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Old 17th February 2006, 23:28   #1
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Default Safari 2.0 TD - Bad Brakes & Steering Play

Hello.. i have a safari about 2 years old. The problem is that the brakes are really underpowered and get ruined in 2-3 months. i was wondering if there are any performance brakes which i can get fitted in the car. the stock brakes are 271mm ventilated disks. Another problem is with the steering there is alot of play and turning left is more responsive than turning right, is there any way it can be fixed or atleast improved somehow.any information would be highly appreciated.
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Old 18th February 2006, 00:18   #2
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hi there, abhishek.

you say your safari is 2 years old- so it's a 2004 model, then. tata had sorted out most of the safari's glitches by 2004, with little left to complain.

firstly- is yours a 4x4? because if it is, it affects the turning radius and steering characteristics. especially when you engage 4x4, you'll find that the car refuses to budge from a standstill when the steering is under full lock, either to the left or the right. even under 2wd mode, the standard feel is slightly different from that of the 4x2. as for the play, your steering pivot arm bush might be worn out. get it checked. also, check the power steering gearbox for adjustment.

as you already know, the front discs are ventilated solid 271 mm dia discs, with the rear having mechanical expanding shoe type drum brakes, incorporating an lspv. the thing is, you don't get many aftermarket systems for the safari, mechanically. the only thing you can try is overhauling your booster, change the diaphragm/felt, and check the vaccuum lines for any leaks that might be causing the sluggishness in the brakes (actually, my safari's brakes used to feel pretty okay, and were upto the task of hauling the 2 tonne beast down from speed). if you feel that everything is fine with the stock brakes, then i'm afraid there's pretty much nothing you can do.

but since since you mentioned that your brakes get ruined in 2-3 months, there's definitely something amiss. the front callipers might not be free, and the pads might be binding to the disc all the time, causing the discs to overheat and hence, brake fade. try getting the front callipers overhauled, and get the tandem cylinder kits for the rear drum brakes changed. your authorised tata mechanic should be able to do that for you.

still, if you are interested in aftermarket enhancements for the brakes, i'm afraid you'll have to spend a lot of money for getting the parts and modification work. you'll need to get brembo kits with four-pot callipers (if my memory serves me right, i'm guessing the stock ones are two-pot), and matching rotors. all this, alongwith the labour charges for the modification work, could cost you a pretty penny (we're talking on the better side of a lac here).

hope this helps. ciao.
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Old 18th February 2006, 00:43   #3
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thanks veyron for that amazing help youve just given me. yes most of the faults which were in the car earlier have been sorted by tata but the mechanics at tata say that the play won't go no matter what i do. even my usual alignment guy tells me it's not possible but if it's a mechanical part how can it not be fixed. anyways it's a 4x2 the thing is the brakes are not sluggish but feel as if worne out, when the brake is engaged after about 2-3 seconds of braking the car vibrates furiously and gives a feel of worn out pads.. about 3-4 months back i had the discs turned which worked fine for 2 months or so and the problem has resurfaced.
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Old 18th February 2006, 08:58   #4
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Working on the discs are usually a bad idea and that could be the problem. Dont machine them cos I really dont think there is any local lathe who can true it perfectly. Make sure you use only genuine pads.
I have a Safari too and the stock brakes (in good shape) are not bad at all!
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Old 19th February 2006, 10:49   #5
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you're most welcome, abhishek. but you see, a certain amount of steering play WILL be there no matter what, as it's a sort of deliberate thing by the tata engineers.

as you say, your brake (the pedal) judders when the pedal is pressed, right? well, i don't think the mechanics have done a good job at "cutting" or aligning the rotors. brake judder usually happens when;
a) the disc rotors are misaligned,
b) any of the brake lines (hydraulic lines to the 4 wheels) are clogged,
c) if the brake pads (front) are worn out and the base part of the pads are rubbing the discs.

and if you feel the pedal is mushy, bleed the brakes and check for bubbles or air in the system; if it still persists, check the master cylinder and the booster.

the safari has pretty good brakes, actually; so check the brakes thoroughly, as there might be some fault with the system itself. try driving another safari, and compare the feel.
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