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Discussion Starter · #461 ·
The... Hang on, that's not a Corsa!

Katherine and I have just made a rather odd decision. As you may know, we sold her old Clio for £1200 in order to replace it with an automatic Corsa, which currently stands us in at about £600. Well, in the course of the last four days, that decision has been turned on its head and we completely unexpectedly went and bought a bloody Suzuki Jimny, of all things. For £1800, way above what we budgeted for Katherine's new car. Naturally, there's a little more to the story.

Simply put, it just popped up out of nowhere. For the last year or so, Katherine's been interested in the idea of a Suzuki Jimny as her daily driver, since it's actually smaller than my Corsa, or her Clio, both in length and width, while the high seating and square shape offers perfect visibility for parking. I, on the other hand, have wanted a Jimny for about six years, ever since I first drove one.

On Friday evening, I was trawling through Facebook marketplace, as I often do, to see if I could find various Corsa-related parts. Lo and behold, there was a Suzuki Jimny for sale, twenty minutes down the road. I clicked on the ad and realised it was an automatic. Katherine's eyes lit up and after some confused deliberation and repeatedly asking "are we really going to look at this?", we decided to view it.

The seller was advertising on behalf of the owner, a farmer (who didn't have time to sell it, apparently), who'd bought the Jimny for his stepson as a first car and potential work vehicle. Upon realising insurance was going to cost £2000 a year, he decided to sell, advertising for £1995. Supposedly many people showed interest but either offered silly money or didn't show up. We were the only ones who genuinely didn't mess the seller around. We looked at it, found a few issues, priced them up and worked out a price of £1800. We collected the oversized milk carton today, and took it for a good drive. What a f*****g car!

Now, enough text! Here's some photos!






As you can see, two things stand out;
-It's filthy.
-It's been modified.

The modifications are mainly for off-roading, such as the snorkel, side steps, front push bar and knobbly tyres. It's also got a towbar, immobiliser with remote central locking, and a double din touchscreen stereo fitted.

As for the car itself, it's a 2003 Suzuki Jimny JLX with the usual 1.3 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, wheezing out around 80BHP, mated to a surprisingly smooth 4-speed torque converter. It's done 108,000 miles, has very good service history an underneath, it's more solid than I expected. I found some rust at the back of one wheel arch, and a bit behind the headlights, which is a common area. It will also need four new tyres soon, which gives us an opportunity to fit more road-biased tyres.

Our plans are fairly simple. Clean it, fix the rust, and sell all the off-roading tat. Removing the push bar and towbar will hopefully save some weight which should help the supposedly abysmal fuel economy, as well as making the poor thing a little quicker. I will also stuff some sound insulation in the few areas I can. We'll also be binning the double din, as it looks completely ridiculous and half it's features don't work. There's also a few bits of clutter and tat to chuck in the bin, like those silly wheel trims.

Katherine drove it today, as well as me, to try it out, seeing as it will be mainly her car. After 500 yards, she was completely in love with it, which is something that can't be said of the Clio or the Corsa.

So, it must drive well, then?

It is, in every measurable way, completely sh**, and we don't care one bit. I encourage everyone who's never driven a Jimny to try one. It's uncanny how such a compromised car can put such a big smile on your face. It's utterly loaded with personality! It's also nice to have a blue car, too! more to come in the new year, hopefully!
 

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Discussion Starter · #462 ·
The Jimny

We've had the Jimny for one day, and I've already made the first big change to it. Neither I or Katherine were sold on the Bullbar, so for the sake of four bolts and one small bracket, I removed it, and I'm certainly glad I did!



Partially inspired by a thread on the pistonheads forum where the OP has been stripping an unbelievable amount of weight from a Ford Fiesta ST while keeping it looking relatively stock, I've decided to weigh whatever I remove from the Jimny, too. It's partly out of simple interest to figure out how much this stuff added on, but also to see if the weight saving will help fuel economy and performance; after all, the little 1.3 needs all the help it can get.

It's a hefty old thing, weighing in at 18.2kg on our scale, not including the six bolts and small metal bracket holding it in. To fit that metal bracket, a previous owner had snipped a hole in the bumper grill which you can just about see. That'll play on my OCD!

