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Old 01-15-2010, 11:27 PM   #1
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'86 Samurai gear selection

A lot of different opinions from mechanics....and I'm now confused.

1986 Suzuki Samurai with 4WD, manual hubs, manual 5 speed tranny.

I understand the hubs should always be in the free or "unlock" position. But....transfer case in neutral....tranny in 2nd...or 4th? Or....both transfer and tranny in neutral with stopping every 200 miles to start and run the Samurai through the gears and splash the fluid around. That sounds like a pain, but I hear stories about ripping apart transmissions and/or engines if either shift "slips" into gear.

Any experiences to share? What are the chances of the transfer case slipping from neutral into 2wd, 4wd, etc.? How can that happen....from hitting a bump?? Surely the transfer selector can't be that sensitive....or could it?

Would appreciate all help....

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:37 PM   #2
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Read owner's manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwisland View Post
A lot of different opinions from mechanics....and I'm now confused.

1986 Suzuki Samurai with 4WD, manual hubs, manual 5 speed tranny.

I understand the hubs should always be in the free or "unlock" position. But....transfer case in neutral....tranny in 2nd...or 4th? Or....both transfer and tranny in neutral with stopping every 200 miles to start and run the Samurai through the gears and splash the fluid around. That sounds like a pain, but I hear stories about ripping apart transmissions and/or engines if either shift "slips" into gear.

Any experiences to share? What are the chances of the transfer case slipping from neutral into 2wd, 4wd, etc.? How can that happen....from hitting a bump?? Surely the transfer selector can't be that sensitive....or could it?

Would appreciate all help....

Thanks,

Jeff
Hi, with my 1978 Jeep CJ-5, to tow it I would unlock the front hubs, put the manual transmission in neutral, and the manual transfer case in neutral. Unless you have something heavy hanging on the shift levers, leaning on them, or falling on them it would be vertually impossible for the trans or transfer case to shift on it's own. Also you might need to unlock your steering wheel if it is lockable. You still need to refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for exact recommendations on your Samurai.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:41 PM   #3
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Don't know much about the Sami...on our old Wagoneer the hubs were locked whenever it was snow'n.
Long stretches without using 4wd.... it's a good idea to lock 'em up and splash things around a bit, in and out with the t-case won't hurt either...just no sharp turns, or wait 10min 'til it rains.

If it's a toad... I would think it would be best for everything to be in neutral with the hubs unlocked while toad'n. Others may have better recomendations.

I would say, if the transfer case jumps around....sump'n rong.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:45 PM   #4
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Not sure how this relates to our Airstream, but we have a Samurai too. We flat-towed it 2000 miles last year with transmission and transfer case both in neutral, hubs unlocked, and ignition key in accessory position to unlock the steering. No problem, but your paint and windshield will catch some gravel.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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It sounds like neutral/neutral is the way to go. Bob, didn't think about the hubs....now I am. Since I bought this for store runs away from the campgrounds, I'll just give them some work evry now and then. Dkottum, yes.....I've been trying to decide on a vehicle mounted deflector or a "mud brush" for the Land Yacht. The full width brushes are cheaper, but man are they ugly!

Jeff
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:39 AM   #6
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aH hA! We've got some experience on this one! The transmission needs to be in-gear, the transfercase in neutral and the hubs unlocked...

Wanna know how I know?

5:00pm traffic, the loop around Houston is when my Sammi' (being towed behind our Class A) decided to lock the transmission in third.

I was towing with the transfer case in 2wd high and the transmission in Neutral. The transmission will not self lube when towed, and in my instance, the 3rd gear bushing seized to the shaft. Yes a Sammi can slow down a 12,000 lb RV.... I bet the poor little 1.3 liter sammi engine musta hit 7,000 rpm when that happened...
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:45 AM   #7
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Ouch! I've heard the reverse happening with the transfer case engaging. Now what? I'm still thinking a "start and run" every few hundred miles is the safest, or is ANY mileage on the tranny without lube bad for "Sammi"?

Jeff
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwisland View Post
Ouch! I've heard the reverse happening with the transfer case engaging. Now what? I'm still thinking a "start and run" every few hundred miles is the safest, or is ANY mileage on the tranny without lube bad for "Sammi"?

Jeff
If you have the hubs unlocked or locked , the transfer case in neutral, and the transmission in neutral, it seems to me that both the transmission and transfer case would have to jump out of neutral before any real damage was done as long as you checked it at each stop. The hubs should be unlocked always unless you are anticipating driving in 4 wheel drive. This saves wear and tear on the front differential and to some degree the the transfer case. I am thinking the best solution would be to have locking hubs on front and rear if such a thing was available for the Samurai.
regards,
Ken
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwisland View Post
I've been trying to decide on a vehicle mounted deflector or a "mud brush" for the Land Yacht. The full width brushes are cheaper, but man are they ugly!

Jeff
Jeff,

Not really THAT ugly....available for MH too.

They work great for us....
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:44 PM   #10
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Ken, I've decided to err on the side of safety and check the Suzuki at my 3 hour rest periods. Check the shift levers and cycle the toad through the gears.

Bob, I stand corrected. Yours looks great. Anyone have any idea where I would bolt a full across mud brush on my LY 30 that doesn't have a rear bumper, and who might make that? Part of it could be attached to my Reese hitch.....but the outer bands?

Jeff
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:44 PM   #11
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Here's more, I would go with the owner's manual:

Towing a Suzuki Samurai - Expedition Portal Forum
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:23 PM   #12
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dkottum, thanks for the info. I'm headed out on a test "tow" tomorrow......will see if any problems develop. I'm starting with the neutral/neutral.......then I'll change to tranny 2nd/transfer neutral after 50 miles or so. I'll stop often to check both.

Jeff
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:11 PM   #13
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I was told by the original owner to tow with both in neutral, as that's how he did it. Apparently that is not the advice of the owner's manual, which is tranny 2nd/transfer neutral, according to other posts. Best to follow owner's manual. Be sure to unlock the steering at the ignition switch.

These are great little vehicles off the beaten path and as small town runabout. Dangerous at highway speeds in modern traffic conditions.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:30 PM   #14
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I've learned not to trust the owner's manual......this advice is from a Suzuki dealer mechanic! He says neutral/neutral.......and the 200 mile "stop and lube" is overkill. "These Samurais are downright towable! If you don't run it through the gears after 300 miles and an overnight....no problem.....do it the next night."

I had all the cases flushed today and new fluid put in....along with every lube point greased. I'll keep on eye on it, but the mechanic said I'm ready to go. "Your drivetrain is in excellent condition, and with the new fluids and lube you had done, this toad will give you NO problems."

You're right about the vehicle. I feel as if a motorcycle could crush me. That's okay....it's for small towns and supermarkets. Although....look out forest roads! She's tiny, but strong in 4WD.

Jeff
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