April 26, 2022 By Francis G. Pallarco Photos by Jerel Fajardo

MINI OFF ROADER Never Underestimate the Jimny’s Off-Road Capabilities

Up until a few years ago before the whole off-road craze went mainstream, the fourth-Generation, Suzuki Jimny wasn’t getting much attention. Being positioned in a segment that’s overcrowded with pickups and SUV’s, the diminutive four-wheeler took a back seat against what the masses popularly toyed around with. However, it didn’t take long before hardcore off-road enthusiasts started to appreciate what the scaled down off roader had to offer. Namely, a short wheelbase, a rugged chassis-type frame, a capable four-wheel drive system and solid differentials. Very essential features I should say that any off-road vehicle should possess.

Something Jay De Guzman knows fully well and understands having modded the previous and current generation Jimny for his off-road jaunts. “I started with cars in ’06 and into the whole JDM tuning ever since. But it was in ’10 when I modified a Jimny (JA11) with a straight JDM theme using Apio and Taniguchi aftermarket parts. When I got a fourth-generation Jimny, I wanted it to have a full-JDM set up where I enlisted the help of my friend Alfie of DZ Racing and Policon Autoworks. What I really like about the Jimny is that you can literally bring it anywhere.”

First thing you’ll notice about this Jimny would be the body kit or the seemingly lack of one. Except for the well-sculpted aftermarket front and rear bumper, Jay deliberately had the stock fender cladding of the Jimny removed as he explains further, “I wanted to achieve a JDM Jimny look using the Taniguhi Nanbu parts since I don’t want a common looking set up and to make my build more unique.” The removal part was easy but it entailed more challenges as Jay quips, “After we removed the plastic claddings, it needed proper body work since all the holes had to be covered and refinished. That and we had to source JDM fenders and fender trims.” Looking at the aftermarket bumpers, that alone makes a huge difference in creating a more refined look as compared to the ubiquitous metal bumpers. Even the headlamps are JDM-spec along with the one-liner grille that adds more character and detail to its JDM-inspired look. I reckon the longer you look at this particular Jimny, the more noticeable all the subtle mods become.

Suspension plays a crucial role in off road builds, so my advice is to start with a vehicle specific bolt-on suspension lift kit that comes with everything needed, not unless you plan on doing an elaborate custom multi-link set up. Just like in this case where this Jimny employs a complete 3-inch lift kit by Off road service Taniguchi. The kit comes with beefier coil springs, adjustable dampers and 2-inch extension which equates to 5-inches of suspension lift. In order to properly position the differential after installing the lift kit, an aftermarket Panhard Bar was bolted-on that also prevents any lateral movement. Longer suspension trailing arms were also added for better articulation that’s also made by Off Road Service Taniguchi. The aftermarket suspension seems to be doing its job very well as Jay ranks it as the most worth it mod not to mention improving the ride as Jay adds, “I’m really happy with the overall performance of the suspension, especially with the adjustable damping feature and how it makes the rig more stable even on rough trails.” Props also goes out to Policon who made sure the Jimny sat right and made the proper suspension tweaks.

The JDM theme is very evident on the interior with the highly desirable and costly Jimny-specific Off Road Service Taniguchi Bride seats. Now it wouldn’t be complete without the matching Off Road Service pedals and foot rest. Other stuff includes a Momo steering wheel an ARC titanium shift knob and more that blesses the interior with a sportier feel and look. What’s great about the wheel and tire combo is that doesn’t stick out of the body nor is it obscenely huge. The wheels are lightweight TE37X wheels for off road applications with BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires. I’d say it’s just right given the application and the amount of lift this Jimny has.

Overall, this well-built Jimny proves that bigger isn’t always better as it adopts and projects a just right attitude towards how it was conceived and executed. Highly functional, Jay sees to it that the Jimny gets used properly, “It’s my workhorse, I even use it to attend seminars and conventions as far as Baguio or Vigan. For off roading we usually go to Dona Remedios Trinidad because there are plenty of trails ranging from heavy to light. I know it’s a small car but it’s big enough to make me smile every time I drive it.” Now isn’t that the best part of it all?




2016 Suzuki Jimny

Jay De Guzman


Engine Mods

Apio chambered intake pipe system, K&N drop-in air filter,

4-1 Stainless Steel headers, 5Zigen twin tip full exhaust,


Suspension Mods

Off road service Taniguchi 3″ lift super 8 adjustable damper shocks

Off road service Taniguchi coil springs

Off road service Taniguchi Panhard rod with Panhard rear adapter

Off road service Taniguchi suspension extension

UVP- (front diff, rear diff, transfer case, tank)

Front full adjustable trailing arm

Rear full adjustable 4 links system, Tough dog steering damper,



Rays Engineering Volk Racing TE37X wheels (16×7)

Bf-Goodrich mud tires (LT235/70 R16)


Interior Mods

Apio carbon trims/panels, Apio mattings, Pioneer 2din head unit

Works bell short hub boss kit, Works bell quick release

Momo red stitch steering wheel, Titanium steering wheel bolts

Arc titanium shift knob (Jimny-specific), Off road service Taniguchi Bride seats

Off road service Taniguchi bride seat railing (Jimny-specific),

Off road service Taniguchi pedals, Off road service Taniguchi foot rest


Exterior Mods

Remove wide kits (body flares and cladding) to achieve a JDM Jimny look.

JDM fenders and fender trims, Suzuki OEM rear wing,

Off road service Taniguchi Nanbu front& rear bumper,

Off road service Taniguchi front under bash plate for Nanbu bumper

Off road service Taniguchi side under plate & front/rear tow hooks

Off road service Taniguchi body decals & plate number relocator

Off road service Taniguchi tire reserve delete/cover

Jdm Jimny OEM one liner grill, Apio signal/fender light

Jdm led head lights & tail lights,


Kudos To:

My wife Henibeni Clarissa and my angels Ali and Sea, Jdmunderground,

Suzuki Jimny 4×4 Club of the Phils., Alfie of DZ racing, Policon autoworks

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