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Old 19th October 2012, 13:06   #1
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Default My experience of rebuilding a Jeep..

Dear friends,
I am writing this thread to share my experience of rebuilding my old jeep. It does contain a lot of do as well as dont's regarding building a Jeep in and around coimbatore.

My first choice was to choose between the three jeeps that i had at my disposal. Sadly all of them were in need of a restoration and that none of them had a four wheel drive unit. (it came factory fitted 4x4 but apparently my people thought it was not needed and had them removed way back!!!) so the choices i had were:

1. 1990 mm540 peugeot engine.
2. 1992 mm540 commander ( di engine fitted in 2010 4+1 gear box)
3. 1999 mm550 di engine.

After my thought i decided to go in for the Commander primarily because it could seat five forward facing and also i preferred the handling of it compared to the mm540. So as usual I google up a few sites and dont find anything that I was willing to commit( just a glance and never really thought i was going to a place based on it).

So it was march 2011 and at a friends social meet i was given the idea that people in kerala have a good taste for jeeps and that they have the best tinkers to get your jeep finished. But then i was worried about not being to get an update as it would not be easy to follow up the jeep on a regular basis. By june at another gathering i heard from a friend who knew a friend who had a friend that was interested in doing Jeeps in Pollachi.

So finally with over three months of not implementing anything i decided to pay this person called Ganesh who is a tinker in Pollachi and was supposed to be good at what he does.

Last edited by commander : 19th October 2012 at 17:08. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 19th October 2012, 15:23   #2
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Default Re: My experience of rebuilding a Jeep..

On june 28, 2011 I had gone to pollachi along with a friend to have a look at the persons garage. As you can see from the picture it was modest at best but it had around 25 or so jeeps that where waiting to be restored. I thought that this guy should be good as there were so many jeeps that were parked. I was impressed by his finish in some of the photographs he had showed me in his album.

Out of curiosity I did ask him y he had so many jeeps that are yet to be completed fro which he replied the owners leave the jeeps in a mood swing. They never bother to pay after a while and hence he does it as and when the owners pay him money. So after this he asked me to bring the jeep in the following week and we could work on a quote.
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Last edited by commander : 19th October 2012 at 17:10. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 19th October 2012, 15:34   #3
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Default Re: My experience of rebuilding a Jeep..

On June 30 I get my jeep all set for its restoration after it was lying idle for about six months. I tanked up some brake fluid oil, placed the battery and pretty much the jeep was set to drive. After pumping the brake pedal for a couple of times i could feel the vehicle was ready for the journey.

It is roughly a 200 km drive to pollachi. The first leg was driven by me and i had my friend follow me in his verna. I could see that the jeep was cruising with the speedo at 60. After a while my friend took over the jeep and me follow him in the verna. As we were driving I noticed the speedo on the verna read about 80 to 90 and the jeep was still ahead of me. I called my friend to inquire how he managed such speed and he told me that the speedo ready 60!!! only in a JEEP...
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Last edited by commander : 19th October 2012 at 17:12. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 19th October 2012, 15:58   #4
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So after we reached the garage and the tinker ganesh inspecting my vehicle said it would cost me roughly 50g to do it. The major work that I wanted in the commander was to cut the old platform as it was raised from the middle row on and make it flat. That way I could make it a proper five seater and have the back closed. After much negotiation we decided that the rate be fixed after the work and an advance of 25000 with a two month deadline be fixed.

After about three weeks I drive to pollachi(roughly 400 odd kms up and down) to check on the progress with the tinker. As you can see from the picture that the jeep is made immobile the minute you leave it under their care. I later realised that this way the jeep owners will not be able to take it out of their workshop so easily. Since I had called him about two days earlier informing my arrival the jeep had some platform work done on it.

My advice on this now :( Never pay large sums of money to people you heard from somebody. make sure it is someone who you know well or atleast be able to produce a receipt. )
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Old 19th October 2012, 16:10   #5
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Its almost four months now and I have not been to regularly review the progress of the Jeep. Although I had dropped in a couple of times I didnt really take any pictures as the jeep was just lying somewhere along with all the other jeeps. The owner pleaded to me that he is going through rough times and if i gave him another 25thousand he would make it ready before diwali. So just out of the moment I gave him the money with him promising to keep up his word.

