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Old 01-04-2010, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking Newbie here, bought a 94 Samurai

Hi everyone,
I just won the auction for a 94 Samurai 5 spd last night and although I have not yet picked it up, I have been reading and researching since last night. I belong to other forums for my other vehicles and knew this is exactly where I should be. My short and long term goals for this vehicle is definitely a lift kit, probably no more than 3", bigger tires, new seats, top and paint. And obviously to get it into good running condition first. I have no idea what condition it's in other than pics and what the seller has told but I am very interested in doing almost all of it myself, mechanically speaking--I don't paint or do bodywork. However, I am very mechanically inclined.
I'm looking forward to much info and advice from anyone who has it to give. Can anyone tell me off the top of your heads the biggest known problem or expected problem that these little trucks are known for having? Just curious.
Thanks a bunch!
Chrissy
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I had a 94' I just sold. I had to upgrade the fuel delivery to pertroworks cv carb because the TBI was a turd and bearly ran. The original Aisin clutch was replaced at 99K miles. One of the motor mounts was broken, had to change that aswell. Other than those items, I had fun with the Samurai, thier good little SUV's.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Samurai community!

The first think that you'll notice is that this truck is incredibly easy to maintain! It's a basic truck with a simple straightforward design.

The toughest part will be the intake. You have a throttle body injection system which conjures up horrible complexities that you may or may not experience depending on your additude and aptitude. You can fix it or you can toss it all and go with one of several aftermarket carburetion systems.

The Engine Control Module/Unit (ECM/ECU) tends to die from leaky electrolytic capacitors. There are folks out there on the other popular forums who can fix it for you if you are not comfortable with a soldering iron and a solder sucker.

Another thing to look for include the shifter sheet on the transfer case. The symptoms are a locked-up transfer case. The fix is a $20 part (if you go with Zuks Offroad's Brass shifter sheet replacement ZOR Zuks Off Road).

Look to see if an Idiot has tried to change the timing belt by removing the big bolt on the front of the crankshaft instead of the 4 smaller bolts that hold the accessory pulley to the crankshaft via the crankshaft timing pulley. If the above-mentioned idiot did a bad job, there may be play or "wobble" in the accessory pulley that can be detected by shaking the accessory pulley with your hand. Any looseness means that the keyway that holds the crank timing pulley in place has been damaged. Depending on your skills and the amount of damage, you can do a JB weld fix or simply replace the crankshaft (and timing pulley/key) with a remanufactured unit. I dearly hope that this is not a problem with your new truck!

Finally, there is a lot of service information out there for the Samurai including the Factory Service Manual (FSM), a supplement covering TBI in newer models (the 90-92 FSM supplement), wiring diagrams, and lots of fixing and modding information. If I may toot my horn here, all of that stuff can be found via the search engine at Ack's FAQ - the link to which can be found in my signature, below!

I created Ack's FAQ as a 'pay it forward' project in honor of all those that helped me when I was starting out.

I hope that this helps!
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'88 Samurai Offroader - HypnoToad
'88.5 Samurai Tintop Restoration Project - Bad CR
'14 Ford Transit Connect DD

Last edited by ack; 01-04-2010 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for the info. And Ack, I did a lot of reading on the site today and did see a lot of your stuff. Lots of incredibly good info here, which is exactly what I was hoping to find.
I'm sure I'll have lots more to report or ask about once I get it home and take a good look at it. My neighbor is a mechanic so maybe he'll know more what to look for that I don't know--like the timing belt you mentioned. What is the recommended mileage for replacement of the timing belt? This has 164K miles on it, one owner up until the last 12K miles, so I'm hoping it was already done properly or not ever attempted at all.
I also like that parts are very available for this vehicle. I almost bought a Rocky a couple weeks ago but the price was too high for its condition and while I researched it, it was extremely difficult to find parts for that car.
Anyway, thanks for the response and the welcome. No doubt you'll hear more from me soon!
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default timing belt interval...

It's been a long time since I read the timing belt change interval. I seem to recall that 60 or 80k was the recommended time for it's sister engine, the G16 (Sidekick/Tracker).

160k without any documentation, I would change it.

Be sure to have your neighbor remove the 4 small bolts holding the accessory pulley to the crankshaft timing belt pulley instead of the big crank bolt! You can do that without removing the fan, but it's a LOT easier to get at those bolts and the timing belt cover in general if you remove the fan from the water pump input shaft. There are plenty of pictures in the Factory Service Manual that describe the above...

While you are at it, change the water pump if it looks like it is the original one. There's no point in diving into that part of the engine more than once...

Also, don't forget the Beer and Pizza! Wrenching is not wrenching without Beer and Pizza close at hand! (okay, maybe Soda Pop and Pizza..)

Dihatsu Rockies are like Daewoo automobiles - next to impossible to find replacement parts for! Good choice passing on that deal!

I hope that this helps!
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'88 Samurai Offroader - HypnoToad
'88.5 Samurai Tintop Restoration Project - Bad CR
'14 Ford Transit Connect DD
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm guessing maybe most cars are the same as far as replacing the water pump while you're in their doing the timing belt? I come from years of Subaru's and I know for those cars they always recommended doing the pump while you're in that area.
And I would never, ever forget the beer and pizza! LOL
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrenchwoman View Post
I come from years of Subaru's, beer and pizza! LOL
Being that your use to working on Subaru's, this Suzuki will be a breeze for you to work on. My friend has a Subaru WXR STA and that car is hard to work on, turbocharged flat-4 dohc, TMIC, AWD, 6-spd with DCCD.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrenchwoman View Post
Hi everyone,
I just won the auction for a 94 Samurai 5 spd last night and although I have not yet picked it up, I have been reading and researching since last night. I belong to other forums for my other vehicles and knew this is exactly where I should be. My short and long term goals for this vehicle is definitely a lift kit, probably no more than 3", bigger tires, new seats, top and paint. And obviously to get it into good running condition first. I have no idea what condition it's in other than pics and what the seller has told but I am very interested in doing almost all of it myself, mechanically speaking--I don't paint or do bodywork. However, I am very mechanically inclined.
I'm looking forward to much info and advice from anyone who has it to give. Can anyone tell me off the top of your heads the biggest known problem or expected problem that these little trucks are known for having? Just curious.
Thanks a bunch!
Chrissy
post a pic. not of the Samurai ofcoarse.




Last edited by eptali; 01-14-2010 at 01:51 AM.
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