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14th July 2024
Parkwood Nr. Leeds

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Hello - Bargain Jimny Project

02 Aug 2022 12:02 #244379 by swedger
Hi all,

New member here, just picked up a 2005 VVT Jimny with 6 months MOT for a very, very good price. As such, there's plenty problems that need solving, so I thought I'd make a post asking for your wealth of knowledge in fixing them in the most suitable way. It's had major welding done in 2019 previously and then undersealed.

First out the gate was a dead O2 sensor and the cat was split in two, easily fixed and now running and driving without deafening me, but here's the rest I've found so far.
  • Vacuum hubs physically damaged/vacuum system dead
    This was one of the reasons it was cheap. Vacuum system is dead and I've removed it, blocking the vacuum and shorting out the sensor. The original vacuum locking hubs are also totally smoked, one side has been grinding and the gears are now smooth, the other side is missing a magnet and spring. So it's currently only 2WD.
  • Front axle weeping gear oil 
    I noticed a lot of dirty greasy oil on the offside front wheel swivel, and after changing gear oil last night, it's leaking out from here pretty badly. I'm assuming this is just an axle shaft seal?
  • Radiator could do with replacement
    Front radiator is pretty barren with a lot of the material in between the blades missing. Easy fix, just unsure if I can be bothered just now since it runs fine temp wise currently.
  • Kingpins worn (according to previous MOT)
    Previous MOT says kingpins and/or bearings/bushes are worn on the offside front. Been looking up videos on how to replace and seems fairly straightforward?
  • Underneath headlights rotten
    Unsurprisingly, the headlight mounts are rotten. Or at least one of them is. I'm not keen on buying an entire replacement front end, as it would be almost the entire cost of the car....
  • Headlight lenses cracked and yellowed
    Again a standard Jimny failure, front lights are an advisory on previous MOT for cracking and yellowing. I assume it's not possible to just buy new lenses?
  • Clutch pretty poor
    Clutch isn't great, easily fixable but it's driveable at present so I'm just running it to see if anything else fails...
As mentioned this wagon was cheap so I'm not keen on spending insane money on it to fix the above, and anything else I find wrong with it. It's also a VVT meaning it has the (apparently) inferior gearbox?

Answers on a postcard!

​​​​​​​Thanks all

2005 Jimny JLX 1.3 VVT, 5 speed manual

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02 Aug 2022 12:13 #244380 by DrRobin
If the vacuum system is shot you can replace the front hubs with manual hubs, provided the transfer box still works it will then run in 2 wheel or 4 wheel drive. Lots of the serious off-roaders use manual hubs.

If you do the Kingpin bearings you change the swivel seal and drive shaft seal at the same time, that will; fix the oil leak. Kits are £50 per side in the BigJimny store, a fairly easy job, but everything tends to be very tight to get apart, it took me a day a side to do.

Rust underneath headlamps is a common problem, I think you can weld it up, but someone on here will know.

The radiator is easy to change, it will take around 1 to 2 hours.


2020 blue SZ5 (one of the last to be registered in the UK)
Ex 2011 Blue Jimny SZ4
Northumberland Jimny Blog

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02 Aug 2022 23:52 - 03 Aug 2022 00:01 #244384 by Scimike
Re headlamps.
Yellowing is just an age thing happens to most plastic headlamps. You can get polishing kits to take this out if you want. The cracking is a Jimny thing that happens to some, but not all, Jimny headlamps. I Can't figure out the reason. My 2009 has the problem, but I've purchased some replacements from a  2001 that do not.
That answers your question, no you can't purchase just the lenses. You can get aftermarket light units new at about 1/2 Suzuki cost, but I don't know how good the beam focus will be. As this is a UK mot requirement I've opted for used good Suzuki originals, 1/2 the cost again.

I would not loose any sleep over the gearbox. The 2005 to 2009 box has potential issues with lubrication of a bearing, subsequently fixed by fitting a sealed bearing. Not sure it's a big issue to be honest and maintenance could be a big factor, so keep the box oil clean and topped up. Again my 2009 may / may not fall into this category, but I push the box continually (towing) and it's not given any trouble for the last 80K and counting. I would say cylinder head gasket failures crop up more than gearbox problems, so keep the cooling system in good order.

