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Old 12th October 2012, 23:24   #1
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Default Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

I've got this and another photo posted in the "All Jeep Photos" thread in this section. I guess this post can serve as both the story of how we came to be owners of the Marshal, and also a partial "new" member intro, since the two are directly related; I discovered team-bhp specifically while looking into Mahindra Jeeps. Anyway, the 4x4 forums played a definite role in our decision-making process and I'd like to share that with other members (if I can keep this short, it’ll be a first):

I'm a foreign national living in India for around ten years, married to an Indian, with a one-year-old son, living in the Himalayan "snow belt".

I was formerly a completely obsessed gear-head, and as near as I can recall, the Marshal is the 21st 4-wheeler I’ve owned. Not hoping to get re-obsessed, but think I’ll enjoy this, my first 4x4, and first Jeep.

My grandparents ran a 4x4 Willys pickup & station wagon in Venezuela back in the day (1950's?) – these must have been a step up for them from earlier Model T / Model A Ford’s, which themselves had been a step up from donkeys… Re: the Willys (not sure which one), when sometime after the purchase my grandfather had ear surgery to correct his partial deafness, his comment was that he’d have never bought the car if he’d known how rattley it was!!!

As a young man in New Jersey, I spent some time in a Jeep Comanche (Honcho?) pickup my friend’s dad owned. 5.9L V-8 and the amazing Quadra-Trac full-time 4wd system which had Limited Slip diff’s front, rear, and middle (!), held the road surprisingly well on tarmac, and could pretty well push through any slippery slimy mess while achieving an amazing 3kpl on petrol (ouch!)(his dad moreover owned a junkyard with an extremely rare (in the U.S.) mid-1960’s short-wheelbase Nissan Patrol (a.k.a. Jonga) in residence). I also once drove my dad’s friend’s snowplowing rig – a CJ(7?) Renegade with automatic gearbox and hardtop, which scared me badly in driving across some diagonal railway tracks at speed in the rain, where I nearly lost control. I kind of had serious doubts about short-wheelbase Jeeps after that. Then there was the yellow 5litre V-8 powered CJ-5 sitting on the lawn at a local airport. It was parked there unused because the young men on staff had been caught too often fooling around and pulling wheelies with it (!) instead of doing their work. I once also looked at buying an old Willys pickup that was sitting in a farmer’s field, probably just like the one my grandpa had driven – asking price, about $400. But the main trouble with Jeeps in my part of the U.S. was that NJ is part of the so-called “rust belt” - and they don’t call it that for nothing. You could buy all the new sheetmetal for CJ’s of course, but IMO it just wasn’t worth the effort most of the time. It was only going to rust out again anyway. I can’t remember anyone in my high school having a Jeep, and only one guy did in college – a circa 1970 Jeepster Commando (also V-8 powered – fantastic vehicle); that was in Texas.

We managed fine without 4x4’s in our family. The men and boys of our family as per tradition went out snow-driving whenever school classes were cancelled for “bad weather”, and with whichever 2wd cars we had a great time power-sliding around empty parking lots and for hours touring the pristine countryside of hilly Hunterdon county. Never got stuck anywhere except our own driveway. Kept good enough tires on the cars and public roads were normally pretty well cleared within a half-day or less of any snow storm. Very hard in NJ to find any public mud to legally frolick in, so 4x4’s were really more of an image thing, pretty impractical for anyone but the professional snow-removal guys. All this was before the kind of senseless North American SUV craze.

When I first came to India in ’99, I landed in Kerala and rode around only in Ambys and Jeeps, and hardly saw anything but. In Bangalore, a friend still had his late dad’s garaged 1973 Fiat, in great original shape with maybe only 25,000km on the clock. I remember he paid Rs350/year for insurance, and it started effortlessly, without even touching the accelerator, once every week when he would drive his elderly mother a few km’s to services at St. Mark's Church. Otherwise I couldn’t find much at that time which interested me in the Indian car scene. Sumos had recently come out and were all the rage. I rode in one rattley old Armada and thought how horrible it was. A couple years later, friends bought a new Trax Judo which was okay. Old Matador vans were curious contraptions, and much later I saw the Standard (Triumph Herald?) in the original Gol Mal and thought that was a car I’d love to own, along with the quirky original Tempo three-wheeler pickups as seen in Calcutta.

