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Old 5th December 2011, 22:08   #16
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

How about a used Amby with the Isuzu petrol engine?
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Old 5th December 2011, 22:18   #17
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

Look no further M800/Alto will suit you the best,even if it gets stuck,it takes a few guys to pull her out,the duo still is one of the most widely used vehicle in himachal,other than mahindra bolero camper.
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Old 5th December 2011, 23:01   #18
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

You need a 4x4. At the onset of winter, a 2WD, esp a car will be troublesome.
Buy a used gypsy. 1.3L will cost close to 2L and last long. Moreover, all spares are also easily available in ladakh.
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Old 7th December 2011, 12:11   #19
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

What sort of trip are you envisaging - pleasure or rally. The choice of vehicle also depends on the number of persons traveling and the luggage you will be taking along.

Inexpensive second hand buy need not give you a trouble free 5,000 km in rough terrain. Any second hand vehicle you buy you have to

. Put under body protection - Engine sump, differentials and fuel tank
. Change all the hoses and other rubber parts
. Overhaul the brake systems and put in new shoes
. Overhaul/change clutch assembly
. Check the engine and get it tuned
. Change all oils - engine, differential and brake
. Check change the head lamps and beams

Apart from this a thorough inspection of electricals is essential, as old vehicles have in time deteriorated insulation and generally frayed wires, hastily repaired.

So in general be prepared for at least a week of repairs/inspection and quite a decent sum for repairs - may exceed the initial purchase price.

A better option is to get a brand new vehicle - Thar, Gypsy or 4x4 Scorpio and then sell it after your trip, if it is a one off exercise.

If it is to be a regular affair, then the best option is the current Pajero.
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Old 7th December 2011, 12:20   #20
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

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Originally Posted by The Iceman View Post
Hi, I have a slightly oddball request for advice. I need a car which meet the following criteria:
  1. Capable of handling at least 5,000 kilometers of rough driving through mountain, desert and broken highway
  2. Capable of handling the terrain of Ladakh / Spiti at its crumbling best (onset of winter)
  3. Capable of being repaired with duct tape and some ropes (well, most of the times; else, easy to get repaired at roadside shops)
  4. Capable of being on its wheels for at least 15 days from the date of purchase (during this time the said 5000 kilometers will be covered)
  5. The car does NOT have any resale value and, hence, needs to be as cheap as possible
What car comes to your mind? Manufacturer, model, make - there is nothing off-limits.


Also, what minimum price should I be looking at for such a contraption? I am thinking 15 year old models would be the cheapest. Anything older starts becoming vintage.
Iceman - Search for a Tata Sierra and buy it hands down(50K to 80K)! Spend 15-20K and get her in good shape.
There are some well maintained examples on the TBHP Classifieds! It can seat 4 in comfort and carry lots of luggage in the back.
And when u r done with the 5000 Kms trip, sell her off and you will be able to recover atleast 50K!

Regards,
Kaustubh
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Old 11th December 2011, 02:08   #21
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

Thanks a lot for the replies. The Mahindra jeeps and the Gypsy are rather obvious choices. But then, why waste time asking such an obvious question on a well informed forum as TBHP.

You see what I need is a vehicle NOT made for adventure driving in any way whatsoever. Don't ask me why. I am not in a position to explain it right now.

It does not have any resale value. I don't mean the car itself won't have any. What I mean is the car will not be sold or serve any other purpose after the trip. Imagine a guy from a tropical island buying a woolen cap in Manali, coming back with it and hanging it on his wall. There is no resale value for the cap in that case.

Also, on second thoughts, the car will NEVER be driver on a national highway. You can imagine the pounding it will get.

The M800 is a great starting point but I often get doubts about whether an old one (15 years) will be able to handle 5000 kilometers of crap.

The Omni is very interesting. Tau, I am considering it very strongly.

The Amby is a good point. Any idea how much a, say 15 year old Amby, would come for?

