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Old 25th October 2010, 15:15   #91
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Question Good garage in Pune for Sierra Turbo?

Ok guys, I finally took delivery of the Tata Sierra Turbo on Thursday, and it's like a dream come true!

Wasted all of Thursday putting the paperwork in order, could only bring the car to Pune on Friday.

The car seemed to be having starting troubles right from the beginning (delayed start owing to weak cranking), and it finally went kaput on Friday evening. All the while we were thinking it was a battery/alternator problem, but it turned out that the starter motor (Lucas TVS) had failed. We took it to a guy in a place called "Transport Nagar" (as the name suggests, it is a transit area for truckers) who opened it up, only to find that it was half burnt. He offered to repair it, saying a new motor would cost about 10K. So we accepted his offer. He did a good job of it; the repairs cost Rs.4400/-. Now the car starts at a single twist of the key. He also mentioned that 1 cell of the battery is a bit weak, but it can pull on for a few months. He also tested the alternator and it works fine. Now my Sierra maintenance account is officially open, and I have just performed my first transaction!

The tyres are a very serious problem; I can hear one of the front tyres squealing whenever I do even gentle braking at 60 kmph or above, or whenever there is a slight depression in the road. The car steers wildly when that happens. Hence, I restrict my speeds to 60 and below, in fourth gear.

Here is a list of tasks on my plate that I have identified so far, sorted by descending order of priority:

1. Overhaul the engine and transmission. Includes changing all fluids, belts, bushes, tuning the engine, servicing the FIP and turbo, oiling/greasing all moving parts etc. etc.

2. Overhaul the suspension and braking system. This includes changing the the tyres (with upsize perhaps?) and rims, replacing any worn out parts, WA/WB etc. etc.

3. Overhaul the electricals. This includes replacing/fixing all broken switches, lamps, motors, wires etc. etc.

4. Upgrade the AC. Includes replacing the blower and compressor, checking for leaks, refilling gas etc.

5. A good paint job, which includes rust removal/rust treatment, tinwork, door setting and full body painting (preferably using a paint booth).

6. Refurbish the interiors, including fixing the seats, putting in new upholstery, door panels, beadings etc. Also, replacing the cracked windshield. Then, if budget permits, installing sunfilm.

Do let me know if I have missed something.

@ sierrakamat:

Any idea what the AC upgrade will cost (superking blower + 508 compressor), both new and/or used? Will I be able to use R134 gas after this change? I agree that just filming wont help the car, but it will just make the job of the AC easier. I am also thinking of putting a layer of heatlon wherever possible, The current tyres are Yokohama Geolandar (tubeless) 215/75 R15, which is the stock size. So I guess you are referring to "15 inch" safari rims. In 25K, do I get new tires or used ones? I am assuming the rims will be used ones, which is fine.

@condor:

Thanks for the part numbers, I will store them for my reference. The current FIP is a MICO unit, I will get it checked/serviced. Hopefully it wont need replacement.

@Randhawa:

I bought it from Sewree, Mumbai. But I stay near Hinjewadi, in Thergaon. So you will be seeing it in and around Hinjewadi henceforth, if you are around, that is.

@ kaustubh:

Any updates on the AC upgrade? What will it cost? Do give details on all the components you are changing/replacing. The AC in my car is stock, and it is just average. In the October afternoon sun, it is only able to bring down the temperature to approx. room temperature, at full blast. I intend to do what sierrakamat suggested, just want to know whether your AC mechanic is doing the same thing.

Also, do let me know which garage(s) you service your car at, if geographically convenient I will try the same.

@ Everyone:

Here is a list of doubts that I wish to clarify:

1. What is the best RPM range for this engine? I found it to be the smoothest in the 2200-2500 range.

2. The accelerator pedal is very hard, and makes a creaking/groaning noise when depressed/released. Also, it seems to have some play. The revs begin to increase only after depressing the pedal a bit deeply. Is this a cable problem?

