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Old 3rd May 2006, 16:44   #1
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Default Swift--Body Metal Thickness

Some people say that Maruti has cut corners and has thus controlled costs on the Swift by reducing the gauge of thickness of body metal--the roof is pointed out as a common example and just yesterday, someone mentioned that it's all over.

Is this really possible or is just hearsay? As far as I understand it, Suzuki saves costs worldwide by ensuring that the dies for the Swift are the same in all countries. Hence, Maruti would not be able to reduce the thickness of the metal since the dies are the same globally.

Also, the weight of the Maruti Swift here is the same as the European model (atleast the one tested by EuroNCAP), according
to this link:
(http://www.euroncap.com/content/safe...?id1=1&id2=213). So isn't that another nail in the thin-metal theory?

Would appreciate any inputs on the above....

- Ivor
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Old 3rd May 2006, 17:52   #2
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But then how do you know that the international design itself is not on a thin gauge metal sheet?

Secondly, dies give the metal a shape. Are you saying that if the thickness of the sheet is different the same die will not be able to carve out the intended shape?

P.S. By no means am I saying here that the sheet metal thickness is less (or more).
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Old 3rd May 2006, 18:25   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo
But then how do you know that the international design itself is not on a thin gauge metal sheet?
Could be--but then we'd have no worries right? Because the Swift has done commendably well in safety tests like the EuroNCAP ratings. We have reason to worry if the metal gauge has been reduced in India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo
Secondly, dies give the metal a shape. Are you saying that if the thickness of the sheet is different the same die will not be able to carve out the intended shape?
Am no expert, hence was asking. However, doesn't that seem logical? You put in thinnner metal, the result should be distorted compared to the original metal thickness the die was intended for....

Just an amateur take--could be very wrong--would love to hear a professional opinion.
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Old 3rd May 2006, 18:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivor
Some people say that Maruti has cut corners and has thus controlled costs on the Swift by reducing the gauge of thickness of body metal--the roof is pointed out as a common example and just yesterday, someone mentioned that it's all over.

Is this really possible or is just hearsay? As far as I understand it, Suzuki saves costs worldwide by ensuring that the dies for the Swift are the same in all countries. Hence, Maruti would not be able to reduce the thickness of the metal since the dies are the same globally.

Also, the weight of the Maruti Swift here is the same as the European model (atleast the one tested by EuroNCAP), according
to this link:
(http://www.euroncap.com/content/safe...?id1=1&id2=213). So isn't that another nail in the thin-metal theory?

Would appreciate any inputs on the above....

- Ivor
You have raised a very valid issue but I really do not have the answers. As far as I know, the purpose of the die is to give shape to sheet metal and the same die should be able to give shape to sheets of different thicknesses, by altering the quantum of the force applied.

Another car that's prone to quick dents is the Indica. A friend of mine was once required to push his cousin's Indica which had broken down. After pushing the car (by putting his hands on the tail gate) for a little while, my friend discovered that the car had developed dent at the place where he had put his hands! One can clearly feel how thin the Indica's sheet metal is by pushing the sheet metal of doors by hands. It almost feels like Coke can. Ditto for most Maruti cars, with the exception of Baleno.

I think there should be a law whereby car manufacturers are required to disclose the thickness of sheet metal in all their ads along with the strength of the sheet metal (if the same can also be measured).
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Old 3rd May 2006, 18:53   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection
Another car that's prone to quick dents is the Indica. A friend of mine was once required to push his cousin's Indica which had broken down. After pushing the car (by putting his hands on the tail gate) for a little while, my friend discovered that the car had developed dent at the place where he had put his hands! One can clearly feel how thin the Indica's sheet metal is by pushing the sheet metal of doors by hands. It almost feels like Coke can. Ditto for most Maruti cars, with the exception of Baleno.
On the contrary Indica's sheet metal is much thicker than the norm. The thing you are talking about is different. If you take a iron rod of say 4mm thicknes and 6 inches in length you won't be able to twist it by hand. The same thickness rod of say a foot or more can probably be twisted. Indica's tailgate has a bulbous shape and in general has a larger surface area. Also, I suspect that by virtue of being the tailgate it has no anti-intrusion beams. If anything Indica will have its crumple zone built in that tailgate for rear collisions. So obviously if you apply sufficient force you will be able to press the sheet in a bit. When you push a car you should apply force on the C-Pillar of the car.

Last edited by Zappo : 3rd May 2006 at 18:54.
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Old 3rd May 2006, 19:01   #6
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Ivor, one of the reasons why the Swift did so well in the Euro NCAP was also because the car was equipped with front thorax airbags and side curtain airbags. I am sure the Indian version is also a very safe car but front side and side curtain bags make a HUGE difference in crash test results.

The Insurance Institute of highway safety tested the Toyota Prius and the difference front side and side curtain bags make is best seen here.

