Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > 4x4 & Off-Roading > 4x4 Vehicles


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th October 2013, 10:36   #1
BHPian
 
JEHU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/Madurai
Posts: 100
Thanked: 53 Times
Talking Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

I've been logging into TEAM BHP for the past 8 years before which my source of Automotive info was confined to AUTO INDIA, Car and Bike International, Overdrive and the likes. Even now, I feel I'm totally new to the automotive world and am just in the womb as far as the 4X4s are concerned.If given an opportunity to meet some VIPs in the automotive world in a day, I would call on Jaggu,who guided me through my SWIFT woes; GTO ,for his timely updates on the latest launches, Anshuman ,whose experience spans various genres in automotive stuff; DB,for those JEEP DNAs that he donates through the forum; ARKA,a very helpful man, whom I had the privilege of meeting a couple of times when I was living in Chennai and used to drool over his JEEP modifications which are always practical; Beboy John,whom I've never met despite exchanging texts on his monstrous 4X4 rebuild.

The story goes like this: I've had varieties of vehicles starting from the Bajaj Classic bought in 1997; HERO PUCH automatic bought in 2000 and sold in 2001; Maruti 800, bought in 2004; Honda Unicorn, bought in 2005 and sold in 2013; Swift Deisel, bought in 2008 and sold in 2012; Mitsubishi Cedia, bought in 2012 and sold in 2013; Safari VLX bought in May 2013 and sold in June 2013; Maruti 800 bought in June 2013 and sold in September 2013;Yamaha RXZ 4 Speed bought in June 2013 and restored, Scooty Pep bought on October 25, 2013 and the legendary MM550, 2001 model bought on October 24, 2013.In all, I've used 11 vehicles, sold 6 of them and am retaining 5 of them.

You might think that I'm well off and could afford any kind of vehicle per my whims and fancies. In all these years, am living in houses on rent, which dont have enough parking space even for a single vehicle, bought vehicles and showered money on them for VIP numbers which sometimes costs as much as 10-13% of the vehicles cost and my average expense on vehicle maintenance, insurance, fuel, accessories, parking and toll takes about 2/3 of my monthly salary

But the price one pays for being a passionate automotive fan is next to one's life savings. Hope, most of them in this forum would agree with me on this.

On those sleepless nights and stress filled work timings, TEAM BHP had given me the road to escape and I cant agree more on this.

A true-blooded JEEP had caught my fancy when my dad had got me a toy Jeep when I was in my 3rd standard and I always wanted to own and drive one. Due to the dents, scratches and the less respect that a car commands among the famed taxi walas, share autos, two wheeler stuntmen, I was all the more eager to get a JEEP and wanted to have it as my daily drive.

In this offing, I had texted / PMed Arka a few times, bugged Arka's mechanic Ali a lot of times, been to the Govt Auctioning depots and the scrapyard and Pudupettai whenver I could get time within my grips.

Being a HR in Fortune 500 and 1000 companies for the past decade has helped me track my own AUTOMOTIVE BEHAVIOR through psychometric tests and one such test said that I would be restless until I got what I wanted-it was just the JEEP.

One morning, as I was tossing in my bed, I felt the urge to check the local listing in OLX for a JEEP. There were a lot of them, broken, as is where is, restored with price ranges of Rs.1Lakh for a 1982 model JEEP to Rs.11.5lakhs for a Thar CRDE in Coimbatore. (Coimbatore vehicles are always overpriced and sometimes I feel that its worth it as those vehicles are in proper shape, almost always). Suddenly my eyes popped up when I saw a listing on a MM550 in Madurai, that too just a street behind my office. I texted the person who had put up the listing, called him up before I could brush my teeth and met him and drove the Jeep during the first tea break in my office. The price quoted was for the FULLY DONE UP JEEP was ok to me and Arka too confirmed it through his PM.

