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Zinger

Is the Grand Vitara worth it?

Question

Dear experts,

I've been looking for a compact 4x4 for a while now. I was hoping I could get your honest opinion on a 1998 Suzuki Vitara 2 door model with a DIESEL converted engine

Do you think it's worth it? It's an AUTOMATIC too with 125k KM on it (as listed on the ad), and its below 2 million.
Since I'm the only one who's going to be using this car, I would be fine with the space too.

It comes with selectable 4WD too. I'll mainly be using it for mild city use, and occasionally to travel on a beaten path (no serious off-roading).
I'm looking for a crossover that's easier to maintain and is reasonably comfortable too on tarmac roads.   

Please let me know what you guys think. I appreciate your invaluable feedback.

1996-1998-suzuki-vitara.jpg

Edited by Zinger

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17 answers to this question

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3 hours ago, Zinger said:

DIESEL converted engine.

Don't go for a converted vehicle. It is very dangerous to use. Go for ONLY original petrol or original diesel.

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hi @tilvin Thanks for your reply. It's a R2 engine and it seems to have all of its original parts. Do you still think its a bad idea? Could you please explain it to me, I'm an amateur when it comes to cars. 

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3 minutes ago, Zinger said:

hi @tilvin Thanks for your reply. It's a R2 engine and it seems to have all of its original parts. Do you still think its a bad idea? Could you please explain it to me, I'm an amateur when it comes to cars. 

My friend, think rationally and wisely. Before a vehicle is manufactured several experts designers, automobile engineers, safety analysts, other domain experts, etc spend significant amount of time on research and come up with the blueprint first and then only they manufacture a vehicle. After manufacturing, before releasing the vehicle to the market, they do rigorous testing. They do lot of quality and safety testing before they actually start to sell vehicles.

So, think practically - how in a vehicle which was originally designed for petrol or diesel (Chassis, shape and position of fuel tank, suspensions, electrical system, brakes, AC units, steering components, etc) - few idiots (mostly one or two useless bases) join and put a different engine? Think...😃

Just for a joke - If some Lankan doctor came and change your heart into a Dog's heart - Can you live with all your "human" qualities? Similar logic applies here....😃

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A diesel convert is not actually a bad idea provided it was done with the correct parts. For example if it’s a Suzuki , a Diesel engine from the same brand , same model must be used. Then most of the engine mounts will be the same. Front suspension might have to change a little bit to accommodate the weight of the Diesel engine (springs commonly have to be changed), the meter board for the warning lights , rpm etc. also the proper documentation at RMV. Then I don’t think there will any major issues other than market value. 

 

If you bud mounts and electronics to use a Diesel engine of another brand it can cause a lot of issues. For example a Volvo with a Toyota 2C engine. 

Edited by TheFlyingFox
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12 minutes ago, TheFlyingFox said:

A diesel convert is not actually a bad idea provided it was done with the correct parts. For example if it’s a Suzuki , a Diesel engine from the same brand , same model must be used. Then most of the engine mounts will be the same. Front suspension might have to change a little bit to accommodate the weight of the Diesel engine (springs commonly have to be changed), the meter board for the warning lights , rpm etc. also the proper documentation at RMV. Then I don’t think there will any major issues other than market value. 

 

If you bud mounts and electronics to use a Diesel engine of another brand it can cause a lot of issues. For example a Volvo with a Toyota 2C engine. 

Thank you @TheFlyingFox ! That was really helpful. I do believe it the same model. Here's a screenshot from the RMV website. 

What do you think? Thanks a lot for your reply! 

 

Engine.jpg

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47 minutes ago, Zinger said:

Thank you @TheFlyingFox ! That was really helpful. I do believe it the same model. Here's a screenshot from the RMV website. 

What do you think? Thanks a lot for your reply! 

 

Engine.jpg

Hmm, isn't R2 is from Mazda? i know some times Manufactures use, different Manufactures engines for Diesel Variants, for example 3rd Gen Vitara uses Renault F9Q Engine in Diesel Variant. but check whether 1st Gen Vitara uses Suzuki Diesel or something else.

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2 minutes ago, Ruslan said:

Hmm, isn't R2 is from Mazda? i know some times Manufactures use, different Manufactures engines for Diesel Variants, for example 3rd Gen Vitara uses Renault F9Q Engine in Diesel Variant. but check whether 1st Gen Vitara uses Suzuki Diesel or something else.

