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My 2019 Chiffon Ivory JB74 SZ5 - blog/mods/build thread -let the adventure begin

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12 Mar 2020 22:14 #219788 by 300bhpton
I'm going to use this thread as a running commentary of my progress with my Jimny. :silly:

I am and have been an avid Land Rover fanatic, I still own at least 2 1/2 Land Rovers and have grown up around them for the past 35 + years. A couple of Jeeps in the mix too.

However I've been after a Jimny for a good number of years, however not until the 12th Feb 2020 did I actually become an owner!!!



I was very fortunate, having put a deposit down last May. I was 6th in the queue, but for multiple reasons, that I'm very grateful for. All 5 people in front of me either didn't too or couldn't purchase, so I got a call. And a deal was struck.

Good friendly service from the dealer also.

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12 Mar 2020 22:16 #219789 by 300bhpton
Living with a Jimny – The 2 week Road-test Review



I have had my Jimny for two weeks now. Yes, that’s right, it is mine. Undoubtedly this review will be slightly biased. However, having now spent 25 hours or more seat time and over 650 miles covered. I suspect I’m well placed to offer an initial opinion. Remember many motoring journalists may only get a few hours or a day with a vehicle to review it.

I’ll dive straight in and say it is an extremely pleasing and satisfying vehicle to pilot. It isn’t 100% perfect, but no car is. However, it is getting rather close for me, with only a few minor niggles or complaints.

This is purely an ‘on-road’ review at this stage. The vehicle will be going off road, but it has been far to wet and muddy to get something I own completely filthy off road. Therefore, an ‘off-road’ review will be following this article in due course.
The Jimny is an Ivory Chiffon SZ5 5-speed manual. Therefore, comes with all the toys offered in the UK for the Jimny. The interior is a very pleasant place to be, the seats are squishy, but very comfortable. They are also heated and will cook your behind, they really do get rather toasty. My previous daily driver, a Smart ForTwo Prime Sport of 2017 vintage also had superb heated seats, that also heated the lower portion of the seat back. Unfortunately, the Jimny seems confined to only heating the seat base. A shame for certain, but certainly not a deal breaker.



There is ample headroom in the Jimny, not that I worry about such things, being more akin to Richard Hammond in height than that of most average Britons. And there is also ample elbow room, provided you are of a regular girth. The Jimny’s external width is quite narrow, and therefore so is its interior. Large people may end up at rather close quarters to each other.

The rest of the cabin is airy and generally a pleasant place to be. The door trims are simple plastic but fit the character of the car. The dash top is of a very nice stippled material. Which would have gone well in other places in the interior. However, the interior is my only real complaint. Not in its materials though. Just a general lack of cubby storage. For instance, there is small tray below the dash in front of the gearstick. Conveniently placed near the only USB port. Hooray, somewhere to place your smartphone. Yet, alas no. The tray is fine for a decade old iPhone 5, but a modern larger phone does not fit. Come on Suzuki, how can you make such a basic error! It is unforgivable, well almost.

While on this subject, the lack of USB ports is also somewhat of a shame. There is a 12v power outlet next to the USB port and a second 12v socket in the boot, which will be handy for a cooler/fridge when out laning or similar. But in a modern car, you are likely to want maybe four or five USB ports; smartphone, passengers smartphone, iPad (for mapping duties when overlanding/laning), dashcam and so on. My only other niggle with the interior, which some might sight is petty are the sun visors. They leave a large gap between the left edge (right hand drive car) and the interior mirror. Allowing that pesky low sun at this time of year to easily shine right past.



The rest of the interior carries no complaints, the Jimny comes reasonably well specced with Cruise Control/Speed Limiter, Climate Control, leccy windows, heated mirrors and central dashboard touchscreen with in-built Navigation, DAB radio and Apple CarPlay support.

In terms of driver focused interior components. The steering wheel is a work of art. Thin rimmed, nice grippy material and very comfortable to hold and rotate. Lots of room for your fingers and easy to reach controls. It must be one of the nicest modern steering wheels I’ve had my hands on. Mercedes-Benz, please take note. I recently drove a brand new GLA and my lasting impression is what a ghastly, uncomfortable, horrid steering wheel it had, with absolutely nowhere to put your fingers!

