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Melrose's Blue Hardtop

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11 Oct 2017 19:12 - 11 Oct 2017 19:22 #185106 by ME13OSE
ME13OSE created the topic: Melrose's Blue Hardtop
Nothing I'm writing here hasn't been done already no doubt by numerous others well before me. This isn't a "I'd have done this mate" or "You've done that wrong" thread, this is just my personal journey with my Jimny. I'm not looking for criticism, or praise.

I bought the Jimny after the usual "Worst winter in 60 years coming" newspaper article, we both had RWD BMW's and as much as I enjoyed sliding mine about the missus didn't. She needed a car then to get her back and forward to work and her car was perfect for that most of the year, so I bought the Jimny as a backup to ensure she could get about in the worst of weathers.

It wasn't long before I found video's of them on youtube, and actually stumbled upon this very site that gave me the bug to start modifying the little hardtop. First with the fitting of a winch & recovery points, some transfer and fuel tank guards and a snorkel. I also made Van panels out of fibreglass by copying the windows and making moulds, then making the part in fibreglass and having a mate paint them and bond them in.



It never seen much more than a muddy lane at that point, with a farmer friend letting her have a drive about on his land to get herself familiar with the 4wd system and to feel what it was like when sliding around on loose terrain. It make the jump to start my own business and ordered a factory build van to my spec, unfortunately the van took longer to get to me than was agreed with FORD so I decided to use the Jimny for a short while until my van arrived. Back seats pulled out and a plywood floor & half bulkhead created and away I went. Not the most professional looking but it served it's purpose.


During this time any mods or even thoughts of them were set aside, I needed this vehicle to earn a living. When the van finally arrived then the Jimny was fair game. To begin with it just pretty much lay about and got in my way, I was flat out with the business and didn't have time to tinker let alone play. I even thought of selling it (glad now I never).... Slowly I started building up parts, secondhand cranked arms, 3 inch lift kit, newly built Rock lobster from Rockwatt, new panhards, brake lines etc... But with not having any time to do anything it just lay in my garage gathering dust along with the Jimny. Hearing about an event in a local quarry I made some time off and took it as was


She drove it most of the day and loved it, it gave me the push to get it built for her. Shortly after I started fitting what was lying around, giving it the lift first then getting it out at drumclog for a day.



With not too bad of a day at Drumclog the one thing bothering me was that it got beached a lot, the standard insa turbos weren't giving me enough clearance and if cross axled at all we lost drive. Was time for a push to get it more capable, Rock Lobster got fitted along with a lock right locker in the rear diff, axle's got trussed up at the same time as the truss kit had been lying about for nearly 2 years. Next time out it done much better but we still needed taller tyres, so I fitted 31x10.5x15 Insa Turbo special tracks, same tyre I had previously but just a bigger size. The 31's and my spacers meant some bodywork and the grinder came out and some LR 4x4 arches were fitted.



During a heavy rear recovery the need for a decent rear bumper was found along with just how soft the standard tow points are so a bumper was made to my spec by Scott McMinn of SMM, over the moon with it to be honest. I gave him the led light units I wanted to use and he pocketed them into the bumper with built in guards.



We got the Jimny back out and found it much more capable at Drumclog, all the mods were starting to pay off, although we almost smashed our heads together numerous times on the rough terrain so I decided that some decent seats were in order... Cue the Mirco RS2's from GSM Performance.

These seats are vinyl and easy to clean, they're also very comfortable and give us both plenty of support. They also reduce the travel on your head when the terrain gets too rough and teamed up with some harnesses it makes all the difference.



After one particular day where everyone was getting stuck, and one of our group needed towed back to the trailers, the winch was used heavily. This showed just how poor the winch was, it was a cheap winch so I didn't expect miracles, but on doing some checks the 70A alternator just wasn't going to cut it. An Optima Redtop battery was shoehorned into the engine bay and the search for an alternator went underway.. I ended up settling on a 150A Suzuki unit from the SX4 (I'll most probably cover this in another section of the forum on it's own) and the main alternator cable replaced with a higher spec and Circuit Breaker fitted to protect it all. This has made a world of difference and well worth it in my opinion..

