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Old 2nd September 2013, 10:48   #916
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Request to the Amby experts on this thread - could you please tell me what significant mechanical changes did HM introduce to the Amby between Mark1 and introduction of 1.8L Isuzu?
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Old 6th September 2013, 21:02   #917
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This article about a 1959 Ambassador (from Chennai)owned by Mr Naresh Bangara, has appeared in the Classic Car Mart issue of September 2013.
Acknowledgements to my friend Mr Shahrukh Cassad who has provided the soft copies

Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-viewer1.png

Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-viewer2.png

Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-viewer3.png

Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-viewer4.png

(Mods this may be please deleted if its an infringement of copyrights)

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Old 7th September 2013, 17:05   #918
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An Ambassador registered in France, found on the FB page of Ambassador and Landmaster Fans Afcionados and Owners Club posted by Mr Manoj Kumar from Google images

Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-ambyfrance.jpg
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Old 7th September 2013, 23:05   #919
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Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
This article about a 1959 Ambassador (from Chennai)owned by Mr Naresh Bangara, ..
Lovely mk1. The same car was covered few years ago on The Hindu...
http://www.hindu.com/mp/2008/03/12/s...1250370200.htm
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Old 8th September 2013, 13:40   #920
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Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
This article about a 1959 Ambassador (from Chennai)owned by Mr Naresh Bangara, has appeared in the Classic Car Mart issue of September 2013.
Beautiful car, and pristine. I love every mm of it and it would have required lot of admirable effort by the proud Mr Bahgara to maintain it that way.. Really Nostalgic.
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Old 8th September 2013, 22:10   #921
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Originally Posted by WindRide View Post
Request to the Amby experts on this thread - could you please tell me what significant mechanical changes did HM introduce to the Amby between Mark1 and introduction of 1.8L Isuzu?
basically each model saw the car go down in terms of quality.

having said this, what comes to memory is as under.

In the early seventies, the SU carb was replaced with a solex resulting in better fuel consumption, brakes which were Lockheed , were replaced with Girling and rubber bushes were replaced by metal ones. Subsequently wheels came with slots for better cooling of brake drums, HM should have simultaneously thought of disc and pads which would have made sense.Option of a larger core radiator was introduced along with a six blade plastic fan for better cooling, and the rear axle was changed to one which did not break often.

if I recall anything else will post.

What do you want this information for ,if I may ask?

planning a PhD on the worlds perhaps longest production car?? ( I think longer than the beetle?)
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Old 8th September 2013, 22:49   #922
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Originally Posted by Bulldogji View Post
basically each model saw the car go down in terms of quality.

having said this, what comes to memory is as under.

In the early seventies, the SU carb was replaced with a solex resulting in better fuel consumption, brakes which were Lockheed , were replaced with Girling and rubber bushes were replaced by metal ones. Subsequently wheels came with slots for better cooling of brake drums, HM should have simultaneously thought of disc and pads which would have made sense.Option of a larger core radiator was introduced along with a six blade plastic fan for better cooling, and the rear axle was changed to one which did not break often.

if I recall anything else will post.

What do you want this information for ,if I may ask?

