Tom Wood's Driveshafts Complete the Build
The Project RocZuk Samurai was part of quite a few articles throughout 2006 and the beginning of 2007, and through the course of the buildup we've addressed a number of improvements that can be applied to Suzuki Samurais and other vehicles. The project started out as just a few improvements to a stock rig but soon spiraled into a full-on build once the axles were pulled and the Samurai was put on jackstands.
Desiring something that stands out from your everyday Samurai, RocZuk owner and builder Tristan Clark took a variety of steps to ensure that his Sami would have a look all its own. The front frame section was stretched 6 inches and the rear 15 inches to achieve a 101-inch wheelbase. All extensions were done using 2x4-inch by 0.250-inch-wall square tube. The rear frame was cut in the center of the rear bumpstop mount since that area was the straightest.
For greater axle strength, Toyota 8-inch axles were installed and mated to a leaf-spring suspension using stock Jeep YJ springs. The springs offer a 2-inch width and are also longer than Samurai leaf springs. They were hung on a custom front shackle reversal and use custom hangers and 5-inch shackles in the rear. Front and rear track bars were also utilized.
The front uses a set of King 10-inch reservoir shocks, and a set of Bilstein 12-inch-travel shocks are installed in the rear. The 8-inch axles were set up with 5.29 Yukon gears and Detroit Lockers using Yukon install kits. The axles also received an All-Pro Off-Road rear disc-brake conversion and All-Pro Off-Road chrome-moly axleshafts. Front and rear line locks were also installed. For extreme low transfer-case gearing, we installed a set of Calmini's ultralow 6.5:1 DL Rockcrawler gears.
Proving that you don't need a million dollars to build a kick-ass 4x4, the majority of the work on the RocZuk Samurai was completed in a driveway under a tarp using basic handtools, an air compressor, and a welder. Also, most of the suspension components were acquired through parts trades, as well as the axlehousings and tires and other miscellaneous parts.