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Leoshashi 20th February 2016 00:43

The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
6 Attachment(s)
Dear 5641,

If kisses were raindrops, I'd send you showers
If hugs were seconds, I'd send you hours.
If smiles were water, I'd send you the sea,
If love was a person, I'd send you me.

Section:1- Introduction & Prologue.

Note: Fasten your seatbelts, and I hope this turns out to be a nice reading for you all. I have been closely monitoring the evolving T-BHP standards of writing a review, though I am not so good at writing stories, yet I will try my level best to make this review as interesting & exhaustive as possible.

Prologue-This ownership review of the love of my life, a 16 years old Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed, has been a long desired one. This particular car has been our 1st new car, bought straight from a showroom. Prior to this, we owned a HM Ambassador Nova and a 92 Maruti Omni. We were compelled to buy Omni from a retired colonel, as M800 had a year long waiting period during those days. The Omni was almost a new car, just 2 months, 500 kms old when we bought it. I was too young to remember anything about the Omni or the Amby, so the first love of my life was this 5-Speed 800, which came into my life just when I started attaining my senses.

Desire for a new car-
Place-Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh
Time-June 1999

My dad works with Coal India Ltd. During those days, officers used to get incentives if they buy a new(read: first hand) car. A pre-owned car didn’t qualify for those benefits, so many officers took the plunge and looked for newer vehicles. We considered only hatchbacks, as our family was a small one-my father, mother and an eight year old kid(me).

In June 99, our car market had more options, than what it used to have a few years back. Cars like Uno, Santro, Matiz and Indica had taken the hatchback market by storm. Hence, the options considered were-

1. Tata Indica- The initial reports had started flowing, and there was too much noise about the niggles and issues with the car. Being a new car in the market, dad decided to avoid it.
Attachment 1478229

2. Hyundai Santro- The 1st gen Santro was a weird shape on our streets, and I personally hated it to the core. Also its dealerships were far and few, so it was the 2nd car to be ruled out.
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3. Maruti Zen LX- This was the car which was unanimously chosen, and with the superb Maruti service support, it was a no brainer for us. However, it had 6 months waiting for the Superior White shade which we had finalized. Dad booked it with a dealer at Ranchi- M/s Sushila Automobiles and the wait started.
Attachment 1478226

4. Daewoo Matiz- One of our neighbours got a Blue coloured Matiz, and despite its oddball shape, we all loved it. Dad was ready to stretch the budget, and get a Matiz, since he himself was impressed by the car. However, the attitude of the dealer pissed him off, and add to that, there was no service station within 200kms from our town. The weak economic position of the company further repelled us.
Attachment 1478227

5. Maruti 800- While waiting for the Zen, the dealership at Patna M/s Mithila Motors Limited asked my dad to book a M800 STD, and if a booking for any car is made, he might be able to assign us a Zen if any booking is cancelled. Dad obliged and booked a Milky White M800 STD with the dealer.
Attachment 1478230

Dealership & Booking experience-Our Omni meanwhile was sent to our hometown, and we were left with a scooter for our commute, in addition to the official Jeeps and Gypsy's which my dad was entitled to. It was very difficult to manage without a car, and dad started talking to other dealers to see for any possibility of a car. In January 2000, we finally got a confirmation that our Zen has been allotted to us, and it will reach the showroom within 10 days. However, the news of MPFI and Euro-II norms started coming by then and we decided it had to be Euro-II compliant. That means no carb models. That left us with only two options- Maruti 800 EX and DX which were just launched with 5 speed Gearbox and F8D engine. Zen was launched in MPFI avatar a few months later.

The Ranchi dealer started acting up, and wasn’t ready to convert our Zen’s booking to M800. So we cancelled our booking at Ranchi, and at this time, the M800 booking at Patna came handy. We were immediately allotted a White M800 EX, and by February, we were all ready to get our first ever new car. But thanks to Maruti, our plans got postponed even further, as Maruti had increased prices of all M800 variants, except DX. That was it, dad changed booking to DX and the wait started again. It was March, and still there was no news of a DX variant. The dealerships were getting only STD and EX variants as they had the maximum demand.

One day, the SA informed my dad that Maruti had lauched a Limited edition car called Millenium Special 800, and they were receiving it in a few days. However the colour wasn’t white, but Metallic California Gold. We gave our consent as we were tired of this ordeal and finally, on 25th March, 2000, a shiny new Maruti 800 DX rolled out of the Mithila Motors showroom. Aptly christened, The Golden Goose!!

Price & Discounts-
Registration and others-Rs.31,500
Total OTR-Rs.2,93,000
Freebies-None. They had billed us even for a bolt and screw which was used to install mudflaps. Unlike today, it was a sellers market then. Maruti didn’t have any extended warranty or service packages to speak of. The standard warranty was 1yr/40,000kms.

A pic of the car, May 2000. That's me sitting at the front,too excited and overwhelmed to look at front. :uncontrol

Attachment 1490431

Leoshashi 20th February 2016 01:37

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
10 Attachment(s)

A customary glance at the technical specifications first.

Technical Specifications

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Road Test Results- Courtesy for the next 5 images-Autocar India Magazine, March 2000 Edition

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The idea of Maruti 800 was conceived with the intention of providing the common masses a cheap, reliable and fuel efficient means of transport. Back then, the only significant rivals to the Maruti 800 were the HM Ambassador and the Premier Padmini which were long in the tooth and not as reliable or fuel efficient as the Maruti. This little car took our automobile by storm and much has already been written about how it single handedly revolutionized the Indian Automotive landscape.

It was the year 1998 when a second era of revolution ushered, with newer players entering the hatchback territory with their offerings and the bread and butter car of Maruti was under threat from all sides. It was the complacency of the company and the lack of rivals which had caused this stagnation in the product development of Maruti 800. It had remained virtually unchanged from the past 12 years.

Cars like Daewoo Matiz and Fiat Uno brought newer technologies to the table, when Maruti was happily offering the carbureted 800. All it did to acknowledge these rivals was to reduce the prices of its cars, which wasn’t sufficient. There was an approaching thunderstorm in the guise of Bharat Stage 2 emission norms which forced Maruti to move to Multi Point Fuel Injection(MPFI) systems.

Rather than simply adding a fuel injection tech to the existing 800, Maruti decided to take the bull by its horns and gave the 800 a 4Valve per cylinder head in addition to the 5 Speed Gearbox. This not only made it the most peppy 800cc car in its segment, a title which was then taken by the much hyped Matiz, it also solved a major jinx in the 800s armour-Air conditioning. The bumped up power rating ensured that inclines weren’t dreaded now with the AC on.

This new 800 literally lived upto the phrase-A wolf in sheep’s clothing. Power was bumped up to 45BHP from the carb 800s 39.5BHP, with the peak power coming high in the rev range at 6000rpm. The 4V per cylinder layout meant it made the 800 breathe deeper and this made it more rev happy. The way this car lunges forward with a tap of accelerator convinces you that this is no ordinary 800. Bottom-end Torque also improved, and the hesitation in traffic which was present in F8B 800s is absent in this car. This was essentially the same engine from Alto, but in a much lighter body shell.

Well, this is what this wolf is capable of!! Pic courtesy-Autocar India
Attachment 1490432

The 5 Speed unit present on this car is supposedly borrowed from Maruti 1000. The clutch has a very distinct travel and the point of engagement is well defined on this one. The 5 Speed unit has shorter throws with well defined gates, and there is none of that rubbery and vague gearshifts which were synonymous with the 4 Speed units. It shifts with a mechanical precision which is best experienced.

Due to the different gearing, this 5 Speed 800 sees its 100kmph mark at 3680-3700rpm. In comparison, the 4-Speed 800 does it at 4500rpm. This means better efficiency and lesser stress on engine. Infact, keep this car in 5th gear at 70kmph and it can shame today’s ARAI mileage champs!! With an eye on efficiency, I have achieved a mileage of around 29kmpl during the runs on the newly constructed ring road of Ranchi. However, on a day to day basis, it consistently returns about 18kmpl in city, and around 22kmpl on highways with 100% AC.

It feels the best at 90kmph mark, after which the light weight of body makes its presence felt.

My car has done close to 2,90,000 kilometers in the past 16 years, and yes, it is still on its stock engine. All it takes is religiously following the maintenance schedule. Engine Oil has always been changed before the 5000kms mark. Probably this preventive maintenance is the reason why the parts on this car last longer and even after so much use, the car is as reliable as ever!!

