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Discussion Starter #41
i got my tracks out of storage today. It appears there are two sets of 4x156 holes in the hub plates on the tracks. one is for 1/2" bolts, the other for 3/8" studs I think. But they are both 4x156. But, since they are offset a bit, I can use them to stagger my mounting in the adapters and not have the 5 bolt overlap the 4 bolt, which means I can use fewer plates to make the adapters, as long as they can fit the hub underneath the tracks.

I would remove the hubs, but I want to keep the option to select 2WD for towing the vehicle if its broken and needs to go to the shop....

can you remove the hubs and keep the selectable feature somehow?

anyway, here are a few photos of my tracks. Its too bad these came from a polaris and not a Kubota, since I see those are 5 bolt and I probably could get adapters pretty easily.





Here is a new design attempt. Only needs two plates. Yellow are the alternate smaller holes. I would have to weld the two plates together in this configuration.

 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
Back on this project again....

I sold my Argo, trailer,and gear sled setup. I am hoping the Zuk on tracks will work better. I am now working at a sign shop with access to a plasma cutter. So I hope to cut out my own adapter plates and weld together. The laser cutting quotes I got back for making the plates online, and local, were too expensive to risk it not working out.

There is a guy online via ebay that can make them, but its about $400 plus shipping. I don't plan to drive very fast with these on, so they wont' be making many revolutions when the wheels turn, so I don't see that they need to be extremely precise the way the do for normal car/highway operation. So, plasma should be fine rather than laser cut.

I worked out a new adapter design and cut it in wood to test. Here are the photos. Everything seems to line up.


The adapters are "2-part" adapters. You bolt on one half t the zuk, then bolt the second half of the adapter onto that, and finally the track onto the adapter.

1st half of adapter


2nd half




With track sitting on adapter studs


Next step, cut out an adapter on the plasma and test fit.
 

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bluebruin,

The pictures in the last post did not work... at least for me.

But I do not remember seeing the post before that. While I am not overly clear on the adapters (I'll wait to actually see your latest pictures) I might be able to answer a question you posted:

...

I would remove the hubs, but I want to keep the option to select 2WD for towing the vehicle if its broken and needs to go to the shop....

can you remove the hubs and keep the selectable feature somehow?

...
Yes, Kind of. Just removing the front locking hubs will prevent power from getting to your front wheels. I understand the 2nd gen Tracker/Vit's (starting in 1999) have a plate on their hubs that could be bolted in place to permanently keep the hubs locked to the front differential. (The next gen has a different method to unlock the front wheels.) This would allow 4x4 and 2 wheel drive selectable with the transfer case lever.

Unfortunately this will not allow four down towing.

Why? Our transfer case does not have a true neutral. Yes, the front drive shaft is decoupled from the rear shaft while in 2wd. But the drive shafts are coupled, with NO differential action, any time the selector is forward of the 2wd position.... this includes neutral.

One solution: There is a twin stick modification that can be done to the transfer case to allow separate selection of hi-neutral-low and 2wd-4x4.

Second solution: I understand this towing is not going to happen very often, and you would have to pull the tracks and install regular road wheels to do it. So why not just remove the 2nd gen plates, and have a set of rear wheel center caps handy to cover the exposed bearings for the trip to town? After pulling back from town, you might want to service the bearings before reinstalling the tracks anyway. (You could also just reinstall the locking hubs for these trips.)
 

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Discussion Starter #44
thanks for the feedback and help. not sure why photos are not working!? this site seems to have issues with google hosting photos and since you can't upload, its a bit of pain. my photos sync from my phone camera straight to google photos and then I link them. I'm too lazy to have another photo hosting site.... anyway, i'll see if I can get them to load.

in the meantime regarding hubs, I am trying to make 2 part adapters that just go around the stock locking hubs. So, I can leave the 4WD intact as-is. The face of the hub, that has the switch you rotate to engage the front tires in 4WD will just sit behind the plate the tracks use to bolt onto the suzuki. That is because the entire hub will sit behind the tracks.... the adapters are 3 inches thick. There are some serious negatives to that however. I am putting a lot of stress on the bearings, axles, etc I know. But, it minimizes the modifications I have to do. I saw some examples of this adapter that someone else who put tracks on a sidekick used. They had them custom made from aluminum. The only real difference will be that mine will be steel (so heavier) and less precise since they will be not be milled/machined but rather just cut from steel on a plasma table and welded together.

my original attempt/design used larger diameter plates. This one is rather small in diameter, so I hope this helps keep the weight down, and also has less chance of interfering with the brakes and the anti-rotation cable and brackets on the tracks.