How it drives

At the first instance let me draw a comparison to the TATA Safari that I had owned but a few days.
The turning radius is lesser and even without a power steering it feels more responsive than the Safari
The engine feels peppier than the Bolero SLX that I had gone for a TD earlier last month
It feels like being in a boat when driving through broken roads
In the highways, through a small stretch, it exaggerated the uneven surface
Since the tie rods are new, the steering feels smoother than normal jeeps
The foldable stand for the rear seats jump along with the vehicle in broken roads causing a drum beat to be heard at the back

What I like

I like that appearance of the JEEP for which I had been yearning for years
It draws attention instantaneously wherever it goes
Amazingly, I haven't seen people look at it in fear, but they manage to move their eyes and their vehicles away from the line of this JEEP as it approaches them
The reversing lights are powerful and it makes for easier parking in the nights
The headlights and the fog lights are very powerful. I haven't yet checked on the wattage of the lights, but they are enough to light up a ghat road or a rainy highway
For the first time in my life, I had learnt to engage the 4WD levers, engaged it in low and it sailed through the slush in the vegetable market and the wheels were filled to their halfway mark. It was brilliant. I wish to learn the intricacies of engaging 4WDs.
The fact this vehicle has got acceptance from my 63 year old mom, my 5 and 2 year old kids and my wife who's grown used to seeing my desktops and screensavers full of JEEPs, means much to me
The share autos and the the biker boys are all trying to keep a safe distance and am scared no more about the safety of rash riders / drivers. Now they take care of their safety themselves
10 of us travelled in this JEEP to a Children's home for a social cause and no other vehicle could have accommodated as much. It was an instant hit with the little kids in the home too
The children from the neighborhood ask me for a ride and after proper instruction on how they should saddle themselves, I take them for a round or two in my JEEP.
The questions from the little kids on this JEEP are endless and I enjoy every one of them

What I dont like

Its an unsafe vehicle to store things in, to drive and to have costly accessories
Just 4 gears mean that it can't go past 90KMPH in the highways
As Arka says that swapping a 5+1 gearbox could be coupled with hassles, I should stick on to the 4 forward gears
The metal clatter over uneven roads can't be equated with music systems as this vehicle can't be kept from prying eyes and music systems might be lost
Can't park anywhere and everywhere and finding safe spots might be troublesome in new and unknown areas
Since the bonnet can be opened by anyone, I'm afraid of the battery and even the engine components being stolen while it is parked outside my vicinity
Might make the family and the little ones puke, should I take them for long drives in the highways as the body roll is pronounced
Mom says that her neck was paining a bit as she had to turn to her left and right to see what was behind and ahead of her.
The black that my JEEP spews while picking up speed is unnerving. I would like to tame the pollution quotient in it
The flying dust which fills the rear seats
The lack of AC / proper ventilation (when the transition is from hatchbacks and sedans) leaves my formal dresses wet and sweaty
The open rear end might prompt my little son who is 2+ years to explore the other side and that is dangerous even to imagine. (I'm working on a mesh/ screen that would add to the appearance and the safety quotient for the rear passengers

Modifications planned

A safety mesh / screen at the rear
Front facing rear passenger seats with 1.5 inches cushion along the wheel arches
Make some provision for a lockable storage space under the front facing rear seats
Tempo Traveller's foldable front passenger seat for easy entry / exit
Wanted to try the hard tops on offer for MM550s in Coimbatore, but it might spoil the look of the vehicle
LSDs for the rear and auto hub locks (am yet to understand how these work and what advantages they would have during an off-roading trip
Snorkel and if possible a turbo unit for better power
Force Trax pick up's 16 inch rims and 245/75/16 AT tyres or MRF Sandgrip/ Apollo Bullet / JK Sand cum Highway tires on the existing 17KG a piece rims
Reinforcements for the front portion of the canopy so that the rear view mirror does not vibrate likes its on top of a rock driller

