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Old 25th July 2011, 05:41   #1
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Default Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

I was not much of an off roading enthusiast, and was more into cars and fast corners. However, recent association, and some trips with some hardcore off-road enthusiasts, and some fellow bhp'ns made me, well.. lets say I too got bitten by the Jeep bug. Recently I got to do a small off-road excursion with an experienced off-roader and his Thar CRDe. It was then I decided that I too need a machine!.

From that time, I started looking at each and every Jeep that passes by, wondering if it was up for sale. And guess what my curiosity landed me upon?. A JONGA!!

Nissan Jonga: Advice needed-jonga.jpg

Nissan Jonga: Advice needed-jonga1.jpg

Nissan Jonga: Advice needed-jonga2.jpg


This Vehicle has its engine swapped from a 6 Cylinder inline petrol to a diesel cooper engine. All the mechanicals are said to be fine. On enquiring nearby shops, this vehicle is said to be the daily drive (~2kms) of the owner. Also, I found the body to be in OK..OK condition. Could not check in detail.

Called up the owner, and he says he will get ALL the paper work ready (The vehicle does not have FC and tax is not paid for 3 years). The 4x4 is said to have a little joint problem, which he would fix before selling.

-----------------------------------------------------

So, my question is, does it make sense for a person like me to buy a Jonga? I don't mind restoration (I'm actually looking forward to it), and I'm not on a budget.

I love the uniqueness of the Jonga, but then, will it serve my purpose of occasional off-roading with headaches = a 500D or 540. Is it usable? Or only fit for a decoration of garage?

If at all, I'm going in for the plunge, what all do I need to take care of, look at, while buying?

And, what would be the fair price for this vehicle, in this condition.


Please let me know.

Thanks in advance,

Dhanush
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Old 25th July 2011, 08:40   #2
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
So, my question is, does it make sense for a person like me to buy a Jonga? I don't mind restoration (I'm actually looking forward to it), and I'm not on a budget.

I love the uniqueness of the Jonga, but then, will it serve my purpose of occasional off-roading with headaches = a 500D or 540. Is it usable? Or only fit for a decoration of garage?
you did OTR in Thar CRDe now you can not compare the experience with other jeeps. (both power & comfort)

the jonga is best for one off vehicle.
as parts are not easy to find.
you may find all & restore the vehicle once as you are not on a budget.

but imagine a broken jonga in the middle of OTR in MH or JK.
no amount of money will be help you in that situation.

buy a 340/500/540/550 according to your test.
as i like the CJ5 over CJ3b look so i bought a armada.

rgds,
Nikhil
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Old 25th July 2011, 08:58   #3
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

Before you go in any further check the following

1) Legality of engine swap , was it done with RTO permission & is it on the RTO's records ( not only in RC book )

2) Road Tax ; contact the local concerned RTO get the Tax assessment done , you may get a surprise

3) FC ( fitness & renewal of registration ) : This is solely the responsibility of the seller , get it done before hand ,

Expect a lot of difficulties in the above three points , get them sorted before you enter the deal or at least don't pay up fully , pay only 25 % & rest after clearance of the above documents /Issues

Sudarshan

Last edited by Sudarshan : 25th July 2011 at 08:59.
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Old 25th July 2011, 10:05   #4
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post

So, my question is, does it make sense for a person like me to buy a Jonga? I don't mind restoration (I'm actually looking forward to it), and I'm not on a budget.

I love the uniqueness of the Jonga, but then, will it serve my purpose of occasional off-roading with headaches = a 500D or 540. Is it usable? Or only fit for a decoration of garage?

If at all, I'm going in for the plunge, what all do I need to take care of, look at, while buying?

And, what would be the fair price for this vehicle, in this condition.


Please let me know.

Thanks in advance,

Dhanush
The jonga will be difficult to live with for someone who is quote - "not much of an off roading enthusiast". But if restored well, very few India 4x4's come close to the performance of this brute.

