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ZUKIWORLD Model Specific Suzuki Forum => Suzuki Grand Vitara, Vitara, Chevy Tracker (Gen. 2 Platform) 1999-2005 => Topic started by: OldBlue on January 19, 2019, 09:04:09 PM

Title: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on January 19, 2019, 09:04:09 PM
Hello all,
Looks like a good authority on Trackers, Vitaras and whatnot around here.
I just got into a '02 Chevy Tracker 4dr today. Cute little one owner rig, with a documented history. ...Just happened to luck into it.

Our reason for buying this Tracker is to flat tow it behind a Sprinter RV. Then we can park the rv and wander off.
And of course I mess with most 4x4's I've owned. Which means I would like to lift it. Not to be a dedicated trail rig, but to be an adventurous vehicle while out and about.

I have read up (searched) on various lifts (there aren't many) and I like the Calmini. I have used Calmini before on another vehicle (bumper only) and they were ok.
The Calmini looks like the most complete kit, and supplying control arms which many suspension kits do on IFS front suspension.
Any drawbacks? Overly stiff?
I hope to go 215/75-15 tires and 1" spacers to stance it out. Just to beef the little Tracker slightly.
Looks like I will need locking hubs? (the wife don't care for that) I want to keep it flat towable, and not bog it with too big of tires.
I see many here lean away from the Calmini kit, basically for price alone and go the OME route. Doesn't the Calmini offer more?

Lets hear some Calmini opinions please!
Thanks

(https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/Maxxamillion/Maxxamillion086/IMG_4692_zpsvfaufxhr.jpg)

Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on January 19, 2019, 09:16:44 PM
I hope my finished result will be about like this (grabbed off the interweb). Nice little bugger.

(https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/Maxxamillion/Maxxamillion087/red-tracker-2-inch-suspension-lift_zps5xhreyw8.jpg)
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: fordem on January 20, 2019, 09:27:54 AM
First - do yourself a favor and google Calmini, maybe check their BBB ratings - I will not repeat what I have heard or read, but I will tell you that the last time I bought anything from Calmini was in the late nineties, back then my experience was not as good as it could have been, and that coupled with what can be found on the internet today is enough to keep me from making that mistake a second time.

Moving on - I don't think you need a lift (or spacers) to run 215/75R15 tires, I don't know what the OEM size on the Tracker is, but on a GV, it's 235/60R16 or 215/65R16, which work out to a 27.1" diameter - your 215/75R15 works out to 27.7" so not a large increase and I have a buddy running my old 225/70R16 (28.4") all terrains on his GV with no lift and no issues - if the 225's clear with no lift, then you should be fine with the slightly smaller rubber.

I'm one of the people running OME (on a Grand Vitara), camber is within spec with no camber bolts, so no need for fancy new control arms, and I'd say OME's reputation for ride quality is well deserved - general cornering & handling is superb for a two ton lifted SUV, and I have no regrets going the OME route - my one "complaint" is that OME doesn't make suspension for my Mitsubishi Pajero.

I do have freewheeling front hubs, they are not essential, the vehicle can be flat towed with or without them, so whether you choose to fit them or not is up to you, either way you will need to maintain the existing pneumatic freewheel mechanism in working order or modify the front differential to eliminate it.

Good luck with your build.


Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on January 20, 2019, 10:48:40 AM
Excellent info, thank you FORDEM. The pneumatic hubs are a curious thing to me. I will look into maintenance on them. The system works as of right now, I think (going out to double check today).

ActuatorPumpRepair.Com   ...I found this site which is golden for anyone who has issues.

Fo the wife & I who will drive over a snowy pass, or a snowy freeway and not have the opportunity to stop, hop out to engage hubs, the auto set-up will be best. For safety reasons.

