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Old 5th November 2008, 23:44   #406
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Originally Posted by kpzen View Post
Steer
The pattern of the script looks like u are carrying off from where u left in the Monsoon Drive thread

Please continue.
You couldnt have said it better Kp.
Steer we are all waitin as you can see.
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Old 19th November 2008, 20:00   #407
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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
...Will take me some time to script this out, please bear with me.
Steer,

We are still waiting...
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Old 19th November 2008, 20:05   #408
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Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
Steer,

We are still waiting...
Sorry guys.

Too many stories to talk about - we got distracted big time by the Landmaster story.

I need some time to sit peacefully and write this down.
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Old 17th January 2009, 23:28   #409
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Still waiting, for this much awaited story.
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Old 19th January 2009, 11:49   #410
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cracked cylinder lining???

Hope it has nothing to do with the powerbox you added to make your bull 135bhp
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Old 19th January 2009, 12:54   #411
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Originally Posted by rajismine View Post
cracked cylinder lining???

Hope it has nothing to do with the powerbox you added to make your bull 135bhp
It allegedly had something to do with it, though it is not something I can confirm.

Using the box definitely raises the temp and the needle hovers slightly below the 1/2-way mark, but it goes slightly over 1/2-way when in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Perhaps extended usage in heavy traffic caused this? I say perhaps because I have no means of confirming this. I personally think they screwed up on the 60k service in some way that caused a whole lot of issues to surface immediately afterwards. In any case we will put the power-box back in only after we are able to connect it to a switch that will enable us to disconnect it in heavy traffic conditions and use it only on highway runs.

In any case TML replaced the half block, all four cylinder liners, pistons, rings and bearings under warranty. In addition, the dealer also replaced the injectors thinking (for some strange reason) that this would make the problem go away.

The trouble I faced was with the time the dealer took for the diagnosis, relying entirely on what the computer told them when it was apparent that there was a knocking sound from the engine which was coming from INSIDE the engine and not from the peripherals. They spent a month and 10 days doing nothing but changing peripherals under warranty, and worse yet they tried to deliver the truck saying the sound has 'reduced'.

There are other issues too - I have my own doubts as to what happened because the engine was perfectly fine when I delivered it to them for the 60k service and a full suspension checkup after some really high-speed runs over bad surfaces. The vehicle had a bit of death-roll which was diagnosed outside RF as loose suspension joints that needed to be replaced. However when it came back after the 'full suspension checkup' it was infinitely worse and couldnt keep a straight line even on smooth surfaces, wandering drunkenly from side-to-side. Two more visits didnt seem to make a difference and the vehicle was not driveable anymore.

Worse yet, they messed up on reconnecting all peripherals after the engine job (the cylinder liner replacement) as a result of which power steering was super-tight and the hose broke after a few days of usage because it had melted at the point where it was touching (!) the oil-filter. The Power Steering hoses were leaking at various points and the turbo and intercooler hoses were loose and soon started making loud farting noises.

All of this has been sorted out now (thanks to nikkibike and Hitech Motors) and the vehicle is apparently back to showroom condition, running smooth and true and handling beautifully. However the pain inflicted by the dealership's incompetence and their steadfast belief in the customer's naivity was incredible.

When I gave the truck in for 60k service, I had no issues other than an occassional jerk on the suspension thanks to loose lower-wishbone joints.
When I got it back afterwards (after a ridiculously long time for the 60k service + suspension checkup) the vehicle had the following issues:

1. Engine liner issue which wasnt there earlier.

2. Bent LHS Upper Wishbone (not apparent earlier).

3. Torsion bar settings totally messed up - both front Torsion Bars were set differently and very close to their limits.

4. Power steering messed up completely, hoses routed wrongly, some hoses touching the engine block and oil filters (that eventually melted them down).

5. Loose turbo and intercooler plumbing joints.

6. Lower wishbone joints still loose despite my having paid for replacements. They may have become loose again because of (3) above and the fact that the steering geometry was totally messed up and there was no way the truck would stay on a straight line.

7. Dirty, messed-up car full of greasemarks and fingerprints.

8. A dead battery that was less than a year old.

9. Peripherals such as wheel-well plastics and engine-bay damping put back crudely and coming loose every now and then.

10. TRANSFER CASE issues - vehicle not shifting to 4L easily, takes time.

I have my suspicions about what could have happened at that 60k service and checkup that they took 2 weeks for, because I wasnt around in India when they delivered the vehicle (having delivered the vehicle on the day I left) and there was no way that job would take 2 whole weeks. I think there was some hanky-panky involved for a smoothly running vehicle to come back with so many issues.

