redidbull Zuki Guru Posts: 11,010 Joined: Dec 25, 2002 Logged Moderator Geek- Computer and Weather Congratulations for winning the Zuwharrie Owner of the Month-September 2012! How does it feel being honored along with the past winners?Absolutely wonderful… following in the footsteps of some of the Zu’s greatest and most well known celebrities… So tell us about you. Who are you, where do you live, and what do you do for a living?My name is Ariel Donas, best known as Ari since this past April. I was born on the most romantic day of the year (Feb 14, 1983. I am half from Uruguay and half from the US and live in Costa Rica (way down south for most of you) I am a Mechanical Engineer and work as a supervisor in the quality control and assurance department at an industrial metalworking shop.Tell us a bit about your family.Well, since I’m unmarried and childless, I guess I can talk about my mom, dad and older sister… Well, my mom is from the states although born in India and my dad is from Uruguay (hence my halfness, although I have 3 other possibilities as well). My sister is 4 years older, born in Haiti and has always been a great person to learn from. How did you get started in Suzuki’s? I inherited the samurai from my sister when she decided to leave Costa Rica and go finish her studies in Uruguay. Ever since I started learning how to drive in the stock sami I fell in love and slowly but surely started building it up to what it is today. I also later realized that the family had a mint condition LJ that was given/sold to family friends when we moved to Brasil when I was 5 years old. How long did it take you to build your Zuk to what it is today?If my math is right, I’ve been building it up for 5 years now. Why a Suzuki and not another 4x4?Because it was my only car and I didn’t/don’t have the money for more than one. Jeje If I had a choice, basically because I fell in love with the little Zuk. If you could have anybody else’s Zuk, who’s would it be and why?I honestly think I would make a Frankenstein out of a lot of them. The engine from one, paint from another, suspension from another, so on and so forth. But one rig that always caught my eye from when I started surfing the web and is what actually got me into modifying mine is Art Lilley’s Popsicle. (Which I still can’t believe I got to ride in during this year’s Spring Zu!!)What has been your best wheeling adventure?I don’t think I could choose just one, but the one that usually sticks out as the most extreme was a trip a few years ago to the area of El Porvenir in Guanacaste. It was about 14 hours of straight wheeling. In intense weather and lots of hair raising situations! Here are some pics from that trip: http://s252.photobucket.com/albums/hh11/mecariel/Guanacaste%204x4%2024%2025-10-09/#!cpZZ1QQtppZZ24Who are you closest to in the Zuwharrie community?I would say that I have come to know a few fairly well but the ones I talk to the most are John (ecoast) and Bryan (Beekiller) Although I also keep in touch with Bama, Bad Zuk, Suprasin amongst some of the others that I had the pleasure to meet at the Spring Zu 2012. And of course my brother from another mother… the Monge!! Abraham Monge! What other toys/hobbies do you put a lot of time into?Don’t really have any others… not enough money in my pocket for much else. I do love to play soccer and hike/camp. But don’t do it as much as I used to or would like to. But I’m working on getting that back into my life!! What is it about the Zuwharrie.com BBS that brings you back for more?That feeling that you get of family. Like if you’ve known everyone for years and were best mates. Even though in most cases you’ve never met or maybe never even spoken to each other before. What about the Zuwharrie Event would you like to see changed?Well, I’ve only been to one so I don’t know if I can really say much about it. And the fact that it was an absolute adventure to make it up there for the event, it was an all-around blast. Maybe the one thing I didn’t like was not being able to wheel with everyone that went!! Maybe it has to be longer so that everyone can wheel with everyone --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.orgName: Ariel DonasZuwharrie user name: SamurayoNickname: hmmmm... I guess Ari, Machote, Marchena and Costa Rican Crawler (thanks for that one John!)Main Vehicle Specs: Year: 1987Make: SuzukiModel: Samurai JX TintopColor: Used to be dark blue. Since it’s still the original paint it’s looking more like a grayish blue now…Driveline: 1.6L 8v Yota carbed motor (soon to be TBI), Tracker 4x2 tranny, 4.16:1 sami tcase, 4.30 diff gears front and rear with rear spool (probably going to get rid of this because it is NO good for a DD) and open front on 26 spline chromoly axles (hopefully someday it will be locked), custom rear sami disc brake setup, SJ410 driveshaft drum brake e-brake. Modified Nissan Pathfinder driveshafts front and rear, Steering: Stock steering except for a 3” drop pitman arm, high steer kit and calmini stabilizer. Suspension: CJ7/RUF with TT Missing links front and rear, Calmini 5” bolt on SPOA, Spidertrax rear upper shock mounts, custom longer front shock mounts, DT3000 shocks on all 4 corners. Tires/Wheels : 285/75 R16 (33x11) Maxxis Bighorns (basically slicks right now) sitting on 2,25” custom backspaced vitara steel wheels. Armor : Custom Front and rear winch bumpers, custom rocker guards, aftermarket 4x4 gas tank skidplate and Trail Tough mighty Kong tcase cradle. Interior : All stock, except for the driver seat (don’t know what it came from) and a VERY old aftermarket radio (tape deck) Soon to have a modern radio and bucket seats with 4 point harnesses. Exterior : Stickers and the Thailand group buy 4” fender flares (thank you wachtelhund for all that help and effort on that one!)Recovery gear : Warn 8274 oldie out front, Milemarker PE8000 on the rear. Straps and all sorts of other paraphernalia Best Modification: It’s a close battle between the 1.6L engine and the suspension. Worse Modification: Probably the spool because it’s NO good on the rear of a daily driverFuture Mods: ZukiEngines High Compression pistons, Myside II intake, New tires, bucket seats, 4 point harnesses, brighter headlights, air lockers front and rear, and honestly the list goes on and on (I know because I have an excel spreadsheet with this list!!!) Other Clubs: Team ZOF, 4x4extremo Costa RicaComments: I have to give a special thanks to all of those that made my trip to this year’s Spring Zu a reality and to all those that made the trip so memorable. Although everyone put in their grain of sand I must give special thanks to Bryan for all the behind the scenes help with Abe and all sorts of organization, John and Richard for being my hosts and wheeling buddies for the entire trip. Tim and his dad for picking me up at the airport. Patrick for taking me to the Zu. Greg for taking me to the airport after the Zu and letting me take his spot in the Popsicle for the ride up Kodiak Rock. Robert, Jaimes and the rest of the crew for taking my friends around on Saturday! And in general the entire Zu community for just being so great!!!! I really am and will always be eternally grateful to all of you!!!