This article has been written and photographed by Steve, the owner of a very tidy Jimny, who ordered a custom rack from us a few months back.
Steve came over and was part of the build process, even running the rack down for powder coating himself. Here's his story:
"I planned to build an expedition Jimny, fully kitted and ready for an expedition adventure. I found one or two projects people had done and decided to do something similar.
After doing my usual trick I rushed out and bought a very nice ARB expedition roof tent off Ebay which was in perefect condition apart from the outer cover (A little light needlework required to stitch it). The trouble was I didnt actually consider how the hell I was going to mount it on the roof
The standard roof rails are actually only metal on the rail itself, the rest of the rail is brittle plastic so horizontal roof bars were out of the question when the tent weighs 40kg. What I needed was a pukka expedition roof rack that can take the tent and the fuel and water jerry cans. After endless searching the internet Could I find one like I wanted err no. Whilst looking on Ebay for a second hand van rack to convert I stumbled across MCB4x4 who specialize in Landrover roof racks which they fabricate and sell for very reasonable prices. I took a chance and rang them to see if they would consider my requirements. To my surprise the answer was yes and the owner Matt told me to pop over for a quick measure up. I shot over the their workshop and got measured.. 5 days later the rack was ready apart from the mounting points.
Matt phoned me to arrange for a day for me to get the rack fitted which I eagerly awaited.
Thursday arrived and I raced over to his gaff ready for action. Matt and Liam quickly jumped on my Jimny and removed the old rails. The whole mounting brackets and feet were fabricated, tacked in place then speedy Liam quickly welded all the seams and finished it with the grinder. A final test fit of the rack to see if I was happy then it was off to the powder coaters. With my new rack bolted to the roof I drove to Crimble Powder Coatings in Slaithwaite where I was met
with a very warm welcome from Josh, Richard and the CPC Team. I asked Josh if I could take some pics for the purpose of this little review and he kindly agreed..
Whilst Josh performed the degrease and zinc coating pre prep I decided to nip out for a cheeky sandwich in the local town, very nice fish and chips from BB's chippy
I arrived back in time to see Rachel "The Powder Princess" liberally dusting my new roof rack and I mean dust no wet fluids or sticky substances just dust. Its amazing how the process works, the dust is electrically charged which makes it stick to the metal. After a liberal dusting the rack was placed in a huge gas fired kiln and baked at 180 degrees until all the powder becomes fused into the plastic coating we all know.
Once the rack had cooled enough to handle, Richard, Josh and myself bolted the rack back on the jimny ready for me to shoot back up to MCB for the final check over. Josh also took the time to show me the powder coated wheels on his Discovery, man was it good. I would have not known they were re-furbished, you cant tell them apart from factory finished wheels. josh explained its all in the prep work, a total refurb for a 4x4 alloy is approx £60 and believe me its worth every penny for the finished result. I am going back to have my Daihatsu alloys refurbed with sparkle silver powder coating...
With the rack bolted on I drove the 5 miles back to MCB for Liam to check over the finished item and to fasten the powder coated mesh to the front of the rack. He even helped me put on the spotlights. Once he was 100% happy with all the rack and its mountings he told me I was free to leave ( I could have stayed all day)
A massive massive thanks to Matt and Liam for the most excellent and friendly service they provided, they went above and beyond to ensure I was totally happy and boy O boy am I. You guys rock!!!!!"
This article also appears on the Jimny site bigjimny.com
where you can see more details and comments by other Jimny owners on this MCB roof rack
Steve's now fitted an ARB roof tent and tells us this is in the only Suzuki Jimny in the UK with a roof tent fitted to a custom rack. He's also got Rotopax fuel cans fitted, an ARB awning and is really pioneering
what is possible with an overland conversion on this compact SUV. He's currently (mid July 2013) "in a forest" and has promised to provide us with an update to the story. What we know from Steve so far is that
Fabsil Gold on the canvas tent really works well and "puts all the flexibility back into the canvas and the water runs off like glass".
This is the full overland expedition setup - again the photos are supplied by Steve.
More details and comments by other Jimny owners on this MCB roof rack can be seen on the Jimny site.