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Old 19th October 2013, 01:29   #16
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

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Hi swamwagon,

Saying CONGRATULATIONS will be too late now. But CONGRATULATIONS.

Nice thread. I always wanted to own a Thar but I am not able to because I am not that wealthy to own 2 cars - 1 for the family and 1 for me. But I am still dreaming about this vehicle and always want to tame this beast.

You will definitely agree that this is not a family car. Rather, this is a lifestyle car. This car can be used only when there are 2 adults. Even my friends won't go with me if there are more than 1 of them with me as they may fight to sit on the front left side seat. Who will want to go to the back seat if the journey is more than even 50 KMs.

Soft top is a problem and you don't get good looking hard top for Thar on earth. Only the Hyderabad HT appeals me to some extent.

The partition you have put is really innovative and I was also thinking to have something like this but with some transparent materials.
.
Yeah I agree that its a lifestyle vehicle and not as comfortable as a conventional ride if you have 2+ adults to lug around. Probably would have kept mulling over it forever myself if the wonderful opportunity of using one paid for by some one else hadn't come along. But now having used it for almost a year now, I feel that all these peculiarities aside, the Thar slowly grow on you. You just need to slightly alter the way we look at our rides and what we expect from them. Offcourse, the soft top is not safe enough to leave valuables lying around in the back seat but then why leave them in a car in the first place. And if you seriously look at it, its not too difficult to break-in to a car either. Maybe just a stone lying around. Tearing a soft top will still require someone to manage a sharp enough object. Other than that it is completely weather proof and the powerful AC more than makes up for losses, it just needs some more time and if possible parking in shades. In the heat of Delhi summer I had to use that partition only twice. Similarly, the rear seats are not all that uncomfortable. I have spent scores of kms on them myself. Being of medium height does help though. And I am not too wealthy either, just managed to scrape enough cash. The point I am trying to make is that the perfect vehicle that you are looking for and keep waiting for is an illusion. All that you want is never available in a single product at the price that you want it!! Its true for any product even mobiles. And life's ticking by. So join the gang man. Its not as bad as it looks at first sight.
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Old 19th October 2013, 17:24   #17
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Nice ownership review, Sam!

I too hope to have a Thar as my second car someday.

I like the mods you have done to your jeep, especially the portable music player. It is just plain smart and simple! Have you switched the OEM wiper blades with Hella flat-type blades?

My Grandpa owned an MM540 4x4 in the 90s. One of the mods his friendly mechanic did was adding an brake lamp on the spare wheel mount just like you have. The lamp had a rounded-triangular cross-section and a chrome ring around its base (which rusted rather quickly). However, after fixing a tyre burst, while the spare wheel was being re-mounted, the heavy wheel slipped and nudged the brake lamp on the mount. That was the end of the lamp!
My point is, don't you have to be extra careful when removing or mounting the spare wheel, so that it does not hit, scrape, or come to rest all of its weight on that cute brake lamp?

Last edited by Miel : 19th October 2013 at 17:26. Reason: Clarity
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Old 19th October 2013, 17:53   #18
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

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Nice ownership review, Sam!

I too hope to have a Thar as my second car someday.

I like the mods you have done to your jeep, especially the portable music player. It is just plain smart and simple! Have you switched the OEM wiper blades with Hella flat-type blades?

My Grandpa owned an MM540 4x4 in the 90s. One of the mods his friendly mechanic did was adding an brake lamp on the spare wheel mount just like you have. The lamp had a rounded-triangular cross-section and a chrome ring around its base (which rusted rather quickly). However, after fixing a tyre burst, while the spare wheel was being re-mounted, the heavy wheel slipped and nudged the brake lamp on the mount. That was the end of the lamp!
My point is, don't you have to be extra careful when removing or mounting the spare wheel, so that it does not hit, scrape, or come to rest all of its weight on that cute brake lamp?
Miel, I have replaced OEM blades with Hella Dynapro same size as stock.
The light is affixed to the hub cap of the alloy wheel. It has a connector at the back which is required to be disconnected before removing the spare wheel. After disconnection, the whole wheel with light assembly comes down. Then the hub cap can be gently slid out.
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Old 19th October 2013, 18:09   #19
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The cons:- (a) Obviously not as loud or crystal clear as traditional car stereo. (good enough though) (b) No preset FM channels (c) No remote so manual operation, but i have placed it in quite an accesible position for the driver.
Samwagon, nice little mods for your little red thar. I also use the same Portronics for music. For managing FM, I connect my mobile phone to it using a 3.5mm jack cable & run FM from it and this helps me use the system as a hands free speaker too to take calls. Thought of sharing this incase you've not tried it yet.
Happy Thar'ing!
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Old 19th October 2013, 18:37   #20
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Hi Samwagon, Great little thar with some really functional mods. I am impressed that you didn't go overboard with the mods and mostly stuck to those which don't look overdone at all, and at the same time are really useful Nice thread also, normally I am a lurker in the 4x4 section, but your Thar got my attention! Have you changed the rear seats to front facing ones?
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Old 19th October 2013, 20:55   #21
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

