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Old 28th October 2011, 00:52   #1
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Default The Baleno Makeover

Dear Folks,
back after a long and busy hiatus. Wanted to upload this Baleno thread for a while but was so caught up that I somehow didn't get down to it, till now.

After the Logan Makeover which we had covered in detail in another thread, in came a deep throated Baleno for a makeover. He came in with a name - ICEMAN.

The owner wanted to turn him out into something more sporty with a look inspired by the hallowed muscle car - The famous Ford Mustang.

And so we got down to the job. Out came various pics, anecdotes and what have you to supply the inspiration to pen those gorgeous sport lines we admire on those legends. But hold on to your horses. This had to be a custom car and not a me too copy. He had to have his own individualistic character.

Now the Baleno always came with a nice shoulderline and side profile. It was the bland and eager to please front and the dreadful 'meals ready' tail lights with a rather severely chopped off tail that did in what could have been a Jaguaresque car if I may dare say.

And so started the sketches...

Here is a look at what he looked like when he came in...
Attached Images
    

Last edited by R.K.Ramesh : 17th November 2011 at 23:15.
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Old 16th November 2011, 00:22   #2
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

The pics say a few things on closer observation...
Some attempt at tarting up the looks have been made earlier.

ICEMAN came in with
- his unique identity emblazoned on the rear face
- a custom grille with a rather pliable mesh
- he sits higher than a stock Baleno thanks to suspension spacers
- has had his share of knocks and bumps from our rather affectionate traffic scenario
- a chunky tuner exhaust pipe which incidently points to the tuned exhaust system and an after market air intake system
- chromed over alloy wheels and attractive matching tyres to boot

ICEMAN literally roared into the workshop with a sporty growl which certainly pointed to how he wanted to be turned out when were done

Last edited by R.K.Ramesh : 16th November 2011 at 00:24.
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Old 17th November 2011, 23:25   #3
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

We then went through a few pics of various cars as an inspirational starting point keeping the Mustang as the main muse.

I was clear that I would like to do my own thing on the car since that would be a more enriching experience for all of us. Given a largely free hand to let the creative juices flow, we started off with with the logical first step...Armed with the sketches we proceeded with the work on ICEMAN.

Off with the head!!! er correction Bumpers, and the lights and...

What a contrast it was to remove the bumper of the Baleno compared to the Logan. The Baleno came with a rather small and light bumper crash bar unlike the significantly larger solid unit seen on the Logan. Older Japanese cars were never the torch bearers for sturdy build quality. Though the Baleno was a significantly stronger car than the preceeding sibling(the Esteem sold in India alongside the Baleno as a seperate cheaper model line thought abroad the Baleno replaced the Esteem), it was still found wanting compared to sturdy European marques.
One headlight and it's surrounding region was damaged and we had to ensure that all the panels had their fit and finish, like door setting etc. corrected before we worked on their modification.
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We started first with the side. Had to do something with the severe tuck under of the body so got some simple side skirts fashioned not to mention a subtle door cladding to go with the subtle side skirts...
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We did use the fact that ICEMAN rode higher than a stock Baleno to good effect. The actual ground clearance was not affected as much as it may seem otherwise. This is a part of the optical illusion of making the car seem like it is riding lower though it does not actually affect the real ground clearance.
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The rear then caught our attention and the new bumper and boot profile started taking shape...A subtle extension of the wheel arches too was though to be a good idea to accomodate wider tyres that were in the pipeline.
The boot lip is getting an extension here alluding to the rear overhang of a traditional sporty leaning in coupes and saloons too especially in the American and some European cars too.
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Last edited by R.K.Ramesh : 18th November 2011 at 00:24.
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Old 18th November 2011, 11:10   #4
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

Cant wait to see how this unfolds. Always been a big fan of the Baleno.

Mr RKR - few days back I was thinking about where you went and why you are no longer posting. Well, you are back now :-)
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Old 18th November 2011, 11:15   #5
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

ramesh looking forward to the completion of this project and wanna see how it turns out to be. Considering the fact that the Logan came out really well , am kinda curious to see how the baleno fares when it comes to mods.The usual stuff we see if mostly body kits and nothing else on the lines of a complete strip down job. Good luck..

That said, those tires the GSD II's are one of the worst set of tires one can ever use when it comes 14 inchers. I speak from experience :-) .

Last edited by rjstyles69 : 18th November 2011 at 11:16.
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Old 18th November 2011, 12:11   #6
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

r.k.ramesh-congrats man, eagerly waiting for the rest of the pics of your baleno makeover,i hope you would remove that ice man sticker which looks too loud,i myself have a baleno, which i have done a bit of a mod job,so more keen in your work to know the outcome.
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Old 18th November 2011, 17:17   #7
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

Was eagerly waiting for a Baleno project. Glad to see that it's RKR who is doing it. I am glued to this thread. Just can't wait to see the final outcome. I have always wanted a similar lip spoiler for my Baleno.
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Old 18th November 2011, 18:10   #8
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

Thankyou for your kind encouragement gentlemen

@Avinash, I was caught up with various other projects like penning and executing all round skirting set for the Swift, the Indica, bootlid spoiler for the Vento and so on; therefore so didn't update here for a while. Since I have now taken up the role of being a modifier, will present here, time permitting, more of my work up to 1 per month as per Team-Bhp rules.

