1989 Suzuki SJ410 Santana 1.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Top fun if a little slow, but put the roof down and enjoy


Quite a few problems.

Bought it with a sick clutch, release springs had lost their springiness, leading to a bent release arm and frayed cable.

Universal joint in rear prop shaft, next to handbrake hub was in need of replacement, made do with swapping for the front prop shaft and 2 wheel drive until the replacement arrived (and I got around to fitting it).

Head gasket blew between cylinders 3 and 4, but it still ran, and got me a fair way home in that condition. Needed an excuse to change the cam belt and adjust valve clearances anyway.

Roof leaked above drivers lap, reproofed it using an autoglym cleaner/reproofing kit and it was fine after that.

Sills rotted through, a good seeing to with the welding torch cured that.

Handbrake adjuster had rotted into the drum, needed to be drilled out and re-tapped with and alternate adjuster fitted.

Hole in the fuel tank, didn't find this for ages as it would still hold ten pounds worth of fuel before it reached the leak. Corrosion prevented me getting to the tank so lived with it.

Bought it with bits of a thermostat, got one off the shelf at the local dealers, 10 minutes to fit, nice and warm in the snow from then onwards.

And not forgetting the comedy window winders, passenger one would open and not shut, support bracket had corroded through and detached itself, the drivers one the ratchet mechanism had worn, so half a turn and it would be fully open, pig to get back up though.

And one main beam would stop working mysteriously, the earth was good, the 12 volts was there, but it would have occasions where it would not light up, suspected it was the bulb, but when swapped for another, guess what!

General Comments:

Lots of problems, a pain to drive, slow (although I had fun explaining to the nice police officer that I could not possibly been going as fast as they said I was as it was uphill...), and the driving seat padding had seen some of its better days.

What a fantastic truck, loved it to the bits it eventually started falling to. And started virtually every time, except when I tried to start like my diesels and flooded it. I would love to have another one, but would go for the 1300cc version like my brother had, much better on the open road. Choice would be though soft-top again?? or the van??

Maybe one day.

I believe my little friend (christened 'Bobtail' by my other half due to the white spare wheel on the back reminding her of a rabbits tail) is now being used as an off-roader.

May he live for many more years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2003