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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, while my mechanic was fitting the Vitara 5.125:1 axle gears in my diffs, I bumped into a very pleasant surprise! My front axle spline count was 26, not 22, as would the Sammies in US would be. The axles fitted directly into the Vitara's side gears. I was thrilled, as this means I can just get a Samurai rear diff carrier and install it up front without any modifications, and install a lockright on that. Hora!

I do have a concern though. I'm ordering Warn front hub locks, since my Sammy didn't come with one, and I'm wondering, are they dependent upon the spline count or not? Can I install them on my 26-spline axles? Or do I need a different hub lock for that?
 

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The hubs have to match the splines at the outer end of the shaft
 

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Yup, outer end of the shaft - but they should all be the same anyway.
Still curious how the shafts got to be 26 spline though...

One thing to watch out for... The Warn hubs are great. But the hub bolts holding them to the spindle tend to back out easily. The stock bolts use a conical washer that gripsthe bolt and keeps it from turning, but the Warn hub isn't machined to use them.

I use Warn hubs on the a set of front spindles (same setup as would be in front) but I have it all mounted on the rear for the full floater.

In order to keep the bolts from backing out, I replaced them with something stronger. No problems anymore.


The article for this conversion shows a different type of hub, but the Warns were what got used before it hit the trail.
Super Hub Bolts
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yup, outer end of the shaft - but they should all be the same anyway.
Still curious how the shafts got to be 26 spline though...

One thing to watch out for... The Warn hubs are great. But the hub bolts holding them to the spindle tend to back out easily. The stock bolts use a conical washer that gripsthe bolt and keeps it from turning, but the Warn hub isn't machined to use them.

I use Warn hubs on the a set of front spindles (same setup as would be in front) but I have it all mounted on the rear for the full floater.

In order to keep the bolts from backing out, I replaced them with something stronger. No problems anymore.


The article for this conversion shows a different type of hub, but the Warns were what got used before it hit the trail.
Super Hub Bolts

Yeah, it was very surprising. I would have doubted it, until it fitted perfectly on the Vitara's 26 spline side gear, when I realized it is actually a 26 spline. I guess the GCC specs have quite major differences from the US specs.

I test-drove the Samurai today after fitting the Vitara's 5.125:1 axle gears, and the car seemed to be a LOT more powerful, it pulls beautifully now. It was great. And the rear lockright locker is much less noisy than I thought. It was very ok. I even forgot I had installed them when I took the car around the first time. But on U-turns is where you really feel them.

Only problem with the new setup is that I did not gain any speed. I used to reach 110 Km/h previously on fourth at about 4000 RPM, and fifth was out of reach. Now my maximum speed is still 110 Km/h, but on fifth gear with 5000+ RPM! All speeds were measured with GPS. The gain was in power and torque. But it was really worth it. I might need to install 35" tires to compensate for the lower gearing, or put back a stock transfer case instead of the 6.5:1 T/C.
 

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Yes, using the diff gears will drop your speed but it puts the usable power range back down to where you need it for the trails. Going to 35's will move it back up a little, but without another gear in the transmission you will have to pick where that power band should live for your type of driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, using the diff gears will drop your speed but it puts the usable power range back down to where you need it for the trails. Going to 35's will move it back up a little, but without another gear in the transmission you will have to pick where that power band should live for your type of driving.
Right now I'm desperately in need for a sixth speed :(

110 Km/h (68 MPH) is taking the RPM all the way up to 5000+ RPM.

If I put on 35" tires, will the axles be able to take the extra stress? I think the car will be way too high then.
 

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Get some gussets and you should be able to run the 35's as long as you aren't bouncing through any rocky trails. Normal trails and desert running should be fine, just don't try and drive it like a scalded dog. If you are going to use it primarily for faster (highway) driving, then consider dropping back to 4.63's or aftermarket 4.57's.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well now I know where that clanking noise was coming from. After pulling out the front differential, we found nothing wrong with the axle gears or the carrier bearings. The problem turned out to be from the CV joint bearings, or berfield. I just put it back on, and later I'll go to the scrap yard and pick up a spare set, just in case.
 

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Well now I know where that clanking noise was coming from. After pulling out the front differential, we found nothing wrong with the axle gears or the carrier bearings. The problem turned out to be from the CV joint bearings, or berfield. I just put it back on, and later I'll go to the scrap yard and pick up a spare set, just in case.
I used to go through an average of one birfield a season until I moved up to the larger axle shafts...
Just remember not to goose the gas with the wheels turned all the way left or right, and don't try to pull someone out of a jam where it means you would be backing up to snatch the stuck vehicle off a rock or out of the mud. They don't like it and tend to explode in an ugly way...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I used to go through an average of one birfield a season until I moved up to the larger axle shafts...
Just remember not to goose the gas with the wheels turned all the way left or right, and don't try to pull someone out of a jam where it means you would be backing up to snatch the stuck vehicle off a rock or out of the mud. They don't like it and tend to explode in an ugly way...
Great advice, thanks Bill. The car now can pretty much go anywhere with only rear wheel drive! Finally my hub locks and Thorley headers are on the way to me now.
 
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