But seeing that the engine has been swapped with some oil burner motor (obviously for making it a daily drive) and the 4x4 could also be toiled with, it is best to find a more original one with the 4lt petrol motor or the 4lt Hino diesel.

IMHO, this one can be given a miss. The jonga is all that they say only because of its original powerplant and drivetrain.. the rest is just to add character to one of the best offroaders that made its way into our country!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
you did OTR in Thar CRDe now you can not compare the experience with other jeeps. (both power & comfort)

the jonga is best for one off vehicle.
as parts are not easy to find.
you may find all & restore the vehicle once as you are not on a budget.

but imagine a broken jonga in the middle of OTR in MH or JK.
no amount of money will be help you in that situation.

buy a 340/500/540/550 according to your test.
as i like the CJ5 over CJ3b look so i bought a armada.

rgds,
Nikhil
Its not that bad Nikhil; money can't - but some good offroad camaraderie can!!

If restored well.. the Jonga is bulletproof (pun intended) and does not break down easily unless you try really hard. Just make sure that you don't go offroading alone too often!!

You can always be towed out by a capable 550 or something better - Mind you, the Jonga is a heavy machine and you'll need some really helpful "friends" to tow the brute out of sticky situations.

cheers..
Prasad

Last edited by R32_GTR : 25th July 2011 at 10:15.
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Old 25th July 2011, 15:37   #5
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
you did OTR in Thar CRDe now you can not compare the experience with other jeeps. (both power & comfort)
That one OTR made me reinforce my decision. I have been driven in/driven the 540,550, and the 500D. Yes, there is a huge difference. But as the tyres of the Thar were OE, the performance was just mediocre.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
buy a 340/500/540/550 according to your test.
as i like the CJ5 over CJ3b look so i bought a armada.
Hmm.. Yes, these were my 1st preference. The Jonga made way, by chance, hence the quiery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
get them sorted before you enter the deal or at least don't pay up fully
Yes Sir, if I'm going in, it will be only after the owner sorts this out. Which he mentioned, would.
Quote:
Originally Posted by R32_GTR View Post
The jonga will be difficult to live with for someone who is quote - "not much of an off roading enthusiast".
Lets add a was to that, shall we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by R32_GTR View Post
it is best to find a more original one with the 4lt petrol motor or the 4lt Hino diesel...

... IMHO, this one can be given a miss. The jonga is all that they say only because of its original powerplant and drivetrain..
Point noted, thanks!
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Old 26th July 2011, 23:27   #6
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

If you are not on a budget, then simply rule out this piece of junk.
I have had a chance to drive JONGAs in prinstine condition; however, it never inspired confidence as far as the engine reliability when compared to the humble 3B. The mechanicals are old and quirky(in comparision).
As already mentioned, it is worth checking whether the engine swap is legal or not.
The other point regarding the non functionality of 4X4 maybe because of the size of the deisel engine which fouls with the front diffrential and hence is removed. I have mentioned this in my thread 'Dabwali Jeeps' which again, have had their front diffrentials removed.

I strongly recommend that you should consider buying a MG413 which will take care of all the aspects mentioned above in your post.
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Old 27th July 2011, 10:45   #7
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

+1 to the above by susan and many others. Jonga made a formidable reputation due to its power plant which is a fuel guzzler in the real sense of the term. I remember Indian Army Jongas would go where no other vehicle could, but the fuel average this brute gave even put the Shaktimans to shame. With a second hand diesel motor with possible alterations to the drive train, this is going to be no better than a perhaps steam loco of yesteryears. If you are not on a budget I suggest look around for a Gurkha, maybe. You shall get your brute looking capable off roader.
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Old 27th July 2011, 12:13   #8
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

