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Josh Hall: Suzuki Samurai Buggy

Posted in Top Truck Challenge: 2011 on November 1, 2011 Comment (0)
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Josh Hall: Suzuki Samurai Buggy
Contributors: Douglas McColloch
Photographers: Sean P. Holman

Buggy class: Mr. Samurai
Pipefitter Josh Hall calls this rig a Suzuki Samurai, and though it may not look like one, it does actually have a section of authentic Samurai frame under there somewhere. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter what he calls it, because this rig is built to speak for itself with a 6.0L V-8, a pair of Rockwell’s, and a set of 54s. Um, we may want to show it some respect and call it “Mr. Samurai.”

Grafted onto what’s left of the Samurai chassis is a custom frame and ‘cage. It was designed to be fat-free and contribute to exceptional approach and departure angles. It’s abundantly clear that Hall gave this chassis a lot of thought. Up front, the winch mounting location offers uncomplicated access to the Warn 8,000-pound winch. In the rear, the Griffin aluminum radiator with Ford Taurus electric fan is mounted out of harm’s way behind the seats, the 15-gallon fuel cell is mounted safely and securely, and a pair of ammo boxes provide easily accessible storage. The 47-inch tires shown in the April issue are gone, and now the rig rolls on massive 54-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws mounted to 20x12 Stazworks double beadlock wheels. Hall moved the rear axle 3 inches rearward so the 54s didn’t come in contact with rear of the rock sliders. The rig now has a 121-inch wheelbase.

The Details

  • Owner name/city: Josh Hall/Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
  • Occupation: Pipefitter
  • Vehicle model: Suzuki Samurai buggy
  • Estimated value: “Priceless”
  • Engine/aspiration: 6.0L Chevy V-8/fuel-injection, Summit Racing headers
  • Transmission: TH350, B&M shift kit and clutches, Hayden cooler
  • Transfer case: Atlas II 4.3:1 2-spd
  • Suspension (f/r): Four-link, Sway-A-Way RaceRunner air shocks, Sway-A-Way RaceRunner hydraulic bumpstops, Poly Performance limiting straps /four-link, Sway-A-Way RaceRunner air shocks, Sway-A-Way RaceRunner hydraulic bumpstops, Poly Performance limiting straps
  • Axles (f/r): 2½-ton Rockwell, Ouverson Violator 2-in axleshafts, pinion brake (Mazda rotor, Toyota caliper), Ouverson Violator spool/2½-ton Rockwell, Ouverson Violator 2-in axleshafts, pinion brake (Mazda rotor, Toyota caliper), Ouverson Violator spool
  • Axle ratio: 6.72:1
  • Wheels: 20x12-in steel Stazworks double beadlock
  • Tires: 54x19.50-20 Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC

Josh Hall, Team #08

  • Most looking forward to: “All of them. It’s a total package thing for me.”
  • Not looking forward to: “Frame Twister. Only because I see it being the spot for the most breakage.”
  • Playing in his iPod/CD player: “Buckcherry, Three Days Grace, Motley Crue, Slipknot.”

Like many of the other rigs in this year’s competition, Hall’s rig is sporting a pair of 2½-ton Rockwell axles. Here you can see the front axle, but what you can’t see are the goodies inside, like the Ouverson Engineering 2-inch-diameter Violator axleshafts and the Ouverson Violator spool. When it comes time to scrub off speed, a pinion-mounted Mazda rotor with Toyota caliper does the job. The suspension is unique in that it’s comprised of a four-link system with Sway-A-Way RaceRunner 18-inch-travel air shocks, Sway-A-Way hydraulic bumpstops, and Poly Performance limiting straps. The hydraulic steering system uses PSC components and a Surplus Centre double-ended steering ram.
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