But really no reason or excuse at that time for me to own a vehicle – I was footloose and free and liked riding the railways around the subcontinent. When I settled in for a time on the outskirts of Bangy, I became a bike guy, starting with the purchase from an elderly gentleman of a one-owner Enfield Explorer – that screaming little 50cc café-racer with alloy wheels, bikini and tail fairings, a chromed cylinder bore, and all of three gears (European Zundapp KS50’s had five gears, liquid cooling, and a disc brake!). Anyway, for the past ten years or so, bikes have gotten me pretty well everywhere I wanted to be – all over Ladakh and the diverse valleys of Himachal, across the hills of Uttarkhand and around Western Nepal, Sikkim, Mizoram, etc.

But that was then and this is now. In the beginning of 2011, I was married to a wonderful Indian hill-girl, whom I hoped would be my permanent adventure biking partner; She was keen on the idea herself, but alas, before we could jump in the saddle and head off to some far-flung Himalayan border region, my dear wife was happily found to be with child! Our son is now nearing one year old, and has been riding the bike his whole life, including the nine months of it spent in the womb. But monsoon here in Manali is cold and wet and muddy, and winters are much colder and often snowy / icy and also muddy; sometimes they don’t clear the smaller roads of snow for weeks at a time - so we started to figure that for at least six months out of the year, something with a roof and preferably doors and more than one wheel traction would be a great asset. Got in touch with an ex-pat friend who’d been in Delhi for years and had a perfectly maintained diesel Marina I’d always thought would be a great car if I’d wanted one - but I got in touch a little LATE, as she’d unexpectedly left her job in India just a couple months before and given the car away to friends in Faridabad. “Wish I’d known you needed a car,” she said. Rrrrr. In retrospect, it did not really have much ground clearance.

So the search began in earnest this past Spring. Vehicle choices around here pretty slim – mostly poor condition and inflated prices compared to the metros, besides. But getting an NOC from Delhi for their turbo Victa took local friends a year of impassioned pleas, an act I was not keen on repeating. So I limited my search to local cars, whatever the disadvantages. I actually love Maruti 800’s and thought to find a 12valve 5spd. Couldn’t locate one locally. Standard 800 good, but overpriced because everyone else up here loves ‘em, too, and few are willing to sell. I actually like Omni vans, which drive a lot better than they should seem able to, and which can be bought dirt-cheap. My wife and I saw one of the rarer raised roof versions nearby, which she dubbed “the bread van” because it looks like a loaf of bread; Being a kind of non-conformist, I liked the idea of owning it. But she didn’t much; Anyway, at 6ft 2”, never mind the headroom, I feel like a contortionist in the Omni’s driver seat - and the mere thought of any frontal accident is horrifying. Mmmm. One friend helpfully offered his well-battered and ailing 2005 Alto for Rs 1-lakh. Huh??? We’ve got enough other friends, and got to thinking that with the price differential between diesel / petrol fuels, it was going to cost about the same (if the subsidy continues) to drive an 8 or 10 passenger diesel car and take them along with us, as it would to drive the average Maruti with just our family, and practically no luggage space besides. Okay. So which larger car?

