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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 13th October 2014, 13:08   #46
BHPian
 
swami69's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 210
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

The Journey continues...the real one

I am writing this from a beginners perspective and experienced offroaders may find this a cake walk.

My first offroad adventure :

October 11, 2014 - participated in the SUV offroad event organised by Terratigers from Chennai. Again, people were asking - are you taking your 1000 kms run sparkling new Thar for offroad ? followed with an advise, be careful. Yes, i took it, did it happily and brought back safe. I would say that this event was purely aimed at beginners and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The obstacles we did were quite challenging and fun and eventually learned many tricks of 4x4 like

When to use 4H, and then on which gear ?
When to use 4L, on which gear ?
How to do Rock climbing, Crawling, River Sand Driving, steep inclines, steep drops,
How to climb, drive on a river bund, then drop sharply

It was fun and lots and lots of learning.

Did a quick service check the previous day with ASC and topped the coolant. Rest all were fine with the vehicle.

I started at around 8.00 a.m. from Sholinganallur, Chennai and waited for SJCherian to catch up in his Thar. We then drove around 60 kms upto a village called Kadalur on ECR, took a right turn and drove towards Pavunjur Village to PRC farms. We had in total around 11 vehicles and I think 6 or 7 of them were Thars. (4 of them were RED including mine !)

Arka and his Team received us and gave a briefing on 4x4 and the discipline we need to follow during the event. We took off for the first obstacle.

Name:  Briefing.JPG
Views: 8320
Size:  169.1 KB

This one was a Rock to climb, drive and then drop. Most of us did quite well considering it was first time for few of us. The vehicle was absolutely fantastic and I just followed the Marshalls instructions, controlled the vehicle and it passed commendably. Following are some of the only photos of my vehicle and all my other obstacles were covered by some of our other participants and hopefully I will be able to get them for my records.

Name:  Thar1.JPG
Views: 8346
Size:  250.5 KB
Name:  Thar2.JPG
Views: 8332
Size:  187.9 KB
Name:  Thar3.JPG
Views: 8309
Size:  165.1 KB

After everyone having a go at this obstacle, the team moved on to the next one - a slushy/clayey pit. Really time to get the vehicle dirty as the vehicles were still neat and clean after the first obstacle.

A photo of the impressive line up

Name:  Thar4.JPG
Views: 8298
Size:  144.0 KB

Advise from the team was to try just with 2H and then if we get stuck, move on to 4H and clear it. Great way to experience the thrill instead of being very cautious from the starting line. This one seemed to be quite easy. I cleared 90 % just on 2H and it spinned only when it has to climb from the pit. I changed to 4H and it climbed easily and got out of the pit. Pretty impressive and interesting to do this for a beginner. Few photos of this obstacle done by participants

Name:  Thar5.JPG
Views: 8378
Size:  228.3 KB
A brand new Rocky Biege Thar of a participant after completing the recently concluded Ayudha Pooja with sandal and kumkum on the wheel covers, now tasting mother nature and getting dirty
Name:  Thar6.JPG
Views: 8242
Size:  246.6 KB
Name:  Thar7.JPG
Views: 8244
Size:  204.4 KB

From here, we moved on to the next obstacle - Rock and the river sand combination - different ball game all together - Increasingly tougher
Assignment was to climb a steeper rock, crawl and do a steep drop (at this drop, I could not even see the marshal as it was near vertical), drive through river sand, accelerate and climb a sand dune, stop, align the vehicle, crawl on to a rock again, slowly drop and stop. Some of the participants cleared it quite comfortably and some of us struggled. I struggled a couple of times to accelerate and position myself on the dune and then I got stuck on the Rock where the tyres were slipping. With some little assistance from the marshalls, I could continue and after checking from underneath, there were little scratches on the underbody safety cover. Overall, to me it was little tough, but wonderful learning of multiple tricks in changing from 4L to 4H to 4L in different gears - Fun.

Oh, my bad, the computer is giving a warning it is going to auto shut off in the next 11 minutes - I do not know how to save the work and hence I am posting this to be continued in the next post...
swami69 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th October 2014, 14:31   #47
BHPian
 
swami69's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 210
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

adventure continues..

