Thursday, January 19, 2017

Suzuki Jimney: Completed

So the first kit completed for 2017 is a quick-and-dirty kitbash, involving a 1.9 litre Opel 4-cylinder with a scratch-built intake manifold designed to take a blower from the parts bin, all shoehorned into a Hasegawa curbside kit of a Suzuki Jimney mini 4X4. Why an Opel 1.9, you ask? Mainly because this was the only 4 cylinder I had available. A Honda VTEC motor would perhaps have been more appropriate, had there been one handy. Plan B would have been to cut a V8 in half, leading to either a V4 or a slant 4. Maybe the next one...

As the kit was curbside, this required removing the hood and fabricating a firewall from sheet styrene. The header tank, heater motor ductwork and master cylinder all came from the parts bin. Plug wires and cable ties came from a Model Car Garage package, also from the parts bin.

I also cut up a side pipe for the exhaust. The sewer-pipe diameter is probably overkill for the 1.9, even with a blower, but it looks fine, and exits on the passenger side (the cab is right-hand drive). The wheels and Goodyear Wrangler AT truck tires also came from the parts bin, as the stock wheels were weeny little things. (The spare, attached to the rear door, is stock). They complement the extra ride height nicely.

Years ago I shoehorned a complete 3-litre twin-turbo V6 and drivetrain from a Dodge Stealth into another Suzuki, this one a Samurai. Also AWD, the purpose here was a street cruiser and pro-stock machine, with mid-engine setup, blanked-off headlamps and cut-back windshield. The body also got a pretty serious section, and the cockpit got moved forward a substantial amount to clear the turbos. It looks good next to the jacked-up, go-anywhere Jimney. I just need to get the dust off it...

Ideally the Samurai needs bigger fender flares; technically it works but the body section is probably too aggressive for replication at 1:1; as well the cockpit was moved forward without stretching the wheelbase, so legroom around the pedals is non-existent. 

In any case the Jimney is a neat addition to the Japanese shelf. So what's next: back to the serious stuff, or more kitbashing? Stay tuned!

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