Sumo ex-taxis can be found cheap - but I’m quite sure that a more soul-less vehicle doesn’t exist on planet earth; and the front suspensions are relatively weak and the bodies just get loose and everything just seems to be pretty worn by the time people are selling them off. Sierra, etc, more posh and unique, but quite unavailable with clear H.P. papers, and where would we ever find spares up here anyway? Qualis and Tavera nice and quiet and oh, my, you actually get heaters / defoggers and the drivetrains are excellent. But you’ll hardly find one plying on the other side of Rohtang Pass, where we hope to do some roaming. Just not really rugged enough maybe, and a little lacking in ground clearance; Qualis spare parts supply is beginning to dwindle already, as a discontinued model. And generally both cars are a little beyond our budget second-hand. I thought about a very nice Gypsy that a guy I know has – but Father-in-law had one and said, “Don’t do it”! You’ve got to be a Maharaja these days to keep one fed. I would have the technical skills to do a diesel conversion, but not the well-equipped workshop in which to complete one. What about a Bolero? They’ve got a certain appeal. Unfortunately, their extreme popularity has kept prices up. Can’t see spending a few lakhs for a second-hand car that in even the newest models still lacks a defogger. Styling looking dated lately IMO. Old model front-end styling strikes me as kind of 1980’s American, new model a hodgepodge of older/newer elements that many in India dislike. Anyway, Mahindra knows people are buying “the image” (whatever it is) and doesn’t seem to be doing much towards any development of the basic platform. Trax Judo has German bloodlines and is spacious inside and boxy enough to be interesting. But the 4x4 systems were notoriously weak in the opinion of people who use it frequently up here. The local dealer told us that production/sales had actually been stopped for a time (this was a few years back) due to the problems. I’ve also seen a surprising number of Force IFS vehicles on the roadside with broken lower control arms – or maybe balljoints. Not very comforting when considering roadtrips to Ladakh, etc.

So unless I’m missing something, what’s left? The Jeeps: Armada / Commander / 540 / Classic / Marshal, etc. There’s only one 4x4 540 left up here locally – Okay condition, but I drove it and felt it would be pretty hard to live with on a daily basis – high noise coming from everywhere, substantial vibes, and low power. I was seriously tempted by a ’99 Armada 4x4 (NGCS/discs; ex-hydel project car) I found, and sometimes regretted passing it up. But I know people getting as little as 6-7kmpl up here in the hills with the X4.9DP LWB Jeeps, and I didn’t see any NVH advantage over the DI, especially since the lower torque really requires you to rev it more in hill driving. And the original 5.38 gears and 215/15 tires would have it screaming above about 50kph. So finally we ended up with what I think will ultimately work out better for us: a certain vehicle with a proven 4x4 driveline; iron-head DI engine for ruggedness, simplicity, efficiency and easy starting in sub-zero weather; plenty of ground clearance for trips to places like Spiti Valley (not to mention our local link roads); ample parts supply and complete serviceability anywhere in rural India (esp. on account of parts interchangeability with M&M pickups); a closed all-steel body for warmth and security; comfortable seating for eight; a high roofline suitable for my height and head-clearance when bouncing down rarely-traveled dirt tracks; NGCS chassis with wide front track / tight turning radius; and of course the ubiquitous Jeep look which is now so dated (1950’s U.S. CJ) that it’s become classic: Yep, a Marshal Deluxe. It’s got a disc brake upgrade; shoulder seat belts, headrests and reclining seats; a fairly straight, accident and rust-free body; 16x6.5" styled wheels from a Safari; an accessory rear-mounted steel fuel can; Commander all-metal dashboard, the twin-lever T-18 transfer case, and two new CEAT Mud/Snow tires up front. Maybe. I saw low-mileage one-owner Marshal 4x2’s online for 1.25-1.6L in Delhi, either of which were probably a lot cleaner and could’ve had 4x4 installed easily enough for around Rs30,000, nevermind the risk and hassle involved with long-distance paperwork and the NOC, etc. The original owner of ours lived within a KM or so of here and kept it from 2001 till 2011 – but he did do a lot of taxi service in those years – God only knows how many km it’s covered – the engine seems solid and the car was daily driven when I bought it, but it surely needs some fixing up (already underway). Many local people have said the Rs1.5 lakh I paid is too much, that it should have been 1.2-1.3L. But it's all about supply and demand after all, and if Rs.20k. is going to make the difference between having it or not, I'll choose to pay the extra. Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS’s are fairly rare – only three here locally, of which this was the best and the only one with an owner willing to sell. Historically, I’ve often been on the selling side of rare vehicles myself, and it’s served me profitably – I held premium prices firmly because I knew that eager prospective buyers weren’t going to find another anytime soon, if ever. So as they say, "what goes around comes around," and that’s what it came down to for me as a buyer this time. But if I paid “too much”, I want to ask the naysayers: Are you able to provide us any locally-registered vehicle of identical specification for a cheaper price? If not, then what else we can get for less that will do all this vehicle can do for us? I’d have had to pay Rs3+lakh for an old-model (non-DI) 4x4 Bolero. Double the price for a vehicle on practically the same platform. Scorpio / Safari / any other 8-passenger diesel 4x4 is much pricier yet, and I don’t relish the electronics. Older Commanders are certainly cheap, and disc brakes could be fitted; but they lack the better chassis / turning radius, and the Peugeot “heater” engines are considered a failure up here in the snow belt on account of very hard starting and correspondingly short battery life.