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Samwagon, nice little mods for your little red thar. I also use the same Portronics for music. For managing FM, I connect my mobile phone to it using a 3.5mm jack cable & run FM from it and this helps me use the system as a hands free speaker too to take calls. Thought of sharing this incase you've not tried it yet.
Happy Thar'ing!
Thanks! Yeah, i too use aux output from mobile some times. Using the mobile phone also has the advantage of stored channel positions, a feature which is missing in the portronics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
Hi Samwagon, Great little thar with some really functional mods. I am impressed that you didn't go overboard with the mods and mostly stuck to those which don't look overdone at all, and at the same time are really useful Nice thread also, normally I am a lurker in the 4x4 section, but your Thar got my attention! Have you changed the rear seats to front facing ones?
Thanks! No, i haven't changed the stock rear seats nor do i intend too coz i like their utility of lugging more people (when friends or relatives come along) and easy ingress/ outgress.
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Old 19th October 2013, 22:49   #22
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Another small and practical mod that i have done on my Thar stems from a functional requirement, that of an 4wd indication. Well in the strictest of sense it is an indicator of the vehicle not being in 2wd.

Unlike a gypsy (which i previously owned) the Thar manual 4wd transfer case does not have micro-switches inside to electrically indicate engagement of 4H/4L.

I practically encountered this situation a few times wherein my car cleaning guy inadvertently slid the 4wd lever in 4H position from 2H and i realized it while driving but only after a few kms.

So, i basically wanted an indication to tell me that the vehicle was not in its 2H mode in normal city/highway driving which is most of the time. I had one switch left over from the Autocop remote locking kit which is essentially used in the bonnet. It can be used to switch ground path on contact. I initially thought of installing it in the bottom side of the T-case in contact with the gear linkage, but there it would have accumulated a lot of dirt/ muck and malfunctioned unless properly shielded. So instead I installed it inside the cabin in contact with the front portion of the lever knob itself. It now switches ground path of a red lamp in the dash (fitted in one of the blanks).

However, it is possible to design and install proper 4H/4L engaged indications also using the same principle at the bottom side of the Tcase using the linkages for contact make/break. Only it is advisable to use proper marine grade micro-switches. And i know just the place in Vizag for them. So will do it some other time.
Attached Thumbnails
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600590.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600593.jpg  

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Old 21st October 2013, 10:38   #23
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

The Thar is not a car even for two people to sit and drive in comfort.
It is purely a fun car just a nice something to have and get the Jeep feel. Thats about all.
Overall manufacturing quality control is so poor.

Lets see my own case.

Me and my coach set out to the shooting club this last saturday. A pure pleasure trip.

To load a box of clay birds and cartridges I try opening the rear tail gate. Cant open it. Undo the zipper, open the velcro, and pull the wire from inside with quite a struggle to open it.

No rear door to keep things in and out. Loading stuff into the vehicle sitting in the front can be a pain.

The passenger seat movement is restricted because of the bench seat position. My 60 year old coach is uncomfortable.

Not a single place to hold a can of coke or a small bottle of water. The coach had a metal flask of cold water. Tried to store it in the space to the left of passenger seat, the door wouldnt close. It is a 44 KM journey, each way and you need some comforts.

No place to hang my shooting vest if two people are sitting. If alone I hang it on the passenger seat.

At the toll no place to reach out and pull some money and store the return journey toll ticket.

At the shooting range not safe to leave a gun and cartridges in the car when I stepped into the armoury for a moment to collect my competition card. The rear is really unsafe.

Then whenever it hits even a small pothole the chik chik sound from the canopy, rattling doors, rattles from the roof, how long will your family bear with all this ?

My coach said Sir, please bring your Scorpio tomorrow or any other car. Why dont you bring out your Toyota Liva ? I heard the battery goes flat because you dont drive it. I said petrol is very expensive sheepishly.

