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Old 11th November 2007, 06:29   #1
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Default Hardening a Scorpio for 4x4 abuse

I need a vehicle for use in the Himalayas, the Manali-Leh road, Lahaul-Spiti, etc. At the top of my short list is Scorpio mainly because of its engine and 4x4 capabilities. (All that glitzy voice warning stuff and carpets and electric windows makes me cringe but Force won't sell Gurkhas.)

The problem is the Scorpio looks a little fragile to me. I can take off the front bumper with the air dams and have someone fabricate a tubular front bumper that will not impede an approach angle. I can get somebody to fabricate some skid plates for the oil pan and maybe some other things (If you are a Scorpio owner please post your advice on what things). But the thing that worries me most is that rear multy-link suspension with the torsion bars and radius arms hanging down. I can see rocks snapping them off like they were pencils. This alone may change my mind about the purchase. I need advice on what tyres to buy and what to do to harden this thing up. I have not booked it yet, I have not bought it yet. I am not really asking what car to buy. My questions are technical but they may influence my purchase.
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Old 11th November 2007, 08:46   #2
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you can higher the GC off the vehicle by changing the tyres, you can go in for those huge tyres that can offer you good GC.
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Old 11th November 2007, 11:19   #3
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dan, checkup with our distinguished bhpian sideways aka farhan. he won raid de himalayas (Report - Raid-De-Himalaya 2006. Now with pictures) in a scorpio and should be able to provide you with all inputs you need.
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Old 11th November 2007, 11:43   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
(All that glitzy voice warning stuff and carpets and electric windows makes me cringe but Force won't sell Gurkhas.)
The first deliveries of Gurkha are starting this week, so you can still try.
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Old 11th November 2007, 12:26   #5
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Dan, like Tifosi said your best bet is to contact fellow member Sideways as he had won last year's Raid-de-Himalaya in one.
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Old 11th November 2007, 13:47   #6
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Default Will do

Gov, Tif, Sam, Ira,

Thanks for your input. Big tires will probably happen. Actually it was Sideway's post that I read a couple weeks ago that made me reconsider the Scorpio. Then I test drove a 4x2 Scorpion at Chandigarh last week. I will PM him and GTO in a day or 2 after I see what this thread turns up.

D.D.
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Old 11th November 2007, 14:44   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
All that glitzy voice warning stuff and carpets and electric windows makes me cringe but Force won't sell Gurkhas.)
4X4 is offered only as DX2:
a) 7 seater config only (ie 2 jump seats at back, no bench).
b) Power windows and rear screen wash/wiper.
c) Central locking, without remote.
d) Second row bench fixed, not longitudinally adjustable.
e) No voice warnings of any sort.
f) No ski-rack.
g) No rear screen defogger.
h) No step at rear. Instead there is a very sturdy 'tow-hook (ball-type)'.
i) All claddings and bumpers natural finish black.
j) Only 4 colours offered - Black, Soft Beige, Apple Red and one more (I forget).
This was the package a year ago. Things might have changed now.
As far as I am concerned, I would rather have had a rear screen defogger and no power windows. There was, however, no choice.
It would be good to increase the tyre profile to 75 instead of 70, with the stock 235 R16 tubeless tyres. This would give better ground clearance.
Your idea about the front bumper sounds good.
Side steps perhaps should also be removed.
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Old 11th November 2007, 15:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
4X4 is offered only as DX2:
a) 7 seater config only (ie 2 jump seats at back, no bench).
b) Power windows and rear screen wash/wiper.
c) Central locking, without remote.
d) Second row bench fixed, not longitudinally adjustable.
e) No voice warnings of any sort.
f) No ski-rack.
g) No rear screen defogger.
h) No step at rear. Instead there is a very sturdy 'tow-hook (ball-type)'.
i) All claddings and bumpers natural finish black.
j) Only 4 colours offered - Black, Soft Beige, Apple Red and one more (I forget).
This was the package a year ago. Things might have changed now.
As far as I am concerned, I would rather have had a rear screen defogger and no power windows. There was, however, no choice.
It would be good to increase the tyre profile to 75 instead of 70, with the stock 235 R16 tubeless tyres. This would give better ground clearance.
Your idea about the front bumper sounds good.
Side steps perhaps should also be removed.
Yeah that was a year ago. The last I heard was that, the DX2 4x4 has been replaced by the SLX 4x4.
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Old 23rd August 2008, 13:14   #9
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Default LSD or Lockers for Scorpio???