May I invite the 4X4 experts to add in your comments and advice for further mods

Now let the pics crawl on the undulating surfaces of our brains
Attached Thumbnails
Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0131.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0132.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0134.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0138.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0140.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0141.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0142.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0144.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0145.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0146.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0147.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 31st October 2013 at 10:04. Reason: Adding paragraph spacing for superior readability. Thanks!
JEHU is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2013, 10:05   #2
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 46,536
Thanked: 80,237 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to 4x4. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2013, 10:44   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Kochi, Bangalore
Posts: 203
Thanked: 69 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Let me be the first to congratulate you on the buy. The jeep looks really good and well maintained. And your jeep should have LSD by default. Really liked the fit of the soft top.

Few questions,
1. Which model is this?
2. When was the rebuild done?

A few suggestions,
1. Get a FWH
2. Remove the stephney tyre cover

Arun
ArunV is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2013, 12:05   #4
BHPian
 
sjcherian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chennai
Posts: 429
Thanked: 329 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Hi Jehu. Congrats on going after the MM550. (I had drooled over many but never went ahead with a pruchase). Amazed at the number of vehicles you have gone through. Love the photo taken at night with all the lamps lit.

Am no 4x4 expert but the only simple input I can provide is that for the noise from the rear seats do try place some rubber bushes under the "legs" and the noise should come down.

One other point - whatever other mods you do please make sure you get headrests for the front seats to minimize whiplash injury in an accident. I know the 550 has no other safety feature but at least keep your neck safe. I hope there are seatbelts already - if not make sure you get them too.

Do investigate the options of getting AC installed and if that doesnt work you can get a couple of the add on fans to atleast get air circulation.
sjcherian is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2013, 12:52   #5
BHPian
 
JEHU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/Madurai
Posts: 100
Thanked: 53 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArunV View Post
Let me be the first to congratulate you on the buy. The jeep looks really good and well maintained. And your jeep should have LSD by default. Really liked the fit of the soft top.

Few questions,
1. Which model is this?
2. When was the rebuild done?

A few suggestions,
1. Get a FWH
2. Remove the stephney tyre cover

Arun
Thanks Arun for the wishes.
This is a MM550 commissioned in Jan 2001 as the info plate on the LHS B pillar claims
The rebuild was done last year, a thorough strip down and mount job. Of late the fuel pump has been overhauled
I'm sorry that I'm unable to decipher what a FWH is and where should I get one. Could you please help me understand its advantages on being installed.
The stepney tyre is not the JK Sand cum highway as the others are and it looks out of place when compared to the other 4 wheels and hence it would be on until I get some Apollo Bullets or JK Sand cum highway tires.[/list]
JEHU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2013, 12:57   #6
BHPian
 
JEHU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/Madurai
Posts: 100
Thanked: 53 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjcherian View Post
Hi Jehu. Congrats on going after the MM550. (I had drooled over many but never went ahead with a pruchase). Amazed at the number of vehicles you have gone through. Love the photo taken at night with all the lamps lit.

Am no 4x4 expert but the only simple input I can provide is that for the noise from the rear seats do try place some rubber bushes under the "legs" and the noise should come down.

One other point - whatever other mods you do please make sure you get headrests for the front seats to minimize whiplash injury in an accident. I know the 550 has no other safety feature but at least keep your neck safe. I hope there are seatbelts already - if not make sure you get them too.

Do investigate the options of getting AC installed and if that doesnt work you can get a couple of the add on fans to atleast get air circulation.
@ SJCherian: Thanks so much for the wishes
I love that simple and pragmatic suggestion of using rubber bushes. Will do it today
I'm planning to do away with both the front seats to get one with seat belts and the one that is foldable in the front left for the passengers to enter and exit.
I'm just back from checking on the AC addition. I know that the 4X4 gurus would advice against it due to several issues like overheating, idle adjustments etc. But am going to get this done when my purse swells a bit
JEHU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2013, 13:38   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Kochi, Bangalore
Posts: 203
Thanked: 69 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEHU View Post
Thanks Arun for the wishes.
I'm sorry that I'm unable to decipher what a FWH is and where should I get one. Could you please help me understand its advantages on being installed.
FWH is free wheeling hub.We have an entire thread on this.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...ubs-jeeps.html (Lamda Free Wheeling Front Hubs for Jeeps)
ArunV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2013, 01:15   #8
BHPian
 
