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Old 17th December 2018, 20:38   #1
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Default My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

The dream:

There was something in the 4x4s that appealed to me since my childhood. I always wanted to have a vehicle which would take me to the mountains and jungles crossing rivers and muddy terrains. And of course, the snow! My (naÔve) search started when I was still a student. The first thing that I had my eyes on was Force Gurkha. I tried a lot to convince my dad to buy one but neither was he interested in getting such a vehicle nor was he ready for a brand like Force. Anyways, I had to forget about it. Then came the Thar. But the idea of using it as a daily driver was not acceptable to my dad. Again, I had no option but to forget about it. Maruti Gypsy, at that time, was out of the list for the obvious petrol-guzzling horses and the eccentric stand. The chapter was closed. Temporarily, though.

The search:

Finally, the ‘childhood dream’ began to materialize again after I got a job and had enough savings. Considering the budget and the current Indian fuel scenario, Gypsy was in the list this time. I started my research in October 2018. I had already made my mind for a used car/jeep due to the budget constraints. Now the question was “Which one?” There were many options to consider: Force Gurkha, Mahindra Thar, MS Gypsy and D-max. But choosing among these was very easy due to my budget being a maximum of 3 lakhs. In this range I could not find a decent Gurkha, Thar or D-max. So, it finally went down to MS Gypsy.

Why Gypsy?
  • Biggest reason being my budget constraint.
  • Respectable image among the offroad enthusiasts and performance in various national events.
  • Simple yet robust.
  • Good brand image.
  • Cheap and easily available spares.
  • FE did not matter much for my usage which would be mostly for occasional trips and weekend (or less) off-roads.

Now when it comes to MS Gypsy, there are too many options to choose from ranging from scrap gypsies which, I don’t how on Earth, cost more than a lakh to heavily modified ones which have undergone much abuse than the marks on their bodies suggest! So, yes, although there may be a seemingly number of options, choosing the best among them is quite a herculean task. The first category I had to make a choice in was whether to go for a stock or modified one. After some research and the worthy opinions of fellow bhpians, I came to realize that each one had its own pros and cons. If you don’t have much time to spend in a workshop, are sure of the validity and quality of the modifications and want to make a quick pick, then you are good to go with the ‘modified’ one. But if you are a bit of a ‘workshop’ guy who likes to fine tune to the minutest detail and observe what change each mod has made on your car and you have enough time for the research and implementation phases, then the ‘stock’ is for you. I discovered that I belong to the latter category. At this point, I decided to go for a stock gypsy for somewhere around 2L and then keeping on adding the mods as and when required. The next question that came was whether to go for a re-built army auctioned vehicle or a civilian one. To me, finding the answer to this was the toughest because there are too many army auctioned vehicles which have been re-built to please the wandering eyes. However, a deeper look into them and you find a myriad of problems (This is my personal view out of experience I had, not to be taken as a rule). I began searching for army auctioned vehicles initially due to their wide availability. I have a few contacts in army whom I contacted but in vain. This method simply could not mature. Then, came the re-builders. I contacted a few of the dealers in Mayapuri, Ludhiana and Dabwali (very close to where I work). Overall, I found that a rebuilt 2008-2010 Gypsy costs anywhere between 2.5 to 3.5 lakh, plus the cost of HT (which, I think, is very essential). I even finalized a few models but I was still sceptic about two things. First, the kind of abuse they would have had before being auctioned and, the second, the quality of rebuild. No matter how striking the car was, these two doubts would always keep me a step behind. It became clear that an unabused, untouched and stock HT Gypsy was ideal for me.

Narrowing down:

I came across one 2008 stock HT Gypsy King through a contact in Chandigarh. Although the agent was himself confused regarding the history of the vehicle, he said that it belonged to some government office in Chandigarh from where it had been bought by the current owner. Being almost 250 kms away from Chandigarh, I sent a friend of mine to check the car visually. His positive response made me plan for a visit to take a look at the car in detail. I prepared a checklist based upon all of my research to make sure that I check each and every possible part of the car.
My first impression when I saw the car was quite positive. It had 55k on the odo (though I can’t say that it had been untouched). The car looked quite neat with a good and shining paint except for the small scratches here and there. I visually checked everything and worked according to the checklist. I observed the following in the inspection:

1- Three of the five tires were brand new. Two had half of their life remaining.
2- There were small scratches here and there but overall it was the condition of the chassis, body, underbody and interior that attracted me the most.
3- Check engine light was blinking.
4- One rear brake light was not working.
5- Heater (Hot blower) was not working.
6- The only part of the chassis where some considerable rusting was seen the foot-well. Below the mats.
7- Fuel tank was slightly dented.
8- The 4x4 lever got stuck (badly!) when shifting from 4wd to 2wd.