So that’s the beginning of the story of our Marshal. I plan in the coming days to design a middle seat that folds into the front and rear ones to form a bed (had heard that some had this from the factory), then to get the upholstery / interior done up nicely. Also to add Land-Rover style roof-side windows (for mountain viewing) and maybe a glass sunroof up front, along with repainting, probably next year. And later, maybe I’ll add a 5-speed NGT520 gearbox, if I come across one cheap enough at the recycler’s. Could probably even do a turbo conversion easily enough, though my impression based on our first couple weeks of use is that for our purposes, the standard NA DI seems to pull well enough and the gearing is appropriate for local conditions. But whatever the case, I refuse to get re-obsessed with cars. No way. Never. God knows I’ve got better things to focus my life on. But I’ll probably check in here at team-bhp once in awhile – if not oftener.

Enough for now.

-Erik.
Attached Thumbnails
Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-img00652.jpg  

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Old 13th October 2012, 04:05   #2
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Hi Erik,

Never even knew such a Jeep even existed. Looks the business, though. And I love the background. It all looks too perfect. I wouldn't mind that scenery as my morning commute.

Cheers from Sin City.
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Old 13th October 2012, 15:11   #3
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Erik,

Congratulations. Looks like a practical buy. 1.5 is pretty OK as long as it does not cost you too much to get the other required bits of work in place. There are a lot of cheap vehicles in the market, but they eventually cost more in the long run to maintain.

I'd say, keep her as stock as possible. Where and how you intend to use this vehicle requires easy repairs anywhere. Would have recommended a Gypsy, but the fuel at least is expensive and you don't get the space that the Marshal will give you.

Saw you mention Solang in the other thread. Man, that's a lovely place to live, even though it must be getting pretty cold by now.

I'm attaching the pic of another Marshal I found last year in Sangla. There's something so mesmerizing about it.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-dsc03740.jpg
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Old 14th October 2012, 16:54   #4
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Hearty Congratulations Erik.

Marshal is in a league of it's own.

A note to naysayers :
As long as it serves the purpose,
and has minimum downtime, nothing is overpriced.

It would still retain its value considering its a rare in that region and well maintained.

Erik,
cherish your acquisition and treat it well.

Wish you many miles and smiles with marshal di 4x4.
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Old 15th October 2012, 11:20   #5
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Congrats Erik !!

Please get your jeep serviced Mechanically as well as Electrically.

As IMO most times MM jeeps get stuck due to electrical failure than mechanical.

OT:
Quote:
Last night while returning from Latur - Aurangabad - Latur (total 700km), my 6 months old MM Xylo's Engine to Battery earth (Negative) wire broke around 11pm.



Thanks to a DHABHA owner & a 12" copper wire , reached home safely at 2am.

So please do check your jeeps wiring.
Rgds,
Nikhil

Last edited by jeepster : 15th October 2012 at 11:33.
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Old 15th October 2012, 14:33   #6
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

1.5L INR is dirt cheap for a that jeep! Just make sure the engine is OK (you mentioned taxi duty) and the regular brake/all-oils are OK and that DI engine would just need a good strong battery and that jeep will outlive you!
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Old 18th October 2012, 12:13   #7
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1.5L INR is dirt cheap for a that jeep! Just make sure the engine is OK (you mentioned taxi duty) and the regular brake/all-oils are OK and that DI engine would just need a good strong battery and that jeep will outlive you!
Thanks for the positive affirmation.

