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Old 3rd May 2006, 22:52   #1
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Default Modded Santro's day out on the Highway! (Universal K&N Effect)

I was rather confused about whether to put this report in Travelogue section or in mod section. But the idea of this report is about the mods, so here it goes.

As many of you know I bought the Baleno last year because I got sick of our Santro Xing on highway drives. Passing any other vehicle was a pain, not to mention the downgrade from 225HP Acura 3.2 TL. Baleno was my way to put enjoyment back in highway drives. Once I acquired the Baleno, the Santro never did the highway drives, it strictly become a city car.

However, some things did change with the Santro. About six months back, it got alloys and was upgraded to 165/65R13 Hancook tubeless. There was a sudden improvement in performance and ride comfort as a result of that. Later I added the Llumar AIR65 sunfilm for the front windshield. And about a month back it also got the Universal K&N air filter. But, I never really thought about taking it to the highway.

Last month I moved out of Bangalore and to a town near Udupi which is 400+ Kms away. I moved the Baleno last month and the Santro was still in Bangalore. So it was time to take the Santro to the highway. I usually do this 400+ stretch 5-6 times a year and therefore it is not really special for me. Therefore I have never really written the travelogue of these trips and I am not going to write one now. But I do want to share the experience of driving the modded Santro on the highway for the first time.

There was one thing I knew within hours of installing the K&N, it didn't cry and complain anymore when I floored it, instead it growled and raced ahead. I was really interested to know how it would do on a long drive. So I started off from the Shell station on Vittal Mallya road after filling up with Super Unleaded petrol.

Well, I did 400Kms in 7 and 1/2 hours excluding the breaks. Now don't just look at the average. The stretch also includes a long ghat section (sakleshpura ghat) with lots of hairpin curves where the speed will stay between 20-60Kms, else you will be toast. I didn't do any sober driving, I was ripping most of the time since the car allowed it. I passed any vehicle that was ahead of me, I think only twice I was passed by a bigger car. Once I latched on a Skoda Octovia (made it my pilot) and kept following for 20Kms relentlessly at a distance varying between 100-300ft. He tried tearing away, but the driver was not skilled enough to do it in the winding road between Nelyadi and Uppinangadi. He was doing between 80-100Kms on the nice twisting roads after the ghats, and I was able to keep up all the away. The skoda is obviously a better handler than Santro on twisters. But he was applying brakes on the curves where I on the Santro didn't. I guess a better driver could have gotten away. That point was proved when an Ikon 1.6 got in between us, all three of us were going in tandem for 5Kms as the Skoda driver was blocking the Ikon. Finally the Ikon escaped and vanished leaving the Skoda back at my mercy. I guess the Skoda driver must have gotten really pissed with me by then although I was not tailgating. Once he reached Uppinangadi town limits, he really slowed down and forced me to pass him. I dared not to make eye contact. Right after passing I realised that it was a MH government car with flag post in the front. Once I passed him I saw him making sure couple of cars got between us, anyway I never saw him after that.

In the middle of it all my wife calls me, when she heard where I was at that point, she commented I was much ahead of schedule. No wonder, I was making Baleno timings on the average. I was expecting to spend one extra hour on this drive with Santro when compared to Baleno. But this Santro had turned into a Pocket rocket. Although the low end torque remained almost the same, the top end torque had improved greatly. If I floor it when I am in say 100Kmph, it instantly races ahead to 120Kmph. Amazing stuff.

I filled up at a reliance station after 400Kms. I had gotten a FE of 15.2kmpl with all the aggressive driving. The previous known highway FE for this car was 13.5-14kmpl. The K&N installer had told me, 8-10% improvement in power and FE, and I had not really believed him entirely.

Once I narrated all this to my wife, she told that we now have two cars for fun driving, Baleno has a competitor now. But...more about that later.

