1988 Suzuki Samurai, Good original cond. New OEM seats. Excellent mechanically.

  • Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
  • Make: Suzuki
  • Model: Samurai
  • Year: 1988
  • Mileage: 127287
  • VIN: JS4JC51C6J4214256
  • Vehicle Title: Clean

1988 Suzuki Samurai Description

I’m selling my 1988 Suzuki Samurai. It is “well sorted” meaning all services and wear items have been brought up to date to make it a reliable daily driver ready for another 30 years of service. I’ve always used OEM and/or name-brand parts and have made (or had someone else make) professional repairs. I’m a professional motorcycle mechanic and have been an amateur vintage car mechanic since I was a teenager. I know how to make things work well.

In the pictures you can see the Samurai with the doors and side/rear windows off. Then I put the doors and side/rear windows back on (for winter!) and took more pictures. There’s one picture of it with all the Baby Moon hubcaps on. It comes with a full set of the hubcaps plus a couple spares. Additionally, there is a professional hubcap removal/installation tool included. Lately I’ve been driving with the hubcaps off because it is easier to get at the locking hubs.

The Samurai always starts on the first turn of the key and runs beautifully. It goes 80+mph on the highway with no trouble (see the picture of the speedometer at speed for proof!).

The tires look dirty and old in these pictures, but they are just dirty from light off-roading! They are less than two years old - the same as the spare on the back. All have excellent tread (90%?) remaining and show no signs of unusual wear (which might indicate problems with alignment, springs, etc.).

Here is a list of everything I have done to my Samurai. I may have done a bit more, but these are the things I can think of:

Everything - all lights, mechanicals, 4WD, etc. - works as original.

All new OEM seats. Not recovered, just replaced with entirely new seats.

Original tool pouch with full set of original tools.

Original scissor jack.

Added 3rd brake light from Tracker/Sidekick.

Replaced timing belt, crankshaft and camshaft seals, water pump, tensioner.

Replaced all transmission, transfer case, and differentials gear oil.

New front brake rotors and pads. Replaced front wheel hubs with good used and outer bearings with new.

Replaced both rear brake drums with good used. New bearings. New brake shoes and shoe springs.

Adjusted valves to spec, tightened down rocker structure.

RJ Mowery-modified mechanical distributor. Adjusted timing to spec.

New air filter.

All lug bolts and all lug nuts are new.

Five new Ohtsu FP7000 tires, all still have excellent tread depth, no unusual wear.

Four 1970s Ford F150 wheels, one 1970s CJ wheel for the spare.

Full set of “Baby Moon” hubcaps, including spare wheel.

New Smittybuilt convertible top with tinted zip-out side and back windows.

New Boss 632UAB 50W stereo with Bluetooth, USB, and Aux inputs.

New brandname speakers (I forget the make).

New windshield washer pump and reservoir.

New windshield wipers.

New steering stabilizer.

New fan belt.

New spark plugs.

New transmission tail seal.

New rear differential pinion seal.

New transfer case shift sheet.

New brake master cylinder reservoir bottom seals.

Put front and rear driveshaft back in phase.

Added an engine-to-frame ground cable (old school trick for brighter headlights).

Made new door panels, good quality marine vinyl to match convertible top

Installed float bowl venturi (makes a big difference!). https://www.lowrangeoffroad.com/venturi-tube.html

New temperature sensor.

Adjusted clutch travel.

Installed gas pedal limit bolt (was missing).

Replaced coolant hose at back of intake manifold.

Good looking and good working custom drink holder firmly installed (but easily removed if you want).

(Uninstalled) New leaf spring bushings and shackles. I found that the condition of the existing bushings and shackles was good - there’s no need to change them any time soon. But they are included with the Samurai.

There are only two things that I know of that are not “perfect”: The radiator had some tiny leaks near the neck that I repaired with JB Weld. The repair has held very well but it isn’t beautiful. Similarly, the joint between the exhaust downpipe and the first horizontal pipe cracked. I haven’t had a chance to get it welded back together, so I wrapped it with muffler tape and heavy wire support. Again, it’s not beautiful, but it does the trick. Both of these fixes can be seen in the pictures. Oh, one last thing, that glove compartment door’s hinge is broken, but it opens, pivots and closes (and stays closed) without any problem.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for looking at this auction!

On Nov-29-20 at 15:03:26 PST, seller added the following information:

Someone asked about the unusual license plate on my Samurai and was wondering if it was registered. Yes, it's properly titled in my name, registered, and inspected. We can run unusual license plates on the road on older vehicles here in North Carolina. Here is my response to that person's question:
"Hello, yes, as it says in the auction, my Samurai has a clean title (and current registration and inspection) in my name.
It has an odd license plate because North Carolina has a law allowing vehicles 30 years or older to run a "year of manufacture" license plate as long as you keep your legit, regular license plate at hand for immediate inspection by an officer. When the law was written, they had in mind the guy with the '57 Chevy who drives in parades - it would be cool for him to have a 1957 license plate on the back. My license plate (which I will keep) is from Matsumoto, Japan where my wife spent a few years teaching English. (My current NC license plate is under the back seat!). :)"

On Nov-29-20 at 16:29:44 PST, seller added the following information:

I forgot to mention, this Samurai has factory air conditioning! It does not turn on when you press the switch and I never bothered to look into it, but the system is complete and shouldn't be too difficult to get going if you want to. :)

On Dec-03-20 at 08:05:58 PST, seller added the following information:

One bidder requested a video of the Samurai starting up. You can see it here:https://desmondmullen.github.io/samurai/

On Dec-03-20 at 08:07:42 PST, seller added the following information:

Samurai startup 12/03/2020

On Dec-03-20 at 08:09:34 PST, seller added the following information:

Ha ha! I tried a couple of times to add the startup video as a clickable link, but apparently eBay prohibits that. Please copy-and-paste the link into your browser's address bar to see the video. Thanks!