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Old 21st April 2014, 16:42   #1
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Default 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Yes... I did not know it existed until I saw a Tbhp classifieds Advert.

Sometime in 09' I started to look out for a Used Auto Hatch for wife, she just could not get a hang of clutch system! But prices were 2ish Lacs and IIRC Samurai sold his Santro AT to Jaggu and a drive shaft was super expensive compared to the normal satro. (20k ish vs 4k ish)... these things put me off and also the eternal Indian mentality of AT giving sub-10Kmpl.

Fastforward to Mar2014 and I saw a Tbhp classifieds Ad for a M800 AT in coimbatore for 55,000Rs. Called up my wife and she said at least she need not be bothered about banging a expensive 2Lac hatch while learning to drive.

Spoke over phone to seller and I said without driving the vehicle and going by just the pics I would offer a MAX of 45,000Rs and promised to buy it outright without seeing the car in person.

Always a risk, but how much could go wrong in a M800. Agreed the slush box was a suspect, but I was ready to throw in 45K going by the pics. I lost the for-sale pics, it actually looked pretty neatly kept.

Seller was stuck to no-negotiation, rare car, blah blah, and I kept calling him everyday after my lunch on way back from food court

After 5 days he said he had a 'party' who offered him a 100Rs Token advance and never bothered to take the '100rs' back - Lol...

Seller sounded frustrated and only said firmly 'not a rupee less than 45k' - I said thats what I said a week ago on friday without seeing the car. So me and my mechanic took a night bus ride to Tirupur (seller said to meet there) and landed at day break. Met the seller, checked the docs, handed the 45K and topped up petrol to the brim and started the un-certain drive 350~ Kms back to Hosur.

Things we noticed while checking out the car.

1) Almost O.E condition from July-1990.
2) Japan plastics all over
3) Few dents thanks to a bad driver!
4) 3Cyl Petrol engine was smooth in power delivery except for a rough head noise. Head needed 'attention'
5) Engine had back compression, we were ready for a rings job

Seller claimed car gave 16+ Kmpl and we did a behind him!!

Had a HARD time controlling the left arm and leg from doing something stupid and me and mech had a fun drive back to hosur in this little car. I was actually surprised how 'silent' the body was after 24 years it hit the roads. Mikuni Carb said Made In Japan, so did a lot of other parts, I was actually beginning to feel this 'whole' car was actually put together in Japan as a CBU on special order??

Beyond 80KmPh we could feel the tyres wobbling like crazy thanks to front suspension needing rebuild. Tyres were the old BIAS Ply and front had a different set than the rear, so we didnt push beyond 80.

I couldnt make out the 2Speed or 3Speed Auto Box (How to find out?), but the 'top' gear engages only after 45ish Kmph. I read on some other indian auto forum the 87-92 M800 AT were made to order for 'specially abled' people on proving proof of disability from govt doctor and there was some 25% subsidy on the cost of the car. Once Maruti realized how easy it was to get a fake doc letter, they stopped this scheme (again, thats what the net says).

So after a long and slow (for highways) drive me and mech reached hosur and topped up fuel. The Little bugger did return 16Kmpl on petrol on highways!!

1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"-img_20140421_152122.jpg
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Old 21st April 2014, 16:56   #2
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Strange. That qualifies as a trivia! I never knew that the M800 ever came as AT from factory.
Looks like it needs some cash to be invested on it to get back into top shape. I would rate the deal as a great one. Whatever that can get wrong with this car can be repaired for a dirt cheap price. The only thing I am suspecting about is the AT gearbox. BTW, any idea that which sibling's gearbox the M800 shared? There was no Zen until 1993 (moreover the Zen AT was launched in '96) hence leaves us with probably with the Maruti 1000 only. I am not sure though. May be the gearbox was specifically developed for the 800, but then that would have been a lot of investment for already hot selling car with no significant niche market for the M800 AT. But since Maruti was a Govt. entity, it was possible.

Last edited by saket77 : 21st April 2014 at 17:06.
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Old 21st April 2014, 16:58   #3
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

One of the 1st things I did after getting the car back to Hosur was a oil change.

Engine oil 3Ltr
Auto Gear oil slightly more than 1~ Ltr, kept checking the dip stick

We left the coolant as it is because we saw the radiator was all clogged up and needed a rebuild.

After a few days of usage I saw the in-traffic F.E was 11-12Kmpl and I thought why not add a LPG Kit to reduce fuel bills. In Hindsight it was the best and worst thing to do on this aging engine.

Sourced a scrapped cars LPG kit (end to end) for 6000Rs.

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The gas Tank was toroidal and was shoe-horned into the spare wheel well. Now the spare stands out sore in the boot. The gas kit/mixer was filled with muck and after cleaning up she is running fine now.

