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ZUKIWORLD Project: Mr. Mutt Frame off Suzuki Samurai build

Project Mr. Mutt 

Building a Samurai with VINTAGE SUZUKI. -Ted Holman

We Join Ted at the point where he had placed the body on the frame and reconnected the steering. At this point, he is attempting to hook everything together and make a running machine to make it to the CALMINI customer appreciation run.

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Never, ever attempt building a rig with the idea of using it on a set date. I had Steve Kramer at CALMINI starting betting pools that I would not be able to make the Rubicon with this new set up. I bought two days! Some how, his egging me forced me back into the garage night after night despite work and family. I was going to do it. I kept a copy of the book, “The little Train that could” on my tool box next to “Dharma Bums” as a reminder of how and why I was building this car.

I finally got to the point of turning the key to start my “creation”. It cranked, and cranked and cranked some more. It didn’t fire. I sniffed the tail pipe and there was no fuel. I looked at the rat’s nest of wires that ran the Fuel Injection and wondered which one I had crossed or lost. Then my ever-observant son notice a wire near the license plate. I hooked it another loose wire near the tank and heard the fuel pump run. It was that dumb. It fired right away and sounded perfect!

vintagesuzuki_samuraibuild_13_enginedone_small.jpg (10877 bytes) engine compartment completed

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backing plate drilled out to accept the SJ410 retainer.

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Next project was to install the “Hawk” rear axle retaining plate kit. This required boring out my backing plates in order that the axle assembly could past through it. Now if I snapped an axle on the trail, the brake lines can be left on along with the emergency brake cable. COOL!
I looked at the calendar.

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adding the driver’s seat and roll bar

Two more days till we left for Tahoe. It turned into a non-stop event. I managed to hang the doors and get them to close after a fashion. I drove the rig for the first time down the hill and managed to hit third gear before having to stop and turn around. I came back to the shop, turned it around and loaded it on to the trailer for the drive to South Shore.

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I am the most hopeful person you have ever met, but with this betting pool going in Bakersfield, all I really cared about was turning up! The whole thing went without a hitch. You can see the rig in action on the ’99 Rubicon Trail report Eric Bewley and I did. The only problems I had were slight over-heating due to a bad water pump and blowing the power-steering pump seal half way to the “Springs”.


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