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Old 20th September 2010, 00:29   #1
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Post New 99-Gypsy King carb lands in Chennai

Owning a jeep has been my passion for a long time and finally it has come true. So here I get to write my experiences and lessons learnt on owning one - Apologize if it's a bit boring. This is just another experience of an old jeep lover getting his hands on a 4WD. You might find these experiences a lot across this forums and believe me, it's addictive. You might be the next to write a similar story!

So here goes my story. My dad's native place is Kasaragod, north most part of Kerala. A beautiful place with laterite hills and cashew trees. When we were kids there were no roads and we only had jeeps and ambassador cars to travel, and when it rains only the good old jeeps crawl on these hills.

That was long time back, now Iam are settled in Chennai, do a great monotonous job in an IT company, drive around in a Bolero, got a kid 2 years old and myself got older, 30 plus years. It was great when I changed from my Santro to a Bolero, but still that "jeep-thing" was missing. The good old 2WD Bolero mostly behaves like a car. So, there started my search for jeeps! The plan was to have the jeep for my daily use and Bolero for the family. Great idea!, but somehow convinced wifey!
And my search for jeeps started! Initially I was looking only for MM540, with a fiber top. Was a bit concerned about theft, safety etc. Found a few but didn't like the looks. All of them were abused and 'molested' very badly. That's when I saw an army auctioned MM550 with soft top. I just fell for the looks for MM550. Somehow, the dealings didnt work out. Meanwhile Vivek, another jeep fan, directed me to a a Cj340 - ex govt service, owned by jeep enthusiast. That jeep was irresistible, taken care well and was damn cheap too. Heck with fiber tops and soft tops , I now needed an open jeep! Unfortunately he got it sold before I could make the dealings. Just then I had to travel to Bangalore for an office trip, and there was a CJ3B Petrol jeep in front of the hotel where I stayed. I had seen the jeep at the same place an year back. Found out from the mechanic that it was owned by an Police officer and he had expired and the family had not come back to take back the jeep for 3 years. Tried to contact the owners but it didnt work. That SWB look manly, now Iam in love with SWB! Heck with Diesel, now I want a petrol jeep!

Also spent a lot of time on team-bhp as well as jeepthrills site, reading restorations and reviews.

Along with all these comedy, there were more - I used call up every jeep advertisements owners found in sites/news papers, stop near jeeps on roads to ask them if its for sale, trace the owners of parked jeeps. Also visited a Maruti dealer who very confidently said that Gypsy production has stopped years back, nice guy he recommended me to check out SX4.
It took one long year, infact a very long year running behind all these jeeps. One fine day, I was visiting this jeep dealer in Mountroad for SWB, where I found a 98 police Gypsy 410W, which looked pretty decent. While test driving it I got a call from Rexy. Let me introduce Rexy here, he is a jeep lover who does restoration of military jeeps and resells as part-time. He has a workshop in Cochin and shuttles between Chennai and Cochin often. I met Rexy and his friend Nasser on the Chennai roads more than a year back when his MM550 had a break down. He gave his piece of mind in Malayalam on my plans to buy a 410. He asked me to take a look at the king Carb and MPFI from his stock. My budget fitted the King carb and he sent me the snaps.

Wow, the Gypsy looked great and had clear lines and the deal was closed. It was an Ex-army 99-413W King, with 4 speed and 4wd in working condition. So my friend Rexy and Nasser started their journey from Cochin to Chennai. Nearing Coimbatore the Gypsy developed some snag. It had to be sent to a MASS, where it stayed for around 2 weeks for some replacement. Meanwhile Rexy to got busy with his work and on August 31st night the Gypsy landed in Chennai.

My hand still itch for an SWB, but I think it can wait! The Gypsy would be used in city for the next few months till all the small problems gets fixed. Targeting around 6 months to make it OTR fit.

The King feels great to drive, but the drive is back breaking. All these times I thought the Bolero seats were the worst, but after riding on Gypsy, I feel they are way better. I got a few lessons from my experience for all future jeep owners.

Lesson 1: Have patience, keep searching and one fine day you would get your jeep. You need lots of that when you get these fixed in workshops!

Lesson 2 : Be prepared to face questions from your relatives, neighbours etc? Why Gypsy, you could have bought an Alto? Mileage 5 Kms?

And as Iam spoiled by my Bolero, I made some creaure comforts in my Gypsy too.
1) Pair of Hella lights
2) Dual horns - I need these in Chennai
3) 3 internal LED lights
4) Mats with some thermal sponge
5) Sun screen for side windows
6) Front facing seats from scorpio
7) Scorpio footboard on the left side. Could be removed for OTR's.
8) Back door pad and inside handle
9) Central locking (he he, Iam spoiled, I really need help!)

Finally after all these modifications, the Gypsy was ready for the pooja on 12-Sunday. Everything went well, and after the pooja the Gypsy just would not budge. A quick check and found that somebody had flicked 20 litres petrol. The fuel cap did not have a lock and the fuel guage was erratic. Well, more lessons learnt.

Lesson 3: Petrol is precious, a Gypsy with no lock on the petrol lid is very inviting.

Lesson 4: Fix the guages

The Gypsy is currently in workshop for these changes
1) Booster brakes
2) New headlights - It's rusted inside reflectors
3) New blades
4) New locks
5) New fuel tank lid with lock
4) Screeching sound from front right bearings. change both bearings.
5) Fix Guages
6) Radiator flush
7) Fix electrical loose connection near fuse box

Future Plans
1) Change/Refurbish front seats.
2) Air conditioning
3) CFL for rear
4) Yokohama AT Tyres

Let the snaps speak now!

