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Old 19th January 2010, 12:34   #841
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Ok, this Jeep had C type shackles in the front and grease type shackle in the rear.
I have seen these shackles at the shop where i went to buy stuff for my classic. He claims they are original willy's spares.

I'll go and ask him if they are atlas make.

Any idea how to distinguish atlas from the regular indian ones?
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Old 28th February 2010, 14:07   #842
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I can finally update on my rebuild story.

I have owned this Jeep for nearly two years now. During this time, I have sorted out almost all issues with the exception of body work and electricals. From the sheer offroadability, it has never failed on me. Over the numerous offroad events, it never needed more than a little push or a pull when it couldn't cross a hurdle. It never got disabled on or off the road to the extent that it had to be towed back home. Although it did run into serious problems, always on-road, we could quickly revive it and continue driving. That was only possible because of the inherent simplicity of the vehicle, even an mechanical noob like me could learn to live with it, through all the difficult situations.

When I mentioned that I will be giving my Jeep for rebuild, it surprised many of my friends. Most have seen it performing well in the recent events, and the recent photographs only add to that image of a perfectly healthy offroad Jeep.

But photographs and performance never tell the complete story. One has to see closely with an experienced eye to see that the body is in total state of rot. Below the paint, the body is rotting to the core. The grill, the fenders, the hood, the tub and the rear door is all rusted, not just in the surface, but deeply. One just has to pop a paint buble to see the thick rust underneath.

Then there is the electrical problem. Every part of the electrical system has failed at least once, except for the head lights, and thank god for that. The horn, wipers, the turn indicators, ignition light & fog lights on my Jeep are very moody. They don't work half the time, sometime they start working, sometime they start working. I have never been able to predict the pattern.

Funnily enough, it was Vinay Thomas who had pointed the rust problem back in July 2008. Then I knew so little about Jeeps, I just decided to wait it out until I understand better. Few months later Sachine Karkera too expressed concern about the shambled state of my Jeep body. Since he regularly rebuilds Jeep, he could see it plainly. So I took my Jeep to the local rebuilder in Dec 2008 to get an opinion, where I was shown all the problem areas. I was seriously concerned, but I was preparing for the Munnar event and couldn't think of any major work. Later in March 2009, I had made a half hearted attempt to get the Jeep rebuilt, but the rebhilder was busy with other projects, and Sachin warned me that their time estimates are anything but accurate. That means I may not have the Jeep for next few months. So I backed off.

Once the 2009 offroad season ended, I again started thinking about the rebuild. Then there was the Thar confusion. Should I rebuild the old Jeep or focus on converting Thar into a family offroader, provided it comes out in new few months. However, a family sitution forced the decision. My younger son was diagnosed with Autism, and was started on intense therapy since August, he has shown major improvement since then. Now it has been determined that he would need one or two more years of the same therapy. So my family would be moving to Banglore this April, and I would be travelling between Manipal and Bangalore every week. Therefore, family offroader suddenly took a backseat among my priorities. Until my family gets back to normality, I won't be looking for a family offroader. So I can as well rebuild the Jeep and keep it as my primary offroader.

At first I was planning to get the Jeep rebuilt in Udupi, completely in 16 gauge steel. I had even extracted a date for handing over the Jeep. However, that date came and went, nothing happened. The rebuilder gave me some excuses about existing projects. So I made him promise a new date. The new date too came and went. The rebuilder made further excuses about his health, existing projects, etc. However, everytime I visit, I see different vehicles being rebuilt. It looked like he was reluctant to take on my job, may be because mine was a 16 gauge build, which is much difficult to execute. So I stopped asking for new dates, and started looking elsewhere.

At first I thought about distant places like Mumbai, Cochin, Hyderabad & Chennai, but dropped it for practical reasons. My airfare bills may exceed the build cost. So I focused on options within state. After lot of research, I decided to give it to a rebuilder in a remote village in Coorg, but under the watchful eyes of a wellknown offroader & Jeep Thrills moderator Sibi Paul. This is the same rebuilder who has built the Jeeps of Jagat Nanjappa and Sibi. So he obviously knows something about rebuilding offroad tough Jeeps. The entirely work will be in 16 gauge steel. I have not decided on the color yet, I still have time for that.

Since this garage is somewhat midway between Bangalore and Manipal, I can check on the work when I travel to and fro. But first I had to deliver the Jeep to the garage. That itself means a long drive of 5 hours, or so I hoped.

But that turned into a journey to remember.

Frankly I didn't need a map to go there for I knew the way. However, getting back from there to my town was going to be a challenge. I would need at least 3 buses to get back, provided I get them on time. But after a glimpse at the KSRTC bus schedule, I realised that the getting back might become a bigger adventure, and would take an extra day. So decided to get a taxi to come and pick me up once I deliver the Jeep. The Taxi guy would have to start 2 hours after me and reach the village. Since he is unfamiliar with the way, I would have to give him exact directions to reach there on time.

