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Old 18th February 2012, 20:54   #1
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Default Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.-v1.jpg


Friends:

This is Veeru. Veeru got his name after 3.5 years of enjoying the road and offroad with me. Ive never named a vehicle in my life but this chap was named by friends after the Ladakh trip in 2011 when we managed to cross a live avalanche stricken road near Deskit after a military truck backed out from a failed attempt. More like a Jay & Veeru cliche from the movie. It just went on to reinforce my belief that the vehicle lives up to its name - Safari. You may not always make your own road, but when the road becomes a no go is when this brute manages to excel.
I got Veeru almost 4 years ago.This is the only car I own and is my daily drive to the mall, movie, mountains and everywhere. So Veeru joind me with a plan to travel India, do those long road trips and lots of offroading, which I used to do earlier in a Jeep. Yes, Mahindra Classic. No offence to the Jeepers here, but i had a career to concentrate on and it was turning me into a mechanic and I had no time for that back then.

The Safari 4x4 is what I saw as the most refined version of a 4x4 available in this country in the 10 lakh range. So I got one, for the long road trips where I would wander off the road at will to wherever I felt like and for purposeful offroading trips, pushing this brute to as much as the vehicle could take, as you can see from the pics.

Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.-v2.jpg

Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.-v3.jpg

I have not had any reliability issues with my Safari, except for injectors in the early year of ownership and the rest due to the stupidity of TASS, all of which were covered in warranty.

In April, my Safari is free from the 4yr warranty and ive decided to keep the vehicle and explore the possibilities of making this Safari ready for the AKC, EXAMM & PALAR or better. It has the potential, but I dont completely know how to do it. There is NO Offroad spec Safari I have seen in India yet, which I can use as an example. So this might be the first such project being seriously taken up for a Safari.
I plan to attend this years Offroading events with all the mods in place.

Following pics taken from the Tata Italia forum pics and are the only point of reference I have at this time:
It shows extreme articulation. Im not sure if I need so much articulation. I think about 50% more than the existing articulation should suffice, though I know that its never enough. I wish to strike a decent balance with onroad behaviour as well.

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Difference in articulation between a standard Safari and modified Safari suspension.

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Staged offroad specific mods i am planning for Veeru:

Problem areas identified for offroading that need to be addressed:
Lack of articulation - Need a suspension lift.
Lack of groundclearance - Need a body lift.
No tank protection - Fabricate tank protection.
Poor LSD - Suggestions.. How to adjust this?
Useless OE tw hooks - ARB type Winch ready front and rear bumpers with robust central tow hooks.
MT/AT Tire upgrade - Will upgrade once the other items are taken care of.
Poor turning radius - This cannot be solved, I can drive around it.
Snorkel type air intake - I dont think its necessary apart from the looks. I can do without it.
ECU remap/ Tuning box - After other mods are completed.
Brakes upgrade(if possible) - to be considered at the end of all the mods.

Internal planned mods: After external technical mods are completed: to be discussed later.


I request all the experienced, experts and technically knowledgable people to help me out with this one.
This might not be as enthusiastic as a Jeep or a Gypsy project, but any useful input and info is appreciated.

Starting with suspension:
I have seen an example of a Safari with extreme articulation in the Tatazza forum of Italy - see link below:




Im not sure if such extreme articulation is desired. If i get a suspension lift, I dont think I need a body lift.
Please comment.

Please provide pointers about how to go about improving the suspension articulation for the Safari ?
What are the Pros and Cons of such a lift ?
How can the Cons be tackled ?
Effect on the steering, sway bars, propeller shaft ?
Can such a mod be done locally in India?
Any names, numbers and addresses of knowledgeably people/experts/workshops who could help me pull off this project will be a big help too.

At the end if it I still want the Safari to be roadworthy, capable of doing a road trip and not just offroad specific.
I would like to complete this project before the oncoming monsoon if possible.

Below is a link to the company that made the suspension kit for the Italian Safari upgrade:

West Coast Suspensions | Australia 4WD Suspensions and Springs

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Jay

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 18th February 2012 at 21:08.
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Old 18th February 2012, 21:34   #2
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

@jay:

Good project. I have almost been there done that. I contacted West Cost and they have no clue. Looks like they did a one-off job for the Italians and having no clue what a Tata Safari is, never added the products to their catalog.

You can buy all stuff directly from a 4x4 shop in Italy called Off Quattro. Their website is OFFQUATTRO - fuoristrada 4x4 4wd toyota suzuki land rover landcruiser offroad mitsubishi FUORISTRADA 4X4 4WD OFFROAD TOYOTA SUZUKI LAND ROVER LANDCRUISER OFFROAD MITSUBISHI . I bought steel wheels for Safari from them. The chap I dealt with was a Romano Girardi. Not sure if he is still around.

