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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned my Sami since 1998 and it has seen many miles from Ft. Lauderdale Florida up to Orlando and down to Key West where I believe was it's home before I owned it. I always wanted to do many upgrades including installing a 1.6 16 valve I purchased a couple years ago but could not afford to install. I finally took it off the road about 3 months ago to start what I had anticipated to be a month long project. A lil welding here and a lil welding there and in the end I ended up pulling the body off of the frame and going all the way with it. Now 3 months later I am still working on it. Most nights working past midnight till 2 and 3 in the norning. One thing leading to another. There was not a whole lotta rust but what was there seemed to be never ending. Everytime I thought I was done, I'd find another lil hole. I was determined to do just about all of it myself. I had previously done a spring over axle with the mercedes arm OTT. I made a 3" body lift kit myself and installed front shock tubes with F-250 shocks. I sold my Celica convertible to buy the Mickey Thompson 33" crushers which destroyed any hope of driving in 5th gear. So, that was when I took it off the road to install the 1.6. I got a roll cage kit and welded that up with a couple lil features I will post in some pictures later. Last weekend I finished doing a rear disc brake conversion with all factory front Samurai parts. While at it I replaced the power brake booster and painted that Pearl orange to match the future colors of the vehicle ad also had to replace the master cylinder which I figured since it was aluminum I would file the casting seems out and polish that. They look really nice bolted together. The proportioning valve was a lil bit of a to do since mine being an 87 I had to switch a few of the lines at the distributing block as well as fabricated the lines at the master cylinder to look as clean as possible. I took the factory wheel flares off as well as their mounting brackets and put 5 inche wide flares in their place. The total lift is around 11 inches since when I bought the Sami it looked to actually have been lowered. There has been quite a few companies responsible for helping with information and by having the parts needed to do the build. Such as Roadless Gear, Trail Tough products, Low Range Off Road, Petroworks and a lot of information from very helpful members of the forum. The Sami is at the moment at the mechanics doing the only part I knew I could not do. Finalizing getting the 1.6 16 valve running. I installed the motor, trans and harnessmyself but being a custom auto painter, I do not know much about the mechanical parts. Better for those who know what they are doing to handle this part. I also made half doors for going on the trail and installed a flip down windshield. I did weld in an SJ410 original grill which made it look a lil jeepish. I designed and built the winch bumper and matching side sliders. With the rocker panels being a lil flimsy. I also replaced them with a set of rockers available from a guy on ebay and while welding them in I sleeved the slider bolt holes so they could take more of a beating if necessary. One problem I am running into is trying to install the power steering and also keeping the factory A/C. I don't know what bracket to use on the bottom of the A/C compressor. Which seems like it would bolt to the top of the power steering pump bracket. Any info on this area will be greatly appreciated. So it is finally sitting with all the bodywork finished and and primed. Wetsanded and ready to paint as soon as the mechanic/owner of Tuning Pro gets it running. The theme is going to be Mighty Mouse with him airbrushed most likely on the hood. Was gonna put him on the side but with 2 sets of doors that would mean having to airbrush him 4 times. Although the hood had one half of a Pontiac Formula/Trans Am hoodscoop welded in. I'll try and upload some pix of the project so far and by the way, all of my spare parts including the 1.3 which I had just installed a different cam and new rockers and such are available for purchase if anyone is in need. I do have the weber carb installed on it and a set of hedman headers. So there are many parts availble. I even have one factory wheel I was using as a spare and a set of aluminum directonal razor slotted wheels. Any feedback and helpful hints are welcome. I hope you do like the pix and try n remember it was all done by myself with very little if any help from anyone else.























 

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Wow. That's a bunch of body lift and rust.
Glad you have to deal with it.
Looks like you're having a good time. Thats what counts.
Keep us posted.
 

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All I can say is AWESOME, you sound a lot like me. I do everything myself, including the mechanical stuff, painting, lifts, bumpers, even the interiors. Mine is still just a 1/3 Samurai but it does what we want it to do, have 29.5 tires on it with air shocks and 6 inch shackles. I know you feel good that you did the work yourself. I get a bit aghast sometimes at all the people that stand around and say "I DID THIS or THAT", only to find out they farmed it all out and actually did none of the work themselves. Good job and I hope the completed project is everything you want it to be.

I have no idea what your age is, but you seem to be very mature in your attitudes. I am only 29 but have had 38 anniversaries of it. Rebuilt my first old babbit rod Chevy six cylinder when I was eleven years old and I still get the same feeling when I finish a project and it comes out well.

Happy Four Wheeling :cool::)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can't drive Fifty Five.