3. There are 4 switches on the dashboard just below the speedometer, 2 on each side of the steering. The ones on the left are original, but dont seem to work. The first one is a spring-loaded dual switch, and looks like the controls for the rear washer-wiper from the icons on it. The second one has the icon of a meter, dont know what that is. The inner one on the right has been replaced with a cheap duplicate ( has "anurag" embossed on it), it controls the CD player. The last one is broken (it has an LED inside it).
I would like to know what functions these switches originally performed, and restore them back to what they originally were. A picture of the same would be great.

4. Sometimes, when the car is in third or fourth gear at ~1700-2000 RPM, it begins to shudder. The shuddering is felt prominently in the steering wheel and in the seats. It goes away if I just accelerate a bit till I cross 2000 RPM, or shift down and accelerate a bit, then again shift up to the same gear, back to the same RPM range. What is causing this behavior?

5. I found a knob like thingy at the rear of the back seat, embedded right in the centre of the bottom cushion. I tried pulling/pushing it, but it doesnt budge and nothing happened. What is it for?

Do let me know which are the best places in Pune to get these jobs done. I would prefer if the entire job can be done in one place, since the car can be completely stripped down and worked upon, then put back together piece by piece.

However, if there are separate specialists for each task who can do the jobs piecemeal, then I am willing to consider that option also.

Keep posting.

- Bullitt.
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Old 25th October 2010, 17:17   #92
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Hey Bullit,
Congrats on the purchase man. Answers to some of your queries:
1. My A/C mechanic is just installing a used/refurbished superking blower. The Compressor on my car is fine. He will change the bottle (as per him) which holds the gas and the complete plumbing. This will enable him to use the R134 gas. Since compressor and condensor are not being changed, its saving me some money. I think the estimamte is around 10K.
2. The knob at the rear seat is to collapse the seat fully. Mine works but is a bit tight to operate.

BTW - I have been driving the N/A Sierra for some time now and it sure is a pleasure to drive. As you said, the quest is ON.
I will start a new thread in some time to update everyone on the long term ownership.

I think there are different people who specialize in their respective areas. I am now closing in on Shinde Motors on Satara Road. They service most of Tata vehicles and I am going to speak to someone there this weekend. First get the mechanicals sorted out and get the car running as per your liking. Then do up the cosmetics on the car.


Regards,
Kaustubh

Last edited by kaustubh_vaze : 25th October 2010 at 17:29.
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Old 26th October 2010, 13:29   #93
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Hey Kaustubh,
Where did you get your car serviced from? What was all the work done for that price (13K)?

@ All:

I went garage hunting today, visited 2 places.

The first one was Shetty's Maruti Service in Balewadi. He quoted 20K for overhauling the entire engine and transmission, including the FIP. He also said the suspension of the car needs major work, and quoted 25K for overhauling the entire suspension setup (front and rear). I also enquired about full-body booth painting , for which he quoted 40K.

Then I went to Balaji Garage in Aundh, which is an authorised service center. I could see at least 4 Tata Estates parked in his lot, presumably for service/repairs. When questioned, the SA there named Karan said that they specialize in Estates and Sierras, as no other dealer/ASC wants to touch them anymore, and so clients from far off places come to get their Sierras/Estates serviced from them.

Coming to the point, he quoted ~50-55K for overhauling the entire engine, including the FIP. He said they would replace all fluids, belts, bushes, rings (including piston rings), service and calibrate the FIP, service the Turbo unit etc. Basically, they would pull the entire engine apart and replace anything that needs replacement. To this, he added ~22K for overhauling the entire suspension and braking system. On enquiring about full-body booth painting, he said it would cost ~30-35K, with under-body anti-rust treatment.

One thing I noticed about the ASC quotation is that the part costs are pretty low (2.4K for a pair of shock absorbers), but their labor charges are very high (6K for overhauling a pair of shock absorbers). This means 2 pairs of shock absorbers cost 4.8K, but the labor cost for the same is 12K!

I am still in the process of looking for suitable garages. Do come up with good recommendations.

One question: Is there anything which is so critical in this car, that it should be serviced from an ASC only? For example, is it advisable to get the FIP/Turbo unit serviced from the ASC only, or can it be done at non-authorized garages also?

