More Aluminum Samurai Episodes

More '85 Suzuki Samurai Episodes

Xtreme 4x4 Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Dupli-Color
Paint, Engine, Enamel with Ceramic Resin, Gloss, Black, 12 oz., Aerosol, Each
Dupli-Color
Paint, Self-Etching Primer, Flat, Green, 12 oz., Aerosol, Each
Auto Body Color & Supply Co.
Auto Body Color & Supply in Nashville, TN - Wholesale Automobile Body Shop Equipment/Supplies
G-2 Axle & Gear
TJ D44 Front Axle Assembly 4.88 ratio; With Air Locker
G-2 Axle & Gear
TJ D44 Rear Axle Assembly 4.88 ratio; With ARB Locker, 33 Spline Axles and Disc Brakes
KC HiLites
7 1/4" Long Range - Carbon Fiber - LED 35 Watt
Matco Tools
15,000lb 2-Post Vehicle Lift
Matco Tools
Electric Power Shears
Performance Rod and Custom, Inc.
Custom Built Aluminum Radiator Kit Complete with Dual Fans
Pro Comp
Tire, Xterrain, 35.00 in. x 12.50 in.-17, Radial, 119D Load Range, Q Speed Rating, Blackwall, Each
Pro Comp
Wheel, Series 7089, Aluminum, Black, 17 in. x 8 in., 5 x 4.50 in. Bolt Circle, 4.50 in. Backspace, Each
Rubicon Express
4.5" Extreme-Duty Long Arm Suspension System with Rear Tri-Link - No Shocks
Tennsmith
48" Sheet Metal brake with stand
U-POL
Raptor Bed Liner KIT, black
U-POL
Raptor Bed Liner Kit, Tintable

Episode Transcript

(ANNOUNCER)>> OKAY, SO THE SUZUKI SAMURAI WAS NEVER QUITE AS POPULAR AS SOME OF THE OTHER GUYS, AND THAT MEANS THERE AREN'T AS MANY AFTERMARKET OPTIONS FOR UPGRADING YOUR RIG. SO WHAT DO YOU DO, BUILD IT YOURSELF. TODAY ON XTREME 4X4 WE GIVE OUR SAMMY CUSTOM DOORS, SERIOUS LIGHTING POWER, AND MORE. PLUS TONS OF TRAIL TESTED UPGRADES FOR OUR TJ'S DRIVE LINE.

(IAN)>> OUR ALUMINUM SAMURAI IS BACK IN THE SHOP FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF FAB WORK. NOW THIS RIG HAS SLOWLY BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO A 100 PERCENT CUSTOM ROCK CRAWLER. NOW TODAY WE'RE GONNA DEAL WITH A BUNCH OF STUFF THAT PERTAINS TO ANY OFF ROAD RIG. KEEPING THE ENGINE COOL UNDERNEATH THE HOOD, MOUNTING OFF ROAD LIGHTS, AND BUILDING SOME HALF DOORS.

(CHRIS)>> BUT HOW DOES THIS TRUCK GET TO THE POINT TO WHERE IT NEEDED A COMPLETE REBUILD? CHECK IT OUT! IT ALL STARTED WHEN WE PICKED UP THE GOOD USED SUZUKI SAMURAI TINTA, WHICH WE BUILT INTO A BUDGET FRIENDLY CRAWLER THAT WAS ALSO ECO FRIENDLY. ALL JUNKYARD PARTS AND RUNNING ON WASTE VEGETABLE OIL, FOR LESS THAN $5,000 WE HAD A GREAT WORKING RIG.

