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Old 10th November 2011, 05:50   #16
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

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Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
Thanks Sudev for what is turning out to be a wonderful write-up.
Thanks for appreciation.

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Still unable to make up my mind, whether to spend the time and money in gearing up my vehicle for the DS 2012....
I would request you to post this question in thread about DS'12 as all topics for upcoming DS should get bunched up there for all to interact.
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Old 10th November 2011, 22:23   #17
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November 10:

THAR
Thar engine has two belts. A toothed belt that runs off engine pulley and drives the radiator fan and perhaps the water pump. The second is a long grooved belt that runs the alternator, power steering hydraulic pump and the air-conditioner compressor. Although the vehicle is relatively new - 11k on odometer - there was sound of belt "slippage" which got progressively worse. And almost continuous. I was worried that the belt may be gone as it was already at full extension setting of the belt tensioner.
Birbal came to rescue yesterday with local "juggaad". He said that this is a common problem with grooved belts and all you need to do is apply a bit of grease. This sounded illogical - the belt is slipping and we apply grease on the friction surface!! But having no choice we did just that and boy did it work!!! Any tech explanation for this?? Now the slippage sound occurs only when the compressor comes on and that too only for a moment.

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February 23: The day's movement as to start at 0500hrs. Due to very delayed schedule of yesterday we, sleep deprived ME and Sudev, left the camp almost an hour late for the placements as he asked some of the other senior officials to go ahead and do part placements and we will do only ten odd placements today.
I was still taking 2 min power naps in the process, but Sudev was driving constantly and also coordinating on wireless radio. I wonder how can he put up with such a tight schedule and still be calm. Plus hats off to his driving. Too good! You see someone taking a turn at around 120 kmph, you cant help having a cold shiver. But I can bet my life on this that when he drives even your *** wont shift an inch. Anyways more on that later. After the placements we went to hop position #37 and had a little time for packed breakfast that was handed out to all officials when they left the camp.

Quote:
...if Niranjan was cribbing about not getting sleep imagine the time being put in through the two days at Bhuj by camp coordinator. Dinner over by 2300hrs and packed breakfast for all by 0500hrs.....
For the first time in my life I was to see the rally in action as the cars were to cross the hop point at their extreme speeds. We saw dust in the air around a kilometer far. Everyone got ready. Gypsy number 21 came rumbling down the track. He came to a screeching halt at the S&G and accelerated further beyond the tarmac. Similarly the rest of the Xterme competitors passed us. But by this timeI was fast asleep in the car.
When I woke up they were trying to reconcile the number of vehicles that passed the different hop points as there seemed to be a biker missing. Soon one of the bikes was reported broken down and so the tally was now rectified.

Meanwhile Col. Tankha called in and asked Sudev to relive him of his duty as he had to travel 600kms before his night halt for the next days duty! It turned out that Col. had already helped the weary biker get his service team to the site. We took over the post and started the time control. Not only Col. Tankha but many others had to travel this distance to reach Barmer before they could sleep and all of them had been up long before dawn. Now the Ndure and Xplore cars started arriving at our control. They were a little pushy on the seconds as well in their timing as they were competing is Time Speed Distance (TSD) format of rallying. It appeared that the navigators were working really hard to make it in time at every hop point. The last car passed us around 6:00 pm and we started making our way back to the camp.

En-route one of the event car was involved in a cattle crash. The crumple zone of fender was pretty badly damaged. The radiator was also smashed, the condenser was damaged, and I guess it touched the engine as well. The locals caught up and there was a huge hue and cry for the buffalo which as they said was worth 2 lacs!! Sudev had to be there to settle the matter. But as none of the officials knew the local dialect, our local coordinator had to be called. This helped a lot in sorting things out and finally we finally were free to go and it was well past 2300hrs.
But then we were almost out of fuel, and the nearest fuel station was around 40 km away. As we had to start placements in the morning again so we decided to go refuel even if it meant 120 kms of driving before we could reach the camp and hit the beds. Finally we reached the camp by 0100hrs. Before I could think of food or sleep Sudev asked me to get the tracks of next day loaded from another official who had his laptop. Moosa ji very willingly did that. Done with that I had dinner met Hrishikesh chatted a little and the day came to a happy end.
Quote:
I guess Niranjan was tired. He was snoring in a moment after hitting the camp bed. He had been holding up very well given that it was his first ever rally he was getting clued in to the over all work plan and system quickly. Also by now all people had come to know him and knew that he was my co-crew.