JEHU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/Madurai
Posts: 100
Thanked: 53 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArunV View Post
Thanks for sharing the link. It was useful to know what a Free Wheel Hub could do. I could also go through this blog http://www.warn.com/blog/2011/06/14/...ing_hubs.shtml
JEHU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2013, 05:10   #9
BHPian
 
nik0502's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Gurgaon/Jind
Posts: 261
Thanked: 93 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Congrats on your purchase JEHU.

It gives me relief after reading your post. I too live on a rented house. And spend major portion of my earnings on my vehicles. I stay alone and have too many vehicles. The only difference is that i have parking space for more than 5-6 cars inside my house.

nIk
nik0502 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2013, 09:18   #10
vij
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 261
Thanked: 51 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

I also want one. I have been seeing a few Jeeps on the road and the good ones are a head turner. How much did this cost you?

About curbing your vehicles expenses, all I can say is - get married. Believe me, it will constrict all this. GFs are happy to see your passion in vehicles, but when they become wives, everything changes

And again, a child will almost certainly change your perspectives even more. I was aiming for a BWM 1 or X1 and finally when I COULD afford it, I settled for a Nissan Terrano. I am married and recently blessed with a baby boy
vij is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th November 2013, 02:05   #11
BHPian
 
JEHU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/Madurai
Posts: 100
Thanked: 53 Times
Smile Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik0502 View Post
Congrats on your purchase JEHU.

It gives me relief after reading your post. I too live on a rented house. And spend major portion of my earnings on my vehicles. I stay alone and have too many vehicles. The only difference is that i have parking space for more than 5-6 cars inside my house.

nIk
Wow, you are blessed. Enjoy your passion. If vehicles excite your senses, then feed on it. Now that my dream has come true after more than 2 decades, I plan to build a big house with a big garage with all the latest gizmos that I can add to it just to diagnose, repair and restore vehicles


Quote:
Originally Posted by vij View Post
I also want one. I have been seeing a few Jeeps on the road and the good ones are a head turner. How much did this cost you?

About curbing your vehicles expenses, all I can say is - get married. Believe me, it will constrict all this. GFs are happy to see your passion in vehicles, but when they become wives, everything changes

And again, a child will almost certainly change your perspectives even more. I was aiming for a BWM 1 or X1 and finally when I COULD afford it, I settled for a Nissan Terrano. I am married and recently blessed with a baby boy
Bro, this Jeep cost me 3Lakhs. I'm married 6 years now and have got 2 kids. Exactly on our 6th anniversary, 2 weeks ago, my wife started riding her Scooty but she admires the looks of our Jeep and the tall seating position. She was scared of the Safari due to its intimidating appearance and I chose to sell it only due to her aversion for that vehicle. Maybe the shape of Jeeps has grown on her through all the desktop screensaver photos of Jeeps that our PC and Laptops had on display. I'm blessed to get a wife like her cos she always aspired to fulfill my vehicle dreams knowing that as my most serious passion. My 5 year old daughter and my 2 and half year old son have 3 cycles and a skate board among them along with many toys on wheels. My daughter always draws comparison between the play ground like space in Safari, the lack of sound in a Cedia, the breezy Maruti 800 and the loud sound system the SWIFT had. My son picks Nano Ads and calls out JEEP when he sees Mahindra ads. He prefers the Scooter that we have above the others and calls it his own vehicle. Sometimes I think that too much of anything is good for nothing, but am thrilled
JEHU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th January 2014, 00:16   #12
BHPian
 
