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Old November 5th, 2010, 11:10 PM   #1
WillyO
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Just thought I'd drop a line to introduce myself and my rig. My name is Bill, I live in central Minnesota (near Anoka) and I own a '96 Geo Tracker (1.6L 16v L4, 3sp AT, 4.30:1 ratio) that I'm in the process of making into a DD/ww. I call it FrankenScud because of all the different make parts that will be going into her.

[ed.] That's not me in the avatar.

COMPLETED MODS:
1.5" strut & front spring spacer lift (Low Range Offroad).
2" rear spring spacer lift (Low Range Offroad).
2" upper rear control arm extension block (fab'd).
Front strut upper camber adjustment bolts (Horsepower Freaks).
Body modded to use 2" JK lift kit.
3/16" gas tank skid plate (fab'd).
LT245/75R-16" M&S mounted on '00 Grand Vitara steel wheels.

MODS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY:
Moving electric fan and AC condenser up.
Adding fan kill switch and snorkel for deep water.
1/4" front winch plate (basis for front bumper).
Front bumper (3/16" skin, pull points, 2" receiver - no upper hoop).
Rear bumper (2"x4" - .125 square tube, pull points, 2" receiver).
Body/Undercarriage armor (no exo).

FUTURE MODS:
Swapping in 4sp O.D. AT (Mitsu AW372L using parts from Zuk 03-72LE).
Passenger drop Dana 300 (80's CJ).
Frame extension (4.5" f&r for a total of 9").
SAS and rear axle swap from '85 4Runner w/YJ 4-leaf springs and 1.25" wheel spacers on all four corners.

Waiting on deciding about the driveshafts until after tranny/t-case and axles are tacked in place, but thinking a double cardan (CV) setup.

WISH LIST:
Fully integrated roll cage (1.75" x .125 DOM or 1.5" 4130 chromoly tubing).
4:1 t-case gears w/ double shifters.
1.9L VW TDI.

I'll be posting more pictures of the work I've done so far... and as future mods are finished.

Last edited by WillyO; November 13th, 2010 at 03:18 PM.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 09:35 AM   #2
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cool little truck! Search "95geo" on here, he has built a really nice geo or two (re: buggy like). Actually thats all he's ever built.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #3
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Nice rig. Something outside the norm.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 06:15 AM   #4
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Thanks. The Sidekick/Tracker is a very capable rig in stock form, but I was always getting stuck in the deep ruts made by 'bigger' rigs... and you can forget about crawling over anything too big. IFS can be a real P.I.T.A. offroad. The mods I've made, and are planning, will change all that... I hope.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 03:10 PM   #5
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Default TracKick/Wrangler Body Lift

Ok... go ahead and think I'm a cheap son-of-a-b*tch. But really... how can anyone justify spending STUPID amounts of cash to buy a lift kit just because Suzuki’s way of mounting the TracKick's body to the frame is… well... different? Especially since I had a perfectly good 2” Jeep Wrangler kit sitting on the shelf collecting dust and, to be perfectly honest, I REALLY AM A CHEAP SOB. So here's the writeup for the mod I posted earlier in this thread.

The TracKick has eight main body mounts; one under each headlight plus three more on each side. Additionally, it has two smaller mounts per side that are set in place but are not structural. The two under the headlights are bolts that secure to captured nuts that are permanently mounted to the frame, the remainder are permanent 'studs' attached to the body and are 'nutted' from underneath. All body bolts/studs are prone to snapping off when undoing them, so you should spray them with a rust penetration spray (like PB Blaster) until they are soaked; then do the prep-work while it sets in.

The prep-work can be a long and tedious task; and can easily taking up an entire day. But without doing it, you run the risk of damaging your truck. On the inside of the truck I removed the seats, the center console, the shifters, and the carpeting; clearing everything down to the bare floor. I even removed the rubberized dampening material that somehow always loses its adhesiveness. On the outside, I removing the grill, headlights, and disconnected the fuel filler tube and overflow hose to make sure they didn't get stretched. In the engine compartment. I removed the clips that hold the front brake lines to the struts, lowered the purge canister from its mount, and disconnected the air cleaner tube. And finally, I climbed under the truck to double check every connection between the body and frame (to make sure they had enough slack in them). Overkill? Perhaps. But I'd rather disconnect something myself than have to deal with the aftereffects of it 'ripping' out during the lift.

When I was finally satisfied the body could be lifted safely without damaging anything in the process, I began the work of lifting the body. I removed both bolts from under the headlights and the three body mount nuts on the driver’s side. Even though I soaked them in rust penetration spray, I still had to loosen and tighten them several times until they finally came off. Not a single nut/bolt snapped. I removed the 4 small (1 ½”) rubber “pucks” and the factory body washers. On the passenger side, I did remove the nuts but put them back on loose. I wanted the body to have some slack when I lifted the drivers side off the frame, but I wanted to make sure it didn’t 'pop' off the passenger side mounts.

