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Thread: The Story of my Amby

  1. #11
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    Many don't know that I am a secret lover of Amby too. Now that it's no more a secret.

    I remember reading your story of Amby in Team Bhp few years ago, before I came to know that you are a FIATian too. I was talking to myself, thinking how lucky you were.

    Here I am glad to look at current [2013] status is Amby is simple Awesome. Your Love and Hard work in the restoration has given fruits. Congratulations Anandh

    OT: On my recent visit to Mangalore. Our family Taxi Uncle bought his Amby for us to commute during our visit. All these while I just knew that he owned a tourist vehicle, but dint knew it was an Amby.
    The car is super smooth. I started probing more about his Amby as it was neatly maintained.
    Got to know it's an 1996 - 97 model, somewhere around 15 or 16 year old [I don't recall properly]. The car was once done with major heart surgery in these 16 years, when the Engine had clocked 3,80,000kms. Believe it or not currently, the Amby has clocked a total of 7,50,000kms solely driven by him. I was to find that the Engine is still running super smooth like the present day cars. The car doesn't show any signs of it being 16 year old.

    Here are pictures of the beauty.
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    Chetu Munna.

    I am being CAR JACKED by my own CAR!!!

    1985 - Vijai Super
    1989 - Premier 118NE
    2002 - Suzuki Fiero
    2010 - Fiat Palio

  2. #12
    Moderator cvanandh's Avatar
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    Re: The Story of my Amby

    Let me start off from March 2010

    The condition of the car in 2010 before starting off the works:

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    June 2010, the tinkering work was completed at Pollachi

    The right side waterchannel was damaged beyond tinkering and so it was cut and new one made.

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    With tinkering over, we were on the lookout for a tata gearbox and to start off with the mechanicals.

    December 2010, the base coat was also completed and the car was with the mechanic for the gearbox and other stuff. Then one fine day the mechanic calls me up and says that the under chassis components are all in very bad and worn out condition. He said that almost every component except the crown are worn out. I then asked him to go ahead with the repairs. So this then caused further delay in completion and of course a deeper hole in my pocket.

    The following are the spares list that I got for this job:

    Suspension Bush kit
    Link 4
    Distance tube 2
    Spacer 4
    Lower arm high bolt 2
    Torrison bar pin 2
    Lower arm pin
    Lower arm bush nova type
    Upper link bush nova type
    Wheel oil seal 4
    Wheel bearing two sets

    Brake Drum - 4
    Brake mass cyl 4
    Brake hose 3
    Brake lining 2 sets
    Wheel cylinder 4

    Grease .5 kg
    Gel grease .5kg
    Brake oil
    U clamp
    Spring pad
    Spring pin
    Rear axle bearing

    Shock absorber 4

    Joint star - 3
    Joint bed bearing

    Steering box
    Rack pinion
    Ball joint
    Tie rod end kit
    Damper pad kit
    Ball joint boot

    The above set me back by approx 16k. That's not the end, there are some more which was planned for stage 2 after the under parts were completed.

    Timing belt
    Timing bearing 3
    Fan belt and bearing

    Castrol 20-40 Diesel Engine oil
    Oil filter
    Diesel filter
    Air filter
    Gearbox oil
    Crown oil
    Anandh

    1960 FIAT Select | 1962 FIAT Super Select | 1964 Ambassador | 2003 FIAT Palio S10 |2011 FIAT Linea 1.3 E+ | 2015 FIAT Linea Dynamic

  3. #13
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    Re: The Story of my Amby

    August 2011

    The mechanic took a very long time to finish up all the work. Finally, the car was started after almost a year and made its way back to the painter last week.

    Painted four different shades of green, one shade per door and finally zeroed in on one shade. The finalized shade is on the FR door:

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    Feb 2012

    The mechanical works are now complete and the car is back to the painter for painting the under-chassis, wheels and for the final polishing.

    Once that is done, pending are the AC followed by trial runs for a week or two and finally for the interiors at Koyas. The grille, bumpers etc are back from nickeling and polishing and are ready to be fitted.

    It has always been the mechanic who has been delaying a lot and really playing on my patience. Though his work so far has been perfect, tough to accept such time-lines from him.

    Adding a couple of pics sent by my friend from Pollachi:

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    April 2012

    All works were complete. It was only after this, we found out that there was something fishy with the water flow. Had a feeling that the water/coolant was not flowing properly and we decided to check the thermostat.

    The thermostat seemed just fine, and finally the mystery was cracked. While fitting the engine head gasket, it had been done by the previous owners with some paste. This paste over the years had melted / oozed down and piled up in the water flowing areas which had ended up the flow properly.

