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Mahindra Four Wheel Drives.

Mahindra still make premodern Jeeps in India using ex Jeep technology and Peugeot designed motors.

Mahindra Jeep picture

This Mahindra Jeep was spotted in the UK. You can see the close resemblance to early CJ Jeeps.

[Mahindra CJ5 Jeep pictures - jpeg]
Mahindra CJ5

Evidently, despite being underpowered, X's vehicle (similar to the one above) was good for 70mph, but any sort of hill, or headwind, reduced this drastically.

He had the vehicle from new. His main complaints were:-

Heater - no good
Soft top - poorly constructed
Handbrake - ineffective
Electrical problems - various, especially the starter motor
There were disagreements over the vehicle's warranty
His overall opinion of the vehicle nose-dived when the engine committed suicide at 16,000 miles.

Despite this X thought the vehicle was good off-road, and was particularly impressed with the exceptionally low gearing.

Interestingly, X tells me that a batch of Mahindra's were on sale in the UK, possibly up to 100, which were described as "expedition(?)" spec'ed. He reckons they were from an order rejected by the Australian "outback police", due to poor build quality. (He says they rejected the first 15, and refused to take the remaining 85). This ties up with a feature I saw in a magazine, at about that time, so I would think there is some truth in this.
Anyone know about this?
- P. Bradley

Tini Korah writes ...
I am from India, the land of the Mahindra Jeep. I used to live in a remote town and have used Mahindra Jeeps all my life. Believe me the Jeeps exported are a lot better than the ones I used to use back in India. They had an old International engine of 2350cc, which had a maximum output of 38bhp @ 1500rpm (max). Going up the slightest hill with load was a nightmare. When they came out with the 2113cc Peugeot diesel engine which delivered about 62bhp, it was a big relief to us. Now they have an even newer (by Indian standards) engine. It is a 2500cc Peugeot diesel engine which delivers about 75bhp. But the main problem is also the Kia 4-speed gear box which always makes the engine run at a very high rpm thereby increasing the wear and tear of the engine. The engine has to be rebuilt (new pistons, rings, sleeves, etc) after about 65,000 kilometers.

Mahindra basically enjoys a monopoly when it comes to making diesel 4X4s. The other two 4X4's are the Gypsy (Suzuki Samurai) made by Maruthi Udyod Ltd. It is a fancy looking vehicle but has a 1000cc petrol engine which is underpowered. Then there is the Jonga, (an old Nissan 4X4) made by the Indian Army and now available to civilians. Which is another very basic vehicle. Now that I am in the USA, I am begining to enjoy 4X4s better. [...]
- Tini Korah [7/'97]

1997 -->

Mahindra CJ3 Technical Specifications:

Length: 3390mm, Width: 1600mm, Height: 1830mm
Wheelbase: 2032mm (80" [*]), Track: F/R 1230mm, Clearance: 200mm
Unladen: 1285kgs, GVM: 1760kgs
Engine: Peugeot XDP4.90 diesel, built under licence
Capacity: 2112cc
Power: 62 bhp @ 4500rpm
Torque: 90 lbs/ft @ 2000rpm
Transmission 4-speed main gearbox with 2-speed part time transfer box
Suspension: live axles, leaf springs all round
Brakes: Power assisted (vacuum) drum brakes all round
Steering Worm and roller, no power assistance

[*] Note the magic 80" wheel-base of early Jeeps and SI Land-Rovers.


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