Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > 4x4 & Off-Roading > 4x4 Vehicles


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 15th October 2013, 23:29   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Introduction
Words can't describe the joy that i feel right now as I begin my very own thread on such an esteemed forum. I had wanted to start this as a buying cum ownership experience thread around the same time last year after booking my Thar, but three unsuccessful attempts at securing this coveted membership put paid to that.

Well all is well that ends well, and so here i am posting bout my experience so far, after 11 months of being a satisfied owner and 12500 kms to my credit which includes trips to Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chail (HP) and yess that Mecca of all motor heads, Leh.

I would like to begin by thanking the moderators for giving me this wonderful opportunity (don't know if it was my improved thought process or my persistence which paid of) and all the other esteemed members who have inspired me to start a thread on my Thar, like Manveet, Amolpol, Rajith, Cpbopanna, Nitin_80, Thar4x4, just to name a few. And offcourse, the stalwarts Behram Sir and Khan Sultan Sir. So here goes..

First Encounter
For the benefit of many potential Thar buyers, let me start by clarifying how or why i bought a Thar. I tend to agree with what many members have already emphasized on various threads, that Thar is definitely not as comfortable as a car or even other homologous SUVs and it is not as serious an offroader as say built up MM550s. But its unique appeal is that is provides fence-sitters like me, a middle path i.e a little bit of everything. My initial thoughts on seeing a Thar were the same as many others, that its too crude, with too many modern amenities missing and a unjustified high cost.

In Sep last year, i was requested by a junior of mine to check out a Rocky Biege Thar available on re-sale in Gurgaon through First Choice, since he was posted on a ship and frequently sailing. Even though i personally didnt enjoy the TD very much, i recommended the purchase since the vehicle was mechanically sound with new tyres and no body damage and also backed by First Choice's warranty support. So the Thar was bought in absentia and I was further tasked to pick up the vehicle and keep it with me till the owner managed some shore leave.

The affair starts
Thats how my love affair with the Thar began (my wife has never completely forgiven that junior of mine). Initially, i just rode it for its attention grabbing ability and the admiration and awe it generated but slowly i started to love other things as well like the amazing throttle response and ease of drivability on crowded Delhi roads (this from someone who owns a Ford Fusion 1.6 petrol). Also, the sitting posture is much more relaxing with unmatched view of the road. I have owned a Gypsy earlier and believe me, as a daily use vehicle, the Thar has much more modern and sorted off feel especially in the drive train, suspension and overall ride quality departments. So these 15 days of borrowed ownership revived an interest (or keeda) of buying a jeep and the missus had grudgingly started admitting the fun factor of owning one.

The bolero was always an option, but after driving the CRDe motor, the M2DiCr powered Bolero just didn't inspire (the Storm version had been discontinued) and also there was no 4wd option in SLE, SLX and ZLX trims. So 'Thar' it was for me and i booked myself a white one around same time last year. The wife, after a lot of persuasion, reluctantly came around to support the cause (morally and more important, financially) and made me chane the colour to Toreader Red, which in retrospect was a good choice since a lot of UN duty return 550s in my locality resemble the white Thar, and i dont like people thinking that i am roaming around on 'Sarkari kharcha'.

So took delivery of my little Red Thar (i call it little because its small as compared to the Huge butch SUVs) just before diwali last year, almost stock except for the nicely designed but expensive OEM center console. And yes, i changed over to Yokohoma Geolanders (same specs as OEM i.e 235/70 R16) on the very first day, an exchange which costed me Rs 500 per tyre (except the stepney). I know people reading this thread would at this point expect a photo so here goes..

One of the first mods undertaken were to make my stay inside more comfortable, more modern car like, if i may say so. So i installed a light in the glovebox which turns on when the glove box opens via a contact switch fashioned from a bolt inserted in place of the plastic stoppers. A snap will prob make it clear
Attached Thumbnails
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00703201211250720.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00702201211240848.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00711201211281106.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600597.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600598.jpg  


Last edited by samwagon : 16th October 2013 at 18:44.
samwagon is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2013, 18:49   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

I used a RE Bullet pilot lamp for the glove box light.

