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Old 02-16-2006, 10:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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4-door Sidekick buildup, cool daily driver

Some of you will recall my solicitation for advice regarding my planned buildup of a 4-door Sidekick or Tracker primarily for use as a daily driver. Well, I finally found a low mileage 95 Sidekick automatic and figured out how I was going to build it. Here is a picture of what I started with.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's another picture showing just how much of a lowrider these things are with stock springs and stock tires. Before installing anything, I took some baseline measurements so I could get an idea of just how much height was to be gained. The top of the arch of the opening of the wheelwells measured 30.0 inches in front and 30.5 inches in back with stock wheels and 215/60R15 tires.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I decided to use ARB's line of Old Man Emu springs, shocks, and struts, but I decided to try something a little different. I used the OME962 springs in front, which is actually designed for the front of the 99+ Grand Vitara. It has the same spring rate as the medium-duty front Sidekick LWB springs, but a 15mm taller ride height. In back, the GV uses a different rear coil, so I chose the medium-duty Sidekick rear springs in back, OME955. Along with these springs, I used the N103S and N32 struts & shocks.

After driving about 100 miles to settle the suspension, I took measurements again and found that the front sat at 33.0 inches and the rear was at 29.75 inches. It sat visibly lower in back than in front, a slight bit of a prerunner look. The attached image shows what it looked like.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Luckily, I had planned for the rear to be sitting low so I then installed a pair of Daystar 3/4 inch coil spacers for a Jeep TJ (part number KJ09107BK) into the rear, which required absolutely no modifications. This brought the rear up to 33.5 inches, giving it the exact same stance as it had when it was stock, except that it was 3 inches taller front and rear. I snapped one photo of it with just one rear coil spacer installed so you can see what a difference that one little spacer made.
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Last edited by RockMolester; 05-09-2006 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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With the coil spacers in back, it was sitting at just the right height, but those stock wheels and tires just had to go. Since this is primarily a daily driver, I didn't want to mess around with a body lift or cutting the fenders or regearing it just to run 31's or 32's, but I sure wasn't going to leave it looking like this.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I then installed a set of BFGoodrich 30x9.5x15 All Terrain tires on a set of Pro Comp's wheels, 15x7 with 3.75 inch backspacing. Measuring again, my wheelwells sit at 34.5 inches in front and 35.0 inches in back.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have absolutely no tire rub and the body is now 4.5 inches higher than when I started. Ride and handling are brilliant, and power on the road is not at all an issue with the 16-valve engine and the 4-speed overdrive automatic. For a daily driver and mild 'wheeler, I couldn't be happier.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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All it needs now is a pair of Air Lockers and a Bull Bar. The Bull Bar is actually already on order, but ARB didn't have any in the U.S. so I'm waiting it to arrive from Australia. I will take measurements again once I get the Bull Bar installed, but that will be a while. I'll be getting one of Aftermarket4x4's front skidplates for it, and perhaps a new gas tank skidplate. Eventually I'll probably get a proper rear bumper for it too, but for the time being, I'm very happy with how it turned out.
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Old 02-17-2006, 09:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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thanks for the specific parts breakdown, i have a sidekick sport that i DD and im sick of it being so short... i now have something to do to it
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That is a cool little DD. I would love to have something like that. Super clean donor.
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I dig the black on black look, that thing is gonna look badass with new bumpers
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Old 02-18-2006, 01:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Toyoland66
I dig the black on black look, that thing is gonna look badass with new bumpers
Thanks, I love its look too. I just installed a matching spare to replace the dinky tire and tire cover, which has made a big improvement in the rear as well. The 30" spare just barely clears the top of the bumper, so again I'm glad I didn't go up to 31's because that would be one more problem I'd have to address. I'll be getting the rear and side windows tinted as well, so it'll look totally stealth. The 'Kick looks a lot bigger in person than in these pics. Out on the road it really stands out from the crowd. I'm anxious to get the bumper and to try to find an appropriate roof rack, since Con-Ferr was absorbed by Off Road Unlimited and their new racks cost an arm, leg, and a left nut; I'm not going to cough up that much dough for a rack.
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Old 02-19-2006, 05:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Hey, as much as people want hardcore tech, this is some awesome info. Thanks for including the part numbers as so many people just say "Look what I did!" and leave you wondering what needs to be done to do the same. The only change I would recommend is to ditch the Bullbar and go with a Shrockworks front winch bumper. they are SWEET!!!!!



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Old 02-19-2006, 10:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NC Zuk
Hey, as much as people want hardcore tech, this is some awesome info. Thanks for including the part numbers as so many people just say "Look what I did!" and leave you wondering what needs to be done to do the same. The only change I would recommend is to ditch the Bullbar and go with a Shrockworks front winch bumper. they are SWEET!!!!!
I agree, Shrock's bumper is sweet. But I still prefer the ARB bumper, not only for looks but also because it will allow me to fit lights in addition to a winch. I've had such good experiences with my previous Bull Bars that I decided to stick with it.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Geoff- That looks pretty sweet. I had no idea you were getting back into Suzuki's. Whats the deal with your 4runner now?
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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How about a side by side with a stocker just so we can see the difference?
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Geoff- That looks pretty sweet. I had no idea you were getting back into Suzuki's. Whats the deal with your 4runner now?
Hi Pat, long time no see! Remember that Honda I was daily driving? I got tired of hitting my head on the sunroof, and it was boring as hell to drive unless I was driving like a maniac, and I don't need to start collecting tickets, so for what I sold it for, I was able to buy the Sidekick AND modify it to what I wanted.