I guess these open jeeps would have had much better visibility when they dropped steep and guys like me who had closed jeeps could only see the earth below us as the windshield was just pointing straight down. This is where I had another little hit somewhere in the front of the vehicle as I did not follow the line correctly as advised by the marshal (I could not see him at all)
Name:  Thar12.JPG
Views: 8005
Size:  142.9 KB
Name:  Thar13.JPG
Views: 8010
Size:  148.2 KB
Name:  Thar14.JPG
Views: 7972
Size:  151.6 KB
We then moved on to the River Bund obstacle - Climb the bund, turn the vehicle right on time when it reaches the top (else it gets stuck), crawl on the bund, take a sharp left to drop. This was another tough one for most of us. Many participants slipped when they reached the top and could not turn right. Couple of them got stuck on the drop and had to be pulled by another vehicle. This was a real good experience. To me, I struggled couple of times to climb and then Arka drove it for me and I sat as a passenger. He cleared it nice and clean and that is where experience speaks ! Then it was my turn, and after closely watching Arka doing this, I did it in style in a single try - I was very happy
Name:  Thar8.JPG
Views: 7955
Size:  222.5 KB
Name:  Thar9.JPG
Views: 7891
Size:  206.0 KB
The one below got stuck on turning left for a drop and had to be rescued
Name:  Thar10.JPG
Views: 7903
Size:  211.2 KB

After this exercise, it was Lunch time We were fed with TATA Glucose every now and then and I think it was really refreshing and kept us energetic. The lunch was a simple, typical South Indian Curd Rice with a Non-Veg and Veg side dish. Simple, but was divine after all those experience with the vehicle.
Name:  Thar11.JPG
Views: 7853
Size:  173.7 KB


I think, after eating that curd rice, I became too enthusiastic and forgot to take pictures (really I did not take any pictures post lunch !)

We moved on to Palar River bed and started with some steep sand drops and sand climbs and it was a very different experience with lots of wheel spin. It was a Momentum Game and new trick. Most of us did it successfully and at one point, with so much wheel spin, there was a big crater which formed and we had to abandon that obstacle. But, 2 adventurous Terratigers did complete even that obstacle with an Endy and a Thar (again, experience speaks !)

It was almost 5.30 p.m. and by then it was decided that we wind up and head back to the PRC farms to say good bye. Myself and SJCherian drove back to Chennai and I reached home by around 8.30 p.m.

It was a very memorable day for me and I enjoyed every bit of the event and I thank Terratigers team for organizing such an wonderful event and teaching us a lot about 4X4 offroading.

12th October, Sunday morning, I got into my routine, cleaned up the vehicle, polished it and brought it back to all its Glory. Not sure whether the beating my Thar took has anything to do with this - I have a feeling, my regular gears have become much more easy and smooth to shift after this drive and event

Swami
swami69 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2014, 21:15   #48
BHPian
 
sjcherian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chennai
Posts: 429
Thanked: 329 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Nice detailed writeup. I took some photos while Arka was driving your Thar. Here they are:
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-dscn3853.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-dscn3857.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-dscn3858.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-dscn3859.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-dscn3860.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-dscn3861.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-dscn3862.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-dscn3863.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-dscn3864.jpg
sjcherian is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2014, 09:42   #49
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: MUMBAI
Posts: 3,059
Thanked: 4,571 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Dear swami69 - it is so nice to see you in your vehicle with the expert Arka driving it (hello Arka ). One small word of caution though, as you will obviously want to spend zero time, effort and expense on breakdown repairs resulting out of any OTR damage, I would like to request you (and many like you) to drive with utmost restraint in OTR conditions. A little bit of sensibility ensures this and you will not lose out on the fun element. If you do this, it will result in zero damages and your vehicle will perform like new for years and years and years. Be careful, best of luck and enjoy!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
DHABHAR.BEHRAM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2014, 19:10   #50
Senior - BHPian
 
desertfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gurgaon, Delhi NCR
Posts: 1,186
Thanked: 522 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Difficult question becuase gear selection and transfer case selection comes with experience and type of terrain.

