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Old 4th June 2016, 22:11   #76
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Jammu-Mumbai-Jammu roadtrip

Part 6 - Marathon run Mumbai - Gurgaon (32 h / 1400 Km )

September mid and its time to return back to J&K with a halt over at Gurgaon. Disconnected the front prop shaft again for this highway jaunt. Started from Goregaon (W) at 0500 hrs. Overnight near Chittaurgarh in Gypsy. Gurgaon at 1300 hrs. Total time 32 hours including an overnight halt.

With my confidence in the Gypsy restored I decided to push it a bit on my return trip. Maintained a cruising speed of 80 on the speedo (5% error due to oversized tyres). 80 is the best highway cruising speed for a long haul in my MG410W. It runs the smoothest and the coolest at this speed. Average fuel economy took a hit at this slightly higher than normal cruising speed.

So 60-65kmph cruising gives me 13-14 kmpl and 80kmph gives me around 12kmpl. A fair tradeoff for a much faster and safer highway experience.
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Old 5th June 2016, 02:27   #77
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This thread is a treasure trove. The amount of information it houses is splendid. Absolutely loved your narration @antihero. Brilliantly organized thread.

As it turns out, owning a gypsy and modifying it for the same needs you have has been a lifelong dream. I am an amateur trekker and landscape / wildlife photography has been my passion ever since. Gypsy seems to be the perfect car to accompany me in my endeavors.
Wish to buy off a Written-off govt gypsy in the near future and this thread has given me an insight on what to expect and implement.

Hats off to you and all the contributing members for organizing this thread. Would love to see more of your updates.
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Old 5th June 2016, 08:58   #78
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This thread is a treasure trove. The amount of information it houses is splendid. Absolutely loved your narration @antihero. Brilliantly organized thread.
Thank you for your compliment. Team-bhp has a thread rating system. If you find this thread useful you can rate it in the top right corner of this page

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Originally Posted by hakunabatata View Post
As it turns out, owning a gypsy and modifying it for the same needs you have has been a lifelong dream. I am an amateur trekker and landscape / wildlife photography has been my passion ever since. Gypsy seems to be the perfect car to accompany me in my endeavors.
Wish to buy off a Written-off govt gypsy in the near future and this thread has given me an insight on what to expect and implement.

Hats off to you and all the contributing members for organizing this thread. Would love to see more of your updates.
If i can give you one suggestion, it would be to find a used privately owned gypsy. It took me a long time to find one that was not an army / government surplus. The benefits in term of money and time saved in getting it in a perfect running condition far outweigh the cons.
However, if you love tinkering and want to build one from scratch (I have to admit it appeals to me as well) then an army / government auctioned gypsy suffices. Just my 2 cents

Last edited by antihero : 5th June 2016 at 08:59. Reason: grammar and spelling
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Old 6th June 2016, 13:02   #79
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Thank you for your compliment. Team-bhp has a thread rating system. If you find this thread useful you can rate it in the top right corner of this page
Already did.

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If i can give you one suggestion, it would be to find a used privately owned gypsy. It took me a long time to find one that was not an army / government surplus. The benefits in term of money and time saved in getting it in a perfect running condition far outweigh the cons.
However, if you love tinkering and want to build one from scratch (I have to admit it appeals to me as well) then an army / government auctioned gypsy suffices. Just my 2 cents
The privilege i have right now is that i know of a few Govt. gypsies that have been relieved of their duties due to lack of funds for fuel. These gypsies are otherwise in a good working condition, but are put in the shed because govt. has reduced the grants for the fuel.
Most Govt. departments are now getting newer cars since the gypsies have become very old and as a result the maintenance is overlooked. Plus not many ranking officials share the same love for they gypsy and want newer luxury cars to be driven in.
This leaves a lot of room to procure one of those gypsies since they're just lying around. I do agree on your point on getting a privately owned one though, but as you correctly guessed it, I'm one of those who loves tinkering.
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Old 7th June 2016, 19:42   #80
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Default Re: 1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places

Jammu-Mumbai-Jammu roadtrip

Final - Part 7 - Marathon Run 2 - Gurgaon - Patnitop (16 h / 700 Km)