    So eventually, we had to open up engine and clean the areas. This has caused further delays. Now all is well with the engine and the water flow.

    The car has now gone for the AC works. Expecting the AC work to be over pretty soon.


    June 2012

    After everything is done, the engine has started giving problems . It's been leaking oil here and there and I had insisted that the car should not be bought back to Coimbatore until the oil leak problem is completely resolved.


    August 2012

    Change of heart

    Off late, things haven't been going as per my plans and finally decided to change the engine. The oil leaks were a bit too much and it was also found to have back compression. Suspect it was result of the improper water flow mentioned above to be the culprit here.

    So took the call and decided no more fiddling around with the TATA motor.

    The Options

    Once it was decided on changing the engine, next big decision was on which engine to plonk in.

    The requirement was diesel, so the options in hand were Isuzu or Matador. Top priority was Isuzu, but the exorbitant price of the new as well as the old engines in the market were a bit too much.

    A brand new Euro 4 engine with gearbox cost Rs.1.9 Lakh rupees and that was way too much!

    Older ones in the markets were prices 40k and above only for the engine.

    So after much thought, decided to go on for matador engine with the Isuzu gear box. The main reason being that a very good matador engine was available with my friend. He has this engine with him as a spare just in case if any of his rides needed one.

    So as of now going in for the matador+isuzu combo.

    September 2012

    Car left in Koyas. Once done, it will head back to Pollachi for the remaining works. Drove it around for few kilometers and the engine and gear box were just too good. It cleared all my worries and I'm really happy with the car.

    The front bumper is gone for nickeling and hence running on spare bumpers in this picture and hence you will find it rusty.

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    Anandh

    1960 FIAT Select | 1962 FIAT Super Select | 1964 Ambassador | 2003 FIAT Palio S10 |2011 FIAT Linea 1.3 E+ | 2015 FIAT Linea Dynamic

  4. #14
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    Re: The Story of my Amby

    Oct 2012

    The car is finally back home. Still few minor issues to be sorted out. Drove it from Pollachi to Coimbatore about 40 kms and the car was awesome

    The AC chills brilliantly and even though it was on "Lo", I had to swith off the compressor once in a while as it was getting too cold for comfort in the evenings.

    The engine and gearbox did well too. On few occations, I mis-shifted from 2nd to 5th instead of 3rd and it continued to pull without a fuss.

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    Status as on April 1,2013

    Things never really moved on and I was not able to spend time with the car until the last weekend of March.

    Really had a very tough time with the mechanic and so got the car back to Coimbatore in Nov with majority of the work incomplete.

    Upon arrival at CBE, the self motor gave up and it was finally traced out to be problem with the conversion plate and not the motor and had to correct the same.

    Once that was completed, had vibrations coming in from the joint and so changed the joint completely with the Contessa joint and the car was back home last thursday. This was done with a mech in CBE. He stopped working on Ambys and fully into jeeps, but did this for us as a goodwill gesture.

    I got to Coimbatore and took a drive, everything seemed fine. So decided to change all the oils and filters. I was no more interested to go to any workshop as they all tested my patience a lot and so I asked the mech who works on my Palio and Linea whether he would be interested in working on the amby and he seemed pretty excited.

    On friday evening he came home and we started work. Change the engine oil, gearbox oil, oil filter, diesel filter and crown oil.

    1. Engine Oil - Castrol 15w40 mineral oil
    2. Gear box oil - Petronas Tutela
    3. Crown oil - Shell Spirax 90 (1 litre) + Shell Spirax 140 (about 750 ml)
    4. Radiator Coolant - Paraflu

    Once done, we started to flush the radioator and found that there was a minor leak from the top. So decided not to change the coolant and asked him to come back on sat or sunday so that we can fix the radiator and then add the coolant.

    He was back on Sunday, removed the radiator and gave it to the local radiator wala. He checked and suggested that the radiator is pretty good except for this small leak and suggested we continue with fixing this rather than getting a new one. I wanted a new one, but those radiator guys again tried to teach me and so went with repairing it

    Got the same repaired and re-inastalled and changed the coolant. Also added Nulon engine oil additive and took it for a 10 kms drive.

    The gear box felt really good after the change to synthetic oil.

    Additionally, also got a pair of new head lamps and changed the tires.

    Went in for Bridgestones.

    Once all were done, I finally got to see the upholstery, yes the car came out of koyas with the workshop covers and the covers were on till then and it was a huge relief to remove those and the seats looked lovely. A fabulous job as usual from Koyas.

