Anything I can do to give my Suzuki Samurai a power boost?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Apr 01, 1996

Dear Tom and Ray:

I recently bought an '87 Suzuki Samarai. It was a good value, runs well,
and looks great. However, it is really under powered for some of the
driving I have to do, and quite unstable at times. Is there anything I can
do to the engine to add more power? How about wider tires to give it more

TOM: Hud. Where have you been for the last ten years? In the witness
protection program? Don't you know these things are known for their
instability? And the reason they have such small engines is because they
don't want you to go fast. It's dangerous!

RAY: The main problem with these vehicles is that they're too short in the
wheelbase and too narrow in stance. That makes them prone to---what most
people call---"flipping over." Those of us with legal liability for what
we say in print tend to simply refer to them as "very unstable."

TOM: And there's really nothing you can do about either one of your
complaints. There's no way to move the front axle forward or the rear axle
backwards. And there's no way to widen the track with wider tires to a
degree that makes any difference in the car's handling.

RAY: And increasing the engine's power is that last thing you want to do,
Hud. In fact, you might want to disconnect one of the spark plugs to slow
this baby down a little more.

TOM: And as far as additional equipment is concerned, I'd put "outriggers"
and a "Bronko Nagurski football helmet" high on my list. Drive carefully,

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