The Gypsy is showing signs of a starting problem in Gurgaon. The self starter gets stuck sometimes and the MG410W needs a jolt to get the starter firing again. This problem resurfaces every once in a while and leads me to believe that the self-starter assembly needs a look over.
Star from Gurgaon at 0500. Still on the 80kmph highway cruise sans the front prop-shaft. MG410W runs like clockwork, no starter problems en-route. I pick up a Police Sub Inspector in uniform just before Panipat who wants a lift till Karnal. Free toll rides ensure, the blaze guys wave us through without much along. Drop off my passenger in Karnal and decide to take the route that goes straight through Ludhiana. A bit of apprehension about getting the hot running MG410W through a city notorious for bad traffic but we breeze through. Jalandhar, Pathankot dispatched with and on to Patnitop with no problem. Fuel stops in Ambala and Lakhanpur, mileage calculated 12.2 and 12.8 Kmpl. Reach Patnitop at 2100.

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-img_0485.jpg
The MG410W at its usual parking spot in Patnitop (J&K)

This ends the Jammu-Mumbai-Jammu travelogue. More on snow-less winter of 2015-16 later.
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Old 12th June 2016, 09:29   #81
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A snow less winter 2015-16

2015-16 winter has been a dry squib off late. We get between a foot or two of snow in December and January but its been a dry squib this year.

With the winters approaching in October, the first thing on the agenda was to get the starter motor fixed in Jammu. Off to my trusted electrician. One of the few people who still repairs starters. After inspecting the armature and bushes for wear he recommended changing both. Mico-Bosch armature and bushes procured and installed. The starter fires in half turns now.

Here’s how to inspect and check the starter motor from Suzuki Samurai SJ manual
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Old 12th June 2016, 09:37   #82
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Default Re: 1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places

A snow less winter 2015-16 continued

Regular service, 5W-30 winter engine oil, antifreeze and a few extra sheets of heatlon on the load bed and the MG410 is ready for winter trudges.

Although it didn’t snow in the Himalayas this year the temperatures have been cold nonetheless. Minimum temperature recorded was -10C with windchill.

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-bhanus-windows-phone_20160207_07_47_28_pro.jpg
1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-bhanus-windows-phone_20160211_16_22_41_pro.jpg
Usual parking for the 4WD MG410W in winters

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-bhanus-windows-phone_20160207_09_36_46_pro.jpg
a one wheel drive on a cold winter day

For most of the year everything on four wheels including Tata Ace will shrug and overtake an MG410W with disdain. But come snow and ice, the MG410W redeems itself. For about a month, we get to have the last laugh at helpless tourists stranded on icy roads, tails fishtailing and flailing on icy roads. Nathatop at 2700m is a popular tourist destination here and I’ve lost count of cars we have towed and helped out of ditches.

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-20150517dp2m3608.jpg
Nathatop on a snow free day
1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-20160108dp2m4194.jpg
Nathatop on a ice and snow filled day

For most tourists, bravado coupled with inexperience on snow is a deadly combination. I saw a Scorpio turn turtle as the driver refused to listen and decided that a ham footed approach would get him out of a icy drift. In retrospective, I think when the turbo charger kicked in the abrupt power surge led to a fishtail and the vehicle slipped off the road and landed (fortunately) in a small ditch on its driver side door. No-one was seriously hurt except the driver’s ego and a huge dent in his wallet. We usually witness one such incident every year. If you are headed in snow, make sure you have the experience to deal with it.

Here's what a gentle snowstorm feels like.

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-bhanus-windows-phone_20160108_11_27_12_pro.jpg
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Old 19th June 2016, 03:50   #83
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Hello Antihero,

I have been following your travelogue diligently. I must say you have really put your Gypsy to the right use. I also must add that the place that you stay is absolutely beautiful (just guessing from the pictures as I have not travelled to Patni Top).

I have spent my teenage years in Himachal before I moved overseas. During my childhood years I have traveled to some lesser known places such as Shoja in Tirthan valley, Shikari Devi in Mandi district, Tabo in Lahul & Spiti valley, Dodra Kwar in interior Shimla and Pangi valley in Chamba district (this is close to where you are) along with my dad who was in the forest department. Most of these sojourns (some were still not accessible by road those days) were done in late 70s/early 80s in a petrol Mahindra that had a three speed antiquated transmission along with a low ratio transfer case.

Looking at all these beautiful pictures I want to relive those beautiful memories and I have already started working towards that. I have been hiking in British Columbia for a few years now (simple day hikes with a few overnight ones) and have procured some hiking gear over the years such a 65 Ltr waterproof back pack, a pair of good hiking boots, a hunting knife (just as a precaution not that I can hunt with it), a compass, a binocular and a ultra-light sleeping bag. Back in January I have also bought a brand new 2016 Gypsy King that is parked in Shimla for now. Could only put about 300 clicks on the clock before I had to head back. Just waiting for my next trip to India to undertake some good quality travel in the interior mountainous areas of Himachal.

Thank you very much for uploading the service manual of the Suzuki Samurai. Most of the information is relevant barring the fuel injection part for the current Gypsies. The manual that you’ve uploaded was published in 1987 so the engine in all probability is 1.3 ltr G-13A, 8 valve carb engine. Suzuki Samurai was never sold in North America with a 1 ltr F10-A engine so hopefully you’ll be able to get some info on that aspect from some other source (that is if you plan to work on the engine yourself). I have been trying to source the service manual but the utter lack of response by the folks at Maruti is well known therefore no luck so far on that front.

Regarding engine oil, my advice (I have worked for oil companies for close to 20 years in the field of lubricants) is to use a 10W-30 (synthetic blend) in view of your location & exposure to temperatures that are well below freezing as synthetic oil would protect your engine when you crank it on a chilly morning (95% of engine damage occurs at start up) & would withstand shear & oxidation much better when your Gypsy is going up that incline with full load & it is 35°C (your engine oil is practically cooking at this point); mineral oils shear out of viscosity much faster. Synthetics also have a much lower pour point so they flow much more easily at lower temperatures. In addition there will be less load on your battery as your starter does not have to work that hard (mineral oils become like jelly below freezing and cause viscous drag on the starter motor).

One additional piece of advice; change your oil every 6 to 7,000 kms & your air filter every 15 to 20,000 kms with cleaning carried out at every 2,500 kms. The service intervals in the Gypsy manual are meant of everyday driving & yours is a case of driving in extreme conditions. The dust levels in India are high & the problem is exacerbated when you drive on unpaved roads.

Your point about winter tires is very well put. Over here I do use winter tires from November till April however the temperature here dips below freezing in November, frequently goes down up to -35°C (one night in 2006 I saw -42°C and that too without wind-chill) and comes up to positive only by April.

Modern winter tires (snow tire – that terminology is no longer used as you need winter tires and temperatures some times in Northern hemisphere can dip to -40°C without a spec of snow on the ground) use soft compound rubber and are designed to be used only up to 7°C as above that temperature the ride becomes jiggly and winter tires wear out at an exponential rate.

Market for winter tires in India is very much limited on account of temperature fluctuation and lack of awareness/demand. I’m looking into the possibility of getting four winter tires for my Gypsy as part of my luggage (I don’t know if that’s even feasible). I have found Yokohama Iceguard at a local dealer that’ll fit the stock Gypsy rims perfectly.

Your advice regarding driving on snow/ice was very useful. I hope guys that frequently drive up during winter from plains (Chandigarh/Delhi & other cities) pay heed as I have seen some buffoons myself in their garish 4X4s with oversized tires and blinding lights trying to speed on snow laden roads on highway leading out of Shimla & in Manali/elsewhere putting their & other road users’ lives in danger. One cannot defy laws of Physics just because you’re driving a 4WD vehicle.

