1986 Suzuki Samurai JX 1.3 liter 4-cylinder


Cheap 4x4, third only to the Jeep CJ and Toyota FJ-40


The original engine lasted 235,000 miles until the oil pump broke. That was the only thing that went wrong, everything else was original. Since then, I have completely rebuilt the engine and replaced all of the accessories (starter, alternator, carb, etc.)

General Comments:

I can highly recommend a Samurai as your off-road toy. You CANNOT get this truck stuck! If you roll it, you can tip it back over and keep on going (this happened).

I would not recommend it as a daily driver, however, because the engine is extremely anaemic, and it is not comfortable, especially having a soft-top.

Highway use is definitely out of the question, you are lucky to pull 65 on a straight-away without wind. Passing and merging is a dangerous act and will most likely get you honked at or brighted.

However, out on the rocks, it is surpassed in capability only by the Jeep CJ/"Wrangler" and the Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser.

My dad had the Samurai before me, and it never left him stranded until the oil pump went out. It probably broke because he rarely changed the oil.

My current vehicle is a '74 Cherokee, and if that didn't suck up all my money, I would definitely be towing the Samurai wherever I went.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th December, 2002

1986 Suzuki Samurai JX 1.3L


More power than you'd think, but not a whole lot. Good gas mileage, great for off-road


Replaced a starter solenoid and alternator after going though a river - not a great idea when it's up to your doors.

Didn't have 1 fender flare. Got a new one.

Pervious owner tipped it over. Some body work needed.

General Comments:

Been a damn fine little car. My 1986 Samurai - (The Dust Devil) - has 136000 miles with 50000 of them from towing. For the price and gas mileage, it's a damn fine car and I recommend it to you for four-wheeling and any off-road stuff.

Planning on putting a 3" lift on it sometime this year and a 3.5L Montero engine in the next year or so. When that's done it'll be bad ass.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2001

23rd Mar 2004, 10:19

3" lift???!!! You need at least a 6". I wouldn't want to get in an accident with it. I paid only $50 for mine. The transfer case was stuck in neutral only. Suzuki needs to keep building this thing, just put a bigger motor on it.

1986 Suzuki Samurai 1.3 4 cylinder carburated


The optimum outdoors car


Clutch is almost dead.

Sloppy shifter.

Sloppy U-joints - understandable with what I do to it.

Bad rod knock - solved with 20w 50 racing oil.

A/C doesn't work - damn...

Blew a couple of tires so far.

I don't forsee much of a future for the current brakes.

The exhaust got ripped from underneith the car.

I don't have a top for it, and our other Samurai with a top has a bee's nest in it - hate that.

General Comments:

The Samurai wasn't really made for performance.. It was made to go where no other SUV or Multipurpose vehicle could go, and it does this well. I have a Samurai I drive at the 100 acre junk yard I work for.

My shift pin is broken, too. I don't regularly have a passenger, and this is the only time the sloppy shifter bugs me (I will hit them in the knee when shifting gears). I kinda prefer the shift being sloppy like that, I've got long legs and if the shifter was good, I would be hitting myself in the knee - this way it is kinda out of the way.

As for the enormous lack of power and unbelievably small clutch, I have read that Buick 3.8's fit nicely in these - surf the net for Samurai hop-ups. Another nice thing about these that makes me wanna get one, is the ease of modification to the car and the ease of installing a killer sound system that WILL be heard. I also like the styling of this car, it looks cool from the front and back.

But what I REALLY like about this car is the fact that I can go where no one else can go, who enters the yard.. My tracks amaze everyone. It can fit between cars where no one else's car can. It doesn't need a road. And it doesn't need all four wheels on the ground to keep moving, I know this 1st hand. Some places I go in the yard include me never having all four wheels on the ground, and it teeters all over the place on 3 wheels, but keeps moving forward. It's even kinda humorous.. It has working no e-brake, you see, so sometimes when I leave it running it will roll away on me - everyone calls it "antichrist" thinking of the movie "the gods must be crazy". One of the guys who I work with told me that he was going to use my winch and dangle the thing from a tree!

All in all, I want one of these for myself and I want to put in a Tracker engine or a Buick 3.8 or a Ford 1.9. I can't wait till I have money to throw at a project like this.. Oh I can't wait to have one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2001