Currently the Jimny is lying on the trailer with the front end in bits, blown diff. My own fault to be honest, although the front diff never quite felt right so possibly some of that damage was before me. I have a Kaiser diff sitting waiting to go in the front, hopefully I'll get to that soon. Thats the evolution of my jimmy so far, I'll add some more pictures below.

L494 Range Rover Sport
2014 Transit Connect 240 L2 "Limited" on 20's
2015 Courier Trend
Hardtop Jimny, van conversion
2016 Smart Edition White 900cc turbo.
Fiesta ST150 track toy

WISH LIST, bigger garage!

MELROSE ELECTRICAL (services) Ltd. www.mes-glasgow.co.uk
Last Edit: 11 Oct 2017 19:22 by ME13OSE. Reason: Images not showing

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11 Oct 2017 19:14 #185107 by ME13OSE
ME13OSE replied the topic: Melrose's Blue Hardtop

L494 Range Rover Sport
2014 Transit Connect 240 L2 "Limited" on 20's
2015 Courier Trend
Hardtop Jimny, van conversion
2016 Smart Edition White 900cc turbo.
Fiesta ST150 track toy

WISH LIST, bigger garage!

MELROSE ELECTRICAL (services) Ltd. www.mes-glasgow.co.uk

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11 Oct 2017 22:36 - 11 Oct 2017 22:38 #185119 by furo
furo replied the topic: Melrose's Blue Hardtop
Nice Jimny! I especially like the rear bar.

I stay in Glasgow and I've been to Drumclog once and had a great time. Are you a member of a club or do you just go with friends? And are there other places nearby you could recommend?

2004 Jimny Mode; General Grabber AT3s (215/75/R15); Black Modular Steel Wheels; Jimnybits Front and Rear Recovery Points; Osram Nightbreakers; Trailmaster 2" Lift, Jimnybits Snorkel; Roof Rack; AVM Manual Hubs; ORA Radius Arm Guards.
Last Edit: 11 Oct 2017 22:38 by furo.

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12 Oct 2017 07:19 #185124 by ME13OSE
ME13OSE replied the topic: Melrose's Blue Hardtop
Thanks. A few mates have off roaders, we tend to go as a group. We use the Scottish mud club page on Facebook and have got to know a few of the other users over time. Most of the lads are brand new and we'll organise our Sundays out on there.

L494 Range Rover Sport
2014 Transit Connect 240 L2 "Limited" on 20's
2015 Courier Trend
Hardtop Jimny, van conversion
2016 Smart Edition White 900cc turbo.
Fiesta ST150 track toy

WISH LIST, bigger garage!

MELROSE ELECTRICAL (services) Ltd. www.mes-glasgow.co.uk
The following user(s) said Thank You: furo

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12 Oct 2017 14:28 #185131 by X88RED
X88RED replied the topic: Melrose's Blue Hardtop
Looking really good mate!! Definitely interested in the SX4 alternator you installed! Although I have been told I can install a 100A using the same wiring and bracket - alternator is from Manchester Auto Electrical costs £100 and even has a years warranty. Not sure what is best to do! any thoughts??

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12 Oct 2017 16:13 #185134 by ME13OSE
ME13OSE replied the topic: Melrose's Blue Hardtop
I've seen the 96A alternator, probably what you're getting as generally they make more on the bench than what's stated. That's definitely the easiest option. It all depends just how much power you want/need.

L494 Range Rover Sport
2014 Transit Connect 240 L2 "Limited" on 20's
2015 Courier Trend
Hardtop Jimny, van conversion
2016 Smart Edition White 900cc turbo.
Fiesta ST150 track toy

WISH LIST, bigger garage!

MELROSE ELECTRICAL (services) Ltd. www.mes-glasgow.co.uk

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