So is the 5 Speed 800 only different in the engine and gearbox department?? No!! It has different parts for almost everything except perhaps the bodyshell. Suspension, wiring harness, and almost everything is different for this variant. You need to go through the parts manual to realize that this car is like an 800 just in the way it looks. Rest everything is different. My car being from the 1st batches of 5 Speeds has most of its parts made in Japan(SGP). This sometimes causes some issues with respect to parts availability. But my MASS(M/s Maruti automobiles) ensures that I get the required parts ASAP and none of the parts have taken more than a week to arrive.

To sum up, this car has its own unique charm, and is probably the reason why it is so dear to me. As mentioned earlier, ours was a limited edition model which came with some extra add-ons like
• Cigarette lighter
• Sill Plates & Different brake pedals- Lost pedals when we shifted house. Since then, I have been using MGA's sport pedals, as the earlier ones were similar in design.
• Exhaust tips-Removed and kept at home.
• Rear Parcel tray-Never installed as it needed drilling in the body.
• Booster brakes(made standard from April 2001 onwards)-Switched to normal master cylinder after some vacuum leak issue with the older brakes.
• Heater(made standard April 2001 onwards)-Removed in 2015 during AC kit change.

Leoshashi 20th February 2016 01:38

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
5 Attachment(s)

The interiors on this variant feels a bit more plush than the standard M800. And that is because of small and subtle touches like Fabric upholstery, Fabric patches in door pads, larger door armrests, vanity mirror etc. Let me make this very clear, this car is meant only for averagely built people at best, and if you happen to be one of them, then the interiors are decently comfortable. Anything more than that, and you'll end up having a pain somewhere after a 2 hour long journey. I am 6ft tall guy with a heavy build, and I have qualms only if I drive this car for more than 3 hours without a break.

The front bucket seats come with detachable headrests and are more comfortable than the rear ones. After the front seats are pushed all the way back to accommodate someone of my build , there is space left which is suitable only for kids or small adults.

The rear seats in my car have a 50:50 split functionality which is a must have for a car with such a small boot. The seat base is also removable and what you get is a perfectly flat boot floor.

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Before the members start wondering about the visible plastics on the seats, yes, they have survived for the past 16 years. I have ordered new seat covers, which are supposed to come in the next few days. Although I had removed them, I have kept the plastics safely with me, and I install them every year when the birthday celebrations for this car is done. lol:

Exterior Design- It's design is extremely simple and easy upon the eye. No one will get offended by it. I personally love this minimalist approach. It not only helps in easy removal of dents, it is also extremely helpful in tight parking spots with negligible wheels arches. Paint quality is strictly average, but that's what you expect for a mass market car designed to offer a simple no-nonsense mode of commute. Panels are very thin, though Maruti seems to have outdone themselves, considering the thin metal sheets on its recent offerings.

Total Number of Kilometers done till date & Usage Pattern- Approximately 2,90,000 kilometers. Exact figure is unknown as the speedo cable was faulty for almost 3 years.
This car covered its first lac kilometers within two years. That’s when we visited almost the whole of India barring J&K and North East. The next lac kilometers took almost 7 years and the milestone happened in the year 2009. Now a days it is driven just by me within city limits and occasionally by dad. So currently the running is about 10,000kms a year.

Wheels & Tyres-This model came with factory fitted radial tyres as opposed to the Ply-bias tyres on the base models. It runs on 145/70R12 wheels which seem adequate for its purpose, though people looking for an upgrade may consider 155/65R12 or 165/60R12. The 155/65R12 is a direct replacement and is easily available as it is the size which comes in Nano's Rear. The 165s may need use of spacers and other mods.

My car is currently on its fifth set of wheels. A small quick summary about the rubbers it has seen.

1. JK Ultima- Somehow, we were lucky in this regard and the infamous JK ghost didn't haunt us. The first set of tyres which came from factory lasted for about 80,000kms/1 year 8months before it was replaced with another set of JKs
2. JK Ultima NXT-This tyre lasted for almost a lac kilometers without any issues, before dad disposed it off fearing its supernatural life. I remember even at that mileage, the tread was very little worn. These tyres served us for 98000kms/8 years.
3. MRF ZVTS-The JKs were replaced with MRFs and somehow we disposed it off quite early, after using it for 35,000kms/3 years as it started making a loud booming noise when on move.
4. Bridgestones S322-After a lot of research, went with these tyres. However, this time I went tyre shopping and was inadequately informed about the elementary knowledge regarding tyres. I was cheated, tyres were installed with different sized tubes, in addition to two years old tyres at the time of purchase. I had possibly the worst phase of my life, with my car showing up all signs of tyre-related issues like bulging, radial pull etc. Finally, once it was proved that the issue is due to wheels, I decided to get rid of it and get new ones. The entire ordeal is documented here-

