Oh Suz-Ana!
with Bill Johnston

While adding more power to the Grey Ghost project, we realized that harnessing that power at the axles was going to be a big chore. The gears had already been updated with a set of 5.12s and a locker, but we wanted to strengthen it from the axle shafts out. Click through for a closer look...Looking into the Trail Tough Suz-Ana series of front axle housings, we found out that they offered both a ‘Big’ and ‘Little’ version. The ‘Big’ version used a Sidekick/Tracker rear differential, larger axle shafts and a Dana 44 style knuckle setup. While very strong, it meant buying more gears, locker, etc. The answer was the ‘Little Suz-Ana’. While it shares the larger axle options and the Dana 44 style knuckles, it retains the use of the Samurai front differential with only a simple side gear swap.

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...As you can see in the pictures, the upgrade from stock 22 spline axle shaft to the larger 26 spline chrome moly shaft is a huge jump. Stock birfield stubs (Suzuki outer shafts) are 26 spline from the factory, and since this will still use the stock locking hub the outer spline count stays at 26. The 297X u-joints are also stronger than the stock birfield joints.
Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...As in any axle change, we made it easy by pulling the stock axle out and positioning it next to the new axle housing so we could move any re-used components straight over. First to get moved over was the differential. You can also see the Hy-Steer system that comes with the Suz-Ana series front axles, another side benefit that not only looks cool but adds beefy functionality.
Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...The axle shaft and knuckle components are new and install with ease. They are held in place with a custom machined aluminum adapter. 
Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...Once the adapter is torqued down, the stock Samurai caliper mount, brake shield, hub assembly can be transferred from the old axle housing. The stock brake rotor, caliper and locking hub finish off the assembly.
Click through for a closer look...Transferring the wheels to the new axle made it easier to move it around in the garage. This axle is two inches  wider than stock, as Trail Tough offers the Suz-Ana series in stock width as well as two and four inches wider than stock. This made our front wheel spacers a thing of the past. 

Click through for a closer look...The axle was ordered with a few options to speed up the installation process. We had Trail Tough weld on new spring perches, shock mounts and a bullet proof pumpkin cap before they painted it. If you go this route, Trail Tough will mount the perches to your specifications. This means that it doesn't matter whether your springs are mounted in the stock location (at stock width) or moved inboard/outboard based on your measurements. If you have a custom spring reversal and need the perches to be at a slightly different angle then just be very clear on how many degrees the perches need to be rotated.

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...Another benefit of the Dana knuckles is the opportunity to add a taller high steer system. The Grey Ghost had been outfitted with Andys Samurai Steering system during an earlier build, but during extreme articulation it would contact the spring pack. The new Hy-Steer system from Trail Tough gave more than enough clearance for this application. 
Click through for a closer look...This gives a whole new look and capability to your front end.
Component Source:

Trail Tough Products
1031 Narregan St
Medford, OR   97501
1-877-SUZUKIS (789-8547)

08/22/22 14:06:53


Disclaimer: The fabrication, modifications and designs you see on this web site are personal experience.  If you duplicate these modifications you do so at your own risk. These articles were written over many years of that hands-on experience. The companies offering these components may no longer have them on the market. Please use these articles to keep the hobby alive.


Suzuki, Samurai, Sidekick, Vitara, Grand Vitara, X-90, and the Suzuki "S" Logo are all registered trademarks of American Suzuki Motor Corporation. Geo, Chevy, and Tracker are all registered trademarks of General Motors Corporation. This site is in no way endorsed by or affiliated with the American Suzuki Motor Corporation or General Motors Corporation.