Also i added a hand rest cum storage bin, which is commonly available in any car accessories shop which i installed in between the front seats mounted on the wooden section which itself was bolted to the rear floor using existing holes.
Attached Thumbnails
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00766201301061658.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600594.jpg  

samwagon is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2013, 22:48   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

For music, i faced quite a dilemma coz with the OEM center console, the OEM fittings for the stereo needs to be discarded (one of the quirks of the Thar because of which i guess they have removed the console from the OEM recommended list of accessories lately). Any other position for the stereo just didnt feel right and then there is the problem of where to locate the speakers and how many. Security is also a concern since i am a firm believer of the soft- top jeep. While i was contemplating this issues, i happened to come across a portable speaker system from Portronics in Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj. It is a compact mobile speaker with the following pros vis utilisation as a car music player :-

(a) plays from pen drive, micro-SD card and has an Aux input
(b) Has FM radio
(c) Runs on USB socket or a nokia BL-5C battery so can be powered from commonly available usb adapter which runs from the cigarette lighter point (which i also bought)
(d) Is portable so can be removed easily and stowed in the tool box for safekeeping
(e) Integrated speakers so no wires and no mounting worries
(f) Decent sound quality and loud enough for my liking even with the window down.

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.

A picture of the system
Attached Thumbnails
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101500575.jpg  

samwagon is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2013, 23:11   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

I want to re-iterate here, that my purpose is not to make this thread just an ownership experience but to apprise current and prospective buyers of the innovations / mods carried out by me to make the vehicle more user friendly.

Within a month or so of owning the Thar, i also noticed a peculiar problem which maybe other owners need to note. I notice that in my Thar (without me having tinkered anything), the front suspension upper arm was resting on its lowest position on both side and had deformed the bump stops (in fact one of them had fallen off). I had read somewhere on this forum about adjustability of torsion bar setup. Basically mine was in the extreme raised position. Because of this, the front suspension was not able to perform any downward motion from the rest position while the vehicle was travelling. I consulted a course-mate who is an expert on all things concerning automobiles and with his guidance was able to correct the torsion bar setting so as to achieve some clearance. This improved the ride quality on wide open roads at high speeds sine the front IFS was now able to do proper up and down movement from rest position. Approx clearance was checked on a showroom Thar. In fact since then i have made it a habit to check this clearance on all Thars that i come across and you will be surprised to note that many Thars, both new and old suffer the same problem. The present clearance is illustrated in this pic
Attached Thumbnails
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600602.jpg  


Last edited by samwagon : 17th October 2013 at 19:31.
samwagon is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2013, 23:26   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Continuing with other mods.. I added a map reading light of the Army 550 picked up from Mayapuri on the drivers side since i stay in an area where one needs to show ID at the access points for entry and the stock cabin light is somewhat difficult to switch when one is strapped on to the seat. Also added a insect mesh also from Mayapuri since a found the OEM supply item to be unjustifiably overpriced. I badly wanted to avoid the insect mesh and keep the bare jeep slotted grill which I just adore but its practically required since it actually saves the intercooler from a lot of insects.

Another small addition ( I am not sure if its worth mentioning in such a technical forum) was to add a plastic basket purchased from Big Bazaar for use as a tray under the driver seat for storing odds and ends.

The pics of the above mentioned mods:-
Attached Thumbnails
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600599.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101500572.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00740201212131216.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600589.jpg  

samwagon is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2013, 23:49   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

I just love analog meters and lovingly admire 550s and old jeeps/ambys with their little round meters. I had filled up my erstwhile gypsy dash (even the holes for blower vents) with meters of all possible parameters like Voltage, Amps, Engine Oil pressure, oil temp, ambient air temp etc. In the Thar i just couldn't locate a suitable place. Also, didnt want to fiddle around much within warranty period so added the simplest possible meter- a Voltmeter. Made an arrangement as shown in pic for the same and also mounted a digital clock. Both these mods were purely for a personal fetish and are probably not that necessary.
Attached Thumbnails
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00763201301061657.jpg  

samwagon is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th October 2013, 00:43   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

By the third month i had logged in almost 4000 kms which includes trips to Uttarakand and Rajasthan and availed my first free service. The ownership experience so far :-

Likes

(a) The Thar has an amazing on road performance thanks to the gutsy CRDE motor and a slick GB. I agree that the purists dont like ECUs and electronic fuels pumps etc but then i am not one and i dont mind availing of the benfits of technology.

(b) IFS (post correction of Torsion Bar setting) ensures smooth rides. I would also like to mention here that i removed a leaf from the rear suspension (third from bottom). This has made the Thar less jumpy when without load/ passengers in the rear bay. Again enough has been debated about IFS Vs Solid axle and i believe to each his own. Am not a serious off-roader presently and use the Thar as a daily ride plus weekend excursions and long trips with family, so comfortable ride is a priority.

(c) Small turning circle and precise power steering makes it quite easy to maneuver on crowded roads. Maybe a little less sensitivity at high speeds would have been better. And no, i don't even notice the offset.

(d) Straight and supportive driving posture. Believe me, the OEM front seats are not that bad. Do try them out on long drives, before you throw them out. Agreed, they don't look too cool, but they are very comfy especially for long drives and can be easily washed and polished. Also, in general, the driving posture of the tall vehicles like the Thar is more comfortable in my opinion since one sits in a more straighter posture with lower part of the legs at a more acute angle wrt the thighs. I feel less fatigued as compared to long drives in the Fusion.

