Just wanted to share with you all in Motoroids about my Amby. I've hardly ever posted in Motoroids simply because I thought I hardly had anything interesting. But now, I thought this story about my Amby would interest you people.
To start off, it is a 1964 Mark II which was bought by my Grand Father in 1966. It was registered in my Dad's name and he was the 3rd owner at that time.
The car then served its purpose very well without any problems what so ever. I've heard some very interesting experiences of our family with this car. I've used the word 'heard' just because the car was bought about 19 years before I was born.
Since my early childhood days, I was very fond of this car and it was almost like a member in our family until the year 1992.
It was in 92 that the car really showed its age and broke down near Bhavani while traveling back to Coimbatore from Bangalore.
All these years from 1964 to 1992 it has been serving on the original OHV petrol motor and was as good as new.
Now, the investigation after the break-down revealed that the engine main bearing had given up and hence had to get the car towed back to Coimbatore.
This is where the problem really started. Now since the engine had almost come to the end of its life, we started to think of converting it to Diesel.
Everyone at home were totally against putting in the Matador since it was too noisy and we really had no other choice since Isuzu's were never heard / available at that time. At the same time, some people who had started a new workshop only to convert Ambassadors into Diesel using the 1.9 TATA engine were really getting famous in Coimbatore and hence we too thought about it and finally it was decided that our Amby had do undergo a major transformation to bear the 1.9 TATA diesel heart borrowed from the TATA Sierra.
So, the work started and the Amby was installed with a brand new 1.9 TATA motor. The engine costed a whopping Rs. 75,000. This engine was mated to the same HM petrol gear box.
So after staying in the workshop for quite a while for the conversion process then for the AC, the car finally arrived.
The engine was really good and powerful for the Amby.
Now, the car was back to normal but slowly and steadly problems seemed to arise one after another.
Some of the problems were:
1. Engine Over heating.
2. Uneven tire wear.
3. Clutch wearing out pretty quickly.
4. Low ground clearance.
The ground clearance was fixed pretty quickly by chopping off the sump. The original was with a capacity of 7litres and was now chopped off with a capacity of 4litres.
Though we had installed an extra fan on the grille the overheating was always a case to be worried about especially on ghat sections. Modifications to the radiator and others lead to marginal improvement but was never solved.
The chassis was changed during the engine conversion and since then the front tires never lasted more than 25,000 kms. Also, after this conversion the weight of the car increased by about 100 kgs.
Coming to the clutch, it was a niggling problem and never got settled. By this time, few years had passed and the car had run more that 70,000 kms despite these issues. Now, some friend of my uncle had also converted to the same TATA engine but with a TATA gearbox borrowed from the Sumo. The had covered more than 90,000 kms and had decided to get rid of the engine and gearbox due to the arrival of the ISUZU engines in the market and they gave us the Gearbox.
Now, it was Transformation part II for our Amby. So out went the column shift HM gearbox and in came the Sumo box along with a hydraulic clutch. Changes were also made to the interior with a new dashboard with a console box and the car also made its way to Koyas for new Upholstery.
So after these changes, the car was back to duty serving tirelessly and at the same time frequenting to the workshop for some problem or the other and this time my dad was almost fed-up with the expenses and they had decided to sell off the car .
I was heart broken. I was asking him and others at home not to sell it off but my request was rejected and finally the car was sold in 2002 and was replaced with a Palio 1.2 Sport.
I was in Class XI at that time but was never happy about the car being sold though I was madly in love with the Palio.
It has been 8 years since the car was sold but I was never able to get it out of my mind and was always thinking of somehow buying it back and know what? it has happened! Yes, I've just bought back the same car just a couple of days back, on the 15th of March 2010.
The car is still running on the same engine and nothing has changed mechanically. The buyers had corrected the tire wear problem by correcting the chaises and also the overheating, but the gearbox and the body are out of shape.
So, I've achieved in buying back the car but now I need to get it back into proper shape.
Hope this post has not wasted your time. Will update this thread in due course of my rebuilding process if you people are interested.
Awaiting your response or comments.
Edited by cvanandh, 17 March 2010 - 06:45 PM.