Keep truckin’ my friend….
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Old 28th June 2016, 22:50   #84
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Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
I have been following your travelogue diligently. I must say you have really put your Gypsy to the right use. I also must add that the place that you stay is absolutely beautiful (just guessing from the pictures as I have not travelled to Patni Top).
I have been following your posts in Gypsy threads as well. J&K, partly due to terrorism is relatively unexplored yet a beautiful destination.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
I have spent my teenage years in Himachal before I moved overseas. During my childhood years I have traveled to some lesser known places such as Shoja in Tirthan valley, Shikari Devi in Mandi district, Tabo in Lahul & Spiti valley, Dodra Kwar in interior Shimla and Pangi valley in Chamba district (this is close to where you are) along with my dad who was in the forest department. Most of these sojourns (some were still not accessible by road those days) were done in late 70s/early 80s in a petrol Mahindra that had a three speed antiquated transmission along with a low ratio transfer case.
That must have been quite an experience. In those years to go visit such remote places was unheard of. I reckon I have travelled every motor able road in Himachal yet it draws me every time i am there. The MG is the perfect travel companion. One of the few vehicles in which you don't have to worry how the road will end up. Given the current state of poor road maintenance in interior Himachal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
Looking at all these beautiful pictures I want to relive those beautiful memories and I have already started working towards that. I have been hiking in British Columbia for a few years now (simple day hikes with a few overnight ones) and have procured some hiking gear over the years such a 65 Ltr waterproof back pack, a pair of good hiking boots, a hunting knife (just as a precaution not that I can hunt with it), a compass, a binocular and a ultra-light sleeping bag. Back in January I have also bought a brand new 2016 Gypsy King that is parked in Shimla for now. Could only put about 300 clicks on the clock before I had to head back. Just waiting for my next trip to India to undertake some good quality travel in the interior mountainous areas of Himachal.
Just returned from a long sojourn in Spiti. Perhaps next time we can do a MG410 & MG413 road trip
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
Thank you very much for uploading the service manual of the Suzuki Samurai. Most of the information is relevant barring the fuel injection part for the current Gypsies. The manual that you’ve uploaded was published in 1987 so the engine in all probability is 1.3 ltr G-13A, 8 valve carb engine. Suzuki Samurai was never sold in North America with a 1 ltr F10-A engine so hopefully you’ll be able to get some info on that aspect from some other source (that is if you plan to work on the engine yourself). I have been trying to source the service manual but the utter lack of response by the folks at Maruti is well known therefore no luck so far on that front.
I work on the Gypsy myself, given (what i reckon to be) the poor state of Maruti workshops. The only thing i get done at a workshop is fluid change, since we don't have fluid recycling stations in India. Fortunately, I live with a friend who has owned a Gypsy since '86 and is handy with spanners. He acts as my service manual.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
Regarding engine oil, my advice (I have worked for oil companies for close to 20 years in the field of lubricants) is to use a 10W-30 (synthetic blend) in view of your location & exposure to temperatures that are well below freezing as synthetic oil would protect your engine when you crank it on a chilly morning (95% of engine damage occurs at start up) & would withstand shear & oxidation much better when your Gypsy is going up that incline with full load & it is 35°C (your engine oil is practically cooking at this point); mineral oils shear out of viscosity much faster. Synthetics also have a much lower pour point so they flow much more easily at lower temperatures. In addition there will be less load on your battery as your starter does not have to work that hard (mineral oils become like jelly below freezing and cause viscous drag on the starter motor).

One additional piece of advice; change your oil every 6 to 7,000 kms & your air filter every 15 to 20,000 kms with cleaning carried out at every 2,500 kms. The service intervals in the Gypsy manual are meant of everyday driving & yours is a case of driving in extreme conditions. The dust levels in India are high & the problem is exacerbated when you drive on unpaved roads.
Point noted, Any specific oil you would recommend, with your experience? I have been using Shell MGP oils till date diligently changed at under 5K kilometres. Transmission oil changed at every 20K kilometres and air filter cleaned once a month (very dusty highway, between Jammu and Patnitop) and replaced often.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
Your point about winter tires is very well put. Over here I do use winter tires from November till April however the temperature here dips below freezing in November, frequently goes down up to -35°C (one night in 2006 I saw -42°C and that too without wind-chill) and comes up to positive only by April.

Modern winter tires (snow tire – that terminology is no longer used as you need winter tires and temperatures some times in Northern hemisphere can dip to -40°C without a spec of snow on the ground) use soft compound rubber and are designed to be used only up to 7°C as above that temperature the ride becomes jiggly and winter tires wear out at an exponential rate.

Market for winter tires in India is very much limited on account of temperature fluctuation and lack of awareness/demand. I’m looking into the possibility of getting four winter tires for my Gypsy as part of my luggage (I don’t know if that’s even feasible). I have found Yokohama Iceguard at a local dealer that’ll fit the stock Gypsy rims perfectly.
Personally I prefer the 215/75-15 profile. Although it does go just over the 5% deviation rule, yet its the size the MG should have come shod with in the first place
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
Your advice regarding driving on snow/ice was very useful. I hope guys that frequently drive up during winter from plains (Chandigarh/Delhi & other cities) pay heed as I have seen some buffoons myself in their garish 4X4s with oversized tires and blinding lights trying to speed on snow laden roads on highway leading out of Shimla & in Manali/elsewhere putting their & other road users’ lives in danger. One cannot defy laws of Physics just because you’re driving a 4WD vehicle.


