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Jul 23, 2020
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Melbourne, Australia
Hi everyone,

I was thinking about doing a build thread over on the other forum, but seeing as the activity is all here now, I figured I'd support irate.

Here's Hedgepig AKA piggles, my 1983 SJ410T

I bought Piggles in about 2006 (I think) and over Christmas of 2006 I rebuilt it. I had to put a new floor in the cab, salvaged from a rolled hardtop, front disc brakes and gave it a general tidy up for registration. Thankfully, the axles, rear brakes and F10 motor were in decent enough condition to get it on the road.

Once that was out of the way, I had three days to get it off-road ready for it's first trip, which involved some longer shackles :barf: welded rear diff, 2" body lift (I used to machine these and sell them) the world's noisiest 6.5 transfer case, and some ancient 9/34 swampers.

I don't have many photos of it back then, but it was fun, for sure. Other than the foibles of an old carby motor, the biggest issues was it was narrow, like really narrow, so it was pretty fond of falling over.


This is the earliest photo I have of it, doing what it liked to do, trying to kill me.

After about 9 months or so with the F10A, It was time for an upgrade, to a JDM Jimny F6A, 660cc turbo 3 cylinder. These are interesting motors. They make roughly the same power and torque as a stock 1.3 but obviously need boost to do it, so they're hilarious fun with lots of revs and funny noises. an advantage of this motor is it came with a 5 speed, and a lower 1st gear. F10A 4 speeds have a tall first gear and a tiny clutch and it's not a great combination.

Here's a very early photo of it with the 660 in it. When the 660 went in I added a SWB EFI Tracker fuel tank, which meant I revised the back of the chassis and rear crossmember, adding a pintle hook, and the exhaust moved to in front of the rear wheel. It was a MUCH better car to drive with this motor.

Here's an engine bay shot. Stock, these have an intercooler on the top of the motor about the size of a VHS cassette, and a very restrictive dump pipe. I fixed both of those things using parts scavenged from an old Cappuccino engined Samurai build



On our annual three day hard wheeling trip in 2009, I broke a rear spring, and decided the best way to fix that would be to......
Oh, just realised I'd missed a whole iteration.

With the engine running quite well, It was time to upgrade the running gear, and deal with the track width. I threw in a set of WT axles from a post 1988 Samurai, with 5.12 tracker gears, solid pinion spacer and rear airlocker in the front, and Trail tough double tough front axles (the Gen V(?) versions made by CTM. I also threw in new 6.4 transfer gears, a rear disconnect and twisted T shfter.

Again, not a whole lot of photos of this iteration. here's one.


THEN I broke a spring.

I'd also broken at least one stock rear axle at this point, I also liked the idea of more wheelbase, and wanted to eliminate axle hop, so the rear went coils.

I used Range Rover front radius arms, Range Rover front panhard, OME N76 Shocks, and 2" lift tracker rear springs. this was also when the first Tracker full float rear axle went in, with Samurai front hubs and brakes.



Sorry for the blurry photos, turns out early iPhone cameras were potatoes.

this worked quite well, and it had one important trait I wanted to retain - high rear roll stiffness. At this point the front was still leaf, and I wanted to keep the front working, so the radius arms achieved that by having plenty of bind. This setup produced really surprising traction.

At about the same time, I was having trouble with the water pump on the 660cc motor. More importantly, I couldn't run a tracker viscous hub fan on it, which it needed, so I swapped to electric water pumps and a camry radiator behind the cab. This has turned out to be an excellent modification.


Oh yes and you'll note the cab was braced with an exo thing. I'd had it fall over enough times I was paranoid I was going to knock the cab enough out of shape I couldn't keep glass in it. As we drive on public roads, there's a limit to how rough our cars can get before they attract too much attention.

After having some problems with pinched tubes with the stock 16X4.5" rims, I swapped to some 2WD F150 16X5" rims, flipped, backspaced and beadlocked. these also added useful track width.

So, for a while there between about 2009-2011, the car was fairly reliable, fun to drive, and took me on plenty of trips.

Here's an example of how the completed car looked at that stage.


Happy times.