planning a PhD on the worlds perhaps longest production car?? ( I think longer than the beetle?)
Thanks for the information Bulldogji.
In 1959, the BMC, four cylinder, 1476 cc side valve engine gave way to the BMC, 4 cylinder, 1489 cc OHV engine. This OHV engine had appeared in the British Morris Oxford Series II (our Landmaster) but the side valve continued in India courtesy HM, since the Hindustan 14 was launched in 1949 till 1959 powering the Landmaster and older Ambassadors.
The steering box was also changed over (early 1970's) to the one, where the wheel had a slight tilt away from the driver - an inherent defect. The earlier steering box was better for reliability and also perhaps maneuverability.
The dash changed from the most beautiful Smiths meter clusters to the ordinary, Autometer/ Yenkay clusters in 1965, 1969, 1970, 1975 (the cluster design was changed four times) and the introduction of the Deluxe dash (black) with the speedo plus four meters, that appeared for the first time in 1978 (Mark 3). The Deluxe dash went on concurrently with the non- Deluxe ones (speedo plus two gauges) for the Mark 3 and 4's till the centrally placed meter clusters were shifted to the driver's side with the coming of the Nova in the early 1990's.
Another let down in the upholstery quality was the replacement of pure leather seats and door inner upholstery with rexine (cannot call 'em foam leather for the cars made till 1971 or so). The leather seats and upholstery were tan brown in colour (for our market) and looked regal. The Hindustan 10, 14, Landmaster and older Ambassadors (till 1961 or so - may be corrected here) came with the leather upholstery.
The electricals were 12 volts all through, since the Hindustan 14 days, unlike the Willys (6 volts electricals till 1966/67 or so)and later Jeeps of the late 1960's that came with the changeover from 6 volts to 12 volts.
The Older Mark I's had the facility to dim the dash lights or brighten them. There was a trip meter on the speedo and the manually wound Smiths clock continued from the Hindustan 14 (largest diameter) to the Landmaster (tiny) and the Mark I (till 1964).
The headlights sealbeams changed over from Lucas (Made in England) to Lucas (Foreign glass) and much later to Lumax.
The badges, front grille,trims including tail light frames/ number plate lights of chrome on the body were of brass, that was chrome plated. The original chrome plating (including the bumpers) have lasted till now (My Landmaster proves it).
But the newer chrome plating on steel that came along with the Mark II were of poor quality and rusted easily.
The body panels and rather the entire body was quite prone to rusting from day one in rainy areas, ever since the quality was given a backseat.
HM introduced a new 1760 cc BMC petrol engine option in 1978 (Mark 3), to make it more conducive to fit an A.C.. This engine continued with the advent of the Mark 4 but was soon discontinued. Very few were sold.

Many of the changes listed here are not mechanical as requested by WindRide but have a bearing on the progressive decline in quality.

Lastly, I remember reading The Statesman of Calcutta sometime in July 1978, where a new Ambassador buyer reached the dealership to complain about the leaking water trickling within the car. The dealership told him "Don't see the body, see the engine".

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 8th September 2013 at 22:54.
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Old 9th September 2013, 11:41   #923
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Originally Posted by Bulldogji View Post
... What do you want this information for ,if I may ask? ...
Thanks Bulldogji for the valuable info. The changes you listed seem to have made Amby a more reliable car over the years, so it must be that the components used degraded in guage/quality as compared to pre-mark2 ones?


Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
...Many of the changes listed here are not mechanical as requested by WindRide but have a bearing on the progressive decline in quality....
Thanks Anjan Sir. You have highlighted the minutest changes so well. A real treasure trove of a post! A quick question though - was there ever a diesel-powered amby prior to the isuzu diesel?


Reason why iam curious about the mechanical changes in amby, was to know whether HM's engineering department really did any 'engineering' at all or was it just identical products rolling off the assembly line for decades with just grill and dash changes. While Standard Motors and PAL fell by the way side, it is a huge achievement for HM to survive for so long without any real innovations. Govt help alone cannot be a reason for the survival, since SM and PAL also had the same protectionist govt cocooning them as well.

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Old 9th September 2013, 15:22   #924
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HM introduced the 1.5 L BMC diesel engine (1489 cc OHV) for Ambassadors sometime in 1979. The cars would be fuelled with subsidised diesel and the government policy then did not allow private individuals to buy diesel Ambassadors.
It could be bought only as a taxi or in some cases purchased for government use. Many buyers would register the car as a taxi and run it for private use as a tourist taxi.
The Maharashtra Government did not allow even petrol powered cars to be converted to diesel.
Interestingly, the BMC introduced a 1.5 L diesel, for the Morris Oxford Series VI in 1961 for the world markets. The Oxford Series VI Diesel was quite popular as taxis in the U.K.

