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Old 2nd April 2015, 12:50   #76
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
@GhostRider28 (Sayantan),I have heard that the vehicle was inoperational for sometime at the workshop. If True, Can you share some detail.
I remember the plate number. I also saw the vehicle in the Renault Workshop behind Science City and the TBHP sticker caught my attention. I had gone there to get my head lights changed under warranty. It caught my attention as the layer of dust indicated that it was there for sometime , but the body condition did not indicate any signs of an obvious accident / impact. Since I too own the same model , just wanted to understand what went wrong. My assigned SA on that day was not very forthcoming and did not divulge details.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 13:39   #77
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I had gone there to get my head lights changed under warranty.
@Drivetrain - What was the issue with the headlights? Just curious to know.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 13:40   #78
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

If the trail is so narrow, and there is limited space to reverse when tackling a hairpin bend (assuming the angle is too acute for one to do it in one go), then a longish vehicle with a large turning radius would be at a disadvantage.

So not advisable for 4x4 Fortuner/Pajero Sport/Endeavour/Safari? The boulders or gradient shouldn't be a problem with a good AT tyre, a narrow switchback without space to reverse (3 point turn) would be.
Sorry, had missed your post. For the Fortuner, I dont think the switchbacks are going to be a problem, you will have space for 3-point (even for me, I got all the turns one shot on the way up, but somehow, on the way down it was always 3 point - where you are backing up against the slope). So worth a try. Even while taking my Scorpio up, the word from locals, at every point had been discouraging. Some said, too wide, some said, too long, some said, too goodlooking!

However, there could be one "bottleneck" (almost literally), its a small bridge in the forest section between the Sangalila entry and Gairibash. The width of this narrow and weak concrete bridge might be just sufficient for the Fortuner, but (while going to S'phu) the entry to this bridge is on a curve, with very limited runoff, even Scorpio's wheelbase (since you are entering the bridge at an angle/curve) was a tight fit. You will need to be careful here, probably good "spotting" can see you through.

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Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
@1100D - Hill start assist holds the vehicle for close to 2 seconds, after which the vehicle starts to roll back. .
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Originally Posted by arjab View Post
It activates only after you have kept the brake pedal pressed for 3 seconds, with no throttle blipping / input. A shift of a second here & there will deactivate the hill hold for the rollback.
Right.

In the Video, the brake is pressed at Elapsed time 17 secs and till 30 secs, there is no other inputs (judging from the Sound). So the Hill Hold must have been activated.

But, at 30 secs the throttle is pressed and the engine is revved and the clutch is dropped 6 seconds later at 36 secs. 6secs might be too long for the hill-hold to hold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
The original ECU was faulty and had to be replaced.
Can you elaborate a little bit here, although you mention that you are mentioning the detail on the ownership thread that you are drafting, this might turn out to be relevant to this thread

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Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
the incident had a lot of Renault style paraphernalia assciated with it!
Not sure what you mean though.

Last edited by GTO : 4th April 2015 at 12:50. Reason: Marengo = Scorpio. Not everyone will understand who Marengo is. Thanks
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Old 2nd April 2015, 14:10   #79
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
In short, a newer Gypsy will also suffer going up to Sandakphu.
Travelogues have detailed Army using Gypsy on this Route !!! Looks like we are missing something.

Sandakphu looks to be one of the demanding terrain in India. I am sure Himalayas, Western Ghats have other equally challenging routes.

If I have to compile list of probable Vehicles which can do this Circuit, it would be as follows. Ordered as per vehicle price.
* Legendary Land Rovers - Not numbered as you not get in market.
1. MM550 4WD - Looks to me to be the best.
2. Willy's - Yes, difficult to get hold of one in good condition.
3. Gypsy - Yes based on Army Use.
4. Bolero 4WD - Yes but not sure about the difficulty in negotiating the hairpins.
5. Thar - Yes proven and detailed.
6. Scorpio 4WD - Yes detailed , same comment as Bolero.
7. Duster AWD - Yet to see one scale.
8. XUV500 AWD, Yeti - Not even mentioned once.
9. Ford Endevour - Not seen a report. Guess would be a nightmare.
10 Rexton 4WD - ???
11. Fortuner - Looks Big for this terrain. Would have difficulty.
12. Pajero Sports 4WD - Probably, but not sure about hairpins.

Audi Q's, Land Rovers , Merc , BMW - Not sure anyone would take these to such terrain.

Does it make prudence to use MM550, Thar, Gypsy in such terrains. Fact that repair cost will be less for these. Imagine the workshop costs on Duster and above !!!

Last edited by ManuMacher : 2nd April 2015 at 14:21. Reason: Grammar Edit
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Old 2nd April 2015, 14:53   #80
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Bolero 4WD has already done Sandakphu more than once. BlackPearl has taken his 4WD Bolero. You may search for it :-)
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Old 2nd April 2015, 15:31   #81
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
@Drivetrain - What was the issue with the headlights? Just curious to know.

