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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 11/07/11 02:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very impressive - thank for the pictures Parts Jimmy.

Steve.


'07 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab diesel + '91 Shadow Cruiser - Sky Cruiser 1
'92 Suzuki Samurai 4x4 1.6
'09 Fiat Panda 1.2
'10 Citroen DS3 1.6 turbo


explorer0863

Orlando

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Posted: 11/08/11 04:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a great looking Suzuki! Congratulations!!

This brings a lot of memories to me. After joining the Armed Forces, my first purchase was a 1982 Suzuki SJ410. I was hooked at a very early age with 4x4 off-roading and I knew that I wanted a 4x4. If I'm not mistaking, it was a 1 ltr (980cc), 4 cyl engine, 4 speed manual transmission. It was brand new and I remember making some mods, like a lift kit, bigger tires, better/improved front seats (from a Toyota), A/C kit, etc.

After going thru a lot of old photo albums, I found a couple of pictures that I scanned them to share them with you.





A very young Tony having some fun...




Unfortunately, I sold it 7 or 8 years later to fund my wedding and after a few years without a 4x4, I bought this one. This pictures are the result of a couple of years working on it in my garage on a complete restoration. It's a 1969 Land Rover Series IIA, 109", 6 cyl.




After a few years of having fun with it, I sold it on eBay and currently owned this one. 1994 Range Rover Classic, 4.2 ltr V8, LWB.




And this is how I tow her:




Tony


2004 Dodge Ram 3500 DRW Cummins Diesel H.O. Engine, 6 Spd
2004 Lance 1161, Generac 3.5 LPG Generator
1994 Range Rover Classic LWB
Proud vet of Operations Desert Storm, Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom - USAF Security Forces


sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 11/09/11 12:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, thanks for the pictures Tony - you're a man with great taste when it comes to 4x4s! They look excellent.

I'm impressed - flat towing a Range Rover!

It's nice to see the 109" with safari roof and the expedition extras (without looking like they are merely for show) - the top picture could almost be crossing tropical Australia - you've even got the British number plate on the front!.

Steve.

explorer0863

Orlando

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Posted: 11/09/11 10:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sabconsulting wrote:


It's nice to see the 109" with safari roof and the expedition extras (without looking like they are merely for show) - the top picture could almost be crossing tropical Australia - you've even got the British number plate on the front!.


Thanks Steve. The picture was taken at the Merrit Island Wildlife Refuge, just north of the Kennedy Space Center in east-central Florida. It is a beautiful place. I know that the British plate has a specific meaning in the UK, but those I bought online only because I like the European look of it.

BTW, I'm planning to go to Europe next summer, England included. Would love to visit the Solihull Land Rover factory and of course, rent (I believe you guys call it "hire") a Land Rover Defender for the trip. Those are not available at the Land Rover dealers in the US.

I'll save your information. Maybe we can have a cup of coffee or a beer next year. Cheers!

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 11/09/11 12:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

explorer0863 wrote:


Thanks Steve. The picture was taken at the Merrit Island Wildlife Refuge, just north of the Kennedy Space Center in east-central Florida. It is a beautiful place. I know that the British plate has a specific meaning in the UK, but those I bought online only because I like the European look of it.

BTW, I'm planning to go to Europe next summer, England included. Would love to visit the Solihull Land Rover factory and of course, rent (I believe you guys call it "hire") a Land Rover Defender for the trip. Those are not available at the Land Rover dealers in the US.

I'll save your information. Maybe we can have a cup of coffee or a beer next year. Cheers!


Hey Tony - great to hear you are coming over - we must try to meet up and compare toys (pity I sold the 101" - you'd have loved that - this is when I sold it)

We are 30 minutes from Heathrow airport - and just over an hour from Solihull. I did plan to go on a factory tour many years ago, but my car broke down and I missed it - but it looks like they are still doing them. Plus between here and there is the motor museum at Gaydon which is worth a visit.

Send me a private message and let me know when you plan to be over - it would be great to meet.

Cheers,

Steve.

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 02/26/12 10:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Now spring is approaching I decided it was time to think again about my options for towing the Suzuki.

First I decided to have another go with the A-frame. I aligned the truck and Suzuki on the road and attached them together with all the bolts on the A-frame loose.



I then pulled forward a few feet to make sure the A-frame was completely straight before doing all the bolts up:



I dragged Sally out to be co-driver in case something went wrong. This time we drove down the road and around the traffic island without any problems. We then got to the junction of the main road and turned right. When I looked in the mirror for some reason the Suzuki had decided to turn LEFT!

So to avoid blocking the entire road I had to drag the whole thing off onto the grass verge. I didn't have time to engage 4x4, so just used brute force, resulting in some rooster tails of grass and mud:



So no choice but to disconnect again and get Sally to drive the jeep back.

So the A-frame definitely doesn't work. The steering feels like it self-centres (though not strongly), but I reckon that the elongated front spring hangers someone has added have pulled the caster angle back so it is almost zero. So it wouldn't need much for it to jump into negative caster angle and the steering to pull off to one side.

