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Old 27th February 2024, 23:30   #1
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Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800 - Mission Impossible being made Possible

Warm Greetings to everyone. It has indeed been long since I last wrote something on the forum. Work and other commitments never seem to leave me with enough time to sit back and write on TeamBHP :P

Anyway, expect this to be a fairly long and detailed thread. As for the title, it may have you wondering as to why restoring a 1995 Maruti 800 is being called Mission Impossible. Read on and you will know. Also, let me add that the restoration job has not been one that was light on the pocket but considering the car in question was a 'money no object car' it does not really matter. The result however does matter, greatly !

PROLOGUE
Now here is a little backstory.
Those of you who know me personally know that I enjoy spending my free time tinkering with cars. Having spent a lot of my days over the years with my friendly neighborhood mechanics - Ravi and Sanjay bhai has taught me a thing or two about working correctly on a car. As a result, I love to work on cars, especially older ones and help the owners with getting them up to speed.

An enthusiast friend of mine named Chetan, who happens to own a rather diverse garage and also the 1990 Premier Padmini that I worked on last year, gave me a call in September 2023. Attaching the link to the Padmini thread below :
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/post-...ni-deluxe.html (Restoring a 1990 Premier Padmini Deluxe BE)

He wanted to know my opinion on how viable it is to purchase a Maruti 800 today. Me being myself, I told him to go for it immediately if he came across a good car. The 800 is one of the simplest cars ever to work on and maintain. Parts availability is still good, so it would make for a good choice. His reason for wanting one was interesting though. He mentioned that his uncle owned a White Maruti 800 SB308 (Second Gen) which he had purchased brand new in the Early 90s. He went on to tell me that his uncle truly loved the car and used it for several years, driving it across the country. Sadly, the car was sold and does not exist anymore, but the memories made with it were priceless and his uncle fondly remembers and misses the car till date.

His plan was to find a White 800 of the same type, restore it to near brand new condition and gift it to his uncle on his upcoming 70th birthday in March 2024. What a lovely gesture I thought to myself. I agreed there and then to be a part of this process from start to end assuring him that it would end with his uncle having the best birthday present ever !

Searching for an 800 is no big deal given the millions of numbers that they sold in and are still around in. However, finding a car that is well looked after and largely original is a challenge. We strictly wanted a car that had not been tampered with much and was in good honest condition overall . At the end of the day, a 25+ year old car would naturally command some work so we did not have unrealistic expectations.

THE CAR
We saw a few cars listed online and a few more in person but none of them seemed to tick the right boxes. They were majorly rust buckets with multiple owners and expired paperwork. The fact that we wanted only a SB308 (Sold between 1986 and 1997) narrowed down the search greatly. One day while scrolling through a Facebook group I came across an ad for a 1995 Maruti 800. The Ad proudly mentioned that the car is a FIRST OWNER vehicle, being posted by the owner himself. It had its fitness and documents in order and was asking a very reasonable price. There was only one picture in the ad. The car seemed pretty decent going by that one image. I decided to send it to Chetan and he contacted the owner.

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Purists would notice that the rims aren't original to the SB308 and are from the Type 2 model. But otherwise, the car seemed fine from this angle at least.

Chetan spoke to the owner. The owner was an elderly man in his 70s, an architect by profession who said he had purchased the brand car new in 1995 and had driven it about 90k km in all these years. It was his first new car. He was honest about the fact that the car was not in great condition and needed work but was largely left original and had been kept running at least for the past few years. His reason to let it go was that his age does not allow him to maintain it like before and the fact that it does not get used lately. Hence, to avoid it from deteriorating he had finally taken the call to sell it off. He was nice enough to send us some more images of the car and a video of it running (it sounded healthy).

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The car did look tired. It was dull, the interior had its share of wear and tear. The door trims were from a later model. But at least it was honest, unlike some of the others we had seen which had fat layers of filler putty painted over the rust to hide it and other hidden surprises. Note that this car was largely still on original paint apart from one of the doors and the bonnet which had been replaced at some point due to a small fender bender.

Honest opinion - Good base; mechanically seems good. Documents are sorted. Cosmetically needs attention.

We decided to leave this car on the backburner for the bit and look for better options. However, we found ourselves back with this car rather soon. Chetan then came to a common standing with the owner regarding the price and the car was sold. A mistake we made was not going and examining the car in person as both of us were busy with our respective jobs and the car was located in Thane. Considering the honesty of the owner and the material he sent us, we decided to go for it anyway as time was ticking.

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A photograph of the car on the day of purchase, shared by the First Owner. This photograph would remain the ultimate aim for our restoration project as we wanted to get the car to this shape !

This would end up being my first full blown restoration project !

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 11th March 2024 at 00:24.
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Old 28th February 2024, 00:35   #2
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

THE ARRIVAL
So the deal was done. Chetan paid the owner and the car was ours to take. The owner suggested to avoid driving it to Dadar from Thane because the car had not been in traffic or travelled a fair distance for over 5 years. He was not sure if it would make the distance without breaking down or overheating. Furthermore, it was in need of new tyres and an issue with wheel alignment. So we decided to tow it down. I went to pick it up from Dadar the same evening and to my surprise, it had arrived on a flatbed! Free upgrade I was told.

The owner had sent literally everything related to the car with it. Things such as an extra carburetor, fuel pump, belts, ignition coils, and even some other stuff which was nothing but junk

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I got into the car. The driver's side door and A pillar were both terribly rusted: eek: Rust is a game spoiler. Especially with older Maruti cars such as the 800, Zen and Esteem. But anyway, this was a restoration project so in Rust we Trust !

I barely turned the key and the car rose to life and began to idle steadily albeit a bit on the higher side. I slotted it into the reverse and released the clutch. The clutch was weak and the car moved only once I had taken my foot almost entirely off the pedal. Again expected in an old car like this. The engine was fine as hell and did not make a single whine or rattle. So that was a big win. So first thought was that, the car was honest. A what you see is what you get sort of thing. It had been maintained but neglected at the same time. Bet that's a tough one to understand.

The fuel was low in the car , so I decided to drive it to the petrol pump for a quick fill up That was when I realised what 'alignment issues' it had. The car had a very strong left pull and the tyres squealed out loud. Clearly it needed new tyres. I had to hold the steering diagonally to keep the car straight for the most part.

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Filling up

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Among the original bits left behind for us was this - The original owner's manual !

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Handwritten Service History helped confirm that the car was genuine. The car had very high running in its initial years. Along with this, the owner had also sent a folder full of old bills from local garages, fuel receipts and other documents such as photocopies of the Old RC book and tax receipts. He also promised to give us the original invoice of the car, if he managed to find it. I love seeing things like this !

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Back Home

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 10th March 2024 at 00:58.
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Old 28th February 2024, 00:55   #3
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

OPENING A RUSTY CAN OF WORMS

I mentioned earlier that it was a mistake on our part to not go and see the car personally before purchasing it. Although, it came at a very reasonable and fair price, it had a lot of work ! Was it worth doing ? Or was it meant to be aborted there and then.. Nah, we are not quitters. A big budget was put aside by my friend and he said he would be willing to spend even if it meant the amount put in was more than the value of the car as this would be a special car and the money being put into it would ultimately not be wasted. So I got cracking.

The first aim was to get the car to a drivable state and use it around a bit, and have the mechanicals set before sending it over for bodywork. Of course, bodywork on this car would mean disassembling it all over again. But in my books, a car HAS to run correctly and properly first. There's no use in making a car all shiny and gleaming when it runs like crap.

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First things first, I called over my trusty door and window mechanic Ram Bhai to help fix the window winders which were all jammed up. The car did have an AC and Blower but neither were connected at the time because the owner had had some patch welding done to the firewall area and not put them back in place. Without them and windows that didn't roll down, the car was a furnace on wheels.

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The work at hand !


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The shot headlight magically came alive, a sign that the car wants to heal itself ?

I made a list of parts and consumables required for mechanical work and it was rather long indeed; we wanted to leave no stone unturned :-

- Engine Oil and Oil Filter
- Brake pads (the master cylinder, discs and rear liners had been replaced only a few months ago thankfully)
- Gearbox mounting and bush kit
- Gear oil
- Coolant and New Hose pipes
- Wheel bearings (there was a terrible noise coming from them)
- Water pump assembly
- Fuel pump
- Timing Belt and tensioner
- All new belts
- Alternator
- Spark plugs and plug wires
- Carburettor repair kit
- New Driveshaft Axles
- New shock absorbers with springs
- New suspension kit (Control arms, Balance Rod Bush kit)
- New steering rack (Old one had developed play and was worn)
- Clutch plate, pressure plate and release bearing
- Flywheel
- Fuel gauge Tank Unit
- All new engine mounts
- All new filters
- All new gaskets
- All new cables
- Ignition Coil
- I decided to leave the Distributor untouched as it was of Nippon Denso make which is the original Japanese manufacturer. The ND Distributors rarely give issues and the one added in this car was in good shape.

