1989 Suzuki Carry mini truck

May 5 2016

Poor man’s side by side.. Work Truck..  4×4..

Soo..  I actually bought this little truck for my business.  I’m doing a lot of running around picking up repairs and getting parts..  Using my big truck with the BIG motor is costing quite a bit.   so now I can buzz all over the valley for cheap.  The little truck has business insurance on it.  On the first day of having it I went out and picked up a lawn tractor for repairs.

Look at that..  actually fits with a bit of room to spare..  but shows how small the truck is..  Both Dave & I with the tractor.. no problem.   so for the business Perfect !

Side by Side ?

Ya.. It can be.  This little truck has a 550cc motor with a low geared 4 speed manual transmission.  4×4 with hi / low range,  diff lock,  auto hubs.  It’s lifted two inches.  Has 12 inch wheels like my quad..  but they are skinny..  The whole truck is only 54 inches wide..  Narrower than some of the side by’s in our club.  So fitting on a trail.. no problem.   Now here’s the bonus ! cab heater !  licensed for the street !  Rain is no problem..  No one wants to steal it daily..  Yes that’s a problem with ATV’s.

Poor Man’s ?

Ya..  With side by’s costing 14 grand and up..  and even a used one is more than $6000.   This little truck is a bargain.   These are quickly catching on with the hunters..  because they carry more.  It’s fun to drive too.. and does not need a trailer to pack it home.

About This Truck:

The odometer shows 24700 , but there is no sixth digit. And since no one drives these much on the highway, we will presume the worst would be 124,700 kms.  That makes sense due to the motor needing new rings.  The motor is a three cylinder 550 cc  Suzuki  ( not a motorcycle engine)  but similar to what was in the Sprints and Swifts.  These little motors rev very high to produce the power needed..  So the rings tend to be the first thing to wear out.  The motor uses a carburetor and simple points ignition.  NO electronics ! not even a warning buzzer for seat belts or key left in the ignition.  Very simple to work on..  I would say the only complex parts are the tons of vacuum hoses from the carburetor and the relays / solenoids that activate the differential lock and front hub lock.  YES push button hub lock..  don’t have to get out and turn in the hubs.  And it all works perfectly.

The interior is in perfect condition..  Just the way it came from the factory.  I will change out the “mono” AM radio for a better “stereo” and two speakers instead of the one.  I’m going to change the cigarette lighter out for a proper power point plug.  Also I’ve added LED day time running lights to the front with a switch on the dash.  Not much room in the cab.. so have to be careful what I add..  cup holders would be nice..  but I haven’t found a place yet.   As far as the body goes.. there is very little rust..  nothing like the rust holes in a Sidekick..  or any of the north American models.  These seem to be better steel.  Just a bit of surface rust that rubs off..  Not bad for something 26 years old.   I have a few dents to take out too..   So away we go….

A bit of Fixing :

I had some spare time ..and I wanted to polish the doors and box sides before I put decals on.  But I got a bit carried away and did some touch up painting too.  Just to get rid of the rust.

May 24 2016:

Time for a Motor Makeover:

I’ve been driving around for a few weeks now.. I love it.. fun to drive.. And it runs great.   I’m getting used to the right hand drive.   But It smokes  ! a lot.  and I don’t want to plaster my name all over a smoking truck..  So now that the shop is free.  and clean..  Time to fix the motor.

There are two ways to get the motor out of the truck..  Fastest is to use a hoist and drop the hole shabang out the bottom.   The other is to remove the box, and remove the transmission and slide the motor out the back.   Since I have no hoist in my shop…  I’ll remove the box.

And that is just what I did..  Look at how easy it is to get at stuff..  Plus I want to clean the dirt and the rusty bits while I can..  even throw some paint on the frame.

Even though the truck is simple compared to newer vehicles.. there is a rats nest of lines to deal with..   Next step is to give this mess a bath.. And some short videos too.

I’m not the fastest mechanic by any means..  so I expect the truck to be out of commission for a least two weeks.  I have other things to do.

May 27 2016:

All the bits are here now.  The new 13″ alloy rims, the gasket set for the motor.  The power keyless locking system, The stereo too.  So I’m not waiting for anything..   Right now the transmission is out on the floor.. and the motor is coming out in a day or so.  I’ve also been thinking about some painting.  My logo will be on the truck..  and I would like to improve the look.  And be unique !  So I’ve come up the idea of following the Kubota color scheme.  Orange and grey.   I’m leaving the cab mostly white..  But I’m painting the frame and it’s parts grey.  Then running an orange stripe down the side .. which includes the lower part of the box.  Here’s a mock up of the idea.

I haven’t drawn the frame in the picture .. but it’s the general idea.  I also included some wood side boards.  I would like to do that too.  So add to all this the nice new rims.. and we are stylin !

I’m thinking the motor work should be on a new page.

 Motor Work:

Now that the motor is out and in the work stand..  Time to talk about that..

Wow that’s a huge motor !  And.. it was very easy to pull the motor out the rear.. onto a piece of plywood..  once you remember to disconnect all the hoses.   In fact it was faster than I thought.. Took longer to get it mounted to the work stand.   And so I did a lot of careful removing of the bits..

Here’s a short Video on the progress…

So the motor sat there on the stand for a week… maybe a bit longer..  Seems I’m busier than I want to be..

June 7 th  2016:

Finally got at the motor..  Dave came and in a few hours we had nothing but a naked engine block.   Everything is laid out carefully on a table.   It’s sure hard to tell there is anything wrong with the motor..  The cylinders are perfect.  All we did was a quick honing to take the shine off.   Dave’s gone away for the week, so the plan is when he comes back I will have all the parts clean and painted.. ready for re-assembly.  All new gaskets / seals/ rings and main bearings.   The top of the motor was done so not touching that.

As you can see I’ve cleaned and painted the block.   Yup Orange.  !  That’s part of the color theme for the truck.

Here’s my table full of goodies..  And …

Here’s the new & improved oil pan..  Grey.. once again following the color scheme.  A lot of cleaning , polishing and painting.. but look at the bits & pieces !

As before the whole motor block is orange.  The exhaust is completely painted with extreme high heat silver ( better than rust) . I decided not to paint the transmission..  It’s aluminum.. but I did paint the rusty steel parts.  I am ready for re- assembly on Monday.

Monday June 13 2016:

We got the crank back in with the new bearings and seals..  But when we were changing the rings we ran into problems.  The new rings do not fit the pistons. !  So I did some phoning and will have to wait now for genuine Suzuki rings to come.  So The motor will have to wait once more ..  But if I’ve gone this far I only want it done properly.   I’ll switch gears on the truck and fix up the frame  and box.

New page for that work…

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