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Old 26th October 2007, 16:45   #1
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Default Motoring in the Himalayas

Greetings fellow motor heads,

I live in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. I love to take jeep treks up into the big mountains close by and in Lahaul, Spiti and Ladakh. I am looking for a rugged vehicle with four wheel drive. My budget is 10 lak. My short list is Scorpio, Bolero, Gypsy and maybe an Army jeep, Mahindra Major or some such if I can get it registered. Force Judo/Gurkha is probably ruled out because you just can not get one and spare parts are too hard to come by. Other Force models are too big as is Safari. I also have to drive thru narrow streets.

Scorpio has a good motor but it is too much of an SUV. You have to buy the deluxe model equipped with a lot of things I do not need in order to get four wheel drive. I also do not want to worry if it gets a dent in it here and there. Bolero lacks power. The four wheel drive version comes with the XD3PU engine. The Invader, I think, maybe has the same problems as the Bolero plus it has a soft top which does not thrill me. The Gypsy is small. I am large. I also would rather have a diesel.

Presently I have a 2006 Tata Spacio with the 3.0L engine. I do not suppose converting it to 4 wheel drive would be possible? I am wondering if the Bolero with the XD3PU engine can handle a turbo kit and I am wondering who I could trust to do the modification. Chandagarh and Delhi are the closest big cities to me. Whatever I get it has to be tough and reliable. Where I want to go there only 2 or three scheduled yak caravans a year and waiting 4 months for spare parts is a long time to play carroms. Anybody got any ideas? Also, where can you buy a winch in India.?
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Old 26th October 2007, 17:49   #2
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you want a Luxurious 4WD below 10 Lakh. you are tall so legroom etc., is important too.
Well then the Safari is your only option. The EX4x4 will be just in your budget at around 9.8 on road in himachal.
You do not have any other option, except for the Mahindra getaway, but the problem with that is
1. Interior space is less. I am 6'2" and find the front passenger seat legroom inadequate
2. Its a pickup truck so ride is bumpy.
3. Its quite big too, if not as big as the safari.

As for the Gypsy, when I was in college I used to do a fair amount of Offroading in our gypsy king.
It was the Offroad king, but sadly on road, it was a sad story.
Its small, no PS.
The biggest problem was spares. Yes it was a Maruti, but because hardly anbody bought kings then(1999-2000 timeframe) local workshops stocked only regular stuff.

As for other vehicles+modification, stay away. You want a mod which is functional and rough tough. Most after market mods are for show here and won't last a good off road stint. If you are stuck nobody will repair a moded vehicle.

So choose among the stock vehicles
1. Safari EX4x4 2.2
2. Scorpio getaway
3. Gypsy

Scorpio normal is not 4WD, I think the newly launching eagle(Nov timeframe?) may get 4x4.
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Old 26th October 2007, 18:07   #3
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I was just going to suggest the Gypsy to you, until I saw your comment on it being too small. Obviously, something from the Mahindra stable is going to suit your purpose. Question is....which one?

1. Scorpio 4x4 : Highly recommend for your use. Can take abuse and handle most off-roading that you will throw at it. Dont worry about "denting and damaging" it...its still a basic Mahindra under that modernish skin.

2. Bolero : New DI engine already comes with a turbo. Most rugged but under-powered. Damn utilitarian when compared to the Scorpio.

3. MM550 : 2.5 liter with the 5 speed gearbox. Suits your need the best, but you may have to look at second-hand options.

Have you considered the Scorpio pickup truck? May be handy if you need to move cargo and looking at something with extreme utility.

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Presently I have a 2006 Tata Spacio with the 3.0L engine. I do not suppose converting it to 4 wheel drive would be possible?
Dont even go down that lane!!
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Old 26th October 2007, 21:28   #4
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pm ex670c. He has one 12000lbs Electric Winch that he wud sell for 28K (non-negotiable).

And did you give a thought to M&M CJ3B 4x4? Not in production but available at army disposal. Serious off-roaders swear by this legendary vehicle..Scratch GTO's surface; he will tell you tales of this beast..

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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Greetings fellow motor heads,

Also, where can you buy a winch in India.?

Last edited by gd1418 : 26th October 2007 at 21:31.
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Old 26th October 2007, 22:17   #5
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We have a 4WD Sumo in my locality, I don't remember whether its a turbo or regular. Call up Tata and see if they would do a retrofit on your Spacio. But I don't think its worth the hassle.

If you are large, the Safari it is. LX is no longer availabe in 4WD, so you'll have to buy the EX 4x4. Don't worry if you can take a Scorpio in narrow lanes, the Safari will go there too.

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Old 27th October 2007, 15:19   #6
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Quote:

And did you give a thought to M&M CJ3B 4x4? Not in production but available at army disposal. Serious off-roaders swear by this legendary vehicle..Scratch GTO's surface; he will tell you tales of this beast..
Would have recommended it to him, but if he wont fit in the Classic's front seats. Pretty darn cramped.
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Old 27th October 2007, 16:10   #7
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Default A little big but not a giant

I am 188 centimeters tall and 94 kilos weight. Trouble is I am short legged and long bodied, a fact that has literally put lumps on my head riding in some Indian cars....but I am not a total freak. I am going to have a good look at the army jeeps. I am getting a lot of...brown smelly goo...from dealers and others who tell me that Mahindra army jeeps can not be registered in Himachal Pradesh, an air quality issue some say. Some dealers want to sell me more expensive vehicles or vehicles they have in stock and they tell me the army jeeps can not be sold in H.P. but I have seen a few around that have private license boards on them. I asked a local govt registration guy but he told me to go ask a dealer. I will try to get some truth out of some people in the next week.

Safari is out of the question, I will not be a test bed for Tata's new engine and the Safari is too big for the narrow streets of Dharamsala and Mcleodganj.

GTO, thanks for the info on Mahindra Scorpio. I was wondering if it could take some abuse, it looks too pretty. And thanks to the rest of you, I am reading your posts with interest.
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Old 27th October 2007, 17:40   #8
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http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-pictures.html (Report - Raid-De-Himalaya 2006. Now with pictures)
Here's the report of a Scorpio's survival in the Himalayas.
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Old 27th October 2007, 19:31   #9
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Do consider the Scorpio 4WD - believe you me, I know -----

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 27th October 2007, 20:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Do consider the Scorpio 4WD
And I heartily second that!
You do have to wait nearly 2 months to get a 4WD delivered. Only offered in DX version (7 seater, not 8) and with black cladding all round. Rear screen defogger option not available, power windows mandatory! M&M has it's own concept of what '4WD types' want! Only 4 colours offered. The Electric 'shift-on-the-fly' is a boon, though to engage/disengage Low Ratio you need to come to a halt
Notwithstanding all of this, I am a satisfied owner. Just did J&K-Leh-Manali this July. No problems.

Last edited by anupmathur : 27th October 2007 at 20:57.
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Old 28th October 2007, 10:17   #11
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Anup, how about a travelogue with snaps thrown in?

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Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
Just did J&K-Leh-Manali this July. No problems.
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Old 28th October 2007, 10:45   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Anup, how about a travelogue with snaps thrown in?
I have a few photos posted at Picasa. Picasa Web Albums - Anup - Ladakh-July2007

Never do get around to writing a triplog. And there are just so many already at various sites!
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