Tracker/Sidekick Automatic

How good or dependable is the Automatic transPosted
by: “airscrews” airscrews
Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:08 am (PST)

I have a 96 X 90 and a 97 Sidekick , can anyone tell me how dependable the auto trans are for off road use , some rock crawling , slow low range crawling deep sand ect , any input will be greatly appreciated .

Re: How good or dependable is the Automatic trans
Posted by: “Joe Simmons” birdfarm2000
Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:12 pm (PST)

The three speed trans with lockup converter is a 3L30 or TH180C, used in several vehicles, including AM General small postal vans, Chevettes, Fiats, etc. They work fantastic for rock climbing, as there’s a LOT less driver input necessary…….manual and clutch can get you INTO some VERY sticky situations. A fairly simple auto trans, and moderately durable. There’s not much available for heavy duty operation, Makco sells a TransGo kit to replace the pins and springs on the 1st gear valving, and IIRC, they also sell some better frictions, bands, and Kolene steels. A good plate-style trans cooler will help with longivity, and good fluid changed regularly will also help.

Weak points on the 3 speed include various internal leaks causing SLOW shifting when cold, and loss of control pressure resulting in slippage, burnt fluid, and a dead trans. The TCC solenoid generally has a burnt-out coil resulting in no torque converter lockup (less than $50 to repair)

If you’ve got the Aisin 4 speed, it’s a different story…..electronic shift solenoids, ECM controls shifting, and a LOT more to go wrong. Several persons have made hybrid trans from these combined with an Aisin from a Toyota, Volvo, or some of the others which results in a dependable unit with a good overdrive and NO electronic shifting. Search on Pirate 4×4 or, if interested.

Joe S
I’d rather 4 wheel in an automatic!

Dished versus flat top pistons,88177.0.html

NOW the 1.3 stuff.

STOCK 1.3 cylinder head volume = 33cc
Stock 1.3 “dished piston” volume = 3.8cc
1.3 “flat top” piston volume (the valve notches) = 1.5cc

Stock 1.6 head volume = 32cc
Deck clearance = .010
I checked this on 2 different blocks, its varied a bit, so I averaged them at .010. If anyone wants to check deck at tdc on another stock 1.3 and compare, it would help.

Looking at the information above I finally realized something that I had missed in the past. The 1.6 cylinder head combustion chamber is the same size, or smaller than the 1.3. In the past, I had always just cut the heads until I ended up with the volume I was looking for. I had never cc’s a totally stock 1.6. Interesting yeah? I kinda feel like I missed the boat on that one all this time. So now there is 0 reason really to not run the 1.6 head. The fuel pump is the only thing that could be argued, but it’s a week one in my opinion.

So compression ratios:
Stock head stock 1.6 head gasket. Factory replacement dished pistons.
stock bore 8.6-1
.030 over pistons= 8.8
.060 pistons = 8.98

Flat top pistons
stock bore 9.1
.030 9.2
.060 9.4

Cutting block down to arrive at 0 deck using the flat top pistons.
stock bore 9.2
.030 9.4
.060 9.6

Cutting .010 from the cylinder head yields about .2’s more compression ratio on a stock bore.

Samurai engine parts interchange

1324 AKA 1.3 most common sammy motor will have 1324 on block. I’ve seen differnces in these blocks in regards to casting desighns, Like the 1298 mentioned above, some (very few as I can tell) also were cast fro squirters and oild drainback provisions for a turbo, interstingly enough, the engines so built do not have an engine ID number machined into srface next to bell housing. One of these blocks would also be a good turbo build up.

1590 8valve sohc aka 1.6 engine found in kicks and tracks, g16kc is another name for it.
1590l 16v sohc aka 16v engine, kicks and tracks, g16kv is its other name.

