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Old 01-24-2010, 01:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 4.3 samurai swap

about a month ago my stock sami motor overheated and developed a bad nock. so i decided that instead of rebuilding the 1.3 whitch was gutless anyways, to swap in a 4.3 v6. right now my samurai has spring over axle with 31" boggers, custom shock towers, full external roll cage, rear locker, and transfercase gears.

so far this is what i have for the swap:

-4.3 vortech with wiring harness and computer from 94 s10 truck

-2wd th350 transmission with shorter 6" tail shaft

-1800 rpm stall converter

-radiator from v6 ford ranger


i still need: shifter, fuel pump, stiffer front springs, exhost (dual cherry bombs im thinking ), and more i am sure.

i want to use the stock divorced transfercase and just move it back about 2" and shorten the driveshaft between the transmission and transfer case. Also i will be fabricating the motor mounts and tranny crossmember myself, because i am doing this on a tight budget and dont want to buy a kit. i am fairly good at welding so that shouldnt be too hard. I also want to keep the stock axles for now, although someday i will probably upgrade to dana 44s


questions: has anyone done this swap without the kit? has anyone done the swap and kept the stock transfer case? and where can i find a full wiring diagram for a 1994 s10? (so i can use the wiring harness)

ill try to keep people posted when i start the swap, and any info from anyone who has done this would be greatly appreciated
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your extra load is all going to be on the transmission and transfer case so I'd get a T-case buckt to reinforce the case and give it additional frame mounts and support. If you'r keeping the tires down to a 31 then you might be able to run the stock axels if you baby it. If you upgrade to larger tires then you'll have too much load on the stock axels and driveshafts and things will start to grenade on you. If you plan on doing any hauling, off roading, or dumping the clutch and trying to drag it, you'll start bending drive train parts with even a small stock size tire. The suzuki SJ is a lightweight 4x4 and not designed to need or handle the power of a V6 engine. I wouldn't recommend going beyond the 2.0L 4cyl DOHC engine upgrade without doing a major drivetrain replacement. The 2.0 is over 2x the samurai's stock power.

If you wan't to go with the V6 and you don't want to be breaking stuff all the time, you will need to put a lot of money into it. It's not a Bronco or a Jeep, but once you've done all the necessary upgrades, you'll have a Bronco or a Jeep chassis with a samurai Tub sitting on it.

Check out Suzuki - Pirate4x4.Com Bulletin Board
There are a few build ups of V6 and V8 samurai's on that site and you can see the work that was put into them. P.S. Don't ask questions over there without having done a thorough search first, or they'll roast you alive.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've helped put a 3.8 engine and trans (grand national) in a sammy.
One thing you didn't mention is gearing. We were running stock 3.73 gears and stock transfer case but had 38" rubber. At one time we did have 44"s on it. Unless you don't care you are going to have the engine scream while doing 50mph... those high RPM's will kill the engine fast.
Have you thought about going VW diesel? Very popular, small, decent weight, tons of power, etc.
The V6 will make you very nose heavy.
Now all that said, it was easy to put the V6 in, as long as you can fabricate, weld, and think how to redesign things. One thing? Power steering. Turning 38" rubber without power is no fun. Then you have to reinforce everything on the frame, swap out parts from other 4X4's, then remember what parts came from what when it comes time for replacing worn parts. Even with some key 'kit' parts things still didn't fit as they said it would.
With the type of power steering we did, running that tall of a tire, and that much speed, it almost wasn't fun. Scary, scary fast...

thanks,
george
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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may seem a stupid question, but if you want a high powered car, then what the heck are you doing with a samurai?? theyre known for lack of power, yes, but offroad their light weight counteracts this. bigger engine takes away the characteristics that make a samurai a samurai... i understand the vitara or VW diesel swaps... but a v6? too much else to replace...

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Old 01-26-2010, 09:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whincup View Post
may seem a stupid question, but if you want a high powered car, then what the heck are you doing with a samurai?? theyre known for lack of power, yes, but offroad their light weight counteracts this. bigger engine takes away the characteristics that make a samurai a samurai... i understand the vitara or VW diesel swaps... but a v6? too much else to replace...
I have seen many swaps like this and some turned out really nice. Think of it as the same mindset that stuffs a Chevy smallblock into a VW bug. It can turn out really cool if you do it right!
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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it can turn out cool if you put a lot of money and work into it, but when you try to do it on a tight budget, it doesn't tend to work out. There aren't a lot of corners you can cut since every link of the chain is tied to something else.

