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Old 30th December 2012, 17:23   #1
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Default Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

I was doing my usual Sunday afternoon prowling of the web, lusting after interesting images of jeeps when I saw these in Google image search.

The images are originally from a 'Jeep for sale' ad. The original ad is no longer available. So I couldn't get further details except that it is a 1989 model.

I have seen a few such Mahindra jeeps way back in the early 90s. They were all in this same aluminium grey colour. I think these jeeps were around before the Mahindra Armada and the full metal bodied Mahindra Commander came into existence (at least that's what my childhood memory says).

What is the actual name of this Mahindra vehicle? What were its technical specifications?
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Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-what-jeep.jpg  

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Old 30th December 2012, 17:43   #2
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Default re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miel View Post
I was doing my usual Sunday afternoon prowling of the web, lusting after interesting images of jeeps when I saw these in Google image search.
....
What is the actual name of this Mahindra vehicle? What were its technical specifications?

It is a Metal-bodied Mahindra MM 540 manufactured (??) and sold by Mahindra on a stretched version of a 540 (wheel-base 101" or 104.5").
I understand the body construction was rudimentary and hence the horrendous fit and finish. This Jeep is the grand-father of the Armada/Marshal whose bodies were machine pressed.
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Old 30th December 2012, 17:47   #3
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Default re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Miel,
This jeep seems to be a "Long Wheel Base" Mahindra MM540 4WD, known as Mahindra MM650 (??). Team BHPian 'Sudarshan' owns the same in Pune.
As per what I know, Mahindra do used to offer LWB MM540's till year 1992/93, after which they started with Mahindra 750DP.
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Old 30th December 2012, 20:41   #4
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Talking re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Long story in short , using 'this' for past 23+ yrs .

will post details & experiences with it ASAP .

It has made a mechanic out of me

Here also
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...mm540-4x4.html (My Landrover & MM540 4x4)

Sudarshan
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Old 30th December 2012, 22:13   #5
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Arrow re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Something Interesting to share , the original brochure of this 'Jeep ' I had got before we purchased it .
Correct me if I am wrong , this was the Daddy of all M&M lwb 5 door Jeeps , which was available as a product .

The chassis is cut in between & stretched & reinforced , AFAIK -the bodies were built by outside body builders ( not to mentioned the tons of putty/ carpech etc ) , as the chassis & cowl were supplied by MM

It still carries the 'Body accepted' seal of MM on the front glass , along with the Jeep logos on its side ( which are often eyed by a very respected & knowledgeable & elderly bhpian , & yes I am not going to disappoint him as I have promised )

Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-scan0041.jpg

Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-scan0042.jpg

Sudarshan

Last edited by Sudarshan : 30th December 2012 at 22:21.
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Old 31st December 2012, 01:23   #6
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Default re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Thanks to all, and especially Sudarshan for identifying the vehicle. So what I saw in the pictures is a MM540 101" wheelbase Metal Body Wagonette (MBW) with 4WD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
The chassis is cut in between & stretched & reinforced
Seems like it was India's first "stretched" production wagon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
Long story in short , using 'this' for past 23+ yrs .

will post details & experiences with it ASAP .
Please do post your experiences with this vehicle as you may be the only owner who can boast of such a long association with it. Hence it’s very unique!
This vehicle has long been a mystery for me. During the summer of 1991 my grandfather was looking to buy a new 4WD for agricultural use. Back then the Armada had just been launched and hadn't yet proven its worth as a 4WD (Or did it have 4WD at that time? Don’t remember now). I remember my grandfather's favourite mechanic claiming that the MM540 had better ground clearance than the Armada. Though the family wished for a full bodied 4WD, my grandfather finally bought a MM540 DP Soft Top 4WD. I later noticed a couple of MM540 Metal Body Wagonettes (now I know the name) around town and asked my grandfather why we didn't consider that jeep. I remember him asking me in passing, "What's the name of that jeep? Is that an Armada", and I answered "No idea. It doesn't look like an Armada".
Now after 20 years I finally know what it is
Looking at the brochure, there are many things the MM540 MBW had in common with our 1991 MM540 DP 4WD, such as:
  • Same engine, transmission, transfer case, suspension, brakes and fuel tank
  • Same outer rear view mirror design
  • Same “Three in one tail lights”. It means it had the turn indicator, brake light and parking light. There were no reversing lights though. As I remember, the lower side of the cover was transparent and hence when the parking lights were turned on, a number plate or any other sign board below it would also be illuminated. However, in our MM540, the lower side of the cover rested on the bumper and hence didn’t have anything to illuminate.
  • Same matte black FRP instrument panel
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Old 31st December 2012, 08:56   #7
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Default re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

What a wonderful piece of knowledge. This jeep seems to fit the bill for a daily driver, an offroader, a family car with 4 doors. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 31st December 2012, 09:01   #8
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Default re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Interesting info. I am surprised to see even the LWB version came with 5.38:1 axle ratio.
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Old 31st December 2012, 09:27   #9
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Default re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Dont know about others but my 1993 4x2 MM commander 750dp has 5.38 differential & my 1998~99 4x4 armada also has 5.38 ratio.

