Tuffy Security Bolt Lock with Bill Johnston
When I first installed my winch, I was amazed at the section of the instructions that said to weld a piece of 'c' channel over one of the bolts that secured it to the mounting plate. Of course it kept the thieves out there from getting my winch, but it also kept me from removing the winch when I had to. I needed something simple but effective to keep my property safe while leaving it serviceable.
Tuffy Security Products has come through again with a great answer to the problem. In fact their new Security Bolt Lock can make almost any bolt on your vehicle inaccessible to a thief. Starting with 11 gauge steel and adding a double bitted 10 tumbler lock will definitely make a thief think twice if he has to use a grinder or a good torch to get to the bolt. Here we have a Warn winch that 'captures' the nut so you can't remove it from the top. The only way to remove it is from the bottom. Although the winch uses four bolts to mount it, just securing one of the bolts will keep it from being removed. The Security Bolt Locker will accommodate up to a 5/8" bolt, so this means you can use it on almost any other bolt on the vehicle where the other end is inaccessible. If the bolt uses a lock washer, replace it with a standard flat washer and some lock-tite and attach the bottom section of the box. Once the bolt is secured, slide on the cover and lock it up. No welding, no drilling, no mess at all. You can install it in about 3 minutes. If you want to secure more bolts, you can get the Security Bolt Lockers keyed alike so you don't have to carry a huge key ring.
This product definitely gets a thumbs up for quality, ease of installation and universal compatibility. Another Tuffy Security Products success.
We then assembled the axle housing end using the alternative tabs that Spidertrax supplied for attaching it to the Sidewinder housing. This is where you would use the standard brackets shown earlier to attach directly to the stock axle tube. This bar puts quite a bit of stress on the axle tube. I don't think we have to worry about that on this Spidertrax Sidewinder axle housing, but a stock housing should be strengthened with good gussets before jumping on the skinny pedal. The bracket for the stock axle has plenty of meat to grab onto (almost 180 degrees - or half way around the axle tube), but the axle housing itself could twist without additional strengthening. This vehicle is a 92 Samurai, and in the newer models, Suzuki had installed round tie-down brackets on the frame. This would be in the way if we had to make any placement adjustments before welding. Our 'perfect' location was closer forward than the bracket would allow. So a bracket adjustment was needed. Once welded in place, this bracket will still retain all the strength of the original. Here are a few shots of the adjusted side plate and how we secured it to the frame. After all welding and cleanup was done, the area was primed and then sealed using a spray-on undercoating. The ends of the cross member can be capped if you prefer, we just left ours open as the kit was designed. The system is simple in design and allows for quite a bit of articulation. Before the kit was installed, the vehicle would 'lunge' forward in a slow rolling idle as the drive train would turn (wrapping the springs) and then the springs would unload moving the vehicle forward. Then the process started again. The rear of the vehicle would also squat under hard acceleration from a stop. The kit installation resulted in a nice even launch and an end to the 'lunge'. Component Source:
with Bill Johnston
Tuffy Samurai Security Console Installation
I like to be able to park anywhere and be sure that my valuables are safely locked away in the rig. My convertible Samurai has a canvas top and a plastic glove box that a good Buck knife could open in a heartbeat... See a problem?
Tuffy Security Products debuted their Samurai Security Console in Moab earlier this year making us all run for our checkbooks! It was a perfect fit for an installation between the stock seats... oops...
Many of us had already replaced our stock seats with the popular (wider) racing seats that you see in many of the vehicles at IZook and in print magazines. This posed a problem. Tuffy listened to our need and responded with a security console identical in just about every way - except skinnier! This console measures a scant 5.125" across and fits easily between the larger seats. The heavy duty padded armrest, pry-proof door and dual cup holder with choice of two mounting positions are the same as in the original unit.
Although the console has been redesigned with the larger seats in mind it doesn't mean that you are out of luck if you still have comfortable stockers. As you can see on the right, it fits nicely there too!
