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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:47 pm
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Vehicle: Grand Vitara XL7

Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:53 pm 
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I have an opportunity to buy a 2003 Grand Vitara XL7 for a good deal.
With some higher profile tyres and a 40mm lift kit would it be suitable for some light duty 4x4 work, beaches, easy 4x4 trails?

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:02 pm 
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Certainly.

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Vehicle: SQ625 Grand Vitara

Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:49 am 
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I just did Fraser Island in a Grand Vitara with only a 30mm lift, we got stuck once in the most difficult of the soft sand between beach and inland trail. Once on the trails, or on the beach it's happy days, and the very soft sand is okay for short periods if you have the room to keep the momentum high.

It's weakness is two things, clearance for larger tyres, and well, clearance. You simply loose a little more clearance again with the longer XL7 under certain circumstances like cresting a lump.

Stock tyres are 235/60/16 I expect if you have 16 inch wheels. If you want nobbly tyres, you can likely get away with 235/65/16 but they are only 23mm larger than stock diameter. The problem is that even a 235/70/16 (47mm larger than stock) is going to have clearance issues, the back of the rear tyre against rear bumper/mud flaps - this can be sorted with strategic leverage from a crowbar on the rear bumper/body mount in the vicinity of the potential scrubbing, potentially remove the flaps to gain approximately another 10mm or so.

At the front that tyre may scrub at full lock against the chassis at the back of the tyres near the firewall. Possibly this can be corrected or at least reduced with some castor correction bushes in the rear of the control arms thus spreading them out and forward a few mm to gain extra clearance. If you do all of this you should be okay with 235/70/16 when not near full lock and light scrubbing occasionally at full lock, for example, reversing out of a parking space. Mud Terrain tyres and many All terrain tyres have a broad flat tread for maximum grip right to the edges of the tyre. This exasperates clearance issues, you either have to go highway terrain (which I think is okay on sand anyway, or look for an unusually narrow tread pattern on an A/t or M/t.

Narrower tyres than whats on the tyre placard are generally considered not legal, but bearing in mind that four cylinder Grand Vitara's had 225 tyres, 225/70/16 are larger diameter than your stock, and narrower, so probably no trouble with those, 225/75/16 I think is just over the 50mm larger than stock, I think they are 54mm larger than stock but narrower, still gonna have similar scrubbing issues to the 235/70/16.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on, but XL7 Grand Vitara is such a great Car/ light Beach/4x4 combo, excellent extremely reliable engine, good road manners and economy and a proper 4x4. But if you want to get larger tyres etc to start enhancing the offroad ability, it get's difficult in the clearance department fast, so weigh it up.

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:00 am 
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The front crossmember is like a snow plow. Once you run out of clearance there it just digs in like a bulldozer. A bash plate is a god send in deep sandy ruts.

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:01 am 
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Indeed. I think I experienced some of that. Thanks for the tip.

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Vehicle: Grand Vitara XL7

Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:40 pm 
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Thanks for the tips guys.

Besides a bash plate for the front crossmember are there other under cars parts I should protect?

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Vehicle: SQ625 Grand Vitara

Post Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:55 pm 
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The transfer case is tucked in in between the chasis rails pretty good already, and the fuel tank hangs low, but suzuki armour and them from factory already, so I'd say not really need any armour. If I was hardcore I'd lift it he transfer along with a body lift, but not necessary for light 4x4 work

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:08 pm 
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i wouldnt not call the tin cover on the stock xl-7 a bash plate. but you can get good ones.

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:26 pm 
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The stock bash plate is better than none, but will dint on the smallest of rocks; it's terribly thin. Fine for light work though.

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Location: Melbourne
Vehicle: '85 Sierra LWB, '99 GV 2.5L

Post Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:34 am 
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The XL-7 exhaust is bound to be different from regular (SWB!) wagon, and may have already been replaced on a 13+ year old car, but the factory muffler was the 1st thing I removed from our SQ625, replaced with a smaller item.
Tyres & wheels are tricky. 225/75R16 will fit with a 40mm lift, with only occasional rubbing. Some have fitted 245/75R16 with judicial 'clearancing' - yes, you will have chassis rub at the rear of the front tyres on full lock - nasty if you have M/Ts with prominent lugs.
No good way around this.
Great car though - perfect for what you plan to do with it, I'm not sure that reasonable economy is part of the equation - especially when in soft sand - I have seen 22l/100km & a bigger capacity, heavier XL-7 could only be worse!.
Rgs, Michael

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Vehicle: Suzuki 2003 Xl7

Post Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:36 am 
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I've got a 2002 xl7 and it off roads very well. I run 245 70 16, with 50m lift, just last weekend drove past bogged cars at bribie in 2wd; All about tire pressure.

You need bash plates, both front and gearbox. It spends allot of time bashing the chassis rails. They are soooo long.

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:23 am 
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All good feedback, thanks again.

And what would be a reasonable price to pay with 130,000km?
It has a few issues, clutch is very low to the floor, needs a new rear wheel cylinder and there's a whine which sounds like it coming from the front.

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Vehicle: 2002 Suzuki GV

Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:29 am 
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Not sure if your talking about a whine or a rattle coming from the front? but I know the GV's of that time 98-05 had an issue with their timing chains.
I've just had the worst of this when mine broke on a camping trip. my GV is at 180,000 kms

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Location: Georgetown, Guyana
Vehicle: 98 5 dr SQ420, 05 5dr JB420

Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:36 am 
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That low clutch pedal is an indication you're probably going to be dropping the transmission in the not too distant future - there is a slim chance it could be the hydraulics, which are fairly easy to check, but, as the clutch wears the engagement point gets lower, so, it's also a sign of a worn clutch. The remaining possibility is a worn/broken clutch lever, they have a tendency to crank and wear through at the pivot point, and that is also a transmission out job.

