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Thread: Steve's '97 4-door Sidekick Build (the real build thread)

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    Premium Member sixstringsteve's Avatar
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    Steve's '97 4-door Sidekick Build (the real build thread)

    This thread will document my 1997 Suzuki Sidekick build. I'll try to keep the chit chat out of this thread, and focus on the build.

    Vehicle: 1997 Suzuki Sidekick 4-door


    Goal: Have a unique daily driver that's still fun to crawl and camp with. I don't want to make the most capable crawler in the universe, but I do want it to be able to do some basic trails around where I live, and still drive 70 MPH on the freeway to get me to Moab and the Rubicon.

    I'm probably the only one who will understand the "why" of this build, but that's ok. I've had 4 trackers in the past, and I've loved 'em all. I like projects, I like suzukis, I like toyotas, I like wheeling, I like daily driving my 4x4, I like camping, I like gutless cars, I like bringing 4 people along, and I want to do the rubicon soon. I'm building this rig to meet those criteria.

    The plan:
    Trail Tough Trail Slayer SAS/Link kit
    toy axles - lockers f/r
    Trail Tough Undertaker
    33's
    lots of fun
    trail tough armour (front bumper, sliders, rear bumper)


    My goal is to finish this build by April 5th so I can do hole in the rock on the 9th. This is the first time I've had all my money set aside for the build first, so I can buy it all at once instead of going as I can afford it. It's nice. Hopefully the build goes together quicker that way.

    There won't be much tech or anything "new" in this thread. Since everything is pretty much bolt on, it won't be the most hardcore build thread, but that's ok. I've never done links before, and I don't have much time to put into this build, so I decided to go bolt-on.
    Last edited by sixstringsteve; 01-21-2011 at 06:09 PM.
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  3. #2
    Premium Member sixstringsteve's Avatar
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    Here are a few pictures of her stock.









    My local weigh station's scale is broken, so I couldn't weigh it. So I'm just going to go off the sticker curb weight: 2750 lbs. that's only 400 lbs more than my miata! We'll see what it weighs in at at the end of the day.

    Here's the height from the ground to the bottom of the frame (stock).


    8.75" Haha. My tacoma was 21, and my '81 was about 26 if I remember correctly.

    Roof height: approx 66"


    Wheelbase: 97"
    Last edited by sixstringsteve; 01-28-2011 at 08:37 AM.
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  4. #3
    Premium Member sixstringsteve's Avatar
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    Last week I bought a front axle for it, but it ended up being bent. Hopefully I can salvage the hubs, spindles, and knuckles at least.

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  5. #4
    Premium Member sixstringsteve's Avatar
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    Placed an order with Low Range Offroad a few days ago, and I got a visit from the UPS man today.





    unboxed. Sliders, t-case, rear bumper, and most of the suspension kit.
    Last edited by sixstringsteve; 01-22-2011 at 07:54 AM.
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  6. #5
    Premium Member sixstringsteve's Avatar
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    I couldn't just sit here at home with all those great parts sitting in my garage, so I began taking things apart...









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    “If you’re not making someone else’s life better, you’re wasting your time.” -Will Smith

  7. #6
    Easily Distracted Greg's Avatar
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    I think the 4 door Sidekicks have some decent potential as a small trail rig. I like the direction you're headed with this one, I'll be watching as it comes together!

    I know you get your share of crap, but I'm looking forward to your detailed build thread and would love to see a nice follow up as it gets used out on the trail.
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  8. #7
    Premium Member sixstringsteve's Avatar
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    Thanks Greg. There aren't too many 4-door kicks, so it'll be unique. I guess it'll kinda be like a small 80 series with way less power...

    I'll have some preliminary tests at hog's hollow, snakes, and possibly a few other trails. I'll get to really test it out at hole in the rock in March. Let's hope the Undertaker reduction box gets here before then.
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  9. #8
    Undecided Cascadia's Avatar
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    8.75" Haha. My tacoma was 21, and my '81 was about 26 if I remember correctly.
    The '81 is actually 27.25. I measured it the other day before I went to get it safety and emissioned.
    Good luck with this build. Looks like this one should go a lot quicker and easier than the last. Hopefully we can get it a little more than 9 inches off the ground.
    The only constant is change.

  10. #9
    SAMURAI PIMP thefirstzukman's Avatar
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    Haha, typical trail tough packaging job...

    Glad to see a real build thread on this. Looks like the sidekick is pretty clean to began with.

  11. #10
    Premium Member sixstringsteve's Avatar
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    I've gotta give a huge shout-out to Low Range Offroad. They gave me great prices, great service, and they're great guys. I look forward to wheeling with them every time I can. I HIGHLY recommend them. no, I don't get kick-backs from them, I just think they're a great local company that suzuki/toyota guys should know about.

    Another great local company that I recommend is Cruiser Outfitters. Once I get some axles, I'll be getting all my axle rebuild stuff from Kurt over there.
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  12. #11
    Looks like another good build. I like the link suspension. Is it coilovers or springs and shocks. What are your plans for the Toy axles(shafts, lockers)? What are your wheel and tire ideas?
    Will you spot for me?

  13. #12
    Premium Member sixstringsteve's Avatar
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    it's springs and shocks. I'm going to keep the toy axles stock for now, other than arp knuckle studs. With 33's and a 1.6L, I probably won't be breaking axle shafts anytime soon. If I do, I'll probably go to stronger birfs. Then if I'm still breaking stuff, I'll go to Dirty 30's, I really liked my last set.
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  14. #13
    Moving Forward. Yota's Avatar
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    This will make for a sweet sidekick, it's a shame the axle was bent.

  15. #14
    Supporting Vendor! Coco's Avatar
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    I liked that orange!! You shoulda stuck with that I cant wait to see this come together!! LMK when you wanna wrenching buddy!!
    Colton "COCO" Cook
    Low Range Off-Road
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    F-Toy #78 Build

  16. #15
    Take your Rig to the Edge iamsparticus's Avatar
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    i like it steve just keep it more than a few months after it is built so we can go wheeling more than once haha
    Ultra 80 buggy in progress

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