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Old 28th February 2009, 16:22   #1
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Default 2001 Zen axle, clutch, bumper queries

Dear Team,

My first post on Team-BHP! I'm excited!

I have a second-hand 2001 Zen AX that's logged 45,100 km. It's been in the family for the last 4 years/since 35k odometer reading. Small-town use until May '08, when we put it on a truck and shipped it over to Delhi for my use. Only city use since then (39k reading).

A few weeks ago I was driving home on a reasonably familiar road that I hadn't been on for a few months (Minto Road, off CP) when I encountered a gigantic, really large, unmarked and unlit undulation in the road surface at high speed. I couldn't slow down in time, and the car literally went flying over it. I was airborne for a second or so, and then came crashing down with a thud that sent my heart into my mouth. I stopped and checked for obvious external damage, but there was none-- not that I'm an expert.

I got the car's 45k km service done yesterday, and when I picked it up the service advisor informed me that there's a "leak" from one of the rear "shocks", and, worse, that my "rear RHS axle" is "making noises" and needs to be replaced! (He didn't mention any wheel rim distortion, which is the other thing I was worried about after the crash. I rotated, aligned, and balanced the wheels as part of the service.)

Quoting from the service report: "RR shocker, both bumper, brake pad, RH axle need change. Clutch need O/H."

Questions:

(Q1) I'm a student and simply can't afford to be replacing axles and shock absorbers (springs? bushes? --I don't know the correct term) for another six months or so, hence my question is-- is it safe to ignore the MASS recommendation and continue driving as before, given that I can't hear any suspension noises myself or feel any problems in the vehicle's handling? Or should I have the diagnosis of "making noise and needs to be changed" verified by a local mechanic?

My father taught me that there's no end to the money that one can pour into a vehicle, and thus to limit spending only to things essential for the safe operation of the car or bike. I'm just not sure if this qualifies as one of those things. I do plan on keeping the car for the next two years at least.

(Q2) My clutch needs an overhaul as well; this I agree with, because it's in terrible shape and engaging first can be quite tough. Is it safe to get such major repairs (clutch o/h, axle replacement, and brake maintenance) done from a local mechanic as opposed to a MASS in order to keep costs down?

I don't blindly trust the MASS, for they keep telling me that I only need the car serviced at 10k intervals and the tyre pressure at 30 psi, when the owner's manual clearly specifies 5k intervals and 24 psi pressure (stock 145/80 R12 MRF Zigma-CT tyres on steel rims). But I would trust them more with a clutch and axle job than I would a random mechanic, given that I haven't found one I can really trust. (I had such a guy for my motorbike, but he can't recommend his counterpart for the car.)

(Q3) Why would they ask me to replace both bumpers?? They're in far better condition than most Delhi vehicles'; in fact the car, being a small-town product, has a better body than most. Should I take this recommendation seriously? I can post pics if that'd help advice.

Thank you for any responses. The levels of technical knowledgeability here astound me!

Cheers,

- Perakath.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 07:02   #2
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Hi Perakath, let me be the first one to Welcome you on Team-BHP! And also assure you that your excitement will not be short-lived .

For the Shocks issue here is a discussion on my car that you can have a look at if you haven't read it already:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ning-reqd.html (Zen Front-Suspension Stiffening Reqd!!)

As far as the Clutch is concerned, I got recently overhauled for 4k including parts (clutch assembly and bearings ect) and labour at MASS in Bangy. I didn't think it was too expensive and the results are awesome. I would recommend MASS if they quote a similar price and a local mech if you plan to put in a high performance clutch.

And the bumper replacement, I think, would depend on the damage. So is there any physical damage? have the bolts holding the bumper in place gone loose etc.. I guess the experts could answer this based on actual pics if you can get any.

All the best for the repairs...

Regards,
Zenster.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 18:18   #3
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Ola Zenster! I don't think there's any damage whatsoever to the bumpers: nothing significant enough for the service advisor to mention it on delivery. It was written in the 'Remarks' section of the bill along with mentioning that my speaker tray, horn, headlight bulbs, and stepney are "different", i.e. non-OEM-- I think they just bunged in everything they could!

Thanks for the reply! Will get the clutch changed at the next service, then. Good to hear that the results are awesome!
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Old 3rd March 2009, 02:02   #4
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1. check the rear shocks yourself. its easy to check the leak. you will see lot of wet sand/dust stuck on it, if there is a leak. members please correct me. 2001 zen used gas or oil shocks?

2. Why bumper if there is no visible damage, if clips are broken, go to a local body wala he will fix it for Rs.150/-

3. Since its a AX, just replace the automatic gear fluid.

4. do check the lower trailing arm, balance rod, tierod and its related rubber bushes. its a must after such a hit.
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Old 3rd March 2009, 19:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
1. check the rear shocks yourself. its easy to check the leak. you will see lot of wet sand/dust stuck on it, if there is a leak. members please correct me. 2001 zen used gas or oil shocks?

2. Why bumper if there is no visible damage, if clips are broken, go to a local body wala he will fix it for Rs.150/-

3. Since its a AX, just replace the automatic gear fluid.

4. do check the lower trailing arm, balance rod, tierod and its related rubber bushes. its a must after such a hit.
I'll check the shocks, trailing arm, balance rod, tierod, and bushes: thanks for the tip. Incidentally, I wonder if local mechanics will understand what I mean, given that I don't know what they are myself and can't point them to them!

Sorry-- I typed AX instead of LX in my first post! It's not an automatic transmission vehicle.

As for the bumpers, I'm beginning to think MASS' beef with them is merely that the car has a small bullbar attached at the front. It had it when it was bought, and despite reading about the perils of such attachments I've left it on because it looks quite attractive and has also saved my front bumper from scratch damage more than once! The MASS seems to take offence at any non-OEM equipment in/on the car.

Something else I was wondering-- this thread http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ml#post1195950 (AC switch problem in Baleno) mentions that MASS always replaces rather than repairs, and I had the same experience-- the service advisor recommended blanket replacement of the shocks and axle simply on grounds of noise. Perhaps replacement isn't necessary. But obviously I can't know more until I have someone take a look at the underbody.

Last edited by Perakath : 3rd March 2009 at 19:45. Reason: Point forgotten
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Old 4th March 2009, 01:27   #6
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yeah i told him to do something out of MASS, as in gujarat MASS are funny.
i dunno about else where. my friend also owns one and i can say that his cheif mechanic knows less than many people here in forum.
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Old 10th March 2009, 17:48   #7
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Update-- I had a local mechanic take a look at the shocks and axle while repairing some bodywork today. There is a slight oil leak from the right rear shock, but replacement can wait a few weeks/months. I plan to do a long drive in summer; will do it before that.

The fellow was adamant that there is no such thing as a rear axle! And he couldn't detect noise from the front axles. Nor did he think the clutch requires an overhaul. I'll seek further opinions on that one, though.

Basically, he rubbished every claim made by MASS. Those blasted MASS fellows. If they had their way I'd create a new car from replacement parts.
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