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Old 14th May 2009, 18:01   #1
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Default The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9

The Ex Army 550 Dream!
I have been fascinated with the Army MM550 for a long time now, and finally am able to take the plunge. The quest started with a PM to certain honorable members about 2 months back. These are folks who have first hand experience with restoring/rebuilding/owning and living with these 2.5L Army beasts.

Here is an excerpt from my PM to them, just to give you a perspective of my thought process.


Sent Sometime in Mid-March ~
Quote:

As you know I have been following your 550 rebuild threads closely.

I have to confess that I have had numerous close calls on the road in the last 7 years, while driving or riding trying to ogle at the Army 550s in all their glory. Blr is a place where Army has a huge presence, which means I see quite a few when I am on the road.

I finally have some funds opening up in May, so I wanted to start getting more info on Army Auctions/ Dealers who could help me procure a Ex Army 550. I dont really want to settle for a 540 / civilian 550. I have seen a few of them and ..

a) The quotes are very high
b) They are just not the Ex Army service material. (I just have something for the Army 550. No, adding a set of Sandgrip to a civilian 550 would not do)

From my rambling, I hope you see I am not here to waste your time.
I am not buying it for Eye Candy. I follow the OTR threads and am eager to join the OTRs with a reliable 4x4.

I just want some help from you'll, in terms of, how does someone from the south procure a army 550 (Mayapuri is too far away). Any upcoming auctions in Blr? Any reasonable reliable dealers in Blr/atleast down south?

Also once procured, would like help in basic restorations and then take it Mods 1step at a time. keeping Vitamin M in mind.

I wish you all the best in your builds. Hope you can spare some time to help me out.
Thanks Harjeev/Firoz/Randeep/Tarkesh/BigMan/Alfa/Siva for all your help and frank advice via PM / emails / calls. They helped me burst my 550 bubble and make me realize that a Civilian 540 is the optimum option for me.

MM540 Reality!


From my interaction with these folks and from following their various threads, I understood the following:
a) Getting a Ex Army 550 from an auction/dealer down south is close to impossible. (a chennai dealer is qouting about 1.8L for a Rust bucket 550)
b) Restoring these is not cheap (Check with Harjeev, et all)
c) One needs tonnes of patience (read 4-6months of patience) and ability to keep pumping in the pisa as and when required. I confess, I dont have these qualities currently!
d) The 540DP - 2112cc Mill is no poser. It can do the job of getting you over that hillock / boulder. (Check with Vinod, et all)
e) Some excellent deals and stories see on Team-Bhp when people find that elusive 540 or in sreerajunnithan's case you find 5th gear and a prestine Civilian 550. <Envy>
f) With my 1-1.2L misely budget, a simple working '9x - MM540 should be waiting for me somewhere.

The MM540 Search so far!

1) Kanakpura Rd Jeep Dealer - Closed shop? I saw a reference to this and decided to bike over there and try and find the place. 2-3 people did point me the in same direction, however it was deserted and the shop close by said its closed.

If its not closed down, someone please ping me your Contact number so that I can get directions to this joint.

2) Vijai Auto Sales & Services Pvt Ltd ~ aka ~ SKS Enterprises.
No Jeeps with them. They do not think they will ever get a MM540 4x4.

3) 2-3 Workshops which have Jeeps in North-East part of Blr. I found these > (I sound like Clarkson: 'I went on the internet and i found this ...')

4x2 MM540 : 2003 - Single owner, very decent condition. Qouted at 1.8L - should close for 1.2-1.4L -
Need to find a good garage and additional funding to get the differentials/transfer case etc job done. Not interested in this option at the moment
The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-dsc01725.jpg


Not for sale, but a Beautiful piece.The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-dsc01728.jpg



Some expensive Rust Buckets - if anyone is interested:

Willys 2.25L The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-dsc01729.jpgThe elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-dsc01730.jpg


Ford GPW 3.75L (it seems)The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-dsc01731.jpg

Then there were some Ex-Govt service 540s which did not deserve a second look

Please Please Help !
  • If you know of anyone, who might know of a possibility of a KA-xx registered MM540/550 on sale for a reasonable price. Please do let me know immediately.
  • If you know of any Dealers / Garages in the BLR region, whom I should check with. do let me know, address and contact person name+number.
  • Yes, I have checked on all the online options I could think of. However do link me to something, which might interest me. Just remembered have not checked JeepThrills marketplace in a while.
  • If you disagree with what I have stated, please do feel free to correct me and lead me back to the Army 550 option.
Jango, kittigadu, Khan_sultan, Vaspro, MM440, sreerajunnithan, maddy42, Red Liner, Star_aqua, girish_8086, swastikviji, Spitfire,

Hope you guys find this Thread and can contribute with your thoughts.
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Old 14th May 2009, 19:53   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronWolf View Post
4x2 MM540 : 2003 - Single owner, very decent condition. Qouted at 1.8L - should close for 1.2-1.4L -
Need to find a good garage and additional funding to get the differentials/transfer case etc job done. Not interested in this option at the moment
If you can knock down the price it is a good buy. Ali in chennai can do all the conversion for you. He has done major upgrades to my jeep and also some of the other jeepthrills guys in chennai. I can totally recommend him.