Keep truckin’ my friend….
There's no accounting for imbeciles my friend...
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Old 29th June 2016, 07:27   #85
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Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
I have spent my teenage years in Himachal before I moved overseas. During my childhood years I have traveled to some lesser known places such as Shoja in Tirthan valley, Shikari Devi in Mandi district, Tabo in Lahul & Spiti valley, Dodra Kwar in interior Shimla and Pangi valley in Chamba district (this is close to where you are) along with my dad who was in the forest department. Most of these sojourns (some were still not accessible by road those days) were done in late 70s/early 80s in a petrol Mahindra that had a three speed antiquated transmission along with a low ratio transfer case.

Keep truckin’ my friend….
The old Mahindra Jeep (even the CJ 500) used to have that Floor Shift 3 FWD speed + 1 Reverse gear box with the 4WD selector stalks for the 4L-4H transfer case right down there next to the gear box. The gear change gates used to be in the form of a simple H. R at the top left. 1 at the bottom left, N in the middle, 2 at the top right and 3 at the bottom right.

I loved driving this extremely basic vehicle while learning to drive. Of course the steering never felt connected to anything and provided one absolutely STOOD on them, the brakes used to kick in once in a while with much squealing, wailing and gnashing of the teeth...
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Old 29th June 2016, 09:58   #86
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You’re absolutely right Shankar without exception petrol Mahindra used to be the par for the course in the Forest/Police & Armed Forces especially in hill states like Himachal.

In spite of its shortcomings the petrol Mahindra had a certain charm about it especially when it used to be the only 4X4 available amongst the lesser Ambassadors & Premier Padminis. I learnt to drive on one in mid 80s (actually taught myself while closely observing my dad’s driver & slowly driving it in the parking lot at night). One characteristic was the extraordinary play of the steering wheel while the clutch plates barely lasted 25,000 kms. The carburetor would need tuning every once in while & timing would need to be adjusted by advancing/retarding the distributor every few thousand kilometers.

The amount of torque available in either the 3rd (top gear) or 2nd gear was barely adequate for anything other than a level piece of asphalt, slight incline and you would find yourself shifting into 1st gear in a hurry. Shifting into 4H or 4L used to be an art that needed to mastered; you couldn’t shift into low range without coming to complete halt.

These were the days before the advent of Maruti when the traffic on the roads used to be sparse; you didn’t need a radar based cruise control, no one had heard about ABS, EBD & one could drive into sunset without running into another vehicle on the road…………
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Old 29th June 2016, 11:21   #87
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I have been following your posts in Gypsy threads as well. J&K, partly due to terrorism is relatively unexplored yet a beautiful destination.

That must have been quite an experience. In those years to go visit such remote places was unheard of. I reckon I have travelled every motor able road in Himachal yet it draws me every time i am there. The MG is the perfect travel companion. One of the few vehicles in which you don't have to worry how the road will end up. Given the current state of poor road maintenance in interior Himachal.

Just returned from a long sojourn in Spiti. Perhaps next time we can do a MG410 & MG413 road trip

I work on the Gypsy myself, given (what i reckon to be) the poor state of Maruti workshops. The only thing i get done at a workshop is fluid change, since we don't have fluid recycling stations in India. Fortunately, I live with a friend who has owned a Gypsy since '86 and is handy with spanners. He acts as my service manual.

Point noted, Any specific oil you would recommend, with your experience? I have been using Shell MGP oils till date diligently changed at under 5K kilometres. Transmission oil changed at every 20K kilometres and air filter cleaned once a month (very dusty highway, between Jammu and Patnitop) and replaced often.

Personally I prefer the 215/75-15 profile. Although it does go just over the 5% deviation rule, yet its the size the MG should have come shod with in the first place

There's no accounting for imbeciles my friend...
Wow, I almost feel envious. While driving to Spiti about 25 years ago I remember the Jeep could only manage a certain section in 1st gear (I think it was near Pooh) and the radiator stated steaming after a few kilometers and this routine would be repeated every 50 or so kilometers. Now I look back & wonder when was the last time I topped up my car’s radiator.

