Differentials; The Suzuki drivetrain is an excellent set-up right from the factory. It is amazing how capable and tough the stock set-up is. However if you are serious about off-road performance modification is needed. To keep forward momentum traction is the key. The stock open differentials allow a tire that is on loose or slippery surfaces to spin while the other one does nothing. Installing a traction device such as a locking differential or a spool will keep all tires doing their job to keep you moving.
A "Spool" is an economical solution providing positive traction to both tires of an equipped axle. Spools are best suited for off-road only rigs although they can handle pavement as well. An automatic or manual locking differential cost more than a spool and also provide positive traction in difficult situation but are a better choice for a daily driver.
,Ring and pinion gear ratios of 4.30, 4.62, 5.12:1, 5.38, 5.62:1 have all been used by Suzuki. Some are very rare. The 5:12:1 ratio is one of the most common manual transmission ratios and does great with 27-29" tires. Increasing tire diameter to 31-33" will decrease the mechanical advantage to the point where cruising a highway or climbing a steep grade will be difficult. That is why aftermarket manufacturers have made 5.83:1 ring and pinion gears for the Suzuki. These gears will "correct" the gearing to compensate for the larger tires. Automatics were common with 4.62:1 ratios and even upgrading to a 5.12:1 will make a significant differeance in performance.
Transfer Case: Another area in which gearing is important is when negotiating difficult situations off road. Slow and easy keeps things under control and breakage to a minimal. The problem is that even the stock low range gears of 1.81:1 in the transfer case are still too high for many off-road situations. This causes over use of the clutch on a manual or heat build-up in an automatic transmission. It also means hitting obstacles with more speed than desirable to keep from bogging down or stalling. The solution is to install 4.24:1 transfer case gears. These only change the low range and provide a 134% reduction which means a significant increase in power delivery to the tires.
Manual Transmission: The 5 speed manual transmission used in Suzuki's is quite capable of handling the abuse of off-road use. Unless you are going with a 200+ horsepower engine your stock transmission should be all you will ever need. The gear ratios are 1=3.78:1, 2=1.95:1, 3=1.37:1, 4=1.0:1, 5=0.8:1 and R=3.65:1.
Clutch: Upgrading the stock clutch to a stronger one should be done either during your build or as soon as your stock one starts to fade. A good performance clutch will handle the stress of off-road use with less slippage and more power to the wheels.
3 Speed Automatic: The 3 speed automatic transmission used in Suzuki's is also considered to be a strong transmission. It is called a 3L30 or TH180 and was also used by GM in the Chevette. It has a lock-up torque converter and gear ratios of 1=2.40:1, 2=1.47:1, D=1.0:1 and R=2.0:1
4 Speed Automatic: The 4 speed automatic is also a good transmission. It is called a 03-72LE and is also used by Kia in the Sportage and Sorento. It also has a lock-up torque converter and gear ratios of 1=2.83:1, 2=1.49:1, 3=1.0:1, D=0.73:1 and R=2.7:1
NOTICE >>>>> Legal Disclaimer <<<<< NOTICE
The products and vehicle modifications discussed and/or promoted by this site are for use at your own risk. Due to the nature of these products and their intended use Boondox Motorsports and any parties associated with Boondox Motorsports will not be responsible for any claims against them. No collision studies have been performed pertaining to any of these products or the use of them on a vehicle. Off-road use of any vehicle can be dangerous. Lifting a vehicle with chassis modification and taller tires raises it's center of gravity and therefore it may be at higher risk of rollover. Caution should always be used in driving any lifted vehicle. Use caution also in installing any products to your vehicle. Failure to properly support a vehicle while working on it could result in injury or death.
It's FINALLY here! A TRUE mini-spool for the Sidekick AND the Samurai! The spool is an extremely strong and economical method of achieving 100% lock up of the rear differential without the quirkiness associated with automatic lockers. It is manufactured from SAE 8620 alloy bar stock material and is heat treated for superior strength.
Sidekick/Tracker Front Locker
Finally, an answer to running a locker in the FRONT of a Sidekick or Tracker. Trail Tough's 3-pin carrier with Lockright comes compeltely set-up. Available in 22 or 26 splines. Imagine the traction of being locked both rear and front. One word ... Unstopable.
'89-98 Sidekick Front Locker
4.24:1 RockMonster Transfer Case Gears
Trail Tough's 4.24:1 Rockmonster gears are here! These gears provide 134% low range reduction from stock. Does not change high range gearing. Fits the following applications. SUZUKI SIDEKICK/TRACKER '91-98 and SUZUKI VITARA AND GRAND VITARA '99 -01. Complete DIY instructions.
'91-98 Sidekick 4.24:1 Transfer Case Gears
5.83:1 Ring & Pinion Gears
We have the opportunity to offer the almost impossable to get 12 bolt 5.83:1 ring and pinion gears for the rear of the Suzuki Sidekick/Tracker/Vitara vehicles. The front 10 bolt sets are still commonly available through vendors like Calmini. These are a special order from overseas and we will only be ordering 20 sets at this time. This is the best price we could negotiate due to quantity and shipping issues. If you are interested in a set please fill out the form so we can reserve a set for you.
Built at ARB's Melbourne plant. Without diff locks, when one wheel loses traction, all the driving torque transfers to that wheel leaving it spinning helplessly. With the ARB Air Locking differential activated you will simply drive out of these situations. Once off the road, by simply pushing the buttons, the Air Locking Differentials lock the axles together providing 100% traction to all wheels allowing you to safely traverse even the most difficult terrain. Requires Air Compressor