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Old 23rd July 2009, 17:34   #1
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Default Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!

Sometime back when I discussed my options for a 4x4 my friend Shams urged me to pick up a army disposal Jeep and do it up. It made sense but I simply didn't have the luxury of time to sit around in workshops to get the car redone. So I dropped the idea altogether.

Nothing new from Mahindra appealed. I wanted the Gurkha with the new to be released OM611 engine but as you know that's a nonstarter. My only option was a Gypsy and I was increasingly resigned to the fact that eventually it would be a new Gypsy. I had decided to buy one this year so atleast by the next monsoon season I'd be 4x4 equipped.

So yesterday when some used car dealers I know said " Saab ek zabardast Jeep bikne ke liye aayee " I didn't think much of it but they spoke so earnestly saying " aapka taste hum jaante, aapko shayed pasand ayegee", I said okay, bring her along.

When I saw the car I couldn't believe it was real. Here was a CJ3B all done up, rather meticulously, fully functional 4x4, and simply ready to go. All I needed to do was fill in diesel and I was in business !!

We went for a drive. Almost instantly I was put off by a most harsh and noisy diesel. It had a pathetic international diesel and I found it so so coarse and horrid.

The car looked great, but had a horrid diesel which ruined the experience.

I was confused.

Offroading for me is all about pleasure. Not pain. And this diesel engine was sure to give me one big headache. But the car looked a million bucks. Sharp, very classic Jeep, loved the way she had been restored. Except for a few bits out of place the guy who restored it had done a truly commendable job.

I told them I'd have to take the car home to get some second opinions.

The minute I drove up the driveway my dad's face lit up and he remarked " Wow what a fine specimen" I was like "Sure dad wait till you hear the junk inside the bonnet"

My friend Raj who was at home fell for the car instantly and everyone was raving about it. My cousin Rajiv came home and he started to rave about it. Now I was really confused.

On one side I couldn't disagree the car looked a stunner. But it drove like crap. The noise vibration and harshness was such a huge put off.

Up until 11 in the night we kept discussing the car. Shams had joined in and I wanted to be sure if this was the right thing for me.

We all agreed in terms of the offroad ability you can't fault the car. Even if I broke it two pieces it wouldn't hurt at the price I was to pay. That made sense, not that I plan on breaking it !!

We then started talking about where we'd go to offroad. The nearest interesting site is about 70-100 kms. The real star is the Srisailam area which is about 175 to 200 kms. And I desperately want to do Karnataka.

There was only one question that hung heavy on my mind. Would I survive a long drive with that horrid engine. I had to be honest with myself and not impulsive. Agreed the car looked a killer and offroad it would be delightful. But would I "survive" the long drives? The engine in the car is the equivalent of having a dozen people pounding your body with steel hammers.

No way !!! I was crystal clear the engine was a total disaster when it came to long distance driveability. Its a tractor engine.

We spoke at great length about elongating my 207's bed so we could carry the Jeep to destinations. Nah its too ridiculous. I ruled that out.

Sham's CJ3B has the same unit. I asked him why he doesn't bring his Jeep along on our longer drives. He smiled at me and we knew the answer.

This car was going to be a dud. We called it a day at around 11 pm.

Just to be sure I took it out for one last drive. I asked myself, was there a sadomasochist streak in me to subject myself to such a pathetic piece of machinery? Am afraid I couldn't. That engine really got to me. No doubt it has torque to move a mountain. But at what cost. I love cars that are refined, smooth, enjoyable to drive. I know Jeeps are fun to drive, but this one was a horror.

Today as I woke up early and came down, found Dad siiting in the dining room having his morning coffee and the minute he saw me he said "Don't lose this car, its a very clean Jeep"

Now my father is always hesitant to support me on my zillion hobbies/projects. He said "Usually I am the first to discourage you, but this time I think you should get this one"

That got me. Here was a man who always drove huge eight cylinder petrol cars and all his 80 years was accustomed to extreme comfort and refinement in his cars. He never ever cared for coarse machinery like Jeeps. And he was liking this car and wanting me to get it.

I said "you want to drive it? we can then decide if you like it"

I was amused that at 80 he was willing to hop into a Jeep and give me his opinion. He's not supposed to exert himself in traffic but I couldn't resist that twinkle in his eye as he got into the driver's seat urging me to finish my morning tea so we could take the Jeep out for a ride.

In the cool crisp morning air we eased out onto the main road and drove for a distance. I could tell the connoiseur in him was noticing how horrid the car was. And I could sense he was getting into the same dilemma I was plagued all evening the previous day. To ease his anguish I said " its a crappy engine" he said " yes I agree, but still you should get the car"

And then it hit me in a flash.

I always loved Jeeps. I've spent loads of time in Jeeps as kids as my uncle was in the police and we used to travel in districts in Jeeps. They invariably were petrol Jeeps in those days. That's it. Petrol was the answer.

Everything about this Jeep was fantastic. Beautifully done up, very sharp looker, a lot of attention to detail. Steering and gearbox was crisp, no play. 4x4 worked. Brand new MRF NDMS tyres. Neat upholstery. All electricals worked. What if I dumped that horrid diesel. What if I slotted its original F head Hurricane unit back in?

Eureka !! I had my answer. This Jeep with its original petrol would be a heady mix. Just what I wanted. Smooth and silent and all the offroading you'd want to do.