You can see the mounting holes that allow you to secure this unit to the floor in the picture to the left. You can also see the removable 'storage cup' that can be used for keys, change or just about anything else that you don't want lost in the bottom of the unit. No matter how much we clean out the car, there is always 'important stuff' that ends up getting stashed in the console so you don't lose track of it. Now that wheel lock socket won't get lost in the shuffle! The key lock is shown on the right. This is not your common 'everybody's gas cap key fits it' kind of lock. It is a heavy duty cylindrical lock and it comes with two keys. Store one in a safe place (not inside the unit...) because if you lose the other you will have a nice armrest and nothing more. Remember this is called a Security Console...
The console comes with neoprene weatherproofing strips that will make the unit more water resistant. Following the directions that come with the console will lead you through short, step by step instructions that describe exactly where to put the strips. The photo on the left shows my eight year old daughter helping with the cutting and placement chores. Pardon the clich, but 'even a child can do it'! This also gives the door a solid feel when shutting and locking the unit.
To the left you can see the final seal being applied. You can also see the unique locking mechanism. With the door shut and locked, it makes the lid virtually pry-proof. If a thief really wanted to get into the console, any lock would only serve to slow him down, but this lock would make him revert to using a torch because there is no easy way to get in with a pry bar.
Here you can see the two mounting positions for the dual cup holder. In front it sits right next to the emergency brake, in back the drinks sit side by side across the rear of the unit. You also have the option to purchase a second dual cup holder if you are really thirsty, or have kids in the optional Suzuki backseat.
Here you see the dual cup holders mounted to the front of the console. These cup holders can handle anything from a one liter cola bottle to your favorite 'koozy' filled with your choice of beverage. They are also of a steel construction so they are just as 'tuff' as the console itself.
As you can see by the stock seat belt placement between the racing seats, there is very little room for much of anything. If you rotate the seatbelts forward they will give the needed space for the security console and still be accessible. Many people have completed the race ensemble by adding a set of racing belts that include a shoulder harness. You may notice the slots in the seats where they are designed to come through. Be sure to check your state laws covering such an upgrade though, because it may be illegal in your state to remove the stock belts. Since this is a daily driver and it needs to pass annual safety inspections the stock belts have been retained.
As you can see the fit is very close. If your emergency brake raises above a 45 degree angle it needs to be adjusted to snug up a little sooner. The unit fits up against the raised rear section in the transmission tunnel where it meets the rear cargo area. This gives about 1/4" of space extra space up front for those of you that pull the brake handle a little too hard. The light bristles that hide the handle mechanism didn't stay on very well, but after talking with the folks at Tuffy, it seems that they are looking for alternative adhesives that will fix this problem.
With the stock seats, the position is identical because the emergency brake handle is in the same position in both applications. The difference is that there is more room for the stock seat belts. Also notice that there is very little clearance between the emergency brake handle and the cup holder (if you choose to install it up front). You must be careful not to hit the steel cup holder with your hand. Steel is not very forgiving.
After finding and marking the mounting holes in the bottom of the unit, we used a punch to pass through the carpeting for a more visible mark in the sheet metal below. The separation point for the carpeting is only inches away from the drilling points, so we just lifted the carpet to drill the holes. If you elect to go through the carpet without moving it, cut away the area where the drill could catch in the material. This is a safer method than getting all twisted up in the weave of the carpet.
The two holes to the rear of the box are easy to drill and only require slight pressure on the drill for completion. The two holes toward the front of the box will be passing through the thicker steel plate that crosses from one side of the transmission tunnel to the other to form a stronger mounting point for the seatbelts. This will require a sharp drill bit and some patience. It also gives a more solid mounting point that will withstand lots of abuse.