The village in question is so remote, it is neither marked on online maps nor GPS maps nor paper maps. I didn't even know the correct spelling, so searching it on google was not helpful either. But I have been there before, I knew the surrounding towns, so after 2 hours of intense search I finally located the village on wikimapia. Then I discovered that the road I need to take to that village is not even marked on google map or mapmyindia or satguide or paper maps. But I knew the road existed, since I had travelled on it. So I printed out the google map, marked the village and drew the road on it by memory. Then I gave it to the taxi driver so that he can reach there without getting hopelessly lost.

To be continued...
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Old 28th February 2010, 15:10   #843
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Its a blackout light Sharath.
Right on Deepak. It is the rear black out light as shown below and fitted too.

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Quote:
it should have been installed reverse so the light mildly lights up the rear diff so in a convoy the rear vehicle can see the car ahead.
Absolutely, but i was told that, this is not the type to be fitted to light the differential.

This is the light, the front mount lights which also serves as a reverse light with the cover removed and is the right one to be mounted facing the differential so that it can be seen only by the vehicle following. IMHO this sounds right.

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Old 1st March 2010, 01:02   #844
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Before any long trip, I get the Jeep serviced, just to be on the safe side. This time when I called my usual Mahindra SA, he said don't, as he will be away at training. But then I needed just a routine check up, so he reluctantly agreed to have somebody else take care of it. Generally I don't give it to anybody else other than him, but this was urgent and a simple task of routine checkup and fixing the non-working horn. Not possible to screw it up, right? Wrong.

When I got the Jeep back and drove away, I noticed that the right turn tune was not working. But I was not sure whether the turn light working. Since I had to pick up my son from school, there was no way I could go back to the workshop. So I decided to live with it. After reaching home, I realised that the right turn lights are also not working. That means I have to use hand signals during the whole trip. I also realised that the suspension is little harder than usual. The fiber leafs are very sensitive to tightness of the shackles. They don't work well unless they are freemoving. Looks like somebody had tightened it.

Next day I left home at 7:20AM, I was having high hopes of hitting Madikeri by 12PM for an early lunch at Hotel East End. I started multi-tasking, thinking about the mutton filled menu on one hand and checking on what speed I gotta maintain the schedule. Suddenly the menu vanished, and I was left staring at the immobile speedometer, it was at zero. Yeah, I was moving, but the speedo and odo were dead. Now, I understand if my electricals are acting haywire, that is normal on my Jeep, but speedo/odo are not electrical, looks like the cable is snapped. At this point I really started regretting the decision to give the Jeep for service in hands of an unknown SA. The Jeep must be an unknown entity to him too in order to screw it up this bad. But all the other gauges were working.

But this is a Jeep, it can keep on going despite so many things not working. So I was not totally worried, but plainly irritated. However, as I was overtaking a tempo near Belve (a town 7Kms before Moodubidri), I hear the engine sound change distinctly, like a rocking sound. I quickly look at the gauges and...holy cow, the temp gauge is showing 120 degrees.

I quickly pull over and stop. How...what... I can see fumes coming from the under the hood. I open it up, and see that the coolant is leaking. From the lower end of the lower water hose. The hose is cracked. Oh god, that means they haven't even inspected the hose or connected it back in a hurry. Some routine service this turned out to be.

The rocking sound from the engine still bothered me. I could still see fumes rising from it. I wasn't sure engine has survived the 120 degree carnage. I suddenly saw all my plans for the day vanish, my tryst with East End menu for starters, and then there was the handing off the Jeep too.

It is still 8AM, so I called my regular SA and told him the problem. He was in Bangalore for attending training, so he couldn't get me any help. But he suggested driving slowly to a Moodubidri auto workshop after refilling the radiator with water, but with the radiator cap off. He asked to try it only after the engine has cooled down.

After talking to him, I started realxing a bit. I may not know much about Jeep mechanics, but if I know one thing in a Jeep, it is the cooling system. I had seen the water gush from the lower pipe in a jerky motion, obviously it won't hold water under pressure. But with the cap off, there might be some hope. Generally I carry 4 litres of radiator water with me, but after my cooling system was sorted out in 2008, I never had to use it. So this time, I didn't have water, or the container to get it.

So I left in hopes of finding an open shop that sells water. I needed water, and needed bottles to carry it. What can beat mineral water. I found a shop and bought 6 litres of mineral water. No I didn't drink any of it, but poured the whole 6 litres mineral water into the radiator while carefully looking for leaks. Nothing leaked out, that means I may be able to drive with radiator cap off. I still could not see any water in the radiator, so I visited a nearby clinic begging for water, now I had two 2 litres bottles. Finally I found that my radiator holds 9 litres of liquid. Still I filled all the 6 litres of bottles with water just to be safe.

