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Topics - MuddyBuddy

General Tech / Marine alternators for offroad?
I'm looking into upgrading my stock samurai 1.3 alternator with the common GM swap.  While searching for alternator options I came across a bunch of marine alternators that appear to be similar to the normal automotive alternators.  After a little searching on Google, I learned why you can not use an automotive alternator in a marine application.  Nothing found on using a marine alternator in an automotive application.  The marine spec alternators have safety features built in them designed to prevent an explosion on a boat.  If its an added safety feature, it may not be a bad thing on an off-road truck.

Is there any reason not to use a marine alternator in my Samurai?

I'm looking at them hoping that they might have better corrosion protection of the internals, similar to the marine radios and speakers that so many of us use.  I wheel in a lot of mud so my engine bay will definitely get wet.  I'm trying to prevent frying alternators on a regular basis.
How-To / My DIY beadlock install
I installed these a while back and I'm finally getting around to posing the pictures.  Hope it helps someone else down the road.

I bought the kit from DIYBEADLOCKS.COM.  Overall I wasn't very impressed with the company or the quality of the laser cuts.  They will work fine but I probably wouldn't buy from them again.  At the time he was the best price on pirate4x4 but now, there are a bunch of other companies that are selling the same stuff at the same price point.

I went with the Punisher theme on the outer ring.  My plan was to carry this theme throughout my build.  There are obviously countless options for graphics and patterns from mild to wild.  This only added a little to the fun factor.

The entire process took me most of a weekend without the painting.  I could probably knock out a set in less than a day now that I've done it.  I also wanted to try using welded on lock nuts.  I haven't seen anyone else do it but I figured what the heck.  The welded on nuts took a while to finish so going the traditional hex nut route would save a bunch of time.
General Tech / RV tow Vehicle?
I saw this RV for sale through the Cruise America web site.  It's a 23 foot class C, built on a F350 chassis.  5.4L V8.  They have a few, anywhere from 80K to 130K in mileage. I like that it's an F-350 and not the common E-350 chassis.  I'm concerned bout the smaller 5.4L engine though.  I was hoping for a PSD or at least the 6.8L big block.  Hitch is the standard 5000 lbs.

My question is will this do OK pulling my Samurai on an open 16' trailer?  Total weight of the trailer loaded with gear and truck is probably 4500 lbs, give or take.  It's real close to the 5000 lb rating that Cruise America slapped on the RV.  I know that a F-350 DRW pickup with the 5.4L is rated to tow over 11,000lbs, properly equipped.  The RV adds a few thousand pounds, but the math doesn't seem to add up.

For the sake of argument, lets assume that the truck and trailer are in good working order.  All maintenance has been performed.  Truck has a trailer brake controller and the trailer has brakes on both axles.

What are you thoughts?  Would you keep a safe distance if you saw me on the road?

General Chit Chat / 15% off Harbor Freight Coupon
15% off at Harbor Freight.  Valid 11/21/08 - 11/23/08.


I saw this kit from Copperhead Fabrications to use a Harbor Freight air over hydraulic ram to power a manual tube bender.  I have a JD2 that I want to convert but they also have a kit for the ProTools.  Has anyone used something like this?  I have heard that some of the air powered hydro kits are slow compared to electric powered.  I like the price... $78 for the kit and $72 for the ram.  What are your thoughts???

Welding and Fabrication / Welding on your rig
When mig welding on your truck (frame, body, whatever), what should you do to protect the electrical system of the truck?  I've always disconnected the battery, but should I be doing more?  I always have my welding ground connected to whatever I'm welding, and as close as possible.
General Chit Chat / My other ZUK does 200+ mph
Don't know if anyone else on this board is into sport bikes, but here are mine. 

My new (used) one that I bought last month. 2004 GSX-R1000

My old one that I just sold today.  2001 SV-650S

Please don't bother making any comments about how dangerous they are or how we can kill ourselves on them.  There are already enough threads about that.  I say that with respect to everyones opinions, and to keep this thread focused on sharing the fun of the two wheelers (sport, cruiser or dirt).

Post 'em up people.  Anyone else have ZUK pride?
Samurai Tech / Pics of my rear upper shock mount
Thought I would share some pictures of a rear upper shock mount that I built.  Simple, functional, and most important INDESTRUCTABLE!  I had to weld it to the top of the frame rails and move the lower shocks to the front of the axle instead of behind.  I made new lower mounts too.


Samurai Tech / Q's about Toyota Power Steering
1.  Does anyone else make a Toyota P.S. conversion kit for the 1.3L Samurai besides RRO? 
2.  Is there any other kit on the market that will work with the factory A/C? 
3.  Anyone have a template to make your own brackets for the Toyota system?

I'm asking because I'm too cheap to buy off the shelf, I like building things myself, and '78-81 Toyota parts are proving more difficult to find that I was hoping and more expensive too.

General Tech / Ceramic brake pads
About six months ago I installed new Bosch ceramic disk brake pads on my daily driver, 2002 Dodge Dakota.  I also installed brand new rotors at the same time.  I heard good things about the ceramic and they were on sale for not much more than semi-metallic.  Things were going good for the first month, then I started having problems.  They sound like they are grinding the rotor sometimes, squeal like crazy other times and sometimes sound whisper quiet.  The pattern I have noticed is that when they are cool, they sound and feel great.  After they heat up (city driving) they sound and feel like they are grinding the rotors with loud noise and lots of vibration.  When it's humid out, they squeal like they're worn down to the warning tabs.  After periodic inspections, they look fine visually and still have plenty of material left.  I have put on around 6,000 miles in six months and still have this problem. 

From what I've heard about ceramic pads, they are designed specifically to run cooler (like during towing) and aren't supposed to shed as much brake dust (which sometimes causes more noise).

Has anyone had this problem?  Got any suggestions?

Samurai Tech / r & p flange question
I know that the flanges changed around '88 and the newer models have a larger bolt pattern.  I also know that the front r&p in newer models use a 4-pin carrier, instead of the newer 2-pin style.  Is this all that changed in the r&p?

I'm having new gears installed in a pumpkin from pre '88, but I gave the mechanic flanges from my '92 to install.  He tells me that the newer flanges won't fit on the spline of the older pinion.

Do I need to go out and get new flanges from a pre '88, or is there something wrong here?

General Chit Chat / Real Truck Club Challenge
Has anyone else seen the March 2005 issue of Four Wheeler magazine?  They have coverage of their annual Real Truck Club Challenge, held at the Badlands in Indiana.  Blake Savage kicked [censored] in his 1988 Samurai, finishing 3rd overall, out of 20 rigs.  I've had the pleasure of sharing campsights with him a couple of times at Suzuki events and he is a great guy.  His Samurai is pretty well built.  From what I remember, he has a Swift GTI motor, 1/4 elliptic rear, SPOA front, Full floater rear, Sidekick gears, Samurai axles, lowered t-case, power steering, lockers, soft half doors, cage, ARB bumpers, winch, had Swampers but now has Goodyears and probably lots of new goodies.

Congratulations to Blake and his co-pilot.  It's nice to see a Samurai outperform a whole bunch of well built rigs (especially the heeps).  Yet another Samurai turning heads and raising eyebrows in the 4x4 community.

I can scan the article and post it if the Zuwharrie staff doesn't have any problems with it.  It's 12 color pages.

How-To / Differential venting
*Screw driver
*Razor blade

*50' air hose $10
*Hose clamps $5
*Air fittings $10
*1' long, 1/2" ID fuel hose $1
*Silicone $3
*Zip ties
*Bling bling breather fitting $10

The 3/8" air hose should have threaded fittings on both ends.  You will use one end to run to the front diff and one end running to the rear diff.  The threaded ends will meet at a t-fitting under the truck just behind the passenger seat.  The third connection of the t-fitting will run a hose up through the body and follow the stock roll bar to the top of the targa.  I used a $10 breather to cap off the end of the hose.