Example: You put big bogger tires on without upgrading the axles and you bust your birfs. You put toy axles or dana's on with 38's and you don't replace your drive train you grenade the Universals and twist your springs and gear boxes off the frame. so you brace all the boxes, truss the larger axels, put on anti wrap bars, use heavier springs, reinforce the perches, and all the frame mounts, get a panhard, and oTT steering and cut apart the transmission tunnel to fit the tranny and engine, replace all the wiring and install the ecu and sensors with the new engine... that's the short list.

The reason that the samurai is a light and nimble vehicle is because it uses light components that aren't all beefed up to handle the load of a large powerplant. Putting in a large powerplant means that you need to brace everything and replace the weak areas with components from larger vehicles your rig isn't so light and nimble any more. It still resembles the samurai, and that's cool, but it's a very expensive way to put a different vehicles chassis under a samurai tub.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i wont deny id love a v6 under my hood, but i chose this car because its economical and still capable offroad... if your building a comp car, i do see this as a good idea, but i saw a purpose built competition sierra's/samurai's in 4x4 magazine outdo massive v8's with a turbocharged 4cyl (article didnt say exactly what the engine was from)
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whincup View Post
may seem a stupid question, but if you want a high powered car, then what the heck are you doing with a samurai?? theyre known for lack of power, yes, but offroad their light weight counteracts this. bigger engine takes away the characteristics that make a samurai a samurai... i understand the vitara or VW diesel swaps... but a v6? too much else to replace...
I hear of an Aussie popular swap, to install a Holden 3.8L V6 on the Sammy. US should have that engine on some older Buicks. How does that go, out there in the down under?

What popular Diesel swaps to you have out there?

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it can turn out cool if you put a lot of money and work into it, but when you try to do it on a tight budget, it doesn't tend to work out. There aren't a lot of corners you can cut since every link of the chain is tied to something else.

Example: You put big bogger tires on without upgrading the axles and you bust your birfs. You put toy axles or dana's on with 38's and you don't replace your drive train you grenade the Universals and twist your springs and gear boxes off the frame. so you brace all the boxes, truss the larger axels, put on anti wrap bars, use heavier springs, reinforce the perches, and all the frame mounts, get a panhard, and oTT steering and cut apart the transmission tunnel to fit the tranny and engine, replace all the wiring and install the ecu and sensors with the new engine... that's the short list.

The reason that the samurai is a light and nimble vehicle is because it uses light components that aren't all beefed up to handle the load of a large powerplant. Putting in a large powerplant means that you need to brace everything and replace the weak areas with components from larger vehicles your rig isn't so light and nimble any more. It still resembles the samurai, and that's cool, but it's a very expensive way to put a different vehicles chassis under a samurai tub.
In my opinion, if someone wants to go that extreme he should go for a car ready for it. Just buy a Wrangler. I believe with the Samurai's light weight a mild engine mod should be perfect to get all the power you need. Something like the Suzuki Vitara 2L V6 would be the maximum I'd think about. A 1.6 16V should be perfect.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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yes i have heard of the commodore v6 swaps, from what ive heard theyre relatively lightweight for their size and one of the few street car engines that stands up to the abuse from offroad driving... but but from what i hear its also a lot of fabricating, and u gotta take the transmission too. not sure if they had manuals to match, but ive heard of two samurais with this, both auto's. not sure of anyone else, but id waaaay prefer a manual offroad.

have heard this is a very popular swap for hiluxes actually...
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by whincup View Post
yes i have heard of the commodore v6 swaps, from what ive heard theyre relatively lightweight for their size and one of the few street car engines that stands up to the abuse from offroad driving... but but from what i hear its also a lot of fabricating, and u gotta take the transmission too. not sure if they had manuals to match, but ive heard of two samurais with this, both auto's. not sure of anyone else, but id waaaay prefer a manual offroad.

have heard this is a very popular swap for hiluxes actually...
4WD Action Australian magazine has a project Samurai (er Sierra) with this engine, and a manual gear box. I saw it in one of their DVDs and it was a serious 4x4 and the rescue vehicle, with two ARB air lockers. Actually that DVD is what inspired me to get the Samurai and work on it.
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