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Old 6th May 2010, 19:28   #1
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Default My 4x4 "Lieutenant" has arrived!!!

Hello experts...

After going back and forth on buying a 4x4 for a real long time I am guessing its time now to write the cheque Me and a friend jointly buying it primarily for the sake of OTRs plus some bullish city driving

My selection criteria was as follows;
1. Something that can be driven on tarmac without too much of back break, mg410 ishtyle. Also, say if I take it to office some day, I wouldnt be talked about for the next one month.
2. Something that can go where most jeeps go if driven well, specially mud wallowing, hehe!
3. RELIABLE
4. Rs1.5L for the vehicle + OTR prep expense of approx 60k

Saw it all- commanders, marshalls, willys, classics so on and so forth. Have isolated a couple of them out of which one that I am keen on- a 1987 MM 540 here in bangalore itself. Its a 2nd owner, with clean papers, fully refurbished 4x4, original engine, freshly repainted, run around 60k kms with 3500kms post engine overhaul. Pretty good interior/exterior state with wrangler style soft top, nice alloy wheels, fairly ok 235 size tyres on 15 inchers. No added lights, custom fitments for OTRs etc, clean, well maintained daily drive (as informed). The 4x4 is in working condition as informed by the owner which he used around 6months back supposedly. The owner supposedly bought it to customize and use it for OTRs however his priorities seem to have taken a subtle diversion hence the decision of sale...

Please suggest as to how much can this 540 be bought for approximately. I understand that the above description might not be conclusive but a ball park estimate could help me go a long way. Also, this 540 comes with 4 + 1 gear pattern, it this a good gear box for OTRs? Also, how reliable are the 1987 model engines, powerful at all if in good state??

Thank you all Jeepheads

Last edited by The Wolf : 6th May 2010 at 19:34.
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Old 6th May 2010, 19:53   #2
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Maybe if you could post a few photo's, the guys could provide you with a more accurate estimate.

How often do you plan on driving it in the city?
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Old 6th May 2010, 19:57   #3
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I think it is safe to assume it to be XDP 4.90 engine with KMT 90 gearbox. It needed engine overhaul only after 60K of run, that is a suspect. In Jeeps, you can never believe the odometer reading, especially old Jeeps like this.

Yeah, it is good for offroading. About 1.5L is a good price if everything is in good condition. If the tyres are fairly new AT tyres, the price may go up.

PS: Why not Bolero according your original plan?

Last edited by Samurai : 6th May 2010 at 19:58.
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Old 6th May 2010, 22:09   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I think it is safe to assume it to be XDP 4.90 engine with KMT 90 gearbox. It needed engine overhaul only after 60K of run, that is a suspect. In Jeeps, you can never believe the odometer reading, especially old Jeeps like this.

Yeah, it is good for offroading. About 1.5L is a good price if everything is in good condition. If the tyres are fairly new AT tyres, the price may go up.

PS: Why not Bolero according your original plan?
Thank you for shedding light on the tech aspect! Your inputs are valuable...

Bolero plan was ditched as I had just started my own company then and it kept me way more busier and broke than I had anticipated....but now I have people to take care of some bit of it which spares me a few moments and bucks

Any more advice on the MM540? Any quick tips to check the condition of the engine pls?
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Old 7th May 2010, 17:57   #5
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If you could upload some pictures of the engine bay and the vehicle in question, members would be able to give you a much better assumption.
Further what I have experienced and observed when buying and selling jeeps is that there is no one fixed price or an assumption.
I have seen vehicles (540 and 550) going for as low as 80-90 k and high as 180 to 190 k too. I believe that its more or less with the temperament and / or need of the seller to sell the vehicle and at the same time the requirement/ need of the buyer to buy a 4x4.
Considering that you are willing to spend 210k in total, why not increase the budget slightly and consider an ex-army MM550 and then refurbish it to your specifications'.
This vehicle wouuld be much better to your liking, better engine, body would be 12-13 years newer 1987 compared to a year 1999 or 2000 ex-army.

