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Old 17th December 2009, 15:59   #1
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Default Restoration of My First JEEP - MM 540

This is my First Post in Team BHP. Feels great to be a member of Team BHP.I have been a great automobile fan since my childhood, but could not become a mechanic. But some how wanted to be part of that kind of job. From past few months, was going through BHP Jeep restorations almost on a daily basis. One day decided to get into this. Sold my Wagon R & bought a used MM 540 for Restoration. Here goes the story.I work in Mysore city. It was bit difficult to get used Jeep as not much Jeep traffic and Mechanics around. Somehow after 1 month of Searching, through a courier delivery driver of MM550, got the address who repairs Jeeps. My requirement was a small classy Hard Top Jeep (Did not know a single model of Jeep, but knew MM 540 looks good) Since it is the only vehicle as I sold my car, did not want soft top even though know that that looks fantastic.. Wanted to buy a jeep in the range of Rs 50K to 60K and spend around 30K max so that budget will be within 1 Lac.(Did not want to experiment too much as was not sure whether even after spending 1Lac it would move for a distance of 30 -40 kms around mysore)
When the mechanic called me that there is a Jeep for sale, I left all my jobs & ran to him, reached around 6Pm , it was already dark, & I saw a Jeep which was totally in Scrap condition. Was disappointed, was thinking I will get a good one for 50K. Mechanic said, MM540 has lot of demand, getting hard top & small classy is difficult; don’t look for too many if budget is only 50K. The only thing which attracted me on the Jeep was there were zero modifications done on it. The owners have not touched a single part for replacement.. Including seats, dash board, meters etc.. I just wanted that.

said ok & I want to go on for a test ride, that was the first time I drove a Jeep, I felt I am driving a Road roller, did not know whether the steering talks to the wheels.. on a road hump, I felt the whole body bounced & sat on the classy once agin.. If I apply brake the jeep use to go to right as if I suddenly turned the steering wheel. I did not have any courage to buy, but the mechanic said, this is how the jeep will be, he assured that everything can be set right. Wife & daughter sitting next to me did not want to disappoint me so they said .. “The jeep ride is good, it is not suffocating like wagon R” & they added that , they get very good breeze… in Jeep !!”

Since I was so fascinated by the looks (in BHP forum), I said ok.. Finally negotiated for Rs 57K + 3K insurance.

The jeep is 1991 XDP2 MM 540.The ownership got transferred to my name ( I am the 5th owner). All the owners are from Mysore. Ensured the Documents are proper. So my first worry of RC & Insurance was solved & the Next FC is in 2012. Then I started accessing websites to understand the mechanics of Jeep. I am so thankful to BHP, I use to read the important things to focus on repairs, like Brakes, Welding, Wiring etc.

I asked the mechanic the estimate to bring it to reasonable shape as my family would get horrified to look at in the present condition. Mechanic said, if I don’t go for expensive paints/too much of perfection it would cost about 20K. Some how had my own doubts on that & made a list of my own estimate.

MM 540 DP 2
Model : 1991
3 Door Qty

1 Wiper Motor 1 1200
2 Wiper Blades – 2 1 set 160
3 Monograms ( Mahindra, Jeep, all) 1 each 200
4 All Hose Pipes (Engine - Radiator - etc) 1 each 300
5 Fan Belts 1 120
6 Coolant Tank & coolant 1 280
7 Engine Pakings (behind Engine) 1 680
8 Bonet Lock bushes, Bonet Rubber beadings 150
9 Wind sheild 1 1500
10 Wind sheild Beeding 1 500
11 Mirrors (side 2, Inside 1) 2 120
12 Steering 1 1400
13 Gear Leaver & cover 1 320
14 Brake Cylinders 6 2800
15 Brake liners – 4 4 580
16 Petrol tank Cap 1 70
17 4 bulbs ( on the Dashboard ) 1 each 20
18 Pedal covers (clutch, brake, accelarators) 1 each 30
19 Star 1 210
21 Shock Absorbers 4 1400
22 Battery 1 4500
23 Tyres 2 5000

1 Head Light (Rim, Light, Holder, Halogen bulb) 1 860
2 Front indicator assembly 1 240
3 Rear Indicator, brake light assembly 1 390
4 Parking Lights (Small Front) Set 1 70
5 Ignition Switch (key) 1 330
6 Roof Light 1 60
7 Left Indicator Switch, Head light , wiper swithc (Under steering) 1 680
8 Speedo meter 1