(IAN)>> BUT LIKE ALL PROJECTS, THERE'S ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. SO AFTER A FULL REBUILD WITH A NEW LOW RIDING STANCE, WE HIT THE DIRT ONCE AGAIN AND THE ZUK WORKED EVEN BETTER. WE HAD PUSHED THE LIMITS OF THE LAST FEW STOCK PARTS THAT WERE LEFT UNDER THIS RIG. SO ONCE AGAIN WE PULLED IT INTO THE SHOP FOR ITS FINAL REBUILD. THIS TIME A FULL TUBE CHASSIS, ALUMINUM BODY, AND CUSTOM SUSPENSION DESIGNED TO REMOVE ANY POSSIBLE WEAK LINKS ON THE TRUCK, BUILDING THE ULTIMATE ALUMIZUK. ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS TO DO IN ANY ROCK CRAWLER IS KEEP YOUR ENGINE TEMPERATURES IN CHECK WHEN YOU'RE OUT WHEELING. NOW A LOT OF THAT HAS TO DO WITH HOW WE USE THESE RIGS. REMEMBER, WE'RE DRIVING DOWN A TRAIL AT A SLOW RATE OF SPEED IN A LOW GEAR WITH THE ENGINE REVVING UP. ADD TO THAT THAT ONE BIG OBSTACLE YOU'VE GOT TO BOUNCE OFF THE REV LIMITER TO TRY TO CLIMB OVER, YOUR BUILDING A LOT OF HEAT AND YOU'VE GOT TO GET RID OF IT. THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT IS TO INSTALL AN ALUMINUM RADIATOR. NOW IF YOU'RE PINCHING SOME PENNIES, YOU CAN DO WHAT I'VE DONE HERE. I TOOK SOME MEASUREMENTS DOWN TO MY LOCAL AUTO PARTS STORE, GRABBED A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT RADIATORS OFF THE SHELF TO FIND ONE THAT WOULD ALMOST WORK. THE PROBLEM IS YOU'RE STUCK WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT. YOU CAN'T CHANGE THE SIZE OF THE CORE AND YOU CAN'T CHANGE THE LOCATION OR THE SIZE OF THE INLETS AND OUTLETS. IT'S BASICALLY DESIGNED TO BOLT IN TO WHATEVER CAR IT WAS MADE FOR. IN THIS CASE IT'S MADE FOR A HONDA CIVIC. NOW A BETTER OPTION IS TO GO WITH A CUSTOM RADIATOR. NOW WE HAD THE GUYS AT PERFORMANCE ROD AND CUSTOM BUILD THIS ONE SPECIFICALLY FOR OUR ZUK. WE WERE ABLE TO CHOOSE A LARGER CORE TO GIVE US ADDITIONAL COOLING AS WELL AS THE LOCATION AND THE SIZE OF THE INLETS AND THE OUTLETS. THEY'LL ALSO ADD AN ELECTRIC FAN TO EITHER SIDE OF THE RADIATOR SET UP AS A PUSHER OR A PULLER WITH A FULL SHROUD. THIS UNDERNEATH THE HOOD OF OUR ZUK WILL KEEP IT RUNNING COOL ALL DAY LONG. ON A ROCK CRAWLER THE LOCATION OF THE RADIATOR IS NOT THAT CRITICAL. AS LONG AS THE AIR HAS A GOOD PATH TO CIRCULATE, IT'LL KEEP THE ENGINE RUNNING AT A GOOD TEMPERATURE. AFTER CHECKING THE CLEARANCE OF THE TIRES AND THE HOOD, WE DRILL THE FRAME...

