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Old 9th May 2013, 09:47   #46
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Hahaha, not really ! You sure have good sense of humor, I was expecting such a response. I have never said it is perfect or the best, I still admit there is improvement. It is up to you to decide who falls where after reading the definition properly.

Anyways, I will not argue more on this with you (it reminds me of a Skoda thread I read sometime back). I have put across what I had wanted to here, now I leave, as I would like to see this thread remain open unlike -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/technical-stuff/112863-dsg-mechatronics-failures-we-driving-them-wrongly-10.html#post2630319 (DSG Mechatronics Failures: Are we driving them wrongly?)

Spike
Well the difference between that situation and this one is that even those who thought that Thar wasnt right for them (like myself) wish that it wasnt so. We just wish that they would have put more into it to either make it a more robust vehicle, or a better family car with occasional off-road trials. But I guess this was meant to be a compromise between the two - so hey, im not a target customer - time for me to move on.

In the chase of the Skoda, we have much more clearly divided battle lines of those who hate it or have been burned by Skoda, and those who love / defend Skodas. I dont think the battle lines are as clear in the case of the Thar...

For the record, some people here claim that 'ride quality in the Thar will never be as good as an SUV. Get used to it'. I beg to differ. The ride in the Thar is SUPERIOR to most SUVs I've driven in India, except the monocoques like the Freelander or CRV. Of course im talking about sitting in the front. The back seat might as well not be there on the Thar. In fact, we have an internal joke that we put people who we want to punish in the back of the Thar, and call it the T(i)har Jail. But all that is in good jest! We all love the Thar and wish that it fit our needs! Just a little bit more refinement would have pushed it into my lap!
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Old 9th May 2013, 10:39   #47
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Let me put another view.

But ask that from most of the expensive SUV owners - they will not for risk of scratching the vehicle....


For most a compromise is the best option. THAR and GYPSY stand out here.


Lastly Thar (and the team) has introduced the community to OTR's and as the community grows other manufacturers will take note and introduce some more machines. From barely two three people I have seen OTR community grow to fifty plus vehicles in Chandigarh in matter of one year with 75% of new Thar's.

Hope.
Sudev Ji,
You have nailed it. Biggest advantage of Thar is you can now travel distances which otherwise wasn't possible in an old 540. It is so heartening to see Thar owners enjoying snow up in the mountains during winter, enjoying sand dunes post winter and slush during monsoon's and above all using Thar to commute to work during all weather conditions! MM540/550 had limitation here. Post off-road commute is one of the most dreadful thing. I remember post BODA OTR people in their old warhorses travelling for 8-10 hrs from Bangalore to Chennai. I was in one of better vehicles with XD 3p which could do 80-90 kmph consistently.

Old 550's & 540's/ CJ 3B's have limited appeal now. They have become like ATV's which are painfully slow on road and outstanding off-road. THAR offers a better compromise.

Like what you said, Thar coupled with Adventure Initiatives by Mahindra has helped the off-road scenario bloom with more and more people joining the bandwagon.

I know we all are waiting for a dream 4x4 that your wife would love to be driven in, that handles like a super car on-road and decidedly superior off-road is still a distant dream. Well, accepting no limits is all about achieving distant dreams

Last edited by vinod_nookala : 9th May 2013 at 10:40.
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Old 9th May 2013, 11:02   #48
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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I have twice come out of OTR in Delhi and proceeded to a commute of 250 plus kms, without even a break but for some refreshments. Thar gives me that confidence.

Lastly Thar (and the team) has introduced the community to OTR's and as the community grows other manufacturers will take note and introduce some more machines. From barely two three people I have seen OTR community grow to fifty plus vehicles in Chandigarh in matter of one year with 75% of new Thars. Hope.
Dear Sudev - hello after a long time and thank you so much for your correct comments. 250 kms is nothing, it will just fly off in a jiffy! I have done more than 1000 kms on multiple occasions in MH01V521, all alone at torpedo speeds with full stability (but then, there was only one MH01V521!) .

We as a team had put in tremendous value addition to this project because we had the ownership, it became a commando mission for us to succeed, and succeed we did!

This kind of passionate quality does not normally come from persons who do a project as a normal job, but because most people are normal, therfore companies are forced to spend larger than life budgets (allocation of budget becomes more important than the product - HaHaHa) and put in all sorts of control plans in place to try and ensure that "something happens". Arre baba, put people who really want it to happen, then no controls are required. On top of that, other poeople will try their level best to ensure that the project does not succeed. These guys are actually bred in the organization. Why they do this, we don't even want to know. Earlier, we used to get angry at such guys, now we only pity them. We always stay away from negative energy so we just ignore them and let them procrastinate. We just go ahead deliver what we have to!

