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  1. #1
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    Default Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    Hi All,
    This Thread has been a long time coming.

    Due to some questions and requests on another part of this forum. I have decided to do a Little build thread of Our Jimny (much like what I have done with my SpongeBob the SJ410 Thread).

    Ok So let me start at the beginning.

    GremlinCreeper(Forum Member and Brother inlaw) has been asking me since 2012 to also buy a Jimny... The opertunity came in 2014 to buy one but due to my Work situation it would have been the wrong car (clocking in 60k+ km per year). So I Bought a Swift 1.4 GLS instead wich was allot more comofortable.That is what was on the floor, so that is what I bought - should have just bought the Sport. but any case.. This has also lead me to the Suzuki Way of Life.. Few years later I bought the SJ cause I also wanted to go 4x4ing as it has never evaded me always going out with them in anycase, but Swiftspeed is also Life and was not willing to trade in the Swift.

    So... I Met my "Trou Vrou".. We went on a Epic Namibia Overlanding Trip (drove a Fortuner for that trip(not mine. I will never buy another toyota in my life again) and when we came back from it at the End of March 2018 we Started to look for a Jimny to do Similar trips with. As then my Girlfriend - She was looking for another car and had her eye on the Jimny for quite some time..
    On my previous searches for Jimny's and being with the Suzuki Way of Life.. I have started to become pretty familiar with the products.

    And managed to get a well looked after Standard 2011 Jimny that was already fitted with a nice Roof rack and some mudflaps. So She Purchased it (Jimny is actually hers not mine.. :-))



    We almost immediately got the basics for the Protection kit done. So Purchased the Radial cup protectors, Diff and Transfer protection Kit from Zook Spares.



    Both me and now my Wife have a small "problem" with keeping anything as they where out of the Box. (Let the Record State... Green & Yellow is NOT my favorite color contrary to popular believe(Sponge Bob The SJ410 thread).

    So the Protection Kit was turned Green instead.




    Next up was the Rocksliders - Also From Zook Spares.
    As per above.. they needed to become Green. and that is exactly what I did.




    That is the Protection Gear Done.

    Some of the Posts might not be in exact Chronological order.
    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/20 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Added pics

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    nice! any idea what all of that gear weighs? Be interesting to know how much of your 360kg payload you have taken up.

    I've become a bit of a weight watcher

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    Because We Live in Gauteng and the Dealership we bought the Jimny from was not really helpfull (or it could have been the sales person).

    Opted for some Smash and grab. And found out what all Jimny owners through the years has been complaining about was the Antenna that is really horrible, they break off (Until this day mine is still intact) (I am not even talking about the Standard sound system.).

    The company that did the Smash and Grab for me, also does Sound and other security device installations. So they installed a Powered Slim line antenna for me. - Company used was EFC (they are located in PTA Hatfield).




    Next part of the upgrades is where allot of people always ask plenty of questions and opinions..

    WHAT AFTERMARKET SUSPENSION IS THE BEST!!!

    When you do a full suspension upgrade there are plenty of factors to keep in mind.. I am surely not going to go into that, as it will absolutely derail this thread.

    But What I opted for was what was then a not so Well known company in the Jimny Community called Des-Sol.
    Our Jimny was one of the 1st ones that where Running on the Des-Sol suspension and Since my 1st install there has been plenty of Changes to the suspension that was also due to feedback from customers that tested them to the breaking point. We have since upgraded the Des-Sol Suspension a few times with every enhancement or upgrade to it .I can absolutely Say from experience that since the 1st install over the past couple of years their suspensions have changed by leaps and bounds and are now Being manufactured to TUV Standards (German equivalent to SABS standards).
    With different variations to what you want to achieve with your Jimny.

    They where then still operating as a Part time Accessories and Suspension builders.

    3 Reasons why I chose to work with Des-Sol

    1. Since I started my SJ build I have only Supported Local Suppliers and Manufacturers and I will continue to do so. Thus Des-Sol Ticked that Box. as you can talk to them Locally. and not have to jump through 100 hoops to get things sorted like with some other international companies.
    2. Des-Sol was the only Suspension Company that was willing to change the coil colour to what I wanted it.. and you guessed it.. it was Green.
    3. When I asked questions I was answered promptly and with enthusiasm so I was not talking to someone that was just wanting to make a sale. these guys are invested in their product and knows it inside out.

    Sorry for those of you that do not like green but that was the start of the Green coil setups that made them look different for quite some time until recently where it was changed black(until I do another change to mine again hehe..)

