Sunday, March 29, 2009

More Updated of my MM550

This following were uploaded on my thread at TeamBHP and I am reproducing it as it is.

This was checked up by a friend who is in the Indian Army and are his comments

"Hi Harjeev,

The best part about your jeep is the history.

  • It is a class V jeep and hence it is free of any major accidents.
  • Secondly, the jeep has been used by service corps(not by fighting arms) and hence it has undergone very less abuse.
  • One can deduce that it will have less wobbling compared to others standing besides it.
  • The four wheel drive would have seldom been used. Better to have it checked for functionality,if not done so far.
  • The tailgate would have been rattling/cracked. That would need immidiate attention if not already fixed before its' auction while it was in service.


Posted on 23rd December 2008

Restoration work started

Had a talk with my friend and he has completely striped the vehicle. He said over the phone that the engine is in a good shape as it was overhauled by the army in 2006 and a new engine head was added then. We would be needing to get the pistons re-sleeved. I don’t know what that implies??

I am going to the workshop today afternoon and will be getting a fair idea on the costs involved for the mechnicals and labour.

My current list is as follows

  • Complete overhaul of the Engine
  • Complete overhaul of the Transmission (gearbox, transfer case, front & rear diff,) basically everything mechanical
  • LSD's in the front
  • Power steering
  • Change of the entire wiring
  • Checking the brakes, clutch, ignition for faults/ wear & tear
  • Change of front dashboard
  • Good soft top
  • Side door windows & front glass
  • Good tyres (thinking of NDMS)

This is a tentative list that i can think about. I would be having a much clear idea by the evening today abouit the cost aspects as there would be many small and big parts, changes that i would be needing to do/ buy.

Posted on 24th December 2008

Status on the restoration

I went to the workshop yesterday. The vehicle has been completely stripped. The engine, gearbox, Transfer case opened up. There was water in the gearbox when it was opened up. The front and rear differentials will be opened in a couple of days time.

  • The engine head is in a good shape. The vehicle was overhauled in May2006 and the a new engine head was added new back then. Will be adding new pistons & sleeves.
  • The fuel pump has been sent to the company for service & repair if any.
  • The gearbox has been opened up and all parts that even appear to be faulty or worn will be bought new and replaced.
  • The complete wiring will be changed.
  • I have decided to keep the leaf spring suspension as of now.Will be changing all the shocks absorbers.
  • Will not be getting it re-painted at present but would just put a cheap single coat of dark green paint to hide the army markings. A year or so later I would be getting a good paint job. As the body shell has been removed I would be getting anti rust treatment for the entire under body shell.
  • Power steering and maybe a tilt steering if we find one. The rubicon copy at the workshop has a tilt steering in it.
  • Conversion of rear axles to full floating and LSD in the front. these will be bought from mayapuri and we might get it cheap.

In about a week, my cousin will be able to give a a final estimate on the mechanical costs of the vehicle. Once I have that then I would start working on the cosmetic job for the XD.

All the above have been copied text to text from my thread on

My thoughts, belief, trust on people, etc have changed over time as and when I have gained more experience with regards to restoration of this vehicle

Will update the pictures in a couple of days time

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pictures of the 4x4 Jeep

So in my first post I said that I bought my jeep on December 13th, 2008. I clearly remember the day as it was a Saturday and the 13th. These two thing are of significance as 13th is considered unlucky by some and also some people don't by metals on Saturdays.

But anyways I dint care as I was too eager to buy the 4x4.
Negotiated the price, and arranged the for the jeep to be towed to Greated Noida. It was to be towed to Greater Noida and Poddy had his workshop there.

Many people discouraged me not to send it to G.Noida saying that it was too far off and it not be easy to go there time and again. But anyways I had full faith in Parvinder(Poddy) and wanted to get it done under his
supervision only.

Here are some pictures of the jeep as and when I bought it. We liked this particular piece as the body was the perfect on this one would have involved the minimum of tinkering of metalwork.


After buying the jeep the next big step in front of me was getting it registered. All these army disposal vehicles cannot be registered in the major cities as being non Euro IV compliant. As they do not meet latest pollution standards. Therefore these have to be registered about 200 kms from NCR.
To make make matters worse I had heard many horror stories saying that registering them is next to impossible, all guys in Mayapuri give out fake registrations etc etc.
But at the same time I was also thinking that I wouldn't be the first guy in the whole of India to buy an Army Disposal and get it registered. So how difficult could it be????
Therefore a little prepared, I told the seller 'Beenu' who was a very helpful, always smiling and nice fellow about what I'd heard and that I will give him the minimum advance for the registration. And after the vehicle is regsitered, he will give me the photocopy of the registration book and I will personally take it to the registration authority, get it verified and only after that I give him the balance amount. He agreed!!!

So after this was sorted out I was ready to embark a big project.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Technical Specifications (MM550)

Mahindra 550 XD

Mahindra MM 550 XD is a defence vehicle operating on a 4 cylindered in-line diesel XD3P engine with a capacity of 2498cc and a compression ratio of 23 : 1.

The vehicle has a thermostat controlled cooling system and a synchromesh gearbox with four forward and one reverse gear.

Mahindra MM 550 XD has a recirculating ball type steering with a turning circle radius of 6.34 m.

The vehicle has a disc brake at front and a drum brake at the rear. The brakes are hydraulic with tandem master cylinder with vacuum assisted servo.

This model has a fuel tank capacity of 45 liters.

Featured Components:

  • Speedometer (kms/hr)
  • Temperature and fuel gauges
  • Volt meter and Oil Pressure gauge
  • Light indicators for battery charging
  • High beam
  • Parking brake and turn signal light
  • Hazard warning switch





4 Stroke : 4 Cylinder, Inline


94 mm / 90 mm


2498 cc

Maximum Horse Power

76 @ 4500 RPM (DIN70020)

Maximum Torque

15.3 kgm @ 2000 RPM (DIN70020)

Fuel Injection System

Distributor Pump

Compression Ratio

23 : 1

Weight of engine (Dry)

200 kg

Cooling System

By Belt driven Pump or Cylinder head. Thermostat controlled

Clutch Type

Single Dry Plate,diaphragm. 235 mm

Transmission: Ratio

Type: 4 speed, 2nd, 3rd and 4th synchromesh,floor shift
1st gear 3.986 : 1
12nd gear 2.368 : 1
3rd gear 1.473 : 1
4th gear 1.000 : 1
Reverse 5.315 : 1

Transfer Case (for 4WD only)

Two Speed single shift lever provided on floor, Ratio : High 1:1, Low 2.46:1

Transfer Case (for 4WD only)

4WD : Full floating hypoid type. Ratio : 4.88 : 1 with free wheel hubs Capacity : 907 kg (For 2WD/4WD)

Rear Axle Capacity

Semi Floating Hypoid Type. Capacity : 1134 kgs. Ratio : 4.88 : 1: with limited slip differential


Recirculating Ball Type(optional). Ratio. 20 :1

Turning Circle radius

6.34 m


Service : Hydraulic with Tandem Master Cylinder with vacuum assisted servo. Front disc type Rear drum type(11'' * 12 '') HNSS Parking : Operates on rear service brakes Hand lever and cable type


Front & Rear : Semi-elliptical lsprints with hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers

Wheels, Rims, Tyres

Rim size : 16 x 4.5'' Disc type . Tyres : 6.00 x 16.6 PR . Mud and Snow


Ladder type with steel channel side members, four intermediate cross-members

Electrical System

12 Volt battery / 70 Alternator 65 Amps


Speedometer (kms./ hr). Temperature and fuel gauges. volmeter and Oil pressure gauge. Light indicators for battery charging, oil pressure, high beam, parking brake & turn signal light. Hazard warning switch

Fuel Tank

Capacity : 45 litres,electrical fuel guage

Curb Weight

1425 kgs with Army fitment


1950 kg

The Thought Process

Harjeev's M&M MM550 XD 4x4

The making of an off-roader

I came to know of this blog only recently and was earlier updating all my posts on TeamBHP. So quite a few of the initial posts will be just copy and paste from my thread on TeamBHP
Harjeev’s MM 550 XD – Army spec - Bought, with some occasional editing etc.

So here is the first post which was posted my me on 15th December 2008 and don't fear as this the longest of all the posts to come.
Harjeev Chadha.

I started to read on Team-BHP on Jeeps and I clearly remember that I saw the thread of Randeep and that he had found an Army 550 4x4. What ‘MM550’ what does that mean? I dint have the slightest idea, but I knew this much

"I want to own get myself a 4x4 and really liked the India Army version".

At this point of time i had no idea about any of the technical mambo jumbo.
Diff locks, LSD's, Gear Ratios etc etc etc. All this was rocket science or complex problems to me. This was, I think around the last week of November, 08, 25th of 26 to be exact. And from this day on I started to read on the forum TBhp.

I dint know anything and I headed to Mayapuri. I had been through this road countless times before, and passed countless times by Jeeps and what did I think, just another junkyard and just another vehicle. I couldn’t be more wrong. Anyways i reached Mayapuri at in the morning and the Market was just about opening. There were so many vehicles and i dint have a clue of what was on offer. I had PM’ed Randeep for the address from where he acquired his jeep and headed to that shop.

My 1st look at a Jeep
There were a couple of Army 4x4 there none in working condition but I had not a clue about anything. Talked to the guy a person of about 40ish. Do not remember the name. And can you believe it I didn’t even pop the hood, look at the underbody i dint even click a picture. Came back just like that. He quoted 85 K and I just asked him the price and whether it has a working 4x4. Man I tell you at that time I dint know how to tell whether a vehicle has a 4x4 or not. I used to check the lever from inside and see.

Next I surveyed the market came across another shop 'Pali'. He quoted 80K and when i told him i wanted a clean piece he said 90 but a latest version, maybe 1999 or 2000. Somehow I dint develop that kind of a trust in Pali. Don’t know why. But the guy was not warm enough. Maybe there were too many lurkers like me coming to the market each day. I don’t know. The guy was too arrogant and snobbish compared to Padam.
Just roamed around and came back home all excited.

I thought that I just needed a 4x4 jeep give it to some mechanic and lo and behold Harjeev comes in his 4x4. I couldn’t be further from reality.

The next couple of days and even the week was spent on the internet reading asking questions etc.
During this time I came across a site Jeepthrills and Nothern India Off-Roading Club (NIOC).

In a day or two after this I came across an advt on an internet site about a MM540DP 4x2. This guy was in Karol Bagh and wanted to sell it. Was a dealer and on the phone quoted 90k. Though his advt said 110k. This was a 1998 model and had Peugeot 2.1 engine. The problem was this was only 62 BHP and my heart was set on an army disposal. But I got really exited on this too.

Next afternoon I visited Parvinder (Poddy’s) workshop. He is god sent to me, a person whom I can put blind trust and faith. Though we are related but now, to me he means much more than a friend and a guide. Here is the adventurous kind and has been modifying jeeps since he can remember.
On my visit I witnessed he was modifying a Mm540 DP to a Jeep Rubicon. I told him about my idea of owning an off-roader, that my usage will not be limited to OTR’s but to the hills, jungles, deserts, etc. He told me to go in for a Army 550 and then he would restore it completely. Also he said that he would work on a cost to cost basis with me.
At this point of time I had already seen a jeep in Karol Bagh and was happy if Poddy could restore it for me. Poddy always said that i should go for a 550.
The issue was the more the threads I read and people I talked to, my mind kept on changing.