Also notice (in the photo to the right) that we inserted the bolts from under the vehicle. Tuffy recommends that at least one of the bolts should be installed from underneath because after the nylock (self locking) nuts are installed from inside - it is next to impossible to remove it from underneath. This is where a helper comes in handy to hold one of the wrenches. Be sure not to torque the bolts too tight. The transmission tunnel has two raised ridges for strength and they make a 'less than perfect' platform for mounting a flat console. If the lid does not close quietly and completely, loosen the bolts and try again. This is a fairly new console, so I imagine there will be small design upgrades as time goes on.
Check out the Review next and see if this is what you have been searching for.
Tuffy Security Products 25733 Road H Cortez, Colorado 81321 Toll free order line: (800) 348-8339 Fax: (970) 564-1783 Web Site: http://www.tuffyproducts.com
Samurai Security Console with Bill Johnston
Tuffy Security Products has a reputation for designing and building some of the most well built vehicle security products on the market. The open design of a convertible Samurai just screams out with the need for someplace to store valuables when leaving it unattended.
Now they have a Security Console that fits between both the stock seats and even the contoured racing seats that have grown in popularity. The pry-proof locking lid makes it one tough nut to crack. When locked, the unit can't be removed from the vehicle without a torch or a grinder.
We found that with the installation of the security console, the rear seat (an option on the older Samurai models) is a real tight squeeze to fold up against the rear of the front seats. You will also have to find another way to secure the seat, as you won't be able to get to the stock retaining strap. Most zooks have already shed their rear seats, so this may not be as much of a concern.
The Samurai Security Console offers security for your valuables that is second to none. This is a simple installation with basic hand tools and a drill.
For the complete story please visit the installation article.
Source: Tuffy Security Products 25733 Road H Cortez, Colorado 81321 1 (800) 348-8339
Changing the Fluids
Springtime is here, unless you live in the Midwest where summer and winter have been alternating every other week...
Whether your Zuki is a trailer queen or daily driver, one thing you should consider doing on the first nice weekend of the year is spend a few hours freshening up your truck.
What I recommend is breaking the deal down into two steps. Cleaning and Maintenance. Thinking from the ground up, I would rather lie down on a dry garage floor, and not have cold water dripping on my face as I try to work. Do the maintenance first.
After puttering around all winter, check on your gearbox lubes. Differentials, transfer case, and transmission. Your whole driveline takes a beating during the colder months since the oil (75w90) is so thick, most daily commutes probably won't let the axles warm up all the way, particularly with cold air and slush slamming up against it. If the oil looks anything less than good, I change it. Same goes for the transmission and transfer case. Constant meshing and un-meshing going between 2-high and 4-high, not to mention the normal five gears and the same cold weather. at least check the levels if not change them.
While you're under there, give the oil and filter a changing too. You're already dirty and on the ground and have a few laundry-detergent containers of oil to take care of anyway, what are a few more quarts? Go ahead and splurge on an air and fuel filter while you're at it. With the winter blend of gas and all the salty dust in the air from the road, your system took quite a beating.
Rookie Hint: In the cooler months especially, save your oil bottles. I line mine up on a shelf in the garage on their sides. When the weather gets a little warmer, or when you're bored, rig up a cardboard box on its side with a hole in what is now the top, and one of the oil bottles on what is now the floor of the box. Stick a small funnel in the oil bottle, and every day take the cap off of one of the oil bottles and stick it upside down through the hole in the top of the box so that the oil drips into the funnel. I bet you get a half quart of oil out of all those bottles! I usually switch my bottles every morning before I leave for work until they're all gone.
Check your coolant too. It might be time for a flush. Go to your local parts-o-rama and buy a tester of sorts if you're into playing Mr. Science. I like to change mine once a year since I feel our little systems take quite a beating year-round. I have one of those Tee-Tap flushing setups on my truck and it's not particularly convenient, however I don't see many options. Our coolant hoses are just in crummo places.
Done under the truck? Good. Wave two.