All in all, I'm glad it's gone, and I think the little yoghurt pot looks much better without it. Thankfully, Katherine agrees, seeing as it's her car!
 

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With the cleaning you do in Spain, the dealers would fight for you, they would even fly razor blades
 

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I mean this as a compliment of sorts, not a put down, that Suzuki make such a range of unremitting eye-ache (Wagon R+, most Swifts) that a 4x4 like the Jimny makes sense of their design weirdos.

Is it better planted than the old SJ410? Car used to call it verging on the lethal, and I got a lift in one back in the 80s and agreed. I haven't heard the same story about the Jimny.

Like Suffolk, it would be quite practical for Andalucía, where the town parking is murder and small engines very favourably taxed, but a lot of the pueblos have atrocious access roads and, when it does rain, that snorkel could come in handy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #465 ·
I mean this as a compliment of sorts, not a put down, that Suzuki make such a range of unremitting eye-ache (Wagon R+, most Swifts) that a 4x4 like the Jimny makes sense of their design weirdos.

Is it better planted than the old SJ410? Car used to call it verging on the lethal, and I got a lift in one back in the 80s and agreed. I haven't heard the same story about the Jimny.

Like Suffolk, it would be quite practical for Andalucía, where the town parking is murder and small engines very favourably taxed, but a lot of the pueblos have atrocious access roads and, when it does rain, that snorkel could come in handy.
Quite honestly I've never seen a Suzuki Swift I didn't like the look of. After the letdown that was the Corsa D and E, the Swift was the only modern hatchback left that I actually liked. I even like the Wagon R in an ironic kind of way. The Jimny is definitely where their styling came correct, though.

The SJ410's main drawback was drum brakes all around. The Jimny is a tough one to explain. On the road, it's completely compromised, but you never feel unsafe. You always feel like you're somewhere close to it's realistic limit of capability, but it never bites. It feels fun and maybe a little bit sketchy at slow, safe speeds, where modern cars are so capable, you push and push, and there's no drama, until you find that limit, at which point you're going 60mph backwards through a field gate.

It's quite honestly slower than my Corsa for in-gear acceleration (though the heavy off-road tat wouldn't have helped). It's a car that is perfectly capable of doing normal driving, and feels fun doing so, but you never feel the need to push it further. It has brakes that work, steering that works (mostly) and an engine that works (very slowly).

So in short, it's rubbish and we love it.
 

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I understand that. Fit for purpose. The Combo Tour was not on my checklist at all but, when it popped up, everything clicked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #467 ·
The Jimny

Interior Part 1


Over the past few weeks, I have been attacking the interior of our latest purchase to clean it up. After years of neglect, it certainly needed it! I started off with a damn good vacuum clean of the carpets, with the driver's footwell being the worst, naturally. I gave it a quick shampoo as well, to try and remove some of the stains. I also cleaned the pedals, using some all-purpose cleaner and a paintbrush. The seats were also removed between photos.






The plastics were cleaned next. I simply used my vacuum with a brush attachment, before cleaning with some APC and a microfibre.


With that done, I began work on the seats, which certainly needed a damn good shampoo. I started on the backs of the rear seats. Below you can see the dirty seat on the left, with the freshly shampooed seat on the right.

Unfortunately, once I removed the seat, I realised that a previous owner had repaired some rust in the floor underneath the driver side rear seat, and sprayed over the weld with a crap silver rattle can without masking anything up. The result was a nice big patch of oil-based paint in the seat.

Without a steam cleaner, it's almost impossible to clean paint out of seats, so I had to settle for scraping off what I could and shampooing over the top. Thankfully, it's barely noticeable once the seat's fitted.

Luckily, the rest of the seats proved easier to clean, with the passenger seat being the filthiest.


In a moment of OCD that impressed even me, Katherine suggested using a sewing needle to clean the seatbelt tensioners, as they had years of gunk built up in the grooves.

 

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The seat belt clasp actually impressed me the most (sorry, Lee). That's some attention to detail (awful pun not intentional).
 
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