I will turn 55 in May. The only part I have "farmed out" is the actuall getting the motor running. It is still at the mechanics and I heard the 1.6 16 valve turn over for the first time today. now they just need to connect the fuel line and see if it is actually going to run. I went to their shop and made the 5/16 fuel return line myself and made it identical the the original and it bolted in with the stock retainers. I had to order the increased check valve online so that should be arriving in a day or so. Local parts stores had no idea what I was talking about when asking for it. LOL I just can't wait to get it back so I can start the custom paint job. Airbrushing Mighty Mouse on the hood. I was going to do it on the doors but I realized I would have to airbrush Mighty 4 times since I have both stock doors as well as my half doors for offroading. So the hood it is. Thanx for the feedback and as usual, any suggestions or helpful hints are more than welcome. Thanx for looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
What did you use for rear disk brake? Was that a kit or parts of somekind of Ford vehicle?
The only ford parts used are the f-250 shocks. Because of the long reach. Worked well with the shock mount tubes.
I followed the online tutorials using all Samurai front end parts. The backing plates are made from the original drums and the discs are Samurai drilled and slotted rotors. The basic info is in this link
http://www.suzuki-samurai.nl/remmen/remmen-eng.html
And it also tells where the more detailed info is.Be sure to take the advice on the mounting brackets and weld them. Do NOT rely on bolts for something as important as stopping your vehicle. The most difficult part for me was getting the proportioning valve all hooked up. On the 87 and older model, it is a lil more complicated as the brakes are distributed at the block as left front to right rear. newer models are actually distributed front and rear. So you have to switch around the lines at the distribution block. Not really a big deal but a very necessary step. I did mine a lil different than the tutorials as to work with existing lines and not wanting to bend them too much more than needed. Hope it helps. I just want mine back. It's been off the road going on 4 months now. Everytime I think I'm close I find more to contend with. After welding the rusty windshield frame I decided to get a new one even tho mine came out great. So now I will have a repaired one for sale. Same with the tailgate. I have 2 old ones. One a bit rusty and one just bowed a lil but with all that I put into this rig, I decided new was best. So I will have 2 up for grabs soon. lol If you need any help or advice, feel free to email or PM me. I don't mind helping those in need. But I have to say, I am NOT a mechanic. I am a custom painter and fabricator. But I am a broke painter so I have to read, research and do all of it myself. But this way I know exactly what was done and how.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Mighty mouse almost finished

Well, I am almost to the end of my project. Even tho I have had my Sami for 15 years, this part of the project has taken up almost 4 months of solid work. My only real delay at this point was finding a rust free windshield frame. Which I thought I had solved when I saw that Extreme Zuks Offroad sells new frames pretty economically. However when getting it in hand, it was less than desireable. They were kind enough to send a replacement new frame and it was manufactured worse than the first one. They cannot be blamed for bad craftsmanship and tooling. Needless to say they were not used. Then they sent a "rust free" used one which is shown in the first 2 pictures. Now I am waiting for one from Cali guaranteed to be cherry and rust free. Then I can wrap up my ride and actually get it off the road. Instead of "on the road". LOL Well, here are some of the current pix. Once more, all of the work and fabrication was done by me. The only parts that were not done by myself are the actual getting the 1.6 16 valve running and the artwork of Mighty Mouse. I was going to airbrush it but a friend knew a Russian university trained artist and I decided to see what he could do with it. I ended up likng it very much. Well, hope you enjoy the pix and feel free to leave comments. Good or bad. I have explained the build in the earlier part of the thread so just gonna post the current pictures. Enjoy.







My drawing thayt I planned the paintjob to
















 

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Discussion Starter #15
I wonder how many people remember "Mighty Mouse" LOL
well, a pretty lot of em around here, or any Andy Kaufman fan. I laugh every time I see or think about his skit on Saturday Night Live. Will be my Sami's motto out on the trail, " Here I come to save the day..." LOL If anyone noticed I replaced the front side marker with a badge from the european models and am going to put the euro indicator in the rear of the front fender. Just haven't gotten that far yet. Still a work in progress for a while. Waiting on the windshield frame and center targa bar. Someone had mounted 3 spot lights in mine leaving a few rough cut holes.I am also looking for the 2 piece top that Soft Tops used to offer before being discontinued. Otherwise I have to make a pattern from my old one and make by hand. Any leads would be greatly appreciated. maybe someone has old stock or one in good condition. Mines kinda stiff at this point but is a very convenient top. Thanx again for looking. Will post some detailed pix at a later date. :grin:
 

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Wow!!! You leave me speechless!!! Love to see well documented projects like this. Where it starts as a beat up ole rock crusher and someone with pretty much their bare hands a lot of talent create a work art. Congratulations! On a well done job!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This means soo much. You hit it on the head. I have tried to do everything myself and with few exceptions it has worked out well. Actually I am in the process of rebuilding the 1.6 16 valve engine and upgrading the axles to chromoly both front n rear. I just finished rebuilding the trans and installed the Snatch transfercase mount from Extreme Zuks. I am hoping to get it back on the road in a few weeks. The comments mean a lot and make it worth doing. Hopefully it will give others some drive to complete their own accomplishments. I will do an update soon as it keeps getting better and better. It has been a year since the teardown and off the frame. o we'll see what the next chapter brings. Thanx again to everyone that keeps my drive going strong. I am glad to share any of my knowledge with anyone needing help.
Mark @ Steel Breeze Customs
Hallandale Beach, Fl.
954 455 0580
 

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Hi Mark,

I keep coming back to this thread I'm very impressed with what you have done with our humble little 4X4 as I have told you before.

I'd like to pm you but not sure how to do this on this website as it is new to me. I see you can list your number and with your permission I'd like to contact you and start a dialog offsite. I'm not trying to hijack this communication to other members but just easier for me to attach pic/file and communicate through an email.

I had an auto repair shop for many years here in Calif. I fixed trannys but that was years ago in the days before ECM's.

We have the same Sami with a 16v and same issues with the AC/PS. I think if we pool our research we can help each other in that department. I also have located some critical hardware necessary to mount both the AC and PS to the engine. Which I will gladly share with you.

John McManus
818-554-3217
 
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