Last edited by sudev : 10th November 2011 at 22:28.
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Old 10th November 2011, 23:32   #18
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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Thar engine has two belts. A toothed belt that runs off engine pulley and drives the radiator fan and perhaps the water pump. The second is a long grooved belt that runs the alternator, power steering hydraulic pump and the air-conditioner compressor.
A small correction. It has 2 belts - Yes. 1 is a V belt used to run the Power steering pump and then a serpentine grooved belt which runs all the other accessories.

Please continue.

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Old 11th November 2011, 10:38   #19
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November 10 continued:

Again a day of new route discovery. An armada of three vehicles in place with me doing the sweep as being the only four by four vehicle. An early morning shopping for ice and water+cold drinks is a must every day.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4510.jpg

Sure enough just a kilometer inside the track winding through some high dunes one of the Pickup's got stuck on an uphill sandy climb with a sharp turn just before the crest. It was nice to take out the tow straps and get ready for a recovery pull. But the local driver from the other pickup was more than enough match for the situation. Reducing tyre pressure to half with some skillful rocking back and forth he got the vehicle freed from grips of sand.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4511.jpg

Then a little ahead he got stuck and tow straps had to be used. But slowly we found our momentum and much more sandy territory was covered.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4514.jpg

Alka standing by side of grit road protecting her face from sun burn??
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4513.jpg

If there are Moore plains in Leh there are similarly fascinating lake beds in Rajasthan. Here we are crossing a ten kilometer lake bed surrounded by sandy dunes all around.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4515.jpg

Here the total bunch stopped in middle of nowhere enjoying "alpaahaar" (breakfast) of local wild crop called "Kakri" It is not same as "kakkri" that we get in vegetable shops in summers but more like oblong water melon and is very juicy though a bit sour and salty.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4516.jpg

Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4517.jpg
What would you know. People live inside the dune country and eke out a living. Here is a curious bunch of kids who gathered around to guide us the way to next village. Happy to have got couple of biscuits as bonus from Alka. After we got underway she was silent for quite a while.
Me: Kya hua??
She: I am thinking
Me: Good. What?
She: How will these kids grow up? Where will they get education from?
Me: Hhmmmm
She: It is so depressing.
Me: Only consolation I can give is they were happy for the moment.

The next dune line come up and we start thinking of ways around or over it.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4518.jpg

Can you imagine a five square kilometer of man made lake in middle of Thar desert?? We I could not but this water supply reservoir is fed from IG Canal and then is used for pumping water all the way to Nagaur town - a full 150 kms away!!
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4520.jpg

Anyways by late after noon we had found another 100kms long section through the dune country. Although we did avoid going in to the really heavy dune country. A late lunch was paralleled by a thorough car was with water and air. At least the Thar was comfortably clean for a dash from Bikaner to Jaisalmer. We then started at 1700jrs on one of my favourite routes. Just 315 kms @ 3:00 hrs.

Thar
How do you even begin to notice little quirks in a small test drive? The plastics are bad. Already the door handles have started falling apart and are being held back by using over size washer with the screw.
The glove box cover does not have functioning stop and if you open it carelessly the whole thing opens out beyond what it should and dumps all the contents on to the floor.

And the fan belt giving way...see the damage.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4521.jpg

Why? Because the air conditioner anchor bolt keep falling off and at high speed run the misaligned pulley causes wear. Wonder why they could not provide lock washer or a spring washer so that the nut does not keep getting loose due to vibrations?
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4525.jpg
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Old 11th November 2011, 22:08   #20
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Niranjans next blog entry :
Quote:
February 24 : I am sick of saying that I am sleep deprived. I don't get how Sudev manages with all the driving and such little sleep but it is a little difficult for me. The placements for stage were already started by placres and while we drove through the stage we were able to confirm that every one is at their designated places and that their wireless were working and that they were in contact with one or two hope before and after their position. . Each section has a designated in-charge and as soon as placements are over he is informed. We were in-charge of stage one and managed our job from hill top. This stage was under charge of JD and after we had informed him of placement completion the rally was let in to the stage. Our work over we were to head across the state line to Rajasthan and do next stage placements.
It was a long drive to Barmer. I kept dozing off every 5 minutes. As we neared Barmer Sudev kept filing in fun facts about the areas. I wonder how do they land up in such places even in the recce.
I thought moving towards Jaisalmer I would get to see sand dunes as I saw them in the movies. But things were not the same. Sudev explained that the vegetation was due to the high precipitation in the regions this year. I asked him if the Xtreme participants will climb dunes and he asked me to first climb them myself and took me to a dune which he asked me to climb. It was an experience of a lifetime. And I realized it is not so easy to climb a dune.
At Barmer finally Sudev's energy ran out, he had a quick lunch and asked for a room at the hotel where all other who had moved yesterday were staying. He asked me to wake him up in two hours and also make sure no one knocked the door and also handed me his phone. While he was sleeping leader of the group moved out the convoy for stage setup and later we just drove through reconfirming that every thing was set up properly. This was the second night stage and so it was important that the hops had all the information needed for tracking. When the stage became live we just waited for a while at a nearby highway spot where we could over hear wireless communication from start and end. I was too tired after this to even have dinner at Jaisalmer hotel that was our night halt.
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Old 11th November 2011, 23:36   #21
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Amazing stuff. It was great to work under you guidance at F1. It has increased my interest in motorsports. Wondering how you manage to carry so much energy with you? What is your secret?
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Old 12th November 2011, 07:03   #22
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November 11:
The day started with visit to mechanic for the fan belt replacement and fixing the missing anchor bolt. This time it has been added with a lock nut so hopefully this problem does not resurfaces.