No vintage value (no original engine) , reliability issues, spares not readily available...the rust bucket is not the best bet!!!
On the other hand a Jonga with all originals equals to a relic hunted down by Indiana Jones.Hence, if no financial constrains should be bought immediately.
The Nissan in question is not worth buying.
P.s- Jonga is a type of motor to be treated with respect like an old friendly grandfather who has been a war veteran. someone to take on walks, not goaded on to climb a hill. if you are looking for a exclusive mountain ranger by all means buy the Gurkha.
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Old 27th July 2011, 13:15   #9
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
+1 to the above by susan and many others. Jonga made a formidable reputation due to its power plant which is a fuel guzzler in the real sense of the term. I remember Indian Army Jongas would go where no other vehicle could, but the fuel average this brute gave even put the Shaktimans to shame. With a second hand diesel motor with possible alterations to the drive train, this is going to be no better than a perhaps steam loco of yesteryears. If you are not on a budget I suggest look around for a Gurkha, maybe. You shall get your brute looking capable off roader.
I've been driving my Jonga for the past month after a completely rebuilt motor and even took it for EXAMM and AKC.. Highway running, it returned a fantastic 8kmpl.. on the trail, I'd say about 3kmpl!! (Full tank to full tank efficiency check). I did belt it on the expressway and hit top speed of 132 kmph on the GPS.

The part of it being a guzzler is true but it purely depends on how its been driven.. but its a completely relative subject.

Like I mentioned before, IF you manage to source an original Jonga with either the P series petrol or the civilian version with the Hino diesel and functional 4x4.. nothing else comes close and it even drives like a car (My wife drives it occasionally).

OR, you should just get a good Gypsy and enjoy other creature comforts that come with it

A pic of how it was when I bought it and a recent pic (still WIP on the cosmetic front).
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Last edited by R32_GTR : 27th July 2011 at 13:16.
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Old 27th July 2011, 19:33   #10
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

@R32: yes 3 kmpl is a figure am familiar with but the 8 kmpl is a surprise, lol. But then never had the chance to run those things on tarmac in my time. And again there would be a difference in a fauji driven jonga than a privately owned one. But still the 8 kmpl figure is mighty impressive.
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Old 27th July 2011, 20:28   #11
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

Hi,
Had a Jonga, with original petrol engine.

It was perhaps the most unreliable vehicle I've ever owned. More to do with the suspension/ steering etc (than engine). And possibly due to lack of genuine/ high quality spares. Engine was fine till one day a conrod decided to break free!

Equally importantly, will rate the cj3 higher in terms of OTR ability.

Fuel consumption: Off Road - Don't know never measured. On Road - 6kmpl.

Knowing all this, your call. Lust is not tempered by reason!

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 29th July 2011, 22:28   #12
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

I am not an off roader myself, but I can say for sure, man you want to learn swimming by jumping straight off the cliff right into the ocean. Now that is what I feel about what you are about to do if you buy that junk in the pics. Spare yourself the nightmare, remember you are an amateur at the best and please take good advise from the 4X4 gurus here.
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Old 29th July 2011, 22:42   #13
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

The first time in my life i have sat in a Jonga was that of R32 GTRs jonga during exam. It has a unique character, that engine is something special. I have 4 to 6 JEEPS but this is something totally different .I am saving up already to buy a Jonga . May be you should look for a better example but get it , its worth the pain .

The torque of the Jonga will blow away the Thar. Its raw power .

Last edited by Frankenstein : 29th July 2011 at 22:46.
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Old 30th July 2011, 21:00   #14
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
So, my question is, does it make sense for a person like me to buy a Jonga? I don't mind restoration (I'm actually looking forward to it), and I'm not on a budget.
My 2 cents here .. if your use case is off-roading, with the joy of restoring a vehicle - you may be better off with a beat up old Mahindra Jeep - simply thinking in terms of ubiquitous parts availability, repair-ability.
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Old 30th July 2011, 22:56   #15
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Default Re: Nissan Jonga: Advice needed

Will prefer Jonga over any mahindra. But you will have to have a lot of time and patience.
Jabalpur connection may help in procuring parts.
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