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1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4WD convertible hardtop 1.6L 8V A/T, P/S, A/C and 1995 Geo Tracker donor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought as a donor. Complete but bad transmission. Reverse but no driving forward.
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Nice 16v with A/C….any thoughts about determining what is wrong with the tranny? Although I will say that having a donor in your garage/shed is like having a Suzuki parts store at your fingertips. Nice find.
 
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1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4WD convertible hardtop 1.6L 8V A/T, P/S, A/C and 1995 Geo Tracker donor
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Bex, after washing years of crud off and unloading parts piled in the boot; I saw it’s better than my driver. I plan to put it on Jack stands, replace battery and service tranny (fluids/filter) and see about replacing the missing left front CV shaft.
There’s a tow bar welded up front, no doubt leftover from it’s half life behind an RV. Very little wear on brake pedal rubber or interior.
She may very well become the daily driver and my 8V Suzuki going to some other cult member. Time will tell.
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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I say "GO FOR IT"!!!

I wish I was so lucky -- but then I've got a 1978 Suzuki GS550 that I need to "reconstruct" this summer. I have all the parts, and the know-how, but do I have enough time and beer?

I hope you do!!! Keep us posted!!!
 

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1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4WD convertible hardtop 1.6L 8V A/T, P/S, A/C and 1995 Geo Tracker donor
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh wow! That GS 550 is a screamer! Find myself in similar boat with my 1976 Gold Wing LTD. It’ll go for sale when I get time to replace battery, drain/fill tank and get it running again. Stored 10 years.
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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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That's a beauty for sure.

My TWO GS550's (1977 & 1978) are only half that -- but as much as I need!
 

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1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4WD convertible hardtop 1.6L 8V A/T, P/S, A/C and 1995 Geo Tracker donor
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update: New battery, marvel mystery oil in gas tank to burn old gas/condensation and she runs good! Transmission was dry wouldn’t move- 3 qts dextron III and she drove! Only reverse and 1st gear- but she drove!
Next: Transmission fluid/filter change ( BTW- forum advise correct- can’t remove transmission pan without first removing front driveshaft ) See the tow bar and minor wear on brake pedal? As well as other parts seen in CV axel pics? I think it was pulled behind RV most of its life.
Going to shop for new right front CV axle, beyond my skill set.
I’ll re-assemble most interior parts and soft top frame, clean everything up then figure out the rest.
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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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Judging from the amount of wear (or lack thereof) on the gas peddle, I would guess fairly few actual driving miles on the engine. What's on the odometer?

In any case -- YOU LUCKED OUT, FOR SURE!!!
 

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1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4WD convertible hardtop 1.6L 8V A/T, P/S, A/C and 1995 Geo Tracker donor
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Judging from the amount of wear (or lack thereof) on the gas peddle, I would guess fairly few actual driving miles on the engine. What's on the odometer?

In any case -- YOU LUCKED OUT, FOR SURE!!!
169,000
Nothing I’ve seen so far shows anywhere close to that mileage wear and tear.
Even seats are firm with no seams split or fabric wear. Most bolts/nuts have no wrench marks. Frame even-no drunk bumps,no dings
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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My front seats wore out a long time before 100,000 miles -- and I'm no heavyweight. I'm on my third set of seat covers!
 

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Hey Bex, after washing years of crud off and unloading parts piled in the boot; I saw it’s better than my driver. I plan to put it on Jack stands, replace battery and service tranny (fluids/filter) and see about replacing the missing left front CV shaft.
There’s a tow bar welded up front, no doubt leftover from it’s half life behind an RV. Very little wear on brake pedal rubber or interior.
She may very well become the daily driver and my 8V Suzuki going to some other cult member. Time will tell.
Flush that transmission and replace the filter. I have one that had neither forward or reverse and a flush/change brought some life to it.

It may fall as soon as I start driving it regularly, but...

1989 Sidekick 2 Door Soft Top
1.6L TBI, 5 Speed, 4x4
1996 Sidekick, 2 Door Hard Top 1.6L MFI 16v, 3 Speed Auto
 

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1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4WD convertible hardtop 1.6L 8V A/T, P/S, A/C and 1995 Geo Tracker donor
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It did come to life with 3 qts of transmission fluid, but only reverse and 1st gear. Hoping a new filter and fill with dextron III will get it to second and third. If not I’ll search for that TCM, under dash and disconnect so I can manually select 2nd and 3rd. I’ll also track down vacuum line to some modulator. That’s what fixed my 94 Zuk transmission.
 

