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Old 4th November 2008, 07:13   #61
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..most needed spares
Hmmm.....let me narrate an experience I (and wife) had in an Esteem on that route.

This was in October 2005 and I was going to Leh in my fully laden Esteem AT. Loaded with our stuff, 40lt of extra petrol in Army cans and the raid stuff and this was possible only with back seat space also being filled up to the brim. We were to travel from Jispa to Leh in a day and we were all alone although some times later in the day another team was to come up in their Gypsy.

Early morning start just as the darkness was breaking at Jispa saw us at Sarchu around 0730hrs. We stopped for breakfast and warm cup of tea at the tent dhabha. After a leisurely break of half an hour, soaking warmth of sun, we sat down in the car and turned the ignition. Engine sputtred for a second or two and died. Further attempts on the switch turned the engine but no ignition.

So what happened? We had brought the car to halt without any problem and now it was refusing to start.

PS: Gone slightly OT but compare overloaded Esteem AT with Civic and thats is why I say you can do it. Only you have to be careful and take it easy. I do not think the car will be harmed. I took my Esteem twice up there and in between it ran a champ back in plains.

Last edited by sudev : 4th November 2008 at 07:18.
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Old 4th November 2008, 08:00   #62
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Thanks Sudev, that pretty much summarises everything. Serviced stock Civic and careful driving is the trick.

Further questions on the lines of high altitude, any effects on engine, power etc.

How will the driver has to be prepared, is there any problem with sustained high altitudes to the fatigue levels?

Please pour in as much details as possible. Civic or no Civic, Leh is now the way to go!!
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Old 4th November 2008, 08:50   #63
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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Hmmm.....let me narrate an experience I (and wife) had in an Esteem on that route.

We had brought the car to halt without any problem and now it was refusing to start.
Hey, Sudev, you can't leave us in the lurch! Tell us what had happened to the car.
It's not even OT, as it will be possibly one more item that needs to be watched.
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Old 4th November 2008, 09:45   #64
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Please pour in as much details as possible. Civic or no Civic, Leh is now the way to go!!
High altitudes do not affect modern MPFi/CRDi engines in any significant way. Nothing much to worry about on this count.
As for people, some acclimatization is required. It is impossible to predict who will be afficted with AMS. No correlation has been found to quantify or define susceptibility.
It is advisable to follow an acclimatization procedure - like spending at least a night each at, say 6000 ft or so, and then at 10000 ft or so.
It is better to avoid a night stay at Sarchu/Pang after leaving from Manali. Most people have onset of AMS at these night halts as these are 14000 ft and 15000 ft above MSL. Better plan is to stay at Darcha and make an early start the next morning to reach Leh by nightfall.
During ascents to very high altitudes, water should be sipped every few minutes.
There is the nice preventive medicine Diamox. A half (of a 250 mg) tab morning & evening helps alleviate symptoms of AMS.
This article would be handy: OA Guide to High Altitude: Acclimatization and Illnesses
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Old 4th November 2008, 11:12   #65
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@anupmathur: With you about a night at Darcha/Jispa between Manali and Leh. OR I would go whole hog. Start from Manali say at 0200~0300 and hit Leh by evening.
Secondly I would rather avoid diamox as far as possible. I would go with atab of disprin day and night starting one day before you hit Manali coupled with 2liter of water per person per day miniumum. Diamox should be for emergency when you start getting water retention or AMS symptoms.

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Old 4th November 2008, 11:19   #66
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....continuing...
Few more attempts on starter and it is no go. From the sound of engine my conclusion was petrol outage but this did not tally with fuel gauge and the fact that we had tanked up at Keylong(Tandi) day before.
Opened the engine and asked wife to give a few turns on the starter. Suspected fuel problems. So pulled out the fuel can and loaded in about 10/12lts of fuel till the tank was full. Just as I suspected enough fuel in the tank and gauge is working correctly and no fuel tank leakage.
Again a couple of turns on starter - no go. Mind you this is in extremely cold (car was unfortunately in a shade) and with wind blowing. Effort of pulling out the gas can and filling up left me breathless enough. Mind starts to think of possibilities but is kind of working slow - altitude effects?
Now what?
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Old 4th November 2008, 11:25   #67
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@anupmathur: With you about a night at Darcha/Jispa between Manali and Leh. OR I would go whole hog. Start from Manali say at 0200~0300 and hit Leh by evening.
Sudev, there is a crucial aspect of touring that gets severly compromised in any marathon session - photography!
I, personally, never do mountains in the dark. For me, it is very important to be able to see the sights around me! That, in fact, is the raison d'Ítre for all my trips into the himalayas!

As for the Diamox, it depends on whether you want to risk coming down with AMS, or are you OK with wait & see.
And anyway, all medication should be taken after due consultation with a doctor. I cannot agree or disagree with any views on medication.
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Old 4th November 2008, 11:41   #68
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Mind starts to think of possibilities but is kind of working slow - altitude effects?
Now what?
The second part first: yes, altitude effects! How it knocks the wind out of you! Changing a wheel on an SUV (at Sarchu or Pang kind of altitudes) would bring a healthy gent to near collapse through fatigue!

About the car - I'd hate to imagine that Petrol froze. So it must have been something else. Which month was this?

