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Old 18th September 2009, 15:04   #1
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Default 4x4 Help needed

Guys I need some of your valuable suggestion. To start with I got bitten by the off roading bug. I have been reading through all of the threads in the 4x4 off-roading section. I agree with all that jeeps are the most practical off roaders because of the low spare part and labor cost. But it comes with a very heavy tradeoff, the jeep can only be used for of roading purposes and living with one is little difficult for people like me who have a 9-6 job. There a so many things which we need to take care of before we can actually take it out for a ride(be it water, engine oil etc) for people like me who are used to sedans(read spoiled by sedans) and their pleasures and comfort, this daily exercise or rather ritual is a huge let down, apart from that Jeeps have now become a status symbol, every workshop in Kerala has one undergoing renovation (mostly 2x2), and have spoiled the market, my friend who hails from todupuzha Kerala says the market has been crazy here you will not get a good(read drivable with working 4x4) 4x4 for less than a lac today, and that obviously does not guarantee complete piece of mind. So the next obvious choice is a gypsy, first thing that comes to mind is they are obscenely priced I remember a 84-85(not very sure) model for sale for 1.8, the 4x4 is not working, this is again a wannabe vehicle in here and most of the vehicles have not seen any terrain they are capable of(guys i am not trying to stereotype anyone), I always thought I will buy a gypsy from mayapuri and drive it down (it will be a great experience) but hearing stories about mayapuri I donít think it will be a good idea. All this is procrastinating my dream, buying a jeep or a gypsy is always heart over mind scenario, both these vehicles act as secondary/ fun time vehicles, have rarely seen one as a daily drive. I hear a lot about practicality of off roaders, and things like an A/C and power steering are highly sort after and to me all this make sense, as I donít have the mullah to buy a vehicle which would spend most of its time parked in the garage, so mind wanted something else. I was going through a list of vehicles then this struck me. There was this highly underrated vehicle in Kerala, the TATA Sierra, they sell for peanuts. Maintenance wise i seriously donít have much idea but, since it shares most of its components with the sumo (correct me if I am wrong), itís got to be cheap, this car can also be a daily drive, but the 4x4 cousins of this vehicle is very rare and I donít know anyone who has seen one in their lives. Today while I went to see the WIP of my lance there was sierra, and it was for sale. the body line was excellent, but could not check the mechanicals, it was a 96 model, the asking price was 40K. I need some suggestions here.
Is this car worth buying considering the mechanicals are intact?

Did the 4x4 sierra come with a manual transfer case?

Is converting it to a 4x4 possible? If yes how much feasible? (can some gurus list the components to change and the place to procure them)

What are the kinds of costs involved?

Which year was the turbo sierra introduced?


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Old 18th September 2009, 15:08   #2
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Frankly, I didn't know there was a 4x4 Sierra.
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Old 18th September 2009, 15:11   #3
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Frankly, I didn't know there was a 4x4 Sierra.
In 1998 it had come not sure about year but it was launched.
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Old 18th September 2009, 15:12   #4
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sierra 4x4 was electrically operated - borg warner early one
it was launched as I remember in 1995-96.
40k seems cheap but i think it may not be a great idea because these old sierras were not always well maintained and looked after.
today, getting it serviced, maintained and generally looking after it, could be more of a pain than a pleasure.
in my opinion, it would always be better to buy a simple old 4x4 mahindra or gypsy and play at off-roading. these vehicles are proven, they are all mechanical, no electrics and electronics to get jiggered in water or mud or slush and therefore much more practical for off road.
the sierras were nice when they were alive - now frankly they will be more trouble than they are worth.
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Old 18th September 2009, 15:23   #5
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Promodkumar,
From what i understand from your above post is that you need a 4x4 SUV with good ride, power steering and a/c which you think Sierra is capable of. 4x4 Sierra did exist before it was out of production, but i have never seen it in life and blood.

Also i assume your budget is not much assuming it to be about 1-1.5 lakhs considering the kind of vehicle you are looking at. Frankly out of my experience a vehicle becomes drivable only when it crosses 1 lakh minimum and that too when you are lucky.

Iam afraid my friend you cannot have a vehicle with all the above desired features at about 1 - 2 lakhs! If you are serious about off roading stick to jeep and Gypsy. If you need long distance cruising then wait till your budget permits and go for SUV like Scorpio and Safari in 4wd form. Again you can get a TCIC safari 4wd for 3.5 lakhs of 2001 model but expect lot of problems.

