Eric Miller lives in Hurricane, Utah, the center of southwestern Utah’s off-roading paradise. His 1987 Suzuki Samurai, “Skull and Bones,” was built so Eric could get into the backcountry and have fun with his family. Actually, the Sammy has gone through five separate builds, starting as a stripped-to-the-bone body and frame. That’s where the name Skull and Bones came from, and it’s stuck.
The Samurai was shipped to the crew at Petroworks so they could install a 16-valve, 1.6L, fuel-injected Sidekick mill. All of Petroworks’ engine swaps are California smog-legal, so even though Eric didn’t need it, his Sammy is California compliant whether it ends up in California or not. While at Petroworks, Eric picked up a Petroworks rollcage kit, roof rack, and ARB Bull Bar front bumper.
Once back in Utah, Eric, Vic, and Richard from KrawlTek went to work. The Samurai’s suspension is an interesting mix of fiberglass leaf springs up front and a triangulated four-link air shock design in back. Ballistic shocks were used all around. Skull and Bones’ wheelbase was stretched to 90 inches.
Eric designed the exo-cage and KrawlTek did the fab work. We’re not excited about exo-cages, but this one is nice. It incorporates the ARB bull bar in front and forms the fender flares and rocker guards as it goes to the back of the Samurai. The Petroworks rollcage protects occupants inside the Samurai. The Trail Tough rear bumper incorporates a swing-away tire carrier and gas-can rack.
Eric uses his Skull and Bones Samurai hard and it shows. It’s never failed and always brings the family back, no matter what obstacles and terrain it’s been asked to conquer as they explore paradise.
|Vehicle:||1987 Suzuki Samurai|
|Owner/Hometown:||Eric Miller/Hurricane, Utah|
|Engine:||Suzuki 16-valve 1.6L four-cylinder|
|Transmission:||Samurai five-speed manual|
|Transfer case/low range ratio:||Suzuki with Calmini Rockcrawler kit/6.5:1|
|Front end:||1982 Toyota pickup|
|Rear end:||1982 Toyota pickup|
|Ring and Pinion:||Toyota 4.10|
|Front Differential:||Yukon Spartan Locker|
|Rear Differential:||Yukon Spartan Locker|
|Suspension:||Front fiberglass leaf springs, Ballistic shocks, Rear Ballistic air shocks, triangulated four-link|
|Tires:||31x10.50R15LT Interco TrXus MT|
|Wheels/Backspacing:||15x8 steel/3.5 inches|