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Old 25th February 2009, 23:44   #1
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Default Tata Sierra Turbo: Queries

Hello Guys,

I own a Tata Sierra 1999, done 1.4L kms on the odo, third owner! Its in reasonably good condition. Here are my queries:

1. The AC is TOOOO less for the volume of the vehicle, I need some solution to fit an altogether new system (say a new powerful compressor, blower, ducting, etc...) which can have roof vents for the rear seats as well. Is this possible? (I have gone through the thread which talks about fitting an AC for an MM!)
2. I have added STP along with the recent oil change after consulting my mechanic. There is a strange whining sound from the engine usually noticed while accelerating or decelerating. (I have added this additive to the engine just before starting on a long trip as per mechanic's advice as the mixing goes well with the rest of the oil)
3. Is it a good idea to modify the front suspension set up from existing double wishbone to a torsion bar suspension of the Safari and make it a 4X4? Mr. Ignazio, please help me on this! May be a 2.2 VTT engine at a later stage if i feel i can afford!! (I feel the current GC is a bit less and i need a 4X4)
4. Do all the Safaris come with a LSD at the rear? If so can i fit one to my Sierra? I know i need to take care of ring, pinion, gearing and such things.

I am trying to see how feasible it is to invest/ spend on these above modifications (except the second point) on my Sierra. Team-bhp Gods, please help me with the cost specifics as well as the technical specifics necessary.
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Last edited by aah78 : 26th February 2009 at 00:31. Reason: Moved to Technical section.
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Old 26th February 2009, 02:02   #2
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My, my. Welcome to TBHP, subache. Your first post, I see. The Sierra Turbo is a cute machine, a beauty I'm still in love with (although mine was NA).

1) Not feasible. But if you're really keen, try the Safari's compressor (175cc, I think)/evaporator/heat exchanger coil combo. This alone would cost you northwards of Rs.32,000. An easier way is to increase the blower speed by bypassing the factory rheostat and giving a direct line. Try powering the blower directly from the battery instead of the three-speed selector switch, and you'll find a significant increase in blower speed & cooling.

2) I really do not see how adding STP caused the whining. Could you be more specific? Check and see if the whining is originating from the engine itself, or any of the pulleys/turbo. See if it's coming with the A/c on or off.

3) No. Not viable. Try procuring a 4x4 Sierra (easier said than done, I tried for about 6 months with no luck). The Borg-warner transfer case and mechanicals will cost northwards of 2 Lakh rupees. Excluding suspension and labour, of course.

4) Hm. This is possible. The 4x4 Sierra & Safari share identical rear diff housings. The track, however, is different. IIRC, the 4x2 Sierra/NA Sierra rear track was at 1450, and the Safari/ Sierra 4x4 track stood at 1470 mm. Front's at 1500, so I guess that shouldn't matter.

The Safari's LSD is of mechanical/clutch type, and the entire assembly costs upwards of 20,000. Housing, driveshafts, pinions/gears, everything.

And yes, only the 4x4 Safaris come with LSDs.
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Old 26th February 2009, 02:24   #3
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Frankly a cheaper option would be to find an older Safari 4x4 which can be had for about 3 lakhs or less, shorten the chasis and plonk the Sierra body on top of it. Overall, this will work out much cheaper and less complicated that the work that you are planning.
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Old 26th February 2009, 16:33   #4
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Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Frankly a cheaper option would be to find an older Safari 4x4 which can be had for about 3 lakhs or less, shorten the chasis and plonk the Sierra body on top of it. Overall, this will work out much cheaper and less complicated that the work that you are planning.
It will?? Sounds like a complicated job.

Buy a cheaper MM5** or SWB Jeep for your 4x4 requirements instead of making that truck offroad worthy.
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Old 26th February 2009, 16:53   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Frankly a cheaper option would be to find an older Safari 4x4 which can be had for about 3 lakhs or less, shorten the chasis and plonk the Sierra body on top of it. Overall, this will work out much cheaper and less complicated that the work that you are planning.
Nice suggestion, however how would the RTA take to it. AFAIK, this kind of a swap would not augur well with the authorities.
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Old 26th February 2009, 18:24   #6
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try finding out some 4X4 junkward sierra. you can re-furbish the transmission and the diffrential. i guess the junkward sierra will be in bad shape. but if you are lucky enough you will get a good one. and if at all you get a good one take out as many good parts you can get.

i suggest you dont add any additives for such a high run engine. the carbon will come loose apart and you will start having leaks and other problems.
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Old 26th February 2009, 20:15   #7
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Quote:
suren181 : Nice suggestion, however how would the RTA take to it. AFAIK, this kind of a swap would not augur well with the authorities.
Much before we get to the authorities : +1 to what @Spitfire's saying here :
Quote:
Spitfire : It will?? Sounds like a complicated job.

Buy a cheaper MM5** or SWB Jeep for your 4x4 requirements instead of making that truck offroad worthy.
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Old 26th February 2009, 23:42   #8
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here are the answer to your queries.
1. If the cooling is good enough at front, You are lucky the compressor is in good shape. Just invest in a dual setup, if i remember right, sierra has a rear duct between seat but its useless. Go for roof setup. Such a job is just Rs.9k plus labour. The coil extra fan pipes fittemnt, digital control etc.

2. i don't trust those additives, whatever good they claim to do, why its not mentioned in every manufacturer's manual.

3. Bad idea. actually this vehicle was sold due to looks only. And it was killer design at the time of its launch. When roads were filled with just Mahindras and HM trekkers.

4. LSD, for what??
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Old 27th February 2009, 00:14   #9
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Thank you all guys!

