My list of the differences on 1989/90 Sidekicks and Trackers.  (compared to 91-95 8V)
USA and Canada only.            

Below are 89 and 90' Diff's:
Critical to tuning , running, diagnosis and maintenance of engine. Not minor things like shape of a fender, and the like.

  • No idle speed air bleed screw in upper TB, for idle adjust !, but rather the Throttle plate stop screw. (never fiddle this Throttle  screw 91+ and newer cars)
  • The fuel pump does NOT activate at key on for 3 seconds, and only runs cranking and running, this can delay starts.  (except below 10F , quote FSM)
  • EGR California car has extra EGR parts, specifically the water thermo switch.
  • Some Suzuki's Calif. only 89's  have a SUB EGR valve ! However federal Sidekicks look just like 91-95, EGR systems.
  • No ISC calibration screw? its hidden, and is rotated 90 deg. on the new Throttle body. (cleaning is slightly diff) OOPS a lie, it's hidden here.
  • ISC no external air tube , that I love to pinch !  One most unbolt it and plug all holes to see if ISC is causing high idle.
  • ISC has no coolant tube or hose . (this is TB preheat function starting in 1991)
  • Below the Throttle body , this old motor has a  PTC ,  "induction air heater, electric"  helps cold starts. A/T tranny only.
  • The wrong ECU will throw a Code 53 if installed in the wrong car with the wrong harness,  CAL to FED or FED to Calif !  89-94.
  • The ECU's can not be mixed from Gen1 to Gen 2 or the reverse.
  • The Suzuki Sidekicks 89/90 only  have a Diagnostic fuse for activating Request DTC, but the GEO Tracker 89/90 has no such fuse! (starting in April  1989  at the CAMI plant in Canada. Geo's prior to this date uses a Suzuki fuse box.!  
  • The Geo Tracker 89/90  has a normal looking DLC in front of the battery , just like 91 to 95 trackers have.
  • The 89's do have SES NAG light
  • 89 fuse panels are different. (and diag fuse on Suzuki's)
  • The 89/90 Distributor is very vastly different and has internal CMP sensor with Igniter  (married) and mechanical and vacuum advance. A Standalone mech disty.
  • The 89/90  ECU does not create spark, or advance the timing, it only monitors it and throws a code 41,  if spark dies. (keep key on)
  • Federal Suzuki's have CEL cancel switch in the dash, aside from the SES MILE switch.  (weird )
  • The TPS connector is shared with the ISC , which differs from the 91+ cars in that TBI injector is shared with TPS. (big diff !)
  • The  FED 48 models have a 30k,80k,100k Mileage NAG switch  Never on CALif models. ( but is works via unique way see next line.)
  • The mileage sensor is not Software, as it is in 91+ but is a physical counter in the speedo cluster ! FED 48  only   (unique)
  • Calif model ECU can reset, there own CEL (if fault clears) but the failure remains in memory until a power reset occurs. C.A.R.B. mandated rules ,back in 89.
  • The Fed  ECU , the CEL may stay on until the fault is corrected and you reset power. Once cleared it is GONE.
  • ECU power DTC memory  reset is on the TAIL LIGHT  fuse and not the DOME fuse , as in 91+   ( pos #3 GM and Suzuki's , a blessing)
  • The 89/90 has no EVAP V.SV. solenoid  (vac. solenoid valve ).  nice , less parts to break.
  • 89/90 has a different size Fuel injector and incompatible Throttle body; the ISC is different and is only a  6 ohm coil. 2 times more current  than 91+ !
  • The ISC loves to pound itself to death , these 2 years. (makes noise ) Most folks just let it do that as  new one is crazy expensive. (SUZUKI typical)
  • Different engine mounts. (swap issues)
  • (Different Idle rules)  89/90  has  a Diode "OR" gate block that "OR" logic's  They are, P/S overload,  A/C on,  Head lights on,  FAN on ,  Defog heater and DRIVE -A/T,  91 and newer have only 2 speeds 800/1000RPM  PS/AC, if you do not like this fast idle  feature on the 89/90's, just unplug the Diode block.  Yes, turning on Head lights (HL) does raise idle and this is normal on a 89/90.
  • The fast idle speed for 89/90 is 920 RPM (HL,FAN, Defrost heater)  The 91+ cars only increase idle for A/C and P/S overload (which is 1000 RPM)
  • A 91 Kick will hold hot idle at 800 RPM in or out of A/T tranny drive.  Shifting from park to drive does not stall the engine, it holds 900 (normal) the ISC actions make that happen.
  • Oddest of all.... drum roll.....
  • The 89/90 Kick engine, will start and run with no ECU plugged in, that is, start on test fuel and then die, if you keep squirting fuel down the air horn; it will keep running. (no ecu)
  • The 1991+ too ,on test fuel but the ECU must be plugged in to get spark.  (big difference here for testing)  1991+  or 91+ means 1991 or any never kick.
  • The 89/90 ECU does NOT GENERATE or control spark.  However the ECU does monitor it, and fuels the engine based on this input. (it also uses this signal for RPM to index fueling tables,etc)
Click below image, to zoom it !