- Bullitt.
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Old 26th October 2010, 15:05   #94
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Bullit, those prices are similar to the quotes I got. Prices wouldn't differ that much between ASCs and garages. At most you could negotiate a deal with the garage owner to shave off a couple of thousand at most.

BTW, what about the A/C repair costs? Included in the 55k?

You would also need to set aside 25-30k for tyres. Rims, I'm not sure how much it would cost, you could get the existing ones checked up and continue on them.

All in all, you should have a refurbished Sierra Turbo for ~2.5L. What is the time frame the garage estimated to fix up your ride? Do post pics and costs as and when. Will be following this thread closely.
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Old 26th October 2010, 15:47   #95
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Hi UG,
Actually, the prices differ a lot between the garage and the ASC. The ASC (Balaji) is quoting twice as much as the garage (Shetty's).

AC repair is not included in the 55K. Its just for the engine overhaul and FIP service.

The guy at Shetty's said the rims were fine, and are not the cause of uneven tyre wear, which he attributed to bad suspension. In fact, he said the rims are quite suitable for the Sierra/Safari. We haven't checked them from the inside yet, though.

You are right, I will need ~25K for new tyres. The old rims will continue, though I would like to refurbish them, as they do look old and beaten up. There are also a lot of scars and scratches on the lips of the rims. Not sure why.

All in all, you have hit the nail on the head as far as the figure goes. ~1.5L is what I think I will need to get the car in tip-top shape.

Time frame given was 10 days max. (Shetty's) and 15 days max. (Balaji) for just engine/transmission/suspension work.

I am still looking at other possibilities. My father is a TML employee. He knows someone at TML who works in the service department, and runs his own workshop (non-ASC) at a place called Vanaz in Kothrud. My father has already talked to the guy, and he will be taking a look at the car in day or two. Meanwhile, the hunt is on.

Will definitely keep you guys posted on new developments.

- Bullitt.
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Old 27th October 2010, 09:56   #96
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1)shift gears at 2500 rpm
2)the ac uprade will cost around 18000
3)the tyres are 16 inch with the stock rims as seen on the sierras posted earlier
4)the button with the meter embossed is to dim the meter lights
5)the knob when pulled will make the back rest fall flat just use wd 40 spray on it and give it a very good yank with a pair of pliers it will work
6)oil the accelerator pedals at the point they are suspended the hardness will go away
7)the shudder is nothing but a indication that the vehicle is in a higher gear at a lower speed keep it between 2000 and 3000 rpm for best results
I personally feel that if you can get the car to mumbai on a sunday morning then thr budget can be brought down to not more than 60 thousand for all the works that you have mentioned except the tyres
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Old 28th October 2010, 12:49   #97
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Hi Guys,
I have finally located a (hopefully?) good and reasonable garage that is willing to work on my Sierra Turbo. The place is called "Siddharth Motors" and is located in a place called Walhekarwadi near Chinchwad. In fact, it is quite close to my place, ~1.5km away. The icing on the cake is that it is a Tata Motors ASC. The owner, Mr. Siddharth, is a Sierra Turbo enthusiast, and has promised to do a good job on the car. He mentioned that he should be able to do up the entire car, painting included, in ~60-70K. I am still a bit wary of this claim, and so the following is what I have planned to do.

(On a side note, I saw a silver Tata Indica there with Team-BHP stickers. The owner said it had come for some clutch work.)

To begin with, as the road manners of the car are absolute horrible and scary, I have asked him overhaul the entire suspension and braking system, and spruce up the alloy wheels on the car (buffing and rectifying the bruised edges). Depending on how well he does the job, I will entrust him with further work. The car will go to the workshop today, and will stay there till Saturday.

I have also purchased 4 new tyres for the car, namely Apollo Hawkz A/T 215/75 R15 (tubeless). Apollo started a discount scheme yesterday, which gives the customer a Rs.1000/- discount if he/she buys minimum 4 tyres. Every extra tyre above that also gets a Rs.250/- discount. The retailer (Maharashtra Tyres, Pimpri) quoted Rs. 4800/- per tyre, which worked out to Rs. 4550/- per tyre with company discount. These tyres will be fitted today afternoon, and the car will go to the workshop immediately after that.

