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Vitara live axle chop & weld or spacers ?
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4x4rebuilds
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:11 pm    Post subject: Vitara live axle chop & weld or spacers ? Reply with quote

Thinking off doing a Sammy live axle conversion on my Vitara , but instead of 64mm wheel spacers each side ! Would it be just as easy to cut the axle then measure it so it is the same as rear axle then weld it up & then weld another solid tube over the cut & welded point for reinforcement , then install Vitara rear half shafts to complete ? Can this be done ? And then the rear Vitara diff should slot into the Sammy axle and still have the 4 slot pinion !
Does that make sense ? Or is this totally a no go ??
Any one even done this ???

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jeremy
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked
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4x4rebuilds
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I have found a link for my questions !

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/suzuki/1040470-c...cs/1040470?page=2

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rory-ray
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1998 Suzuki Vitara

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4x4rebuilds wrote:
I think I have found a link for my questions !

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/suzuki/1040470-c...cs/1040470?page=2



I've had a sami axel in my garage for 12 months.

I've gone through it time and time again wether to fit it to.my Vitara.

I could spend 1500 and buy a calimini kit

I could spend a good few weeks faffing around getting it to fit then run spacers to almost line the track up

Of if I want something that peforms like a sj offroad I could spend 600 on a sj.


Or if I want the comfort of a vit and the performance of a sj ill get a jimny for 1000



All I done in the end is buy a steel diff and get some custom ford ranger driveshafts its stronger and will take a good beating offroad


If i was going to go to the effort of doing a live axel id go for.yota axels.


Its a good thought putting a sami axle.on but for the money and time it takes your not achieving asmuxh as you'd think.


Well that's what I think anyway

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4x4rebuilds
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi thanks for the reply , understand where you are coming from, I've looked into the yota axles but I can't seem to find the older ones & any yota axle seeks to be about 600 up to 1000

Which to me is gonna cost more unless an old Hilux comes up as a whole car but again few & far between

What steel diff did you use ? Was that still a live axle or just a replacement for the Vitara small front Ali diff ?

What model years of yota axles would fit ? & would the 1.6 Vit engine be strong enough with the bigger yota axles ?

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ScottieJ
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1987 Suzuki SJ

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

or just son't worry about the difference in track width, you won't even notice it while driving. My SJ runs an RS full float kit in the rear and that makes the rear axle 3" wider than the front.



rory-ray wrote:


Or if I want the comfort of a vit and the performance of a sj ill get a jimny for 1000



Or just run decent springs and shocks, I don't think a jimny rides any nicer than my SJ on YJ springs

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RichMayo
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Joined: 04 Feb 2013
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1997 Suzuki Vitara

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rory-ray wrote:



Well that's what I think anyway


Your not alone same thoughts i've had over the last few years - same path I've pretty much gone. Maybe if I was starting fresh I'd go live axle route but thing is most vitara owners (me at least) have thrown a fair bit of money/time into their vehicles by the time the live axle conversion becomes interesting... The thing about vitara's is they don't take a lot to get them to perform pretty damn well. Then if you can tackle the front end reliability (as rory-ray describes basically) you're looking pretty good. I'm told if you put a locker in they really go places but I never did that myself.

(For me) I'm not sure that for the hassle of fitting an SJ front axle the gains are significant enough over a well built standard vitara. So I think if you are going to the hassle of live axle conversion why not go for something pretty significant. The nice thing about the SJ front is that you can get your gearing stock so you can just do your live axle conversion. It's a bit horses for courses I think but I'd for that much effort want to make a significant enough change that radically effects the vehicle. In terms of reliability I've been told by a few people on here that the rear vitara axle and sj front axle setup will take 33" tyres (just what ive been told) ... vitara crowd generally suggests 31" tyre as the limit with the independent front end and power setup... for me that leap in tyre size pretty insignificant. (I've run 31" tyres for years and tend to agree with vitara crowd on the hole - its been on cusp of unreliability - I break stuff but not all the time). Tbh if you go to 33's I'd be questioning the power situation already with a 1.6.

Power-wise with Land Cruiser or Patrol axles and likely the bigger tyres you may want to run I reckon you'd be struggling power wise with a stock 1.6 vitara. From my understanding diffs are available for these axles to get closer to what a 1.6 stock vitara will be more comfortable with - but they're seriously pricey... and of questionable strength(?) Maybe not an issue if you've only got a vitara sitting on them. But anyway big money... Then you end up into engine swap territory perhaps, or transfer case mods...which isn't really what you were trying to do in the first place...

