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Old 26th September 2008, 13:18   #1
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Default Mahindra: Difference between a Classic and CJ340

Ok this may come across as a no-brainer (specially to the types of spitfire and GTO) but whats the difference between a Mahindra Classic and a Mahindra CJ340?

I dug around the forum here and this is what I gather :

1. ALmost impossible to get a running classic these days.
2. Also saw some really cool pics of CJ340s - so am assuming that these are relatively easier to procure.
3. To add to the confusion I heard someone mention a CL340 ... isnt that just the model no for CLASSIC 340? So a CL340 and a CLASSIC are the same thing??!
4. Woooh!

So here is a question to all of you who may be more experienced than I am - how do I go about getting myself a good CJ340. I am keen on the smaller wheelbase (which is why am not saying 540). I am in Bombay, I have posted around a few sites, but I dont think many sellers frequent these (I may be wrong). So would any of you guys know anyone who ma be like a dealer, a garage or maybe know someone who is willing to sell one - not in terrible condition?

If I get a decent baby I am willing to pick it up NOW!!
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Old 26th September 2008, 13:33   #2
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Hey! Welcome to Team-BHP. Good to see so many budding Jeep lovers and i am glad i am part of them.
Well i'll be your first friend here because i too am confused about the same and a little more as i am not too fond of the Classis or any of its high bonnet sibblings and similar looking ones aswell(CJ3Bs etc and Ford GPVs).(However that does'nt mean that i dont love and respect the above as wonderful Jeeps and to be amongst God's gift to off-roaders.)

My confusion- Difference between MM540 and 550.
All i know is that the 550 is the millitary spec version on the 540. Dont know if that is true??

@Bhoise
I know for sure that the Classic is the CL340 and maybe it is based on the JEEP(The original company) version which is known as the CJ340 .

But lets wait for the experts to show up!

Last edited by abhik : 26th September 2008 at 13:42.
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Old 26th September 2008, 13:36   #3
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The CJ340 and CL340 are essentially same, the name change in 1995 was forced by Jeep Corporation which didn't want Mahindra to use the CJ name. So they called it CL340 after that.

Even I am not sure when Classic came out, is it 96 or 97. But the main difference between Classic and earlier 340 was as follows:

1) Wire type rims
2) Disk brakes
3) Much better electrical system
4) Bull bar
5) Generally better build quality
6) Plastic wheel arch?

Rest will be added by Classic owners I suppose.

Regarding off-road ability, there is little difference between CL340 and MM540, the 340 is cuter though. While 340 has better breakover angle and lighter than 540, the 540 is more stable. On road the 540 has much better ride comfort and more practical.
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Old 26th September 2008, 13:50   #4
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i believe at some point the wire wheels were dropped from the classic and alloys added
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Old 26th September 2008, 13:51   #5
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@Samurai- The CJ/CL 340s are high bonnet designs and based on the old/original styling of Jeeps.
And the MM540/550s are based on the new style vis a vis the Jeep Wrangler series. But i was'nt looking at that comparison.

You answered bhoise's question and very expected from a proud owner of a CJ340.(Love your Jeep!!)
But my question still lies unanswered-Difference between the MM540 and MM550?

Just to add-on, i did see quite a few Classics comming with a net extention at the rear-was that OE or after market add-on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
i believe at some point the wire wheels were dropped from the classic and alloys added
The wire wheels IMHO did not quite go with the whole Jeep Image. IMHO they only looked good on (very)old gen roadsters.

Last edited by Technocrat : 26th September 2008 at 14:18.
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Old 26th September 2008, 16:23   #6
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Dear all - let me clear all queries. The original vehicle was known as the CJ3B about which I am not writing here. It became CJ340DP when the Peugeot XDP4.90 engine and the 4 speed KMT90 transmission were dropped in it. In 1995, the CJ became the CL as the nomenclature CJ was owned by Chrysler and therefore M&M changed over from CJ to CL. The CJ/CL340 was made from 1993 upto 1997 when the CL340 classic was introduced. The basic difference between the CL340 and the CL340 classic is as follows:

Axle ratio - CL340 has 5.38:1 axle ratio whereas CL340 classic has 4.88:1 axle ratio. Transfer case actuating levers - the CL340 had the double lever actuating transfer case whereas the CL340 classic had the single lever actuating transfer case. Clutch actuation and brakes - the CL340 had floor mounted brake and clutch pedals whereas the CL340 classic had the suspended brake and clutch pedals. This is because the CL340 had all drum brakes whereas the CL340 classic had front disc brakes which require booster assistance for which the booseter has to be mounted on the dash panel for which the pedal has to be suspended to reach the booster. Obviously therefore, clutch becomes cable operated in the classic instead of link operated in the CL340. In the CL340, the handbrake is actuated on a drum fitted to the back of the transfer case, in the CL340 classic, it is actuated in the rear wheels. Instrument panel - the CL340 has a small centre console whereas the CL340 classic has the FRP instrument panel with around 12 telltale lights. Wheels and tyres - the CL340 was supplied with F78/15 tyres on steel wheels whereas the CL340 classic was supplied with P215/75R15 tyres on wire wheels supplied by wheels India and then on 5 spoke aluminium finish alloy wheels. Wheel arches - both vehicles had FRP wheelarches, the CL340 had bigger ones, the CL340 classic had smaller ones painted in body colour. Engine changes - the alternator did not have vacuum pump drive in the CL340 whereas it had a vacuum pump drive in the CL340 classic (for booster brakes). Seats - the CL340 had 118NE derived fixed backrest angle seats whereas the CL340 classic had high backrest variable backrest angle seats. Bull bar - the CL340 had the FJ (old FC) derived front bumper whereas the CL340 classic had the stainless steel bull bar. Radiator mosquito screen - the CL340 had it, the CL340 classic did not have it. Bonnet catches - the CL340 had 4 bonnet catches, the CL340 classic had only 2 in the front. Tobo hook - the CL340 did not have a tobo hook, the CL340 classic had a tobo hook (50 mm diameter sphere for pulling a trailer, mounted on the "K" member.

Why was the classic born? - the CL340 classic is a domestic version of the CL340RHD classic sold by M&M in England and other RHD countries like South Africa etc. It's LHD version was sold in France. Export vehicle was given in India also, the only difference was that European specification lights etc (E marked) were not given inthe domestic version. That's why.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 26th September 2008, 17:08   #7
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Just saw this thread, when folks like Sir are here; what more can we provide?
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Old 26th September 2008, 17:25   #8
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Behram, as usual you are a treasure cove of information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
In the CL340, the handbrake is actuated on a drum fitted to the back of the transfer case, in the CL340 classic, it is actuated in the rear wheels.
My CJ340 has no handbrake as of now, but really love to have one. Any idea how to get either one of these versions installed? Is it available on order?

The CL340 Classic was produced from 1997 until what year?

Last edited by Samurai : 26th September 2008 at 17:26.
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Old 26th September 2008, 17:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhik View Post
My confusion- Difference between MM540 and 550.
All i know is that the 550 is the millitary spec version on the 540. Dont know if that is true??
There was a civilian version of MM550 as well, which i have. Its comparatively rare.

MM540 is equiped with Peugeot XDP4.90 (2lt) engine & 4 speed KMT90 transmission and Spicer-18(?) Tranfer Case whereas MM550s (Mil) are with XD3P (2.5l) KMT90 (?) 4Speed and Spicer-18(?) Tranfer Case. Finally MM550 Civilian versions (The one i have) are equipped with XD3P (2.5l) engine, BA-10 5Speed transmission and Borg and Warner Transfer case.

While the engine remained same on Military and Civilian versions of 550s, army decided to stick to 4 speed transmission, as it's proven and stronger than the civilian version of 5Speed BA-10 aluminum case Gearbox.

Having said that there are huge difference between Post 2004 550s and older ones. I am not sure about the differences after 2004. Arka would be the best person to comment about that.