Yokohama Geolanders, Sony head unit, NAUTILUS Air Horn, DRL conversion, Rear cargo space, Elvis Bobblehead, transfer Guard, Indian hanging Elephant, Koni Heavy track dampers, Custom SS exhaust, Voodoo Doll, Adventure Rack with LED ight bar, vintage ERIBA caravan usually attached (yes it's slow)
Last edit: 03 Aug 2022 00:01 by Scimike.

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03 Aug 2022 13:34 #244388 by swedger
Thanks both for your insights - I think the worst bit is going to be the kingpins, as having a quick look shows a heck of a lot of rust and rot on the bolts, so I'm sure they'll be great fun to remove...

2005 Jimny JLX 1.3 VVT, 5 speed manual

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03 Aug 2022 16:20 #244389 by DrRobin
It's like everything under a car, it is expossed to years of grime, salt and in the case of a Jimny, mud so everything is going to need a bit of effort to get bolts free. A selection of hammers usually helps. Kingpins aren't a difficult job, it is just time consuming when something is siezed in place.

The bolts holding the Kingpins in place came out reasonably easy on mine, but the lower Kingpin casting was stuck on both sides and needed the assistance of a large hammer to 'break' the seal and get it moving.

Other items that were tight
- The bolts holding the brake caliper carriers, I wish I had bought new bolts as I slightly rounded them on one side (available in the BigJimny store);
- The bolts holding the swivel seal in place, I bought new ones in the store as these are very low cost and mine were quite rusty. Tip, brush them with a wire brush first then hammer a 6 sided socket on to them and get them out first attempt.
- The ABS bolt sheared off on both sides, as did Sir James Rusty's ABS bolt when I helped him to change his Kingpins. They were very easy to drill out and I replaced with a stainless steel bolt. I did run a 6mm tap through the hole to clean the threads, but one came out clean.
- Kingpin bearing bolts were tight, but okay on mine, again the store has them.
- The cotter pins in the steering rod ends both needed drilling out on mine, but Sir James Rusty's Jimny didn't have these fitted.
- The outer of the Kingpin bearings were tight, but a drift or cold steel chisel got them out. The new bearings (outers) were tight to fit and needed careful hammering to get them all the way in and straight.

When putting it back together have some Copper Grease (Copper Slip) and put a thin coat on the bolts, that way if you ever need to do it again they will come out.

Hope that helps


2020 blue SZ5 (one of the last to be registered in the UK)
Ex 2011 Blue Jimny SZ4
Northumberland Jimny Blog

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  • J999 MNY Bashing around Carlisle
03 Aug 2022 17:34 #244391 by Riccy
Replied by Riccy on topic Hello - Bargain Jimny Project
the gearbox problem on the early vvt jims is caused by the mini prop. It has some sort of resin seal that goes over time and leaks the gearbox dry.

The giveaway of a vvt gearbox on its way out is oil leaking from the intermediate prop, so if its oily get it changed and do the rear output seal while you have it out. Gearbox rebuilds are £600-1200 depending on if you want to take it out and send away yourself or not. The mini prop can be bodged with new glue after a good clean, or replaced with a new genuine part from Martin (bigjimny store). Seals again from Martin for the best price and service on genuine parts ;-)

J999 MNY, ULYSSES M18 VVT with ITB's Dyno tested at 130hp

Pickup/tipper, R7me gearbox & 6.4 Rocklobster, 31" Toyo MT, 2x ARB air locker 3.9 diffs in braced axles, 6" total lift, Floating rear conversion, Raptor painted, CB, Recaro's, Caged, etc, etc...


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07 Aug 2022 19:17 #244435 by swedger
Thanks all - decided to take a chance and see how cheaply I can get it up and running.

I welded the hubs together this morning and skimmed the brakes, so next up is the kingpins and seals.... here goes!

2005 Jimny JLX 1.3 VVT, 5 speed manual

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