(e) The soft top quality and design is really good other than zippers and velcro quality.

(f) The 'wow' factor is just amazing. You get so many admiring looks even from people in far costlier cars and SUVs. So many of them come up and inquire and pay compliments. A couple of self created sayings..."There are only two kinds of men in this world, ones who own Jeeps and the others who want to own Jeeps", " You meet the nicest people in a Jeep" The latter is an adaptation of the Honda advert. But its really true. On my recent trip to Leh, i had so many nice people come up to me and discuss not just the Jeep but other wonderful things as well. The Thar does make you STAND out in the crowd.

The dislikes.. not very many since i consciously bought the Thar, but yes would have loved to have following things differently :-

(a) A better Dashboard. But i have bought Behrams Sirs arguments regarding low developmental budget assigned to the Thar and stringent / sometimes illogical CMVR requirements. Post strong initial dislike, i have slowly gotten around to accepting the same and it doesnt feel that bad. You just need to keep polishing it. I do it one a week with waxpol liquid polish and the shine lasts through the week and keeps it looking new. The blue lighting of the IP is infact good.

(b) Un-lockable glove-box. I have even seen esteems with one, so i hope OEM adds one which can be retro-fitted. I am still exploring options to add one.

(c) Front and rear bumpers. Really fragile and dont even look good.

(d) Door Rattle due to shaking of B pillar. I know the issue has been addressed by adding a cross member and i have done something similar which i will showcase later.

(e) The rear axle is shorter than the front axle. The rear wheels look odd sitting inside the body. Can be corrected by spacers or negative offset alloys. Dont know about spacers but the negative offset alloys create problems in front as the front tyres then start fouling with the fenders on upward travel while driving on undulating surface. If the rear axle was same width as the front, then i probably would have retained the stock zero-offset steel rims.

(f) And last but not the least, the brakes aren't up to the mark. with my stye of driving i found them to be just about adequate. They improve considerably when you double pump but then in a emergency situation, i dont think natural reflex will allow that. I tried getting it upgraded based on valuable advise from Manveet. But was categorically informed by Koncept guys that they dont do it anymore either under warranty or on payment coz Mahindra has disapproved of it. Weel ihave learnt to live with it.

Last edited by samwagon : 17th October 2013 at 08:05.
samwagon is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th October 2013, 16:38   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Month Four

I finally decided to take the plunge and install alloys. One of the reason as indicated above was shorter rear axle which made rear wheels look funny. Another impotant one was offcourse availaibility of cash. For the design i was really impressed with what Manveet has and fortunately able to get the same at Rana Tyres, Karol Bagh at a total cost of Rs 15000 for five (probably without any tax transaction) after adjusting cost of steel rims and wheel caps.

I also decided to install the Remote/ Central Locking system. I had initially resisted
the same since i kind of liked the 'hose it down' ability of the Thar's interiors. But my wife convinced me of the utility of the remote locking since it was quite cumbersome to open/lock each door seperately, the Thar being used extensively, even for short trips to the Bazaar. Also, there was the added safety feature of the Remote locking system. In particular, I wanted the remote system to operate the Tail Gate lock as well, but couldn't locate a suitable guy willing to do the jugaad. So i picked up the basic four door version of Auto-cop from Reliance Autozone, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon for around Rs2500. The fitment guy agreed to fit the system only for two front doors and that too without the switches for the doors since he was surprised to see no provision in a new vehicle for the same.
Anyways, got the basic setup fitted from him and after coming home, i spent a few hours doing R&D on how to install the switches and the gun for operating the tail gate lock. Finally i was able to do it and a few pics below will illustrate the same. Its quite simple and DIY actually.
Attached Thumbnails
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00823201302241713.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00821201302241712.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600583.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600584.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600588.jpg  


Last edited by samwagon : 17th October 2013 at 18:14.
samwagon is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th October 2013, 17:19   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Month Five

Undertook a trip to HP, basically a few days in Chail.

Installed head lamp grill, ex-Mayapuri. I agree, they aren't as heavy and well built as the OEM supply but not all that bad either and for the cost, they are a steal. I had to apply some good quality paint, drill a few holes and they were good to go.

Another interesting MOD undertaken was installation of a third Brake/Tail Light in the Hubcap of the spare wheel. It looks super cool in my opinion and is again an easy inexpesive DIY MOD. I used a RE Classic Bullet Tail Light Assembly. I got the idea from that same resourceful coursemate of mine whom i mentioned earlier, who had done something similar on an Invader.

