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USA 1994 Suzuki Sidekick 1.6L 16v 5 Speed 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 1997 Sidekick 3speed 4 door. By the time I got it home it had about 500 miles on a fresh rebuild so ready for first oil change so I did so. The guy that built the motor put a stage 2 cam but part way through the rebuild he decided to go with a jeep instead so put a manual switch under the hood for the electric fan he installed. I cut the hose and installed the sensor. I then drove about 25 miles and when I arrived I saw the temp was in the red. I do not know how long and it was not pegged but was in the red. Took about half a gallon of water. I'm not sure if the motor was damaged or not. It does seem to have trouble maintaining freeway speed going up more than a slight hill without downshifting. Does have 235/75R15. Will do 75 plus. Is this normal power with a 3 speed? What and how to check if I damaged it with overheating?
 

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No personal experience, but for a 1.6 running a 29" tire, I'd say that sounds about right, assuming it has stock gears. The gearing is going to be off with those tires and I would expect you'll need to downshift for anything resembling a hill, I'm surprised that it'll actually do 75.

If you've overheated it without causing obvious & immediate damage (seizure/warped head), it's possible for the rings to lose their tension, in which case compression might be low and it might burn oil - nothing really you can do other than drive it and hope for the best.
 

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USA 1994 Suzuki Sidekick 1.6L 16v 5 Speed 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No personal experience, but for a 1.6 running a 29" tire, I'd say that sounds about right, assuming it has stock gears. The gearing is going to be off with those tires and I would expect you'll need to downshift for anything resembling a hill, I'm surprised that it'll actually do 75.

If you've overheated it without causing obvious & immediate damage (seizure/warped head), it's possible for the rings to lose their tension, in which case compression might be low and it might burn oil - nothing really you can do other than drive it and hope for the best.
Yes stock gears. I have a spare 4 speed from a 95 I am putting a 5 speed in and a spare 5 speed in a totaled 94. Would swapping either of those help? I am pretty new to these things so not sure how and where gearing is
 

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the gearing is in the differential "bulb"
so be aware that 3,4 spd auto and manual gearing diff ratios are different
you want to swap same for same, always making sure front and rear are matched
you can see what ratios you have by turning the driveshafts and seeing how many turns it takes to turn the wheels.


89 2 1.3L carb. 5 speed man. 5.625
89-95 2 1.6L TBI 5 speed man. 5.125
89-95 2 1.6L TBI 3 speed auto 4.625
91 4 1.6L TBI 5 speed man. 5.375 4dr. 2door is 5.125

91 4 1.6L TBI 3 speed auto 4.625 2 or 4dr.
91 samurai, 5sp 3.727 (refr)
92-98 4 1.6L MPFI 5 speed man. 5.125
92-98 4 1.6L MPFI 4 speed auto 5.125
94-98 2 1.6L MPFI 5 speed man. 5.125
94-98 2 1.6L MPFI 3 speed auto 4.30
94-98 2 1.6L MPFI 4 speed auto 5.125
96-98 X90 1.6L MPFI auto or man. 4.625
96-98 4 door 1.8l 16V DOHC MPFI manual or auto 5.125
 

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USA 1994 Suzuki Sidekick 1.6L 16v 5 Speed 4x4
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the gearing is in the differential "bulb"
so be aware that 3,4 spd auto and manual gearing diff ratios are different
you want to swap same for same, always making sure front and rear are matched
you can see what ratios you have by turning the driveshafts and seeing how many turns it takes to turn the wheels.


89 2 1.3L carb. 5 speed man. 5.625
89-95 2 1.6L TBI 5 speed man. 5.125
89-95 2 1.6L TBI 3 speed auto 4.625
91 4 1.6L TBI 5 speed man. 5.375 4dr. 2door is 5.125

91 4 1.6L TBI 3 speed auto 4.625 2 or 4dr.
91 samurai, 5sp 3.727 (refr)
92-98 4 1.6L MPFI 5 speed man. 5.125
92-98 4 1.6L MPFI 4 speed auto 5.125
94-98 2 1.6L MPFI 5 speed man. 5.125
94-98 2 1.6L MPFI 3 speed auto 4.30
94-98 2 1.6L MPFI 4 speed auto 5.125
96-98 X90 1.6L MPFI auto or man. 4.625
96-98 4 door 1.8l 16V DOHC MPFI manual or auto 5.125
My question is: If I match a 4 speed auto or 5 speed manual to the rig that has a 3 speed in it will is balance out the oversized tires?
 

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The 1.6L is sensitive to overheating. I had a 1.6L block crack between the cylinder liners due to overheating. If the engine doesn't make any unusual noise at operating temperatures or consume coolant then you are probably ok.
 

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it's not even clear IF it overheated.... new sensor = temp needle could be off, quite easy to calibrate if you drop the sensor in boiling water, and watch if needle is at the beginning of red zone. add wire extension to perform the act.
"Remove the sender unit from the head .Fill a small pot with water and bring to a rapid boil using a propane torch be careful to keep the flame away from any fuel or body parts. Insert the sending unit bulb into the boiling water. Your gauge should read 212° F or be on the start of the "H" area"
 

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I bought a 1997 Sidekick 3speed 4 door. By the time I got it home it had about 500 miles on a fresh rebuild so ready for first oil change so I did so. The guy that built the motor put a stage 2 cam but part way through the rebuild he decided to go with a jeep instead so put a manual switch under the hood for the electric fan he installed. I cut the hose and installed the sensor. I then drove about 25 miles and when I arrived I saw the temp was in the red. I do not know how long and it was not pegged but was in the red. Took about half a gallon of water. I'm not sure if the motor was damaged or not. It does seem to have trouble maintaining freeway speed going up more than a slight hill without downshifting. Does have 235/75R15. Will do 75 plus. Is this normal power with a 3 speed? What and how to check if I damaged it with overheating?
Ran mine for 20 miles without coolant after a water pump failure in the mountains. Replaced pump, filled with coolant, never better. Remarkably tough little engines.
 
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