Sure diesels are torquier, more tractable offroad. No contest there. But when its hundreds of kms of highway driving before I hit the trails, comfort rules.

A little compromise, perhaps not of much consequence, but I decided to get the car and fit an original F4 134 in.

This afternoon I met up with another friend Bharat who is a hardcore Jeep guy and prepares Jeeps as his profession. He approved of the machine and assured me it was a great buy at the price. I told him the diesel had to go. And guess what, he agreed !! He said " Deepak, you know what for all my Jeeps I am moving back to petrol " I was overjoyed. Wow my idea of dumping that horrid diesel and opting back for a petrol was not insane after all. I was not sure as the whole world seems to go the other way.

So the era of petrols is slowly coming back and I guess DKG will be amongst the small breed that prefer that combo any day over the torture of diesels on long drives.

I bought the car.

Last edited by DKG : 23rd July 2009 at 17:48.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 17:46   #2
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That's a nice read, DKG. Congrats on your new ride. Hope you will be posting updates on the technical section.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 17:50   #3
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This got me curious man. Now post some pics too.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 17:55   #4
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Congrats,Now for some pictures. After reading your thread I am quite eager to see how she looks.

p.s: dads hardly go wrong.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 17:57   #5
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pictures coming up soon !
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Old 23rd July 2009, 18:30   #6
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Congratulations on the new acquisition!. Great read as to the dilemma.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 18:42   #7
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DKG!! What can I say, Congratulations & welcome to the Jeeper's club. I can't wait to see pictures of your CJ3B.

For all you know, the seller would have swapped the petrol with this diesel engine to maximise resale. Little did he know. The way you describe the engine, seems to have been running on some old weary worn out unit.

How soon are you going to slot that lever into 4x4 and get her dirty? You couldn't have bought the Jeep at a better time...the monsoons have created havoc on all our trails!
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Old 23rd July 2009, 18:52   #8
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after such a wonderful write-up, no pics ??? unfair, DKG, unfair.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 19:31   #9
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Congratulations DKG!!!! Just a difference of opinion, that International Engine is not that bad. Our own Uday Bhan Singh Has covered India with Same Engine in his GPW (8181). I have done Two Trips of Pune – Satna(MP) – Pune (1350 one side) and few under 1000 Kms with same engine in my Willys. Uday Bhan Singh doesn’t have Heater in his Ford and this Engine starts in one click, I have personally seen this, He went all the way to Himalaya with this Engine and without Heater.
Also when you compare Two engines (Hurricane & International), I have driven my Willys with Hurricane Engine to 2000 Kms Trip(Satna – Bhopal – Indore – Nagpur – Pune – Mumbai – Goa).i am not exaggerating anything, I am talking as per my experience. Following are my observations.
1) Mileage – 6kms in Petrol Vs 10kms in Diesel.
2) Spare Parts Availability.
3) Easy to Repair – this so called Tractor Engine can be repaired by anyone anywhere with cheap spares.
4) Both engine have almost same Top Speed and yes CJ3B chassis can handle this much speed only. Even If you put any Japanese engine also you can’t cruise her to 120-130 confidently.
5) As per you International is Tractor Engine, but the same Tractor engine is doing duty in Mahindra Jeeps till date with small modifications. First with DI in Mahindra Major, Bolero, Invader,Savari, Pickup and with M2DI in Bolero & Scorpio ( I know they have refined it a lot)
6) Torque for Offroading – International with more Torque than Hurricane.
As per me, if you want this Jeep for occasional driving, you can trust this engine.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 19:51   #10
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im glad people are coming back to petrol!

many hearty congrats on the new purchase. we read it all about her, now waiting to see it in metal!
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Old 23rd July 2009, 19:58   #11
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+1 Parm... pics please. You have setup a expection in all our minds through the words above. Now let that please visualize before our eyes.

Congrats...
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Old 23rd July 2009, 20:02   #12
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Excellent, Happy to see another Jeeper born.

Let me know if you find it difficult to procure a petrol engine. I'm sure I got to know a petrol engine's existence in scrap yard here.

Check the RC Book if it is already endorsed for Diesel engine, then there is a genuine issue in reverting back to petrol legally.

LET ME SEE THE PICTURES, I have recently bought a Petrol JEEP and found it not so difficult to buy parts too.

Welcome to JEEPER'S World. God let there be no roads, we have got to drive now.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 20:04   #13
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+1 @ Parm. We're all so eager to see every jeep anyone has. I'm sure there are lots of people who keep looking for Jeeps/Jeep pics. And, after reading a good post and not seeing a pic just....
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Old 23rd July 2009, 23:56   #14
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Managed to take some pictures late evening, without flash but due to low light some are unclear. Will take better shots later and post. Enjoy !

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0317.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0319.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0320.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0321.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0322.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0323.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0324.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0325.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0327.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0328.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0329.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0330.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0331.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0334.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0335.jpg

Cj3b : Yes-no-yes !!-img_0333.jpg

Last edited by DKG : 23rd July 2009 at 23:58.
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Old 24th July 2009, 00:15   #15
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Wow, welcome to the club. You weren't even looking for a Jeep, and it fell into your lap. Congratulations, soon your Jeep mechanic will be your new best friend.
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