Suzuki Samurai Upgrade

Samurai’s new clothes

At the beginning of the year, our emerald green Suzuki Samurai underwent a long-awaited and well-deserved upgrade. We had to revise an extensive list of desired improvements had to fit the budget. We decided to exchange the rust-eaten body panels, replace bumpers, invest in a winch and install a roof rack. The remaining funds covered minor improvements. All the hard work was done by the guys at Samurai Service 4x4 in Bielsko-Biala.

Suzuki Samurai Upgrade | Phase 1

We started with the body panels renovation, i.e. getting rid of the rust, fixing the gaping holes and replacing fenders. Next, we covered the inside of the car with the U-POL ‘s Raptor protective coating. We also installed a snorkel and an off-road must-have — a winch. Unfortunately, the back fender was in such a poor condition that it also needed to be replaced. But, this is what you get when you are an owner of a twenty-year-old vehicle.

Body panels

The body panel underwent a major renovation from the sills up to the roof. We exchanged all fenders that were falling to pieces. The new sills were also put in place as the former were practically non-existent. We got rid of the rust from the body of the car and restored the chassis.


Since the old bumpers were already heavily damaged, we decided to install new ones — more durable and made of steel. The rear bumper now has a LED light and a recovery point. We also ditched the daytime running lights from the front bumper in favour of the integrated DLR/high beam headlamps.


Winch: Escape XTR 8000 lbs 12V

ESCAPE’s XTR 8000 lbs 12V from 2012 is the perfect fit for a smaller car like our Suzuki Samurai. In XTR models the winch brake is located outside the drum. The model we chose is the steel cable one. The winch is designed to perform in rough conditions, the relay box is water resistant. Detailed winch tech specs are available on producer’s website.


By installing a snorkel (raised air intake) we can wade through deep water without stopping the engine. In case of total submersion, do not fret, the Sasquatch Team members are also certified SSI divers.

U-POL© RAPTOR™ protective coating

The floor was coated with RAPTOR ™ by U-POL ©. This durable and hard urethane coating protects the car from corrosion, salt, moisture and high temperatures. From now on, the after-the-rally mud clean-up will be super easy.

Steering Wheel

As we had previously installed the power assisted steering we could swap the standard steering wheel. We chose a smaller three-spoke sport driving covered with a velour memory foam.

Phase 2

Suzuki Samurai Upgrade | Phase 2

After the major work was done we still had some funds for a custom-made roof rack and a logo sticker.

Roof Rack

After a while every off-road vehicle owner finds himself or herself lacking space for accessories and all the things that are indispensable on the road. It is stuff like spare tyre, traction mats (recovery boards), spades, and toolboxes. In addition the new roof rack facilitates the installation of spot lights for night driving and foul weather.

Sasquatch Team Logo

To end the whole upgrade process on a high note we placed the Sasquatch Team logo on the hood.

Before & After

We know that when it comes to car tuning we are only halfway there, but these recent upgrades are a major improvement. Our car is now ready for more demanding trails and more challenging rallies. We will try to compete in at least one CCV rally this year, while being realistic about our off-road driving skills and experience.

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