I could simply take the tracks and adapters off, and put the wheels on to tow it to a shop. Or drive it to a shop if I get around to registering it. It will work the same as it does now, just turn the hub to disengage 4WD and the the rest of the stuff described in the owners manual to tow.... (see previous post).

However, I also have a flatbed trailer now, so I will probably skip this and just tow it in on my flatbed. That way I don't have to put tires back on etc. I can put the tracks on at home and just tow it up to my cabin. Better than doing it on the side of the road up there in the snow and wind/cold. I am sure I am going to make several trips back and forth with it until I get the project running the way I want. I plan to do the "minimum" modifications one step at a time, just in case at some point I decide its not feasible or is too expensive and I abandon ship. Hopefully things I will have done up to that point will not be irreversible and I could sell the car and tracks separately to regain most my investment. Assuming the sidekick handles reasonably well with the tracks on, I'll continue down the path of modifications as needed. Locking diffs, stripping it for weight, cutting wheel wells to make room for tracks, lift kits, offroad lights, racks, etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #45 (Edited)
I am attaching the photos because I can see them on my chromebook when I log into this site so I don't know why they don't work as links..

see attached file #1. that's the two halves of the adapter (just imagine them in steel or aluminum. I am cutting in wood as a test run to fit them)

photo #2. 1st half of hub bolted onto the suzuki.
photo #3 2nd half of adapters bolted onto the first. the reason for two halves is because the bolt pattern of the suzuki (5 bolt) and tracks (atv 4 bolt) are similar in diameter and the two overlap no matter how you rotate them compared to each other. So, the only way to make adapters work is to make them 2 part and thick, so one of the truck's studs is actually directly under one of the studs holding the track... the bolts that hold the two halves the adapter together are offset from both those patterns.
photo #4 full adapter on suzuki
photo #5 one half of the adapter on the track
photo #6 the track on the suzuki with the adapter behind it
photo #7 the three sections of 1/2" plate that make the suzuki side of the adapter
photo #8 the three sections of 1/2" plate that make the track side of the adapter
 

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Discussion Starter #46 (Edited)
update - brought home 87 samurai

new development in my project.... today I drug home an 87 Samurai. Tin top.

couldn't pass it up for the price. no title... not sure of condition. once I got it home, I was able to fire some starter ether into the carb and get it to run for a bit... drive train looks to be there. Pretty decent looking condition for the age and it was just sitting for a long time. Locking hubs up front.

anyway.... now I have a dilema. As I have not really dug into the sidekick yet (1990 sidekick, EFI), I am not sure which to use form my project. Here are my pro's and cons:

Pros for Samurai
1. Tin Top (cold weather at cabin)
2. Solid axles, easier and cheaper to lift to fit the tracks.
3. looks better/cooler (in my opinion)
4. rear door is large and works, so I can put in jump seats so my boys can hop in when we get to the cabin to start up the snow trail (door on sidekick won't open and the hardtop has a lift hatch type rear glass... jus a bit more of a pain)
5. smaller. I parked it next to the sidekick, its noticeably smaller. Maybe its lighter? That would be a good thing for the tracks. Its all about weight to footprint to get floatation in the snow.

Cons for Samurai
1. Unsure of condition, not sure how much money I want to spend getting it checked out or tuned up
2. CARBURETOR. cabin at 11,000ft. Not sure if I can get it jetted to that altitude or not. a carb swaps look pricey and not as effective as people would like.
3. no title, will have to be a rock crawler trail rig only. makes it harder to sell.
4. unsure what might be wrong with it.... could be a pandoras' box or work great with a tuneup. who knows.

Pros for Sidekick
1. runs well, always starts. 4-low works
2. has title, so I can sell easier.
3. been checked out by mechanic and it looks "good" for its age and drives fine.

Cons for Sidekick.
1. Independent front suspension. Harder to lift and more expensive, and can create drivetrain issues if you go more than an inch or two from what I hear.
2. not as nice looking (in my opinion)
3. rear tailgate stuck. not sure I can get it open.
4. heavier?
5. not sure how well the 4x4 works vs the samurai and which will be better with the tracks? I suspect the samurai might be better since you see those as trail rigs/rock crawlers all the time but hardly ever the sidekick

Other:
1. lockers? Not sure it its easier or cheaper to do lockers in one or the other vehicle? I am not sure if I will need them, but I might.
2. I think they are both manual steering which could make it harder to steer the tracks.

Comments or suggestions?
Especially abou the EFI vs carburetor?
Could I do an engine swap and sell the leftovers? I am not an engine guy... and I don't have a lot of time. Another option is sell both, try to buy something with the combined money that is already lifted and has some of the work done for me????
How about a propane kit? Does propane solve the altitude issue?

Thanks
Lee
 

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You can put the 1.6 out of the Kick into the Samarai and swap the differentials out of the sidekick into the samarai. That would get the gearing lower, I don't know if that would be better or worse for your situation...
 

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Oh what a fun thread!!

Great project.
A friend had his 82 Toyota 4wd converted to propane and it ran fine at our meager altitude at 4200 ft.

His truck had a Buick V6 as opposed to the 4.3l I was going to put in my 81 Toy.
I think you would be creating a fill the tank issue unless you could have a portable lp. tank, though they normally are required to be permanently mounted as far as I know.
They do easily switch between regular gas and lp.

Do it!
Don't give up on the build.

Don

.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Oh what a fun thread!!

Great project.
A friend had his 82 Toyota 4wd converted to propane and it ran fine at our meager altitude at 4200 ft.

His truck had a Buick V6 as opposed to the 4.3l I was going to put in my 81 Toy.
I think you would be creating a fill the tank issue unless you could have a portable lp. tank, though they normally are required to be permanently mounted as far as I know.
They do easily switch between regular gas and lp.

Do it!
Don't give up on the build.

Don

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thanks Don. I am not giving up! nope. just have a lot of projects on my plate (as always) and its lower priority than others so I am not making much progress.

I like engine swap idea. but its a bit over my head, I am not much of a motor person. but, I imagine there a lot of threads out there on the swap explaining things since people want to get rid of the carb.

however, the propane thing is more appealing to me if the motor the samurai is reliable enough. they are both old engines, so if all things are equal and they both run well enough, i'd rather do propane. This is because I think it will run better at altitude. This will be a trail rig only, I will tow it, or trailer it if I need to bring it anywhere. So, being street legal is not an issue really. So, I can put a permanent propane tank in and just fill it now and then. I'll be using it 99% of the time just to drive the road in winter up to the cabin which is 1/2 mile or less. Don't need a very large tank. I am hoping it will start up better in cold weather with propane (need to reseach that more)., I know propane is superior on angles (ie snow drifts) compared to a carburetor as well.

A propane kit is $700. The vehicle was cheap. So, since the sidekick has a title, I could still sell it and get my money back out of it, no harm done. I'll do that as soon as I verify the condition of the samurai. Sidekick would be my backup option.

Neither vehicle has locking diffs. The sidekick has locking hubs for 4x4. not sure on the samurai, haven't looked at it that close. Its an 1987. But I know it would be easier to lift the samurai, and I suspect that will be needed to clear the tracks. Lifting the sidekick with IFS was a concern of mine. I know IFS can be a rabbit hole of $ chasing weak links and such in the suspension and drivetrain geometry. I think the samurai will lend itself better to the project, with more available in the aftermarket for rockcrawling etc. For example cheap locking diffs, or driveshafts, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
1987 suzuki

I got the 87 samurai running! new battery, changed oil, swapped out gas. Runs pretty decent! Seems like 4x4 works.

This thing was TRASHED on the inside. I tore out all the carpet. Tuesday I am bringing it down to a mechanic to have a look over it. I am trying to make sure its not going to need a bunch of major work like axles, clutch, tranny, or engine or something.... if its in ok shape, I'll be switching to this vechicle for my project.

Reasons being
1. I like samurai's better
2. its a tin top
3. should be easier to lift if needed to clear tracks (solid axles)
4. easier to work on. engine and undercarraige look simple, and accessible.
5. seems smaller and lighter which is a big deal on tracks
6. I can do the propane kit and not have to worry about elevation or gas sitting in the truck going bad etc. I hope it will help it start easier in really cold weather as well.
7. back door will make it easier to get passengers in thru the back when we load up (I plan to install jump seats)
8. aftermarket support for these seems stronger. things like locking diffs, lifts, engine kits, steering kits, etc. not sure what I will end up needing to make this project happen.

Today I took off the snowplow mounting bracket that was on there and installed my tow bar kit from the sidekick. So, I am ready to tow it down to town for a look over.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
with snow plow mount (mount is for sale $60)








 

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Discussion Starter #53
well, I have been debating about the samurai vs the sidekick. I really love samurai's, not the sidekick so much. No offense to those who own them/love them. The samurai is just so much "cooler" in my opinion (maybe because I am a jeep guy). anyway, as much as I want to make the samurai work, its probably not worth it or wise. The sidekick has a better ride, more HP, EFI, etc. I don't have the time or money, nor knowledge to swap the 1.6L EFI engine into the samurai. I don't want to fiddle around with propane to replace the samurai carburetor when I know the sidekick EFI will work as well or better.... plus I got a hardtop for the sidekick so I guess that makes the most sense at this point. Perahaps I can lift it without too much trouble to clear the tracks?

what about a body lift? Like this:


The tracks seem to provide quite a bit of clearence on their own, I just need to make sure they fit in the wheel well. I can do some trimming as well if needed I guess.
 

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Are those 2" or ???

SHould be sufficient.

As the saying goes, perfection is the enemy of good enough. SO yea, take what you are already progressing on, the Sidekick, and go with it.

Are you freezing yet?

Here in NM mountains, it has been down to 40º a few nites, though now it has warmed up to 86º today.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
some more developments...

I struggled with the decision of samurai vs sidekick. I posted on pirate4x4 also since there are some seriously knowledable offroaders over there who use samurai's. anyway, most people said go with the sidekick. I hate to agree since samurai's are just so much "cooler" (in my opinion). But, its more practical, has EFI, etc. It may weigh more, but I will strip it down to bare nothing as much as possible to reduce weight. also the heater works! Last reason, is I have another thing that's come up to use the samurai for, and or I may sell it to help pay for the project. we'll see.

anyway... I started working on adapters. I have some 1/2" aluminum plate. I tried to plasma, but it was so thick it was going to turn out like garbage if I could even actually get it to cut. So, I decided to CNC router it. Once I figured out the speed, rpm's, bit type, and air cooling, it worked great. Here are the first 3 sections of one adapter.







But THEN.... drats! two major snags
1. I don't have enought plate to actually make them all, I am one short. I could buy some i guess.
2. it took like 10 hours to cut just these 3. I have to make 21 more. I can't tie up the cnc at work that long, nor be there that many hours after work for weeks just for a set of adapters. you have to cut so slow and shallow per pass to keep the bits cool enough and not breaking or melting the aluminum which sticks ot the bit...

Just found these tonight. Might be the answer:
https://usadapters.com/products/5x5-5-5x139-7-to-4x156-wheel-adapters-12x1-5-stud-2-in-thick-108mm-bore-x-2

$300 for 4, not horrible. But, only 2" thick, which will cause the hub to stick out 2" past the face of the adapter. I could buy some 5x5.5 spacers to stack behind the 2-part adapters. But, maybe, the hub can stick into the backside of the track. It seems like there is a bit of a hollowed out area in the middle... not sure its enough depth. Maybe I can split the difference and use 1/2" spacers and have the hubs stick out 1/2" into the back of the tracks??

well, that's it for now. snow is falling as I speak. but I have very limited time to devote to this. My goal for now is get adapters and get tracks mounted to see how it might handle it. If I can get around to fabbing anti-rotating brackets etc I will test it at the cabin this winter and see how it does before I start digging into locking diffs, lifts, stripping weight etc etc.
 

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Nice work on the adapters. :thumbsup:


Gen 2's are great, you'll like it.

B)


Don

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Discussion Starter #58
Great write up I'm currently putting tracks on a 92 Asuna Sunrunner. Have you made a anti rotation set up?
no, not yet. Have not gotten that far. Guess I figure I'll adapt the atv ones once I get that far... you?
 

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no, not yet. Have not gotten that far. Guess I figure I'll adapt the atv ones once I get that far... you?


No I didn’t realize when I bought the tracks they didn’t come with any anti rotation pieces. I mounted them late last winter and got about 30 KM’s with no issues.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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updates

First post.

This was a good read, left me hanging, what happened. I am looking at doing the same thing, Just got a quote from ATV tracks.net for adapters, They sell them for $525
 
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