The side piece - "cheap" Samurai beater

No fries

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Location
Fort Mill
1 or 2 ponies!! :eek:o_O that like a 15% increase make sure you have a Hans device for all that extra HP. Maybe you should add more stickers too that always helps the skinny pedal.
Hope yo see you out there, we should have the XJ. We decided on camping Friday and Sat night.
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
1 or 2 ponies!! :eek:o_O that like a 15% increase make sure you have a Hans device for all that extra HP. Maybe you should add more stickers too that always helps the skinny pedal.
Hope yo see you out there, we should have the XJ. We decided on camping Friday and Sat night.
I did throw some stickers on the tailgate, so it's essentially like I've added a supercharger - probably should install the race seats and harnesses before I unleash this monster!
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
Wet day at Uwharrie a little while back. Open diffs and mud = new dents. It was a point it, floor it, and hope for the best type day.



It was a lot of fun but I am really looking forward to power steering at some point. It's a handful in the rocky stuff.

I did finally finish up the knuckle seals and wheel bearings and get the front axle with RCVs and spartan installed.

PXL_20211017_190920317.jpg

Luckily I got driveshafts with the spare axles I picked up. Axle side early/small flange end slid right over the short side large flange on the case side.

PXL_20211017_190924663.jpg

Just need to pick up gear oil and front will be buttoned up.
 

DirkaDirka875

Ima need 'bout tree fitty...
Joined
May 16, 2010
Location
Bear Creek, NC
Fun fact...if you ever swap to toyota axles the large flanges on the tcase are the same bolt pattern as big bolt toyota driveshafts. Only thing you have to do is open the lip in the middle that helps center the driveshaft up to around 46mm.
 

skyhighZJ

Thanks for your taxes
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Aberdeen, NC.
I’ve been doing the homework for my first gen Toyota p/u but I’m seriously considering ditching my PS setup and going with the electric power steering. @Mulishajoe showed it to me on his Sami and it was AMAZING. There are hundreds of YouTube videos and pets are super cheap. Also, no power loss running the ps pump.
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
I’ve been doing the homework for my first gen Toyota p/u but I’m seriously considering ditching my PS setup and going with the electric power steering. @Mulishajoe showed it to me on his Sami and it was AMAZING. There are hundreds of YouTube videos and pets are super cheap. Also, no power loss running the ps pump.
I have a nissan versa EPS setup, and the lack of drag on the motor is the big selling point for me. But I just worry about the stock box taking a beating and exiting stage left in the middle of a trail somewhere. I have a spare box but still, it wouldn't make for an enjoyable trialside fix.

I have considering finding a beefier manual box, with a quicker ratio and look at reinforcing the frame to cover what I would think are the main failure/pain points.
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
Found a random post on a zuk site about increasing the steering angle on the sami axle by changing out the 4 shoulder bolts on the knuckle seals that act as the steering stops for flat-head cap screws:
flush2.jpg
2 on the front and 2 on the back.

before and after front:
driver front before.jpg driver front after.jpg

before and after rear:
driver front before1.jpgdriver front after1.jpg

May not be much, but I'll take it. Cost less than 8 bucks from HD (M6-1.00 x 16 mm. Internal Hex Flat-Head Cap Screws). Hopefully it doesn't end up trashing something more important - I think the RCVs are good for the extra angle.

Also been doing more thinking on electric power steering. I wonder if it would be worth all the trouble to run an electric column into a 1.5:1 quickener down to a bigger manual box - most of the common mid size japanese truck manual boxes are like 6 turns lock to lock. Quickener would make them 4 turns. I could also run a power box (typically around 4 turns lock to lock) with the hydraulic lines looped. Just need to figure out how to get something beefier in there.
 

paradisePWoffrd

Recovering Project Junkie
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Location
Newton, NC
Found a random post on a zuk site about increasing the steering angle on the sami axle by changing out the 4 shoulder bolts on the knuckle seals that act as the steering stops for flat-head cap screws:
View attachment 359758
2 on the front and 2 on the back.

before and after front:
View attachment 359759 View attachment 359761

before and after rear:
View attachment 359760View attachment 359762

May not be much, but I'll take it. Cost less than 8 bucks from HD (M6-1.00 x 16 mm. Internal Hex Flat-Head Cap Screws). Hopefully it doesn't end up trashing something more important - I think the RCVs are good for the extra angle.