Engine seems fine - starts easily, seems to have enough power, and doesn't smoke much at all, even loaded and running uphill.

Armed with info from this forum, installed an Amaron Harvest battery as my first investment in this vehicle. Had a 4-year old Sonic (Exide) that was run dry by the previous owner (who'd dubiously claimed it was only a year old - but I found the warranty card under the seat!) - it turned non-chargeable while the vehicle sat waiting for paperwork completion. That a diode solder joint was bad in the alternator and causing overcharging (15+V) hadn't helped, either.

Be assured, Nikhil and others, that servicing including both mechanical and electrical is currently ongoing, most of it at my own hands, since 1) I like to know my vehicle well enough to diagnose / repair it out on the road, 2) I don't trust local mechanics very much on the basis of personal experience, 3) I can better control the quality of parts installed, and 4) I'm pretty well qualified to do the work, having once been an engineer in the automotive field and a hands-on hobbyist almost from birth...! (I've rebuilt engines, including doing re-boring myself (with an old boring-bar system), also cylinder head work (three-angle valve jobs, porting, knurling/reaming guides, etc) and crank polishing, with all associated fitting to specified tolerances, etc; also done complete gearbox overhauling, bodywork / paint on several cars, even upholstery (though less successfully on that latter)). As mentioned, I was fanatically obsessed at one time... Unfortunately I no longer have a good workshop with associated machines / tooling, etc, at my disposal; but I've got a decent set of hand-tools and can do a fair amount anyway.

Work to date: Battery; alternator service & belt; steering box adjustment and new cross joint; re-mounting of rear seating; new matching locksets installed (all); installation of thermostat; adjustment of all doors / windows / latches, etc; and a lot of other miscellaneous fiddling around...

Soon to come: new leaf spring mounts ("mukhi") as holes are ovaled out in all four; rubber-mounting of the tailpipe system (currently rigid rear mount); gearbox / transfer case work (synchros weak and second gear pops out on deceleration, which is supposed to be common in T90 and presumably KMT90, and easily reconciled), and whine from the T18 (pointing to intermediate shaft & bearings); full re-upholstering and some soundproofing; some replacement of switchgear and thorough checking out of the electricals (no lights in the gauges, high beams out, windshield wiper switch bypassed / jugard etc); and retreading of the rear tires - or else upgrading to 7.00-16's all around; and a little body welding here and there, with installation of new body mount rubber; and probably a new windshield as the old one is pretty badly scratched up. Another month or so and some more rupees and everything should be just about ready to go anywhere. That said, I could probably drive it to Ladakh as-is tomorrow; it's not too bad really.

Thanks for all the replies / encouragements from everyone.

-Erik
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Old 18th October 2012, 17:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
4) I'm pretty well qualified to do the work, having once been an engineer in the automotive field and a hands-on hobbyist almost from birth...! (I've rebuilt engines, including doing re-boring myself (with an old boring-bar system), also cylinder head work (three-angle valve jobs, porting, knurling/reaming guides, etc) and crank polishing, with all associated fitting to specified tolerances, etc; also done complete gearbox overhauling, bodywork / paint on several cars, even upholstery (though less successfully on that latter)). As mentioned, I was fanatically obsessed at one time... Unfortunately I no longer have a good workshop with associated machines / tooling, etc, at my disposal; but I've got a decent set of hand-tools and can do a fair amount anyway.
Wow, wow, wow ! You seem to be a serious DIY guy. Although all of us are enthusiasts here, only a handful among us do "such" things on our own.

On the forum, there is another guy you must meet- Sudarshan (a cook by profession, often seen around with greased hands ). Some recipes from him you would like to have a look on :

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...solutions.html (Offroad-Onroad failures & DIY solutions)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...vel-meter.html (Accelerator (pedal travel ) meter)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...y-charger.html (Project, Onboard air compressor & battery charger.)

BTW, if I may ask, what was your specialization while you were working as an Automotive Engineer ? And have you overhauled a differential assembly (e.g. preload setting) ? Just curious.