I would however, recommend that you pick up a used Pajero 2.8 instead for your project. This will be the perfect vehicle to build up on. Parts to modify are much more easily available.

The Tata Italy Club lift kit is a good kit that offers about 2 inches of lift. This won't have a negative impact on your steering, prop shaft etc. The kit includes 4 longer gas charged shocks, and two longer coil springs from west coast suspensions and longer stabilizer bar.

Last edited by 4x4addict : 18th February 2012 at 21:39.
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Old 19th February 2012, 16:41   #3
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

DOnt think its wise to invest in picking up another pajero for about 10+/_lakhs just to modify it when I already have a well depreciated Safari available.
Thanks.
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Old 19th February 2012, 17:22   #4
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

This is going to be interesting.
1) If you want it to be offroad worthy you might not want to be going fast on the highways. The safari anyways suffers from body roll and any form of lift will aggravate it.
2) A Mud-terrain upgrade to about 31" should be feasible with slightly more negative offset alloys. Maxxis Bighorns would be a good option.
3) A Snorkel would serve purpose much beyond the looks. You should think about having one
4) I love that video of the Italian Safari articulating. Am sure the sway bars have been removed for that to happen. In fact, if you read the comments in the youtube video page, talks about "Tough Dog" Australian shocks and a custom lift.
5) I believe in the 2.2, the location of the intercooler warrants a good plate guard. Check it out.
6) What's wrong with the LSD? Your particular vehicle or this LSD design in general?
7) Look up the Race Chip option here. 407 NM torque. Salivating.

In fact, I have the old TCIC 4wd Safari and this year when I go in for the Storme I have half a mind of keeping the TCIC and plonking a Toyota 14B Turbo instead of the 483 DL engine. Look forward to your progress!

Cheers,
Adi

Last edited by AVR : 19th February 2012 at 17:23. Reason: correction
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Old 20th February 2012, 20:28   #5
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Adi,

Thanks for the pointers.
But right now my primary concern is increasing articulation and if that is not possible due to complications then atleast a body lift of a few inches.

Once I achieve this, the rest is not a challenge. Tires, snorkel, Chip, guards, etc is not difficult to achieve.

Im hoping there will be someone on this forum who can provide detailed leads or pointers towards solving my primary concern which is either a suspension lift or a body lift... considering Im quite a novice to modifications, though I have a fair idea.

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 20th February 2012 at 20:38.
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Old 20th February 2012, 20:47   #6
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Safari is IFS, so lift is very difficult.
That said, get rid of the Auto locking hubs. They are weak, and will fail.
Get manual hubs.
As for articulation, I think some sway/stabilizer bars removal can result in better articulation.
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Old 20th February 2012, 20:49   #7
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
But right now my primary concern is increasing articulation and if that is not possible due to complications then atleast a body lift of a few inches.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...ehicles-4.html (Tata off road vehicles)

This thread has a few pointers for that. Check them out.
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Old 20th February 2012, 22:30   #8
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVR View Post
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...ehicles-4.html (Tata off road vehicles)

This thread has a few pointers for that. Check them out.
Heyy thanks for that link. QUite informative.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
@jay:

Good project. .....The Tata Italy Club lift kit is a good kit that offers about 2 inches of lift. This won't have a negative impact on your steering, prop shaft etc. The kit includes 4 longer gas charged shocks, and two longer coil springs from west coast suspensions and longer stabilizer bar.
Saw your very informative and useful post here. Atleast some leads to start with. Thanks.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...ml#post1006477 (Tata off road vehicles)

I dont intend buying all that expensive suspension mods from Italy. Im sure I can find a cheaper alternative source, and try using some local engineering and automotive expertise to get this done.
Err.. make my own road.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Safari is IFS, so lift is very difficult.
That said, get rid of the Auto locking hubs. They are weak, and will fail.
Get manual hubs.
As for articulation, I think some sway/stabilizer bars removal can result in better articulation.

Tanveer, Ive got to find a way to get that IFS lift. If the Italians can do it, why cant we... with some advice and ideas form everywhere.

Yes. The plan is to first get the suspension mod and the body lift in place. I most likely will junk the auto hubs.
Also, do you have any ideas to make the LSD work better or an alternative LSD.