My plan is essentially patrol axles (acquired), second transfer case (acquired), turbo'd 1.6 (done), cut the back off (done)... the last item may not be relevant but somehow felt like "committing" to doing all of this. I plan to share it when I get round to starting the conversion. Other benefit I get with this is a rear locker which is a nice bonus.

Something I thought about though which might be interesting to try... i'll be pulling a steel axle off of mine and drive shafts... basically everything down there. I wondered if you could build you own solid axle using those parts..... Thing being you've already got the bits under there. And they fit together at the right width. You may also be able to gain some decent clearance too... What'd be really neat is a kit which allows you to bolt all the vitara bits into a live axle! I guess the drive shafts would last longer. I've got a non-road legal job that might get this treatment (currently on an SJ front axle) as I figure i'll have all the bits necessary to have a go.

Perhaps another approach is to start with Grand Vitara (1st Gen) and do the SJ mod or one of the others mentioned above... the obvious benefit to me is a lot more diesels and bigger output engines available. Pretty much solves power issues before you start and the diff correction is available too as they still put the 5.125:1 diffs in the GV1600. (My other half has GV2000... it's just a matter of time...).
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ScottieJ
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The key to running larger tyres is the gearing, not the power. Problem with vitara's though is that without changing the transfer box or running twin transfer boxes you are stuck with 1:1 in high.

Personally unless you want to run 37"+ tyres I see no advantage in running bigger axles, you just gain weight and loose ground clearance. Patrol axles on 35s have less diff clearance than Suzuki axles on 33s, also the added width just means that you sit in the ruts, rather than half in them.

Depending on the type of offroading you do, Bigger and stronger means heavier and that doesn't always mean better, quite a lot of the time small and light will perform better.

It's easy to build Suzuki axles to cope with 35" tyres, I have been running 33s for years on my SJ with no breakages and would happily run 35s worry free on them.

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RichMayo
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1997 Suzuki Vitara

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrol axles with offset wheels are pretty wide... often times you can end up half in ruts with a wheel out on the outside edge not the inner of one rut. Tbh if straddling ruts is the solution aren't you just as well off with a vehicle which will fit in the ruts perfectly and keeps both wheels just out of the ruts? Not having both sides in the ruts sometimes gets pretty dodgey too, like where the non rutted bit of ground becomes radically different height to the depth of the rutt.

Scottie don't get me wrong gearing is great if you can do it - but like you say its not a great starting situation on a vit and tbh swapping the diffs is the easiest thing you can change and they may already be the right ones - but power will definitely help in the right form. I gather a diesel transplant is great (not experienced myself in a vit). You've got a 1.6 in yours haven't you?

What do you need to do to a Suzuki axles to make them run 35" tyres reliably? And what does it cost?
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RichMayo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add aswell - I'm pretty sure throwing an SJ axle under the front of vitara you're already losing ground clearance.
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ScottieJ
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I'm not a fan of diesel conversions, they usually weigh twice the amount of an all aluminium petrol engine and upset the weight balance. That is personal preference though, and yeah I run the 1.6 8v with the vitara gearbox and twin transfer boxes, currently building a Lwb sj with a 1.6 16v as well.

(not the best pic mind)


Chromo front shafts and CVs start at around 300 and there are a few options for the rear but I run a chromoly full float conversion, again around 300. It might sound a lot for Suzuki axles but you don't have the associated costs of the other parts needed to fit larger axles and you don't loose ground clearance or add weight, plus you don't have to buy them at the same time, tbh sj axles are reliable on 33s as standard, I just like the reassurance that I can beat on it without the worry of blowing a CV or snapping a shaft.

I've never had an issue in all the years I've been off-roading with angles from not fitting in the Landy width ruts, I'm not on about straddling them, just not fitting in them properly. There's also times when being too wide limits the lines that you can take on obstacles, I've also been out with landies before that ran wide wheels and literally got themselves wedged inside the outer walls of deep ruts Laughing

As for the Vit ground clearance argument it's a yes and no, on flat ground IFS has more clearance....But as soon as the ground gets uneven and both or one side of the suspension compresses you soon loose that clearance under the front of a vit. With a solid axle the ground clearance is a constant, I've been out so many times where vits get stuck and sjs don't on the same size tyres because of that.

I'm just offering another point of view that bigger isn't always better, it's just my opinion though and the way I like to build my suzukis.

Personally I would choose solid axle over IFS all day long unless building a high speed racer for comp safari.