Looking on the Internet I see a company selling replacement springs that are bent to a greater degree than the standard ones in order to give a few inches of lift - so at some point I will replace the silly spring hangers and pretty much flat springs with these more curved ones. Hopefully that will give me the lift without ruining the caster angle so the A-frame will work, plus I won't have these stupid long spring hangers digging into the mud all the time.

The other way of towing the Suzuki is of course that trailer I bought - the one with the missing brake components. I decided to take the wheel off and have a look at the brake to see if I could work out what it was in order to get a replacement. Unfortunately I worked out why the brake drum, shoes, etc. are missing - look at this backing plate:



I reckon the wheel has come off at some stage and it dropped the hub on the road shattering the drum and bending the backing plate.

I also looked at the tyres - they must be off a mini or similar since they are rated to only 400kg! I'm not going to be able to carry the Suzuki on those.

I think the only way forward with this trailer is to source a complete axle and wheels - Maybe a Ford Transit rear axle (non-driven) with leaf springs. These I believe have a cable operated parking brake which could be adapted to work as the overrun brake. Being a non-driven axle it would be easy to cut and re-weld at the appropriate width.

Steve.

recycler

michigan

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Posted: 02/26/12 11:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nice little rig if your put some shims in under the axle to realign it may tow better those shackles do bad things to the settings...may have to change my mind about having a toad one of those with vw diesel engine and full floating rear axle kit and lock out hubs would be handy

NorthernLimits

Michigan

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Posted: 02/26/12 12:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Holy wow. Yea, those shackles are WAY too long.





Reddog1

El Dorado, CA

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Posted: 02/27/12 10:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need only to read Suzuki Forums to know what is and is not acceptable in setting a Samurai up for flat towing. I will argue, if it is setup to drive OK, it will also tow OK.

I personally do not like exceptionally long shackles. Probably more of an aesthetic issue than anything else, although I do think they make the vehicle less stable. A lot of vehicles (modified) use them, so they can't be all bad. I do think they have to be very well built, with frequent attention given to the bushings.

I have flat towed my Samurai for several years and thousands of miles. I have never had a problem of any kind, doing so. It serves as a trailer for extra camping gear, when needed. I have a trailer available to tow the Samurai on, but prefer to flat tow. I drive my Samurai daily, 70 MPH on the highway. The photo in my signature was taken when it was stock. I went spring over about three years ago, with a 6-1/2 inch lift and longer leaf springs. It drives and rides better than stock, at any speed. It flat tows the same.

I have forgotten why Steve does not want to flat tow his Samurai. Guess I will have to go back and review his posts.

Based on the photos of the trailer axle, I really don't think I would use them if I wanted trailer brakes. If they are available in the UK, I would use an axle that has electric brakes. Before I purchased the axle, I would make sure tires and wheels were available to carry a minimum of 3,500 pounds (Samurai & trailer).

Wayne


blog.rv.net - Your daily guide to the Open Road.
96 Dodge (DSL), 2500 (6200#)

1988 Bigfoot (C11.5) TC (1900# w/standard equip. per decal), Stable Lift (w/remote), 130 watts solar, 100 AH AGM, Polar Cub A/C, EU2000i Honda

Toad: 91 Zuke



sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 02/27/12 11:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reddog1 wrote:

You need only to read Suzuki Forums to know what is and is not acceptable in setting a Samurai up for flat towing. I will argue, if it is setup to drive OK, it will also tow OK.


Now you mention it I recall a couple of occasions where with a lot of lock on the steering it didn't want to unwind - so this was probably a symptom of what causes the problem when flat towing, and I bet it is to do with the shackles changing the caster angle.

Reddog1 wrote:

I personally do not like exceptionally long shackles. Probably more of an aesthetic issue than anything else.


From my experienced off road the length of these front shackles is a real problem - they are ruining the approach angle and I have found them ploughing into the mud several times. In fact the front springs have gone flat and the bottom of the shackle is lower than the axle.

Reddog1 wrote:

I have forgotten why Steve does not want to flat tow his Samurai. Guess I will have to go back and review his posts.


I am fairly happy to flat tow the Suzuki, though the law here is slightly vague about it. Anything over about 750kg should have overrun brakes, maybe that is why over here it is often Smart cars you see flat towed. RVers here have recently found problems in Spain where the police are pulling over people flat-towing.

Reddog1 wrote:

Based on the photos of the trailer axle, I really don't think I would use them if I wanted trailer brakes. If they are available in the UK, I would use an axle that has electric brakes. Before I purchased the axle, I would make sure tires and wheels were available to carry a minimum of 3,500 pounds (Samurai & trailer).

Wayne


Thanks for the suggestion Wayne.

Unfortunately over here brakes on trailers of around 750kg+ are mandatory. I would like to get this trailer working though, even if I have a A-frame I can use too.

It occurred to me last night that if I can find a rear axle from a front-wheel-drive leaf-sprung van I can cut and lengthen it easily. Plus I could probably modify the brakes and use the parking brake cables on each as the overrun brakes. Ideally if I can get it with the wheels and tyres still on then the job will be a lot easier, e.g.:

Here is an example of the sort of thing:

Axle on eBay

Though I suspect the Transit Connect being a small van won't have the axle weight / tire weight I need. But a full-size Transit has a rear axle weight of 1475kg to 2150kg depending on model, so that would be a better bet.

Steve.

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