3rd Jan 2011, 20:19

I have a 1987 JX Suzuki Samurai. It was stripped and the engine rebuilt. Starter is in, carb is in and distributor. When I try to start the engine, fire comes from the carburetor, some say it's the timing, but I followed every instruction given in setting the timing. To this day I cannot seem to get it started. Any suggestions on the steps I should take to get it up and running?

Comments would be greatly appreciated, I'm desperate.

1st Oct 2011, 12:41

Timing backfires out carb. Carb backfires out exhaust pipe. Could be you have it 180 degrees off in distributor. Make sure you have it on compression stroke.

12th Jun 2012, 19:43

You're maybe 180 degrees off. Use a timing light to check; make sure that the timing mark is in the right place.

30th Jan 2013, 06:04

This is what happens to any vehicle that has been abused.

30th Jan 2013, 22:17

Maybe so, but a vehicle that was cheaply built to begin with (like the Samurai) will deteriorate much more quickly with lack of maintenance.

Suzuki's imminent withdrawal from the North American market will only depress resale values even further.

22nd Dec 2016, 01:25

I have a 1987 Suzuki Samurai JX, and whenever I go around 35 to 40 mph, the steering wheel becomes very unstable. It feels like I can't control the car. Any tips on what to do or check?

23rd Mar 2017, 10:34

You could take the belt back off and take the first spark plug out, put a slim screwdriver on top of the piston, take a wrench, turn the crank shaft till you feel the piston top off, then it will be high sided, put the belt back on and replace the spark plug; it should fire up. You might have to tinker with the distributor to smooth out the idling.

3rd Apr 2018, 22:17

Hi, just read your write up. I've had one since 1989, which is a 1987 JX model. Been through three children and now I am back to driving it. But it's had very little upkeep and still runs fine. But as you said, it depends on the owner. You cannot follow the very first thing under the hood and do an owner's manual change oil every 7500. Don't try that or you will be having trouble, but everything else... well one other thing, put it in 4th gear not 2nd, and the transfer case in neutral when towing.

Thanks for the great write up and stay safe.