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Faux door

JR4X

wheeler
race
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
445
Messages
3,316
Loc
Farmington NM
Faux 2, now version Faux door




Going to try to start migrating my threads over here. Starting with my Zuk thread because it’s the first one I could find after the old place ruined everything.


If you remember (or care) I had built an 04 grand vitara for my wife at the time and I called it the faux wheeler. https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/suzu...x-wheeler.html I loved that rig but it went with the ex as did most of my disposable income for the next couple of years. In the mean time I have wanted a SXS to screw around with but cant afford what I want at this point.




So I have thought long and hard at what it will take to actually try to get my hands on a SXS sized rig for much less entry money. I have seen people try and most usually miss the mark and just end up with a little zuk that is nothing more than a lighter smaller tired trail rig. I have posed the question before in this thread https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/suzu...side-side.html what is the requisite description for a SXS? I know for sure with a RZR WildCat or Commander you get a lot of performance right out of the box for the money. So those are my mark. I dont think for one second that I can cheaply build anything that will hang with those 3 rigs. But I want to try to do better than just a chopped up IFS rig that still rides like a tank.




So here is my idea. I am starting with a 95 tracker 2 door that I picked up for $1000 bucks. I bought a new but never unpackaged calmini 3 inch IFS "articulation" system to cannibalize as a starting point for a plush riding suspension for 975 shipped. And 5 ITP black water 30x10x15 UTV tires for 975 shipped. So for about 3k initial investment (wich I attained by selling another vehicle) this is faux 2.




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Why????? Why the utv tires? Becuase they are extremely light wieght for a really aggressive 30 inch tire. They wiegh much less than a 30 inch LT mud tire and are less expensive. I also look forward to circumventing the bullshit california atv law that requires riders wear a helmet at all times. Where road legal motor vehicles and green sticker buggies do not have to wear a helmet. The tracker I picked up is a clean 2wd with a 3 speed automatic. The auto because thats the closest I am going to get to a CVT, and because I want anyone to be able to get in and drive it. The exterior dimensions of a track kick are really close to that of a 2 seat RZR or Commander. But the track kick is smaller than a wildcat either 2 or 4 seat and while the track kick is a 4 seater, is smaller than the 4 seat versions of the RZR and Commander. I am going to leave it IFS and work on finding better suited springs and shocks for the front. Then I plan to attempt a small trailing arm setup in the rear, leaving it solid axle. For a t-case I have a divorced samurai t-case that I will run behind the 3 speed as a single case and for the high range reduction. The rig is going to top out at 55~ish MPH, but that will be fine with me if I can haul 3 passengeres with me sucking up washboard roads at a reasonable speed. With an iron blocked front engine rig that has the short wheelbase of these the weight bias is going to be really front heavy. Making it outside the realm of possibility to keep up with any of the high priced (while very much worth it) UTV's. It will be worth it to me in the end if it can perform a few tasks. Go out for a day and not blow diffs like the utv's. Carry 4 people around safely and at speed over typical washboard dirt roads. When finished be less than 10k while still being completely street legal. So what do you think?
 
Phase 2 complete. I think it looks awsome so far. Got the suspension installed with the help and garage of my buddy Matt. It took about 6 hours total 2 hours a night 3 nights after work. The front went way fast and the rear was a lot more involved than I thought it would have been. I didnt get instructions with the lift, just a pile of parts and bolts. If there is another way to do this I did it the long way. Had to completely dissasemble the rear brakes to remove the e-brake cable ends from the brake backing plate. Loop the cables under the frame instead of over the top, then reassemble the brakes. It lifted the little guy 5 inches total
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I think that a 2wd must be lower to the ground than a 4wd I'm not sure.




Starting tear down






front end completely removed






Front end completely reinstalled in exactly 2 hours from taking the tires off to this pic






Here it is all back together about to roll into bear automotive for an alignment






Here it is at Big-0 getting the tires put on. My biggest mistake so far was going to big-zero to do this part. The first place I went wouldnt put UTV tires on a vehicle the next closest place was big-zero tire. The front tires wouldnt fit on the front because the lugs hit the struts. I knew this and had a full set of 1 1/4 inch wheel spacers to put on while doing the tires. The guy mixed up the lug nuts for the tracker and the wheel spacers and threaded the wrong nuts on 4 studs then hit them with the impact. It ruined 4 studs wich I had to bring it home and fix myself. No big deal it only took me an hour to take it back apart and knock new studs in and out. Man I wish I had my own tire machine :shaking:






And here it is on the trailer at big-zero.