Got rid of Bridgestones after using them for 2 years/8,000kms
5. Goodyear Ducaro HiMiler Tubeless-Got these changed on 14th September 2015 and have driven about 23,000 kms on these, with numerous highway trips like Ranchi-Nagpur-Hyderabad and Ranchi-Nagpur-Daman-Jaipur-Delhi-Ranchi. They have been absolutely delight to drive on with no issues to speak of. This is one tyre which I would happily recommend to everyone looking for VFM tyres. They don't have absolute grip as Michelins, but overall, if you drive a 800 like it is meant to, these tyres are for you. These tyres have an unconditional warranty replacement for some initial period, and I am glad, GoodYear honored their promise. I had a sidewall cut due to my fault entirely, yet they replaced the tyres without any queries-Twice!!

Leoshashi 22nd February 2016 20:25

Smaller yet significant things
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Smaller yet significant things, Team BHP Style!! stupid:

1. The Facelifted 800 which was introduced in 1997. The Jellybean inspired front was a love it or hate it design.
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2. Front 3 Quarters.
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3. Flat sides- Ideal for city conditions.
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4. Badges at the rear depict the story-This is no ordinary 800!!
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5. Dawn of the millennium brought with it newer emission norms .
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6. Rear 3 Quarter View.
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7. Quarter Glass at the rear makes things airy for the rear passengers and also makes reversing a breeze.
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8. Manual Fuel Flap. Also notice the "Greenwheels" sticker.
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9. A caution label forbidding use of "leaded fuel", unfit for vehicles with cat-con.
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10. Wiper Nozzle with single spray. There are two of them on the hood.
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11. Engine Bay. I take the saying, "Cleanliness is Godliness" a bit too seriously lol:
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12. Minuscule Boot Space. Also visible are 50:50 split seats which were standard on the DX variant
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13. Single Strut for holding the bootlid
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14. View of the interiors
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15. Simple 2-Spoke Steering wheel shoddily clad in MGA's Genuine leather.
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16. Vanity mirror on the LHS sunshade. One of the features standard on the DX variant. As it is evident from the plastics, it has never been used!!
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17. Rock hard but immensely durable stalks. They have stood the test of time for the past 16 years.
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18. Cutouts for Radio and Clock on the central console. Also visible are ashtray and factory installed Cigar lighter.
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19. Immensely useful storage spot on the dash.
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20. Probably the only safety feature on this car-ELR seat belts
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21. Front door pads. Notice the bigger armrest, and map pocket. Also visible are "Maruti 800" embossed sill guards which came as a part of the Millennium Edition kit.
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22. Notice the funky design on the fabric part of the doorpad.
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23. Child locks equipped Rear doors. One of the many mods I have done from parts sourced from Export variants of M800.
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24. Gear Knob from the Zen/Esteem/WagonR. I love their design.
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25. Small Glove Box
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26. View from the IRVM-Adequate. Planning to fit an Auto IRVM here soon.
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27. View from the LHS ORVM. Non-internally adjustable, but the thin width of the M800s cabin makes adjusting it a simple job.
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28. View from the RHS ORVM.
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29. Airfilter Assembly. Notice the part number, it has no "M" in it and hence hints towards its Japanese origin. Being SGP, it costs a whoppng 7k now for the assembly compared to Rs.500 one on other 800 variants.
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Leoshashi 22nd March 2016 23:14

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
15 Attachment(s)
Issues faced till date- A detailed report

During its entire ownership, we faced two types of flaws.
A. QC related flaws
B. Wear & Tear/Age related failures

A. QC Related-Our car when new could be classified as a part-lemon. Reason being, the number of QC flaws. Some of the initial niggles faced were
-Missing wiring for AC- Our car had AC system installed, but some wire related to AC system was missing due to which, the AC was unable to start. This issue came to our knowledge immediately after buying it. However the support from MASS and Maruti ensured that work done was completely to our satisfaction.
-Glovebox was fitted improperly- Again this issue was fixed during the 1st service.
-RHS seatbelt buckle was missing- This was noticed during PDI, and the dealer promptly installed buckle from another 800 DX.

