Ideas for restoring a MG410 Gypsy
Ok guys, the deal is my best friend's father had bought his Gypsy (Blue hardtop) in 1984 (to be confirmed) and had some really good times with it. Now due to various reasons she's not been used regularly and has degraded into pretty sad condition. They've done some very memorable trips in the car with the whole family travelling in it (upto 8 people at times) and have gone up to Badrinath etc. too.
The father was/is an enthusiastic driver and the son even today remembers that at times when the terrain was bad, he got out, engaged the wheel locks & drove the car in 4L!
But despite the degradation the gentlemen is so attached to the car that he refuses to let it go and can't find the time to restore it either (money is no object). His son now wants to do the car up properly as a present to his father.
Based on my brief look at the car yesterday, here's a list of things that IMO need to be worked on:
1. Floor - Has developed rust in certain areas especially the front foot wells and area near the tailgate. No holes yet though.
2. Hard Top - Has developed some rust but that could be the metal at the joints rusting. Can anyone confirm if the hardtop is Metal or Fibreglass/Plastic? What is the cost of replacement for the same?
3. Lights, Bumpers, Fender Arches etc. all need work or replacement as they are either in bad shape or missing.
4. Interior - Needs new seats or existing seats to be redone, dashboard, steering etc.
5. Full denting & painting job is needed.
6. New wheels & tyres too.
7. Engine & Drivetrain - Now this is the tricky bit. According to my friend, though the car does run, she's in bad shape right now and would need either an engine overhaul or replacement. My first suggestion to him was that we could source the 1.3 Carb from the Gypsy King from Meerut (and a source is currently finding out if they have any 1.3 carbs lying around, availability of 1.0 carb engines is not an issue).
But I have a few doubts:
a. What all changes are required to fit the 1.3 carb in to a 410? Of course, I know we need both the engine & the gearbox but is there anything else ancillaries wise that we need to be careful about?
b. I suppose the 4x4 drivetrain for both engines remains the same & we won't have to disable 4x4 in it? Since I know the gentlemen would like to have a 4x4 enable Gypsy.
c. Can we fit an after market A/C without any reliability concerns? And if yes, then what is the general recommendation?
d. Can we have a retro-fitted reliable Power Steering setup?
e. Is fitting a 1.3 MPFI an option? ECU, Wiring Harness etc. are issues that I don't have an idea about in the Gypsy.
8. She needs new suspension too, so should I stick to stock or are there better options available?
So basically, it's a full restoration of the car. Main aim being to bring the car back to it's original shape & to make sure that she's going to be reliable for long commutes. We can't afford to have any breakdowns or reliability issues.
I would be glad if the experts can fill me on the do's & dont's of this project and also what the expected budget that we should be looking at. We've already earmarked about 1-1.5L for the same.
P.S. Will get some pictures tomorrow.
The original hard top of the Gypsy is fibreglass.
New body parts are very expensive but Mayapuri can provide used examples. Lights, windshield, bumpers etcetera are very reasonably priced.
1.3 engine and gearbox are available easily in Mayapuri but I believe Meerut would a cheaper option. But this would entail fabrication of new engine mounts. This option is not good if the Gypsy is a narrow track 1st generation Gypsy. You will have to buy complete differential assemblies for both front and rear to convert to wide track and these would push up the project cost. The transfer case remains the same.
If planning to put in a mpfi engine, you would need to make sure that the wiring harness is complete in all respects along with the ECM. You would also need to upgrade to a electric fuel pump mounted in the fuel tank. You would need a instrument console from an mpfi gypsy. You would also need to upgrade the brakes to the booster assisted version found in the mpfi versions. And yes, the air filter box too along with the EGR module!! :)
Airconditioning will not be an issue. It can be installed without reliability issues. IMO you should keep the suspension stock. A full replacement of leaf springs, bushes, shock absorbers and steering components with OEM parts will not cost more than 8000 Rupees.
But, on second thoughts, why not keep the Gypsy stock with the 1.0 litre engine?
Similar to me & my Classic, wot? Considering the sentimental value and that money is not a problem, I'd say you restore her completely (read = like brand new). Your friend has an advantage where the Gypsy is still in production, and parts won't be as much of a problem.
1. Strip the body entirely from a specialist, down to the chassis. Replace whatever panels need to be replaced with new, and complete tin work on the rest.
2. New Gypsy King engine : Would cost about 1.5 lakhs and why not? He's obviously going to keep the Gypsy way into the future, get a spanking new unit. If budget or availability is a problem, swap a used 1.3 carb. It is IMPERATIVE to have the right hands working on this Gypsy. Either the best authorised MUL service station (preferably a manager who is passionate / knowledgeable about Gypsies) or an after-market guru. His press comments aside, Tutu Dhawan does some fab engine installs, especially of the diesel type (if interested).
3. New suspension, wiring harness, braking system, conversion to Gypsy wide track.
4. New wheels & tyres (you'd know best what to do here).
|All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 08:24.|