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Old 5th December 2006, 11:22   #1
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Default IDI diesel tuning for rarified freezing air

Hi,
We will be heading to the hills on our Tata indica DLS.
The temperatures are going to be below zero with snow and rarefied air. My concerns are two.
1. At low air pressure, indica does "missing". I am told that fuel pump tuning for lower air and high fuel ratio is the solution. Where can I get it done in delhi. The Tata workshop guys are clueless as always. On old 800s I could do this by moving a screw. Is there such a screw in the indica. If so, where is this screw. I will adjust it. Any pointers. Or any workshop in Noida/Delhi which has a good tuner who can adjust the FP?
2. Sub zero temperatures mean that morning starts are a pain. I will be using diesel with anti freeze(Available in the hills). Apart from that I plan to pour boiling water on the engine block before starting. This is one of the things what truckers use. Since I am going in the mini truck, this should suffise, or it wont. Some truckers light fires under their fuel tanks which I definitely wont even attempt.
I am not too worried about coolant freezing as instead of water I will be using antifreeze coolant liquid.
I know ideally I should be taking a turbocharged car to compensate for lack in pressure, but I guess loss of power is not going to be too much of an issue at around 2700mts. I had gone to such heights in summers and apart from "missing" there was no issue. Moreover this time I have a "natural" cold(freezing) air intake for additional power .

So guys please put in your suggestions. A good mechanic who knows how to tune FPs will be great help. Otherwise any pointers to adjust this myself will help. Could not find any workshop manuals for indica 2002. I am not very technical in adjusting stuff and the most I have done is removing glow plugs. But I think adjusting some screw is not going to be more difficult.
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Old 5th December 2006, 15:32   #2
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Hmm no replies so far!
Well another related query.
I remember reading sideways post about his worry about diesel freezing(-7 degrees).
Raid contestants are not provided anti freeze diesel, which is available at almost all pumps in himachal. Can anyone let me know about the freezing temperature of anti freeze diesel?
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Old 5th December 2006, 15:35   #3
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Hi,
We will be heading to the hills on our Tata indica DLS.

So guys please put in your suggestions.
May I suggest a good OHC VTEC
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Old 5th December 2006, 16:12   #4
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Hmmm, so you are loaning me your OHC Vtec in exchange for the truck .
Remember, its not ordinary Nainital etc., route, its Narkanda now. 2700mts, possibility of heavy snowfall 350kms+
I chucked corbett/ranthambore due to heavy rush, will go during off season(feb end) when people with kids are stuck with exams !
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Old 5th December 2006, 16:25   #5
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Hi Tanveer. Glad to see you are heading out to the hills. Drive Safe and finish most driving during the day. Pump timing can be adjusted to lean out the mixture. Can be done at a Mico Bosc centre. But frankly I dont recomend it. Also noted that max altitude will be 9000 feet. You should have no problem at this altitude. I am assuming tht Indica's have glow plugs (heaters). Run the heaters atleast thrice before you crank the engine. Should be able to sort the issue. Also suggest you dont pour any hot water. Carry an old woolen blanket instead and cover the entire engine in the night. Also if temperatures are really low, would recomend that you remove the radiator cap before retiring for the night. Put it back on after you have started the car and the engine is nice and warm. Give me a call if you need further help.

Take care and have a nice trip.
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Old 5th December 2006, 16:45   #6
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thanks for the tips sideways!
Plan to start from Delhi in the morning so will reach before 5pm. I chose this route as I am quite familiar with it till kufri(done that in winter once).
The minimum temperature can drop to -10 degrees but by morning it rises to a comfortable -2 - +2 degrees. I am planning to put in "anti freeze diesel" which is available at all pumps in himachal. Have you ever used this fuel? Any idea about it? I have seen that most trucks which go beyond narkanda towards tibet fill up with this.

about the timing, I had read the lean mixture will cause problem, I need to have a richer mixture? I am asking this because when I went to chamba I encountered a "miss" at certain rpm's. This would lead to jerk around some rpms, for example 3rd gear 45kmph. If I avoided these rpms things were fine, Once we came down from altitude(7500ft) this thing went away.
At that time the car's top speed used to be 120kmph. Few months after that I went for a FP overhaul under insurance after a minor accident as the workshop said they will arrange it in a way that it falls under claim.
Since then the top speed has moved to around 135kmph(actual true speed), so it is entirely possible that the "miss" was due to FP problem.

