Samurai Plans

I wanted to revisit a list of planned mods I made early on and want to evaluate where I am now and where I’m going with the Samurai.

  • Fix The Engine Drinking Oil/Coolant Issue
  • Battery
  • My-Side Harley Carb Kit
  • Roof Rack – Packing Camping gear for two adults and a toddler now
  • Skid Plates – Diff Armor
  • Rear Tire Carrier
  • Rear Cage – Minimally since now I have a daughter to worry about eeping safe.
  • Full Cage – One can dream
  • The Transfercase Cradle from Zuks Off Road
  • Lockers
  • Lift – Goal to get on 33’s

That was a very randomly planned list of things.

So the things I accomplished were

  • Battery – Was forced into getting a new one as the old one predictably died.
  • Fix the engine drinking oil issue – Well I swapped out the engine but the new engine is leaking something… Not losing that much oil and I’m not losing coolant. But something IS showing up on the exterior of the engine.
  • Roof Rack – Been working out great!
  • Rear Tire Carrier – Want to change some things but I’ve got it done!
  • Transfercase Cradle from ZOR – I have it but I have not installed it…. Want to re-gear the tcase now.

Plans for summer 2017

Some things have changed. My son will be born February and we plan on taking him camping with us that Summer and I’ve decided to build a trailer to haul to camping gear as well. Expect a new thread at some point.
The roof rack worked out great for my family when it was just the three of us but I made a smaller roof rack with the understanding that I could use the space on the back seat next to my daughter’s car seat. Not going to work with an additional baby in the back. I’ll extend/remake the roof the roof rack for more cargo.

  • Head Gasket – If that is indeed the source of the leak on the new 1.6L
  • Add a receiver to the bumper. Can’t tow a trailer without a receiver hitch.
  • Roll Cage – Rear cage at minimum – but hopefully I’ll be able to just get the full cage all at once. Anyone know of a place I can get it welded? I’ve been liking this one from Low Range Off Road –
  • Transfercase Gears – Some Crawl would be nice.
  • Lift – maybe just SPOA to start but I’m not terribly concerned with lifting at the moment.

The big plan for The Summer is the Trailer.
With a trailer I can stow all the camping gear, food and water. I’d like to get a roof top tent to mount on the trailer as well. I’ve seen some cool things done with the harbor freight trailers as a base. The inside of the Samurai wouldn’t be as cramped if we could get the gear in the trailer.

Suzuki Samurai 16V Engine Swap

I’m back to daily driving my Samurai! Been working out some kinks here and there.

I made a bracket for the igniter.

In addition that I cleaned up the wiring under the hood pretty well. I wrapped everything with electrical tape and split loom tubing. I also took the opportunity to remove all of the automatic transmission wiring from the engine harness.

With all that done I noticed I fresh oil on the exterior of the engine.

The oil was the oil pump so I figured the gasket on it was going bad. I was advised to do the water pump and timing belt at the same time.
I put in an order from Petroworks for all the stuff I’d need, including a new timing cover.

In order to get the oil pump off I needed to remove the lower timing pulley/cog and the oil pan. There’s a nut in the center that holds it on but in order to get it off I need to hold the cog in place. I stupidly tried to pry against one of the pulley screws with a screwdriver while trying to break the bolt free and ended up cracking the cog.

I got on the ColoradoZuks Facebook group and asked for one and someone happened to have one about 30 minutes from my house on an engine block they were willing to give me for free!
Huge thanks to for the measurements for making the tool needed to remove this bolt properly. You can see it in the bottom portion of the picture.

With the new cog I installed oil pump and water pump.

And after all that I still have an oil leak.

I believe it may be from the front of the head gasket but the oil leak is slow and I’m not noticing and smoking or oil in the coolant.

In other news I purchased an OBD1 to USB cable and I plan on using the rhinoman software to read data from the ECM but have yet to get it to work.