B. Wear & Tear/Age related failures- Except the above mentioned niggles, our car has been extremely reliable with just one part failure to report of, and all others were age related wear/tear replacements.

-Burning smell reported- On 19th of March 2006, while coming back from my school, we noticed a strong burning smell coming from our car. Dad immediately took it to the nearest dealer M/s Premsons Motor, who after a long diagnosis replaced armature of the starter motor, along with all locks and keys. Total bill came out to be Rs. 4,900. This is the only pre-mature failure we have experienced till date

Picture of the replaced Armature

Attachment 1489059

The second set of issues started after 2015. This year, car has been to the workshop for umpteen number of times. Though most of them were for part replacements which have been meticulously working for the past 15 years and needed retirement.

I am mentioning here some events which I think might help people in future.

1. Weird alignment related woes- Quoting myself from another thread-


Even if the car(M800 DX) was behaving properly, I knew deep inside that there was some undetected issue due to which all alignment attempts were failing. Because of this, I didn't drive the car much, fearing some more complexities which might develop.
The issue was a bent engine member, due to which the engine load was not balanced properly, resulting in pull towards right hand side.

Story- I left the car for alignment at my trusted shop, and for the first time I left the car entirely in their hands for a few minutes, while I and my friend rushed to grab a movie ticket of PK. The date was 20th December 2014. Before the alignment, no issue was there. After I came back, I was surprised to see my car up on ramps while a huge crowd of mechanics were below my car. Something felt fishy to me, but upon asking, the mechanic said that since my car was one of the very rare 5 speeders in the city, they were having a look under my car. I trusted them, paid and left. Immediately afterwards, the car was violently pulling. I showed them, but since it was their closing time, they ignored my request and asked me to come the next day.
I was a bit busy due to college placements and thus couldn't attend the car. I however took care that no body drives it, as I feared mis-aligned vehicle.
To cut a long story short, each and every service station/ tyre alignment shops and dealer outlet was visited and I spent almost Rs.2000 trying to figure out what the issue was, but in vain.

One lesson I learnt, DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER. I didn't take my car to my trusted MASS(M/s Maruti Automobiles) since it didn't appear as properly organised( read fancy and high-tech). The MASS is famous for its technically sound mechanics and has received many accolades country wide, but somehow, I missed it. After hearing NO from each and every service station/ tyre alignment shop, I took my car to them. They inspected everything starting from lower arms to suspension to tyres, but didn't find a thing. Even the castor/ camber settings were perfect. They then switched to basics. The found a bent engine member and bolt, and their logic did make sense. However they asked me to come after a week, since they were overloaded. I meanwhile tried showing the car to our city dealer M/s Premsons Motors. I was lucky that I met a Maruti Engineer there who had come to inspect some axle issue on a brand new Ertiga.
He too agreed on the issue. Premsons quoted me Rs.9000 for the body job, along with 3 days time. Due to the love towards my car, I asked my dad and agreed to get it repaired from them, since they have many chassis straightening tools and a plethora of other hi-tech tools. I was again being stupid and immature here.
Meanwhile my SA from Maruti automobiles calls me and asks me about the issue. I unfolded to him the entire story. He just asks me to drop by. I have never met a more Genuine SA than him in my life.

In short, they dismantled the engine member, did some gentle hammering, reassembled everything, and viola, my beauty was again healthy. No pulling, pushing crappiness !!!!

Damage to my pocket- Rs.700 only.
The reason apparent to me of this damage- The wheel alignment guys had banged the underbody of my car, and probably that was the reason they were gathered under my car.

Link to the post-

Pictures of the Engine member bolt straightening-
Attachment 1490185

The culprit in highlights
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2. The second set of woes started sometimes in August this year. Issues faced were
Violent pulling while braking
Steering vibration while braking
Affinity of car to drift towards right

Thanks to inputs from senior BHPians like Saket77, SS-Traveller, Parag Sir, Humyum(Rohan) Sir and a4anurag(Anurag) Sir, my job became a lot simplified and they guided me with utmost precision towards what could have gone wrong. I just armed myself with these inputs, however I never forced my SA's to work in that particular direction and let him work freely.