Another tip I want it cold starting.
Currently mornings are at around 7-10 degrees in delhi. Single run of heaters leads so some sputtering at startup, and unless I pump the accelerator while cranking the car starts and then shudders to a stop. This happens once, and after that it starts. But if I pump the accelerator it starts on first try itself.
Therefore I am assuming its a good practice to pump the accelerator while starting. do you advise this.
I also read the batteries lose power with falling temperature(atleast camera batteries do!). Will temperatures of -10 - 0 degrees cause problems? I have a Panasonic battery.
Any precautions you suggest for that?

Last but not the least, the warm water question. This came into my mind because of an article I read in autocar india(or was it auto india) few years ago. These fellows took a TCIC safari to himachal during winters. An overnight snowstorm resulted in morning temperatures dropping below freezing. Multiple cranks too did not start the safari.
Then they poured mildly hot water on the engine block including fuel lines. This resulted in a quick startup. I am thinking of it as the last resort.
Since -10 is a rarity, I am hoping that temps will stay above the diesel freezing point which I am told can clog filters.

thanks for all the tips!
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Old 5th December 2006, 17:37   #7
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Anti freeze diesel is stable even at -14 (If I am not mistaken). Should work fine. See as altitude increases air becomes thinnner, lesser, but the amount of fuel going in the same and therefore car runs very rich and will tend to bog down. In modern CRDI vehicles, the ECU is able to compensate, infact these cars go off sometimes since the ECU needs to learn and compensate for the lesser air and therefore lean out the mixture.

Pumping accelerator - reminds me of the BMC and matador engines. Used to follow the same in those also. Since it's IDI it should be ok to pump. Yes batteries do take a beating in cold temperature and so does the alaternator. If your car is old, have the alternator completely overhauled, including changing of bearings. Strongly recomended. Check the cells in the battery, ensure none of them is weak. Take care of these two things and electricals will be fine.

Keep the warm water as a last resort. Carry the old blanket ( a nice thick one). beleive me it works. COver the front of the radiator with cardboard, in order to avoid direct wind from hitting it during the night. Carry an extra pair of fuel filters, just in case.

Have fun.
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Old 5th December 2006, 20:25   #8
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Well Tsk, all I can say is welcome to my world. Its was -15C here last night.

First thing make sure your batteries are either new or well charged. there is tremendous load on them due to the weather and the fact that engines need to be cranked harder and longer.

Diesels will take a long time to warm up, so you can try putting cardboard in front of a part of the radiator for faster warmup.

If you are due for an oil change, get synthetic oil....makes a difference and this is where you really see it working.

Not sure about diesel pump tuning. Better to call TATA dealership or mechanic in Nainital rather than Delhi....they'll know for sure

There is a special winter blend diesel that is used here at this time of the year. Not sure about there.

If you are in high altitude, you are going to lose power without a turbo...cant help it.
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Old 5th December 2006, 21:49   #9
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Thats for all the tips.
The car is old, but the electricals are new(starter motor/battery/alternator) thanks to tata electrical quality, they last around just 50000kms max. So next change is still around 20000kms away
The car is due for service, so this time I will go synthetic all the way!
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Old 5th December 2006, 23:42   #10
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The car is due for service, so this time I will go synthetic all the way!
Thinner the oil the better. Used a 5W grade for the raid.
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Old 6th December 2006, 10:53   #11
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I checked castrol website.
They have something called Castrol edge 5W40 and castrol edge turbo diesel 5W40.
Wondering whats the difference between the two.
Then they have a 15W40 Castrol GTD which is my current engine oil(I change every 7500kms)
I am wondering if there is a big castrol dealership in noida from where I can get 5W40 Edge turbodiesel.
It supposedly will last me 20,000kms+ but I intend on changing after every 10,000.
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Old 6th December 2006, 16:31   #12
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I am wondering if there is a big castrol dealership in noida from where I can get 5W40 Edge turbodiesel.
Find their distributors number for North India & ask them where this oil will be avilable in Noida/Delhi. They should be able to give you an accurate source & save some time for you.
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Old 6th December 2006, 16:43   #13
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Could not find any information on their website regarding dealer/distributor network.
Talked to aZa, and found out the location of a big dealer near Maharani Bagh.
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Old 6th December 2006, 16:48   #14
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Could not find any information on their website regarding dealer/distributor network.
Talked to aZa, and found out the location of a big dealer near Maharani Bagh.
Maharani Bagh? Where in maharani bagh is this & how come I don't know of it?
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Old 6th December 2006, 16:52   #15
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Well he gave me the directions as follows.
From Noida go on DND. When DND ends take first left.
On the right side of that road there is a castrol dealership.
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