Regarding the previous post about the timing chain - try to hear the engine start from cold, anything more than a split second of chain rattle is a bad sign.

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Definitely not the engine.

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:19 pm 
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If it engages reverse cleanly, I reckon its just an old clutch plate rather than hydraulic clutch issue. If it crunches, I'm not certain but I think its something in the clutch actuation as described by others above imo. I've been told my clutch needs replacing 15,000kms ago now, if it's not slipping yet how are you going to know for sure how much meat is left on it without looking?

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:19 pm 
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Engages all gears fine, no slip.

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:29 am 
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I wouldn't worry about the clutch. They are a bit 'different'. When I let someone else drive the GV they generally take ages to get used to the clutch, I would cross that one off your list and focus on the whine noise you are concerned about. I've got no idea what that could be.

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:07 pm 
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squibby wrote:
If it engages reverse cleanly, I reckon its just an old clutch plate rather than hydraulic clutch issue. If it crunches, I'm not certain but I think its something in the clutch actuation as described by others above imo. I've been told my clutch needs replacing 15,000kms ago now, if it's not slipping yet how are you going to know for sure how much meat is left on it without looking?


I'll take a bet, on both your clutch and his - it will crunch going into reverse and baulk going into first before it starts to slip - just drive it until it does, and when it does, it'll be because the engagement point is against the floor and you can't push the pedal down far enough to get it to disengage completely - when all is said and done, on these vehicles, if the engagement point is low to the floor, the clutch is most likely on the way out.

Also, for what it's worth, clutch wear is not related to how many miles you've driven, but more to how many times you've engaged/disengaged the clutch, so, more to how many times you've pulled away from a stop, or changed gear - if the bulk of your driving is on the highway, your clutch will last far longer (in terms of miles) than someone who spends the same amount of time driving in city traffic or perhaps in sand & mud.

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Vehicle: Suzuki 2003 Xl7

Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:25 pm 
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aus_marty wrote:
All good feedback, thanks again.

And what would be a reasonable price to pay with 130,000km?
It has a few issues, clutch is very low to the floor, needs a new rear wheel cylinder and there's a whine which sounds like it coming from the front.



I paid $6500 for a late 2002, 240k, but very clean inside and out.
Up to 400k now in 3 years, only issues I've had have been auto smoking in the sand,
Got an Auto and transfer for $10 on ebay and its all sweet. Has a bit of cam tick on start up thoiugh.
Just driving it until it dies.

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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:48 am
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Vehicle: Suzuki Grand Vitara 04 manual

Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:52 am 
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Dig dig dig.

Can you visually check a clutch pad wear using a scope? Without removing the box?

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:58 am 
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I think it's probably safe to assume you've never looked at assembled clutch - the pressure plate will completely enclose the clutch plate when bolted to the flywheel, with the exception of a small circular opening for the transmission input shaft.

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Vehicle: Suzuki Grand Vitara 04 manual

Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:20 pm 
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Nnnnnnnnnup.

That sucks. Drive it till it stops I guess. My issue is I'm planning a 4000k trip and don't know the condition and don't have a few hundred to put a new one in unless I must.

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:07 pm 
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Are there any signs of impending failure? How far from the floor is the pedal when the clutch engages?

In my experience, on the GV, the engagement point will gradually get closer to the floor as the clutch wears, and eventually reaches a point where the pedal is against the floor and it's not disengaging fully.

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Vehicle: Suzuki Grand Vitara 04 manual

Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:48 am 
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It begins to engage about 2 inches of the floor. I idled the car in gear and hand break on. Revs drop almost as soon as I lift the pedal. However it's not properly engaged to move the car till it's nearly all the way up.

What's a cheap own equivalent clutch cost? I'm in a us too my the way. And I'm assuming I should also do the bearing pressure plate pivot ball and lever. I suppose a machining of the fly wheel too.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:05 pm 
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I'm having a hard time equating this ...
30ONA wrote:
It begins to engage about 2 inches of the floor.

with this ...
Quote:
Revs drop almost as soon as I lift the pedal.


Anytime you drop the box because of a clutch issue I would recommend replacing the clutch & pressure plate, release & pilot shaft bearings, the rear main seal, and on an SQ series Grand Vitara, the clutch release lever.

I can't help you with prices, I'm in South America, so prices are going to be different, and I have a distinct preference for SGP parts, which are readily available here.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:56 pm 
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fordem wrote:
I'm having a hard time equating this ...
30ONA wrote:
It begins to engage about 2 inches of the floor.

with this ...
Quote:
Revs drop almost as soon as I lift the pedal.


Anytime you drop the box because of a clutch issue I would recommend replacing the clutch & pressure plate, release & pilot shaft bearings, the rear main seal, and on an SQ series Grand Vitara, the clutch release lever.

I can't help you with prices, I'm in South America, so prices are going to be different, and I have a distinct preference for SGP parts, which are readily available here.

Yeah I stuffed up the post. I was editing it and got interrupted. Ignore the bit about engaged immediately sorry. Thanks for the tips.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:56 am 
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Engaging two inches off the floor sounds on the high side to me, but, I'm a few thousand miles away from where my car is now, so I can't go check it, but, I'd say if there are no signs of an impending clutch failure, I wouldn't be concerned about it on a 4000km trip - at least, I wouldn't be any more concerned about the clutch failing than any other subsystem failure - wheel bearings, tires, cooling system, what have you...

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