There were imprints on the inside of the plastics for both headlights. Looked like faint scratch marks - more like a bunch of roots being etched on the inside of the plastic. The Work Shop chaps were very courteous and accepted the issue - apparently this is a known issue in a batch of the Adventure trim series of smoked head lamps. After Renault accepted to replace - I was called in to make the switch - only for the Service Advisor to discover that the Smoked Head Lamps used in the Adventure trim does not fit the AWD. The mounting brackets were different ! , they had to order a new AWD set from Chennai and I had to wait for 15 days to make the change. No problems with the lights themselves , they were working perfectly. Incidentally I had written about the issue in the AWD review thread.

I have a colleague who owns a AWD and his Cruise Control is non functional , he will be visiting the Workshop soon to get it rectified.

Last edited by DriveTrain : 2nd April 2015 at 15:49. Reason: correcting a grammatical error
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Old 2nd April 2015, 15:42   #82
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Okay, I may be the party pooper here, but I feel that Sandakphu is too overrated. In the time of low power DI engines without turbo power, most vehicles struggled, and hence a legend was born
Now, with powerful engines, and AWD, even something like a Yeti or a CRV will do that from the videos I have seen.
That's a very armchair-ish comment. I am sure you would change your opinion if you had seen it.

I have not driven to Sandakphu. I have only walked there three times at various stages of my life. And I do drive a car. I can tell you it's not going to be an easy cakewalk. It is certainly not overrated.

Even with an AWD vehicle there are several bends there where I would certainly need to stop, check the road once and then go.

Members here have proved that it can be done with an AWD vehicle. But it is certainly not easy for us plains people or an "overrated" stretch of road in the mountains. I would say it is an AWD terrain only.

I have driven a Yeti. I don't think I would ever try to take it to Sandakphu. I have no idea about CRV.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 15:50   #83
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by ManuMacher View Post
Travelogues have detailed Army using Gypsy on this Route !!! Looks like we are missing something.
Dear ManuMacher, I am always keen to read travelogues on Sandakphu. If you can share the link of the travelogue you are talking about, it will be a great help. I believe the "something" missing could be one of the following two
  1. The army drivers are regulars on that route and know the behaviour of their Gypsys well enough to scale the trail.
  2. Army spec Gypsys may have something (may be a different suspension set up to allow better articulation) better than their civilian counterparts that make them more competent. But, I am not an expert on the subject and would like to request one of the experts to kindly throw some light on the matter.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 16:24   #84
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by humyum View Post
A lawn mover does a 30 degree slope.
Just checked. My RC controlled car can climb an exactly 42 degree slope as well as do a stop and start on the slope effortlessly. No smell of clutch burn either.

You're right. It's not very difficult.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 17:46   #85
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
  1. The army drivers are regulars on that route and know the behaviour of their Gypsys well enough to scale the trail.

  2. Army spec Gypsys may have something (may be a different suspension set up to allow better articulation) better than their civilian counterparts that make them more competent. But, I am not an expert on the subject and would like to request one of the experts to kindly throw some light on the matter.
My opinion with my limited experience
point 1:
The army drivers are regulars on that route and know the behaviour of their Gypsys well enough to scale the trail.
comment: Any driver who is going to attempt this trail must be either offrroad enthusiast or expedition freak. Taking above assumption (similar to all who are assuming) driver who has spent time (few OTRs and expeditions) should be able to clear it with Gypsy. Though there might be a typical Gypsy drama of tyre slipping, high rev, clutch burning (dont worry, its common).
Point2:
Army spec Gypsys may have something (may be a different suspension set up to allow better articulation) better than their civilian counterparts that make them more competent.
Comment: I am yet to find out the difference in components, there is no change in suspension. Only difference may be (again speculation like others) in assembly line which is highly unlikely Army being the major buyer for this product.
Being a Jeep guy, I am 100% sure if a Thar, Scorpio etc can do this track Gypsy King MPFI can do this track any given day even with its bad stock tyres (no need even for AT tyres), in worst case reducing tyre pressure a bit

Regards,
Shubhendra Singh

Last edited by Shubhendra : 2nd April 2015 at 17:48.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 20:56   #86
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManuMacher View Post

If I have to compile list of probable Vehicles which can do this Circuit, it would be as follows. Ordered as per vehicle price.
* Legendary Land Rovers - Not numbered as you not get in market.
1. MM550 4WD - Looks to me to be the best.
2. Willy's - Yes, difficult to get hold of one in good condition.
3. Gypsy - Yes based on Army Use.
4. Bolero 4WD - Yes but not sure about the difficulty in negotiating the hairpins.
5. Thar - Yes proven and detailed.
6. Scorpio 4WD - Yes detailed , same comment as Bolero.
7. Duster AWD - Yet to see one scale.
8. XUV500 AWD, Yeti - Not even mentioned once.
9. Ford Endevour - Not seen a report. Guess would be a nightmare.
10 Rexton 4WD - ???
11. Fortuner - Looks Big for this terrain. Would have difficulty.
12. Pajero Sports 4WD - Probably, but not sure about hairpins.