That's why 250 kms was nothing for you and that's why 2 to 3 vehicles in an OTR have now become 50 in Chandigarh and 75% of them are new Thars!

I hope "people" have at least now understood the real business process to succeed! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by DHABHAR.BEHRAM : 9th May 2013 at 11:06.
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Old 9th May 2013, 11:03   #49
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

I would LOVE to buy the Thar. But I am a single vehicle guy. It would look awesome in my garage and I would love to drive it everywhere I can.

Just one reason why I CANNOT buy the Thar.
1. NO CHILD SAFETY:
There is absolutely no way I can fit a child seat in this vehicle.

There are some other reasons as well. Like the inability to roll up the windows fast without skinning your knuckles. :(
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Old 9th May 2013, 11:18   #50
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Let me put a different prospective here. The kind of driving I do, a Thar may be "overkill" for me. All I need is a high GC vehicle with tough suspension and drivetrain and All terrain tires. Any dealer will readily exchange HT tires on vehicles with AT tires if you drive from the showroom to the dealer.
I even decided to go for the Thar, as I am fed up with the niggling issues with Safari, and also the fact that the Storme VX has priced itself out of my budget.

So Sudev was kind enough to go ahead and lend me his Thar.
After spending two hours in the Thar, we were sure this cannot be our next vehicle.
And that had nothing to do with engineering. The vehicle would do everything we were doing in the Safari, but the handling, the ergonomics, the seating position, the doors, the windows, the dust coming in..... The list goes on and on.
Moreover, ownership reviews have not convinced me that I would escape from niggles. I want a vehicle which I do not have to baby and take to the service center every now and then because somebody in the factory forgot to tighten a screw. I do not think CMVR forbids or makes difficult tightening of screws. It just is a sign of shoddy chalta hai attitude on the shop floor, and actually has nothing to do with the design team.
So right now as it stands, the only capable vehicle(as capable as our Safari 4x4) with acceptable handling and interiors is the Xenon 4x4 (in our budget)
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Old 9th May 2013, 11:32   #51
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
So right now as it stands, the only capable vehicle (as capable as our Safari 4x4) with acceptable handling and interiors is the Xenon 4x4 (in our budget)
Dear Tanveer - so do ahead and buy the Xenon 4*4, its a wonderful vehicle, I love it too, its "our" vehicle now. A certain "Mr.Harinam Pardeshi" will be a very happy man! Both of us have migrated from the same past company to the same present company. He is my guru also! .

Hurrah for Xenon 4*4! Congratulations Pardeshi! Yippee, I'm lovin' it! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 9th May 2013, 11:40   #52
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

If budget was not an issue, then Thar CRDe AC is a no brainer. The initial outlay is at least 10L in KA, after including all the offroad bells and whistles. Add winch & the cheapest HT, you are looking at 11L or more. If the budget is limited, same can be achieved in a Roplas MM550 in 4-4.5L, more if you have to buy another HT. I achieved the same in 3.25L since I could move the tyres/alloys and winch from the CJ340. What you giveup is the on-road performance. But the gains, are cheaper repairs and better offroad performance*.

Now, why did I put that * next to offroad performance? That is because the playing field has changed in general, but not for me.

There has been a major change in offroad trail format. Prior to Thar, TPC was the only competitive offroad event. Now, almost 90% of the events are competitive. How does that matter?
  • Non-competitive events focused on offering difficult trails, that needs careful control and skill on the driver part to conquer the trail. Drivers pitted their skills against the obstacle, not against each other. Each well chosen/prepared obstacle is like a puzzle, the drivers have to solve it using their skill and by knowing the strengths and weaknesses of their vehicle. The vehicles like the CJs, MMs, Gypsies & Gurkas, and even Thars have their respective strengths and weaknesses. While none can totally overwhelm the rest in any well designed non-competitive terrain, MMs do hold an edge.
  • The non-competitive events also have another well desired feature, they take you through some of the most scenic places, unreachable via any other transport, on natural or old unused trails.
  • Finally, we hardly encounter tourists and audience, but only fellow offroaders. Thanks to non-competitive nature, drivers are friendly to each other, often sharing technical advice and driving tips. You end up making friends for life.
The above points are the things I cherish and the reason why I do offroading.
  • The competitive events (CE) focus on speed, apart from skill. The drivers are now also pitted against fellow offroaders. Since speed is one of the parameters, the drivers start abusing the vehicles, something rarely done in non-competitive events. When speed matter, the drivers bulldoze their vehicle through the obstacles whenever possible, instead of being careful. Between two equally skilled drivers, the one who is willing to abuse his vehicle more will win. Post event repair bills can be huge as a result. This format is also biased towards high-revving, high torque vehicles like Thar CDRe.
  • The competitive events are held in a completely man made trail, often in the middle of towns by mutilating a play ground. Hardly any scenic views or ambience.
  • The audience will be present in hundreds if not thousands, I find it quite irritating. The competitive nature of the event won't let you mingle freely with others, discuss mods/tips with competitors. On the other hand, you'll witness very bitter fights over points or judging, between the same people who were very cordial to each other in non-competitive events.
These are not things I desire, so I keep away from competitive events.

Considering I only attend non-competitive events, with a limited budget, my choice was pretty clear. Even desertfox is looking for a non-competitive offroader, so Thar CDRe doesn't really make sense for him.

But let's not hype the Thar too much. Vinod says Thar CDRe is the consistent winner in competitive MGE events. But against which other high-revving vehicle, Scorpio? The playing field in competitive MGE events do not allow non-Mahindra high revving vehicles. The only other prominent offroad competition event is TPC, where Thar CDRe is yet to win anything. I can't answer why, I have never been to TPC. Being a former TPC champion, Vinod should be able to answer that one lot better than me.

And let's not consider Desert Storm or Raid De Himalaya, where Grand Vitara is winning against everybody else including Thar. Those events are not the kind of offroading we do.
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Old 9th May 2013, 11:59   #53
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Having been brought up on a Landmaster, ambassadors and willys I was surprised at what an AC could do in Delhi summers when I brought my first car a ramshackle 4th hand Maruti 800 in 2000 for a sum of 50K. When I graduated to the newly launched Wagon R in 2003, I was amazed at the technology. Then in 2011, wife brought herself a Figo TDCI top of the line model. Being the only certified driver, I was zapped by the driving dynamics, the quiet diesel engine, creature comforts etc.

The head said that your next car should be a C segment sedan, but the heart said Jeep. During all time I broke my head and went partially bald in the time consuming effort to find the right disposal Gypsy/MM540 and a guy who can help me refurbish it. 2012, I decided to take a plunge to buy the Thar. Mind you, I am not a core offroader. I use the vehicle as my daily drive and trips that I do. Yes, I wanted to buy a Jeep. But I was not willing to have a heartburn and affairs with the neighborhood mechanics. I lived with that between 2000 2003 when I had my Maruti 800, and it had broken down many a times on highways, cities and desolation, leading to differences of opinion, arguments with family & friends. I did not want to relive that.

So, while the search was on for a the Jeep, I test drove Sumo, Safari, Scorpio, Gurkha, Gypsies, Boleros, Rios, etc. Either I didnt like the feel, or if it did it did not suit my pocket. The AC Thar was launched and I took the bait. The day I took the delivery I knew, I would spend more time with the Thar than I would do with the rest of other things. As Manveet, has mentioned earlier, I have also spent close to 2 Lakhs + on various things, some worthwhile, some utter waste of resources and will spend more on things that needs to be done which I will outline in a separate thread once I am finished. Heck! Will I ever finish? Tending to 40, with a 2 year old kid, a 70 year old mother, I spent best of 15-18 years of my life in basic vehicles. I dont mind it. So much so, that my wife the other day commented if only you give 10% of the time and attention you give the Jeep, our marriage/relationship would have worked out better.

But, thats the fun. I like the supreme road presence. It higher than a Fortuner and all other topline SUVs. No one messes with you on the Road. Trucks and Buses make way for you on the highway. The ground clearance rocks (with four people sitting in the Figo, the undercarriage touches and groans against the puny Bumpers in my residential pocket). You feel elated when you get a thumbs up from a passing by vehicle or when people walk up to you at parkings, roll down their windows at redlights to say words of appreciation the beast. Risking so much deserves a bit of gut and a bit of acknowledgement from the manufacturers.

To start with, I will repeat to Vinod Nookala and his team at Mahindra, something that I did long time back in one of the threads.

Evolution is a part of product development, whenever you are planning an upgrade of the Thar, please keep the existing customers in mind. Try and make the upgrades a bolt on fit, affordable and easily available to the Customer. I and countless others, will bless you and your team with the very best of everything.
Educate your Dealers and Workshops that the Thar Owners are different animals. They should not refuse small things like a wheel balancing just because the Tyres and Rims are not the Company Fitted ones make them respond to our requests.
Just because the Vehicle is prone to Abuse and Bashing do not withdraw the warranty cover after a year. Give an extended warranty on purchase as you offer on other vehicles.
And last but not the least - the Bells and Whistles industry around Thar is unorganized and there is an immense scope of improvement. If Mahindra recognizes them, supports them with a little bit of R&D, technical investment and QCs, a lot of Thar owners will have save a lot of time and resources in finding the right accessories. There is a scope of developing our own indigenous rugged ridges, smittybilts, Mopars and Morris4X4 centers.