We did go to the shooting range on Sunday as well in the Thar but I guess people would get the point here, its a Jeep thing, some fun as you take it but never a practical daily drive.

It can never be your only car or a daily drive, it is a special purposes car only.

SAMWAGON - I badly need a centre console and a few cubby holes in the Thar. COuld you tell me from where did you buy the centre console and for how much please.

It would be nice to have dashboard colock as well, will get it installed.

Last edited by desertfox : 21st October 2013 at 10:40.
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Old 21st October 2013, 10:53   #24
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Congrats Sam for living our Dream, its a killer machine.

A 105HP mean machine with Warranty for parts, that is one real solid deal.

Would Get a CRDE myself when I can rake in enough Vitamin M for the same.

Congrats Again bro, you haven't posted your Leh - Trip log so far right ?, please do
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Old 21st October 2013, 11:06   #25
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Buying a Thar is like getting a suit tailored. You buy the cloth and then visit a tailor.

So a Thar machine has been purchased, now repairs, modifications, additions, warranty repair changes need to be done.

On the positive side look at it like this :

What is a Thar - An offoader with creature comforts ? or a road drive vehicle which can offroad a bit ?

It drives well for sure. Once you reach smooth tarmac, then the engine is powerful at 105 bhp. Gear shift is smooth, airconditioning is OK so far in October talk of June then the real test will come. The engine is quiet for a diesel, meets emisiion specifications.
Driving position OK for a 5 ft 8 inch height person for me. WOuld like to raise the driving seat by a couple of inches although.

Roll is good with the Bridgestone H/T 235 tires and they are good tires.

What led me to buy it when I know it not a good vehicle :

Try as you might, I saw a lot of experiments all over India on this forum and other experiences no matter what people did, other diesel engines, new radiators, Bolero radiators on MM550 an AC never worked. Engine overheating problems and leaks were imminent.

I would say the single leading factor towards buying an overpriced Jeep clone was this.

Nothing else is available that can be registered in Delhi NCR.
It has a functional A/C with the new material Canopy.
Road drive ( good quality tarmac ) is decent.
Its a Jeep thing and I like Jeeps
It will meet my off road requirements. It will not take any severe beating off road but will do the Job as a 4x4 soft roader through some sand, mud, slush and elephant grass.
Thats about it. I bought it, it is there now , there is no wow factor, but look at it, I have been driving it for about 10 days now, every single day.
Its a Jeep thing that even I wont understand.
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Old 21st October 2013, 15:44   #26
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

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Congrats Sam for living our Dream, its a killer machine.

A 105HP mean machine with Warranty for parts, that is one real solid deal.

Would Get a CRDE myself when I can rake in enough Vitamin M for the same.

Congrats Again bro, you haven't posted your Leh - Trip log so far right ?, please do
Thanks TheHkrish, The Leh trip log will be posted once i finish detailing all the mods done so far. Since you mentioned it, i rode the Thar to Leh and Back with my wife and my three year old kid in end-Sep 13 and none of us had any reason to complain one bit bout the vehicle. I thank that is tribute enough for the Thar.

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Originally Posted by desertfox View Post
Buying a Thar is like getting a suit tailored. You buy the cloth and then visit a tailor.

So a Thar machine has been purchased, now repairs, modifications, additions, warranty repair changes need to be done.

On the positive side look at it like this :

What is a Thar - An offoader with creature comforts ? or a road drive vehicle which can offroad a bit ?

It drives well for sure. Once you reach smooth tarmac, then the engine is powerful at 105 bhp. Gear shift is smooth, airconditioning is OK so far in October talk of June then the real test will come. The engine is quiet for a diesel, meets emisiion specifications.
Driving position OK for a 5 ft 8 inch height person for me. WOuld like to raise the driving seat by a couple of inches although.

Roll is good with the Bridgestone H/T 235 tires and they are good tires.

What led me to buy it when I know it not a good vehicle :

Try as you might, I saw a lot of experiments all over India on this forum and other experiences no matter what people did, other diesel engines, new radiators, Bolero radiators on MM550 an AC never worked. Engine overheating problems and leaks were imminent.

I would say the single leading factor towards buying an overpriced Jeep clone was this.

