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Old 21st May 2013, 15:44   #61
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

Very nicely narrated. There are quite a few takings in form of learnings from your journey. Thanks for sharing them Cheers...
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Old 21st May 2013, 15:54   #62
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

Humyum - What could I comment now after reading this travelogue? Really loved it.

So impressed with the clicks, read that you were carrying A Canon 550 D with Sigma 10-20, Canon 55-250 and a 50 mm prime. Gives me more confidence on my kit except for the ultra wide angles with the Sigma.
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Old 27th May 2013, 14:14   #63
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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Originally Posted by vsh View Post
Nice quote!
Thank you very much for this fantastic travelogue.
Thank you for going through it. Its the readership that gives the inspiration to write about future trips.

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Originally Posted by roadjourno View Post
Very nicely narrated. There are quite a few takings in form of learnings from your journey. Thanks for sharing them Cheers...
Thank you. Cheers

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Humyum - What could I comment now after reading this travelogue? Really loved it.

So impressed with the clicks, read that you were carrying A Canon 550 D with Sigma 10-20, Canon 55-250 and a 50 mm prime. Gives me more confidence on my kit except for the ultra wide angles with the Sigma.
Thank you. I used 10-20 most of the times except for the occasional portrait show where in the 50 mm was used. The Indian army boat was the only time I used the 55-250 as its pretty much about landscape in Kashmir. Also you will love the light there. Its just perfect, but don't forget to carry a Circular Polorizer. It changes things quite a bit to get a perfect picture. The clouds there are uber clear and the contrast from the polorizer make the pictures stand out.

Last edited by humyum : 27th May 2013 at 14:15.
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Old 13th June 2013, 18:23   #64
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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Lesson Learnt


4) Trucks in the hilly regions tailgate slow moving cars, they are the kings here, let them do their thing and do not get scared. Move over when you are comfortable to give him space to pass.

5) Areas like Zozila Pass, Chang la etc are best covered during dry weather. Zozila pass in a hatchback during the rains is a disaster, best not attempted
Smashing travelogue, humyum! Kept me glued to the screen. I specially appreciate the pains you took to share the experiece with everyone here. It's almost like reliving it, albeit without the altitude sickness. And may I add, breathtaking photographs!

I dreamt of hitting the Himalayas in a Gypsy some day. That's till I found out on T-bhp that they have a bone-jarring ride and offer few creature comforts.

I wanna discuss (with everyone following this thread) a technicality with respect to your experience tackling extreme gradients at Zozila pass. You say the Swift D struggled owing to its turbo lag, even though the DDIS is generally perceived to be very torquey.
1. How on earth do those trucks negotiate the stretches with ease? I believe their torque-to-weight ratio can't beat Swift's. Am I wrong or am I stupid?
2. Do you think a naturally aspirated (like a Mahindra jeep with DI engine) or mildly turboed (aka the Figo / Micra) car would have fared better in the circumstances?
3. How would a Swift petrol do under similar circumstances?
4. Now this, I'm really curious to know. What sort of wheels do the natives over there use? You did mention some SUVs like the XUV500, but there must be people out there using less expensive machines.

Cheers,
SlowRider.
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Old 14th June 2013, 12:13   #65
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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Smashing travelogue, humyum! Kept me glued to the screen. I specially appreciate the pains you took to share the experiece with everyone here. It's almost like reliving it, albeit without the altitude sickness. And may I add, breathtaking photographs!

I dreamt of hitting the Himalayas in a Gypsy some day. That's till I found out on T-bhp that they have a bone-jarring ride and offer few creature comforts.

I wanna discuss (with everyone following this thread) a technicality with respect to your experience tackling extreme gradients at Zozila pass. You say the Swift D struggled owing to its turbo lag, even though the DDIS is generally perceived to be very torquey.
1. How on earth do those trucks negotiate the stretches with ease? I believe their torque-to-weight ratio can't beat Swift's. Am I wrong or am I stupid?
2. Do you think a naturally aspirated (like a Mahindra jeep with DI engine) or mildly turboed (aka the Figo / Micra) car would have fared better in the circumstances?
3. How would a Swift petrol do under similar circumstances?
4. Now this, I'm really curious to know. What sort of wheels do the natives over there use? You did mention some SUVs like the XUV500, but there must be people out there using less expensive machines.