On your question of making a 2wd sierra a 4wd it is not possible at all as there are detailed chassis difference between the two. I suggest you not to get into it. Sierra is a bottom less pit. Go for an old jeep with working 4wd, thats the only option now, else wait!

p.s theres a DI 4wd jeep for sale with KL registration in classified section at a very reasonable price. Check that out if you are ok with jeeps. Else for your budget i dont see any vehicle that can do dual role of a car on road and jeep off road

Last edited by vinod_nookala : 18th September 2009 at 15:34.
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Old 18th September 2009, 15:29   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Frankly, I didn't know there was a 4x4 Sierra.
There were a batch of them, rumered to been soled only to employes and friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sha View Post
In 1998 it had come not sure about year but it was launched.
the 4x4 or turbo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
sierra 4x4 was electrically operated - borg warner early one
it was launched as I remember in 1995-96.
Thanks shanker for the info, so it is an electrically operated transfer case, is it same as the safaris
Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
40k seems cheap but i think it may not be a great idea because these old sierras were not always well maintained and looked after.
today, getting it serviced, maintained and generally looking after it, could be more of a pain than a pleasure.
Are you saying buying this one might be a problem or buying any sierra would be a problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
in my opinion, it would always be better to buy a simple old 4x4 mahindra or gypsy and play at off-roading. these vehicles are proven, they are all mechanical, no electrics and electronics to get jiggered in water or mud or slush and therefore much more practical for off road.
the sierras were nice when they were alive - now frankly they will be more trouble than they are worth.
I agree with you but these vehicles usually spend most of their time in owner's garage as they are not practical every day daily drive. I currently drive a lancer petrol, i want an off roder which could give me comfort of a lancer and can also take me to places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post
Promodkumar,
From what i understand from your above post is that you need a 4x4 SUV with good ride, power steering and a/c which you think Sierra is capable of. 4x4 Sierra did exist before it was out of production, but i have never seen it in life and blood.

Also i assume your budget is not much assuming it to be about 1-1.5 lakhs considering the kind of vehicle you are looking at. Frankly out of my experience a vehicle becomes drivable only when it crosses 1 lakh minimum and that too when you are lucky.

Iam afraid my friend you cannot have a vehicle with all the above desired features at about 1 - 2 lakhs! If you are serious about off roading stick to jeep and Gypsy. If you need long distance cruising then wait till your budget permits and go for SUV like Scorpio and Safari in 4wd form. Again you can get a TCIC safari 4wd for 3.5 lakhs of 2001 model but expect lot of problems.

On your question of making a 2wd sierra a 4wd it is not possible at all as there are detailed chassis difference between the two. I suggest you not to get into it. Sierra is a bottom less pit. Go for an old jeep with working 4wd, thats the only option now, else wait!
You are bang on Vinod, this thought of buying one came to my mind the moment i saw one today, The mind sometimes plays trics on you :-) As far as i know there is no major chasis difference between the 4x2 and 4x4 version. As i told you i dont want a vehicle whic will be parked in my garage for most of the year. I was thinking of a TCIC Safari 4x4, but i know the problems and the cost of maintainance it comes with. and my aim is again not to completly retire my present ride.
Pramod

Last edited by pramodkumar : 18th September 2009 at 15:35.
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Old 18th September 2009, 15:37   #7
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I only want to ask the buyer one question.

Have you ever driven a Jeep/SUV or anything else in real bad off road conditions ?

I am asking because it should not be that after you buy the vehicle, you realize that you have got yourself stuck. You may need a winch too which is going to be quiet expensive. Anytime that you want to go off road, go with a group so someone can help you in case you get yourself stuck.

Believe me Off Road Driving is real tough and even a good driver like me is aware of the dangers.

I do not advise the Tata Sierra instead you could look for a 4*4 Tata Sumo if you insist on Tata. Old Mahindra Jeeps are also good but will be pricey.

I just drove the Toyota Fortuner and I think it is not good for any Off Road Driving.
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Old 18th September 2009, 15:39   #8
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The Turbo Version did come with 4*4 also as I remember.

I also wanted to buy the Sierra but many people told me the upkeep and parts will be very difficult to source as they did not sell a lot of vehicles.

Do try and look for the 4*4 Sumo.
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Old 18th September 2009, 15:42   #9
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Default Sierra is out of question in 4wd form

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramodkumar View Post

You are bang on Vinod, this thought of buying one came to my mind the moment i saw one today, The mind sometimes plays trics on you :-) As far as i know there is no major chasis difference between the 4x2 and 4x4 version. As i told you i dont want a vehicle whic will be parked in my garage for most of the year. I was thinking of a TCIC Safari 4x4, but i know the problems and the cost of maintainance it comes with. and my aim is again not to completly retire my present ride.
Pramod
Promod,
SIerra is good to look at but trust me it will spend more time and money in a garage than a jeep. Anyway as i said you will not have anything that is a car onroad and jeep off road in your budget. Tell me if you find one!

