Any Tips & Advice for budget mods by a newbie with a JImny?

I'm new, be nice!
Posts: 2
Joined: March 12th, 2014, 3:16 pm

Any Tips & Advice for budget mods by a newbie with a JImny?

Unread post by JIMNYN » March 12th, 2014, 3:32 pm

Hi All,

I just recently bought a Jimny 2001 model, auto, soft top.

I'm after some advice on potential modifications.

What I plan to do? Most of my driving is done on city roads, however I would like to make use of the 4wd capability and take it off road. Eg, Dirt tracks, sand dunes, and other recreational/beginner level 4wd driving.

Currently I have a stock car.

I'm putting on new tyres, bridgestones all terrain D697 - haven't bought these yet. But what do you guys think?

Also, assuming the little jimny doesn't have enough power, what would you suggest modifying if you only had $1000 bucks.

Any advice or tips would be highly appreciated.

A pic of my jimmy is attached

Happy Jimnyn!

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I'm new, be nice!
Posts: 2
Joined: March 12th, 2014, 3:16 pm

Re: Some advice for newbie with a JImny

Unread post by JIMNYN » March 12th, 2014, 3:50 pm

Hi All

Further to my earlier post. I was wondering if you guys could help me determine the cause of some of the issues i'm facing.

1st issue - Upon hard acceleration I hear a water noise. Literally feels like a small stream waterfall. But no impact to drivability. Has anyone experienced this or provide some insight what this strange noise is?

2nd Issue - At times (not all) I would get the steering wheel shakes, sometimes quite badly. Maybe 2cms side to side if this makes sense. More often the time at high speed i.e. > 80km. However this is intermittent. Most of the time, at that speed again its fine and stable. And even while driving would go from stable to shake then back to stable. This is really weird behavior.
I thought it would be the tyres, will soon find out when I get 4 new ones put on. However doesn't quite indicate tyres too due to the intermittent behavior.

Can someone also shed some ideas of what this could be? I also had a 4wd mechanic check the car and he said nothing is wrong. This car has never been off-road.

Also, the shake is evident regardless of drive type eg 4wd or 2wd.

Hope this information is useful for analysis.


Peter Aawen
Posts: 20901
Joined: June 17th, 2005, 8:01 pm

Re: Any Tips & Advice for budget mods by a newbie with a JIm

Unread post by Peter Aawen » March 12th, 2014, 4:26 pm

The water noise, quite a common thing to hear & generally no issue at all; it's usually the water/coolant flowing thru the heater piping and basically just a normal noise that you should expect whenever you start the water pump spinning faster or significantly change revs because those hoses run thru the firewall and inside the cabin where you can hear them. Unless you are losing water anywhere or find wet spots inside the car (check under the carpet in the footwells, both driver and passenger side) it's just one of the noises the car will make, just like the engine noises you can hear, & the extra noise the fan makes when the viscous coupled hub cuts in, yada, yada, yada! ;)

The steering wheel shakes, that's probably not such a noice thing! The fact you mention it occurs at about 80 kph and your Jimny has a leading arm design front suspension strongly hints that it's what is often called the death wobbles, coily wobbles, colly wobbles, or even Patrol wobbles (worth running those keywords/phrases thru advanced search, drop me a PM if you need a hand!) If it is that, & it probably is, tt basically means that something in the front suspension/steering gear is out of it's (fairly narrow) spec range either because there are worn bushes or components in there or the wheel alignment needs some serious attention. I'd suggest that you take it to a specialist 4WD or truck alignment mob and get them to check the entire wheel alignment & front suspension/steering gear. It could be something as simple as a set of shocker bushes needing replacement, but if that's the case then the wheel alignment/front end geometry is so close to 'out of spec' that it needs attention anyway, but it's more likely to be something like caster out of whack or right on its spec limits so that worn bushes can push it over the top - make sense?

It could also be just a bad need for a wheel alignment & balancing, maybe rotation of the tyres on the rims to better match/balance them, but if you go and pay your local tyre bloke to do nothing but that and it doesn't sort it, you'll still need to get it all done again by the specialist alignment mob, so why not go straight to them? And you really don't want to put on a new set of tyres and find the vibration wears them oddly so you can't get the best life out of them even after you get the vibration fixed, so always try to sort this type of thing out BEFORE putting new tyres on if you can - new tyres will wear badly very quickly if it's something bad, and sometimes driving as few as 1000 km or so can wear them such that you can't get rid of the bad wear pattern or misbalancing short of grinding the tyres round again or using large amounts of weights for the rest of those tyres lives, so why don't you do it first and minimise the risk of wrecking a new set of tyres as well as the old set?? (even tho it probably isn't them, you just don't want to risk it!)

4WD/Truck alignment places like the Pro-Axle or Shim-a-line mob generally do the complete alignment stuff for about $150 or so, while most tyre places that do cheaper wheel alignments don't usually look at camber, caster, and all the rest, including the steering pre-loads etc - and you need them all checked and brought within spec as well as getting the wheels & rims balanced properly. And if you lift it later, you'll need to get it all done again! If there is anything significantly wrong with the front end (worn bushes or components, tie rod ends, steering rack, etc) you'll probably hafta pay a little more to get the parts and those things sorted, but the full alignment stuff is usually covered in the price.

Over to you, or anyone else who wants to offer an alternative??!
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