 
So I did go hit some dirt in it, about 30 miles of dirt 50 miles total. I loaded up a couple of guns and went out to the 4 wheeler 2 tracks north of where I live. Its colorado in the winter so everything is muddy. I went down some hills I thought it wouldnt be able to get back up. Its a little under geared wich will have to be rectified imediately. There was one hill that was so steep that it would just stall the trany. Even as sloppy muddy as it is the tires have so much traction that it cant spin the tires. I had to find another way out with out going up the one hill but was having so much fun cruising that I never stopped and shot my guns. I only got out and took pics once, here they are.





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Now its time to get the t-case in it. I enlisted the help of my friend Nate at battlement fabrication and the awsome 2 post lift to make the job go faster. It sure is nice to be able to stand under it while figuring out what to do. I had already removed all the interior parts that would be in the way like the consoles, the passenger seat and I had already cut out the tube crossmember from under the drivers seat area. Then all we had to do was remove the rear drive line to get it out of the way.







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I knew I would have to notch the passenger floor to get the t-case up where it belongs so I held the t-case up and had Nate make a couple marks on the floor where I thought would be plenty of room for the little case. After the second cut it still didnt sit where I wanted it so in the name if getting it done and over with we just made the cuts bigger and pounded the offending floor completely clear.







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I will have more and better pictures of how the t-case sits in the rig. To hold it up we plated the frame and welded tabs to the plates. Then we built a quick easy cradle to hold it all in. My t-case has stock gearing so I think this will be more than enough support for it. It is in the rig now and is very solid. I had planned in using the snatch to hold the t-case in but figured out that it wont fit. The floors are different enough between the samurai's and the trackers that a snatch would hit the floor under the drivers side.




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Well moab was a succesfull trip. I mercelessly abused this poor thing and while I tore it up a bit it still did what I wanted it to do. I let other people drive it, I crawled with it, I drove it in 3 ft deep water, I drove it on the highway, I bombed unknown territory with 800 lbs of people in it.




On thursday our first night there, I hit a hole the size of the tracker but twice as deep as it is with myself and two 300 lb guys in it going 40 mph. It bottomed out of course and picked up a clunking sound I thought was coming from the right front suspension. I continued to beat on it when I couldnt figure out where the clunking was coming from. Then sunday while on Kane Creek trail we figured out what the noise was. I had broken both motor mounts and the trany mount. So the trans slid over to the passenger side and is thumping on the trans tunnel.




The tires were NOT a poor choice. They are fine on the highway and get amazing traction off road. I cannot express how surprised and satisfied I am with the UTV tires on it, they were worth every penny. With the spool in the rear and the lockrite up front it never spun a tire on the rocks. I did get high centered on a rock with the front tires digging in the sand. It took a matter of seconds for the front tires to completely dissapear in the holes they dug in the sand. It looked like a roto tiller in a garden. The t-case mount is solid and the t-case doesnt move at all, even when the whole weight of the vehicle is sitting directly on it rocking back and forth like a teeter totter. Just in case you were wondering it has NO drive line vibrations either from the short intermediate shaft or from the offset t-case to centered rear diff, NONE.




The complaints though. The 8V engine has to go, the meager power is unacceptable. This is my first 8V where previously I have had four 16V powered rigs, one a 4dr with an automatic. If it had 16V power I think it would be geared perfectly just the way it is. With the 8V on steep climbs it can keep moving but it heats up the trans and the engine over heats because its barely spinning at the torque converter stall speed. I have read before people saying there wasnt much of a difference between 8V's and 16V's even though its 20 horse power between them. Well I beg to differ. The 16V's are awsome and this little 8V sucks big time. Thats going to set back my budget beater but more power is on the imediate needs list.




First a few more pictures moments before getting loaded on the trailer to go to moab without anything more than trip around the block for a test drive.