    If you have seen a Jimny with green coils.. The chances are 99% that it is a Des-Sol Suspension in that Jimny.



    With the Suspension install came a Snorkle Fitment as well. and it to had to get some customization to it. :-).
    To this day I really do not see the actual use for it on a Jimny accept for it looks cool and it has a cool sound when you start to put your foot down..
    But apparently this has made a change to something I will be discussing much later on this thread.

    Queue Snorkel Head argument here

    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/20 at 07:02 PM. Reason: Added pics

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    Quote Originally Posted by nickza View Post
    nice! any idea what all of that gear weighs? Be interesting to know how much of your 360kg payload you have taken up.

    I've become a bit of a weight watcher

    Tbh I have never Weighed the protection gear as it is a no-brainer to rather hit a piece of metal than have a mechanical failure on the parts you needed to protect as things happen no matter how careful you are.

    For example we drove on a muddy piece of road, and both me and GremlinCreeper's Jimny got a hit underneath by a washed out water pipe that neither of us could see underneath that muddy mess.. Instead of Loosing a transfercase we only had trasfercase plates bent. that was easily repaired again.
    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/20 at 07:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fearl3SS View Post
    Hi All,
    This Thread has been a long time coming.

    Due to some questions and requests on another part of this forum. I have decided to do a Little build thread of Our Jimny (much like what I have done with my SpongeBob the SJ410 Thread).

    Ok So let me start at the beginning.

    GremlinCreeper(Forum Member and Brother inlaw) has been asking me since 2012 to also buy a Jimny... The opertunity came in 2014 to buy one but due to my Work situation it would have been the wrong car (clocking in 60k+ km per year). So I Bought a Swift 1.4 GLS instead wich was allot more comofortable.That is what was on the floor, so that is what I bought - should have just bought the Sport. but any case.. This has also lead me to the Suzuki Way of Life.. Few years later I bought the SJ cause I also wanted to go 4x4ing as it has never evaded me always going out with them in anycase, but Swiftspeed is also Life and was not willing to trade in the Swift.

    So... I Met my "Trou Vrou".. We went on a Epic Namibia Overlanding Trip (drove a Fortuner for that trip(not mine. I will never buy another toyota in my life again) and when we came back from it at the End of March 2018 we Started to look for a Jimny to do Similar trips with. As then my Girlfriend - She was looking for another car and had her eye on the Jimny for quite some time..
    On my previous searches for Jimny's and being with the Suzuki Way of Life.. I have started to become pretty familiar with the products.

    And managed to get a well looked after Standard 2011 Jimny that was already fitted with a nice Roof rack and some mudflaps. So She Purchased it (Jimny is actually hers not mine.. :-))



    We almost immediately got the basics for the Protection kit done. So Purchased the Radial cup protectors, Diff and Transfer protection Kit from Zook Spares.



    Both me and now my Wife have a small "problem" with keeping anything as they where out of the Box. (Let the Record State... Green & Yellow is NOT my favorite color contrary to popular believe(Sponge Bob The SJ410 thread).

    So the Protection Kit was turned Green instead.




    Next up was the Rocksliders - Also From Zook Spares.
    As per above.. they needed to become Green. and that is exactly what I did.




    That is the Protection Gear Done.

    Some of the Posts might not be in exact Chronological order.
    Perfect choice, you bought a Toyota with a different name.
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    During the Same period of Suspension upgrades and protection kit installations We did a few outings in between. which I am not going to get into.

    The Standard Plastic bumpers are 100% good but was looking for something more rugged.

    I had a look at plenty of diffrent aftermarket bumpers for the Jimny.
    From 2009 to 2018 plenty of players has come into the accessories and bumper market and it seemed like there are plenty of options to choose from, wich is great as we can properly look at the products talk to people with their experiences ect..

    However with the Help of Zook Spares we where able to find a company that has been building accessories and bumpers for other brands for plenty of years.

    Thus we went to have a look at his work and was assured that we will get what we asked for, so dropped of our Jimny at their workshop. (then it was still only known as Jimny). To have the front and rear bumpers built.