The days objective was to explore the area between Jaisalmer and Barmer. The rally has been running around this countryside using a section named : Bad Max. Bad because it is truly a bad area to drive in. Heavy sand, river bed, rocks, pebbled and thorny trees. Every one of the elements that can catch you unaware and finish your rally. Max -because when we started running this section it was longest one in the rally. Now it is just a routine length section at 80~100kms. The area south of Jaisalmer is witness to population explosion of a different kind - wind mills. There are two or three different kinds. These are pics of 1000Kw one and are comparatively smaller. The newer ones have tower made made from tubular structure and have much bigger wing span and are rated at 1500Kw. You realize the enormity of size only when you are standing next to one.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_1693.jpg

Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_1692.jpg

There are so many of them now that it is virtually impossible to count them. Generating electricity silently when wind blows across the desert. Even more are being planned and put up. We went through the wind mill farm and it went on and on and on for full 25 kms. It reminded me of Don Quixote and here is one of our own:
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4531.jpg

The etched face shows life of hardship doing farming in this countryside. All the same he patiently explained us directions to the long over grown track and also answered some qurries regarding what is being grown and how was the crop. Bajra (millet) crop was a failure this year because of excess rains. On the other hand Guar oilseed was abundant because of same reason. Right now it is mostly melons that are being tended and soon as these are harvested the field would be left empty till the next monsoon. During this time the whole family moves from village to live in the field and tend to the crop, see the children behind the fence and the hut where they live:
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4532.jpg

The scenery around the area undergoes amazing transformation. Right now the wild grass and brambles are loosing their green cover but are still covering the surface almost totally, In another two months the surface would be largely brown with show of defiance in some pale green patches. As March rolls around the brown would have also been burnt by heat and bare pebbly ground would be revealed underneath. The seeds lying dormant for first showers to come virtually instant sprouting takes place again. Right now it is a fairy tale land with surface resembling grasslands of moderate climates:
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4530.jpg

Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4529.jpg

Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4539.jpg

Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4538.jpg

When we had done about 80kms of off roading we passed through a village where a very large gathering of people had taken place in two or three houses. Women and men in segregated groups were being served food. Women were wearing traditional dresses but as a group together it was a riot of bright colours. Men on other hand were all dresses in varying shades of white but the big colourful turbans atop their heads rendered them, to my imagination, as a field full waving of flowers. Fortunately this echange took place before I whipped my camera out to capture the scene:
Me: Shaadi hai? (wedding going on?)
Guide: No saar this is not a wedding
A bit of reluctance in his voice caught my attention as did almost near silence of the crowd.
Me: To saab eekathe khaana kyoon kha rahe hain (then why is every being served food?)
Guide: Koi maar gaya hai (some one has died)
So the camera remained inside the bag while we moved on skirting the crowd.
Alka: No wonder there is a saying "death is as costly as a wedding"
Me: I have not heard this before
Alka: Saas Bahu serial dekha karo na! (watch Saas Bahu serials if you want to gain knowledge)
Me: Haar mani janab (Okay madam I acknowledge your superiority)

After crossing few more dunes lines.....How do you cross a dune? and what the hell is dune line??........

Last edited by sudev : 12th November 2011 at 07:08.
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Old 12th November 2011, 07:34   #23
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Every body knows that the winds blowing across the desert pick up grains of sand and carry them till there is change in speed due to some obstruction. There the grains drop and collect becoming dunes.

