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Old 5th August 2008, 11:49   #1
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Default Help needed with a Sierra

Hi guys,
I need a little help from the automotive gurus here...
A friend of mine is selling his 1996 Tata Sierra (naturally aspirated) for around 50k and I m quite kicked about buying it... but i m really scared to make the final decision.

need some more information form someone who knows these vehicles.

first of all I will be using the vehicle for long drives... by long i mean upwards of 600kms atleast once a month... I ve been doing it on my Enfield for the past 10 yrs now (6yrs with the Inddiethumpers)... but its only cos I love to ride and drive.

anyways the sierra needs a new suspension for which the cos as i was told would be around 18 to 20K....also this vehicle has a gearbox which was sourced from the second hand market at CST. (I really do not like this)

now i m ready to spend upto 70 to get this vehicle and do it up but I need to know what else to look for... I need a reliable and powerful engine.

I would buy this car right now if someone could help me with the tech bits.... Which engine and tranny should I look at for replacing the current one.... money is obviously scarce (otherwise i would ve bought a safari) but i dont mind doing up the sierra once.


pls help me make an informed decision...
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Old 5th August 2008, 15:36   #2
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you want to spend 70K apart from the 50k to buy? I think the gear ox issue has to be checked by mechanic, cause spare are expansive.
Is the engine in good condition? I mean how much has it run, after overhaul [am guessing it as you mentioned the gear box was replaced] has it been in an accident? or was it just poorly maintained?
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Old 5th August 2008, 15:44   #3
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Modding a sierra ? I am sure you should meet Bass & Trouble first if you want to avoid any troubles.
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Old 5th August 2008, 15:53   #4
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Behzad
Tata Sierra is a marvellous and rugged piece of machinery that if you lay your hands on a good one..it will be inseperable in your life..just like mine !!

50K for a 1996 is very cheap at any cost considering that you have engine works to do.The spares of Sierra are reasonably cheap and should be available at Tata Safari / Sumo spares shops.

Please check the clutch plates too.
A/C is an Achilles Heel of Sierra,considering that it doesnt have a rear window,it can stuff up people in the rear section of the car.
good luck and post a few pics,once you restore it.
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Old 5th August 2008, 15:58   #5
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Please stay away from this car! The initial excitement that u have now will all be washed away once the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere in one of your drives, Trust me, i've seen it happen with plenty of sierras and estates. These things were horrible unreliable when they were launched itself, so how o u expect them to behave after 12 years and a lot of junk parts thrown in??
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Old 5th August 2008, 16:20   #6
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woow exactly what most people have been telling me.

its either a lovely vehicle for a person like me. (passionate about cars n bikes. blah blah) or stay away from this one as its not reliable.

The engine is decent. although I dont know much about diesels. just driven a few jeeps while offroading. I am more used to driving fast in petrol cars so this is gonna be a new learning exp.( Did Bombay- Nagpur once in 12 hours in a borrowed Fiesta 1.6 petrol).
The sierra reached 80 without much effort but we didnt have room to go any faster. also she was wallowing like the titanic so didnt feel safe pushing her too far.

I am sure I wont be able to maintain the Sierra as well as my bikes.
With the enfield n the yams I make sure each and every part is working perfectly during each of my weekend afternoon wrench and spanner sessions.

Anyways I got in touch with Tata Motors and they said I cannot put the new 2.2 safari engine on the sierra. however they didnt mention which engine I should look for. So i guess its gonna be upto the local mechs and you fine folk for more information.

next i plan to show the vehicle to a few places around town and get an opinion.

Thanks for all the replies fellas. i really appreciate it. do keep em coming.

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Last edited by Technocrat : 5th August 2008 at 16:40. Reason: See note in post
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Old 7th August 2008, 14:14   #7
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Hi behzad,

I couldnt have explained ppl with any more clarity than how u have expressed urself. I am exactly in the same boat as u are, and have been searching for a Sierra for the last 4-5 months. The biggest problem with this beast is not the engine or anything, its the "Strong Mixed Reactions" that ppl give for it. I mean, the ppl who love the car, they Worhsip it, and the ones that hate it, well they just HATE it.

I would say, IMO GO for it. Get the engine cheked with some local yet trustworthy mechanic and ask him abt the engine. If the engine is OK (that gearbox thing sounds a l'tl scary), go for it.

