Question about 1988 Suzuki Samurai

2 Answers

When doing a compression check on a 1988 Suzuki Samurai, what should it read on the compression gage?

Posted by on

  • 9 more comments 
  • paulmacintyre
    paulmacintyre Apr 25, 2015

    With the gas pedal held to the floor ( allowing maximum air flow to engine) the compression reading should be 130-150lb on a good working engine

  • Glenn Scott curtis May 03, 2015

    Thanks.I done a compression check on my 1988 suzuki samurai. Forgot to hold the gas pedal down. My compression read #1 180 #2 140 #3 180 #4 180. It smokes pretty bad. I got new valve stem seals but haven't put them in yet. Motor sounds great no knocks or pings. #4 plug was gummed up. Could it be head gasket or valve stem seals. Any ideas? Thanks again Scott curtis cleveland tn. E- mail

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ May 03, 2015

    great now what it was breathing full air, it can compress.... so bad stem seals. some just drive it like this, others, use 2 ways to hold valve stuck (air pressure or other ways ill not repeat) to hold valves closed at TDC, then release the spring keepers. and do the seals.
    others pull the head and do the right way.

    it's not a bad heagd gasket, if it passes compression tests.
    how would it suck oil on the intake stroke then seal perfectly for compression.? (im waiting to see one)
    the other possible is oil ring #4 is bad.
    if it collapses (sticks), and the 2 compression rings are good. well, it will burn oil bad on #4.

    got a friend just last summer. that did just that G16, put in new seals, to find stuck oil ring..... lots and lots of work done and still smokes.
    fate always wins in the end.

  • Glenn Scott curtis May 04, 2015

    So would you replace the valve stem seals first or pull the head and have it rebuilt. I would hate to pull engine and replace the rings. But will do what I have to do. Thanks

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ May 05, 2015

    pop in new seals. its way less work
    but is bend over work,
    and working a pulled engine on a bench, foor or rack is way more easy. you can even sit down.

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ May 05, 2015

    doing head on ,stem seal swaps takes skills. after all when you compress that 1st spring the valve wants to drop in to the cylinder, is this your first ever valve removal? if yes, then you dont know whats up. the valve will drop, even at TDC it drops. (we use 175PSI shop air to hold it closed. ) others do the rope trick that im never going to show. (sucks) the keepers will not go back on if the valve drops, or you will have to put the keepers back on , with spring compressed, a not so much fun moment that. and on some heads the springs are what i call girdled. (working in a pit) but the sammi head is more easy.

    make a shop air line to spark plug hole adapter. connect it top spark hole 1
    then lock crank to TDC #1 firing,
    and then turn on the air.
    see it land on 175psi and hold
    if not, the cam is timed wrong, or the valves are not closed or are burned.
    ok its holding the crank is locked with my heavy wrench. locked to something. near. I dont want the pressure to spin the crank, and do not want my valve to drop into the bore for any reasons, whatsoever... now with a small compression tool for springs i take off #1 keepers, and then spring and seals.
    new seal, spring back, keeper back.
    move hose.
    repeat on all #1 stems.
    then i repeat all the above, in firing order. (turn crank and lock it at next firing order, piston) 1,3,4,2 (4 banger)
    that is it.

    that is it, but some find removing the head way more easy, with head on a bench.
    I do.

    pay a shop to do head on seals.
    it wont be cheap. (takes lots of effort and time fiddling this... and is risky per above... "oops power failure, and valve dropped, dang.)

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ May 05, 2015

    can we backup, smokes.
    when? all the time. only cold only at start up, or smokes when my buddy driving behind me, and hot engine
    he says to me..
    smokes all the time.
    smokes only when you cut the throttle.
    that is how to report smoke,

    but back to stem seals.
    I forgot the most important fact on old G engines. stem to guide wear. intake,.0027 and Exhaust is 0.0035" play, max. service limit. if excess play is found no seal on earth is the cure. seals only work on engine with proper guide clearances, for sure on the intake as it has a vacuum on that side and loves to suck oil from the top, see?

    let me now prove that, my 68 VW bug has zero seals, here, NADA.
    and don't smoke. (well, none to see ever)
    so why does it not smoke?
    my valve stems fit very perfectly
    even on a hot air cooled engine.
    same with my motor cycles.
    same answer.

    better is to remove the head.
    then do step one on the FSM.
    and what is that?
    it shows the mech, using a dial indicator
    at the step end checking the rock factor.
    he checks for about .003" max rock.
    if it rocks, off the head goes to the machinist.

    there is no free lunch here.
    we use the tools and check all the clearances first.
    and head warp,
    and the block deck too.
    all the steps there "inspecting engine components, title.. there in 3-5 on..}"

    see that here.
    pdf 78
    see page 3-19
    drawing fig. 3-5-10 see him do that?

    if it only smokes cold , why worry this.?
    is that all it does. you never really said.

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ May 05, 2015

    answer 3:
    the head drains are so packed in sludge.
    that the, oil backups in the top of head.
    and then forms a lake of oil over the step bosses. bam, smokes.
    why not look first for this ....