Hi Ruslan! Thank you for your comment. I did a search on it, and this is all I have so far. What do you think? 

e.jpg

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1 hour ago, TheFlyingFox said:

For example if it’s a Suzuki , a Diesel engine from the same brand , same model must be used. Then most of the engine mounts will be the same.

 

Even if same manufacturer, in order to accommodate the vibration and resonance behaviour , Mounts would be completely different. Not only that, also the gearbox,clutch,axels etc. because of different torque curves. The few bucks you save on petrol would be gone when an improper Convert starts to fail everywhere.

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1 hour ago, Zinger said:

Hi Ruslan! Thank you for your comment. I did a search on it, and this is all I have so far. What do you think? 

e.jpg

Interesting, i don't see any issues if the conversion is done properly.

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13 hours ago, Zinger said:

Dear experts,

I've been looking for a compact 4x4 for a while now. I was hoping I could get your honest opinion on a 1998 Suzuki Vitara 2 door model with a DIESEL converted engine

Do you think it's worth it? It's an AUTOMATIC too with 125k KM on it (as listed on the ad), and its below 2 million.
Since I'm the only one who's going to be using this car, I would be fine with the space too.

It comes with selectable 4WD too. I'll mainly be using it for mild city use, and occasionally to travel on a beaten path (no serious off-roading).
I'm looking for a crossover that's easier to maintain and is reasonably comfortable too on tarmac roads.   

Please let me know what you guys think. I appreciate your invaluable feedback.

1996-1998-suzuki-vitara.jpg

This came with a petrol V6 - does the rev counter work? do the gears change normally?

Edited by Twin Turbo
p.s

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11 hours ago, ajm said:

Even if same manufacturer, in order to accommodate the vibration and resonance behaviour , Mounts would be completely different. Not only that, also the gearbox,clutch,axels etc. because of different torque curves. The few bucks you save on petrol would be gone when an improper Convert starts to fail everywhere.

Not really, I have personally witnessed a conversion done to a w126 merc. This was a 1989 300SEL. Came with a 3L in-line 6 Petrol engine. He got down a used 3L Diesel engine from another w126. Most of the mounts were the same (places of the mounts, not the actual mount), things he replaced ,

engine, gearbox , gearbox bar , radiator , propeller shaft, and some other small bits and pieces. Air condition hoses needed minor modification, He ran with the same meter board so the RPM didn’t work. There weren’t any single vibration and he still runs that car , around 7 years since he did the conversion. “Saving” quite a lot on fuel, it is not only economy , more range in one tank, less stops at fuel stations etc . After two years of the conversion he got down a set of springs from another diesel W126 as the front of the car was pitching down with the original springs, to the extra weight of the Diesel engine.

 

Manafactures create a car platform to accomadate various engines and other components. A conversion done properly with the “right” parts can give one the benefits they want sacrificing market value, time and energy to do it. Improper convert as you said can be a nightmare. 

Edited by TheFlyingFox
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😁, until The mid 90s The cars were over-Engineered and yes you could cut and bud as you wish. Not after computer simulations came in to the design phase, where car makers started cutting corners and designing only for the INTENDED-USE. So applying same logic to a late 90s,2000 car is just invalid since things have got much complicated.

Edited by ajm
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19 minutes ago, ajm said:

😁, until The mid 90s The cars were over-Engineered and yes you could cut and bud as you wish. Not after computer simulations came in to the design phase, where car makers started cutting corners and designing only for the INTENDED-USE. So applying same logic to a late 90s,2000 car is just invalid since things have got much complicated.

Mate, i have stated in my example of the merc that there were no cutting and budding , things were more of less straight forward. The engine mount places for the diesel engine matched with the petrol, little modification of the other parts such as AC and the wire harness. I know of a couple of VW Golfs, W210 mercs and Audi A4s of the 2000s which are converted with the "Original (Same model)" parts. They run flawlessly, again most of the parts matched for the diesel engine to fit. So does it mean the logic is invalid ? I also know of a Volvo S80 which was converted with a Toyota 2C (cut and bud) engine and that was always having some problem. Not with the actual engine itself but vibrations, electrical issues , starting problems because of the electrical issues etc.

 

I don't think a manufacturer has enough time or to put funds for R&D to create completely new platforms for diesel and petrol for the same model. It doesn't make any sense. They wont be "exactly" the same but conversion is possible with minor modification.