In the Thar desert generally the winds blow west to east and so you will see dunes lined up shoulder to shoulder in the same direction. So if you are going east or west you will have lesser problems but going north or south you will have to cross over really high ridges. So when going across the Thar desert you come to a dune wall you try to find a way through the gaps or the lower ridges.
Crossing is matter of lower tyre pressure, speed, power and willingness of your vehicle.

Thar
The 4x4 low comes in real handy when you have to do dune crossing. The sand is soft and unless you can carry speed through you will need all four wheels to put out the torque being generated. Only two wheels will put out too much torque and dig themselves in to sand.

Excellent ratios on offer but only misgiving is location of the 4x4 gear lever. The only two position used were 2H and 4L. The third option 4H did not work any where as gearing even if first was not sufficient to rotate the wheels. I think it would be more useful on slippery surfaces.

Quote:
Next day: We headed for hotel which earlier used to be a palace. It was beautiful. Sudev let me use his camera to photograph the architecture. After a heavy brunch the whole convoy refueled the motoring beasts and proceeded towards the next stage setup. We left the convoy and took a alternate route which was also a shortcut. This led us to a a railway crossing where a Stop & Go (S&G) control was to be set up. Sudev dozed off and I kept up with my photography. We were to setup two time controls in the region, one for the NDURE cars and one for the XPLORE.
Sudev called me and told me the way I was to time the NDURE cars by myself. Frankly at the time of the call I was blank with what was to be done. But thankfully I had a genius guide at the same location. Ashish Bhatia. Ashish is an example of a true enthusiast. Even with a bandaged leg he had been driving and working for three straight days without any compromise and with the same accuracy.
By the way before I forget to mention the people who truly impressed me and became my my role models. This is the account of the qualities and the personalities who truly moved me. Of course the first being Sudev – somethings I got to learn from him were
1) Why do we need to be punctual.
2) How to control a team calmly and by being subtle.
3) Keep your eyes and mind open the very same time.
4) Observe things with rapt attention.
5) DRIVING at high speeds is only permitted when you have a complete control over the car.
6) Respect your car. You over exert it and it kicks your butt.

The second and very close is Ashish. Though I wasn't with him at all even an overview of the personality moved me.
1) The dedication he put in the duties given to him is really appreciable.
2) Even if you know something more than the person commanding you, listen to him.
3) He is the boss due to some reason. Think about him. An old goat is always subtle because he has seen things from more angles than you can even imagine.
4) It is said that as people move up in the world the attitude changes. This leads to a stagnation in the development. Ashish, even after being at a prime post in MAXIM, is really down to earth. And that makes me respect him even more.

Col. Tankha, the true Old Goat.
1) Experience counts. Given the opportunity he would never let anyone make it to a TC at 00:00:00 penalty.
2) No matter what you have done in your life always remember no job in petty. Because to successfully complete a job you need brains and dedication.
3) Age doesn't count when there is passion. He drove all by himself even at the age of 77.

Last but not the least Mr. Jayesh Desai.
1) You want to scold your staff know the correct language to use. Or take a class from J.D. As he is called.
2) If you are the boss intervene only when required. Don't keep interfering at every single point. Even others have some points. Respect them.
3) Earn a fortune and only then buy a FORTUNER.

Coming back to the day I was told to time the NDURE cars. While we waited for them a sudden thunder storm hit us. Soon we had dust followed by cool showers. I did the job despite these difficulties pretty nicely and submitted the timing logs to Sudev.
Now we drove to our next night halt Hotel Laxmi Niwas Bikaner. The hotel was majestic but the only thing I did not like about the hotel was the display of tiger skins, antelope heads, etc. FYI that is not something to be proud of. Instead they should be ashamed of the display of such things. Nothing else is remembered of the day. I was barely able to make it to dinning area and was thinking that only good thing is that we start late tomorrow and I will be able to catch up with some sleep.
Over dinner Sudev told me that tomorrow I was to do assist duty with Ratnam and that I had to leave early morning with JD. #$@@$#
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Old 12th November 2011, 08:57   #24
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November 11...:
Soon after we came to a shallow pond in midst of a flat plain. Before we headed for the next dunes I was tempted to do a little "water" crossing and capture some splash snaps. I approached the waters edge and promptly got stuck in soft mud bank.


