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Old 10th May 2012, 01:58   #1
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Default My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Yes, I had been bitten, and I got a Jeep.. This (Got JEEP??.. Hell Yeah.. My MM540) is how!

My MM540DP served/serves me really well, with absolutely no breakdowns till date. The body is a bit rusty and a bit rattly, but other than that, there has been no real problem with the Jeep. Moreover, with ~31" tyres, and 4.88:1 diff ratio, it has been giving me ~12-13kmpl average. Sometimes it goes up to ~15-16 on highways, and sedate right foot!

I have driven it for about ~14,000 happy miles(kms) now, and have enjoyed each and every moment of it. This is one Jeep that taught me a LOT regarding what a Jeep is, softly, very unlike the Jeep way. Also, I learnt the precious lesson of 'Living with a Jeep'!

However: When the Jeep performed flawlessly on-road and on no-roads, the performance off-the road, deep into some steep trails and slush was faaarrrrr from satisfactory. The main reason being the Jeep a 2WD. A 4WD conversion was planned even before I bought the Jeep, and things seemed sooo easy to read online. However, after living with one, I realized that if reliability is of prime importance, a 4WD conversion with scrap market parts was out of the question. Obviously, with new(near new) parts the cost would shoot up, and the whole point is lost!

So.. began my search for an effective alternative, and THAT is how I came across my current acquisition! My MM540XD 4WD!!.. My Black Beauty!!.. (eh, Parwath? , Thanks for the name!)

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-img_1922-copy.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-dscn6937-copy.jpg


Note: Many Many thanks to fellow bhp'n Jeeva for guiding me towards this purchase, and for staying with me all along the restoration, giving some valuable tips and feedback. And, Spike, do I need to thank you more? I'm tired of thanking you for all the help and advice you have given me! . And Rajith, thank you for digging it out from India Garage.

Last edited by dhanushs : 25th May 2012 at 13:41.
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Old 10th May 2012, 02:02   #2
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD


What I like, and what made my buying decision:
  • Engine: XD3P versus XDP 4.9 (old Jeep). Means, More power, more torque, more refinement, and more revvs(?)
  • Transmission: KMT 90 GB with T18 TC to power all wheels, with High and Low ratio versus KMT 90 GB sending power to two wheels. Means, Finally 4x4!
  • Brakes: Discs with vacuum assist versus left-right-left-ok-got-it drum brakes (old jeep) . Means, safer, more precise, better braking.
  • Steering: Power assisted versus grow-your-biceps type WnR(?) manual steering.
  • Body: Where as my old Jeep was all rusty and rattly, this one was just OK. I mean, I can live with it for a couple of years or more before going in for a major body/painting work.
What I didn't like:
  • Body: Even though the body was not rusty, it was all chopped off, and made an impossible daily or practically ride. Chopped doors, Chopped targa band, chopped dashboard, etc.. etc.. Add to that, some bling-bling chrome fittings on the bumpers, wooden fittings on the bonnet.. The previous owner intended style, but to be frank, I just hate these styles.
  • Transmission: Even though the company fitted a 4WD, the previous owner had removed the TC, prop shafts etc.. Made it a damn 2WD PEEP! I wonder why these people do it, as you gain only about a couple of kilometers to a liter to the max, which means ~50 paisa per liter, or ~1500 bucks over a lac kilometers!!.. It isn't even worth the labour for removing.
  • Steering: Even though it was power, the Jeep was fitted with a Rack and Pinion steering. And, in a solid axle, and for OTR's this is least preferred.
  • No fuel guage, No oil pressure guage, no temperature guage, little and stupid looking steering wheel, crazy steering wheel angle, all bearings shot, gearbox humming etc.. etc.. and the list goes on!!..

Last edited by dhanushs : 24th May 2012 at 11:16.
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Old 24th May 2012, 11:30   #3
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Weighing the pros and cons, and the price offered, the decision was to go ahead with the purchase!

The previous owner, a businessman, was very good and honest person, and the Jeep was mainly intended for his son. However, the 'Jeep thing' wasn't their cup of tea, and he was literally fed up of the niggling issues. A hefty bill of ~30,000+ from India Garage, Yaswanthapura for a clutch overhaul and god knows what was the final nail in the coffin for the previous owner. That.. is where I chip in offering help. . I still remember him saying - "I wont be owning a Jeep ever again, even if someone gifts me a brand new one!" . When through his eyes, the Jeep was one defective piece, for me, it was one helluva machine!