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RichMayo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ScottieJ wrote:

Personally I'm not a fan of diesel conversions, they usually weigh twice the amount of an all aluminium petrol engine and upset the weight balance.


Part of my logic for trying to the turbo approach. I then upset the balance by cutting bits off the back instead :S

ScottieJ wrote:

Chromo front shafts and CVs start at around 300 and there are a few options for the rear but I run a chromoly full float conversion, again around 300.


Okay that's ball park cost of the axles I've got. Appreciate I got a deal - partly I think due to the gearing that works for me being less desirable.

ScottieJ wrote:

There's also times when being too wide limits the lines that you can take on obstacles, I've also been out with landies before that ran wide wheels and literally got themselves wedged inside the outer walls of deep ruts Laughing


Expected you to say that Wink can't really argue there

ScottieJ wrote:

With a solid axle the ground clearance is a constant,


Fair point - hadn't considered that.

ScottieJ wrote:

I'm just offering another point of view that bigger isn't always better, it's just my opinion though and the way I like to build my suzukis.


Not disagreeing there. I don't think the original poster said he wanted to run big tyres anywhere particularly...I think we're just talking about that as I said what I'm planning on doing. I'm not really sure their reasons for wanting to do the conversion??? Would be interested to know.
I was more questioning the value of a live axle conversion on a vitara - and specifically the SJ front axle choice. And the reason not necessarily being because it's better or worse than a stock vitara setup... but more because of the availability of Suzuki SJ's which already come with the setup. If it were me an I wanted the SJ live axle I think I'd buy an SJ. (I do want one - but I want lots of things)

So if you want a live axled vehicle like this

buy a Vitara:
1 - live axle conversion
2 - better gearing (e.g. transfer case mod)

buy an SJ
1 - insert vitara engine

Without getting into the debate about vit rear axle vs sj or leaf vs coil that's two paths to a couple of vehicles which use a lot of similar bits. Might be worth bearing in mind that looking at the Gov "when do I need new registration points system"... engine is only 1 point... live axle conversion and transfer case mod could be argued to require chassis, steering, suspension, axles, transmission... basically everything (if you're being pessimistic) and a few of those are 2 points!

So if I'm of the mindset go for a sami rather than but a sami axle under a vit... but I've got a soft spot for my vit and really want to make it live axled the only rational thing I can do is go for something more significant. Same argument for landy, Nissan, Toyota axles etc.

From what I gather the SJ front axle width under a vitara doesn't really work very well with spring positioning relative to the chassis rails. At least one of the build threads I've read said this wasn't ideal.

FWIW in my experience so far my relatively standard patrols have put my mucho time n money spent vitara to shame. That's without patrol locker. That doesn't necessarily mean the vitara is less fun though Wink
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suzukivit1
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:36 am    Post subject: . Reply with quote

i had all the same thoughts as you i got to the stage of cutting the sammy axle and sleaving it i had a set of custom half shafts made unfortunatly they made an absolute A**E of the measurements i had repeateadly given him via email.

i decided to fit land rover axles in the end as there is plenty of them second hand and parts are very reasonable priced i run a VW TDI 110BHP engine and std vit box with a rock lobster 3.45 diff 33" Fedima sirico tyres ARB lockers front and rear ashcroft halfshafts in the rear, i have never broke a single part since it was done.

i think i still have the shafts in the garage for the sammy axle if i remember right they were 25mm each side to short and i didnt want to use wheel spacers.

PM me if you are interested in the shafts
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RichMayo
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Wink
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suzukivit1
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i still have part of a suzuki cab and part of the suzuki chassis suzuki gearbox and transfer box ohh and a suzuki steering box.

its a hybrid Very Happy Very Happy
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RichMayo
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well when you put it like that sounds way more glass half full Wink
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ScottieJ
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1987 Suzuki SJ

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RichMayo wrote:


ScottieJ wrote:

I'm just offering another point of view that bigger isn't always better, it's just my opinion though and the way I like to build my suzukis.


