Suzuki Jimny "Expedition" Build


Hello all!

Now when I finally have started with my Jimny I thought I should share it with the rest of you. Hopefully you will enjoy this build as much as I've enjoyed yours.

Just a small warning. My english is far from perfect so you will have to live with my misspelling and occasional grammar mistakes. :p

So, what are my plans for this? At first try to make it kind of budget, build a sleeping platform, a slide out kitchen, make room for a cheepo fridge, a small overhead compartment in the back, some storage space for cloths and stuff and mostly for fun but still useful, a hidden compartment that opens electric with a key and a switch, for storing camera and laptop out of sight.
Some parts will be more or less KISS and others probably not KISS at all. :)

So this is what I'm going to put everything into.


I bought it last summer. It came with a 2" lift and a 2" bodylift and a nice, more or less, new set of Kumho tires. Positive thing, kind of cheep (not always a good thing) negative thing 11 owners in 14 years so not in the best shape... At all. about a month ago a found more and quite severe rust on the body. But there are people among my friends who know how to weld thankfully. :) A more acute issue is the fact that the heating is not working, changed the thermostat, checked the waterpump and flushed the system. Still no heat, have bought a new heat cell, is that the name? And will hoefully change it in the next couple of weeks.

So I have now started with the overhead compartment. It will house two 12v outlets, led lighting for reading and using the kitchen, and two small speakers driven by an even smaller 2x15w amplifier with aux-input for use with my phone while at camp. Maybe one of the not so KISS parts but hey, it's fun to build stuff. :)



Making the cut for the LED strip "bracket"


This will be the layout of the panel, the two switches are for the lights and the amp and next to them are the aux-in.


I decided to glass it for some additional strength. I also decided to go against most tips I've got to use epoxy and went with polyester, because i have about 10 kg of it standing around and epoxy is so effing expensive. More than 3 times the money here in Sweden so... Kind of budget. :)

I will cover it with grey car stereo carpet, the same i will use on the rest of the build, witch allows to be stretched a bit to go around corners and bends.

Yeah, my boss decided to change the battery in his racecar so I got a 75Ah battery for free so I have to fit that in somehow as well. Nice to be able to run the fridge when not on the move. :)

So I hope some of you will find this interesting and if you have any questions, shoot! :)

And sorry about the pics, I'm using my smartphone as camera for now because i'm not to happy to bring the Nikon to work, dusty as fuuuk.



I'm looking forward to seeing how this comes together. I like what I see so far.

The heater part is called the core here in the states. Some of them can be very difficult to change. Good luck.


So, yesterday I got some more hours in between helping my boss with his souped up Audi.

I took out the back seat to see how much space that actually was in there and to start planning the layout a little. And of course I found some more rust, nothing that wasn't solved in a few minutes with the sandblaster but still annoying.

Here is one of the little more severe rust spots I found a couple of days after buing it... Can't understand how I missed it before I bought it, probably just blind in love with the car. :)


I will deal with this later on, got a good deal with the earlier mensioned welding friend. I built him a cabinet and he weld some rust, just trading hours straight off. :)

I also finished the overhead compartment.

Covered it with carpet

Didn't get it perfekt in the corners but the carpet just wouldn't stretch any more.

The gignormous amplifier :) A wopping 2x15 watt...

Started to hook everything up, switches, amp, LED, 12v outlets and the speakers.
Well I lied, since I managed to forget the LED strip at home I just prepared the wires for it.

All finished: :)

And got it in place. More than happy with how it turned out. :)


Today I ordered the Accuride drawer slides/fittings for the slide out kitchen. Rated to something like 129 kg, 700 mm deep and pulls out 750 mm with a hold in funktion.
Not that I plan on leaving much space between the back door and drawer front but it's still nice to know that it hopefully don't rattle to much while driving.

Sadly I won't get to much done in the next 7-8 days since I'm going away. But I will not be crying, standing on a frozen lake managing the pits on the event Speed Weekend on ice. Hopefully we will se speed exeeding 300 km/h on ice with everything from cars with up to 1000bhp to pulse jet powered snowmobiles. :) :)

And as I said, if you have any questions or tips just let me know. :)

// K-Robin


Thank you Toyman01!
Hopefully I won't let you down with the rest of the build. :)

Ok, thanks. Yeah, I talked to a garage and it would take them about 2,5 hours so I figured I would be able to do it myself in about 5-6 hours. :) now I just need to find those hours... Will probably be hard since it's not a fun job, much more fun to build the new interior. :)

/ K-Robin


The overhead compartment is brilliant. Thanks for sharing the design.