Sierra 2wd front suspension is different compared to 4x4 suspension which is that of Sumo A arm type. You cannot adapt it to this chassis. Plus you will have to find a good G76 gearbox with trnsfercase and entire front axle system. Trust me lots of pain and will cost you a bomb.

The only option is see is going for a Safari TCIC 4wd that too if you increase your budget to a good 3.5 to 4.5 lakhs

p.s- 4x4 Sierra came with Turbo engine only

MODS- Cant this thread be moved to which car section?

Last edited by vinod_nookala : 18th September 2009 at 15:44.
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Old 18th September 2009, 15:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supercars View Post
I only want to ask the buyer one question.

Have you ever driven a Jeep/SUV or anything else in real bad off road conditions ?

I am asking because it should not be that after you buy the vehicle, you realize that you have got yourself stuck. You may need a winch too which is going to be quiet expensive. Anytime that you want to go off road, go with a group so someone can help you in case you get yourself stuck.

Believe me Off Road Driving is real tough and even a good driver like me is aware of the dangers.

I do not advise the Tata Sierra instead you could look for a 4*4 Tata Sumo if you insist on Tata. Old Mahindra Jeeps are also good but will be pricey.

I just drove the Toyota Fortuner and I think it is not good for any Off Road Driving.
I have never driven anything diesel other than an indica, most of the members first procure a off roader the go for OTR. I would like to compare off roading with photography, with out an equipment you cant do both and you slowly upgrade based on need, all who buy a fully loaded jeep or a lot of accessories( in case of photography) seldome use them there are many users who have a winch and have not used it yet. All Team BHP OTRs are done in controlled environments so noobs can also join and learn. Unfortunately in my side of the countries most of the Bhpians dont have a 4x4 and hence no OTRs, so i thought let me take a small step. I have been a regular in this side of Team Bhp and i know how hard and how difficult off roading can get, Thanks for the sugestions

BTW 4x4 sumos are more rare than Sierras.

Pramod

Last edited by pramodkumar : 18th September 2009 at 15:51.
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Old 18th September 2009, 16:59   #11
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if you love off roading you will never be happy with anything other than a basic mechanical 4WD jeep with LSD and Transfer case etc.

sierra turbo 4x4 was launched in 1995-1996 - it used the same electric borg warner 4x4 shift on the fly system as the safari of those days.

i personally would never buy a Sierra now in 2009, given the kind of use that most Sierra's would have been put to. also, lets remember that they were never really very reliable vehicles - they were the best that we could get at that time, but today one has so many far better and more reliable choices. apart from that, finding proper spares and service will always be a bit of a challenge.

if you want an "on road" cruiser with a bit of off road thrown in for you to "play at off-roading", then you may need a "soft roader" like the Scorpio 4x4 or Safari 4x4 - maybe even a Bolero 4x4.

But if I were you, I would hunt up a nice old gypsy with working 4wd or a mahindra 540 with working 4wd and buy it and keep it as my "fun" car. Budget would need to be atleast 3-4 lacs for indulging such dreams though.
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Old 18th September 2009, 17:18   #12
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But if I were you, I would hunt up a nice old gypsy with working 4wd or a mahindra 540 with working 4wd and buy it and keep it as my "fun" car. Budget would need to be atleast 3-4 lacs for indulging such dreams though.
Hey u speek the same language as my heart . So back to old plan of going to mayapuri and picking up a gypsy doing it up at Maruti A.S.S and driving it all the way down to kerala. By the way the reason i started this thread because there are not many pictorial guide to convert 4x2 to 4x4 on the net, i thought may be gurus can help. I have seen lists of things needed in posts by Arka and Vinod, some pics of WIP would be a great resource.


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Old 18th September 2009, 17:26   #13
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No need to drive it all the way. Buy, it, get it done here, do an OTR with NIOC, then you catch a flight back to Kerela and ask hundreds of Maruti transporters in Gurgaon to transport it for you for Rs. 11,000 to 12,000 odd.
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Old 18th September 2009, 18:40   #14
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Hey u speek the same language as my heart . So back to old plan of going to mayapuri and picking up a gypsy doing it up at Maruti A.S.S and driving it all the way down to kerala.
Gypsys have morphed over the years. They have changed widths, engines and other things. Make sure you know the history of changes and in what year they occured so you know what you are getting. A good bit of that history can be found on this site. Look around here. Also, there are some quite competent folk who own Gypsys who are active members on this forum. One guy is "Headers" and one of the moderators whose threads here you will appreciate, "khan_sultan".
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Old 18th September 2009, 18:49   #15
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Wouldnt registration be an issue if you get an old gypsy from Delhi and register it in Kerela?
If its hassle free, I would love to get one from Delhi myself though KA registration fees itself would kill me
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