To make sure I would prevent any warping of the body, I distributed the lift load by placing a 4’ long 1 ½” square tube on my floor jack and lifted it into place, parallel to the frame and next to the two middle body mounts.







Once in place, I jacked the driver’s side of the body up approximately 4” and placed two 8 inch long 4x4 between the body & frame; then lowered the body onto them (I like my hand attached to my arm thank you very much).



Only then did I reached in and remove the 3” rubber “pucks” from between the body and frame mounts.

The Wrangler kit uses ½” bolts to mount the body to the frame, so I bought 8 - ½” x 6" grade 8 hex bolts, lock washers, and nuts. Price around on these. I found the local fleet/farm store selling them bulk for $3.99 lb. (I paid $13.00 for everything) whereas a chain lumber store (Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.) were charging upwards of $3.79 for each bolt, and that didn’t include the washers or nuts. I also bought 10" of ½” i.d. Zink coated steel pipe for use as a new crush sleeve for the rubber body mounts (the OEM sleeves were too narrow and rusted).

You may notice there are two shiny black washers in the following pic. In preparation for the lift, I used some 3" diameter 10 gauge steel punchouts I found at work and made 30 body washers and then powder coated them them (22 black and 8 white). As it turns out I’m only going to use 16 of the black ones. I drilled out the hole in the factory body washers to 1/2", cut the 1/2" pipe to the thickness of the rubber mounts, added two of my homemade body washers per stack (one on either side of the spacer), then ‘shish-ka-bobbed’ everything (including the OEM rubber mounts) on the new bolts.

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Old November 13th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #6
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Welcome
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Old November 13th, 2010, 03:15 PM   #7
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Time to modify the mounting areas.

I cut off the captured nut on the front frame mount and drilled out the hole to ½”.





The other main body mounts required a slightly different approach. I cut the studs off flush with the bottom of the floor supports; center punched them; then drilled up through the old stud into the interior of the truck.





Next I used a 2 ½” hole-saw and drilled down through the floor to open the floor up for the 1 ½” puck. Due to severe rust, I'm planning on replacing the floorpans and will beef up the floor braces to handle the changed stress at that time.





Keeping everything centered, I placed the new mounts on the frame, and inserted a bolt and large body washer through the floor and spacer before lowering the body back onto the frame. I snugged down the nuts, then repeated the process for passenger's side. When done with the passenger side, I torqued all body bolts down to 40 ft lbs.

Here's the final stance before I install the front bumper. By doing this mod, I now have the ability to install ANY Wrangler body lift, should I ever need larger tires.



For those of you wondering, those are Goodyear Wrangler LT245/75R-16 M+S mounted on stock Vitara 16" steel wheels.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capone View Post
Welcome
Thanks. I'll be updating this thread from time to time as I do mods. Should be a fun ride.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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Not much going on with the Tracker this week. I traded my short-shaft D300 for the long-shaft version and picked up a second stock t-case shifter that I plan on using to make the 300 a twin-stick.

The Montero AW372L (4sp MOD tranny) I bought was delivered today.



Why the AW372L? I wanted to retrofit an 4 speed overdrive automatic transmission into my truck, but did not have (nor want) a TCU. I spent hours pouring over posts on several forums, talked with dozens of so-called transmission experts, chased down rumor after rumor; all in vain until I happened upon a post on some small Australian BBS that said the '90 to '5/94 Mitsubish Pajero/Montero 2.6L L4 - 3.0L V6 (4X4) used a mechanically shifted version of the Aisin Warner 03-72LE (Tracker's 4sp OD). I found and bought one for $120.00 (plus the ride). Near as I can tell, the AW372L is the only MOD version of the 03-72LE known to exist that [1] is a non-electronic shift [2] has a lockup TQ, and [3] came in a 4x4. Best of all, it has a torque rating of 375 ft lbs in stock dress and it's gear ratios are: [1] 2.83:1 [2] 1.49:1 [3] 1.00:1 [4] 0.73:1 [R] 2.70:1.

I did some preliminary test fitting between it and the Dana 300 and found that the AW372L uses the same 'new process' bolt pattern and 23 spline output shaft that's found on '80-'86 Jeep Dana 300s.



Its not a direct 'bolt up' however. The tranny output shaft seal has a slightly smaller ID (same size OD) and the adapter housing is 1/4" shallower, necessitating a spacer of some kind be put between it and the 300. After much head-banging and several LONG conversations with David Ostermiller over at Novak Adapters, I ordered the AW4 to Dana 300 clocking ring and a new T-176 output shaft seal.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 04:11 PM   #10
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One more thing...

If you wanted to mount a Dana 300 to the 03-72LE transmission in a Sidekick/Tracker/Vitara, the adapter housing on the Montero's AW372L is a boltup. The only reason the housing didn't seat fully was the governor blocked the 300's input shaft. Since the 03-72LE does not have a govenor, you just need to swap out the adapter and replace the output shaft seal.
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Old December 6th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #11
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Enter The Donor...


Peeling Away The Layers...


The First Cut Is The Deepest...


Not To Worry... More To Come.
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