The gearbox in the Jimny is a joy to behold too. The standard gearknob may not look all that pretty, but in the hand, it is comfortable to use. The gearbox itself is also one of the sweetest I have stirred. It makes you want to shift cogs, even if you don’t need too. The pedals are also well placed with sensible grippy pads, something I’m sure I will appreciate even more when off road and driving with muddy boots. The handbrake is also placed exactly where you hand lands, allowing you to easily use it without the need to look down to find it.

The boot is laughably small on these. But this should come as no surprise to anyone. The Jimny has two rows of seats and a longitudinal mounted engine. All packaged into a vehicle that is only 140” in long. Fortunately the rear seats fold down quickly and easily. Offering up a fairly large load area for such a small vehicle.



Enough of the interior, what is it like on the open road? Well, I have read many a review and comment posted across the inter-web. And I often see people saying things like skittering over bumps, rolling in corners, uncomfortable, crashy suspension and other such stereotypical nonsense many 4x4’s get associated with. However, I must wonder if some of these people have actually been in the vehicle they are claiming to be reviewing? As my personal experience couldn’t be further from this.

To give a little parody to this, on the day I collected my Jimny I also drove my then 2017 Smart ForTwo as well as a brand new Mercedes GLA200 (had 26 miles on the clock). Out of the three vehicles, the Jimny is easily the most comfortable and I’d argue rode nicer than the GLA did. The Mercedes was shod with massive alloys and low-profile tyres and every imperfection in the road, and I do mean every. Was transmitted into the cabin with a very audible “thump”. Which was felt throughout the entire car. The Jimny positively glides over the same roads. Yes, some may accuse me of being biased and having a personal stake in the Jimny. But at the end of the day, all I can do is report my findings and offer my opinion. And based on this, I’d rather ride in the archaic live axle vehicle, if comfort was a concern, despite popular opinion found across the internet.

I admit there are some rare occasions where a particular road surface does give a particular sensation, most likely due to the short wheelbase combined with live axles. However, I would still say the ride comfort is still very, very good. And if you are complaining about it, then you’d not like over 90% of the cars on the roads either. There really is nothing wrong at all with how they ride.



So, what about the handling I hear you ask? Well, here again I may be labelled as biased. Although, I’d much prefer to use the term experienced. I have grown up with 4x4’s. My first “car” was a Defender 90 way back in 1997. And since then I have owned a good number of 4-wheel drives from Land Rover and Jeep and driven many more besides. While not wanting to sound big headed, I suspect many people less familiar with off road vehicles simply don’t grasp that a live axle vehicle will feel somewhat different in the corners compared to a vehicle running independent suspension at each corner.

In direct regard to the Jimny, I have found it to be most pleasing and exciting out on the country roads. It handles really well and is a huge amount of fun. From the inside it certainly doesn’t feel like it is leaning and rolling excessively or uncontrollably. Which completely baffles me when people claim that it does. I’ll go as far to say, that I have enjoyed driving it as much as any sports car I’ve been in. In reality you won’t be making the same kind of progress or speed. But you’d never know you this from the driver’s seat unless looking at the speedo. You truly feel like you are flying along. For anyone experienced with how well a Defender 90 can tackle British B-roads, the Jimny drives in much the same way, but feels lighter and more nimble.

The steering may lack feedback for some, but the rest of the chassis communicates well and will reward a smooth driving style. To which the wonderful gearbox compliments this experience tenfold.



The engine is rather a peach too, on paper a 1.5 litre naturally aspirated inline 4 with only 100hp or so, doesn’t sound all that much. But it is super smooth, very characterful and will pull from nothing. Sub 1500rpm kind of nothing in any of the 5 forward gears.

With plenty of mid-range punch and will, unlike many modern turbo units happily, rev out to the red line. Obviously with only 100’ish bhp on tap, even for a vehicle weighing just over a tonne, the Jimny is never going to be a rocketship. That said, it actually has a respectable power to weight ratio when you look at certain sporty hatchbacks and sports cars from yesteryear. But here the Jimny has another party trick, the engine makes a surprisingly nice rumble above 3500rpm, one of the nicer sounding inline 4’s I’ve encountered. The engine has wonderful character and eagerness. This eagerness makes you believe and feel that it is accelerating far quicker than you actually are. Which is rather ideal out on the public roads and simply adds to the already high levels of fun. This is truly a vehicle to make you smile, while remaining at fairly sane and legal speeds.