We can also help you source the front diff and a 4WD gearbox with transfer case. In fact I just picked up a the front and rear diffs from a Bolero 4WD to get a wider track and the open knucle ball joints. See the threads from jyoyeb and Arka to get more information on this mod. The price quoted to me was with exchange for my axles so I can check with the seller if what price he wants for the front axles.

The advantage is that you get a 2003 mm540 with many chasis improvements compared to the older ones. No one seems to know exactly when the NGCS 540s came to the market. I think it is 2004 and from looking at the pictures of the jeep there is no difference in the track so I suspect that this jeep is the same as my 2002. Also you can check if it has the power disk brakes and hanging pedals. If so it will save you the cost of a brake conversion.
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Old 14th May 2009, 23:55   #3
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If not a 540, then there is one CJ500 with DP engine, 4 speed GB and 4wd available for 80k in bangalore. not sure if it is still available. you need to contact babu garage near urvashi theatre. If you still want a 540, let me know.
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Old 15th May 2009, 00:05   #4
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Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
If you can knock down the price it is a good buy. Ali in chennai can do all the conversion for you. He has done major upgrades to my jeep and also some of the other jeepthrills guys in chennai. I can totally recommend him.
I have no idea on the pricing of these things. The qoutes I have seen erlier made me burst out laughing. How much do you think we can knock it down to? I have some budget constraints. was looking at 1-1.2L for the vehicle and 20k for few mods to be done.

I have heard so much about Ali and that his jobs are good and reasonable. I wish there was someone like that here, so that I could see the build / repairs happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
We can also help you source the front diff and a 4WD gearbox with transfer case. In fact I just picked up a the front and rear diffs from a Bolero 4WD to get a wider track and the open knucle ball joints. See the threads from jyoyeb and Arka to get more information on this mod. The price quoted to me was with exchange for my axles so I can check with the seller if what price he wants for the front axles.
Do let me know how much the Axles, etc would cost. would be helpful in my decision. To my knowledge for a 2x4 to 4x4 conversion shouldnt even the rear Diff be changed due to the right offset? I know there are conflicting views on this, withsome still running a stock rear diff in 4x4 mode.

The Threads you mentioned - you would have seen me poke my nose into them with noob questions the open knuckle ball joint which narrowned the turning radius on Arkas jeep was on my wish list (down the order). And I know only place to do it would be in Chennai.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
The advantage is that you get a 2003 mm540 with many chasis improvements compared to the older ones. No one seems to know exactly when the NGCS 540s came to the market. I think it is 2004 and from looking at the pictures of the jeep there is no difference in the track so I suspect that this jeep is the same as my 2002. Also you can check if it has the power disk brakes and hanging pedals. If so it will save you the cost of a brake conversion.
Wont Berham saab know this? Berham sir, what do I look out for in this 2003 Jeep? I would gladly go back and take pics of the parts you guys wanna take a look at.

The Jeep looked in very good condition. I was praying when I bent down to see if there was a front diff.

My only issue is again sourcing good Diffs, transfer cases - the additional cost of these parts + labour and getting the job done.

The total cost of aquisition + conversion would easily touch 1.8-2.0L for this I could (if I am lucky) buy a Civilian 550?

Hoping to get a better deal on a 540 atleast. if you know what I mean :(
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Old 15th May 2009, 00:32   #5
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Originally Posted by star_aqua View Post
If not a 540, then there is one CJ500 with DP engine, 4 speed GB and 4wd available for 80k in bangalore. not sure if it is still available. you need to contact babu garage near urvashi theatre. If you still want a 540, let me know.
Aqua, Thanks a tonne for this lead. Even though I am not interested in the CJ500, Babu garage here I come.

Just one point. This Jeep will be my daily drive on weekdays to office, which means Amby A/C / Superking(?) blower / cheap HU tucked away somewhere etc.

I hate trying to keep my Baleno away from those Autos during the peak hour traffic. Going by my TN bike is less frequent with the number of cops checking increased 10 times.

The MM540/550 is the only option I have for my weekday auto shoving needs and OTR needs. Cant wait for an OTR and lessons from the Team-Bhp OTR Gurus.
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Old 15th May 2009, 13:07   #6
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At last, there you go!!!! If that 540 is a 2003 model, I would say go ahead and purchase it. You may need to spend another 18~20K of 4WD conversion. Don't worry about the mech. My mech is re-building a Jeep, which owner purchased for 35K the work includes 4X4 conversion and cutting the chassis to 81" . So, competency is not a problem in Bangalore. Apart from this, i can ask my mechanic as well if there are any good Jeeps for sale. Otherwise, are you interested in SWB 340 (4X4)? Please let me know.

