Engine CompartmentThe engine started fairly stock. Early on, I did an ignition upgrade through some ties I had at Autotronic Controls (you may recognize the product line they are famous for - MSD Ignitions!)  Dual Optimas and MSD Ignition With help of the guys at Autotronics, we put in an MSD 6A ignition box, the 8.8mm wires and the Blaster 2 coil. To use an MSD ignition in the Samurai you have to install a "Tach Adapter" that MSD makes (pn 8910-HEI). Take a look at the installation diagram for a better understanding of how this works.

The MSD equipment has now been removed...  The lack of reliability on the trail and on the highway has forced me back to a stock ignition system. All is well again.

I wanted to take care of the larger stereo power needs and hopefully a winch in the future, so I put in a dual battery system using a pair of Optima Red Top batteries. I used the stock jack mount platform to locate the battery isolator. 

Alt BracketAnother lookI also added a GM alternator to take care of the power needs. The little 55 amp alt from Suzuki just didn't handle the job well after the stereo and extra lights. I first cut and welded the stock alt bracket but then found it too rigid. I installed a bracket made by Steven Mathewson from up in Canada. The bracket flexes enough to stand the abuse the heavier alt can dish out. 
The upper alt bracket (above right) didn't stand up to the abuse...  so we played around on the C&C machines and came up with this massive engineering marvel. Talk about overkill! The 'motor side' portion is .5" thick and bolted into the head.

The threaded adjustment rod is 1" thick and it slides into a chrome-moly cross brace. The 'alt side' portion is based on a solid steel block that slides over the 'ear' on the alt. The bolt sandwiches the ear for a good grip.

After blowing up the stock 1.3ltr engine I went to a well used 1.6...(long story, done in the campground in Moab) then I blew that one up. This time I stuck with the 1.6 but I had the cylinders bored out to '40 over and then I shaved the head 10 thou. Let's see how long this one lasts!

I also added a Doug Thorley header and 2" exhaust. I had the exhaust run as close to the frame as was safe so it would stay out of the way. 

Next I also swapped out the stock 3.73 R&P gears for a set of 4.62 gears out of a Sidekick / Tracker. I also found that if you run the 4.62's with a stock t-case and 32" tires it puts you only about 3mph off when you are up around 75mph. It makes it just a 'hair' lower than stock gearing.

*Update*  The differentials now have 5.125 R&P's, there is a new transfer case outfitted with 6.4:1 gears and I have moved up to 33/12.50 TSL Radials (Swampers). So much for keeping the speedometer somewhere near correct... but it's ooooo-so nice in the rocks with a crawl ratio of about 120:1 {grin}.

Additional Drivetrain Info:

Interesting Tools


ECM Codes

Published Horsepower Ratings

Track/Kick Gears by Year