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Discussion Starter #1
A few days ago I bought a 1988 Samurai with a SPO, 29x8.50 TSL's, locker in the rear, otherwise stock. It's fairly clean for this area with just some rust on the bottom of the fenders and a few soft spots on the floorboards. It has some miles on it, 178,000, and the motor is burning oil. Last night I bought a Tracker with a 5 speed and a 8 valve 1.6 for a doner motor.

The plan for this rig is for it to be a driver and occasional wheeler. I have my crawler for hard stuff, my Jetta as a DD, and my truck for 4x4 DD and tow pig. I enjoy driving on easy trails and just sightseeing sometimes, and I always thought sammi's were just cool to begin with. I am going to cut the bottom 2 or 3" of the body off to get rid of the rust, then give it a nice paint job with some tube sliders for protection and to cover in where my cuts were. I want a stock appearance for the most part.

The thing that has been running through my head right now is what to do about the transfer case(s). The two options I am considering is use the tracker motor, adapter plate to my trans, with 6.5 transfer case gears. The other one is tracker drivetrain with a Dana 300 doubler. I have a dana 300 in my garage that needs a home.

The 6.5 gears with my stock axles would cost around $700 after the adapter plate. It would give me a crawl ratio of 87:1 and a high gear ratio of 5.9:1. That puts my crawl ratio right where I want to be, but I worry that 5th gear would be too high. It would, however, be easier and allow me to keep my rear locker.

The dana 300 doubler I found is $600 to use the tracker case. I would still have to buy/make mounts, yokes, and twin stick stuff for the 300. With this option I would use the tracker rear axle and put the tracker center section in my front, giving me 5.12's. I would have to buy a locker for the tracker rear, unless mine can be used. I haven't found anything saying it can or can't. This option would give me a crawl ratio of 86:1 and a high gear of 4.04:1, plus the mid-low range that I didn't do the math on.

Stock, what I have now, is a crawl of 30.8 and a fifth of 4.12. I currently can barely use fifth gear except on the downhills, but I have a worn out 1.3 instead of a fresh 1.6. When the 29's wear out I will probably buy 31's, but they are brand new so it will be a while.

Sorry for the long post, I'm trying to answer questions I can think of before they are asked. I didn't do the math on 5.12 gears and stock t-case gears, I think that would give me to low of a high gear and too high of a crawl ratio. I looked at some builds of a tracker-sammi doubler, that would give me a 55:1 crawl and a 4.12 high. For the same work I'd run my dana 300 I think.

Thanks for the advice. I want to get this right the first time and not regret the route I take.
 

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Between your two options, I like the 'kick/D300 doubler route. 6.5's are a great crawling gear, but for what you are planning to do I think they'd be too slow, and hi range wouldn't have enough gearing for the easy trails and sightseeing.

Down side to ditching the Sammy case is losing the reduction hi range. 5.12's will fix this, but if you ever go up much in tire size, you are out of options. I think low in the kick case, hi in the 300 would be a nice dirt road cruising gear, plus you could do front digs instead of 3 point turns :D

How about a 3rd option, Shogun/Kicker3 with 4.16's in the Sammy case and stock 3.73's? More money, I know, but it's not my money :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Between your two options, I like the 'kick/D300 doubler route. 6.5's are a great crawling gear, but for what you are planning to do I think they'd be too slow, and hi range wouldn't have enough gearing for the easy trails and sightseeing.

Down side to ditching the Sammy case is losing the reduction hi range. 5.12's will fix this, but if you ever go up much in tire size, you are out of options. I think low in the kick case, hi in the 300 would be a nice dirt road cruising gear, plus you could do front digs instead of 3 point turns :D

How about a 3rd option, Shogun/Kicker3 with 4.16's in the Sammy case and stock 3.73's? More money, I know, but it's not my money :D
The Kicker3 with 4.16 would work well, but like you said it would get expensive. I guess I could do the Shogun now for $675 then the 4.16's later on. It's still a $1200 option though.

The dana 300 kit went up, it's $950 now. :(

I wish the 6.5's didn't have as low of a high range, it would be an easy choice for me. My current high range would be about right with a 1.6 I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, finally picked up my doner rig. Meanwhile the Sammi motor finally quit, I was driving down the road and lost all power. Had to use low range just to get up the hills going home. It's blowing raw, unburnt oil out of the exhaust. :confused:

Anyways, here's the tracker in all of her glory. It runs good from what I can tell, the throttle cable is sticking from sitting so long. I stuck it at 4 grand and drove it up on the trailer from there.

I still, however, haven't decided on a transmission/transfer case(s)/axle combo.
 

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Between your two options, I like the 'kick/D300 doubler route. 6.5's are a great crawling gear, but for what you are planning to do I think they'd be too slow, and hi range wouldn't have enough gearing for the easy trails and sightseeing.

Down side to ditching the Sammy case is losing the reduction hi range. 5.12's will fix this, but if you ever go up much in tire size, you are out of options. I think low in the kick case, hi in the 300 would be a nice dirt road cruising gear, plus you could do front digs instead of 3 point turns :D

How about a 3rd option, Shogun/Kicker3 with 4.16's in the Sammy case and stock 3.73's? More money, I know, but it's not my money :D
Yup.
Looks like you've made your decision...
I have the 6.5-1 gears and 35's. With stock R and P, they aren't quite low enough,I'm riding my breaks a lot on lines where I'm searching for traction.(it likes to start hopping around at idle even) With 33's it was better, but still a hair high.
I think if I do another build later on ill go the route you are.
 
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