And pls post some pics showing us how it was when u bought it, and how she'd look after the mods!!cheers:

Cheers
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Old 7th August 2008, 14:56   #8
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Hi behzad,

Sierra is a good beast, I have seen examples with theToyota Turbo Diesel engine with automatic gearbox...it was made by DC for Mumbai's son of the soil Adman and playwrite. I am not sure how they were able match the Sierra drive train with an automatic setup of a Toyota, its one thing to plonk an engine matted to the oriignal Sierra gearbox and another to put an autotranny. I think it was a 2.5 TDi good engine choice as a lot of such conversions were done on Sierra's and estates, not sure if you can get your hands on one now or whether RTO will allow a 2nd hand engine retrofit..the other option is the 2 liter turbo which tata will give you a new piece of or better yet I am sure they can cough up a 3 liter dicor which although a tad less resposive on the Safari would do wonders on the Sierra...I suggest go to Modern Garage which is of E Moses road (first left from worli naka).Mr. Banan a pal of mine will sort you out with any Tata engine..be ready to spend though as this may set you back at least a lac or 2 is my guess. Tell Banan his old pal who chewed his brain on every single new version of Safari not to mention the clandestine trails I got 12 months before launchs. Tell him I owned the Safari with the GOA plates. send me a private mail with ur number and we can chat on teh phone Cheers
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Old 7th August 2008, 15:05   #9
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BTW your othe roption is the OM616 Tempo traveller Turbo..the last time I checked the folks at Tempo were willing to retrofit it into a merc project I was thinking of embarking...they said they keep getting requests have done numerous retrofittments so here is another engine choise for you. All the other foriegn brands will be way to expensive and the other one is the Scorpio CRDI...you need to keep in mind what the existing Sierra gearbox and differential can cop with and that is why the folks at Tata may have said it is not possible....perhaps you will have to look into things like diff ratio & gearbox ratio as the tollarances will have to allign all this is possible provided you have a good machine tool/machining guy...which agian I can set u up with
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Old 7th August 2008, 15:22   #10
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behzad, even i was kicked about this idea sometime back, i dropped it off as it looked little risky affair..

What i learnt from some people is that go for a safari engine, the older versions... this might be a better opting

but am not versy sure about the reliability my suggestion buy a bolero

btw good to know that you ride with "Indie..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by behzad View Post
woow exactly what most people have been telling me.

its either a lovely vehicle for a person like me. (passionate about cars n bikes. blah blah) or stay away from this one as its not reliable.

The engine is decent. although I dont know much about diesels. just driven a few jeeps while offroading. I am more used to driving fast in petrol cars so this is gonna be a new learning exp.( Did Bombay- Nagpur once in 12 hours in a borrowed Fiesta 1.6 petrol).
The sierra reached 80 without much effort but we didnt have room to go any faster. also she was wallowing like the titanic so didnt feel safe pushing her too far.

I am sure I wont be able to maintain the Sierra as well as my bikes.
With the enfield n the yams I make sure each and every part is working perfectly during each of my weekend afternoon wrench and spanner sessions.

Anyways I got in touch with Tata Motors and they said I cannot put the new 2.2 safari engine on the sierra. however they didnt mention which engine I should look for. So i guess its gonna be upto the local mechs and you fine folk for more information.

next i plan to show the vehicle to a few places around town and get an opinion.

Thanks for all the replies fellas. i really appreciate it. do keep em coming.

Note from the Team-BHP Support : Please take the time to use proper punctuation as per Team-BHP rules. Avoid...typing...like...this. Thanks.
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Old 7th August 2008, 17:07   #11
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I wouls say go for ISUZU engines 2.4

ISZ2400CC
Engine Code 4FG1 = 4CY,2380CC,79/4300 OHC
Engine Code 4FG1T = 4 CY,2380CC,85/4300 OHC
Isuzu Diesel
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Old 7th August 2008, 18:09   #12
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Hell boy do u mean the Hindustan motors Isuzu diesel..that coems in Turbo as well and could also be a good bet it hauls those ATV vans for teh postal services quite well, I recall the turbo was developed for them and could be more high tourque oriented/meant for heavy commercial load carrying vehicles this could be a cheaper option if vaible.
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Old 7th August 2008, 20:07   #13
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Nice info there

ANy idea on how much does it cost??

Quote:
Originally Posted by hell boy View Post
I wouls say go for ISUZU engines 2.4

ISZ2400CC
Engine Code 4FG1 = 4CY,2380CC,79/4300 OHC
Engine Code 4FG1T = 4 CY,2380CC,85/4300 OHC
Isuzu Diesel
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Old 9th August 2008, 16:36   #14
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45k for a second hand and around 85to95k for a new one.I had seen one in chorbazar 1mth ago.
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