1324 engine.
Bore 74mm
Stroke 77mm
rod diameter 1.6529-1.6535
main diam. 1.771-1.7716
pistons are a press fit pin.
Bell houseing pattern is same as 1298. 1590 engines can easily be adapted with trail tuff or similar adapter plate.
ITM lists the pistons the same as the 1298 engine but thats because the itm’s were machined for keeper grooves, neer as I can tell, 1298 are full floating pins where this engine, the 1324, has press fit pins.
rings however are catlogged as different numbers, I’ve never looked into why but I assume its related to ring size/desighn. This should not pose a problem as long as the pistons you buy include rings.
Flat top pistons are sourced from 3 cylinder 1000cc sprint engine. This yeild more compression. Remember you need 4. All thats required to put these psitons in are the pistons themselves. So don’t bother with the low compression pistons. I have also found the 1298 pistons will work and are flat tops as well, this seems to be the piston that hawk sells as a flat top piston. Also keep in mind that on the 1324 engine that the pin keepers are not needed as these (the 1324) engines use the press fit pins.
As the hi compression pistons will work I am looking into the con rods and psitons from the turbo sprint for a more robust forced induction bottom end. Does anyone know if the turbo sprint pistons were forged? same rod length as the sammy rod?
This would be helpful for a proper turbo build on a 8v

main bearings are the same as 1298
Rod bearings are same as 1298

camshafts will interchange between any of the 8v heads 1298, 1324, 1590. However I’ve always used the distributor houseing that belongs to the camshafts original motor as I have had end play issues when not doing this. So 1.3 cam will work in a 1.6 head as long as you use the 1.3 houseing. Some may have done this without a concern, I still recomend it.

Rocker arms are the same as 1298 up intill 95 where the disighn changed. They are also same as 1590.

Cam gears are the same as 1298 and 1590
cam bolts are same as well.
Timing belt is same as 89-94 1298
Timing belt tension is same as 89-94 1298 and 1590

Intake valves are same as 1298 90-97
exhaust valves are the same 1298 90-97 exhaust valves from 1590 will work with custom cyl head machineing.
Valve springs are same as 1298. 1590 valve springs will interchange and have more spring pressure. Be sure to check for coil stacking and proper pressures depending on the cam you are uesing. small block chevy springs for 1.6 installed height is the hot rod Hi rpm jones. I like 75-80#’s on the seat and around 225 open
Valve guids will interchange from 1298 ans 1590, however, depending on manufactrurer, length on guides may need modification.

Connecting rods will interchange with 1298 90-97 model years neer as I can tell at this point.

Balancers, still working on this, 1298 balancers will bolt on and have correct seal diameter, however the ones I’ve seen from a 1298 may or may not be setup for your belt drive. This goes for 1590 as well. The balancers will physically bolt on, but the differences lay in belt arangement.
Balancer bolts are same as 1298, 1590, and 1590l

Valve covers, interchangable from 1298 and 1590, almost all of them will bolt onto each other. If its an 8v head its a good bet. Late model 94? and up cars with 8v 1298 engines and 1324 engine used an aluminum cover that seals better and can be cleaned up easier. good yard find. VC gaskets are catalogged diferent depending on gasket manufacturer. Best bet is to get gasket for v.covers original car application

Cylinder head. will swap from 1298 strait across. Later model heads May or may not have fuel pump functionality. 1590 cylinder head will bolt on but does not have provision for fuel pump cast into it.
1300 dohc swift gti head will bolt on as well,with the gti bolts though I have never got that engine running to finish the notes on it. gti timing componants are also needed. As would the gti head gasket.

1590l head will bolt on too with the 1590l head bolts. I have bolted this combo together but have not yet run it or finished it. It APPEARS that with the 1324 (or 1298) cam gear on the 1590l cam that the 1324 (or 1298) timing belt would work. Again I don’t know that and it wouild take some tensioner work in any case.

Head gasket, 1298 will work fine, be sure to pay attention to the hole for oil feed to head. This is critical. 1590 gasket will work as well and is recomended (by me for what thats worth) for large overbores (.020 and up) and anytime a 1590 head is used on the 1324 or 1298 block.

Head bolts, use 1298 or 1590 bolts, 1590l bolts are different

Main bolts are same as 1298. Unknown if 1590 and 1590l bolts are same.
intake manifolds. 1298 manifolds, weather carbed or injected will bolt on fine. 1590 manifolds will work but is not recomended on 1324 head as head ports are smaller, if useing the 1590 head its better to port the 1324 or 1298 manifold to 1590 gasket size for intake oprts. Either way some porting will be necassary.
Intake manifold gaskets are same as 1298, 1590 are larger to accomodate larger ports. 1590 gasket can be used on 1298 and 1324 apps without leakage as the gasket is larger.

exhaust manifolds will interchange from 1298 and 1590 though there are desighn differences, but they will bolt on. 1590 manifold is more tubular in desighn with better cross section and longer “primary” this is most likely a performance improveing peice though I have never tested it. 1590 manifolds also seem crack prone.

