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Old 25th June 2006, 12:01   #1
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In one of the recent posts, a certain comment really got me thinking... the lack of modified cars in India. I dont mean modified as in alloy wheels and huge sub-woofers; but modified as in performance parts. I know back in India there isn't a lot of power to work with, but look around guys, especially on the internet. My couzin, also a member of Team-BHP, almost bought a turbocharger for his Maruti 800 (the glitch - his dad still drives the car, not him, yet). But if you have cars like the Octavia and even the City, modifying ur car can be a very rewarding experience. With the Civic coming soon to India, it is something that Civic owners should seriously consider. From a simple turbo charger to performance custom tuning to gr8 ehaust parts, its all available in the market. yet, the number of cars sporting these are so extremely rare. why? I am hoping to get back to India and 'soup' up my ride. looking for advice from other BHPians who have done the same.
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Old 25th June 2006, 15:09   #2
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As a true car buff, sadly I feel that the main reasons India will continuously remain a non-motoring country are:


1. Disproportionate car rates in comparison to salary levels. Even the cheapest barebones "car" (M800) - which would have been outlawed in every developed country (safety reasons), costs 2 laks = 4 times avg monthly salary (single income scenario).

In naturally motoring countries like USA, an entry level car (C/C+ segment in India) costs abt $10000 or roughly twice the monthly avg income.

2. Fuel prices. Nothing more to be said except while Americans groan abt the high rate of petrol (~ $3/gallon) there compared to 5 yrs back, its still cheaper than Rs 55/liter, proportion-wise.

3. Economic prosperity: While we Indians have seen a better quality of life since abt 10 years ago when the IT/economy window opened, what abt the period during our up-bringings?! Most Indian families continued to be middle-class families. The pockets of wealth notwithstanding.

So we've really wired our brains to consider any non-immovable acquisition as not a true asset.

4. Lack of a disciplined road and traffic network. Can we really enjoy our motorized babies when u have a bullock cart in front of you, 3 bikes hugging ur left, 2 semiworking auto rickshaws on ur right and a large truck joined at ur rear bumper ?! Also add in humans and animals treating a road like its their own garden.

Then we come to the pathetic excuse called roads. Can we drive our V-TECed, headers, K&N Performance Filters, Ultra-low profile tyres and delicate alloys shod cars over an unexpected pothole that would shame the craters on most celestial bodies ?!


Lots of other issues too. But I didn't want to be banned from Team-BHP for overloading their servers

Last edited by theMAG : 25th June 2006 at 15:12.
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Old 25th June 2006, 18:46   #3
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Unhappy Sad but true!

Reality Bites. isnt it?

By the time we have roads to drive our super cars.. the price of fuel would be so high that we would keep speeds in the econo... or wise would be driving underpowered Hybrids/Electric alternatives


Sad but true!
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Old 25th June 2006, 19:28   #4
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Do remember that a souped up car would be drinking much much more fuel (in other words, FE would suck) than it's NA counterpart? And i'm pretty sure not many of us would like to keep spending so much on fuel the way its cost keeps going up.

Unless someone comes up with some serious performance mods for LPG!!! :P

Godspeed,

Alok
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Old 25th June 2006, 21:10   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjan united
In one of the recent posts, a certain comment really got me thinking... the lack of modified cars in India. I dont mean modified as in alloy wheels and huge sub-woofers; but modified as in performance parts. I know back in India there isn't a lot of power to work with, but look around guys, especially on the internet. My couzin, also a member of Team-BHP, almost bought a turbocharger for his Maruti 800 (the glitch - his dad still drives the car, not him, yet). But if you have cars like the Octavia and even the City, modifying ur car can be a very rewarding experience. With the Civic coming soon to India, it is something that Civic owners should seriously consider. From a simple turbo charger to performance custom tuning to gr8 ehaust parts, its all available in the market. yet, the number of cars sporting these are so extremely rare. why? I am hoping to get back to India and 'soup' up my ride. looking for advice from other BHPians who have done the same.
I know exactly where you are coming from.

If you like fast cars - just buy one. There are plently available in India. From Porche's to Beltley's.

Lets stay away from 'ricer' bandwagon.
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Old 26th June 2006, 02:17   #6
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Many times, turbochargers have been known to increase fuel economy, as it aids in the complete combustion of fuel. So FE shouldn't be a problem.
Some modifications like bigger and wider wheels and better suspension and brakes improves the car's handling and even safety (less body roll, stoppage time etc.).
So it's not a bad investment always.
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Old 26th June 2006, 05:31   #7
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I disagree with most people here. The question is not that we Indians are not modifying cars the question is that why are we going the wrong way while modifying cars? Out here the people who consider Performance to be the holy grail are out numbered by people who consider Visual modifications to be the most important part by about 100 to 1.

Everyday I see atleast 5 cars which have been visually modified horribly crappily with no work on the engine or perfromance front. It shows that the money is there to be spent but we people have still not built up the taste for good work.

I guess what we are sorely lacking are people who can do good, reliable and trustworthy performance tuning work with standards comparable to US/Europe. And until we have such people around we are gonna be stuck in this rut.

And yeah Ranjan let me clear up something fitting in a turbocharger to an engine is not as simple as you might think. It's not as if you can just strap it on like a K&N filter. You need to really do a lot work to install a turbo and even then it really needs an expert hand to feed the ECU properly. And its ten times more hard in an MPFI car then a Carburatted car.
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Old 26th June 2006, 08:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava
And its ten times more hard in an MPFI car then a Carburatted car.
It is the other way round. Especially blowthrough turbos are much more easier to install in an mpfi car than a carburetted car.
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Old 26th June 2006, 08:37   #9
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Expertise is limited to some cities and so is teh money needed for good engine mods.