As usual diwali passed and i did not hear from him. So i asked a friend of mine who lives close by to have a look and he said the jeep is lying where it last was. Annoyed with this I called Ganesh and gave him a piece of my mind and subsequently the dead line moving to December 1 week.

When i called him the day before leave in december he said that it was in the finishing stages and need a week. So he said i could visit him the next day but it will take another week for completion. I left the next day and well unsurprisingly now there was nothing major to talk about.
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Last edited by commander : 19th October 2012 at 16:13.
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Old 19th October 2012, 16:29   #6
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Now it was January 20 and I had gone to take delivery of the vehicle. The state i saw it left me clueless as the owner asked me to arrive and left me there stranded saying that he was at a funeral!! Since the Jeep was immobile and with the garage owner having my radiator, alternator and literally the entire front section at a different ware house I was left with no other choice. Being held up with work more often went I had to resort to phone conversations with false promises.

By February 2012, I managed to get some free time and decided that the best way to speed up the process would be to stay for a couple of days in Pollachi and get maximum out of the Jeep done. The photos enclosed are in the order of months upto may 2012.
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Old 19th October 2012, 16:49   #7
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By the end of June, over a year had passed and i was getting no where. So i decided to pay him a visit and inform him that I would be moving garage soon. But the owner kept avoiding me and would give excuses that he was out of town. After researching for workshops I became more and more interested in the team-bhp threads. Finally I got the details I was looking for from a 4x4thread based on someone from bangalore who had left their Jeep in South India Motors and was happy with their workmanship.

I managed to get through to the owner who offered me help and agreed to send a mechanic to fish out all my vehicle parts. On July 6, managed to get my all time rescuer the MM550 to go down to pollachi and town the commander back to coimbatore and into safer hands. Apparently the tinker had sold my side fenders, windshield and left it to a bare minimum. LESSON WELL LEARNT!!!


The picture shows the way in which my commander arrived to SIM, coimbatore.
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Old 19th October 2012, 17:05   #8
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Default Re: My experience of rebuilding a Jeep..

Anyways to happier times now, my Commander is ready for action and will be delivered on the 30th of this month. Cant hide my excitement. Will be posting the pictures of the complete Jeep soon. Please feel free to give your suggestions and hopefully a happy ending ...

1.I have ordered Yokohoma Geolanders 235/75/15 on HR alloys.
2. Still not sure where to leave the Jeep for upholstery purposes. So far I have koyas in mind.
3. Finally i need help with finding a four wheel unit for the Di 4+1 gearbox( i was going to get it all the way but am dying to take out the jeep for a while after all the misery its been thru). Am no techie and your inputs much apprieciated.
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Old 22nd October 2012, 09:23   #9
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Default Re: My experience of rebuilding a Jeep..

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the 4x4 Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd October 2012, 10:24   #10
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Default Re: My experience of rebuilding a Jeep..

Dear dharan,

Very sad to see your old story.Right now, you are in safe hands of SIM .

Go for T18 transfer case with your current gear box KMT90. As your rear is full floating wider axle , buy front OKBJ type wider track from bolero or pick up 4wd.

Convert steering to MRCBT.

Be on top of your budget, else you will cross on road price of THAR DI 4wd finally.

Last edited by Rajith : 22nd October 2012 at 10:39.
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Old 22nd October 2012, 10:58   #11
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Default Re: My experience of rebuilding a Jeep..

Quote:
Originally Posted by commander View Post
Dear friends,
I am writing this thread to share my experience of rebuilding my old jeep. It does contain a lot of do as well as dont's regarding building a Jeep in and around coimbatore.
...

So finally with over three months of not implementing anything i decided to pay this person called Ganesh who is a tinker in Pollachi and was supposed to be good at what he does.
Seems to be a case of mostly dont's than dos. Sorry to hear about your ordeal, more than the money, the pain during the last year having had to make multiple futile trips to his place and hear false promises all the time must have hurt the maximum.

A few suggestions (nothing on the vehicle part - I'm the last person to give advice on that area)
- Share the details of the garage/owner out here so that others are well warned about him
- I hope you shared your experience/ordeal to the person(s) who recommended him to you, so that they are aware of his true identity
- Do share the work items that are taking place on the current job on your jeep, a few of the experts out here could still help you and provide meaningful suggestions
- Do share more pictures of the jeep as and when possible - every image is worth it
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Old 22nd October 2012, 21:24   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajith View Post
Dear dharan,

Very sad to see your old story.Right now, you are in safe hands of SIM .