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Here are some pictures of it sitting next to a good friends 900XP 4 seat RZR for comparison. The tracker doesnt yet have enough power or enough wheel travel to even be called a SXS compared to this thing. Thats next on the list, more horse power and better shocks. Going to have to get rid of the struts and put upper A-arms on it.














 
Heavily redacted copy paste: EDSES

This is definitely a pro level install on a running driving vehicle. The only instructions are in the form of a template that comes with a small explanation of how to line it up and hole saw 3 holes in the gussets on the strut towers where the shock brackets pinch the strut tower between the upper A-arm bracket. Everything else is labeled and is supposed to be obvious where it must go (and it is). It takes a fair amount of trimming of the inner fender wells to get the upper A-arm bracket inside. On the drivers side you must remove the shaft between the steering box and the column but then there is plenty of room to cut. My helper and I used a zip wheel on a small air operated die grinder for control purposes. On the passenger side it is very tricky. My rig has A/C that works and there is a lot of wires right there as well as the brake lines and fuel lines. You have to cut more than you would think on both sides to get enough room for bolts to go in and out. Other than that it was easy to line stuff up and drill holes and bolt it all together. I like how it comes with camber bolts to align it. All of the hardware is grade 8 and it comes with everything you need.




Some extra notes: It would be way way way easier to install the EDSES on a vehicle that had the engine removed. The shocks body's don't look like they would clear the hole in the strut tower at full stuff but when the A-arm moves that far up it centers the shock body in the hole perfectly. You have to ditch the factory air cleaner box and hose which was fine with me. I just put a Spectre cone filter on it with no extension pipe. You can hear the intake now but I don't mind. As long as the strut tower is tough enough to hold all of the force where it is applied from the addition of the kit I think the EDSES will suit my needs perfectly. It seems to ride the same as it did with the struts. It doesn't feel like it handles funny or in any way that it shouldn't. The tires seem to travel straight up and down through its cycle. There should be IMO, instructions with color pictures explaining what needs to be removed and a guide or safety tips on how to cut the inner fenders without messing up wires pipes and hoses. In my opinion this kit has a good value to parts ratio, I do not think that its over priced for what you get. There was obviously a lot of time spent doing R&D for this to work right and I believe it does.




A little disclaimer though, I am not the typical cheap ass zuki owner. If something fails me I always upgrade to the best parts I can possibly find. Cost is not even much of a consideration when I want to make something better, unless it just seems outrageously priced. I very often travel thousands of miles to go on trail rides into remote areas with no communication for help. If I got stranded some where because a strut came completely apart (that almost happened to me) I guarantee I would be willing to pay the $700 dollars in that moment to get me out of trouble. If $700 bucks is a deal breaker for you I don't know what you think you are doing out wheeling in the first place. My Geo cost me right at $7k to build and it has everything done to it and paid for at full retail. Its my cheap POS beater and cost only a fraction of what I have into my real crawler which is a 1 ton'd 2006 jeep unlimited on 39" sticky tires.




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This thing doesn't see home very often. The trackTer doesn't even get to take a break from its life on the road chasing races during its one trip through home town this year. Still a fun little truck. The transfer case is stuck in low range at the moment but is an abuse problem, no fault of its own.







 
Late last summer the green machine was pre-running the Ultra4 Fallon VORRA 250 race. The t-case got stuck in low range and there is no back tracking on course so the little guy ran 42 miles in low range in 110 degree heat. The engine didn't blow but ran hot and I'm pretty sure it smoked the rings. It still starts and runs but smokes and has even less power than it had before. I f&#%ing hate 8V's and the automatic made the low power situation worse. It was almost a cool rig but the 8V had to go. I had been watching Craigslist and KSL daily for about a year hoping I could find a wrecked track/kick that I could use for an engine swap.





I got lucky and found this 96 4 door for $700 bucks on Craigslist because it wouldn't start. I went and diagnosed it was just a bad alternator, paid for it and took it home. An alternator and a speedometer cable for a grand total of $900 bucks I had a perfect car. So instead of taking the engine out I swapped the lift the locked diffs and the bumpers & winch off the 2dr onto the 4dr. I still need to get some 4.24 t-case gears and rocker protection. It's spooled in the rear with a trail tough IFS locker up front. Calmini 3" lift with upper A-arms instead of struts. The green one is still 4wd and is going to the family farm where I'm going to let my nephews have it for a go cart.




