Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > 4x4 & Off-Roading > 4x4 Vehicles


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th May 2011, 21:05   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
V-16's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: mumbai
Posts: 4,575
Thanked: 834 Times
Default Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

My drift towards an MM550 would be inevitable, so was perceived when i bought my trusty CJ3B and proclaimed it to be a pure offroading vehicle.

On many an enjoyable OTR the CJ has never let me down...well almost never. Yes i was all about originality so i kept the Cj bone stock. I also kept the Rcl split screen on, something that adds that extra character to the otherwise serene looking Jeep i thought. NDMS shoes were shod, much to the complain of the hard core offroaders. Their suggestion was that NDMS tyres are good for certain terrain and not so good for others, something that i realized but then what is a CJ without these odd tyres which challenge all practicality when on tarmac, hence i shod the CJ with 5 brand new NDMS tyres. Now it looks the part and performs as well too.

The petrol engine and the gearbox are a marvel. The low revving, high torque Hurricane engine is nothing short of brilliant, while being spartan at the same time. Silent as a whistle this engine will get you in and out of most hurdles. The gear box with its low crawl capability is another aspect altogether. Then the SWB. All these aspects make the CJ one heck of a offroader.

But still something was amiss. Very steep inclines and declines were not a problem at all but if they were excessively slippery owing to dust or pure rock, the NDMS lacked the will and grit to clamp on and continue. To push these tyres onto difficult climbs, one needs a massive amounts of torque and the low revving nature of he sweet Hurricane engine could not provide torque at higher revs, simply because the higher revs were unattainable. What remained is of course the sheer brilliance of the SWB. The lighter, shorter chassis made up for its lack of torque in many a place but the chink in the armour was evident. Changing the stock rims and NDMS was never an option i exercised or even considered. On the highway the CJ was a different ballgame altogether. The silent engine turned into a sweet whine which is also called "Jeep Music" by CJ fans. The pick up is great and it almost always outruns its diesel brethren by a huge mark. The steering is so smooth it almost feels power assisted but has a mid of its own, just like the brakes. Braking is an art in the CJ and God forbid if ure doing decent speeds and have to make sudden directional changes or feel the need to urgently slam on the brakes. In both the cases, its just disaster and one remembers God the most here as it is only he who decides what is going to happen in the next moment. To add to the woes on long drives to OTR destinations out of the city, one feels the need of that additional fourth gear. The small fuel tank makes matters worse if you're planning on a remote destination with a good OTR session. I have experienced that and have almost ran out of fuel.

Still the CJ remains close to my heart as will always be but it was time to move on. Onto the next notch where all of these issues would be addressed. What better than the MM550D.

I had noticed the older brother of the CJ the MM550 in action. Feeling at home almost anywhere, and the butchy diesel coupled with a four speed box, the Jeep felt like what i was looking for. If only it had a SWB. But then a longer wheel base also has its advantages. So i started my search for another Mahindra. Went through almost every classified on the net to get me a decent example and sounded off almost all my friends that i was in the market to buy a MM550.

I had certain specs:-

It had to be a 550 and not 540.
NGCS or not was not an issue. It could be either.
The body had to have minimum damage and rust on it. I just did not want a heavily crashed Jeep.
It had to be an Ex-Army vehicle.
The engine should be healthy.
It should be able to run on the road (or non road) with minimum fuss.
........and last but not the least and very importantly,
It should be affordable.

This wish list was almost impossible to attain but i was not willing to compromise on certain factors. I was offered many fancy priced ones which were modded according to the previous owner's specs. Somethings dont appeal to me so these fully built ready to roll ones were not my cup of tea. Then the fact that they would be costing a whole lot more was also not easily digestible.

I looked at many straight out of the auction disasters, of course inexplicably high priced. So much so that i almost gave up when i thought where else but Delhi could i get a Jeep of my choice. Mayapuri of course but i knew nobody there, well, atleast not well enough. I had heard horror stories about the Jeep Mafia and had also seen a dear friend be a victim of this very recently, although from the East but they are the same everywhere. Only the degree of crookedness varies.

Speaking to many offroaders like Arka and a few others i was always advised to keep away from Mayapuri vehicles and their pushers. I started going through threads of the members who had undergone these restorations, mainly to get an idea of the price and work involved in these machines. One name kept cropping up almost everywhere, that of Harjeev Singh Chadha, our friendly offroader from Delhi. I had gone through his threads also and had always appreciated the work and passion he put in his machines. He was also an ardent offroader and owned amongst other vehicles, a CJ and a MM550. I decided to call him, sent him a PM with my number on it and we got talking.

