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Old 13th May 2009, 11:57   #1
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Default Another Baleno joins BBC : Thanks to Catamaran

Last weekend was pretty hectic and happening.....took a bus to kerala and drove back in a Baleno...

Thanks for Catamaran and his dad, I was able to pick up an very well maintained Baleno last weekend for a close friend of mine.

2004 Euro II Baleno, single owner, run 37000kms. Runs a basic Sony Xplod soundsytem with 12 CD changer, and 195/60 Michelin PP1s 14 inch League alloys.

So how is this review different from others? Well for one i will compare a stock 04 Baleno vs my modded 05 Baleno.

Stock Vs Stock

Initial driving impressions are good. It felt faster and more responsive than my baleno when it was stock. Must be because of the EII ECU, it felt really smooth and rev happy. Another fact is that this was a car which was driven cautiously and carefully for most of its lifetime. The car does not have many restricting factors like the EGR valve etc which saps power and makes the car feel sluggish.

Top speed was 175 on the speedo, with 11.8 kmpl with AC on full blast. The car accelerates effortlessly to around 150 and then on takes some time to reach 160 and beyond.

Suspension seemed to be in good nick even for a car that had run so much. Well planted at high speeds, and over rough roads.
Tyres are really good for a stock car. I would highly recommend Micheline PPs for any baleno that runs stock or minimal mods.

The clutch was badly adjusted and in bad shape. I knew this will not last long and by the time I reached bangalore, clutch was toast. Got it re adjusted but not to much avail. This is hardly a concern for this would not have held anyways.

Overall the car is amazing, but I am not happy with the cosmetics. This one will need a paint job and TLC once I am finished with the engine.

Stock vs Modded

Engine: The stark difference is the amount of torque that a modded car makes. Even though this car was smooth to rev and begged to be revved, the car will not start moving unless past around 3.5K. This can never provide the punch the modded NA car provides. Another glaring fact is the top speed and rollon figures. My car accelerates to around 180 the same way this car accelerates to 140. So you can imagine and regarding topspeed, I have always run out of road, but estimated should do more than 40kmph more at the top end.

Handling: The Konis and Neovas is in a different league altogether. The lane changes, the braking distance, cornering is way way ahead. This is considering the fact that this car runs decent stock suspension and the next best PP1s in the same size.

Braking: No comparison, light years ahead. But unfair comparison as the brakes were bad to begin with. This will need some inspection and correction.

Fuel Economy: Funny that its almost the same! I could not believe it the first time I calculated, then I smiled. So its not the car, its my driving style probably. Stock 11.8kmpl vs 11kmpl for my car.

Planned Mods:

This car will get similar mods as my car. I was asked to buy the car, do the same mods and beat my own car. Talk about having friends.

RDDreams Piggyback with:
a. Wideband O2 sensor
b. Digital AFR Controller and Display
c. Datalogger with multiple parameters
Ported and Polished High Comp Head
High Performance Street Cam
Modified Throttlebody and Intake Manifold
4X2X1 Custom Headers with FFE
Header Wrap with Hi Heat Treatment
Custom Cold Air Intake
UNI Foam Pod Filter
NGK BKR7E Spark Plugs
Roesch XC-4 Kevlar Carboceramic Brake Pads
Exedy Stage 2 Clutch
Koni Sport Adjustable Dampers with stock springs
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:06   #2
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Nice another one joins the club
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:10   #3
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Get Ron to turbo this one Mohit, FI is a lot more fun to NA.

Last edited by mclaren1885 : 13th May 2009 at 12:11.
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:13   #4
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Quote:
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Get Ron to turbo this one Mohit, FI is a lot more fun to NA.
RELIABILITY?

Rahul, you FI or NA?
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:16   #5
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Nice looking car, very well kept. How much to shelve out (if you can)?
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:17   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman91 View Post
RELIABILITY?

Rahul, you FI or NA?
Come on Amit, as you know reliability depends on how you progress while chalking out the build plan and to see to it that its done to the dot. I mean, one has to be professional, Ron can do it IMO. Only hassle is to chose the right parts (no gujri stuff) and make sure the tuning is done right.

Me? Both! I run on NA when dad is enjoying the FI. Personal choice, FI anyday. If only I had some money....
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:26   #7
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This car will go back to Kottayam, a small town in Kerala, probably towards the end of this year. Ron says that Turbo in a small town will be useless, and NA will be more fun and reliable. So this remains NA for the time being. But this should be faster than my Baleno considering some more radical porting and some more tricks.