    Some more items pending as of now:

    1. Speedo error - Roughly having an error of about 20 kms. Would show 80 if I do 100.
    2. Temperature error - The temp guage goes for a toss, I switch the AC, it goes 5 degrees up, switch the head lams, it goes up further. I suspect the temp sensor to be the culprit in here.
    3. Wiper Arms - Having a tough time with this. Been on the hunt for the wiper arms for long time now and unable to find one. I'm fine with black ones if not for steel.
    4. Waxing and polishing.

    I've asked my dad to start using the car daily atleastfor 2-3 kms. The car has been idling around for 3 yrs now and the engine I believe was standing alone for more than 5 yrs.
    Anandh

    1960 FIAT Select | 1962 FIAT Super Select | 1964 Ambassador | 2003 FIAT Palio S10 |2011 FIAT Linea 1.3 E+ | 2015 FIAT Linea Dynamic

  5. #15
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    Re: The Story of my Amby

    April 12, 2013

    Went on a drive from CBE-Pollachi-Anamalai-CBE. Was a very nervous drive for me as I wasn't sure how the amby would behave and more so because my mom was with me and I didn't want the car to break down. But it never let us down and was a very nice drive

    Drove pretty sedately as I did not want to put on any strain on her. Started early morning and the entire journey was with AC.

    It was a pretty good drive and it gave me the confidence of taking her out on an even longer drive.


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    April 14, 2013

    Followed this up with another drive. Close to 210 kms done and the amby was brilliant

    Sunday (April 14), being Tamil New Year we had planned to visit our native place temple and decided to do it in the Amby. I had my dad and mom for company and it was again an early morning start. Started from CBE and stopped in Kangeyam for Breakfast. I believe the max speed that I did was around 80 and mostly I was averaging in the 70s.

    Brought back memories of me learning to drive in this very same car. The roads were void of traffic and it was an amazing feeling driving her on the highway.

    In the return journey, my dad took over the wheel as its been what 11yrs since he last drove this car! He was initially reluctant as its been long since he drove without powersteering, but few minutes and he was in complete comfort and drove the entire journey.

    These two trips erased all my worries on the car's condition and performance and every is absolutely fine.

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    Just a couple of minor issues that I have to fix:

    1. Speedo error - The error is now -20%, ie., meter would show 80kmph when I'm doing 100 kmph

    2. Temperature guage error and flickering - The temp guage I believe to have an error of about 5 to 7 degrees. That is it shows 85 if temp is 80. Moreover if the AC/indicator/horn/lights are used, the temp needle goes up few notches. Guess I have to chek the earthing.

    Something to watch closely

    While driving in stop and go traffic the temp seems to rise up pretty quickly. Afternoon sun and stop and go traffic results in the temp guage pointing at 100, negating the error menas it would be 90-95 degrees. Have to fix or change the temp guage and check again before deciding on further course of action.

    Another friend who has the similar set up in his Mark1 amby says that his car always runs in the 90-95 degree mark with AC.

    May 2013

    Got the radiator changed few weeks back and the difference has been obvious. The temperature has not climbed up so much as before but difference is not much. Rather than settling at 95 its around 90 now. Will post further updates soon.

    June 2013

    Finally my Amby get the wipers! Been searching for long and finally came to know that Koyas has them now. Grabbed them with both hands.

    They are of make camoflex. Quality is nothing to write home about. Cost was Rs. 600 for a set of 2 arms and 2 blades. Importantly these are chrome ones

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    Anandh

    1960 FIAT Select | 1962 FIAT Super Select | 1964 Ambassador | 2003 FIAT Palio S10 |2011 FIAT Linea 1.3 E+ | 2015 FIAT Linea Dynamic

  6. #16
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    Re: The Story of my Amby

    I fell in love with the amby the way you narrated it. Would love to pay a visit to see this beautiful lady. It also brought back some old memories in me. Its just a sheer love that brought her glory back.
    Given a chance, I doubt someone would go this level to see any of their vehicle to be driven on the road. Hats off

  7. #17
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    Re: The Story of my Amby

    Hi Anandh,

    This made a really interesting read. You sharing of the restoration reminds me of the Amby we had when I was very young.
    Vijay Pratap Singh

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    You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way!!

  8. #18
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    Re: The Story of my Amby

    nice report on ur ownership and the updates after a long time, [MENTION=1590]cvanandh[/MENTION]

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    Re: The Story of my Amby

    Anandh,

    Wonderful narration and attention to detail. I have been in love with the amby always but I doubt if I would go to this extent to restore glory.

    Hats off to you buddy!! Hopefully I'll pay a visit when am around the area...

    Keep rocking...
    There's no such thing as a bad car; Only bad drivers.
    - Sundar

  10. #20
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    Re: The Story of my Amby

    Wonderful writeup Anandh...and pretty cool pics..

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