The Zen is a great car and should handle the whole thing quite well. Precisely for that reason, I do not want to go for it.

I have never ever seen a Premier Padmini north of Delhi. And that tells me that may be a nice choice for this. Do you think, it will be able to cover the Himalayan stretch? Does it have enough torque?
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Old 11th December 2011, 11:58   #22
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

Let me add the indica to the list. If you're worried about diesel, then the older petrol ones are fairly torquey and more reliable (and may I add non existent resale values while being fairly roomy and civilized)

Last edited by greenhorn : 11th December 2011 at 12:00.
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Old 15th December 2011, 00:58   #23
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Iceman View Post
The M800 is a great starting point but I often get doubts about whether an old one (15 years) will be able to handle 5000 kilometers of crap.
A well maintained old 800, easily. These things are incredibly reliable.

A friend's uncle has one from 1998, its clocked over 120,000 km. Still running strong.

I think the main reason those old cars are reliable, is because they're simple in design. Less things to go wrong, unlike most modern cars.

Last edited by kadanaJ : 15th December 2011 at 01:00.
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Old 15th December 2011, 01:54   #24
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
Let me add the indica to the list. If you're worried about diesel, then the older petrol ones are fairly torquey and more reliable (and may I add non existent resale values while being fairly roomy and civilized)
I would second this. The indica (petrol/ dsl) both are excellent when it comes to tackling rough roads, are reliable and easy to repair at the roadside as well.
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Old 15th December 2011, 10:01   #25
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

I will suggest you the Alto 800cc. Buying used, Alto works out expensive. But, you will get excellent resale after those challenging 5000 Kms. It is as simple a car as the M800. Easy to repair & rock solid reliable.

Maruti Alto taxis ferry people day in & day out on mountain roads. Its light weight can challenge 4X4s & if it gets stuck, it is easy to get back on track.
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Old 15th December 2011, 11:21   #26
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

I would suggest looking for a used Petrol Indica. They are dirt cheap to buy in used market and very cheap to maintain and easy to repair anywhere. it would have a working condition heater (since you are heading up north), enough torque, capability to handle abuse for 5000 KMs and overall is a safer vehicle than an 800.

Last edited by infotech58 : 15th December 2011 at 11:29.
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Old 15th December 2011, 11:23   #27
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCause View Post
I will suggest you the Alto 800cc. Buying used, Alto works out expensive. But, you will get excellent resale after those challenging 5000 Kms. It is as simple a car as the M800. Easy to repair & rock solid reliable.

Maruti Alto taxis ferry people day in & day out on mountain roads. Its light weight can challenge 4X4s & if it gets stuck, it is easy to get back on track.
+1

It is extremely low weight. I have seen three persons lift and shift the 800. In mountains the M800/Alto will outperform most of the heavier cars. Being narrow the car will not get stuck in the ruts formed by other cars. Another tough vehicle for rough use is the Omni. Incredibly, the Omni has the smallest turning radius I have ever seen, extremely useful on the twisting mountain roads.
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Old 15th December 2011, 11:54   #28
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

Bugger,

I think you're dreaming up something like the Rickshaw Run | The Adventurists

then get a darned rickshaw
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Old 15th December 2011, 14:08   #29
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

Iceman, You may want to look at Tata Indigo Marina it ticks most of the requirements and gives you some space to load cargo/carry stuff. Fairly cheap to maintain and can be repaired easily. Budget between 1L to 1.5L max i would think for a 7-8 yr old car.

Other good option which is already covered is Omni, very versatile and keeps running even after plenty of abuse..
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Old 15th December 2011, 16:38   #30
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Default Re: Cheap "do-it-all" car for rough use

OK, now I understand..

In that case, nothing better than the 800. Really simple mechanicals, and too easy and cheap to fix. As for your doubts, YES an 800 can handle some really tough and rugged terrain for prolonged time.

After all you can replace the entire half engine for less than 10,000.. or atleast that's what I have heard.
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