Modified 1988 Suzuki Samurai with VW TDI Power

First, this is an older TDI engine; so don't assume VW will buy it back!

With that out of the way, we think this is a great swap idea.  Anyone worth his or her weight in compost knows that the often-disrespected Samurai is an amazingly capable off-roader.  Adding torque via a turbo-diesel is, we think, a fantastic idea.  The cosmetic mods to this trucklet can only be judged subjectively, however, and we think it's a bit over the top.


Two Suzukis in two days?  Why not?  Yesterday's X90, of course, couldn't be much different, as it was a RWD version with zero odd-road cred.  This one, however, goes all the way the other direction with an assortment of serious mods.

The seller provides quite a bit of into in the text below, including a lengthy update made after the questions started to roll in.  We like that kind of responsiveness and we like the honesty in the answer that one could drive this across the country, but you likely wouldn't want to due to ride quality.  Further, two videos are provided:

Video 1
Video 2

Cosmetically, well, almost nothing was left untouched; so this isn't exactly a sleeper.  This has Ronin (masterless Samurai...get it?) and other script all over it and it even has a superman grill emblem.  If you want it more subtle and want to continue using it off-road, a rattle can flat black paint job sounds like a great idea!

Click for eBay ad
Gladstone, OR, USA
$3,700 with 29 bids, reserve not met and two days to go


Here it is in all its glory.  Note the lettering in various places.


Door logo seems to be related to seller's business (?).


Rear shows "interesting" tail lights, massive spare and jerry cans.


Here's that Superman emblem.  Also, the fender flares say "Point Man", which to the best of our knowledge, is a religious-based, inspirational book.  BTW, yes, there's a winch in the bumper.


Seats apparently came from a recent Fiat 500.  Door panels seem appropriate for this vehicle.


There is a cargo area, but is there a back seat?  We assume there isn't...


The VW engine looks at home here.  Based on the code provided by the seller, this is a 1990s engine.

Ad text:

1988 Suzuki Samurai fully custom. This vehicle is one of a kind. Here is a list of the options and mods: 

-VW 1.9 Turbo diesel engine
-Acme adapter VW 1.9 to stock manual transmission kit
-Rocky Roads SPOA YJ lift kit w/custom shackles for 7.5 inches of lift
-Over sized radiator with dual electric fans
-Heavy duty stage 3 clutch
-Oil cooler w/electric fan
-Power steering box from Toyota Landcruiser but uses stock vw ps pump
-35" BFG MT tires with 350 miles on them and matching spare wheel and tire
-Aluminum 15 in. wheels 
-4500 lb. Superwinch with remote and inside controls
-Skyjacker steering stabilizer
-Custom bumpers front and back
-Updated carpet
40 Channel Uniden CB w/stainless whip antenna
-Custom fade 2 tone paint job and graphics
-Newer Besttop soft top
-Custom powder coated Point man fender flares
- 3 nostril custom hood scoop
-Custom spare tire and Jerry can rack w/diesel fuel cans
- Point man rock sliders
-Custom superman grill insert
-'12 Fiat 500 front seats w/ aluminum custom seat brackets
-Custom shock towers and heavy duty Deutchtech shocks made for the samurais weight
-Disc brake conversion kit for Low Range Offroad (not installed still in the box)
-5:38 ring and pinion gears front and back ( not installed still in the box)
-Fire extinguisher mounted behind passenger seat
-New Hi lift Jack installed on interior of spare tire rack
The Samurai has approximately 40k on the odometer and the diesel engine was purchased online used and was advertised as having 70k on it. Since its been installed ive driven it less than 500 miles. It has new glow plugs and runs great. I am selling this to fund my next project. Im selling it as is and no warranty is implied. 

Updated text (question response):

Ive gotten a lot of questions on the Samurai and this is my first time selling a vehicle on ebay. Ill try to sum up the questions and give answers here to help anyone else thats considering bidding on it.

How does it handle with those big tires: To be honest, it wants to follow the grooves and pot holes in the road surface and its not a rig that youre going to steer with your knees while eating a burger.

How is the ride: Its a stiff ride and it has its rattles and squeaks. It is nearly 30 years old.

Does it have rust: It has very very minimal rust and is very solid compared to most of the vehicles ive seen its age in this area. The chassis and body were purchased in a very dry part of Idaho.

What is the condition of the interior: The interior carpet and seats are nice and in great shape. The control knobs for temperature are missing and to shift from cold to hot is stiff..(probably needs cables lubed) The heater blower is extremely lethargic and I have another one I bought and will include with the vehicle that will hopefully put out more flow. The dash has no cracks and the glove box door is missing.

Do the lights and turn signals work: They all are new and all work. The back up lights are on a switch on the dash and not on the reverse switch like stock, They are bright.

It does not have A/C and it does not have door locks. It came factory without door locks and was used on a military base in its earlier life from what I gather by the DOD sticker.

Gearing: Its geared tall for trail use but not too bad for highway. It will do 65 down the road no problem. It could be used a daily driver as is. The 5:38 gearing I am including is because I planned on using it more for a toy out in the hills and not so much pavement time.

Can I mount a tow bar to the bumper: You can mount one to the frame where the bumper mounts up but I wouldnt mount directly to the bumper. Both front and back bumpers are made from 12 guage A36 and is a little light for tugging on,

Timing belt and water pump and engine questions: The engine is an AHU/1Z  mechanical fuel pump motor. The timing belt and water pump are probably original. When I bought the motor I got it online and was used and was claimed to have 70k on it.

Would I drive it acrossed the country: I personally wouldnt want to drive it acrossed the country. Its a little bit of a rough ride. Its noisy inside. I dont like the brakes very much. The disc brake conversion will make a big difference im sure. When I drive it i give myself and extra car length or so that I would in my truck. Ive driven it round trip 60 miles back and forth to work several times and taken it up in the woods a bit but Ive never taken it on an all day road trip or for more than a 100 miles stretch. Its doable im sure but I wouldnt want to do it.

Here are  two videos I took of it showing it running and a drive down the road going through the gears. I tried pasting the links here but it didnt meet ebays criteria for some reason. If you go on you tube and type in Ability mfg look for on video named Samurai 03/06/17 and another that is named Samurai drive 03/06/17. Im new to posting videos here. Sorry for the inconvenience.

No comments:

Post a Comment