My 4Runner is the same as when you last saw it. Its tires and gears are too expensive for me to wasted sitting in commute traffic, plus the tires stick out so far I'm tired of getting warnings and fix-it tickets from CHP. So I'm just keeping the 4Runner as a weekend toy, but I still drive it to work when I feel like it. The Sidekick gets 12mpg better than the 4Runner though, so it's worth it to do most of my commuting in it.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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How about a side by side with a stocker just so we can see the difference?
Good idea! If I can find a stocker sometime, I'll take a picture to show the difference. As I said, mine's siting 4.5 inches taller than when I started when you combine the lift and the bigger tires.

Another note worth mentioning: With the stock wheels and tires, my camber was +2.4 degrees on each side, pretty bad. Once I put the wider wheels & tires on, the camber went much closer to 0. I haven't realigned it since I haven't gotten the camber bolts I need, but it really doesn't seem to need it anymore, certainly not like it did with the stockers. It's visually at (merely a guesstimate) +1.0 to +1.5 degrees now; barely noticeable.
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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nice sidekick

Here is mine:



OME springs and struts.. Front: OME953(hevy load) + 20mm spacer Rear:OME954 + 20mm spacer 30" tires
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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OME springs and struts.. Front: OME953(hevy load) + 20mm spacer Rear:OME954 + 20mm spacer 30" tires
Hey tåffår, I'm curious with those spacers if you have had a problem with the shocks and struts "topping out" when the wheels droop down when articulating? I'm curious if flipping the strut mount would be a good idea with the taller springs and/or spacers, or if it would cause problems with the CVs?

Has anybody used the OME struts and flipped the upper strut mounts and had any problems with the CVs?
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:58 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Hey...
No probems with the shocks and struts..
Yes, flipping the strut mount would be a good idea, but i haven`t got time to try it... A frien of me have done it, but with stock struts..



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Member no.:113 Suzuki 4x4 Club Norway
[COLOR="Blue"]Zuki SJ413 : ARB bumper w/Tabor 9K | 3/4" Shackle Lift | 31x10.5 Trxus mud | Bikini, Soft & Hard topp[/COLOR]
[COLOR="Red"]Zuki Vitara (Sidekick) : Safari Grill | 30mm OME + 20mm Spacers | 30x9.5 on 7"WS | Safari Snorkel[/COLOR]
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Old 02-25-2006, 02:44 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Hey Geoff,

Looks good. Have you done a full wheel travel test to check for rubbing? The rear tires will most likely hit the inner lip of the wheelwheel when it's at maximum uptravel, but not that you'll ever have that problem while daily driving it.

How about some pics of the CV angles while it's sitting on the ground. I'd be interested to see, considering it's about 3" of lift over stock.

Mike.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:29 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Hey Geoff,

Looks good. Have you done a full wheel travel test to check for rubbing? The rear tires will most likely hit the inner lip of the wheelwheel when it's at maximum uptravel, but not that you'll ever have that problem while daily driving it.

How about some pics of the CV angles while it's sitting on the ground. I'd be interested to see, considering it's about 3" of lift over stock.

Mike.
Hi Mike,

Yes I have now checked for tire rub with full articulation, and there is none. There's no room to spare for any bigger tire than what I have now, but it's set up absolutely perfectly just how it is.

The CV angles are surprisingly good. I forgot to take pics, but I compared it to my friend's 97 2-door Tracker with the Calmini 3" kit, which he had to install spacers with once he added his front bumper and winch to bring it back to approximately it's original height without the weight of the Calmini bumper and Warn XD9000i winch, and my CVs are at less of an angle at normal flat ride height. He's actually using the OME struts without the Calmini strut spacers so his downtravel is no greater than mine, still limited by the extension of the strut, which is a good thing since any more would be too much for the CVs.

Below you'll find some pictures of my suspension at work, along with the new Bull Bar. So far, I couldn't be happier with how it performs! This combination of springs and struts seems to be the best solution for obtaining 3 inches of suspension lift.
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Last edited by RockMolester; 05-09-2006 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:39 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Here you can see that even under full droop, the CV angles aren't unacceptable. Notice also how well the Bull Bar integrates with the IFS skid plate from Aftermarket4x4. My next purchase will be Aftermarket4x4's gas tank skidplate, since I've already punished my stock one pretty significantly, and a set of Shrockworks' rock sliders, since it's pretty clear I'm 4-wheeling this a lot more than I originally intended.

I'm now thinking that I might want to go ahead and get a Warn M6000 winch for the bumper. Speaking of which, I really like how the Bull Bar mounts to the chassis. Just like on my Toyota, it's incredible how much R&D has gone into making sure any loads on the bumper are distributed across the frame and crossmembers. The Bull Bar for this particular vehicle has a big subframe that first mounts to the chassis, to which the bumper then mounts. It is an incredibly strong design that is truly second to none. Studying its design, I found that it really wouldn't be that hard to modify for a body lift, for those of you who might also be interested in one of these bumpers.
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Last edited by RockMolester; 05-10-2006 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:47 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It's amazing what these Sidekicks can do with open diffs and such mild lift and tires! For those of you who are familiar with California's Hollister Hills SVRA, this is Jungle Trail. The other rigs in our convoy (Toyotas on 36's and 37's with welded diffs, Tracker on 32's with dual ARBs, and a Samurai on 33's with dual ARBs) were having to actually put some good effort into keeping up with my Sidekick!
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