I will check on doing the OME lift for our little Old Blue.  :)

I'm learning...
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on January 22, 2019, 04:09:22 PM
I have the flashing 4wd light so I have lined up an actuator should I need one. Hoping for maybe just bad lines.
Also, I have OME struts & spacers (on stock springs) lined up for a 2" lift. I'll still do the 215/75-15 tires (Toyo At-II) with 1" wheel spacers for stance. Not looking to bog my Tracker.
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on January 26, 2019, 05:49:44 PM
And yes my 4x4 actuator pump is faulty.  >:(  I located a refurbished pump at actuator pump repair dot com. He had one. You can send your own in for refurbish also.
I will use this thread for my mini build too. Just the basics, spacers lift, upsize tires, receiver hitch, etc. Oh and the flat tow equipment also, which is amazingly expensive, as in as much as the car cost me. ...I have to think that over. Pictures are good so I'll have a few.
I have received my Curt receiver and my rear shocks so far.  :)
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: Browning on January 27, 2019, 12:24:07 AM
And yes my 4x4 actuator pump is faulty.  >:(  I located a refurbished pump at actuator pump repair dot com. He had one. You can send your own in for refurbish also.
I will use this thread for my mini build too. Just the basics, spacers lift, upsize tires, receiver hitch, etc. Oh and the flat tow equipment also, which is amazingly expensive, as in as much as the car cost me. ...I have to think that over. Pictures are good so I'll have a few.
I have received my Curt receiver and my rear shocks so far.  :)


A few notes, I put a Calmini in, took 7 months to get the kit, so look at alter ego/ Zuki nation for lifts, I have my pump that I can sell reasonably as I re geared my tracker and deleted the air actuator.
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on January 27, 2019, 11:10:15 AM

A few notes, I put a Calmini in, took 7 months to get the kit, so look at alter ego/ Zuki nation for lifts, I have my pump that I can sell reasonably as I re geared my tracker and deleted the air actuator.

I have ruled Calmini out. Stiff unyielding springs from what I have read/heard, plus poor customer service - I have experienced them personally. I just discovered Alter Ego which looks totally cool. But my Low Range 2" kit has already been purchased, and with 215/75-15 tires a simple, smart set up for my light duty use. Think rally car!  >:D

I am using my stock steel 5.5" wide wheels. I am also using 1" spacers all around for a wider stance. Not sure how good or bad that will be, and I don't need to run 'em if they make for problems. I hope my tires with spacers don't stick out more than a 1/2", as stock my tires are close to 1" under the fenders now.
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: Drone637 on January 28, 2019, 11:11:14 AM
Once you get your lift kit in place you will want to check your width.  You want the front end to be slightly wider then the rear, I found the handling was much improved by only running wheel spacers on the front end after a 2" lift on my 96.

Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on January 28, 2019, 08:55:30 PM
Once you get your lift kit in place you will want to check your width.  You want the front end to be slightly wider then the rear, I found the handling was much improved by only running wheel spacers on the front end after a 2" lift on my 96.

Interesting E C.
Would that be road handling, or dirt road handling, or crawling handling? I've never changed the track width front to rear. Either space it equally or no spacers at all.
I will look at my options. ...My kit came in today.
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on January 30, 2019, 09:31:16 PM
Ok, my next question is, and I have heard it both ways... Should I pull my front swaybar when my 2" lift is in? I like articulation and maybe a smoother ride without a swaybar.
I have pulled my front swaybar on another vehicle without issue although it leaned more when pushing through corners. Does the little Tracker get unruly on pavement without the swaybar? I will have fresh struts/shocks...
Whats the consensus?
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: fordem on January 31, 2019, 04:00:18 AM
Here's my take on it ...

IF the vehicle is going to do duty as a daily driver - the sway bar stays.
IF the vehicle is going to see highway usage - the sway bar stays.