Saying all this, I must say, owning the Thar is my personal statement in life.
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Old 9th May 2013, 12:03   #54
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by bblost View Post
I would LOVE to buy the Thar. But I am a single vehicle guy. It would look awesome in my garage and I would love to drive it everywhere I can.

Just one reason why I CANNOT buy the Thar.
1. NO CHILD SAFETY:
There is absolutely no way I can fit a child seat in this vehicle.

There are some other reasons as well. Like the inability to roll up the windows fast without skinning your knuckles. :(
Put front facing seats in the rear. Fix a child seat on that.
For the skinning your knuckles problem, install power windows.

Total cost for above is less than 5K, and it will take less than 2 hrs.

But I totally agree with you on one thing, there is no way a Thar can be the ONLY car for a family man.
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Old 9th May 2013, 12:06   #55
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Put front facing seats in the rear. Fix a child seat on that.
Not so simple. As the seatbelts will be needed for securing the child seat. AFAIK there is no place to set that up.

Quote:
But I totally agree with you on one thing, there is no way a Thar can be the ONLY car for a family man.
Sadly, I agree.
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Old 9th May 2013, 12:19   #56
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Not so simple. As the seatbelts will be needed for securing the child seat. AFAIK there is no place to set that up.
A 3-point seat-belt can be fixed using the Roll-cage for mounts. But again, the roll cage costs extra

That's how I am getting it done, there may be other ways as well.
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Old 9th May 2013, 13:24   #57
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

I happen to be the safety and first aid marshal for NIOC. Maybe I dont go much on OTRs these days because most weekends I am comitted to skeet shooting, and my own wildlife adventure camera trips but I get reports of what has transpired all the time.

Thars are being towed out of NIOC trails fairly reqularly with tie rods snapping and other mechanical failures. Thar is not able to perform at the same level as MM 540 / 550 , a good CJ3B or Gypsy on these trails, it is no hardcore off road vehicle. It is a softroader.

I dont like doing this but the need has come to introduce myself.

I am shahid Ahmad. Age 45

Off road adventure experience on 4 continents.
3 times winner of 1000 dunes desert rally.
team toyota driver
285,000 km driven off road and 1900 off road trips till date. Will drive more.
Designer of Toyo - Open Country OP/DH tyre for landcruisers
Chief Marshal - Dubai Desert Club
Chief Marshal - Gulf News fun drive for 12 years
Route Director & Chief Marshal - Great Escape Desert Adventure, Dubai sponsored by Toyota, Dunlop Tyres and Total Lubricants.

If I talk I know what I am saying.

On what logic can anyone make a statement that a Thar is better than a Jeep Wrangler ? How ? A Wrangler has a 200 bhp engine, better torque, better tow points, better power, better torque curve, suitable off road design suspension, rates among the top most capable off roader ever, has a two volume 1000 pages of modification parts available, have you all heard of something called the Baja Championships ?

Why I feel Thar is a let down. I know the compromise in India for a diesel engine, a CRDe with 105 bhp is very good for Indian terrain of hard mud grounds and sandy tracks / slush. I am not considering desert of rock crawling type of off roading at all.

Sudev Ji has taken it to the desert but 105 bhp is underpowered for the desert even on a 1600 Kg vehicle, I will wait for him to tell us how it performs on high dunes deflated to 18 or 16 psi.

But here on the Indian Gantetic plains and in this Aravali range, how the Thar is inadequate for my purpose ?

False promise of an AC that does not work in a soft top.
Crude Finsih,at 8 lakhs it can be done better
HT tyres not suitable. When the same AT 693 tread II comes OE in a Xylo why not here or why not a Wandrer, why no tie up with a tyre manufacturer to develop an AT OE treat with strong side walls. Di enough knowledge exist on this with tem Mahindra ? SOme research would have been done when developing Sand Grippers equipped MM550 for the Indian Army.

The silencer is constantly scraping bushes and shrubs on degree of difficulty level 1 off road tracks. Why is it so low ?

When Mahindra built MM540 / 550 with foot steps, what is this stupid running board doing here in the THAR CRD e ?

What is all this crap plastic on overfenders ? It can easily come off on trails.

