History of Mahindra and My JEEP
My CJ500D 4x4
I am a proud owner of a 1986 Mahindra CJ500D 4x4. Its essentially a stretched CJ3B with a B275 Diesel engine, 3 Speed T90 Gearbox and Spicer T18 transfer case.
As you all know, Mahindra initially used to import the CKD's (completely knocked down) jeeps from Willys under license and used to assemble them here. Later under the license from Kaiser and Willys, they started manufacturing them in India.
However when the CKD Jeeps came to India, they lost their charm. Diesel the farmer?s and commercial fleet owner?s fuel was cheap & since the price was subsidized, it started to re-power most of the passenger cars and jeeps. More and more Jeeps were converted to Diesel and the steering was switched over to Right hand side. These jeeps were stretched to odd lengths to serve as taxis and people movers in rural areas. A 4x4 transfer case was unnecessary for masses hence a large number of Jeeps were re-operated and the transfer case was removed to reduce so called unnecessary weight from the jeep. At a large extent, Civilian Jeeps in India lost their 4x4 benefits. The only regions where jeeps were left untouched were the high altitude areas like Darjeeling, Sikkim, Assam, and Manali etc.
Most of the Jeeps found in India are simple and reasonably easy to maintain. Jeep parts are generally long-lived. The Mahindra CJ-340 is very close to the original Jeep CJ-3B. Same body tub, same ladder frame chassis and many interchangeable parts. The CJ-3Bs 3-speed T-90 transmission is replaced by a 4-speed gearbox KMT90 from Kia. Mahindra has the same front and rear drive axles Dana 44s within 4.27:1 for petrol Jeeps, 4.88:1 for MM-540s and 5.38:1 for all heavy
cargo carrying Pick up trucks.
As far as the Mahindra Linage in India is concerned, In 1967 Mahindra stretched the CJ3B by 10 inches making a "91" Wheel base JEEP. It was powered by the F4-134 "Hurricane" (2187cc 75BHP 15.5Kgm@2000rpm) till 1990s
In 1974, Mahindra introduced the B275 (2350CC 38BHP 12Kgm@1400rpm) International Harvester Co Tractor engine on the CJ4A and called it the CJ500D. The CJ500D has been the mainstay of most Government Fleets. Though the JEEP is extremely slow on the road it is very rugged and reliable Off-The-Road.
By 1986, Mahindra designed the MM540 series which were essentially a CJ5 with Peugeot XDP 4.90 engine.
In 1999, Mahindra introduced the MDI3200 (2650cc, 59BHP 15.5Kgm@1400rpm) aka B575 engine on the CJ500D and called it the CL500 & CL550. The engine is extremely torquey and is able to give better Road Speeds. Off-The-Road this JEEP is extremely capable.
In 2004 the MDI 3200TC (2650cc, 68BHP 18Kgm@2000rpm) was introduced on the CL550 known as the Mahindra MAJOR post 2000. This JEEP is still in production. Below mentioned are the specs
Engine - MDI3200TC
G-Box - NGT520 + TCase (5+1) and 4WD
Front Axle - Full-Floating Open Knuckle (3.73:1)
Rear Axle - Full-Floating (3.73:1)
Suspension - Leaf Spring with Telescopic Damper (Shock Absorbers)
Steering - Re-Circulating Ball.
Brakes - Booster Assisted Front Disc & Rear Drum
The Indian Army used the Mahindra CJ3Bs and Nissan Patrol P60 (known as JONGA)till late 80s. The CJ3B had the F-134 Hurricane engine with T90 gearbox and T18 spicer transfer case. During the 90s, army phased out CJ3Bs, Jongas and opted for MM550s (XD3P engine and KMT90 Gearbox) and Maruti Gypsy (Suzuki Samurai)Larry's Comment: Great looking Jeep..Sabareesh! Thanks for the detailed history also.