--Sree--
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Old 26th September 2008, 19:25   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear all - let me clear all queries. The original vehicle was known as the CJ3B about which I am not writing here. It became CJ340DP when the Peugeot XDP4.90 engine and the 4 speed KMT90 transmission were dropped in it. In 1995, the CJ became the CL as the nomenclature CJ was owned by Chrysler and therefore M&M changed over from CJ to CL. The CJ/CL340 was made from 1993 upto 1997 when the CL340 classic was introduced. The basic difference between the CL340 and the CL340 classic is as follows:

Axle ratio - CL340 has 5.38:1 axle ratio whereas CL340 classic has 4.88:1 axle ratio. Transfer case actuating levers - the CL340 had the double lever actuating transfer case whereas the CL340 classic had the single lever actuating transfer case. Clutch actuation and brakes - the CL340 had floor mounted brake and clutch pedals whereas the CL340 classic had the suspended brake and clutch pedals. This is because the CL340 had all drum brakes whereas the CL340 classic had front disc brakes which require booster assistance for which the booseter has to be mounted on the dash panel for which the pedal has to be suspended to reach the booster. Obviously therefore, clutch becomes cable operated in the classic instead of link operated in the CL340. In the CL340, the handbrake is actuated on a drum fitted to the back of the transfer case, in the CL340 classic, it is actuated in the rear wheels. Instrument panel - the CL340 has a small centre console whereas the CL340 classic has the FRP instrument panel with around 12 telltale lights. Wheels and tyres - the CL340 was supplied with F78/15 tyres on steel wheels whereas the CL340 classic was supplied with P215/75R15 tyres on wire wheels supplied by wheels India and then on 5 spoke aluminium finish alloy wheels. Wheel arches - both vehicles had FRP wheelarches, the CL340 had bigger ones, the CL340 classic had smaller ones painted in body colour. Engine changes - the alternator did not have vacuum pump drive in the CL340 whereas it had a vacuum pump drive in the CL340 classic (for booster brakes). Seats - the CL340 had 118NE derived fixed backrest angle seats whereas the CL340 classic had high backrest variable backrest angle seats. Bull bar - the CL340 had the FJ (old FC) derived front bumper whereas the CL340 classic had the stainless steel bull bar. Radiator mosquito screen - the CL340 had it, the CL340 classic did not have it. Bonnet catches - the CL340 had 4 bonnet catches, the CL340 classic had only 2 in the front. Tobo hook - the CL340 did not have a tobo hook, the CL340 classic had a tobo hook (50 mm diameter sphere for pulling a trailer, mounted on the "K" member.

Why was the classic born? - the CL340 classic is a domestic version of the CL340RHD classic sold by M&M in England and other RHD countries like South Africa etc. It's LHD version was sold in France. Export vehicle was given in India also, the only difference was that European specification lights etc (E marked) were not given inthe domestic version. That's why.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Dear Behram,

The CL340 Classic had mesh grill and the FRP wheel arches were black in colour.The front had small bumper extensions on the side and the rear it had slimmer bumpers while the CJ340 had white coloured ribed bumpers as the first model MM540 of 86.

By the way the bucket seats were very good in the Classsic. Will you be able to tell us from where mahindra had sourced this seat.
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Old 26th September 2008, 19:42   #11
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Default Wow - that's enlightening!!

I am absolutely impressed by how much wiser I am suddenly on the matter. @Behram you are the tops mastaah! Thanks for all your answers guys.

Now I am going to sneak in my next question which no one seems to have an answer for yet ... you can see I am a 'hopeful' one

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhoise View Post
So here is a question to all of you who may be more experienced than I am - how do I go about getting myself a good CJ340. I am keen on the smaller wheelbase (which is why am not saying 540). I am in Bombay, I have posted around a few sites, but I dont think many sellers frequent these (I may be wrong). So would any of you guys know anyone who ma be like a dealer, a garage or maybe know someone who is willing to sell one - not in terrible condition?

