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As the title says im a samurai noob. Im actually a jeep guy when it comes to offroading but my little brother got a samurai for a first rig so im here to learn a few things cuz just like my jeeps, stock wont due. I know the search is my friend and I need to use it(im a JU member) so I will but any basic knowledge about the thing you could share would be appreciated. Was thinking we could start but doing a spring over axle lift to begin with and slightly larger tires too keep cost down. Its an 88 4 banger 5 speed, locking front hubs and thats all I can remember right now.
 

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As the title says im a samurai noob. Im actually a jeep guy when it comes to offroading but my little brother got a samurai for a first rig so im here to learn a few things cuz just like my jeeps, stock wont due. I know the search is my friend and I need to use it(im a JU member) so I will but any basic knowledge about the thing you could share would be appreciated. Was thinking we could start but doing a spring over axle lift to begin with and slightly larger tires too keep cost down. Its an 88 4 banger 5 speed, locking front hubs and thats all I can remember right now.
Thats good your taking the interest to learn more about these great lil off roaders.

well just some of the basics:

- factory carb= trash , ZOR & Petroworks both make some really nice side draft carb kits that REALLY WAKE UP these lil 1.3 engines.

- Doug Thorley Header is the next best bolt on part after the s.d. carb. also a good idea to make, or buy a 2" exhaust at the same time if the budget allows.

- make sure the clutch cable is properly adjusted, and maintained.

- the 5 spd shifter bolt, and bushing are notorious for breaking causing slopp in the shifter. quick, cheap, and easy fix here.

- t-case shifter bushing , this one is very important to have because if yours is worn out, you will have a hard time getting in 4wd, sometimes wont go in, or will fall out, and you might find yourself in the middle of the desert in 110 degree heat with the t case shifter off and a huge flat blade screw driver in the t-case putting it back in 4wd like i did a few years back.

- motor/ tranny / t-case mounts its very likely all or at least a few of those need replacing, my first samurai had every single mount broken, and surprisingly enough the powertrain didnt twist as bad as I would imagine, so I didnt realize it was all broken untill my friend drove, and said its clucking everytime i let of the gas, this aint right, so then we tore it apart and realized all mounts where broke, and replaced all. It hard to tell the mounts are broke till you have them off the jeep.

summed up, these are badass lil off roaders that will run circles around your jeep in the mud with the right mods. all the things I have mentioned above are things to expect from a 25 year old vehicle, and its all little stuff. so get to fixxing and have fun off roading your bros new samurai!:cool:
 

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Alright should have replied a long time ago so sorry bout that. Thank you for the info so far. The thing has been mostly rebuilt and new paint and all. Few more questions and I promise not to disappear this time. Been looking at the calmini lifts for him and got it narrowed to the 3" or 3.5", any opinions on these? Really looking for a better ride, look and way to throw some slightly taller and wider tires to give it a wider stance. I guess its a squirrly bastard and hes worried about winter time driving and being from the ozark we have plenty of curves and hills to lose control on which everyone is not crazy about. Anymore advice and/or opinions would be appreciated.
 

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If you want on-road stability then you should go with a spring under lift, not a spring over. Hanging your load under the axle is a lot more stable than perching it on top of the axle. The reverse shackle lift is very stable and I've been runing the 5" RS lift for 10 years now, primarily on-road, ocasional off road use. Even being 5" taller, It's more stable than the stock suspension and far more stable than a spring over suspension.

If you put larger tires on it, a 3 will clear 31's without a problem, and a 3.5" will clear a 32" without any problems. You will have to cut the front bumper tube and chop or replace that tin front bumper cover. There's also a metal flange inside the wheel well that you should bend over with a hammer so there's no chance of it cutting into your tires. Get rims with a small back spacing (less than 2 inches should be plenty small enough) that way you don't rub the leafs when you crank the wheels to their stops.
 

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Alright that answered about all my questions so thank you. Ill probably just look for wheel spacers unless I can find some decently priced and decent looking wheels with proper backspacing. Trimming is nothing new and that metal flange is also found on my jeeps so there seems to be some similarities. Ill see if he can do the 3.5 and find some 32s for it and ill post some pics whenever all that gets done. Then we'll move on to squeezin some horses out of that 4banger. Which reminds me, those 32s will prob probably really make this thing a turd without regearin it wont it. Whats the stock gearing on these things?
 

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It does drag it down with the little engine you got.

If you plan on doing a lot of moderate to hard off road wheeling then go with a gear reduction in the T-case. That will allow some really low gears on your low range transfer case while reducing the high range of the transfer case enough to turn the wheels at normal highway speeds.

If you plan on just doing mild wheeling with it, hitting some trails, then you can just change out the R&P gears. The stock low range t-case with a lowered R&P is more than enough for mild trail use, less expensive, and it doesn't create extra torque on the T-case and drive shaft U-joints that a lowered T-case gearing would cause.

Get a header on there, that will add some power by letting the engine breath better and help scrub the cylinders exhaust, no need for a 2" exhaust unless you want your power on the top of the RPM curve. (good for highway driving) The stock diameter exhaust keeps the power curve on the low RPM side of the curve.(better for around town driving or off roading)

Wheel spacers are fine, but a decent set is often about as much as a set of wheels. I ran a set of cheap shims in my rig with the wheels flipped inside out when I first got my rig. I ran it like that for a couple years and didn't have much problem. I attribute that to very light use and not abusing my rig off road. With shim spacers it doesn't give you a lot of stud meat to grab on to with the little acorns, so if you plan on a more permanent solution, get the bolt on spacers or a set of rims that are properly backspaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I may just stick with some 31x10.50s then. He'll be doing little offroading, at first atleast, so this build will stay small for the most part. Just trying to make it look good and have it ride and handle better. Ill try and get him into more offroading and mods as time goes on. Will def. be looking into some engine upgrades to pep it up some and maybe down the road regear it. Anyone know what gearing they came with? 3.55s?
 

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Id say 4.57 would be more ideal when the time comes. I dont know much about the axles underneath. I know dana, ford and chevy axles but not really anything about these ones.
 

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Well I may just stick with some 31x10.50s then. He'll be doing little offroading, at first atleast, so this build will stay small for the most part. Just trying to make it look good and have it ride and handle better. Ill try and get him into more offroading and mods as time goes on. Will def. be looking into some engine upgrades to pep it up some and maybe down the road regear it. Anyone know what gearing they came with? 3.55s?
I have 30's on my geo and it runs fine, granted for the sticky stuff you want to use low range to keep the wheels and engine turning.

just about the same vehicle
 
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