Month Six & Seven
I had removed the rear bumperettes sometime in the first month of ownership itself and kind of liked the view of the bare chasis member. But then, leafing through the Garage, i found these discarded bumperettes one fine day and decided to fool around. I tried various combinations to determine why these looked out of place (at least to me) in the first place. I hadn't removed them for improving my departure angle as many serious offroaders have done. I realised that the bumperettes were angled at quite a lrage angle at the ends and did not blend with the overall profile of the body and the fenders. So i took a cut with a grinder and pushed the ends inwards to perfectly blend with the body profile. I quite like the result, so got the cuts welded over and painted the whole bumperttes.

Another small addition since the summer was in flow flow, was a partition which i got made to order out of chik to isolate the front cabin from the rear area so as to improve AC performance on really hot days. The chik partition can be folded up when not in use and for use can be lowered and secured behind the seats to insulate the front cabin. As it is only the front cabin is used in my Thar for 95% of the time. Have used the partition on quite a few occasions and found it to be quite effective. Not that the Thar AC is not effective. It is in fact quite good, but in the peak of Delhi summer on especially hot and sunny days, it does struggle to cool the cabin more so on short runs. This primarily due to the soft top and i guess, owners with insulated Hard top will not experience this problem. I have already mentioned that i am passionate about retaining the soft top and thus want to work out solutions around it.
Attached Thumbnails
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00870201303291415.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img00874201303291600.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600606.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101500579.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600585.jpg  

My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications-img2013101600595.jpg  


Last edited by samwagon : 17th October 2013 at 18:35.
samwagon is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th October 2013, 17:38   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

See, the whole point of these Mods/ Additions/ Alterations is to make the Thar closer to your own personalised ride. For me its fun doing all these small things as per my convenience. I know a lot of people will argue that these are things that should have been provided in the vehicle in the first place. Point taken, but i am sure Mahindra had heir good reasons even if they were purely financial to give the vehicle in this stock form. I see an opportunity in this. At the end of the day, i appreciate that someone has given us a vehicle under 10 lakhs which has old world charm aka 'Jeep Look' with modern touches. I always used to rue the fact that i wasnt old enough when Jeeps like MM540 and Classic were sold in showrooms. Thar has made my dream of owning a old school SUV kinda vehicle with the comfort and reliability of new and modern Engine/GB possible. I feel that i am fortunate to have been given a chance to buy a modern jeep from a showroom, even if it is slightly overpriced.

I am quite satisfied with the Thar so far and plan to slowly keep doing many such innovations/ Mods/ Alterations. The primary purpose being functional and enhancement of looks being only the secondary objective.
samwagon is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th October 2013, 17:11   #11
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 46,512
Thanked: 80,157 Times
Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to 4x4 vehicles. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th October 2013, 18:09   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
desertfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gurgaon, Delhi NCR
Posts: 1,186
Thanked: 522 Times
Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Thats exactly the point. I agree to almost all of what you say above.
It is a fun vehicle to have around and thats about it, dont expect too much.
It is overpriced but there is the TINA factor.
Still for 8.14 lakhs a good buy that gives you some fun.
Since I bought it last week I have been driving it every day.
desertfox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th October 2013, 19:14   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 39
Thanked: 58 Times
Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Hi samwagon

Very nice, simple, innovative and perfect mods.
I love the way you are altering the vehicle to suit you the best.
I cannot wait to buy myself one.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
VineetSoni is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th October 2013, 20:04   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 96
Thanked: 143 Times
Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertfox View Post
Thats exactly the point. I agree to almost all of what you say above.
It is a fun vehicle to have around and thats about it, dont expect too much.
It is overpriced but there is the TINA factor.
Still for 8.14 lakhs a good buy that gives you some fun.
Since I bought it last week I have been driving it every day.
Yeah I agree, the fun factor is just amazing. Even my wife reaches for the Thar keys first.
samwagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th October 2013, 23:07   #15
BHPian
 
byomjeet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Bhubaneswar
Posts: 120
Thanked: 59 Times
Default Re: My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications

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.

Congratulations once again and wish me luck to summon up that much of guts to own my dream SUV.

Happy Tharing.
byomjeet is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods swami69 4x4 Vehicles 66 3rd October 2016 10:30
The most practical & best looking Hardtop - Mahindra Thar Monster_BHP 4x4 Vehicles 247 6th September 2016 13:19
Chérie : My Pre-owned Mahindra Thar Crde 4x4 (Toreador Red) sjcherian 4x4 Vehicles 80 29th July 2016 21:25
Modifications for Gypsy King - Does the sequence of modifications matter? khan_sultan Modifications & Accessories 18 6th September 2009 14:02


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 23:18.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks