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Old 10-06-2009, 02:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Questions About My Samurai Mods

Hi there, I need expert advice on the following points:
  1. I have just installed my Trail Gear 6.5:1 transfer case gears. I assume those gears need to go through a break in period, then I need to change the gear oil. Is that so?
  2. I have just installed my Petroworks clutches, replaced the flywheel, the clutch cable, and all bearings. I still haven't test-driven the car. What driving characteristics should I expect?
  3. My Samurai is fitted with RRO's 7" Trail Blazer lift kit. I'm thinking of beefing up my flex using missing link, but I'm concerned about the driving characteristics on the tar. What will happen? Will it be unstable in turns? Will it bounce or something in bumps? Do I really need them? What different types are there?
  4. What other options have I got to improve my vehicle's flex?
  5. I have installed a new thermostat, but I did not use any Silicon sealant, I think the gasket that came with it should do the sealing job. Am I right?

Last edited by alternator; 10-06-2009 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alternator View Post
Hi there, I need expert advice on the following points:

1. I have just installed my Trail Gear 6.5:1 transfer case gears. I assume those gears need to go through a break in period, then I need to change the gear oil. Is that so?
Just take it easy on the first 200 miles or so before you start rompin' on it. Then swap out the oil with some Mobile 1 (or your favorite synthetic). Worked for me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alternator View Post
2. I have just installed my Petroworks clutches, replaced the flywheel, the clutch cable, and all bearings. I still haven't test-driven the car. What driving characteristics should I expect?
It will have a firmer hold, but it shouldn't be too grabby. It is a great way to get a strong clutch that won't burn out, without dealing with a race clutch that will rip parts in half if your foot slips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alternator View Post
3. My Samurai is fitted with RRO's 7" Trail Blazer lift kit. I'm thinking of beefing up my flex using missing link, but I'm concerned about the driving characteristics on the tar. What will happen? Will it be unstable in turns? Will it bounce or something in bumps? Do I really need them? What different types are there?
My personal suggestion - Wheel it like this first. Get to know what your vehicle can do now. If you really need more flex later, it is an easy bolt-on. I know too many people that change everything from minimum to maximum with the flick of the credit card, and then can't figure out why it drives so differently. Coming from a stock rig, your vehicle can now do things you haven't even thought of yet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alternator View Post
4. What other options have I got to improve my vehicle's flex?
Get it out on the trail. Take a ditch diagonally and park it with two wheels barely touching the ground - see how much it flexes. Take the opportunity to study the shock placement, brake line placement, driveshaft angles, etc. You should see right away where something is rubbing, stretched to max or bottomed out. THAT is where you go next.

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5. I have installed a new thermostat, but I did not use any Silicon sealant, I think the gasket that came with it should do the sealing job. Am I right?
It is designed to work without sealant, but everyone has a preference. If it doesn't leak, great.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alternator View Post
Hi there, I need expert advice on the following points:
[*]My Samurai is fitted with RRO's 7" Trail Blazer lift kit. I'm thinking of beefing up my flex using missing link, but I'm concerned about the driving characteristics on the tar. What will happen? Will it be unstable in turns? Will it bounce or something in bumps? Do I really need them? What different types are there?
Just to be sure, I went to the Rocky Road website to check on exactly what is included in the 7" Trail Blazer Lift Kit.

First, 7 inches a LOT of lift! You may have problems with the short Samurai driveshafts (u-joints in particular) not being able to take the new, sharper angles. I could be full of it, but that's my measured opinion...

Second, the Trail Blazer Lift Kit comes with a Z-link-style draglink. I GAROUN-TEE that you will have handling problems in the form of Bumpsteer if you drive your Samurai on the pavement - especially at highway speeds.

See this page for more info on bumpsteer:

Ack's FAQ: Your 4X4 Portal To All Things Suzuki/Geo

I lived with bumpsteer for 6 years on a 4.5" Breeze SPOA and it was, at the very least, controllable at 60 MPH on the Interstate. Not fun, but controllable. I imagine that it'll scare the ^*&( out of you @ 60 MPH with a 7.5" lift. I fixed my bumpsteer with a Over The Top (OTT) steering system. I am not sure that there is a suitable OTT system for a 7" lift - you may need to buy a drop pittman arm in addition to OTT to eliminate Bumpsteer.

I'm one of these guys that is of the opinion that "if you can't drive it to and from the trail on the highway, you are cheating". That's why I don't have an Uber-lifted Samurai with all the associated high-speed handling problems and quasi-solutions.

Bear the above comment in mind when considering my advice.

I hope that this helps!

BTW, if you have just ordered you RRO SPOA, there is still the possibility of backing out of the deal before they ship it to you - IF they ship it to you in a reasonable length of time.
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Last edited by ack; 10-06-2009 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Guys, thank you so much for your great help. I'm extremely grateful. Thanks Bill for the clear explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ack View Post
Just to be sure, I went to the Rocky Road website to check on exactly what is included in the 7" Trail Blazer Lift Kit.

First, 7 inches a LOT of lift! You may have problems with the short Samurai driveshafts (u-joints in particular) not being able to take the new, sharper angles. I could be full of it, but that's my measured opinion...
Hi Ack,

what could happen as a result of that? What remedy could I use if anything happens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ack View Post
Second, the Trail Blazer Lift Kit comes with a Z-link-style draglink. I GAROUN-TEE that you will have handling problems in the form of Bumpsteer if you drive your Samurai on the pavement - especially at highway speeds.

See this page for more info on bumpsteer:

Ack's FAQ: Your 4X4 Portal To All Things Suzuki/Geo

I lived with bumpsteer for 6 years on a 4.5" Breeze SPOA and it was, at the very least, controllable at 60 MPH on the Interstate. Not fun, but controllable. I imagine that it'll scare the ^*&( out of you @ 60 MPH with a 7.5" lift. I fixed my bumpsteer with a Over The Top (OTT) steering system. I am not sure that there is a suitable OTT system for a 7" lift - you may need to buy a drop pittman arm in addition to OTT to eliminate Bumpsteer.
As far as steering is concerned, I did opt for RRO's OTT steering system, and it is absolutely great! I can easily turn the 33" tires with a finger without power steering, thanks to OTT. RRO took care of everything for me, in terms of measurements, thanks to Glenn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ack View Post
I'm one of these guys that is of the opinion that "if you can't drive it to and from the trail on the highway, you are cheating". That's why I don't have an Uber-lifted Samurai with all the associated high-speed handling problems and quasi-solutions.

Bear the above comment in mind when considering my advice.

I hope that this helps!

BTW, if you have just ordered you RRO SPOA, there is still the possibility of backing out of the deal before they ship it to you - IF they ship it to you in a reasonable length of time.
I absolutely agree with your opinion about drivability on the highway.

Why would you want me to back out of the deal? Just wondering, although I already got the lift kit and installed it a month ago

The reason I went for the 7" lift is that I insisted on changing my leaf springs to something more comfortable. The stock ones are a back breaker; they're so harsh and hard. The Rancho ones are much more comfortable. Here's a picture of my Samurai from my phone camera:


My transfer case old gears and my old clutch turned out in an extremely good condition. Here's a picture of the old transfer case gears:


Right now my main concern about the car is enough space in the wheel well for the front wheels. Although I took Bill's advice and hammered in all the sticking pieces, I still feel it is too tight in there. I'll see how it goes while wheeling.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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One more question that I forgot to ask, I'll be getting my ARB bullbar next week. I'm planning to do the installation myself. How is it done? I think I need to cut off the side mounting points of the original bumper, am I right?

I've also got my lockright rear locker, but I haven't installed it yet. I want to try the car for some time before I install the rear locker. Here's a picture of it:

Last edited by alternator; 10-07-2009 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Guys,

Every thing is now installed in place, and the 6.5:1 gears are absolutely stunning! The low range is something I've never experienced before!

The high range is excellent, balanced out the 33" tires quite well, almost as easy as it was stock; just a little more and it will be perfect. I guess now the turn comes to the ring and pinion gears. But my maximum speed now is exactly 100 Km/h, which is 62 MPH. I can cruise at 100 Km/h on fifth gear without a problem, but no faster than that. All my problems have been solved, including the overheating, the clutch noise, etc. The car is driving very well now. Didn't notice any abnormalities during the highway test.

The flex after the SPOA lift and Rancho springs is quite impressive for a leaf spring. Here are some pics of the very short test I have done on the side of the highway:




The car still had some capacity to flex further, but I didn't find a suitable place to test that.

Still waiting for your answers Ack.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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alternator:

I neglected to include a link about the adverse effects of "extreme" lifts - as defined in the link below:

Ack's FAQ: Your 4X4 Portal To All Things Suzuki/Geo

On solution that many have had success with the binding rear driveshaft is switching to a Toyota Double-Cardan unit. It offers larger operating angles when installed properly. For more info, take a look at:

Driveline Basics with Steve Johnson - ORN

and

Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shafts - Driveline 101

(I really hate how this forum software displays the title on my site's homepage instead of the URL of the target page!)


All the above links are found at Ack's FAQ with appropriate search words!

About the BTW on Rocky Road:

Rocky Road has this bad habit about delaying shipping for a LONG TIME. People complain about not getting their stuff doe weeks on end.

I met Glenn at a ZookiMelt and he seems to be a regular guy! Unfortunately, it's hard to run a business as big as his without hiring folks to help get the job done. Perhaps it is those poorly-performing minions that have created so many shipping delays and bad customer relations...
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack View Post
alternator:

I neglected to include a link about the adverse effects of "extreme" lifts - as defined in the link below:

Ack's FAQ: Your 4X4 Portal To All Things Suzuki/Geo

On solution that many have had success with the binding rear driveshaft is switching to a Toyota Double-Cardan unit. It offers larger operating angles when installed properly. For more info, take a look at:

Driveline Basics with Steve Johnson - ORN

and

Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shafts - Driveline 101

(I really hate how this forum software displays the title on my site's homepage instead of the URL of the target page!)


All the above links are found at Ack's FAQ with appropriate search words!

About the BTW on Rocky Road:

Rocky Road has this bad habit about delaying shipping for a LONG TIME. People complain about not getting their stuff doe weeks on end.

I met Glenn at a ZookiMelt and he seems to be a regular guy! Unfortunately, it's hard to run a business as big as his without hiring folks to help get the job done. Perhaps it is those poorly-performing minions that have created so many shipping delays and bad customer relations...
Can you install those double-cardon drive shafts directly on a Zook? The highway driving seemed to be fine, but pushing the car on second to third gear was causing some vibration.

Can't I just install spring shims to correct the angle of the diffs? That will correct the angle on only one side of the drive shaft. Do you recommend them?

Glenn helped me a lot by providing advice on my lift. True, the shipment took about a month to dispatch, but I wasn't in a hurry for it. Later all my orders came from Low Range Offroad; they were extremely quick in dispatching my stuff, nothing stayed for more than one day.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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To install the Toyota CV's you will need a set of 'Rat Adapters'. These are adapters that will allow you to bolt them right in. Scott builds them at 4XFabrication.
https://www.rock4xfabrication.com/st...1e21f81c96603e
Look for Rat Adapters.

The shims can be used to improve the drive shaft angles, but in front - you will also change the caster angle of the knuckles. This will increase any vibration you have up front. Just don't go too big with the shims.
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default shims

Shims are the DEBIL!

While they can be used to correct any driveshaft angle problems relating to NON_OEM setups (like counteracting the effect on pinion angle changes in a shackle lift) they should NEVER be used to point the third member to "get a better operating angle" on the u-joints!

ALWAYS do whatever you have to do to keep the faces of the pinion flanges parallel to the faces of the transfer case output flanges as described in:

Driveline Basics with Steve Johnson - ORN

and

Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shafts - Driveline 101

The only exception is the use of a Double-Cardan driveshaft (Toyota 4x4 PU fronts with RatAdapters as Bill mentioned) also as described in the above links.

Following the above information will result in a smooth-operating driveline. Any other vibrations will be related to existing conditions like worn t-case mounts, worn input/output bearings or worn u-joints.

BTW: The above links should be REQUIRED READING for anyone who owns a lifted truck or is considering lifting a truck.

I hope that this helps!
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