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Discussion Starter #1
What are the best performers and cheapest engine swaps for a 84 samurai? I like simplicity, but this is going to be my baby this Oregon Summer. So I would like to hear them all. ty and cherios
 

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The least expensive will be the 1300 carbed.
The best is what ever can be afforded.
I like Datsun conversions, others like Suzuki, Chevy, Yota, ETC.
There is no "best conversion engine swap"
Success is dependent on who's doing the conversion......
And how far you want to go....Boxcar...
 

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Easiest maybe 1.6L 8 valve
Best w/o going nuts 1.6L 16 valve (what I have)

What are you doing with it?
How much performance do you need?

There are plenty of nastier options to but added weight is a factor. The Suzuki 8v and 16v engines are VERY light like the 1.3.
 

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I hate to disagree .
I get more power, better economy, way better longevity, and a much wider power band from the Datsun L-20B than you will ever get from any Zuke transplant....
All this from a carbed mill that needs no computer conversions.
I am not and would never say it's the best conversion. ( That would be arrogant)
But from an engineering and experience point of view. It's a far better swap than the Zukes.
 

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I have read about Toyota swaps but seems like the added wt vs. added power made it to much hassle. I have not heard of the L20 swap. I know the Zuk engines are very light and very durable, the EFI is a big plus for me but I would LOVE a broader torque curve.

I looked it up to see what I could learn, looks like the L20-b has about a 15hp and 10ft.lb advantage over the zuk 16v and has an iron block but could not find any weight spec. I saw one with the 2.3L turbo Ford but the owner was cursing the added bulk in off road situations.

Do you run an L20-B? is the added wt noticeable, how is it on fuel? Did you use the Zuk or Datsun trans and how much work was mounting it?

Never hate to disagree with me, I invite it. If Im wrong I take on offense in being corrected. But would love more info in the Datsun swap, a search didn't get me anywhere on it.
 

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The L 20 B is about 50 lbs heavier over all.
I run them in everything from Datsun's to MGBs.
Have run them in 3 past Zukes that we have owned with amazing results.
I ran the Datsun Dog leg 5 speed in 2 of them and the drop pan 4 speed in the other.
Upgrades for the "L" motors are prevalent and cheap. Tones of info out there in cyber land.
The first we built was a stock engine running a Yota 3TC carb. It averaged 28 -30 mpg over a 3 year period.
The next two were built for pure HP and still managed about 20-25mpg.
The conversions are pretty straight forward. Similar motor mounts. The L-20 isn't a cross flow head so it is a bit tight on the drivers side but not bad. We run electric fans rather than off the motor to compensate for the added length of the engine (3.50").
Stock Zuke radiator. Wiring is a no brainier.
Exhaust dump is similar as far as location. ETC. ETC. ETC.
The thing about the L motor is that HP and torque gains are very easy to accomplish.
And it will spool all day long......
Here is a picture of a SSS L 18 we just installed in a 1966 MGB.
The duel SU's don't work well off road.....

I just started the new engine for my Zuke. It is an Asian market L20 with an A87 head , cam , Bob Sharp 4 bbl intake , and a few other secrets I won't get into here. 200hp is the target..... economy be damed....Boxcar...
PS: Datsun has a great 3 spd automatic that fits well in the Sammy........
 

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Sorry for the answer to my own post, But I got tired of editing the last one.
As to how the Zuke handles the added weight. It wasn't really noticeable except for the reduced push effect caused by a locked rear end in such a short wheelbase rig.
So in short it actually helped the handling of the three rigs we have converted...Boxcar...
 

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I love sidedrafts, multi SU setups are close to automotive porn.

50lbs isn't bad and not having to cut the tunnel is a plus. The rational poeple use for love of the 16v seems very sound but mine has low compression in a couple pots, thought about swapping for something with more torque but then decided to do a backyard re-ring. I may reconsider, I have to admit I am intrigued by this Datsun mill.

With the Zuk 16v its not that it can rev, but it has to rev. This 2.0 seems very worth consideration.

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice!

Holy crap! Many thanks guys. I'm looking to go hunting and fishing on the east side of oregon this year with it. Which is a little drive from me, but not too far.I'm not a big off roader, but I love to hit the back roads, and make it to the high elevation lakes with ease. I want to keep the good gas mileage,and light weight,but still have a little fun on light trails, and maybe play a little in the high desert.I want to keep it 4cyl 5spd and just have a little more hp.I love simplicity and would like to find parts at any small mountain town parts dealership.I originally wanted to keep it carb, but the E.F.I has crossed my mind quite a bit. U guys Rock!
 

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I was raised with carbs and had a tough time learning to love EFI and elec ign but pragmatic experience has convinced me it is the way to go. Now that they have become so reliable I view it as a huge perk.