AND USE A PIECE OF ANGLE IRON ON THE BODY AS A BRACKET. ACCESSORY LIGHTS ON A STREET CAR ARE JUST THERE TO HELP OUT THE HEAD LIGHTS, BUT ON AN OFF ROAD RIG IT'S JUST AS IMPORTANT AS A LOCKER OR A GOOD WINCH. TRUST ME, IF YOU BREAK YOUR RIG, SPEND A LONG TIME FIXING IT, AND YOU'VE GOT TO DRIVE OUT OF THE TRAIL AT NIGHT WITH JUST STOCK HEADLIGHTS AND A LITTLE BIT OF LIGHT, YOU'RE GONNA UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF POWERFUL OFF ROAD LIGHTING. NOW REMEMBER, WE'RE TRYING TO BUILD THE ULTIMATE ZUK. SO WE WANT A PRETTY AWESOME SET OF LIGHTS. WE CALLED THE GUYS AT KC HIGHLIGHTS AND HAD THEM SEND US THEIR NEW HYBRID POD. THE BACK HALF OF THE POD IS 100 PERCENT CARBON FIBER CONSTRUCTION FOR WEIGHT, AND IT HAS A POLY CARBONATE LENS ON THE FRONT FOR STRENGTH. INSIDE IS THE SAME REFLECTOR THAT YOU FIND ON THEIR HID SERIES OF LIGHTS BUT THERE'S NO HIGH INTENSITY DISCHARGE BULB INSIDE. INSTEAD THERE'S A HEAT SINK BRIDGE AND TWO SINGLE LED BULBS. NOW THAT MEANS YOU GET THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. YOU GET THE LIGHT THROW AND WATTAGE OF AN HID LIGHT BUT BECAUSE THERE'S ONLY TWO LED'S INSIDE, IT DRAWS ALMOST NO AMPERAGE.

(CHRIS)>> AND TO MAKE SURE THAT THESE LIGHTS DON'T GET DAMAGED, JUST IN CASE WE ROLL IT OVER, WE'RE GONNA ADD A HOOP TO THE LIGHT BAR AND THEN ANCHOR IT TO THE MAIN BAR ON THE ROLL CAGE.

ABOUT RIGHT THERE.

(ANNOUNCER)>> COMING UP, A DURABLE TWO TONE FINISH THAT PAYS TRIBUTE TO OUR ORIGINAL SAMURAI PROJECT.

(IAN)>> ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS ABOUT VEHICLES LIKE OUR ZUK IS YOU CAN TAKE THE DOORS OFF WHEN YOU GO FOUR WHEELING. NOW OUR BODY IS BUILT TO ACCEPT A SET OF FACTORY DOORS BACK ON TO IT, BUT THOSE ARE GONNA BE FULL DOORS AND THAT'S NOT WHAT WE WANT. WE'RE GONNA STEAL A PAGE FROM THE JEEP HAND BOOK. WE'RE GONNA BUILD A SET OF HALF DOORS. THEY'RE GONNA INDEX OFF THE FRONT OF THE COWL AND THEN PICK UP THE BODY LINE AT THE BACK OF THE TUB. NOW IF THIS WAS A JEEP YOU COULD EASILY OPEN UP ANY CATALOG AND HAVE A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT DOORS TO CHOSE FROM. THE SUZUKI, IT'S NOT THAT POPULAR. SO FOR US TO GET HALF DOORS WE'RE GONNA BUILD THEM OURSELVES. WE'RE GONNA START WITH A SET OF SUZUKI HINGES WE GOT FROM A LOCAL JUNKYARD. THEN WE'LL MEASURE THE DOOR OPENING, CUT SOME ONE INCH SQUARE ALUMINUM STOCK, AND BEND IT TO FIT.

THE SQUARE ALUMINUM IS GONNA BE USED TO MAKE UP THE OUTER SHELL OF THE DOOR. NOW THAT'LL GIVE US SOMETHING TO MOUNT THE HINGES TO AS WELL AS THE ALUMINUM SKIN THAT WE'RE GONNA PUT ON IT. NOW WE'RE MAKING IT IN MULTIPLE PIECES, MAINLY BECAUSE WE HAVE A 90 DEGREE ANGLE HERE, ONE THAT'S ABOUT 70 DEGREES BACK HERE, AND THEN WE'RE GONNA BE PUTTING A TOP ON IT. BECAUSE THIS IS JUST A HALF DOOR, IT'S OKAY TO MAKE IT OUT OF MULTIPLE PIECES. RIGHT NOW THERE'S A JOG IN THE BODY LINE BUT I'M GONNA HAVE TO CUT THIS PIECE TO FIT INTO IT. IN ORDER TO MATCH THE BODY LINE IN OUR AQUALU TUB, WE NEED TO PIE CUT THE ONE INCH SQUARE. AFTER IT'S MARKED, CUT IT ON THE BAND SAW, AND BEND IT TO FIT.

