Based on broad user experience, several points in the Jimny's underbody have been identified as relatively weak and/or most exposed points which can sustain collision damage when driving off road.
Even if you don't do hardcore off-roading, you are going to hit a rock sooner or later. It's just a question of a moment when you lose your concentration for that tiny amount of time, or the vehicle could slide sideways to a rock despite your best efforts.
OEM underbody protectors
Suzuki makes only the following underbody metal protectors:
- Fuel tank protector;
- This is a standard factory fitment and is adequate for normal off road driving.
- Front axle protector as an optional accessory;
- It is pointless because it further reduces the ground clearance, as it "widens" the hanging part of the differential casing.
- Side body steps / rock sliders as optional accessories;
- They exist in several designs and are quite expensive.
- They span from the front wheel arch to the rear wheel arch, and they might be useful to prevent paint chipping, due to small rocks flicking under the wheels.
- They are also useful as steps if you have roof bars or a roof box.
Aftermarket or DIY metal protectors
There are several aftermarket "factories" which make underbody metal procetors for Jimnys.
You can also fabricate your DIY protectors if you have the skills.
The following list contains the most useful underbody protectors to have (sorted by overall importance):
- Radius arm chassis mount protectors (four protectors for four radius arms);
- These are one of the lowest points in the underbody and are usually the typical points of impact on uneven ground.
- Transfer box guard;
- It is not that common to hit a transfer box during (normal) off road driving, but electric transfer boxes have exposed wires and connectors which can get damaged or cut with branches etc.
- Rear shock absorber guards near the rear axle mounting points (two guards);
- These are also typical points of impact and are relatively fragile.
- These protectors are relatively simple to make even for a DIY crafstmen.
- A thicker/stronger fuel tank guard;
- This is advised only for hardcore off-roading.
- Rock sliders or steps on vehicle's sides (between the front and rear wheel arches);
- These primarily save the painted body panels between the front and rear wheels from paint chipping.
- However, regular (non-raised) steps actually reduce vehicle's ground clearance in certain situations, and they can actually become vulnerable points.
- Therefore, for serious off road driving, it is advised to install raised side steps (available in the aftermarket or as a DIY solution only).
Other underbody proectors are:
- Front shock absorber guards near the front axle mounting points (two guards);
- Front underbody section guard between the front bumper and the front axle;
- Front and rear differential casing guards / reinforcements;
- Exhaust piping and muffler guards;
- Whichever underbody protectors you choose to install, make sure that you apply a proper anti-seize compound to the treads of the bolts which hold it in place and to torque the bolts properly.
- If you don't apply an anti-seize compound to the bolt treads, you risk not ever being able to unbolt them in the future!
- In the case of bolts which also go through a silent block (bushing), this means that cutting a seized bolt off implies destroying the bush as well!
Page last edited on 21/02/2019 by user Bosanek