After noting the points, I took it to MASS for a thorough engine and underbody check. Apart from the suggestions like front bearing change and OBD check (It could not happen because the aftermarket AC had been fitted in front of the OBD port) to see why the engine check light was blinking, MASS guys gave a green signal and assured me that there was no big issue with the car. I also came to know in MASS that the gypsy was registered by the name of 'IG Police'. With these issues, I managed to bring the cost down further by 10-15k. The only issue which was troubling me was the tremendous amount of vibrations felt at 50-70 kmph. After contacting a lot of gypsy owners and some fellow bhpians, the worst case scenario for this issue was TC damage. Anyway, the replacement for even that was to the south of 20k. So, it was okay. Finally, it took me another one week of negotiations to finalize this deal.

The deal and the delivery:

On 28th of November, I paid the agent earnest money for starting the documentation procedure. It took him 15 days for the same. After all the waiting came the day of delivery, 16th Dec 2018. The initial documentation process was quick. After a few signs here and there and cross verifying of data, I was handed over the keys of the first car of my earned money, my MG413W!

The initial impressions:
  • The first thing that I admired about this car was its condition. Right from the neatness of the exteriors to the condition of the underbody, it seemed that the erstwhile owner/s had taken good care of this throughout its life. The paint on most of the body surface seemed intact with minimal to no scratches except for a couple of places here and there. As far as visible dents, I could only find two of them. One, just along the driver side headlight and the other, on the passenger door. Both of the these could be easily rectified. Even the things below the bonnet were nice and clean. Only, the area around battery seemed a bit dirty. Except for a couple of loose wiring (I reckon for the aftermarket AC), the rest of the cables were neatly wrapped. The hard top seemed to be affected over time, comparatively. The color had slightly faded (not sure whether this is the default color tone). I could find a few holes been drilled here and there on it (maybe, for some sirens and stuff!). Moving inside the car, it seemed like the same level of care and maintenance had gone in the interiors. I liked the soft steering cover (it, somehow, felt upmarket in this bare bone vehicle!). The front seats were more comfortable than I had expected. Here are some of the pics.

    The bonnet:
    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134142.jpg

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-engine.jpg

    Underbody:
    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134324.jpg

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134336.jpg

    The steering wheel. 55k on the odo:
    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134351.jpg
  • The fabric on the roof in the front portion was in good condition. I found a rubber pad stuck to the center part of the roof and, initially, seemed out of location. Later, I understood that it might have been used for sealing the leakage due to the siren holes right above it. In the rear part, there was no roof fabric (seems the car ain't yet ready for the winter!)

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-roof-fabric.jpg

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-rear-roof-fabric.jpg
  • Two switches on the left of the steering. One was for the aftermarket AC and the other was a pull type switch which, for some unknown reasons, I forgot to check (After a couple of weeks my father discovered that this little fella was the most notorious switch in the car - a wailing emergency siren!). The AC was quite powerful and cooled the car within minutes. Initially, I thought that the AC being on the passenger side would be ineffective towards the driver side but I was wrong. This buddy was quite chilling!

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-ac-switch.jpg

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-ac.jpg
  • The pedals were worn out. The rubber covering was missing in two out of the three pedals. So, it was a bit slippery to operate them.

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-pedal.jpg
  • The cover on the spare tire had become quite hard and kind of brittle over time. It needed replacement. The chrome part of almost all the decals had been worn out. Only the black plastic remained.

    The rear view. Those worn out decals need replacement. Also, notice the "ARMY" sticker - the history behind it, no idea!

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134219.jpg
  • The front door hinges were intact and the windows were working fine. The driver's door required some effort for closing and the fabric had come out of the hooks. Lock mechanism was also working fine. However, I did not like the idea of closing all the doors individually. Especially, the rear door which does not have any locking mechanism from inside. One can only lock and unlock it only from the outside. Weird and very unsafe.

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-driver-door.jpg
  • I checked the blower and found that even after switching the engine on for considerable time and shifting the blower lever to 'hot', the air did not get even warm. Guys, what can the issue be? Besides, some of the vents including all towards the windscreen were blocked. On shifting towards non-re-circulation mode, a lot of dust was thrown at my face. Thank you, very much! The audio controller and one speaker is something not required for me since I don't listen to music.