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A barrage of parts lying in my Zen's backseat. Note that I tried to keep MGP or at least known make parts as and where I could.

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 10th March 2024 at 00:58.
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Old 29th February 2024, 00:55   #4
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

IT IS NOT AS EASY AS IT SEEMS

Work began a few days later. The old parts were all worn and rusted; some even jammed up. Clearly, the car had been maintained in a way that could only just about run and be used to go to nearby places, almost like a scooter.

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A worn mount

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The worn crossmember bushes

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Condition of the old steering rack


The new mechanical parts were all fitted to the car within the duration of 5 days. Work was carried out at Sanjay bhai's place and I later had Ravi bhai help me set the carburetor. Both of them remarked that the car had an excellent engine but was extremely rough otherwise. They wondered if it would be savable or not. This was a bit worrisome for me. Having two experienced mechanics who know these cars inside out and whom I look up to as gurus tell me something like that. Big Red Flag !

Chetan and I had both accepted that this project is going to be everything but easy. But we were determined to complete it and complete it well. Once the mechanical work was done. I took it over to the electrician's to get all the lights and electricals sorted.

A quick spin after the mechanical work was completed and the car felt a whole lot better. But it still pulled violently to the left side. Sigh !
Tyres were next on the To-do list.

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The nut bolt holding the RHS front fender in place happened to rust and fall out this night and the fender was hanging off the body on one bolt.

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It felt good to have the electricals working again. The wipers were however taken off as the linkage had rusted below and the motor too was weak. So I disconnected them and guess what?
It began raining ! Driving through it and getting home was a mammoth task.

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The original Fuse box

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 10th March 2024 at 23:55.
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Old 29th February 2024, 23:19   #5
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

The car had turned out really smooth and drove a whole ton better than it was when it had arrived at my place. But it was impossible to drive it further than 2km thanks to the tyres that were long gone and squealed out loud every time the car went over smooth tarmac. For those few minutes, the 800 did turn more heads than a supercar LOL.

So tyres were a must. I was under the impression that new tyres would also sort out the left pull issue that the car had. Furthermore, since new suspension had been installed it was best to put new tyres on before the old ones did any damage.

I contacted my usual tyre vendor - Century Tyres at Prabhadevi and called for a set of 5 tyres in size 145/70 R12. 145/70 R12 happens to be the correct size for the Maruti 800. Many people make the mistake of putting 155/80 R12 in its place. Only a few manufacturers make 145/70 R12 now, so I had to make do with Kelly VFM Radial tyres.


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New rubber !

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The tyre shop staff were shocked to see the condition of the car and more so the condition of the old tyres ! They were amazed at how I made it to the place in one piece without having a tyreburst or getting into an accident. Divine intervention perhaps ?

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The absolutely atrocious condition of the old tyres. They were a set of Apollo Amazer tyres from 2007 and were way past their age a decade ago. I do thank my stars that neither of them burst on my way to the tyre shop. This also brings me to another point - About how changing tyres is often neglected by several people. People don't seem to understand the importance of having good tyres and the fact that in our Indian climate conditions, the rubber of the tyres does not last beyond 5-6 years at best no matter how much the car is used. Bad tyres will affect the suspension and in turn other components, furthermore it is dangerous. I have cried myself horse trying to explain it to some folks !

Once the new tyres were on. I heaved a sigh of relief. Finally the car would be safe to drive around and won't violently pull itself to the left. We aligned the wheels and went for a small drive in it. But alas, it continued to pull to the left; not as much as previously but it did not drive straight. That was strange. We decided to redo the alignment.

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I decided to crawl under the car and have a look at how things look underneath. I did check the underbody the evening the car had arrived and it was okayish. Not as bad as I expected because the flooring and underbodies in old Maruti cars do rust and develop holes like swiss cheese if the rust is not fixe on time. This car however did not seem to have too much swiss cheese at all. OH, WAS I WRONG ?

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And there it is ! Amidst the new suspension parts, the aprons on both sides were in complete tatters down below. This was a sure short death note for the car. Apron rust is an outright killer in old Marutis. I can cause the car to bend to one side and even if fixed, it may never drive straight again. Our car's LHS Apron was completely rusted out, and the rust had spread to the crossmember. No wonder it did not drive straight. I was dejected and upset seeing this. At that point I was reconsidering the entire project.

