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Old 5th October 2011, 23:57   #1
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Default Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Hi Folks,
Got hold of an Army disposal MM550 from a lot of 21 vehicles auctioned recently and have just started its restoration.

The important questions are :

What tyres and rims to put in it ? Alloy wheels - one which can fit the 4x4 hubs on the front axle or normal new MM 550 wheels or Scorpio wheels.

Which tyre ? MRF NDMS 7.5 x 16 or Sandgripper 7.5 x 16 ?

My preference would be to put tubeless tyres to counter the frequent punture problems off road because of Acacia thorns.

The one that seems to be the best is Yokohama Geolander 245/70/R 16

If alloy wheels then which one fits, 16x 7 or 16 x 6 ?

The vehicle does not have a power steering. Will that make the steering hard with 245 tyres ?

Here are some pics from day # 1 of the project.

Best regards - Shahid
Attached Thumbnails
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Allahabad MM550 restoration project-03102011.jpg  

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Old 6th October 2011, 10:37   #2
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Congrats man!! Looks like a nice one. Not much rust is visible, so body should be in good condition. Did you manage to start the vehicle? Pls give some details about the present mechanical condition. BTW, which year model is that?
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Old 6th October 2011, 11:19   #3
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Congratulations Shahid on the buy, vehicle no doubt is a tank, not much beaten up unlike few of its siblings. What about the LH side door? as Wanderer 4x4 asked did you start the vehicle ? first please get the vehicle mechanical works done up, clean up the radiator, check heating issues if any, check water pump, I recommend get both the hubs serviced irrespective of the conditions but I presume it is needed as I guess these vehicles are kept idle/not used for a long time before they come for auction, check the condition of the bearings, breaks, master cylinders in total get the vehicle mechanical aspects RIGHT and can go forward for other things. In case you want this jeep to be looking modern then go for alloys with YOKOHAMA Geo lander/Michelin tubeless they are really good in performance (IMO) if you are retaining the original military looks then continue to run with the same rims with YOKO geo tires. All the best and keep posting updates.
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Old 6th October 2011, 13:07   #4
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Congratulations for getting hold of MM550!.

These rims looks awesome as I think this is not original MM550 rims. If you keep same rims after painting, it it will come out good.

It looks there are minimal body work but for mechanical parts you may need to service each and every parts like engine, front differential, rear differential, brakes, steering column etc.

Good luck for your project and keep us updating on regular basis.
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Old 6th October 2011, 20:57   #5
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

The other LHS door came inside the vehicle. It is there.

Mechanical restoration work has started. Wheels will be opened, serviced, all hubs break cylinders pipe lines will undergo overhaul, new clutch being installed, new heater, starter, alternator, complete electrical wiring will be changed, full suspension and steering overhaul, engine overhaul, denting, painting, new hood, new tyres, new dashboard and new steering wheel, along with rubber mats on the floor.

The gearbox, transfer case, differential and drive shafts will be checked.

The rims are original Mahindra for MM550, if they are good enough to accomodate tubeless tyres I will retain them, otherwisw buy five new rims, the spare wheel is missing.

Front windscreen will be a new one and provision to fold it down on the bonnet. A new battery will be installed, vehicle to be registered.

All this will take about six weeks.

I plan to paint it snow white or pearl white with black canvas top.

Will post all developments dring the restoration project.

Jeeps are built not bought! But jokes apart my uncle in Allahabad ( my Phoopha ) is highly qualified in automobile restoration and loves Jeeps. My CJ3B was also made there in 2007, he has redone his 1952 CJ3A which he loves dearly and now he is putting a lot of time and energy to do this Jeep for me. Besides he has restored many Ambassadors and a Gypsy. The project is in most capable hands. I hope to surpass the very high standards of restoration observed in Hyderabad and Vijaywada and in some Bhopal Jeeps.
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Old 6th October 2011, 22:09   #6
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

congrats !!

the overall condition of the vehicles looks good.

if you want to go for alloys then get 16 x 7 as most of the offroad tyres need wide rims.

also change the PCD from 139.7 to 160 as you will get more choices for alloys & its more sturdy.

& with your experience i am sure the jeep will turn out great!

rgds,
Nikhil

Last edited by jeepster : 6th October 2011 at 22:26.
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Old 6th October 2011, 23:01   #7
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

The original rims might turn out to be OK, who knows, its not been disassembled and checked yet.
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Old 8th October 2011, 08:42   #8
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Going on a trip to Mayapuri today to check whats avalable in terms of bells and whistles for an MM550. I dont trust the Mayapuri folks much neither do I trust the quality of anything sold there but no harm in a recee trip. The main mission is to measure the diameter of the 7x16 and 7.5 x 16 tyres to decide what will go best on my own MM 550

What's in a name - The Jeep will be called INTREPID EXPLORER, I will get a back cover made with the Intrepid Explorer logo of an Elephant romping through a clump of grass.

Twelve years ago in 1999 this was the name conjoured up my Janbaz Ali Khan, an ex British army map reader and the founder of self drive off road events in Dubai, the Gulf News Fun Drives.

An Elephant during its lifetime covers great distances on the continent, often thousands of miles in its life of 80 to 90 years. In Africa and when forest corridors existed at the turn of the 20th century then from Assam to Kerela in India too!