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-music.jpg

  • The quality of plastics is very cheap and not worth talking about. Anyways, you don't expect that quality in a vehicle of this category.

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-wind-blower.jpg
  • One nice thing that I did find on the dash was a digital clock. One must also admit that there is literally no proper place to put your stuff on inside the car. I had to look for some space for a few minutes to keep my phone without it falling down. Finally, I decided to put in on the dash on top of the speedo assembly. A phone holder and a center dash is a must to hold things in place.

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-center-clock.jpg
  • Another thing worth mentioning is that I did not find any cabin light. Yes, no cabin light! I had to take out cash using my phone's torch for toll tax later.
  • The IRVM is not day-night type. I faced a lot of glare issue during the night drive. The stock ORVMs are small and look flimsy.

    My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-orvm.jpg

  • Define 'safety' in the context of Gypsy. A seatbelt. Period.

  • The overall positioning inside the Gypsy is high. I was keen to test the ground clearance of 210mm on a small footpath in Chandigarh. Being a problem in my Fiesta, I have scraped all or most of the front bumper. Here, I felt like being on a king's throne!

The first long drive – From Chandigarh to Bathinda (250 kms):

The first thing you notice once you start off in a gypsy is the road presence and clarity. Neither pillars nor any huge dash getting in your line of sight. Rear visibility is more than average due to the large rear window. If you are someone who drives with a PS, then steering this big guy especially when still is going to be a tough job! But once you get a knack of the 'jeep-stuff', you will love it. The trick is to steer while the car is moving, even if, minutely. One does take some time to adapt to this. The idle rpm on this car seemed a bit on the higher side initially. It took some time to come down to normal. Now, once the Gypsy gets going, you are sure to know that the worst thing in this car is none other than the suspension. Literally, every undulation is felt. Almost every! And that too without any dampening. You are instantly reminded of those all those auto rides that you have taken in your life. I encountered a small speed breaker (that yellow-black plastic one). It was one of those that we usually neglect in our cars. Unwary of the result, I drove at considerable speed over it and I was thrown up a couple of inches from my seat. At that moment, I decided that the first big thing I wanted to change in this car was its suspension. The angle of the seat was not comfortable either. I tried the adjustment but somehow, the seat returned to the original position time and again. I felt that the headroom was quite adequate for me or even for a person a dozen inches taller than me - yes, a lot! The footwell is deep and when the seats are at the rearmost position, there is a fair legroom as well.
I started from Chandigarh at 1600 hours after filling up. The city driving experience was good. The Gypsy never felt out of power, with the acceleration being flat though the absence of turbo kicking in was certainly missed. With a commendable road presence, you have a clear view of the road ahead. Gypsy has average highway manners with an easy cruising speed of 70-80km/h. I even took it to 110km/h a couple of times. Speeds beyond 100km/h are difficult to achieve. But then you realize that this car is not made to ‘go fast’. It is made to ‘go everywhere’! Handling, in this car, is an issue. You need to be extra vigil while maneuvering at high speeds since this car does go a bit berserk. I felt like those old bus drivers whom you always find working the steering even if the road is perfectly straight . I have been driving New Fiesta since 2012 which is a benchmark of steering control and dynamics. Here, I could feel the car dwindling right and left at high speeds. And sometimes, it refused to respond swiftly to my steering movements. The steering also does feel very light as you speed up. So, I really needed to control my horses for safety reasons.

Regarding the gear shifting, the lever is quite long and thus the gear throws are also long. However, I found the shifting smooth, without any considerable resistance. For both, normal and 4x4 gearbox (leaving apart the occasional 4H to 2H issue).

I further figured out the issue of vibration in my car. I observed that up to 50km/h, there were no abnormal vibrations. Between 50-60 km/h, the whole body along with the 4x4 lever started to vibrate abnormally irrespective of whether the gear is engaged or in neutral. I also observed that the lever vibrations were minimized when running at the same speeds in 4wd H mode. From 60-75km/h the body vibrations stopped and the lever further vibrated violently. After 75km/h, the car was running smoothly (remember, Jeep standard smooth!). Moreover, in the speed range of 50+ km/h, if I lifted my foot, the vibrations would magnify. This plus the road noise at 50+ speeds made it a very noisy cabin. I had to answer all the phone calls on loudspeaker mode and still keep the phone stuck to my ear.

