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Old 24th April 2013, 19:43   #1831
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
The x-trail is definitely smaller in size, but in terms of comforts and features, I believe it leads the fortuner, though may be a less off-roader.
Well, comfort could be in terms of space/size as well.
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Old 24th April 2013, 20:00   #1832
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

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Originally Posted by mroptimist View Post
Hi Guderian wonderful travelogue and this is my first post on Togo channel.
I am in the process of buying a fortuner (4x4 MT) and was following various ownership threads keenly.

With respect to paint work Manuuj had reported some issues with his fortuner viz a viz Pajero Sport. What is your experience on this issue?
Thanks.
As HG mentioned there isnt anything drastically wrong with the Fortuners paint quality but yes its prone to swirl marks and chips even though i take a lot of care. There are some obvious advantages to the metallic paints when compared to mica ones which are softer.

Metallic paints are more durable and harder in my view and keep a vehicle looking newer and fresh for longer.

Congratulations on the upcoming addition and welcome to the Fortuner family.
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Old 24th April 2013, 21:32   #1833
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

Quote:
The price of the Fortuner 4x4 is around 28L OTR, which makes it close to the X-trail in terms of cost, so I'm left wondering how it can be expensive.

Not sure of the ASC of Nissan though...
Hi Nitin,

Thanks for your response. The cost of X-trail for what it offers according to me is 'expensive'. I have driven one and am not convinced.

Also, the 'resale' value has to be taken into count, isn't it?

I intend to use it for farm visits and hence need a strong off roading machine with creature comforts.

I belong to Hyd and some body from my family actually owns the Nissan dealership, still would not prefer the X-trail.

My 2 cents please.

Last edited by getsurya : 24th April 2013 at 21:35.
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Old 24th April 2013, 22:10   #1834
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

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Soon getsurya should getfortuner ?!!
Hi Guderian,

Thanks for your response. Yes, the Fortuner seems to be the chosen one(at least, as of now!) with all its quality and reliability. The 'go anywhere' attitude is impeccable.

I have gone through almost all the available material on TBHP on the Fortuner and some of them, two times each

Mods, I am sorry for the two posts, I am unaware of the multi quote option till I saw my mistake. Apologies and kindly couple this with the below post. Thank you in advance!

Last edited by getsurya : 24th April 2013 at 22:12.
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Old 24th April 2013, 22:34   #1835
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

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Originally Posted by getsurya View Post
Yes, the Fortuner seems to be the chosen one(at least, as of now!) with all its quality and reliability.
Hi getsurya,
Before you finally ink the deal you must test drive the Pajero Sport. 400NM/178BHP engine etc. Somewhere earlier you had mentioned about this as being an ageing warrior. This is not the same as the earlier Pajero SFX. Right now the only issue is the ASC support as per me and the looks perhaps. Otherwise this could be a real cracker.
I haven't driven this yet - will try and do so sometime soon (getting a test drive from these blokes is such a mothermighty pain !) and report back.
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Old 24th April 2013, 22:40   #1836
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

Quote:
issue is the ASC support as per me and the looks
Sure, will test drive it. However, the looks from the front are not to my liking and Mitsubishi does not provide good service in India(family had the first Lancer model and it was a pain to get that serviced and it is almost the same situation even now!).

Look forward to read your test drive findings on the same. Car specs look good, but then if it cannot be backed by service(like Rexton) then it is not worth its salt...my humble opinion!
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Old 24th April 2013, 22:48   #1837
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

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Originally Posted by getsurya View Post
Car specs look good, but then if it cannot be backed by service(like Rexton) then it is not worth its salt...my humble opinion!
Very true.
And one of the crucial factors during my decision making time two years ago was the fabled Toyota service which I had read about so much by then, as well as the spread of the ASC network. That, once researched, became a comforting factor (and slightly reduced the dissonance in the mind of the high initial product price) which of course also rested on the bedrock of quality and reliability.

Last edited by Guderian : 24th April 2013 at 22:50.
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Old 24th April 2013, 23:10   #1838
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

Quote:
the bedrock of quality and reliability.
Absolutely, HG! That is the only contention with any other options in India in that price range. Or else, I will have to plonk another 10 lacs and then the options open up! However, with that kind of money thrown in, I will not be able to heartily abuse the vehicle for my off road experiences nor have the idea to do so.

