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N. Salerno

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  1. Thanks once again Moses. I think your readers will find this quite interesting. I met with the guy selling the '96 2D body and drove his converted early 2-Door Sidekick. What I learned was not to bother with a 1.6 and just sell my 4D. HIS CONVERTED TOY IS A ROCKET. I am serious saying this: It reminded me of the muscle cars I used to drive. He bought a low-mileage, rolled Vitara XL-7 with the 2.7 V6, auto trans and 4WD. He cut its frame just ahead of the rear diff to the same length as a 2D, and mounted a 2D body on it. He never removed any of the drive-line from the frame and he used the original Vitara's radiator keeping all cooling hoses original. He had to remove the wire-harness, but only on the passenger side of the firewall. He said that the inside part of the wire-harness went in place easily. He used the Vitara's A/C evaporator and he had to have hoses made to and from it. Also he used the speedo from the Vitara, but he hasn't made any trim to fill a relatively small gap yet. Of course he had to shorten the driveshaft and the tail-pipe. He used 2" exhaust tubing pieces 2" long and longer bolts to lift the body 2", and he had to lengthen the 4WD lever the 2". With the Vitara's radiator in place, there wasn't room for the hood latch so he installed hood pins. Bottom-line: The stock Vitara XL-7 shed more than 1,000 lbs. and the converted 2D gained 1,100cc's and 105 HP, a 5-speed auto trans, its 16" alloy wheels, the larger braking system, and most importantly A WHOLE LOT MORE FUN!
  2. I have a low-mileage donor '96 Tracker (of course 1.6-16V) 4x4, 4-door with an auto trans. I have a '96 2-door tracker 1.6-16V with manual 2WD available to me with a junk engine. Ultimately, I'd love to have a 2-Door 4x4 with the 4-speed auto trans..Can I swap the engine and O'drive trans from the 4-door into the 2-door? From what I've read I can install the front diff etc. from the donor. From what I have gathered, there may be a cross-member mount issue and the wire harness may have to be removed from the 4-door and installed in the 2-door because of the O'drive trans. Logic tells me that I should be able to just change the ECM from the 4-door and just add the transmission wiring and the transmission's computer. But I know logic rarely applies. Bottom-line: Can it be done without being a life-long, expensive project?
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