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Thread: Suzuki GV 1600

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default Suzuki GV 1600

    I've decided its time to move on my my lil Suzi.

    She is a Suzuki GV 1600, sport, soft top.

    This was the last of the small Suzuki 4WD cars to have a chassis. It was replaced in the model range by the Jimny. They seem to rot like there's no tomorrow and I fancied a car with a chassis. I don't particularly like the face of this car but I when I bought it I fancied a basic 4WD car and that it certainly is.

    Most of these by now have been jacked up with chassis lift and suspension lift but I decided this one was actually too good for that. I looked long and hard for a small 4WD before buying this, I probably paid too much from the dealer but she is a nice cute reliable little car. I bet you wont find another in this condition.

    The selling dealer assured me he fitted a new cam belt and gave her a full service prior to putting her on his forecourt. The oils was nice n clean and the filter brand new, there were other spanner marks so I believed him.

    Interior is cloth and not to my taste but its all in really good nick, I fitted a cover to the drivers seat to keep her that way.

    When I bought her I was aware of some surface rust on the top face of the chassis. I got her home and put her in my garage and then took her apart.

    I pulled both front and rear bumper mouldings, removed the steel structure behind, power wire brushed the surface corrosion, painted them with silver hammerite. There are some brackets that hold the rear moulding in place, one was saveable, the other was a tea bag. I cut the rot out of the saver and made a mirror image replacement for the other side. Then put the lot back together.

    I pulled the radiator and did the same process to the chassis members in the engine bay and cross member.

    I jacked her up. underneath there is a gap between the chassis and body, I did the same to the surface corrosion on the top of the chassis rail, and any other bits of that needed it.

    The disc shield where pretty shot. I cut out the rot and welded new steel in. There's a thread on it here somewhere.
    I also dropped the petrol tank guard as I wanted to see the condition of the tank. It was in good shape but again any minor bits got rust treated and painted. as did the tank guard.

    Considering her saved I started using her. A couple of weeks in one of the coil pack failed ( there are 2 ) looking closely it looked that one was fairly new, so now she has 2 new ones. The coils pack was around £125 but don't tell Mrs Mabo !

    I then discovered a weep from the radiator, TBH I reckon I damaged it when refitting it after rust proofing the front cross member. I sourced and fitted a new rad. another £125 or so but that can be our secret too.

    I've used her to travel to work, in the summer I love driving her with the roof flipped back and the rear roof folded down, really great fun and turns heads too. I thought for sure she would leak but nope she's water tight.

    I've never taken her off road and she shows no sign of ever having been off road, I've bounced her down some pot holed lanes and she ate it up.

    The rear door handle failed so I replaced it and strengthened the replacement with GF paste on the weak point, hopefully its good for a while yet.

    After 12 months in my care she was due for an MOT. She failed on fuel and break pipes corrosion. I took her off the road, put her in my garage and replaced the fuel line and return with copper and replaced some of the rubber lines too. Ditto I replaced the brake pipes with copper, the flexis were all good. It took me ages to bleed them and as part of that process I rebuilt and adjusted the rear drum brakes to perfection. The handbrake is sweet. She flew the retest with ease. Again there is a thread on here.

    Today I took her out of the garage where she's been while I've enjoyed driving the Cougar for a few months. The battery was low but after a 30 minute boost she started. Now she's enjoying a trickle charge. The MOT is out soon but I'll get her booked in and she will come with a clean ticket. I'm not expecting any problems.

    Price, The garage wanted £1800. I paid £1500 because she really is in good nick for an 04 plate Suzuki. There's no rust on the body panels although I did treat the seam on the base of the sill.
    She's had much love and not a little spent on her whilst I've owned her, I'd really like to think I've saved her and given her a long and healthy future.
    She's a cheap and cheerful robust 4WD car with a nice basic petrol engine with Hi and Lo 4 wheel drive ratios. When I've tried them they all worked no knocks clunks or bangs.
    She's got to be worth £1000 ?

    I took her to Cardiff once on a snowy day when I thought the 4wd might be a benefit. It wasn't needed. she will cruise at 65 and will do 70 if you really want her too but for me I felt this was asking a little too much of her. I'd jump in and drive her across the country if I needed to.

    The rear door hinges sideways, the rear window zips out as another " air con option". The rear seats fold mostly flat. I looked under the rear carpets prior to buying her and the floor is good. She has a tow bar but I've never used it.

    Anything wrong ? the drivers elec window needs a hand. Suzuki budget design is one central guide only, the glass drops forward so need a tug back into place then she'll close.
    The interior door handles are not returning fully to their resting place, I suspect there just catching on something and it'll be an easy fix. It doesn't affect their operation at all and was not an MOT issue.
    The headlight could do with some TLC they are slightly fogged as you would expect with her age.

    I seriously reckon this car could go on for many more years with basic care and attention, easier to maintain than your Cougar that's for sure !

    I've not yet done anything to prepare her for sale, the snaps were taken straight as she came from the garage, number plate on view so you can check her history.
    I'll get some better pics when its not raining sideways at me.

    Having taxed her for the new month I gave her a quick walk pre MOT check, one of the number plate lights is out.
    Couple more interior pics.
    Last edited by mabo; 1st November 2020 at 21:41. Reason: ADDING PICS AND PRICE REDUCED, + more pics

  2. #2
    Quicksilver's Avatar
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    Post approved.
    Last edited by Quicksilver; 25th October 2020 at 19:16.

    "Got in my Mercury and drove out West
    Pedal to the metal and my luck to the test........" Lucinda Williams - Fruits of My Labour

    RIP Chris.
    RIP Matt.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    south wales

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    On a pre Mot check I was advised to paint the Copper fuel and brake pipes I fitted 12months or so ago. They got a coat of silver Hammerite and yesterday she sailed through her MOT. Even passing the emissions test with ease. Tester was really surprised, he expected to fail her on corrosion like all the others he has seen. A little TLC goes a long way.

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