I am very impressed with Toyota LC & Prado during my december visit to Dubai and the way they soak up the heat and the off road abuse there. In fact the first thing I did after landing in India from Dubai, was to go to Harsh Toyota to enquire the LC price, shocked with the cost and then settled down to much more affordable model with Fortuner.

I know that Fortuner's were well made and very reliable as some of my friends have them in Hyd and the dealer friend has very high regard for this model as a good high way cruiser and life saver. This is the first time I am deep diving on this car as an option for me by end of this year and all your inputs truly help, appreciate the same.
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Old 27th April 2013, 20:50   #1839
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

Moral of the story : Always be where the action is...or as the old crusty General would say lead your troops from the front.
And a few learnings reinforced.
And met a couple of interesting characters.

I just can't seem to get over the habit of jumping the gun !
And so a flashback again perhaps. Just rewinding. Not bees saal pehele ki baat -but just early this morning.

Admiral was just shy of touching 40K KMs:
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When I decided to visit the abode of the God:
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Landed up at 0830hrs and was asked to wait for a wee bit as the pearly gates hadn't opened. I knew the key to geting good attention and an early exit required one to land up very early.
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OK...so some stores guy has been very busy indeed.
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And by 0900hrs the pearly gates swung open and the massed hordes charged in. I appreciated the fact that they officially open only at 0930hrs and started 30 minutes earlier.
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In 5 minutes the assigned SA came around and moved Admiral into the bay and the action began. Of me teaching the good folks at the ASC about various matters pertaining to Admiral.

And thankfully by now the ASC chaps have accepted me as one of their own and/or a mad cap and I moved freely on the shop floor meeting and greeting many by now old friends. Felt truly at home. And there were no protests like before about me gambolling around on the shopfloor.

The hapless SA as usual had no clue of the by now famous propeller shaft greasing, the shop floor grease monkeys had no clue about a hundred other little things. We'll pick them up one by one.

The initial activities proceeded fairly smothly.
Brake cleaning - rear:
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Brake cleaning - front:
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Plenty of life left in the pad & liners was the pronouncement of the Chief Checker.

And at 40K KMs the differential oil is to be changed. Rear differential - no problem.
Drain point:
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Filler point:
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And then the debate and discussions began. On what you ask ? The blokes had to be reminded that Admiral, who happens to be a Fortuner by birth, is an AWD. All Wheel Drive.
Them: "Haan sahi hai sir"
Me : "To yaar aage bhi ek differential hai"
T: "Kya ?"
M: "Haan yaar dekh lo."
T: "Hum to sab Fortuners ka sirf peeche ka differential oil change kartein hain."
M: "Achha ? Meherbani kar do yaar mera gaadi special samajh ke aage ka bhi kar do."

By then the Chief Technician came rushing and saved his organisation from further blushes. I mentioned to him the stuff to be done. He, after checking the front differential, showed the monkeys the points to be unscrewed after removing the front 2nd protection/skid plate.

And lo and behold the drain point:
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The front differential oil completely black like the rear one. And the new oil is light yellow. Wonder how much of a damage it would have caused to the differential if one were to run the vehicle for the next 40K KMs without changing it. It has to be changed every 40K KMs.

Note - So folks with Fortuner 4X4s (AWD) - please, please, remember to ensure that the front differential oil is also changed at 40K KMs. And those of you who have crossed 40K KMs and have been told that the differential oil has been changed - please go to the ASC, have them to open up the front differential inlet point through a tip check - check the oil quality ASAP.

The equipment to push in the diff. oil into the inlet point:
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Front diff drain point - all drained out, almost.
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Another point - the guys seem to be always in a hurry to start filling filling up the oil. Told them to be patient - wait till all the old oil drains out and then 'chadao' the new oil.

The famous/infamous greasing of the propeller shaft:
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For whatever the reason when they begin the process of the greasing the prop shaft these days - all the guys on the shop floor grin at me.

Admiral airborne. Doesn't like it one bit:
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Terra firma is more like it or best the sea:
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And then the usual check ups and cleaning. Tyres rotated. Air filter checked and cleaned. Battery checked for fluid level etc.

And finally Admiral was placed in line for washing behind a long line of previous days vehicles. It was about 12.30 pm by now. Vehicles piled up behind Admiral in the line up.

I was just begining to relax when...it struck me. Holy moly ! The brake oil has to be replaced at 40K KMs.

Called the Floor Manager.

FM: "Kya nahin kiya ? Ye to karne ka tha...aisa kaisa ?"
Me: "Haan wohi to...aisa kaisa ?"

He checked with the Grease Ms, who collectively thwacked their foreheads.

And with the line up behind Admiral it was impossible to pull it out. It was decided to loop back after the wash.
So for the bath, sauna and works the old man proceeded:
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Where they did a superb job.

And after all the cleaning etc came back on the shopfloor where the brake oil was changed. And the first two grease monkeys had no idea as to how to do it. I 'calmly yelled' (an art in itself) at the guys and a smart brake expert was summoned who started the laborious process of draining the reservoir, then from the bleeding points at each wheel. With Admiral again hoisted in the air with a guy sitting at the wheel, engine running, to jab the brake pedal at the instructions of the BEGM. Brake Expert Grease Monkey.

By now the shop floor was reverberating with the repeated shouts of "Pump kar" - "Ab pakkad" - "Ab pump kar". If it wasn't the shop floor one would have mistaken it for a house of ill repute !

Bleeding, bleeding and more bleeding - till they were ready to lie down on the floor ready to die of exhaustion. And by and by it was all done.
A sort of funny question rose in my mind, though unsubstantiated. Did they miss doing it on purpose as it is quite a laborious task ?

Handbrake adjusted.

I resisted the temptation to get the wheel alignment done as everything was superb with the alignment and didn't want to needlessly finger anything now.Decided to get it done 'agli baar'.

But I wasn't too convinced and since it was the brakes I wanted it to be double sure. Trial one was on the shop floor, quick jabs and moves, in the available space. Seemed sharp.
Next a tester took it for a drive and we proceeded for a longish run. Everything was certified fine and the vehicle was brought back to the ASC.

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The SA in a jiffy churned out the bill and gave me a feedback form. I glowered at him like Dulandhar Bhatwadekar at the hapless Inspector, Om Prakash, in the cop house in the movie Gol Maal. And asked him after all the snafus did he want me to fill the form in the current frame of mind ? He retreated into his seat and muttered "Nahin, baad mein kabhi bhi..."
I felt sorry for him, really. And then smiled and told him that I wasn't happy with the experience at all and in the same breath explained that he better catch up on some tech matters of various vehicles he is dealing with - friendly advice from a friend.

The bloke proferred the bill and the total damages were Rs 7,265/-.
Break up (all figures in INR):
1. Front brake cleaning: 269.66
2. Rear brake cleaning: 449.44
3. Service inspection (inclusive of all labour charges): 1713.49.
4. Washing & cleaning: 584.27
5. Gasket plug: 141.75
6. Gasket pan drain: 38.98
7. Oil filter: 396.90
8. Brake oil: 259.88
9. Engine oil: 2138.73
10. Diff oil: 1271.78

Total: Rs 7,265.


As soon as I paid the bill and stepped out I spotted the chief tester and collared him and told him that I wanted a repeat test run, for my satisfaction. He jumped in and took Admiral for some real torrid brake testing with plenty of squealing and the local population jumping out of their skin and guessing that it was another politico Fortuner owner's son who'll run somebody down soon. Thankfully I didn't see anyone pick up a stone or a phone to dial the cops.

Anyway the CT also certified the brakes and the rest of the systems as 'A-1 fine', much to my relief and we trooped back to the ASC.

After a cheery goodbye I peeled off for home where I spent another 30 minutes checking everything and placing back all things removed before the servicing.

Gave the engine bay a once over:
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And finally everything was set.
And Admiral looking forward to the next 5K KMs.
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And now do you realise the importance of the moral of the story, if you really love your vehicle. Because only you can care for it. No one else will, even if you were to shell out a kings ransom. Believe me when I tell you this because I speak from repeated experience/s.

All in all though there were some goof ups I did feel the experience was pleasant. And far more professional than other brands I had dealt with or am dealing with. And of course this time I didn't indulge in any pyrotechnics as I genuinely feel it was/is counter-productive especially since they didn't bluff about anything and were transparent and were professional in dealing with the cock ups.

Hey wait...after all the sermonising...what about those two interesting characters one met, you ask ?

One was this fellow:
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The Toyota Land Cruiser/LC 200 - Gave him a thorough look over, inside out, and was impressed by what I saw.

And the other was a Toyota Prado on the shop floor. Gave a it too a good look but didn't take any snaps as it was in a state of total undress with all the wheels off etc. The engine bay looked very nice indeed.

Aloha !

Last edited by Guderian : 27th April 2013 at 21:14.
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Old 28th April 2013, 01:10   #1840
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Hail Generale'

So that's how you spent the Saturday? Making the GMs sweat it out huh?


Nonetheless, must say, its worth every bit, caring for the admiral.

Just a quick query: how does one care for the clutch ? Or what's the SOP when it comes to check the health of the clutch?

This happened to me once: smell of slipping / overheated / overworked clutch.
My Fortuner loaded with 7 people, rear wheel would'nt go over a stone, which acts like a wedge. Revv the engine to get more torque, and push through after a lot of coaxing. At the end of it, smell of the clutch, in the cabin.
Worried bunch us we were, back then..
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Old 28th April 2013, 11:29   #1841
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

You know what HG, you should be thankful in part to your days spent hollering at M&M ASCs. Your experience at Toyota seems to indicate one of two things - either Toyota is slipping on their Godly standards or M&M is slowly but surely creeping up the charts when it comes to service friendliness.

And I speak as a battle-scarred M&M Scorp owner, who has seen standards slowly improving in the past 7 years. Of course, so have the costs! Parts costs are pretty standard, but labour costs are now more than Toyota for sure! Brake work labour at M&M is Rs. 600. Service charges are about at a par.

And then there's the matter of the front differential - same exercise has been repeated many a time at M&M - many have no clue that a 4x4 has a front differential. (On that note, the T-Fort has a centre differential as well - is the oil for that separate or integrated with the transfercase?)

Cheers,

Last edited by Roshun : 28th April 2013 at 11:30. Reason: typo
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Old 28th April 2013, 13:10   #1842
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Post Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

Hi Guderian nice to see u take care of General like a baby.

Your and other ownership threads like yours (For E.G; Manuuj, dkaile, nilanjanray etc) are like a substitute for workshop manual for Toyota Fortuner for prospective buyer's like me and many others.

Did you get your hands on the workshop manual of Toyota Fortuner? Even I was trying my best to lay hands on one, but they (the Toyota ASC's) guard it as if it is jeevan amrit.

The SA whom I was in touch with told me the reason for closely guarding the workshop manual as customers will stop visiting the Toyota dealerships after warranty is over.

By the way best of luck in your quest.

Thanks.
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Old 29th April 2013, 10:07   #1843
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

Every time I have to visit the ASC, I have to tell myself not to get my blood pressure up.

Good tip about the front differential oil change. I didn't double check when I did my 40K servicing, can only hope they did that.
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Old 29th April 2013, 12:59   #1844
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

And the day after.

Keeping in mind all the work done on Admiral and the near snafus by the ASC blokes - wanted to go out for a run to check the various parameters and get a feel of vehicle.

And so it was a Sunday drive as usual to SoBo and the office run today. Did about 80+ KMs since the servicing as I write.

- The vehicle feels really smooth. It would be because of the change of engine oil for sure. Felt truly silky smooth.

- The brakes felt fairly good. Did some screeching halts yesterday on the empty stretches of the EE Highway after warning the LoH. I wouldn't say it's greatly better than before but yeah it could be marginally better - could be psychological or because of the new oil.

- Surprisingly the clutch felt a little bit more softer. As it were the Fortuner's clutch is very soft however now it felt even smoother/light. The reason being the oil reservoir for the brake & clutch systems are the same. And they use the same oil. So I am guessing that the change of oil would have had some effect in the clutch circuit and on the clutch operations. Will be keeping an eye on this.

- Checked for leaks over the last two days under the engine, differentials and around the wheels for engine, differential or brake oil drips. Nothing seems amiss as of now.

Overall very smooth indeed.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Monaro CV8 View Post
Just a quick query: how does one care for the clutch ? Or what's the SOP when it comes to check the health of the clutch?
Hey Monaro, As far as the clutch is concerned I keep a lookout for slippage, besides the usual precaution of not riding the clutch pedal, full depression when changing gears etc (standard stuff). Once a quarter or so, more by default than design, I happen have the opportunity to go up a very sharp incline (Off GB Road - an incline going up to the Shiv Mandir) where I allow the torque to take over in 1st gear (TC -HH position) and with no accelerator inputs allow it to crawl up and keep an eye on the RPM and an ear on the engine note. Used to do it with the Scorpio as well. Gives me a fairly good feel of the clutch condition/slippage etc. This is the only check I generally do. I think some of the 'garage types' try out engaging the handbrakes and tap the accelerator to check the slippage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roshun View Post
1. You know what HG, you should be thankful in part to your days spent hollering at M&M ASCs.
2. Your experience at Toyota seems to indicate one of two things - either Toyota is slipping on their Godly standards...
3. And then there's the matter of the front differential - same exercise has been repeated many a time at M&M - many have no clue that a 4x4 has a front differential. (On that note, the T-Fort has a centre differential as well - is the oil for that separate or integrated with the transfercase?)
Hi RP,
1. Oh you bet. Ever grateful for that 5.5 years of internship (!) on the M&M Shopfloor. Taught me everything there was to servicing and maintaining a vehicle and shopfloor/dealer shenanigans.

2. You bet the standards could be slipping owing to the pressures ! They take in 90 vehicles a day in that particular ASC. And of all shapes and sizes - Fortuners, Innovas, Livas, Etios and a Land Cruisers or two for good measure. Of course there are the good ASCs and the lousy ones and the good ones slipping into the category of lousy ones in Toyota as well. From the threads here I have seen the one that Manuuj goes to, Galaxy Delhi, to be a good one, as with DSK Pune I guess.
I suppose Toyota ASCs are also facing the same issues of poor quality of manpower, attrition and whatnot.
But yes I have however found the Toyota ASCs to be far superior in terms of tooling & equipments.
But like anything else the ASC is only as good as the people who man them.

3. You are right - I have understood the centre differential oil system to be integrated with the TC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mroptimist View Post
Did you get your hands on the workshop manual of Toyota Fortuner?
Thank you for the kind words mroptimist.
About the Workshop Manual - I seem to be collecting bits and pieces from here and there. Sooner or later one of the international forums should be putting it up or there should be one available for downlaod on payment basis somewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Every time I have to visit the ASC, I have to tell myself not to get my blood pressure up.
You can say that again Nilanjan. There is certainly a sense of unease visiting the ASC, goes for any brand/vehicle I guess and now it appears to be the case with Toyota as well. Or atleast some of their ASCs.
But the blokes at Toyota ASCs are just lucky that the original quality of the vehicle is good (or atleast of the Fortuner) and it has abuse friendly systems. And to a great degree the products tolerate their goof ups.
Exemplified by a comment on the shopfloor by one of the Supervisors on Saturday - "Kuch bhi karlo issko zyada kuch hota nahin hai..."
But I certainly wouldn't take a chance with critical components like brakes to come under the kind eye and forgiving nature of the product.

Last edited by Guderian : 29th April 2013 at 13:06.
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Old 29th April 2013, 13:31   #1845
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Default Re: Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...

Hey Goody Saar,
May look like a long time but I been keeping an eye on the Togo Channel all the time (which Fortuner Owner can afford not to?) colourful and informative as always. Your journey into the wilds was hair-raising to say the least.
I just wanted to say here that the New Fortuner appears to have a more advanced brake booster. When launched in 2009 there were numerous complaints about weak braking that resulted in the replacement of the front discs to larger ones, reported here on Team BHP on numerous threads, now I believe a better / upgraded booster is available. I had mine replaced and there is great improvement specially on the Highways. the actual cost is about 42,000 however Toyota is replacing the same on our older models at a cost of about 4,700 plus labour and a few other tube / gaskets that need to be replaced once opened. Costs about 6K in all. Think its worth it.
Cheers.
Manmohan.
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