Oil pans and pickups will interchange from 1298 and 1590 and 1590l engines, use the matching pair of pickup and pan. Non lifted apps need to be very carefull with pan to front housing clearence as 1590 pans are larger and may hit front axle during some conditions.

Oil pumps will interchange with 1590 and 1294 engines, also a 1.3 GTI oil pump will bolt to a 1298 and 1324 engine as well as 1590. (this is per SARGE, again thanx alot for the info)
Flywheels, 1298 wheels are same. 1590 engine swaps will use 1298 or 1324 wheel on 1590 engine for bellhouseing fit reasons.
Clutches are standard sammy clutches, though on Hi HP engines (don’t laugh I know its hard) I like the clutch that TNT diversified sells. Its a special disc with a specially sprung Pressure plate.
Flywheel bolts are same with 1298, 1590 and 1590l engines.

dISTRIBUTORS, 1298 and 1590 dist will fit, thing to remember is how you want run the engine management, Fuel injected engines will need correct dist. Not in scope right now to go into all that but just remember 1590 swaps will use factory carbed 1298 and 1324 mechanical/vacume distributors.
1590l 1.6 16valve engines that are run carburated (custom carb setup) will also use the 1.3 mechanical distrubutor for ignition controll if the proper modification to distributor shaft end and disributor hold down slot are made. This is a really easy way to run indv. carbs on a 16v if you want the hotrod motor without the injection. I will cover this later as there are some differences that need to be over come due to dist rotation.

Oil pumps, 1298 will work as will1590. There may be some small differnces in bypass and pressure, but they will bolt on and run and give adequate oil pressure.

1324 torque specs
Headbolts 50 ft#
main bolts 40ft#
cam gear 45ft#
crank bolt 50ft#
flywheel 55ft#
con rod 26ft#

This engine (the 1324) most likel;y what came in your sammy, they are a good engine with few problems. Most need a good rebuild by know. Blocks are tough and will not hardly ever ridge, so a quick and easy bottle hone, rings, bearings and valve job with seals will probably fix all you concers. Heads have a tendancy to burn valves.

STOCK 1.3 cylinder head volume = 33cc
Stock 1.3 “dished piston” volume = 3.8cc
1.3 “flat top” piston volume (the valve nothes) = 1.5cc

Stock 1.6 head volume = 32cc
Deck clearance = .010
I checked this on 2 different blocks, its varied a bit, so I averaged them at .010. If anyone wants to check deck at tdc on another stock 1.3 and compare, it would help.

Looking at the information above I finally realized something that I had missed in the passed. The 1.6 cylinder head combustion chamber is the same size, or smaller than the 1.3. In the past, I had always just cut the heads until I ended up with the volume I was looking for. I had never cc’s a totally stock 1.6. Interesting yeah? I kinda feel like I missed the boat on that one all this time. So now there is 0 reason really to not run the 1.6 head. The fuel pump is the only thing that could be argued, but its a week one in my opinion.

So compression ratios:
Stock head stock 1.6 head gasket. Factory replacement dished pistons.
stock bore 8.6-1
.030 over pistons= 8.8
.060 pistons = 8.98

Flat top pistons
stock bore 9.1
.030 9.2
.060 9.4

Cutting block down to arrive at 0 deck using the flat top pistons.
stock bore 9.2
.030 9.4
.060 9.6

Cutting .010 from the cylinder head yields about .2’s more compression ratio on a stock bore.

Samurai low top end

Problem: Engine runs flat and has no top end, 50-55 MPH seems to be the max speed. (Chronic problem with the Samurai…)

Possible causes:

1. Carburetor vent fix. See the tech service bulletin

2. Check the grounds from the firewall to the battery negative post and the distributor, either of these being bad will cause a ground loop that the computer can’t deal with.