WHat do you think of this:

Installing the POWERTRAX No-Slip Locker

The Safari rear is also a DANA 44, if im not mistaken.
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Old 20th February 2012, 22:48   #9
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Jay,

Perhaps you should speak to Allan Almeida, of Sara Extreme 4x4 ( xtremepower ). I believe he's also based out of Mumbai, and has worked on the Scorpio, which also has IFS.

He may have some workable ideas for you..
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Old 20th February 2012, 23:12   #10
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Bro

The stuff from Italy isn't cheap, so find other sources. Your front suspension is a torsion bar - get a stronger torsion bar that can fit from the likes of ARB/Ironman/Dobinsons and raise it to the max. That will give you the front lift. The rear is coil, so that shouldn't be a problem.

The differentials are Dana 44s, so sourcing a suitable air-locker should be possible.

This is all speculation, though. These are plans I made for my 3.0 before it hit a 100k kms and I sold it - in retrospect I think I should've kept it.

If you need any help with the torsion bars or the air lockers, just PM me and I will see what I can do. You're coming to DXB anyway in March and we can take a good look around.

I have a lot of faith in this vehicle's ability to take abuse, because I did not spare mine any.

Last edited by Steeroid : 20th February 2012 at 23:13.
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Old 21st February 2012, 00:05   #11
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Ah, the elusive Steeroid! Hey buddy, how've you been!
Anyway, a lift on the Safari will lead to a lot of roll. You will necessarily have to upgrade your shocks too.
Front diff is a Dana 30, by the way.

Last edited by jyobeb : 21st February 2012 at 00:06.
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Old 21st February 2012, 11:26   #12
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Bro

The stuff from Italy isn't cheap, so find other sources. Your front suspension is a torsion bar - get a stronger torsion bar that can fit from the likes of ARB/Ironman/Dobinsons and raise it to the max. That will give you the front lift. The rear is coil, so that shouldn't be a problem.
.
The problem with the front end is not just the suspension. The weak link is the steering. Even with trail driving(extensive trail driving), you have center pin, or steering cross failures after a few thousand kms.
Changing the center pin every 10-25K is a norm in safaris driven continuously on rough terrain.
This steering system is simply not designed to take abuse. The Merlin fixes this issue, but the current 2.2, the steering is a pain.
another issue is that the Dana 30 front axle is not that durable, esp with a heavy front end. Dana 44 at rear is pretty tough, and you can take out the LSD kit(which anyways goes kaput after 60-70K) and fit in a locker. Raising the rear is also not an issue.
But a front raised safari as a daily driver with reliability required in remote places... that will be a tough thing.
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Old 21st February 2012, 14:13   #13
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jyobeb View Post
Anyway, a lift on the Safari will lead to a lot of roll. You will necessarily have to upgrade your shocks too.
Front diff is a Dana 30, by the way.
Not with the right set of springs/t-bars (and of course shocks - I have very high regard for the new FoamCell Shocks from Ironman here). You get very good constant-load springs/bars that can maintain composure.

Sorry about the Front Diff info, yes its a 30. As long as its a Dana you can find lockers for it, but I'd rather put lockers onto a 44 - the center is locked anyway, a rear lock will help matters.

These are not things people havent done before, so Jay isnt really going to be beating a lonely path. He can always touch base with the Italians (mpescatori and co?) for guidance, even if their components are expensive.
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Old 21st February 2012, 16:27   #14
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Body lift will not give you increased ground clearance by any measure unless you install bigger tyres. I have already modified my Ford Endeavour with a Ironman Lift kit, removed the rear sway bar for some awesome articulation, and got some AT tyres. Check out my thread just a few below called "Modifying my Ford Endeavour 3.0 AT for Offroading". I have even got a tuning box from Spider. Amazing performance improvement.

With the lift kit from Ironman 4x4 I have a lift of 75mm at the rear and 55mm at the front. Awesome stuff. Ride is also much better now. I have lined up some 32" Maxxis Bighorn tyres that im getting in April as well. Next step after that will be the Lockers and a Snorkel.

I wish you the best of luck in modifying your Safari! Maybe we will meet up one day with our beastly machines on an offroad trail

Look at some of the videos I have posted in that thread for te articulation now possible

Last edited by Endeavour333 : 21st February 2012 at 16:29.
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Old 21st February 2012, 22:50   #15
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Default Re: Safari 2.2 - 4x4 - Offroad specific suspension modification project.

Don't get me wrong guys, the above reasons, are precisely why I am suggesting that Safari is not a platform that you make into souped up 4x4 platform like a Pajero or Defender, Wrangler etc. There are too many weak links in the chain that will get you stranded...
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