@Rjstyle69, The purview of this project is still a makeover and not a transformation. By this I mean that it still retains the basic underpinnings of the car like the Logan project and serves to modify the external sheet metal. You may expect new front and rear faces and some mild re-sculpting of the sides.
This project also involves tarting up the interior of ICEMAN, nothing major there yet. But a step ahead of the Logan project in complexity I'd say.

@desigNation, please do post pics of your modified Baleno too - would be nice to see it. The loud ICEMAN moniker is now completely concealed inside the sheet metal and the final branding would be more in line with it being sporty/ elegant rather than crass/ loud in appearance.

@nithin_86, Well the lip spoiler in this case does not in anyway dovetail with a stock Baleno as the bumpers will be different in character...you will see what I mean as the thread proceeds...

Last edited by R.K.Ramesh : 18th November 2011 at 18:31.
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Old 18th November 2011, 18:43   #9
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

@rjstyle69 After you mentioned it, I did check the tyres for their specifics. The tyres the car came on were Goodyear F1 GS D2 195/60 R14 made in Thailand. The owner was quite satisfied with the tyres.
Am curious to know your experience as to why these tyres dont find favour with you. In any case ICEMAN doesn't wear them any more.


Coming back to the rear boot lip extension - can't probably call it a spoiler as it doesnt really spoil the airflow - it was kept simple and unobtrusive in design.
This was done to enhance the charming Jaguaresque / feline silhouette of the Baleno. Honestly, I'd say that the Suzuki designers penned marvellous lines for the basic body profile of the Baleno; only to tame down the entire shape by giving her a very sheepishly smiling front face and a gawky rear with those unattractive tail light elements. Overtly subtle wheel arches didnt help matters either.
Even changing the tail light graphics could have made the vehicle look more dynamic methinks.

Attachment 844054

We sought to give it more like a simple sports car rear face with round lights and an otherwise plain boot lid. The numberplate elements moved down south.
As can be seen here, the large ICEMAN moniker has happily been swallowed by the new metal work.
The challenge now lay in finding the right size rear lights with all the required elements within a budget. This challenge certainly provided an interesting twist to this project. This will unfold as the thread proceeds further.

Last edited by R.K.Ramesh : 18th November 2011 at 19:12.
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Old 18th November 2011, 19:17   #10
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

Apologies for putting in the wrong pic without a watermark. by the time I found out, deleted the old pic to add the watermark, I passed the 30 min timeline...Have to get used to this newer feature .
This is the pic that went with the previous reply...
Attached Images
 

Last edited by R.K.Ramesh : 18th November 2011 at 19:18.
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Old 19th November 2011, 14:00   #11
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

To give the rear a sports car look, we initially decided to go in for some smaller round lights. Sourcing such lights from some commercial vehicle was never really the issue. We decided against this however in the interest of looks as we wanted to see if we could push the envelop and work on something custom which would also look nice with an acceptable level of finish and longevity to start off with.

Finding smaller lights the right size and quality was taking a bit longer than expected as we wanted to design the rear with 4 smaller lights. It a traditional sports car thing you see especially on the Corvettes, Ferraris and so on.

Instead as things worked out and the sheet metal started taking shape at the rear ICEMAN asked for 2 rear lights of a larger dimension.

So this is what came to be...
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It certainly look unusual to have headlights peering at you from the rear of the car, but it seemed to fit just right.

Last edited by R.K.Ramesh : 19th November 2011 at 14:02.
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Old 19th November 2011, 23:37   #12
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

I am really hooked on to this thread . Nobody has managed to do something successfully about the infamous butt of the Baleno, and i am really eager to see
how this car turns out in the end ..
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Old 21st November 2011, 11:08   #13
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

Its turning out great!

What would you use for the Tail-lights?

May be you could ask some one to retro fit LEDs in the light shown in the above pic to include your brake light, indicator and reverse light, all in one setup. Would provide a nice clean look too.
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Old 21st November 2011, 11:13   #14
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

ramesh have you decided on the front yet , I mean what kind of head lights do you plan to shod this baleno with? Just a little curious about this.
Also what about the weight with the extra sheet metal being added. How much do you think it would stand at ?

OT : Post # 11, that rear styling somehow resembles the lancers butt minus the tail lamps.
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Old 21st November 2011, 11:24   #15
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Default Re: The Baleno Makeover

Ramesh, you have dared to break the Baleno's butt ( the butt of many a joke). Great going, the back resembles a lancer though with a different tail lamp.
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