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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First off, I'm so glad I finally got a samurai, I don't care what problems it has, I'll get them taken care of! Just glad to finally have one.

When I got it, this was the list of problems I had, in the order I need to fix them to get it to daily driver status (the ones further down aren't really necessary, just things I would like to do)-

1. Passenger side rear lights not working (wires cut and stuff is rusted)
2. Bad exhaust leaks from rust
3. Tapping (valves/rockers/lifters or whatever need adjusting?)
4. Some body damage (really just need to straighten up the bumpers a little)
5. Could stand to have a new top (rips)
6. Needs OTT steering (has a spoa lift)
7. Needs lots of rust areas cleaned up/patched
8. Leaks oil (rear main seal?) and burns some (not sure what I'll ever do about these two)

I didn't notice the tapping so much until I temporarily patched the exhaust with some exhaust tape. Even still, with all those things, it was "driveable".

After driving it around in the yard a little, now it's not. So the first thing on my list is now this-

When running, it won't go into gear, but when the engine is off it shifts fine. When it is in gear, engine running, it still pulls a little with the clutch pushed in. To me it seemed like sure signs of the clutch not disengaging all the way. After reading another thread on here, http://www.suzuki-forums.com/suzuki-jimny-sierra-samurai-forum/42943-87-5spd-problem.html, I'm sure that is what is happening.

My question is, does this sound right to everyone else? I really haven't had a chance to look at anything yet, other than I noticed a piece of the the steel cable of the clutch cable was poking out through the plastic outer part of the cable, so I snipped it off thinking it might be impeding the cable's movement inside the plastic, but that didn't help. I drove this samaurai two and a half hours to get it home, no clutch problems. As soon as I took it out in the yard, it did this. Does anyone think it could have anything to do with the fact that I was harder on the clutch? (trying to climb some stuff, etc.) What I think is weird is that if the clutch was wearing out, and I was a litle extra hard on it, wouldn't it just not be grabbing enough, instead of too much? What do you guys think, and what are the first components to look at?

THANKS!!!!
 

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Congrats!

First things to look at:
1. Replace the clutch cable. If you see anything coming through that insulation then it is compromised.
2. Add a ground strap from the motor to the frame. The clutch cable may have been acting as a ground if the normal ground wire has been compromised. If so, the cable will heat up and the outer casing will lose integrity and collapse.

Those are the firstplaces I would start.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Congrats!

2. Add a ground strap from the motor to the frame.
Oh that's right, I had read about the cable-acting-as-a-ground problem before, but had since forgotten about it. I'll be sure to check on that.
Also, another thing I was thinking about is the adjustment on the clutch cable. How often do you guys find that it needs to be adjusted usually?
 

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Also, another thing I was thinking about is the adjustment on the clutch cable. How often do you guys find that it needs to be adjusted usually?
Only when the clutch cable fails... Even when the clutch starts to wear, the adjustment to keep it perfect is negligable.
Get a Petroworks HD clutch and you won't see enough wear to worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Clutch cable

Well, I went to tighten up the cable down at the transmission, and the adjustment was already taken all the way in, so I couldn't tighten it up any more. Then I noticed right there near the little rubber boot at that end the cable was frayed a bunch and there were wires going all over. So I ordered a new one and I'm gonna put it on tonight and see if that helps my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Clutch cable

Well, the clutch cable was the problem. It shifts perfect now and doesn't pull when in gear with the clutch in. The clutch just wasn't disengaging all the way. Since I literally just got this truck, this was the first time I'd really got a good look at it, and I found a new problem...
I had been noticing the past few days when I look at the truck it seemed like it was leaning to the right a little. I was starting to worry that the frame was twisted a little or something, but I figured it out tonight. Here's a pic-

That's the passenger front.
So now I'm wondering... what do you have to do to do that kind of damage? Will flexing the suspension at slow speeds do that? I figured maybe the shock mount, but surely not bend the leaf spring, right? I do know that they are the stock springs and shocks, so the shocks probably don't have much travel. (maybe, I don't really know)

Here's a couple more pics just so you guys can see how the trucks looks...


 

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man, your daughter is way too young to drive... she almost took out that tree!

Nice looking rig, and cute kid too. If she's going to be riding back seat like mine do, I would recommend getting a rear or full roll cage. I put in the internal cage from petroworks. Installed in about 2 hours, You do have to paint it or cover it yourself though.


On the shock problem. When you convert to spring over axel you need to relocate the shock mount to get enough articulation out of the shock absorber. You either need to relocate the lower mount to the bottom of the axel where it used to be, or you need to relocate the upper mount higher using a shock hoop or shock tower. Setting your bump stops will also pervent a lot of problems like that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
haha...

Yeah I've been thinking about what to do for a cage but I haven't decided.

So, do you think that the shock bottoming out and bending the mount is what caused the bend in the leaf spring? I'm pretty sure the bend in the leaf spring is what is causing the truck to sit a little lower on the passenger front corner. Or were they both just caused by one instance of long/hard travel?
 

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it's most likely occured with several hits. a constant hammering on it over a short period of time would be more likely to cause the spread of damage over a larger area like that. One single hit hard enough to do that much dammage would probably have sheered off the stud rather than bending the whole support/spring/shock unit. Why one side and not the other? Possible that there was a really heavy passenger, or hauling a heavy, uneven load. Could be he forgot to unlock that hub while he was flat towing and it dropped into gear on him.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You know, I was thinking the same thing, why one side and not the other... but I just realized I haven't looked at the other side! I guess I should do that. I know it looked like it was sitting lower on the passenger side, but the driver's side could be bent too, maybe just not as much. I'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, that's more like what I was thinking. I looked tonight, though, and the driver's front shock mount is bent some, too, just not as much. And the spring doesn't look bent like the passenger side does. I did notice that on both sides the springs seemed to be sagging somewhat. I think someone said that they are supposed to be pretty much straight across, or level, but mine are actually a little past that, like a little bit of an arch. Maybe I just need new springs all around...
On the plus side, I was able to follow the FSM and adjust the valve lash to get rid of my tapping. Sounds much better now.
 

