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1996 Suzuki X-90

Posted in Project Vehicles on October 1, 2011
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Photographers: Pete Trasborg

The X-90 is a four-wheel-drive vehicle we never expected to find dropping down the face of a steep rock waterfall. In fact, we couldn’t believe our eyes and did a double-take when we saw this little ’96 Suzuki coming at us. Everyone went silent for a minute. Then we figured out what it was!

Andrea Tomsen from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, wanted to have just as much off-road fun as her husband Joe has with his 4x4, so she found one of her own. Her X-90 was not only head-turning cool, but many aftermarket parts are available for the little Suzuki and they bolt on or can be fitted to the rig with only slight modifications. Andrea recruited the help of Joe and her brother Mike Brown. After three months of cutting, welding, and wrenching, they handed her the keys to one of the slickest and fun ’wheeling X-90s we’ve found.

Andrea’s X-90 suspension was lifted with a 4 1⁄2-inch Rock Steady suspension lift from Rocky Road Outfitters. The independent front suspension uses Old Man Emu springs and Rough Country shocks, and a 1-inch body lift was used so that larger tires could be stuffed under the fenderwells.

The little 1.6L four-cylinder engine cranks out more than enough power for the lightweight 4x4, and it was left stock for reliability. The only modifications were the addition of an Optima YellowTop battery to boost the vehicle’s dependability.

The rear suspension was built around Old Man Emu springs and Rough Country shocks. With the 41⁄2-inch suspension lift, Joe and Mike were able to fit 30X9.50R15 Goodyear MTRs to the axle ends.

The Suzuki’s interior remains stock for now. The comfortable air conditioning, power windows, and T-top are great for open-air four-wheeling. The Tomsens plan to install an interior rollcage for the X-90’s next phase of modifications.

We were really impressed with Andrea’s X-90 out on the trail. The car went everywhere we pointed it and it easily articulated over obstacles we never thought such a small IFS car could.

Tech Specs
1996 Suzuki X-90
Engine: 1.6L Suzuki
Transmission: Stock Suzuki
Transfer case: Suzuki 4.24:1 Trail Tough Rock Monster gears
Front Axle: Trail Tough custom front carrier, Lock-Right locker
Rear Axle: Suzuki, Lock-Right locker
Springs & Such: Old Man Emu Springs, Rough Country shocks
Tires & Wheels: 30x9.50R15, 15x7 aluminum
Steering: Stock
Other Stuff: KC lights, Max-Built custom winch mount, Smittybilt 8000-lb winch, Safari Snorkel, Team Johnson Off Road custom skidpans and rock rails, custom exhaust

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