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Old 1st August 2012, 04:15   #1
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Arrow Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

I have spent a good part last 10 months reading about the amazing jeep restoration projects here on our forum. I read about the hardships and I read about the success. I read complete threads hoping to understand what to expect if one is to start a project. I found information and direction however, I did not find a "ownership" experience thread for the Jeep that t-bhp members have restored. I've called a few senior members / PM'ed them to know what to expect but in reality nothing is better than the "owners" experience. I am about to tread the same path and would love to know what has been your experience post the build.

What model did you restore?
Are you happy with the vehicle?
What would you do differently if you could re-do the build?
What problems did you face after the build?
What would you suggest to a newbie, a Rebuild or buy already-built?
Would you do it again?
Why do you / don't you use your jeep as a daily runner?
What would you do to make is more dependable?



Thanks,
Chanderjeet
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Old 1st August 2012, 09:14   #2
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanderjeet View Post
I've called a few senior members / PM'ed them to know what to expect but in reality nothing is better than the "owners" experience.
Good Subject you have chosen ,good initiative

Quote:
I am about to tread the same path and would love to know what has been your experience post the build.
Are you going to do yourself it in your own Garage ? if Yes , I have few things to share that will save your time ,Labor & Money .



Quote:
What model did you restore?
Series 2a Land Rover

Quote:
Are you happy with the vehicle?
Certainly , the way it runs

Quote:
What would you do differently if you could re-do the build?
Actually this is my second Landy project , I have implemented all the things I learned .

Quote:
What problems did you face after the build?
Minor ones , Particularly few things which I kept to be done 'Later' cropped up & also in Areas where I used or adopted local Parts ( Mainly electrical )

Quote:
What would you suggest to a newbie, a Rebuild or buy already-built?
Would you do it again?
DIY is the best possible way ,if one has time & place for all these .Its a longer way , but one certainly learns more & depends Less on others
I would definitely do some thing like this again , as all the Tooling & necessary things have been set now .

Quote:
Why do you / don't you use your jeep as a daily runner?
What would you do to make is more dependable?
Yes its one of my daily drives .


I dont have any documentation of the Build ,except technical ( didnt feel It needed one , that time ) , it took about 10 months in total .I have my own small hobby workshop at my place. I have my business in the same building I stay , so I could attend the vehicle more ( plus the business is seasonal ) I used to have some patches of say 15 days at a stretch to work on it . I must accept conditions were favorable for me .

This Project was completed in Jan 2006 , since then I am enjoying it fully , along with minor niggles

will post my experiences in more detail later , I need to compile them in order , please allow me .

Sudarshan

Last edited by Sudarshan : 1st August 2012 at 09:16.
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Old 1st August 2012, 10:26   #3
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanderjeet View Post

What model did you restore?
Are you happy with the vehicle?
What would you do differently if you could re-do the build?
What problems did you face after the build?
What would you suggest to a newbie, a Rebuild or buy already-built?
Would you do it again?
Why do you / don't you use your jeep as a daily runner?
What would you do to make is more dependable?
+1 to that. Up to what extent one should depend on ‘Work Shop Manual’ & ‘Parts Catalog’ and how to ensure the availability.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
DIY is the best possible way ,if one has time & place for all these .
This is the first condition to be considered before starting a restoration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
along with minor niggles
One should ready physiologically & got used to for this.

Last edited by (Alok) : 1st August 2012 at 10:28.
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Old 1st August 2012, 11:41   #4
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanderjeet View Post
I did not find a "ownership" experience thread for the Jeep that t-bhp members have restored.
All are busy in sorting out / completing the "never ending restoration" projects.

I am no way "senior" member nor an experienced off roader. But a DIY guy who wants to get my hands dirty while rebuilding / repairing my jeep.
My 2 cents on this topic.

Quote:
What model did you restore?
MM540

Quote:
Are you happy with the vehicle?
So far yes, but not satisfied completely.

Quote:
What would you do differently if you could re-do the build?
Most important- get the vehicle transferred to my name.
Keep 2x of the total budget as reserve.
Strip the entire jeep first, remove all rusted material or get a media blast job done. This will save lot of money in the later days.
A good body work and base coat. A cost effective paint job (you will have to repaint the jeep after few OTR's).
A good under body coat.
Complete all mechanical works at once.
Complete electrical work.
Rebuild the engine if it is necessary.
A quality soft-top + a cheaper one for OTRís
Get a good set of tires and inexpensive but good rims.
Get basic off-roading equipment. Then buy others after few OTRís.

