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Discussion Starter #1
I have been reading as much as I can on here about the options available for Samurai's, and sometimes get a little confused. I am going next week to get my "new" '86 stock Sammy and want to do a few thing with it. I want to keep the ride and handling good on the hiway and do a lift enough to handle 30" tires. I bought this in place of a 4-wheeler and use it to putter around to and from my hunting spots which include quite a bit of sand in a river bottom and to and from work. I am not a hard core 4 wheeler, but would like to get around when I needed to.
I have been looking at the Rocky Road Wrangler under spring lift kit to start with. Here are my questions.
1. Is this a good conversion?
2. Exactly what springs are needed (year model? stock?)
3. I am not what you would call a mechanic, but do OK with a set of wrenches, so is this a fairly straight forward conversion?
4. Is this enough lift for 30" tires?
5. What will I give up in doing this conversion? I would expect to loose some fuel economy and power, but what else would I give up?
6. What else would be needed to complete this conversion? What about gearing? shocks?, drive shaft? steering?

This is my first post, so any direction would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

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I just recently became aware of Sky manufacturings YJ spring under lift and would recommend Sky over RRO any day of the week. For clearing 30's you don't need lift springs, you can just run stock YJ spings. For running on soft sand a wide tire is good. One of the few times a wide tire is advantageous. You will loose a little power and 5th gear will only be a downhill option on the freeways. You can get a lower gear transfer case or you can lower your differential gears. The T-case is recommended if you plan on dropping the low range way down but keep the high range at a mild reduction. If you don't need super low gears then it would be better to just reduce the diff gears. Reducing the differential takes a lot of the load off of your driveshaft, ujoints, T-case mounts and output shaft.

A header makes a big difference in power on the little 1.3 engine. You can get away with the stock carb if it's in good shape. If you live in an area that abides to the CARB standard for smog checking then you should keep the stock carb on it. With 30/10.5's you should be able to clear the springs, but I'd advise you to get some wheels with a short back-spacing. It ensures your wheels have all the clearance they need, and it widens the stance a little bit, giving you a little more stability. You shouldn't need any steering assist, but depending on how high you lift it you may need a high steer or a zbar. A drop pitman is only good for a couple inches of lift. You'll need longer shocks and extended brake lines too... don't know if they come with the kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! This is the kind of info I am looking for.
It has a Weber carb on it.
I looked at the Sky website and didn't see the YJ conversion.
So, if I understand you, I could get front and rear stock YJ springs and the Sky YJ conversion (spring under), have enough room for 30" tires with a little back spacing on a set of new wheels. Check and see if the kit comes with longer brake lines and any steering modification.
Put it in, drive it a while to see if I want the change the gearing in the diff's or the transfer case, or both.
I also read good things about Trail Tough kits. Any comments on those?

I can't wait to get started-I think??
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Baratacus,
Thanks for the replies. I think I will start with giving Trail Tough and Sky a call next week.
Thank you!
 

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wow that is a super clean rig! I wish I could find a convertible hardtop for a reasonable price, they're so expensive! A header will help that carburettor breath better, should make a big difference in power.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Mule.
There appears to not be an end to what you can do to one of these rigs. I don't want to half e$$ do any mods. I think I like the looks of the YJ bolt on conversion from Sky that was pointed out in an earlier post and was wanting to stay spring under until I decided something different. I am leaning toward a little body lift and the YJ spring under right now. I guess you could change from spring under to spring over later?? I plan to get on the phone tomorrow and ask a lot of questions from a couple of vendors. I want to get the foundation right to start with and go from there. It looks like after a certain amout of lift things might get a little complicated, and after a certain amount of tire size, it gets complicated and somewhat expensive. At least that is what I am reading into what is posted on some of the forums. So right now this is what I am thinking.
1. Sky YJ stock springs (under)
2. 1" body lift
3. wider offset wheels and 30" tires
4. fender flares
Later on
1. Header and 2" exhaust
2. lower geared differentials

Anyone have any comments?
Thanks
 

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id go lower transfer gears instead of lower diff gears, especially if its going to be used offroad. for example, the 4.16 transfer ratio's have a 12% reduction in high range which would bring it back to stock gear ratios with larger tires which is good for fuel economy around town and on the highway, and it also reduces low range by 83%, which is great for offroad.

there are other ratio's that range all the way to 6.5, off memory is a 170% reduction of low range... please feel free to correct my figures anyone, i did all those numbers off memory...
 