Today morning we had to pick somebody from the Mangalore airport and they had lots of luggage. Therefore we had to take two cars. The Baleno was at my parents place which was on the way to the airport. So I planned to pick the Baleno on the way, while my father-in-law takes the second car. He has a Fiesta 1.4, but I convinced him to take our Santro instead. Once we were on the NH17 highway, I asked to him floor it and he did. I knew he liked powerful cars and driving hard, but here his eyes were popping out. He has owned a Santro before and has also driven this car regularly two years back. No matter how hard he pushed, it responded back instantly except at low speeds. He mumbled this Santro blows away his Fiesta 1.4 in highway performance, otherwise he was left speechless.

Once I picked up my Baleno I tried catching the Santro which had left 10 minutes before me, but I never could in the next 25 Kms. The road between Mulki and Bajpe is a real twister (smoother than ghats), and I maintained mostly between 60-80Kms, but the Santro was gone. But then I noticed Baleno's edge, I didn't detect any bodyroll or handling difficulty while ripping at 80+ on the twister where as I did experience the body roll with Santro at 50+ on the ghats. Now I am ready for the next mod on Baleno, an Extreme K&N air filter, no less...

BTW, did I mention my Santro is an Automatic!
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Old 3rd May 2006, 23:24   #2
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Good write up Samurai. Knw what my next buy would be? K&n! BUt i think I am gonna get the conical one. hehe.

And as you said, driver skills play a good role.

And, you have a replacement filter?

Last edited by jkdas : 3rd May 2006 at 23:27.
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Old 3rd May 2006, 23:27   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas
Good write up Samurai. Knw what my next buy would be? K&n! BUt i think I am gonna get the conical one. hehe.
Mine is a conical one too.
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Old 3rd May 2006, 23:31   #4
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Dude... Ensure you get the assorted plumibing also sorted out JK... I will call you reg this!
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Old 3rd May 2006, 23:39   #5
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Another nice writeup by Samurai san... though i beg to differ on one point...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
Once I latched on a Skoda Octovia (made it my pilot) and kept following for 20Kms relentlessly at a distance varying between 100-300ft. He tried tearing away, but the driver was not skilled enough to do it in the winding road between Nelyadi and Uppinangadi. He was doing between 80-100Kms on the nice twisting roads after the ghats, and I was able to keep up all the away. The skoda is obviously a better handler than Santro on twisters. But he was applying brakes on the curves where I on the Santro didn't. I guess a better driver could have gotten away. That point was proved when an Ikon 1.6 got in between us
a more safe driver does not equal a less skilled driver. U didnt apply brakes on the curves coz u had a pilot car... he didnt... he had to be careful that no speed freak coming from opposite side is following a racing line straight into his hood!! As for the ikon guy, i'd say he was plain rash. And speeds between 80 n 100 are pretty decent and safe!

Like many have said before, the road is not the place to show your "skills"... likewise, road aint the place to judge someone else's skills.

By the way, thats an amazing FE for an automatic!!! Did u drive with ac on or off?

Regards
Amitoj
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Old 3rd May 2006, 23:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb100
Dude... Ensure you get the assorted plumibing also sorted out JK... I will call you reg this!
yo Me should get this. And dude, when one knows teh road better and is a good driver and is in harmony with one car, he knws when to brake etc. Dotn you think so. I think what SAmurai said was taht the other guy in Soda:P was new to taht road and a bit inexperienced driver and hence braked a lot

And Samurai, pix and price please.

Last edited by jkdas : 3rd May 2006 at 23:52.
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Old 4th May 2006, 00:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj
a more safe driver does not equal a less skilled driver. U didnt apply brakes on the curves coz u had a pilot car... he didnt... he had to be careful that no speed freak coming from opposite side is following a racing line straight into his hood!! As for the ikon guy, i'd say he was plain rash. And speeds between 80 n 100 are pretty decent and safe! Like many have said before, the road is not the place to show your "skills"... likewise, road aint the place to judge someone else's skills.
I am getting this funda from a guy who can't drive below 150kmph and has an e-Zen...