How are you fastening the wood? Is it just glued, or is it glued and stapled. Also, how are you fastening it in the Jimny. My Samurai doesn't have much in the way of structure in the roof. I'm afraid I would have to fasten through the roof to hold something like that in. I would love to build something like that for my CB radio.


Thanks guys!

It depends on which pieces of wood. The more structural and a little bigger parts like in corners and for fastening I used glue and a nail gun and the smaller ones just glue and pressure. :)
About fastening it, I just went with big enough screws with washers right through the roof lining. I have no idea if it will hold but it seem quite sturdy. only time will tell if that was a bad idea. :-D



So, I'm sorry for not updating for a while but when I came back from Speed Weekend I got the flu. I managed to get some hours in on monday before crashing totallly on tuesday.
Unfortu... unfortunally... (No idea how to spell it) :) . Eh, To bad I found even more rust so I couldn't do as much as I hoped for but as I said I got some stuff done. :)

Wanted to make the front of the Jimney a little more aggressive


I just test fitted it since we didn't have bolts in the correct length at work and my plan was to get correct ones on tuesday but that plan went straigh to bed, freezing and sweating under the duvet. Will buy them this weekend and mount it monday.
Next plan is to make the subwoofer boxes that will fit under the front seats. Maybe not the best use of space in a car that small but it's my DD and I like sound systems in cars so I think it's worth it. :)
I have gotten the slides for the kitchen and the cheapo fridge so after the subs I will start with the layout of the build. Yeey! :)



Back again!
It took me a while but the flu where worse than I hoped for. :-S

Started with the subwoofers and almost finished them as well. I hope they will be completely done on monday.
To get the most out of the space i built the sides and fronts in MDF and glassed the bottom and rear.


Put tin foil in on the floor, well everywhere I didn't want the polyester to stick to the car.



I even put the baffles on but forget to take pics, but hopefully I will remember to take some before I cover it with carpet.

Testing the placement of the fridge.


Still haven't solved where to place my aux battery, found a tray on a brittish webshop but my battery is to high to fit under the hood so I have to come up with something else. Probably I will build it in under the sleeping platform and vent it through a draining hole in the floor.


Scott Brady

I love the Jimnys!

We drove one from Spain to Mongolia - not a single failure.


Not sure how I missed your update. I'm loving the sub enclosures. Great design. Keep up the good work. You have some good ideas for making the most out of very little space.


:) Thank you for the kind words!

I finished one of the subs on monday evening but after mounting it under the passenger seat I found out it's about 5-10 mm to high, which is kind of annoying because I thought I was pretty accurate meashuring. A well, can't get everything perfect the first time when building half tired after work. :p

But I got some pics taken anyway. :)



Some of the tin foil still sticks to the box but it doesn't really matter, not visible and no effect on the sound so I just left it there. :)




To solve the problem I have to remove the sub box from the car, cut away the carpet under the sub, cut off the rubber trim and probably use a router to sink the sub into the box a little.
The thing about the 5-10 mm is that the seat can't slide all the way forward and therefore I will not be able to get the seat under the planned sleeping platform.
Maybe I should explain my thoughts about that. I will build the storage right behind the front seats, just under the windows ( don't think it would look good if it is above the window edge with the sides visible) and to get an extension in place the neck support thingie goes off the seat, seat slides all the way to the front and tilts all the way back. So when the extension is in place I have about 183 cm from rear window to the dashboard, I'm only 178 cm tall so I have tons of space!! About 2 inches left. Bahahaha! :)
Not sure if I managed to explain but if you have any questions just ask. :)



Lots of nice "zooks" downunder. If I did not have the SWG G I would be getting one and fitting out a light camper trailer (like what motorbikes tow) and doing some touring. We carry way too much stuff in our large SUV's, half the fun is fitting out some good storage units take less. For 2 people a Suzuki is big enough with some careful preparation.
Still solid axles, coil springs, proper transfer case and many offroad upgrades available. Glad they still are making them.

However its a shame to see the space wasted by "subs" - so much for expedition-spec.

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