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Old 3rd May 2011, 12:14   #1
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The Ambassador – Affectionately called as AMBY is very very popular in India.Now a days there were very less amount of Amby cars in all the cities.Tamilnadu is having quite a good Amby population.

I am also one of the proud owner of an Ambassador Car for more than 14 years.Its a Mark 2 Model before 6 years,Then when I start earning,I use to change its look and feel of latest Amby.But some of things like the bumpers,grills ,Wheel Discs etc., are bit odd for me in new Amby.

Before 14 years,when my Dad bought this car.I was very happy and there were no words to describe that feeling.I used to sleep inside the car atleast 4 or 5 days in a week for around one year. I will even comb the hair only using the car mirrors. After 1 year, I am into Hostel Life for 2 years.

The engine we had before is Matador F305 Engine which served me for more than 12 years.Its with the normal 4 Speed gear box before.

From year 2000,I was fond of Isuzu Engines,the sound and the pick up was awesome.One of my neighborhood friend had an Amby with Imported C1 Isuzu Non-Turbo.(Finally in 2010 October,that car came into my family circle,I bought that car to my cousin brother).

But at that time I am not working.In 2006,I started working.I am staying in Bangalore from Aug 2006 till now.After earning some money,I did the changes what ever I need one by one.
From 2007 Feb onwards, I used to take my Amby to Bangalore. Monthly twice or thrice based on the need.

First Change : Switching to Isuzu 5-Speed Gear Box.
Second Change : Air conditioner and it was the first problematic thing.I almost spent more than 20000 for the old AC in 2 years (2008-2009).Nobody can identify why the gas leak is there,even though the compressor,Tubes are new ones.
Finally I found the right persons for the AC,and it was success fully done and cooling was perfect.

Thrid change : Gypsy Discs fittings
My Dad fitted new Nova Discs on 2006 Jan only, But I like the Gypsy Discs with Ring. I planned to fit that after getting scolding from my Parents. My Friends were also warning , Don’t spend like this. But I told them, “The dream will come true only if we take a step” and did the change of Discs. It was awesome for the car(From my point of view) .

Fourth Major change: Engine Swap to MAT F305 to Isuzu G1.
In Dec 2009,the Matador engine which was already crossing 3 Lakh Kms is asking for a rework.That was a great engine.In Coimbatore ,there are many good (Mechanics)names to do this rework.But I need something different from them.I was searching for a nice and perfect person to do this.I heard about a Mechanic in Salem name Durai,He was around 64 years old and very good in engine reworks.I called him and told about my car and Engine condtion.I took my car and I reached his workshop.There I saw Sumo,Tavera,Amby,Fiat Padmini for Engine Rework.
I told about what I need and how the outcome of this project.He replied,he will start working in my car after a week,since he has to deliver some cars.Approximate cost will be 25000 Rupess.I agreed and at the time of leaving thw workshop,I saw an Amby there , which came for Rework.Its an Isuzu Powered.That was the time my mind changed.Suddenly a thought came to fit an Isuzu.
I told him that is it possible to fit and Isuzu.He told whatever I need, he will do for me.Then I took 3 days time to analyse what Isuzu Engine (B1,C1,D1,G1).I enquired ‘n’ number of guys and finally I told to fit Imported G1 Isuzu 2400cc (Non-Turbo).Then the search started,In bangalore no engines .There are people ready to sell the car with G1 engines,but I need only their engines.20 days gone and the Salem Mechanic Durai told that there are 2 engines in Chennai.I told him to go and get it.Engine cost 30000 Rupees and fitted in my car.I was in Bangalore and I didn’t saw the car for 35 days,that’s the first time I am not near the car for more than a month.Finally he called me and told to come to take delivery.
I went and the test drive was ready. I was very much surprised on the pick up and sound of that engine. Overall 59000 Rupees charge (Including fittings , oil change etc.,)In the highway its crossing 100Kmph and that’s the first time I was driving an Amby with enormous pick. That was the Last time My Car was driven by others. I really love this car a lot and driving is a pleasure all through the days rolled and the days going to come.

Problems :
1.After 7 days I found that the oil Level is going down and I top up oil.Again it was gone and the smoke told clearly, that the engine is drinking the oil. I called Durai and asked about it. He told we will change the rings, I am not satisfied and gave the car keys and told to Rework Completely.
1 week, Rework done and the sound of the engine is bit higher and he told after 2000 kms it will be ok.2 times I took from CBE to Bnglr. The sound didn’t stop and I reworked the pump. The sound gone and everything was smooth.

After 8 months, I noticed some oil was there in the car parking area where I park the car. It was from the Crank shaft, and told that Engine again need to be assembled. Then again Engine reassembled in the same workshop and finally engine was again in its ride. The car now ongoing smooth with 30000kms Totally 3 times the engine was assembled with in 25000 kms

Fifth Change : Power Steering
In Jan 2011,I thought of fitting Power steering for my Amby and that too I did it in Salem Durai Workshop.The power steering is a used unit and the complete suspension got changed (Bearing type to Bush type).Bill is 40000.I also altered my grill as per my ideas.

Now its running very smooth,Sometimes I face the heating problems.From 2007-Current Date My Amby has done around a 87000 Kms with me (MAT 305 and Isuzu G1).Now am taking the car Thrice in the month to CBE to Bnglr.My old MAT 305 Engine was now fitted to another car in my village last month (Sold for Rs.2500 with self motor) and to surprise,it was running fine after oil change and the owner told first time while starting the engine after fitting was very very tough.

I took a Used Santro Zip Drive for my parents by Mid 2010(My Parents only paid for it).It was our cousin family car.Karnataka registered.That car was awesome and it was great to drive it after having an Amby for years.Power Steering,AC,Front Power Windows etc.In single word “Its Fantastic”.One time I took that car to Bangalore,I don’t know all of sudden how to switch on rear wipers.I was Laughing at myself that day.

I learnt many things in my life and I love Automotives a lot.Amby and Santro serving our Family well and they are also part of our Family.
UpComing Upgrades : Bucket Seats,Tinkering and painting.I am planning this upgrades with in this year.

Attached some Old pictures of my car,Will update the current one soon.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 15:38   #2
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Congrats Mahesh, The car looks very beautiful. Though i prefer the old grill compared to the new one, the gypsy rims are fantastic fit and look. Amby is my all time favorite and even i have a crush to own one and do it up with whatever i need. I am even looking for a good old one to get and do a Isuzu in it.
Even i am from a place near cbe and already seen few mark 2's for deal, but not satisfied with any of them.
Do you have any idea of a new isuzu 5 speed g1 price? and a source to get it ?

Last edited by BulZire : 3rd May 2011 at 15:40.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 17:20   #3
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Interesting ownership report of the Amby. You need to give her a darker shade which looks better on an Amby. Personally i dont like the frills, so i would have loved if it had the original cosmetic bits and no frills.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 17:53   #4
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That front grille is a grave injustice to this classic beauty. Please put the original grille back.

TCT? You got this reg. number transferred from some older vehicle?
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Old 3rd May 2011, 18:02   #5
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What do you have behind that grill? In Coimbatore you should get better thicker steel mesh work done. It'll look much more sleeker.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 18:28   #6
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No wonder you face over-heating problems, please get rid of that hideous grille.
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:20   #7
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Thanks for your all feedbacks.

@Drive3R : But the heating problems are there from my old grill time itself.Even i have removed the grill and tested by driving around 200 kms and found the heating still there.

@download2live : TCT is Tuticorin Registered.The car has been altered,The front right and the dick has been changed before 12 years,becoz of our driver slept and met with an accident.


@Rudra : There is an electric fan behind that grill.I have altered that grill because of this fan.Since when i fit the fan with the older grill,The grill is standing almost equal to the bumper in front.The chrome polish was not perfect for the lines in the grill.I thought of correcting it while at the time of painting.

@Jaggu : I planned for Dupont white next time.I hope the looks will be nice.

@bulZire : I am not sure whether the New G1 Engine is in the market now,But you can get old ones in good condition in Mumbai and chennai.Dont get in CBE,they are pricing a lot.more than 60k (Used Engine).

Last edited by dmaheshkumar : 4th May 2011 at 12:44. Reason: phrase check
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Old 4th May 2011, 18:49   #8
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It is great to see a well maintained Ambassador. Your review brings back nostalgic memories. I learned driving in an Amby. Even before that I had done many trips in Ambys owned by relatives.

My brother had bought an Amby in 1988. In 1992 he changed the original engine with a Matador engine. He kept the car till 2002 clocking over 1.5 lakh km in the process. I was a companion in many of his trips and still feel that a ride in the Amby back seat has few parallels in the price range.

Your car looks very nice, though I personally prefer Ambys in dark colours. All the best and may she happily crunch many more miles.
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Old 5th May 2011, 10:58   #9
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Thanks @ vkumars,
I planned for Dupont white,but anyway i will also check what are all the dark colors (Metallic) suit my car.
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Old 5th May 2011, 11:33   #10
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Heartening to see your love for the Ambassador and a lovingly maintained one at that.
I don't have to say, you would know better that Coimbatore is the haven, down south for Amby parts. I hope you can get better fabricated grills (the black steel mesh kind will look nice, I think) there if not the OE ones. The current one takes away the charm of the car.
Would like to know about the brake set up you have now. Do you have a booster/disc brakes up front?
Hope you are still running the Isuzu 5 speed Gearbox. My Bolero sportz has the same one. Butter smooth gearshifts.

Last edited by jeeva : 5th May 2011 at 11:34.
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Old 5th May 2011, 12:00   #11
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The affection towards your amby remembers me our 1974 model petrol amby. We have spent around 90K to renovate our amby (actually he is elder to me). 11 months later, we sold him for 22K :-(
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Old 5th May 2011, 12:32   #12
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I respect you for the love you have towards the amby

It is good to hear that you have kept it for such a long time and maintained it really well

I only wish we could all keep such memories for life. All that i can remember are the good times that i had in the white ambys that my dad had. We had one 1984 model then the Nova in the 90s and then a 1800 Isz and then shifted to the 118NE

Just wonder how the radiator gets its ventilation though!
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:15   #13
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@Jeeva : While fitting power steering,i too planned for the disc brakes.But the Mechanics said the drum need to be altered (Big Drum Trucker).The gypsy discs cant fit in that without alteration.Then i thought i will have discs later,But added booster to the technical specification.
One Big disadvantage of having booster without disc brakes is,when we are in slope and while starting the engine we will go to the neutral,That time the brakes will never stop the vehicle (No hand brakes in my vehicle).

As you said,Isuzu Gear Box are superb ones.Japan original gear box and clutch is awesome.
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:18   #14
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@Antonio :
22000 is very very cheap i think.I think after spending 90000,your car will be in great condition,but why you sold for just 22000.

@Kaushi:
The ventilation with this grill is not much different from OEM grill.I have tested enough before altering this.Travelling to bangalore to coimbatore in the weekends,The car will run around 350 kms.Even though without grill the same temp is maintained.I dont think it will affect the cooling a lot.Also i am having an electric fan in side.

Last edited by dmaheshkumar : 5th May 2011 at 13:22. Reason: Sentence
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:31   #15
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Mahesh, Would you mind posting some interior pics of your amby?

Interested to see what all got transformed from a original mark 2
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