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Old 16th October 2011, 21:30   #1
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Default Fortuner runs over the road barrier

Hi Everyone!

I made a sudden trip to Ernakulam during the weekend, from Bangalore.

From Ernakulam I had to go to Muvattupuzha and the return trip was via Piravom Road. The time was around 7:30pm and the road was bending towards the right. All I could see was a pole at the center of the road until I heard a loud thud.

The speed was around 40Kmph and I stopped immediately. My father told me we ran over the broken divider. This was like a blind spot where many vehicles run over the divider and it was broken.

I proceeded my journey to Ernakulam. There was no noticeable damage but the steering alignment had shifted to the left, i.e., if I placed the steering at the center, the vehicle moves to the right.

I visited TyreX, a tyre and alloys shop at Ernakulam bye-pass, immediately after Vytilla junction. Upon checking, indeed the alignment had shifted.

The foot step was bent at the front fender. The vehicle was checked on the under chassis by myself and the alignment team but there was no damage visible.

The next day (today) I came back to bangalore; the car was perfect and I could reach the top speed of 175kph stably.

My question to bhpians: Is there anything to worry about here? How can the steering / wheel alignment change so easily, yet we're talking about an off-roader? Does this not mean the alignment would change again if I were to drive on a rough terrain such as a rocky terrain? Could this be the result of some poor engineering, materials or workmanship?

Please suggest.

regards,

Nitin
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Old 16th October 2011, 22:48   #2
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
My question to bhpians: Is there anything to worry about here? How can the steering / wheel alignment change so easily, yet we're talking about an off-roader? Does this not mean the alignment would change again if I were to drive on a rough terrain such as a rocky terrain? Could this be the result of some poor engineering, materials or workmanship?

Nitin
Not an expert on this, but just out of some expereince, i know for sure that such a impact can cause Wheel alignment issues.

Kindly get all 4 wheels balanced and then check, i doubt it can cause any damage to steering rod assembly on a Fortuner.
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Old 16th October 2011, 23:02   #3
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

Please check the front bushes, it might have gone, it happened once to me when I ran over a big pothole at speed in access of 80 in 4wd Scorpio AT, after the thud the steering was off to left and the cause was front bushes, please check the front ride height and you might possibly be able to make out the difference if yes, you know the cause!

-Pramod
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Old 16th October 2011, 23:04   #4
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

I guess the alignment went bad because of the speed during impact. When you are off-roading, I don't think you will be driving at around 40 kmph or above. So I guess you should be Ok after the alignment check. Also I assume that the under-body didn't scrape on the divider, so no problems should be there. You might want to check for bulges in your tyre.

If you still are not convinced, please take it to the TASS & have a general check up.
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Old 16th October 2011, 23:40   #5
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

If the Alignment values have in tolerance the values of toe in/out, caster and camber I guess you have nothing to worry about.

The thing that takes a hit during such an incident is camber as the strut bends.
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Old 16th October 2011, 23:54   #6
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
From Ernakulam I had to go to Muvattupuzha and the return trip was via Piravom Road. The time was around 7:30pm and the road was bending towards the right. All I could see was a pole at the center of the road until I heard a loud thud. This was like a blind spot where many vehicles run over the divider and it was broken.
Good that nothing serious happened as you were slower out there.
Where exactly is this blind spot on the Muvattupuzha Piravom road.?
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Old 17th October 2011, 07:14   #7
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

@ rajeev_k: Its between Piravom and Ernakulam, about 5-6kms before vytilla junction.

Its a town-like area but quite dark after sunset and no street lights.
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Old 17th October 2011, 21:39   #8
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

An impact like the one you have mentioned which bent the foot steep can easily change the shim placement thereby altering the camber leading to vehicle pulling to a particular director. Ideally it shouldn't change the toe or castor. If toe or castor are also changed then you should be a little cautious.

Furthermore I hope the alloys are ok, i.e. no distortion. Please get the concerned alloy wheel checked for trueness and the tyre for any side wall damage/crack.