THEN THE WHOLE FRAME GETS TACKED TOGETHER WITH A TIG WELDER.

NOW IF YOU'RE BUILDING A SET OF HALF DOORS FOR YOUR RIG, YOU DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE TO USE ALUMINUM. WE'RE USING IT BECAUSE IT MATCHES THE BODY ON OUR ZUK, AND WE'RE GONNA SKIN IT WITH ALUMINUM AS WELL. NOW IF WE'RE LOOKING FOR A LITTLE EXTRA PROTECTION, WE COULD USE SOME OF THIS THICK 5052 ALUMINUM, BEING YOU SEE THIS USED ALL THE TIME. IT'S THREESIXTEENTHS OF AN INCH THICK AND IT'S GOOD AND STRONG. NOW IT'S LIGHT, BUT WE WANT IT A LITTLE BIT LIGHTER. WE'RE GONNA GO WITH .090 ALUMINUM SHEET. NOW I GOT THIS SHEET WITH WHAT'S CALLED GOOD SIDE ONLY. NOW THAT MEANS THAT ONE SIDE COMES SHIPPED WITH THIS BIG WHITE STICKER ON THAT BACK. THAT WAY WHEN YOU'RE DONE CUTTING AND TRIMMING AND YOU HAVE IT ALL MOUNTED UP, YOU JUST PEEL OFF THIS WHITE BACKING AND THE ALUMINUM WILL LOOK GOOD AS NEW.

WE'LL PULL THE DOOR BACK OFF THE TRUCK TO ACT AS A TEMPLATE TO MAKE OUR OUTER SKIN. CUT THE ALUMINUM WITH SOME ELECTRIC SHEARS, THEN PUT A BEND IN THE PANEL WITH MUSCLE CAR'S SHEET METAL BREAK. NEXT WE MOUNT THE PANEL TO THE DOOR FRAME WITH SOME SELF TAPPING SCREWS AND REINSTALL THE DOOR.

(IAN)>> ANYONE WHO'S EVER BUILT A HARDCORE CRAWLER LIKE OUR ZUK KNOWS THAT THERE COMES A TIME WHEN IN ORDER TO FINISH IT UP WE'VE GOT TO TEAR IT ALL APART.

(CHRIS)>> AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHERE WE'RE AT RIGHT NOW. WE'RE GONNA STRIP THIS RIG DOWN, FINISH WELD EVERYTHING, AND THEN PAINT THE CHASSIS.

(IAN)>> OHHH!

(CHRIS)>> SORRY!

(IAN)>> TO FINISH OUT THE BODY ON OUR ZUK WE'VE GOT A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT OPTIONS. WE CAN LEAVE IT RAW ALUMINUM AND MAYBE POLISH IT LIKE WE'VE DONE IN THE PAST ON OUR SCRAMBLER PROJECT. NOW THAT CERTAINLY LOOKS GOOD. WE REALLY WANT TO KEEP SOME COLOR ON THIS RIG SO WE COULD PAINT IT, BUT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE IT'S GOOD AND STRONG. WE TALKED TO THE GUYS AT AUTO BODY COLOR AND SUPPLY AND THEY SUGGESTED USING THE UPOLE RAPTOR LINER SYSTEM. NOW THIS COMES IN BOTTLES AND ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ADD HARDENER AND IT'S READY TO SHOOT. YOU CAN MIX IT DOWN AND CHANGE THE TEXTURE OF THE FINISH COATING. BUT MOST IMPORTANT, YOU'RE NOT JUST STUCK WITH A BLACK FINISH. WE ALWAYS LIKE THE ZUK WITH ITS OLIVE DRAB PAINT. SO WE HAD THEM SEND US SOME TINTABLE RAPTOR LINER. ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS ADD THIS COLORED BASE AND WE'LL GET BACK OUR OLIVE DRAB GREEN. BUT BEFORE WE START SPRAYING, WE HAVE TO MAKE A COUPLE OF CHANGES TO OUR ZUK'S BODY. WE NEED TO RELOCATE THE SHIFTER HOLE BECAUSE WE MOVED THE DRIVETRAIN. THEN REMOVE THE FACTORY SEAT MOUNT THAT AQUALU PUT INTO THE TUB.