During the oil change Mechanic and I noticed how 'abused' the head looked through the oil filler cap and removed the valve door to get a better look. The head looked as if the oil was not changed for 10+ years, just because it was a tiny suzuki, it could stand the abuse, and it was a petrol too. Would not fail easily - Unless ... put a LPG kit and blow the head gasket spectacularly on a open highway.

Before procuring the LPG kit, mech had severly Warned me that all the weakness of a dying petrol engine would throw up due to the stress of LPG as a fuel. The compression and combusion points were diff and the stress on the engine is too high. But I was ready to risk it because it was a M800 after all...
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Old 21st April 2014, 17:10   #4
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

But... Head blowing up was not my fault (LPG Idea) entirely.

The bad oil change and literal CLOGGING of water jacket and oil holes led to overheating of head and eventually the gasket gave way. It was a sight so scary, about 20-30 foot of white smoke, instant POOF behind the car, the signs were seen a few hours earlier. I had taken the car for the 1st time to office and all guys were having fun riding the little one and on the way back there was lack of power, I assumed it was low on LPG fuel and egged on.

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On way back to home, it blew...

Long story short - After a 2,500Rs head rebuild, 300Rs OE Head gasket, and misc parts and oil, she drives again.

Of course "LOOK CLOSELY" at the condition of the water and oil holes, Totally blocked to the core!! Had to scrape them clean, head of course got a acid wash... After head rebuild, did a engine flush job and put new oil in. Water in oil due to blown head would have found places to hide in the block.

Of course knew the rings were weak, did nothing for now, once wife masters driving on Indian roads, would get a new bottom block for 13K and not bother about rebuilding the little 3Cyl engine.

------

1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"-img_20140313_153110.jpg

1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"-img_20140313_153118.jpg

Last edited by svsantosh : 21st April 2014 at 17:12.
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Old 21st April 2014, 17:25   #5
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Congrats on your svsantosh!! Sounds like a great deal! You simply can't go wrong with an M800. I had one for 6 years and drove almost a 1 lac kms and it was still running like new.

Never heard of a M800 with an AT. Could you please post pictures of the gear stick. Is this a factory fit or a retro fit taken from Zen AT?
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Old 21st April 2014, 17:35   #6
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Talking Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

You may have noticed in the above pic there is a Huge Sanden AC Compressor (custom fit), it 'seems' to work except for a missing belt (and coolant gas of course). I have not yet got that AC working thanks to a weak engine. One stupid experiment is enough for a time.

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After the blown gasket, water and engine had clogged up the already mucky radiator, so gave it for a 200Rs rebuild. Notice anything different at the base ^^?

Back in 1990 (and before itself) this or (all Autos) had a Transmission Oil Cooler system, I was in Awe, so was my mech. Never seen something like this on any indian cars.

After the head rebuild, just did up the headlight wiring whole length with new relay and 90/100 bulbs. Engine bay is messy, not bothered for time being.

1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"-img_20140421_152458.jpg

The Interiors were 60% neatly kept except for the odd rusty panel and paint faded/peeled off.

1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"-img_20140421_152156.jpg

1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"-img_20140421_152217.jpg

1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"-img_20140421_152332.jpg

The 1st time I took out the car in Dark (with lights on) I was once more in Awe of the gear selector lighting system, and this was 24 Years ago.

Where are these engineers anymore?


1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"-img_20140419_205822.jpg

Of Course the bulb was weak and the whole unit was dirty, I did a DIY and dismantled the entire selector top plastic unit and put in a new bulb and gave it a wash and wipe to bring it to its good old days.

In-Dash speedo back light was pathetic and I opened up the speedo to realize not much could be done to this condition.

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No more powerful bulb would fit in the back-light bulbs place and I resorted to a LED job.

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I agree the LED is a overkill, I intend to block out a few leds to make it more subtle and dim.

-----------

So this is the story of my month long on-off relationship with a unique car. What better time to celebrate the M800 than knowing Maruti has stopped production after nearly 3 decades...
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Old 21st April 2014, 17:38   #7
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Quote:
Originally Posted by veyron_head View Post
Congrats .....Never heard of a M800 with an AT. Could you please post pictures of the gear stick. Is this a factory fit or a retro fit taken from Zen AT?
thanks Veyron... did a complete Scan of the firewall for a 3-pedal to 2-pedal conversion. No such job done, this indeed was a M800-Auto . If anyone can run the chassis/engine# i can gladly share it here.
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Old 21st April 2014, 18:04   #8
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Congrats on your acquisition. My cousin brother had a similar car in 1989 as he is differently abled and hence I know that Maruti 800 AT existed indeed.
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Old 21st April 2014, 18:09   #9
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Santosh, Why don't you place the LEDs where the OEM bulbs are? Or why not just change the backlit bulbs with same spec bulbs only? They will bring back the OEM colorful glow to the console. It can be a good afternoon's DIY Project. The current white & bright LEDs can be a distraction & can be taxing to the eyes at night while driving.

Last edited by saket77 : 21st April 2014 at 18:10.
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Old 21st April 2014, 18:12   #10
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
BTW, any idea that which sibling's gearbox the M800 shared? There was no Zen until 1993 (moreover the Zen AT was launched in '96) hence leaves us with probably with the Maruti 1000 only. I am not sure though. May be the gearbox was specifically developed for the 800, but then that would have been a lot of investment for already hot selling car with no significant niche market for the M800 AT.
Europe had AT variants of the same car. So there is no R&D overhead to produce 800 AT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
thanks Veyron... did a complete Scan of the firewall for a 3-pedal to 2-pedal conversion. No such job done, this indeed was a M800-Auto . If anyone can run the chassis/engine# i can gladly share it here.
Based on the information in Wikipedia, I think your car might be from the assembly line for European exports. It looks like a 2-speed automatic based on the options available in Europe at that time.

Our 800 was the Alto in Europe till 1993 when Zen replaced 800 as the next generation Alto in Europe.

It is not clear if the cars to Europe including this one were assembled in India using CKD kits and exported to Europe or if it was made in Japan and brought to India as CBU on a made-to-order basis.

Quote:
The 796 cc, 40 hp (30 kW) F8B-engined CA/CB91 was sold in Europe with either a four-speed manual or two-speed automatic transmission
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_Alto
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Old 22nd April 2014, 15:29   #11
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Santosh, Why don't you place the LEDs where the OEM bulbs are? Or why not just change the backlit bulbs with same spec bulbs only?
Had a challenge to place the strip in place of OEM bulbs, so left it at that. Oh, this doesnt need a afternoon for it, total time to remove dash-speedo and refit is about 15 mins. This car is real easy to work on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenren View Post
It looks like a 2-speed automatic based on the options available in Europe at that time.........It is not clear if the cars to Europe including this one were assembled in India using CKD kits and exported to Europe or if it was made in Japan and brought to India as CBU on a made-to-order basis....
I really hope not to break anything inside the GB. God knows where to find the spares for this.

Just for general knowledge I asked the cost of the torque convertor aka Flywheel of 3-Spd Zen Auto (When I was in the Maruti spares stockist for head parts)... while other cars costed from 4K to 10K (swift range) the Zen AT Flywheel was 24K...

Can anyone confirm if the 2spd and 3spd GB are interchangeable as a direct fit?
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Old 22nd April 2014, 20:59   #12
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Congrats on your buy. That's a rare car. When I saw an 800 AT 4 years back I was also very surprised. I saw this car with a doctor who had physical disability. Here are some pictures that I clicked - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...ml#post1887322 (The Maruti 800 Mod Thread).
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Old 23rd April 2014, 15:32   #13
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

I decided to check the brake pads as a preventive maintenance and found ...

1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"-img_20140423_124845.jpg

1) Steering tie rod was shot - 225Rs * 2 (O.E Maruti)
2) 6 Qty bush Kit for stabilizer bar (rubber worn out) - 135Rs
3) Front brake disc pads worn out - 380Rs (KBX)

Pending

4) 2 lower arms are weak, Spares shop showed that anything from M800 to alto to wagon-R to Zen lower arm are exact same to see/fit, but different prices. Cheapest was 501Rs (WagonR's), postponed this work for next month

5) Right drive shaft CV joint bearing is shot!

Drive Shaft posed a challenge, O.E Parts stockist doesnt have any pre 1994 model parts list in database. So he could not see the BOM (Bill of material) for this 1990 M800-AT. He has never heard of it

So sending the Chassis#/Engine# to Maruti (delhi) to check if they can support this part.

BUT - A maruti 800 (manual) drive shaft (right side 2800Rs) will fit from bearing side onwars to wheel hub. The gearbox side is perfect for now.

More details here

So (right side) drive shaft work pending for now.

---------------edit

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
Congrats on your buy. That's a rare car. When I saw an 800 AT 4 years back I was also very surprised. I saw this car with a doctor who had physical disability. Here are some pictures that I clicked - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...l#post1887322. (The Maruti 800 Mod Thread)
Joseph - Thanks a million for leading to me the one-pic i needed the most. I have read some place that the M800AT came with a "Automatic" badging, but mine didnt, sadly!! I will try to replicate the same position monogram with a sticker job (White on Black) - should do justice to the originality of the car.

Last edited by svsantosh : 23rd April 2014 at 15:48.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 22:11   #14
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Congrats on the m800 at santosh

My friend too had a m800 AT so know about it. I guess he had bought used in 1996 or 1997 as it was the only auto available other then esteem if I am not wrong
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Old 24th April 2014, 10:49   #15
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Default Re: 1990 Maruti 800 "Automatic"

Hi SVSantosh,

Really amazed to see at M800 AT in real good condition. The inside door panels still have cellophane covers ( Am i looking correctly) and the leather rapped steering wheel looks newer as well.

For AT badge, please contact traditional Number plate makers, who may put metallic A & T together.
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