I write on this page, and still feel bad that I didn't do it earlier.
To wind up to how I landed up with Amol and Zakir Bhai. I have been going to my trusted accessories guy in Vashi for more than 4 years now, across the 3 cars we had during that stint. Never did they give me any chance to complain. Infact, the rest of the jazzing up my brute was done by them.
Fast forward to January 2015, and I had just decided to cancel my Ciaz booking for the NG Scorpio S4+. What made me do that is for another post, but with the challenges of the Scorpio presents to a city-run thoroughbred, is the fact that it has abysmal provisioning for an ICE. Some of the many problems are as follows;
a. There is no system provided for the variant. Which wasn't a big problem, what was, the cut-out on the dash provided is for a single din!
b. The rear door has a clink for the handle, looks very nice; but a royal pain for contouring MDFs (as we found out later)
c. The sheet metal (body structure) of the rear door is supremely hollow, but not enough to get an even mid-level speakers.
d. The S4+ variant comes with one lousy speaker on the driver door. (yes! you read it right. Just one. On the driver door. The passenger door doesn't even have a speaker ring!)
e. The biggest problem was self inflicted; but more on that as you read the rest of the post.
Now, coming from a well-appointed German hatch, I saw the sheer size of the Scorpio as an upgrade, hence it should looks and sound one like too. The Polo has a 2-Din touch, so the Scorpio should also have the same (minimum). With the intention I asked both the dealer and my trusted accessories guy for their competency in the same. I was met with an overtly un-assuring "We will try and work it out!" I didn't just plonk some serious money (for a middle class guy like me) for people to 'try working it out'. So I turned to my one-stop source for Automobile nirvana, team-bhp; and found Amol's coordinates here. What Kartik said about him only went further to give me some serious positive assertions - knowing well that the XUV is one of the most horrendous cars to ICE up.
One call to Amol on a bright sunny afternoon, and he clearly said that he has done similar work on a NG Scorpio and has figured it out well already. My tryst with him was decided based on my car's delivery date and the first thing I did after a long-drawn and horrendous registration process was to drive down to Reliable in Chembur.
Amol had the spices ready by the time I reached;
a. The Pioneer 2-Din BT
b. Infinity Ovals for the rear
c. JBL Components for the front
After he finished working diligently on a Etios, he backed up my Scorp to see what stood in front of him. What was standing in front of him was hours and hours of fine-tuned work that will eventually go on till well past midnight.
We started at 6 in the evening with the sun still gracious with its presence, and only after a few clicks did we have to turn on the lights at the shop. By that time, yours truly, Amol and Zakir Bhai had already cooked up a rapport that seemed much more than an hour.
I am going to keep the write-up on the process itself brief, so as to protect the ingenuity and diligence that Amol and Zakir Bhai has put on the car. First Step: The Rear Door
By far the biggest challenge was to fit the Infinty's fitted on the rear door, since the depth of the speakers were more than the depth provided on the door. Some crafty MDF work & one-half hours later, we finally found a way to put those babies up for show. Sounds incredible, period. Second Step: The Tweeters
After deliberation of close to 15-20 mins, regarding the best possible position for the little devils, we honed on to the position of my choice (much to the disagreement of Zakir Bhai, although he knows better). Meticulously Amol was sifting between calls from his wife because it got late and my constant bickering of the positioning of the tweeters. Third Step: The front door speakers
As said earlier, Mahindra has managed to waft off as much as it could. Providing speaker rings for only one door was plain and outrightly miserly! After rummaging through some wood-work that was already there, Amol and Zakir Bhai finally cut out a perfectly contoured speaker ring that could support the JBLs and still fit within the door limitations without an issue.
For all, please let this serve as a precaution. If you want to just plonk the speakers on the company provided provision, your window will not roll down completely. Now don't ask me why Mahindra didn't do this, beyond me! Fourth Step: The big one! (Caution: Don't try this again)
It was already close to 9 and my wife was giving frantic calls to find where I am. So was Amol's. Zakhir Bhai was smiling away with all his maturity and 'been there, done that' look on his face.
This was the business end of the installation, and also the reason why I chose Reliable; and they didn't disappoint one bit. Just to sum up what was required and what were the challenges;
a. The cut-out provided on the dash is of a single Din. So one has to cut out a perfect provision for a double, ensuring the plastic dash doesn't crack and at the same time, the provision doesn't have rough edges or else it will peep out from the side of your deck.
b. Once you take out the plastic dash, you will realize that the tray provided inside the dash is not enough for a standard 2 Din. The specs are specific and I guess Mahindra gets it custom-made for the higher versions. Amol and Zakhir Bhai cut it out with the help of a paper-cutter (yes! one paper cutter because if you use a machine cutter it will go through the plastic and damage the pipes of the air-conditioning that's right behind the tray.
I am saying this again to warn people, you don't want to see this happening to a new car. And you don't want a novice doing this for you, because if it goes wrong, you may end up with a broken dash and a messed up air-conditioning system.
c. The tray ceiling is slanted. Hence the deck will not go in straight. We are planning to get a custom-made faceplate made for my car. Right now its fitting well, but all the three of us are a bit of freak as far as perfection goes. Infact, while cutting out the dash, I was imploring both to take a easy way out and prompt came the reply "Acche se nahi karenge toh apne ko bhi mazaa nahi aayega
" (If we don't do it properly, even we won't be satisfied.
This coming from two very tired people at 1 'o clock in the night. I can't thank these blokes for what they did. Now I have them on speed-dial and a friendly neighborhood shop that I can trust with everything that's got some tune on it.
(I tried to pay them extra for staying uptill those untold hours of the morning, but Amol smiled and returned it! Crazy but supremely professional).
I, hereby with all my humble powers of being a team-bhpian whole heartedly endorse Reliable Radio; specially Amol and Zakhir Bhai. They are an extremely professional and 'reliable' unit that shouldn't be over-looked if you want your car to sound nice. I got what I wanted, a good installation for a good price.
P.S. Kartik - they still remember you