Then this happened.

Inspired by a car I built with a mate, running 35" Krawlers, A set popped up at the right price and I couldn't say no. Around the same time, a set of Walkers appeared on the second hand market (super rare locally in 5 on 5.5) so I was all set. I never actually intended to put these on this car, I'd intended to build a whole new tray back to run them, but It seemed a shame to have them sitting there. What they did do, though, was pretty much finish off the 660. It was getting pretty tired dragging my tank around, but the amount of load the Krawlers added to the driveline was just way more than the 660 could deliver. Enter....


A rough and rusty Tracker (Vitara) g16B, auto.

It was time to get rid of the 660, front leaves, and get a real gearbox in it.

Meanwhile, I three linked the rear with an upper link off of the A frame mount on the tracker rear third, and did a whole heap of other jobs like build a new rear tray put a new front clip on it, swapped to Bilsteins all round, and build new inner guards. It was a pretty mad thrash from december 0f 2010 to march of 2011 for Adventure Tour, but I made it and car ran awesome.

Rear tray and 3 link was done first


Followed by the G16B and AW-4


Oh I also put the entire wiring loom, instruments and steering column from the Tracker into the Samurai. Early SJ410's have awful looms with no clips on the plugs, glass fuses etc.
I have literally hundreds of photos of this work, and looking back on it now, I'm surprised I had the motivation to do that much in one hit. Oh, SJ410's have narrower tunnels than 1.3 litre cars, so the cut for the AW-4 needed to be a little bit bigger. (This is with a 2" body lift too) :(


Moving onto the front suspension, I used Range Rover radius arms upside down and triangulated, Tracker rear coil towers and more tracker rear springs, and 5150 Bilsteins. Another Range Rover front panhard topped it off.




(This photo was slightly later, and I now see my chronology is out and I didn't do the front inner guards when I did the coils, but same same)

As you can see, clearance with 13.5" tires and stock track width is something of an issue. Everything rubs on everything.
This was on return from it's first trip with front coils - Adventure Tour 2011.


Over the next few years there were a few little changes, but the basic configuration of the car didn't change a heap.

Here's the new front bar and inner guards going on


When I remade the inner guards, I added a rebate to clear a proper centrifugal air filter housing. (This is from a 1980's Toyota van)


I replaced the sills with 3X2" RHS, and later added triangulated upper links to replace the single upper, which meant I could delete the panhard rod. This raised the rear roll centre which made the car much more predictable and stable off road.

I don't have a photo of that work being done, but here's a dirty photo of underneath.


At this point I kind of thought I was done - there was little more I could really achieve. It was just streetable enough, capable, and apart from breaking the odd rear axle, really reliable.

Oh, here's a photo of it from 2012 just because I like it. (it's slightly out of chronology - see the ARB bar) We do have quite good snow down here in Victoria. We don't get good conditions every year, and it's a lot of driving from Melbourne for us to get to it, along with permits etc, but on a good year it's totally worth it.

And here's piggles looking peak tidy for this period of it's build.

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So cue 2017 or something, and I'm playing on a properly close to my home our club runs trips too. It's 44 acres of pretty amazing terrain, but it's hard on the gear.

This sort of thing happens all the time.


I was reversing across a very steep V notch, full lock reverse, and there's a bang, RHF. Hub bolts were tight, so I think it's the free wheeling hub or something more expensive. I get dragged out of the spot I'm in and pull the front end down, and I can't find anything broken. Stupidly I assume the locker is broken, head out for another drive (I have drive to the LHF and the rear is spooled) and then proceed to jam the car up on a bank and break a rear axle. Because I'm dumb.

So I drag the car home, assume the locker is broken and It's time to upgrade the front end, and commence a ridiculous rebuild.

It was an opportunity to try and engineer out the compromises i'd built in over the last 10 years of nibbling away at problems one at a time. In short, the car was too tall for my liking, the rear radius arms were inducing too much rear steer, I had inadequate front compression travel because of the inverted front radius arms, the car was too heavy, it was geared too low, and I was breaking rear axles too easily.

I'll only post a bit of this work on the rear because it all got ripped out again :shaking: but here was mark 1.