The tyre shop guys advised me to not take things forward. They said this kind off rust is impossible to fix and I quote - 'Sir, yeh gaadi banegi nahi, pura apron sadd gaya hai. Khalas hai !'
The comment was made in good faith and not to ridicule me. But I still felt ridiculed. I drove it home. Once again holding the steering diagonally. I wondered how I'd explain this to my friend and was ready to get an earful. I felt like such a fool. I wondered why didn't I just wait before going ahead with this car ?

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Old 1st March 2024, 00:04   #6
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

I sheepishly sent the images of the rusted aprons and underbody to Chetan. On receiving a call from him I expected to hear a bunch of cusses. But on the contrary, he was quite cool. He said that we have now buried our hands deep into a pit, but it is not endless. So we must continue and try our level best. So with that dose of motivation I decided that the show must go on !

So I decided to use the car while commuting to short distances. I did not take it beyond 5km away from my area. Sure the tyres made a difference and so did all the new parts. If only it wasn't for the rust !

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How small cars have changed over the past three decades !

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Some miscellaneous images from when I was using the car to go up and down. Must say it did make a good runabout.

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I had to rip off the RHS doorpad because the glass kept falling down and was a headache to roll back up as the winder would keep getting jammed. So I just did it manually with my hand.

One evening when I was driving the car back from about 5 km away. I suddenly noticed steam emerging from the engine bay. I knew what had happened. It had overheated ! GAHHH. As if I already didn't have enough on my plate. Opened the bonnet to find coolant boiling in the Expansion tank. Reason - Radiator fan did not come on.

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I used a piece of wire and put it into the radiator fan lead socket and made the fan run directly for the time being. In spite of that, the car heated up again the next day. The radiator was done for !

To avoid any further issues from arising. I parked the car up and informed Chetan that it has run about a little bit, enough to smoothen it out and that we should proceed with the bodywork. He reiterated the fact that the car must and must only go to someone who is going to take the pain to actually sit and restore it correctly in order for us to fulfill our objective. Once again, he said he does not mind spending even if it doesn't make sense financially given the type of car, but the result had to be worth everything. This was going to be tough !

I called my usual painter and tinwork person over to have a look at the car. His workmanship has always been good. He was surprisingly confident and said that he has fixed several such Maruti 800s and can do this one too. I was happy that someone other than us showed a level of enthusiasm. But such is my luck, the head welder at his workshop refused to touch the car. He said that the car would end up with more aftermarket metal patra than real metal. It would never drive properly again !
My painter returned the car to me after 3 days with a rather embarrassed look on his face.

Post that, I had about 6 tinwork people come and have a look at it. All of them said the car is junk and that a fix should not be attempted and that restoring this was NAMUMKIN (Impossible). Thus, Mission Impossible.

The car lay around for 2 weeks. We were running out of time and patience. What were we to do. I did consider looking for another 800 for a cheap price from which we could use the bodyshell and swap parts. But that was not a viable option for two reasons :-
- Getting another car itself would mean a direct 15-20k expense there and it would not mean the car would necessarily be pristine and not need bodywork.
- Swapping the chassis print and paperwork from one car to another is an illegal practice. The last thing we wanted to do while doing this project was mess with the law.

I was dejected once again, but not defeated. At the end of the day, this was a Maruti 800. India's number 1 car for decades on end. I have seen people restore much older and much much rarer cars (some which had gone into the ground) and they somehow found a way. This was definitely easier in comparison. I had to find a way !

Mission Impossible had to be made Possible !

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 11th March 2024 at 00:27.
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Old 1st March 2024, 10:19   #7
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800


A video put together by me to sum up the condition of the car !
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Old 10th March 2024, 01:33   #8
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

THE MISSION BEGINS


After facing multiple rejections for weeks from various car painters and tinwork guys (this hurt more than being rejected by a high school crush) , we finally found our men in shining armor.

Chetan contacted an old painter named Rajesh , he knew located at Santa Cruz whom he had dealt with years ago and said that he did a splendid job on the car that was sent to him. But they somehow lost touch post that. Post their quick chat, he called me and informed me that Rajesh and the welder would like to see the car and give me a feedback. Thereon, it was my job to deal with them. The duo arrived the following afternoon to take a look at the car. They did not have a very good look on their face initially and I thought I had hit a wall again.

However, they turned around and said, "Gaadi ban jayegi bhai. Mehnat bohot hai isme, lekin kar denge. Gaadi brand new dikhegi. Aap sirf parts laane mein maddat karo." (The car is restorable, it will take plenty of effort but we can do it. It will come back looking brand new. All we ask of you is to help arrange the spare parts). For the first time, someone showed proper confidence and enthusiasm, instead of cribbing about how tedious a job it was. I was happy and impressed with their attitude. Rajesh just gave me one condition that would make the restoration successful. He said I would need to arrange the body panels such as the apron, pillars etc. Else it would never drive straight again due to the weakened structure.

This had me in a tizzy again. Where would I find the body panels ? Getting them from a scrap car made no sense as it would be in shambles. I thought over it. That was when I took my chances and checked on BOODMO.COM.
My previous experiences with Boodmo were mixed. Some were excellent, while some ended up being a disaster. I checked on the parts availability and voila ! There they were. Apron for the LHS, B pillars, Crossmember, and so much more ! I called up Chetan and gave him the news. We then decided that if all goes well, we would order all the stuff we can from Boodmo.

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And off it went, finally ready to hit the Operation Theatre.

I arranged for some vital parts before the car was stripped down and man was I impressed with Boodmo's prompt service. They were at my place in no time.

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The glass rubber strips and linings. Of course, these would be put last but it was important to have them ready way in advance.

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The Wiper cowl panel

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Boxes slowly began piling up at home. My family was aghast looking at them
Parts arrived at my house so often that the couriers eventually stopped calling to ask for directions lol.

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The most vital part which would help save our car. This is the apron. The LHS was found on Boodmo. I was lucky to also find the RHS a week later via a helpful agent at Sai Service who directed me to a supplier who luckily had one in stock.

One of the biggest advantages of restoring an SB308 800 is that the inner panels are the same for all the cars produced between 1986 and 2014. So finding them may still be possible. In case of the ss80, it would be much tougher.

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An original Denso Wiper Motor and Linkage. Found this at my local parts store.

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 11th March 2024 at 00:28.
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Old 10th March 2024, 02:00   #9
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

STRIPPED

Rajesh called me two days later and told me I should go over to his workshop to have a look at what we had in store for ourselves. He mentioned he would prefer if I was present while the car was being stripped down. I arrived there at noon on a Saturday and the car was taken apart before my eyes within 45 minutes. I stood there with my jaw wide open looking at the efficiency of the guys, but also because of what stood in front of me.

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Gosh. That was bad. It was scary to see how the corrosion had made a nasty meal of the bodywork. Everything was jammed and needed to be welded out. I was initially skeptical about how the car would feel after the old aprons were cut out and new ones were welded on. The tinwork man named Rehaan assured me saying - Brand New jaise banegi .

The following day, I received some images from Rajesh. Clearly, he and his team were working hard. They had already cut off the old rusted front end dash panel and readied the new one to weld it on.

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The new front end dash panel was welded and what a superb job they did !

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A week later, the firewall, dash panel and both aprons had been welded on. The work was absolutely stunning and alignment was perfect !

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 10th March 2024 at 23:22.
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Old 10th March 2024, 23:17   #10
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

A few weeks went by. The work was going on at a steady rate. Work began by early November and our goal was to get it ready for Chetan's uncle's birthday which is in March. I was totally impressed with the effort and quality of work being put into the project by Rajesh and his team. Hence, I did not pick their brains much. All I did was ask for regular updates on whatsapp and I would go check on the car once a week. Meanwhile, I began to keep scoring parts. While we had decided that we would put everything new for the car, some parts were just not available new as they had been long discontinued by Maruti Suzuki and none of the retailers had them either.

That is where my friend and go-to person for scrapyard finds, Abdul Rehman came to the rescue. Abdul Bhai runs a shop at Mumbai's famous Chor Bazaar and has been in the business for nearly 50 years. The man is a gem and has always helped me out. I called him and gave him a list of parts that I required. He told me to wait a few days as an 800 was coming over to him to get scrapped and said that I could take a whole lot of stuff from it. So I did !

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The steering wheel. The one present in the car was faded and both the horn buttons were broken. This piece was in better shape.

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I also found a set of the original rims. Of course, these would need to be refurbished and painted. Maruti has stopped making these, hence I couldn't get them new.

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The rear bumper on the car was in shambles. The bracket had rusted and broken and it was drilled and held by two screws on either side. This one was in much better shape. On restoring it, it would become as good as new.

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The grill was alright. But we decided to get another one to stock up.