But on a very ball park scale :

When the terrain gets loose - gravel, sand, water, slush engage 4WD High and drive in 3rd or 2nd gear.

Want to climb that rock in the picture smoothly ? Engage 4WD Low and 3rd gear it will carry you to the top and cross it without a sweat.

Extremely steep descent - 4WD Low and 1st or 2 nd gear.

But this is not a complete list you will learn more with experience.
desertfox is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd November 2014, 09:59   #51
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: MUMBAI
Posts: 3,059
Thanked: 4,571 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertfox View Post
Difficult question becuase gear selection and transfer case selection comes with experience and type of terrain, but on a very ball park scale: when the terrain gets loose - gravel, sand, water, slush engage 4WD High and drive in 3rd or 2nd gear. Want to climb that rock in the picture smoothly ? Engage 4WD Low and 3rd gear it will carry you to the top and cross it without a sweat. Extremely steep descent - 4WD Low and 1st or 2 nd gear. But this is not a complete list you will learn more with experience.
Dear Shahidbhai - hello once again. My two words on this:

With my CL340 MH01P2540 in the Great Escapes, as soon as the off-road sections used to start, I would straightaway get into 4*4 low and then keep on starting in 3rd gear (which is same as high 1st gear) and keep on cruising in 4th gear (which is same as high 2nd gear). Even with 5.38:1 rear axle ratio, this combination was sufficient enough to maintain good drivability and overtaking ability through the convoy. As the going got tough, fallback to low 2nd gear and low 1st gear was always available so I was just able to cruise through the obstacles where others would stop and wonder which gear to engage. After the events, talk during lunch of a certain "Yellow Invader" running rings around all other vehicles was interesting to listen to. Simple! .

Dear all - do this in Thar also, you will enjoy off-roading much more than now! You will also have the added advantage of 5 forward gears which the CL340 did not have. Go ahead, start running rings around other vehicles. I leave it to you to understand "which 4*4 training program / academy" () told you this!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
DHABHAR.BEHRAM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd November 2014, 14:00   #52
BHPian
 
swami69's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 210
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Great Tips Desertfox, DB Sir,

In my first off road experience recently, I was quick to understand and use 4H all the time (when going from one obstacle to another) and shift to 4L when needed and used the gears something like DB sir said. But, using 4L all the time and the gears as prescribed by DB sir will be a better bet in the future for me. Good learning. Thanks for that.

Swami
swami69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th November 2014, 14:47   #53
BHPian
 
swami69's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 210
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Dear Friends,

Some additions on the continuous journey.

I was having some trouble with the OE seats as my thighs were not fully resting on the seat and my legs were on an angle. I am 178cms and probably that is the reason. I read many threads wherein people have changed to Scorpio, Innova seats and was contemplating one. Then, thought of keeping the expenses minimal and went for a re-upholstery on the existing seats with Mehra Bros in Royapettah, Chennai. It is a very old shop and two experienced workers completed the job for me.

They did not remove the OE cover, but added additional supports and foams on to that layer by layer. Then a cover was stitched for that size and skin fit was done. Overall I am happy now with my thighs nicely resting on the seat, with added softness and very comfortable. But, the height has increased a bit, but to me, I find it very comfortable in changing the gear levers and to rest my right elbow on the window sill. Total cost Rs. 4000 for both the front seats. (I did not do anything now for the rear bench).

Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-wp_20141110_002.jpg

The next one was to go in for better tires. I am not saying the OE tires are bad. But, I wanted to go in for a little wider tyres, but maintaining the OE rims and other specs. Since I have already completed 1700 kms, it is now or never. Because the buy back price will go down drastically. I took it to BM LAL and changed the tires to Yokohama Geolandar AT/S 255 65/R16 at a total exchange price of around Rs. 20000. The stance has improved much and the ride is much softer and the steering is lighter when doing slow and sharp turns (while parking etc.,). I like the nice and aggressive tread pattern of this tire and I think it is a favourite anyway for Thar amongst our forum members for mild to moderate offroading. Sailing the same Boat A sample of the spare tyre with White letter which I painted using a brush.

Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-wp_20141106_003.jpg

While writing this, I have completed 2000 kms and enjoying every bit of it as my one and only drive.

Swami
swami69 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th December 2014, 11:09   #54
BHPian
 
swami69's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 210
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Dear All,

While I originally wanted a black rim, as days passed, i felt like there was missing contrast and an alloy wheel would make it look better. But, I am not willing to spend the money on alloys now as I have just upgraded the tyres. So, I decided to give the rims a Silver paint to increase the contrast.

2 x Aerosol cans of Silver
2 x Aerosol cans of Clear coat
Total expenditure - Rs. 900 for all 4 cans
Yellow oxide/hand sprayer - Rs. 200

Nicely prepared the rims by cleaning with water, then a little bit of collin spray, then a 1500 grit paper (Wet sanding). Then covered up all those parts where paint should not reach using business cards, masking tape and also added papers inside the rims to cover the brake discs.

Applied a good coat of yellow oxide primer using a hand sprayer
Then added 5 - 6 thin coats of Silver allowing drying time of 10 minutes between coats. I start with stepney, went around each rims and by the time I completed the circle, Stepney is ready for the next coat - nice timing.

Then applied 4-5 coats of Clear the same way as above. The result is good to my liking which gives me the contrast I want and shows up the rims nicely.

Adding some photos of the same.
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-wheel.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-wheel1.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-wheel2.jpg
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-wheel3.jpg

I also added the high mount stop light to the Thar. Simple work. I bought a 12 LED light from Malaysia for Rs. 600 and took the Thar to a welder. Designed a simple T shape to weld it to the rear wheel holder and wired it up. The light is fixed to the T using a good double sided tape.

Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-wheel4.jpg

I will be driving to Ooty with my family this month end and now into a designing mode to have a Sleeping bed cum front facing seat combination. Not a permanent one, but will make one to use only on long drives like this. Thinking....

Swami
swami69 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th December 2014, 13:58   #55
Senior - BHPian
 
desertfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gurgaon, Delhi NCR
Posts: 1,186
Thanked: 522 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

DB SIr, different people are adviced differently. A beginer may heat up the drivetrain by staying in low ratio too much or use the clutch a bit too much. You were an experienced driver with a vehicle less than Thar.

My advice is for a novice / fewbie in a new Thar yet to complete its run in period.

SWAMI 69 let me assure you those YOKO Geolanders will perform hardly any better than the O/E Duelers. If they were really that good they could have been chosen as O/E now that they come with ISI mark on them. In bulk supply they are a few rupees cheaper than duelers.

Have you not read of side wall tears in many Yokohama geolanders in about 20 to 24 months from the 215 of a Bolero to a 265 of a Prado ? But still I see many Thar owners opt for them.

Last edited by desertfox : 10th December 2014 at 14:02.
desertfox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2014, 16:51   #56
BHPian
 
swami69's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 210
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Hi Desertfox,

I know you are a strong advisor of Bridgestone Dueller OE tyres and rims. One day when I saw this Yoko 255 65 R16 on someone's Thar, it had a great look and gave an improved stance to Thar. I liked it and since it was an AT tyre, I thought, let me atleast upgrade the tyres while not going for the alloys. Also, that gentleman is an avid offroader who has done close to 30K kms with these tyres which includes quite a bit of offroad and it has stood up nicely. That is the reason I went for it. Hope it does good to me as well

All,

Update - Completed 3000 kms, one and only drive, all good so far. I will be taking it for first service this weekend as it closing in on 4 months duration. I am getting consistently 11.5 kms with 90% A/C ON and hope it may improve a little bit after the servicing.

Swami
swami69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd December 2014, 08:48   #57
BHPian
 
swami69's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 210
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Dear Moderators,

Could you please rename the title of this thread to

"Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar - New Mod - Rear Bed, long distance Tourer !

Swami
swami69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd December 2014, 09:22   #58
BHPian
 
swami69's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 210
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Dear All,

Continuing my journey by doing little modifications to my Thar to make it more comfortable. I stick on to my rules :
  • No major modifications to the stock machine
  • No major drilling, cutting
  • The modification should be easily removed, re-fixed

Based on this theory, I wanted to make a sleeping platform in the rear of my Thar for long trips (I will be doing a Ooty trip this month end with my family).