Also been doing more thinking on electric power steering. I wonder if it would be worth all the trouble to run an electric column into a 1.5:1 quickener down to a bigger manual box - most of the common mid size japanese truck manual boxes are like 6 turns lock to lock. Quickener would make them 4 turns. I could also run a power box (typically around 4 turns lock to lock) with the hydraulic lines looped. Just need to figure out how to get something beefier in there.
Down side to a power box, is it will still be trying to pump the fluid, and the servo/torsion bar will have some "give" to it, vs a manual box.

You can float the piston in the box to reduce the resistance.
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
Did some cleaning up of the rockers. I pulled the plastic covers off and there was a ton of rust in the little channel thing that held it on.

PXL_20211024_172433204.jpg

I flap wheeled over the spot welds enough to get them all free with some persuasion, then sprayed the rockers with some rust reformer.

PXL_20211024_172442864.jpg

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It looks better then tetanus death but I think it would look better white. It'll do for now.

I also got some mirror relocation brackets so I can be legal with the doors off. I grabbed some cheap jeep mirrors and managed to rig them and the zuk specific relo brackets together. Not super pleased with the how hacky it looks, so I am going to make some new brackets and bring the mirrors up a bit higher.
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
Also been doing more thinking on electric power steering. I wonder if it would be worth all the trouble to run an electric column into a 1.5:1 quickener down to a bigger manual box - most of the common mid size japanese truck manual boxes are like 6 turns lock to lock. Quickener would make them 4 turns. I could also run a power box (typically around 4 turns lock to lock) with the hydraulic lines looped. Just need to figure out how to get something beefier in there.
That is one thing about running the Kick/Track power steering that I didn't like. I don't know how many turns it was lock to lock (4+ or so?), but it was too many for spirited trail running. Most of the time I was happy with it though.
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
Down side to a power box, is it will still be trying to pump the fluid, and the servo/torsion bar will have some "give" to it, vs a manual box.

You can float the piston in the box to reduce the resistance.

I know the answer to this, but for someone who might be reading the thread and is really dumb, could you explain how to float the piston?

That is one thing about running the Kick/Track power steering that I didn't like. I don't know how many turns it was lock to lock (4+ or so?), but it was too many for spirited trail running. Most of the time I was happy with it though.
4 would be ok, right now the manual box is 5 and in the slop at URE it was impossible to steer fast enough once it hooked up, or in any situation reallyi And when it was in the rocks, forgetaboutit. I think less than 4 turns lock to lock would make it too sensitive on the road, and I'm hoping to keep it streetable for the time being.

My trooper has shitty steering, too, so I'm pretty well over dealing with it. I'm not sure if it's the pump or what, but it's one of the things I'm going to address whenever the Sami is done burning all the holes in my wallet.

I should probably just nut up and grab a kit or try the electro set up and deal with it simply being "much better" rather than ideal. Maybe the tracker box + the electro?
 

paradisePWoffrd

Recovering Project Junkie
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Location
Newton, NC
I know the answer to this, but for someone who might be reading the thread and is really dumb, could you explain how to float the piston?

I couldnt find a good pic of one that is modified, so i did some paint on a stock photo.

Basically you take the piston out of the box, and cut/slot the "rings" of the piston that seal against the bore of the box. I would only place cuts on the top and bottom, as the gear mesh can push the piston side to side.

5740462.jpg

That mixed with looping the ports should reduce the internal fluid resistance. One can also weld/plug the ports coming in and out of the cylinder section, and add fluid to keep in lubed. Then the ports of the servo can be blocked off.

Its not hard to do, but if there is a manual box that will fit the bill, that is likely a better route.
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
For now I'm just going to try out the electric steering thru the stock box. I just need to remember this isn't a bouncer, it's a mild wheeler, and try to notice when I'm wedged up or whatever before I make a boo-boo.

I was having difficulty figuring out how to put the puzzle together considering the nissan column output was a different size and spline. I did have an isuzu column ujoint that fit, but I couldn't figure out the other end where the steering wheel would have attached. I think i have it figured out though. I'll put some photos up as soon as I'm done.

I did tinker on the trooper a bit - replaced a few ujoints in the rear driveshaft, killing the major vibes I was getting at 55mph and up, then sealed up a coolant leak at the upper rad hose, an oil leak on one of the bastard oil cooler hoses were it enters the oil filter housing (major PITA), and an exhaust leak at the manifold downpipe donut gasket. So that felt good. Cruised around without making a racket or leaving puddles! 🍻

Also mounted up some 30+ year old plush LS trim trooper seats in the zuk - armrests! Pass seat was very easy, just had to drill 2 holes to get the zuk rails on the trooper seat frame, but the driver side needed a little more slotting of a few holes. Pretty simple job. I can't make the plastic side covers over the recline mechanism fit, but otherwise, all good. Much more comfortable. I'm going to find some seat covers as the plush ~velour~ is probably not going to like the elements.

PXL_20211029_180421880.jpg

I need to get some sort of bedliner and floor mats or something done eventually. Maybe I can do enough coats to make some holes disappear :D
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
So I did get the electric power steering in:
IMG_20211204_145511_01.jpg

Had to cut a hole in the inner fender, but no worries. It will keep the heat down :D Wiring could use some tidying up, but I'm installing some LED headlights and a rear LED brake/turn/reverse strip, so I'm going to try to get all the wiring tidying done at once.

Impressions so far - only used on road/driveway/parking lots: way way way less effort to steer. However, it's in failsafe mode, so it's basically full strength at all times. It's pretty muddy feeling with less return to center, probably what hydro/hydro assist feels like on the street. I almost want to put in a switch to turn it on and off at will. Overall happy with it though. I think it will make a massive difference off pavement, and I just need to make some time to take it somewhere.

Also installed some sweet mexican blanket style seat covers, that counts as a build, no?

Still need to pull the rear 3rd and put in the lockright, and eventually I'll get around to it. Just not feeling excited about beating the shit out of it to break the drums loose and get the axles out, if it's anything like my spare housing was. Oh and sliders and rear bumper need to get did sooner than later.

Hopefully next update will include some new adventures and dents and whatnot.
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
I know the few I researched and the one @Mulishajoe showed me on his rig had a potentiometer wired in so you could “dial in” the sensitivity of the steering. Maybe he can chime in on how that all worked??
I've heard of that, but was under the impression it was something the folks who use a Prius unit have to use? Dunno, but depending on cost and if it will work on the Versa unit, I might be interested in that.
 

Mulishajoe

need more parts
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Salisbury nc

This is like the kit I used for my set-up. It uses the steering input sensor plug to be able to turn the assist power up and down.

20210403_150146.jpg


This shows how I have mine set up.
 

jeepin' jen

Slummin' with a sami
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
Salisbury, NC

This is like the kit I used for my set-up. It uses the steering input sensor plug to be able to turn the assist power up and down.

View attachment 363767

This shows how I have mine set up.
Hands down, this has been the best thing we've done to the Sami!
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC

This is like the kit I used for my set-up. It uses the steering input sensor plug to be able to turn the assist power up and down.

View attachment 363767

This shows how I have mine set up.
Ah cool, you guys went with all in with the trick full column swap, very nice!

I'm going to have dig around and see if there is something like this for mine, since the seller doesn't have anything listed for the Nissan units currently.