Cheers,
SlowRider.
Thank you very much. Well, I rather go in a Gypsy than a Swift. You are always worried in a small car that 'WHAT IF' ? I saw a DL registered Swift at the Leh Workshop which was waiting for a wheel bearing change since 6 days as a part of that size could not be available and was ordered. A Rajasthan registered Baleno which had its engine seized and was there since a month because of a cracked oil sump and driving around with all its oil on the road. That car was towed from the Kargil Leh Highway. Now you know what I mean?

About the car struggling at Zozila. I ll give you an explanation.

Zozila is extremely steep with big stones etched at many hair pin bends. Truckers can take these turns with momentum because they have amazing ground clearance. A Swift with its paltry 170 mm ground clearance cannot take a run up and climb these slopes as you risk hitting something. At 15 to 20 kmph if you hit a stone with that exposed underside of the Swift, maybe a gearbox housing, oil sump, a lower arm, cross member etc could take a direct hit and your trip would be over right there and so would the car if its too serious.

So these turns and stone passing's on the stones had to be done with extreme slow maneuvers because of which you did not have the precious momentum to climb. I revved the car till 4 thousand rpm as if at 3 K if i let the clutch go, the engine just did not have enough torque to keep it going and would just proceed towards a stall.

Traction was never a problem, it was the lack of pulling power which was.

Okay imagine this scenario. I let the clutch go at 3 K, the RPM falls to around 2 K. With the higher altitude, rarer air, the turbo spools later than 2200 rpm, you fall below the turbo band and thus all i ll do is proceed towards a stall.

Next I dump the clutch at 4 K, It drops in the Turbo band, travels a little further than what it did when I dropped it at 3 K, but still the turbo is not able to develop enough torque for the car for it to pull through. It again stalls after a certain distance. Then you handbrake, rev the car again and dump the clutch. This went on till the steepness reduced and the car was able to pull through minus any rev dumps.

This scenario has been a character of the Swift Diesel for me a lot of times.

There are private Bunglows in Panchgini where we often visit for a stay over for a day or two. The entrance and exit roads to these Bunglows are very very steep and you cannot race through them as the exit directly leads to the busy main road. Many a times I have had a situation where in the car has reached almost the end of the exit and shuddered to a stall and yes this is in 1st gear. I have had to reverse the car a certain distance on the slop and try a little higher speed for her to climb.

The turbo lag in the older Swifts can be the wait before the storm on the highways but on hilly terrains its a pain in the wrong places.
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Old 14th June 2013, 12:56   #66
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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About the car struggling at Zozila. I ll give you an explanation.

Zozila is extremely steep with big stones etched at many hair pin bends. Truckers can take these turns with momentum because they have amazing ground clearance. A Swift with its paltry 170 mm ground clearance cannot take a run up and climb these slopes as you risk hitting something
Do you think you could have negotiated the hair-pins in a single attempt if it didn't have all these rocks lying around and the tarmac was good?
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Old 14th June 2013, 13:55   #67
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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Do you think you could have negotiated the hair-pins in a single attempt if it didn't have all these rocks lying around and the tarmac was good?
Yes, I would taken a run up in 1st gear, revving her till 4 k and negotiated the hairpin bend with momentum. It would have then cleared easily. Momentum can be a savior if the roads are good and momentum can be a killer in case of cars with low ground clearance if the roads are bad.
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Old 19th June 2013, 20:22   #68
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

I wonder what makes these Mahindra 'Jeep's tick. They certainly don't look more powerful on paper. With the arrival of common-rail diesels, they've been out-torqued by a mile. Yet you see them aplenty in the hills; they scamper up these slopes as if "slope? What slope?", often with a load of 10 or more passengers.
Over here in Kerala, most of them are not even 4WD (I've peered inside and could spot no other levers beside the gearshift).
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Old 21st June 2013, 11:45   #69
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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I wonder what makes these Mahindra 'Jeep's tick. They certainly don't look more powerful on paper. With the arrival of common-rail diesels, they've been out-torqued by a mile. Yet you see them aplenty in the hills; they scamper up these slopes as if "slope? What slope?", often with a load of 10 or more passengers.
Over here in Kerala, most of them are not even 4WD (I've peered inside and could spot no other levers beside the gearshift).
The answer to your question lies in the torque characteristics of these old school DI engines. They develop their torque at a much lower RPM than what a Swift diesel does, even though on paper the Swift diesel develops a 19 kgm of torque. Secondly, The 19 kgm of torque in the Swift is peaky, it develops that at 2000 rpm and starts tailing off. In places where the air is rarer (Kargil, Leh etc) the 2000 rpm push does not remain at 2000 rpm, it changes to 2400 rpm arounds which makes it even more difficult to climb slopes due to the turbo lag.

