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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, So I just bought a samurai at a decent price with an engine that i was told made top end noise because the Vacuum advance was messed up. After driving it and purchasing it I know that it was rod knock. either way she needs a new engine. I have a 1.3 on the way from Michigan currently cause I needed an engine ASAP to get me around town. However I was wondering how difficult it would be to toss a chevy 305 into her. I know I am beating a dead horse but, I do have a donor truck available that I purchased last night.
 

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Ok, So I just bought a samurai at a decent price with an engine that i was told made top end noise because the Vacuum advance was messed up. After driving it and purchasing it I know that it was rod knock. either way she needs a new engine. I have a 1.3 on the way from Michigan currently cause I needed an engine ASAP to get me around town. However I was wondering how difficult it would be to toss a chevy 305 into her. I know I am beating a dead horse but, I do have a donor truck available that I purchased last night.
Any engine will fit any car if you have a good welder ;) you will have enough room for the '305, but what about matching it to the trans? or will you go the whole way and fit a TH350 and a strange quickchange in the back end?

(now i'd pay to see that project when it was done):lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know the 305 Wil fit. What I'm wondering about is just that. What other modifications will I need I dunno what is in my donor truck and whether it'd even fit properly but, since I have a donor I'm curious about what modifications I'd need fully.
 

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Whatever the trans is behind that 305, you will have to do a lot of trans tunnel and floorboard work on the Samurai to make it fit.
 

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You will have to re-design the entire rig. From the cooling system to the suspension and ALL parts in between.
It's not just the size of the engine, It's the added 600-1000 lbs of the finished project.
All for a, MAYBE 200 hp 305. ( Not one of GM's best engines)

There are much better swaps out there.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok. Honestly what would you suggest? I will be using it as a daily driver for the time being but also eventually on the trails in colorado as well in the mud and rocks. I'm hoping to get enough power and gearing to run maybe 38- 44 inch tires and not get so bogged down in th e mud or going up steep trails. I do realize I will need a redesign of the suspension etc. What would be the best approach?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok I was'nt thinking it was that big of a scale but that makes sense. 35's sound great as well. I'd like to be able to play with the big boys when I go out and not have to worry about getting stuck up in the mountains. The samurai will easily out do jeeps on the trails I've seen it time and time again which is what I'd like. I enjoy the mud bogging as well as the off road trails in Colorado that involved a little crawling. Thanks for putting it in perspective. My old toy was a 2002 Dakota that was lifted and played with the big boys. I was the one pulling out all the Broncos, jeeps, and Chevy trucks etc.. at least til she got totalled.
 

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If my goal were over 200hp for an offroad Samy I would probably go with the 2.3L Turbo Ford 4 cyl (think XR4TI, 80sTbird SC). Bigger and heavier than the Suzuki engine, would require a bit of conversion but can be tuned for stupid amounts of power for a 4 banger, VERY durable and non-interference, plus the cool factor of a nasty turbo.

Mine sits on 35" tires and thats pushing it, go much bigger than that and it goes from being functional to being a novelty item. The ground clearance is nice for when the big heavy wet snow flies.

If my engine popped tomorrow I would try and do this conversion Boxcar did with the Datsun engine, it just seems to make a lot of sense. If I could not find the Datsun engine I would have no grievances with another Sidekick 16v engine, I do like the EFI. Much more weight/size takes away from the charm and innate light weight advantage/balance the Samurai enjoys. I have a handful of friends with Jeeps with way more power and bigger tires than I, also far more $$ invested. Not to many of them care to play follow the leader with me in the hills. I found it much easier and cheaper to accept the lack of on-road performance and enjoy exceptional off-road performance, I can still do 75-80mph, it just takes a few extra moments to get there, and an absence of hills or headwinds.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm Not necessarily looking for the 200hp. I'd just like to be able to get in the mud and have the power to get through deep deep mud and the torque to get through the mountains in Colorado. I have only had to regear once but I have always had a powerful engine behind every rig. I am not worried about highway performance either. I mainly just want to be able to tackle everything that Colorado can offer and then have my Sammy wanting to take more if you catch my drift. I was just afraid that the lack of power will not get me through some of the trails that even my old Dakota would, and my Dakota was a beast doing burnouts in 4 low before she was regeared
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How complicated of a swap is it exactly? Is there any aftermarket support or is it just a straight stock engine from another vehicle? Can you provide details on it?
 

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The swap is as about as simple an engine conversion as you will find.
The two links that I have posted for you in my earlier response will give quite a bit of detail on what I did, as well as another Zuke owner in Portland did, to make this swap work.
I recommend reading these posts first Then ask questions.
As to the engine that I run in my Zuke.
L-20B from a late model Datsun 620 PU.
A-87 closed chamber head
S-19 cam.
Flat top forged pistons.
SSS cast iron header.
Stock Datsun match box dizzy.
Holly 5100 econo master carb.
260Z clutch
Datsun 620 Hydro clutch master with 1970 510 slave.
Datsun drop pan 4 speed trans.
Stock Zuke cooling system and harness.
A miner mod to the radiator support ( lower'd it 3")
Motor mounts and crossmember mods.

All (save the carb ) are factory Datsun / Nissan parts.
You have to understand the history of the Datsun / Nissan brand.
To say that they were into racing is a huge understatement .
Tons of hi pro parts were offered directly from the manufacturer.
Parts interchangeability between engines of different years and sizes is endless
as well as transmission assortment.
Research Datsun.
I can help with all the specific questions you may have.
 

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Just chuckling about your comment re "playing with the big boys" reminded me of several times we went out playing in the mud. We had an old land rover, a Toyota hilux and an old 2 stroke suzuki, the forerunner to the SJ410 'zuke.

Standing joke was that the land rover would be there to tow the others out when they got stuck and the 'zuke was there to go get a bigger truck if the landrover ever got stuck.


The number of times I drove that wee puddle jumper round the stuck to the axles landrover and the hilux and out the other side of the bog to go get a bigger truck can't be counted, I swear that thing used to float on the mud and paddled its way thru on those big skinny wheels and produced clouds of smoke doing it. (Bit like those swamp buggy racers.)

lot to be said for the small trucks with 4WD.
 
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