Amitoj, you know me better than that. These were no blind curves like Mysore road (and you know my feeling about Mysore road), the visibility was excellent at most of the curves. I was keeping within 100Kmph knowing Santro's tallboy limitation on a twister, the Skoda could have sped away just like the Ikon. You can't comment without knowing the road profile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj
By the way, thats an amazing FE for an automatic!!! Did u drive with ac on or off?
I never drive without full blasting A/C.
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Old 4th May 2006, 00:59   #8
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Nice writeup as usual, Samurai! Looks like in company of big/small Bangalore boys, you too have become aggressive driver

One thing I noticed is that no matter what small car you drive, you are most likely to keep up with bigger cars when the speeds involved are around 60-80. However, the moment you get empty straight road, the bigger car will simply accelerate and vanish.

You might want to try this experiment simply for the heck of it (or because I am saying it :-) Remove that K&N and any other performance mod that you have done (except shoes) and drive aggressively on the same road. You are most likely to get same result back. It looks like you just enjoyed it more this time because the car felt more responsive.
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Old 4th May 2006, 01:11   #9
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Samuraiiiii can u please post of a pic of the conical filter on ur santro !!!
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Old 4th May 2006, 01:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
I am getting this funda from a guy who can't drive below 150kmph and has an e-Zen...
hahahaha.... touche!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
Amitoj, you know me better than that. These were no blind curves like Mysore road (and you know my feeling about Mysore road), the visibility was excellent at most of the curves. I was keeping within 100Kmph knowing Santro's tallboy limitation on a twister, the Skoda could have sped away just like the Ikon. You can't comment without knowing the road profile.
Samurai i know that you are a very responsible driver thats why i have made no comments about your driving. All i am saying is that its not good to write off the other person as lacking-of-skills just coz he was driving slower than you or he had a better car and yet you could keep up with him... maybe he was just enjoying a relaxing peaceful drive, listening to his music, with the car and him being in a very sedate state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas
And dude, when one knows teh road better and is a good driver and is in harmony with one car, he knws when to brake etc. Dotn you think so. I think what SAmurai said was taht the other guy in Soda:P was new to taht road and a bit inexperienced driver and hence braked a lot
jk, being new to some road again does not mean being unskilled. By labelling a cautious driver as unskilled, arent we indirectly prompting everyone out there to push hard every time they hit the road?? Its not his car he was driving... he might be a temporary employee who could risk losing his job if somethin happens to the car.. there might be a lot more at stake for him than for that ikon guy.

When a driver drives fast or pushes the owner's car, we condemn him for being careless and when a driver drives cautiously, we call him unskilled? now that doesnt seem fair to me.

I hope u guys understand what i am trying to say here.

Anyways, i have said my piece... so there.

Regds
Amitoj
PS: JK, u gonna get another linguistically oriented thread started with your "taht"s now...
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Old 4th May 2006, 04:04   #11
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slighty off topic.. how much would a K&N Extreme Series (univeral).. for my OHC cost?

~cheers
-Ash
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Old 4th May 2006, 07:43   #12
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Nice writeup mate...wud like to see some pics of ur rides though...
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Old 4th May 2006, 07:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RX135
Nice writeup as usual, Samurai! Looks like in company of big/small Bangalore boys, you too have become aggressive driver
Oh no! I always was a fast driver, my very first post in T-BHP was about buying a performance car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RX135
You might want to try this experiment simply for the heck of it (or because I am saying it :-) Remove that K&N and any other performance mod that you have done (except shoes) and drive aggressively on the same road. You are most likely to get same result back. It looks like you just enjoyed it more this time because the car felt more responsive.
If you are trying to say it is the placebo effect, I have to disagree. I having been driving the same Santro for 2+ years and I have often tried to push it like the Baleno, but in vain. There has been a dramatic improvement since K&N. Or else how do you explain the impression of my father-in-law who used to own a manual Santro Xing until March. As I said before, the response at low-end hasn't improved, it is the high-end response that has dramatically improved. The placebo effect should have been uniform.
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Old 4th May 2006, 09:53   #14
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Here are the snaps as requested...





Total installation came to 6K.
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Old 4th May 2006, 10:26   #15
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Quote:
Total installation came to 6K.
Looks neat! Who did the install?
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