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Old 21st December 2008, 22:01   #1
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Default Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods

Dear Friends:

Thought I would share the details of my mm540 project with you all. The story starts when I heard about the Mahindra Legend on the team-bhp site some time in early 2007. I contacted Mr Kashyap who tried his best to source me one but was unsuccessfully since all of them had been sold.

Since I couldn’t get a Legend, I booked a Gurkha Hard Top with AC and was waiting for light years to take delivery. 45 days became two months, two months became 4 months, 4 months became 6 months. Luckily I came to know that the person who owns an estate near mine was selling his 2002 MM540. So I made him an offer and closed the deal. Shortly after I got the MM540, my Gurkha became available so for a while I was a bit torn up inside about which one to sell. I briefly put my MM540 up for sale but I decided that nothing can beat the classic CJ looks. Anyways, I decided to sell the Gurkha. I now feel that I should have just kept both. The Gurkha was eventually bought by a fellow team-bhpian.

This is what I have done to my MM540 so far:

1.DI Turbo Engine from a 2007 Bolero which was a totalled at 7000 kms.
2.Brand new NGT 520 5-Speed Transmission with mechanical Borg Warner 4x4 transfer case.
3.Power Disc Brake upgrade. Absolute requirement to deal with the added torque.
4.Air Conditioning
5.Bucket Seats up front from Tata Indica
6.Front facing rear bench seats, between the rear tire panels.
7.Lambda Free wheeling hubs.
8.160 PCD hubs with Scorpio styled steel wheels.
9.235/70/16 Yokohama Geolander ATS tires.
10.Armada Steering box (Manual)

I had also picked up four Bilstien shocks and Racho steering damper from USA. The airport security in Newark refused to allow me to have them even in my checked baggage saying that since they were gas shocks, they may explode due to the pressure in the cargo hold of the aircraft. You can’t really argue with these guys since they are the gods of the airport so I had to leave the shocks and steering damper back in the states which was quite a disappointment. I also couldn’t bring the Auburn gear LSDs and the Warn winch, since I had reached my max baggage allowance. So I guess these upgrades will have to wait until I can get the parts to India.

I am also still waiting for the lever for the transfer case from Mahindra so I haven’t been able to use by 4x4 since the upgrade. You wouldn’t believe how much headache such a simple part has become. But that’s a whole different story.

Driving Impressions:

Over the weekend I drove from Bangalore to Ooty and back which was a good mix of urban, highway, and lot of driving in the hills. The engine is best between about 1500 to 3000 rpm. The low to midrange torque is great. After about 90 kmph the engine strains since it lacks top end whack (bhp). On a downhill section on the high way I was able to bring the needle to touch 120. But given that the chasis is still an old design, I generally stayed in the 90 to 100 kmph range. The good thing though is that even at this speeds the engine is not maxed out like with the 4 speed so cruising at this speed is not stressing out the engine.

In the hills is a different story. This is where this engine shines. Keep it in the correct gears and there is always power on tap. I surprised quite a few sedan drivers by overtaking them uphill. As DirtyDan would say, once you hit the mountains, this thing does run like a raped ape.!

Before I bought the Turbo DI engine, I had actually bought an XD3P engine. However, I found out that there is no OEM bell housing to mate the XD3P to the NGT520 so I decided to go with the Turbo DI since I wanted the OEM set up without any custom adapter plates, etc… Having used the Turbo DI engine for some time, I would say that the XD3P is a million times more refined and revs nicely, but Turbo DI generates good amount of toque at fairly low RPMs so it’s good if you drive a lot in hilly regions, which I do.



With the Armada steering box I am able to manage without power steering. When I am parking in a tight spot it does become a pain, but once I am moving, once hand is enough to turn the steering wheel. The level of difficulty in turning the wheel when stopped is about the same as what I used to feel when I was using 205 high way tires on the OEM rims.

The next big upgrade which I plan to do is a wrangler type hard top. I plan to get this done in Road and Track in Kottyam when I get there at the end of this month. I am also still doing the interiors with full carpeting and new seat covers. Will post some pics of the interiors after I am done with the work.

