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Old 3rd February 2009, 13:28   #1
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Default Mahabaleshwar with 118 NE

Hi all,
I would like to share an adventurous trip to Mahabaleshwar on my 13 year old 118 NE, and a Maruti 800 of my colleagues. There were 6 adults (including me) in my vehicle. We left Pune early in the morning, reached Panchgani by about half past 9. The first day went by in hunting for an accomodation and site seeing at various view points in Mahabaleshwar. Inspite of this fully loaded long vehicle with manual steering, I was negotiate turn with ease.

Second day on our way to Pratapgadh fort something uxexpected happened. We had to stop for a while in an upward slope until the trafic would get cleared. Now the way was free for me and I tried to pull up. Suddenly I could feel something wrong. There was not much traction from the wheels. I doubted a flat tyre. Got down for a look, but tyres looked ok. So we all got in and started again. Now there was a wierd sound like hammering from the gearbox. So I had stopped immediately in place just 10 metres away so as not to hinder the on going traffic.

Just bend down to see what happened. The culprit was a the right hand side stabilization arm. The bracket holding it to the propeller shaft gave away. The propeller shaft has lost one of the reaction members to transmit torque to the wheels. Now, we cant move any further up the hill and the nearest village was about 6 Kms from there. I with one of my friends went down to the village in the other car to enquire about any welding workshop near by. Luck factor 1 was that the village had a welder too. Luck factor 2 - he was available at his house. Luck factor 3 - the most critical one, there was no power cut at that time of the day. It was like quarter to 7. Meanwhile my brother with one of my friends drove down while others were staying uphill.

Finally we reached the welder with my car, jacked it up, welded the bracket, added some reinforcing bits on either brackets (added safety), and came back to fetch the rest. That guy charged just Rs 150/- for the timely job he attended to. Meanwhile our friend had made a second trip to bring them all to this village. And now with better confidence my brother was touching 110 Kmph mark while retuning home. That was the first and fantastic long distance experience in my car.
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