My ownership review about this car would be incomplete without thanking two awesome SA's I met- Mr Dhiraj and his colleague Mr. Yadav. These two have got numerous awards both in India by Maruti and have also been rewarded by Suzuki in various competitions. Mr. Dhiraj won the All India Skill competition conducted by Maruti this year. They have never guided me or any of my contacts towards wrong direction or inflated the bill by doing non sense jobs. All work done by them have been simply excellent and they are extremely honest. That's what I love about them.

For my issues, Mr. Dhiraj stepped in. He did all sorts of diagnosis himself and the issues were rectified one by one

Day1- 3rd August 2015
Issue reported- Steering vibration while braking

My SA took out a disc deflection measuring instrument and noticed the values and found them to be under the recommended range. He asked me a day's time, and said he will revert back after some brain-storming.

Disc condition
Attachment 1490190
Deflection measuring instrument
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Mr. Dhiraj taking the measurement
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He calls me the next day. He asks the senior-most mechanic to replace the stabiliser bar bushes. After the replacement was done, we went on a TD. I was surprised to see that the issue was resolved. When I asked him why didn't he doubt the discs, he said that my discs were fine, and since the vibrations were felt only on the steering and not on the pedals, he doubted its something other than the discs.

I also got the brake pads replaced that day.

Head mechanic changing the stabiliser bar bushes
Attachment 1490193
Parts changed
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Day2-14th September 2015
Issue Reported-Car's affinity towards right

This time Mr Dhiraj did all the troubleshooting like swapping tyres, swapping suspension components and all other hectic jobs. After a days time, he informs me that my 2 year/8,000kms old Bridgestones had developed radial pull along with various other imperfections on the tyre surface. I have described it in detail in another thread, hence quoting myself-


The last set of bridgestones had done only about 8000 odd kilometers in its one and a half years of usage. The tread pattern was visually fine, so many would ask- Why this expenditure?? Let me explain

Issues with BS S322

1. They had developed conicity, and three of the 4 tyres had this issue. They used to violently pull in whatever random direction they wished to. As usual, no help from the Bridgestone dealer

2. Back then, I didn't know much about how to "read" tyre manufacturing date. I hate to admit, but I was cheated, and all the tyres were of 2011 make, I bought them in July 2013.

3. Dealer also cheated me by putting different sized tubes inside the tyres. May be this is what damaged the tyres, but fact is, I was at the receiving end.

4. Other persistent issues like air leakage, wobbling at 70kmph and offlate, development of bulges freaked me out. The dealer was of no help, and as expected, no warranty claim was even considered.
More details-

Day 3- 10th November, 2015-One of the saddest days of my life

I had opened the dash for replacing a vent. Mechanics informed me about a strange plus size washer and bolt which was holding the steering column. I ignored it, and after they replaced the vents and we went on a TD, I noticed a "kat-kat" plastic sound coming from the keyhole area. I was shown that a bolt holding the steering column has all its threads damaged, and hence the previous mechanics had used some jugaad to keep it hidden till now. I recalled that the steering column was only lowered prior to this during the armature and locks change(at Premsons Motors,Ranchi), and they had tightened the bolts using a screw gun, and in turn damaged the threads. To hide this, they had applied local "jugaad" using washers and different sized bolts.

Even though the problem wasn't a serious one, I still decided to get it fixed. When I asked about the possible solutions, I was literally shattered. Everyone was suggesting cutting of the panel and welding in the new one since that stud doesn't come as a spare. One ingenious MASS asked me to get the entire front firewall cut, and replaced by a new one. I almost got a heart-attack hearing this.

As always, Mr.Dhiraj had something special in store for me. He asked the mechanics to remove the dash to have a better look. After a lot of brain storming, he grabbed a screwdriver and tore open a gap in the panel, which was spot welded at factory. The rest of the story, is best explained by pictures.

Mr.Dhiraj analyzing the situation
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A hole created by him on the left side
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Some hammering by the body shop technician
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Culprit is finally out
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The culprit-a close view
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New bolt of similar spcifications put in, and welded after measurements. They did a superb job, and even replicated the spot weld marks. lol: Rustproofing done in abundance. After the final painting was done, no one can say that a surgery was done there.

Attachment 1490423

Moral of this incident- Never allow any mechanic to use screw gun from the word go. The standard procedure is screwing the first few threads by hand, and then using the screw gun.

