Monday, February 6, 2012

GEAR - Suzuki Samurai

This might sound like a piece of gear you might not expect from me and normally I would agree with you. But.....

I bought this car for only €1000. It was well used and it showed, too.
The seats were worn, it had welds here and there, but it had this great bullbar with winchcapability, a huge set of extra lights and 2 heavy sidesteps. And it was the only 4x4 I could afford at the moment..
I bought it as a twoseater, but installed a foldable rearseat in the rear, so I could pick up the kids at school etc. if the need arose.
I also exchanged the leather foldable hood for a hardtop, which immediately increased the volume inside, making it feel less cramped and reduced the noice while driving by at least half! Now I could also lock it, which was a good thing, given the neighbourhood and city I lived in...




Advanteges of this little 4x4 were that is was quite strong for such a small vehicle. It's fuelconsumption was a little more than 10 L per 100km. It cruised quite well on the motorway if you kept your speed at around 100 km/hrs. The best things were that it was unstoppable in difficult conditions! We had a serious winter and while everyone else was stuck in the snow and ice, we just got in, turned the key and drove off. Even temperatures of -20 were no problem for it. For us it was however! The only thing that did get warm in the car at those temps. were the dividing wall between engine and interior, the right leg of the driver, left for the passenger. That was it..... The rest remained cold, because the heater could not keep up. The car is uninsulated, being just sheet metal and there were openings all over, both intended and unintended.
Another shortcoming was the lack of loadingspace. I could get in 2 adults, 3 small kids (up to 10 years old) and 2 small bags. With a family of 5 that is quite cramped. Adults in the backseat were not possible, because the rearseat sat almost flat on the floor, so no room for legs.

The first changes I made to it were adding covers for all the extra lights and one for the sparewheel, all made from old German shelterhalves in flecktarncamo. I also made a cover for the rearseat of those, but added 2 complete ones to the frontseats. This way I always had at least 2 shelters or 1 complete tent with me. I used bungees to keep those shelterhalves in place after I folded them around the seats properly.
I also added 3 old Dutch small army backpacks into the 3 segments of the reardoor. They fitted perfectly in there, held in place by straps, wrapped through loops, which I made in the rims of the reardoor. In these packs I had a set of snowchains, startercables, tools, spare bulbs, a hobostove, a set of messtins, an esbitburner, a firemakingkit, some folding mugs, 2 cheap single use ponchos, gloves etc...




I had more plans for it, such as spraying it in RAL 6031 forrestgreen and adding a large moosesilhouette in black on the doors. Some strung wires to brush away branches were to be installed, running from the bullbar to the carroof, a snorkel and long exhaustpipe were planned as well as a luggagerack on top. Offcourse a full set of exteriortools, such as axe, showel, pickaxe and sandchannels were on the wishlist...

Unfortunately I had to let it go.....
Some bodyparts were in very bad shape and had to be replaced, like all the mudguards, the floor in the back, the windscreen, the carburator, clutch.....
Also bringing this car with me to Sweden meant driving 1600km of highway with it and that would have wrecked my back for sure! It also meant a lot more expenses for a car we could not use as a familycar or in serious cold weather... So I sold it in order to finance our upcoming financial lean times...

But if there would be no one to take into consideration.... I'd get on again... right away... because...
Man, this car sure was a lot of fun!!!!

Funny thing, isn't it? That someone who claims to like all things natural could have such an affection for a car...

2 comments:

  1. I love these little sporty vehicles, jeeps, etc. too! I don't know what it is about them. Looks like you had a lot of fun working on this one. Maybe you'll have another one sometime in the future.

    bmatt

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  2. I hope so!
    If I get myself another one, it'll be a metaltop.

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