After all this I really needed to give the vehicle some TLC and investigate the issues in depth before working on them. I was unable to do so because of the tight timelines I have during my visits home, so Chikku (nikkibike) offered to take it upon himself because he couldnt bear to see the vehicle in such a bad condition.

He has done wonders with the vehicle as the troubleshooting and rectification was done at a small TASS (Hitech) near his office and completely under his supervision. It is a small outfit so we have had to wait for parts and stuff occassionally, but the results are almost magical.

Last edited by Steeroid : 19th January 2009 at 12:58.
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Old 19th January 2009, 13:12   #412
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Glad to know that the Beast is back in Ship-Shape

And yes I agree that sometimes going to a smaller TASS leads to better results as I myself have experienced the same with my Safari which has done 50K now. Although getting all spares is still an issue but nevertheless they do pay keen attention to the faults unlike the bigger TASS centers.
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Old 19th January 2009, 13:47   #413
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Wasnt there a difference in engine oil quantity or more smoke from exhaust?
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Old 19th January 2009, 13:51   #414
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Steer - couple of questions.

You mean that your battery was dead though it was less than one year age? Or you got a battery which is less than a year old and your vehicle is still older?

Are you sure lubes were actually replaced at the previous service?

How much distance did the vehicle cover with the "box"?

And any chance that they drove the vehicle without any engine oil while the vehicle was at the service center? I would not buy the theory of overheating unless the temp needle shows some serious variation.
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Old 20th January 2009, 08:51   #415
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All I can say is its really scary.

People are getting palmed off dented cars, the cars are stayingin the workshop for 2 weeks and God knows what happens in that period. In 15 minutes a vehicle can be stripped and altered of its good parts.

There are 2 Ps connected with a vehicle, Profit and Passion. Guess we should sift out the Passion guys and patronise them and ditch the Profit guys
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Old 21st January 2009, 12:24   #416
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Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Wasnt there a difference in engine oil quantity or more smoke from exhaust?
I dont know. The vehicle was delivered to Ashvin (after the service + suspension checkup, but BEFORE the second visit with the engine noise) and he immediately handed it over to another (one of 20-odd rented drivers during the last one year) driver who took the truck to Bangalore so there was no way anyone could check this up.

I drove the truck for one day in Bangalore and I couldnt recognize the vehicle. Vijay drove it around and couldnt control it. We asked the driver to take the truck back to RF and he said he cant do it because its too dangerous to drive.

Finally Zak drove it back to Cochin, which is when he noticed the 'engine check' lamp which led to the vehicle going back in for 45 days - they only found the cylinder liner issue after TML instructed them to open up the engine, which is after 30 days of doing nothing much else.

I was out of the country during this whole period. Zak left for Delhi immediately after the vehicle was given to RF. Ashvin followed up with RF to push them for delivery, refused to take delivery when the dealership claimed 'reduced noise' and tried to push him to take the truck without even opening up the engine. It is on his insistance that the TML engineer came on site and then instructed RF to open up the engine.

So you see there was no one person who could monitor this end-to-end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
You mean that your battery was dead though it was less than one year age? Or you got a battery which is less than a year old and your vehicle is still older?
Not sure if I understand your questions. I had a battery in the vehicle that was less than a year old (replaced in Nov 07 in Bangalore) but that battery was DEAD at the end of all this. We're still running around on a battery provided by RF when the truck wouldnt start at delivery, I dont plan to return it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Are you sure lubes were actually replaced at the previous service?
No way we can confirm this - see story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
How much distance did the vehicle cover with the "box"?
Over 20k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
And any chance that they drove the vehicle without any engine oil while the vehicle was at the service center? I would not buy the theory of overheating unless the temp needle shows some serious variation.
I dont buy the theory either, and what you say may well be possible. However we have no means of proving it.
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Old 21st January 2009, 14:22   #417
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So after all the damage was done, the truck was returned to us at the end of October (it went in at the start of August for the 65k Service + 'suspension overhaul' and then again on the 9th of September with the engine and other issues) with the engine running smooth and everything else in tatters.

The vehicle was pulling to the left, it had a power steering that became tighter as you went towards lock and weird sounds emanating from different parts. Still the truck was smooth and we managed to take it to the "D R I V E C R U I S E" in Alleppy with a smooth engine that was still being run-in.

