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Old 5th August 2010, 18:51   #1
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Default The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX

Hi all,

This is my first post at Team-BHP although I have been a silent observer for the last 4 years. Now that I have finally owned my first car, I want to share my experience with you guys.

I have been searching for a car since the beginning of this year. From the beginning I was quite clear that I would look at the Baleno or any of the FIAT 1.6. The Ford 1.6 didn’t appeal much to me and having had a Hyundai Accent GLS in my family, I wasn’t too keen on the GTX Tornado either.

After a month of searching and scouring through used car sites and dealers, I got to know that my boss had a FIAT Palio 1.6 GTX.

It is an April 2002 registered car, golden colour and has run 29,000km. I took a test drive and loved the engine. The rest of the car, however, needed some work. (For example, the car was parked in the open and the paint on the roof and the bonnet has faded in patches.)

He was willing to sell it and therefore, I took the car to Wasan Motors workshop at Worli for a checkup and to evaluate the condition of the car and mainly for them to hook up the ECU to the scanner to check for errors. Thankfully, there were none and the service advisor informed me of all the parts that would need to be changed. The big ticket items were the front suspension lower arm assembly, the struts and the silencer (which had rusted).

After I decided to go for the car, the original RC book of the car was not to be found and this led to a waiting of 2 months where I was lusting after the car but couldn’t have it. In the meanwhile, assuming that the RC book would not be found. I started looking at other vehicles as well such as a Petra 1.6 and a couple of other GTX’s (which were badly maintained or just too expensive).

Finally, the RC book was found and we agreed on a price of Rs. 90k for the car. As soon as I got it, I took it to the our mechanic’s garage in Powai (coz the FIAT A.S.S charged ridiculous amounts for painting). He has looked after our cars for many years and is quite well versed with FIAT cars and is quite reasonable. We even got to see an S10 being worked upon there. With a heavy heart, we left the car there for painting and other mechanical work to be performed.

Although the workshop promised delivery in 2 weeks, it turned out to be an excruciatingly painful wait for exactly a month. During this time, every weekend I used to rush to Powai and spend the whole day at the workshop supervising the work. I will put up some pictures of the car as it was being transformed from an old car to a brand new looking car.

We decided against going in for the same colour and my wife was in favour of red (although I was partial towards dark Gray). But once we saw a couple of red palio’s on the road, we were convinced to go for red. Now came the difficult part. We wanted to go in for a metallic shade of red and went through hundred’s of different shades of red at the DuPont Refinish Store but realised that metallic shades of red tend to look maroonish and therefore decided against it. In the end, the shortlisted shades were the formula red (which is on the original palio), the French claret (mitsubishi cedia) and the Colorado Red (Ford Figo). For various reasons, the Suzuki Swift red and the Hyundai electric red and the Punto and the Polo red were chucked out. We okayed the Colorado Red as it has a nice tone without being too bright or garish.

The repairs and the cost of painting is given below.


Front Brake Pad Set -Rs. 680
Brake Oil - 1/2 Litre -Rs. 150
Engine Oil (Elf Semi Synthetic) - Rs.1260
Oil Filter- Rs.140
Door Side Guard Set - Rs.320
Balance Rod Bushing Set -Rs. 320
Front Strut Shock absorber with mounting (2 Sets)-Rs. 2980
Front Suspension Lower Arm (2 Nos)-Rs.4280
Rear Silencer Muffler Assembly-Rs. 2475
Silencer Foundation (2 Nos)- Rs.220
NGK Spark Plugs (4 Nos) -Rs. 320
Greased Polish Paper-Rs. 70
Gear Oil (1.5 Litre)-Rs.330
Bulbs-Rs. 36
Petrol Filter-Rs.140
Metal Screw with washer- Rs.24
Engine Bay Light with switch and bulb -Rs.100
Pastic Glass cover beading-Rs. 750


Removal, refit of door, flaps, accessories, bumper. upholstery items, lock and winder system, greasing and servicing, body finishing wherever found, patching rear tail light and rear bumper inner- Rs. 4500

Painting (Colorado Red) including undercoating + Clear Coat -Rs. 24000
Servicing (Oil Change, Front & rear Brake Overhaul, front suspension O/H, Changing Rear silencer-Rs. 1200
Computerised Wheel Alignment- 250

The total cost = Rs. 44,700/-

Further mentionable expenses are:

Pioneer DEH 4250SD Head Unit (with USB, AUX and SD Card) – Rs. 6300/-
JBL GTO508C – 5.25” 2-Way Component speakers for the front – Rs. 4100/-
JBL GTO 947 Limited 6 x 9 Ovals – Rs. 2900/-
Pioneer Steering Remote – Rs. 750/-

Other minor accessories purchased are car freshener, neck rests, car wax, tyre and dashboard cleaner, car shampoo, washing sponge, car phone charger etc.

The tyres on the car were

Front – 1 year old Bridgestone S322 Tubeless
Rear and Stepney – Dec 2001 Bridgestone S322 tube type.

Have recently changed the tyres to Michelin XM1+. Decided to stick with the stock size although 195/60’s were in contention for a long time. But after taking a conservative view on the usage of the car which is mainly going to be in the city, decided against upsizing. Considered the 185/65 briefly, but have read a few reports of the tyres fouling with the fenders. And since the dealer didn’t have them in stock, my decision making was made easier.

Got the change done from Premji Auto Service, Mahim. The manufacturing data on the tyres point to April/May 2010 (18th week of 2010)

The cost of the tyres were Rs. 4050/- a piece. I got Rs. 750/- off on the old BS S322 Tube Tyres (i.e. the two rear ones and the stepney). The newer BS 322 Tubeless ones fetched me Rs. 1000/- a piece. Considering that these were in very good condition, I retained one of them for the stepney and gave the other one away.