On the subject of speed, the Jimny is no motorway cruiser. While it will happily sit at motorway speed; 70mph is nearing 3500rpm on the tacho and wind noise picks up too. However, sit at 60-65mph and it is very comfortable. But you need to change your mindset to simply not care about other cars buzzing past you. In reality you’ll probably get where you are going in almost the same time anyhow. And more than likely you’ll be doing it with a bigger smile on your face than most.

Do I recommend the 4th Generation Jimny? Absolutely!

The following user(s) said Thank You: treps, Andy2640

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12 Mar 2020 22:19 #219790 by 300bhpton
Suzuki Jimny | A Closer Look


Before getting to the off road review of the Jimny. I thought some of you might appreciate a more detailed look at what makes the Jimny, a Jimny.



Some of you may be surprised to find out that the Jimny is actually celebrating its 50th Birthday this year. Another surprise is that the Jimny, the first one in 1970 known as an LJ10, or Light Jeep originated as a Kei Car, although it was likely inspired by the then Mitsubishi Jeep. Which was a Jeep CJ built under licence by Mitsubishi in Japan.

The Jimny has always been smaller and lighter than the equivalent Jeep model however. And this new 4th Generation, known internally as JB64 or JB74 is no exception. The JB64 variant is still a Kei class vehicle and has narrower bumpers, lack of wheel arch flares and a smaller engine. The JB74 is the model we get in the UK and most other places around the World where the Jimny is sold. Although oddly, Suzuki isn't offering the Jimny in the USA or North American market. I suspect it would prove quite popular over there however, especially with all the internet hype surrounding the model currently.

Something I have found very refreshing on a new car in 2020, the engine bay is completely devoid of plastic engine covers! It is so pleasing to see a naked engine on a modern car.



Access is good too, the large clamshell bonnet lifts easily and offers up a suitably spacious engine bay. Although, I’m rather hoping I’ll not be needing to invest much time under there, apart from occasionally checking the oil level or topping up the washer fluid.



Overall the engine bay layout looks well designed. The air intake and filter housing are purposely placed high, so to avoid water and other contaminants getting near the filter when off road. As noted in my previous road-test, the engine is a bit of a gem to drive. It is also turning out to be rather frugal as well, thus far returning a fairly consistent 37.5 - 39.1mpg (Imperial gallons) according to the trip computer. I did verify one of the fill ups by looking at distance covered and amount of fuel to refill and that gave me a figure of 40.8mpg. For a petrol 4x4 I am rather surprised and very pleased with how little fuel it seems to be consuming.



Let's move on and have a look at the chassis. The Jimny is a traditional design of 4x4, whereby it uses a box section ladder chassis. Despite the Jimny’s diminutive stature, the chassis looks remarkably solid and rugged. Although of a lighter duty nature compared to a traditional Defender or Jeep Wrangler. Which is probably one of attributes that allows the Jimny to weigh 3?4 tonne or more less than either of them.





The Jimny also uses traditional live axles front and rear, with open differentials. Although the aftermarket does cater for ATB style limited slip diffs or even full on lockers if so desired. Of interest is the suspension. You’ll find coil springs at each corner and the axles are located by use of radius arms and a panhard rod, at both ends of the vehicle. This setup is not so dissimilar from what you’d find on the front end of a Land Rover Ninety and is proven to work very well. Although you won’t typically get the level of suspension flex that a 4-link setup could offer.

The Jimny is also very compact, it has a wheelbase of 88.6”, which is very comparable to a Series II or III Land Rover. The big difference is in the width. The Jimny has a much more narrow body than the Land Rover, which makes the Jimny look a lot smaller and feel a lot more nimble. Especially when in tight confines off road. To highlight just how compact the Jimny is, a current model Fiesta has a wheelbase 10” greater and is nearly a foot and a half longer than the Jimny overall.





The body tub, this also carries some interesting design features. Firstly and most evident is its square profile. This is not only practical off road, as it makes it a lot easier to see and gauge where the edge of the vehicle is. It also harks back to the styling of the1970’s LJ20 model.

There are some nice touches in the body design, the recessed windscreen, the traditional rain gutter that stops water dripping on you from the roof. And one of my favourites, the door handles. The Jimny seems to be one of the few vehicles on sale today that doesn’t use the pull out lever handles. Instead it uses a more classical flush fit lift up handle. The benefits in an off roader are twofold. Firstly, they are much less likely to collect mud, thus saving you from getting filthy hands when opening the door from the outside while out 4 wheeling. And secondly, should you end up getting a little too close to some scenery, they are far less susceptible to damage. Such as rubbing up against a tree trunk. Any diehard Defender off roaders will know the pain of both of these with the late model push button doors that Land Rover fitted to the Ninety in the late 80’s and kept until it’s end in 2016. Older Land Rover’s, including the early Ninety and One Ten had lift up door handles and much the better they were for them.



