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Old 10th October 2020, 19:42   #16
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

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Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
13. Chacha already had a long line of cars waiting for attention, and he told me, “ I know you can do the restoration yourself. Do it yourself, and if you’re stuck, I’m anyways here”. I agreed and he gave me all the steps.
OMG. To think that you did it all yourself sounds very scary. I am also a mechanical engineer (from around the same time 1994), but can't even think of doing anything beyond changing a flat tyres.
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Old 10th October 2020, 20:31   #17
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Rated 5*! Enjoyed reading this thread to the core.

This thread is pure nostalgia for me. We owned a non A/c Padmini from 1993 to 2002. Padmini is a car which is still very close to my heart. I learnt driving in our Padmini too. Have loads of sweet memories from my school days.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful thread.

Last edited by Samba : 10th October 2020 at 20:35.
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Old 10th October 2020, 21:40   #18
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

What a beautiful car! It brought back memories of our 1987 Premier Padmini. What I liked about these cars were - they were mechanically simple to fix, if anything went wrong. The very fact that you recovered it from the flood, is in itself an achievement; and that too in less than INR 20K. How many of today's cars would have survived the same situation without major costs in recovering the flood damage? Very nicely written as well.
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Old 10th October 2020, 22:29   #19
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

What a refreshing thread. True petrol head, please take a bow.

My story is somewhat similar, getting a pre owned M800 in Mar 2001 (1996 Model, Neptune Blue, 35K driven, single owned - from company classifieds though). Used it till 125k+ and sold for 48K after fitting AC and wide Tubeless

BTW my jaw dropped when you mentioned cranking the engine by just doing an oil change/flush and water getting pumped out as you cranked (can't try that with modern engines).

Padmini is close to my heart, learnt driving in it, as Dad owned one (rather many over the years). The slots behind the front bumper was a tell tale sign of AirCon. I think sometime in 1990 the car lost the front quarter glass - better looks and visibility.
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Old 10th October 2020, 23:07   #20
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Premier Padmini has been a classic legend in Indian automotive history. Before Maruti, we all know it was the car that along with Amby, moved Indians till mid 80s. Mechanically, it was the Fiat 1100D of 1960s with minor upgrades through nearly 45 years on Indian roads. My father has a 1973 Premier President (intact first Indian made car by PAL) which is still in mint condition. Difficult to believe that almost all its repairs were done by him and I still feel most attached to it as we have had the car since before I was born. Now I am in my mid 40s and own a Matiz and 3rd-Gen Honda City, but whenever I go to my parents place, I ride in my favourite car. I will someday share its history with you all.

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Old 11th October 2020, 02:22   #21
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Wonderful thread. Rekindled a lot of memories. Our first car in 1995 was a Premier Padmini in Secundrabad. I was in 6th class. Myself and my sister were among few lucky children who got dropped off at School in a car.

When we moved to Delhi in 1998, we had the 137D model. Diesel, Floor shift with bucket seats. This was the car on which I learnt my driving. Was in 9th standard. My father being very strict, would never allow me to drive. Rightly so since I was not 18 yet. I used to accompany our driver on Saturdays to drop dad and when the driver would take me back home, would convince him to allow me to drive.

Many highway drives. I always used to sit in the front passenger seat.

Since it was a diesel, had hard times in the cold Delhi winters. She would refuse to start every morning. It was a big task to get her started. We eventually sold after the engine went kaput with around 90k on the odo.

DL 6CA 6497

I even recently searched for her in Vahan. She has been de registered.


She was replaced by the Fiat Uno. Diesel again.

Thanks once again for the wonderful thread. Not sure how many from the current crop or generation would be willing to take the efforts you took.
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Old 11th October 2020, 08:48   #22
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

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Originally Posted by Cessna182 View Post
I feel so happy to see a technical description by an enthusiast again
Thank You @Cessna182; I'm happy that the thread hit the right chord.

It was only when I started penning this, that all the old memories started falling in place perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteSierra View Post
Working on a car on your own establishes a strong bond with the car

Behram Dhabhar sir would have had a great time and a big smile on his face while reading this thread if he is around.
Thank You, @White Sierra.

Yes, Behram Dhabhar Sir must have already read this thread from wherever he is and must have also felt quite nostalgic.

Quote:
I have a 1990 Premier Padmini Deluxe BE which is awaiting restoration.[/url]

While few garages are quoting exorbitant prices for restoration, Can I replace the distributor with an electronic ignition system?
I saw your car, and it is in a pitiable state. In my view, even 1L quoted for its restoration is low. Old Enfields take up so much money for restoration.

The best place for you to restore the car would be Mumbai, where old Premier workshops would be found in plenty, but again, not practical for you since you're in Hyderabad.

Another option would be to get a running Padmini in exactly the same shade and present it to Dad !!! But you'll need to register the car outside Hyderabad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Recovering the car from flood waters and reviving it was the absolute top.
Thank You, @R2D2; I am thankful it all went well.