The temperature gauge was not working. Even after 200 kms, it was still close to “C” and so was the hot blower. I felt that the hot/cold lever on the control panel was somewhat loose and might have been broken from inside. On the way, I stopped and shifted to 4H (just to feel the taste of owning a 4X4!). The shift from 2H to 4H/4L was smooth. After moving a bit forward in 4x4, I tried to shift back to 2wd but the lever was stuck badly. It did take some time and stopping-going to disengage the 4wd. This issue is something which wasted a week of mine. Explained in the later thread.

I had planned to start the journey so that I would cover some distance in daylight and some in the dark. During the night, I found the lighting adequate with fair throw. There is also provision for headlight height adjustment though the difference is not much. The illumination in the speedo is also adequate. As already mentioned, the one thing that I missed the most was the cabin light. It took me 5.5 hours to reach Bathinda, taking the average speed to 45 kmph, but I must mention that I did stop at many places on the way. The average fuel economy I got was anywhere between 12.5 to 13.8 km/l (roughy).

Immediate plans:

I plan to take the Gypsy to MASS and get the following jobs done ASAP:
1. Routing check-up. Replacing oil, filters, etc.
2. Checking the cause of abnormal vibrations.
3. Inspecting the rough 4x4 lever movement.
4. Getting a cabin light and charging port installed.
5. Installing an arm rest.
6. Replacing all the worn out decals and spare tire cover. Also the worn-out ugly looking handbrake lever (Very cheap. To be ordered from Boodmo).
7. Inspecting the temperature gauge.
8. Inspecting the heater function.

Besides, I want to know the car myself as much as I can, go for some small DIYs to understand what lies beneath the wandering eyes and then figure out what part needs to be upgraded/modified.

Long term plans:

As of now, I do not intend to spend any money on the Gypsy until and unless I experience it to its full and realize its limitations. In the long term, I have many plans. I would either convert it to a mini RV with two person bed, extendable canopy for external cooking and solar paneled movable roof or a hardcore off-roader. Till that is decided, let the wanderlust take over!
PS: Special thanks to fellows bhpians – especially shankar.balan; Suzuki san; khan sultan – for their valuable suggestions and posts.

Here are some of the pictures.

Behold, the mountain goat is here!
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_162751.jpg

The Front view:
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_144524.jpg

The side view:
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134210.jpg

The rear left view:
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134158.jpg

Seems like the earlier owner badly wanted a 'Jeep'
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134301.jpg

Three out of five CEAT tires are brand new:
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134316.jpg

The rear seats:
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134403.jpg

The "naughty" little lever:
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181216_134422.jpg

What I like about this car
  1. The sturdy body frame and butch stance of the car. As my friend says, "While driving this car, you are more worried about causing damage to others than yourself". Besides, it has a class of its own. Oh, how I love to mention it as "Gypsy" (and not just gaadi) at home!
  2. Easy to source and cheap spares. That makes it an ideal DIY car. Besides, it can be easily serviced by any roadside mechanic (strictly under supervision!). The lack of electronic gadgetry makes the things easier to handle and tweak.
  3. Strong network and support of MSASS. Although, the local workshop guys may not be so equipped about this car particularly.
  4. Time tested 4x4 capability. Thus, goes the name: The Mountain Goat! A stock Gypsy with M/T or A/T tires are enough for basic off-road stuff.
  5. The 1.3 L engine is known for its reliability. It is said to run effortlessly for lakhs of kms without much hassle. For this 10 year old car particularly, things below the bonnet are a treat to look at! The engine performance is also adequate. The power to weight ratio of 81 bhp/ton will never make you feel like a snail. What is worth mentioning is that the speeds of the range of 80-100 kmph are easily achievable. So, highway driving becomes pleasurable (from this perspective only!)
  6. A light and 'knee-friendly' clutch.
  7. Fair all round visibility, until and unless you have heavily modified the stock into some claustrophobic cabin.
  8. A lot of room in the rear. I am 5'11" and did manage to lie down in the rear. How comfortable it would be to spend a complete night there needs to be tested.

