1.47L km with a Mahindra CL500 Jeep: Overall experience & modifications

This jeep has a 4 cylinder diesel engine which is naturally aspirated, a 3 speed gear box with 4wd transfer case. Overall efficiency stands at 10 kml.

BHPian cl500 di recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Little about me

This is my first post in team BHP and I’m excited. As my profile name suggests my first post has to be about my dear jeep. Let me tell you how I developed my passion for vehicles and my interest in team BHP. Ever since my early childhood, I was always fascinated by vehicles around me. Seeing my zeal, my dad asked me to drive a tractor in our coffee plantation when I was around 8 years old. Of course I was accompanied by my dad, I was only behind the wheels and all ABC controls was with him. I was overwhelmed by this experience . On my next visit I was lucky to be driven around and also drive our 1995 cl 500 di 4wd jeep.(ABC was under his control, I only controlled the steering, though back then I assumed I had the reins). I drove for about 5 kilometers in our plantation and from that day on there was no looking back. I always had theoretical knowledge of how to drive a manual, but did not get to do that practically. Which changed when I was 13 years old when my parents asked me to remove my moms car from the parking lot, I immediately stalled the car. My third attempt was a success and after that I have driven multiple vehicles under parental guidance and scrutiny. Team bhp wasn’t new to me, had often heard my parents talk and refer to team bhp before taking any roadtrip,as they believed it was an authentic source. I was around 14 when I came across the team bhp website. I was amazed to see so many vehicle enthusiasts under one platform, it was overwhelming to know that so many like minded people take time and effort to share their experiences related to vehicles. Henceforth,I regularly read articles in team bhp,not to brag but reading posts in team bhp was or should I say is a part of my routine. My personal favorite is funkykar’s 1300 kilometer road trip in a Tata 407 4×4.

The history of Jeeps in my family

My paternal and maternal great grandfathers owned “Williy’s”back in 1970’s and 80’s.My paternal great grand dad bought his first jeep in the year 1972 for a meager amount of rupees 15,000 which was inclusive of petrol Willy’s left hand drive jeep along with a jeep trailer(brand new). The vehicle registration was MRG 440,infact my grandfather learned to drive in that jeep, ever since 1972 to date he holds a valid driving license. In the year 1974 this jeep was sent to Wayanad(Kerala) for refurbishing and painting,the only remarkable change was that it was converted to a right hand drive jeep.
Then in the year 1976, this Willy’s jeep was sold and a brand new Cooper Perkins long chasis jeep from M & M was bought. It’s registration number was MER987.This jeep was a workhorse which worked like a beast of burden in our coffee estate. Later in the year 1982, this jeep was sold and a brand new international jeep was bought under the registration number CAV3933. In 1989 one more international jeep was bought with on road price of rupees 1 lakh 52 thousand. This bore a registration number of CNZ3066. In 1995 Mahindra cl 500 di 4wd was bought. The registration of this vehicle was KA12M3283(this number is special,read on) ,this jeep was sold in the year 2003 due to some mechanical issues. My family loved the di engine so they decided to buy one more mahindra cl 500 di 4wd for 2 lakh 50 thousand (pre-worshipped) and as a matter of coincidence this jeep carried the same ‘ registration number with only a difference of a digit -KA12M3284. This is the jeep which we still own,my dad has no heart to sell it. Later in 2010 my dad bought a stock mm-540 4wd. he swapped the Peugeot engine for a DI engine ( big fan of this engine) and this was coupled with a 4 speed gearbox. This vehicle saw a short life of 1 year and was sold with loss of 60k.

Ownership of the cl500

This vehicle has been a reliable workhorse. It has so far covered 1,70,000 odd kms. This jeep has a 4 cylinder diesel engine which is naturally aspirated, a 3 speed gear box with 4wd transfer case. This is mainly used for the estate to transports workforce, sprinkler pipes, manure,coffee,paddy,pepper,oranges,arcenut and what not! It also has a dedicated trailer which can haul 2 ton load. The gear box is not a synchromesh, so you cannot shift to first if the vehicle is in motion. Moreover, the first gear can only attain speed between 0-10km/h but the second gear is very tall as it ranges from 0-60km/h and the third and the final gear attains speeds between 20-70km/h. It give an average fuel efficiency of 10km/l, it has a 32 liter fuel tank.

My dad has made certain modifications in this jeep but if you aren’t familiar and aware of cl500’s, you wouldn’t even notice it. For safety reasons door has been installed, it has omni’s tail lights as the stock ones popped out and would break easily. However, originally it came with bench seats in the front but we later changed to Daewoo Cielo captain seats, in fact we are planning to upgrade those and install Innova seats. Once in two years the tires are rebuilt for better grip, even though it has a yearly running of only 6k kilometers . It is very reliable but if you don’t have a good mechanic and ample knowledge about these vehicle it is highly impossible to maintain it. Moreover, spare parts are difficult to procure.

Here are a few pics of the vehicle after a fresh coat of paint.

The engine bay

The trailer hook

Here are a few pix before we say adieu

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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