Next day I had fixed to meet up with Pushkin Ahuja (NIOC) at Mayapuri.
Met him at Mayapuri around 12PM. I arrived a little earlier and I started to look around. Came across a dealer 'Jeep House' who had a 540 DP 4x4 in start condition. He quoted 110k for a 1996 model, Uttar Pradesh registered. It had new tyres(retreaded, I think) , hard top, new seats and was in start condition. ODO showed 95k kms. Took it for a test run. I told him to remove the tyres, seats, battery & hood. With all this removed he quoted 80K. Papers were complete. Original Mico FIP. But dint have discs, brake booster, army rims, etc involved a lot of mechnical work .

He had another CJ3B Delhi registered and was asking 50K for it. Original petrol engine. Saw a couple of more jeeps here & there.

Pushkin told me that this MM540 would require a work of about 40-50K and after that should be perfect. So I worked out the cost like this.
  • Army rims 12-15k,
  • Tyres 20-25k,
  • Battery 5k,
  • Mechanical overhaul 50k.
  • Add another 25k for the 4x4 transfer case, free wheeling hubs, LSD’s, under body rust treatment, etc etc and the vehicle would cost me around 200k.
So 200k for a well restored vehicle, complete mechanical overhaul, not bad to think about.

Afterward me and Pushkin drove to Karol Bagh to see the other 550-DP. After test driving it he told me the vehicle is not worth the price of 85k. Dropped the idea.

From here I went to Mandeep's and Jasvinders garage in Noida. They are all for petrol vehicles & I agree that petrol are easier to overhaul and maintain. I was there for a couple of hours and made up my mind to buy a CJ3B only. See how my mind changes so soon all of a sudden.
I dropped the idea of a diesel and started reading on a CJ3B. I liked the jeep. But my heart was still out for an Army spec 4x4.

The next couple of days did a lot of research on the CL550 4x4 Mahindra Major. I really started to like the car, but again to be let down. Sent an email to Poddy with the detail specs and he said


He said that this is a city vehicle, runs as taxis and not for serious off-roading and stuff. So again I was confused. I had a very long discussion and talking to Poddy and helped me alot. His reasoning was right, as he said that buying a 5.5 Lac vehicle is not worth it, if it’s simply a hobby, and further it doesn’t have what it takes to be a true off-roader.
He said that I would end up spending about 1-2 lacs more on a new CL550 in the 2 years of ownership due to the breakage and abuse that I would be putting the vehicle thru. He advised me that even if I could spend half that amount on an Army 550 is a much better option. And will come out much better. So after discussing with my Poddy and my brother Harbeer I decided that this makes sense & I would go for a disposal 550. Talked to Poddy the next day and told him my decision.
He called up a guy in Mayapuri, Gyan Khanna, Gyan quoted him 100k for a disposal and 25k for the registration. Both of us thought that this was too much.

On Friday 12/12/2008 I went to Mayapuri in the evening. Talked to many shopowners. Also saw the 540 DP at Jeep House. There was another CJ3B in the market. Spent some time taking pics etc. Here I saw the SandGrips a MM550 and boy did they look great. But alas these are no good for slush etc. These things I will decide later.

Went to Padam and saw a couple of CJ340's and MM550's. His father was at the shop quoted 1.00L for a MM550. The son was not there and I waited. Also saw the CJ3B of Geological Survey Deptt J&K regn. (50K asking) and army CJ3B's 70K. Talked to Romi Malick(NIOC) on the phone and he told me to be careful when buying at Mayapuri.

After a lot of time waiting at Padam came and quoted me 85k and 13k for the registration in Punjab. I told him I will come tomorrow and there was no that I am paying 85k for a army disposal. He said come tomorrow and we'll talk. Also he assured me everything is complete and if anything is missing he will complete it from another vehicle. All vehicles were 2000 make and had the new bolero engine (which they say is easy to repair and service)

Also talked to Gyan Khanna khanna motors and he quoted 175K for a completely done up army disposal. Further this guy was very discouraging on my idea on buying an army disposal. He said that it’s very difficult, and I won’t be able to do it, and that he will be in awe of me if I could properly restore a disposal vehicle. We’ll see!!!

On the way back I really started to like the blue jeep that was lying at jeep house as
1) it had a working 4x4,
2) it was registered,
3) car is drivable condition,

1) no disc & power brakes,
2) no Lsd & free wheeling hubs
3) engine was only 62 BHP Peugeot engine
4) no army rims,
5) smaller and less powerful engine than the MM550

I made a deal with no tyres no top, no battery & no seats for 80

Now the cons could always be worked on or changed. But all this was available in an army vehicle but had a cost as tyres with army rims (40k), power booster & disc brakes (5-10k), lsd & free wheeling hubs (10K), engine would remain the same and a little underpowered, but nothing could be done about it. Suspended pedals again had a cost. And the little things always add up in the end.

But I thought that a registered vehicle always has a benefit compared to a army and I made up my mind to go in for this. Talked to Poddy and he too agreed, but again said that we’ll decide next day in the market and then discuss, but will definitely pickup a vehicle.
Also talked to Jasvinder. He said that he too passed thru this kind of phase and for 8 months he was not able to decide, and that is when he decided after having a talk with UBS sir on purchasing a CJ3B.

Next morning after a very restless night, at 9ish i get a call from Poddy and he says that the vehicle is nice(540Dp) (I had emailed him the pics last night). The body work ok and we might pick that up after having a look around in the mkt. Began talking and fixed up a time around 1PM to meet at Mayapuri.
Within 10 mins got a call from poddy and he told me that if we pickup the vehicle for 90k, and just to bring it at par with the Army Spec will involve the the discs breaks 10k, tyres 5k (if we buy retreaded at the time) & rims 15k, rear LSD's and front Free wheel Hubs 10K, this along would set us back by atleast 40K. The engine and mechanical any case we are doing the complete overhaul. Also the build quality of the Army is not a comparison to the civilian. So why waste money and get A product which is 5 years older than an army disposal. For the army spec Padam was asking 85K and another 15 k for the registration will cost max 100k compared to 130K min.

All this did make sense.
So then again i decided to drop the civilian and pick up a army spec 'MM 550 4x4'

We met in Mayapuri at 2PM. Went to Pali. He had a couple of 550’s, one of which we really liked. The vehicles were complete and he said that if something were missing he would complete them.
This is when I learnt that it’s not possible for a novice to buy a vehicle from Mayapuri all alone. You need to have someone whom you can trust, and trust completely. This is what I think what Romi Malick must have meant when he advised me to be careful.
Pali was quoting 80K for the vehicles and the body work was also appearing ok. About the registration he said that he does not guarantee anything but he would introduce somebody to us and then its between us and that man. So we went to have a look around and came to Padam.
Padam had about 5-6 550’s standing. Poddy started looking around and we finalized a piece which appeared ok. The body work was also ok.
So after much looking around, reading on the internet, asking questions changing my mind a thousand times, etc etc etc, I was now about to put an end to all my restlessnes, anxiety, etc as I finalized a vehicle.

An Army Spec MM550 4x4 XD

With the final negotiations, haggling, etc we arrived at a price of 77k and 13k for the registration. Gave him the money and the vehicle was mine. At last I now had a 4x4 and was on my path to become a Jeeper. After it is restored, completely overhauled to the last bit. I will own my own Off-Roader.

Man internet is a bliss. I don’t have words that how could I have managed to do what I did without the help of everybody on NIOC, TeamBHP. Now that I have taken the plunge and the first step is complete the second task of the restoration is about start. For this again I will be needing the advise/ help/ suggestions and all the help I can manage to get my hands on.