What I don't like about this car
  1. Suspension, suspension, suspension! And again suspension! I had heard about the pathetic bone jarring ride of Gypsy but the first hand experience is much worse. I had a backache for 2 days after the long 250 km ride from Chandigarh to Bathinda. I am not generalizing because I have not driven many Gypsies to say so. Maybe, the suspension may be worse for this particular car but as far as MASS have inspected the setup, they did not find that anything had gone this bad. And only God knows how much more pathetic it is in the rear.
  2. The steering response is poor and feels very light at high speeds. Fairly ok at low speeds. But due to the unavailability of a PS, steering becomes very hard when the vehicle is at a standstill. I really would prefer installing a PS before upsizing.
  3. Bare bone. Ok, I don't expect a tire-tronic system or cruise control in this but at least, a PS, some space to put stuff, a lock control mechanism for the rear door from the inside (for God's sake!), a charging port, a cabin light and such simple stuff could have been easily put in.
  4. Low torque figures of 105 Nm are disappointing. How it fares in the actual situation is to be seen. I drove a bit in 4L but could not feel the Gypsy "crawl" like the Gurkha. I remember once, while testing driving Gurkha, the sales representative instructed me to put the car in 4L 1st gear and let the car climb without pressing the throttle. Man, it was impressive.
  5. Squeaks and rattles. A nut here, a hinge there! One thing or the other never stops to make music in the cabin. Again, whether this is a general issue or specific to this, I can't say at the moment.

Last edited by Arsi : 17th January 2019 at 19:35.
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Old 8th January 2019, 11:33   #2
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Default re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

First Experience at MASS, Bathinda

With an intention of getting the Gypsy thoroughly checked and the issues rectified, I left it at MASS (Tara Automobiles - Bathinda) on 22nd Dec 2018. I have always been skeptic about the technical expertise of these A.S.S. guys but then, the company support does give you some assurance and peace of mind in case the things go wrong. Besides, I did not have any major or complex work to be done (or that is what I thought!).

Anyways, I mentioned the following issues to the service representative, beside general servicing:
1. Body vibrations.
2. Difficulty in shifting from 4H to 2H often.
3. Water seeping inside the vehicle at multiple points.
4. Installation of charging socket.
5. Rectification of temperature gauge

The same day afternoon, I was told that the issues of vibration and T gauge had been resolved by changing the rear transmission shaft and some sensor respectively. Regarding the socket, they rejected since they were not allowed to make any modifications to the dashboard. That meant only two pending issues. On the next day i.e. 23rd Dec 2018, I received a message regarding the completion of the jobs on my car. On visiting the workshop, I was told to ‘pay the bill and take the car’. I asked for a prior test drive in which I found that only two issue had been resolved and to my utter shock, the mechanic was even unaware of the other issues. I was promised delivery the next day. On Monday afternoon i.e. 24th Dec 2018, I called the service advisor who told me that the gearbox was being inspected since morning. Upon a surprise visit in the workshop, I was shocked to know that the no sort of job had been carried out on the vehicle since that morning. At this point, I sought help of customer care manager who assured timely completion of the pending jobs. For the next three days (25-27th) and numerous visit of mine, the delivery was continuously deferred. In fact, the mechanics were unable to diagnose the problem of 4x4 gear lever being stuck from 4H to 2H even after troubleshooting for three days. On Thursday evening i.e. 27th Dec 2018, I escalated the issue to GM (services) who asked me for yet another day. At this point, I really thought there was something major in my car that these guys couldn't troubleshoot easily. In parallel, I continued to do some research and ask opinions from fellow tbhpians regarding this problem. Some suggested changing the bushes while others suggested changing the entire TC. However, I came across one suggestion which definitely rang the bells in my mind. The phenomenon of "Transmission wind up". I delved further into the technicalities of this issue and found that all the symptoms in the Gypsy could be explained through this. Now, I was sure theoretically. I need to test it once to confirm this. On Friday afternoon upon a visit, I headed to MASS to check the same but, to my shock, I found that the Transfer Case had already been opened . On enquiry, they said that the TC required inspection. I so wanted to tell them to wind up their work and let me check the car first but taking opportunity of this, I asked them to check each bearing inside the TC properly. The mechanics at the end of that day informed me that the front differential needed overhauling and the TC was fine. Finally on the next day (Saturday) evening, they came up with yet another observations:

The rear output shaft teeth and sleeve of TC have worn out and need replacement: On inspection of the parts, I could see that what they concluded as wear was a normal gear teeth design. I also found out on internet that the shape of gear teeth on new shaft is exactly the same. Some fellow Gypsians and tbhpians also agreed with me.
The front casing slot and the lever have worn and need replacement: On inspection, I found no signs of wear. However I observed that a bush was missing which was the reason for misalignment of lever in the front casing slot.