Mr. Siddharth mentioned a new thing to me today. He said they would send the alloys for "removing any ~out~ (wobble)" to a certain place. I had asked the tyre retailer about this, and he said there is no such thing, and that the only thing I can do to the alloys is paint them.

On asking, Mr. Siddharth said that there is a guy in Pune (some Rahul) who has this machine (German make, worth 16L) that can actually rectify alloy wheels that are off-centre or off-balance by machining them very finely, rather than using heavy weights to correct the wobbling (as in traditional wheel balancing). The machining is followed by traditional wheel balancing with weights. For this, he charges Rs.200/- per wheel. In my case, he also said that the guy will use "welding material" (the stuff used in welding electrodes i guess) to fill up any bruises or nicks where the alloys have chipped, and then do the machining to give it a perfect look. Then the alloys will be buffed.

He also said that the person (Rahul) has a monopoly agreement with the German company for 3 years, and hence there is no other establishment in Pune who can do this job.

Are any of you guys aware of this process?

I will keep you guys posted on how things go.

@ sierrakamat:

Thanks for all the info. I will keep the 2500 RPM in mind. And i'll try WD40 on that knob sometime, not that I need it to function urgently. I will also ask the garage guy to lubricate the accelerator pedal.

@ All:

- For the AC, the ASC owner says that the compressor and blower is good enough, and that changing only the condensor fan to a faster one will improve matters a lot. Your thoughts?

- As for the shuddering, it is faintly noticeable even when the car is gathering pickup in the same RPM range ~1700 - 2000 RPM. The SA at Balaji Motors (previous ASC i visited) detected this in the TD, and said that this is due to the FIP/injectors, and that they need to be serviced and calibrated. Mr. Siddharth says it is due to the faulty suspension. Your thoughts?

Thanks for all the help and advice guys.

Keep posting.

- Bullitt.
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Old 28th October 2010, 14:53   #98
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@Bullitt,
In the 13K, I got to change all hoses, belts, suspension bushings, radiator flush, all fluids replaced, plus 1 oil seal changed (dont know which) + labour + full body wash + some bulbs replaced.
Well, my mechanic is in Sahakar Nagar and atleast 30 Kms away from your place. He is pretty reliable and does the job well and in time.
The car is now with the A/C mechanic for gas refilling (R134), plumbing and superking blower. Dont have an estimate yet from that guy.

On the topic of Sierra, have you seen the offroad capability of a 4X4 Sierra? I saw this video on youtube -

BTW - I am now seriously thinking of converting my Sierra into an expedition vehicle on the grounds of the Landys. Something like the Camel Trophy ones. Just trying to figure out how to go about it and the costs involved.
Will the Tata Safari 4X4 aggregates be good for the nimble Sierra (compared to the Safari it is nimble).
Do watch the video.

@SierraKamat - You mentioned that a TCIC engine + GB should be available in 35K in Mumbai. Can I buy back my engine and reduce the costs? Will this deal work?
Regards,
Kaustubh
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Old 28th October 2010, 15:38   #99
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Hey Kaustubh,
Thats quite a sweet deal I should say. You sure got a lot of bang for your 13 grand bucks. Let's see how much the guy I am about to deal with charges me for the suspension work, accordingly I will take a call. In case I am not satisfied, I might shift to your mechanic, as 30 kms is not a very great distance to cover. I can definitely visit on a weekend.

As for converting the Sierra to 4x4, it's a tough job. There are a few threads here that talk about this. Here's one:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...lp-needed.html (4x4 Help needed)

Besides, you will have a very hard time trying to source the parts for the original Sierra 4x4.

The best thing is to use your Sierra as it is. Just bring it back to showroom condition and then enjoy it for as long as you can. If you feel the need for more power, I would suggest going for enhancements like FFE and the works. I also read in one of the threads about somebody planning to install an LPG fumigation kit, but I'm not sure how safe and legal that is.

Do let me know the details about your AC upgradation once it is done. If all goes well, I might consider going for it.

BTW, that's an amazing video, I never thought a Sierra, even a 4x4 at that, was capable of taking such punishment.

