I Regret To Inform You The Motor Is Blown

Illustration for article titled I Regret To Inform You The Motor Is Blown

Are you looking for an affordably-priced, trusty, vintage but not ancient, old but still stylish, not-huge offroader? Well I hate to say that this outstanding imported 1991 Suzuki Jimny’s turbo motor is blown.


It’s great! Look at the side swoosh. Look at the graphics. Look into it and see yourself. You look... the same, but there’s something different. Someone just gave you a really nice compliment, a smile, a wave. That’s the compliment, the smile, the wave you got as the owner of this Suzuki Jimny. You are a better, sweeter person with this in your life. Drive right over to Jackson Heights in Queens, scoop it up, complete with lifted suspension and some extremely pothole-proof tires, and you’d be golden.

Illustration for article titled I Regret To Inform You The Motor Is Blown

Except, well, the motor is blown. The turbo three-cylinder under the diminutive but rather lofty hood is not working. Replace it if you want, but a perfect vision of instant perfection this is not. It is, sadly, a double-layer Craigslist dream. The $6,000 asking price (full listing here) leaves out whatever you might have to spend to get it actually running and working.

Illustration for article titled I Regret To Inform You The Motor Is Blown

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.


It’s lovely, but too dear for something which can be found in its non-RHD, US market Samurai state for less money - and with a functional engine, to boot.

FWIW, the most common engine conversions for these are the 1.6l four cylinder from a Geo Tracker / Suzuki Sidekick. They’re basically bolt-in replacements, with a few extra doodads for fitment and accessory mounts, which take ‘em from a stock ~60-66HP (on US Samurais, or 57HP on this particular turbo three) to a rolicking 80HP (or 95/105HP if you nabbed a 16v Carb/EFI).

I’ve also seen a few people run other assorted Suzuki engines, such as out of a Metro/Swift, various Vitaras and Esteems, etc., as well as Nissan four cylinders, Chevy Vortec 4.3l V6s or even a 1JZ/2JZ. Smart practice is to not go too heavy on the engine, as they’re already front heavy in their ~175lb stock powerplant form.

For $3k, it’s in good enough overall condition to warrant picking up for an engine conversion. It has a few smart modifications as well, but being RHD is a bummer in practice and the fact that there are domestic versions still kicking around make this what I’d call a nice crack pipe.

Here’s mine:

And in its natural habitat, prior to my slapping the much appreciated Bushwacker fender flares on it: