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Potential Jimny Owner but how much rust is too much rust?

03 Nov 2021 12:53 #239835 by Sixmile
Good afternoon all

I've been hunting for quite a while, probably years, for a good soft top Jimny.  One has come up fairly locally to me and I was excited to take the morning off work to drive down to see it and take it on a test drive.  The interior, roof and bodywork all seem grand but underneath there is a fair bit of rust and I would appreciate thoughts and opinions from those who are experienced in Jimny care and restoration.  

it's a 2006 model with 92k on the clock, 6 months mot remaining which makes me think that the rust can't be that bad if it passed mot half a year ago.  There are leaks from the centre of the back axle as photographed and also a leak from brakes or suspension at one corner.  I'd appreciate any thoughts on the problem and cost of repair and of course any other useful info overall on what to look for.  


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03 Nov 2021 12:58 #239836 by Podge
The problem areas and the ones that are expensive to put right is the chassis-body mounts, the boot floor and behind the headlights amongst others. It does look like a lot of surface rust on the photos there but can't see the problematic areas.

Just remember dodgy MOTs are a thing and sometimes Stevie wonder is the MOT tester.

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03 Nov 2021 13:57 #239838 by Podge

Worth checking here. The wiki has good information.

2000 M13A Jimny - Long gone
2011 VVT Jimny with s dead gearbox
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03 Nov 2021 14:04 #239839 by DrRobin
When I bought my 2011 I looked underneath and it had some surface rust, but not as bad as this one. All of the bits in the photo that are rusty would be easy to change , but as Pdoge says the problem areas are not visible.

I would check the MOT history, see if it passed first time and if there were any advisories at the following www.gov.uk/check-mot-history if it is a UK registered car.

I suspect you are going to have to do some work on this, if not now, but in the future so it all comes down to how much is the asking price, if you will be doing the work yourself and how much will be done in a local garage.

2011 Blue Jimny SZ3, Hankook Dynapro/Maxxis Worm-Drive, BB Classics BB6 Sports Seats, Radius Arm protectors, Android Head, DAB, 360 Camera, TPMS, K&N, Bosch Aerotwin, boot light, parcel shelf, boot box, dash box, Osram Nightbreakers, CTEK Battery Sense, Front & Rear Recovery points, CB Radio.

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03 Nov 2021 14:46 - 03 Nov 2021 14:54 #239840 by Scimike
It has a lot of surface rust, probably typical of a none waxoyled Jimny of the age,  but unfortunately that's all we can tell from your photos.
AS said above the key rot areas are as follows:
Front body mounts
These are below the headlamp, behind the plastic front wheel arch liners and almost impossible to see. That said if you can see rust behind the headlamps / inner arch it's likely they have rotted. Pain to fix but then the MOT man can easily see your fix :-)
"A" pillar body mounts
Just behind each front wheel, above  the chassis, outrigger, easy to see and have a feel for rot. Probably the hard one to repair.
REar body mounts.
Just behind each rear wheel.Again easy to see. Running a close second for awkward repair.
​​​​​​Rear floor just above exhaust silencer.
Look from inside the vehicle, the same recessed area that hold the jack. If you can see rust inside it's probably on the way out. Easy fix if not too rotton.
CHeck the inner will under the vehicle, just after the A pillar mount. They tend to rot here.

Not an exhaustive list, but the top rot spots in no particular order. It's worth checking as it is very random, some cars do, some cars don't. Statistics would suggest that at 2006 at least one of the above will have started. My money is on the front body mounts and rear floor.
The chassis is usually good, but still worth a look just above the rear radius arm mounts.

Don't worry about the oil behind the front wheel, it's a sign the kingpin bearings have failed (in the past) or are failing. If it's something that needs fixing it's about £50 in parts and 2 hours of your time, not difficult to fix.

Hope it's a good one, and nothing is too difficult to repair if you have a welder.

Yokohama Geolanders, Sony head unit, NAUTILUS Air Horn, DRL conversion, Rear cargo space, Elvis Bobblehead, transfer Guard, Indian hanging Elephant, Koni Heavy track dampers, Custom SS exhaust, Voodoo Doll, Adventure Rack with LED ight bar, vintage ERIBA caravan usually attached (yes it's slow)
Last edit: 03 Nov 2021 14:54 by Scimike. Reason: The new editors not as smooth as the old one, cut paste etc, shuffling things and generally requires a edit tidy up.

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03 Nov 2021 15:15 - 03 Nov 2021 16:05 #239842 by Sixmile
Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm by no means a handy fella with tools so I'd be sending all the work up the road to my local mechanic, who used to own a Jimny. I haven't been able to speak to him yet about today's visit though.

The MOT check link above unfortunately doesn't work for me as I'm in Northern Ireland but I have always regarded our MOT centres to be tougher on cars as they are government run centres here and not local centres/garages like England would be.  Edit:  Since found the NI MOT link

In the meantime, I've been doing some digging.. this car was for sale in a decent sized rural dealership in Jan 2021. They put the new roof on, serviced and sold it. This person has bought it, put 3000 miles on it and now is now selling surplus to requirements apparently. I think I may now have the contact name and number for the mechanic of said dealership, who turns out to be a relation of a friend in the area. I am awaiting some copies of mots and service records from the seller and then I'm going to give the dealership mechanic a buzz to ask about it. If that's all relatively positive, the option could remain to take it to the mechanic for a quick once over before committing to any deal.
Last edit: 03 Nov 2021 16:05 by Sixmile.

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03 Nov 2021 15:28 #239844 by Lambert
If and it's a BIG if, that's the best one you can find then it might be worth the time and effort however if as suggested it would be done professionally don't expect it to be cheap. Personally I would keep looking, those pictures are not inspiring me with any confidence. Are you absolutely sure about wanting the soft top as I would be putting budget towards finding a newer cleaner tin top.

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03 Nov 2021 21:00 #239847 by Reason2doubt
I would be tempted to say there is some body mount rot on this (front slam panel). It seems like it's had an unprotected life. However, the rust doesn't seem too bad (going off my 1999 Jimny that I resurrected from rust). However, I read you are perhaps not so handy - a Jimny of this caliber may fix that and get you working on the underside to tidy it up a bit. Scimike points out some very good areas to look out for! 

Whereabouts in the country (roughly) are you located?


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10 Nov 2021 21:55 #240015 by Me and my Jimny
As others have said, you have to look more closely to find most of the real problem areas and that's how they can sometimes get through an mot.

I think mine got through by the rust being covered in mud from off roading, then I did a body lift and found all of the above. Another one that you can check easily is the rear foot well if you peel the carpet down from the edge or the rear seat.

Cost over a grand to get all these bits done on mine, probably not worth it but it was to me

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