4. Installation details of the AC R134 conversion kit-A brief review

AC Conversion Kit-R12 to R134
Part Number- 95999M84R10
Kit contents-
RD Bottle
2 Connecting Pipes
Some seals
Compressor Oil

What was done-
Old compressor oil drained out
Compressor Flushed, oil seals replaced
Pipes and RD bottle changed
Condenser and Radiator cleaned
Leakage check done by Nitrogen
R134 Gas refilled

Pic- AC Kit Retro-fitment going on
Attachment 1490426

Result- Have been using the AC since almost a year, and the performance of the AC has been excellent post replacement. BHPian sumitsinha0280 once requested to turn off the AC,at about 3PM in peak summer, as it had become too chilly for him. Now this is something which the M800's AC isn't known for.
I had to remove the heater, as the new pipes were somewhat different in shape, and the installer was finding it difficult to install it properly.

Leoshashi 24th March 2016 21:46

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
14 Attachment(s)
Fitness Mantra of 5641 :)

1. Elementary Necessities
  • New engine oil every 5000kms religiously when in city, OR
  • New Engine oil every 8000kms if all the running is on Highways
  • New Coolant every 20,000kms or 2 year, whichever is earlier
  • New Transmission Oil in 75W90 Grade every 40,000kms or 4 year, whichever is earlier
  • New Brake Fluid every 2 years
  • Air Filter is cleaned the DIY way once in every 2 months

2. I have noticed a pattern in which some parts need replacement in this car
  • Brake Pads- Every 60,000kms
  • Brake Shoes-Every 1 lac kms
  • Clutch Overhaul-Every 80,000kms. I change the clutch plates, pressure plates everytime. Flywheel has been changed only once till date.
  • Wipers-Every year
  • Front suspension bushes-Every 5 year/1 lac kms
  • Battery- Every 6 year

No procrastination is done- Any part is changed just after the first symptoms of weakness.

3. Exhaustive list of spares replaced till now on this car
  1. Battery(4th Set)
  2. Tyres(5th Set)
  3. Brake Pads(6th Set)
  4. Brake Shoes(3rd Set)
  5. Wipers(uncountable)
  6. Front suspension bushes(5th Set)
  7. Clutch(4th Set)
  8. Rear Bumper(Thrice)
  9. Front Axle boots(2nd Set)
  10. Engine Mounts(3rd Set)
  11. Tie Rod Ends(2nd set)
  12. AC conversion kit
  13. Speedometer Console
  14. Right ORVM(Thrice)
  15. Front Parking lenses(Twice)
  16. Front Windshield(Once)
  17. Rear WIndow Glass(Once)
  18. Rear doors window regulator mechanism(once either side)
  19. Ashtray(Once)
  20. Stabilier Bar Bushes(Thrice)
  21. Exhaust Pipe(Twice)
  22. Wheel Rims(Once-All 5 replaced due to holes getting wider)
  23. Accelerator cable(once)
  24. Rear Shock Absorbers(once)
  25. All Door locks-Once
  26. Flasher Relay(Once)

4. Efforts from my side to keep her in top shape

* Ensuring she is clean most of the time, specially on the underside and hard to reach areas. This includes periodic underbody inspection and touchup of anti-rust.

Bumpers removed for thorough cleaning
Attachment 1490095
Attachment 1490096

* Ensuring that there is always a nice coat of wax on her
After a regular detailing session
Attachment 1490097

* Ensuring that rust doesn't get to meet and flirt with her. :D
This is what I did when I found surface rust on the front crossmember
Attachment 1490115
One fine day, I noticed rust due to accumulated mud in the tail-light section. I sanded the rust, applied red-oxide primer, paint, and then covered all stuff in cavity wax. I also got this cavity wax applied professionally by my MASS in all hard to reach and hollow sections like inside of door panels, running board etc. They took 3 long days to properly clean every panel, dry it, and then applied the wax. This wax hardens up and doesn't attract dust when the car is on the move. Added Protection!!
Attachment 1490118

Attachment 1490119

Attachment 1490120

Attachment 1490122

Attachment 1490116

Attachment 1490117

* Every maintenance job is done by the best mechanic and MASS of the city and no work is postponed.
My SA's Mr. Dhiraj and Mr. Yadav have won the National lever skill competition many times, and they are the most knowledgeable SA's I have ever some across. They have saved me many times with their ingenious thinking and I love their perfectionist like attitude.
Attachment 1490182
* Keeping a healthy stock of commonly used spares at home.