    My Requirements where the following :
    1. Approach and departure angles must be increased
    2. Must flow with the body work of the Jimny (90% of the bumpers out there does not do that at all and has square sharp shapes. And I dont like that).
    3. Rear bumper must close the rear silencer because of the rest of the bumpers that was available at the time did not do it.
    4. Rear bumper must contain a tow hitch. that is high up (the standard tow hitch options for the jimny decreases the rear eight of the Jimny.
    5. Rear bumper must contain high lift jack points (I just wanted it for future..)
    6. Rear bumpers must have recovery points that mount onto the chassis that is easily accessible.
    7. Front bumper to have LED fog lights.
    8. Front Bumper to be able to mount a winch.
    9. Front bumper must have recovery points that mount directly to the chassis.
    10. Keep the weight of the bumpers as low as possible but as strong as possible. (bumpers weigh in at 25kg each)

    The Bumpers took around 3 weeks to build if memory service me correctly. As the company building these bumpers Much like Des-Sol are local guys that are 100% invested into their products and quality of their products.
    Jigs to build these bumpers was also built for probable future customers, that means that it would not take 3 weeks to have 2 bumpers built every time from scratch.

    Bumpers came out exceptional. And to this day I am very happy with the decision made to have them built.

    Some one Rear ended me at a robot. and the Rear bumper was strong enough that nothing was damanged not even the bumper it self.. Few months after that Did a Night River boulder crossing and could not see infront of us (need rock lights for such things we have learned.). Drove into a rock and the front bumper only got a minor scratch..









    And Off coarse.. no mod or upgrade is complete if a little green is not added.








    Steering Damper was also added during the Bumper installation. Why Suzuki never added a Steering damper to the entire Gen3 generations one would never know.

    By adding the steering damper steering has stabilized especially in cross winds, and steering control in off-road conditions also increased.

    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/20 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Added pictures.

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    Few very practical additions, congratulations!
    SJ 413 - "98 model coily, until son gets license
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    Nice touch with the green - very well equipped Jimny!
    Thanks for all the good pics!

    ďAfrica changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    Next Upgrade to be done..

    SOUND SYSTEM UPGRADE -> this I can go into some detail with as it is also a topic on the JB43 that has been asked about over the years.


    So the Sound system consist of :
    Head Unit : Sony XSP-N1BT (it was released to be able to use the Sony Xperia Z series Android Phones).
    Sub Woofer + Amp : Audio Bank 1800w 10" active sub (Fits underneath a front seat)
    Front Speakers : 4" 200w 2 Way Pioneer
    Rear Speakers : 5.5" 250w 2 Way Pioneer
    Wiring : 2mm wiring and the standard kit provided with the Active Sub.

    I Have not reused the standard speaker wiring from the Jimny Harness as it is absolutely pathetic and you will never get proper sound out of it.

    So I have pulled in new wiring for both the front and rear speakers.
    For those who have done the Sound system them selves in the Jimny will know.. to get that rear speakers installed, you need to take a weekend and strip out the whole car to get your sound system installed (if you want to do it neatly and correct the 1st time. So make sure you have sourced everything before you start.

    The rear speakers is the most difficult part of the install. because you need to remove both plastics over the wheel arches. and to get to do that, you also need to remove the rear seats.
    The Rear speakers sit by the Safety belt tensioner.

    For the Active Sub I have installed it Upside Down on the Passenger seat, with enough cable slack to allow the Seat to shift forward and back with out hanging on to the wiring of the sub. (I have the same active sub installed in my Swift and it is just sitting on the floor.

    All in all I am happy with the result of the Head unit that I have used in combination with the Speakers and Active sub. Sound is 100times better than what it was.


    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/20 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Added Pictures

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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    After the Sound upgrade, we started to focus on getting the Jimny's interior rigged for Camping / Over landing.


    As we have decided to build the Jimny into a Mini Over landing rig..

    Thus we started to execute "Mini Projects"


    1. Get a Fridge
    2. Build and install a flat floor board.(in future this might actually change with another plan I have.. but will see if it ever comes to that)
    3. Install a duel battery system to power the fridge and other items.
    4. Buy / Build a Drawer system that will fit our needs. (seeing we modify everything we see... Buying one from one of these Accessory places was an absolute no).
    5. Rooftop Tent

    Some other things also fell in between this, but I have basically broken it down to the 5 points above.

    5 Posts to follow breaking down each point.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    #The Fridge

    We where already Set on National Luna But did not know which one would fit. Ended up with a NL60 Twin. This was the biggest fridge we could fit with one of the seats folded down.. At this point we sorta wanted to leave the rear seat still in the jimny.

    The Fridge turned out to be one of the main factors to how we will continue the rest of it.
    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/21 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Add pics

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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    #Build the Floor Board.