Cheers

P.S: Even though the Fortuner is derived from the Hilux, its quite different and and shouldn't be mistaken as a true blue offroader.
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Old 17th October 2011, 21:44   #9
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

No offence but what on earth possessed you to run at 175 kmph especially in a vehicle that has suffered recent damage enough to have its alignment redone?
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Old 17th October 2011, 22:11   #10
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

@ noopster: The damages were not serious enough to keep the vehicle Off the road!
There were absolutely no vibrations even at such speeds. I did to an inspection on the under-chassis when the vehicle was lifted for wheel alignment and there was not even a single scratch except for the damage on the side-step.

There are no damages to the tyres or alloys.

In any case, I visited the TASS and confirmed there are no damages. Got the alignment re-checked and done. The side steps have to be replaced and cost around 14K! To add to the loss, some kids playing in the basement happened to rest on my car's bonnet causing a small dent.... what a tragedy... :') Fixing it would cost 6K!

regards,

Nitin
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Old 17th October 2011, 22:18   #11
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
@ rajeev_k: Its between Piravom and Ernakulam, about 5-6kms before vytilla junction.
Probably it could be Puthiyakavu Valavu junction after the Ayurveda college, just before Tripunithura where there is a median precariously located and the road has potholes in that vicinity.
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Old 17th October 2011, 22:20   #12
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

@ Rajeev_K: Yes... That seems the more precise location.
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Old 18th October 2011, 09:52   #13
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

If the impact can damage the foot steps, it can damage the suspension. In your case the alignment was off probably due to the impact on wheel changing the toe-in of that wheel.

I am still surprised that this could happen in a vehicle which can do a fair amount of bad roading. May be quality control issues. As advised, please carry out a thorough check on the affected wheel's integrity. There is a high possibility of hair line cracks appearing post impact. Unlike steel wheels, alloy wheels are more fragile and prone to cracks under impacts which will not bother a steel wheel. (That is why steel wheels are preferred for expeditions)
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Old 18th October 2011, 13:14   #14
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Default Re: Fortuner runs over the road barrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
No offence but what on earth possessed you to run at 175 kmph especially in a vehicle that has suffered recent damage enough to have its alignment redone?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
@ noopster: The damages were not serious enough to keep the vehicle Off the road!
There were absolutely no vibrations even at such speeds. I did to an inspection on the under-chassis when the vehicle was lifted for wheel alignment and there was not even a single scratch except for the damage on the side-step.
Actually, it would be the most logical next step that many of us would take. If I suspect something wrong with the vehicle, I look out for an immediate posible opportunity to find the truth. And if mechanicals give an assuring feeling, I would increase the speed in steps to see all is well...of course when conditions are safe enough to test.

E.g. I am still eagerly waiting to see if any Vento AT if braked hard from 120 looses it's ECU sanity or not. Believe me, I was dreaming about it the other day.... If I had a Vento AT, it would have been resolved by now.

Cheers!
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Old 18th October 2011, 13:40   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post

From Ernakulam I had to go to Muvattupuzha and the return trip was via Piravom Road. The time was around 7:30pm and the road was bending towards the right. All I could see was a pole at the center of the road until I heard a loud thud.

The speed was around 40Kmph and I stopped immediately. My father told me we ran over the broken divider. This was like a blind spot where many vehicles run over the divider and it was broken.
I too met with a same kind of incident back in January 2009 night with our U-VA. An idiot traffic police guided me to take a left tun after SN junction near Tripunithura. The road was narrow with a foot path left side and there was a bus already in the right side. I hesistate to turn left but the police man insisted there was enough width. U-VA's left front tyre got hit at the foot path edge and side wall of tubeless was damaged. After replacing the tyre with stepney the steering was tilted left as you mentioned. Next day rushed to New Bharat tyres in By-pass next to Vyttila. Complete wheel balancing done and wheels rotated. Till date nothing happened since to steering or wheels.

So don't worry much.

Cheers!

Vinu
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