Wonderful thread, thanks for sharing. Can you tell me why so much love for the 8v ABA motor? I know by discussion how durable the I5's are, but why not a 16v version that was in earlier GTIs?
Always loved Samurais. A 3 cylinder turbo would be really cool in one I would think (like the 1.5 in the Euro FiST or even a 1.0 out of the Focus/Fiesta here)
The inline 5's are not supported by the company that does the VW conversion parts, only 4 cylinder engines produced before the Mk4 era. 16v engines are great and all, but have a quite primitive EFI system, plus there's only one exhaust manifold available for those engines and it doesn't play nice with the longitudinally mounted requirements of the Samurai.
The ABA is also relatively torquey so it fits the samurai driving characteristics well
I determined that the thin plastic paneling (my Plan B) that Lowes sells was going to be too flimsy to be used as a backer board for the headliner, so I had to make the 1/8" hardboard work somehow. I modified the roof support bar by simply drilling a new hole on each side, which will lower the overall position of the bar, allowing the backer board to pass through. I reinstalled the panels and test fitted the modified roof support bar. All is well. Now I need to pull it out again and glue on the headliner fabric....hopefully tonight, but doubtful.
Last edited by Veedubgti; 10-02-2019 at 09:10 AM.
Last night, I messed around with vapor barriers. I removed and cleaned up all the old rope chalking and installed new beads and 2mil "drop cloths" for the new vapor barriers. I got both of these materials from Home Depot for under $10, with PLENTY of leftovers. 2mil seems thin to me, but that "felt" like the existing stuff that Suzuki used from the factory. I could have gone thicker, but the minimum size roll of that was like 500 square feet and a lot more money.
Old rope chalking removed, cleaned, and prepped for new chalking:
This is what I used for rope chalking. Home Depot carries it, but not one of the boys in orange aprons could locate it on the shelf for me. Eventually I found it, in a box on the floor, homeless and no shelf location nearby:
New chalking and vapor barriers installed:
Once those were installed, I removed the headliner backer boards again. This time, to actually glue on the headliner material. I had my wife give me a hand with this, because even though the panels are small, it is a two person job. I've tackled headliners before and have always had good luck with 3M Super Trim Adhesive. A simple procedure, you just spray both surfaces, wait about a minute, then join them together. I did one half of each panel at a time, folding the headliner material over itself as the other portion is being sprayed. I let it dry overnight and will wrap the edges hopefully later on tonight. Once the glue from the wrapping is dry, I'll install it and pray that it fits and doesn't tear going in (that's what she said).
3M Super Trim Adhesive:
Spraying the adhesive using the fold over process:
The first panel all adhered:
Letting them dry overnight:
Last edited by Veedubgti; 10-03-2019 at 08:59 AM.
Headliner is going to look great.
I've got a role of the butyl tape for the same jobs. I've had it at least 10 years, still pliable and sticky.
If those vapor barriers don't hold up for some reason, then I'd suggest you go with some of those heavy duty "contractor clean-out" bags which are pretty thick. Not sure how big those doors are, but you can cut the bag down the side to open them up pretty large.
And nice bike projects in the background.
These are such fun little cars, my Jimny collected windscreen damage unlike any other cars I've even owned so I'm not surprised at your wee bulls-eye given the vehicle similarities. You Sammy looks pretty mint.
Your engine swap will deal with the biggest issue these cars have, all the other personality traits can be overcome/forgiven with power!
It's a pity they aren't widely available but Suzuki's own M18 engine would also have been a great option. The M16, Swift Sport, and M15, Ignis Sport, versions could be fun but more suited to quick road driving than off-road, much like the rotary options
SO MUCH to report from over the weekend!
First off, the headliner panel edges were wrapped and finally installed. I'm happy to report that the material did not tear when I put the panels in the vehicle, as I was sorta worried they would. The headliner, to me, was the worst thing cosmetically this Samurai had going for it when it arrived to me. I'm super happy with the results and feel much better about the vehicle overall now. I do kind of wish I got white headliner material, but it wasn't available. I chose light gray, and it does match the seat material perfectly, so I shouldn't complain.
Headliner being installed:
Now you must deal with 100 detail images of said headliner:
Up next was that back seat bolt, which if you recall, snapped on me when I gutted the interior. The factory bolts were either M8s or an M10s, I can't remember. I'm leaning towards M8s though. Regardless, I drilled out and tapped the broken one to an M12x1.75 hole. The OCD in me wouldn't let the other one remain a different size, so I drilled and tapped that one as well. The threads on both holes came out great and the back seat was reinstalled. I also put a bit of anti-seize on the threads to prevent this from happening again.