All the hoses connected.  Rear, Front and Up.

Close up of the t-fitting.

From the t-fitting to the differentials, route the hose high and tight along the frame rails.  You don't want anything getting snagged by the trail or moving drivetrain components.  For the front, I followed the stock brake and fuel lines along the inside of the frame rail.  For the rear, I zip tied the air hose to the underneath of the body, just in front of the gas tank.  When measuring the length of hose and fastening it to the truck, be sure to leave plenty of slack at the axles to allow for suspension drop and compression.

At the differentials, use pliers to pull off the stock breather cap, spring and rubber washer.  Clean the fitting to remove dirt or rust that could fall into the differential.  Cut your 1/2" ID fuel hose to about 4" for each axle.  Using silicone and a hose clamp, press the fuel hose over the stock breather valve and tighten it down.  Using silicone, insert a 3/8" barbed air fitting into the end of your air hose, barbed end first, leaving only the threaded end exposed.  Using more silicone, insert the air hose and barbed fitting into the 1/2" ID fuel hose and fasten it tight with another hose clamp.  The 1/2" inside diameter of the fuel hose is the same as the OD of the air hose and stock diff breather valve.  The barbed air fitting is only used to prevent the hoses from collapsing from the hose clamps.  Do the same for the rear differential.

Assembly of hoses at the differentials.

Lots of slack at the axles.

Front routs through the lower engine compartment.

Rear ties off near the gas tank.

For the snorkel that goes up, use a barbed fitting with silicone to connect it to the t-fitting from the axles.  Route it up through the floor drain hole behind the passenger seat.  Use a rubber grommet here to prevent the body from cutting into the air hose.  Let the hose follow the stock rollbar to the bottom of the targa bar and cap it with a filter. 

Through the body, behind the passenger seat, using a rubber grommet.

Bling bling filter under the targa bar above passenger seat.

Use lots of zip ties to keep things clean and out of harms way, and leave plenty of slack at the axles to prevent overextending the hoses.  I used standard air hose and fittings so I can later tie in my transmission and t-case with ease.  Also, at $10 for 50', 3/8" air hose is much cheaper than fuel hose for $1 per foot.  I've been as deep as 3-1/2 feet with no problems yet, but with a snorkel under the roof, I'll need SCUBA gear before my diff's are in danger.

3-1/2 feet deep, no problems.

Samurai Tech / Will this cause problems?
If I remove the flanges from my front and rear r&p, is it safe to flat tow?  I need to remove them use in a spare set of r&p's that I'm installing new gears in, but will need to flat tow my truck while they are being re-geared.  Will something come apart or be destroyed without the flanges?

I had a whole list of things that I needed to do tonight, but as usual, they will have to wait another day.  I got home from work at 4:45 and wanted to take a QUICK look at whats new on Zuwharrie and just found myself still sitting here more than three hours later pasted to the Zuwharrie BBS.  CRAP [breakputer].  Why can't this be like most of the other 4x4 sights where I can catch up on an entire month of info in just a few minutes.  It blows me away how much information goes through this sight in a day, and how many people worldwide contribute to the sport we all love and the addiction we all share.  [thumbsup] to the Zuwharrie staff and [headbang] to everyone who contributes.

I love this sight  [approve]

BBS Help and Site Suggestions / Spell check
Can you modify the spell check to learn or remember certain words?  Zuwharrie and jpg to name a couple.  I don't know anyone named Harrie and don't want to jog, but thanks for asking (only joking).  I always use spellcheck, but it gets caught up when posting links to pictures from the gallery.

How-To / Overhead CB Mount
I thought I'd post a write-up on building an overhead CB mount.  All I used was a length of 1/4" thick x 4" wide aluminum and two pieces of 2x2x1/4" aluminum angle cut to about 1.5" long. 

I bolted mine to the factory windshield frame supports using one 1/4" bolt on each end.  Clamp the piece in place and drill through the alum bar and round windshield supports at one time with a 1/4" drill bit.  Otherwise it's difficult to drill through a round, thin tube without the drill bit walking on you.

Mock up the placement of the CB radio and mark where to attach the alum angle pieces.  Remove all the pieces and drill and countersink the long alum bar for a 1/4" flat head screw.  Drill and tap the alum angle for the same screw.  You could drill through both pieces and use a nut, but I wanted a cleaner look.  Drill a clearance hole for the screws that mount to the side of the CB.  Mine were 6mm, so a 1/4" clearance hole was perfect. 

Mount the angle pieces to the main alum bar.  Mount the CB to the alum angle pieces.  Mount the whole assembly to the windshield supports and run your wiring.  One thing that was a must for me was to be able to quickly remove the entire CB radio, so all my wiring is plug and go, rather than hard wired.  I mounted the radio as close to the windshield as I could and used a 90º adapter for the antenna wire to help reduce the amount of clearance needed.

One thing to do before mounting is deburr all the mounting pieces completely.  I used an angle grinder with sanding disc's to round off all the edges of the long alum bar.  This prevents it from rubbing through the soft top and it doesn't show through the top as much when looking from the outside.  You can also use a wood router to radius all the edges, I just don't have one.

I also made this nice antenna mount from aluminum to bolt to the factory spare tire mounting holes.  It's also removable with just two screws or just remove the antenna only.

I like the clean and simple aspect of this mount.  It only took about two hours to build and it was free (scrap material from work).  You could do the same setup with steel or even wood.  It was even strong enough to survive a full sideways roll unharmed and even unscratched (can't say that about my windshield and frame).

Samurai Tech / Pitman arm removal
What's the best way to remove the pitman arm?  I cant get the nut to budge.  I have already bent my 16" breaker bar and sheared the 1/2" drive head off trying to turn a 30mm socket.  All I can do it turn the wheels back and forth.  Using any more leverage might break the spline shaft or the steering box.  I don't have access to an impact gun.  Will heating the nut break it loose?  What has worked for everyone else?

Samurai Tech / My first roll... updated with pictures
Over three and a half years building my Samurai, and it was finally ready to go offroading this weekend.  Went with my club to the Badlands for a two day trip.  Everything was going great until the second morning when I was playing in some rocks and flipped my truck upsidedown.  No injuries, just body damage, thank God.  We got the truck tire side down, cleaned up the mess, and it pretty much started right up (love the fuel injection).  Lots of white smoke from the tail pipe which I assume is oil that dripped to the top end and possibly into the cylinders.  No coolant leaks or damage that I can see.  No warning lights on the dash.  As I started to drive away, smoke still pours from the exhaust and lots of hesitation when I press the gas pedal.  It will hesitate for a few seconds then a sudden burst of power.  I drove at a steady speed and around 3000 rpm, and the engine will go then hesitate and drop rpm's then go then drop rpm's and so on all while still smoking.

My question is what is a good start-up procedure after a truck has been upside down.  How long does the smoke usually last before all the oil is burned off?  I ended up towing back to base camp then flat towing home.  I'm thinking the obvious... check oil and coolant levels, probably change oil, new spark plugs, and check for leaks.  Any other suggestions?  I will post pictures when they get developed (35mm).

Anyone have a windshield frame and glass near Chicago?  Also need the support bars above the doors that connect to the targa.
Samurai Tech / Another dead Samurai, please help!!!
I was doing some work under my hood, and I think a wrench may have shorted something out on the battery.  It may have touched the pos terminal, because I heard a fizzing sound and the terminal was smoking.  It also smelled like something started to melt.  Now everything is dead.  No electrical power at all.  Did I blow a fusible link, battery, ecu?  I just read all the threads about fusible links and people with the same symptoms as mine.  I have what looks like two links from my battery.  Is the link the entire wire or just the plastic white connector?  Do I need to replace both links by splicing in new fuse holders, or replace the entire wires?  I've never had to deal with the electrical yet and don't know enough to start blindly yanking wires.