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Old 29th June 2010, 10:16   #91
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Default Murphy strikes again .... and how!!

Coincidentally a few days prior to departure I had got the car serviced and thoroughly checked. The next day while driving back from the factory the engine just quit. For no apparent reason. Ultimately it started again after the earthing terminal was removed to allow ECM reset. And it continued happily but I sent it back to M.A.S.S. They could not find the reason, no error codes showed up but to be safe cleaned throttle body and generally ensured "all is well" The car had run about 800kms after that without a problem. This included high speed day and night driving plus heavy climbs on the NH1A.

From Udhampur to Patnitop we slowly climbed up and then down from there to Ramban. Again slowly up and up till Jawahar tunnel. This tunnel (actually two tunnels, one for up and the other for down traffic) is the entry to the Kashmir valley and is very heavily guarded and is about 2.5km long. Just when we were about half a kilometre inside......
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Old 29th June 2010, 10:24   #92
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What next?
Dont tell me that it gave up inside the tunnel
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Old 29th June 2010, 10:30   #93
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Wow, sounds like another potboiler in the making! What happened next Sudev?
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Old 29th June 2010, 11:16   #94
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What next Sudev. Do not leave us hanging.
BTW, its not demister, its called the sedimenter.
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Old 29th June 2010, 13:03   #95
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Default Darkness and Cacophony!

.......the GV decides to stall!!!! Again!!!

So I switch on the hazard blinkers and step out. It is cold, damp and windy and very dark. I can see the headlights looming up behind me as trucks and and Army convoy that we had over taken between Banihal and tunnel approaches. Soon there are angry horns and shouts. And to this add echo's and you can imagine the confusion and din. First I get out the torch and "#12" spanner. Open the bonnet and disconnect the earth terminal. The drivers of following trucks and crowding and some heavy shouting and honking is going on. Alka is becoming nervous and scared. So I put back the terminal and crank the engine. Does the engine start? Nada, nein, certainement pas, nahin, no, .........
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Old 29th June 2010, 13:08   #96
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Default Success !! ??

The traffic in the tunnel was building up and anxious queries and unwanted suggestions were being hurled at me. Taking a deep breath I repeated the procedure but took my time to let the electric discharge take place before reconnecting everything and turning the crank. Presto! Hurray! It worked.

Quickly built up the speed to 100+ as I was afraid that this may happen again. Sure enough the engine cut off again within a kilometre and with more than half to go with slight incline up. Agonisingly the vehicle kept on rolling and with bare speed I crept out of the tunnel in to sunshine and parked to the side.

I see a few BRO and Armu jawan's rushing towards me.
Q:"Yehi gaadi phans gayi thee?" (Is this the vehicle that was blocking the tunnel)
A:"Haan - thodi kharab ho gayi" (Yes it had broken down)
Q:"Kharab gaadi ko tunnel mein kyoon laye?" (Why did you take a broken down vehicle in to the tunnel?)
A:"Andaar aye to theek thi bhai" (It was working when I entered the tunnel)

Surrounded by gun totting but friendly jawans I opened the ECM and throttle body connectors and cleaned them with WMD40 spray. I also opened the fuel filler cap and checked it. I really do not know what gremlins struck, and maybe got resolved, but thereafter car kept on moving and I rolled in to Srinagar.
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Old 29th June 2010, 13:12   #97
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Now that was some unwanted adventure! So what happened to the Safari?
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Old 29th June 2010, 15:29   #98
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@tsk1979: The Safari had a broken timing belt. So nothing you would have told me would have helped.
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Old 29th June 2010, 16:20   #99
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Ouch! Was the safari new. Older safari's(for example my batch) had a manufacturing defect wherein the timing belt would slowly start cutting. In my case an inspection(my insistence) revealed the slightly frayed belt, and entire timing kit was replaced under retro.
I guess this one had not gone through the retro cycle!
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Old 29th June 2010, 16:22   #100
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Default The enticing valley

Although it was not perfect weather but emerald green plants and snow clad mountains in the background was a eye soothing sight for travellers from hot and humid plains.
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Old 29th June 2010, 16:26   #101
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@tsk1979: This was a new 2.2DICOR, hoping the owner has trouble free period ahead!
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Old 29th June 2010, 21:19   #102
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Default The Exam - Scrutiny

It is akin to taking and passing an exam. In all motor sport events each competitors vehicle is checked for paper work as well as safety and road worthiness. It is called scrutiny. We were in the first group of vehicle for scrutiny and were listed for reporting at 0800hrs. And reporting late can attract fine or worse.