Attachment 1124934

It is quite likely that HM had bought the rights to manufacture this particular 1.5 L diesel for the Ambassador in the mid 1970's , when the petrol prices were reaching for the stratosphere.
HM still proudly proclaims its BMC connection and talks about the "1.5 L BMC engine." This engine is now to become BS IV complaint.
Incidentally, the largest numbers of Ambassadors sales today are of those fitted with the 1.5 L engine.
The HM diesel story is here - its from the British Motor Corporation, UK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
Some facts about Hindustan Motors and also our car industry in this write-up (an advertisement) from Readers Digest of 1975

Attachment 1100026
Gives a brief, official outline by HM, about all they had done till the mid 1970's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindRide View Post
Thanks Bulldogji for the valuable info. The changes you listed seem to have made Amby a more reliable car over the years, so it must be that the components used degraded in guage/quality as compared to pre-mark2 ones?

Thanks Anjan Sir. You have highlighted the minutest changes so well. A real treasure trove of a post! A quick question though - was there ever a diesel-powered amby prior to the isuzu diesel?


Reason why iam curious about the mechanical changes in amby, was to know whether HM's engineering department really did any 'engineering' at all or was it just identical products rolling off the assembly line for decades with just grill and dash changes. While Standard Motors and PAL fell by the way side, it is a huge achievement for HM to survive for so long without any real innovations. Govt help alone cannot be a reason for the survival, since SM and PAL also had the same protectionist govt cocooning them as well.
As you have asked about the Ambassador diesel, many of us thought that HM did some tinkering in the name of R&D and launched a 1489 cc diesel, with the same petrol engine block sometime in 1978/79.

But given the fact that it is HM and after all HM, a recent fact that was highlighted in my earlier post quoted above here, is about an OHV BMC 1489 cc diesel already launched by the BMC in 1961 for the Morris Oxford Series VI. HM must have got the technology at a dirt cheap price in the late 1970's. So there was no R & D done here presumably.

This same old BMC 1489 cc diesel of 1961 and later 1978 with the turn of the century came in the BS I, II, III avatars and the BS IV variant was launched a just few days back.

It is sold as the 1500 DSL/ 5 speed/ BS IV and has become the best selling variant of all Ambassadors.

Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-kolkataambazarirallyapr2013-053.jpg

Above: The best-selling 1500 DSL Classic, BS III complaint

The ISZ 2000 DSL sells in lesser numbers, as most taxi buyers prefer the 1500 DSL, that is crude and easily and economically repairable.

The car makers are to be blame only in part for the rot that had set in, during the 1960's, 70's and the first half of the 1980's.

But the government is to be much more blamed for the throttling of the car industry.The industry was heavily taxed- every annual budget meant car prices were jacked up.Foreign exchange was not allowed to be squandered on imports of spares for automobiles made in India, that again left the car makers with little choice, to only rely on locally sourced components.

Price controls were in vogue and car (also moped, scooter, bike, jeep and truck makers) makers were not allowed to increase their prices, right from the late 1950's till around 1977. Any increase meant they had to approach the government for permission to do so. The prices of the Ambassador that was Rs 12,000 or so in 1960 went up to about Rs 23,000 by the mid 1970's. The government imposed production quotas that could not be exceeded.The number of models to be made by any automobile manufacturer was defined and there was no scope for a deluxe version and so on.

The staid automobile manufacturers had very little options. Most lacked enterprise and the production quota coupled with the demand meant that every product they made was sold. They never had to struggle.Many brands had waiting lists.

The Automobile Manufacturers went to court and finally, the Supreme Court gave a ruling in 1977, that went against the price control regime of the government.

This is when Ambassador prices went up from Rs 23,000 to just above Rs 30,000, as soon as the court judgement was out. The Mark 3 was being manufactured then.Similarly, all other automobile makers jacked up their prices.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 9th September 2013 at 15:29.
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Old 10th September 2013, 11:25   #925
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...most taxi buyers prefer the 1500 DSL, that is crude and easily and economically repairable...
Why did private petrol Amby owners go for matador and not this 1.5DSL while dieselising? I have read the matadors were heavier truck engines and ruined clutch life significantly?
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Old 10th September 2013, 20:13   #926
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Why did private petrol Amby owners go for matador and not this 1.5DSL while dieselising? I have read the matadors were heavier truck engines and ruined clutch life significantly?
Actually, dieselisation of private cars was considered illegal.Diesel was a much subsidised fuel even then and only commercial vehicles were allowed to have diesel engines.

So changeovers from petrol to diesel for privately used vehicles was illegal for many States/RTA's as per their laws. Only Jeeps and mini trucks,taxis had diesels other than the full sized trucks/buses.

Hence there was restriction in selling car engines for replacement.And as there was no restriction in selling commercial vehicle engines, Matador and the Kirloskar (RET 4 engine, perhaps) were sold and fitted to cars. I am not aware as to how States/ RTA's allowed such engines to be regularised in RC/TC books.
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Old 10th September 2013, 21:38   #927
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Default Re: Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindRide View Post
Why did private petrol Amby owners go for matador and not this 1.5DSL while dieselising? I have read the matadors were heavier truck engines and ruined clutch life significantly?
Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
Hence there was restriction in selling car engines for replacement.And as there was no restriction in selling commercial vehicle engines, Matador and the Kirloskar (RET 4 engine, perhaps) were sold and fitted to cars. I am not aware as to how States/ RTA's allowed such engines to be regularised in RC/TC books.
In addition to what Anjan has stated, many preferred a Matador engine as the 1.5 DSL was not really suited when you wanted to put in a A/c as well. Further that engine is very very sluggish in that the top gear (4th) was almost as good as not to be used except may be as a overdrive.

Taxi guys were happy with it but private use owners preferred the Matador and in south there was another option "Jaya Diesel" which was copycat production of OM 616 (if I am not mistaken) done by privateer engineering genius Mr. Jayachandran, Coimabtore.

Best Regards & Drive Safe

Ram
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Old 10th September 2013, 22:40   #928
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A bit of information on Amby export to its birth place, the UK.
Quote:
By the late 1980s, Hindustan became increasingly worried with this situation. Sales of its two long-established models – the Ambassador and the Vauxhall Victor FE-based Contessa Classic – were decreasing as consumers turned to the Maruti as well as Fiat’s more recently-introduced model, the Uno. The only way forward for Hindustan was to start exporting its cars – and initially these went to far-flung enclaves such as The Seychelles, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Japan and Sri Lanka. It was also exported to Dubai to be used as a delivery vehicle, as they were the cheapest car available; in fact, the only cheaper transport available was a moped, which naturally could not carry as many things and was, in any case, less desirable…
This energetic export drive improved Hindustan’s financial situation, but Hindustan wanted more. In 1991, the first Hindustans returned to their roots when exports back to the UK began. The Ambassador was supposed to appeal to nostalgic people and expatriate Indians who longed to drive their own piece of India. Despite optimistic sales forcasts, the reality was somewhat different. An average of just 6 Hindustan Ambassador GLXs per year were sold throughout the early-to-mid 1990s. The cars had a basic specification and the list price was low at 7,150, but its market was simply too tiny for exports to the UK to make any kind of financial sense.

The Hindustan importers in the UK changed their name to Fullbore Motors, and the Ambassador was renamed the “Mark 10″. The basic price shot up to 11,425, reflecting the fact that the Ambassador was almost rebuilt on arrival in the UK. These changes included a respray with higher quality English weather resistant paint, a catalytic converter to comply with the European emmissions laws and the installation of a heater. New seals, tyres and a front anti-roll bar were also fitted. Following this refurbishing work, the unusual step of draining all the water from the radiator and washer bottles was taken, as a precaution against contraction of any water-borne diseases, which were commonplace in India.
As before, the Fullbore’s specification remained low-tech, with basic all-round drum brakes, rear leaf spring suspension, no power assistance for the brakes or steering and a caburettor-fed engine. The floor-mounted, foot-operated ‘foot-o-matic’ windscreen wiper served as a reminder that this was a car of the 1950s. A wood-rimmed Nardi steering wheel was fitted and a long list of accessories and options enabled the purchaser to go for that period look. These included the centrally-mounted fascia at 545, which covered up the rather cheap-and-nasty Indian plastic. An authentic-looking leather interior was available to replace the Indian seats, which incidentally are said to be very comfortable.
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source & Link:hindustan-ambassador/

Last edited by rajeev k : 10th September 2013 at 22:42.
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Old 11th September 2013, 13:37   #929
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[quote=WindRide;3232109]Thanks Bulldogji for the valuable info. The changes you listed seem to have made Amby a more reliable car over the years, so it must be that the components used degraded in guage/quality as compared to pre-mark2 ones?


Windride,

I have used all modelsof Ambassadors, mark 1 to the isuzu engined cars and must say that I never had any mechanical issues as such. They were reasonably reliable, easy to repair and I have journeyed alone all over the country without fear in them.

Having said that, the quality went down with every model, especially the body shell. Engines were all fine and I never had issues. The column mounted gear shift needed getting used to, with the ears of the shift lever sometimes breaking. In the seventies and early eighties, brand new cars had a problem of the gear slipping from reverse into neutral, a problem when you had to reverse uphill.

Rear axles used to break in the early mark 2, problem rectified in the mark 3.

In all the years that I used these cars, my main problem was weak welding of body joints and corrosion. Mechanically they were not too bad

In final analysis, the mark 1 was the best, the Nova, the worst
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Old 11th September 2013, 14:01   #930
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the centrally placed meter clusters were shifted to the driver's side with the coming of the Nova in the early 1990's.
The Nova had the meter clusters in the centre itself. We had a Nova in the family and hence I know this. Also Nova had only 1 glove box instead of 2 in older Ambassador. Nova also had a different pedal layout. The brake pedal was suspended type. The brake fluid reservoir shifted to the hood instead of under the floor. The suspension was different and featured anti roll bar.

Also prior to Nova, another version was introduced badged Deluxe. It had same grille as Nova but had HM logo in the grille. The 2 spoke steering was introduced in this model. This was introduced in 1990.

Nova was introduced in 1991 and had many changes. However the new suspension was prone to failure.



Quote:
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Why did private petrol Amby owners go for matador and not this 1.5DSL while dieselising? I have read the matadors were heavier truck engines and ruined clutch life significantly?
We had 2 ambassadors in the family that we converted to diesel. My father had a 1967 Ambassador that we converted to diesel in 1991. The engine used was a BMC 1.5 L diesel lifted from a brand new Ambassador Nova. The owners of the Nova wanted to fit A/C and replaced the BMC engine with a Matador engine which was very popular in Kerala at that time. We paid Rs 45 K for the diesel engine. The car was trouble free after the engine swap and it was like a factory fit. I have seen this car touch 95 KM/H when my grandfather drove it.
My father sold this car in 1996 for Rs 90 K (purchased in 1982 for Rs 25 K).

My father bought a 91 model Ambassador Nova in 1996. This was fitted with a matador engine. We later fitted AC in this car. The handling was much better because of the new suspension set up. I have touched 100 KM/h in this car. I have seen the car almost touch 120 KM/h when my father was driving.

My grandfather's 72 model Ambassador was converted to diesel in 1993. A brand new Matador engine was fitted to this. The car was also modifed to look like Nova. A new dashboard (locally made) was fitted with new meters. The meters were on the driver side. We later fitted AC in this in 1993. This car served us 1.5 Lakhs KMS after the conversion ( total 2.5 Lakh KMS). This car was sold in 2000 to be replaced by an esteem in 2001.
I learned to drive in this car. This could easily touch 100 KM/h and was much more powerful than the 1.5 L BMC engine.

As far as I know, the BMC engine was not available separately. Both the conversions were endorsed in the RC book.
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