I used to work Shifts those days. Those initial few days of restoration, I worked only nights, came back home at 7, slept till 11, worked on the car till 5pm, and again slept till 8 before getting ready for work again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajayc123 View Post
OMG. To think that you did it all yourself sounds very scary
Thank You @ajayc123. Yes, it was a daunting task but once you start off, nothing stops you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Padmini is a car which is still very close to my heart
Thank You @Samba.

On reading most of the comments here, my eyes swelled up.

The Padmini , like the Bajaj Super/ Chetak was part of the life of so many households, and anything that brings back old memories will touch people's hearts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
What I liked about these cars were - they were mechanically simple to fix, if anything went wrong. The very fact that you recovered it from the flood, is in itself an achievement; and that too in less than INR 20K.
The flood restoration expense was a mere 3.5k, and that is primarily 'coz the car has no electronics.

If I had got the job done from outside it would have been in the region of 10k, but even that wouldn't have brought the car to its pristine state.

As a reference on a modern car, I spent close to 50k restoring a flood affected Etios GD in 2016.If I look back, I could have shaved that expense down by half be rebuilding some parts instead of buying new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep View Post
I think sometime in 1990 the car lost the front quarter glass - better looks and visibility.
Thank You @Jeep.

Yes, late 1989 was when the front quarter glasses went. And I was then very keen on buying a car without the quarter glasses. Don't know why but Ambassadors with front quarter glasses look ok while Padminis don't.

Quote:
BTW my jaw dropped when you mentioned cranking the engine by just doing an oil change/flush and water getting pumped out as you cranked (can't try that with modern engines)
As long as the spark plug ports are open, and the fuel pump is de-energised, the same cranking can be attempted on a new car too to displace accumulated water in the cylinder.

When I started up the engine later, the little emulsion that was still inside the ports got removed by the circulating oil. That was also eventually drained and I filled in fresh oil.

After that, I used to continue to monitor the oil quality to see if it warranted another change but it was quite ok.

On a modern engine, I'd follow the following sequence ( not sure of what's written in a service manual, though)

1.fill oil till half on the dipstick to start the engine and flush

2. Run the engine for say 30 mins a day over 2 or 3 days.

3. Drain and then refill fresh oil till max indicator on the dipstick.

4. Run the car for 1000km on this oil.

5. Replace oil again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheelRP View Post
My father has a 1973 Premier President (intact first Indian made car by PAL) which is still in mint condition.

I will someday share its history with you all.
Wow, @SheelRP; a 1973 President still in action.

Why someday? Please create a thread immediately, and put down all details with pictures. People will love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad4bhp View Post
Not sure how many from the current crop or generation would be willing to take the efforts you took.
Thank You @Mad4bhp.

I've seen that DIYs are getting more popular now, and more people are going this route.

You'll see several DIYers on this forum itself, some of them sporting five star badges.

Flood restoration all by oneself isn't a big deal if one has gone through the process once. Yes, it is painstaking, one has to dirty one's hands, but the end result would be a huge sense of achievement, making both the heart and the wallet smile.

Yes, it is v.v important to

1. keep the battery disconnected in case of a flood warning, and also decouple and take away the ECM if one can do it.

2. not to power on any circuit until all electricals and electronics been cleaned out. Sooner they're cleaned out, the better, so that components on the board don't disintegrate.

As I'd mentioned earlier on this thread, I was able to save 3 ECMs (all Maruti) in 2006 because they weren't powered on. Those first gen MPFI cars came with ECMs somewhere above the glove box.

These days, ECMs generally come in waterproof enclosures, and the Etios I worked on in 2016 was a classic example of how flood water didn't affect the ECM.

Last edited by vigsom : 11th October 2020 at 08:50.
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Old 11th October 2020, 09:42   #23
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

People like me who have grown up with Fiats, will always have special bonding with this car. Great thread and the cost of ownership seems so unreal today. I remember spending the amount with which you bought your car, on replacing flywheel of my superb few years ago.
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Old 11th October 2020, 16:18   #24
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

WOW that was an exciting read for me, pure vintage classic!

Felt like you started this thread somewhere in 2000s and decided to publish it now.
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Old 11th October 2020, 17:22   #25
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Bow down to you Sir vigsom!

I have no words to say.
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Old 11th October 2020, 18:04   #26
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

The story of our Fiat 1100D; except the flood part. Lovely write up! Felt like reliving those days again when we got our Fiat home. And I could relate so much to the sucking of petrol from mouth and dropping it on the carburettor jet well, in today’s world, this would be categorised as a health hazard.

The car looks lovely. There was hardly any better sight on road when given a well maintained Fiat/ premier. I learnt the basics of both driving and troubleshooting on that car and I think I could have never learnt so much if I started with any modern car. Because they seldom go bad.

Really loved your thread and this literally took me back in time. The intricate details of buying and ownership you’ve been able to capture is stunning. I wish we hadn’t sold our 1100D. I can tell that maintained to factory specs, this would have been an absolute head Turner on roads today.

Thanks for sharing.
Regards.

