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96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant

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Offline olija

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2018, 09:24:40 PM »
Congrats on the boy! Your Eggplant brings back memories of my purple Land Cruiser wagon I had when my wife and I just got married. The guys at work thought I was insane for bringing that rustbucket back from the dead but managed to restore "Barney the Purple Dragon" to a reusable state. Now we have a Suzuki again, not purple though, and the fun never ends! I'm a fan of your enthusiasm, when most young people are driving CUV's on payments because they don't dare change their own oil, you put alot of people to shame by not only wrenching on your own rig, but using it responsibly enough to still be able to manage a family too! Cheers man and rock on!
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 Gypsy Danger

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2018, 08:47:36 AM »
Yep.  No rubbing on the rear.  I rolled the rear fender lip which is where I used to get contact and now they clear by probably a quarter of an inch on that side and no rub on the frame side either.
1996 Geo Tracker 4dr 4x4
Front & Gas Tank skid plate, 235/75/R15's
LROR 2.5" Lift (OME Springs and 1" pucks)

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Online JollyZuk

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2018, 05:20:39 PM »
Congrats on the baby!  Life has a tendency of happening that way. Have you checked for clearance with your rear tires since the lift?  I have just a 2” spacer lift on my 4 dr, and still get contact from 235 tires when the suspension is stuffed.

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Offline Gypsy Danger

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2018, 11:01:58 AM »
Sorry for the hiatus everyone!  Life has been crazy since my last post.  My wife and I had our first child, a big baby boy so we've been pretty busy with that.  I have found time to do a couple of things on the Eggplant though.  Took a little elbow grease, but got the front lift installed.  I'll post pics as soon as I get a chance.  Also, took a while, but I got a CB radio installed as well.  A lot of back and forth on antenna location, but in the end got a good SWR number so should be good to go.  Again, I'll post pics as soon as I get a chance and a more in-depth step by step of the install.
1996 Geo Tracker 4dr 4x4
Front & Gas Tank skid plate, 235/75/R15's
LROR 2.5" Lift (OME Springs and 1" pucks)

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Offline Gypsy Danger

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2016, 05:41:05 AM »
Thanks!  Nope, just the rear.  I'll be tackling the front next though.  Hopefully very soon!  :)
1996 Geo Tracker 4dr 4x4
Front & Gas Tank skid plate, 235/75/R15's
LROR 2.5" Lift (OME Springs and 1" pucks)

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Offline ebewley

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2016, 02:18:48 PM »
Looking great! in that last picture is the front and rear complete as far as a lift? Love the custom plate, btw...

-Eric
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Offline Gypsy Danger

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2016, 04:26:55 PM »
After the rear lift was installed I decided to take it down to my local Firestone to get it aligned.  I got lifetime alignment on the Eggplant so no charge at all!   :D  Here is what she looks like currently!
1996 Geo Tracker 4dr 4x4
Front & Gas Tank skid plate, 235/75/R15's
LROR 2.5" Lift (OME Springs and 1" pucks)

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Offline Gypsy Danger

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2016, 04:24:35 PM »
Next I popped the old upper spring pucks out and replaced them with the spacers from the kit.  Before I got them in I took the time to clean up some of the rustier spots and give them a coat of "stop-rust".  After the spacers were installed I popped the rear springs in one at a time.  Didn't have a spring compressor (would have made it easier), but got them in all the same.   Shocks on each side were last. LROR recommends you grind a little bit of material off of the top of the lower shock mount for clearance at full droop.  I went ahead and did this with my angle grinder before installing the shocks and gave each a coat of black spray paint to seal everything up.   Shocks  went in very easily with the clearanced bracket (first photo below is of clearance bracket with shock installed).  I installed the bottoms with some bolts I bought at Lowes.  Everything looked pretty spiffy when it was buttoned up.
1996 Geo Tracker 4dr 4x4
Front & Gas Tank skid plate, 235/75/R15's
LROR 2.5" Lift (OME Springs and 1" pucks)

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Offline Gypsy Danger

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2016, 04:12:40 PM »
Got the rear lift installed!   The kit I bought was from LROR and the rear portion included the upper control arm spacer, two old man emu coils (2955), two 1" spacers and two ProComp ES3000 shocks.  Directions from their website are very straight forward and easy to follow.  First step was to remove the old springs, shocks and disconnect the upper bracket.  The upper bracket bolts and springs came out really easy.  The shocks on the other hand were pretty rough.  I ended up having to cut both the top stud and bottom bolt of both shocks to get them out. Here is a pic of everything torn out.
1996 Geo Tracker 4dr 4x4
Front & Gas Tank skid plate, 235/75/R15's
LROR 2.5" Lift (OME Springs and 1" pucks)

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Offline Gypsy Danger

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2016, 06:00:45 AM »
Thanks Drone!  Good to know that's it's going to stiffen things up a bit!  I had read that a lot of people use a brace like this so I figured it was cheap insurance and why not install it while I had everything apart. 