Well.. I might be lucky, but this is one of the best buying experiences I have had, with the owner very very cooperative about everything. Its been more than 3 months after purchase, and we still keep in touch. He even visited Wayanad!!..


How it looked inside out, when I bought it:

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-blackbeauty-copy.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-img_1642-copy.jpg


After half the work, Black Beauty on its way home! At Mysore Palace:

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-dscn6752-copy.jpg


At CCD, Gundelpet, waiting for the Forest checkposts to open:

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-dscn6762-copy.jpg



Its morning 6AM, freezing cold, through the forest and a topless Jeep. Meaning, if you have no precaution, your t-shirts need to come out to cover your ears!

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-dscn6772-copy.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-dscn6782-copy.jpg


Finally, Black Beauty is home!

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-dscn6790-copy.jpg

Last edited by dhanushs : 24th May 2012 at 23:55.
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Old 24th May 2012, 11:39   #4
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

So: About the Restoration!

Half of the work was carried out from Bangalore, and half from Wayanad.

What all did I needed to get checked and repaired? :

The 1st and foremost thing to do was to change ALL lubes, irrespective of their condition, and going forward decided to check pretty much everything.
  • Engine
  • Gearbox
  • Transfer Case
  • Cooling System
  • Prop shafts, joints.
  • Differentials
  • Fuel tank/Supply
  • Brakes
  • Suspension
  • Gauges
  • Electricals
  • Steering
  • Tyres
  • Belts hoses
  • Body

Last edited by dhanushs : 24th May 2012 at 23:54.
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Old 24th May 2012, 22:59   #5
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Engine:

The vehicle came fitted with an 2.5 liter XD3P engine, which has a chain driven camshaft, and produces about ~73bhp of power. I'm not sure about the torque figures. A thorough check of the engine was carried out, and nothing much needed to be done. It was working really well. The smooth XD3P sound was a refreshing change from the gear driven cam walla XDP 4.9. I suspect the head-gasket was acting up on very high rpms. Reason for suspision: Engine temp shoots up to 90 on revving very high, where as stays just below 80 if we keeps the revvs just below the max. Also, slight bubbles in radiator on revving really high.

But, as these were happening only on crazily revving the engine, for now, I though it'd be better to leave it untouched, as its 'working well' ie.. starting in a single crank, no lack of power, no coolant or oil sucking/spitting problems.. nothing much.

So: Engine was left alone for the moment, and for about ~30,000kms.

Last edited by dhanushs : 25th May 2012 at 00:37.
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Old 25th May 2012, 00:17   #6
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Gearbox and Transfer-case: The vehicle came with KMT 90 4-speed main gearbox with ratios:
Reverse=5.315:1
1st=3.986:1
2nd=2.368:1
3rd=1.473:1
4th=1:1,
and T-18 2-Speed Transfer-case (4L, 4H and 2H) with effective multiplication factor in 'L' = 2.46

However, even though this combo was said to be pretty rugged, some serious work needed to be done on the gearbox and Transfer-case. The gears were notchy, and were humming loudly. There was no transfer case fitted, it was disengaged. Hence, decided to go for a complete overhaul. Fit the transfer-case and make the 4x4 transmission just right!

Some of the major parts bought:
  1. Main Shaft. The previous main shaft, the 2 wheel drive one, was longer, and we needed a shorter one, as now, the rear wheels will be driven by the transfer-case, and not the main gearbox.
  2. Main Shaft Gear.
  3. 3rd Gear. Worn out.
  4. All packing kits, seals and beds.
  5. Gearbox Mounting.
Gearbox Removed, Dismantled, Serviced:


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-gearbox-removed.jpg


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-gearbox-dismantled1.jpg


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-gearbox-dismantled.jpg


Transfer Case Dismantled and Serviced:


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-t18-tc.jpg


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-t18-tc-1.jpg


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-tc-dismantling1.jpg


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-tc-dismantling.jpg

Main Gearbox, Main Shaft:


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-gearbox-maishaft-gear.jpg


Gearbox Mounting:


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-gearbox-mounting.jpg


Main Gearbox and Gears - Naked!


