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EA81 VS sammy?

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32 replies to this topic

#1 Uberoo


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 05:59 AM

If it came down to a sammy or an EA81 subaru what would you pick in my position.my offroad is mud/trail riding-no rock climbing.I dont have a lot of money to spend on aftermarket stuff.I am wondering because I have seen some vids of sammys getting stuck on hills and subaru's walzing up similar hills.Then again some videos show the sammy just tearing up un even terrain,terrain that you would stuff the front bumper into and lift tires.So mostly mud runing/trail riding with some muddy hills and some un even terrain.Which would you choose?In either case not thinking extreme just decent sized swampers and lockers(welded most likely).

#2 Turbone


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 09:13 AM

If you cant afford aftermarket stuff, then theres no sense in getting a Sammi. Their platform is ok to build from, but IMHO, the engine isnt the greatest.

#3 cd45


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 09:43 AM

Just did a quick search, and found out that Suzuki quit making the Samurai. I didn't know that. They are only offering the XL7 type truck now. They are not bad vehicles, for running around in. I don't like the high center of gravity, and the engine is only a 1.3L inline 4 cylinder. I am not sure of the horse power. I like the Subaru because of the low center of gravity. And the engines seem to go on forever, stout little buggers. I have only owned one other car longer than my current GL wagon, and that was a Mazda Protege that I bought to get my credit rating back up. Now I own 3 Subarus and 1 Chevy, and the Chevy is for sale. I would say buy the Subaru, 0more fun to play with. JMHO.

#4 Sweet82


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 09:51 AM

Subaru has a more comfortable ride but the Sammy has better gearing.

If you plan on building it over time, a Sammy would be a better starting point.

Your the only one who can really answer the question

#5 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 10:15 AM

I have a Blue GL wagon with a EJ in it you might enjoy :banana:

#6 Uberoo


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 10:20 AM

Can suzukis do well in muddy hills?Everysingle video of them shows them running out of momentum on hills.Is that an issue with power or the lack of wheelbase?
Power can be helped but wheelbase can't really be helped.But then if it has better gearing less strain on clutch.

#7 Uberoo


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 10:23 AM

I have a Blue GL wagon with a EJ in it you might enjoy :banana:

If I could ever keep them running...So far my luck with EA81,EA82 and EJ22 have been utter trash-spent more time broken/blown headgasket then they did running.Like a jaguar at the mechanic for 300 days of the year.

#8 monstaru


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 10:59 AM

your poor choices should not reflect on the cars themselves.ie:tearing into a perfectly good motor cause you think it needs it.getting a ************ty running car in the first place,or not properly rebuilding.get a roo.learn it from the ground up.then start messing with it.



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Posted 01 October 2007 - 11:35 AM

I've got an EA81T lifted wagon you might like in Missoula, MT.

#10 Rooinater


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 11:36 AM

driven and wheeled both, they both have their pros and cons.

ask your self are you planning on driving it on the street or only to and from the trail. do you want a comfortable ride on washboard logging roads?

just remember just my 2 cents.

subaru wagon pros:
longer wheelbase by over a foot. better for short ubrupt or steep climbs.
independent suspension which will absorb more washed up roads at higher speeds.
a lot more get up and go power
can easily do a lot of custom mods
great entry vehicle to get into wheeling
really easy to work on

subaru cons:
gearing straight sucks, unless heavily modified.
your dealing with car parts
everything is custom, if your lazy and don't want to a lot of fab work, not the vehicle for you. unless you buy one modified.
independent suspension in the big rocks doesn't work as well as a solid axle.

Samurai Pros:
solid axle, excellent platform to start building for difficult trails
great gearing with stock tires, needs to be changed when you go to bigger tires though.
large aftermarket support (gets spendy fast for a budget wheeler) reason my toyota isn't built all the way yet

Samurai cons:
doesn't drive down the road that great (mine has 2 steering stabalizers and i still get bump steer on the street...)
extremely stiff ride! in stock form. plywood board driving down the street.
catchs wind like a brake and pushes you all over, even at stock height.
really short wheelbase on steep climbs. almost saw eric go over trying to make it up a hill that i had made. a lot of people stretch the wheelbases out a good foot or 2 for good reaon.
engine is quite weak.

either way you go, parts will break and need upgrading. common samurai swaps are toyota axles. subaru's, rear solid axles to beat breaking a car's rear end after heavy gearing modification. something else to look at, is can you get replacement parts easy? do junkyards in your area carry that vehicle. arizona sucked for subaru parts and samurai. got back to washington, was able to fix everything for 100 bucks, versus the 700 it was going to cost me without being able to use junkyards. i do have a couple toyota housings axles and brake setups lying around. just need third members and cleaning up...