You’re right, there are a number of places in all our hill states that exude the old world charm away from hustle & bustle of the big towns/cities. The charm of stopping at a secluded tea shop on the road side in the middle of nowhere, grabbing a bite at a small dhaba with pure milk tea that overlooks a river by the side of the majestic mountain or just stopping to take a break for no reason & take in the pristine, crisp mountain air or just to look at a view that is out of this world & cannot be captured by the best camera available out there is something that cannot be described.

Every time I come back home I am pained by the steady deterioration that has become the hallmark of this boom of so called tourism & sheer apathy with which most (not all) of visitors treat these serene environ/locales that they come to look at. My fear is, in a few years all these places that have endured thousands of years of soil/wind/snow erosion will lose whatever little charm they have left.

If you’re able to do most of the work on your Gypsy it is commendable indeed; kudos to you my friend. Maybe you can give me a few tips when we do this joint drive, the idea is great by the way & I will work on the logistics. Next time when I come back home I plan to get a couple of Bilstein shocks (24-012157 for front & 24-012164 for rear). I would like to know your friend’s opinion on that.

As for the engine oil recommendation I bought a case of Shell Helix HX-7 10W-40 synthetic blend just before I left & got the first service done (I apologize I have inadvertently mentioned 10W-30 in my earlier post) you cannot go wrong with this oil.

Good to know that Yokohamas have a good traction in snow as winter tires in India is not a feasible option.
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Old 30th June 2016, 21:07   #88
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Default Re: 1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places

The MG410W is just back from a trip to Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh and would you know it - No Breakdown. The only casualty - a silencer support rubber broke off due to all the jostling around. No carb adjustment required till the max elevation of 4568 metres. The trip did involve a fair amount of bouncing but the discomfort was nothing compared to the views.

Here's a teaser.

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-img_20160621_152328369_hdr.jpg
Most treacherous road, you don't say!

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-p1030160.jpg
Sunset at Upper Kinnaur

Complete travelogue coming soon.
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Old 4th August 2016, 13:55   #89
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Default Spiti Travelogue - Part 1 - Getting ready

Why would you want to do a high altitude drive on one of the most treacherous roads in the country in a 20 year old 45BHP bone rattling ride when you have a perfectly good car and a pocket rocket KTM in your garage?
Quote:
If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.
Driving slow in an old underpowered MG410W has a charm of its own. The drive is more engaging, since you are working the gearshift all the time and it has masochist inkling to it.
After the long Patnitop - Mumbai - Patnitop sojourn me and my co-driver (VKR) decided on a slightly more ambitious project. Kalka - Sangla - Kaza - Manali - Chandigarh. The plan was to meet up in Kalka and finish the sojourn in Chandigarh.

The bed in the back
We had been pondering getting rid of the roof top carrier for a long time since the 8 year old Michelins are still going strong and Ive had zero puncture in the last couple of years. Therefore, carrying 2 spare wheels was just additional weight on an already underpowered Gypsy. I have to leave the Gypsy unattended with my trekking gear often. Therefore, I have been pondering on how to keep the gear out of sight. Finally it dawned on me. A double decker setup. Gear goes below and the bed on top.
Off came the roof carrier. Some welding and cutting later, the roof rack was converted to a bed platform. The spare wheel was moved inside in the rear cab. A hole in the floor with a bolt holds it. (This turns out to be an inadequate solution as we found out in our trip. More on that later). A heavy duty ply wood was sourced and placed on this metal stand, completing the bed. A short test drive revealed that the bed gets noisy and to combat NVH we sourced some heathen and pasted under the plywood. Two bungee cords sourced from Amazon hold the plywood snug against the metal frame.

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-wp_20160517_19_58_59_pro-2.jpg
Roof carrier being cut and ground in shape.

