with Bill Johnston
We are officially into the buildup of a seemingly stock 88.5 Samurai. When the vehicle was first purchased, it was done with the provision from the finance director (FD) that it would always look stock. A few pieces were added, but they were factory options so it didnt upset FD. The previous owner had installed 31 tires before we picked it up, so they were allowed to stay. We ran this configuration for the last four years with very few problems (the reason FD wanted it to stay stock). But now it has over 160,000 miles on the odometer, and the power isnt what it once was. The hills are rough on the gearing, and trying to keep up with traffic on the interstate is almost impossible with a headwind. FD says it has to stay looking stock (for the most part), and I would like to keep as much Samurai in it as possible. What to do, what to do
How about dropping in a set of 4.57 differential gears from Low Range Off-Road to help overcome the added size and weight of the larger tires. And then we add another 50 HP or so through a total rebuild with hotter parts from John's Foreign Engines to make the interstate a bit more interesting. Also a new aluminum radiator from Petroworks with more capacity and efficiency to keep that motor cool. And a KAM electric locker for the rear axle to keep the the traction even. Somewhere down the line we will also try to hide a cage in there for safety. But it has to look stock (from 20 feet away hehehe).
We got an early start with the KAM locker and the Petroworks aluminum radiator. You can see the installations here at iZook by clicking on the active links on the left. The rest of the progress will be available as we go through the installations. Check back often as we get closer to finishing the project.
Watch it go from stocker to