Wheel balancing was free. Went in for the wheel alignment as well. Saw it for the first time on how its done. Pretty neat.

First impressions

1) Road noise has gone down considerably
2) Ride has improved marginally on city roads. Have not driven on highway yet.
3) Braking has improved marginally. Again, no panic stops attempted.
4) Car seems a bit more eager in gears.
5) Feedback - Loved the feedback from the BS S322 which used to let you know of every pebble, patch of gravel under the tyre. This one tells you only what you need to know. Feels a bit weird initiallly.

Lot of people complain that the sidewall is quite soft and prone to cuts and nicks on bad roads. I don't know how much truth is present in these statements. I guess, I will find out in due course of time.

On a side by side comparison with the older tyres, the Michelin seemed distinctively broader and the tread pattern looks damn good.

Attaching some pics of the car before, during and after the stint at the workshop. Please excuse the quality of some of the pictures as the mobile phone camera is to blame.

Comments welcome!
Attached Thumbnails
The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-front.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-roof.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-bonnet.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-side-profile.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-26062010100.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-19062010087.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-11072010109.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-image001.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-image007.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-image008.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-image009.jpg  

The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX-show-em-your-badge.jpg  

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Old 6th August 2010, 00:13   #2
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Wonderful ! Congrats. The car is gleaming now ! Beware, your boss might want to buy it back !

Thanks for sharing the detailed prices. Any interior treatment - seats etc?
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Old 6th August 2010, 10:45   #3
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Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
Wonderful ! Congrats. The car is gleaming now ! Beware, your boss might want to buy it back !

Thanks for sharing the detailed prices. Any interior treatment - seats etc?
Nope, no interior treatment as such, except for some dashboard cleaning and polishing. The car had gray seat covers (rexin), I think. Not looking at changing it immediately.

Only wish the driver's seat had height adjustment.
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:00   #4
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Looking very very good.
Looks like Palio1.6 is on its way to becoming a classic collectors item.
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:07   #5
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Excellent! It looks smokin' hot !! I see youw went ahead with the XM1's, good tyres; about time you showed me the car man.
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:09   #6
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That's one hell of a great looking 1.6, gleaming new and finished to showroom fresh condition if the pics are to go by. Kindly fit utsav number plates!
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:16   #7
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The car looks lovely in red after the makeover.

Congrats and don't forget to keep her away from you boss's eyes
He is gonna kick himself for sure.
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:48   #8
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The last pic should be come your TBHP avatar

Your mechanic seem to have done one hell of a good job!! Congrats on the acquisition and revamp! Any mods planned (FFE, CAI, etc.)? Let us know after you let her rip on a highway!
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Old 6th August 2010, 12:19   #9
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Fantastic Buy!
Considering what is spent on that car, its Fanstastic VFM! Awaiting for your Bengaluru trip, where I will get to drive this!!!
We should plan an Airport getaway, or else a mysore trip
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Old 6th August 2010, 12:27   #10
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Beautiful car and great work done. I went through a similar experience but not as much as you about 2 years ago for my GTX. Its red as well

Will look forward to more details and ownership reports. Brothers in Arms you see

Originally Posted by download2live View Post
Looks like Palio1.6 is on its way to becoming a classic collectors item.
It indeed is. Many friends I know are taking this route. Buy the car for around 1 lac +- a few thousands and work on it. The end result is an absolute delight to own.
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Old 6th August 2010, 12:34   #11
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Time for nimbu mirchi

Beautiful car. Welcome to the Palio 1.6 Club.
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Old 6th August 2010, 12:48   #12
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Look at her. All gleaming & shiny!!
As Shuvc said - Don't let her anywhere near ur boss!!
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Old 6th August 2010, 12:51   #13
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congrats. it sure is hard finding a gtx that too in such a good condition
Since you got the paint of the car changed have u also got it changed on the registration of the car, as far as i know they done change the original color of the car on its registration. I mean is it legal
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Old 6th August 2010, 13:02   #14
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@ Sound Affects: I got the endorsement on the RC book done. The procedure is that the car has to be taken to the RTO before the painting, and an approval has to be sought. Once the approval is granted, the car has to be taken back to the RTO after painting for verification and endorsement on the RC book.

Since my car was already in the garage, the process took a bit more of money for side stepping the verification procedure.

The funny thing is that the original colour was Metallic Royal Gold which was duly written in full in the RC book. Since I had given instructions to the the agent that the colour was going to be changed to red, but had not told him of the exact shade of red as we were undecided then, he promptly went and got it endorsed as just "RED". Anyway, I figure that having just "RED" keeps it ambiguous and I have just let it be.

The entry for the original colour on the RC book is circled and a "RED" is written below it and a sarkari "chhappa" is affixed.

I think that's enough compliance, what say?
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Old 6th August 2010, 13:05   #15
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congrats on acquisition of palio 1.6 and restoring it to the best looks. i feel colorado red and formula red looks almost similar. my close friend karthik1100 also got red color palio1.6 sport, except 1 or 2 changes sport and GTX are almost same. if you have owner's manual please mail a soft copy of it to me. the color you have decided is the best color for palio. thanks for posting the cost of the parts replacement. as i heard from many people if your car crossed 50k kilometers change the timing belt. and i feel the tires which was there before was also not bad. and next time when you change the engine oil change it to shell semi synthetic or fully synthetic, as i did some research on engine oil i found pennzoil is the best, and shell bought the pennzoil. all the best and happy miles.
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