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Something else: 1.3 8v Suzuki Swift track project

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  • Something else: 1.3 8v Suzuki Swift track project

    Hello there gents.

    Far from the civilized six-cylinders I have owned (MkIII Supra and for the last 2+ years the IS200), I have kept, in my workshop, a cheap/project car:

    The might MkII Suzuki Swift GLS.

    Bought for 500 bucks (of which 200 were borrowed, because I was flat broke at the time) when the engine died on the Supra, kept running as a daily for about a year, it bore impressive numbers from the start:

    - Manufactured with Hungarian tin in 1998;
    - Powered by a 68hp, 1.3 liters, 8 valves, GA13BA engine, bearing the one overhead cam;
    - About 750kg wet;

    Quite the exciting car. It was also a looker:

    Smashing late-80s Japanese eco-box design with a mid-90s refresh.

    So as said earlier, I kept it. Partly to use it for track driving at some later, later date (hasn't been there so far, so... yeah). Partly as a test bed for mods, because modding the Supra while it had to be on the road every monday to saturday (and sometimes the sunday) was quite the pain in the ****.

    So let's get to it, shall we? As it's been modified little by little over the last 3 years I won't bore you with the long cobweb-gathering months and just list mods with pictures until it ran again this week.

    Mod 1: steering wheel.

    Mod 2: Gutted interior.

    Mod 3: sporty hood with no insulation.

    Mod 4: hatch latches, because it's been emptied and doesn't lock anymore.

    Mod 5: stickers for extra street cred.

    Mod 6: 15" wheels with stretched tires, because style (and not because I didn't check the tires weren't too narrow for the wheels, that's just imperialist propaganda).

    Mod 7: -35mm lowering springs and new front brake discs.

    Mod 8: Relocation of the 3rd brake light.

    Mod 9: Seat frames for the OMP buckets.

    With 6-point harnesses hooked to eyebolts.

    Mod 10: custom exhaust, made by welding some pipe in the setad of the silencer on a new center bit (old one was full of holes).

    Mod 11: Front lower tiebar.

    And that's it so far for mods. Some more in stores, but first I HAD to get it outside and drive it around...

    And that was tuesday, so that's about it so far.

    Next are a rear tower bar (welded), relocating the battery, a new battery (current one needs a jump to get on with starting the engine, not great), and a custom made roll bar.

  • #2
    Looks decent mate, Nice write up.

    Good to see see you making parts as well
    OutlawJapClub Admin Team


    • #3
      Thanks. I actually learned to weld during the summer just so I could work on that specific car.
      Well changing suspensions was also a new skill learned on that specific car. Might come in handy on the Lexus.

      Next I'll be learning some engine work by doing the timing and replacing the cam with something a little more agressive.


      • #4
        Engine work is easy, just take your time, and lots of measuring clearances.
        OutlawJapClub Admin Team


        • #5
          I think that's the same engine that's in my van, although yours isn't leaning over as much! Is yours tappy as hell? Mine definitely needs the valve clearances doing


          • #6
            No tapping issues, at over 130 000km everything is still fitting pretty well. The engine is slanted slightly to towards the front which is a bit weird.


            • #7
              Haven't been here in a while, there has been some work done on the car.

              Camshaft and belts out, to be replaced. The timing belt by a new one, the camshaft by one from a Vitara, to ensure more lift and duration.

              Vitara camshaft on the right. Had to machine out the distributor gear as on the Swift it's in-line.

              Using razor blades to set the rocker arms.

              New gaskets

              Engine put back together with new gaskets, a new timing belt and a new top radiator hose I had lying around in a box of spare parts from other projects.

              Also from the parts bin, Denso SK20 iridium plugs to replace the Bosch Quad4s.

              Engine in running order. Haven't had the time to make a proper decent air box so far.

              Car outside in the yard after a test run. Goes pretty well, one of the accessory belts is a bit loose and squeals. Easy fix.

              Bonus: some obnoxious exhaust sound.

              Depending on welder availablility, next is either dashboard electrics (removing the steering lock, replacing some stuff with nice switches...) or chassis reinforcement. In all cases the car is going to be back in the workshop and the interior re-removed.


              • #8
                Good servicing is always important.

                Good find on the vitara cams over standard!
                OutlawJapClub Admin Team