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I would assume that your 94 2 door Sidekick does not have the electronic 4 speed auto tranny, but rather the 3 speed mechanical one. If so, there will be no TCM to disconnect. Shifting, etc., is all mechanical. You can check the vacuum modulator (should be the purple stripe one) by removing the vacuum hose to it - it should be dry.
Was there any tranny fluid in the vehicle before you added the 3 quarts? Considering that a drain and refill of the tranny is 3 quarts, does that mean you changed the fluid, or there was nothing in it to begin with??
 

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1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4WD convertible hardtop 1.6L 8V A/T, P/S, A/C and 1995 Geo Tracker donor
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would assume that your 94 2 door Sidekick does not have the electronic 4 speed auto tranny, but rather the 3 speed mechanical one. If so, there will be no TCM to disconnect. Shifting, etc., is all mechanical. You can check the vacuum modulator (should be the purple stripe one) by removing the vacuum hose to it - it should be dry.
Was there any tranny fluid in the vehicle before you added the 3 quarts? Considering that a drain and refill of the tranny is 3 quarts, does that mean you changed the fluid, or there was nothing in it to begin with??
That must be why I couldn’t find a TCM! 😏Thanks
Yes, tranny was almost dry- maybe had a pint or so in it. Reverse would pull- kinda.
This is a concern because seller drove it this way- how long is unknown.
On a good note: there are owners out there that will sell their Trackers because the transmission doesn’t work when it has no fluid.
( And I can’t say “ only in America here!) :cool:
That 835 page manual posted here is amazing for non mechanic people like me. Still searching for where this little purple striped modulator is located. But today- I’ll hope the PB blaster helped overnight and I can remove the four driveshaft bolts and completely drop trans pan. I want to see if there are shavings in the bottom and replace filter/ fluid.
Off to work! Got bills to pay and toys to buy.
 

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Good to hear you are making positive progress! Hopefully you will have success! Is there any signs of a transmission fluid leak anywhere? Being that low on fluid could indicate a bad trans modulator valve. Is there smoke out the tail pipe?
 

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1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4WD convertible hardtop 1.6L 8V A/T, P/S, A/C and 1995 Geo Tracker donor
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Why yes there was white smoke out the tailpipe after I first got it running. I thought it was condensation in tank and already patted myself on the back when it stopped for burning old gas and using marvel mystery oil to burn moisture. I need to learn where this modulator valve is located and probably what it looks like. A friend fixed my other Zuk/Track by finding a vacuum leak at this modulator. Least that’s what he said. Anyhow, that one shifts to 2nd,3rd now.
Makes sense it could have burned trans fluid. It went somewhere. I’m a few steps away from re-filling. Driveshaft bolts are really torqued!
 

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Given age and miles likely since last fluid change it wouldn't be unusual to have some ugly stuff in the pan. Mine did.

The fluid in the pan is really only the tip of the iceberg. There is a bunch in the torque converter too. I took one line loose at the radiator and directed both it and the fitting on the radiator into a bucket with a short length of hose.

Pour some fluid into the transmission and run for a few seconds until it appears to stop flowing into the bucket. Repeat until the fluid looks clean(ish). Then re connect all lines and fill to appropriate level. I flushed 2 gallons through mine, but it was extremely nasty.

If you have a fluid transfer pump, you can pump fluid out through the dipstick before removing the pan - a bit less messy. Harbor Freight or auto parts store should have one pretty cheap.

1989 Sidekick 2 Door Soft Top
1.6L TBI, 5 Speed, 4x4
1996 Sidekick, 2 Door Hard Top 1.6L MFI 16v, 3 Speed Auto
 

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1994 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4WD convertible hardtop 1.6L 8V A/T, P/S, A/C and 1995 Geo Tracker donor
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Must admit, scratching my head a bit on this whole tranny thing. So, if I’m understanding- this will be a radiator drain along with trans fluid flush. Need to flush radiator anyhow but wanted to do later.
Torque converter is inside and part of transmission housing? Yes?
I’d thought I’d identified all components except modulator. Learned transfer cases are separate and use 75/90 gear oil. Hope I learned that right.
 

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The transmission cooler is part of the lower radiator tank. It uses the coolant to cool the fluid. This is a water to oil cooler. If you had an external, separate trans cooler, it would be air to oil. The radiator is an air to water cooler. Are you thoroughly confused?
The transmission is pumping fluid through the cooler, so by disconnecting the cooler line, you can pump old fluid out of the trans, while pouring new fluid in the dipstick. I bet YouTube could shed some light on this procedure if you are interested.
 
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