Requirements for this project :
  • The seat height should not increase to avoid hitting the head
  • The bed should be level
  • There should be enough storage space
  • It should not be a permanent fixture and it shall be easily removed and stored at home for the next trip
  • Minimum budget

I was discussing this topic with SJCherian and his inputs made their way into this project as well.

First the photos and a little bit of explanation at the end.
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-bed1.jpg
The support rods touching the floor are little slanting, but does not compromise on the weight bearing functionality. Will think of a better solution after this trip
Removed the existing seat support frame by removing 6 nuts & bolts - 10 minutes
Using the same fixture in the seat (there are two holes in them), fabricated a 6" length rod horizontally
Then measured a vertical support for that (T) to support the weight of the seat
Did this for four corners and just left the middle with horizontal supports only.
Then added two lengthy rods to be placed on top of the horizontal supports, drilled holes, bolted them
So, now, the T will join the existing seat support (6 nuts and bolts) - we used 6 mm
Then the long rod bolted to the T at six points (another 6 nuts and bolts)
Then added to horizontal rods as an additional support for the cushion to be placed on top.
The structure is SOLID (used rubber washers as well) and absolutely no rattling
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-bed2.jpg
Made a Cushion using 4" thick PU foam and wrapped using a nice rexine on top (i missed out on the colour match, my bad )
Just push it in between and it rests beautifully
Now, I have a wonderful flat surface on which I can put a nice quilt and good to GO !
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-bed3.jpg
Just a photo of the space beneath. We get a full space to stuff all our bags and it is close to 9.5" height of space.
Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods-bed4.jpg
If I do not want to use the centre piece during the journey, i can just remove it and put it on top of the existing seat OR just put it at the back of the Jeep as a back rest

Kids less than 5 ft can lie down nicely without any issues, others including Adults can bend their knees and lie down which I guess would be a blessing on a long trip to take a short nap. Also, we can diagonally sit by resting our back at the back corners against pillows and it was absolutely comfortable. We can lie down diagonally which will give more space.

From an engineering perspective, there may be defects in this design, but for a temporary fixture, it seems to me solid, safe and comfortable. Hope it is a mod which can be made easily by members when they consider long trips. Total assembly time 30 minutes max and removal would be lesser. Total cost to make this.

Fabrication of iron stuff - Rs. 900
Fabrication of 4" cushion - Rs. 750

We replicated this same stuff on SJCHERIAN's Thar as well.

Swami
swami69 is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd December 2014, 10:15   #59
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Madurai
Posts: 1,007
Thanked: 643 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Reduce the length of the bolts that come out below the seats and fabricated bed. They will scratch your luugage. Better still, get capped nuts,
jyobeb is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd December 2014, 17:27   #60
BHPian
 
sjcherian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chennai
Posts: 429
Thanked: 329 Times
Default Re: Big Bull - My Mahindra Thar experience...& some mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by swami69 View Post

Based on this theory, I wanted to make a sleeping platform in the rear of my Thar for long trips
Thanks Swami for sharing the design details and for getting the cushion made.

While getting this done noticed some differences between the 2014 Thar and mine (early 2012). The rear seats mounting is different and the new ones are lower. The measurement of the foot supports on mine is just a bit more than 10" while the ones on Swami's are around 8.25".

Also found my left side rear seat was mounted on the lower position of the folding assembly while the right side was mounted on the upper position.
sjcherian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My li'l Red Mahindra Thar with some practical modifications samwagon 4x4 Vehicles 127 10th March 2016 17:52
Taking the Thar to the 'Thar'. 2000 kms, 3 childhood friends & an epic roadtrip Vroom barabar! Travelogues 30 25th March 2013 18:42
Red Bull Racing Cans: Chance to visit the Red Bull Racing HQ in Milton Keynes varun_patra Indian Motorsport 0 22nd July 2011 15:51
Some ideas how I want to do some mods to my M-800 chokxxi90210 Modifications & Accessories 1 21st March 2008 08:16


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 06:58.

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