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Old 10th February 2011, 20:04   #166
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Default 7500 km update

Had gone for a weekend trip to Chikmagalur, Masinagudi and Ooty (no, don't ask me about this strange choices of places). Crossed 7500 km, no issues except for a slight foul smell from the blower (have had that in my other cars also). Probably some leaves have gone inside (I often park below trees).

Stayed at Green Dale, Chikmagalur for one night. Unfortunately Arvind, the owner was away, so couldn't explore the estate. Reached at 8.15 pm in the evening. The last few kms roads were bad...and my wife was wondering where we were going in the dark.

I wanted to drive to Mysore from Chikmagalur, and knew that the route was through Belur/Hassan. Stopped a jeep at Belur to ask for directions. Thought that the face looked familiar...when the jeep drove away, I saw the L2D sticker at the back - it was Samurai! It was too late to say Hi...but what a coincidence!

The Hassan-Mysore road was great. Had a good time at Masinagudi and Ooty.

My 3 yr old daughter is not too fond of the Fortuner middle seat/child-seat ride - she threw up quite a few times over the 3 days. But I guess the trip was pretty hectic in the first place.
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Old 6th March 2011, 00:45   #167
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Default Pictures from a (somewhat) recent trip

Parked in a jungle resort
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3396.jpg

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3383.jpg

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3522.jpg

Frog spawn
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-csc_3419.jpg

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-csc_3457.jpg

Nothing like reading a good book in the jungle
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3486.jpg

Sambhar stag
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-csc_35541.jpg

Nilgiri sunset
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3499.jpg

What is this?
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3381.jpg

Haunt of many animals in the evening...I have fished here.
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3401.jpg
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Old 6th March 2011, 01:14   #168
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Default More pictures from a (somewhat) recent trip

Parked on a trail beside a stream
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3398.jpg

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3504.jpg

Somewhere near Glenmorgan
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_35261.jpg

Sambhar at a salt lick
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3591.jpg

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3513.jpg

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Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-csc_3639.jpg

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3543.jpg

After sunset
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3525.jpg

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_3573.jpg
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Old 6th March 2011, 01:54   #169
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

Looking for inputs on securing these lights, guys...
Nilanjan, please use Barri nuts for securing these.

Driving Light Anti Theft Locks

Please do buy it at the earliest as my lights were stolen in 3 days! Had fitted it with lots of excitement - Mine was Hella 1000 though. 5000/- down the drain in 3 days.

Edit: One more link : http://www.expeditionexchange.com/barrinut/

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 6th March 2011 at 01:59.
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Old 6th March 2011, 12:21   #170
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Any idea where I can get these nuts in Bangalore? I asked Kumar's from where I bought the Blitz lights, but they didn't know from where I could buy them. Incidentally, they didn't even know that the Blitz light beams can be adjusted.

I have to be more careful nowadays regarding where I park my vehicle because of the lights :-(

Last edited by nilanjanray : 6th March 2011 at 12:25.
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Old 6th March 2011, 22:35   #171
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Any idea where I can get these nuts in Bangalore? I asked Kumar's from where I bought the Blitz lights, but they didn't know from where I could buy them. Incidentally, they didn't even know that the Blitz light beams can be adjusted.

I have to be more careful nowadays regarding where I park my vehicle because of the lights :-(
I doubt whether you can find this in Bangalore. I had sent a mail to the id mentioned in expedition exchange. They said they can ship it anywhere for some extra charge. And I guess it would cost something around 2000/- for buying and getting it shipped. I guess you have Lightforce and would have cost a bomb [15K ?]. 2000/- should not be a great deal considering the price of the lights. And the guys in EE are super fast in their response. Looked very promising by their speed.
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Old 8th March 2011, 15:12   #172
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Hi Nilanjan,

Have you upgraded the ICE yet?

If so, please share the details.
If not yet, please share what you intend to install.

Thanks in advance,
Cheers.
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Old 8th March 2011, 15:26   #173
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Nilanjanray, superb photography, also loved the B&W one of half the Fortuner on its path, the angles and details are splendid.

One doesn't expect the entire spectrum of views and emotions that you have captured in a single trip.

Will keep an eye on future trip snaps from you as well as fortuner performance updates.
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Old 8th March 2011, 20:12   #174
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

@ Monaro: not yet. The only mods I have done are practical in nature :
1. V-kool all around
2. Lightforce Blitz + Unibar + harness.

@ ACM: thanks!

My latest (8000 km) update - nothing to report, except a foul smell coming from the AC (leaves fallen inside?) which I will fix at the next servicing. I have got used to the brakes, and haven't faced any issues.

Drove it fast on a rough road a few days back - loved the way she handled the situation. There is a nearby school called Primus, and the approach road sucks, to put it mildly (people who have visited it will know). We made a few visits to Primus while school-hunting for our daughter, and last time, we had to meet a teacher urgently before she left for the day. The Fortuner just sailed through @50-60 kmph, while other vehicles were tiptoeing at 5-10 kmph. And I felt assured knowing that she has been built to handle such situations.

I am lucky in terms of where I stay - a 10 minute drive, and I am out in open country. Often in the evenings, I just take out the Bison and drive around on empty, dark roads, often just 7 to 10 feet wide, flanked on both sides by brush and fields. Good way to destress and to test out the new lights. I don't get down from the vehicle because it isn't safe (muggings etc.). But I figure that as long I am inside, not too many ruffians would try to stop a vehicle with such powerful lights coming fast at them, especially once the Blitzs are switched on in self defense. Also, I can go cross country through the brush in case someone blocks the road.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 8th March 2011 at 20:25.
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Old 14th March 2011, 16:25   #175
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Hi Nilanjan,
Very nice indeed.

