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Old 03-21-2014, 12:36 AM   #1
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Samurai/Sidekick Toad

I've got this idea to pick up a used Samurai or Sidekick for a toad. Our 96 37' Endeavor is running the mechanical 12v 230 Cummins and just not strong enough to pull a big, heavy Toad. Well... OK, it will pull a big heavy Toad but even after installing a full Banks kit I'm not patient enough to crawl up hills in 2nd at 15mpg

I've been checking the want ads and there are a number of them for sale ranging from late 80s to late 90's, 4WD, manual transmission rag tops, just what we are looking for. I then did a search on this site for towing these 4-down and didn't come up with much. Also, it seems that many of the units I have looked at have had drive train mods, new engines, xfer cases, etc, which might complicate the question even more.

Assuming I can find a stock 4x4, manual trans unit, can either the Samurai or Sidekick be towed 4-down?

Much thanks...

Tom
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:46 AM   #2
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I had a 1992 Sidekick and loved it. It was 4 wheel drive and an automatic with a transfer case. It was light and easy to tow. The only downside was the power and the very few Suzuki shops.
After I sold it I bought a 2002 Honda CR-V. This is also east to tow and weighs 3,200 lbs.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:31 AM   #3
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Ack's FAQ: Your 4X4 Portal To All Things Suzuki/Geo
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:36 AM   #4
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Our first toad, purchased to follow along behind our first motorhome, was a '91 Geo Tracker (same as the Sidekick) was a perfect choice for someone wanting a durable, go almost anywhere, economical and light weight toad. Ours had well over 100k miles on the odometer when we sold it, not counting the 30k miles or so it was tied to the back of the Southwind we owned at the time.

We had virtually no problems with the Geo in all the years and miles we owned it.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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My '90 has 218xxx and still wheeling.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:02 PM   #6
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They tow great 4down. We towed our 91 Tracker all over the West with V10 F53 Bounder and no issues at all. Motors and all else are very, very easy to work on, no fancy electronics to deal with. So easy in fact that I rebuilt my engine in my garage over a weekend. We've upgraded to a HR DP so now we tow our Jeep Cherokee, the tracker is for sale on iRV and is all setup with all towing gear. Roadmaster brackets are very easy to install on the car.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
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Or make your own

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152274171302394&set=a.19768931239 3.167943.647792393&type=1&theater









the windshield folds forward and there is a electric winch to pull it in.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:09 PM   #8
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I had a 1993 Suzuki Sidekick that I loved! It had standard transmission (not 4-wheel drive) and could be towed 4-down by just putting it in neutral. I found a great mechanic in Livingston by the Escapees Rainbow's End park called Tracker Ranch Autos. He worked on just the Suzuki and Tracker cars and could do anything on them. It was such a FUN car but sadly I kept breaking my left foot and my doctor told me I needed to get a car without a clutch so I sold it last year to someone else who plans to tow it.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:11 PM   #9
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I've had both (early 90's models) and if memory serves me correctly the Samurai ride is quite a bit harsher than the Sidekick. Both were easy to tow and fun to drive.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:23 PM   #10
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Super great tow cars we've been towing them for years. Trackers and Suzuki. Never had an issue, had a flat tire outside Chicago on the XL7 and didn't know it, that was cute. Ya can't tow a 2wd with auto something to do with the trans, I had one on the back of a wrecker for a friend once and it started to smoke before I got to where I was going. Thought 40 or so miles would be OK "NOT". They used to be around here by the dozens now ya hardly see one for sale.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDee View Post
Thanks to all who have shared their Suzuki stories, and especially DonDee for this excellent link to the "all things suzuki" site.

Looks like any Geo/Sidekick/Samurai 4x4 is good to go 4-down (manual or auto trans, doesn't matter), as long as you stop every couple of hundred miles and run it.

Didn't see anything about 2WD's on the ACK page but I seem to remember reading that 2WD w/manual transmissions are fine, 2WDs w/auto are a no-go for 4-down towing. Oh, and *any* model with auto-locking hubs - front hubs MUST be manual to tow 4-down.

One more quick question - does the odometer on these models rack up miles while being towed?

Thanks much...
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardbark View Post
One more quick question - does the odometer on these models rack up miles while being towed?.
Yes, mine did.
I put a "For Sale" sign in mine and within 15 minutes I had a phone call and within 30 minutes it was sold. I frequently had people asking if it was for sale.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJr View Post
Ya can't tow a 2wd with auto something to do with the trans, I had one on the back of a wrecker for a friend once and it started to smoke before I got to where I was going.
Mother Suzuki says ds removal all 2wd for flat tow. Just the messenger...
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:59 PM   #14
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Look into the Suzuki SX4, I own one and it is a nice little four wheeler. Great little cars.
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