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Ryan Knoche: 1990 Suzuki Samurai

Top Truck Challenge 2010 Competitors: The Dirty Dozen

Sean P. HolmanPhotographerKen BrubakerPhotographerFour Wheeler StaffWriter

Monkey Bars
This massive '90 Suzuki Samurai has obviously come a long way since Ryan Knoche acquired it bone-stock in 1998. He reports that getting it ready for Top Truck was an adventure in itself. Knoche says he went through a series of "trans hell" misadventures while trying to prep a transmission, but was mercifully rescued from his misery by the folks at Art Carr Performance Products.


  • Owner name/city: Ryan Knoche/Hamburg, New York
  • Occupation: Self-employed
  • Vehicle model: 1990 Suzuki Samurai
  • Estimated value: $35,000
  • Engine/aspiration: 4.3L GM V-6/TBI, modified stock manifolds, Flowmaster muffler
  • Transmission: Art Carr 700R4
  • Transfer case: NP203/205, Jed's Machining adapter, LoMax 205 3.0:1 case
  • Suspension (f/r): Four-link, 16-in 2.5 King air shocks/four-link, 16-in 2.5 King air shocks
  • Axles (f/r): Dana 60, Crane knuckles, Ballistic double-shear high-steer arms, RCV 300M axleshafts, ARB Air Locker/14-bolt, RCV 300M axleshafts, ARB Air Locker
  • Axle ratio: 5.38:1
  • Wheels: 20x12 Dick Cepek DC-1 w/OMF beadlocks
  • Tires: 54x19.5-20 Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC

Ryan Knoche, Team #48

  • Most looking forward to: "Tank Trap. Do I really need to answer this?"
  • Not looking forward to: "Tow Test. The event that could cause the most catastrophic failure."
  • Playing in his iPod/CD player: "Metallica. A lot of other music as well. ABC (anything but country)."
  • Knoche says: "I have an alter ego and his name is 'Morris K'noche, Offroad Extraordinaire.'"