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Discussion Starter #1
so i finally thought i would start a forum on my samurai build since i have gottain so much help from other people who have done the same!

here's my plan:

-dana 44 front
-ford 9" rear
-stock t-case with gears
-th350 trans
-4.3 tbi v6

i'm going with the 44 and 9" because i got them cheep. they are also the right width, about three inches wider than stock, and are offset to the passenger side just like the sami's. The bad is that the rear is a 4.11 and the front is 3.9 ratio. For now, i've found out if i run my 30's on the front and some 32's in the rear, it should match up allright. look funny, yes, but this is just untill i can get a new gearset.

I also already have the th350 and stall converter, and a 4.3 tbi from an s10 with wiring and computer that hopefully i can figure out, and a radiator from a ford ranger.

so far i have both the front and rear axles installed, crossmember modified for trans, and am currently building new t-case mounts. in order for the transmission to fit and remain divorced (driveshaft to t-case) i had to move the t-case back about 3".

The axles took a while to swap in, but it was mostely because i fabricated every part, spring pads, axle stabilizer, shock mounts, steering, etc. i am on a very tight budget (17 year old working 1 day a week) so i'm doing everything i can myself. being able to weld and fabricate is a HUGE help. The hardest part was that part of one of the leaf spring mounts on the dana 44 front had to be welded to the center section. This meant welding steel to cast, whitch is somewhat difficult. I had to preheat it with a torch, stick weld it with a high nickle rod, and post-heat it, slowly cool it down, (to avoid cracking). it turned out fine though.

now i'm working on my transfer case mount. its similar to the stock design but much stronger and moved back.

i cant figure out how to post pictures at the moment (it says they are too large) but if you message me i could email you some.



let me know if you have questions!

-Devon
 

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That's awesome that you're putting this all together yourself.

Couple things I'm going to point out, just being constructive, so don't take this as negative in any way.

The samurai T-case isn't built to handle the torque or the load you are going to be putting on it. You can beef up your U-joints and drive shafts, and put in heavy duty mounts and braces, but you can't make the output shaft bigger or the case stronger. There are flanges that allow you to use more mounting points on the case so that there is less stress on individual points, but running that much power on a stock case is going to grenade it eventually. Another thing working against the T-case is the drive shaft angles.
are you re-locating the T-case to the center to adjust for the centered differentials? You can run them off center, but it just puts that much more load on the u-joints and the T-case.
If you are moving the t-case back to make room for the transmission, Are you pushing the rear axel back to accomodate for the Drive shaft angle? The short wheel base on the samurai already keeps the U-joints on the drive shafts at a pretty hard angle. Even Just putting a 1 inch drive shaft spacer closes the gap between the two u-joints to an unrecommended short distance. If You're pushing the T-case Back 3 inches. Then make sure you compensate for it by moving the rear axel back. (The extra 3 inches of lenth between the front ujoints is a good thing, so no problems there)

You sound like you have some good welding skills and have a really ambitious project ahead of you. Can't wait to see how it turns out!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the comments and tips!

yes, the transfer case was one thing i'm still worried about. or one of the things. The main reasons why i want to keep it are because it already has low gears installed. Also i have heard that samurai t-cases are pretty strong. i may be wrong though??

as for the driveshaft angles, the front and rear axles are both already offset to the passenger side, which is one of the reasons i decided to buy them. Yes, the rear driveshaft will be fairly small since its a small wheelbase to begen with, and i am moving the transfercase back about 3" (and not extending wheelbase). Also, when i installed the rear axle, i purposfully angled the pinion higher than normal to hopefully account for some of the driveshaft angle. Right now i'm thinking about fabricating my own driveshaft out of some other ones i have (shortening fullsized driveshaft and changing flange), and having a shop balance it once i'm done. Might work, might not... i guess i'll find out

I'm mostely using the stock one because i have it also, and dont have a ton of money to find a new one.
good info though!

ps. If i did decide to go other (non-divorced) t-case, what would you recomend?

thanks!
 

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I like the samurai t-case because it's so damn small and simple. Input shaft, front and rear output, High and Low capable in 2 and 4 wd. all wrapped into a solid little package that you can pull out and stick into a little truck or atv that you want to make into a 4wd. The samurai T-case IS really tough. It's tough when you consider that it's designed for a 2,000 lb vehicle with less than 50hp. Putting a V6 on it and beefing up the drive train is going to make the T-case your weak link in the chain though. You would do better to keep the gearing on it close to stock and gear the Differentials way down. That will put a lot of the load on your beefy diffs and axels instead of the t-case and driveshafts having to eat the load.

On the drive shaft angle, if you're using a single U-joint on either end, you need to keep the output on the T-case as parallel as possible to the input on the differential.
 

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I don't know what final R&P you are going to finally install, but you should do the math first before you decide to keep the sammy trans case just for the lower gears...
I helped do one and before he thought things out, he was redlining going down the road doing all of about 50mph. He ended up changing R&P's and going up in rubber size, all this was with a 4sp auto overdrive. What about a 300 trans case? It's short and strong. You could sell the sammy tc to help pay for a D300 case. The sammy case will live but with great easy of use of the skinny petal. Most people don't have that much control...
And maybe think about a CV joint or two.
Maybe have a pro look at your welds...
 

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I don't think I knew a lot, or enough about one particular thing at 17. To me, that you are able to do all this is awesome! Props!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ok, well i have finally been convinced that despite my low gears and the nice size and convienency, i should use a different transfer case. Right now i'm thinking of getting a np205. They're gear drivin, strong, and you can do a twinstick whitch would be nice. The dana 300 would be nice too but i cant seem to find any arround my price range. Anyone have other ideas of transfer cases that would bolt up to a th350?

i actually got what i thought was an np205 from a friend, but i looked it up and its actually a np203 which is a chain drivin, full time 4wd case. so i probably won't end up using that.

thanks for that post about the driveshaft angles....wish i had learned that before i put my rear axle in!! Stupid mistake on my part, i should have researched it first.... If i use a double u-joint driveshaft (dont know what they are called) will that help? its not tilted much as you can see from the pictures, but it is slightly....i dont know how much of a problem this will be.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't know what final R&P you are going to finally install, but you should do the math first before you decide to keep the sammy trans case just for the lower gears...
I helped do one and before he thought things out, he was redlining going down the road doing all of about 50mph. He ended up changing R&P's and going up in rubber size, all this was with a 4sp auto overdrive. What about a 300 trans case? It's short and strong. You could sell the sammy tc to help pay for a D300 case. The sammy case will live but with great easy of use of the skinny petal. Most people don't have that much control...
And maybe think about a CV joint or two.
Maybe have a pro look at your welds...
yes, your right. i have done the calculations before and i would be revving about 4g just going 55 mph. if i go with a different transfercase that has a 1:1 ratio in high range, that will be much better. thanks
 
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