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Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7

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Online olija

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2018, 09:19:31 PM »
Today I bit the bullet and ordered a pair of OME 2936 Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ Heavy Load Front Coil Springs for the REAR of my XL7. I'm crossing my fingers that my guesstimations are correct and that they deliver the perfect ride height and spring rate for this application! While we wait...I found some more summer wheelin' pics!!!

First outing with the new A-arms, back in June or July:


Way, way high:


My son seems to love wheelin' as much as I do!
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift with OME springs, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT's on Ultra 17x8 with 1" spacers, skid plates, Balmer Fab front bumper

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2018, 09:16:13 PM »
It's been a long time since I updated this! Since the last post, I've put the Zuk away for winter, and knocked a few items off the to-do list:

Removed the crappy AE springs and put in a pair of OME XL7 light-duty front springs. Gained 1.5" of lift and the ride is way more controlled instead of soft and sloppy. The CV's now point slightly down instead of slightly up. Here is the AE spring, stock spring, and OME spring side by side.



OME installed:



Here is a pic of the AE springs at full compression. Notice how the coil is completely bottomed out on itself. Very bad.



Compared to the OME spring under the same compression, just on the opposite side:


I've even got over an inch of unused travel that I could tap into with some strut mount spacer modification, if need be.

The next problem to tackle was that with these corny aftermarket wheels that are 1" wider than stock (17x8), when combined with the AE A-arms, the inside edge of the rim hits the back edge of the A-arm when making tight turns. I tried grinding some of the excess material away from the lip on the back of the arm, which helped, but didn't solve the problem. I looked around for a set of 17x7 wheels but they don't seem to exist. I didn't want to buy a new set of tires in a different size, so I ended up just getting a set of 1" wheel spacers from Titan Wheel Accessories on eBay. It was a good price and easy to justify compared to what 4 or 5 rims would set me back, even used. Here's a pic, sorry it's not the best, but you get the idea.



No more contact between the rim and the A-arm, hooray! I haven't had a chance to try it out on the articulation ramp, but I'm sure I'll have to heat up and bend, or cut, some plastic to get them to fit without rubbing at all. But at least the main problem is fixed now.
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift with OME springs, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT's on Ultra 17x8 with 1" spacers, skid plates, Balmer Fab front bumper

Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2017, 11:51:53 AM »
Great trail pics and an interesting rig.  Thanks for posting.

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Online JollyZuk

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2017, 07:20:08 PM »
That sure looks like a great time!  I look forward to being able to spend time with my family soaking up some great nature!

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Online olija

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2017, 07:55:29 PM »
I got a few more pics sent my way from the Alberta trip. Some of them I thought were really nice so I thought I'd share:





This bridge was challenging to get perfectly lined up to and with a 3' drop on both sides there was little room for error. It still seemed a better option than going through the mud on the go-around. The LJ had a easy time with it though, his axles were so narrow it just fit right between the guardrails, but I had to carefully drive on top of them!
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift with OME springs, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT's on Ultra 17x8 with 1" spacers, skid plates, Balmer Fab front bumper

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Online olija

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2017, 07:35:37 PM »
Made a front skid plate a while ago, and as you can see it's been trail-tested. If you look further back you can see the cat-delete pipe too:



Found back a nice picture from late July on the Telkwa Microwave tower trail of me and my son

« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 07:55:21 PM by olija »
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift with OME springs, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT's on Ultra 17x8 with 1" spacers, skid plates, Balmer Fab front bumper

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Offline BRD HNTR

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2017, 06:20:27 AM »
That looks like a good place to spend more adventure time in.
93 Tracker,XL7 springs & 1" raised spring pads in front with YJ springs in back, home built bumpers rear & front (w/winch), 2" x 4" rock tubes,  ARB front & rear, converted Sami rear to IFS, 33x12.5x15  aluminum rims, roll cage, 2.7L w/5 speed auto.

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Offline beagle..t

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2017, 07:53:14 PM »
cool pics thx for sharing
new rig aka "the mule" 2002 tracker
V6 swap auto  ,2 dr ,2" BL,2" jeffs kit 512 gears warn hubs and 30/9.5/15 BFG AT

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Offline ManicMechanic

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2017, 05:36:44 AM »
That looks like an absolute blast. When I get the diesel samurai done I need to try out some trails like that. Down here in Florida ever thing  is just flat dirt.

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Online olija

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2017, 08:22:09 PM »
Last week I was in Alberta for a family event so I capitalized on being nearer to the Rockies and checked out a trail I've been meaning to get to for the last 2 years: Ruby Creek, about 2 hours south of Hinton, AB. You basically follow a creekbed for about 20km until you get to a massive rock wall and a beautiful waterfall. We camped there. There is also a nice lake on a side loop which we hit on the return.











Another Suzuki! A classic LJ80 along for the trip...along with 2 Jeep Tj's and 5 Jeep XJ's...we were very much outnumbered


Sank my rig in this hole. My story is that all the puddles before this one were all shallow and hard-bottomed, so I charged into this one expecting the same results. For a second the hood disappeared under the bow wave and I panicked and tried to back out, but was hung up in the ruts on the bottom. As I was shifting from 1st to reverse, the engine died (due to water coming up the exhaust and creating excessive backpressure), but I wasn't sure if it had ingested water or not so as soon as we got the truck pulled out, I checked the airbox and it had water in it. Pulled all 6 spark plugs and they were all dry thankfully. Cranked the motor over with the plugs out just to see if anything would come shooting out, was all good. Reassembled and ran the rest of the trail and the way home with no problems other than the catalytic converter got full of mud and wouldn't let the engine breathe, so I could barely do 50km/h up mild hills. I cut the cat out on the side of the road and got my power back and a very sweet sounding jake brake noise on decel that had a few people looking at me funny. I just replaced the cat with a 2.25" pipe so I will not have to deal with that again!





Ruby Falls in the morning, great way to wake up:














Big unnecessary mud hole; I took the go-around since the only guy who made it was running 40" military tires and about 4' of clearance under his doors


Ruby Lake, another really nice place to camp




A few minutes later there was another really nice lake right along the trail:


Heading home, nearing the old town of Cadomin. Would be a fantastic place to spend a week exploring around.


After this trip I decided I needed to get my front end up higher since I was scraping the front skidplate over things I should have no problems with. I ordered a pair of OME 956 springs (the XL7 light-duty ones) from Low Range Off Road. I wasn't sure if I should have got the 962's (the GV HD ones) but they recommended running those only if I had at least 150 lbs extra weight on the front. Here's hoping this cures my suspension woes.
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift with OME springs, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT's on Ultra 17x8 with 1" spacers, skid plates, Balmer Fab front bumper

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Online olija

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2017, 10:23:08 PM »
Finished my skid plate last week, feels like I lost a whole bunch of clearance...I'm also not too happy with the Alter Ego springs, they just keep sagging and sagging. Had to adjust the camber it sagged so much. Now I'm thinking about swapping to OME springs for a little better performance. In the meantime, did some more wheelin!











The Yotas made things look easy with their lower gears, bigger engines, and rear e-lockers...but the XL7 held its own alright!
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift with OME springs, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT's on Ultra 17x8 with 1" spacers, skid plates, Balmer Fab front bumper

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Offline ebewley

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2017, 11:19:01 AM »
Love that last post... great pictures; great adventure!

-Eric
Eric L. Bewley                               
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Online olija

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2017, 10:17:44 PM »
More hard miles:

Telkwa Pass








Took my Dutch cousin to see the Salmon Glacier up by Hyder, Alaska, 4 hours from my town.






And the lesser known Bergeron Glacier just down the road:


97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift with OME springs, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT's on Ultra 17x8 with 1" spacers, skid plates, Balmer Fab front bumper

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Online olija

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2017, 10:07:54 PM »
I haven't got any work done on the Zuk since the last update, but I have put a ton of km on it in the last 3 weeks.

Some hard miles:














I had a lot of trouble getting up the creek bank in the last few photos. The 1.8:1 low-range just doesn't cut it for technical stuff like that. But at least I got to test the durability of the drivetrain, including the welded CV axle...nothing broke despite several hard attempts at the creek exit. In the end I got hung up on a rock between my fuel tank and rear diff and had to get pulled off it, and instead of beating on the Zuk more, I let my buddy with the HJ60 have a go at it and he nailed one of the rocks so hard that we were able to roll it out of my path and then it was no problem after that. The mosquitoes had a hey-day while we were trying to stack rock for the XL though.,,shoulda put a locker in the front while I had it all apart!
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift with OME springs, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT's on Ultra 17x8 with 1" spacers, skid plates, Balmer Fab front bumper

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Re: Project Zuk 3.0 (rows of seats) - 2003 XL7
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2017, 10:37:53 PM »
Yes they are...I was looking for one for a few months before I found this one. I had to drive all the way to Vancouver to get it but it was worth it!

Now for some flex test pics:









Front and rear tires are so close to rubbing at full flex it's crazy. I probably have 1/4" between the front of the rear fender and the tire, and there's not much that can be done about that. In the front I think I could give it the sledgehammer treatment at the inboard edge of the plastic liner and it will be good. Those A-arms sure do alot to get the tires away from the firewall...I'm sure if I didn't have them I'd be pulling my hair out trying to stop the rub.

The truck rides really nice, even with the E-rated tires. I've been working on a 2-piece aluminum front skidplate that will go from the front suspension crossmember to a bracket that shares my lower bumper mounting bolt. Got the front half done, just gotta figure out the rear when I get a moment.
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift with OME springs, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT's on Ultra 17x8 with 1" spacers, skid plates, Balmer Fab front bumper