Remember, I did all this because I thought I knew the front locker was broken.

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Here was the rear end all reworked version 4 or something. Ride height was lowered. 5150 Bilsteins outside of the chassis. Longer, flatter lower links ( I now have ~0.5" of rear steer at full flex) due tank re mounted, etcetcetc. Ride height was awesome.

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Oh and yes, I made the tray hinge for access to the links/fuel tank etc. Now onto the front.
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Oh, I also lowered the radiator, much less obvious now.

On to the front!

I was pretty committed to building a Tracker rear based front axle, mostly because I figured I needed to buy a new locker anyway, so why not buy a stronger one. But also, I wanted to gear taller than my existing 5.12. They were chosen when I had the 600cc motor/manual and now with the G16 and AW-4, I didn't need to be anywhere near that low. What I ended up with was 4.625 from the Carby auto tracker - these are undesirable for tracker owners because they're too tall, but the fronts are sought after for Samurai owners. End result, Tracker housings and thirds are everywhere. I'd already swapped the rear to 4.625.

Then I pulled my airlocker apart and it was pristine. I go back over all the front end parts and eventually found the inner axle on the short side was sliding inside the CV bell and disengaging from the spline. AAAARGRH!

Anyway, committed to my decision, I sold the locker to a club member and got on with the tracker rear conversion.

Here's the jig I use to build full float tracker rears to suit a Samurai with a clean SJ70 housing installed for measuring. a 30mm diameter centre less ground round bar is a snug fit through the ID of the knuckle, and I have alignment pucks set through an old third that means everything lines up.


and here it is under the car for mock up.


As I think I mentioned, the idea was to remove the inverted radius arms to allow more compression travel and therefore lower the ride height. I didn't want to just flip the arms up the other way, because ground clearance, so I build a three link. I cut the front mount off the radius arms so they're now just a regular link.

Packaging a three link that can put the axle housing on the chassis at full compression isn't easy.

The engine mount had to move forward to get it out of the way.


and there was some fairly intense clearance issues around the sump and chassis.


Then the build took on a different direction or setback, depending on your take. I was starting to mock up possible shock locations, and dropped a 5150. And the reservoir fell off. Then I found out they were no longer available. I'd built the whole rear end around the travel and packaging of the 5150 and putting a 5125 in there wouldn't work because they're longer fully compressed. (floating piston in the reservoir on the 5150) I now didn't have a set of shocks that were suitable and I was up for more fab to sort it. I'd also pulled the rear of the chassis when I'd made a series of cuts into the rails, so the tub was misaligned (car looked like it had slumped in the middle) and I wasn't happy with that, and it was bugging me.

I was browsing the classifieds on offroadracing.com.au, and a set of King 12" travel remote reservoir smoothies popped up for a killer price - barely more than importing a set of 5125's. As I had to rework the rear mounts anyway... what was lost? They're a bit rough around the edges, but so is my car.

So now the job came down to packaging the shocks in the front. I was going to leave the back for later.

Here was idea #1. what was quickly scrapped because there was no way the tire would clear that on lock.


Attempt #2. Spring behind the axle and shock on the axle?



So I mocked up some spring mounts behind the axle and started to work on possible locations for the shocks on the housing. and regardless of where I put things, nothing would work. The shock would either foul the chassis, or the tire, or both.


The I recalled that I think some unimog axle guys came up with mounting their shocks on the knuckle. That has the effect of pulling the shock body away from the tire as it turns though lock. (as the shock is on the opposite side of the kingpin to the tire)



Now I could get on with the top mounts.
Top mounts ended up a packaging nightmare. They don't go through the hood. (yay!) but they did force me to move the thermostat housing to the back of the head, move the idle control and evap solenoids, and make the whole thing removable or I could never get the engine out.



The I had to make new inner guards to clear them, which I wanted anyway, as the old ones were too heavy. These are formed from 1mm (.040") steel.


As I was increasing the amount of compression and overall flex, the firewall needed more work


And I also needed to pinch the nose to get back headlight clearance at full lock/full flex. which is much harder with the SJ410 facia than the 1.3.