    After getting the Fridge and Planning for a weekend at 3 Provinces we realized very quickly that it is a complete waist of space to keep the Back seats in. So we removed it..
    One of my Friends already built a floor board that I liked so I just made a copy of his. as it fitted straight away. With my own alterations off coarse.


    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/21 at 07:14 PM.

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    #Install a Duel Battery System

    Because of Previous experience from the the whole In-Laws family, I purchased and installed the National Luna Duel battery Kit that contains the Smart Selenoid, and some thicker electrical cable to run from the front to the inside of the car.

    I didnt like the Second battery in the Enginebay as it needs to sit at the exaust manifold wich is already hot, and batteries and heat does not go well together... Same goes for the Smart Selenoid.

    So I found a very nice place for the Selenoid (those holders at the back of the Jimny that is only big enough for TP.. and a Smart Selenoid).. Battery was installed behind the drivers seat.

    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/21 at 07:13 PM.

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  22. #14
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    #Drawer System.

    This did took quite sometime to get because I was doing some of my own research on it 1st. Had a look at quite a few diffrent options not just what other people have done in Jimny's but other SWB cars in general.
    One thing is for certain.. I have not seen anyone else use a NL60Twin in a Jimny to date(Adriaan with his Jimny channel probably came the closest and he just stored some beers in his).. For the Jimny it is a Huge Fridge and takes up 60% of the space in the back. Some things you just have to live with. But I will not trade that fridge for something smaller.. (perhaps one day when I have my Jimny Camper trailer build - Also on the cards to start sometime soon),

    So I could not find anything on the market that would fit my needs as most fridge slides and drawer systems waists even more space than we already cannot afford.
    The In-Laws has build their own Aluminum canopies and other items for their touring setups and does have a Welder to weld aluminum + have had some good practice. So we decided to DIY a System for us out of aluminum.

    We basically build the drawer system in stages. 1st it was only the floor frame and drawer for the Fridge. And only Later we built a box that goes over the fridge .Basically by the time we where fed up of not being able
    to use the fridge when the Jimny is packed to the roof. and everyime we slide the fridge out something would fall in at the back of it..

    For our 1st setup we used some ammo boxes to store our pots and pans and dry foods ect in.. However that on it's own had it's challenges, that after the 4th time camping had to go as well. (Looking at photo's and videos it does look
    so cool.. but in reality when you have to use it, it is not so great.).

    When We moved House I got a fantastic Idea when I placed some Addis Plastic drawers in the Jimny that we use for various things.. And that got me completely off the Idea with continuing to build a Aluminum drawer system with 3 or 4 drawers.. as it just makes the setup heavier and you cannot remove any of it without breaking out the toolbox.
    This initiated a visit to Plastic Land and carrying drawers in and out of the shop to the car.. With Shop assistant probably thinking "these people are crazy".
    And that is how a very simple cheap and cost effective Drawer system came to live for us that is extremely practical, and removable at the same time.




    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/21 at 07:25 PM. Reason: added pics

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  24. #15
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    #RoofTop Tent

    This is a very touchy Subject it seems.. Espesially for a Jimny.. And there are manny opinions about it.

    However we where contemplating the Idea of getting a rooftop tent anyway even if it was to put onto a trailer so it absolutely does not matter at all.

    Just before the start of Lockdown one of my Wife's Clients Gifted us a rooftop tent that has been all over Africa over the past 30 odd years. (yes 30 year old RTT).
    This does show the quality of some manufacturers.. so we had a look at this RTT - a Eezi-Awn Recvee. Weight = 43Kg. And it was in very good condition but did need a littlebit of TLC.
    Again.. My Wife also cannot keep anything standard and fixed it up and added some flair to the tent by changing the colour of the tent and adding some chameleons to it.. (I absolutely love this).This was one of her Lockdown projects.

    We very recently took our 1st trip with the Rooftop tent loaded on the and drove 1700km with it, as a Test for a Kgalagadi trip that was planned for 2020 but we had to move it to this year 2021, because of Covid Lockdown.
    I have read and Watched all the stories about Rooftop tents on Jimny's ect. One cannot really listen to a Opinion unless you have actually tested it out your self and came to your own conclusions..