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ May 05, 2015

    if it smokes hot, and only at De-Accelerationg, that is the intake seals leaking. (2 reasons)

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ May 05, 2015

    if it smoke with a new head,/
    it's most likely , oil rings collapsed and jammed inward and dead. useless, i had car with 4 like that. (or spark plug oil fouled, THAT ONE)

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ May 05, 2015

    in the bath tube graph of failures, those are some. and surely there are more. (Cracks)



2 Answers

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

  • Suzuki Master
  • 20,706 Answers

RTM yet, read the fsm?
SEALEVEL ONLY. (are you)?
G13 Sammi stock, and more if head milled.
read page is 3-54, (pdf 117)
warm engine.
170 is lower service limit (sealevel)
199 is new engine. (sealevel)
volume one.

now you have the book, and can look up all specs.

i see you got 180. doing it right. so....

Posted on Apr 27, 2015

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

  • Suzuki Master
  • 3,218 Answers

With throttle held wide open... A good running engine should produce 140-160lb compression

Posted on Apr 25, 2015

  • 2 more comments 
  • Glenn Scott curtis Apr 25, 2015

    Very helpful. Thanks for your help

  • paulmacintyre
    paulmacintyre Apr 25, 2015

    Glad to help Glen

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ May 05, 2015

    the spec is much higher at sealevel the FSM book is free online, need it?

  • Anonymous May 05, 2015

    the lowest levels in the G1x engines are 150 cold. the 170 spec. is warm or hot. if lower than spec, at sealevel there is a problem (assuming you did it wide open throttle ,sparks out. etc, per instructions with tool.) and equal, if one is low, do the wet test.



6 Suggested Answers

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of.(from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones)
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 84 Answers


Have you tried the dealer, they should have this seal, if not let us know the measurements and we can help

Posted on Dec 23, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 1991 suzuki samurai want start

Check ECM (engine computer) located under glove box. Injector circuit output probably dead. Replace ECM. Go to for best price.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008

  • 474 Answers

SOURCE: 1988 suzuki samurai WONT MOVE

First thing just try to push or pull the 4x4 lever if you get it to move and it feels like it went into some gear try to drive the truck.If this works look on the shifter for the 4x4 and put it in 2 wheel drive (H2 is two wheel drive,H4 is 4x4 high,and L4 is 4x4 low range).Make sure you have the clutch depresed when you try to move the 4x4 lever.If you try this stuff with no fix try and look for clutch adjustment on the transmision you may need to adjust it or your clutch is bad.

Posted on Aug 30, 2008

  • 2984 Answers

SOURCE: 1988 samurai 130 psi compression - is this ok

Checked on should be up in the 170 area.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

  • 142 Answers

SOURCE: I have a 1988 suzuki

The transmission doesn't have a dipstick but it does have a fill level plug located at the rear of the extension housing, just to the passengers side. It is a round plug with a 3/8 square hole in it.
Fill trans till oil overflows out of this hole.
Use VMX80 or similar.

Posted on Jul 02, 2009

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

My temperature gage is not reading on my 88 suzuki samurai

the book covers this sensor and guage 100%
the gauge sensors is 1 pin, the other is for ECU car, seems your car is not stock, or had A/C at one time. there are 3 sensors. for water temp on some fully opted cars, ECU, gauge, and A/C.
88 had no ECU. its a carb but who knows what engine is there, its old.
the guages is just 3 simple parts
a gage, a wire and a sender (sensor)
here is the full docs,and the tests in the FSM are very simple
you ground the sender , if the gage goes full scale, its good.
if not its bad.
the sender can be tested in 5min with any DMM. using the ohms scale
the FSM shows, the readings, very clearly.

Feb 08, 2013 | 1988 Suzuki Samurai

1 Answer

Why is my 88 suzuki samurai is blowing oil out of exhaust

Your compression is low, the rings in the piston engine are worn out , you will need an engine overhaul , probably you have low power also .And blue smoke to boot ..

Jan 23, 2013 | 1988 Suzuki Samurai

1 Answer

How do i remove a starter for a 1988 Suzuki Samurai

Disconnect negative terminal of battery.
Remove positive lead from starter solenoid.
Remove the solenoid wire (brown).
Remove two bolts holding starter to bellhousing.
Lift starter out.

Apr 16, 2012 | Suzuki Samurai Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Suzuki Samurai has new battery but will not start. Also no lights, on gages, etc... what could be the problem?

make sure the wires to the battery are tighly snug.and the ground wire is not lose

Jan 17, 2010 | 1988 Suzuki Samurai

1 Answer

1988 Samurai clicks when i try to start

this is an starter soleniod symptom

Jun 09, 2009 | 1988 Suzuki Samurai

2 Answers

1988 samurai 130 psi compression - is this ok

Checked on should be up in the 170 area.

Mar 12, 2009 | 1988 Suzuki Samurai

1 Answer

Gas Guage

its the float in the tank i have the same problem. it also does it when it gets to 1/4 and could be empty.

Aug 17, 2008 | 1988 Suzuki Samurai

Not finding what you are looking for?
Cars & Trucks Logo

149 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Suzuki Experts


Level 3 Expert

76848 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22246 Answers

Boyet Soriano
Boyet Soriano

Level 2 Expert

293 Answers

Are you a Suzuki Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides