Sunday, November 28, 2010

Project "Teal-Tastic": 1995 Suzuki Sidekick 4x4

Suzuki Sidekick - Subcompact CultureI picked up a project vehicle: A 1995 Suzuki Sidekick JX 4x4. I've wanted a small off-road vehicle for a long time, and the time—and vehicle—was right. The color, however, well, that can always be changed.

It's a '95, so it has the 16-valve 1.6-liter engine (pre-'95 models had an 8 valve engine). It's, of course, a five-speed manual, and has a true 4WD system with a low and high range. This one has about 139,000 miles, and the "bones" (e.g. the engine/trans) are in good working order. For $1,800 I didn't expect perfection, and the vehicle does need some work. Although my dad and I greatly cleaned the interior up, it needs new window crank mechanisms, a new center dash surround, a radio, and a top. on the inside.

The "teal-tastic" exterior is OK, although there are a few things that need some work. Nothing really major, but some paint here, some trim pieces there, etc.

I already added a new battery and some new windshield washer line.

So what would I like to do with this vehicle? My day job is in the off-road industry (I work for Warn Industries), so this will make a great little trail vehicle—yes, it will go off road. A mild lift, some bigger/more aggressive tires, a winch/winch bumper, lights, are in queue (eventually). Of course, for off will be things like fluid changes, timing belt, cap/rotor, etc.

Hopefully it'll be on the trails soon. Looking forward to some "wheeling" in the near future.


DJFriar said...

What MPG are you seeing out of her so far?

nlpnt said...

Nice! And hey, teal is better than "plum" (never seen it on a Sidekick but they sure did push it for Trackers...)

Andy Lilienthal said...

@DJFriar Not sure yet. Haven't run through a tank yet.

@nlpnt I concur! Plum was my least desired color, then some magenta color, then, frankly, teal with yellow in a close fourth. So be it! Paint is easily changeable.

burnitwithfire said...

The perfect winter beater around here (Quebec). I drove a manual sidekick once. Cool little truck, very fun to beat on. Keep us updated on your progress with it!

D2M said...

Ah, the Escudo. We had one in Japan. It had great "road grip" and the 4W drive was pretty awesome. Great for driving in snow and ice.

But that's where my praise for the vehicle ends. Weak engine, terribly turning radius, and the seats were uncomfortable. I don't remember what gas mileage ours got but I think it was pretty reasonable for a small SUV.

Hopefully the version that was brought to the states is better. I mean, I hope it can go up hills without sounding like it's going to have a heart attack at any minute. ~_~;