Spike

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Old 18th October 2012, 20:39   #9
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also done complete gearbox overhauling,
Done properly (and I'm sure it was), you have my respect!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
And have you overhauled a differential assembly (e.g. preload setting) ? Just curious.
That is, shall I say, sneaky!
Good to see you in circulation again. Thought you'd be swamped under relearning everything.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 18th October 2012, 21:42   #10
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Soon to come: new leaf spring mounts ("mukhi") as holes are ovaled out in all four
Be very cautious while welding the leaf-spring mounts.

Check & recheck the alignments.

I also have same problem but i haven't changed them yet.

rgds,
Nikhil
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Old 22nd October 2012, 00:51   #11
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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Wow, wow, wow ! You seem to be a serious DIY guy. Although all of us are enthusiasts here, only a handful among us do "such" things on our own.

On the forum, there is another guy you must meet- Sudarshan (a cook by profession, often seen around with greased hands ). Some recipes from him you would like to have a look on :

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...solutions.html (Offroad-Onroad failures & DIY solutions)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...vel-meter.html (Accelerator (pedal travel ) meter)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...y-charger.html (Project, Onboard air compressor & battery charger.)

BTW, if I may ask, what was your specialization while you were working as an Automotive Engineer ? And have you overhauled a differential assembly (e.g. preload setting) ? Just curious.

Spike
I actually worked for a remanufacturer that sold to both the aftermarket and OEM's fully refurbished, tested, and guaranteed components for steering, brakes, electrical motors, electronics (ECM's, Mass Airflow Sensors, etc), and other vehicle systems (cooling, suspension, whatever). It's a fairly large-scale industry in the U.S. I was involved in setting up / developing the Antilock brakes product line, but earlier had spent some time in the electricals division. Initial training was in fact under an ex-IAF mechanic from Kerala who'd been settled over there for 25 years or so - which has a little something to do with how I ended up over here in India. Anyway, I ultimately worked in Test Systems Engineering, designing / developing equipment mainly to do large-volume production testing of the finished products.

I've come across Sudarshan's posts on a number of occasions, and will look forward to some good interactions in the future.

I never really did a differential - I guess because none of my couple dozen cars ever had a bad one! I did help swap one out once (in the rear of a 4x4 GMC Suburban), but honestly it was sort of roughed-in with no proper setup. What you need to accurately set the preload (is that another way of saying "backlash"?) and I think most of the basic diff. settings is a dial indicator - a precision dial meter that measures linear displacements to the thousands (or less) of an inch (or hundredth of a mm, I guess). I've got one here that I used for truing up cranks when rebuilding my bike engines. Diff's are supposed to be a kind of specialized thing, but are not essentially all that complicated, and in India, you're not trying to make them survive 500+hp or anything. I'm sure you can find a decent U-Tube video on it somewhere that can get you close enough. I learned most of what I've done from reading technical sections in magazines, etc. (mostly before the cyber-age) and just going ahead and trying it. Still so much I don't know and haven't done, and I'm still learning that same way. Plan to try my hand at that whiny ol' T-18 transfer case, for one thing. Get good tools, take advantage of the information age, and get your hands dirty. Works most of the time.

-Erik
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Old 22nd October 2012, 01:05   #12
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Be very cautious while welding the leaf-spring mounts.

Check & recheck the alignments.

I also have same problem but i haven't changed them yet.

rgds,
Nikhil
It's definitely a scary proposition - checked a couple shops and didn't find them very confidence-inspiring. Guess I've got too much personal experience with the "chalega" attitude everywhere. The recommended local guy is doing it on the roadside, straddling a drain, and says Rs500/labor for each, and about the same in parts... An hour or so down the road is a nearly defunct authorized Mahindra shop with a nice flat cemented workshop area, who says only Rs200/labor each - but with no mechanics / equipment in sight, I suspect he's just going to take it somewhere else to get it done. Pretty critical thing, and I'm almost tempted to just do it myself. Have air/electric grinders to remove the welds on the old ones, and access to an arc welder to re-install. What I don't have is a good hydraulic jack and stands to hold up the chassis while I do the work, nor a really appropriate place to actually do it (apart from a hospital parking lot, which ideally should be kept quiet). Probably I'm going to have to finally take it to someone and camp out / stand over them for a day or two to make sure it gets done right (one of my least favorite pastimes).