We don't see too many 89's these days, but this document will prove handy for mechanics familiar with 91-95 Trackers and Sidekicks 8V.
TBI is very rare today, actual EPA and CARB bans here now, but is simple. and very easy to trouble shoot, and the ECU too if you have a scan tool, Nobody does, but you can get one.
DTC code 53, will be thrown if you put any California only ECU into any Federal Sidekick body harness.(or the reverse) Code 53 can mean ECU crashing.
Mixing up ECU is a real bad idea. There are some exceptions, I did run a A/T ECU in my M/T car for a year.   you can not mix 89/90' with othere.
This happens because the Calif  body has a "STATE Calif. ground I.D. pin on the ECU harness connector.  The ECU can actually determine the CAL/FED. body .
Think of this is Plug and Play.  (there is 1 extra ground pin on all CALIF cars, and is sensed by the ECU)
I'm not sure of the operational penalty for running a fed ECU on a cal body. (I'd hope not limphome)
Add or removing this ECU ground pin, might fool the system but that is illegal here. (my lips are sealed)

If all this seems confusing,  well it is and my head hurts now.

The 89's ISC likes to fail after pulsing away for 20 years.  it will fail to close when connector is disconnected or will leak or will rattle to beat the band.

DIAG FUSE:  (see fuse box data here, and at end)
There is a rumor of  "GEO Tracker 89/90 has no such fuse! "  the rumor is there are rare Trackers with this fuse, despite the FSM contraditions.
Yes, I found the answer, the early cars were made just like the original Suzuki side kicks and after 2 months the CAMI factory changed the fues box. (89 early production change)
So, there are in fact pre and post 89 Geo Tracker. Pre Tracker made in JAPAN and post Trackers in CAMI.

That crappy 89/90 distributor. ( most of these features?(sic) became software in 91)
I call it crappy, because they fail and heat soak fail and the 1991+ NEVER FAIL. (tune up's , not counted)
  • Loves to die , due to VR bad , or the electronics module next to it or the Ignitor next to them.   VR gap must be .008 to .016 inches.
  • Love to heat soak fail ! (many newer cars with a CAS (cam sender up top) for same reason , heat soak on 1.8Liter and bigger motors)
  • The Advance plate, can stick wide open , making person and motor quite crazy.  Use the Strobe timing light to check static and advanced timing.
  • The ECU monitors the spark and will show code 41 , cranking , after 5 seconds of cranking ( diag jumper inserted)  Don't fail to use  this powerful tool .  A steel PAPER CLIP.
  • Has Vacuum advance, that can fail and diaphram that can rupture and leak or jam.
  • This Kick motor will MAKE SPARK, with no ECU in the car (removed)  The Distributor is Stand alone. (but you must keep spraying test fuel to keep motor going, with no ECU)
Main Induction Coil primary is 1.5 ohms, secondary about 12,000.  spark wires,will measure 6.5k ohms per foot max.
VR = variable reluctance sender.
Harbor fright (pun) sells a Strobe for a lousy $13,  how can that be cheaper.?  I ask you? Half to price of fur lined drink holders.

rev12 ,  10-23-2012  , correct my lie on ISC adjusment screw, it's well hidden. on 89/90 , (factory setting, only change it if the valve leaks ) set it for very loose preload.  6-16-2014