Yeah, no welder yet, never used one either ha!, so for now bolt in is about the extent of my fab skills  :P.  Welder hopefully will be coming in the next year or two though...along with some basic welding classes  :laugh:
1996 Geo Tracker 4dr 4x4
Front & Gas Tank skid plate, 235/75/R15's
LROR 2.5" Lift (OME Springs and 1" pucks)

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Offline Drone637

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2016, 02:43:50 PM »
Nice looking brace.  We usually welded an additional brace off of the frame instead of having a bolt in setup.  That should help it from walking under pressure!
x-SJ-410, 96 Geo Tracker, White Rabbit, Project Trouble

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Offline Gypsy Danger

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2016, 04:53:59 PM »
Now the easy part.  First thing on reassembly was the idler arm with brace.  I had to drill out the holes in the brace slightly to get the bolts to fit, but no worries at all.  Once that was bolted in and torqued down, I went ahead and did both tie-rod assemblies, but didn't torque anything down just yet.  Then came the center link which I attached to tie rods, idler arm and pitman arm.  I then went around and torqued everything to spec per the Chilton's manual and installed the cotter pins.  That's how it sits currently.  I went ahead and put the front wheels on and cranked it up so I could cycle the steering lock-to-lock to check for any resistance or weird noises.  Everything feels/sounds good and there doesn't seem to be any leaks.  I forgot to mention that I reinstalled the power steering reservoir, hooked up all the hoses, and filled it up with fluid when I got the new steering box in.  It needs an alignment, but the next item on the list is a lift kit so I'm going to wait until that's all installed.  Last pic below is of the rear parts waiting to be installed.  I think that's everything, but let me know if anything isn't clear.  :)
1996 Geo Tracker 4dr 4x4
Front & Gas Tank skid plate, 235/75/R15's
LROR 2.5" Lift (OME Springs and 1" pucks)

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Offline Gypsy Danger

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2016, 04:41:11 PM »
So it's been a long road, but I finally got the leaky steering box swapped out for a new one and in the process had to pretty much replace every piece of steering linkage in the car.  Why you ask?  I'm about to tell you  :)

The old steering box has been leaking since we bought the car so I knew it was only a matter of time before it needed to be swapped.  I bought a fresh one from LROR and went ahead and got a idler arm brace too.  Figured it was cheap insurance and wouldn't be too hard to install.  Keeping with the Eggplant theme, I gave the steering box a coat of purple paint before installation.  Not necessary at all, but it looks nice.  So being my first tracker, I mistakenly assumed that I could just pull the old box out super quick and plop the new one in its place...not so much! haha  Reading my Chilton's manual it said to drain the radiator and pull it to get access to the bolts which I ended up doing in the end.  The two back bolts (closest to the cab) were pretty rusted, but I was able to get them out with a lot of penetrating lube and a socket.  The front bolt though was a bear!  I ended up cutting a small notch in the radiator support so I could get my impact wrench in there with the radiator removed and let it get the bolt out. 

Once I got the steering box bolts taken out, my next task was the castle nut on the center link.  Chilton's states to use a tie-rod puller, but I figured I'd just use a pickle fork...big mistake!  I ended up destroying the dust boot which meant a new center link and couldn't even get the center link to come out of the pitman arm!  So in the end I drove myself to O'reillys and bought a tie-rod end puller...which I ended up having to modify slightly.  I couldn't get it to get a good enough grip so I cut some of the material off of the ears with my Dremel.  Worked really well after that!  I'm attaching a picture so it's easier to see what I'm talking about.

So I got the center link out of the pitman arm with the help of my handy dandy modified tie rod puller.  Sweet!  I then destroyed the drive side tie-rod ends while I was trying to remove the center link...I know...one step forward, two steps back.  Quick tip, when using a tie-rod puller leave the castle nut on while wrenching the screw part down.  This protects the threads.  Guess what happens when you don't?  ???  I was going to just replace the inner tie-rod end, but the adjuster sleeve was so rusty I ended up having to buy a whole new tie rod assembly and I figured if I was doing one whole side might as well do the other.  So I tore everything out including the idler arm since I had the brace to install.  The last pic below is of everything torn out.
1996 Geo Tracker 4dr 4x4
Front & Gas Tank skid plate, 235/75/R15's
LROR 2.5" Lift (OME Springs and 1" pucks)

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Offline ebewley

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2016, 12:18:21 PM »
Yep, like the work!

-Eric
Eric L. Bewley                               
Editor, ZUKIWORLD Online                   

Suzuki 4x4 Owners Association - Please Join  The ZUKIWORLD ORDER Today!
About ZUKIWORLD Online: We are an enthusiast web site dedicated to the promotion of the Suzuki Automobile as the best and most capable vehicle on the planet. We offer product reviews, Tech tips, DIY, Travel and Adventure, Forum, Technical information, Life Style, and so much more!

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Offline Drone637

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Re: 96' Geo Tracker 4dr Build - The Eggplant
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2016, 10:53:32 AM »
Looking good so far!
x-SJ-410, 96 Geo Tracker, White Rabbit, Project Trouble

Crawlers NorthWest
Trouble Racing