Why not a better solid axle design of MM550 why this indipendent FS ? When Mahindra has the capability of doing it, from CJ3B to Hunter to MM550 days ? No R & D experience to build a solid axle vehicle ?

Why position the number plate so low ?

There is a history of at least 20 tow out cases with Thar CRD e at NIOC otr s alone, mostly snapped tie rods.

Isnt it all this a major deterrent towards continueing with my MM550 and cancel the THAR order ?

Why not stronger tow points fixed ( not welded ) to chassis ?
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Old 9th May 2013, 13:33   #58
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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[[*]T
But let's not hype the Thar too much. Vinod says Thar CDRe is the consistent winner in competitive MGE events. But against which other high-revving vehicle, Scorpio? The playing field in competitive MGE events do not allow non-Mahindra high revving vehicles. The only other prominent offroad competition event is TPC, where Thar CDRe is yet to win anything. I can't answer why, I have never been to TPC. Being a former TPC champion, Vinod should be able to answer that one lot better than me.

And let's not consider Desert Storm or Raid De Himalaya, where Grand Vitara is winning against everybody else including Thar. Those events are not the kind of offroading we do.
Sharat,
When did i say Thar is a consistent winner in MGE? I said, Thar has proved itself to be a hardy off-roader across MGE and also Off-roaders across India have put it to test at Off-road trophy and Thar never let them down.

To give fair credit to THar in multi-brand events, Desert storm is a recent example. In a race over 7 days closest Gyspy (high revving petrol) was about 1 hr behind Thar!! Thar was just 15-20 mins away from GV which is a far more powerful high revving petrol. Don't you think Thar coming so close is an achievement for a Diesel?

I haven't kept a record but Thar CRDe did win some speed sprint off-road competitions in Karnataka & elsewhere.

Any vehicle needs a good driver and I am sure with a good driver behind the wheel and with a good team, Thar would do well in TPC. Its only a matter of time.
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Old 9th May 2013, 13:35   #59
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by desertfox View Post
I am shahid Ahmad. Age 45

Off road adventure experience on 4 continents.
3 times winner of 1000 dunes desert rally.
team toyota driver
285,000 km driven off road and 1900 off road trips till date. Will drive more.
Designer of Toyo - Open Country OP/DH tyre for landcruisers
Chief Marshal - Dubai Desert Club
Chief Marshal - Gulf News fun drive for 12 years
Route Director & Chief Marshal - Great Escape Desert Adventure, Dubai sponsored by Toyota, Dunlop Tyres and Total Lubricants.

If I talk I know what I am saying.
How does that make you an expert on CMVR and EEC homologation norms?
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Old 9th May 2013, 13:45   #60
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post

Any vehicle needs a good driver and I am sure with a good driver behind the wheel and with a good team, Thar would do well in TPC. Its only a matter of time.
Even my 4x4 safari can do such an event one time. The question is, at what cost.
Will the steering, tie rods and CV joints survive competitive driving on those terrains?
It is a well known fact the auto locking hubs, which are used in Safari, Scorpio, and Thar often malfunction in tough off road scenarios, with the thin locking pin(do not know the exact part) getting bent.
Severe rocky offroading will break the CV joints and also damage tie rods. I think this is the point Samurai is making. He can compete in TPC, and then spend a few thousand rupees to fix some broken linkages and bushes. With a Thar like vehicle the potential costs are
CV joint replacement. I am assuming they are as tough as those found in scorpio, which is not really a shiner
Tie rods and steering linkages - Again a weak point prone to braking when you do rock crawl kind of offroading where articuation demand is severe.

Also remember, the power steering on Thar makes it easier to break stuff. Its a very capable offroader for medium difficulty terrains.
If you cannot spend more than 10L, then the only way to make an abuse resistant capable offroader is to take an old jeep, and work on suspension and engine.

Please do not take it as a fault in Thar design. Behram has time and again said that you had to take parts from existing parts bin. So you took CV joints, tie rods from the vehicles you have in your portfolio. Nobody set out to design the IFS and steering mechanism from ground up so that it could deal with rigors of rock crawling on big M/T tires.

As per my understanding, please correct me if I am wrong, going with a new Solid Axle Coil spring kind of setup on the Thar would have resulted in vehicle cost increasing by approx 1 lakh rupees with no gain to 90% of the users out there.

However, I feel a company which is making offroad vehicles should have a reference design in house with a solid axle coil spring setup as such setups allow you to raise vehicle and fit bigger tires etc., without compromising on reliability

Last edited by tsk1979 : 9th May 2013 at 13:48.
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