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Old 8th November 2010, 11:50   #1
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Default My MM550 Army Spec Restoration Project

Jeeps have been in our family for a long time. Starting from the old petrol CJ to the MM540 and then the Pikup, Bolero and Scorpio. Even though we still have some jeeps currently I was always keen on doing a complete army spec restoration. Hunting for Jeeps, my cousin Tini gave me the number for Vijaykumar (swastikviji) who had purchased some 550s along with his friends from the army auction and had one for sale. Well I went to see the Jeep and here are pictures of the same.

Initial impressions were not so great but on closer inspection, I found that the jeep had all the essentials in place and was a good starting point and test of my skills in restoration. We fixed up the price and I towed the Jeep the next day back to my workshop. Viji was most helpful in getting the Jeep out and gave me many pointers on how to go about the project and where to source parts from. I must thank Viji at this time for all the useful inputs and help he has given me.

We decided to take apart the jeep in total and start work from bare chassis and frame. We dismantled the entire vehicle and used chemical remover to strip out all the old paint on all the pieces. We then used a wire brush grinder to clean all the metal parts and after degreasing applied primer coats. This took many days of manual labour and in hindsight we should have gone in for material blasting to speed up the process. Well the next time I will give this option a try. Have to source the equipment.

Axles and springs completely stripped, opened up, recambered, reconditioned, assembled and painted

Shod with Cooper MT 235 / 85 R 16 tyres

Vehicle was registered last week and is now road worthy and ready for use.

A summary of all the work done.

1. Complete dismantling of all parts and pieces.
2. Complete wash and removal of multiple coats of paint to bare metal.
3. Wire brushing to bare metal.
4. Degreasing and applying primer coat.
5. Tinkering, welding and tapping of all metal parts.
6. Grinding, wire brushing, degreasing and reapplying of primer in welded areas.
7. Sealant Coating for all joints.
8. Surfacer coat followed by two coats of covering paint.
9. Final paint with two coats of DUCO PU two part paint.
10. Complete engine overhaul and gearbox overhaul
11. New clutch assembly.
12. Axles completely removed, checked, corrected and reassembled with new bearings, brake pads, brake cyl, etc. LSD in good working order.
13. Springs recambered and reassembled.
14. Wiring Harness and Electricals all renewed.
15. All new rubbers and electricals
16. Radiator overhauled
17. Starter and Alternator overhauled
18. New Exide Battery and cables
19. New Lights and fittings
20. New canopy
21. New tyres
22. Seats renewed and new Upholstery
23. New windscreen and Door Glass
24. New window winding machine and channels
25. New Combination switch assembly
26. New Locks and fittings
27. Fuel Tank removed and cleaned and refitted
28. New Brake parts with booster
29. New Windshield Washer and wipers
30. Wiper Motor Overhauled
31. New Speedo, etc
32. New Wheel Cover
33. New filters and Diesel Hand pump unit
34. All new body mountings and shackle assys.
35. New Exhaust system Silencer and Piping
36. Almost all the nuts and bolts replaced.
37. New filters and speedo
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Old 8th November 2010, 12:10   #2
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good job bro.

looking forward to this thread.
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Old 8th November 2010, 12:12   #3
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papaboost,
This is a very comprehensive restoration/ build in progress. The quality of denting and paint job tells that, the end product is going to be awesome.

Will be visiting this thread very frequently. All the best.

A suggestion, If you do the wheels black, they will highly contrast with your very light coloured body, if you want your jeep to look bigger then go in for wheels also the same colour as the body.
Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 8th November 2010 at 12:17.
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Old 8th November 2010, 13:02   #4
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Welcome Pappaboost, glad to see you post As usual brilliant job by you and the team. Will meet up sometime soon and do keep updating the post.
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Old 8th November 2010, 13:40   #5
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Looks good. Waiting for the final pictures.

Where did you get the work done? and how much time did it take?

Arun
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Old 8th November 2010, 14:41   #6
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Woow such a detailed job. great work buddy. Looking forward to the final pics. Plus a price break down of the project would be very helpful to all i think .