    1. I did not once feel that the jimny is unstable - Probably because my COG is fairly well balanced with all the weight I have underneath, a good suspension setup and a widened track.
    2. The Fuel consumption was not worse or better with or without the rooftop tent.. when going on trips we do not tend to drive faster than 100km/h in anycase. so I still got a 10.4 - 10.8km/L
    3. As for the offroad capability.. I do not take unecassary risk when traveling or on Holiday - That ruins a Holiday. So it still does what it is supposed to do. just dont drive into that ditch
    that you would have without the rooftop tent on it.. It could end badly.
    4. Have a Good roofrack and roofrack install.. Now as you might have seen we bought the Jimny with the roof rack.. this rack we have removed a couple of times to inspect it ect.. as it does look like a DIY one as well. So no issues there.
    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/21 at 07:40 PM.

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  26. #16
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    So in between Figuring out the whole Micro Overlanding Rig a few other upgrades also happened..

    #Tires

    Time came after I think the 3rd Puncture on the OEM Tires.. Wich was also slightly old already to Upgrade / Change the tires.

    Funny how things turn out.. The Tires I originally bought for the jimny with some nice Steelies Did not fit the Jimny.. So those went to Spongebob. (Good Year Wrangler Adventure A/T 215/80R15 on 8J rims).

    It is probably a good thing that it happened like that. Cause 215/80R15 on the M13a ... Um How about no.. as it will sap off the non existing power it already had.

    Thus I opted for 205/75R15 Good Year Wrangler Adventure All terrains. ( Fun Fact, there is a R500 price difference per tire between the 215/80 and the 205/75 the 215/80 being cheaper).

    Some of the photos in the post above this one you can already see them being fitted.. I think I am sitting on 20k-25k on them if not less. We do not drive that often with the Jimny.
    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/21 at 08:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    #Wheel Spacers.

    Again. this is a mod where there are plenty of opinions about. If it is good or bad ect.. I am not going to go into that as there are to many opinions on that, I have mine and you have yours. :-)

    Quite a bit of research went into this. Also waited some time for Gremlincreeper to give me his feedback after he also installed the same set before I placed my order.. But Driving with his Jimny when it was installed for quite some time, My mind was made up...Stability and control was much better than mine..Order for a Set of 32mm Wheel spacers that was manufactured by Des-Sol was placed. And installed after I was happy with the New tires. as we all know some tires might be deformed or not balanced properly and the Tire shop will try and find a way out of it.

    If you have not driven a jimny with 32mm wheel spacers added.. do your self a favor and give it a bash some time when you see someone with some on if they are willing to hand their keys over off coarse ...


    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/21 at 08:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    #Freeflow & Branches

    The centre cat started to make one hell of a noise as it was completely destroyed.I had it cut out by Noise Boys and replaced with a pipe and the sensor intact(1st pic).. The noise was gone..
    Few weeks went by.. and a new rattling noise started... Guess what.. Rear Silencer was on it's way out. Thus the Stock OEM System was starting to show some wear.

    At this point I also had the itch to get a little bit more power out if the m13a (1.3L Engine)..

    Did some shopping around cause I did not believe what Noise Boys told me .... Did not opt for what some places where offering at outragous prices with their off the shelf products..
    And had the branches and freeflow built by the same guys Family Company whom built my bumpers for me who also builds preformance cars, race cars and their exuast systems ect..
    I knew it would also not take a day like some of these off the shelf exaust system companies promise with Bolt on Systems..

    So I left Chameleon at PTEK for them to build me branches and exaust system that will complement these M-Series engines.They where also not trying to "rob" me and I paid a fair price for the complete System.

    A week later I recieved a call back from them to come fetch the car. I believe in the placebo effect so I did not make anything of the new exaust install accept that it made a nice noise.
    It was not until GremlinCreeper and I actually got to do a road test where we saw that there was a diffrence in preformance.. Our Cars loaded with the same weight on an up hill I was able to keep my revs longer and pull out under neath him. Obviously the little bit more added ment I could keep power on uphills longer before having to gear down. So only then we where happy with the result..

    There is however something I do need to mention.. Adding branches, without Ceramic coating them does acumilate allot of heat in the engine bay.. This Heat will also show other underlaying issues you never knew you had..These type of issues will be discussed later on in this thread...

    Last edited by Fearl3SS; 2021/04/21 at 08:58 PM.

  30. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Fearl3SS For This Useful Post:


  31. #19
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    Love the detailed thread

    What paint did you use on all the green bits underneath? Seems to have held up pretty well to stone chips and stuff
    2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara 3.2

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  33. #20
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    Default Re: Chameleon Jimny (JB43) - From Stock to Now..

    Well done daai Jimny kan nou off grit gaan met n gemak geniet hom

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