If I get a decent baby I am willing to pick it up NOW!!
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Old 27th September 2008, 11:24   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
1) Wire type rims
2) Disk brakes
3) Much better electrical system
4) Bull bar
5) Generally better build quality
6) Plastic wheel arch?
Some more:

1. Suspended pedals : Far superior to the floor mounted stuff.

2. Free wheeling hubs

3. Thick grey carpeting (thrown out on day one).

4. Fibreglass bonnet : Only some batches had this.

5. Imported switches. Ignition + fuel tank switches were of particularly high quality. My ignition key read Fiat Italy.

6. Glow plug timer : Earlier CJ's had manual heating.

7. Front tow hook (5000 pound capacity)

8. Sweet mirrors! Great on form & function.

9. Beautiful plastic chassis cover (between the fascia and the bumper) with "Mahindra" boldly inscribed on it.

The seats give you superb support, even on long drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Radiator mosquito screen[/b][/u] - the CL340 had it, the CL340 classic did not have it.
My Classic came with the mosquito screen. In fact, I still have it lying around in the house.

Quote:
Bonnet catches - the CL340 had 4 bonnet catches, the CL340 classic had only 2 in the front.
All Classics have 4 of the chrome-type, two on either side.
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Old 27th September 2008, 12:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreerajunnithan View Post
Having said that there are huge difference between Post 2004 550s and older ones. I am not sure about the differences after 2004. Arka would be the best person to comment about that.
Sree is absolutely right about the differences bwteen the pre and post 2005 MM550's, the majority of the difference being the undercarriage. It started useing a shortened boxed Bolero chassis, wider springs, and offcourse the Bolero alxes with a full foating rear end and an open knuckled front end, with even the wider wheel lugs of the Bolero(and therefore could'nt use the previous sexy wheel rims of the MM540/550). All in all, its a bare basic sarkari Bolero that has front leaf springs and a 4 speeder, with a MM550 body.
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Old 27th September 2008, 13:04   #14
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@BEHRAM Sir that was very informative. Thanks.

@GTO - Astonished but glad to know that the CL340 Classic was this good. Fibreglass hood, Imported switches, Free wheeling hubs et all....really impressive to know.
I almost always used to think, when i was a kid, that the seats on the Classic were after market ones and must be available cheap or widely that every Classic owner has it because all the other Mahindra jeeps used to come with rather uncomfortable and small seats.
Those seats are actually a piece of work and even now most C+ segment cars dont offer such designs.
Good to know that their function is as good as their beauty. In one of your garrage pics one can see the seat is extened for good thigh/lumbar support. The upper portion are narrow but hold a well built guy snug and tight. The design also suggests good lower back support which is essential for long drives.
Is the headrest adjustable too?

@sreerajunnithan- But then was the civilian version called MM540? If not then what was different about the 540-Just engines or anything cosmetic as well?

Please help me clarify on the following:-
1.Peugeot XDP4.90 (2lt)-This i pressume is the petrol version.
2. XD3P (2.5l)-Is this the Diesel version?

*What does XDP mean, as in a full form or is it just a standard engine code? What does the 4.90 and 3 reffer to?
*Were there any other engines on offer?
*Do any of these block bear similarity to the Bolero and Scorpio(2.6 non crde not 2.2 or 2.6CRDe) blocks?
*Were all these engines reliable? Did all of them have niggling issues?


I appologise if my queries seem stupid or no-brainers, but i am fairly new to Jeeps due to a new found love for the vehicle but please do help me with these queries.
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Old 27th September 2008, 16:24   #15
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"I appologise if my queries seem stupid or no-brainers, but i am fairly new to Jeeps due to a new found love for the vehicle but please do help me with these queries"

Hello Abhik,

please do not feel like what you have written earlier.
The MM340 was a direct military CJ3B repowered by a MM540 engine,gearbox and larger brake system. While the Classic was a far more improvised product.
Even the experts sometimes miss out some important details like
1. The Classic came with wider differential of the MM540.
2. The Classic came with in direct steering box, connected by a universal cross joint with the steering rod/pipe, resulting in loss of central horn button.

Just eager to read some more basic differences amongst the two Mahindra products.
All the best,
yours.....................................UBS
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