Build tread bread thread? 2003 Chevy tracker

Paddy

Adventurer
#1
Well the onslaught of clean cheap susukis for sale finally got the best of me. I saw this tracker in the local ads and had to take a look. Lady bought it new and ran it 15 years without a single problem, until recently. It was bucking and missing and had codes for misfire and emissions controls so I limped it home with fingers crossed. Well couple spark plugs were loose in the holes causing the missing, and all were badly worn. They looked like they could have been original, at 140k! And gas cap was faulty so new set of plugs and a gas cap and she's purring like a kitty now. Sometimes you win. So, the ease at which it was renewed to runner status has moved us directly to fun stuff! I'll build it slow, as slow as possible because I don't want to waste all my time and money on it all at once. I have two other expo builds going on now so this rig wants to be a general ute/urban assault daily driver with light woods work and road trips sprinkled in.

I had a Suzuki x90 for a long time and it was a fantastic vehicle, if a bit small at times lol, didn't stop me from having many adventures so this thing feels very reminiscent of that rig only bigger, with better engine and double size gas tank!

In case anyone didn't know, these goofy small things are Suzukis in chevy clothes, and despite their demeanor they are fairly heavy duty and very reliable rigs. They have big brakes, five link solid rear axle and cab on frame construction. The frame is also fully boxed all the way back. Best part is they are geared way too low for the small street tires, this one has 4.62's (maybe 4.88's?) and is already reading 5mph high on the speedo, so bigger tires are an easy step that will help street handing and maybe even mpg (ya right ;). 52704965-952E-4C48-AA5D-1194DC8BE570.jpg

I'm going to lift it but I want to creep up on it and run as low as possible to keep it handy. So to start I'm going to use 1” coil spacers which will give about 2” lift or less. Then I may add a 1” body lift.

So, I'm trying to find info on what size tires will fit nicely without street rubs with the stated lift. I don't mind a little rub off road but in town minimal rubbing is preferred. So it looks like 235/75-15 will be a good easy fit on the small end and 30x9.5 is a little bigger but? Anyone have insight on this? I can't seem to find the definitive answer and most results are from earlier years which was a different body.
 
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Paddy

Adventurer
#2
Well it looks like Eaton truetrac is not available for trackers or any Suzuki it seems. :( this is truly unfortunate because the device is amazing and I'd like to install in the back. But is this True? Because they said they did not offer one for my 2012 Tacoma yet they actually do and I proved it by installing one and it worked flawlessly.

Anyone have insight into this for Suzuki?
 

Paddy

Adventurer
#4
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They are great little rigs. Very underrated I think. So far I got bigger tyres on it and swapped out the permanent lock hubs for manual hubs and I'll do a mod in the front diff to eliminate the air system that is a known weak point.
This truck has 147k in it (although actual distance is only 135k due to odo error) and I can't believe how well it drives. Steering is so tight, brakes are great and it's overall tight and right. I know the lady didn't do a damn thing but change the oil in 15 years so it really stands out what a quality basic simple easy car Suzuki made back then. The paint is absolutely new looking. Next up, 2” coil spacer lift!

It's very odd for me to own and like a 4door vehicle. I'm very 2 door person so this is a strange feeling but I am glad I am grooving on it because a 2 door isn't always the most convenient lol.
 
#5
You're killing me. I'm going to get one. Just need to make sure I'll fit. I'm tall with a long torso, and small vehicles sometimes just don't work for me.
 

Paddy

Adventurer
#8
Ya the 235/75-15's turn pretty easy with the 2.0. It's not a monster but the gearing is just right with those and it doesn't suffer at all from lack of poop in the pedal. I may want to upgrade to 30's or 31's eventually, but this set of wrangler snow tires was 160$ installed so, again, love a little economical rig! My other expo rig is a f350 diesel, and my other other expo rig is a humvee, so this Suzuki feels downright reasonable in comparison.
 

Paddy

Adventurer
#9
IMG_7902.jpg Got back from a work trip today to find some zook parts I ordered. New clutch master and slave cylinders to try and get the fluid to stay out of the cab and maybe get a little more disengage action. Gosh it sure is nice working on a rig where parts are so cheap! I think I paid about 30$ delivered for new cyls. Not to mention they aren't rusty at all. There's not a spec of rust on this rig anywhere. They went in easily and gravity bled well enough it seems. So with that momentum I went ahead and swapped in fresh brake pads on the front. Even took extra credit and painted my ugly new hubs that should have been painted before install but someone was too impatient at the time lol.

Tomorrow AM is window tint appointment.
 
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Paddy

Adventurer
#10
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Date night with my lady and we too the zook. Windows tint isn't exact color match, but close enough.

So, I need front bumper ideas. Was thinking about trying to adapt a Jeep XJ bumper to it because they are cheap. But I'm open to ideas. I'd consider a rear plate bumper too I guess, but I don't want to weigh the rig down too much unnecessarily.
 
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#11
Glad to see this thread. These little rigs are solid. I have a 2001 Grand Vitara. Bought it at 90,000 miles and it's still solid at 130,000. Swapped out the front hubs for manual hubs. It's my DD so I never did anything else to it but drive it.
 

Paddy

Adventurer
#12
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Started fitting up a rather inexpensive heap part I found on local ads. As a competent fabricator I’ve built several plate bumpers from scratch and while this will still be a lot of work I figure the 150$ spent will get me a good head start that would take hours to get around to. Actually more like months or years. So, it’s okay. I’ll make side pods that cover the hips and tie it in.
 

Paddy

Adventurer
#13
Lot of progress lately. Got the 2” lift kit in. Looks about right. Rear was cake, front took some doing. Figured while I was in there maybe address the torn CV boots and do a weld mod inside the front differential to bypass the air operated 4wd system.

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Yucky job, smelly bleedy neck ache. And then it started raining. It is November in Oregon after all.

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Fun stuff

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And bumper build in shop. Went with aluminum on this one to keep it light.

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Took it for a shakedown in the neighborhood and it all works great.

Other new parts included rear shocks, KYB, front brakes, led dome lights, Suzuki grille conversion, cv axles,
Modded the HVAC so that the compressor doesn't turn on unless I push the button. Defeated the clutch interlock switch, the auto headlights, DTRL, and the electro 4wd engagement. Less is more for me.
 
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