With the sway bar removed, the vehicle is noticeably more inclined to lift & spin the "inside rear" tire in any situation where you're accelerating through a turn, for example, pulling a way from a stop light and turning through the intersection - on wet asphalt, you can break traction and swap ends with little provocation.
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on February 01, 2019, 10:39:15 PM
I catch your drift (no pun intended) FORDEM. More negatives than positives unhooking the sway bar. I will keep it hooked up and see how our little Tracker works.
Its just city/country usage car when it gets pulled around anyhow.
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on February 16, 2019, 03:33:43 PM
I have a boat load of parts in the garage for our Tracker. Struts, shocks, spring spacers & wheel spacers, alignment bolts, plus I have a refurbished actuator pump in hand also.
Also I have a receiver hitch for carrying our bicycles when the Tracker is being pulled.
And of course my tire size selection is still being mulled over (as in my other thread)... a 'big' 215/75-15 or a 'smaller' 225/75-15. LOL anal I know. :-\
Gonna be an interesting end of February!
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on February 17, 2019, 05:29:13 PM
Pics of said parts...  8)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/Maxxamillion/Maxxamillion090/IMG_4888_zpsc1xrv6cc.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/Maxxamillion/Maxxamillion090/IMG_4890_zpsvcy3emgm.jpg)
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on February 18, 2019, 10:41:59 AM
And the actuator pump.

Even a clean Tracker needs parts...  ;D

(https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/Maxxamillion/Maxxamillion091/IMG_4894_zpsorjeblyd.jpg)
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on February 18, 2019, 05:49:00 PM
Well I might get chastised for this but I believe I have my tire decision. My little Tracker will just be a slightly beefed up vehicle. Slightly taller tire and a slightly taller suspension.
Not mud terrain, not all terrain, but an all season tire. I will have the tires siped also.

Cooper Trendsetter SE in the 225/75-15. This tires spec height is 28.05". A small 225/75-15. Thats it!

(https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/Maxxamillion/Maxxamillion092/coopertrendsetter_zpsu9io0kcs.jpg)
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on February 22, 2019, 07:27:42 PM
More progress on my Tracker. Refurbished actuator pump in and no more flashing 4wd light. Yay
Swaybar links & bushings have been replaced so and no more clunking in the front. 225/75-15 tires have been ordered.
Working with LoRange to get my correct parts...
Guess I'm just documenting for future Trackers searches...  :-\
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on February 25, 2019, 06:32:37 PM
225/75-15's are on! To the untrained eye not much difference. To me they fill in the wheelwell more. And when the 2" lift goes on, I feel the car will look very close to stock still.
Fine with me - kind of a sleeper and not a second notice.
I hope to not destroy this car with too huge of tires and over lifting it. Sort of like a level on a pickup truck...

Before... (215/70-15, 26.9")

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/Maxxamillion/Maxxamillion086/IMG_4692_zpsvfaufxhr.jpg)

And after (28.05")

(https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/Maxxamillion/Maxxamillion093/22575-3_zpsgxrogwkj.jpg)
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on February 28, 2019, 08:57:35 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/Maxxamillion/Maxxamillion095/akwardsile%20copy_zpsq4kvxfsh.png~original)
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on March 06, 2019, 08:32:00 PM
For anyone deliberating tire size, the 225/75-15 tires work good! Don't need to hold yourself to 215/75-15. I chose light tires which couldn't hurt.
My speedo is even more accurate than before. FYI YMMV WTF  >:D
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on March 10, 2019, 02:53:31 PM
21 mpg so far, not bad for slightly larger tires & 160k miles. And thats in hilly and city driving. My lift goes on this Wednesday - seems like I have been waiting forever...

So, whats left... Lift, roof rack (maybe) and a towbar/braking setup for being a tow vehicle. I got it cheap and I would like to keep it on the cheap.
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on March 14, 2019, 04:07:43 PM
My lift is installed!
For some reason I can't attached pictures on this thread, and, photobucket is down... again.
Pictures soon.

For the record Low Range sourced 2" spacer lift, Doestch struts, Pro Comp shocks, 1" wheel spacers and tame 225/75-15 Cooper tires. The ride is smooth.
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on March 14, 2019, 04:12:12 PM
Another...
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on March 14, 2019, 04:14:47 PM
Width with spacers...
Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: OldBlue on March 14, 2019, 07:59:45 PM
One more, at the alignment shop & before I washed it. A fair amount of clearance.  8)



Title: Re: New Here - Scored a Tracker!
Post by: reversecaoboy on March 18, 2019, 11:04:35 AM
Looks good!