- Bullitt.

Last edited by Bullitt : 28th October 2010 at 15:41.
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Old 29th October 2010, 11:50   #100
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@Bulliitt,
OK, the mechanic's name is Nabeel and I have seen even a Toyota and Ford Endeavour being worked upon at his place. So I took my chance with him with a reference from a friend. He is reluctant sometimes but I am able to coerce him to do it.
If you remeber the 7UP Ad, "Normal is Boring".
The Sierra body shape is just amazing. With the Tata Safari aggregates and with a right person to do the job, this is very much doable. I was even thinking of plonking the Toyota 14B Turbo 3.6L, inline 6, into the Sierra. I think if a MM550 can be customized, then so can a Sierra be reliably done. I am not a purist per se. So the options are wide open. No cosmetics on the Sierra. She is already a looker. Only pure all terrain performance.
The video has just ignited the desire in me to do up the Sierra albeit, a step at a time.
Regards,
Kaustubh
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Old 9th November 2010, 14:47   #101
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Updates - A/C work is done. I now have the original vents working (blowing just air) and an additional superking blower installed for cold air.
The total thing cost me around 11K including labour. Boy oh boy. How quickly the blower cools. Its just amazing and I didn;t feel it sap energy from the engine a lot.
Its really comfortable in the cabin now.

Regards,
Kaustubh
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Old 9th November 2010, 15:28   #102
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Kaustubh, how about making a 4x4 ? Is it possible with available materials & parts ?

Agree with you that it is already a looker. It needs the functional stuff more than the cosmetics.

Btw, what a/c compressor are you using ? Can you give me the details - make, part num & cost ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaustubh_vaze View Post
.. You mentioned that a TCIC engine + GB should be available in 35K in Mumbai. Can I buy back my engine and reduce the costs?
If you are thinking of a buy-back - then why dont you just go to a T.A.S.S ? They can give you company reconditioned engines with atleast some warranty.

Last edited by condor : 9th November 2010 at 15:32.
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Old 9th November 2010, 15:38   #103
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@Condor,
For the A/C - I am running the stock compressor that came with the vehicle since it was in very good condition. The things that were changed were the plumbing and the additional blower and the bottle holding the coolant. My car also has a pair of blowers at the passenger footwell area. These were also reconnected and are running OK.

As for the 4X4 - I am looking at ways to get it done.
1. A 3rd party engine (Toyota) + 5 speed GB + Manual Transfercase (Like it is done on many Jeeps)
2. The TCIC engine + Safari GB + Safari TC - This will be the most reliable I guess.
I am also looking at having the Sumo 4X4 aggregates for the front since they were built on the same chassis.

Take a look at the specs. for the old Sierra and Sumo - Tata Surno specifications

Tata Sierra specifications

They have similar suspension, track and base. This should be doable and I am going to attempt it.

Regards,
Kaustubh
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Old 9th November 2010, 17:40   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaustubh_vaze View Post
Updates - A/C work is done. I now have the original vents working (blowing just air) and an additional superking blower installed for cold air.
The total thing cost me around 11K including labour. Boy oh boy. How quickly the blower cools. Its just amazing and I didn;t feel it sap energy from the engine a lot.
Its really comfortable in the cabin now.

Regards,
Kaustubh
Could you tell me, what is the advantage of having one non-AC blower. And where did the superking blower available? Any official website?
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Old 9th November 2010, 19:07   #105
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Civilian 4x4 Sumo's are an extremely rare breed - have never seen one, though I know it was available. But the defence /services should have these. Try & check if the parts are available - Esp if these were the same on the 4x4 TCIC Safari.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaustubh_vaze View Post
2. The TCIC engine + Safari GB + Safari TC - This will be the most reliable I guess.

I am also looking at having the Sumo 4X4 aggregates for the front since they were built on the same chassis.
Yes, #2 would be the best bet - (repeat) - if the same stuff were also used on the 4x4 Sumo's.

Conversion of my Sumo to a 4x4 has not escaped my mind, though it is a very slim chance. At this time, it's too fresh to play around with.
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