Pirate 4x4 banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, haven’t been here in a while but I am planning to resurrect my samurai after many years of it sitting dismantled.

It used to run rover axles, locked rear, lsd front. Sold those long ago.
88 inch wheelbase coil spring using rover arms all round and coils (150lbs if I remember)

Four wheeling was not so advanced here back then, now it is with many importing diy kits at very high cost. range and land rover crowd mostly.

I am on a tight budget (arent we all) but looking to build something good, luckily the cheap parts are actually the good ones!

I did have a Volvo doubler and loved having all the ratios I could want. We tackle boulders, sand, mud, shrubs basically everything. Units need to be versatile and bulletproof. This is Africa. I took it off as it caused vibration starting from 40kph and the fear of losing all drive if the welds let go was too much.

Look up Rhino Charge if I can raise the sponsorship required this is the ultimate target. Lots on youtube too.

To the build.

I have lots of options luckily but the amount of info that’s out there (good) id need way too much time to read it all (bad)

I am looking for advise, key points to note, build threads, used parts etc on how and where to best mount up my possible options with least amount of complications. Please FIRST HAND information only.

My fabrication skills are average and I have access to only basic materials. I do however ensure that my work is straight and strong using what I have.

Axles: unimog vs landcruiser 80
The mogs would cost me the same when compared to a spooled 9.5 rear and auto locked front. The mogs weigh a ton and many have told me to avoid. Would run small 9.00R20 tires to keep light as possible. 7.5 ratio could also avoid need for crawler gear sets.

3 or 4 link plus panhard front and rear using front rover radius arms all round. Short sticks but strong and cheap locally. Rover springs as before. Not looking for mad amounts of travel.

Engine. Funnily a vitara 1600 16v would be only slightly less than a 1uzfe price wise. Its got an alloy block, decent torque and revs out good if required... basically all good statistics. So why not bypass the 1600 and jump straight to it? Mounting would be much more difficult but this would power the mog axles easily?

How do I best mount up this engine? Where do I start from? Ideally the original engine mounts I should think? anybody done this before?
Currently the body is off and id make a tube front clip to reduce clearance issues.

Adapter plate to gearbox if I can get a full size drawings I can get a local gasket manufacturer to build me a stack to the required height. He can cut up to 2mm plate with his equipment only. Bolted up they should be strong enough?
Flywheel does the 3s option really work? Im told not.
In south Africa they use custom fly wheels with Toyota dyna (3t truck) pressure plate, sounds like a good route. Would need the flywheel though.
Do the HOWE bearing work well? In the heat? Or better to stick to levers?

Gearbox: if I took the vitara route id need a kicker 3 equivalent or even kicker 2 I think to double. None are available currently and command a high price. Freight for a whole transfer box would be far more than just adapter plates. So im thinking jump straight to w56 and double it?
How best do I mount up a W56 doubled? Adapt a hilux cross member? Build my own? How high or low into the chassis should it sit? Any detailed build threads with measurements or templates?

Transfer cases. Again same as above. Rockrat used to build something suitable. But no more.

Anyone have full size drawings of adapter plates and some pictures of simple cross members? How high or low would they be mounted?

Prop shafts and flanges are a non issue.

Steering Is a whole other chapter and can be addressed last.

We are right hand drive here.

Ill try dig up pics of the car when it ran.


Oh looking for a 102 inch wheelbase. Will use ls400 engine which is rear sump.

It may be better to thrash out the axle and engine options alone first, then move from there on the final verdict.

Are unimog axles not popular in the states due to price and availability more than anything else?

669 Posts
Mogs aren't as common as other axles, but they are desirable for their ground clearance (portals).

I would do 1uz, w56, dual toys. I am running a w56 and dual toys in my Sidekick and love it. Still have stock 1.6 16v and I could definitely use more power.

As far as mounting it goes, lower it in there and build some mounts. Then bolt the transmission and transfer cases in and mount off either there rear transfer case or off both the transfer cases. Make your own mounts that are stronger than stock.

Get to it and post up some pictures!
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.