Another critical aspect of the body design are it’s flat sides. Again this design features offers multiple benefits for the off roader. Primary of these is, like the squared off corners, it allows the driver to know exactly where the edge of the vehicle is. Allowing you to get closer to objects and obstacles, such as trees and boulders, without actually impacting the bodywork on them. To further this, and something often forgotten in today's modern off road vehicles. Visibility is key when on challenging terrain and you simply cannot beat being able to easily stick your head out of the window and look down and see exactly where the front wheel is, which direction it is pointing in and what is underneath it. Likewise the square flat bodywork also allows the driver to perform the same trick with the rear wheel too.



The last benefit of the flat bodywork and protruding flexible plastic wheel arches is again damage avoidance. When off roading there are times when you will end up a lot closer to the scenario and landscape than you intended to be. Such as in a deep trench, with sides as high as the window line or on servere off camber sections and side slopes. In situations such as this, a more bulbous rounded body is highly vulnerable to rubbing against the scenery. With the Jimny’s flat sides this is far less likely and the widest part of the vehicle are the flexible and replaceable wheel arches. So while avoiding damage is always preferable, if it should occur, damaging a part that can easily be replaced and is less likely to show up the damage in the first place is always a bonus.

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12 Mar 2020 22:21 #219791 by 300bhpton
Off Road - Part 1

It was quite bright out earlier, so I thought I'd have a bit of a play with the Jimny.

First off was to try it up on the ramps. Simple test, one rump under a diagonal wheel and drive up. In low 1st it drove up with ease, although gave a faint scrabble from the passenger rear and a wobble at the top.



Overall pretty good for a stock vehicle.

Although while it does look like it has all it's wheels on the ground, the rear passenger wheel isn't really making contact:


In fact you could put you hand on the roof and easily rock the vehicle back and forth, which lifted the rear passenger wheel an inch or two off the ground.

Not unhappy though, I have watched enough YouTube vids and seen them lifting wheels quite readily.






My brother turned up too, so for a bit of fun, we thought we'd see if his Renegade Desert Hawk would drive up onto the ramps. I tried it the other year with a Td4 Freelander 1 and it wouldn't drive up the ramps like this. It either smoked the clutch or wheel span. I think the TCS on it would have got it over them if they were an obstacle, but lack of low range in the Freelander gave the feeling you'd end up going to quick to stop at the top. And I didn't fancy bending the sill on the ramps as I careened over them.

The Renegade is all independent just like the Freelander, but it does have a low mode (not a true low range, but it has 9 gears and first is super low giving a respectable crawl ratio). It is also automatic.

In the end it drove on fairly easily, the traction control on it worked brilliantly, with some slip from the front drivers wheel and the rear passenger way in the air. But it was slow, steady and very controlled. It was also nice to see the Renegade had enough ground clearance for the ramp under the sill also, to even allow this test to be tried out.






Makes for quite a nice comparison of live axles vs fully independent.

The live axle vehicle is clearly the much more stable option, but modern electronics do allow independent suspension vehicles to conquer terrain you wouldn't think they could.

So where is the Land Rover you may ask? Well today there where none. I just wanted to see how the Jimny coped on the ramps, as I feel it is a good way to see how the suspension and balance of the vehicle is likely to be when off road. I have however put many a Defender and other Land Rover products up on these ramps. And when equipped with live axles, they all keep all 4 wheels firmly on the ground. Even my old leaf sprung 88 did.

So blatantly to get the chance to post a picture of a Land Rover in a Jimny forum. Here is my 'other' off roader. As you can tell by the paint, it isn't my tidy daily driver. It isn't exactly standard either. And you may note that the ramps I'm using here are much taller.




Anyhow, I'm digressing. We all know this is a Jimny forum... :side:

As luck would have it, I have access to a spot of land to go and play on with 4x4's. So we headed over to give the Jimny a bit of a baptism.



As you can tell from the video, I was rather please with how it went off road. Very capable indeed.




Although I was surprised to find the front bumper had impacted with the ground. The approach angle looks good, but clearly not on par with a standard 90. Undoubtably a lift kit and some slightly taller tyres will help here, but maybe an after market bumper will need to be on the cards at some point also?? The front recovery point also looks highly vulnerable and was clearly digging in quite a bit.