JEHU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/Madurai
Posts: 100
Thanked: 53 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

This is how my family, my own and my extended family, realized how a JEEP is the most practical family friendly vehicle. We were lazing around during Christmas vacation as my sister's family joined in. Since my brother in law was curious about the actual utility of a JEEP and commented often that nothing can beat a JEEP when driving in the hills, I said why don't we drive to the hills? My family of four, including 2 kids below 5 and his family of four, which again includes 2 kids under 5 and my mom got into the JEEP and headed to SIRUMALAI. It was a 56km drive from home and so ended up doing 112KMs for the trip. Here are few pics. It has 18 hairpin bends and we couldn't capture much as the digital camera had some shutter problems.The vehicle seems to give around 8KMPL and had to be on 2nd gear on hairpin bends. At the end of the trip there was a mile long grin on all of my family members faces. For the first time they saw me drive below 100KMPH and also saw me allowing other vehicles to overtake mine
Attached Thumbnails
Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0190.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0193.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0194.jpg  

Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0195.jpg  

JEHU is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th January 2014, 02:30   #13
BHPian
 
JEHU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/Madurai
Posts: 100
Thanked: 53 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

Let me thank JEEPSTER for his inputs on ATF 7.50X16 tyre (The Offroad Rims & Tyres Thread). I got one as stepney for Rs.4600 at Madurai and now the rear look of the vehicle looks stunning

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
if there is no dealer of ATF tyres in Hyderabad then pune dealer can send it there.

i bought them @ 4.5K for a set of tyre+tube+transportation. (22,500/- for set of 5)

only transportation cost will be added for Hyderabad so IMO it will cost 4.6K in Hyderabad.

if you want send me a PM with your contact details & i will forward it to the PUNE dealer.

rgds,
Nikhil
This is how my MM550 looks now
Attached Thumbnails
Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!-photo0215.jpg  


Last edited by JEHU : 12th January 2014 at 02:31.
JEHU is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th January 2014, 07:31   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
jeepster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MH24 aka LATUR
Posts: 1,521
Thanked: 941 Times
Default Re: Swift, Cedia, Safari.....and finally, an MM550 4x4!

yes,

Those tyres look good.

But use them with MRF or SEAT tubes as ATF tubes loose air periodically.

rgds,
Nikhil

BTW whats the current price of them ?

Last edited by jeepster : 12th January 2014 at 07:34.
jeepster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th April 2014, 21:27   #15
BHPian
 
JEHU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/Madurai
Posts: 100
Thanked: 53 Times
Default The gearbox problem in my MM550

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
yes,

Those tyres look good.

But use them with MRF or SEAT tubes as ATF tubes loose air periodically.

rgds,
Nikhil

BTW whats the current price of them ?
Thanks for the advice JEEPSTER. I'm using MRF tube and the current price of this tyre is Rs.4500


I haven't clocked much miles but the vehicle has got a gearbox problem already.

-When engaging the REVERSE gear the vehicle moves a few inches and then there is a sound as if it has rammed into some stationery object
-Shifting to and from 2nd gear is rather tough
-The mechanic claims that this problem might cost about 8K to fix and that we might as well get another gearbox

Hardcore Jeepers could you please help me understand as to what should be done now. Can I choose this opportunity to induct a 5+1 gearbox into the transmission.

Please guide
JEHU is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MM550 Army 4x4 Jeeps 4x4addict 4x4 Vehicles 50 21st August 2014 14:57
Finally Finally Finally!!! sudeep.bansal Introduce yourself 7 26th June 2013 23:04
Finally finally finally finally... s4ch Introduce yourself 3 29th March 2012 19:44
Safari GX 4x4 Mineral Red - Booked and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting... HappyWheels Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 166 9th August 2009 11:54
Finally, finally , finally..after 2applications. I am here!! Fordmanchau Introduce yourself 4 22nd July 2009 15:20


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:49.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks