Pre/ post 98 durability?

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Offline bandit86

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Pre/ post 98 durability?
« on: April 14, 2017, 09:10:34 AM »
Are the newer, bigger 99+ trackers built stronger, with stronger axles? Anybody did a rockstar buggy out of the new ones?

I guess I'm asking if swapping an older body onto the newer rolling chassis is a good idea. Bigger motor, I'm assuming it should be slightly stronger

I like the old small ones but they're so had to find. Maybe a 99+ buggy could work. Or drop a samurai body on the frame.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 06:11:23 AM by bandit86 »
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Offline ebewley

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2017, 01:14:53 PM »
So for the most part the drivetrain is very similar. The engines are bigger and more powerful but only minor, but important, tweaks were made to the rest of the spinning parts.

Hagen, search our main page, has made several '2nd gen' vehicles that are quite capable and he's been wheeling them for years. For me, the interior is too tight and so I'm going to skip over to a '3rd gen' for my next project even though it's a unibody fully independent vehicle, I think it can be quite a wheeler with some thoughtful modification.

Running in those same circles, Blake Savage has 'buggied up' something like I'm thinking your imagining. I'll get a pic from him to post up.

As for body swaps and the like, respectfully.. why? Just for making it look a certain way without any added functionality doesn't make sense to me..

Good luck on your search / future project. -Eric
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Offline bandit86

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2017, 05:54:32 PM »
I had a 93 5speed on 33x12.5 and wheeled it hard for 3 years. My friend had one on 35 inch swampers. The new ones are much heavier, they should have been built a little stringer to keep up with same tires and more weight/ horsepower. If it is a heavier duty drive train,  then the older lighter body would go towards making a faster truck.
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Online fordem

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 11:46:32 AM »
The new ones are much heavier, they should have been built a little stringer to keep up with same tires and more weight/ horsepower.

The difference in weight between the first & second gens is a few hundred pounds - 10~12% for comparable vehicles (the 2.5 litre, five door is within 12% of the weight of the 1.6 litre, five door) and just my opinion, the drivetrains aren't any stronger, again for comparable vehicles - if you're looking at the four cylinder engines, they are no stronger, in fact, some of the parts are exactly the same, and that also holds true for the automatic transmission V6 models - manual transmission V6 models do use a larger, stronger transmission along with a stronger cast-iron front axle housing, but as far as I know the axle internals and the rear axles are the same.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 12:37:25 PM by fordem »
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Offline bandit86

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 05:48:58 PM »
My friend's 95 on 35 seemed to run for ever. My 93 blew the front digg apart on a full power reverse when the front was stuck in a rut.

If one were to do the frame drop on a 2002 and ran 35s, would it last?
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Offline beagle..t

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 06:49:08 PM »
project ZR3 on here has frame drop and stuff
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

Offline olija

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 09:52:49 PM »
I think the easiest way to understand it is that Suzuki designed the original Sidekick with a certain power to weight ratio in mind, then as they started making the vehicles larger and heavier, they would either modify gear ratios by adding gears to the transmission or by running lower or higher ratios in the diffs, or started producing engines with more power (started with the 1.6 8v, then upped to 1.6 16v, then the 1.8, then 2.0, then 2.5, then 2.7). They only added beef to the driveline components when absolutely necessary to keep the power to weight ratio good, as well as keep the power to durability ratio the same. I wouldn't say that an XL7 or GV with a 185 hp V6 and steel diff is any more durable than a Sidekick with an aluminum diff and an 85 hp hamster wheel. The CV's are probably the weak link on the models with the steel diffs because although they are *slightly* larger, it's hard to tell the difference without comparing the two side by side.

I think you'd be wasting your time trying to run 35" tires on Zuki IFS. The components just aren't designed for that size of tire. Even 31's are hard on these rigs...35's would just be expensive and frustrating!
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, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT KO's

Offline BRD HNTR

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2017, 06:47:23 AM »
I think the easiest way to understand it is that Suzuki designed the original Sidekick with a certain power to weight ratio in mind, then as they started making the vehicles larger and heavier, they would either modify gear ratios by adding gears to the transmission or by running lower or higher ratios in the diffs, or started producing engines with more power (started with the 1.6 8v, then upped to 1.6 16v, then the 1.8, then 2.0, then 2.5, then 2.7). They only added beef to the driveline components when absolutely necessary to keep the power to weight ratio good, as well as keep the power to durability ratio the same. I wouldn't say that an XL7 or GV with a 185 hp V6 and steel diff is any more durable than a Sidekick with an aluminum diff and an 85 hp hamster wheel. The CV's are probably the weak link on the models with the steel diffs because although they are *slightly* larger, it's hard to tell the difference without comparing the two side by side.

I think you'd be wasting your time trying to run 35" tires on Zuki IFS. The components just aren't designed for that size of tire. Even 31's are hard on these rigs...35's would just be expensive and frustrating!
I can agree that the first gen's were build pretty strong.  I have been running the 2.7L V6 in my 93 for years.  The CV's are a weak spot, but I don't have failures very often with them.  The aluminum diff is probably just as big a weak link (and I replaced mine right off).  But that is the idea of modifying your rig, attempting to make it even better.  Frustrating is not going because you know your gig is not capable, or breaking every day because you went. 
Bandit86, the first gen's are still available on the west coast.  And those with blown motors can be good deals, so are the second gen's.
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.

Offline olija

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2017, 09:49:25 PM »
One thing I am noticing lately is that the 1st gens are still selling for the same price as what I paid for my 97 Sidekick a decade ago! It seems that they have slowly gained a reputation for themselves and are now a little more desirable, and I think it also has to do with the fact that the 2nd gens still don't have a very wide base of support, are more girly looking, and are generally considered more complicated to modify. The plus side to this is, if you are mechanically inclined and can wrap your head around the added complexities of a 2nd gen (which isn't all that bad, really) you can score some pretty excellent deals on a 2nd gen for the price of a rusted out, miled-out, beat-up old 1st gen. Not only are they in better shape but they also already have the bigger motors that the 1st gen guys are drooling over. If you are planning on chopping the IFS off and swapping Toyota axles in, this is definitely the way to go...saves you from doing a motor swap 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, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT KO's

Offline Perryd

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 10:13:45 AM »
As someone who has gone from a 2nd gen to a 1st, the 1st gen seems much more rugged and truck like.

Mechanically, the 2nd gen has a lot more power, comfort and was much more reliable to me.
1998 Tracker 2 door soft top, 3spd auto, 4x4, 215/57R15 BFG A/T, bone stock.

Online fordem

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 06:39:43 PM »
As someone who has gone from a 2nd gen to a 1st, <SNIP> the 2nd gen <SNIP> was much more reliable to me.

Could that perhaps be nothing more than you've switched to an older vehicle?

We have or have had two first gens, one second and one third - reliability is on par across the entire range.
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Offline Perryd

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Re: Pre/ post 98 durability?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2017, 10:22:32 AM »
Sure it could be age(only 4 years apart), but it mostly seems to be related to all the quite dated vacuum/smog/ignition equipment paired with the OBD II system. It makes for a complicated duo. The 2.0 was better designed around the OBD II system making it easier to diagnose and repair.
1998 Tracker 2 door soft top, 3spd auto, 4x4, 215/57R15 BFG A/T, bone stock.