Anybody know if there are LSDs or lockers available after market for Scorpio 4x4?
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Old 23rd August 2008, 15:10   #10
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Dan,

Scorpio is a good solid SUV, but you cannot beat leaf springs and live axles for durability. The Bolero web site lists front and rear leaf springs for the 4x4 version. I would expect this to be more durable than the Scorpio with its torsion bars and coils. Problem is that the 4x4 Bolero is naturally aspirated diesel which = anemic performance at high altitudes.

After much thinking and mulling, it looks like I am soon to embark on a complete rebuild of my MM550 with a scorpio engine, suspension overhaul, LSD rear, A/C, heater, power steering.
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Old 23rd August 2008, 15:42   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Anybody know if there are LSDs or lockers available after market for Scorpio 4x4?
LSD should be possible.
Check with Arka or Red340 for the model number and bring it down from Auburn USA.
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Old 23rd August 2008, 16:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMM340 View Post
After much thinking and mulling, it looks like I am soon to embark on a complete rebuild of my MM550 with a scorpio engine, suspension overhaul, LSD rear, A/C, heater, power steering.
Wow Gaurev, that would be one thread, i'd love to watch!
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Old 23rd August 2008, 20:00   #13
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Hi dan. i have biked the manali-leh highway and around ladakh.You dont really need anything that hardcore.

A good cheap option would be the mahindra major 4x4 you can buy those new.

Very basic but tough.trust me in the mountains you wouldn't want or need airconditioning.The more wind in your hair the better at least thats how i look at it.

Have fun!Jeep it !
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Old 23rd August 2008, 20:28   #14
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Dan,

The more I think about it, I think you should buy a new Major 4x4 or Invader 4x4 and soup it up. The Major has come a long way from the CJ500s my dad used own. I hated the underpowered 38 bhp engine and the 3-speed gearbox. The MM540 seems underpowered by today's standards, but when I drove the 2.1 liter engine for the first time with the 4 speed gearbox, I thought it was a rocket compared to my CJ500.

Anyways, if you get a Major 4x4 or Invader 4x4 all you will need to do is replace the wheels with 16 inch or 31x10.5/15 tires you will have above 200 mm of ground clearance, add A/C and Power Steering & install doors(for Major)/hard top if needed. You can also add LSD/Lockers. You can also lower the final drive ration from 3.73 to 4.27 to compensate for the larger tires.

Since these vehicles come with a reasonably torqy Tubo DI engine and 5 Forward gears they will be reasonably comfortable for highway cruising as well.

These vehicles are very bullet proof with low maintenance costs and being new you can have the piece of mind when traveling far. As Mr DB pointed out, you can get many jeeps in the used market that look awesome but who knows how well they have been maintained and what problems you can run into later.

Gurkha would still be my first choice for a no-nonsense 4x4 with decent highway manners, but I understand that people are concerned about ***.

If you can modify a 4x4 Invader to look like the Mahindra Stryker with the gypsy headlights and big tires, it's actually good looking vehicle.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 23rd August 2008, 21:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Dan,

The more I think about it, I think you should buy a new Major 4x4 ...
Hi Addict,

Himachal Pradesh will not let MM sell Majors here, would you believe.

My understanding is that MM no longer sells new Invaders. I do not see them on their web site.

I will find something. The flood waters are at a safe level in the Punjab now so I will head out for there next week.
Chandigarh and Ludhiana will be my targets.

Thanks for your help, man.
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