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I bought a 1988 suzuki samurai from an idiot who lied to me. It has a cracked block or blown head gasket. Im told to just get rid of it and suck up the loss., Well I thought maybe ill keep it and swap an engine into it. I found an 89 geo tracker that had a 95 1.8 in it with only 40k miles. Will this fit into my suzuki samurai??? And is there even such a thing as a 1.8 or is this guy also lying to me??? please help :)
 

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the 1.8 is the predecessor to the 2.0L engine. It's a dual overhead cam multi point fuel injected engine that puts out more power than the 1.6 swap. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of support for it since it's not a common engine. It was only on the sport model of the sidekick/tracker and only for a couple years. To do the swap you need to also have the exhaust back to the second cat, or at least the O2 sensors, you need the entire wiring harness, the ecu, all of the intake sensors and valves, and the radiator, you also need the starter motor from the donor vehicle. There are a few shops that will do the wire harness conversion but it will cost you a couple hundred dollars and you need to provide the wire harness and the instrument cluster from the donor vehicle.

I would just do a 1.6 swap. It's a little less power, but it's an easier engine to work on, parts are less expensive for repairs, less labor and cost involved in the actual swap. I bought a 1.8L to swap in, and ended up selling it for $400 just to get rid of it. Took me 5 months to sell it cause No one wanted it.
 

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I found it easier to swap the engine _and_ trans in one shot. (1.6) I just re-drilled one motor mount and changed the 1/2 shaft to a shorter one. Swapped the intake and header and that was just about it. The 1.6 was a easy, easy thing to do. Did it solo in a 1.5 days taking my time. They both are 5 speeds... oh, I think I had to cut new holes for the transfer shifter but the trany shifter poped up in the old transfer case hole. (everything just moved back one hole)
It's been years and years ago... I got everything I needed from Hawk Suzuki, half shaft included.
Not sure if I would do a 1.8 being such an odd block but if you can cut and weld and can get one cheap enough... and feel lucky...

thanks,
george
 

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1.8 swap into samurai...

As other have said, it is not an easy swap as the engine is rare and only came installed on Sidekick Sports for a few years.

Personal experience:

The 5-speed transmission is the same one as found in the 1.6 Sidekicks and Tracker with two important diferences:

1. Fifth gear is not the same. In order to get the best performance at high speeds (highway driving), you really need a tranmission geared for the 1.8 engine

2. The 1.8 engine does not have the same mounting setup as the 1.6 engine! The 1.8 uses a bellhousing that both mates the transmission to the 1.8 engine AND has a hydraulic clutch system.

(end personal experience)

What does this mean? You need to find a 1.8 engine and transmision - preferably a 2WD engine/transmission combo to make it easier to fit it all in with your Samurai transfer case. Good luck doing that...

Yep, it is better to find a good 1.6 engine and use a commonly-available adapter kit to connect it up to the Samurai 5-speed.

Also, You can get the engine with the wiring harness/ECM OR get an aftermarket carburetor kit and dump the electrics altogether if the local authorities allow it. Right now, the MYSide (ZOR Zuks Off Road Tell them Ack sent you - they'll probsbly say "Who??") is the most popular system in use. Great product and support. (This is an unpaid endorsement - the best kind.)

I hope that this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
me again

So we asked the guy if he knew for sure if it was a 1.8 and he said he thought so but not for sure. How can u tell if its a 1.6 or a 1.8???
 

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1.6/1.8 identification

The 1.6 has sparkplug wires coming of the top of the head and has a black plastic timing belt cover.

I seem to recall that the 1.8 has coils for each sparkplug... The Sidekick Sport is not at home so I can't look at it. It DOES have a metal timing chain cover and you can see two bumps for each of the camshafts on the front face of the head.

You can also tell what engine it is by looking on the flat surface on the exhaust side of the engine at the rear edge. A 1.6 will have 1596 CM3.

I hope this helps!
 

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So we asked the guy if he knew for sure if it was a 1.8 and he said he thought so but not for sure. How can u tell if its a 1.6 or a 1.8???
Find the engine number - if it's a Suzuki engine, a 1.6 will start with G16, if it's a 1.8 it'll start with J18.
 

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the dead givaway is the DOHC.

Like ack said, the 1.8 has 2 sections of cam cover on top with the plugs running right between them.

the 1.6 has a cover for a single cam.
 

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It should work...I swapped the 1.8L (J18A) from a baleno, which should be the same thing in the Vitara in mine (1998 Coily) though I ended up changing it to the J20A....just needed to build some mounts and an adapter plate to mount to the trans........the same mounts are used to swap the 2.0l I4 (J20A)....

Check this out...hope it helps...
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3197142/2
 

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Oh it definitely CAN be done. It's just not worth doing with the 1.8
If you were going to go through the trouble of doing the swap, then doing it with the 2.0 would be the way to go. The parts are much more readily available when you need to fix or repair. The conversion for swapping the 1.3L with the 1.8 and the 2.0 are pretty much the same.
 
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