#11 WoodsWagon


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Posted 02 October 2007 - 01:21 AM

Samuri for one reason only


unibody's suck. It's 2 am after a day with only 3hours sleep last night, and my wagon's floor is still needing more patches. If this was a frame, we'd be done by now. stupid thin tearing/crushing sheetmetal.
Have to be up by 6:20am for another day of school

#12 FlyB0y


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Posted 02 October 2007 - 12:05 PM

All good points, but like it was said before, it really comes down to you. If your going to make a dedicated 4x4, and want to go for the stars, the subaru isn't ever going to out-perform a solid axle where it shines. If your going to make a week-end 4x4, but otherwise daily driver, your going to hate yourself on the way to work each day in the sammy. I love my brat, but I can't do the rocks like a jeep, but at the same time, I love how I can fly over washboard and not need a kidney belt to keep from being in serious pain afterwords. I still plan on making my brat as off-road capable as possible, but not to the point of sacrificing my street handling. Once I trade out my LSD for a welded rear, I think that will be the end of my major mods on the brat drivetrain wise. I still might try getting a couple of inches of clearance up front with suspension, but the only other mods would be power to the engine and armoring the body, oh and on-board air with my AC compressor. If I had my choice, I think I would build a '85 4-runner for serious off-road, but I would still keep the brat as a daily driver/week-end stump jumper. But when it comes to serious trails, your not going to beat a nything a solid axle has with out spending just as much time and or money ($500 axles anyone? lol!) as using what's already available in a more capable rig. Just my $.02 your going to have to make the choice. :burnout:Oh and just to make it clear, I would NEVER trade my brat for a 4-runner, but if I could have both, I would :banana:

#13 Uberoo


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Posted 02 October 2007 - 12:16 PM

I think I found an 81 toyota pickup..solid axles and wheelbase.Just they sound like ************E

#14 Rooinater


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Posted 02 October 2007 - 12:21 PM

which is why i'm building a toyota on 39's i like the really big rocks, that dwarf me. very expensive though. it depends on the difficulty your trying to get into also. i already have about 4k into it and i still can't go wheel it. just to get it to where i want for a bare minimum trail rig, it's gonna take a lot more hours and 3k to 5k more in mods. so always consider that into what your building. yes you can slowly add on as you go, or in my case tear down and build what you really want whether ea81, sami or toyota.

#15 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 01:16 PM

Scott's heavy stuff, :lol: I don't see a sammi (carrying anything) ever making it up this rock.
Posted Image

heres zap going up that hill


we took a Geo Tracker up that hill, a few months back,granted no extra gear, no lift locked welded diffs front and rear and some sorry tires, I was impressed with that little Tracker , If I didt always have passengers I would do a Tracker of a Sammy,

check out this board if your interested in building one


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#16 Numbchux


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Posted 02 October 2007 - 02:23 PM

some of you may remember MorganM here in MN. he was the owner/builder of the black '88 EA82 wagon "PoopenVagon" that I had for about 6 months. he sold it to get a sammy. his was in rough shape, so it's been slow, BUT, some engine tinkering, YJ leaf springs, and 31s:
Posted Image

I dunno....real low range, real solid axles, open top.....and depending on the initial purchase price, pretty cheap.

#17 archemitis


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Posted 12 October 2007 - 04:41 PM

I still talk with MorganM (pictured above) on a weekly basis. They have a real low first, theres tons of aftermarket for it, and its easy to put 30 inch tires on it but there are draw backs. its wheel base is so short it likes to try to spin sideways on steep hills! its happened to morgan a few times. and the day that pic was taken it happened to me, almost rolled it.
subarus are pretty untouchable climbing steep hills, but on rocks where articulation is key, subarus fall behind.

#18 MorganM


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Posted 22 October 2007 - 02:33 PM

Speak of the devil right? Some guy from a local Evo club was looking for a guy in the Subaru community and I searched for him here. Thought since I was here I'd read in the Off-road section if anything new has happened. Then saw the samurai vs subaru topic.

