1988 Suzuki Samurai tin top, easy project

Price: US $1,725.00 Item location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Suzuki
  • Model: Samurai
  • Year: 1988
  • Mileage: 42,000
  • VIN: JS3JC51V4J4152491
  • Color: white
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: 4WD
  • Options: 4-Wheel Drive
  • Vehicle Title: Rebuilt, Rebuildable & Reconstructed
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1988 Suzuki Samurai

1988 Suzuki Samurai
This is a project that I've had for years and now need to move along. It's been sitting for several years. It gets started and moved in the yard occasionally. I had long wanted a tin-top Samurai and hunted this one down and bought it because it was pretty solid and an easy project. Now I need the space and fewer projects so have decided to sell it on.
The Samurai has a RECONSTRUCTED title. I'm not sure why and wasn't concerned. The rear door has been replaced and is really the only evidence that something might have been damaged. The rear door looks to have been repainted and was originally a darker color.
Title is an open (unsigned) title from previous owner.
Title shows 41k miles and odometer shows something close to that. However, I am selling as TMU (true mileage unknown) as I cannot verify the miles nor do I know if the odometer is functioning.
Overall the Samurai is solid. Body has minor rust. The worst is located near the bottom hinge on the rear door and under the rear pop-out windows. The underside shows surface rust but is pretty clean and solid. The floors also clean and solid. The exhaust system will need replacement.
For a New England tin-top it seems pretty good overall. Please check the photos to decide for yourself though.
Vehicle is not road-worthy at this time. The previous owner incorrectly installed a spring-over lift kit and lift blocks. The angles on the spring mounts are wrong. The driveshafts are not long enough for the set-up. Especially in the front. The rear driveshaft appears to have an extended yoke. There is heavy vibration if driven at speed.
I purchased the Samurai knowing the faults. I have only ever driven it about a mile: on my initial test drive and into my driveway from the tow truck.
It does start up pretty well. Could use a general tune up as it has been sitting for probably 5 years. I've kept the gas in it a a low level so it wouldn't have lots of old gas in it. I added a fresh gallon recently and it started right up and ran well- if a little rough. It's definitely still running old gas through the system.
The Samurai has minor dents and dings all around. It's solid but not pristine.
Here is a quick list of other issues that I can see on the Samurai:
- glovebox hinge failing
- windshield cracked
- mirrors were poorly relocated to the body
- driver's side mirror cracked
- roof rack bolted through roof (no leaks but questionable)
- roof lights inoperable
- needs "clicky fix" - drivers door handle need to be replaced, no lock knobs
- missing (1) rear seat belt
- front seats are worn Recaros from an 80's VW (worn and don't fit well but original Samurai seat sliders are intact) - side and rear windows tinted (not the best)
- driver's side lock cylinder loose
- (2) keys for vehicle: one for front doors and ignition, one for rear hatch
- speedometer is inoperable, temp gauge and fuel gauge unknown
There may be some other small items that I missed. If you have any questions about specific items please ask.
Rear seat is original split flip-n-fold. Steering wheel is a small Grant wheel. Horn, lights, heater fan working (might need turn signal bulb).
The Samurai is sold TMU and with an open Reconstructed title from the previous owner.
The Samurai is overall very solid, starts and runs- should be an easy project for the right Samurai fan.
I do have extra parts to include:
- nice pair seats from a 2 door Montero which have the "bouncy" drivers seat.
- low mileage rear axle; complete hub-to-hub
- extra set of original rims with decent tires
- also, I have assorted new parts which will be included: including speedometer cable, quick-release door straps, wipers, "clicky fix", rear brake parts, driveshaft spacers, SPOA brackets
The Samurai is sold as-is and where-is with all faults and conditions known and unknown.
Please review the photos. The photos should answer most condition questions. If you have specific questions please let me know and I will do my best to answer.
Will consider trading towards a Honda Grom or Suzuki TU250X.