Not disagreeing there. I don't think the original poster said he wanted to run big tyres anywhere particularly...I think we're just talking about that as I said what I'm planning on doing. I'm not really sure their reasons for wanting to do the conversion??? Would be interested to know.
I was more questioning the value of a live axle conversion on a vitara - and specifically the SJ front axle choice. And the reason not necessarily being because it's better or worse than a stock vitara setup... but more because of the availability of Suzuki SJ's which already come with the setup. If it were me an I wanted the SJ live axle I think I'd buy an SJ. (I do want one - but I want lots of things)

So if you want a live axled vehicle like this

buy a Vitara:
1 - live axle conversion
2 - better gearing (e.g. transfer case mod)

buy an SJ
1 - insert vitara engine

Without getting into the debate about vit rear axle vs sj or leaf vs coil that's two paths to a couple of vehicles which use a lot of similar bits. Might be worth bearing in mind that looking at the Gov "when do I need new registration points system"... engine is only 1 point... live axle conversion and transfer case mod could be argued to require chassis, steering, suspension, axles, transmission... basically everything (if you're being pessimistic) and a few of those are 2 points!

So if I'm of the mindset go for a sami rather than but a sami axle under a vit... but I've got a soft spot for my vit and really want to make it live axled the only rational thing I can do is go for something more significant. Same argument for landy, Nissan, Toyota axles etc.

From what I gather the SJ front axle width under a vitara doesn't really work very well with spring positioning relative to the chassis rails. At least one of the build threads I've read said this wasn't ideal.

FWIW in my experience so far my relatively standard patrols have put my mucho time n money spent vitara to shame. That's without patrol locker. That doesn't necessarily mean the vitara is less fun though Wink


I do really think it's the IFS that lets vits down performance wise, I've been out with vits and GVs loads, they always seem to struggle compared to the sjs and jimny's when it comes to deep ruts.

I've seen plenty of conversions using samurai axles that didn't seem to be too complicated packaging wise.

I think the biggest deciding factor on axle choice is the tyre size that you want to run...anything 35" or under it makes sense to stick with suzuki axles in my opinion because of diff clearance and weight.

At the end of the day though half the fun is just building the truck that you want to build Very Happy

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suzukivit1
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you are keen 35" on the std axles i was breaking shafts on the front with 31" special tracks even broke an inner long side shaft.
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ScottieJ
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1987 Suzuki SJ

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

suzukivit1 wrote:
you are keen 35" on the std axles i was breaking shafts on the front with 31" special tracks even broke an inner long side shaft.


If you read previous posts I stated that sj axles will easily handle 35" on uprated shafts and CVs, not the standard ones.

I've been running chromo CVS and shafts for years with a 1.6, twin trasnfer boxes and 33" tyres with no breakages and there are many Australians running the same set up on 35s with no issues.

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suzukivit1
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ScottieJ wrote:
suzukivit1 wrote:
you are keen 35" on the std axles i was breaking shafts on the front with 31" special tracks even broke an inner long side shaft.


If you read previous posts I stated that sj axles will easily handle 35" on uprated shafts and CVs, not the standard ones.

I've been running chromo CVS and shafts for years with a 1.6, twin trasnfer boxes and 33" tyres with no breakages and there are many Australians running the same set up on 35s with no issues.


didnt see the uprated shaft and cv part, it also depends on tyre choice and how you drive it.

out of curiosity how much is uprated shafts and cv's for the sj? there cant be that meny places in the uk stock them now.
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ScottieJ
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the rear I've got an RS full floater kit, but as I know you aren't a huge fan of them.

For the front shafts and CVs it's easiest to import them from the US, there's two options available, I run the cheaper ones that used to work out around 300-350 with shipping and duty. http://www.trailtough.com/index.php?page=shop.p...art&Itemid=53
You can now get RCV ones that are even stronger, but more expensive, they are actually warrantied up to 40" tyres.

It might seem a lot of money when compared to cheap landy axles however when it comes to SJs it makes sense IMO. Its just fit and forget and there's no swapping axles involved and you only have to do one end at a time and you don't need to buy new wheels etc.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i like the full float kits but yes you are correct im not a fan of RS MFG.

wow 40" are huge on the sammy axle fair play offering warranty on the cv,

As i said i got messed arround with parts and had gave up on it looked at other axles toyota mainly but they were far to expencive to buy in the first place pinion bearing kits are a fortune and lockers are as rare as second hand.

the land rover axles are common as muck much stronger caseings and you can replace a swivel ball when its pitted and the rebuild parts are very reasonable priced plus there is usualy good second hand uprated parts come up for sale.
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ScottieJ
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure the diffs would fail a long time before the shafts and CVs on 40" tyres, they are strong little units but that is maybe pushing it a bit Laughing

Yeah landy axles work well if the gear ratio options will work with your set up.

Only issue is that if you want any low ratios for them it also starts to get expensive, then toyota/patrol axles end up a cheaper option.

I'm not really a fan of the width either, the narrow width of suzukis is always a good advantage...well unless you run far too much lift Laughing

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RichMayo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I payed roughly 500 for the patrol axles complete with all the linkage etc. which could come in useful. They are off an auto though (which I think might be why they were a good deal?) so the diff ratio is the wrong end of the spectrum... but as I'm planning on a 2nd transfer case off a Suzuki with non 1:1 high range actually works out for me.

I'm planning on trying to use an LJ80 transfer case as I managed to get hold of 3 of them for way less than I thought I may end up spending on a rock lobster style conversion. Question really I think is if the case will be strong enough... mixed opinions from the research I've done (as ever!).
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ScottieJ wrote:

I do really think it's the IFS that lets vits down performance wise, I've been out with vits and GVs loads, they always seem to struggle compared to the sjs and jimny's when it comes to deep ruts.


I don't think the chassis clearance is very good on either of them - and not just the height - the layout is prone to catching. My vitara has 3" of lift and 31"s and one time I really struggled over a set of ruts with a few roots sticking up a standard'ish SJ got straight over... with momentum mind - I got over with momentum eventually but bent transfer case cross member in the process. The transfer case cross member is a bummer for catching on the vits. Fitting a big plate from the front of the chassis rails back as far as it would go made a BIG difference for me. It would still ground but was far more inclined to slide when the ruts got deep. That plate made far more difference to ability than the one I already had installed under the front diff. Originally the plate when all the way back with triangle cut out for the rear prop to clear. I've since shortened it and it ends just after the transfer case cross member. Makes it a bit easier to work on.

Other thing I've seen on the small independent fronts is despite the good central clearance at the front, the wishbones can gather a lot of muck themselves and stop progress in ruts. The Calmini arms seem to behave a bit better in this sense due to the rounded arms.

I remember fitting a bit of plate to the bottom of my other halfs GV and she instantly grounded it on said plate when we took it to a pay n play. That's pretty much standard though in terms of suspension.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's where having the narrow width often helps. you can pick lines that larger, wider 4x4s often can't. I know we seem to have strayed from the original topic but hey ho, all here to build better 4x4s and share ideas eh! Laughing

No 4x4 is free of things to get caught up underneath, I have spent a lot of time improving clearance under the SJ as I don't like tall 4x4s, even on the 33s it doesn't sit much taller than a standard SJ at the heighest point on the roof it's 5'10" and the chassis rails are only around 15" off the floor.

I'm sure you could do these with a Vit.

I've tucked the sills up so that the rocksliders don't reduce clearance at the sides, my sliders sit higher than the bottom of the original sills.




I've raised the engine and transmission to give a flat belly, I don't really need to run a skid plate because of this, I've never been a fan of full skid plates, they end up collecting so much mud after good day out off roading.

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4x4rebuilds
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting discussions, I may look at getting some manual patrol axles then as quite rightly said the Yota's are way to expensive !

But still got the Sammy axles if I don't get any Patrol ones

Like the idea of lifting the engine & tranny up Scottie !

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LWB Vit, 3" body lift, 2" + suspension lift, integral fuel tank, Hagen mod,
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1997 Suzuki Vitara

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this useful...

http://www.marks4wd.com/diff-ratio-information

If you've got the money....

http://www.marks4wd.com/drive-line/diff-gears/nissan.html

Don't know an alternative source but folks at West Coast Offroad seem to really know their stuff every time I've spoken to them about Patrols. When I rebuild the axles I've got for the Vitara i'll probably get the kits off of them.

I think patrol axles tend to be pricey by the way. I was also told once that Y61 axles are stronger than Y60. I forget why but I'd think on a vitara both are overkill anyway.

Here's a vit on another forum on patrol axles... not a lot of info but can see some of the bits from the pics.

http://www.shropshire-suzuki.co.uk/forum/viewto...p?f=15&t=4457

Pretty sure they are off of an older patrol (Y260?) again though - not sure the gearing.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seen that Vitara on Shropshire Suzuki before ! It's awesome but again your right in saying patrol axles are expensive !

I picked a pair of SJ413/Sammy axle for 180 delivered , so may make use of them first & then I might look at patrol ones on my other Vitara project ( but money bring the main issue)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What patrol is best ? What years etc ? LWB or SWB ?

As I'm thinking the cheapest option would be to buy a whole car & dismantle it myself as it works out cheaper in a sense as you can get more for the lore that other parts may be useful !

Axles seem to be about 1000 !

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