We reached the scrutiny venue about ten minutes before our time but still found most of the competitors already there. You can imagine how important it is and the anxiety of all to clear this. After paper checks we were issued with rally and sponsors sticker to be pasted on the vehicle. This adds a festive look to the vehicle and quite prized by enthusiasts.

Since we had prepared well for the scrutiny we completed all jobs in possibly fastest time and were then free to roam about seeing scrutiny being done for others and interacting with competitors and officials.

Now we were essentially free and so attended to purchasing the eats and water and drinks for the next two days when we will be keeping crazy hours without rest for food and drink.
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Old 30th June 2010, 08:27   #103
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The tunnel experience was something else.
First I do not know anything about cars
Second it was so dark
Third all the burly truck guys were crowding all around
Fourth Sudev was wanting torch and some tools
Fifth It was windy and cold with water dripping from the roof

With the "head" strap torch on I was able to locate the only bit of tool that he insist on carrying - the Leatherman - and pass it on to him.

I did not know if I should sit inside or be out there peering under the bonnet with him. The truck drivers were asking questions about what had gone wrong and also answering at the same time about what should be done.

I half expected gun totting army people to come charging up as I could hear some shrill whistles. Later I learnt that this was indeed jawans at the mouth who were stopping further traffic from entering the tunnel. I could hear echo's inside the tunnel.

I almost panicked after the car refused to start after some thing Sudev did under the bonnet. Then he went out again and I followed. This time he took much longer and I could sense even he was nervous.

Thank fully the car started. Now driving at breakneck speed he tried instilling some confidence in me by pointing out the three/four pass points in the tunnel made for just such eventuality. If a vehicle breaks down it is pushed to nearest pass point so that other traffic can be cleared and tow truck can then come and pull you out.

Again I sensed the car slowing down.
Kya hua?
Kuch nahin
To slow kyoon kar rahe ho?
Engine kaput again
****


Anyway we could see a small point of light slowly becoming bigger. At this point I wished and prayed that we can get out and not stop inside again. We barely got out.

Aab kya karna hai?
Kuch nahin, dekhte hain

Bonnet opened again and he does something to wires. Here I can at least see what he is doing. I ask the jawans surrounding us

Yahan gaadi mechanic hai?
Haan 25 kilometre aage Maruti agency hai


I was thinking if we have to stop every kilometre or two then 25 kms is a long way off.

Itni door?
Haan par aab sab downhill hai gaadi roll karegi


So the bonnet is closed and engine starts. The jawans cheer for us and we are moving again.

Sudev should we show it to the Maruti garage
Lets us see
Will we be able to do the rally?
Yes why not?
What if it stops in a remote area?
So what we will start it again
What do you mean, I do not want to be stranded in a lonely place
Rally officials route closing sweep karenge na

That's him. Optimist. Outwardly unperturbed. And I hate it but he does know a thing or two about cars.

Perhaps my prayers worked because we did not have to open the bonnet again but for the scrutiny. No tyre puncture. No car trouble despite all the troubles we gave it.
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Old 30th June 2010, 08:28   #104
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Thanks guys for the start rating - I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am writing and recalling the journey.
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Old 30th June 2010, 10:34   #105
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Good to see you all back fine. Hope you enjoyed the “not so commonly chartered terrain” of Valley.

Though I don’t watch DD Kashmir (My father does, religiously), I followed the news from channel quite closely on all 3 days as it had maximum coverage of the rally.

It seems you both had great fun (minus the tunnel episode. I have got stuck in that tunnel once and it sure wasn’t fun).

We all at Team BHP are expecting considerable details (of rally and road) so that people can plan to drive on those roads, if not rally. People might want to Get on the Mughal road while going to Leh and take the Daksum route while coming back. You think it will give Manali route some challenge (at least those people who have taken Manali route quite often might want it for a change)?
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