Attachment 1490098

Attachment 1490099

Attachment 1490100

Leoshashi 25th March 2016 20:50

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
13 Attachment(s)
Some random images

1. Experiencing the delivery day, even after 16 years!! stupid:

Attachment 1490437

Attachment 1490438

2. With BHPian sumitsinha0280's newly restored '92 M800

Attachment 1490439

3. En route to Patratu

Attachment 1490440

4. A micro TBHP meet- With BHPian swapnilalto's '04 Alto

Attachment 1490441

5. Reflections

Attachment 1490442

6. Golden Goose in her full glory post a wash session

Attachment 1490443

7. Playing with camera

Attachment 1490444

8. Miles to go before I sleep............

Attachment 1490445

9. Happiness is-Finding dates of manufacture of components
Attachment 1490480

10. Since my original air filter was Made in Japan(SGP), I have ensured I always put replacement filters which are SGP!! Even if it means paying 850 bucks.
Attachment 1490482

11. Gift for my SA to appreciate his selfless and flawless service
Attachment 1490481

12. IJL(India Japan Lighting) Lights all around. Bulbs have been upgraded to Philips Xtreme Vision. Thanks BHPian a4anurag Sir for his recommendation. Its as good as a conventional 100/90 bulb
Attachment 1490483

Leoshashi 25th March 2016 22:24

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27

Last, but not the least, I would like to thank all BHPians who have actively played an important role in my life. Either they have helped me out when I needed their guidance, or they have motivated me in some way or the other, because of which this thread could finally see the light of the day!!

Mentioning some of their handle names-

1. GTO and all other mods
3. Sidindica
4. a4anurag
5. saket77
6. paragsachania
7. SS-Traveller
8. HumYum
9. Audioholic
10. IshaanIan
11. baby_antu
12. sumitsinha0280
13. swapnilalto
14. Everyone going through this thread, and others......:)

After compiling this review, I have come away with a new found respect for our moderators. This reviewing job is truly tough !! lol:


GTO 26th March 2016 09:09

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Long-Term Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

condor 26th March 2016 10:06

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
Shashi, that is such a nicely written LTR ! If it feels good just to read about it - I can only imagine how you must be feeling about your baby as you go together through the years !

Wishing you many more happy years and miles together !

Rahulkool 26th March 2016 10:26

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
Man this brings back so many memories, we bought our 83' M800 and 96' omni from the same dealer, sushila automobiles. Driving this car was really fun at that time. Whenever i got to drive this car or Zen(some relatives had these) i always got very excited. i had just got my DL and was official driver whenever someone needed a ride at home, or the whole colony for that matter :D. It was a small town and few people had car and even fewer knew driving.

fiestarry 26th March 2016 11:10

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
Though the Maruti 800 never got me too excited at any time, I think Leoshashi deserves praise for his persistent efforts in maintenance, repair and restoration.
Maruti needs to be commended for their spares support despite the years.
And an excellent write up.
May this 800 cross 800,000 km and more.

baby_antu 26th March 2016 11:11

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
Superb review, with a great eye for the small details! Attention to detail is fantastic. The way you have kept it in stock condition is worth appreciating. I have always admired your ways to maintain the car. cpics:

Last month I met shashi at auto expo, he has helped me out with various issues I was facing with my car and the only reason why I still have Maruti 800 is because of shashi and sumit (leoshashi and sumitsinha0280).

extreme_torque 26th March 2016 11:39

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27
Lord that is a well maintained car! I was looking at the images thinking they were taken when she was bought and it struck me that it cannot be. Digital camera's werent common back in the day.

Enjoyed reading throughout. Have to say that you are making quite an effort, spending time and a lot of money on the car to keep her in this shape. 850 for the original made in Japan air filter! Awesome!

arnabchak 26th March 2016 12:08

re: The love of my life - A 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed. EDIT: Gets export model features on Pg 27

Simply outstanding.
It felt that the M800 is actually a person and not a car at all.

Celebrating "his" birthday since the last 16 years.
And feels great to see him mature into an ageless beauty.

One of our initial cars was the M800 carb and it was such a pleasure to drive.
This coming after the Premier Padmini that was my father's first car.

Superb handling, extremely frugal, low cost of maintenance and reliable till eternity.

Infact, you could take the M800 to hell and back, absolutely unscratched and with complete faith that this little 3 pot engine will be the last thing to let yo down.

Equally commendable about the way you have maintained her.
Two thumbs way up for all your efforts Leo!!

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