Despite all the effort, I have put into my jeep. If Mr. Dhabar can convince his bosses to launch a limited edition 540, I’ll be first in line. You can never have too many jeeps.

Also want to use this opportunity to thank some of the team-bhp and jeepthrills members who help answer my questions and clarify my doubts.
Attached Thumbnails
Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-mm540-005.jpg  

Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-mm540-006.jpg  

Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-mm540-007.jpg  

Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-mm540-008.jpg  

Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-mm540-009.jpg  

Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-mm540-010.jpg  

Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-mm540-030.jpg  

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Old 21st December 2008, 22:09   #2
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Default Some pics of the Engine Before Install.

Here are some pictures of the Turbo DI Engine before installation.

If you notice from the after install pictures, I had to relocate the Metallic Turbo hose to make room for the AC compressor.
Attached Thumbnails
Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-enginefront.jpg  

Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-enginerightside.jpg  

Making of Legend.. My MM540 Mods-engineturbocharger.jpg  


Last edited by 4x4addict : 21st December 2008 at 22:10.
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Old 21st December 2008, 22:13   #3
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the engine looks great! really neat!
Great colour choice as well! The tyres also add to the overall package.

But, why so stubborn on the NGT 520. I mean , hell, you changed an engine over it!
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Old 21st December 2008, 22:21   #4
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A great looking vehcile. Not thinking of any alloys.
I don't know why Mahindra doesn't focus on hood detailing.
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Old 21st December 2008, 22:30   #5
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Nice vehicle. You seem to have army spec wheels (from the spare). Why cover it with plastic?
Sudipto
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Old 21st December 2008, 22:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Nice vehicle. You seem to have army spec wheels (from the spare). Why cover it with plastic?
Sudipto
WHat plastic. Its steel rims, watch closely!. Spare rim is different.
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Old 21st December 2008, 22:47   #7
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nice vehicle. it is very clean and looks well maintained.

Please post some pictures of the interior, especially the back seat.

So what is the story about the gear lever? trouble sourcing it from Mahindra?

Anyway congrats on your vehicle.

FK
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Old 21st December 2008, 22:50   #8
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4x4addict, welcome to the jeep club,
Its sure raining jeeps in here. Infact pouring. A beautiful jeep you got there.
Is the 5speed gearbox setup a "remove the old & put the new" kind of job or more complicated than this.

Regards,
Krishna.
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Old 21st December 2008, 23:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
A great looking vehcile. Not thinking of any alloys.
I don't know why Mahindra doesn't focus on hood detailing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Nice vehicle. You seem to have army spec wheels (from the spare). Why cover it with plastic?
Sudipto
The spare has the OEM 16 inch black Scorpio steel wheel with round circular pattern. (These are not the army rims).

The four wheels on the Jeep are OEM Scorpio styled steel wheels. They do look a bit like wheel covers though.

The reason I haven't gone in for alloys is because I want Black Mickey Thompson style steel wheels. I have ordered a set of four form Ignazio's Tata offroad club in Italy and had them ship it to the states.. The PCD is the same for Tata and Scorpio. I just haven't been able to get them to India from the states, so my wheel set up is temporary. Here is a pic of the steel wheels that I have.
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Old 21st December 2008, 23:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittigadu View Post
4x4addict, welcome to the jeep club,
Its sure raining jeeps in here. Infact pouring. A beautiful jeep you got there.
Is the 5speed gearbox setup a "remove the old & put the new" kind of job or more complicated than this.

Regards,
Krishna.
Hi Krishna,

It is not a straightforward fit. In your case since you have the Army spec 540 with the 2.5 L engine, you will need an adapter plate to mate the 2.4L engine to the NGT520. You can consider the NGT530 that comes on the Bolero 4x4 with the XD3P engine and you can have the same set up. However, I think that the NGT530 comes only with the electric Borg Warner T-Case. There maybe a mechanical T-case option but I am not sure.