Last edited by jeepster : 31st December 2012 at 09:28.
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Old 31st December 2012, 10:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
Dont know about others but my 1993 4x2 MM commander 750dp has 5.38 differential & my 1998~99 4x4 armada also has 5.38 ratio.
AFAIK other than the 540 which had a ratio of 4.88:1, all other models, both short and long wheelbase (640, 750, 340) have a 5.38:1 reduction.
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Old 31st December 2012, 10:13   #11
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Default Re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Got it !!

here is an article about body building process in early days when there were no suv's & no show-off owners too.
Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-dsc02687.jpg

Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-dsc02688.jpg

Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-dsc02689.jpg

Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-dsc02682.jpg

Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-dsc02683.jpg

Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-dsc02684.jpg

Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-dsc02679.jpg

There were only two Jeep station wagon in my city.

here is a picture of one of them.
Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette-dsc03426-large.jpg
rgds,
Nikhil

Last edited by Samurai : 31st December 2012 at 11:12. Reason: as requested
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Old 31st December 2012, 11:02   #12
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Default Re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miel View Post
Seems like it was India's first "stretched" production wagon
there were other examples built on the then M&M NC , a cab & a load carrier & lwb , but these did not have a company seal . ( 'quality control ' ) .
In 1989 there were very few choices ( ?? ) in 4 side door vehicles ( Jeep/ utility , 2 ton gvw ) & none in 4x4 . there were Tata estates , Trax swb ( 1st gen ) Gypsy HT ( 3 side doors & petrol ) & NC jeeps ( body to be built by/at owners risk )

Quote:
Please do post your experiences with this vehicle as you may be the only owner who can boast of such a long association with it. Hence it’s very unique!
certainly, there were atleast some 200 in Pune , AFAIK 2 survive -- the quality has helped their premature scrapping .


Quote:
Looking at the brochure, there are many things the MM540 MBW had in common with our 1991 MM540 DP 4WD, such as:[list][*]Same engine, transmission, transfer case, suspension, brakes and fuel tank===
[
the rear diff is center for both the 2 & 4 wd , it has 15" wheel discs & had 6.70 type tyres ( Later I went for 7.00 tyres which suited the diff ratio more )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanderjeet View Post
What a wonderful piece of knowledge. This jeep seems to fit the bill for a daily driver, an offroader, a family car with 4 doors. Thanks for sharing.
It is & was an Important part of my life & memories particularly . Its the extension of one's personality .

a five door 4 wd station wagon is a dark horse , that works harder everyday & surprises you with its utility value . Its a perfect family Jeep , though its not as agile as a cj 3 .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Interesting info. I am surprised to see even the LWB version came with 5.38:1 axle ratio.
This gives this Jeep an 'Unforgettable ' crawl , with the kind of load & the terrain I have done in first & second Low -- very few can live that challenge . It can do kms of steep inclines at a walking pace ( such is the crawl ) with a ton on board , I did sweat sometimes but she didnt . the only fault was the SFRA & the F 78 tyres which I cured later .

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
Dont know about others but my 1993 4x2 MM commander 750dp has 5.38 differential & my 1998~99 4x4 armada also has 5.38 ratio.
Just a point to note ; my converted FFRA has commander axles .

Sudarshan
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Old 31st December 2012, 19:51   #13
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Default Re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

I had this vehicle for a short time (4 years) during the 90's. It was very comfortable (for its time) and very spacious.
It was notoriously prone to rust, due the hand beaten body! It comforatably cruised at about 90kmph.

Last edited by jyobeb : 31st December 2012 at 19:53.
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Old 3rd January 2013, 14:42   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyobeb View Post
I had this vehicle for a short time (4 years) during the 90's. It was very comfortable (for its time) and very spacious.
It was notoriously prone to rust, due the hand beaten body! It comforatably cruised at about 90kmph.
Did you encounter ;

1) SFRA breaking

2) sag in chassis below bulkhead , resulting in

a) cracking up of the front wing joint with bulkhead

b) Jamming/ tightness in steering , which needed loosening of steering GB on chassis > re aligning it with dash clamp> re tightening on chassis

3) repeated breaking of battery bracket in side bonnet


Sudarshan
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Old 3rd January 2013, 16:36   #15
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Default Re: Which Mahindra is this? EDIT : It's a MM540 Metal Body Wagonette

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
Did you encounter ;

1) SFRA breaking

2) sag in chassis below bulkhead , resulting in

a) cracking up of the front wing joint with bulkhead

b) Jamming/ tightness in steering , which needed loosening of steering GB on chassis > re aligning it with dash clamp> re tightening on chassis

3) repeated breaking of battery bracket in side bonnet


Sudarshan
Ha ha ha! All these issues were faced. Just lived with it b'cos thats what happened when you owned a Jeep!
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