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-main-gearbox-gears.jpg

Shifting mechanism of Main gearbox:



My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-main-gearbox-shifting-mechanism.jpg


Finally, overhauling the Gearbox and Transfer Case Complete. Ready for re-fitting. Hoping that all the problems will be solved.


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-gb-tc.jpg

So: Transmission sorted out for the moment.

Last edited by dhanushs : 25th May 2012 at 00:43.
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Old 25th May 2012, 00:32   #7
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Cooling System:

Well, as is the case with most old Jeep's, this one too was overheating. Hence decided on a complete cooling system overhaul. Meaning, flushing out the radiator, changing hoses, checking the waterpump etc.. etc.. However, in my case, I got a bit unlucky. Waterpump was just fine, but, flushing the radiator didn't work. It was said that the radiator was damaged beyond repair.

In any case, for some hard OTR's which is also called 'kaala poottu' in Malayalam, the OE 3 core ones just wouldn't cut it. So, I was, from the beginning, planning to change the radiator to bigger army 550 ones, or atleast 4 core ones. I found out that sourcing Army 550 radiator in Bangalore was next to impossible, or even if available was just too costly (damn this jeep fever)!!.. Hence went for heavy duty 4 core radiator, with copper fins, and brass tank. Had to give him ~2500 bucks and my old radiator.

Also, for the moment, added an overflow tank. Might be going in for degassing set up, which was planned for my old Jeep, but would be implemented here. More research needed in that regard.

So: Cooling system sorted out completely for the moment.

Last edited by dhanushs : 25th May 2012 at 00:33.
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Old 25th May 2012, 01:18   #8
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Prop shafts and universal joints:

Well, as I mentioned before, the vehicle was a 4WD converted to a 2WD. It had a left aligned differential, from which the propeller shaft runs straight to the main gearbox. To drive the front wheels, there was no prop shafts.

After fitting the Transfer-Case, front propeller shaft was fitted. It was not much of an issue. However, there was a slight issue while fitting the rear propeller shafts. The length of the propeller when it is connected from a left aligned differential to the Main gearbox, is a bit more than when it is connected from a right aligned differential to the transfer case.

I thought of sourcing an OE 4WD rear prop shafts, but, the Rajendran chettan at the workshop assured me that, cutting and welding the propeller was just as reliable. Hence reduced the length by about ~1.5inches. Also, greased all the joints.

So: Propeller shaft is sorted out completely.
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Old 25th May 2012, 13:35   #9
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Differentials and Axles:

Again, as I have mentioned earlier, this vehicle was rather badly maintained and even the differentials were humming.

On dismantling both front and rear ones, we were pleasantly surprised by a rare mix of liquid. Ingredients being, oil.. water.. mud.. slush.. this.. that and what not!.. I guess I'll have to name it after the previous owner!. .

The spider pin was in two pieces, and the main gear was slightly worn out. However, none of the gears needed to be replaced, so, just replaced the spider pin. After which, washed it clean, flushed the housing, and re-assembled the gears.

And as it was converted into a 2WD, the rear differential was left aligned. So, to connect the prop shafts to the transfer case, we needed right aligned differentials. So, the initial plan was to exchange these for right aligned ones, which came with LSD's. Or exchange with prior NGCS Army 550 rear differentials. However, Army 550's diff's with LSD was not available in Bangalore. Hence we went for swapping the axle tubes, which should do the job, till I get hold of an LSD walla one.


Rear Axle tubes and differentials removed. Axle tubes were sent to lathe to be swapped.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-rear-axles-removed.jpg

Differentials completely dismantled, serviced and re-assembled.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-working-differentials.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-working-differentials1.jpg

So: Differentials and Axles Sorted out temporally.

Last edited by dhanushs : 25th May 2012 at 14:10.
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Old 25th May 2012, 14:16   #10
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Fuel tank/Supply:

Initially, we went on without flushing the tank, as one or the other issue more important than this came up. However, going forward, after each high rpm sprint, the Jeep would switch itself off. That was a clear symptom, that engine is starved of fuel.

Hence, removed the fuel tank, fuel lines, flushed. Removed the diesel filter and replaced it. The suspicion that there was muck in the lines was indeed true. The filter and tank was full of some black dirt. However, no rust was there.