This is a much longer gearbox than the KMT90 so the location of the gear lever is different and the floor pan has to be changed. In addition the front propeller shaft has to be longer and the rear one shorter. These modification have to be made.
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Old 21st December 2008, 23:15   #11
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Forgot to mention that I also converted the rear axles to fully floating type.
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Old 21st December 2008, 23:30   #12
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Off Topic:

But on my way back from Ooty to bangalore, I was chased by an elephant in Mudumalai wild life Sanctuary. It was a bit of a freak incident as I have driven though Mudumalai and Bandipur hundreds of times. I was driving through mudumalai and saw a wild elephant walking towards me in the opposite side of the road. This guy was actually on the tarred road on the right side of me. Since this was a tusker, I came to a stop while figuring out whether to back up or go straight. The problem was that there was a drop to the left and in case he decided to charge, I would have no where to go but drive the jeep off the side of the road. Anyways, I decided to gun for it. As I picked up speed a second elephant climbs up from the left embankment and gets completely startled and pissed of seeing a jeep coming stright for it. Thankfully I had cleared the first elephant who didn't seem to have any interest in me and was driving headlong at the second fella who decides to hop into my lane. All in a matter of seconds, I see it rolling up it's trunk to make the charge, I swerved right climbed had my two right wheels on the righ embankment and had my the accellerator floored. The damn thing chased me for about 15 to 20 meters before stopping.

Elephants in the Mudumali/Bandipur belt are so used to seeing so much traffic that they generally don't bother anyone. I think this time was just a freak situation where she came onto the road and see's me coming at her with the DI Turbo engine roaring away. I was just trying to put some distance between the tusker and myself. I really think the money spend on the DI Turbo engine payed off today. Took a while before my heart dropped back from my mouth to it's usual place. !!
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Old 21st December 2008, 23:42   #13
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Hi 4x4addict, EGR seems to be not in working condition. why don't you make an effort in controlling the EGR in your vehicle?
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Old 22nd December 2008, 00:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Off Topic:

But on my way back from Ooty to bangalore, I was chased by an elephant in Mudumalai wild life Sanctuary. It was a bit of a freak incident as I have driven though Mudumalai and Bandipur hundreds of times. I was driving through mudumalai and saw a wild elephant walking towards me in the opposite side of the road. This guy was actually on the tarred road on the right side of me. Since this was a tusker, I came to a stop while figuring out whether to back up or go straight. The problem was that there was a drop to the left and in case he decided to charge, I would have no where to go but drive the jeep off the side of the road. Anyways, I decided to gun for it. As I picked up speed a second elephant climbs up from the left embankment and gets completely startled and pissed of seeing a jeep coming stright for it. Thankfully I had cleared the first elephant who didn't seem to have any interest in me and was driving headlong at the second fella who decides to hop into my lane. All in a matter of seconds, I see it rolling up it's trunk to make the charge, I swerved right climbed had my two right wheels on the righ embankment and had my the accellerator floored. The damn thing chased me for about 15 to 20 meters before stopping.

Elephants in the Mudumali/Bandipur belt are so used to seeing so much traffic that they generally don't bother anyone. I think this time was just a freak situation where she came onto the road and see's me coming at her with the DI Turbo engine roaring away. I was just trying to put some distance between the tusker and myself. I really think the money spend on the DI Turbo engine payed off today. Took a while before my heart dropped back from my mouth to it's usual place. !!
I took a picture of this incident .. ... I am glad you are safe man. Enjoy the whistlerrr!
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Old 22nd December 2008, 00:54   #15
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Hi Addicted One. I was in fact wondering how your tinkering was coming along. Your mdi3200tc with 5 speed looks like a great combination for an mm5nn. Good low end torque by which to foil large animals interested in mayhem or inter-species dating.

Your wait for the transfer case lever says something about Mahindra. Computerized inventory control is now old technology as is high speed overnight delivery. One wonders if Mahindra will ever shake loose from its 1950s "mom and pop" road side shop mode of doing business and get parts out to where they are needed. If they perform this internationally they will be in for a rude awakening.

How exactly did you get propellers modded to the right length?

Great looking Jeep!!!

-DD
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