Jaggu, picked up the car for 2.75L. In fact someone had already finalised by the time I got onto the bus from Bangalore but his dad was kind enough to keep it till I reached Cochin and had a look at it. Lucky for me and bad for the other person.
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:29   #8
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Crazy, congrats and all the best. This car would not have crossed even 80km/hr for most of its life-time (mostly driven by my dad).

In 2004 it was me who pushed for buying a Baleno when the City, Accent and Corsa was the preferred choice of all. She has given us very good service all the years, totally maintenance free except for the routine 5K Service. Had not for the Parking space constraint with the Civic, 800 and the two jawas, we would not have sold it. probably its time for her to party with all those mods and with a totally different driving style. Please do post some pictures after all the mods and the paint job you are planning.

On the previous day of the deal my Father in law visited our home in cochin and was surprised the car is being sold for that price. He made some quick calls and then pushed my dad to keep the car for a relative who was planning to come the next day with money to pick it. However my dad had already given his word to Crazy by then. He tried a last minute attempt by calling Crazy, but by the time he had already boarded the bus to Kerala.

Any way good to know that you are happy with the car and hopefully your friend will also be…One Important point: Please drive safely. Can’t imagine 175km/hr in Indian Roads...I don’t even press my Nissan Murano in the Dubai – Abu Dhabi highway to that kind of speeds !!!!!

Cheers

Last edited by Jaggu : 13th May 2009 at 15:29. Reason: Font tags, donot use external font editors! Thanks
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:58   #9
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Thanks man, yeah I have read all your old posts before I left for cochin, so I know the buying and the slow racking up of kms. I know you would not have sold it also if even one of you were at home.

You car is in good nick and capable of much more than 175kmph. The choice of tyres were excellent I would say. When did you change the tyres?

The mods and build will take some time. I would start another thread for that sometime soon. I expect to complete everything towards Sep and plan one trip down south.
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiablo View Post
Initial driving impressions are good. It felt faster and more responsive than my baleno when it was stock. Must be because of the EII ECU, it felt really smooth and rev happy.
Ditto observation when I drive my friends 2002 and my 2006 cars back to back. Both stock.
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:57   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiablo View Post
Thanks man, yeah I have read all your old posts before I left for cochin, so I know the buying and the slow racking up of kms. I know you would not have sold it also if even one of you were at home.

You car is in good nick and capable of much more than 175kmph. The choice of tyres were excellent I would say. When did you change the tyres?

The mods and build will take some time. I would start another thread for that sometime soon. I expect to complete everything towards Sep and plan one trip down south.
The tyres were changed sometime in May 2007 if Iam right. Till then she was running on stock 165 13" wheels. Handling of the car changed considerable after that and I regretted having not done that before.

Do visit us when you come down after the mods. my dad will be surely surprised
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Old 13th May 2009, 15:25   #12
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Shuvc, thanks for confirming. Ron was also pretty impressed with the way the stock car was moving. I would recommend a pre Euro III baleno to anybody who is looking out for a sweet car with minimal mods.

Thanks Cat, that means I still have some life left in the tyres. Makes a huge huge difference to the road holding and handling. Surely we will come over. Intend to meet your bro also when he is back in bangy.
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Old 13th May 2009, 15:56   #13
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E-II balenos were always faster than their E-III counterparts. Actually the best balenos are the initially launched ones, I mean the first lot. QC dwindled with E-III's.
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Old 13th May 2009, 18:24   #14
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This is the first time I got to drive an older baleno at length. So the difference was stark. I had heard about the difference before but I was more like how much can 3bhp difference make. Its more than just number, its the way engine responded that is surprising.
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Old 13th May 2009, 18:34   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiablo View Post
This car will go back to Kottayam, a small town in Kerala, probably towards the end of this year. Ron says that Turbo in a small town will be useless, and NA will be more fun and reliable. But this should be faster than my Baleno considering some more radical porting and some more tricks.
that looks like a neat car. i would beg to differ on small town in Kerala. I had the fun in many a town in Kerala during my last trip. Would like to tell that it was huge fun having a turbo petrol. Compare it with Hyd roads and hyd blore highway, and i would say that it is boring here.
nerverthless port and polish would add more fun any way. enjoy..
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