Drag the hose out of the basement and get the water flowing. Go ahead, use some dish soap and a big ol sponge and give your truck a good going-over. Take off the spare tire too and get all those leaves out from under it or your paint will turn brown.
Now that the truck is all pretty, we need to do some preventative cleaning. Put the harsh nozzle onto your hose and start spraying out the inside of the fenders. Get every little nook and cranny - what you're doing here is blasting the salt out of there which will keep our little trucks from rusting for at least a few more years. Get under the rockers too. Spray upwards wherever your heart desires - the more, the better. Anyplace you think you may have to unbolt, don't give it a chance to rust together.
Get under the hood and give the radiator a good blasting through as well - being careful of the wiring and intake of course.
After this part I like to take the top off and let the thing air out for a while. It gets awfully stuffy in there all winter long. Just make sure to put it back on before nightfall or it will be stiff and not want to cooperate.
Enjoy your un-wintered truck!
with Chris Robbins
'95 Accent Buckets
My JX seats were starting to look pretty bad. After hearing, "'Bout time for some new seats, ain't it?" one too many times, I felt that it was time to do something about this. I liked the JX seats, so I checked with a local upholstery shop about recovering them, $300! Ouch! Wet Okole made covers for them, also a bit pricey for my budget. So I started looking for used seats at the junkyards. I needed something narrow, like the Samurai seats. I wanted them gray or black to match the Zook. And most important, they had to be comfy.
My search for seats ended the same day it started. The local salvage yard had a row of seats lined up against the wall in their showroom. In this row of seats was a 'like new' pair of '95 Hyundai Accent buckets. They looked to be about the same size as the Sammy seats and, well, they just looked Cool! These seats were clean and the dark gray cloth would match my Zook really well. One of them had a tag with "$50" written on it. I thought "$50 x 2 = $100, that's not too bad". The guy punched some numbers into the cash register, "That's $54.60". Score! Fifty bucks plus tax for the pair! After studying the new seats and comparing the rails to the Samurai seats, I saw no way of retaining the Suzuki mounting hardware. All the channels on the drivers side would have to go so I could use the Hyundai tracks. Here's what I did: I started by removing the stock seats from the Sammy. Then I proceeded to whack out all the crap on the drivers side. This is not as difficult as it may sound. All you need is a drill bit for drilling spot welds and a die grinder or angle grinder, for the tack welds. Once the stock channels were cut out, it was time to fabricate my own mounts to adapt the Korean seats to the Japanese truck. I placed the Hyundai seats in the Zook and took some measurements, then I was off to the metal shop. I picked up 48" of 2x2" square tubing. I only needed ~40", but they were going to round the price up to the next foot. If I'm going to pay for it, I'm going to get it!
I started by cutting a piece of 2x2", 19.75" long. I laid this across the floor on the drivers side, where the stock channel was spot welded, and marked the spots where I would bolt this to the floor. I drilled two 1/2" holes for the 1/2" x 1" bolts. I welded these bolts to the inside of the tube since I wouldn't be able to reach the head of the bolts once the piece was down in the floor. I drilled two 1/2? holes in the floor and temporarily bolted the new bracket down. I then put the seat back in the Zook and marked the spots where the new seat rails would be fastened. I drilled the holes(1/2? again) and welded the bolts from the inside, like the others. The inside track on the Hyundai seats is ~1? higher than the outside track, so I used a 1-3/4? bolt on the inside and a 3/4? long bolt on the outside. I ran two nuts down on the inside bolt to make up for the uneven rails. I put the seat back in (good thing these aren?t heavy!), marked and drilled the two back holes and bolted the seat right to the floor. I used big fender washers on the top and bottom of the floor where the seat is bolted down. The area where the rear outside hole will need to be is directly under the seat belt attachment point, so the sheetmetal in this area is pretty thick. It?s still a good idea to use washers. The new seats are a Big improvement over the thrashed JX seats. The foam is nice and firm with lots more lower back support. Total invested in seats, steel, and hardware = ~$70.