The new Swifts have lesser turbo lag and are more linear in their power delivery. Try both of them out when you get a chance.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 17:56   #70
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

i had similar experience of getting bogged down in my fusion also during rohtang crossing and chitkul tour, only differnce being we were four aboard and the whole car was literally bursting with luggage. Although 1.4 tdci is known for its low end torque, but imo problem aggravated because of higher payload. Ground clearance is never problem with fusion but i was not able to maintain momentum because of traffic. So i used to slip clutch for a while before the car comes to complete halt.
But i also remember one more trip to jalori pass and udaipur, trilokinath, when my fusion was completely new and we were only two aboard, the car did the whole trip like walk in the park.
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Old 25th June 2013, 20:52   #71
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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i had similar experience of getting bogged down in my fusion also during rohtang crossing and chitkul tour, only differnce being we were four aboard and the whole car was literally bursting with luggage. Although 1.4 tdci is known for its low end torque, but imo problem aggravated because of higher payload. Ground clearance is never problem with fusion but i was not able to maintain momentum because of traffic. So i used to slip clutch for a while before the car comes to complete halt.
But i also remember one more trip to jalori pass and udaipur, trilokinath, when my fusion was completely new and we were only two aboard, the car did the whole trip like walk in the park.
Yes, I agree with you. Our car had only 2 passengers, but the rear seats as well as the boot was filled with luggage upto the brim. My next trip is going to be Ladakh again or Thailand and both of them will be in the Swift. I plan to get a sump guard and some under body protection before I embark on these trips as its better to spend upfront than to hit something and face the agony of being stranded in between no where.
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Old 28th June 2013, 15:07   #72
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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I plan to get a sump guard and some under body protection before I embark on these trips as its better to spend upfront than to hit something and face the agony of being stranded in between no where.
Do you know the place in Mumbai where I could get sump guard? I would like to get that done before I start to Leh this August.
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Old 4th September 2013, 12:52   #73
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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Okay imagine this scenario. I let the clutch go at 3 K, the RPM falls to around 2 K. With the higher altitude, rarer air, the turbo spools later than 2200 rpm, you fall below the turbo band and thus all i ll do is proceed towards a stall.

Next I dump the clutch at 4 K, It drops in the Turbo band, travels a little further than what it did when I dropped it at 3 K, but still the turbo is not able to develop enough torque for the car for it to pull through. It again stalls after a certain distance. Then you handbrake, rev the car again and dump the clutch. This went on till the steepness reduced and the car was able to pull through minus any rev dumps.
Hi Humyum

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

I did Leh trip in my swift 2 weeks back. When I crossed Zozi la it had rained 4-5 days continuously. It was very slushy and even some Innovas got stuck. I stalled my car couple of times on the steep slope and remembered each and every word you had said. It behaved exactly the same way you had said. Dumping the clutch at 4k doesn’t help here. I stopped there for few minutes and observed the Innova Taxi drivers. They were doing that section at 5KMph-10Kmph without any momentum advantage. Off course they have more torque and better torque characteristics than us.

After observing them, instead of revving high till 3.5k -4k and dumping the clutch I started to slip the clutch (to avoid stall) at lower RPM till I get momentum. This technique worked very well and never had any problem thereafter. At Chang la there is even steeper section with rocks all around, somehow I managed to overcome that section. Was really scared at that point. I think slipping the clutch at lower RPM for a few seconds doesn’t harm much. Now my swift had done 85k and clutch seems to be alright.

Old Swift Diesel on Highway and Hills are completely different animals.
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Old 4th September 2013, 15:36   #74
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Default Re: Raiding the Himalayas - Swift style!

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Do you know the place in Mumbai where I could get sump guard? I would like to get that done before I start to Leh this August.
Did you get the sump guard for your swift in Mumbai before starting your Leh journey?
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Old 4th September 2013, 15:48   #75
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Did you get the sump guard for your swift in Mumbai before starting your Leh journey?
No I did not. I searched for it but could not find. It will further reduce the GC and in the hills every mm counts. My sump has minor scratch now but not that deep. I have removed many rocks on the road myself. Problem is in the slush. You never know rocks are there or not until you hit it.

Are you driving to Leh too?
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