I started the engine gingerly, it purred back to life as if nothing had happened. Ah! I love the resilience of this engine. I drove to Moodubidri, at first very slowly watching the temp gauge, which firmly remained at 80C. After a while I became confident and drove faster. The workshop at Moodubidri was not open. By now I was feeling a little cocky, I figured I can go on to the next town, which is 25Kms away at Bantwala. So I did.

At Bantwala, it was decision time. Do I risk going all the way, or get the hose fixed before facing the mightly ghats of Sampaje. Then I remembered how the engine used to heat up in that ghats in 2008. Still in dual mind I was chugging along. Then I saw a garage with a CJ3B under rebuild. That was a sign, I quickly turned around and parked in there.

At first one nice guy came checked what I wanted. Turned out he was the welder, doing the rebuild. He asked me to wait for the mechanic to turn up, which happened after 5 minutes. But he got stuck in a phone call for next 20 minutes. During those irritating minutes, I was checking out the rebuild. It was totally being done in 18 gauge steel, didn't look too impressive. It was a 1975 CJ3B with XDP engine, must be a swap job.

Finally the mechanic disentangled from his phone and apologised for it. Since I was fairly sure it was the lower water hose, he didn't bother checking it. Instead we decided to go to B.C.Road to get a lower water hose. Since it was Id-Milad, the roads were all blocked for the procession. Finally it took us 40 minutes to come back with the water hose from a 2Kms away shop. We couldn't get the CJ340 lower water hose in the first shop, but they managed to get it from another shop. If they hadn't found it, I would have been in a royal soup.

After we came back to the workshop, the mechanic drained the mineral water (+ some tap water) from the radiator and removed the hose. See the damage, the water hose had melted where it was in contact with the engine block.

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The water hose available in the market is not a straight fit. It has to be cut about 3 inches on one side. If you don't cut enough, it will touch the engine block, like my old installation. I have shown the problem area in the following photos. This is the correct installation, the portion inside the red circle shows the required clearance between the engine block and the hose.

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The labour charge, which he was very reluctant to mention first, being Boni and all, came to mere 30 rupees.

By now it was 10:50AM, I quickly took off hoping I can still make it to Madikeri by lunch time. However, I had a feeling that the taxi guy may have gone ahead of me. At Sullia, I stopped and gave him a call. He was at Sampaje forest gate, exactly 25Kms ahead of me, so I asked him to take it easy. So far roads have been great and I knew it to be good until Sampaje forest gate. Once I crossed the gate, I found the roads turn bad insantly. Soon I found myself passing many fast cars that had passed me earlier.

There was this White Swift LDi which had passed very quickly earlier, I found it tottering at a series of potholes. I passed by him so fast, I was glad he didn't try to get down to check why he is stopped. Anyway, I was literally flying up the ghats at 4th gear where most cars were sticking to 1st and 2nd gear. A big tyred Jeep with CF leafs can be a real help on such terrain. For a moment I even fancied catching up with my taxi guy, but he had too much of head start over me. However, when I was just 1 kms away from Madikeri, a taxi honks at me. I had just overtaken my taxi guy. I stop for a brief chat, and we agree to meet again at the village after lunch.

Reached Madikeri at exactly 1:30PM, 90 minutes behind my schedule. I finally entered East End restaurant, washed my face, found my usual balcony seat. I ordered a cool mazaa, plain rice, mutton curry, mutton fry and Keema balls curry. What... no, I was alone. Then I called everybody and gave my lengthy report on the events of the day.

An hour later, I found myself at the remote village, the taxi had reached much ahead of me. He obviously was lot less particular about the quality of his lunch.

Finally I met up with Sibi, who was quite taken aback at the intense rust on my Jeep. There wasn't a single panel that can be retained. For the grill, fenders, hood and rear door, he suggested getting ready made machine pressed parts. The tub will be built right there. This time I had a close look at Sibi's Jeep which is completed now. The sheet metal is rock solid, the body work is beautiful. Even the Taxi driver who drove me back was impressed with the build/paint quality of Sibi's Jeep. This will be completely 16 gauge work.

So far I had not put the electrical work on the plan. But I did ask for a quote from the electrician in that garage. With whole new wiring harness with socket type connections, he quoted 10K. It sounds pretty high, can somebody tell me what is a reasonable price?

At exactly 4PM, we started back. I sat in the back of the Indica taxi, asked the driver to turn on the AC, and relaxed totally for the first time in the day. Exactly 5 hours later, I reached home.

Last edited by Samurai : 1st March 2010 at 09:34.
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Old 1st March 2010, 11:22   #845
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So far I had not put the electrical work on the plan. But I did ask for a quote from the electrician in that garage. With whole new wiring harness with socket type connections, he quoted 10K. It sounds pretty high, can somebody tell me what is a reasonable price?

At exactly 4PM, we started back. I sat in the back of the Indica taxi, asked the driver to turn on the AC, and relaxed totally for the first time in the day. Exactly 5 hours later, I reached home.
My jeep is due for a rebuild too...but I am honestly not doing it until the damn thing falls apart.

I am getting my electricals completely re-done with new finolex wires for 5k including the labor in Bangalore. Sockets could be an issue...would they not easily pop out considering the rough usage of our jeeps? Something to think about for sure.

What is the quote given for the body work?

And checking the rubber hoses is mandatory before any kind of a trip...but guess we all learn the absolute hard way - I have had multiple instances with lousy rubber
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:05   #846
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My jeep is due for a rebuild too...but I am honestly not doing it until the damn thing falls apart.
Mine is falling apart, one of the grill mount is broken due to rust.

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
I am getting my electricals completely re-done with new finolex wires for 5k including the labor in Bangalore. Sockets could be an issue...would they not easily pop out considering the rough usage of our jeeps? Something to think about for sure.
Just 5K, that sounds reasonable. I don't think sockets would pop out due to vibration.

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What is the quote given for the body work?
It is expensive, about 40K. The entire shell is getting replaced.

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And checking the rubber hoses is mandatory before any kind of a trip...but guess we all learn the absolute hard way - I have had multiple instances with lousy rubber
I thought they would inspect the hoses during the service. Now I know better. The real problem was hose touching the engine block, that prematurely fried the hose.

Last edited by Samurai : 1st March 2010 at 12:06.
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Old 1st March 2010, 13:29   #847
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WOW Sharat!!! Thats quite an experience. The heating issue plagued me too last year and I had to change the complete radiator.

40k for a body work sounds a little expensive but with 16 gauge metal work, I think that this should be the last time you are getting the body work done or maybe next bodywork would not be needed in a long long time to come!!!
Best of luck!!!
Cheers
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Old 1st March 2010, 13:36   #848
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40k for a body work sounds a little expensive but with 16 gauge metal work, I think that this should be the last time you are getting the body work done or maybe next bodywork would not be needed in a long long time to come!!!
With the rust treatment they use, it is supposed to be good for 15 years. But coastal weather may cut it down to 10 years, even that is not bad.
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Old 1st March 2010, 14:02   #849
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Great writeup, Sharath. I didnt think you'll give it for work so soon. How long will it take?
If you want company on a journey like this, let me know!
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Old 1st March 2010, 23:46   #850
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Great writeup, Sharath. I didnt think you'll give it for work so soon. How long will it take?
Two months at least.

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If you want company on a journey like this, let me know!
Ok, you want to share the pain. I'll call next time.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 00:25   #851
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Two months at least.
Sharath, now you should think of "How to live without a CJ340"
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Old 13th April 2010, 21:25   #852
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Sharath, now you should think of "How to live without a CJ340"
Yes, I have learnt to that now, at least temporarily.

Anyway, I was at Coorg yesterday to check on the build after 42 days.

The tub is almost ready, they were connecting the roll bars back on. I'll let the photos tell the story.

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Many people were not convinced that my Jeep needed such extensive body restoration, this is for you. The old tub, most of it which is in one piece.

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The Naked Chassis

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At this joint shown below, the mechanic found that the body was 1.5 inch shorter than the other side. That means this body was not original. With driver side 1.5 inch shorter than passenger side, this must have been one hell of a body work.

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Now here is the scoop. Always mentioned in a hush voice, but rarely glimpsed Jeep. Yes, the Vinay Thomas JEEP. It is ready fr paint job after a long drawn restoration.

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Old 13th April 2010, 21:49   #853
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Thats like a new tub there Samurai, good going. Ensure they do a proper Dupont or similar anti rust coating and you are set for a decade atleast with this body.
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Old 14th April 2010, 08:07   #854
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Wow, now the 40K makes perfect sense. This is no Tinker-paint job. This is a complete rebuild of a SWB tub. Great going - make sure you rust proof her more than adequately.
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Old 14th April 2010, 08:19   #855
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BTW, my gearbox sealer is of unknown original. The mechanic can only say it belongs to a much bigger vehicle, he doesn't know which one. It was fitted using just 3 screws, rest of the holes don't match. Should I change it to a MM540 sealer? If you see the hole in the floor for the gearbox, it is much bigger, it has to be rebuilt to accommodate the MM540 sealer or even the current sealer.

Last edited by Samurai : 14th April 2010 at 08:21.
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