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Hadn't seen the last two posts. I don't know what kind of update anyone is looking for. I use the shit out of mine and love it. It pre-ran a whole 41 mile Ultra4/VORRA @ Fallon 250, its in the race trailer ready to go right now for a pit vehicle at the Ultra4 Reno finals in 2 weeks. I have since helped build another one for a friend because he liked mine so much.




I have no regrets of the way I built it. I will buy new UTV tires when these are smoked. Even though they suck to install I consider the EDSES a mandatory upgrade and will never consider running struts ever again. Spool rear and trailtough locker up front are not even noticeable. These pictures it didn't have the winch installed but its on now and this thing just brought home a bull elk out of the middle of no where Wyoming.








 
Bump for a couple pictures. Took this thing on a pretty gnarly little trail about 2 weeks ago with some friends. Even the JK/R'ss on 35's had to pick lines and hit stuff several times. I can fit this thing through most problem spots. Had a good day with no real problems. These pics were screwing around in the parking lot waiting for everyone to show up. It's loaded in the trailer and we are headed to King of the Hammers with it tonight. If you see it around it's being driven by Mike Boyle of MRB photography out taking shots for pic packages.




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That thing is bad ass. You got my brain thinking about more projects I dont need. But fun to money ratio compared to a rzr is awesome. I might have to start searching craigslist for one. It would make one hell of a hunting rig. :grinpimp:
 
Steering them or rolling them? Tracks are like a 30% gear reduction. It shouldn’t struggle to hard to go forward and backward. I think steering them would be the issue
 
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Went snow bashing a little today. Made it up to about 9000 ft because the snow is still dry powder. Worked it’s ass off, never got stuck that I couldn’t work it out of. Good thing cuz we were by ourselves. Went and checked on a friend’s cabin that gets broken into every winter. Currently just over 24” total snow but wasn’t breaking through the bottom of it, rear diff cut a trench in the powder all the way up.
 
I think something like this on tracks would be a nice family snow cruiser

I'd be a little worried a 4door might be pushing the weight capacity of the utv tracks. I can't find an actual rating, but they're ment for something that's probably max 2k lbs.

Think it would have enough jam to turn tracks??

Depends on what your expectations are. It will definitely be slower, but would probably get around fine.

Steering them or rolling them? Tracks are like a 30% gear reduction. It shouldn’t struggle to hard to go forward and backward. I think steering them would be the issue

Its closer to 50% in my experience with a 2020 Honda talon and 87 samurai. Speedo reads almost exactly double of GPS speed. They definitely drag you down power wise, 1.3 is not happy pushing them. Surprisingly they aren't as hard to turn as you'd think, as long as you don't expect to go lock to lock on dry pavement. I'd think your normal power steering would be ok.


I'm surprised you ended up in a 4 door, for me the long wheelbase kinda ruined the sxs-ish-ness. I like the samurai much better in that regard, that and the open top. I do miss the coils and ifs. With my cheap ass suspension "mods" (2" spacers and cheap ass longer shocks) it was one of the best riding things I've ever had on a dirt road.
 
I'm surprised you ended up in a 4 door, for me the long wheelbase kinda ruined the sxs-ish-ness. I like the samurai much better in that regard, that and the open top. I do miss the coils and ifs. With my cheap ass suspension "mods" (2" spacers and cheap ass longer shocks) it was one of the best riding things I've ever had on a dirt road.

It was a happy accident, got it for the 16V swap but it was so clean I couldn’t part it out. Now that I have had both I prefer the 4 door. The 2 door was lighter and turned much tighter. For hauling people around though the 4 door just does everything I need it to do better. The first gen 4 door kick is smaller than a second gen.

During hunting season this year I was leaving my chick up on the mountain during week days that I had to work so I was running up and back every night. I was comfortably making the trip in 20 minutes in the tracker that would take over an hour in the pickup. It does ride great.
 