3. What gas are you running? I’m having the best luck with U76 gasohol. You can start by putting in some alcohol based gas line antifreeze. Also check your compression. Low compression does not help for making HP. (I see 1.3’s at 140 all the time, and 170 is the lower limit for wear per the FSM. 195 is stock…)

4. Is the coil stock? If so, they are notorious for going half-bad. Bad enough to do what yours is doing, but not bad enough to die. I believe it is because they are fed 12 V full time and were designed for the old 8V you got from dropping resistors in disty’s with points.

5. Timing belt slipped, off 1 or more teeth.

6. Cam to crank timing out of spec. Has the block been decked or the head shaved?

7. Check to see if the catalytic converter is clogged.

8. How I finally killed my gremlin!
It was in effect, a vacuum leak. The ABCV (Air Bleed Control valve) was leaking on one of its 2 ports. I would have assumed a diaphragm inside, but the FSM shows it as some sort of ECU controlled needle valve. I had another I got with an intake assy I had bought just for these sort of spare parts, and bingo! It perked right up! idles stable as a table, and the Digital VOM on the O2 sensor shows what it’s supposed to show!

I took it for a test drive down the freeway and while it’s no dragster, (it is a zuk…) it has no problem getting to 65, maintaining it at less than 1/2 throttle and even accelerating on past 70 (75+ at one point) with minimal difficulty

O2 Sensors

Oxygen Sensor Information

In response to several requests for more information about Oxygen (O2) sensors, perhaps the following information will help. Comment:

These procedures are only for self powered conventional sensors. Some very new cars are using a different style sensor that is powered. *Many* Oxygen sensors are replaced that are good to excellent. *Many* people don’t know how to test them. They routinely last 50,000 or more miles, and if the engine is in good shape, can last the life of the car.
What does the O2 sensor do?

It is the primary measurement device for the fuel control computer in your car to know if the engine is too rich or too lean. The O2 sensor is active anytime it is hot enough, but the computer only uses this information in the closed loop mode. Closed loop is the operating mode where all engine control sensors including the Oxygen sensor are used to get best fuel economy, lowest emissions, and good power.
Should the O2 sensor be replaced when the sensor light comes on in your car?

Probably not, but you should test it to make sure it is alive and well. This assumes that the light you see is simply an emissions service reminder light and not a failure light. A reminder light is triggered by a mileage event (20-40,000 miles usually) or something like 2000 key start cycles. EGR dash lights usually fall into the reminder category. Consult your owners manual, auto repair manual, dealer, or repair shop for help on what your light means.
How do I know if my O2 sensor may be bad?

If your car has lost several miles per gallon of fuel economy and the usual tune up steps do not improve it. This *is not* a pointer to O2 failure, it just brings up the possibility. Vacuum leaks and ignition problems are common fuel economy destroyers. As mentioned by others, the on board computer may also set one of several failure “codes”. If the computer has issued a code pertaining to the O2 sensor, the sensor and it’s wiring should be tested. Usually when the sensor is bad, the engine will show some loss of power, and will not seem to respond quickly.
What will damage my O2 sensor?

Home or professional auto repairs that have used silicone gasket sealer that is not specifically labeled “Oxygen sensor safe”, “Sensor safe”, or something similar, if used in an area that is connected to the crankcase. This includes valve covers, oil pan, or nearly any other gasket or seal that controls engine oil. Leaded fuel will ruin the O2 sensor in a short time. If a car is running rich over a long period, the sensor may become plugged up or even destroyed. Just shorting out the sensor output wire will not usually hurt the sensor. This simply grounds the output voltage to zero. Once the wiring is repaired, the circuit operates normally. Undercoating, antifreeze or oil on the *outside* surface of the sensor can kill it. See how does an Oxygen sensor work.
Will testing the O2 sensor hurt it?

Almost always, the answer is no. You must be careful to not *apply* voltage to the sensor, but measuring it’s output voltage is not harmful. As noted by other posters, a cheap voltmeter will not be accurate, but will cause no damage. This is *not* true if you try to measure the resistance of the sensor. Resistance measurements send voltage into a circuit and check the amount returning.
How does an O2 sensor work?

