UPDATE: safety concerns have been highlighted with the install of the window molle panel and interference with side airbag operation. Whilst the clearance between the window and the panel is currently 100mm and can be extended to at least 120mm it would be irresponsible for me to recommend that you make a panel like this for your Jimny. Cheers to Ric Black for posting his concerns on Facebook.
Please note: The tailgate molle panel will cause no safety issues.
The rear tailgate molle system worked out an absolute treat. We use it a lot and have all kinds of stuff stored in it, all neat and tidy. I decided to look at expanding this clever use of vertical space to the window too.
The Jimny has 5 M6 threaded holes running along each side of the rear panels. What’s great is the existing holes for the grab handle combined with them make for an ideal method of mounting the panel. No mods required to the vehicle!
After sketching up a bunch of different shapes and cutting them out of cardboard to test the ideas I settled on this simple and effective one piece design.
I chose to mount this panel on the drivers side so it wasn’t causing any detrimental effect on visibility. Even though I plan to do other mods of the opposite side it still made the most sense to be there, meaning the storage system would flow from the tailgate to the window.
Once again I ordered the panel from www.fractory.com and went through the same processes as the rear tailgate panel. However this time the panel needed 2 bends and I wasn’t certain of the exact angles to use.
I knew I wanted to use 1″ spacers to raise the panel off the trim for both ease of access for mounting molle pouches and other items along with avoiding any damage to the stock trim. I feel it’s important to be able to return the Jimny to as close to stock condition if I either change my mind on future setups or sell it.
After some trial and error and dozens of test fits I arrived at the perfect angle for the top and bottom mounting sections.
Every step of the way I do a quick test drive to ensure there’s no rattling as that would be a deal breaker. I don’t know about you but rattles are pure torture!
The panel mounted rock solid with only a small amount of flex on the top right, nothing that would be a cause for concern. Just to make sure I fixed a 1kg fire extinguisher to the top right and went for a drive. No rattles, so all good!
Next up was some shed time to prepare it for the etching primer and then paint it. I chose the exact same finish as the rear tailgate panel. In an ideal world I’d have had both panels powder coated but couldn’t justify the price for one-off items. It’s quite expensive, almost doubling the cost.
The painting process was fun the first time around but the novelty wore off, maybe I just wanted it ready quicker as I had a trip planned!
After a bunch of coats and 24 hours for the to cure the panel was ready to mount and the fun part can begin. Attaching stuff!
I knew I wanted to make sure my camping axe could remain mounted horizontally so I slotted some longer M6 bolts through the Quick Fist Clamps and secured the middle bolt as normal.
On the top bolts I also added some additional tube mounting brackets for the roof storage cargo netting. The design allows for the tie down eyebolts to remain in place. What’s cool is the spacers and how the panel mounts means the axe sits proud of the eyebolts and they’re still easily accessible. It also sits perfectly in front of the notch in plastic trim. You could mount a small shovel here too. Result!
After (several hours) messing around with what configuration to go for I ended up with this sweet set up. I imagine this wouldn’t be the first choice for many of you, instead going for a recovery gear style setup.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Full set of wood carving tools
- ThruNite Torch
- Wooden Cooking Utensils & Folding Chopping Board (much thanks to @mychancetotravel for the molle pouch)
- Rip Away First Aid Kit – I replaced this with a better one later and used that as a toiletries pouch.
- Gransfors Bruks Hand Hatchet, I use this for carving kuksa blanks.
- The gap is where the new Rip Away First Aid kit from Unigear now lives.
Here’s a quick tour of the panel set up before the Unigear pouch arrived. I got that one as it’s has better organisation options for the millions of plasters and bandages I bring camping. I do like to chop into my fingers when carving 😅
Finally here’s a quick video I posted on Instagram of both panels in all their glory, with the added coffee storage pouch which is actually a molle shot gun shell holder with test tubes of coffee in. Real emergency survival stuff of course.
These projects have been the most useful quality of life mods I’ve done to date, especially for camping. It’s great to not have to rummage through storage bins for all the small items you want to quickly put your hands on. Using more vertical dead space for these items has opened up so much boot space for the bigger stuff. I’ve actually got a bit too much space now I’ve been optimising my it, crazy for a Jimny I know! Plus, the icing on the cake is less rattles in the storage bin… that can’t be a bad thing.
Sharing the joy I decided to try and bring these panels to a reputable Jimny store. One I buy from myself and that in my opinion gives superb service to the Jimny community. So, hopefully we’ll see these available to buy very soon. Manufactured professionally and powder coated (I’m so jealous 😂) . I’ll post on Instagram and update this post when I have more news to share.
Cheers for your time reading this if you got this far you’re a champ.