Saturday, January 02, 2021

Fiona's Replacement

No, its not another Ural Sidecar Rig.  Close though in terms of speed, older in terms of years but more comfy in terms of weather.

Meet Mariko, a 1987 Suzuki Samurai mini-SUV.

Saw her on Craigslist about a week ago, and went to look at her on New Year's Eve, ending up buying her and driving her home.

From the Craiglist ad:

 I also bought from the Samurai's seller most of the required items to tow it behind the URRV in the near future....just have to figure out the wiring from the URRV's four pin connector to the Samurai's six pin connector by Blue Ox.

The ride home went fine, stopped a couple of times for pictures and to get her added to my auto insurance policy.

I said similar in this point I'm not sure who is faster getting to 60 mph, the Samurai or a Ural Sidecar Rig!  Let's just say it is 0 to 60, eventually.  After all, she's only a four banger with a 1.3L engine with a maximum of 60 anemic horse power due to her being 33 years old!

Got her home with no issues.  Then she presented me with one.

She's apparently easy to flood if you don't watch it when using the accelerator.  I think I gunned the engine a bit too much while in first gear, dealing with the steepness of the driveway where she'd been parked.  I shut off the engine once inside and I think she was flooded.  (I'm still getting used to the clutch pedal action)

This being a new experience for me, I proceeded to try and start her some more, making things worse.

I eventually stopped, took a look around and finally found some gas leaking from the cracked rubber sleeve used by the accelerator pump:

accelerator pump....I believe the rubber gasket
on the left side of lower bit needs replacing along
with the sleeve pictured in top half of pic

Another case of ethanol gasoline ruining the rubber bits on a carburetor!

After some phone calls with RichardM, it looks like there's a carburetor rebuild in my future to take care of the leaks which are causing the engine to run too rich; a symptom of which (and that I failed to check before purchase) is soot covered spark plugs.

So, if you're ever buying a used car, check the condition of the spark matter how well the engine seems to run!  Learn from my mistake.

Anyways, after about an hour or so, I went out to try and start her again and damn if she didn't start right away and after a brief rough idle, settle down to a smooth running idle!  I guess all the gas I'd flooded the carburetor with had evaporated or seeped away.  A short test drive that night and she ran fine.  Sigh.

New Years Day:

Spent the morning spraying the engine down with a spray bottle to remove a light coating of Moab dust and grime from all surfaces so I can see what's going on with the engine.

I also diagnosed a faulty ground cable going from somewhere in the steering column to the horn.  There was much corrosion on the steel bits which comprise the contact points for the horn pad on the steering wheel.  Also I had to run a bypass wire and now have a working horn.  The OEM horn was weak and on its last legs so I installed a horn I had bought for one of the motorcycles. 

Test ride 1:  Per the manual, for a cold engine, you push the accelerator pedal 1/4 way down then crank the engine...this resulted in flooding the carburetor instead!  Had to use the flooded engine procedure per the manual, and got her started and soon she was fine.  The electric choke (I assume that is what kicks in the high idle soon after startup) makes the engine a bit loud but soon turns off as the engine warms up. 

Test ride 2: Cranked the engine without using any gas.  Started fine.  Ran fine.

Saturday, JAN 2

Finally found the inked on model ID number for the carburetor.  It's a Hitachi DFB306-832 carburetor!  This makes it so much easier to shop for parts and such.  Bonus, the kit I ordered from AutoZone (GP Sorensen 96-688) is actually the correct one and includes a replacement sleeve AND accelerator pump!  

Changed Mariko's oil and filter out in the afternoon at 76132 miles, no issues, though it took 4.5 quarts to get to top mark on the dip stick vice 3.9 per the manual.  Yes, I did wait 5+ minutes before measuring.

Test ride 1: No gas used, just cranked the engine and she idled rough as I backed out of the garage....then the electric choke kicked in and it idled high until warmed up, then all was fine.  After fueling up, she started just fine and no issues all the way back home.

Discovered the trip meter reset knob missing when I went to reset the meter after getting gas.  I used a small punch to gently push the stem the knob would rest on to reset to 000, will look for a knob....assuming the trip meter works.

And so, another vehicular chapter begins....this time with four wheels.  She should be fun on the dirt trails I like to explore, being able to handle anything a Ural can handle and more!

Jan 3 Update, added Mariko's first sunset pic.


Andrew Thomson said...

Nice one! Little suzy's are a common sight behind campers here and yes, they go anywhere!

I nearly bought a new Jimmy a while ago but ended up with a ute that I can throw bikes on the back of - it hit my wallet a lot harder than the Suzuki would have...

SonjaM said...

Neat, Dom. I always wanted one of these long before getting into motorcycling but there was and is no terrain to really use this kind of vehicle, and that's why I ended up with a micro-car called Fiesta by Ford back in the day. Have fun with it.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Andrew....I wish they still sold them here in the States. Once I get that carburetor issue resolved I'll feel better about it. Gas leaks make me more nervous now. Still, she's been fun so far.

CCjon said...

The Samuri are great light weight 4x4's, our middle son had one as his first car. Went anywhere.

On the hot engine starting issue, it might not be the carb. Have you done a compression check? A cold engine will start immediately but as the engine block heats up it expands. When hot starting the expanded engine won't start until it cools and shrinks back. Had this happen years ago on a Triumph sportscar.

Looking forward to seeing new photos from place you go with the Sammy.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks CCjon, it actually has no issues starting when's a cold start that is the issue right now.

It'll idle rough and almost/sometimes die right after a cold start.....have to nurse it a bit until the electronic choke kicks in to drive the idle up until the engine warms up and the choke turns off....then all is well.

Steve Williams said...

You have a knack for acquiring vehicles with character. This latest is no exception. And it will provide opportunities for tinkering that you love so much.

A nice addition.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Steve.... prepping for the carburetor rebuild and I think it will be a true test of my tinkering ability! As to acquiring vehicles with character.... sometimes I wonder!

redlegsrides said...

added Mariko's first sunset shot, first sunset shot of the New Year.

RichardM said...

It’s a convertible!

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, yep and I can6wait to get back to warmer parts of the southwest in order to take the top off!

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I'm excited for you, very cool! You live in a place where that machine has great value, looks like a lot of fun. Have great fun out there!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Coop, I'm looking forward to exploring the trails in the mountains of the state and the deserts of the SW later this month, hopefully.