Regarding the A/C, I will consult my electrician to try something as Veyron1 suggested to increase the blower speed.

I will try investigating about the exact origin of this whining noise as I saw today that it's not because of the A/c. So it may be due to the Turbo, in such a case, what may be the issue with the Turbo? End of life??

About the front suspension, since primary requirement is higher GC, I need some tips on how to increase the approach angle. Since there is a bull bar attached (which I want to keep it), it often kisses the road humps if I run over a bit faster, which also hurts my ego at times!

As in the image comparo of the car with a jack underneath and a normal one, there should be about 2"-3" of height difference. I somehow need this change as I feel it helps better handling as well (assuming I am going to get setup done well). I had thought of even making new coil springs at the front with lesser coils (hence stiffening up) for the same spring length (yes, I am Mech. Engr!). Is this a good approach? (I am aware that the caster, camber, toe, roll center, etc... stuffs may get screwed up as well). Ideally, a good damper is also needed, are there any such aftermarket parts for a Sierra or even say Safari?

Also I observe, the front of the car gets too pitched-in in case of heavy braking. And the rear gets easily locked up due to this and the car drifts sidewards. Is this because of the weight distribution prob between front and rear? Have heard that in case of tempo trax, safari and scorpio vehicles, the rear brakes loosen up not to lock the wheels in case of heavy braking due to some kind of safety arrangement. Is this true?

About the LSD, thanks to Veyron1 for tech data, I enquired with the Urs car (Mysore), the entire set up costs as high as 50-60k if showroom parts are used. Mechanic suggests shivajinagar or Chennai gujri (junkyard) for Dana spicer 44 rear axle of the Safari.

Apart from this, I need owner's manual of Tata Sierra Turbo. If somebody has a scanned version or if there is any link to download, I will be extremely grateful!

Now the spares, the Mysore Urs Car showroom doesnt even keep a single nut-bolt of Tata Sierra I believe! They however suggested to try at Prerana as some parts of 207DI can be made use of. They even referred to Bangalore for the windshield wiper which I guess is still original one doing service in my car. I will be needing few rubber beeding parts, plastic side fenders (they have got warped in my car), few doors plastics, knobs, switches, mud flops, etc... Although there is 'Safe automobiles' and 'Benz automobiles' in Mysore, I doubt the genuineness of the parts. People, please guide me...! Thanks in advance!
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Old 27th February 2009, 00:30   #10
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Havn't open up a Sierra. But I am sure most of the mechanical parts matches with 1st generation Sumo.
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Old 27th February 2009, 00:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
here are the answer to your queries.
1. If the cooling is good enough at front, You are lucky the compressor is in good shape. Just invest in a dual setup, if i remember right, sierra has a rear duct between seat but its useless. Go for roof setup. Such a job is just Rs.9k plus labour. The coil extra fan pipes fittemnt, digital control etc.
The cooling is not sufficient even at the front for the present day conditions! How do I go for the roof setup? What is digital control? How do we accommodate a dual set up? SirAlec, I feel compressor is very weak as those were the days when it was designed.

Does the gas need replacement/ refilling after specific intervals? This may work out cheaper for me if that is the case!


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Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
4. LSD, for what??
I feel LSD helps as there is no 4X4 set up in the car. I often go on long trips and adventure offroads. My car has got stuck a few times in the initial few days (of learning the limits) of buying.
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Old 27th February 2009, 03:33   #12
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Question #1. How deep are your pockets?
Question #2. Do you want to do serious off road expeditions or just drive on mud roads?

First of all, that's a beautiful Sierra, one of the best that I have seen. Please preserve it.

Reg the A/C, first thing you might want to do its to insulate the car because it has a large glass area. Put V-Kool on the front and also the rear curvy glass. Next find out if the Safari TCIC compressor is different. It should be a straight fit since its the same engine.
Do some more research on the condensor from the Safari. It just might work.

Why do you need 4x4? Just get some good off road tires if you want. For serious OTRs even a Sierra 4x4 is no good. You will come back with your car bruised and scraped.
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Old 27th February 2009, 16:30   #13
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One of the most common mods on Sierras was a better blower: Yup, the aircon really isn't a problem, its the weak blower. Get a superking. You'll be left "chilled".
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Old 27th February 2009, 23:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
First of all, that's a beautiful Sierra, one of the best that I have seen. Please preserve it.
Thanks Mpower!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Question #1. How deep are your pockets?
Question #2. Do you want to do serious off road expeditions or just drive on mud roads?
I guess budget can be worked out in stages as I do not have any urgency to get the things done right away.

The complexity levels for offroading is not something like 'Mahindra Great Escape' types, but the vehicle should only be capable of taking up such a challenge when confronted.

Quote:
For serious OTRs even a Sierra 4x4 is no good.
I have never come across a 4X4 Sierra till date! Any pics so far in this forum? Will surely be delighted to see one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
One of the most common mods on Sierras was a better blower: Yup, the aircon really isn't a problem, its the weak blower. Get a superking. You'll be left "chilled".
Useful info GTO, thanks! Please tell me how much it may cost approximately?
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Old 28th February 2009, 03:16   #15
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small world, Chethan!! welcome to the forum.

with the amount of money you are going to end up spending on this vehicle why not buy a cheap jeep and prep that for serious off-road work? i am sure kiran would suggest the same to you. Probably can be put together for less than 50k. You already know there is nothing on earth to match a well setup jeep off-road, certainly not a 2WD Sierra.

At 150k kms and a whining noise, I'm guessing the turbo is probably on its way out.

Last edited by ananthkamath : 28th February 2009 at 03:24.
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