Last edited by saket77 : 11th October 2020 at 18:15.
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Old 11th October 2020, 18:41   #27
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Its truly impressive that you can remember your buying experience from more than 20 years ago in such detail!
My first car-related experiences were in my grandfather's green Premier Padmini so this thread really brought up some old memories for me. Of course, my age was a single digit back then and I never got to drive it, but still.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Background
• Beautifully done interiors with extra lights on the B pillars and the front footwells
So this car had ambient lighting in 1998? Woah!
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Old 11th October 2020, 18:57   #28
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Hearty congratulations for initiating this thread when we have more and more threads on newer cars. It is nostalgic to read about Fiats and Premiers and the fact that many their owners treasure them till today. Besides, many of us have nostalgia for this car based on our own fond memories, though the cars are long gone.

For many of us, this is the car with which we were initiated to driving. They were so common on our streets and every garage was well equipped to repair and service this car. Spare shops had abundant stock of any spare one needed for a reasonable price tag. The tail light lenses were available for Rs 10/- each. It was the darling of the second hand car buyer, where it would command a premium to the ex-showroom price till the early 1970's. This is when one had to book the car and wait for years for the booking to fructify.

Mr Behram Dabhar and Fiats/Premiers are synonymous here for most of us. He was the Supreme Court for Fiats/ Premiers always having the last, unimpeachable word.

The way Fiats/ Premiers have almost disappeared from the scene is appalling. While in Mumbai, our Fiat capital, for a short visits I find it tough to spot even one privately owned Fiat/Premier as a daily driver. The last one I spotted as a daily driver was sometime in 2015. And the taxis that were a part of the landscape for nearly five decades with their numbers, are now totally culled and gone effective June 2020.

The first tremors for the Fiat/Premier disappearance were felt were about 20 years back. The resale prices tumbled to somewhere between Rs 3 to 6 K for older ones and thousands were scrapped. A friend of mine who owned a 1971, Fiat 1100 D, with all its original patina, but with missing papers sold it for Rs 2.5 K for scrapping around 2003. There were thousands of distress sales. That's the way most of them disappeared.

Hence, in this backdrop its always a pleasure to see Premiers surfacing here on our forum. We hope your thread will encourage more and more enthusiasts to become owners sometime soon of this lovely car. The Italian styling and the Italian DNA are perfect recipes for an enthusiast to fall in love with. Happy driving for many more decades !

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 11th October 2020 at 19:07.
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Old 11th October 2020, 22:53   #29
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Excellent write up. Enjoyed reading every bit of it. Its amazing how rare these are becoming nowadays especially considering how common they were just 10-15 years ago. I recently got a new music system fixed on my car and the joy of early morning drive with old Kishore/Rafi songs playing is pure bliss . Posting a few pictures of my car. Hope you don't mind.
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Old 12th October 2020, 06:56   #30
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by patwardhan View Post
I remember spending the amount with which you bought your car, on replacing flywheel of my superb
Thank you @patwardhan.

These costs seem unreal because they're from 22 years ago. Even a rupee had good value then.

A year or so after Indica was introduced, there was an article by AutocarIndia on prices of various components in a car across manufacturers. For the price of an E-Class alternator, one could get a brand new Indica DLE

Quote:
Originally Posted by kamilharis View Post
pure vintage classic
Thank You, @kamilharis. Yes, I'm yet to get over the hangover after creating this thread. So much of emotion attached to this car and the experiences !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by acestormtrooper View Post
I have no words to say
Thank You @acestormtrooper. I must thank bhpian @evil_grin for the ignition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
could relate so much to the sucking of petrol from mouth and dropping it on the carburettor

The car looks lovely. I can tell that maintained to factory specs, this would have been an absolute head Turner on roads today
Thank You @Saket77,

Yes, I would also adopt such tricks to make the car start up quick.

Colours are a personal choice but a Padmini in white with those chrome SS caps always looked different; and even now I remember how class this car's interiors were for its time. Tastefully done.

Royal Enfields are so popular today even with all the niggles they have. Am sure if this car is re-introduced in a classic avatar, it will be a super hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGearBox View Post
My first car-related experiences were in my grandfather's green Premier Padmini so brought old memories.

So this car had ambient lighting in 1998? Woah!
Thank You @TheGearBox, there must be thousands of Indians that have several emotions attached to this car. Plus look at how many bhpians have toiled to get their Premiers back to shape.

Ambient lighting, yes. The footwell lights were connected to the door switch, but the pillar lights had control switches.

With all lights on, six bulbs would glow simultaneously. Same kind of bulbs as in roof lamps today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
many of us have nostalgia for this car based on our own fond memories
Thank You Doc @anjan_c2007

Quote:
Spare shops had abundant stock of any spare one needed for a reasonable price tag. The tail light lenses were available for Rs 10/- each
In my several visits to Mumbai , I'd be very choosy in preferring cabs with khakhi clad drivers over the white uniformed drivers.

I would engage them in conversations on how they would maintain their Premiers. They would say that there were places where even the clutch plate could be reconditioned for pittance eg. remove rivets, put a new disc, and re-rivet. That was how cheap this car was to maintain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVD View Post
Posting a few pictures of my car
Thank You, Captain @RVD. You car looks class !!

Last edited by vigsom : 12th October 2020 at 06:59.
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