Last edited by anupmathur : 4th November 2008 at 11:42.
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Old 4th November 2008, 11:52   #69
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While we discuss about the altitude effects, Sudevs car issues, can some one throw light on how much does the spacers for the supensions costs, known and unknown issues of doing the same, where one can get it done etc.

Also about the engine guards, where to find one, how much it costs, what to and not to etc.

This is for information within the thread, and not to start a deviation as to required not required.
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Old 4th November 2008, 12:38   #70
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@laluks: Engine guards are always custom made. Check with you garage. There is this thread that covers making skid plates. Check with guys who prepare rally cars in Bangalore.
For spacers I would again advise your garage. This is rather simple lathe machining / turning job. Of making a 25mm piece that will fit on top of the struts. However I would say that this is really not needed and if you do get these made make sure you do it well in time to adjust to drive behavior changes.

@anupmathur: Medicines on doctors advise always.
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Old 4th November 2008, 13:07   #71
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...continuing...
After getting some breath back (and standing in sunlight for a while) I tried removing the fuel pipe rubber connector (incoming from tank). This rubber piece is there to prevent metal fuel pipes from breaking due to engine vibrations but, if removed, can also be used to check on fuel flow.
Hot engine is usually a great problem while working in tight space to do this but with all that freezing wind engine was pain to touch, all the same due to below freezing temperature! In the cold using a plier to remove the retaining circlips earned me a small nick on the thumb but this did not help since the cold also made the rubber hose stuck to the metal pipe and no amount of pulling while twisting and turning made any impact. And I was wheezing with effort.
Making sure not to pull too much - rubber breaks if stressed too much in extreme cold conditions as it becomes brittle - and exerting steady pressure for almost ten minutes finally did the trick. A quick turn of ignition button - without cranking - did not bring up any fuel confirming my hunch that fuel was a problem. Turning the ignition only confirmed that there was no vibration (from initial pressurization from pump) so chance was the fuel pump is not working.
Now what. I am at Sarchu, mid way between Manali and Leh where I could get probably parts if any were needed. So what could be the problem? This needed investigating by lying down on the cold road and getting under the car. Esteem has fule pump (as do most cars now) mounted within the fuel tank and even after lying down I could not reach it. Next option is to open out the fuel tank and reach the pump. So started piling up all the stuff from boot and rear seats on to road side. More exhausting work and more huffing and puffing from high altitude breathing.

Last edited by sudev : 4th November 2008 at 13:09.
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Old 4th November 2008, 16:32   #72
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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
@laluks: Engine guards are always custom made. Check with you garage. There is this thread that covers making skid plates. Check with guys who prepare rally cars in Bangalore.
For spacers I would again advise your garage. This is rather simple lathe machining / turning job. Of making a 25mm piece that will fit on top of the struts. However I would say that this is really not needed and if you do get these made make sure you do it well in time to adjust to drive behavior changes.

@anupmathur: Medicines on doctors advise always.
The info on the skid plates was quite useful, and guys you love your cars!!

I checked with my Honda service, he has never ever heard of any such thing. So much to say - probably thought me to be crazy as well!!

I have a good contact at Suraksha, I'll talk to him about the same.

Sudev, your incident is still incomplete. cant take the wait, come on sir - faaaast
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Old 4th November 2008, 17:45   #73
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Sudev, your incident is still incomplete. cant take the wait, come on sir - faaaast
Frankly, I'd just have waited for the sun to come out & warm things up a bit!
After all, for most of us it is invariably on holiday that we'd be there, unlike Sudev on duty!!


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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
I checked with my Honda service, he has never ever heard of any such thing. So much to say - probably thought me to be crazy as well!!
Laluks, please don't let the Honda service guys decide what your car needs. If at all you must put on some protection, get the car up on a ramp and figure out for yourself where you'd like the skid/guard plates.

Last edited by anupmathur : 4th November 2008 at 17:48.
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Old 4th November 2008, 23:24   #74
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...continued...

So after I pulled out everything from the back seats next was to physically lift the seats and put them out of the way so that I can start figuring out how to get the tank out and get to the pump. Mind you I had never ever done this.
At this point of time the first thing was to disconnect the battery and the pump wire, which I saw snaked under the seat, at the top of the tank and in to the pump. Here was a little connector that needed to be disconnected (wish I had a picture to show what I am yapping about).
While doing this last I noticed a little blacking around the connector. Ah ha so that was the problem. The wire was not connecting properly!!!
A little cleaning, taping, reconnecting everything and turning the ignition switch produced satisfying squirts of petrol from the fuel pipe. Suffice to say it was still an effort now to get everything back in. After all this I had to further satisfy my cold fingers (further frozen due to petrol evaporation) by holding another glass of tea from the dhabha and downing the same with another paratha. All this took two hours or so.

Sorry this got a bit OT but MORAL of the story: You can not carry every spare. Be prepared to get your hands dirty. Know your car more than from inside of passenger cabin. Try not to loose reason and even if takes a long time try to troubleshooting methodically.

This is my "short" answer to those who want to carry every conceivable spare. You are just loading you vehicle and do you really know how to use it on your own?
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Old 4th November 2008, 23:36   #75
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Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
I dont think so
i heard the roads somewhere are pretty bad and with the suspension and GC like that of the civic , it seems a tough call.
I too think in the same way. Civic need to remove the Front bumper completly... And again question arise in GC too.
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