The photographs really take my breath away. Bravo Zulu !

About the foul smell - try the anti fungal AC spray available in small cans, and spray into the AC vents - both front and rear. Should help, I reckon.
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Old 14th March 2011, 19:47   #176
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Thank you Generaloberst. I think that there are some leaves that must have got inside (same thing had happened with my SX4) - the Fortuner is parked below trees most of the time. But I will try out your suggestion. Didn't take the vehicle to the servicing center, since 10k is approaching fast.

Btw, SWMBO (unless I feel like rebelling) is an ex-naval officer. With two large dogs and a wife who sometimes forgets that she has joined the civilian world, sometimes one gets fed-up of being barked at - one has to head out for some wild R&R once in a while. Next one coming up soon - getting tired of work + city - call of the wild is getting stronger every day.

Was great to read about your trip - my experience has been similar to yours. I was evaluating a Grand Vitara seriously, but now? Glad that I didn't go for any other vehicle.

Kerouac has been pushing me badly. Upcoming x-country trips (not counting my monthly Nilgiris trips) with the Bison:
  • Central India forests (bachelor trip with old friends)
  • Retracing Kenneth Anderson's trails + camping (offbeat villages mentioned in his books, Sathy forest trails etc.)
  • Bangalore - Kolkata - Arunachal - Bangalore
  • Bangalore - Delhi - Manali - Leh - Srinagar - Bangalore. With some high altitude overlanding (might have to shift this to next year)
  • Eastern Kumaon - retracing Corbett's trails + Pithoragarh, Munsiyari etc. I love Kumaon, but never went beyond Chaukri.
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Old 14th March 2011, 21:14   #177
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Your concerns are 100% valid. At low speeds, a bull bar will protect your vehicle (mainly bumper) from dents & scratches. However, at high speeds, a bull bar can actually work against the inbuilt safety / crumple zones of your vehicle. Some cases, it has even resulted in the air-bags not activating when they should have. Not to mention, body-on-frames can suffer from serious chassis damage from after-market bull bars.
Add to that, it can severely injure/maul a pedestrian even in a low speed hit.

Latest EU regs require soft body panels with a prescribed clearance to minimize pedestrian injuries.

Last edited by Mpower : 14th March 2011 at 21:18.
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Old 15th March 2011, 09:18   #178
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
the Fortuner is parked below trees most of the time.

Could be a bit risky considering the number of tree branch falling incidents in Bangalore, particularly during rains !

I am really enjoying your unique ownership report blending nature and machine
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Old 15th March 2011, 12:32   #179
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Thank you Generaloberst. I think that there are some leaves that must have got inside (same thing had happened with my SX4) - the Fortuner is parked below trees most of the time. But I will try out your suggestion. Didn't take the vehicle to the servicing center, since 10k is approaching fast.

Btw, SWMBO (unless I feel like rebelling) is an ex-naval officer. With two large dogs and a wife who sometimes forgets that she has joined the civilian world, sometimes one gets fed-up of being barked at - one has to head out for some wild R&R once in a while. Next one coming up soon - getting tired of work + city - call of the wild is getting stronger every day.

Was great to read about your trip - my experience has been similar to yours. I was evaluating a Grand Vitara seriously, but now? Glad that I didn't go for any other vehicle.

Kerouac has been pushing me badly. Upcoming x-country trips (not counting my monthly Nilgiris trips) with the Bison:
  • Central India forests (bachelor trip with old friends)
  • Retracing Kenneth Anderson's trails + camping (offbeat villages mentioned in his books, Sathy forest trails etc.)
  • Bangalore - Kolkata - Arunachal - Bangalore
  • Bangalore - Delhi - Manali - Leh - Srinagar - Bangalore. With some high altitude overlanding (might have to shift this to next year)
  • Eastern Kumaon - retracing Corbett's trails + Pithoragarh, Munsiyari etc. I love Kumaon, but never went beyond Chaukri.
Wooo! That's quite a few exotic trips planned out.
Would be very interested in the Eastern Kumaon (being a Rudyard and Corbett fan) trip.
Besides of course wanting to do the Leh run - but just don't know when !
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Old 28th March 2011, 14:12   #180
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Back after a weekend trip to the Nilgiris. Took the Kanapkpura - Kollegal - Chamrajnagar route, and was able to reach Masinagudi in 4 hrs 30 mins - impressive, given that I drove in the afternoon.

Was impressed with the Fortuner's handling and performance on twisty roads. I was alone, so could push the vehicle. She delivered. Body roll seems to have gone down (i.e. my driving style has changed), and I am not facing any issues with braking. Overtaking is a breeze. And I can drive fast without worrying about unseen potholes, bumps etc.

Feel that I am more in tune with the vehicle now, so can push it more effectively knowing its strengths and weaknesses.

Mileage has gone down :-( - getting 10.5-11. Maybe I am revving more than before. Same thing happened with my SX4 once the break-in period was over.

I can vouch for Nh 209 (Kanapkpura Road) when traveling to Bandipur/Ooty - though it is a 2 laner, I find it less stressful to drive on this road than on Mysore Expressway. More picturesque too - the greenery and village scenery soothes the mind.
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