that I could still have the offset without buying expensive offset wheels each season. Still running my original set from Spidertrax...
Billjohn is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-03-2008, 06:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 16
Gallery: 0
clivey is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billjohn View Post
One thing I did to the Stalker project was to give the zook a wider stance by adding quality wheel spacers. They are made by Spidertrax and they call them 'adapters' but they space the wheels out 1" for a total of 2" wider wheelbase. They use Suzuki wheel studs pressed into machined aluminum spacers. It felt much better in hard turns...
This is a good idea. They help not only in terms of giving a wider track, but also allow larger front tires to clear the leaf springs and other undercarriage components during hard turns.

I was lucky to find a set of used steel rims with a 1.5in offset per wheel selling at a good price so I went that route. They stick out beyond the fender flares and throw mud up the sides of the vehicle giving the Samurai a nice "colorful" look.

There's not much difference when using offset rims or spacers as long as they're from reputable makers. I did read from Land Rover literature that steel rims are preferred over alloy rims for hard use as they can take more abuse.

Just be careful trailing the samurai with loads on the roof. It's when it's tipped to one side in uneven terrain that the risk of tumbling over is highest. The wider track from the spacers/offset rims should help a bit.
clivey is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2008, 07:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: floridA
Posts: 13
Gallery: 0
captain47 is on a distinguished road
Default

I drive mine 120 miles per day for my commute to work from Brooksville,fl to Tampa,fl.
I have a 2-wheel drive and average 25mpg and mine will run at 70mph.

just turn up the stereo a little bit more.
captain47 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Suzuki Forums: Suzuki Forum Site > Suzuki Models > Suzuki Jimny, Sierra & Samurai Forum

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Suzuki Forums: Suzuki Forum Site forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:56 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.