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I wanted to stick team-bhp stickers on top at the both rear side. unfortunately, we have the petrol lid and had to stick at the bottom. If any Maruti bigs-shots are reading this review - Guys, we need you to move the petrol tank a bit front to let us stick Team-BHP stickers on top! You guys are not doing anything to the GYpsy, at least do this yaar!

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Scorpio seats and floor mats were fixed by Kumar, teynampet. He did a great job. The seats could be folded as well as removed from the vehicle if required. The idea behind scorpio seat goes to another team bHP member thread.

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The foot rest is from Scorpio rear, bolted on to a metal frame. This could be removed for future OTRs!

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That's all for the time being, folks. Will keep you updated on the King and my lessons learnt!

Last edited by Prasoon : 20th September 2010 at 00:46. Reason: Removed duplicate "REGARDS"
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Old 20th September 2010, 00:51   #2
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When i read the title i said in my mind that what the hell people can write any sort of title to make the thread interesting. This guy is mentioning that gypsy that too 99 model and associating new word with it. Until i saw the pics. It is "new" as i would say. I just loved the seat especially the way it folds. It gives so many options to you in future even you can play around with partial soft top and can have a feeling of a 2 seater Offroad spec gypsy or you can just have a full softtop and can have a feeling of family gypsy. Have fun with gypsy and thanks for the inspiration.
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Old 20th September 2010, 10:50   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasoon View Post
It was an Ex-army 99-413W King, with 4 speed and 4wd in working condition.
Nice Gypsy you got there.

King with 4 speed??? It should be 5 Speed.

Regards,
Krishna Thanthri
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Old 20th September 2010, 12:49   #4
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Hi Prasoon, congrats for the Gypsy you got a neat looking one there. From which place did you purchased it?
Also I appreciate if you can send me the contact details of Mr. Rexy.
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Old 20th September 2010, 13:23   #5
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Very smart looking gypsy . The rear seat mod is very nice . looks factory fit . Add a brake booster bro , compulsory mod trust me . I had tough times when my gypsy did not have booster brakes
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Old 25th September 2010, 16:39   #6
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The gypsy looks really clean. Especially the engine bay area.
Is it (the engine bay area) original or repainted???

Also the scorpio seat is a really nice mod. How much did that(the seat and the installation) cost you?

As Krishna has said earlier, you gypsy has to be a 5speed 5FWD + 1R...
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Old 25th September 2010, 19:25   #7
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Hi Prasoon, with the rear seat in upright position are you able to view the vehicles at the back. I have fitted scorpio seats and i cant see whats at the back at all.
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Old 26th September 2010, 23:56   #8
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Folks,

Apologize for the delay to update, got a bit busy at office. The Gypsy is back from workshop with booster brakes and some fixes. Currently doing test runs, will post an update on this soon.

Car-e-ok : The Gypsy looks new except the dashbord. Plan to replace it with a new one sometime down the line.

Krishna: It's a 4 speed (+1 reverse). I too thought all Kings came with 5 speed. Not sure if this was one from the initial lot of kings or the gearbox was replaced by army mechanics before auction!

Anil: Thanks for your comments. Bought this from Cochin from a gentleman by name Rexy. You can catch him @ 09746226796

Karizma: Have fixed the boster brakes, and it's indeed made a lot of difference.
Harjeev: I think the enginebay is repainted. Scorpio seat is second hand ones, costed around 4.5K + old bench seats. Installation + upholstery work was around 2K.

Desmosedoci: That's the painful part, with scorpio seats up there is no visibility at the back. I drive with the seats folded if there is no one at the back. Also plans to install a reverse camera soon.

Few snaps from the Pooja!
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Last edited by Prasoon : 27th September 2010 at 00:15. Reason: Added few snaps
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Old 27th September 2010, 00:22   #9
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A 4 speed 1999 King? is that possible?...
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Old 27th September 2010, 08:39   #10
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^^^
I too have my doubts. Its like a 4 speed Maruti Esteem.
Maybe the experts can shed some light here, but as far as I have seen Gypsy Kings came with only a 5 speed gear box.

@saintsinner:
Paras what is the configuration on your King?? Has to be a 5 speed. Right?
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Old 27th September 2010, 11:48   #11
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This looks like some one has upgraded the engine from 1.0 (If i remember right the 1.0 gypsy was sold alongside the king till 99), but due to non availability of the king gearbox, has used the old one.

To the best of my knowledge only 1ltr came with a 4 speed.

Please do post some pics of your engine bay.

Cheers
GB
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Old 27th September 2010, 11:50   #12
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Prasoon, Congratulations. gypsy looks in great shape. Hope to see you on OTR scene soon.
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Old 27th September 2010, 13:21   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harjeev View Post
^^^
I too have my doubts. Its like a 4 speed Maruti Esteem.
Maybe the experts can shed some light here, but as far as I have seen Gypsy Kings came with only a 5 speed gear box.

@saintsinner:
Paras what is the configuration on your King?? Has to be a 5 speed. Right?
Harjeev, after reading this i went to check the gearbox at 1 AM and its a 5 speed. King's were always 5 speed IMO
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Old 28th September 2010, 10:39   #14
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Quote:
It's a 4 speed (+1 reverse). I too thought all Kings came with 5 speed. Not sure if this was one from the initial lot of kings or the gearbox was replaced by army mechanics before auction
!


Prasoon, it is so strange that your king has got a 4 speed GB, how is the drive especially at high speeds? is the engine reving high? would like to know more about it as I'm also planning to plant a 1.3L engine in my MG410 with the same 4 speed GB. But worried about how the gear ratios will be?
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Old 3rd December 2010, 13:00   #15
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Hello Prasoon,
Thats a lovely Gypsy you have. Could you please let me have the contact details of the garage in Chennai where you are getting the mechanical and tinkering work done for your Gypsy.
Thank you
Ashok
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