And I was quoted 11k + labour charges for the same. I was sure that these guys had no confidence in what they were saying. I denied replacement of the parts. The MASS guarantee adviser was so sure of his team's diagnosis that he offered free replacement if the issue was not resolved by this. I still rejected, escalated the issue to Maruti regional engineers and sent them my explanation. Within a day, they suggested me that they would seal back the TC and asked me to try the 'reverse method' to free up the driveshafts. I also sought guarantee in written from them regarding the proper sealing of TC. I was given one month/1000 km guarantee for the same.

The Gypsy was handed over to me on 3rd Jan 2019. The first thing I did was to test whether the issue was really a case of Transmission wind up or not. I tried the following:

1- Shifted from 2H to 4H and then back to 2H while keeping the vehicle stationary. This was to confirm that there was no intrinsic fault within the TC Had it been some teeth wear-out issue as MASS had suggested, then the shifting would have been difficult even when the vehicle was stationary.

2- Shifted from 2H to 4H and drove some distance on tarmac while turning the car a bit. Then, I tried shifting back to 2H. Voila, the gear was stuck again. I tried reversing a few meters while moving the steering alternately. After a couple of tries, the 4wd was disengaged.

Finally, I was 100% sure that this was nothing but a normal case of transmission wind up. Thanks Tbhp and fellow gypsians for saving me bucks!

Learnings:
  • Get your basics right and no bloke is going to trick you.
  • Generally, MASS guys have poor knowledge about Gypsy. They even admitted that the frequency of Gypsies is no more than 5 per year.
  • Once you feel that the things are not moving at MASS, escalate to the Maruti team. They provide good support.

MASS guys inspecting the TC:

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-annexure2.jpeg

Notice the ends of sleeve teeth. According to MASS, the encircled portions are 'worn-out':

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-annexure3.jpg

"This portion has been worn-out" is what they said:

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-annexure4.jpg

Last edited by Arsi : 12th January 2019 at 21:45.
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Old 13th January 2019, 20:56   #3
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Odd one out

After the Gypsy was free from MASS, my first task was to get the 'odd one out'. While at the workshop, I had noticed an odd sized tire (215/75/R15, CEAT Rhino passenger) while the others are CEAT SteelPlus 195 R15 106Q LT . The overall difference of half an inch in the rolling diameters made me worried. I went to the local store and got it replaced with the correct size by paying 4k more. Here, I also came to know that the odd tire was 2003 manufactured.

PS: Guys, I, strictly, advise checking all the tires and their manufacturing dates while buying a second hand vehicle. Generally, we tend to get swayed by the condition of the tire and not bother to delve into the details.

The odd tire (CEAT 215/75/R15 passenger):
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181225_1329171024x1820.jpg

Other tires (CEAT 195/R15 light truck):
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20181225_1329541024x1820.jpg
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Old 18th January 2019, 07:19   #4
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the 4x4 Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 24th January 2019, 21:05   #5
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

Guys, as already mentioned, my hot blower is not working. It does not blow hot air even if the engine is on for more than 15 minutes. Last sunday, I removed the music player to see what was wrong. I found that the knob for hot/cold is not attached to anything. Thus, while switching from hot to cold, nothing really moves apart from the knob linkage. Any help regarding this is really appreciated. Check out the gif:

Name:  VID20190113WA0013_2.gif
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Old 26th January 2019, 08:09   #6
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

Best will be to show this to AC mechanic, someone who knows about Gypsy. I can assume two scenarios- either at some point of time this was fitted with AC during which time they take out the hot connections and put a new blower. So maybe they removed AC at time of sales to you and did not put back the old blower. If that was never the case, then you should see a blower with 2 copper pipes that takes hot water from the engine I guess. I have posted the picture of that in one of threads of Gypsy.

Edit. Here’s the thread. Do you see such part in the Gypsy? If yes then you just need to get it checked but if this is missing then you will first have to find this.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-v...ml#post4454636 (Maruti Suzuki Gypsy - Queries)

Edit2- just checked your Gypsy has an A/C so your heater will not work. Your blower will no longer be original and won’t have connections for hot water. You cannot run an A/C and a Heater in a Gypsy together unless Gypsy came originally fitted with A/C.

Last edited by Turbanator : 26th January 2019 at 08:23.
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Old 28th January 2019, 00:44   #7
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Edit2- just checked your Gypsy has an A/C so your heater will not work. Your blower will no longer be original and wonít have connections for hot water. You cannot run an A/C and a Heater in a Gypsy together unless Gypsy came originally fitted with A/C.