WITH THE SURFACE PREPPED WITH SOME 80 GRIT SAND PAPER, 250 MILLILITERS OF HARDENER IS ADDED TO THE RAPTOR LINER BOTTLE. THEN WE SHAKE THE BOTTLE FOR TWO MINUTES TO MIX EVERYTHING UP. CONNECT THE BOTTLE TO THE AIR LINE AND AT 40 PSI START SPRAYING.

THE PROCESS IS SIMILAR FOR THE TINT OF A LINER. AFTER WE ADD OUR COLOR AND SHAKE, WE'RE READY TO GO.

NOW THE SURFACE WILL BY DRY TO THE TOUCH IN ABOUT AN HOUR, BUT YOU WANT TO WAIT OVERNIGHT TO LET IT FULLY CURE BEFORE YOU START MOVING THE BODY PANELS AROUND. NOW THE NICE THING ABOUT THIS TEXTURED FINISH IS IF WE'RE EVER OUT ON THE TRAIL AND GET SOME BODY DAMAGE, ALL WE NEED TO DO IS PREP THE AREA THAT WAS DAMAGED AND DO A SPOT REPAIR AND IT WILL BLEND IN PERFECTLY WITH THE REST OF THE PANELS.

(ANNOUNCER)>> FOUR AND A HALF INCHES OF LIFT, BIG BEEFY TIRES, CHROME MOLY AXLES, OUR TJ TURNS INTO A SERIOUS WHEELING MACHINE!

(ANNOUNCER)>> XTREME'S DOUBLE DUTY TJ IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY FOUR WHEEL PARTS, YOUR TRUCK AND JEEP ACCESSORY SUPER STORE, ONLINE AT FOUR WHEEL PARTS DOT COM.