And a few low points underneath that also came into contact with the ground:
The following user(s) said Thank You: Max Headroom

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12 Mar 2020 22:24 #219792 by Max Headroom
Wow

You should be writing for the motoring press!


IF IT AINT BROKE, KEEP FIXING IT UNTIL IT IS
The following user(s) said Thank You: 300bhpton

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12 Mar 2020 22:35 - 12 Mar 2020 22:36 #219796 by 300bhpton
First Mod

So I booked my Jimny in with the dealer. I wanted the headlight alignment checking, as they seemed high. And indeed, they were. I think it had slipped the net on being checked and isn't part of their normal checks on a new car.

Either way, headlights are now adjusted and I'm no longer being flashed by on-coming traffic. And the LED headlights are still as awesome as ever!!!

However, the main reason for the dealership visit was to have the rear view camera installed. I kind of wish I'd known about it at the time of buying, as I might have included it in the finance agreement. But it just doesn't appear as an option when using the website.

I know there are options, on either fitting myself or a complete DIY one from eBay. And yes the official one is expensive and actually the video quality is fairly low. But I wanted it all sound as a pound warranty wise and a tidy install.

The camera installs just above the number plate and is actually really hard to see unless you get on your hands and knees.


Now whenever I select reverse I get the rear view camera appear on the screen.


While the dealer had bits of the dash out, they very kindly routed the USB cable for my dashcam and completely hid it, all the way up to the interior mirror. I didn't ask them to do this, but it was very nice they took the initiative in doing so. They were also very good on the price, matching (slightly bettering in fact), the camera cost vs what I could find online.
Last edit: 12 Mar 2020 22:36 by 300bhpton.

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12 Mar 2020 22:43 #219798 by 300bhpton
I believe in being prepared!!! Ok, yes, you've guessed. I was indeed a boy Scout :lol:

To this end, I'm also a big believer in safe recovery should you get stuck or need to aid someone else. There isn't much room in the Jimny, so I have opted for a kinetic strop/strap. Rated at 8 tonnes and 10 metres long, it ought to be up to the task at hand. It conveniently rolls up fairly small too. Small enough to fit the boot tray easily.

Not bad for £26 delivered and made in the UK to boot.





Just waiting on some 3.25 tonne Bow Shackles to turn up now.

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12 Mar 2020 23:05 #219799 by 300bhpton
More Mods

Bought my first "proper" aftermarket mod for the Jimny. I ordered it a few weeks back. The Dashboard tray/box. Found via a link posted by another user on here. It was on eBay Australia, however shipped from China. With the Aus$ conversion it worked out at £6.80 delivered.

I have seen the same item retailing for £25+, although there are a number of well priced eBay listing if you look. The surprise came when it arrived. It is actually super high quality. Well made, heavy and fits a treat.








I also picked up a set of the genuine rubber mats today, curtesy of some family members who paid for them for my recent birthday. I don't think I've ever seen such well engineered car mats before. Very pleased I went for these.




Also thanks to some other family members, I also have the Jimnybits front and rear diffs guards to fit. Should be a job for this weekend if the weather holds.

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12 Mar 2020 23:28 - 12 Mar 2020 23:28 #219802 by 300bhpton
Video demonstrating how good the LED headlights are on the SZ5. Oh, and how lovely the engine sounds in these. :D



Last edit: 12 Mar 2020 23:28 by 300bhpton.

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  • The quickest Jimny in Harrogate...(that I own)
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13 Mar 2020 05:22 #219803 by Lambert
Wow. Good work that man. You aren't Richard hammond are you?

Dreadnaught (black 2011)

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13 Mar 2020 09:37 #219809 by 300bhpton
After quite a few versions, this is what my build sheet currently looks like. But like all good plans, will be subject to change.

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13 Mar 2020 16:11 #219823 by 300bhpton



Also just ordered some new tyres..... :woohoo: :woohoo: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :lol: :lol: :huh:

I really (really), wanted the BFG's.... but they are so f'ing expensive. That I just couldn't justify it in the end. Have gone for some Maxxis Wormdrive AT980E's, quite similar looking to the BFG KO2 but significantly cheaper, in the region of 25-35% cheaper. Which is a reasonable amount of money when buying a set of 5.

Maxxis have a great name in the off road world too, although I have also run their on road performance car tyres in the past too.

Gone for 215/75R15's.

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