In other news, I got my LED headlights installed. Hooray for functional front turn signals!
PXL_20211222_174554758.jpg

I just need to aim them a little better. The high beams go into the trees and I'm sure oncoming traffic hated me on my test drive last night.
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
Took this hog out to Kairos and ran creek bed trails for a whole day with some other CORE dudes. It was a diverse group of rigs which is always fun. It did pretty damn good. But being low and on little tires it was fairly exhausting picking lines and smacking corners and skids non stop. It did some stuff it probably had no business attempting, and the 2nd-3rd gear assaults definitely left their mark on the rock anchor rear spring hangers.

I still haven't installed the rear locker, so this was first time taking it out with the front locked and the electric power steering. The power steering was pretty great but there were a few times it didn't have enough guts to turn. Maybe I had some other interference between a spring clamp and the steering linkage, I dunno. I didn't want to break anything and utilize any spares.

PXL_20220423_142125343.jpg

Not too many cool pics as Kairos asks to keep the creek bed photos off the interwebs.

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You can see from the below pic where it's parked back at the house that it's time to go ahead and finish up the rear bumper. I had to bend the poor mudflaps back down every time we stopped. Tailpipe also got a wee bit squished but not too bad.

PXL_20220424_133049425.jpg

I had a smart/stupid idea that instead of putting the lock right in the stock rear and still worry about popping a shaft, I could maybe run a 60 series cruiser rear axle so I could just not worry about it ever. They came with 3.73s and correct offset. I could run 5-to-6 lug adapters up front to correct for the lug pattern and get the width close. I would feel pretty comfortable running a 32 or so SxS stickies should I ever get the itch.

Anyway, it was fun as hell but I do think it could use a bit more clearance.
 

No fries

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Location
Fort Mill
It did great at Kairos, perfect trails for it. Other than the constant wet rocky sections. I feel you on the short wheelbase and leaves. Riding in Rock beds all day long gets tiresome. Fun rig and you were out in the woods for the day. That's what counts.
 

paulevans76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
York, SC
It did great at Kairos, perfect trails for it. Other than the constant wet rocky sections. I feel you on the short wheelbase and leaves. Riding in Rock beds all day long gets tiresome. Fun rig and you were out in the woods for the day. That's what counts.
Amen to that! :beer:

Oh and in addition to the shredded trailer light harness, the flat tow there and back seemed to rattle every bolt holding the passenger seat in loose or completely out. I noticed the seat was a little loose and when I went to slide it forward, it all but fell out of the zuk :laughing:
 

Bebop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Location
TN
I had a smart/stupid idea that instead of putting the lock right in the stock rear and still worry about popping a shaft, I could maybe run a 60 series cruiser rear axle so I could just not worry about it ever. They came with 3.73s and correct offset. I could run 5-to-6 lug adapters up front to correct for the lug pattern and get the width close. I would feel pretty comfortable running a 32 or so SxS stickies should I ever get the itch.
Please don't ! You'll ruin the appeal of the lightweight / small / nimble samurai !

Just put the lockright and the 32s on the stock axle it'll be fine unless you drive like a retard.

@drkelly had 34" TSLs IIRC on his without troubles.
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
Please don't ! You'll ruin the appeal of the lightweight / small / nimble samurai !

Just put the lockright and the 32s on the stock axle it'll be fine unless you drive like a retard.

@drkelly had 34" TSLs IIRC on his without troubles.
Yes I did. I had a 1.6 16v motor, 5spd, 6.5:1 TC gears, welded rear, and 34" LTB's. I wheeled that rig VERY HARD for about 10 years. There were NUMEROUS full throttle 3rd and 4th gear beat downs trying to climb hills/obstacles. I did break the long side rear shaft at least once during those 10 years, but if I was building a Samurai again today I would go with the same drivetrain. The stock rear shafts can take a lot of abuse.
 
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