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-bhanus-phone_20160519_12_28_55_pro.jpg
Roof rack cut and bolted in the rear

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-bhanus-phone_20160519_12_29_05_pro.jpg
The spare wheel with a bolt holding it to the floor (this was a mistake)

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-bhanus-phone_20160519_12_36_57_pro.jpg
The plywood with heatlon attached to its base


1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-bhanus-phone_20160519_12_37_05_pro.jpg
Final bed sans the bungee cords


The preparation
The usual MG410W preparation started at home with a complete body and underbody wash and a wax. Spent another evening with a 10-12 torque wrench and tightening every bolt in sight. A under the hood visual inspection revealed
  • few frayed rubber bits
  • a rich running engine
  • abraded front disk brake braids
  • Leaky front left shock
I was a bit worried about the front bearings, since its been two years since they have been worked on or inspected. Yet our on the jack - rattle the tyres revealed no sign of noise or play. Installed a LED map reading light for reading in the new bed. Bumper plastic joints screwed in place.
Next day we drove to our workshop in Udhampur (the nearest big town with a huge army presence, that ensures amply Gypsy spares). Oil change and basic system like electrical, brakes and hoses were checked and preemptive maintenance applied
  • New brake braids
  • Fresh oil and filter. Found 10W40 Semi synthetic oil as recommended by @VikramArya
  • Brake pads were inspected, cleaned and pronounced fine
  • Two wheel nuts had come stuck on the rear left drum brake and had to be chiseled off and replaced
  • Timing, air filter and carb adjusted for a leaner mixture (would help at higher altitude)
  • Radiator was double checked for gunk and hoses inspected for blockage, because the Gypsy runs hot in traffic (see previous posts). Nothing out of place found.
  • Universal Crosses lubed and contrary to our guess, the front (4wd) prop shaft did not require a cross change.
  • Wheel bearings double checked
  • Tyres rotated
  • My knowledgable friend advised against shock replacement and we decided to run with the leaky front left shock.

1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-wp_20160731_17_30_03_pro-2.jpg
Ready for the trip


1996 Maruti Gypsy MG410W - Going places-wp_20160802_12_58_24_pro.jpg
Beading water, so I must be waxing right!

Next: Patnitop to Kalka

Last edited by antihero : 4th August 2016 at 13:57.
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Old 5th August 2016, 06:26   #90
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Default Re: Spiti Travelogue - Part 1 - Getting ready

Quote:
Originally Posted by antihero View Post
Why would you want to do a high altitude drive on one of the most treacherous roads in the country in a 20 year old 45BHP bone rattling ride when you have a perfectly good car and a pocket rocket KTM in your garage?

Driving slow in an old underpowered MG410W has a charm of its own. The drive is more engaging, since you are working the gearshift all the time and it has masochist inkling to it.


The bed in the back
We had been pondering getting rid of the roof top carrier for a long time
Next day we drove to our workshop in Udhampur (the nearest big town with a huge army presence, that ensures amply Gypsy spares). Oil change and basic system like electrical, brakes and hoses were checked and preemptive maintenance applied[list][*]New brake braids [*]Fresh oil and filter. Found 10W40 Semi synthetic oil as recommended by @VikramArya[*]Brake pads were inspected, cleaned and pronounced fine[*]Two wheel nuts had come stuck on the rear left drum brake and had to be chiseled off and replaced[*]Timing, air filter and carb adjusted for a leaner mixture (would help at higher altitude)[*]Radiator was double checked for gunk and hoses inspected for blockage, because the Gypsy runs hot in traffic (see previous posts). Nothing out of place found.[*]Universal Crosses lubed and contrary to our guess, the front (4wd) prop shaft did not require a cross change.[*]Wheel bearings double checked[*]Tyres rotated[*]My knowledgable friend advised against shock replacement and we decided to run with the leaky front left shock.


Next: Patnitop to Kalka
Glad to see you back on the forum! I have been anxiously waiting for this report.

Your few opening sentences bring to the fore the rationale of why you prefer Gypsy (driver’s engagement with his machine) and that’s the reason (in addition to few others) that I absolutely adore Gypsy as well. Contrast it with a boring way to drive by engaging the cruise control (at 110 kmph) & driving on for hundreds to kilometers on the freeways without moving a muscle...

Taking care of the preventive maintenance piece, way to go buddy; a great way to (almost) eliminate surprises when on the road (they may still come your way though).

A very ingenious way to hide your gear & have a comfortable bed as well, great thinking!

I’m curious though as to why your friend did not advise you to change the leaky shock absorber. Please carry on..

Last edited by Vikram Arya : 5th August 2016 at 06:36.
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