Regarding Fuel Pump: There was lots of white smoke, which meant, unburnt diesel. Calibrated the fuel pump, and now, there is absolutely no smoke!. Well.. doesn't there need to be some amount of smoke? Looking at the way the Jeep was running, there was no need to service the Fuel Pump, as " Why fix something that aint broken? " is one of my prime rule.
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Old 25th May 2012, 14:37   #11
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Brakes:

My Jeep comes with front vaccum assisted disc brakes, and rear drum brakes.

My older 540 came with all around drum brakes. So, discs was a refreshing experience for me. Well, the braking was definitely better and leagues ahead, but, something was lacking. The bite and that control. Well, the vehicle was lying idle in the workshop for a long..long..time.. About an year, and hence I suspected the rear brake cylinders should be Jammed.

Just as expected, they needed replacement. Initially the Rajendran chettan at the workshop suggested to service the cylinder. However, them being an integral part of safety, I decided to replace both. The vehicle comes with one for each rear wheel. Cost about ~550 bucks for a piece. Its a bit costly than the two per wheel cylinders.

Lathif, the assistant at the workshop, working on the brakes:

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-lathif.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-img_1707-copy.jpg


Front pads were fine and were biting well. There was no rust or lines on the disc, so no need for phasing. Also, the master cylinder and other components were in a surprisingly good shape. Hence decided to leave it alone. However, changed the brake pipes on both sides, as they were showing signs of fatigue.

So: Brakes completely sorted out.

Last edited by dhanushs : 25th May 2012 at 14:38.
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Old 25th May 2012, 14:59   #12
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Suspension: Talking about suspension (leaf springs and dampers) I still cant stop wondering how the previous owner had driven this vehicle!!.. The leaf springs were FLAT and the rear dampers were disconnected!!.. . Reason being: when they converted into 2WD by switching the axle tubes, the damper mounting changed sides. The 'expert' mechanic decided to leave it alone..!!!..

Driving the vehicle without rear dampers and a flat leaf spring was funny!. Take a Bangalore speed breaker at some speed and the rear just doesn't stop bouncing. It was like one of those hydraulics in NFS! .

Re-Cambered the leaf springs. 6 inches up front and 7 inches at the back. Also, after switching the axle tubes, installed dampers the proper way.

Also, I was quite keen on increasing the GC, hence, installed 1 inch longer shackles (2 3/4 inches). Now, these are extensively used by Jeeps in Wayanad and no reported problems. So, went ahead. Cost me about ~350 per piece.

Didn't opt for Dog Bone Shackles.


Leaf Sets Re-cambered:

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-leaf-sets.jpg

Longer Shackles:

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-longer-shackes.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-longer-shackes1.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-longer-shackes2.jpg


So: Suspension completely sorted out.

Last edited by dhanushs : 25th May 2012 at 15:01.
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Old 25th May 2012, 20:26   #13
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Hi,
From no Jeep to two jeeps in less than a year! Where is this madness going to end?

Would like pictures of the rack and pinion steering setup.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 25th May 2012, 21:59   #14
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Hi,
From no Jeep to two jeeps in less than a year! Where is this madness going to end?
Till the time I get kicked out of my house into the Jeep. Going by the current standards, will be some some time soon.
Quote:
Would like pictures of the rack and pinion steering setup.
Sure. It was a pretty simple set up. The rack was mounted on the Radiator cross member. The column was a telescopic one, and IIRC had two U-Joints. PS pump, tank, belts et al were set up the OE XD3P way.

As of now, I have removed the PS, and installed MRCBT. Reason: (1) The steering angle was weird for a Jeep. The U-Joints were too small to allow change in angle. (2) After every OTR, my wheel alignment goes kaput. (3) Heard that bumpsteer will wear out tyre, though it was difficult feeling it in the wheel. (4) I suspect if Rack and Pinion can take the extreme stress whist OTR's. (5) Tie-Rod end life/status.

However, I was extremely happy with the feedback it was giving me. Very very surprisingly direct for a Jeep. I miss it in MRCBT.

Pics:

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-ps.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-ps3.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-ps2.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-ps4.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-ps1.jpg
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Old 25th May 2012, 22:03   #15
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

since you have done so much, get a right offset rear axle housing and call it even. the right to center prop shaft will give issues in long run.
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