Pick up a MM550 for 100-120 k and then spend another 130k on the refurbishment.
ALso later if you would wish to sell it, it would be much easier to sell off an MM550 compared to a MM540!!!
Just my view!!!

Last edited by harjeev : 7th May 2010 at 17:58.
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Old 7th May 2010, 18:08   #6
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Isn't it nice to see a Vtec guy in the 4x4 section. Folks, I guess we have another convert

1. More than anything, check the engine shape (compression test is best), if the 4x4 works, rust and signs of severe chassis damage. If each of these 4 points are fine, you are okay.

2. I don't buy the thing about 60,000 clicks at all. A jeep that old, and with a rebuild, has 1,00,000+ under its belt (at the minimum).

3. All old Jeeps behave differently. You could say they have a character of their own. Take her for a long drive, including cruising at 80 kph for 10 - 15 minutes. Check for overheating, steering shake, how the brakes are.

4. Do NOT go for any Jeep that has jugaad. It's okay to get your own jugaad done, but not okay to buy someone elses jugaad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wolf View Post
OTR prep expense of approx 60k
The 540's a good Jeep. In the first year, don't blow your money on 4x4 Mods. The only thing you should do to boost her offroad prowess is buy good tyres. Work will come up, and you will have to fix it...however well the Jeep has been maintained. Best to allocate your 60K for tyres + misc repairs.

Quote:
The owner supposedly bought it to customize and use it for OTRs however his priorities seem to have taken a subtle diversion hence the decision of sale...
90% chance that he's selling it because he is fed up. You shold also be prepared for what you are getting into. Look at Samurai's and Tejas' experience (never ending flow of $$$). Mahindra's Jeeps are tough & competent in OTRs, but they have absolutely shoddy build. Don't expect Gypsy-like peace of the mind. Niggles will become a part of your daily routine. Eventually, you'll get conditioned to the heartburn. Don't mean to discourage you, we'd love to have another Jeep in our fold. Just preparations

Quote:
Also, this 540 comes with 4 + 1 gear pattern, it this a good gear box for OTRs? Also, how reliable are the 1987 model engines, powerful at all if in good state??
I've been using that same 4+1 for the past 10 years and its an excellent tool off the road. You'll hardly ever need even the 1st low, 2nd low is good enough for 99% of the obstacles you'll face. Only downer is on the highway where she screams for a 5th gear (taller ratio. At 90 kph, the engine is redlining / screaming.

Don't know about Bangalore prices, but 1.5 lakhs seems awfully high for a 23 year old Jeep.

Last edited by GTO : 7th May 2010 at 18:09.
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Old 8th May 2010, 09:27   #7
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I don't know if you have seen this 540. It is available for sale in Bangalore and is from a JT Jeeper and is a VERY VERY capable vehicle.






More pictures can be seen here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...ml#post1205939 (Savandurga OTR Event on March 1st 2009: Detailed report)

As far as I know, no work required on this jeep -- just some service and you are ready to rock.

However, the owner was asking for ~2.5. Let me know and I can share the number of the owner.

Cheers,
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Old 8th May 2010, 14:07   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Isn't it nice to see a Vtec guy in the 4x4 section. Folks, I guess we have another convert .
Tbhp does a lotta things to a lotta people, this ones more closer to reality, haha!!! Adventure seekers like me will run behind anything that will help keep that adrenaline pumping. Well, hardly any drag events these days, the resultant is clear...time to take the frustration to the nature!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
1. More than anything, check the engine shape (compression test is best), if the 4x4 works, rust and signs of severe chassis damage. If each of these 4 points are fine, you are okay. .
Points taken, will report back shortly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
2. I don't buy the thing about 60,000 clicks at all. A jeep that old, and with a rebuild, has 1,00,000+ under its belt (at the minimum). .
Engine completely rebuilt, run around 3500kms post that as a daily drive. Shouldnt be a problem as long as the compression and oil pressure shown healthy results. Correct me if Im wrong pls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
3. All old Jeeps behave differently. You could say they have a character of their own. Take her for a long drive, including cruising at 80 kph for 10 - 15 minutes. Check for overheating, steering shake, how the brakes are. .
Planning to take an expert with me, any bhpins willing to do so can do me a big favor by dropping me a PM. I would be thankful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
4. Do NOT go for any Jeep that has jugaad. It's okay to get your own jugaad done, but not okay to buy someone elses jugaad. .
Cant say anything at this time, will have to get it checked up by an expert coz I know nothing abt these, well if it was high revving quarter mile guzzers the tables wouldve tilted fairly quickly



Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The 540's a good Jeep. In the first year, don't blow your money on 4x4 Mods. The only thing you should do to boost her offroad prowess is buy good tyres. Work will come up, and you will have to fix it...however well the Jeep has been maintained. Best to allocate your 60K for tyres + misc repairs. .
This point I will not fail to consider at my highest priority.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
90% chance that he's selling it because he is fed up. You shold also be prepared for what you are getting into. Look at Samurai's and Tejas' experience (never ending flow of $$$). Mahindra's Jeeps are tough & competent in OTRs, but they have absolutely shoddy build. Don't expect Gypsy-like peace of the mind. Niggles will become a part of your daily routine. Eventually, you'll get conditioned to the heartburn. Don't mean to discourage you, we'd love to have another Jeep in our fold. Just preparations .
Crap, you have just opened my considerations to the good 'ol MGs now



Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I've been using that same 4+1 for the past 10 years and its an excellent tool off the road. You'll hardly ever need even the 1st low, 2nd low is good enough for 99% of the obstacles you'll face. Only downer is on the highway where she screams for a 5th gear (taller ratio. At 90 kph, the engine is redlining / screaming..
Far thought but the above means my plans of Leh'ing with my 4x4 has just gotten scrapped. Thank you Rush

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Don't know about Bangalore prices, but 1.5 lakhs seems awfully high for a 23 year old Jeep.
It is a completely done up jeep with all that I have mentioned earlier including roll bars, bolero tail lamps etc... completely restored and is a daily drive with leather seats et al. The least a jeep will cost is a lac and a half if bought and restored from a trash yard with nominal OTR worthyness isnt it?...like we see in a lotta threads- army 550 restorations etc

My current problem is I dont have a jeeper friend who is technically sound to evaluate this one from a tech angle. I dont even know any tbhpians personally to help me out with this one, any one willing to lend a hand??? Pls PM me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
I don't know if you have seen this 540. It is available for sale in Bangalore and is from a JT Jeeper and is a VERY VERY capable vehicle.

More pictures can be seen here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...ml#post1205939 (Savandurga OTR Event on March 1st 2009: Detailed report)

As far as I know, no work required on this jeep -- just some service and you are ready to rock.

However, the owner was asking for ~2.5. Let me know and I can share the number of the owner.

Cheers,
Thanks Khan bhai but currently I have a couple of jeeps in hand close to a lac cheaper than this one, so this will come a bit later. What model is it anyway?

Last edited by The Wolf : 8th May 2010 at 14:12.
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Old 8th May 2010, 18:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wolf View Post
Shouldnt be a problem as long as the compression and oil pressure shown healthy results. Correct me if Im wrong pls.
Should be okay, I guess. Early overheating under stress may include a cracked head.

Quote:
Cant say anything at this time, will have to get it checked up by an expert coz I know nothing abt these, well if it was high revving quarter mile guzzers the tables wouldve tilted fairly quickly
Post pictures, we'll be glad to help ya out.

Quote:
Far thought but the above means my plans of Leh'ing with my 4x4 has just gotten scrapped. Thank you Rush
Well, a good 540 can still cruise at a constant 80 - 90 kph. That's not too far off from the Gypsy's safe cruising speed of 90 - 100. 10 - 20 kph less is not bad for 1/2 the cost of fuel for the long distance

And knowing your affinity for mods, I'm sure you'll find a way out.

Quote:
It is a completely done up jeep with all that I have mentioned earlier including roll bars, bolero tail lamps etc... completely restored and is a daily drive with leather seats et al. The least a jeep will cost is a lac and a half if bought and restored from a trash yard with nominal OTR worthyness isnt it?...like we see in a lotta threads- army 550 restorations etc
Again, pictures would greatly help.