There must be some 'jugaad'. Since I am planning to use the Gypsy mostly in srinagar where heater is required much much more than AC. At the same time, i don't want to lose the AC either.
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Old 28th January 2019, 09:25   #8
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

I have a 6 month old Gypsy (bought brand new) and the heater in mine does not work.
I had purchased my earlier one also new in '09 and the heater in that also did not work.
So, am not sure if it works at all unless you order the heater and have it installed.
Cheers,
Deepak
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Old 29th January 2019, 07:34   #9
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

Hmm...that's interesting indeed.

I have a 2016 & heater works alright. In fact, I have been using the heater on all of my outstation trips.

I'm including a snapshot of the owners' manual that clearly describes the heating function using the control panel.

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-capture.jpg

You need to show it to an auto electrician (preferably someone who specializes in Gypsy) & he should be able to fix it.

Good luck!
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Old 29th January 2019, 11:33   #10
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

Quote:
=starter;4534901]I have a 6 month old Gypsy (bought brand new) and the heater in mine does not work.
I had purchased my earlier one also new in '09 and the heater in that also did not work.
So, am not sure if it works at all unless you order the heater and have it installed.

I think, I have mentioned earlier also, unless they produce a different non-heater model for southern India (chances very low) your Gypsy should have a Heater - Standard. You should ask Dealership to check for you. Perhaps, you can refer to the picture in the thread I posted. Blower unit should have 2 copper pipes. If dealer is not able to answer, involve Maruti. They should be able to help.

Regarding the Gypsies fitted with after market AC, I am yet to find a way out.
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Old 30th January 2019, 12:05   #11
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

DIY 1

Finally, I decided to get my hands dirty the last Sunday. I started off with small bits and pieces, mostly related to aesthetics. I had ordered the following from boodmo @10% off:
  1. "Maruti" and "Suzuki" decals for the front. "Gypsy" decal for the rear.
  2. Spare tire cover.
  3. Pedal rubber pads for clutch and accelerator.
  4. Handbrake lever.

The total cost for all the items was Rs. 677. While the handbrake lever had been installed at MASS, the rest was a simple 10 min DIY job. Here's my experience:
  • Some dirt is accumulated behind the erstwhile decals. One needs to ensure to clean the surface before sticking the new decals. For perfect levelling, spirit level may be used but, normally, the faint marks left by the earlier decals make the job easy.
  • I found the rubbers pads for the pedals relatively hard (kind of plasticky!). So, I decided to heat them as it was difficult to put them on.
  • Putting on the spare tire cover was really a herculean task. It surely needs some extra hands even though my tire size is 195 R15.
  • I had earlier noticed that the vents on the driver's side were not blowing air. I opened the left plastic cover (the one on the left extreme of the dashboard, just beside the leftmost air vent.) to have a look inside. The entire hose for the driver's side was disconnected with the central hose. It is a bit tricky to get it in place considering the small space available. Somehow, got it connected and all the vents are now working fine.

Here are some of the pictures.

The view of the disconnected hose:
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-_20190113_121124.jpg


Top - after. Bottom - before:
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190130_100442.jpg


The rubber pads improve the grip by a lot and come handy if the pedals are wet. Bottom pic - after:
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190130_100612.jpg


The earlier tire cover had become somewhat brittle and unpleasant to look at. Left is the new cover (Yes, it's not perfectly upright but I did not want to repeat the exercise again!):
My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190130_100727.jpg
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Old 14th April 2019, 16:51   #12
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

DIY 2: All black rims

Tools required:
  1. 2 cans of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover 2X Primer Spray Paint - Black
  2. 2 cans of Abro Matte black paint.
  3. Lots of emery paper - 400 and 1000 nos.
  4. Lots of tissue paper.
  5. Lots of black polythene.
  6. 1 can of 3M Stainless steel cleaner.
  7. 1 old toothbrush.
  8. 1 small Asian paint - white.
  9. 1 5 no. paint brush.
  10. Rin cloth washing bar.