Nothing else is available that can be registered in Delhi NCR.
It has a functional A/C with the new material Canopy.
Road drive ( good quality tarmac ) is decent.
Its a Jeep thing and I like Jeeps
It will meet my off road requirements. It will not take any severe beating off road but will do the Job as a 4x4 soft roader through some sand, mud, slush and elephant grass.
Thats about it. I bought it, it is there now , there is no wow factor, but look at it, I have been driving it for about 10 days now, every single day.
Its a Jeep thing that even I wont understand.

Dear DesertFox, i agree with almost everything that you have put down and the suit example is quite apt. You do need to tailor it to your measurements read needs. For eg, i needed a cabin light close enough for the driver to operate, so i installed one.

The center console does take care of your storing nick nacks need. It is part of OEM std accesories at least it used to be in Nov 12 when i bought my Thar. Cost was Rs 11000 approx but i haggled mine for about Rs 9000. But i have reason to believe, it has been withdrawn because its installation entails removal of stock stereo mount and you have to search for alternate stereo mounting position. The Bhimbra guy in Gurgaon has a cheaper carbon copy, approx Rs 5000. In addition i have installed a commonly available arm rest in between the front seats which also has a storage bin.

For most of us buying the Thar, it is a Heart over Mind Decision. As you have aptly put in these words, " Its a Jeep thing and I like Jeeps". That decision made, it is time to do something to make it more livable, adapted to ones specific needs. Like for you, carrying the Rifle perhaps.

About your other problems with the tail gate etc..pls refer my reply in Manveets thread.
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Old 21st October 2013, 16:18   #27
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Thanks I will go and see what all Bhimbra has. he is there in Sector 18. Maybe he has some improvements made to the Hardtop as well.

For better products his nephew in Dubai Robbie SIngh has even better ARB and Warn products. Lets see what all can be had.

I am never fitting any stero in my Thar so a few cubby holes it will be.
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Old 21st October 2013, 18:44   #28
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

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I would say the single leading factor towards buying the Thar was this - I have been driving it for about 10 days now, every single day. Its a Jeep thing that even I wont understand.
Dear Shahidbhai - thanks for posting the best compliment you could ever give to my baby! As you don't understand, even I still don't understand why I made it in the first place. I guess I was really crazy to do it, but I did it, that's all that matters to me! I see the sales volume reports every month, I compare the figures with "some other vehicles" and then I guess I am allowed to quietly smile, critics be damned! .

Dear all - Shahidbhai's comments have unequivocally proved that a product can succeed by stirring some inexplicable latent desire of a target customer and you don't need lots and lots of money, people and time to do it.

All you need is the highest level of auto passion, which is ACTIONABLE AUTO PASSION. .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 21st October 2013, 19:35   #29
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Congratulations on your Thar, and I compliment you on both, your small practical mods as well as the detailed explanations provided by you. It is definitely a value add going through your thread.

In particular, I like the storage box you have installed over your centre console. Two questions around that - One, I could not understand what "wooden area" you were referring to. Seemed to me you have used a metal frame for mounting the box which is then bolted to the floor. Secondly, I want to get something like that for my Thar as well but only issue is that this area is used by passengers to climb into the rear. So I would need to re-look at the exact location - perhaps somewhere lower just above the handbrake. What is your opinion on the feasibility of that?

Your switch for the 4WD lever is awesome. Very practical. As is the light just over the driver side window.

I also noticed that your exhaust pipe at the end (just under the bumper) is black. What kind of paint did you use? Does it not chip off due to the heat?

Love your alloys, but not a fan of the red paint on the rear drum brakes. Seem kind of ricer IMO. I know you are really passionate about the light on the fifth wheel - but I think it looks somewhat feminine. Also highlights the non-centricity of the fifth wheel. In fact, that was the second thing I had noticed about your Thar when we ran into each other at Vasant Kunj. The first was the same to same alloys.

Overall, am excited about this thread and look forward to more interesting stuff. Trust me, this is just the beginning.

See you around.

Cheers!

Last edited by manveet : 21st October 2013 at 19:36.
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Old 21st October 2013, 20:28   #30
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Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Manveet lets call a meeting of you me and samwagon over dinner anywhere you like in Delhi or Gurgaon. A lot needs to be discussed for the general benefit of Thar Owners.

Dhabhar Bhai - I dont feel good without a Jeep thats the reason I purchased a Thar. I drive it, kind of like it what harm is it doing in being in my fleet of cars ? I will get it repaired, perfected a bit of trouble but its fine.

Last edited by desertfox : 21st October 2013 at 20:30.
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