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Well, I’ve been running Tusk Terrabites on my Yamaha and have never buried it locally to where I couldn’t spin it out.

However, the Tracker has about 500 more pounds on the SXS, so I’m not sure that I can compare the two.

I’ll seriously consider the Carnivores dammnit. :flipoff2: Just window shopping at the moment. :laughing:

For trackers and mud I Kinda decided on ITP’s but I considered Gorilla silverbacks, assasinators, intimidators, or motohavok’s. I’ve been pleased with the ITP’s but it’s a little expensive to just try different ones all the time. The Blackwaters have never let me down in the mud and the mountains. The only time I’ve ever been stuck was in snow.
 
For trackers and mud I Kinda decided on ITP’s but I considered Gorilla silverbacks, assasinators, intimidators, or motohavok’s. I’ve been pleased with the ITP’s but it’s a little expensive to just try different ones all the time. The Blackwaters have never let me down in the mud and the mountains. The only time I’ve ever been stuck was in snow.

I’m building this specifically for snow, but there’s mud, too. Tough to find a good tire for both.
 
I’m building this specifically for snow, but there’s mud, too. Tough to find a good tire for both.

I don’t know what would be best in snow. I tried 32x11.5x15’s aired down on a samurai and those didn’t work well. I wish 14” wheels would fit and I’d like to try 14” wide bighorns or trilobites. They seem to work good in snow on the SXS’s they come on.
 
I don’t know what would be best in snow. I tried 32x11.5x15’s aired down on a samurai and those didn’t work well. I wish 14” wheels would fit and I’d like to try 14” wide bighorns or trilobites. They seem to work good in snow on the SXS’s they come on.

BFG A/T’s are great in the snow, but are worthless in mud. We usually only get 6” or so and might have 10”-12” on the trails at any given time. So we’re not traversing feet of snow.

I’ve got a lot of research to do. Might try to bump up to a 31...
 
I almost went with the black waters also, but someone recommended the carnivores for all around. I've been happy with them in deep powder, rocks, and sticky or slick mud. They dig quick in snow, but if you can keep momentum or crawl they work well. I don't think you'll have any issues with any decent sxs tire and a foot of snow.

For a deep snow sxs tire, I've heard good things about the system 3 xcr350. They look like an AT but are more like a mild MT in person. The compound is SOFT too. My buddy has them in a 35x10-15 on his rzr and they look awesome. I kinda want to tub my sami and run them year round when I'm not running the tracks.
 
Bump. Finally found the end of life for the ITP’s. Just my luck as tires are up in price. 6 years of using them on a vehicle they weren’t meant for. Driving them on pavement at 80 mph for hundreds of miles at a time which they aren’t meant for. No idea how many miles but I’ve had more fun on these than I thought I would. Would have been in use 7 years in December. Weather checking has hit at just about the same time as I ran out of tread so no disappointment there.
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So stupid question. When I bought these I bought 5 of them. Had such stellar service out of the 4 on the ground that the 5th has never held weight. It is also near 7 years old. Be a shame not to use it. I can get 3 brand new ones from RMATV. Would I be an idiot to buy 3 and try to run the brand new old stock one off the back? It doesn’t have any weather checking… YET. Not sure what might happen once I start using it and putting it through heat cycles. I’d have 4 new tires on the rig for $540. Thoughts?

I thought for sure that if I wore these out, by that time there’s probably be way better UTV tires available in 15’s. There definitely is. I’m sponsored by Milestar and have access to the Patagonia SXT which is a kick ass tire on my RZR, they’d be better suited to pavement. I still have to pay for them and this thing doesn’t take the same size as the race car.

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Those other tires you listed look great.

I wouldn’t run that old ITP, personally.

My next set of tires for the Geo will just be General ATx in 265/70R15. I think it’s like 29.5” but a legal street tire.
 
Those other tires you listed look great.

I wouldn’t run that old ITP, personally.

My next set of tires for the Geo will just be General ATx in 265/70R15. I think it’s like 29.5” but a legal street tire.
The Pagonia SXT you like?

I have no interest in running LT tires on a geo anymore. I’m a huge fan of the lighter SXS tires and their kick ass tread compound.
 
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