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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know how much interest there is in this, but who doesn't like a mediocre build thread? With everything in Alberta shut down for the virus, low oil prices and breakup, it's a perfect time to get this rolling (pun intended)

This is going to be a low budget Samurai build. Several years back, my dad bought a parts Sami with no engine for like $150, and just took the hubs...but what kind of soulless monster can let a Samurai just sit and rust into nothing. The bro and I got cleared to build it, and with my dead tracker, we have a drive train to drop in.

Given that we have already started work, I'll list what we planned, and what the plan looks like now.

Original plan was:
- Sami body and frame
- 2.3 that I put in the Tracker when I blew the 2.0
- Auto and transfer case from Tracker
- 4 linked rear end from Tracker
- Spring over front end
- Maybe a 4" wheelbase stretch

Current plan is:
- Sami Body and frame
- 2.3 and auto from Tracker
- Sami TCase and axles
- Spring over both ends (for now)
- Links and wheelbase stretch is not off the table depending on what driveshaft angles look like for the rear. More likely this will be after we get it registered and insured, as we don't really want to need to get it inspected (our insurance company is fairly good for not needing inspections if you play your cards right.)

Unfortunately Sami body is in a shed right now, so no before pics.

We've found a few interesting things that were surprising that no one else had done and should make life easier for anyone who wants to do this swap.

-Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Step 1 - Stripping the Tracker

I had a 2002 that I used for a DD for about a year. It left me stranded twice. The 2.0 ate 2 timing chains in the space of a few months so we dropped a 2.3 in. I made an oops and drove the thing about 30 miles with frozen and then no coolant. Seems that the only damage is the head gasket, so I'll get on that as soon as I have money for parts. If its worse, the wreckers here have more Aerios than Swifts.



Given the times it left me stranded, I greatly enjoyed this. We grabbed the whole drivetrain and wiring harness, minus the A/C, taillights and speaker wiring. Sorting that could take a while...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We measured the Tracker rear axle to make sure it was roughly the same width as the Sami. It was not, 8 inches wider it's too much, so it was time to figure some driveshaft angle issues.

At this point we were still wanting to use the Tracker TCase, so we were looking to see if one of my dad's buddies would be able to shorten the axle for us.

On closer inspection of the TCase, the front driveshaft was way lower than the rear, so more driveshaft angle issues if we wanted to keep that and have at least some clearance.

The solution to all our problems would be a 2wd tailhousing for the 03-72LE transmission, but none of the wreckers around town had one. Back to the drawing board.
 

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We measured the Tracker rear axle to make sure it was roughly the same width as the Sami. It was not, 8 inches wider it's too much
Samurai:
Rear = 52.2" WMS to WMS
Front = 52.5" WMS to WMS
Stock Tracker Rear Axle:
58" WMS-WMS
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Samurai:
Rear = 52.2" WMS to WMS
Front = 52.5" WMS to WMS
Stock Tracker Rear Axle:
58" WMS-WMS
Thanks Danny! Our 8" was a rough measurement, but even at 5.5" I don't know if that would track well, especially for Highway driving.

I don't know, if anyone has experience running a rear end that is that much wider I'm all ears.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Last night I was doing some reading, there was a guy on here with the username 'Nose' I think that made a rear plate with a needle bearing for the 03-72LE and bought the output yoke for it. Kinda looking at going that direction to use the Sami TCase.

Edit: found the thread for his build https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/suzuki/283075-info-sidekick-v6-swap-into-sami.html

So, late last night I had an idea just to see if I could make that output yoke, and in doing so discovered that the stock Sami 5 speed HAS THE SAME OUTPUT SHAFT AS THE 03-72LE FROM THE SIDEKICK.



Both are 23 spline and the short driveshaft slides right on to the Tracker tranny. It just needs a seal and support bearing from what we can tell. Today I reached out to a friend with a backyard machine shop to see if he could make us up something.

Tomorrow we'll start on some motor mounts.
 

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Does it actually NEED the support bearing? I was always under the impression the auto's had a ball bearing on the output shaft just inside the case, and you could just use the bushing from trail tough. I'm probably wrong though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Does it actually NEED the support bearing? I was always under the impression the auto's had a ball bearing on the output shaft just inside the case, and you could just use the bushing from trail tough. I'm probably wrong though.
You'd think it would have a bearing...I was under the same impression. I know the tranny was good, I DD'ed the tracker for almost a year, but there is no way a bearing (even a bad one) should have as much play as there is in that output shaft.

I guess I should look at a diagram and make sure, but I'm the kinda guy that would rather have and not need, than need and not have. If I could find the right seal for the back of the transmission to seal on the Sami driveshaft maybe I could use a driveshaft center bearing, but I THINK this is slightly more correct? This is hopefully gonna be the most difficult part of this build.
 

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You'd think it would have a bearing...I was under the same impression. I know the tranny was good, I DD'ed the tracker for almost a year, but there is no way a bearing (even a bad one) should have as much play as there is in that output shaft.

I guess I should look at a diagram and make sure, but I'm the kinda guy that would rather have and not need, than need and not have. If I could find the right seal for the back of the transmission to seal on the Sami driveshaft maybe I could use a driveshaft center bearing, but I THINK this is slightly more correct? This is hopefully gonna be the most difficult part of this build.
This is what I was referring to. A lot of people use it, so it might work for you. Probably would want to call trailtough to verify for sure. Worth a shot? Unless you just wanna do it your way, in which case I wouldn't blame you.

https://trailtough.com/product/automatic-tail-shaft-adaptor/
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm running one of trail tough's transmission adapter's and it works just fine
You got any pictures of it? Just curious how it lines up. How was the install?
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Motor mounts

Motor mounts and transmission cross-member are in, hope to have the Tcase mounted today. I'm dropping it down a little bit and moving it back, so I'll be making new mounts for it as well.





 

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I would link the front, too. I just took apart a 1999 Vitara and the rear link setup looks totally usable in the front on a solid axle - should be easy to extend the links, too.

Great project. More pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I would link the front, too. I just took apart a 1999 Vitara and the rear link setup looks totally usable in the front on a solid axle - should be easy to extend the links, too.

Great project. More pics!
Pics are coming. I did up some Tcase mounts, and don't like them, gonna cut them off and do a full crossmember soon. It will take me a while to cut them off, 'cause there's a lot of structural slag to get through...

Links are not off the table, but will probably be a stage two thing if we do. For now we're just getting it built and hopefully street legal, with how it works up here, once you get it on the road, they don't get you to inspect it ever again. I don't think there's too much wheeling around here that links would provide an advantage, axle wrap is my big concern.
 
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