Purists Be DAMD: A Defender-ish Jimny
Yes, yes. I’ll give you a moment to get over the lettering on the hood. Are we done laughing now?
Nah? Yeah, me neither. The highly suggestive yet acceptably quirky name bestowed upon this bodykit is perhaps a good way to summarize the JB74 Suzuki Jimny in a nutshell: It’s fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. With its paltry 1.5L four banger you can’t expect to win any races, practicality isn’t exactly good with its small dimensions, and its small footprint means it isn’t the biggest fish out on the streets – the disrespect is real out there for this little runt.
Yet despite all these setbacks the allure of its boxy, retro-inspired shape simply brings a smile to people’s faces. Pair that with a simple-yet-robust chassis that can take a fair amount of offroading and people now have every reason to want Suzuki’s diminutive offroader. Should one be lucky enough to secure a unit, the average Jimny owner is now faced with a plethora of options courtesy of a sizeable aftermarket. It’s quite surprising just how many wheels, tires, bumpers, roof racks, and other parts are readily available for the new JB74 along the stretch of Banawe, and boy are they selling like hotcakes.
The Jimny we have here is an example of just how far the aftermarket has gone with modifying the pint-sized offroader. A well-rounded build oriented towards daily use with modern-day functionality, the owner’s objective is to have a unique vehicle that could make the average joe do a double take as he goes on his commute.
It’s safe to say that while the Jimny itself is quirky, it won’t exactly be any different from the next model in bone stock spec. In order to be different there needs to be a change to its exterior, and what better way than to draw inspiration from another venerable offroader, right? The DAMD Little D bodykit does just that, transforming the Jimny into a minuscule version of the Land Rover Defender. Taking cues like the big horizontal-bar grill, bulged hood, block letter badging, and retro-esque lighting for the rear, the Little D kit allows the Jimny to pull off a completely different look from stock. Speccing this particular unit in Jungle Green was no coincidence either; that’s been done so it’s closer to the iconic shade of its British inspiration.
While few of those who went with this route just shelled out for the whole kit, slapped on some period-looking wheels and call it a day, this build goes the extra mile by adding a few choice parts to be slightly different and further build upon the rugged Defender aesthetic. For starters, the Enkei RPT-1s ring closer to the Jimny’s Japanese roots yet orients it towards a modern overlanding appearance instead of going full retro with a set of moon disc steelies. The plain black flappy mudguards that come with the Little D are not enough to give an agressive profile which is why they’ve been replaced with JAOS pieces – again another nod towards its Japanese origin while keeping with the modern overland theme.
Giving the Little D its slightly erect profile (hehe) is a full JAOS Battle Z lift kit which comes complete with extended brake lines and panhard rods front and rear to match the substantial 50mm lift from the new shocks and springs. A set of BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrains are a no-brainer when it comes to mixing the aggressive mud-terrain tread pattern with generally good road manners. Gotta wrap that Little D with good rubber.
The roof section is treated to a gunmetal wrap with rainbow metallic flake that pops as sunlight hits it. On top of that, a full-length Front Runner roof rack rounds out the overland look. The rear section may do with a proper ladder to complement the rack, though the owner seems to be looking for a better ladder than the choices currently available in the market.
Seeing as this will be a regular-use daily, no expense has been spared to upgrade amenities in the cabin. A pair of Recaro SR7F GU-100 seats take center stage with its all new brown/black color giving further contrast to the rest of the interior. Jimny option pieces from Exea such as door pockets and extended window switches bring added practicality to the cabin. The rear section normally comes with a plastic floor that makes all your things slide around, but for this Jimny a Hotfield 7-piece velcro carpet kit takes care of securing all the stuff to be carried at the back.
Entertainment has been addressed by a Pioneer ZS8250 Head unit that comes with Apple CarPlay along with a full SQ sound setup by DB Audio. ScanSpeak 2-way separates have also been moulded onto the A-pillars with an OEM-style fitment to build upon sound quality and provide better sound staging. Deadening has also been added to the doors and quarter panels to avoid rattling from the upgraded speakers and the Audiotec Fischer Helix 10” subwoofer out back.
The Little D kit is but only one route which you could take with modifying the JB74 Jimny, and that truly is the beauty of having a platform with heaps of aftermarket support. There is an infinitesimal amount of combinations of parts with which you could alter and tailor the vehicle to your taste and purpose at this point, and judging by how popular it is with the local Filipino aftermarket it appears this isn’t the last time we’ll be seeing a properly built Jimny on these pages.
Words by Aurick Go
Photos by Jose Altoveros
2020 Suzuki Jimny (JB74W)
Engine and Driveline
GReddy Drop-in Air Filter
Custom Muffler Tip
Monster Sport battery stay
(What, did you expect a longer list of engine modifications?)
Wheels, Brakes, and Suspension
Enkei Allroad RPT-1 16x6 +0
BF Goodrich KO2 235/70/16
JAOS Battle Z 50mm Lift Kit
- 50mm Shocks and Spring lift
- Extended Brake Lines
- Front and Rear Panhard Rods
DAMD Little D Bodykit
- Front Grill
- Front Bumper
- Rear Bumper
- ‘Little D’ Badging and Emblems
Front Runner Full-length Roof Rack
Peterburg Rain Visor
EightDecals Metallic Gunmetal roof wrap
Interior and Audio
Recaro SR7F GU-100 with Recaro railings and armrests
Full SQ Sound Setup by DB Audio
- Pioneer ZS8250 Head Unit with fit-to-dash shroud
- Zapco ST-4X SQ 4ch Amplifier
- Audiotec Fischer Helix 10” Sub with custom box
- Sound deadening on doors and rear quarter panels
- Scanspeak 5” 2-way separates
Exea passenger-side dash pockets
Exea door pockets
Exea window switch extenders
Exea rear defogger cover
Broadway 300mm blue lens convex rear view mirror
Hotfield 7-piece velcro carpet