Quote:
What problems did you face after the build?
Steering and Starter motor.
Quote:
What would you suggest to a newbie, a Rebuild or buy already-built?
If a person has time and money Rebuild is the best, if not buy a re-built or a new vehicle.

Quote:
Would you do it again?
Heart says again and again, only if time permits.

Quote:
Why do you / don't you use your jeep as a daily runner?
Because I enjoy driving it. That is the reason I have taken so much pain to build it.

Quote:
What would you do to make is more dependable?
Please read may post from the beginning.

I should say that without a like minded fellow jeeper friend you cannot complete your re-build. You need their unselfish helping hand.
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Old 1st August 2012, 15:27   #5
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Link to my Engine Swap Thread (Mahindra Classic 4x4. 2.5 Liter Diesel. Back on the road!)

Link to Body Restoration Thread (Mahindra Classic 2.5L : In Tight New Clothes!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanderjeet View Post
What model did you restore?
'97 Mahindra Classic

Quote:
Are you happy with the vehicle?
Restoration 1 with the petrol engine : AWFUL. The Jeep was junk.

Restoration 2 with a 2.5L brand-new Diesel : AWESOME! Because of the earlier experience, I did this one by the text-book. Brand new engine, ancillaries and installation by an authorised Mahindra workshop.

Quote:
What would you do differently if you could re-do the build?
I'd get the body work done at the same time. I got the new engine in 2008 and paint work in 2011.

Quote:
What problems did you face after the build?
In 4 years, the only two major issues : A broken rear axle and a broken brake feed line. Lots of other small niggles keep cropping up now & then, as with all Mahindras. The axle broke in the parking spot, so didn't cause any inconvenience. The brake feedline stopped the front brakes from working.

Quote:
What would you suggest to a newbie, a Rebuild or buy already-built?
Buy brand new, the Thar or Gypsy. It will actually work out cheaper in the long run (if you count the value of your time, headache, reliability, insurance & theft, resale value etc.). You will also use an air-conditioned Thar a LOT more than a rebuilt Jeep, primarily because the Thar is far easier / convenient to live with.

The only reason I put so much effort into my Jeep is the emotional attachment I have with her. Else, she'd have been replaced with a Thar long back.

Quote:
Would you do it again?
Yes. I'm very happy with the restoration. She has been super reliable, despite a lot of off-road abuse.

Quote:
Why do you / don't you use your jeep as a daily runner?
I used her as a daily driver for a lot many years. In the last 4 years though, she comes out of the garage only twice a week for fun / offroad drives.

Last edited by GTO : 1st August 2012 at 15:31.
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Old 1st August 2012, 16:00   #6
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

What model did you restore?
2000 MM550 Ex-Army

Are you happy with the vehicle?

You betcha! {Although sometimes it feels like you're stuck in a b-a-a-d marriage}

What would you do differently if you could re-do the build?
Research, Research, more Research

And

Tear it apart and Sand Blast the whole body

What problems did you face after the build?
Battery and Electricals mostly (am still plagued by these - will await next major spend cycle on the Jeep for a more permanent fix)

What would you suggest to a newbie, a Rebuild or buy already-built?
If you want to learn (big time) + can afford attention, patience, money, and time - Rebuild

If you want something that works off the shelf (much like a VCR/toaster) - go for already-built (plan on the learning to begin ~4-5 years down the purchase date)

Would you do it again?
Yup (I'm a sucker for punishment )

Why do you / don't you use your jeep as a daily runner?
Used as a daily driver

What would you do to make is more dependable?
1. Beef up the electricals, and swap out the steering with MRCBT - everything else quite reliable on it -
2. Re-route the whole exhaust setup from scratch
3. Sand blast the body, dip in rust primer tank (if possible) - no amount of spray painting will help

Some parting (gratuitous) advice - if you're getting into a Jeep restoration/rebuild, stop hoping/expecting the outcome to be 'car' like

And

you can always find really good, competent help on this forum.
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Old 1st August 2012, 16:11   #7
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

What model did you restore?

1990 MM CJ340

Are you happy with the vehicle?

Yes

What would you do differently if you could re-do the build?

Remove tonns of metal paste and media-blast/prime the surface properly/rust proof her and get a top-notch paint job.

What problems did you face after the build?

none - not a squeak!

What would you suggest to a newbie, a Rebuild or buy already-built?

depends - if you would not even think a nano-second about changing a flat tyre which is dipped chassis deep in slush/clay then you are the dirt-in-my-nails type, do a rebuild, be-friend a good mech though!

but - if you call 'maruti-helpline' for a starting trouble without even opening the bonnet - please get a new thar/gypsy/scorpio/safari!!

