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Old 21st May 2008, 11:02   #1
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Default Commander Project Preliminaries

I am way up here at the front range of the Himalayas. There are no good trustworthy mechanic shops nearby capable of doing extensive restoration or repair of vehicles. Body work they can do but little deep mechanical stuff. Similarly, there are no shops closer than 6 hours away capable of doing extensive modifications. Here anything you buy, anything you mod, had better be stone cold reliable and/or so common that knowledgeable auto mechanic shops can get the spare parts and make the changes. Up here the K.I.S.S. method is the wisdom of the day, KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid.

A local government is about to sell off an old Mahindra Commander four wheel drive unit for 60,000 rupees. See pictures. I am the only one interested so it is mine if I want it. I guess the Commander is the forerunner of the Marshall, at least they look similar. This is an early 1990ís vintage vehicle (Maybe, or late 1980s) and has the Peugeot 2100cc motor in it.

The body is unique in that it has a hand crafted paint job, that is, the paint was put on by hand with a paint brush. The paint, a nice shade of varicose blue, is all that holds the rust together, I think.

Body work and electrical stuff can be done here as can the interior. The interior? Well, it's not great but there are no animals subletting inside and the thing runs pretty good. I would like to keep the 2100cc Peugeot but I want to tweak it and get 70-90 horses out of it. What do you guys think? Can this Peugeot be cranked up a few notches? One concession I might make is to pull it and take it to Chandagarh and get it tweaked if I could find somebody there who is expert. Nobody here can even begin to swap in a Scorpio 2.6L or a Simpson S4. Any ideas? Any SIMPLE ideas? Please remember, it has to be reliable and maintainable.
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Old 21st May 2008, 11:17   #2
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O Dan, Why must you? Why not an old MM540? This doesnt seem the 4WD version either.
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Old 21st May 2008, 11:30   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
O Dan, Why must you? Why not an old MM540? This doesnt seem the 4WD version either.
These are just the prelims, MM540/550 is still possible but they are hard to find here. REALLY hard and hard to register. This thing is 4WD. That is one of the few things on it that works!

I see it coming out a little like this 1950 Willys Overland only blue.
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Old 21st May 2008, 11:55   #4
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Default Project Commander

Hi Dan,

The commanders are tough vehicles.

Engines

1) MDI3200TC + 4speed 4WD or 5 speed 4WD 280Kgs
2) MDI3200 + 4Speed 4WD 270Kgs
3) SZ2600 is too complicated to fit and very expensive 320Kgs
4) S4 can be easily fitted you need to change the bell-housing and the engine mounts. 320Kgs

The S4 to KMT90 bell housing is used in the FJ470DS433 Mahindra Vans.

Regards,

Arka
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Old 21st May 2008, 12:16   #5
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Great to know you're about to start off with your project,Dan.
I have a similar commander 750DP albeit a soft top with no doors.

About the Peugeot motor, at most i would suggest changing the air filter type from the 'oil bath' one to the paper element 'bolero type'. Nothing else u can mod to keep it reliable.
Its pretty reliable and agricultural as well.
If u need smoothness and more power, u could swap it straight away with the bolero XD3P motor. Smooth,powerful and reliable.
Do let me know if I could help you with sourcing anything from here?
Id be more than glad!
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Old 21st May 2008, 12:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
I am way up here at the front range of the Himalayas.
That must be spectacular countryside all around where you live. Ideal for weekend offroad journeys!
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Old 21st May 2008, 12:44   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ex670c View Post
1) MDI3200TC + 4speed 4WD or 5 speed 4WD 280Kgs
2) MDI3200 + 4Speed 4WD 270Kgs
3) SZ2600 is too complicated to fit and very expensive 320Kgs
4) S4 can be easily fitted you need to change the bell-housing and the engine mounts. 320Kgs
Hi Arka

Any idea about the prices of these engines ?


Thanks
Sunny
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Old 21st May 2008, 12:49   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ex670c View Post
1) MDI3200TC + 4speed 4WD or 5 speed 4WD 280Kgs
2) MDI3200 + 4Speed 4WD 270Kgs
3) SZ2600 is too complicated to fit and very expensive 320Kgs
4) S4 can be easily fitted you need to change the bell-housing and the engine mounts. 320Kgs
Arka
I kind of Agree with Arka here. The install of a Scropio engine has some disadvantages. The first is that it is about 100 kgs heavier. Secondly you will need to find one of the earler units without the ECU which are not easy to find. I seriously considered this but dropped the idea do to the complications of the work involved.

IMO, I think you should go in for the Turbo DI engine (MDI3200TC). I was initally was going to put in the XD3P until I found I couldn't get a bell housing to mate with the NGT20 5-Speed gearbox that I am installing. I would have to fabricate an adapter plate. I prefer the orignial set up so choose not to go the adapter plate way.

Secondly, similar to you, I do considerable driving in the hills in Niligiris and Kumily in Kerala since we have estates there and for driving in the Hills, I found that Torque is more important than high bhp at high rps. The Torque ratings of the Turbo DI engine are very good and it makes most of it at below 2000 RPM so very usable in hilly ranges. Also the Turbo DI engines are very reliable and give good FE numbers too. Besides you pretty much get the same performance as the S4 in a much lighter package and spares availability could be better for the DI engine as opposed to the S4.

Regarding getting more power out of the Peugot 2.1 mill, I sincerely doubt you can do much. You are better off selling it and buying a Turbo DI unit.

The four-speed gearboxes are a pain if you do any long distance driving so I would recommend getting a NGT20/BA10 5-speed or atleast getting the warn overdrive unit that RedMM340 has installed in his vehicle.