Then another thing happened - I ended up with a lightly hot rodded 8274-50. (braced, breathers, brake shaft pinned, 6.5hp motor). my front bar was only ever designed for a low mount, and actually didn't run a winch at all for a long while, but the bulk of the 8274 was going to put it into the crank. so, it was time to rework the front bar.
Awesome build! It is really odd seeing the panhard and drag link going the wrong way :flipoff2:

Interesting idea putting the lower shock mounts on the knuckle. I have never seen that done before and never even considered it :smokin:

Also, that's a lot of speed holes! :eek:
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I had to bring the winch forward 35mm (~1.5") to get it to clear the crank, along with modifying the front bar to suit the pinched nose, and then I whipped up a little in-cab free spool lever, using an old auto trans shift cable.


Drive Engaged:


Free spooling.


There were a bunch of other little jobs like mounting the solenoids and refitting, and modifying the airbox.


and that was the front basically done, at least as a dry fit.
Cheers 84 Bronco. The holes have become a bit of a trademark of the car, but the amount of weight saved is surprising. I have weight parts before and after. Trying to battle weight when everything we add is so much heavier and thicker than factory is a big deal

At this point, it was time to complete the front axle build.

Truing the housing before knuckle installation.


There's a a LOT of clearance to be gained by shaving a tracker rear housing.


Trussing the front - I'm aware tracker rear housings have a thinner wall than Samurai front, and I was keen to prevent bending. You can also see the notch for chassis clearance (well, bumpstop actually, but it's directly under the chassis) and the finalised upper link mount.


Panhard mount and upper link bracket doubled.


And under the car.


I had to give some thought to the rear now. I had to make the rear shocks fit. I wanted them outside the chassis, but had already established there was insufficient room for even 2" shocks between the tire and the rails. I also knew my rear axle housing was bent, most likely though excessive welding without having the housing jigged, but maybe from use a little too. I also really wanted to get the springs outboard too for better stability.
So it was back to the back...


As I'd said, If nothing else, I wasn't happy with the bent rear chassis, so once I figured out I wanted to sort that, then the idea of outboarding the shocks and springs didn't seem such a big deal.

So this sort of idea starting swimming around in my head.


but firstly, I thought I better work out how bent the rear housing was.

quite bent, as it turns out. This probably goes a long way to explain the ease I was breaking axles.

This is with my alignment bar through the diff carrier bearings.


Both sides were pretty much the same.

So the redundant brackets were blasted off


And the housing trued, which went scarily close to stalling out a 4 tonne bottle jack.

Once trued, I knocked up another truss which was welded on with the housing preloaded. It still needed a little tweak once cool, but it's bang on now.



With that done, the housing went back under the car and the chassis was cut back.


and new rails built.


and a new coil crossmember.


This is a hunk of 5"x5" SHS, but it's unfortunately 4mm wall. (stock chassis is 2.5mm wall) hence more holes than normal.
Then it was time to mock up the shocks.


New lower mounts adapter to the old mounts


Taking shape


and done. (I've jumped ahead a bit here)


As you can see, I've had to build a fuel tank. I really, really didn't want to do this because I knew it would be a nightmare. And it was. but I now have a ~35L (9.5 gallon) tank that's flush with the underside of the chassis.

Here's a photo of the tank being worked out and the muffler beside the tank. Yes, it's close. Yes, there's a heat shield between them. Frankly, I was over side exit exhausts. They're always too noisy/smelly.

Here's some more photos of the exhaust.


all up there's something like 35 elements in it. Clearance is around the front 1/2 is very, very tight. I'm using the manifold from a front wheel drive G16 application to get the downpipe around the third link. It's solid mounted to the gearbox and then theres a flex joint and it's solid mounted to the chassis.


With fuel and exhaust sorted, and happy with flex, (checking it here, slightly out of chronology)


I started to think about the tray. to be honest, it was super heavy. I'd made it tilting (for no really good reason) and I'd been able to do that as it had it's own supporting structure under it, which seemed redundant. I also won't be using the car the same way I was when I first build the styleside tray - I can trailer it now so I don't need to carry as much. So, I decided to make a tray as light as possible.