I was speaking to someone who was almost a stranger to me. Hardly interacted on the forum and never on the phone. Never met but only heard good things about him and his always ready to help attitude, from many who had interacted with him. One phone call and i was briefed about everything. I cleared some doubts i was having and he gave me some options which i took a day to ponder through. The next call i decided i wanted a MM550 and called him. I also asked if he could help me find a MM550 which had maximum attributes i was looking for. He said he would surely help and we exchanged our BB pins. From there we maintained constant BBM contact, till he found me something that almost fitted my requirements.

Yes......!! He had found me a MM550D. He called and explained the nitty gritty as well as the cost involved to bring her on to the road and also adviced me on what and how that should be done and it was a go ahead. The amount to be transferred was discussed and the Jeep was in the custody of Harjeev's mechanic.

I am overwhelmed by Harjeev. This fine gentleman who did not know me from Adams, had put down a deposit for the Jeep from his own pocket, merely on my word and had not even discussed how i would be transferring the amount to him. I will always remain indebted to him. Thanks Harjeev for your involvement in this and doing everything you did. I think its something about Delhi. I remember my first interaction with Shubhendra who sent me parts for my CJ. Same thing, going out of the way for a fellow enthusiast with out knowing him from anywhere.....!! I know there are good people in this world and a lot of them exist on this Forum, especially in the 4WD section.

Anyways so much for the long story. The MM550 was purchased a few days ago and is now undergoing minor mechanical work. According to Harjeev, it was supposedly used as an ammunition carrier so has not seen very rough days. The engine seems to be in fine nick and so is the body. Needed some mechanical and body TLC, some replacement of parts to make it road worthy and some other things which are being delivered to it, to be put back on track. The work should be over in a few days from where it will be shipped to Mumbai. I intend to get it MH registered. It also has a camouflage paint job so that will have to go as Mumbai is very strict about civilian vehicles impersonating Army ones. Anyways i dont like the colour. I think it should be here by the week end mostly.


This is the Vehicle:

Name:  IMG_5338.JPG
Views: 5697
Size:  129.7 KB
Name:  IMG_5339.JPG
Views: 5945
Size:  103.3 KB
Name:  IMG_5342.JPG
Views: 5479
Size:  132.6 KB
Name:  IMG_5345.JPG
Views: 5497
Size:  135.7 KB
Name:  IMG_5348.JPG
Views: 5403
Size:  113.9 KB

The non army rims are from another car while the original rims are being attended to.


Looks pretty clean to me. These pics were sent by Harjeev when the work had already started.


I want help from everyone to decide the colour (it has to be different from my CJ so no sand, cream and such colours. I have always wondered if the different shades of green on Military vehicle meant anything. Could anyone elaborate on that please and break the code for those of us who share the same dilemma?
Also what should and not be done. My aim is to make this a complete capable offroader with Rims and 31" Maxxis Big horns, roll cage, power steering and an a/c.

Awaiting your comments.

Last edited by V-16 : 12th May 2011 at 21:15. Reason: Adding content.
V-16 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th May 2011, 21:22   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
Jaggu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 17,496
Thanked: 6,778 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Wow! Let me the first to congratulate you Gogi bhai! Another super restoration in process i guess. Looking forward to see the new beast in july?
Jaggu is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th May 2011, 21:54   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
jeepster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MH24 aka LATUR
Posts: 1,521
Thanked: 941 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
The MM550 was purchased a few days ago and is now undergoing minor mechanical work.

My aim is to make this a complete capable offroader with Rims and 31" Maxxis Big horns, roll cage, power steering and an a/c.
congrats

the 550 is the best platform for a capable offroader with advantages of both SWB & LWB.

for the roll cage get in contact with 4x4army , he had done a roll cage job in his 550.

other stuff like AC, tyres, PS can be done easily too.

& best of luck for the project.

rgds,
Nikhil
jeepster is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th May 2011, 22:33   #4
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,706
Thanked: 913 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

congrats !! should be fun restoring this one !!
DKG is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th May 2011, 23:05   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
theMAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 6,994
Thanked: 1,421 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

The MM550 looks delectable in this form itself; if your CJ3B restoration is any reference, this 550 should be the most sought-after Jeep in India after you're done with it!
theMAG is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th May 2011, 23:34   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
fazalaliadil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 2,022
Thanked: 623 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Gogi,

Congratulations!

This one should work for you as you already have a SWB. Looking forward to the build and the final outcome.

And yes, Harjeev is all that you said and also a 'Gentleman Jeeper'.
Regards,
fazalaliadil is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th May 2011, 23:49   #7
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 22,045
Thanked: 13,496 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Congrats Gogi, I understand your logic perfectly. I too have wished I had a MM550 instead of CJ340 a thousand times.

Will be closely watching your build.
Samurai is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2011, 01:17   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: NA
Posts: 1,217
Thanked: 20 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Looking forward to another detailed MM550 thread.

Could not agree more about Harjeev. When we got our 550 I called and emailed him multiple times and he was always ready to help.

I know you wrote original rims are being attended to, but will you be fitting the 31" Maxxis Big horns on the army rims?
bigman is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2011, 09:46   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
V-16's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: mumbai
Posts: 4,575
Thanked: 834 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Wow! Let me the first to congratulate you Gogi bhai! Another super restoration in process i guess. Looking forward to see the new beast in july?
Absolutely Jaggu. That's the whole idea. Both the MM and the CJ should be there. Will need allyour expertise for this one. Have no idea about the MM, as I had no idea about the CJ. Looking forward to seeing you and the gang in July.



Thanks guys I wish there was a "thanks to all" button

Bigman, I would be changing to off road rims for the Maxxis, these rims won't be able to take those monster tyres.

Samu, I really hope to see you and Fazalbhai in July.

Mahesh, Deepak, Jeepster, will need all your help and advice to make this one a goody. Will put up a wish list soon. Also hopefully the restoration on this one won't be as extensive as the CJ. That had come to me completely dismantled. Appreciate the encouragement and yes Harjeev is a good guy. Someone show him this thread and the opinion of ppl regards to him.
V-16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2011, 10:24   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
ex670c's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chennai
Posts: 2,454
Thanked: 1,789 Times
Default Mm550xd

Hi Gogi,

Congratulations on your New JEEP.

Looks like its a 2002-2003 model.

Regards,

Arka
ex670c is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2011, 10:39   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: MUMBAI
Posts: 3,059
Thanked: 4,571 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Dear Gogi - congratulations. This is an XD3P / KMT90 / non NGCS animal. It seems to be 4500 rpm engine going by the looks but I will have to see it in detail. Enjoy!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
DHABHAR.BEHRAM is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2011, 10:39   #12
BHPian
 
aa_asif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: KL 07 > KA 03
Posts: 244
Thanked: 35 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Subscribed & Congrats!

Thank god I found this thread now, I would be making a trip to Delhi next weekend to finalize my Ex-Army MM 550 deal and this is going to be shipped to Bangalore or Cochin.
I am going to closely watch this thread to see the shipping charges and the initial expenses to make it in a drivable condition as I would be restoring it in my friend's garage in Cochin.

Cheers!

Last edited by aa_asif : 13th May 2011 at 10:41.
aa_asif is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2011, 10:42   #13
BHPian
 
Shubhendra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Poona
Posts: 948
Thanked: 1,107 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Gogi Bhai,
Congratulations !!!! First of all i am really floored as you mentioned my name .
I feel really good by sharing my passion with like minded people. So sad i left Delhi, otherwise i would have seen your vehicle in making.
As far as color option goes, if you are inclined towards Green shade, then you can consider Dark bottle green (if see from far it will it would look as black), i am getting the same shade on my MM Classic. Otherwise chocolate color is my favorite ( i had this color on my ford) i.e. just my opinion. There is one 550 from hyderabad who has this color. if you want i can share that pic and my Ford's Pic.
Hope to see you and your newly possessed vehicle soon in OTR.

Regards,
Shubhendra Singh
Shubhendra is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2011, 11:50   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 115
Thanked: 16 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Gogi,
have been following your resto's for a long time. Looking forward to this too. Will surely be subscribed to this thread. Please do keep a detailed break up of the costs (Have been telling this to everyone doing a resto.. )
regards
salil
scphanse is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th May 2011, 12:10   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: bangalore
Posts: 98
Thanked: 2 Times
Default Re: Mm550 The Capable Offroad/onroad Vehicle

Dear Gogi,

I did remember talking to you two weeks ago, never knew that you would be so fast in picking up one,

Well Gogi pasha congratulations to you will surely love to see this in action by the month of july, Sure it will be a class apart,

Best regards
Vinay Thomas
CJ3b is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mumbai's Offroad Junkie goes international! Builds offroad track for Mercedes, Hong Kong GTO 4x4 Excursions 12 24th December 2015 14:01
Thinking Aloud : 4wd Offroad capable Jungle Safari vehicle.....the build is on abheekg 4x4 Vehicles 135 28th November 2014 19:18
Offroad-Onroad failures & DIY solutions Sudarshan 4x4 Technical 48 4th September 2013 13:34
Virtualization Capable Workstation given2fly Gadgets, Computers & Software 35 10th June 2011 22:11


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 07:26.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks