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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was going to build a samurai, but its just a little too small, and high speed stability is not the forte of a lifted Samurai. I scrapped the idea a while back for other reasons, but decided I really don't want to do a rock crawler right now anyway. I mostly want to do something that I can hammer on rough gravel roads, do long freeway hauls, urban snow bashing, and commute to work with decent milage. In essence, I want a light weight rally car (well under 3000LB) with more clearance and versatility. The main qualifications are: light weight (base sidekick 2300-2400LB), 4wd, and a reasonably strong drivetrain. The older the better, as long as it is a BIT aerodynamic.
From a quick look at available vehicles, I thought maybe a new Rav4 or Escape would do the job, but they are unibody(yuck!) overweight pigs, besides being rather large, ugly, and way expensive. The more I look at it, the 89 era Sidekick looks like a cool starting point.
Does the Sidekick (first generation)have a fully boxed frame?
Is the transfercase married to the trans, or divorced like a samurai?
How strong are they? (I'm thinking ~200HP, give or take, depending on the drivetrain)
rear axle?
so far I see the strong points as being coil rear, light, fit 31's relatively easy. If the tcase and axles will hold up to my HP plans and driving, so much the better, but they are replaceable.
The stock motor will go either in the trash or into someones samurai. I have my own plans for that part
My favorite motor has been sitting here, and has outlived 3 scrapped projects so far, but I really, REALLY want to use it!
Anyone got any ideas or input for me to chew on?
Thanx
Erik


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I'm on my way to impact, Taste the high speed dirt!
 

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Originally posted by Captain Air Time:
Does the Sidekick (first generation)have a fully boxed frame?
Is the transfercase married to the trans, or divorced like a samurai?
How strong are they? (I'm thinking ~200HP, give or take, depending on the drivetrain)
rear axle?
so far I see the strong points as being coil rear, light, fit 31's relatively easy. If the tcase and axles will hold up to my HP plans and driving, so much the better, but they are replaceable.
The stock motor will go either in the trash or into someones samurai. I have my own plans for that part
My favorite motor has been sitting here, and has outlived 3 scrapped projects so far, but I really, REALLY want to use it!
Anyone got any ideas or input for me to chew on?
Thanx
Erik
Ok, here goes:
-Yes fully boxed frame for all generation sidekicks.
-Tcase married to tranny, slip yokes at both outputs.
-Front axle is weak point, rear will probably hold up to a lot of abuse.

Be aware that they oversteer quite easily on loose gravel, and that becomes worse as your CofG moves up, especially if you want to clear 31's! You could do a 2wd one for pretty cheap, and then you could just go straight from your engine to a strong tranny and not have to worry about clearing the front axle housing.

In stock form when locked into 4x4high it seemed to handle gravel roads pretty well. I think by chopping off a bucnh of weight wherever possible and doing a full cage you could make a fun little rally car...

Have fun!

Ryan Gates
92 Sidekick
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Originally posted by kicker_92:
Ok, here goes:
-Yes fully boxed frame for all generation sidekicks.
-Tcase married to tranny, slip yokes at both outputs.
-Front axle is weak point, rear will probably hold up to a lot of abuse.

Be aware that they oversteer quite easily on loose gravel, and that becomes worse as your CofG moves up, especially if you want to clear 31's! You could do a 2wd one for pretty cheap, and then you could just go straight from your engine to a strong tranny and not have to worry about clearing the front axle housing.

In stock form when locked into 4x4high it seemed to handle gravel roads pretty well. I think by chopping off a bucnh of weight wherever possible and doing a full cage you could make a fun little rally car...

Have fun!

Ryan Gates
92 Sidekick
Massive chopping and fiberglass should get me into 31's without too much height. Full cage is a must, and I don't think there is much weight that can be scrapped without making it uncomfortable for its intended uses. What side is the front diff on? that dictates transfercase choices, though a complete front suspension/axle remake could change that. Thats a bit beyond what I had in mind, although I DO have a Toy solid axle sitting here, taking up space. I think that would put me higher than I wanted to go tho.
Oversteer on gravel?!? YAAHOO! thats the plan! heheh!
As far as the 2wd option goes, My Corolla GTS will stomp any 88" wheelbase poser no problem, as will my turbo Ranger. But I want 4wd again!. What part of the front end is the weak link(s)? Fixable, or is it redesign time (remember, HP!)? Any pics of solid axle 'kicks on the net? I'd like to get an idea of how low it could be kept while retaining reasonable bump travel. I'm not opposed to IFS for this project, in fact, I would prefer it, but its got to be reasonably stout to handle the power.


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I'm on my way to impact, Taste the high speed dirt!
 

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Wheelbase on the sidekick is too short. A "real" rally car won't stand up to the roads you've listed unless it has a "real" rally car suspension.

I think the top two choices for you would be:

1) ford ranger S/C either 4X4 or 4X2 amazing travel out of the I beam or torsion beam suspension and cheap to build.

2) Toyota Corolla GTS 1984-1987 (???) get the rwd 4AGE version. These were raced and rallied and you should be able to source the proper suspsension from the states (maybe even here) probably $2,000 for the car and $4,000 for the suspension.

IMHO don't waste the time "developing" a sidekick. Get on the net, find vehicles like the ones I listed above that have already been developed and choose one of them.

David

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I hate it when my reply happens right one someone else says almost the same thing I said :*)

David

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Originally posted by David:
I hate it when my reply happens right one someone else says almost the same thing I said :*)

David
hehe! yep, got the 86 corolla GTS, which is absolutely the best all around handling car I've ever bought for $400, and the best stock vehicle I've ever driven on gravel.
The Ranger is another story. I started building it, ~250HP 2.3Turbo, 5spd, 9" rear, full cage, etc. Never got around to doing the suspension, and I've decided to go back to a 4wd. I want something that is really light, so that I can still get good handling and milage out of a 4cyl, and self recovery is possible, But I want it to be able to at least APROACH my stock GTS on gravel.
I was cosidering a Bronco2 gutted and chopped, but its a tad larger than I want, and would be extremely hard to get under 3000LBS, let alone 2500.
I'll have to keep my eyes open for other options. A <2500LB Suzuki sure sounds like a good bet tho, especially with the full boxed frame. Thats one of my biggest peeves with the Ranger, its got a cheesey frame.(and the roof doesn't come off, and there's no room in it...18 pounds of boost sure weighs a lot in its favor tho:)

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I'm on my way to impact, Taste the high speed dirt!
 

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Originally posted by Captain Air Time:
What side is the front diff on? that dictates transfercase choices, though a complete front suspension/axle remake could change that.
Passanger side, but not by a huge amount. Weak parts are the aluminum housing and the CV joints.

Any pics of solid axle 'kicks on the net?
Theres a couple out there, but I seem to like this one... <g>



I'm not opposed to IFS for this project, in fact, I would prefer it, but its got to be reasonably stout to handle the power.
The IFS will stand up to a lot, just possibly not the drivetrain up front... (if that makes sense?)

Hope that helps!

Ryan Gates
92 Sidekick

[This message has been edited by kicker_92 (edited June 20, 2001).]
 
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