I decided to frame up the structure from 2" angle and clad it with alucobond aluminium composite, which is light and cheap. IT's also available from our local equivalent of Home Depot.

I won't bore you with the bulk of it, but here's how it sits currently.


More work on the rear is slightly stalled out at the moment. I have to fit keeper springs to stop the coils going loose. I can't stand loose coils and I don't want to limit strap the car - it's really balanced as it is. I experimented with some cut up road car coilovers which had 3" long keeper springs but they're not long enough and have a 1" block height so that's messing with everything.


I'll have to modify the coil towers to lower the car little anyway - I slightly miscalculated on ride height, and need to adjust for the height of the keeper spring and it's hardware, so I don't want to complete the tray and then have hassles with access to do this work. Springs and hardware have been ordered from Summit, so the back end will mostly wait until that hardware is in and I can finalise ride height and coil towers. I have plenty to get on with - I need to tear the front down for cleaning, paint and final assembly.

Oh, one more thing that turned out the most controversial part of the build when I posted it on local forums:

I'm running dual front calipers. These are ventilated rotors and larger calipers from a LWB 1.6 litre tracker. Once I went auto, I found the car pretty hard to stop on the trail. SJ410's don't have boosted brakes and I'm fine with that - I like the consistency of no booster and it's a major pain to fit one to this generation of SJ410, but the combination of a larger master cylinder (subaru 15/16") 99:1 1st low, and 35's means it's all over the brakes. I wanted to eliminate this. I spent ages trying to find a suitable bigger rotor/caliper but kept drawing a blank. This setup should mean I have much lower brake effort, and it was cheap and easy to build using all Suzuki parts except for the custom hoses and double banjo bolts.

Here's the modified/spliced brake mounting bracket.


Yes, it's going to be a pain to bleed. :(
Oh, here's a photo with the lines installed.


And some other sundries - you may have picked it up in previous photos, but when I put the Tracker loom and cluster in I modified the (steel) SJ410 dashboard to suit the Tracker binnacle. I almost always think it looks terrible when this is done but I think mine came out OK. ( I know have a Joe's racing wheel in the car which is better suited to mud and wet hands)


and I've fitted Mastercraft 3G seats in place of previous the Recaro's I had in it (and Sparco's before that) they're enormous, completely impractical and were a pain to mount, but I like them.

what is the estimated wieght going to be when its all said and done
I don't know. I intend getting a scale to measure it properly, my experience is that most people think their cars are lighter than they actually are. I'd love it to come in around 2600lb but I suspect it's going to be over that. It does have 100" of wheelbase, an 8274 and 420lb of wheels and tires though. I didn't weigh it before I pulled it down but I estimate the old steel tray alone was well over 200lb. Based on the performance and weight of the 35 10.5 KR2's on a mates car, I've been considering going to 35 10.5 Tensor Class 10 tires which will take a whole bunch of weight out of the car.
OK, time for an update.

I've sort of taken the back as far as I can. The shipment from Summit is further delayed, they're waiting on the sliders, due on the 21st. :(

I primed and painted as much of the chassis and tray I could.


And knocked up a guard for the radiator


Then I could move onto the alucobond sheeting


I initially used nuts and bolts to retain the inner guard panels, then I realised I could tap the frame and then trim the bolts flush. This led to a bit of rework but the end result is pretty neat.

I'll need to get a box of M6X10 button heads, I'm using cap heads that are M6X30 or something.

So as of today, both sides are done.




I hand formed the little bend to make the sides follow the body lines a little bit. Alucobond is so nice to work with.


Here you can see where I've tapped the frame and flushed the bolts down. I can't see a reason these panels would need to be removed often, if at all. I could have riveted them on, but obviously that makes them a real pain to remove and the back side of blind rivets never looks very good.

So, for now, that's the back done. On top of needing my spring parts, I also need more 50mm angle and another sheet of alucobond to finish it off.

I wandered back to the front and spent some time reacquainting myself with what I have to do. I've found a spot for the washer bottle and carbon canister. I've mounted the lightbar, so with a couple of brackets to build and finalised hardware for the inner guards, I can move on to stripping it for paint.

I have to ask. Why so many speed holes? an Why not use dimple dies to add back some strength? I was always under the impression that dimple dies would add back the strength lost from making a hole.. Other then that the build is awesome. really dig it.
Weight. I don't need (more) strength where I've put holes. I have dimple dies and I have dimpled parts where I've used very thin material (1mm) but common profiles are 2, 2.5 or 3.0mm, which is way more meat than I need for this application And profiles aren't easily dimpled, and nor do they need it at the thicknesses I'm using) . By adding holes, I'm typically taking about 35% of the weight out of the material. I'll use the example of the 50mm X 3mm angle I'm framing the bed with - I can't buy it in less than 3.0mm wall. I could have a shop fold some at 2.0mm, or I could speed hole it for pretty much the same weight but at 3.0mm thick, I can tap it for an M6 bolt saving me messing with welded nuts, nutserts, Dzus clips or whatever to attach the skins. I'd love to be able to build everything out of 1.0mm sheet and form complex shapes like the factory to keep weight down, but that's not practical.

It turns out everything we do to a Samurai makes them heavier. The heavier they get the worse they perform. I'm also trying to minimise weight to help with axle strength, because making my car lighter is much easier and cheaper than making the driveline stronger without making it heavier. If they're not to your taste,that's fine. They're there for good reason though. I didn't build my car to be tasteful, only to work for my terrain and making it lighter is a way to achieve that.
It's coming together, I've scored another set of Calmini Tracker rear springs, which are softer than the 5" Jimny (or whatever) springs I have in it, and it mostly just needs a front Airlocker and the tray finished to get it mobile enough to get a good understanding of how much too stiff the shocks are. (they were valved for a Nissan Patrol racecar)



Tme for another update. The tray and airlock install was wrapped up and it's been on it's first trip. Here's the update (This is posted in www.auszookers.com, but you need a login to view it there)

So, post weekend wash up. There will only be limited photos because I was busy driving, if more filter through I’ll get them up here.

It drives very, very well. It’s uncannily stable, which is remarkable because it’s not really much lower than it was before and is no wider so it’s down to geometry and shock/spring placement. I never had the suspension unload at any point. Some of this will be down to shock valving (more on that later)

Predictably, I flexed harder on real terrain than I could make it in the shed, so I have some tyre contact, mostly polishing the paint off the inner guards at the front and on the spring mounts in the rear. The front tyres lightly polish the shock body at some combination of lock/flex. The rear tyres just catch the wheel arch on full flex too, and make the alucobond “pop” again, all down to being able to put more force into the suspension on a track than is possible any other way.

The brakes lived up to expectations. I could easily hold the car in low range with moderate foot pressure- it was much less fatiguing to drive. It stops quickly at speed too. I have a small issue that occasionally the pedal goes soft. There aren’t any leaks and the hoses aren’t being stretched (yes, I used to have this problem at one point. When the hoses stretch at full flex the pedal vanishes. 8O ) it might be some pad knockback, It might be the rearmost front calliper is touching the coil under certain circumstances and that’s compressing the piston slightly.

The body stays very level as the suspension works. This isn’t just down to more flex, there’s a few things going on. Front roll stiffness is low but the shocks are out on the knuckle so they’re very effective in controlling the axle. Because the front is three link, drive torque doesn’t try to straighten out the suspension. If it’s flexed, it stays flexed, even on big angles. I’m used body position largely being driven by the front axle which I call “following the nose” compared to say a RUF car where body position will be dictated by the rear axle. Piggles just averages both axles now so the body stays very level. This was a goal (set by watching Bills Land Rover work) but to feel it work on my car is very pleasing. Also, while I have nowhere near the travel of Bill’s car, all of my travel is sprung. I feel that’s important for a car as light and narrow as a Sierra. Bills car has a huge amount of unsprung travel but it’s very very wide and never achieves much speed.