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Lol! how did you do that bill?
What you don't see to the left is the hill I came me up that launched me into the air at the top. the zook was light and the back was empty so it didn't land as smooth as I hoped it would. I got lucky that time and came away with no vehicle damage... just couldn't find parts of the seat cover...
;)
 

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ok that makes sense. I couldn't figure out how you braked so hard on dirt to stand it on it's nose like that! I'm sure the seat cover presented itself once you had some time to relax.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
New passenger front spring...

Well, I thought I was buying two stock front leaf springs last night, but when I looked at them today I realized one had four leaves but the other only had three. I looked and both my fronts had four leaves, so that kinda messed up my plan which was to replace them both. They did have some shackles on them that are about 1/4 or 1/2" longer than stock, so I might swap those out. For now I just replaced my passenger front with the one with four leafs, and it seemed to match the same sag as the driver's side, so it'll do. I straightened the bent lower shock mount and I think it will be strong enough to get me by until I get all new shocks and move my mounts. I'll have to get a new stock shock to put on, but that's ok. Here's a pic of my old spring with the two new ones I got, and one of all the bent parts together.

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update-
I took all the shocks off so I could measure the shock lengths the way Billjohn described (in another thread). So I got the truck to teetering on one front tire and the opposite rear tire. I then measured between the current shock mounts and I got about 9-15" in the front and about the same in the rear. So, adding 1" in both directions like he said, that would mean I need a shock that goes from 8"-16". Which obviously there isn't such a thing. So I'll need to move the mounts farther apart, and just find a shock with 8" of travel, regardless of the actual lengths. Could be like 12-20" or 14-22", or whatever. I'll just move the shock mounts the right amount for whatever length shocks I get. Am I thinking this through the right way, Billjohn?

As a side note, I didn't realize how much the shocks are actually doing until I drove it without them on. That's a scary ride.

Also I have now removed my seats and all of the carpet so I can really tell how bad the rust is, and it's not pretty. By the time I'm done I bet I'll be pretty good at welding patches in to body panels.
 

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You are on the right track!
With that much articulation you do need to drop your lower mounts.
These are the ones i like the most for the lower front...

You can get them from Trail Tough. They are welded to the sxle housing and give the longest, strongest lower mounting point out there.

Lower Front Shock Mounts
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I thought I read somewhere that the better option is to raise the upper front mounts, rather than lower the bottom ones... anyone else heard this? I am having a hard time figuring out what to do with this shock situation. I can move mounts and weld things, that's not the problem, it's just figuring out what shocks to get. Do the front ones have to have the post on top, or can I change the mount so they have a bushing at both ends like the rears? The auto parts store won't give me any dimensions of their shocks, all I can get out of them is something like "uh... suzuki... samurai.. what year is it?" Can't I just look through the shocks and get the ones that are the length I want? "uh... we don't know how long they are."
Can some of the guys on here who have around 5" of lift just tell me what shocks they have? I don't have a very big budget, so I'm trying to find the cheapest ones. The skyjacker ones look ok, I would really like to get all four for about $100 though. Any suggestions, anyone?
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Update

O.K. I finally bought some shocks. Just two fronts so far, because the back ones weren't bent so I figured they could wait a little while. I ended up using the list of shocks on Monroe's website.

http://www.monroe.com/assets/downloads/english/08_MountingLengthSheet.pdf

They make oem shocks for a lot of vehicles so this worked out perfectly. I just looked for a shock with 8" of travel or more which is what I needed, and one that had the same mounting system, even though that part probably wasn't absolutely necessary since I have to redo the mounts anyway. When I found a few I tried their part numbers on autozone's website and found one that was in stock and only $16.99. So now I have to work on fixing the front shock mounts. I need to move them about 5" farther apart, so I might have a combination of moving the uppers farther up and the lowers farther down.


I got a set of Dodge Neon seats mounted to replace the stock ones. I mounted them as far back as they would go, for more legroom, and all the way down on the floor for more headroom. The Samurai already had pretty good headroom, more than our 2004 Ford Explorer, but I was afraid of bouncing up and hitting my head when going over some rough trail. On the driver's side I cut out the factory mounting support so that the driver's side and passenger's side were the same. Then I just used a piece of angle iron mounted to the floor to mount the front seat mounting holes to. I haven't done it yet but I'm going to back it up on the under side with another piece of angle or flat stock so it can't pull the bolts through the sheet metal. For now there is just a couple real big washers holding them. The back mounting holes mount flat so I just put them flat on the floor as far back as they would go, and the bolts went through a part of the frame so they should be good. This put the seats a good 3 or 4 inches back I would say. But, if someone shorter wants to drive, they can still slide so far up that the seats almost hit the dash. The Neon seat tracks must have more travel than the stock ones.



As a side note, something I discovered that is kind of funny about the Samurai is I can actually reach my arm out the window and touch the back tire while I'm going down the road. That's when I'm buckled in and sitting in my normal driving position, with the doors on and everything. Just another way to show how small these vehicles really are, haha.
 
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