Once again a very good job indeed.
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Old 8th November 2010, 15:09   #7
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papaboost, Welcome to MM550(ex-army) restoration . You have started with a big bang, great to see another very detailed restoration. Workmanship looks excellent and I'm sure the outcome will be top notch. Would love to see pics of the new tyres on the stock army rims. where did you manage to get the 235/85/R16's from? I've been hunting for those too but no luck till date.
Congratulations and all the best for the rest of the project.
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Old 8th November 2010, 15:22   #8
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Thanks Fazalali. Jaggu, look forward to meeting up with you. Arun, It took about 2.5 months and all the work was done at my shop. Here are some more pictures.
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Old 8th November 2010, 15:24   #9
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congrats papaboost!

very few people/jeepers go for full strip down & build up.
& i feel that this is the only way to get a trouble free machine.

best of luck for the project & keep us updated.

rgds,
Nikhil

EDIT:
is it completed already?
Quote:
Vehicle was registered last week and is now road worthy and ready for use.
do you have your own work shop?
Quote:
I towed the Jeep the next day back to my workshop.

Last edited by jeepster : 8th November 2010 at 15:30.
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Old 8th November 2010, 15:31   #10
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The Job is Amazing.. I would like to give you a small suggestion.. Remove extra leafs from the Front and rear leaf springs.. Your ride will become much smoother.. Even I have done the same thing and trust me the result was mind blowing.. Replace the silencer with Bolero's silencer and you'll see the difference in the sound and power.. If you have already done that then its well and good.. All the best brother..

Last edited by Jassy1313 : 8th November 2010 at 15:32.
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Old 8th November 2010, 17:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papaboost View Post
Thanks Fazalali. Jaggu, look forward to meeting up with you. Arun, It took about 2.5 months and all the work was done at my shop. Here are some more pictures.
Hi Papa,

Your attention to detail, especially the Tyres has created a stunner.

Your MM550XD looks PERFECT.

Congratulations, and I hope to see it, and meet you at one of the OTRs.

Regards,

Arka
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Old 8th November 2010, 20:12   #12
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@fazal ali - Have tried to do a pucca restoration and am quite happy with the outcome. Thank you for your kind words. Have been reading up on your restorations and am very impressed.

@arun v - the work was done at my workshop at Bangalore

@amrisharm - Price breakup !!! Well some things are best left uncalculated :-)

@johannes - These cooper tyres are available here in Bangalore though priced much higher than say the Maxxis Bighorns

@jeepster - Yes the work has been going on for a couple of months now and finally completed. Yes I have a place behind my house where we can do this.

@Arka - Thank you very much. Tini and others on the forum speak very highly of you and I look forward to meeting up too.
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Old 8th November 2010, 21:24   #13
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All I can say is Wow!! That is one handsome jeep, especially with those shoes and rims (exactly what I had in mind) . I agree with Fazal sir in keeping the rims light coloured. I have mine in white while the Jeep is olive green and it looks stunning. IMO it will look killer in white rims, as white will bring out the true beauty of the army rim with the black and wider Coopers.

Oh and btw how much did the Coopers cost you? Maybe I like to get a set of 5 for myself too . I'm running JK sand cum highway but I find them too skinny for my liking, though performance-wise I think they are not bad

Last edited by johannes : 8th November 2010 at 21:35.
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Old 9th November 2010, 07:18   #14
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papaboost,
Thank you for your kind words.

Your Jeep has come out very good as expected.

Hope you don't mind my posting this pic. of my ex jeep,(with full top never posted before). Yours reminds me of it. It will also give you an idea of white wheels (the black tyres pop out) and should you decide to add fenders.

A Great Build and tremendous effort.

Regards,
My MM550 Army Spec Restoration Project-img_3129.jpg
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Old 9th November 2010, 07:54   #15
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Hi,


The jeep appears to be from one of the combat units of Indian Army and would've undergone a lot of abuse.



Fantastic restoration work. Keep it up.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jassy1313 View Post
I would like to give you a small suggestion.. Remove extra leafs from the Front and rear leaf springs.. Your ride will become much smoother..
I think the suspension is beefed up by the manufacturer to withstand the tougher working conditions.

Even Royal Enfield used to supply motorcycles with thicker gauge and beefier suspension to Army.
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