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Old September 30th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #41
kkodet
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With the front inner fenders both lifted up, packaging became a bit of an issue.

The first mod was the stock air box, which as you can see now is fed by a PVC snorkel. The upper rubber tube hit the hood, so I took the lid off and spun it around backwards to fit, and it just barely does. Then I had to expand the vacuum line (no idea what it does) and it all fits nicely now.

The battery proved to be fun. The shortest easily available top and even side post batteries are now about 1/2 inch too tall to fit under the hood. However a standard Optima, which can be mounted in any position, just barely fits sideways which I felt was a perfect option.



The rear brakes buckled up nicely. However 1988.5 and newer Samurais use a strange rear brake line setup in that everything is fed to the drivers side wheel cylinder and then taps out and goes to the passenger side. This wouldn't work with my plans, I needed a T like most conventional vehicles. I found that an early 90's Toyota pickup had the perfect T, metric like I needed, that bolted in. And as an added bonus my parts truck had extended braided lines! The T on the Toyota had a cool little bracket that bolted perfectly to the top of the samurai housing where the parking brake used to bolt up. I was then able to re-use the stock passenger side brake line, and stole the passenger side brake line from the Toyota rear for a perfect bolt up with the proper metric fittings. Using front brake hoses with the brackets cut of a junk Samurai frame I tacked them up. Everything is mounted high and out of the way.

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Old September 30th, 2013, 11:49 AM   #42
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I needed taillights, as the stock rear bumper is now gone. So I drew them on with Red Crayon.






























Actually I plasma cut the rear fenders for oval Semi trailer lights, measuring 1/2 inch in from the edge closest to the tailgate. There is barely enough room for them.




And done

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Old September 30th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #43
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CB mounted up, and I finally found a rig that an ammo can works as a console in!



Using a harbor freight winch plate I cut, ground, and welded it to fit the front, cutting out the stock grille and header panel to push it as far back into the radiator as possible. The covered everything in more bedliner.



All mounted up! I did a great job trimming the stock grille to fit around the winch, then went to install it and realized i trimmed it upside down, durp! So the whole center of the grille got chopped out and i just trimmed the stock plastic mesh to fit. I kinda actually like the look anyways. I also mounted the winch controller under the hood to the radiator core support as you can see in the earlier pic. I think it is a cleaner look and it keeps it from getting damaged.



New bestop top installed, snorkel made, and rear fender flares re-installed for now. This is as far as I got before leaving for Gitchee Gumee but she is ready!


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Old September 30th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #44
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Post Gitchee Gumee Report:

The Samurai worked much better than hoped, although there were some goods and bads.

The rear fender flares lasted all of about two hours of wheeling. They just didn't have enough clearance and the tires ripped them off. The front shackles have to go, which I already knew. They hang down too low and racked a ton of rocks. And this thing NEEDS power steering, as I found in a few tight turns. And with stock T-case gears there is a lot of riding the clutch in rocks. So lower gears are also in the plan.

The really bad news is that the engine that the PO gave me is pretty worn out. It smokes badly and has a slight lower end knock and an upper end tick. It still moves at highway speeds but the oil fumes gas you out if you have the windows up, so another motor is in the near future.

As for the good, keeping it low was the right choice. My last couple of builds were Spring over and very tippy. I ran this thing at all sorts of angles and it stayed firmly planted. I have no plans to go much higher than it is. I still want better articulation, and I did bend a rear main leaf, so I'm thinking a YJ spring under conversion may be perfect.

I did not expect much of a braking difference with the rear disc conversion but was I every surprised! It stops and holds at any angle and is great! It was probably the best thing I did!

Everything else worked great, as it should, and I was very pleased. Usually I leave a trip with a ton of ideas for change, but not this time. I am very happy with this rig.

Here are a few pics of it in action:





One of the final lessons from this build is that Stainless headers transfer heat well. During lunch I hose clamped a can of Chili to the header, and promptly forgot about it for a couple of hours till I hit a small tree on the run, heard a loud pop and saw steam. I thought I punctured the radiator till I smelled the Chili!
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