-Erik
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Old 22nd October 2012, 01:14   #13
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Originally Posted by codelust View Post
Erik,

Congratulations. Looks like a practical buy. 1.5 is pretty OK as long as it does not cost you too much to get the other required bits of work in place. There are a lot of cheap vehicles in the market, but they eventually cost more in the long run to maintain.

I'd say, keep her as stock as possible. Where and how you intend to use this vehicle requires easy repairs anywhere. Would have recommended a Gypsy, but the fuel at least is expensive and you don't get the space that the Marshal will give you.

Saw you mention Solang in the other thread. Man, that's a lovely place to live, even though it must be getting pretty cold by now.

I'm attaching the pic of another Marshal I found last year in Sangla. There's something so mesmerizing about it.

Attachment 999955
I have always found benefit in whatever modifications I've done on various vehicles - but will surely be careful to not do anything on this one that negatively affects serviceability in remote regions...

Re: Gypsy, yeah, a friend has one I sometimes borrowed. Great little package, but can't really justify the running expense.

Definitely getting pretty cold here by now (got my first chest-cold of the year and need to crawl into a warm bed here momentarily).

Thanks for the Sangla pic - on my list of places to one day visit; Been out to Kinnaur and other places nearby but never had opportunity.

-Erik
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Old 22nd October 2012, 09:17   #14
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
What I don't have is a good hydraulic jack and stands to hold up the chassis while I do the work, nor a really appropriate place to actually do it (apart from a hospital parking lot, which ideally should be kept quiet).
Have been this weld shop. It is crazy that it functions right there. Then again, the local bus stand is also there, IIRC. Why don't you drive down to Mandi? The quality of shops there are considerably better and the numbers are more too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
I have always found benefit in whatever modifications I've done on various vehicles - but will surely be careful to not do anything on this one that negatively affects serviceability in remote regions...

Re: Gypsy, yeah, a friend has one I sometimes borrowed. Great little package, but can't really justify the running expense.

Definitely getting pretty cold here by now (got my first chest-cold of the year and need to crawl into a warm bed here momentarily).
Been hanging out in Kasol for the past three days with the Gypsy in tow and I am not sure if it makes for a daily use vehicle in these parts. You do need something that sits a lot heavier, the bounciness the Gypsy has will give you back trouble in the long run in places like these.

For the Marshal, as long as you stick to using parts used a lot locally, it won't be a problem.

It was zero degrees here last night. The first round of rain and it will go absolutely berserk. Winter is indeed coming!
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Old 23rd October 2012, 02:05   #15
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Wink Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Good to see you in circulation again. Thought you'd be swamped under relearning everything.
You know me pretty well eh. Well yeah, swamped in the new atmosphere, but enjoying, as it is what I was looking for. Harsh winters are approaching and I will go hibernating soon. Will call you sometime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
I actually worked for a remanufacturer that sold to both the aftermarket and OEM's fully refurbished, tested, and guaranteed components for steering, brakes, electrical motors, electronics (ECM's, Mass Airflow Sensors, etc), and other vehicle systems (cooling, suspension, whatever).
That's nice.

Quote:
What you need to accurately set the preload (is that another way of saying "backlash"?) and I think most of the basic diff. settings is a dial indicator - a precision dial meter that measures linear displacements to the thousands (or less) of an inch (or hundredth of a mm, I guess).
Exactly. Just wanted to know if you had done this, no other intentions, trust me.

Quote:
Diff's are supposed to be a kind of specialized thing, but are not essentially all that complicated, and in India, you're not trying to make them survive 500+hp or anything.
True, I feel, it is one of the most delicate jobs in an automobile. A few thous here and there, that's enough.


Quote:
It's a fairly large-scale industry in the U.S. I was involved in setting up / developing the Antilock brakes product line, but earlier had spent some time in the electricals division. Initial training was in fact under an ex-IAF mechanic from Kerala who'd been settled over there for 25 years or so - which has a little something to do with how I ended up over here in India.
Good to know, I also come from Kerala.

Spike
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