 

In OPs case, If the diesel engine was from a Suzuki Vitara at that time, also done correctly without compromise, I don't think there will be any major problems mechanically.

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49 minutes ago, ajm said:

😁, until The mid 90s The cars were over-Engineered and yes you could cut and bud as you wish. Not after computer simulations came in to the design phase, where car makers started cutting corners and designing only for the INTENDED-USE. So applying same logic to a late 90s,2000 car is just invalid since things have got much complicated.

This also not valid bro. I know how a conversion to diesel of a Peugeot 504 affected our neighbor. There was a  good aunt who is called 'Poochchi aunty' in our neighborhood. She had a nice Pug 504 in excellent condition which was used by her father and presented to her. Some idiot have told that a 'diesel conversion' can be done on that. So she appointed a mech to do this task. They got a 2C Noah engine and somehow put that to the Pug. That mech somehow linked the Pug's 4 forward gearbox to the Noah engine and given to Poochi aunty. They ripped off huge some (Around 4 lakh in 2008) from aunt. Then aunt told them that she wants a Power steering since she feels difficult to turn. So the same mech got a Carina AT150 power steering rack and parts and somehow fitted to the car. After fitting the issue was it only had half turn (Original Pug 504 have a great turn...😃). So aunty was struggling to turn this car on middle of the road due to this half turn. Then aunty told one day to me to come to their home (She had a pretty daughter - same age as me. We are teens those days....😃. Usually aunty was reluctant to allow boys to their home......) and drive and see what improvements can be done to the car. I do not like to drive a Pug with a wrong heart. Anyway........😃😃 went there and ran the car few kms after getting permission from my mom. I never driven such a horrible car. It was very, very worse than Tata loader pickup (You can imagine.....😃). Poochi aunty asked what can be done from me after the drive. I told her - ONLY thing good to do for that car is - "DEMOLISH IT"......😃

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2 hours ago, TheFlyingFox said:

Audi A4s of the 2000s which are converted with the "Original (Same model)" parts. The

is the RPM meter working? its completely different max limits for diesel A4. And the immobilizer is in the cluster which makes the conversion difficult. As from Tilvins story, it might work or might not, depending on the compatibility of the parts and the knowhow of the technician. I would neither take the risk nor recommend anyone to buy a vehicle with a conversion.

Edited by ajm
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8 minutes ago, ajm said:

is the RPM meter working? its completely different max limits for diesel A4. And the immobilizer is in the cluster which makes the conversion difficult. As from Tilvins story, it might work or might not, depending on the compatibility of the parts and the knowhow of the technician. I would neither take the risk nor recommend anyone to buy a vehicle with a conversion.

No RPM meters wont work on most of the conversions. Not a deal breaker for the majority, they want the benefits of a Diesel.

@tilvin's story is because of a incompatible conversion (Toyota engine in a Peugeot) just like the Volvo S80 example i gave.

 

Very true! What i have been trying to tell you :) and yes with the proper technicians. Of course there is nothing to beat a car which came originally with a diesel engine, but a "proper" conversion can come close, specially with the discount from the market price.

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8 hours ago, TheFlyingFox said:

No RPM meters wont work on most of the conversions. Not a deal breaker for the majority, they want the benefits of a Diesel.

@tilvin's story is because of a incompatible conversion (Toyota engine in a Peugeot) just like the Volvo S80 example i gave.

 

Very true! What i have been trying to tell you :) and yes with the proper technicians. Of course there is nothing to beat a car which came originally with a diesel engine, but a "proper" conversion can come close, specially with the discount from the market price.

Bottom line is incompatible or compatible, most of the conversions in SL are done on the cheap....as a result not much work in areas of using the proper mounts, suspension upgrades, etc...is done. These guys just drop the engine and play all kinds of tricks to get it running and out the garage door. A proper and complete conversion is not cheap when compared to most of the conversions out there. 

As for the body....well...depending on the car...diesels would have extra weld points and other braces for body rigidity that petrol vehicles do not have, to make sure the extra vibrations and torque bursts do not hurt the structure of the car over time.

At the end of the day, as long as the conversion has been done LEGALLY, there is nothing wrong with it; PROVIDED that it has been done PROPERLY. So ask for a detailed portfolio of work that was done, including where they got the parts from (some donor engines are just nightmares because they are rebuilt junk units). If things are missing or has not been done properly, then negotiate on the price so that you can do the missing work yourself or just walk away.

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