Audi Q's, Land Rovers , Merc , BMW - Not sure anyone would take these to such terrain.

Does it make prudence to use MM550, Thar, Gypsy in such terrains. Fact that repair cost will be less for these. Imagine the workshop costs on Duster and above !!!
Sorry Guys, I missed Force Gurkha . Should be placed around 4 & 5.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 21:38   #87
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Oh well. I had been planning to do a Sandakphu drive in my Fortuner. I had hiked there during my college days, even then Land Rovers used to do regular duty.

If the trail is so narrow, and there is limited space to reverse when tackling a hairpin bend (assuming the angle is too acute for one to do it in one go), then a longish vehicle with a large turning radius would be at a disadvantage.

So not advisable for 4x4 Fortuner/Pajero Sport/Endeavour/Safari? The boulders or gradient shouldn't be a problem with a good AT tyre, a narrow switchback without space to reverse (3 point turn) would be.
Nilanjan I still remember your hilarious post on drunk chicken

Regarding Fortuner going to Sandakphu, I think it will easily do it. Three point turns will not be any problem, the only weak link is a narrow bridge inside the Singalila forest.

Here is a very amateurish video taken during the first trip while coming down from Sandakphu.

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Old 2nd April 2015, 21:43   #88
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

See what you have started!
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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
It has a few steep slopes and the idea was to stop the car mid way on a slope and then try to climb again.
Did you do the test in reverse also?
And did you check out the ability of the handbrake to hold the vehicle? In both directions.

One thing I must add: I am not at all happy about hordes of people trying to do Sandakphu in their own vehicle. This directly threatens the livelihood of the Land Rover group, and if they perceive it as a major threat, they will prevent outsiders cars from going. Much like the Sikkim taxi mafia.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 2nd April 2015, 21:59   #89
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
/. Much like the Sikkim taxi mafia.

Regards
Sutripta
I think we should never give in to the Mafia. I would never support such Mafias. Even if it means never seeing a lovely place. It may be a small amount, but I feel I should do everything in my power in not giving them money.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 22:17   #90
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
[list=1][*]The army drivers are regulars on that route and know the behaviour of their Gypsys well enough to scale the trail.
That is precisely the case.


Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
[*]Army spec Gypsys may have something (may be a different suspension set up to allow better articulation) better than their civilian counterparts that make them more competent.
Army and Civilian Gypsy Kings are same (unless its a special application Gypsy).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhendra View Post
My opinion with my limited experience
point 1:
The army drivers are regulars on that route and know the behaviour of their Gypsys well enough to scale the trail.
comment: Any driver who is going to attempt this trail must be either offrroad enthusiast or expedition freak. Taking above assumption (similar to all who are assuming) driver who has spent time (few OTRs and expeditions) should be able to clear it with Gypsy. Though there might be a typical Gypsy drama of tyre slipping, high rev, clutch burning (dont worry, its common).
Point2:
Army spec Gypsys may have something (may be a different suspension set up to allow better articulation) better than their civilian counterparts that make them more competent.
Comment: I am yet to find out the difference in components, there is no change in suspension. Only difference may be (again speculation like others) in assembly line which is highly unlikely Army being the major buyer for this product.
Being a Jeep guy, I am 100% sure if a Thar, Scorpio etc can do this track Gypsy King MPFI can do this track any given day even with its bad stock tyres (no need even for AT tyres), in worst case reducing tyre pressure a bit

Regards,
Shubhendra Singh
Yes, shouldn't be an issue with a Gypsy King that is not having any Engine tuning issues.

The Gypsy King is an often underestimated animal. It takes a bit of time to get used to its power delivery.

This Gypsy King MPFI could self recover itself from this situation by clogging its way back wards bit by bit and turning towards the left in the process, at the hands of a not so expert driver (me) - but supervised by a legend.

Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?-img_20150207_141018-2.jpg

Then it was climbing up a slope after a 3 meter slush pit.

Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?-img_9951.jpg

And this engine wasn't in the best of tune either, it was missing from time to time, due to a malfunctioning ignition coil.

The next OTR, this stock Gypsy King MPFI (engine wise) was simply effortlessly flying.

A Gypsy-King thats working fine, with a driver who knows it, will effortlessly be at Sandakphu.

However, these days a lot of other locally owned Mahindra's can be seen in the area, thanks to the thread starter!!
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