The stranded Thar.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4533.jpg

The furrows were deep and clay soil meant no purchase was offered to tyres. Even 4L was of no use.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4534.jpg

Alka was trying to enjoy the scenery while our guide went to nearby - fortunately just beyond the mud bank across the pond - village to fetch a tractor. She made friends with a local goatherd Mukesh. She found it irritating that he did not go to school but was fascinated by his local folklore knowledge. He was fascinated by the fact that we choose to drive on "kutchcha" track when the tarmac road connected the village on the other side.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4535.jpg

Tow straps were deployed and in a pull we were out free.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4536.jpg

Another big water body that is just off the NH15 and is attractive to migratory birds that come here every winters.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4541.jpg

Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4543.jpg

An old temple in ruins as no one visits or prays. Our guide could only say "yeh bahut purana hai"
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4540.jpg

Okay so drove to the nearest village and had nice cup of tea with biscuits as a substitute lunch.

Thar
As soon as we came on to NH15 and headed back to Jaisalmer I noticed an odd thing. The moment we would touch speed of ~70kmph there was a slow judder and this kept on increasing in proportion of speed. Mentally marked another visit to garage that night and slowly drove to Jaisalmer.

Once there went to the same mechanic who had tended the Thar in morning. After a great deal of checking underneath the chassis he could not come with any explanation. His only proposed solution was....
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Old 13th November 2011, 09:35   #25
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...to do nothing but rotate the left and right front wheel. His reasoning that it was late and since this is probably a wheel alignment issue it can only be solved in the morning. The why rotate? He just did not have any answer. Fortunately while he was talking he had taken the front right wheel off. And the moment I saw the inner rim the answer was clear.

A big lump of clay from the slush pit had embedded itself on the inside of the rim and had dried hard there. This was resulting in massive weight balancing issue and the vehicle was behaving oddly. Initial thought after test drive by both of us had been some rubber bush of suspension is gone but this was not what we ever thought of.

Incidentally he was still not convinced that "thodi si mitti se ye hoga" so I asked him to remove it with a flat blade or similar. The clay was so strongly stuck that we had to use a bucket of water to "thaw" it out and remove. And the moment this was done the problem disappeared in the test drive.

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February 26: Despite a small sleep it was a pleasure to roll out of night halt with JD up to the regroup point where I had to hop into Ratnam's car.
We started lining up the convoy and left to set up the stage for SS7. Unfortunately Ratnam sir's Scorpio was a 2WD and not a 4WD. So we had to wait at the Flying Finish (FF) till Mr. Rahul Dutt placed the others and came back. We rolled back to Teja Garden resort where we were alloted a room so we caught some sleep. It was worth it. At Teja Garden I met Bharat Upadhyay for the first time. Even though he was the one who had turned me down within half an hour, I like him in the very first meeting as he was very open and friendly. I hadn't slept properly for the last 6 days.
At 1500hrs we were deployed at an S&G #1 which apparently was on a confusing track. After an hour of confusion between Bharat and Ratnam we were finally placed at correct position . As the set up was complete and the radio buzzed about the first car being flagged in we became alert. Our car by now was surrounded by a pool of villagers. They were super inquisitive about what cars were going to come their way in the rally. As the first car VROOMED in the villagers started clapping. Seemed like they were waiting for this rally to happen for the whole year. After the last car passed us we took to tarmac back to Sheruna.
At around 2300 hrs we left for Neem Ka Thana. It was suppose to be en route Delhi. But within an hour we lost track. I switched to my GPS and the track led me to a dead end. Irritated we took another turn and landed on the correct track. The result team which had to reach before the result van had hopped into our car so it was important that we reach in time. There two more vehicles in the convoy so there was lot of wireless chatter and leg pulling.
The route went through some hill country and the turns of the uphill and downhill tack were beautiful. Tight turns one after another like some hill station.
After about 220 kms Ratnam sir's car broke down. Apparently the hydraulic clutch had failed. We had to get the result team to the regroup point on time, so they hopped into Birdie's (as Bharat is fondly called) car and left. We towed the wounded Scorpion with a Pajero and reached the regroup point at around 0400 hrs. It was almost 21 hours of continuous work.
Quote:
This is usual lot for the officials. They deploy much before the rally and reach night halts much later than the rally. They work as a team to achieve the objective and re-deploy themselves quickly to make sure that important things get done. Reshuffling between cars to get the results team to end point was important also because at this time of night (or day??) there was a thick blanket of fog in some of the valley areas

Dune Bashing: No words only pictures

The overview
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4545.jpg

Sequence of shots as view from inside the car:
Attached Images
            

Last edited by sudev : 13th November 2011 at 09:39.
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Old 13th November 2011, 11:26   #26
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November 12:

By now you must have realised that this is not a travelogue of the usual type. It is not about visiting monuments or touristy places. But it is purely about motoring and enjoying the journey itself. The travel is the means and objective at the same time.

Days plan was to head in backward direction and try to complete three tasks:
1. Check on one of our existing sections between Jaisalmer and Pokran
2. Find a dune country for some dune bashing activity that is under planning
3. Get as near as possible to Delhi so that we can reach back quickly tomorrow.

The first objective gave sweet and sour results. The section was good but one of the largest dry lake beds in the region has been now handed over to a company that is building Rajasthan's largest solar power plant using the lake bed. So this area within the section was not possible.

That said we were able to scout around and find alternate route for the lake bed so that entire 150kms of section is not wasted just because of non-availability of 10kms of lake bed. Here Thar proved it's capability to do deep sand driving as the alternate followed stream bed that flows in to the lake, during monsoons??, and was very very sandy.

The second objective was unsurpassed highlight of the trip. I have already posted the pictures but two things need to be added. One we picked up our guide - Bhanwar Singh, at Phalodi and he was driving a "civilian" jeep (meaning 2wd in local usage). He reduced his tyre pressure to 50% and went up the dune like a gazelle! Two once on the top he got stuck in th ruts created by my vehicle and had to be "rescued" The sand surface of dune was so soft that even in 4L mode it took me three pulls - back, front, back before we could pull him to a firm patch.

Me testing sand surface before attempting dune bashing.


Laying the tow line for front pull


At bottom of dune's steep side posing for a picture


The third objective : Man proposes and god disposes.

Thar : she blows!!
Not the highlight of the day but definitely something that took most of the time and attention. The air conditioner stopped working again. This time it was not the locked anchor bolt but the bolts of base plate on which compressor is mounted that sheared - obviously all this is happening because the base plate does not align compressor properly and hence the pressure on various mounting components or the belt. Also the lug where the compressor is anchored broke. The base plate mounting bolts that had sheared were tightened to the top two empty holes.


Just after the highlight of the day. Dune Bashing, I heard a snapping sound and the cars started sounding very rough. By the time I stopped by the side of road the temperature gauge was almost touching red. Mentally I was thinking "belt gone". In middle of nowhere. about 120kms from nearest place where such a thing could be attended to!

Out came tow straps for the second time in the day and used my guide vehicle to tow me all the way to Bikaner - 120kms away. Getting towed is no fun in normal circumstances but further pain was added as we travelled more than half the distance on single lane village road with lots of traffic. It was night by the time we reached Bikaner and all repairs, if any, were possible only tomorrow.
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Old 13th November 2011, 11:56   #27
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Sudev, all the above problems being faced by you (belt damage, improper hardware, AC not working) is because of improper HVAC fitment which I am sure must be an aftermarket job.

It would be kind of you if you replicate such posts in the Thar threads so the owners (present / future) can benefit from this. Your inputs are genuine.

Please continue.

Spike

PS- You are lucky you are not facing a problem which I fear the most.
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Old 13th November 2011, 12:15   #28
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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR
Sudev, all the above problems being faced by you (belt damage, improper hardware, AC not working) is because of improper HVAC fitment which I am sure must be an aftermarket .
A bit off topic post I guess, but still here it is.
All the problems that Sudev is facing on the Thar, and which are being attributed to either an after market or dealer fitment job, are happening, in the first place, because the company doesn't care enough for its customers to give them a factory fitment!!!
More examples of how shabbily M&M treat their customers.
Thar has been well received in the market despite its defects, but still the company doesnt want to invest its efforts and some money to make it reliable, ergonomic and safe.
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Old 15th November 2011, 09:02   #29
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Sorry for not posting an update - have come back to Delhi for few day before heading back.

The A/C is aftermarket fix The travelogue is not meant to be Thar evaluation but sharing things as they developed. The journey is the objective.

Have some lovely videos of dune bashing and desert driving that I will also upload.
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Old 15th November 2011, 11:28   #30
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LOL sudev, after the hassle free recce drives of the GV, Thar must be an experience. See, thats the beauty of such vehicles. Your "adventure" is multiplied by the vehicle itself.
anyways, looking forward for more. Trail driving in Rajasthan is always fun, and I still remember our wonderful "trail drive" from Jaisalmer to Phalodi skipping the tar roads, and doing it exclusively by road.
thanks for sharing!
Next time, if you want even more adventure, take a safari. She will surprise you in ways you would never think were possible
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