The history of Suzuki four-wheel drive cars began in the mid-sixties when Suzuki, embarked on a journey towards building a kei-class off-road vehicle. The first Suzuki-branded four-wheel drive was introduced in 1970 and after nearly three-decades of evolution, a Jimny that would subsequently be available for 20-years went on sale in 1998.
Until its production came to an end, the Jimny was tweaked here and there, but it remained essentially the same car until 2018. Not that the current, 2019-on model has changed much; underneath the retro bodywork is the same combination of a ladder frame chassis, live axles front and rear plus long-travel coil-spring suspension. Whilst the car still looks the same, one significant tweak is on the windscreen.
Previously, the windscreen was bonded in with a trim around the glass edge. The new model windscreen however, as well as being noticeably smaller, is ‘floated’ in the frame without a trim. A 4mm gap around the glass edge now gives the glass a flush-fitted look. This – very tight – gap whilst enhancing the car’s smooth appearance, can be tricky to clean and if not cleaned regularly can become a dirt trap.
With dirt and debris trapped in the recess, water can penetrate between the glass layers of the sandwich construction thus affecting the vinyl inter-layer, as well as cause bleaching to the (black) ceramic frit. This car illustrated clearly the issue and whilst regular cleaning might be a solution, it may not always be practical. After a stone-strike cracked the windscreen, it was time for a replacement, OE of course.
Whilst the new windscreen was fitted it was a good opportunity to address the gap cleaning issue.