An Oxygen sensor is a chemical generator. It is constantly making a comparison between the Oxygen inside the exhaust manifold and air outside the engine. If this comparison shows little or no Oxygen in the exhaust manifold, a voltage is generated. The output of the sensor is usually between 0 and 1.1 volts. All spark combustion engines need the proper air fuel ratio to operate correctly. For gasoline this is 14.7 parts of air to one part of fuel. When the engine has more fuel than needed, all available Oxygen is consumed in the cylinder and gasses leaving through the exhaust contain almost no Oxygen. This sends out a voltage greater than 0.45 volts. If the engine is running lean, all fuel is burned, and the extra Oxygen leaves the cylinder and flows into the exhaust. In this case, the sensor voltage goes lower than 0.45 volts. Usually the output range seen seen is 0.2 to 0.7 volts. The sensor does not begin to generate it’s full output until it reaches about 600 degrees F. Prior to this time the sensor is not conductive. It is as if the circuit between the sensor and computer is not complete. The mid point is about 0.45 volts. This is neither rich nor lean. A fully warm O2 sensor *will not spend any time at 0.45 volts*. In many cars, the computer sends out a bias voltage of 0.45 through the O2 sensor wire. If the sensor is not warm, or if the circuit is not complete, the computer picks up a steady 0.45 volts. Since the computer knows this is an “illegal” value, it judges the sensor to not be ready. It remains in open loop operation, and uses all sensors except the O2 to determine fuel delivery. Any time an engine is operated in open loop, it runs somewhat rich and makes more exhaust emissions. This translates into lost power, poor fuel economy and air pollution. The O2 sensor is constantly in a state of transition between high and low voltage. Manfucturers call this crossing of the 0.45 volt mark O2 cross counts. The higher the number of O2 cross counts, the better the sensor and other parts of the computer control system are working. It is important to remember that the O2 sensor is comparing the amount of Oxygen inside and outside the engine. If the outside of the sensor should become blocked, or coated with oil, sound insulation, undercoating or antifreeze, (among other things), this comparison is not possible.
How can I test my O2 sensor?

They can be tested both in the car and out. If you have a high impedence volt meter, the procedure is fairly simple. It will help you to have some background on the way the sensor does it’s job. Read how does an O2 sensor work first.
Testing O2 sensors that are installed

The engine must first be fully warm. If you have a defective thermostat, this test may not be possible due to a minimum temperature required for closed loop operation. Attach the positive lead of a high impedence DC voltmeter to the Oxygen sensor output wire. This wire should remain attached to the computer. You will have to back probe the connection or use a jumper wire to get access. The negative lead should be attached to a good clean ground on the engine block or accessory bracket. Cheap voltmeters will not give accurate results because they load down the circuit and absorb the voltage that they are attempting to measure. A acceptable value is 1,000,000 ohms/volt or more on the DC voltage. Most (if not all) digital voltmeters meet this need. Few (if any) non-powered analog (needle style) voltmeters do. Check the specs for your meter to find out. Set your meter to look for 1 volt DC. Many late model cars use a heated O2 sensor. These have either two or three wires instead of one. Heated sensors will have 12 volts on one lead, ground on the other, and the sensor signal on the third. If you have two or three wires, use a 15 or higher volt scale on the meter until you know which is the sensor output wire. When you turn the key on, do not start the engine. You should see a change in voltage on the meter in most late model cars. If not, check your connections. Next, check your leads to make sure you won’t wrap up any wires in the belts, etc. then start the engine. You should run the engine above 2000 rpm for two minutes to warm the O2 sensor and try to get into closed loop. Closed loop operation is indicated by the sensor showing several cross counts per second. It may help to rev the engine between idle and about 3000 rpm several times. The computer recognizes the sensor as hot and active once there are several cross counts. You are looking for voltage to go above and below 0.45 volts. If you see less than 0.2 and more than 0.7 volts and the value changes rapidly, you are through, your sensor is good. If not, is it steady high (> 0.45) near 0.45 or steady low (< 0.45). If the voltage is near the middle, you may not be hot yet. Run the engine above 2000 rpm again. If the reading is steady low, add richness by partially closing the choke or adding some propane through the air intake. Be very careful if you work with any extra gasoline, you can easily be burned or have an explosion. If the voltage now rises above 0.7 to 0.9, and you can change it at will by changing the extra fuel, the O2 sensor is usually good. If the voltage is steady high, create a vacuum leak. Try pulling the PCV valve out of it’s hose and letting air enter. You can also use the power brake vacuum supply hose. If this drives the voltage to 0.2 to 0.3 or less and you can control it at will by opening and closing the vacuum leak, the sensor is usually good. If you are not able to make a change either way, stop the engine, unhook the sensor wire from the computer harness, and reattach your voltmeter to the sensor output wire. Repeat the rich and lean steps. If you can’t get the sensor voltage to change, and you have a good sensor and ground connection, try heating it once more. Repeat the rich and lean steps. If still no voltage or fixed voltage, you have a bad sensor. If you are not getting a voltage and the car has been running rich lately, the sensor may be carbon fouled. It is sometimes possible to clean a sensor in the car. Do this by unplugging the sensor harness, warming up the engine, and creating a lean condition at about 2000 rpm for 1 or 2 minutes. Create a big enough vacuum leak so that the engine begins to slow down. The extra heat will clean it off if possible. If not, it was dead anyway, no loss. In either case, fix the cause of the rich mixture and retest. If you don’t, the new sensor will fail.
Testing O2 sensors on the workbench.

Use a high impedence DC voltmeter as above. Clamp the sensor in a vice, or use a plier or vice-grip to hold it. Clamp your negative voltmeter lead to the case, and the positive to the output wire. Use a propane torch set to high and the inner blue flame tip to heat the fluted or perforated area of the sensor. You should see a DC voltage of at least 0.6 within 20 seconds. If not, most likely cause is open circuit internally or lead fouling. If OK so far, remove from flame. You should see a drop to under 0.1 volt within 4 seconds. If not likely silicone fouled. If still OK, heat for two full minutes and watch for drops in voltage. Sometimes, the internal connections will open up under heat. This is the same a loose wire and is a failure. If the sensor is OK at this point, and will switch from high to low quickly as you move the flame, the sensor is good. Bear in mind that good or bad is relative, with port fuel injection needing faster information than carbureted systems. ANY O2 sensor that will generate 0.9 volts or more when heated, show 0.1 volts or less within one second of flame removal, AND pass the two minute heat test is good regardless of age. When replacing a sensor, don’t miss the opportunity to use the test above on the replacement. This will calibrate your evaluation skills and save you money in the future. There is almost always *no* benefit in replacing an oxygen sensor that will pass the test in the first line of this paragraph.
Rick Kirchhof Austin, Texas | Experience is what you
Domain: | get when you don’t
Bang path: …!!peyote!posms!rick | get what you want.

How to reset the choke setting on your carbureted Sammi

The most common problem with Sammis is the choke setting…other things like timing can affect it but i’m sure you’ve already checked all of that… anyway what you do now is get a long flat head screwdriver and lay it on top of the same mount that your accelerator cable runs through before it gets to that large cam on the bottom of the carb that we talked about before…it is the same bracket or mount that the two 12 mm nuts are found that hold the cable adjustment… anyway that bracket is going to bend down a bit after you use it for the leverage you’ll need to do the adjustment on this mark you need to make but don’t worry about the bending because you can just bend it back up into place after you are done….you’ll see what i mean after you do the adjustment…anyway, lay the handle of the flat head on the top of the bracket and then with the flat head of the screwdriver catch the end of the small cam that is pointed your way and push down on the handle of the screwdriver which will cause the bottom lobe of that cam to go up!!!!…so far so good???…now take a small nail or drill bit that will fit snugly into the hole that is in that same cam and you’ll see that there is also a hole in the bracket above this small cam that when the lobe is pushed up flush with you can run the drill bit or nail all the way through both and whalah!!! The cam will stay in place now without your having to hold the screwdriver any more!!!…now what you need to do is use that same long flathead to slowly put pressure on the “l” or “c” shaped finger on the other end of this same small cam that we have been dealing with all this time… if you take a look at it you’ll see how it is actuated by the thermocouple that comes down from the other housing above it…that thermocouple is actuated by water temperature from the two hoses that run into that same housing…anyway in order to get the idle down, you need to use the screwdriver tip to push that finger up…. do this process slowly and as you bend it a little at a time you’ll see that the mark on the small cam will eventually line up with the rod we talked about before… that is where you need for it to be to operate correctly…remember that you need to bend a little…i’d say not more than 1/16th of an inch at a time; then remove the drill bit and see where you are and then repeat these small adjustments until the marks come into alignment…after that straighten the bracket back up that you bent and start your engine!!! You should be much happier.