Last edited by 4x4addict : 21st May 2008 at 12:50.
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Old 21st May 2008, 14:56   #9
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Default my 2 eurocents! LOL

Hi,
that is a bargain!
Keeping in mind that as to be a KISS filosofy, if i'll be in you, i'll not think of swap engine immediately. Depending also the final destination use of the car.
Are you planning to use it as a daily runner or just offroader time to time?
Restore it, get rid of all the the useless heavy parts and replace it with alloy what possible, essentially I'll try to get the highest power/weight ratio I could. I'll rebuild electric, proper tires, proper suspensions, install power steering and power brakes (if it does not have it already). Stainless steel FFE wich is lighter than regular steel and better longevity and so on...
Is the Peugeot engine equipped with a linear or rotary pump?
Last but not least, are you going to do something on your own or do you have to rely on external garages?
Nice good challenge, keep us informed!

Ciao

Ignazio
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Old 21st May 2008, 15:38   #10
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Hey great, Jeep to work on, the 2.1 liter engine can take a turbo to get around 80 BHP or go in for a 2.5 Liter engine [72 bhp], or get a good turbo DI for the bolero.
Scropio engines are had to find and also very difficult to set up with all the electronics involved. Earlier engine with mechanical injection can be installed if you can find one.
What is the vehicle going to be used for, daily drive[street or offroad] ? or off roading [casual] ? accordingly you can do up the vehicle., if it's going to be daily drive an on streets/highways than I would suggest getting a 5 speeder in it [through experience ] I had commander soft top.
It great off roader, not as good as the short wheel based jeeps.
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Old 21st May 2008, 15:45   #11
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From where you are tweaking the motor to make 70-90 bhp would be difficult - lack of garages. The conversion if done would not be reliable.

My suggestion is check the engine, change whatever is required. Get all the components working as they would in a new vehicle. Reduce weight as much as possible. Take care of the rust and get a good paint job. KISS.

The vehicle is good enough with that engine, easily repaired and maintained.
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Old 21st May 2008, 17:42   #12
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Default Planning and thinking

Thanks all, especially ex670c and 4x4addict for their detailed technical answers. I still have not bought it. Partly I am waiting to see what you BHPers have to say.

It is to be used for excursions into the deep Himalayas. I need to climb hills and get thru the "bad roads" and the "no roads" that the big hills can throw at you. For the price, 60,000 rupees, it may make sense to buy it for the transfer case and front axle alone.
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Old 21st May 2008, 18:09   #13
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Default Off road equipment

Hi Dan,

I am trying to get hold of some vendor from Australia to see if they can send some off road equipment - winch, traction mats, extraction cables for my Pajero. I will keep you and the other guys posted on the cost etc if any of you would also be interested.

Rgds
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Old 21st May 2008, 18:11   #14
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I may be going against the tide here, but will insist that the 2.1 liter is an awesome engine. Mine served me well for 1.4x lac kilometers....its a darn robust unit that has more than enough pep for urban cruising and off-roading. The FE is respectable too! DirtyDan : Don't swap it nor modify it. How many kms has it covered? Is a rebuild required?

P.S: Look around for a 540.
P.P.S: Phenomenal amount of Jeep projects in the air of late, eh? Team-BHP seems to found a new love in Jeeps
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Old 21st May 2008, 19:22   #15
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I may be going against the tide here, but will insist that the 2.1 liter is an awesome engine. Mine served me well for 1.4x lac kilometers....its a darn robust unit that has more than enough pep for urban cruising and off-roading.
P.P.S: Phenomenal amount of Jeep projects in the air of late, eh? Team-BHP seems to found a new love in Jeeps
On the light weight classic package I am sure the 2.1 liter servers well, but once you are done with your XD3P project you should drive an MM540 with 2.1 and you will definitely notice the difference.

I agree that it is a robust engine but it has one major drawback. Because Mahindra only offered it with the 4 speed tranny, the engine is always running at the upper band of it's rpm at speeds over 80Kms. This results in the rings wearing out prematurely. M

ost people I know have had to do a minor engine job, i.e (top end only) between 80K and 90K kilometers. If I recall, you did change your final drive ratio to gain better top speed. That or the fact that your vehicle may have been spend most of its' life as an urban cruiser may explain the 1.4 lakh life of the engine. To be honest you'r is the first 2.1 liter engine that I know that has gone 1.4 lakh km without the top end engine job.

Also remember that this Marshal is probably atleast 500 kgs heavier than the classic or MM540.

DirtyDan, The classic symptoms of the 2.1 needing a ring job:

1. Oil consumption..which you won't probably know.
2. Look on the inner side of the bonnet you will see oil stains of small droplets.
3. You will need the heater to start all the time, i.e even after the engine has warmed up to about 60 degrees.
4. You will see thick smoke under heavy accelleration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I?
P.P.S: Phenomenal amount of Jeep projects in the air of late, eh? Team-BHP seems to found a new love in Jeeps
Since I sold the Gurkha, I am doing a bunch of upgrades to my MM540 as well. Will post some pics when I am done. The current set of upgrades:

Current List:
DI Turbo Engine
NGT20 5-Speed Gearbox
Power Disc Brake Kit
Full floating rear diff.
160 PCD Scropio Hubs with Scorpio wheels and 235/70/16 Yokohama ATS
AC/ICE/Front Buckets and Rear Front facing seats (similar to RedMM340s).

Next Set of Upgrades:
Inter Cooler for the Turbo
Limited Slip Diffs or Diff Lockers (still deciding)
Bilstien or Rancho shocks
Removabe Hard Top

Last edited by 4x4addict : 21st May 2008 at 19:23.
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