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the header and exhaust is well worth it! and unless you are sourcing from the junkyard, i agree with what whincup said - about regearing the Tcase. BUT if you are going the cheap route, then yeah, probably cheaprer to do the tracker diff gears
 

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pretty sure whincups figures are about right on the T-case, but keep in mind that if you do not plan on doing hardcore offroading, the extreme lowgear isn't realy a requirement. I have a GRS2 T-case and it's way more than low enough for my mild offroading and trail riding. It tachs out at about 2 mph in first gear. I can get it up to 20mph in 5th with the engine wound all the way up. When I built my rig, I didn't have kids and it was intended for a more recreational truck, but it's turned into a Daily driver with a very rare trip to the desert. With it's current useage, it would have been better to do a ring and pinion swap on it. The R&P gearing keeps the load on the drivetrain from the diffs to the tires. The T-Case gearing puts your load on the ujoints and output shaft, tcase gears and components as well as the tcase mounts. You have a lot more parts taking the load of the gear reduction and whatever part is the weakest is going to be the first to go. If you plan on doing some harder wheeling off road then the T-case is the way to go, but for trail rides and daily driving, the diff gearing is the way to go.
 

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preparing for off road

Nice clean rig...very good to start on one that has not been 'fiddled' with.
When you plan to go out in the rough, think first about traction.
My first list would include a locker in the rear. Way before the change in gears in the T/C or the diffs.
You might even find that enough change in the diff.
Be cautious in the tire department, I am partial to 'pizza cutters' on these little rigs. Still allows me to use 5th(overdrive) on the highway trip to the trail head. I keep them at the top allowable air pressure until airing down at the trail head. Raise the psi immediately after the run and before getting back on the pavement. Heat kills tires.
A Suzuki can keep up anywhere if prepared and driven wisely.
Keep the greasy side down.

arlo
 

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Discussion Starter #15
arlo, do you run narrow tires in sand? Everything I have read mentions wide, very low pressure and not very aggressive tread.

It's sometime kind of hard to figure out what to do.

In talking with Brent at TT he mentions that with what I am planning to use it for I should consider the Old Man Emu under conversion and a transfer case 4.16 conversion and run 235 tires. I know that would be easier on the back pocket and it looks like a much simpler install.

I do appreciate everyones input and will continue to listen to what everyone has to say before I jump in.

Thanks, everyone.
 

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skinny tires on my sammi

My tires are 700 15 8ply Bridgestones/Toyos
Truck tires really.
But they allow me to air down to 3-4 psi.
With the heavy sidewalls they seem fully inflated until they hit a rock/log.
They worked in the sand at Las Cruces.
We have little or no sand here where I live so it is mostly rocks/gravel hillsides and logs to stop us. Rough old washed out logging roads. Usually wet.
They laughed at me in NM until they saw how it worked for me.
My air up is a CO2 tank and curly hose.
On the hiway I run 55-60 psi
In bush, it depends on the terrain, but usually 6-8 psi.

greasy side down !!!

arlo
 

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comanche79p,
With sand you want to float on top with a nice soft rubbery tire that will envelope the sand. Think of a balloon filled half way. The last thing you want is a hard - firm aggressive tread. You do not want to dig in. If you dig in with sand, you dig down. Think hard solid shopping cart wheel.
Depending on where you are it could really be an issue. I did a lot of surf fishing and the last thing you wanted was to be stuck going over the dunes blocking the way, or even stuck during low tide and have the the tide come in and claim your rig.
With a light weight sammy and the right tire, you don't even need 4wd.
 
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