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Advices on buying a Samurai (what to look out for)


 
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Bosanek
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Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:41    Post subject: Advices on buying a Samurai (what to look out for) Reply with quote

Hello everyone!

I searched this forum for topic(s) regarding best choices on buying a second-hand Samurai, as well as advices on what to look-out for when buying, to avoid getting a problematic car.
But I could not find anything specific, so I started this topic.

Essentially, there are two main questions regarding the purchases of second-hand Samurai:


1.] What are the differences between different model year and possibly different editions of the Samurais?

For example, what is the best engine type, in which model years was it used, which series of the cars (if any) were problematic in some segments, are the Santana models better than genuine Suzukis, and which aspects, etc.


2.] What to look out for when buying a Samurai?

What are the key elements of the car which should be inspected before the purchase (and how to inspect them?), what are the symptoms of problems and how to recognize them, is it possible to connect the car (or certain models only) to computer diagnostics to check for faults (for example, lambda probe issues etc.) and so on.

Regards!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:41    Post subject: Google Ads keep this community free to join!


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zocko
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Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 1438
Location: Southampton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 16:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

first of all the most important thing to watch out for is tinworm...

the less you have the better but the main places to look out for are rear wheel arches, floor pan behind the front seats where it goes up and under the front arches.

the sills are a bit tricky too so if you buy a samurai look down behind the plastic trims that run the length of the outer sills.

as for models, you have 4 choices

410: pretty much the same as the others except it only has a 1.0l engine. much better transfer box though and no handbrake on the wheels, only a transmission brake
413: built by suzuki and comes with either a 1298cc engine or a 1324. the 1324 is the better as its much easier to get parts for (lucas brakes etc)
samurai: this is the 413 built by santana (land rover) in spain and is prone to rust as the steel was a little inferior in quality on the panels. a wider axle too so better for off roading but a slightly higher gear ratio in the diffs than the jap buolt equivalent.

if you can afford it, buy a 410, a 413 and a samurai for the ultimate frankenzook creation.... 413 chassis and body, samurai plastic body kit and front diff and 410 transfer box to bring the handbrake up onto the rtansmission and also to allow the ratios to balance out so the speedo is accurate when you stick some nice 33" tyres on it  Very Happy
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the car in front is a toyota...

the car pulling it out of the mud is a suzuki
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Bosanek
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Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 20:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for that answer.

As I do not intend to use my car for any competitive off-roading or for extensive off roading adventures, I do not have the same requirements as most "specialist of roaders".

I mostly need my car as a standard terrain vehicle for usage in very mountainous areas (driving on a lot of gravel, muddy, snowy and damaged roads).

My Fiat Panda 4x4 is quite OK for that usage, but it has two disadvantages - one is relatively low ground clearance (but still quite higher than regular passanger cars), and the other is that it simply is not "tough" enough for a serious terrain.


I went on to see one Samurai on a sale in a nearby town. The car was made in 1998, has the "updated" front grille and interior dashboard, but also has coil springs on all four wheels! I took it on a test ride and the riding comfort was quite good indeed!

However, I am puzzled by two things:

1.] The updated front grille (the one with the turning indicator lights and the standby headlights) and the updated dashboard (the one with three separate white dials and three small rounded heating ventilation holes on the center) suggest that the car was made by Santana in Spain. However, as far as I know (and as Wikipedia says), Santana's Samurais did not benefit from the updated coil spring suspension which Suzuki introduced in the middle of the 1990s; instead Santana used the leaf spruig suspension until the end of the production in 2003. Is this correct? Or?

2.] Is the "coily" Samurai a better choice for "ordinary" off-roading usage than the standard "leafy" edition? It certainly appears to be more comfortable, but I do not know if it is more durable, and what about replacement parts, or upgrades (differential lockers for example)?
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Bosanek
Newbie


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 21:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realized that this is not a spanish "Santana" model, but a Suzuki SJ80 ("coily") Samurai, a special sort indeed.

As it has coil sprung suspension (similar to Jimny's), a lot of its spare parts are unique to the SJ80 model.

I am now researching if there are spare parts for SJ80 available in Europe. If someone knows where to find SJ80 specific parts in Europe, please let me know.
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