The visual mods are comparitively cheaper with some stickering job and so on in most cases. If I want to get a conical K&N installed by a professional guy I have to travel 200kms to get it done!
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Old 26th June 2006, 10:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG
As a true car buff, sadly I feel that the main reasons India will continuously remain a non-motoring country are:


1. Disproportionate car rates in comparison to salary levels. Even the cheapest barebones "car" (M800) - which would have been outlawed in every developed country (safety reasons), costs 2 laks = 4 times avg monthly salary (single income scenario).
Rs 50,000/- average monthly salary? In India? Single-income scenario?
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Old 26th June 2006, 13:59   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johy


Rs 50,000/- average monthly salary? In India? Single-income scenario?
Either he had considered only IT sector (still ??) or it was annual income.
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Old 26th June 2006, 14:51   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava
I disagree with most people here. The question is not that we Indians are not modifying cars the question is that why are we going the wrong way while modifying cars? Out here the people who consider Performance to be the holy grail are out numbered by people who consider Visual modifications to be the most important part by about 100 to 1.
Well its easy to sit and say "people have all the money but no taste" .. But has anyone thought why people turn to visual mods than performance ??

Coming to the point , how many qualified tuners do we have in our country ?? 5 , 10 , 15 (i wish they are that many who actually know what they are doing) ??? Where are they primararily based ?? Bombay ?? Bangalore ?? Coimbatore ?? How do the masses reach out to them for eg say from delhi ?? Would u drive down all the way to one of these places to do up ur car ??

Performance comes at a price .. Dont these renowned tuners charge a bomb ?? Can everyone who wants performance but cant afford to pay up in such lumpsum dream about owning a fast car ?? NO !!!
Will u want to risk ur hard earned money (ur car in this case) with a local mechanic ?? Would u take a chance with ur car ?? A big NOPE !!!!

These are just a few reasons why people lean towards visual mods than performance in our country ?? So whats wrong ?? Arent they are right in their own way ?? I wouldnt want to risk experimenting on my car with a local mech because i cant afford to go to any of the reputed tuners .. I would play it safe , so would anyone else for that matter ..

Its only those who have the money , the passion and the right network getting into serious mods .. Doesnt necessarily have to be a TCed car .. Bangy has zens with NOS running the esteem engines pulling out 1.5 sec slower times on a 1/4 mile than a fully blown HKS supra pumping out nothing less than 800 horses .. Does this mean that there is no talent or no technology better than TCing ?? Its not that there is no talent at all when it comes to tuning , its surely picking up strides but it needs more time to get to international standards .. Reasons being the lack of tech knowledge amongst customers and willingness to spend/experiment with stuff not known to them ..

One must understand that TCing is not kids play .. It takes a lot of expertise , patience and loads and loads of money to source the right parts , ship them from abroad , install them and tune them up to the best tune .. Unless we have expertise in TCing amongst the tuners , its like playing with a time bomb , one tiny mistake and u could land up in a soup with a blown engine .. Btw TCing a carbed car is much more difficult than a MPFI car , setting up the carbs is such a big pain that only those in the know know how difficult it is ..

Yes , the quality of visual mods are on the decline day by day but like they say its personal preference .. U either like it or hate it .. As long as the owners of the ride like it i would say to hell with what the others gotto think .. One must also consider many more factors such as the ones mentioned above before marking out saying such statements ..

PS : If u want to really see some really quick performance oriented cars pls do visit bangalore on a satudray night .. I would be glad to show u around .. Its not that india lacks good modded cars , its all about knowing the right circles ..

PS 2 : As i type this new in town is a TCed baleno running 15psi done up at coimby putting out some insane performance figures i hear .. I know of a TCed conti , a few TCed VTECs .. The trend has begun , that day is not far when TCing is the norm of the day just like NOS is right now .. Stay tuned ...
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Old 26th June 2006, 15:27   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadas
Either he had considered only IT sector (still ??) or it was annual income.
Hey,

Sorry for quoting from the sector I work in.

But I think the original point I was trying to make is well amplified from ur post abt the disproportionate rates of cars vs buying power.
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Old 26th June 2006, 15:55   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG
Hey,

....disproportionate rates of cars vs buying power.
I wholeheartedly agree.
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Old 26th June 2006, 16:26   #15
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As Mclaren says, the problem with extensive performance mods is finding someone reliable to do the job.

I don't want to blow up 1.5 lakhs on a turbo setup and then have the engine blow up on me, and then have the mechanic just shrug his shoulders. So unless you have lots of time on your hands, good knowledge of cars and a really trustworthy tuner (and the money of course), it becomes impractical to turbo the car.

Also, lack of equipment like a dyno makes me apprehensive. Lots of tuners will throw all kinds of performance numbers at you, but without a dyno to prove it, it's all just speculation and guesswork. Also makes the process of fine tuning much more dodgy. No offense to the genuine tuners here, but I've heard a whole lotta crap from a whole lotta wannabe tuners who are just out to scam rich brats.

Thirdly, any kind of performance mod is technically illegal, hence by TCing or NOSing your car, you are breaking the law. I don't think visual mods are law breakers except for a few like strobes and neons.

Having said that, I look forward to the day I can confidently take my car to a shop and get it turbocharged.
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