(IAN)>> TODAY ON OUR DOUBLE DUTY TJ WE'RE GONNA DEAL WITH THE SUSPENSION, TIRES AND WHEELS, AND THE AXLES. NOW YOU DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE TO LIFT THE BODY OFF OF YOUR JEEP PROJECT IN ORDER TO INSTALL A SUSPENSION SYSTEM. BUT IF YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO LIKE WE DO THANKS TO OUR MATCO HIGH RISE LIFT, IT'S GONNA MAKE THINGS A LOT EASIER. IT JUST TAKES A COUPLE OF HOURS TO GET EVERYTHING DISCONNECTED. AND THEN WITH THE BODY UP AND OUT OF THE WAY, IT MAKES WORKING ON THE FRAME EASY AS PIE. BUT BEFORE ANY NEW SUSPENSION CAN GO ON, ALL THE OLD BRACKETS, WELL WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO CUT THEM OFF. A COMPANY THAT HELPED PIONEER THE USE OF RADIUS ARMS ON LONG TRAVEL JEEP SUSPENSION SYSTEMS HAS ALWAYS BEEN RUBICON EXPRESS. RECENTLY THEY'VE COME OUT WITH SOME NEW EXTREME DUTY VERSIONS FOR MODELS OF JEEPS LIKE OUR TJ. NOW WE OPTED FOR THE FOUR AND A HALF INCH KIT THAT USES THEIR RADIUS ARMS UP FRONT AND AN ADJUSTABLE TRACK BAR. IT MOUNTS TO THE FACTORY LOCATIONS DOWN ON THE AXLE, BUT UP ON THE NEW FRAME MOUNT IT USES A HEIM JOINT WITH A HIGH MISALIGNMENT SPACER TO HELP THAT FRONT AXLE FLEX. OUT BACK IT CONVERTS THE SUSPENSION TO A DOUBLE TRIANGULATED FOUR LINK USING A CENTER UNIBALL MOUNT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE REAR AXLE TO HELP THE REAR AXLE MOVE WHEN YOU'RE TRAVELING THROUGH THE TRAIL. NOW THE REALLY UNIQUE FEATURE OF THIS KIT IS THE SKID PLATE. IT'S A THREE PIECE DESIGN WITH A REMOVABLE CENTER. IT ALLOWS YOU TO SERVICE THE DRIVETRAIN WITHOUT HAVING TO TAKE THE SUSPENSION OUT OF THE TRUCK. THE NICE THING IS IS THAT ONCE IT'S INSTALLED INTO THE JEEP, ALL THE SUSPENSION MOUNTS ARE UP ABOVE THE SKID PLATE, LEAVING NOTHING HANGING DOWN BELOW THE FRAME THAT CAN GET HUNG UP WHEN YOU'RE OUT ON THE ROCKS. THE NEW OUTER SKID PLATE PIECES ARE BOLTED UP TO THE FRAME IN THE STOCK LOCATION AND THE UPPER LINK MOUNT ASSEMBLY IS INSTALLED. NOW OUR TJ LEFT THE FACTORY WITH A DANA 30/35 COMBINATION, AND WE CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO LEAVE THOSE AXLES UNDER THERE FOR A GOOD DUAL PURPOSE RIG. YEAH SURE, WE COULD HAVE GRABBED SOME 44'S FROM A JUNKYARD, THROW A BUNCH OF PARTS AT THEM AND REBUILT THEM. BUT JUST FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE WE WERE ABLE TO GET TWO COMPLETE CRATE AXLE ASSEMBLIES FROM GTWO AXLE AND GEAR. NOW THEY CAME WITH ARB'S INSTALLED AS WELL AS 4.88 GEARS, AND 33 SPLINE AXLES. THE REAR'S BEEN TREATED TO A DISC BRAKE CONVERSION, WHICH WILL DEFINITELY IMPROVE OUR BRAKING AND ALL THE BRACKETS ARE WELDED ONTO THE TUBES BOTH REAR AND FRONT TO ALLOW THEM TO BE BOLTED INTO A TJ USING ANY TYPE OF AFTERMARKET SUSPENSION. NOW WE DO HAVE TO REUSE THE OUTER KNUCKLE AND BEARING AND BRAKE ASSEMBLY OFF OUR OLD AXLE. BUT ONCE THAT'S BOLTED ON, THESE PUPPIES WILL BE READY TO SLIDE UNDERNEATH THE TRUCK.

WITH THE TIRE AND WHEEL REMOVED FROM THE OLD AXLE, THE BREAK AND UNIT BEARING UNBOLTED, THE ORIGINAL KNUCKLE CAN BE REMOVED. AFTER SOME CLEANING AND QUICK COAT OF DUPLICOLOR GLOSS BLACK PAINT, THE KNUCKLE IS BOLTED UP TO OUR NEW AXLE.

SHAFTS SLIDE BACK IN. THEN WE'LL FINISH IT OFF WITH A NEW UNIT BEARING, BRAKE ROTOR, AND CALIPER AND PADS THAT WE PICKED UP FROM OUR LOCAL PARTS STORE.

OUR TIRE OF CHOICE, THE PRO COMP XTERRAIN, 35 INCHES TALL, 12.5 INCHES WIDE. NOW WE MOUNTED THEM UP ON A SET OF HEAVY DUTY PRO COMP ALUMINUM WHEELS IN A FLAT BLACK FINISH. WITH EVERYTHING ON OUR FRAME, WE HAVE ONE HECK OF A ROLLING CHASSIS READY TO FOR OUR JEEP'S BODY TO GO BACK ON.
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