Wheeled both a few years. Samurai is definitely an upgrade off road but Subaru is nicer on road. Only thing a Subaru has over a Samurai off road is a longer wheelbase. Samurai has a 2.268:1 Low Range, 3.652:1 first gear, 31"x10.5" Mud Terrain tires fit with NO lift, solid axles, and a solid frame. Not to mention, but I will anyways, take the top off and doors off a Samurai and it's a whole different experience both on and off road! Now when you finally save up some money for upgrades you can actually find real upgrades for your Samurai yet there are still plenty of junkyard upgrades to be had for budget wheelers like myself.

I think it comes down to what you love more... Subarus or off roading. I switched because I love off roading more and it was more cost effective to buy a Samurai and go from there than it was to take my Subaru to the next level. The next level with my Subaru would have been solid axles and a real transfer case which entails basically building a frame under it. Far more cost effective to just sell the Subaru, take that money to buy a Samurai for $900, slap on some 31"x10.5" MTs, and already be more capable than my lifted Subaru was and not even have the Samurai lifted yet!

Why are solid axles so much better? Doesn't the differential get in the way? Solid axles truly articulate. Now follow me on this here.... One tire goes up over an obstacle, the upward force of that action translates to downward force on the other tire on that axle, which gives you more traction. This is NOT the case with independent suspension; one wheel goes up in an IS setup and it has no effect on the other side. Sure, the differential is lower on solid axles, but it doesn't matter! I watch people smash them into rocks all day, move boulders the size of my tires with them, even uproot a stump, and just keep driving. You weld on or bolt on a differential helmet / rock guard and forget about it.

I say buy a Subaru and take it off road. If you like it than keep it. If not then sell it and buy a Samurai. Heck you might even switch back like Zapar or eventually end up with a Toyota. Subes and Zuks are both cheap enough; you won't be taking much of a loss (if any) having to switch.

Archemmitis: Finish your umpteenth motor swap so you can come off roading with me!

Chux: I got a fender flare on that side now :-p
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#19 Ross


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Posted 04 November 2007 - 06:07 AM

I have one of each.... as been said, if you want a real 4x4er, get the sammy - a sammy with no other mods apart from a 2" body lift and 31"s will go wherever a landcruiser with 35"s and two diff locks will - except river crossings! Gearing is marginal with 31"s though.

Soob is much easier to live with on the road and has a fair bit more space inside. But they get bent and broken off road pretty quickly if you aren't careful.....

#20 DaveAP


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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:02 AM

You can't beat having the bed... on the brat. I am a carpenter and have used the brat for years for my daily driver. Sixteen footers are not a problem, just wish I had the low roll bar for it.

'78, '87 brats


#21 Lazer


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Posted 27 November 2007 - 10:32 AM

I'm sure both cars have it's ups and downs but one thing is sure. Nothing
beats driveing pass a samurai in a mud pit with your subaru.
On every offroad meet i've been, everyone is baffeled about how great the subaru does in all sorts of terain.

I once pulled a 2.5 tonn chevrolet blazer out of the forrest when he had blown his transmission. try that with a sammy. And I do agree about the subaru beeing geared to high when putting on big tires. But people tend to forget that if you let out a lot of air it would actualy be lower geared than on the original tires but with a hole lot of grip.

I would build myself a nice subaru with 6" lift put in a ej22 and 29" superswampers. Then see how the sammy does it compared to the subaru.

#22 Lazer


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Posted 28 November 2007 - 06:19 AM

Well I'm sure you're right but my experience is that subaru's kick sammy's. And you have to face the facts that a Sammy's is for hairdresser's

#23 Rooinater


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Posted 28 November 2007 - 12:01 PM

Well I'm sure you're right but my experience is that subaru's kick sammy's. And you have to face the facts that a Sammy's is for hairdresser's

i have a sami, and it out wheels the subaru before i got the second tcase for the subaru. the only time i've out wheeled a sami in the subaru was a steep hill climb at evan's creek. longer wheelbase and heavy foot. other than that a sami is a good thousand pounds less than a subaru, they float if set up properly.

#24 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 02:20 PM

You're not making friends here pal.

lighten up Zap

#25 mudduck


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Posted 28 November 2007 - 06:37 PM

It all depends on how and where you are going to wheel. A moddified subaru would be about distroyed running say, Prichart Canyon in Moab. A lightly modded Samari would make it out with out much breakage if any, might flop it on its side a time or two, but they can handle a lot more abuse.

Myself, I would'nt mess with a Sammy because of the lack of space in the things, but if the price was right, (real cheap) I'd pick one up, build a cage for it, and wheel the hell outta the thing.

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