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Old 17th April 2007, 16:13   #76
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Originally Posted by ggkg View Post
I heard 4x4 need not necessarily be with Diff locks. That's an extra optional item. The more options you ask for the less chances of getting it in your lifetime of course!
You are right, for example Bolero 4x4 doesn't have differential locks. But I have heard that Trax Gama 4x4 comes with standard manual differential locks. I'll confirm again though.
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Old 17th April 2007, 16:13   #77
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Also find out if they are going to put the Mercedes OM651 into this vehicle. Would have liked to see some shots of the interior.[/quote]


Its the OM616.The Gama is quite capable,acceptible and given a lil dose of interiors and creature comfort like PS and A/C can prove an inexpensive,long term and easily maintained rural family car.My experience says so unlike the more costly SUV.
 
Old 17th April 2007, 16:17   #78
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My advice is, you should wait for the new Tata Sumo 3.0 L, which is to be launched shortly. If you like pick-ups wait for the Tata TL Sprint, I have seen it and you will love its off road ability.
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Old 17th April 2007, 17:50   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfa_Kilo
PS: Nice to read a review of an honest UV/4x4 for a change, I am getting sick of all the pseudo SUVs littering the marketplace these days.
Heh, heh... but you saw the general reaction towards a honest UV.
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22nd December 2006, 13:11

From the 1960s to the 1980s, 4x4s were rugged, no-nonsense go-anywhere Tonka-toys.
The Land Rover models, Mahindra Classic, etc. are still like that! The Japanese Nissan Patrol G60 born in 1960 also was a military-strength 4x4.



Along with the Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser, it exploited the popularity of the Willys Jeep and the British Land Rover and lived a very long life. Continued in India as the Jonga.

Then MBA kids mixed-in imponderables like status and sex-appeal.
The image of a 4x4 was sprayed as a style statement. The Sport-Utility-Vehicle (SUV) was born.

Suddenly core off-road competence -- what the original vehicles did well, was no longer important. It was replaced with style, air-conditioning, electronics and comfort.

Many wimpy 4x4s or SUVs sold today put up patheric performance off the road. They never get muddy nor tow a trailer and fear to get their beautiful paint-jobs and fancy graphics scratched.

In the UK, they are often derogatorily called Soft-Roaders !
The term specifically applies to the all-show and no-go segment of the market.
includes girlie SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Toyota RAV4, Ford Fusion, Honda CRV, etc.

Many so-called "SUV" owners neither know nor care what a transfer case, or all those other gear levers are for. So, quite deservedly, two wheel drive station wagons and some fragile 4x4s are palmed off as SUVs (examples: Tata Sierra, 2wd Scorpio and 2wd Safari DICOR).
Needless to say, there's no point mentioning the monocoque crossover (part car) SUVs.
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Old 17th April 2007, 18:29   #80
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
This is the first test drive report of any Force Motor vehicle on Team-BHP.
Not quite Samurai san - You've been beaten to it by a pretty decent margin in time.

Check this - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/new-in...tml#post383212

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Old 17th April 2007, 18:34   #81
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Not quite Samurai san - You've been beaten to it by a pretty decent margin in time.
Damn, I stand corrected. I fixed it in the report.
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Old 17th April 2007, 21:48   #82
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Diff Locks are standard on all Trax 4x4 versions (at least on the rear axle).
They are much better suited for off-roading than any Safari or Scorpio. Imagine damaging the faux 'body armour' plastic cladding or those wraparound head/tail lamps on these vehicles while scraping trees...its going to hurt the car and the pocket.

This is only applicable to 4x2 versions >>
Force is offering some of its Trax range with an optional rigid axle at the front instead of the independent setup. Do find out if the independent suspension has longevity issues under heavy/rough use.
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Old 18th April 2007, 01:30   #83
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Hey Samurai,

Saw something that might interest you..This afternoon, I saw a brand new Tempo trax with temp plates being tested on the Mumbai - Pune highway. NOw, this was a LHD version (didn't know the trax was being exported).

Coming to the part that I think will interest you..the interiors seemed to be all new. The front was definitely two bucket type seats. The middle row had 3 passenger headrests. The rear had the side facing jump seats.

In couldn't get a good look since I was in my Zen, which is way lower than the trax, so the angle of vision wasn't very helpful.

Maybe you can have these seats retro fitted. Don't know if this is something thats already in production that I noticed only now because of your thread, or it is actually an all new effort by Force motors.

Suhail
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Old 18th April 2007, 07:51   #84
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Default Gamma 4x4

First of all I would like to congratulate samurai on his detailed review of the Gamma.

What he has observed about the vehicle is accurate.

I would like to add the following comments

(a) I have had the vehicle for the past 1 year and have driven 29000Kms. I have had No maintenance issues with the vehicle, leave alone the front end (independent suspension). All I have done is change the oil and put in diesel.

(b) The TD2650 FTI produces 72 bhp and 19.5 Kgm of torque. So the Gamma 4x4 will be even more powerful that what samurai test drove. The engine I have is the FT2400 which produces around 90 bhp ( 99 bhp with intercooler as in my case ) is even more powerful , but mileage is 11kmpl with a/c. The TD2650 FTI can give you 14 kmpl with a/c.

(c) The vehicle is super stable. Even yesterday when I was driving from pondicherry to Mayiladuthurai, I was taking to a friend on the cell phone and negotiating a somewhat sharp turn, and when I looked at the speedo, I was doing 80 Kmph. The vehicle handles very well. I have 275/70/r16 tires, I am sure it has a lot to do with that too.