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I also got hold of the pre-facelift grill which came on the SB308s from 1986-1995. Just for the heck of it. Post 1995 cars got the grill our car has.

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Special thanks to my friend and fellow Classic Maruti Enthusiast from Nasik - Harsh Gajjar, who did me a great favor by getting hold of a brand new bumper and sending it over to Mumbai.

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Thanks to a page called suzukiss80 on instagram that is run by a few enthusiasts from across the country that help Maruti owners source parts for their cars, I was able to find an immaculate set of original door trims.

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I also bought two original key blanks from them as the car did not have the original keys due to the lockset being changed at some point. Here, we wanted to make the car completely original as it would have been in 1995. So the minor things like this mattered greatly as well.

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We managed to score the original bonnet for this car which came without the bonnet opener button (only 1986-1994 cars with the slat grill got this) or the windshield washer nozzle on the bonnet (post 1998 cars got this). The clean look is rather sleek. This would not have been possible without the help of a fellow enthusiast named Vivek who gave it away to me for free

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 11th March 2024 at 00:20.
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Old 10th March 2024, 23:52   #11
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

Simultaneously I was also working on gathering other vital parts of the car such as :-

- New headlights
- Headlight rings
- New taillights
- Turn indicator lights
- Bumper indicator lights
- Interior dome light
- New Alternator
- New Radiator with fan and thermostat switch (Denso make)
- Wheel well trims
- Interior floor trims
- Carpet for floor
- Headliner ( had to use an Omni van headliner and alter it as the 800s was unavailable)
- Crossmember bushes
- All required hinges
- Seat railings
- Door handles
- New Dashboard
- New gear knob
- New metal pipes for the fuel tank and radiator
- New fuel lines (was a miracle that I found these)
- All 4 doors and fenders were also arranged from Kurla market and were taken off a scrap vehicle as the existing ones were completely rusted and not worth fixing

All the above parts except for the door were bought new from Boodmo, Partsbigboss and local auto part shops that I frequent.

Sharing some pics :

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Brand new taillights. Thankfully, since this car is a 1995 model, it came with only localised parts. Hence, the lights were all made by Lumax and are still manufactured. Unlike the older pre-1990 SB308s which came with Made in Japan parts manufactured by companies such as Tokai Denso and Koito. Those are truly hard to find.


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The original horn was still in good shape and sounded nice and distinctive. Decided to service it and keep aside for the time being.

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Old 11th March 2024, 00:49   #12
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

A month went by and the year would be over in exactly 30 days. The progress made was substantial although every bit of work was done carefully and with countless hours being spent on it. The shell was now left bare on jackstands.

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Perfect alignment

A week later once the major welding work was finally over. We proceeded to get the car ready for it's first stage of paint. We had ensured that a strong coat of anti-rust was used in the formal stage since that would help hold the bodywork in good stead in the future.

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Red Oxide and Anti-Rust stage first, followed by the primer stage.

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 11th March 2024 at 00:51.
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Old 11th March 2024, 00:58   #13
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

Once this stage was completed successfully, the primer was applied. Post that, the car was ready to receive its first coat of paint. Since we wanted everything original, we tried our level best to find the original colour code. White is the easiest colour to find and match. After some research, I figured out that the shade is called Francois White. Compared to solid white, this shade is slightly on the milky white side.

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Special thanks to Maruti enthusiasts Adil Khan and Nipun Saxena from Hyderabad and Souryadheep Mukherjee from Kolkata who helped by posting images of this old Duco Paints shadecard on the CME Facebook group. Due to this, we were able to source the exact colour for the car !
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Old 13th March 2024, 23:56   #14
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

In primer and ready to receive the first coat of paint. Excuse the picture quality.

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Up and Up !

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The first coat of fresh paint

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About three days later, the engine and old radiator were put back to ensure the placement is correct.

This stage took about a week to complete to perfection. Post this, it was time to move to the paint booth !

Last edited by BeemerBug_06 : 25th March 2024 at 23:34.
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Old 14th March 2024, 00:04   #15
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Re: Missing Impossible being made Possible - Restoring a 1995 Maruti 800

Chetan and I both insisted that this car be painted in an enclosed booth as that would help ensure the paint finish we achieve would be near factory condition. It did cost a bomb, but well, let the results speak for themselves.

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I was in disbelief at this point. I could not believe that we had actually managed to get the car together again and reached the final stage of paint. It would not be long before it would be back on the road. This feeling was of pure joy and victory
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