Quote:
Thanks Khan bhai but currently I have a couple of jeeps in hand close to a lac cheaper than this one, so this will come a bit later. What model is it anyway?
If Khan says the Jeep's good, it has to be good. A premium is well-deserved for an old Jeep, if its in top shape (will save you big $$$ in the long run). Take the number and still check it out. In the end, give your max offer if you really like the Jeep. Let the owner ask whatever he wants, its your money thats going to play.
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Old 8th May 2010, 18:58   #10
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Here, the photos;

View Photographs for Car Profile #S56835
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Old 8th May 2010, 20:04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wolf View Post
Had seen this jeep ad atleast 6 months back. It looks good but it is not OTR ready. I would suggest Kiran's JEEP(Caterpillar), as his jeep is a daily drive and also OTR ready. It has AC too(not sure if it is working).

Last edited by star_aqua : 8th May 2010 at 20:05.
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Old 8th May 2010, 20:34   #12
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Wolf,

i would suggest you pick up a jeep which is completely done.

Reason:
I am building a 1946 Willys Low Bonnet jeep, and trust me its killing me.
I have spent loads of money and time repairing it and it looks like it would take another month or soo to complete.

But there is a very old Quote about Jeeps...

Jeeps are Built Not Bought.

So only if you have time think about a Jeep which requires some work...

Best of Luck
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Old 8th May 2010, 21:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by star_aqua View Post
Had seen this jeep ad atleast 6 months back. It looks good but it is not OTR ready. I would suggest Kiran's JEEP(Caterpillar), as his jeep is a daily drive and also OTR ready. It has AC too(not sure if it is working).
Hmm OTR ready, pls elaborate? This jeep has done a couple of OTRs in the hands of one the most respected jeepers in India...and he recommended that I consider it coz of the quality of work that has gone into building it which is fairly tried and tested. Not sure what you mean by not OTR ready unless you are referring to the lack of winch, button tyres, snorkel etc I will pop em one by one shortly anyway, let me atleast do that if not the careful build process pleasured experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by zulfikar View Post
Wolf,

i would suggest you pick up a jeep which is completely done.

Reason:
I am building a 1946 Willys Low Bonnet jeep, and trust me its killing me.
I have spent loads of money and time repairing it and it looks like it would take another month or soo to complete.

But there is a very old Quote about Jeeps...

Jeeps are Built Not Bought.

So only if you have time think about a Jeep which requires some work...

Best of Luck
What exactly would you like me to do? Your suggestions seem a bit confusing

Last edited by The Wolf : 8th May 2010 at 21:06.
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Old 8th May 2010, 23:49   #14
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The Wolf ! Is it going to be your only ride? Yes? Gypsy. You want it to be nice on you, speed like a car, Gypsy. You dont even want to hear whats under the hood, Gypsy, You dont care about petrol prices, Gypsy. You want stock brakes that are really Good, Gypsy. Dont care for these, can go M & M Go 540. since you want more than OTR. Best MM. had the blessing of testing em at 36/36 from 8th std. You really don' t need a lot of OTR stuff to pull out of stuff, Ive seen the best drivers do it with crappy wheels! Its just how gentle you are with the throttle and the clutch! Good luck~!
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Old 9th May 2010, 12:41   #15
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@YaeJay: Thank you for your suggestions mate! The thing is I already have a couple of cars that take care of my erands and office trips. Plus my office is less than 10kms from home so it doesnt really matter unless during peak summer when AC might be essential to preserve presentable appearance during important client meets and presentations...which sweat and grime can effect terribly

I have always had this thing for real jeeps hence despite of several looks and takes I might not buy anything but a M&M.

News to everyone following this thred: most likely I will finalize on my purchase TODAY. I am meeting the owner of jeep that I have fairly finalized at 3pm today, hopefully I will nail the deal...wish me luck folks!!!

Thank you all for all the advices and suggestions, Tbhp never fails
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