All the best
--Sree--
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Old 15th May 2009, 14:33   #7
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hi iron wolf,
I was going through your post.i had these jeeps parked in my locality from quite sometime.i understand with my knowledge that the owner might sell it.there are chances.i am attaching a few pictures,do let me know.i will introduce you to him if required.few more to come.
Attached Thumbnails
The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-15052009017.jpg  

The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-15052009016.jpg  

The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-15052009015.jpg  

The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-15052009014.jpg  

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Old 15th May 2009, 14:41   #8
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Danny check with akheel (tbhp handle also is the same methinks) he had put up his 540 for sale sometime ago. Its there in the classifieds section.

Last edited by rjstyles69 : 15th May 2009 at 14:42.
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Old 15th May 2009, 15:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreerajunnithan View Post
At last, there you go!!!! If that 540 is a 2003 model, I would say go ahead and purchase it. You may need to spend another 18~20K of 4WD conversion. Don't worry about the mech. My mech is re-building a Jeep, which owner purchased for 35K the work includes 4X4 conversion and cutting the chassis to 81" . So, competency is not a problem in Bangalore. Apart from this, i can ask my mechanic as well if there are any good Jeeps for sale. Otherwise, are you interested in SWB 340 (4X4)? Please let me know.

All the best
--Sree--
I called now and clarified again. Its a 2002 model. The condition is pretty good. Not able to go today to see it more in detail and discuss with them. 18-20k for conversion, including the Diffs and TC?

Am kinda stuck on the MM 5X0 models. Not facinated with the SWB and not interested in a LWB for the obvious OTR reasons.
Do keep me posted if you heard of any 540/550 for sale. - selling yours? ?
Where is your mech located and what... Anyway will ping you.
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Old 15th May 2009, 15:16   #10
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A new posting in the classifieds FYI

Team-BHP Classifieds - JEEP Mahindra 540 Military Like Convertibe / Open Top - Powered by PhotoPost Classifieds

Not a 4x4 though.
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Old 15th May 2009, 17:34   #11
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i unerstand now tat youu dont want the the low bonette cars..but attachin it as i had clicked them only for you.i think one of them is the mm540 1980's.
Attached Thumbnails
The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-15052009010b.jpg  

The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-15052009011-.jpg  

The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-15052009013c.jpg  

The elusive MM540 / 550. EDIT: New Search for ex-Army 550 on page 9-15052009012.jpg  

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Old 15th May 2009, 17:35   #12
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how about a wrangler CJ7? 1978, 6 cyliner,4200cc,hartop.
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Old 15th May 2009, 18:30   #13
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Originally Posted by suren181 View Post
A new posting in the classifieds FYI

Not a 4x4 though.
Thanks Suren, a) its not a KA registeration and b) it aint really a Jeep
Do let me know if you see anything else. Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Danny check with akheel (tbhp handle also is the same methinks) he had put up his 540 for sale sometime ago. Its there in the classifieds section.
Could not find this jeep or Akeel/Akil

Quote:
Originally Posted by nandishpal View Post
how about a wrangler CJ7? 1978, 6 cyliner,4200cc,hartop.
Naa, just a simple old 540 would do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nandishpal View Post
i unerstand now tat youu dont want the the low bonette cars..but attachin it as i had clicked them only for you.i think one of them is the mm540 1980's.
That 540 is older than me. Please ping me details of this, dont mind checking it out.
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Old 15th May 2009, 18:58   #14
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That 540 is older than me. Please ping me details of this, dont mind checking it out.
Dont bother to look at it. Thats a 2wd. consider it if you want to take it up as a restoration project.
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Old 16th May 2009, 19:34   #15
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Danny check with akheel (tbhp handle also is the same methinks) he had put up his 540 for sale sometime ago. Its there in the classifieds section.
One of the "Cute" (Yes a car like comforts) Jeep that i ever came across, and a uniqe hard top. But it is sold out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronWolf View Post
I called now and clarified again. Its a 2002 model. The condition is pretty good. Not able to go today to see it more in detail and discuss with them. 18-20k for conversion, including the Diffs and TC?

Am kinda stuck on the MM 5X0 models. Not facinated with the SWB and not interested in a LWB for the obvious OTR reasons.
Do keep me posted if you heard of any 540/550 for sale. - selling yours? ?
Where is your mech located and what... Anyway will ping you.
Yes 18-20k if your are reday to trade your existing GB and diffrentials.
hehehe!!! how dare u eye on my Jeep . You are so unlucky, i called up my mech for the same thing today and he just finalyzed a deal on 96? 540 for 95K. Dont worry, that elusive MM5XX is waiting for you somewhere . BTW did you check with "on-board Jeep stockist" MM440 (Jammy)? In every OTR he will find atleast half dozen of Jeeps which once belonged to him lol!!! Pm me for his number and let me know your contact number as well.

Thanks
--Sree--
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