Would you do it again?

been at it for last 3 years, helping many jeepers - actually another jeep is already in the garage (friends') for a semi-rebuild job, another in paint booth - both under my supervision.

Why do you / don't you use your jeep as a daily runner?

Dont - too slow on highways and i travel 50Km on GQ daily.
Do - (confusing eh) got a 4WD Armada to make-do for a jeep instead

What would you do to make i(t) more dependable?

More? Lolz - nothing, even a 100% prefessionally rebuilt jeep can give away in the un-expected of places. But just a level-headed mech to work on your jeep every 15 days, check her up for leaks/squeaks/rattles and tigheten her up and grease her and just keep her running!
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Old 1st August 2012, 17:19   #8
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

What model did you restore?
MM550 1999 x army.
Are you happy with the vehicle?
Very Happy
What would you do differently if you could re-do the build?
Should have picked up MTs which were so cheap then. better paint job
What problems did you face after the build?
Paint was the only pain. started to bubble and crack.
What would you suggest to a newbie, a Rebuild or buy already-built?
Rebuild the engine even if it sounds right. redo the electricals (new wirenig harness) and make sure you only put original parts no mater how many people say "chalega" . Make sure you do it right the first time
Would you do it again?
Yea would love too, but this time use a better paint shop
Why do you / don't you use your jeep as a daily runner?
I used to use it as my daily drive but ever since we got our bolero im hooked on too the ac due to the heat and humidity of mumbai.
What would you do to make is more dependable?
Try to water proof some parts. At the Mcube the jeep took in water into the starter motor and problems since then when i try to crank her up


Here is the link

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...50-bombay.html (ex army MM550 in Bombay) been a long time since i updated it
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Old 1st August 2012, 20:04   #9
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Very nice, thanks for replying all.

Sudarshan : Sire, I am not going to do it myself. I can hardly tell a nut from a bolt. On a scale of stone man to rocket scientist, my mech skills are somewhere near cabinet making category. I am going to buy this in-use jeep and take it to mahindra guys.
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Old 1st August 2012, 22:00   #10
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Dear Chanderjeet - so, you got the answers! Now how about some photographs of the vehicle you are considering?

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 1st August 2012, 22:04   #11
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

If the question was asked couple of years back - I would say rebuild, but there are very good first hand options today.

I prefer a new vehicle (Thar/gypsy) anyday. Its easier to maintain, comes with a warranty and parts are easily available compared to older models.

More Majorly BS4 owing to the environment.

Advantages of Newer Jeeps/gypsys (et all)
  • Technology is new
  • BS4 compliant(environment)
  • Support & warranty available
  • Will last longer than a 95 model.
  • AC & PS to make city driving & daily driving easier
  • No hassles of registration & papers (compared to old jeeps)
  • No Fear of scrapping "vehicle older than certain years".
  • Car Loan available
  • Pay-Register-Drive out of showroom. No waiting periods
Disadvantages of Army vehicles
  • Need to spend time and money on Auctions
  • Hassles of paperwork
  • No Loans available - Cash Only
  • Towing and other expense
  • Vehicle will be ready only after around 6 months.
  • Restoration does not come with warranty.
To me the above points do the trick i will buy new anyday or even if used, a more recent year model.

Last edited by scopriobharath : 1st August 2012 at 22:28. Reason: spelling typo
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Old 1st August 2012, 22:25   #12
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Advantages of Newer Jeeps/gypsys (et all)
  • Car Loan available
  • Pay-Register-Drive out of showroom. No waiting periods
.
I had also thought about a brand new Gypsy but then i would be very careful with a car on a loan that cost 5+L as compared to a out of pocket 2.5 to 3L na

Last edited by GTO : 2nd August 2012 at 13:45. Reason: Typo
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Old 1st August 2012, 22:55   #13
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Post deleted by Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by moralfibre : 2nd August 2012 at 08:16. Reason: See note in post.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 00:23   #14
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Chanderjeet - so, you got the answers! Now how about some photographs of the vehicle you are considering?

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Very well Sire. This is the only pic I have right now worth posting. All others are mere thumbnails.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 18:40   #15
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Default Re: Ownership reviews of "Rebuilt Jeeps"

Quote:
Originally Posted by davids4x4mm550 View Post
I had also thought about a brand new Gypsy but then i would be very careful with a car on a loan that cost 5+L as compared to a out of pocket 2.5 to 3L
Actually Yes, but part replacement and service costs are going to be the same whether its a 98 Gypsy or a 2008 gypsy. In a new vehicle, at least reliability and life factor top other priorities.
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