Problems: despite believing I’d fixed the inner axle problem, it came back to haunt me. Saturday morning I lost drive to the RHF again. I pulled the CV and sure enough it had plunged inside the bell and wasn’t driving on the splines. I had a chat to Bill about it and we drove the cv off the inner axle and had a look. The circlip was 1/2 missing and the axle had been plunging in far enough the bell of the CV had mushroomed the end of the axle over slightly so I had to clean the splines up with a grinder to put the axle back in. Bill then put a couple of dabs of weld on the axle (this is in an area of messed up spline, so it should be inconsequential) and I threw it back in the car and had no further trouble all weekend.

The miss came back and worsened all weekend, despite changing three of the four plug wires. I’ll investigate. It didn’t stop me driving anything but it was super annoying and would occasionally clean up which was a nightmare if I was at full throttle because it was on 2 cylinders and then I’d get full power back. I’ve lined up a coil but I’ll also put new leads in it and see where that takes me.

On Sunday morning the inhibitor switch on the auto failed. It’s been dodgy for as long as the AW-4 has been in it and it’s a known problem with the AW-4. I made a little Hotwire jumper to the starter solenoid and just used that to start it. It meant I had to pop the bonnet to get it running but it wasn’t a big deal.

Playing with Joshyboy26. I guess I win the mall crawling award for posing on a ramp.




Déjà vu- pulling a cv with it sitting on the ramp. This is what started this whole palaver nearly 4 years ago.

Here’s a couple of videos, lets see if they work on here.


She stable.


She balanced.

And I’ll never be as cool as Tim Hardy, but here’s me cleaning up the splines on the end of the inner axle at Bills workshop. I tried a chainsaw file and it was working but I was impatient.


Oh, and the high mount had a work out, I had to pull a pretty big root ball out of the bank and off a track, and recover a Sierra. I can confirm a 6hp high mount has absolutely no idea it’s pulling a Sierra. Boy it’s quick.
Oh, and aside, The property we're driving on in these photos is owned by an old forum user and Land Rover expert (tragic?) Bill. He was Agrover on Pirate and also went by Bill Van Snorkel on various forums back in the day. His Land Rover is outrageously capable and a good standard to measure stability and balance against. The last rebuild on my car was guided by being unable to follow him across deep moguls because my car was following the nose and would tend to unweight on compound angles. Here's Bill's car for reference. Search Defender Orkney and have a look at "Australia's toughest land rovers" to see his car working on his tracks.

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By far, some of the coolest Suzuki fabrication I have EVER seen.

Also, I had no idea Australia got snow. I thought it was like 120 degrees F. all year round, everywhere!
Thanks guys.

So, since December 2020 there's been substantial progress.

So after swapping literally everything else in the entire fuel and ignition system. The misfire I mentioned turned out to be a cracked distributor cap :homer:

I got the car on 2021 adventure tour where it performed very well - I had no breakage other than a holed tyre (a first for me in a Suzuki) and contact between the driveshaft and auto transmission sump, which we temporarily solved with some bumpstop spacing. That's been cured with an SJ80 front driveshaft, which are longer and smaller diameter than a leaf sprung driveshaft.

In the middle of last year I took the car back to Bill's block for a play and....wait for it.... broke another rear axle - this time a longside. So I'd officially had enough of breaking 26 spline axles - it was time to fix this once and for all.

The solution turned out to be fairly easy, if expensive. as I've touched on elsewhere, I had Landcruiser 60 series rear spindles machined to match the spigot diameter of a Samurai spindle, and the hubs turned down and redrilled to 5 on 5.5 so I could retain my wheels and brakes.



I'd already confirmed that a 30 spline toyota axle (just) clears the bearing journal of a Tracker airlocker, so I had the Airlocker side gears broached out to 30 spline



End result - full float 30 spline, tracker centre and disc brakes, 4340 cut-to-length Nitro axles giving me stock Samurai track width. (Oh, and 10mm drive flange bolts)


At the same time, I'd got onto a 35" Roxxzilla order, so I knocked up some stock Samurai wheels to suit. Flipped, offset and beadlocked.


They were welded with a runout gauge on them and the beadlock rings were penetrant tested after welding - they run true and have no leaks at all.


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