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Discussion Starter #1


Howdy all!

First post here so bear with me please. In the market for a tin top sammi and I have come across a relatively perfect one, for near 30 years old. However my concerns lay in the upgrade camshaft and claim of roughly 120 hp, all else is stock say for the weber carb.

I know the principles behind an engine but this is to be my first real endeavor on a vehicle getting in there...

So question one is, on a mostly stock '86 if the cams are upgraded to such glory could that not stress some many other components of the engine, transmission and exhaust?

I will be taking it for a test drive today is there any advice y'all may have for me to check or ask??

Any help would be very much obliged, thanks!
 

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You're not going to get 120 HP through a stock intake, Weber or no Weber.

I would not be any more concerned about engine and driveline wear with that setup than I would be with a stock engine. As old as these vehicles are, its all about maintenance and abuse. If it's been abused and not maintained, it could be worn out regardless of engine, and it its been taken care of, it could be fine.

Now if it had side-draft motorcycle carbs and a lot of engine work, 120 is certainly possible.

Something like this;
 

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Ask for the dyno printouts - I'd say that 120 hp claim is wildly optimistic.

I don't remember the exact figures but a stock 1.3 engine will deliver somewhere between 50~60 hp, you can get more but with just a cam and a weber, not that much more - to get 120 hp, you're look at a serious build - high compression pistons, a good port & polish job, free flowing exhaust, etc., etc, and you're going to end up with a high revving engine with a very "peaky" power curve, and very little low down torque.

Yes, you will be stressing the rest of the system, the clutch especially, so ask about that.

Take it for the test drive, look for no/low power in the low rev ranges, expect to have to move off with a foot full of revs and a lot of clutch slip, look for it to "come on to the cam" in a VERY noticeable fashion as you get above 3500 rpm (in my experience most Suzuki engines will start to pull in this area, but if it is "cammed", it WILL be VERY noticeable), and once it's warm, look for that distinctive "loping" idle of a high overlap cam (a rich mixture/cold idle can sound similar, but should fade as the engine warms up and it comes off of the choke). If it has not head work done, expect it to run "out of breath" around 5500 rpm or so, well before the 6500 rpm redline.

If you don't see the above characteristics, question the 120 hp claim (and maybe beat the price down), a cam and a carb, by themselves, will just not make that much power.

Second thing - what are your plans for it? 4WDs in general perform better with low down torque, but, it depends on where & how you plan to drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fair enough, thank you and my what a righteous engine bay that is!

I intend to give this Sammi a thorough overhaul with my spare time and merely hope it will make the drive up to WA with any adjustments made by it's previous owner.

Again much thanks and I look forward to chattin' more as I begin jumping in there!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am looking to make it a commuter for the most part but I do plan to take it out in the back country for some outdoor rec. and for work.

Being somewhat new to engines I am left in the dark by your "come on to cam" note, would you care to break it down? I do understand the "loping" and that it would be seemingly out of breath if no other work has been done.
 

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"come on to the cam" just means that there is a very distinct increase in power at a certain RPM.

Stock, the power curve is very linear, with no distinct jump.
 

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Something else to keep in mind;

If Washington is anything like California, the Weber will not pass an emissions test.

I have no idea if Washington has emissions testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I follow now, and yes a valid point though I hope I will be under the radar as I am living here for the summer then it is back to Oregon to find my next locality. Even then I am not sure what the emissions are like...originally from Texas.

I reckon this is a matter of opinion but I value y'all's over mine, say I were to go ahead with this deal with notable characteristics that the cams have been upgraded yet the rest has been left stock. What would be the wisest decision to get it running most like it did off the assembly line? Replace with original cam?
 

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I'd just drive it first and see if you like it. If the cam is a problem, a factory cam could be installed.

A quick search shows that Cle Elum is not in one of the counties that has emissions inspections

I found this quote pertaining to Oregon

"There is no statewide testing requirement, however, most vehicles in the Portland and/or Medford metropolitan areas must pass a Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) emissions test as part of the registration tag renewal process. Also, most vehicles that are new to Oregon must pass an emissions test prior to being registered in these areas.

Emissions testing is required as follows:
In the Portland area, 1975 and newer model years must be tested (view detailed information).
In the Medford (Rogue Valley) area, vehicles 20 model years old and newer must be tested (view detailed information).
In these areas, cars, trucks, vans, motor homes and buses powered by gasoline, alternative fuels (such as propane), and hybrids must be tested.
In these areas, diesel-powered vehicles with a manufacturer's gross weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less must be tested.
If your vehicle meets the above criteria and is new to Oregon, you must have a certificate that the vehicle passed an emissions test before you bring it in to DMV to be registered.
"
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I very much appreciate your digging that up for me.

And with that I have made it my first Samurai!! I look forward to working a bit of restoration and having it teach me a thing or two. I think Suzi has my heart strings...

Much thanks
 

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I think Suzi has my heart strings...
They do that ...

I drove my first Suzuki about 30 years ago, one of the 3 cyl, 2 stroke, LJs, we've had maybe nine or ten in the family, we still have three, and of those I own two, and still look at all the one I see for sale.
 

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And with that I have made it my first Samurai!! I look forward to working a bit of restoration and having it teach me a thing or two. I think Suzi has my heart strings...

Much thanks
Congratulations! I've found them quite addicting. Like fordem, I also have three of them. All Samurai. I see one with a for sale sign on it and have to stop and look. One can never have too many.
I would be curious as to the cam in the one you bought. It would surprise me that someone would take the time to put in a high performance cam and not change the exhaust system, to take advantage of the power gains to be had, by doing so.
I have lived in both the Medford and Portland areas (as well as other parts of the state).
Its been a few years (13). Medford used to have a pretty basic emissions testing program, checking only tailpipe emissions. Portland was more advanced, with the vehicle on a dyno, running the car through the gears under load. They would use their own techs to drive the car, so you couldn't light foot the throttle and trick the EG analyzer.
Medford's testing boundary was determined by residents' registered address elevation, with the line being drawn at 1800 ft., with Blackwell Hill, being the northern boundary. I've known people to use a friends address, out of the test areas, to register cars not able to pass the tests.
All the rest of the state, was exempt. I think I've been on every paved road in Oregon and most of the maintained gravel ones, too. 40 years in one state and you tend to discover most of it.
Good luck to you and welcome to the world of Samurai.
 

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They do that ...
Yes indeed.

I bought my '88.5 as a toy 4 years ago, and it became my daily driver for 3 years. I put 45,000 miles on it the first 3 years I owned it. It is still the road-trip vehicle of choice in my life, over much more comfortable and powerful vehicles.
 

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Do you have any timing figures for the camshaft?
 
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