Go for T18 transfer case with your current gear box KMT90. As your rear is full floating wider axle , buy front OKBJ type wider track from bolero or pick up 4wd.

Convert steering to MRCBT.

Be on top of your budget, else you will cross on road price of THAR DI 4wd finally.
At Rajith, I am really glad that the vehicle is in SIM. As for the four wheel drive gearbox i think that I will wait until next year to get that. The commander has already been lying idle for wait too long. So my idea is to make the most of it for the next six months and peak summer give it four wheel over haul. I would definitely thank you for your support and advice on the upgrade list of the vehicle. Its all due to team-bhp and your thread that has saved my jeep going through a longer ordeal. A big thanks to you for that.
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Old 22nd October 2012, 21:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Seems to be a case of mostly dont's than dos. Sorry to hear about your ordeal, more than the money, the pain during the last year having had to make multiple futile trips to his place and hear false promises all the time must have hurt the maximum.

A few suggestions (nothing on the vehicle part - I'm the last person to give advice on that area)
- Share the details of the garage/owner out here so that others are well warned about him
- I hope you shared your experience/ordeal to the person(s) who recommended him to you, so that they are aware of his true identity
- Do share the work items that are taking place on the current job on your jeep, a few of the experts out here could still help you and provide meaningful suggestions
- Do share more pictures of the jeep as and when possible - every image is worth it
Thanks a lot for your concern ninja. As you put it the burden of not being able to do anything about the situation was the most annoying part. My only message through this forum is that it shouldnt happen to another person.

- As long as it comes to Pollachi (near coimbatore) make sure it is a mechanic who you can really trust. From what I learnt almost all workshops have a couple of jeeps there and they have a minimum deadline of more than a year. (and still nowhere near completion).

- Currently my jeep is getting done at south india motors in coimbatore which is a professionally run unit. Its a pretty routine kind of workshop for most Mahindra vehicles in the area which is more like a Mahindra service center. The owner is very helpful in arranging people for the alteration work but it does not come under the service workshop. For example, the bullbar work on my Jeep was done by another person outside the garage and I had to finalise and bring the Jeep back after the work.

As for the work done that is being done:

1. yokohoma geolander 235/75/15 with hr alloys around 60000 for a set of five.

2. have spoke of the entire painting (dupont), new shock absorber, radiator, self motor, battery, silencer doom and pipe and complete wiring of the jeep at a garage in coimbatore. it also includes the bull bar work around the entire jeep as well as the foot pegs. i am guessing it would come between 1.3lakhs and 1.5lakhs for the complete restoration expenses.

3. bucket seats two at koyas for 23thousand (alternately i spoke to a second hand seat dealer but he can give only ford figo bucket seats(2) for around 10k.. the cost of innova seats is teh same as koyas.. suggestions anyone???) and back seat and mats overall to come around 20grand.

4. i am not sure about the four wheel gearbox and housing as i am yet to find one.

so tat works up to roughly 2.5lakhs but with almost the entire mechanical bits new apart from a second hand engine. Regards

Visiting coimbatore this Friday and will update the pics with the paint hopefully
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Old 23rd October 2012, 11:14   #14
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Thanks a lot for your concern ninja. As you put it the burden of not being able to do anything about the situation was the most annoying part. My only message through this forum is that it shouldnt happen to another person.

- As long as it comes to Pollachi (near coimbatore) make sure it is a mechanic who you can really trust. From what I learnt almost all workshops have a couple of jeeps there and they have a minimum deadline of more than a year. (and still nowhere near completion).

- Currently my jeep is getting done at south india motors in coimbatore which is a professionally run unit. Its a pretty routine kind of workshop for most Mahindra vehicles in the area which is more like a Mahindra service center. The owner is very helpful in arranging people for the alteration work but it does not come under the service workshop. For example, the bullbar work on my Jeep was done by another person outside the garage and I had to finalise and bring the Jeep back after the work.

As for the work done that is being done:

1. yokohoma geolander 235/75/15 with hr alloys around 60000 for a set of five.

2. have spoke of the entire painting (dupont), new shock absorber, radiator, self motor, battery, silencer doom and pipe and complete wiring of the jeep at a garage in coimbatore. it also includes the bull bar work around the entire jeep as well as the foot pegs. i am guessing it would come between 1.3lakhs and 1.5lakhs for the complete restoration expenses.