Back seat reinstalled:
After the interior was wrapped up, I tackled that non-functional parking brake. The previous owner did the rear drums at some point and told me he could not get the parking brake cables re-attached to the actuating levers. He was kind enough to save all the attachment parts and mail them to me. I can see how he had a hard time getting them hooked back up, as you really had to tug on those levers to get them to reach the cable ends. I used a long screw driver as a longer lever on the lever to get them to move enough to be able to hook them back up. In hindsight, simply loosening the cable length at the parking brake handle would have made this much easier, but I was pressed for time and didn't want to crawl further under the vehicle than I had to on that day.
Unfortunately, I took zero pics of this, but I do have a pic that the seller sent to me prior to shipping out the Samurai:
And last but certainly not least, our first family outing in the Samurai. We took it down to Seacoast Cars and Coffee in Newington, NH on Sunday. The plan was to leave super early. It starts at 8:00am, and if you don't get there around that time, you'll find yourself parking in an overflow lot. I went out to the car at 7:00 to put the Recaro car seats in for my kids. This is a pretty easy job on a car with LATCH anchors, not so much on the Samurai with non-locking, retractable lap belts from 1986.
After literally an hour and a half of struggling, with my wife's help, we finally got them installed to a point where I was comfortable putting my kids in them and feeling safe. That sucked....I never want to do that again, and it really makes me want to look into pulling out the stock lap belts and retrofitting some custom LATCH anchors. We'll see.
Anyways, we stuffed the kids in the back, and we were off......SO LATE for our 40 miles drive to our event! We arrived at Seacoast Cars and Coffee at 10:00am, and it was evident that the majority of the good stuff had already left the premises. The event ends at 11:00, BTW. We parked and ran through as much as we could. Of course, we HAD to look at the "DIY" Monster Truck that someone brought for waaaay too long, but whatever makes the kids happy.
Due to time constraints, I completely forgot to take any pics of the Samurai at the event. But here a couple of pics, to prove it actually was out and about, from the parking garage in Downtown Portsmouth, NH, where we ate lunch. I still haven't had a chance to even wash it yet:
And finally, a couple of pics that my wife took of us enjoying the ride down...
Please excuse my angry face, I had no idea she was taking our picture and I was focused on keeping the Samurai shiny-side up on the highway, while dealing with 30mph crosswinds blowing us all over the place.
The kids being silly in "their" new car. They really enjoyed being able to do what they want in this car, without restrictions, unlike when we travel in my GTI or the Sportwagen.
Last edited by Veedubgti; 10-07-2019 at 09:43 AM.
I'm not sure if you or your kid look more mad!
It's probably a good thing that you didn't get white headliner material. White is just about the hardest color to match, as anything that tints it throws it off. With the gray not only does the color disguise that somewhat (although gray is tricky because warm/cool/neutrals are obvious changes on it, too) but mostly because of the distance between it and the other color grays. With the white the two colors would've been right against each other, making any color shift (and there would have been one) obvious.
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
| 20 Ram | 13 Altima | 00 Tahoe | 94 Integra GS-R | 74 SuperBeetle | 62 Ford Unibody |
when are the hydraulics and 13" daytons going on?
Subscribed. A long time ago I had an '87 soft top Samurai on 31" tires. Good times.....
I leave notes to myself all the time, especially when working on vehicles.
You might want to use a wheel chock until you can get your parking brake fixed.
That has a surprising amount of room in the back for the kiddos. This isn't helping my desire to get one of these...
Seems that there is a solution to the child safety seat anchoring in the Samurai. Universal LATCH Anchors. Installing these brackets would make things SO much easier. I think I've just found my first mod....but maybe not. I'm not sure I trust these. Certainly not if the Samurai was their main source of transportation. For the occasional family outing, perhaps...
Nothing anchors to the chassis of the vehicle. They just rely on the structural integrity of the back seat itself. I think I'm gonna pass and look into other solutions. Sons of bitches
Last edited by Veedubgti; 10-08-2019 at 08:55 AM.
I bought the latch contraption for a ~2011 focus when we lived in Morocco and work gave me a car without. I remember it bolting in, because I also made work pay for the torx socket to pull the seatbelts.
Maybe you could find one that could be cut up and bolted in. I agree that universal one doesn't look great.