Team Quarter Life Crisis

2 chaps, 5 weeks, 1 jeep, 8,500 miles, 1/3 of the world on a shoestring...

The Car 

Why a Suzuki SJ?

Todays 4x4s are so good that with enough money you can buy a vehicle that can spirit you across the African planes, scramble up mountains, cruise across the ice caps and even whisk you through Chelsea. Where's the fun, or more importantly, the challenge?

The entire ethos of the trip is take an under powered old banger, keeping the cost down and making the trip that little bit more difficult.

After trawling ebay and Autotrader for months nearly buying Fiat Panda 4x4 Sisley's, Subaru Justy's and other small classics we stumbled across our Suzuki SJ.

Despite having a tendency to roll over in corners at 30mph, a top speed of 50mph, a gearbox made of glass, and the ability to turn to rust quicker than a boat anchor, SJs have renowned ability off road and an engine about as complicated as a lawnmower, with refinement to match. Crucially they have ground clearance and while Fiesta's and Polo's might as well be lapping us across Europe and Russia, when we reach Mongolia the SJs off road ability should really show.

          

 

 Preparation

Clearly the SJ won't make it without some preparation and we intend to undertake a few adjustments to make sure we make it to Ulaanbaatar.

Scheduled changes:

- New front seats (ones without the springs protruding through the cloth)

- New, oversized radiator to prevent overheating in the deserts

- A very thorough service

- Get the radio working

- Fit some rally lights for illumination at night time

- New Points and HT leads

- Install a second battery and split charge system (maybe)

What an SJ should be like (new)

Suzuki SJ Series - Detailed specifications ...

Engine


Size

1324cc

Bore/stroke

74 x 77mm

Compression ratio

8.9 : 1

Valve gear

OHC,belt drive

Max power

63 bhp at 6,000 rpm

Max torque

73 lb/ft at 3,500 rpm

Fuel type

Unleaded petrol

Carburettor

Double-choke
Mikuni-Solex

Fuel pump

Mechanical

Battery

35 AH

Alternator

35 A



transmission


Gearbox

5-speed manual

Main Ratios




Top = 0.79
4th = 1.0
3rd = 1.42
2nd = 1.95
1st = 3.65

High Ratio

1.41

Low Ratio

2.27

Final Drive

3.91



Suspension


Front


-Springs

Semi-elliptic

-Dampers

Telescopic

-Anti-roll bar

Yes

Rear


-Springs

Semi-elliptic

-Dampers

Telescopic

-Anti-roll bar

No



Steering


Type

Recirculating ball

Wheel diameter

15.5 inch

Turns-lock to lock

4.2



Brakes


Brakes

Hydraulic, dual circuit
split front/rear

Front

Disc

Rear

Drum

Servo

Yes

Parking

On rear drums



Wheels


Type

Spoked steel

Rim width

5.5 inches

Tyres

Radial 205/70-15



Equipment


Windscren wipers

2-speed + intermittent

Interior heater

Water valve

Radio

AM Mono

Digital Clock

Yes - doesn't work any more

Head restraints

Yes

Seat Upholstery

Fabric

Floor covering

Carpet

Body moulding

Yes

Spare wheel cover

No

Spare wheel lock

Yes

Passenger door mirror

Yes

Lamp Guards

No

Underbody protection

Galvanised steel,
vinyl sealant


Information taken from the Suzuki Club UK website

Contact us:

Alasdair

Richard