Once I made a list, I took the list to two main Spare part dealers in mysore & got the Quotations (although initially they did not give, I said I will buy at least 15 K worth material) they gave the price.
With this list, I made the priorities like Brake (complete set of 6 cylinders, Master cylinder, Breake shoes, Brake Rubber tube, Brake oil tank), Painting, Tinkering, welding, Reset of Spring plates, Shock absorbers, Tyres rebuilding, Battery, Engine bedding, Body bedding ( although some belt kind of thing the mechanic put instead of rubber bedding finally), Star, Seats.
I took the list & gave two option to the mechanic 1) will give him the list to him so that he should buy all the parts & fit it & monitor the work & I will give him 35K 2) I will get the spares & pay him labor + supervision charges + margin on spares (which other wise he would make on option 1). He said happily the second option. Since I could not stand there to push the work, I offered him extra money . I wanted the Jeep to be given back in 3 Weeks as I wanted to drive on my B’day. He committed. I did a program management by splitting the work into
a) Welding/Tinkering (Parallel Door Reset during this)
b) Painting work (Parallel Spring plate /Mechanical small work like Bearing changes, Brakes related work & majorly Seat work which involved Welding all the sets which were in very bad shape)
c) Mechanical/Wiring/Fixing Beading etc..

Although this did not work like a IT project (sometimes they are equally bad..!!) . I could get the Vehicle out of the garage in 3 Weeks. Since this is my first Jeep , I did not want to go for perfect, dent free tinkering, expensive painter , etc.. I had decided if it is decent enough for taking my family to my inlaw’s house ( You know all your reputation will start from there…) its more than enough.

Finally when the Jeep is out of Garage, cant tell you how exited I was. I had great sense of satisfaction of having built a junk into a beauty (if not for any one for me…). My wife/daughter says today also “Ugly Duckling turn into Swan”.
Hear are the Breakup of Cost :
Purchase cost 57K
Insurance 3K
Paint: 5K for the painter, Asian Paint PU Paint (2K brand) Paint Rs 3K
Tinker 6K
Seats 4K
Electrical : 2K (minor , replacing old wires etc)
Mechanic Including Spring reset 15K (Includes few used spares which he gave like side glass, front open type Wind shield set & his bouns… (supervising charges))
(Changing All 6 wheel bearings, Fan, Fan belt, All the lubricants
Phasing Drums, Change of Brake shoes, Change Star, Engine Bedding, Chassy bedding
Replacing Brake master cylinder, all 6 cylinders, Brake hose, tank, fixing coolant tank,
Cleaning radiator, Changing Gear shift to a new model where the gear shif will come very close to driver ,Replacing Side glass set to the Hard top, Fixing up Head light, tail light ,Grill central bolts)
Total Spares cost : 30K (no local spares, all branded good quality spares used)
MRF Radial Tyres 5 nos 16.5K

I have done 2.5K kms in 1 ½ months now, Had 2 trips to B’lore, Tirupathi, & few places near HD kote where you cant think of going in car. The jeep easily carries 7 adults + 3 Children ( I have a big team of friends). The trips were very exiting & not a single place the jeep stalled. I still get people asking me “Why Jeep”, “How will you drive “ ( I don’t have a strong built), a am about 62 Kgs. But all of them admire the ride & the Looks & fun that Jeep gives.

I have only one problem in the Jeep which I keep asking every mechanic who says its ok,, you can manage.. The Jeep has a welding on its Chassy, at the time of buying noticed it but ignored it. Can the experts in this forum tell me whether welding of any magnitude will have problem in Jeep, cos most of the garage mechanics says its common in Jeep, you don’t worry?? Any way I have decided to keep her as she is Reborn now.

have complete restoration pictures (About 256MB, request someone's help as the max permissable size is only 1 mb & zip file is not getting uploaded) could some one help me on this.
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Old 17th December 2009, 16:27   #2
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Originally Posted by Ananth_shukti View Post

have complete restoration pictures (About 256MB, request someone's help as the max permissable size is only 1 mb & zip file is not getting uploaded) could some one help me on this.
You could try resizing and increasing compression of the photos using irfanview or some other s/w. With the right settings you should be able to get below the 1MB limit. Irfanview also has a batch process so you can tell it which files to process and let it do them all in one go.

You can d/l irfanview from :

IrfanView - Official Homepage - one of the most popular viewers worldwide
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Old 17th December 2009, 16:42   #3
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Hi Ananth, Welcome to Team - BHP. To upload the snaps you can use the windows poyer toys (Image Resizer). Its simple once installed, you just need to right click on the image and select the size of your choice. As simple as that.

Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP

Awaiting for the snaps and best of luck for the restore.
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Old 17th December 2009, 16:57   #4
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First of all hats off to you for selling a car and getting a jeep

Congrats ananth for your jeep and i'm sure i'll also buy a jeep very soon. Thanks for your review and please share(if you don't mind) the entire cost involved in this project.

And yes, pictures please!

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Old 17th December 2009, 17:15   #5
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Congrats!! Brave decision and hats off to your wife's and daughter's attitude towards the 'Ugly Duckling'.

A very simple trick to reduce the size of an image is to open it in MS paint and then 'Save As...' it in the JPG format. It will reduce the quality of the pic (hardly noticeable) and the size (considerably).

Waiting for the pics.
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Old 17th December 2009, 17:26   #6
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Hi Ananth,
Welcome to Tbhp and thats really some achievement to go for a jeep in lieu of a regular maruti car. Thats some passion shown for such a vehicle. The price also is quite a steal considering that with a decent investment you 've got quite a reliable jeep.
Regarding resizing the pictures well here is what i follow, simplest of all:
1. Open the picture in MS Paint
2. Press 'Ctrl W', you will see two boxes to reduce the image size, horizontal & vertical.
3. Put values whatever you feel suitable to get it below 1 mb e.g. 60%/50% etc
4. Save it.
And you are ready to go. Don't forget to have a back up of the original pictures before resizing the sets
So hurry up and phote some photos.
Happy Jeeping
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Old 17th December 2009, 18:11   #7
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Hi Ananth,
Congradulations on your 540 restoration project.
Eagerly awaiting the pics.

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Old 17th December 2009, 19:09   #8
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congrats of being JEEPed!

i really admire, appriciate and respect people who restore jeeps!
Attached Images
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Old 17th December 2009, 19:20   #9
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Looking forward for pictures
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Old 17th December 2009, 19:34   #10
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Hi Ananth
Congrats on your jeep, Please post the pictures.
To resize its very difficult to resize it one by one. i currently am using either picasa which I ok but what I really like is FastStone Photo Resizer(FPR). This is a free application and give you lots of options firther the best part is that its free. both the s/w give you the option of bulk resizing and in FPR you can even preview the size and quality of the converted file
Get going and post the pics soon!!!
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Old 17th December 2009, 19:59   #11
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You are a brave man indeed (wife and daughter braver).
The welding on your chassis is nothing compared to your passion, a jeep with your kind of a passionate owner... actually does not even need a chassis.
I also admire how you got it all worked out before the restoration, wish I had a bit of that acumen for accounts.
Since, you have already gone places in your Jeep, just maintain it in time and one day your grandson will ride it.
All the very best and welcome to T-BHP.
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Old 17th December 2009, 21:32   #12
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Originally Posted by Ananth_shukti View Post
....Since it is the only vehicle as I sold my car...

Dude, Your Passion will pay off sometime in the future. Just keep telling yourself you did the right thing. Just ignore the small niggles.

Originally Posted by Ananth_shukti View Post
But all of them admire the ride & the Looks & fun that Jeep gives.
Exactly... Road Presence is Un-matched

Kudos to your family in the support they gave you.
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Old 18th December 2009, 00:28   #13
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Hey Ananth,

You have provided a very informative cost breakdown, and you got the jeep for a good price. Pictures of the restoration process would be very useful for other new members like me. Did you get the engine overhauled?


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Old 18th December 2009, 09:57   #14
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I am touched by the responses i got.

Attaching the pictures.

lancer & shogan the Price breakup :

Cost of Jeep 57K + 3 K Insurance + 1K Transfer of papers
Labour : (Paintinging, Tinker, Seats,Mechanical Repairs ) 35K
Spares : 30K (All Genuine Original Branded spares, Major ones - Brake complete set, Fuel Tank, All Bearings, Star, Spring plates,Lubricants,2 Disks, Steerng,Electrical Spares, )
Tyres & Tubes MRF Radial : 16K
Miscellaneous (Could not keep track) About 8 K
Total about Rs 1,50,000
Attached Images
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Old 18th December 2009, 10:24   #15
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i got the clutch completely overhauled. Total cost 2800/- (Did not change the pressure plate), clutch plate, bearing, miscellaneous clutch items & labour. the clutch is now like petrol engine clutch , damn smooth.
Attached Thumbnails
Restoration of My First JEEP - MM 540-4.jpg  

Restoration of My First JEEP - MM 540-7.jpg  

Restoration of My First JEEP - MM 540-8.jpg  

Restoration of My First JEEP - MM 540-10.jpg  

Restoration of My First JEEP - MM 540-11.jpg  

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