3. bucket seats two at koyas for 23thousand (alternately i spoke to a second hand seat dealer but he can give only ford figo bucket seats(2) for around 10k.. the cost of innova seats is teh same as koyas.. suggestions anyone???) and back seat and mats overall to come around 20grand.

4. i am not sure about the four wheel gearbox and housing as i am yet to find one.

so tat works up to roughly 2.5lakhs but with almost the entire mechanical bits new apart from a second hand engine. Regards

Visiting coimbatore this Friday and will update the pics with the paint hopefully
There are lots of Famous (Notorious for few who know them) Big Jeep Modifiers in Kerala they also does the same sometime even change the Good parts with old ones and for them MBs & CJ3Bs are still in production with CJ500D chassis DP Engines .


From where you build that front bumper ? It looks nice.. But if the side step come out from the Wheel line then It will spoil to overall appearance of the Jeep. & if you are not finished with the Tinkering keep the body line above the rear wheel arch as original that you cut from the body.

From where you got the quote for seats ?? Go to the Ukkadam Scrap Market there you can get sets from 2k to 25k. You can get Innova seats under 12k and Tavera,Scorpio,Xylo.. or any Car seats there.

Go to Mettupalayam with your Mechanic there you can get T18 / Single Lever or Double Lever gearbox. My suggestion is buy a TC casing & levers only and buy new Gears and shafts if your plan is for a long time use.. or buy a full TC which will cost you around 15K(If you got a L slip you again spend another 5K). as your Jeep is a Long wheel base one There won't be much problem with the rear Differential Offset(If its a center aligned one) So exchange your old front axle tube with a 51" Front Differential(Check the Diffratio of your rear Diff.)

There is a long Wheel base MM740DP is in Coorg which is build tastefully and its a capable Machine too..
- Sreejesh

Last edited by sreejeshmp : 23rd October 2012 at 11:16.
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Old 23rd October 2012, 11:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejeshmp View Post
There are lots of Famous (Notorious for few who know them) Big Jeep Modifiers in Kerala they also does the same sometime even change the Good parts with old ones and for them MBs & CJ3Bs are still in production with CJ500D chassis DP Engines .


From where you build that front bumper ? It looks nice.. But if the side step come out from the Wheel line then It will spoil to overall appearance of the Jeep. & if you are not finished with the Tinkering keep the body line above the rear wheel arch as original that you cut from the body.

From where you got the quote for seats ?? Go to the Ukkadam Scrap Market there you can get sets from 2k to 25k. You can get Innova seats under 12k and Tavera,Scorpio,Xylo.. or any Car seats there.

Go to Mettupalayam with your Mechanic there you can get T18 / Single Lever or Double Lever gearbox. My suggestion is buy a TC casing & levers only and buy new Gears and shafts if your plan is for a long time use.. or buy a full TC which will cost you around 15K(If you got a L slip you again spend another 5K). as your Jeep is a Long wheel base one There won't be much problem with the rear Differential Offset(If its a center aligned one) So exchange your old front axle tube with a 51" Front Differential(Check the Diffratio of your rear Diff.)

There is a long Wheel base MM740DP is in Coorg which is build tastefully and its a capable Machine too..
- Sreejesh
As you rightly said there is no shortage of notorious jeep modifiers around. Thanks a lot for your input sreejesh.

I got the bumper sourced from Jeep clinic coimbatore which quoted 16G and finally got it done for 13G after an hour. Although the owner told me it was fabricated at his place I highly doubt that as it had a parcel booking number on. I did try searching online but could not find the right maker for it.. {HELP ANYONE}. The side step looks a bit odd now because of the skinny tyres that are on the jeep. Once a bigger profile sets in it will definitely alter the outlook i guess.

Spoke to a dealer near Ukadam for the seats but i guess I better visit Ukadam before making any further enquiries. This is a long standing family vehicle and I have no intention of letting it go. So definitely would be looking for a proper 4x4 unit. I will take note of the current set up when I visit the garage.

As for the last bit, I was always curious as to why no one prefers to rebuild a commander. Maybe they werent as popular as the mm540's around. Redoing the platform of the commander to the same level makes it a proper five seater. Moreover the longer wheelbase gives the Jeep the extra bit of confidence around the corners I suppose. Is there any picture of the MM740DP sreejesh??

Regards,
Barani
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