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Old 2nd December 2011, 09:49   #1
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Post Jeep for day2day use - Customize Thar or an old MM540 / CJ3B

I am thinking of getting a Jeep for day to day use. Purpose would be more of daily commute and some level of off-roading. I am thinking between buying a Thar and customizing it (hard-top + AC + modifying seats, music system etc.) or getting an old MM540 and doing the same.

following are the merits / de-merits of each as I see:

getting a Thar
+ new vehicle, CRDe engine, IFS, Factory Fitted disc brakes for front
- cost 7.4L on road, probably another 3L for customizations, bought only for chasis and engine. entire body (except bonnet) will be re-done

getting an old vehicle and modifying
+ cost of vehicle would be less
- used vehicle; health of vehicle is a concern, engine life and need for re-doing the engine needs to be understood.

Some questions that I have:
In general, will I be able to get a MM540 in good condition for around 4L? In that case, i think another 3.5 L for customizations would still be ok.
has someone done this in past ? any good pointers for doing the same in Chennai ??

I would request your thoughts / ideas on what would be a better option ?
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Old 2nd December 2011, 11:17   #2
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - customize Thar or an old MM540/CJ3B

For day to day use, I'd suggest an NGCS vehicle. Probably a best idea would be to buy an auctioned 2004 + NGCS MM550 and COMPLETELY rebuild it, if you are going in for such mods.

The total budget will easily stay within 5lacs
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Old 2nd December 2011, 11:35   #3
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - customize Thar or an old MM540/CJ3B

kshivaa,
Are you particular about having 4x4? If not, have you looked at Thar DI? It's available far cheaper than the CRDe version.

BTW, just to get you inspired, look here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...0-beast-3.html (Presenting My 2005 NGCS MM550 BEAST.)

Last edited by MalluDude : 2nd December 2011 at 11:37.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 14:34   #4
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - customize Thar or an old MM540/CJ3B

Thar Crde - Best in class - plonk in the a/c 30-40k (if you know where and how to), get a HT (from manasm), have a good ICE and then you are ready to go. in arkajee's terms, it would be very silent but also very voilent. Front Custom Seats would cost you another 20k, reupholstering (one of) the rear seats (if you want front facing seats in rear) another 6k approx., and so for around 1.5L more, you get super relaibility + new vehicle). total outlay would be around 9-10lakhs.

If you are going for a used MM540/550, get above 2004 model (2L approx) with front disc brakes and booster, change the steering to MCRBT like arka has done, add 57" front axles, change rear axles to FFRA 53", do the complete engine rebulid (preference in ascending order of spares/maintenance/daily use : mdi 3200, xd3p, xdp, rd28, isuzu 2.4 etc.,.). All these mods should not cost you more than 3L, so total budget would stay within 5Lakhs.

99% of useage would need only the second type of jeep, unless you are averse to visit the mechanic shop daily till you get it restored. it took me approx 6 months to set my jeep, now its my daily driver, with minimal troubles. i go to my mech once a month or every 5000kms, for a general checkup, and drive peacefully without any problems.

finally its a matter of personal preferences and financial liabilities. depriciation value is half of what you have spent - after some years, so rebuilding a jeep is the best bet - IMHO. last but not the least, jeeps are something which give you immense pleasure and satisfaction, after they are rebuilt. jeeps are built, not bought, so ...

Last edited by shekaran : 2nd December 2011 at 14:36. Reason: spell check
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Old 2nd December 2011, 15:45   #5
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - customize Thar or an old MM540/CJ3B

It does not make sense to spend 10 lacs on a Thar. It makes more sense to rebuild the jeep. Help is available in almost all cities and all spares are easy to find.

The ONLY problem with a pre 2000 jeep maybe the below

Manufacturers are pushing govt to pass an order to scrap pre 2000 vehicles, that might bring you some grief. If the rule is passed, your money will be wasted. Govt will not listen to the common man and will support companies only. This is like fuel hike, when petrol companies force govt to raise prices, they do. 5 petrol companies are benefited but 5million indians are affected.

This rule is aimed at increasing car sales, which has dwindled because of higher interest rates and ever rising fuel prices.

if you spend 10 lacs not you buy peace of mind, but if you spend 5 lacs now, you would hav the democles sword hanging over you at all times. With the way goverment is treating indian citizens, it will definetly bring in the scrapping rule.

Last edited by scopriobharath : 2nd December 2011 at 15:47.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 17:14   #6
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - customize Thar or an old MM540/CJ3B

Neither the Thar nor the ol' MM540 is going to have an air-con or hard-top. So, lets keep that as a separate topic.

Is the Thar worth the premium over a junk Jeep? 100% YES. Reasons:

- Some of us have found out the hard way that it's not easy to restore, maintain or live with an old Jeep. Refer to the many threads on ol' Jeeps, starting with mine & Samurais. They need a LOT of time and attention.

- Time = Completely restoring a worn out MM540 requires anywhere between 3 - 6 months of hard work. You will have to frequently visit your mechanics place, indulge in jugaad, source parts, haggle on prices in the after-market etc. Plus, mechanics from the unorganised segment aren't known to stick to deadlines. Do you have the time?

- Cost = A Thar costs 7 lakhs, and a fully restored MM540 could run you into 5 lakhs. Is there a 2 lakh difference? NO WAYS! The interest rate on used cars (or personal loans, as no one will finance a junk Jeep) is way higher than that for new cars.

- Insurance : If your 5 lakh rupee Jeep gets stolen, and there is a fair probability, you will end up with peanuts. My Classic is worth (perhaps) 4 - 5 lakhs, but the insured book value was only Rs. 50,000 (the last time I got comprehensive insurance). Now, she runs on 3rd party insurance as few insurance companies are willing to finance 10+ year old vehicles. God forbid, if she is every stolen, I lose everything (and my heart ).

- Warranty : 'Nuff said. Your brand new Thar is backed by a full manufacturer warranty. Try getting multiple year coverage from your local mechanic.

- Resale : A single-owner 5 year old Thar with complete documented service history, factory build, 60,000 documented kms, comprehensive insurance and consisting of mostly factory parts....or a 20 year old MM540 with multiple owners, no real gauge of how many total kms, atleast 1 / 2 / 3 engine rebuilds or swaps, having nearly all parts from the after-market (some unbranded), needing a road fitness certificate and third party insurance. Which one you think will fetch better resale?

- On-road behaviour : This is where the Thar annihilates the MM540. Its got power, a great ride, balanced handling (by Jeep standards) and power steering. No MM540 can touch the Thar for everyday practicality.

- Depreciation when buying a new vehicle: As an entrepreneur, I can claim depreciation on a new Thar and save on taxes. Effectively, a vehicle can become 30% cheaper for me over the years. Of course, this option is only for entrepreneurs, but hey, we do have a good number on board.

- Convenience : Booking & financing a Thar in 2 days, and rebuilding a Jeep over a couple of months.

- Reliability: While it is possible to get good reliability from a completely rebuilt Jeep, a brand new Jeep will be that much more reliable. Factory build is factory build. Period. Anyone can get a reliable brand new Jeep, however it takes a lot of effort to get a reliable rebuild Jeep.

Net net, the Thar is far superior to a rebuilt MM540 for the everyday use owner. There is no competition.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 20:49   #7
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - Customize Thar or an old MM540 / CJ3B

Take it from a "been there done that", guy and buy yourself a brand new Thar. A rebuilt and modified MM550 may be a better vehicle off road but will never compare to a Thar in any other aspect, not to mention that you will never recover the money you spent modifying it? Believe me, you do not want to go down that path!!!!!
By the time you make your old MM550 "perfect", you will be a wiser but poorer man!
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Old 2nd December 2011, 23:28   #8
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - Customize Thar or an old MM540 / CJ3B

Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts and suggestions. I think I am tilting towards getting the THAR and adding a HT and AC.

Thanks GTO for pointing out the various issues like Insurance, loan rate, time to be spent with the mechanic, having to source parts etc. I am afraid may not have the time for that, and so may end up trying a failed restoration.

Thanks jyobeb for using the 'been there done that' statement and asking me not to take that route.

Will get a Thar, add and AC and HT first. then look for ICE. will check with manasm on the HT
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Old 3rd December 2011, 00:20   #9
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - Customize Thar or an old MM540 / CJ3B

Totally agree with GTO and would like to add the reliability factor. In a 540 or 550 you will never get compete confidence as with any 10 year old second hand vehicle. These are very good for offroading but for daily drive a brand new Thar will be much better and reliable.
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Old 3rd December 2011, 01:50   #10
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I have not driven other jeeps. But my 9 month old that has clocked 15000 Km and is my daily drive in bangalore. I love it and so has my family. Add an A/c and you are all set. But it will be tough to survive with thar as the primary vehicle with or without hardtop. Second vehicle definitely yes. Hell, it has even made my wife a jeeper . So much so that she does not give me the vehicle and prefers to get her chores done with Thar.

Go for it, but we are hearing there is a V2 coming around jan/feb next year. If you have the patience suggest you wait and pick that up.
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Old 6th December 2011, 21:16   #11
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - Customize Thar or an old MM540 / CJ3B

Thanks for the suggestions. Tempted to go make the booking this weekend. This may be asking too much - but do you think TharV2 would be worth the wait and also any idea of the cost? Cost of Thar itself has gone up since it launch - so thinking V2 may be more costly... thoughts from others please?

mostly may make a booking this weekend, unless there are any strong opinions saying V2 may be worth the wait. thanks in advance.
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Old 8th December 2011, 17:59   #12
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - Customize Thar or an old MM540 / CJ3B

I would suggest you to wait till December end for offers.

Don't know about V2 coming soon but discounts will be aplenty in Dec end -Jan.
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Old 9th December 2011, 12:34   #13
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Thumbs up Re: Jeep for day2day use - customize Thar or an old MM540/CJ3B

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Neither the Thar nor the ol' MM540 is going to have an air-con or hard-top. So, lets keep that as a separate topic.

Is the Thar worth the premium over a junk Jeep? 100% YES. Reasons...
-That was an awesome reply from GTO. In simple words i would say that a Thar although expensive would be good to go for atleast 4 years (based on the experience with my scorpio which ran almost maintainence free for 3 years with Mahindra's Shield warranty for an extra year).
-All you have to concenrate for a Thar would be the Mods you plan for it, on the other hand if you plan for an older one, you would have to run about for mods as well as maintainence.
-In case you wish to sell (conditions apply) the thar after 3-4 years it would fetch you a better re-sale value than an older vehicle.
-In other words if you can spare at least few hours per week for maintainence and repairs for your jeep(apart from driving), go for the restoration project. Else if you just want to enjoy what you get as a complete package go for the Thar.
-I do understand the love for such things but they are practically not possible. It involves a lot of time and money(which would go chillar by chillar, here and there )
I had the same confusion when i wanted to go for restoring a Bullet vs. buying a RE Classic. i went for the RE classic and ended up enjoying the package. The other reason being the opposite placement of the gear and brake pedals in the older bullets.
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Old 9th December 2011, 13:27   #14
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Default Re: Jeep for day2day use - Customize Thar or an old MM540 / CJ3B

GTO, but isnt that a part of the allure of the jeep, just like bullets?
If they had appliance like reliablity, where's the fun in ownership
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Old 9th December 2011, 13:44   #15
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Default Jeep for day2day use

Hi Siva,

A few points to consider.

1) Why do you want to use a JEEP for Day to Day use?

Having used a MM540XD for the past 5 years as a daily drive, a A/C is necessary otherwise you will have to drive with the rear flap and windows open, for ventilation which will fill the vehicle with dust.

This problem is there in the MM540/550 and the Thar CRDe.

Now I don't have a A/C because its too much of a pain to maintain and service considering the off-road use the my vehicle is put through.

Also I have seen it to be a sure-shot way to destroy the reliability of a Mahindra JEEP.

2) Off-Road usage? Do you want to take a brand new vehicle off-road worth 7.4L off-road?

If you intend to buy a JEEP for OTRs, then a second hand one is cheaper and does the job MUCH better, also it is easier to sell a cheaper vehicle if JEEP is not your thing.

3) Keep a JEEP for OTRs, and a Car for daily commute; both can be done within the cost of a brand new Thar CRDe.

4) If you want to buy the Thar, because it looks HAWT!!!! Go for it, without trying to find a "USE" for it.

Regards,

Arka
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