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Suzuki/engine start in samurai


I have a 86 sammy. I was driving and everything was fine. Then i noticed fuel gage went to empty. Stopped at my destination and turned it off. when I tried to restart 15 min later could hear starter click but wouldn't turn over. Head lights were a little weak but radio worked fine. Not having any jumper cables and being by myself and having a decline, i put it in neutral, dumped the clutch and it stared fine. idled good everything seemed ok. I turned on headlights it killed the engine. Tried a couple more times same result. So I left it and came back in the morning so i could get it home without using lights. It made it about 10 miles steadily losing power as i went. It finally shut off and wouldn't restart. any thoughts or suggestions?

Recharge the battery first, of course, disassemble and clean the battery terminals as necessary, and then see what happens.  It should start and run readily with a fully charged battery and good electrical connections.  
A couple of things come to mind
Corroded or dirty battery connections
Alternator stopped charging, maybe bad connections at the alternator, or alt needs to be replaced/rebuilt.
Oh yeah! Don't forget something that I once forgot to check on my own sammy and spent a couple of unpleasant hours in a snowstorm before I found it - a loose or badly worn alternator belt!


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David Scott


Questions regarding the advisability of different kinds of modifications to Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker for various kinds of off-road usage. IF IT'S NOT A SAMURAI/SIDEKICK/TRACKER, I MAY ENTIRELY AT MY OPTION, MAKE A GENERALIZED STAB AT THE ANSWER, BUT WHEN YOU ASK NON-SAMURAI SORT OF STUFF, REMEMBER THAT i'M NO LONGER IN A FIELD I KNOW WELL, AND SOME OF MY RESPONSES WILL NOT NECESSARILY BE OTHER THAN GENERAL INFO. The last Suzuki motorcycle I've had any experience with is a 1966 X-6, when I owned it in 1967.


I've been a professional mechanic for over thirty five years, live in the center of the Rocky Mountains, and have been active in exploring the old mining/4wd roads for decades. I've specific experience with Samurai modification, because that's my personal vehicle.

Thirty five years of advanced, intensive classes for experienced professionals only. Manufacturer seminars and training classes averaging four to six weeks per year. I'm now a professional heavy duty fleet mechanic, and no longer deal with issues such as MIL (check engine) lights, and electronics issues on late Suzukis such as Vitara.

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