Im not sure how the Zuks behave at altitude with carbs but most vehicles I have done this with take a noticeable hit in performance and drivability with altitude and extreme temps. I tend to be pretty picky about how stuff runs and I live where temps get fairly cold so for me its well worth it. I would say its worth consideration.

Tony
 

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what you can do is also get a pace setter header and a webber carb convertion for the sammy and a msd ignition.. that should be go for at least 100 hp from the stock 70 hp it has now.. annd you will be happy with the performance your looking for and need as you described b4.... and keep it all suzuki and less headache swappin datsun this toyota that. and if you want more power then just take the head off rebuild it and cam it also with the carb header and ignition.. def get more then 100 hp.
 

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Couple questions about Datsun/Nissan transplants.
What do you use to marry the trans to the T/C?
Do you use the Suzuki Tranny or the donor D/Nissan?
Where does the oil pan fit over the front axle?
What are the names of the D/Nissan vehicles we can obtain for the transplant?
Do these D/N engines use ECU or some other computer device that would need to be wired in?
Are there copious after market or dealer parts available for these donor parts ?
 

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We run Datsun transmissions to the divorced Sammy t case. I used a rear sump pan in all three and will use a rear sump in the one we are prepping at this time. Front sumps are available from Nissan.
No ecu as these are carbed motors. Datsun ran the L series motors from 1968 through the 80 s . In everything from sedans to pickup trucks. There are three engines that would be of interest to you. The L-16 / L-18 / L-20B , Variants of these three motors are what we build. And yes there are copious amounts of parts available for them.
You will need to do a bit of Datsun research if you want to truly learn about these motors.
Try the Dime Quarterly.....Boxcar...
 

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As to building the G-13 for hp.
It can be done .
It will cost more. and the crank shaft will give you fits.
A pace setter header wont do you any good without cam, exhaust, porting, fuel delivery, pistons, rods, and valve work. ETC.
Headers by them selves do little to enhance the power of any engine.
The Webber carb will help in the power department, maybe 5-10hp .
But is info mace in the poor off road performance department.
An MSD , set up right, will make your ignition more efficient.
Again, maybe 5 hp.
There is no way that the combination of just the three will add 30 hp to the 1300.
Having sed all this. I am currently running a G-13 in my Zuke with a Yota carb 30-30 cam, flat tops, Flow Master exhaust (2") and a center force clutch. It runs great, it's got a way better power band and will pull freeway speeds. I haven't had it on the dyno , and se no need to as I will be replacing the little bugger. I would hazard a guess that it is at about 80 - 85hp.
I believe that the 1300 is a great little motor , and can be enhanced (mildly) but the crank case is much to light to try to get large gains in hp and torque. It just isn't feasible or cost effective.
It has about 500 miles on it now , and will be replaced with an L-20 in a few months.
....Boxcar...
 

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I think it would be cool to see a thread with the basic info on the Datsun swap, it sounds like a viable option. I'm still intrigued by it and will keep it in mind as my daughter and wife both want Samurias now.

Sickeningly enough I just last week turned away a rear ended/totaled Jetta 2.0 with aftermarket turbo system for $600. I see that the VW gas engines go right on in using the VW diesel conversion adapters.

Tony
 

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I will start a build thread once I have completed the engine .
I don't plan on starting the conversion until fall though . I'm going to enjoy my Zuke this summer .
Watch for the build thread in October or November...Boxcar...
PS: I started resurching TBFI last night, for all you EFI fans out there.
We may go that rout on this build.....
 

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I will look forward to this thread.

It's to bad that the only really well publicized swaps are zuk 1.6 8v and 16, VW Diesel and some GM V6 mills. With so many other great choices it does beg to be assembled in a coherent thread giving ppl other choices for simple cost effective ways to do a swap.

I am willing to bed that many would love to get a more powerful engine without fabricating and rewiring all winter long or spending 3 months wages.

Tony
 

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People get caught up in doing things because others have. And soon that method becomes "The only way" . IE: the Toyota axle conversions.
When the CJ5 axles from the early 70s are a near direct swap. Half the work and MUCH CHEAPER. But still the go to conversion is Yota?????
Engine conversions are the same. The Suzuki 8 - 16vs are great engines. But when all is sed and done. Not the biggest bang for the buck.
I love that big 260Z 2+2 clutch. Off the shelf. The A87 peanut heads. And all the other high performance parts that Datsun made available to the public in the 70s.
And it is a no muss no fuss conversion.
To a competent builder, it's an easier swap than the 16v, by a long shot....
Here is a teaser:
Before:

After:


Yes , it's very fast.........Boxcar...
 
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