(d) The instrument cluster is Spartan. But they can be added. I have added a Tacho, EGT meter, Oil pressure meter , Voltmeter and clock. You can check it out at my web site My SPGM gallery then click on the folder MY JUDO and then on the folder EGT.

(e) The company seats are real bad. They are worse if you get a 4x4 as they put in the Tempo Excel-4 driver seats on both sides. If you are above 80 Kgs, the seat literally breaks at the welds. The company 4x4 comes with 2 seats upfront , bench seats for 3 behind and bench seats ( jump seats ) for 2+2 in the back.

I am not exaggerating but these are the most comfortable seats I have ever had. The seat can be pushed so far back that my back rest crosses into the rear passenger door.

To achieve this I had to cut the length of the 2 jump seats in the back by 30% and push the rear seat ( behind the driver ) a few inches . Now there is leg room for every one.

You can check out the pictures of my seat at My SPGM gallery
Click on MY JUDO and then upholstery

General Observations about the vehicle.
-----------------------------------------

The vehicle is a very well engineered vehicle with phenomenal reliability and factor of safety. The engine and gear box is based on German engineering which has been time tested.

LOTS of passenger space is available

Extremely stable vehicle which handles very well , at both high and low speeds , on and off road.

The body and the interiors of the vehicle are phenomenally badly made. This is not what you would expect from a factory which has operated for 50 years. Lots of scope for improvement there.

A/C is very powerful, so much so that I have put a variable thermostat to regulate(reduce) the cooling.


Overall extremely good value for money if you can work on the interiors and panels and seats. Not an image vehicle.

Best offroader I have ever driven considering the fact that I have owned Jeep wranglers, Toyota troopies, Chevy silverado 4x4 etc etc.

The reason why I consider this the best offroader is because it match the offroad performance of the other vehicles and some times exceed it at 30% the price. This is a true offrader that can take on any other offrader toe to toe at Indian prices. Usually true offraders have been the realm of the rich and the elite. Here is one that is well within the grasp of the common working class indian .

Last edited by Samurai : 18th April 2007 at 08:14. Reason: Fixed font tags
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Old 18th April 2007, 07:58   #85
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Default Gamma 4x4

Please forgive the spelling mistakes in my previous post. should have spell checked.
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Old 18th April 2007, 09:29   #86
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I had invited Ramachandran to comment on this review, as many of us know he has done more to promote the Trax 4x4 than Force Motors, and that too selflessly.

Really appreciate your quick reply Ramachandran. Your Judo seats are outstanding, that was what I had in mind, in fact it exceeds. If you don't mind telling, how much did it cost to spruce up the Judo like that?

Couple of questions though:
1) Is my assumption correct that Gama is same as Judo but without water proofing.
2) Does Gama come with diff locks same as Judo?

I have asked these questions to Force motors too, but they are not very quick in answering emails.

Folks, just checkout the Ramachandran's website, and you will be amazed how Judo/Gama can look after some basic mods. No one will mistake it for an tour vehicle after that.
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Old 18th April 2007, 10:15   #87
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Samurai, Gamma 4x4 does not necessarily come with Diff lock. Pls get that clarified. You have to ask for it. There is a vehicle I saw in Bangalore that is 4x4 but not diff locks.
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Old 18th April 2007, 12:09   #88
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You may be right, but... How important are differential locks if one is not into extreme off-roading? It is said that only real off-roading experts can use diff locks to get out of sticky situation. It is not like anyone can engage diff locks and slide out of a mess.

Is Gama 4x4 without diff locks similar to say Bolero 4x4 which doesn't have diff locks. The Gama will still have the Independent Front suspension. Will it suffice for moderate off-roading situation?
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Old 18th April 2007, 12:23   #89
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I may be wrong but without diff locks the car may be two wheel drive, with one front wheel and one rear wheel spinning.
Once I got in such a situation, the front lift and rear right wheel was spinning uselessly.
Engaged 4WD-Low only then she moved, before that, useless spinning.

It was good they removed the need to manually lock the freewheeling hubs. In older gypsy's you had to get down and engage, which is not pleasant. Since this decreased FE by just 2%, but increased usability manyfold, it was good.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 18th April 2007 at 12:27.
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Old 18th April 2007, 12:35   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
You may be right, but... How important are differential locks if one is not into extreme off-roading? It is said that only real off-roading experts can use diff locks to get out of sticky situation. It is not like anyone can engage diff locks and slide out of a mess.

Is Gama 4x4 without diff locks similar to say Bolero 4x4 which doesn't have diff locks. The Gama will still have the Independent Front suspension. Will it suffice for moderate off-roading situation?
Based on what I have heard, there is a world of difference between Bolero and Gamma even without diff. lock because of the robustness of the vehicle design (not the external plastics), extra height etc. RRNSS will probably comment on this better...

There could be situations where ord. 4x4 gets stuck and the one with DL makes it. There could be situations where even 4x4 is superflous. And ones where DL also gets you stuck if all 4 wheels get trapped in muck. I guess it is a matter of individual driving usage. The CAR magazine review of Gurkha had a couple of situations during their test when according to reviewer, without DL they could not have climbed up/down that incline.

I guess the key is how much time Force takes to give you a vehicle if you ask for all. If that is an unreasonably long period, it is likely you will answer the question of 'Do I need DL' differently. If it is just a matter of a month more and Rs20-30k more, answer is different as well.
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