Monday, February 08, 2021

I meet a Samurai Guru...

 Quite the eventful day today.

I'd driven down to the City of Elephant Butte to retrieve a package sent to me by my loving wife Martha.  It had the TPMS sensors for the Sammy so I know all is OK when towing her with the URRV.

At the front entrance to the T or C Municipal Airport

Package retrieved, I went to the Autozone in Truth or Consequences and what did I spy in the parking lot but another Suzuki Samurai!  I parked next to it and its owner came out to chat.  Mike W. works at Autozone and is the proud owner of two Suzuki Samurais and knows and probably has worked on six others in the local area.  He seems very knowledgeable on Samurais and we had an enlightening chat on many things relating to Mariko.

I asked him questions that'd been floating about my head and he had ready and quite understandable answers.

Mike's L'il Zilla, a '92 Samurai

Mike even took the time to check out Mariko and he mentioned that the door handle mechanism needed adjustment.  He showed me the function on his Samurai and yes, there was some work to be done.

Got the stuff I had stopped for, then headed back to camp.  Once there and after examining the linkage inside the door closer, figured out that a threaded nut had to be adjusted up three turns and now the driver door opens up quite easily now.  

Rest of the afternoon was spent dusting/wiping down and cleaning the interior and exterior of the Sammy now that I had the right supplies and brush.  Got her cleaned up OK, was glad to be able to wipe the dust off most of the inside surfaces at the front part of the cab.

Mike had generously offered to cut off the rear bar on the custom roll cage that Mariko had come with.  He confirmed that cutting it off would not detract from the protection provided as the whole roll cage isn't bolted to the frame!  

At 5:30 PM, after Mike got off work, I was at his home in the City of Elephant Butte and met his lovely wife Laura.  Mike got right to work with a grinder with a cutting wheel and while he cut and smoothed things, Laura and I chatted.  They're rock hounds apparently, liking to spend time in the New Mexico desert hunting for semi-precious rocks such as Amethyst and stuff, makes me wonder how much of that stuff I've simply walked by!

Here's pics of Mike and Laura's other Zuki, it's an '88.5 Samurai which he and Laura take to the yearly Zuzi meet in Kentucky called Zookiemelt.  Quite the affair apparently.

Mike spent quite a bit of time smoothing out the cut off ends, Laura confirmed he's a perfectionist, wanting things just so.  I was quite please with the results, very nice work.  Nicer than what I'd probably would have done with my own grinder back home!

We talked some more about Samurais and also about some noises I keep hearing from Mariko, my own Samurai.  I may have a clutch replacement in my future as the whining noise I keep hearing come and go might be the throw out bearing wearing down.

Mike said he'd be happy to help me do a clutch replacement (since the transmission has to be dropped anyways to get at the throw out bearing).  No time soon hopefully, but a great reason to come back to Elephant Butte while camping!

My thanks to Mike and Laura for their warm welcome, his ready and willing offers to help and answer my newbie questions via text or phone call.  

Got back to the campsite around 7:30PM, with no issues.  Mike W. told me about a Facebook group called New Mexico Zukes which I've now joined, perhaps this might motivate me to reinstall the FB app on my phone.


Cyclehoarder said...

Mike is very talented and him and his wife are truly lovely folks. Mike is always helping some one, the man has skills!

Cyclehoarder said...

Mike is very talented and him and his wife are truly lovely folks. Mike is always helping some one, the man has skills!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the feedback, Cyclehoarder! I hope to learn a lot from Mike and other Samurai owners as I get to learn about this beast.