Crash test result of Prius WITHOUT front side and side curtain bags = evaluation POOR

Crash test result of Prius WITH front side and side curtains : Evaluation GOOD

Most cars in India don't even have front airbags so imagine what the crash results would be for our variants.
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Old 3rd May 2006, 19:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection
You have raised a very valid issue but I really do not have the answers. As far as I know, the purpose of the die is to give shape to sheet metal and the same die should be able to give shape to sheets of different thicknesses, by altering the quantum of the force applied.
The die and the punch will have similar contours but punch will be an offset of die contour. Thicker the compressed sheet, more will be the offset. So ideally, it will be different for different sheet metal thicknesses.
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Old 3rd May 2006, 19:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection
Another car that's prone to quick dents is the Indica. A friend of mine was once required to push his cousin's Indica which had broken down. After pushing the car (by putting his hands on the tail gate) for a little while, my friend discovered that the car had developed dent at the place where he had put his hands! One can clearly feel how thin the Indica's sheet metal is by pushing the sheet metal of doors by hands. It almost feels like Coke can. Ditto for most Maruti cars, with the exception of Baleno.
But you should checkout the gauge used in the Esteem's roof and doors. If you are not careful, you can dent its roof just by trying to wipe it with a cloth. I am serious, my 2004 type-2 MPFI esteem's roof thickness is very less and it makes a noise of sheet bendinng when I wipe the roof during a wash. We had a 1994 Maruti 1000 earlier and had no such problems. Maruti has become very overconfident thanks to the JD Powers Surveys and OD Surveys and hence reduced its quality over the years.
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Old 3rd May 2006, 22:10   #9
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interesting thread...especially because my swift's roof was damaged recently in a '0' kmph mishap, wherein a chopped tree fell on my baby's roof...and it got dented; i can't remember much, but from what i can recall of my angry moments, that tree was VERY heavy (in my momentary insanity, i was trying to lift the tree off of my car). to my amazement, the roof took the brunt well. (pics are posted on the "street experiences" section).

ivor, even though the European swift might claim the same weight, the case is different here, as the suspension setup and engine weight of the European swift is different; and our swift doesn't have the 15" wheels, power mirrors, or curtain airbags. safety wise, the ABS and frontal airbags might put the swift in a very good position over here too.

i was wondering about the sheet metal gauge specs myself, but i guess after looking at my car's mishap, it's safe to assume that it's the best built maruti after the vitara.

well, in any case, the creases in the metal sheet help to prevent it from dents. ANY straight sheet would get dented at minimal impact.
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Old 3rd May 2006, 23:47   #10
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i think that the roof being thinner is not much of an issue if it is so ! as it being dangerous only in the case of a roll or sumthing falling on top of it in the former i think the beam connecting the a, b and c pillars on which the roof is mounted is sufficiently strong to protect the passengers! as the roof wont crash completely ! while it could be a problem in the latter but i dont think that it would be that dangerous as there is sufficient headroom in the car (unless you are 6'6"!!) !
also another reason for using softer and easily dentable sheet metal could be crushability as it lessens the impact in the case of an accident ! but most of these places are reinforced by stronger beams to stop the part from collapsing completely!!
hence i dont feel its much of an issue!!
and i would agree with veryon that it is indeed one of the best built maruti cars ! the suspension , transmission and the plastic quality(usually the issue with maruti cars) are much better than the usual maruti cars!!

Last edited by speed0mania : 3rd May 2006 at 23:52.
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Old 4th May 2006, 18:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit
Ivor, one of the reasons why the Swift did so well in the Euro NCAP was also because the car was equipped with front thorax airbags and side curtain airbags. I am sure the Indian version is also a very safe car but front side and side curtain bags make a HUGE difference in crash test results.

Most cars in India don't even have front airbags so imagine what the crash results would be for our variants.
Very valid point. The ZXi incidentally has all the features of the EuroNCAP Swift, except side airbags, curtain airbags and ISOFIX child-protection anchorages.

While that's better than any car in its class (and some higher classes too), it's sad that safety is something most car manufacturers in India chuck away in their efforts to cut costs.

- Ivor
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Old 4th May 2006, 18:57   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speed0mania
and i would agree with veryon that it is indeed one of the best built maruti cars ! the suspension , transmission and the plastic quality(usually the issue with maruti cars) are much better than the usual maruti cars!!
Actually, I think the roof is pretty solid. My Zen roof used to feel pretty flimsy whenever I rubbed it hard to take off a stubborn bird dropping, but the Swift feels very solid.

However, my query is to get some facts--I know it 'feels' solid, but I'd be happier knowing that the Swift's body in India is just as good as an European Swift!

- Ivor
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Old 4th May 2006, 18:59   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RX135
The die and the punch will have similar contours but punch will be an offset of die contour. Thicker the compressed sheet, more will be the offset. So ideally, it will be different for different sheet metal thicknesses.
Pardon my lack of understanding (understand computer tech better than mech tech), but does this mean that Maruti could not have reduced the sheet thickness in India?
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Old 5th May 2006, 19:14   #14
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Comparison always helps, I think the Getz and Palio do not have these problems or do they?
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Old 5th May 2006, 19:50   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivor
Pardon my lack of understanding (understand computer tech better than mech tech), but does this mean that Maruti could not have reduced the sheet thickness in India?
I rather doubt that. Swift, even in Indian spec, is quite heaviliy built car. I really suspect if they have tinkered with the cab design.
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