There were two Intrepid Explorers, IE 1 was a Landcruiser 80 series owned by Jum and IE 2 was a Landcruiser 90 Series Prado LWB which I had. Jum had arranged for couple of spare wheel covers that we used to sport, marching into the deep deserts on route exploration trips and Marshal run trips for these fun drives or the UAE Desert challenge rally.

With time came more commercialzation and the I E wheel cover had to give way to the sponsorors wheel covers, first Western Digital, then Toyo and finally Dunlop tyres.

Meanwhile work has started on my vehicle. The front hubs have been removed and are undergoing overhaul. Will post more pictures as soon as I get them from Allahabad.

Meanwhile I learnt that in Allahabad my folks had had a field day when they went to get this vehicle. They pulled out the best of doors, rims, tyres, rear door, spare tyre swing mount fuel pump and a lot of other stuff from the 20 other MM550 in the lot for auction before they tied this one up behind a Bolero Pick up truck after spending over seven hours in the army disposal yard!

Last edited by desertfox : 8th October 2011 at 08:51.
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Old 8th October 2011, 09:12   #9
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Dear Shahid,

From the beginning you should envisage, foresee what the theme of this Jeep should be, a modern looking one with alloys, a retro with steel rims etc. like you have a clear cut image...colour and name worked out.

Surely all mechanical's and related things will be done to the best standards, but your Jeep will be known for its own identity that you build it on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertfox View Post
I hope to surpass the very high standards of restoration observed in Hyderabad and Vijaywada and in some Bhopal Jeeps.
Wish you the best here, it is not impossible but not an easy job too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertfox View Post
What's in a name - The Jeep will be called INTREPID EXPLORER, I will get a back cover made with the Intrepid Explorer logo of an Elephant romping through a clump of grass.
Twelve years ago in 1999 this was the name conjoured up my Janbaz Ali Khan.

Meanwhile I learnt that in Allahabad my folks had had a field day when they went to get this vehicle.
The name INTREPID EXPLORER and the story behind it is interesting.

Lucky to have such folks, no wonder you ended up with a neat base vehicle. Are they army or ex army to be allowed this privilege?
Regards,
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Old 9th October 2011, 08:57   #10
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Dear Fazal,
Good to hear from you.
On my two previous trips to Hyderabad I had very little time to spare, but I did mention your name to some friends in Himayatnagar, in fact they are the owners of the building in which I have rented my Hyderabad office in Himayatnagar, above the Lee showroom, perhaps they have been with you on some trip.
This time round in Hyderabad I will make sure I am there for at least a couple of days to ensure I meet you and some other Off roaders there. Please do PM me your phone number.

I guess the picture in your Avtaar is your white MM550 or is it MM540 ? The bikni top on it looks nice.

I will very much prefer to have alloy rims on my Jeep, to hold tubeless tyres. There are far less instances of punctures with them, and the highway ride with a tread pattern like Yokohama Geolander is far better than these Sand Grippers.

The stock rims also look good, in fact yesterday I noticed they are made of a very heavy gauge steel plate, 3 mm thick HR strip. If these rims can hold tubeless tyres, even they would do fine, I will know this once they are inspected properly. On a first look with the two front wheels removed they seem to be fine. But I would prefer to have a look at them personally.

Do you know of any instances in Hyderabad of Jeepers running tubeless tyres on these stock 550 rims ? What tyres do you run ?

In Mayapuri plenty of these rims are available for Rs. 1100 to 1200 each.

A new dashboard isavailable for Rs. 500 to 700. New MDI engine for Rs. 70,000, restored MM550s for Rs. 150,000 but there is no guarentee how far it can run from Mayapuri!

Do you think the steering will become hard if 245/70/R16 tyres are installed ?

The Diameter of the 7.5 x 16 tyre is 31 inches whereas the one of 245/70R/16 is 29.5 inches, the height will be lowered by 1.5 inch and the gearing may become shorter. 255/70/R16 would make it 30 inches but the steering will become really hard.

Some instances of power steeering being installed on MM550 have been rather unsuccessful. What about in Hyderabad ? Please do let me know.
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Old 10th October 2011, 11:53   #11
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Dear Shahid Sir,
Sorry for this question but are you the same guy from Gun Geek who called me 2 years back and we had long discussion on Jungle trips in my area .
If yes, then it's a pleasure to see this build and do share your contact details. We would do something what we discussed on call. I was out of this fraternity for long due to some personal problems.

Regards,
Shubhendra Singh

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team: Please take the time to use proper punctuation as per Team-BHP rules. Avoid...typing...like...this. Thanks.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 15th October 2011 at 09:52.
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Old 15th October 2011, 08:48   #12
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Yes it is please PM your contact number.
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Old 29th December 2011, 17:38   #13
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

The Jeep is more than 90 % ready. Waiting for the registration to be completed then I will get it to Delhi and get the hood made in Khaki color canvas and get some minor nick knacks fitted / done.

Here are some pics taken in low light conditions and with very little space to move about in a basement garage.
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Old 29th December 2011, 20:26   #14
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Desertfox,
The excellent quality of the body work is evident from those misty pictures itelf. You are a lucky man to have such an uncle!
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Old 30th December 2011, 11:51   #15
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Default Re: Allahabad MM550 restoration project

Its has really come out to be great piece of restoration,I congratulate on this en devour of yours and wish you had many a miles of great jeeping experience and please keep us posted of any future development of yours
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