Time taken: 2 Sundays (Yes, that's a lot. Most of the time got wasted in drying the rims completely as the DIY was done in Jan)

Method:
  1. Wash the rims with water and remove all the dirt using Rin soap and toothbrush.
  2. Start with 400 grit emery paper and sand the uneven surfaces. Then, sand using 1000 grit until the surface becomes smooth. Test the smoothness simply by running the fingers over the rim surface.
  3. Wash again with water to remove the sanded particles. Dry the wheel with napkins and 3M cleaner. Keep it in sunlight to ensure complete dryness.
  4. Cut out the circle of diameter equal to that of the rim from the large polythene and place it over the rim. You can insert it between the edge of the rim and the tire surface using a screwdriver. To do this, you may have to reduce the air pressure of the tire.
  5. Start with Rust-oleum primer and spray thrice distinctly making sure that the erstwhile coat has dried completely. Try to start and stop away from the wheel as initially a lot of paint is sprayed which may cause irregularities.
  6. After three coats of primer are done, spray two coats of Abro Matte black paint.
  7. Let the rim dry completely.
  8. Paint the tire alphabets using Asian paint and paint brush while keeping the tire horizontal.

Some pictures to illustrate:

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190106_120042.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190106_114836.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190106_134254.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190106_114830.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190106_135120.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190106_153141.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190106_191540.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190106_175714.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190106_180613.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190113_170153.jpg

My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!-20190113_170128.jpg

Learning:
  1. Try not to do the DIY during winters. The paint takes a long time to dry.
  2. Iso propyl alcohol is a better option than 3M stainless steel cleaner. 3M forms a sticky layer on the surface.
  3. Paper napkins tear off at the edges and may get stuck in the crevices.
  4. Abro paint cans are worthless in terms of quality and quantity. Stick to Rust-oleum.
  5. Be extra cautious while painting the tire alphabets with white Asian paint and ensure that the paint does not fall on the rim surface. Mine did once and it was very difficult to erase the mark completely.
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Old 10th May 2019, 17:22   #13
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

Dear Arsi,

That is one good specimen you got there! Going by the looks of it, the car seems to have been as well maintained as can be expected of a govt. vehicle. Many congratulations

As for MASS, the lesser said the better! In fact, when I was taking the delivery of my new Gypsy, the guy who was giving me an "overview" of the vehicle, did not know half the things he was supposed to show me! For instance, I had to tell him the location of jack handle as he was unable to figure it out after multiple attempts Thankfully, I have not had the need to get anything other than oil/filter changes done during my regular services with them, so no issues there! As soon as I am out of extended warranty, I am never ever going to take it to MASS. There are enough and more FNGs here who work on Gypsy's regularly and do a much much better job than the knuckleheads at MASS! I would recommend you to find one at your location as well.

Best of luck with your decision on suspension upgrade!

Wish you many happy and trouble-free miles on the King!!
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Old 21st May 2019, 09:55   #14
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

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That is one good specimen you got there! Going by the looks of it, the car seems to have been as well maintained as can be expected of a govt. vehicle. Many congratulations
Thanks a lot, cool_dube. It was this aspect of maintenance that lured me to buy this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_dube View Post
As for MASS, the lesser said the better! In fact, when I was taking the delivery of my new Gypsy, the guy who was giving me an "overview" of the vehicle, did not know half the things he was supposed to show me! For instance, I had to tell him the location of jack handle as he was unable to figure it out after multiple attempts Thankfully, I have not had the need to get anything other than oil/filter changes done during my regular services with them, so no issues there! As soon as I am out of extended warranty, I am never ever going to take it to MASS. There are enough and more FNGs here who work on Gypsy's regularly and do a much much better job than the knuckleheads at MASS! I would recommend you to find one at your location as well.
You are right. MASS is useless apart from regular servicing. At least, from my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_dube View Post
Best of luck with your decision on suspension upgrade!

This one major black spot in Gypsy is something which I desperately want to upgrade. As of now, I have researched a few options ranging from the cheap ones to the best ones out there but what I am skeptic about is the actual difference that they would make. There is coil-over done by Sarbloh/Samrola in approximately 1.5-3 L rupees but this mostly deals with professional off-roading stuff. Then, there are suspension kits like Ironman, OME, etc. costing about a lakh and seem to be the most reliable options. Then, there are CFLs which have a dubious off-road performance and loading characteristics. Finally, the cheapest ones are gas-filled shocks like Monroe. But I am still gathering the feedback on how each setup performs on road. I wish I could get to try each one.
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Old 21st May 2019, 17:03   #15
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Default Re: My 2008 Maruti Gypsy Hardtop - A childhood dream come true!

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But I am still gathering the feedback on how each setup performs on road. I wish I could get to try each one.
Please be aware that the ride will never be comparable to a regular car as long as you have a leaf spring setup, whatever upgrade you do! That is a design element of the Gypsy and therefore, there is a limit to which you can change it - like it or not
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