At the end of the Drive Cruise I had to take the vehicle down from the embankment where we were parked to allow strippergeo to take his 4x2 Endeavour out, and this is where the rear of the vehicle SANK into the loose and thick mud at the bottom. The vehicle was sitting at an awkward angle with chassis touching the ground, and when we tried to engage 4L we found that it wouldnt engage all the time. Took a few tries to engage and then finally pulled out, but I suspected something was wrong with the T-case.

After the Drive-Cruise we started the truck's rejuvenation. Nikki pitched in to try and help out and recommended Hitech Motors near his office where his Sumos and other tata vehicles are serviced - it was a place he could hop over to every now and then to supervise the work being done.

What we found there was:

1. Rear suspension bushes had worn out. I thought these had been replaced by RF at the 'suspension overhaul', but a quick look at the repair details on Tata's online system confirmed that not much had been done to the suspension.

2. Lower wishbones were loose. These were allegedly replaced at RF.

3. Steering geometry was totally off.

4. The routing of powersteering hoses was wrong and the pipes were leaking at various joints because of the stress. This also explained why the steering got progressively tighter.

Went about doing all the replacements, STILL the steering was weird. Nikki took it to an alignment shop and found a 6 degree caster angle error on the LHS even after everything had been set right.

Took it to another shop which showed the same reading, still nothing was apparent. Nikki then took the truck back to Hitech and got under the vehicle himself, had them strip the LHS, which is when they discovered the badly bent LHS upper arm.

The truck had obviously taken a bit hit somewhere, a really major one. It was not one that I was aware of, but I remember that the suspension problems started from Bangalore in late 2007 when the truck was returned to me by another member of the forum with a missing LHS fender-mounted plastic cladding. I had found it difficult to drive back from Bangalore and the truck had been taken to RF where they did some setting changes on the torsion bar that partially resolved the issue. They had mentioned that the wheel-well plastic and metal was bent and the vehicle had obviously had an impact somewhere.

I had been told a very unlikely story of the plastic cladding 'falling off' on its own without the driver (member here) 'knowing about it', but I suspected there was more to the story than that. These suspicions seemed to have been confirmed now.

Soon the upper arm arrived and was changed, which is when I was told that the steering is still a bit vague. Suspecting the 'torsion bar tweak' done by RF back then, I requested Nikki to check those out - this is when he found that the torsion bars were set near their limits and with different settings on each.

Power steering plumbing was removed completely and rerouted as per OE specs. Turbo and Intercooler hoses were also removed and refitted, all other plumbing/wiring was checked and a lot of anomalies reversed.

The front bumper had also taken an impact somewhere - it was hanging a bit loose and when the bumper was removed to reset, this is what we found:

Tata Safari Long-Term Review-image_022.jpg

Nikki finally got the MotorSux, RF Motors and other stickers removed from the truck, replaced the torn sunfilm on the driver-side window, checked and reset all doors, checked and fixed all bulbs and fuses, replaced cracked front foglamp and had the interiors washed and shampooed.

All that remains to be done is the replacement of the Green Cotton filter with the K&N Conical bought 2 years back, this time with a 'dynamiser kit' type of enclosure custom-made out of FRP connected to the piping from the Green Cotton.

The Green Cotton will go to the Landmaster.


My truck has been officially reclaimed!
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Old 21st January 2009, 14:41   #418
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Steer, hopefully, the difficult times are over.

Now, to each his own & I know that you're a nice guy but I can't fathom why on earth you go about leaving your Pride & Joy with the World & his Wife - such blind trust does lead to this kind of unfortunate & avoidable issues I feel

Me, I'm so wary & extra cautious about driving anyone else's car! And hate giving mine to anyone other than family & a handful (and perhaps not even to the handful in my absence).
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Old 21st January 2009, 14:44   #419
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So finally, the story!

I feel sorry for the truck, so much of torture!

By the looks of the picture, cannot not imagine how this could have happened unless there was a strong enough collision or some force which pushed the horn inside the fan.

Happy trucking, Steer. And care to post a photo of the healthy fellow?
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Old 21st January 2009, 14:57   #420
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@steer - you have answered my battery question. It not common for a year old battery to self discharge in one month. And it is common for a responsible service station to get the battries charged if the vehicle is idle for a rather long time. The battery issue + the PS hose connections you describe - together means only one thing - they were relying on the guys working free of charge for the "worked at an a / s / s" tag.

So, another tbhpian had some role in this tale of woe too!!!

And you know what? I am not familiar with engineering of the safari, but going by the description, you are lucky that the front tyre did not fly off (heard this used to happen with old ambys) during your runs.
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