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Old 30th July 2021, 13:52   #61
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Hey Trojan!
Thanks for an update to an outstanding thread!
I'm convinced, this is the vehicle to beat, for a young adventurous family or for the 'young at heart'.
I was wondering if you experimented with the intake of your snorkel? More specifically unscrewing the clamp and facing the intake forwards?
May help liberate a few horses at cruise speed, with the ram effect. May also improve cruise fuel economy due improved volumetric efficiency and reduced load on the turbo.

If you would like to experiment, please wait till after the monsoons!
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Old 30th July 2021, 15:01   #62
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

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Originally Posted by adi_sun View Post
Brilliant car that wont do well given the way Force treats it. I have heard and read about how comfortable it is vs the Thar.

Coming to the mods; aren't the rear view mirrors too ? Looking at the pictures I think they create a substantial blind zone.
Thank you adi_sun! Yes Force has a wonderful product, I really hope they give it the attention it needs and they will have a winner!

Yes the mirrors do create a blind spot and takes some getting used to but it eliminates almost all the remaining blind spots that any large truck comes with due to its ginormous size and additional concave mirrors at the bottom for both L & R.

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Originally Posted by AZT View Post
Good video. I checked out your channel and website and the Tiger reserve camping looks great. Will definitely give it a shot once things normalize.
Thank you AZT! You are welcome anytime, its a delight for those who love driving their off-roaders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValuableRecluse View Post
Hey Trojan!
Thanks for an update to an outstanding thread!
I'm convinced, this is the vehicle to beat, for a young adventurous family or for the 'young at heart'.
I was wondering if you experimented with the intake of your snorkel? More specifically unscrewing the clamp and facing the intake forwards?
May help liberate a few horses at cruise speed, with the ram effect. May also improve cruise fuel economy due improved volumetric efficiency and reduced load on the turbo.

If you would like to experiment, please wait till after the monsoons!
Thank you! That is a very interesting suggestion, honestly I never thought about it, but would certainly try it post the rains. Not looking for any power gains but some wee bit extra mileage would be a lovely gift.

Talking about which, I guess I missed writing about that - traveling like we do, fully loaded with luggage, roof carriage and all the other wind shear factors, we manage to get between 10-11 kmpl

Cheers,
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Old 30th July 2021, 17:13   #63
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

This is Nostalgic!

We had the Tempo Trax - Town & Country and it was one of the first vehicles I drove while learning how to drive. I remember taking it off-road even before I knew what the term really meant and the ease at which it handled bad roads is probably unmatched even today.

Great thread, wish you many many happy adventures with the Gurkha
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Old 30th July 2021, 18:17   #64
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Default Re: Update at 22222 KMs

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Originally Posted by Trojan View Post
Ownership Report
Kms : 22222

I will leave you now with a video which gives a glimpse into the terrain we cross almost on a daily basis, the chief reason for having chosen the Gurkha!
Nice stuff! Congratulations on crossing the nice milestone. One lucky car this. Really being used like a lifestyle vehicle / off roader in the wilderness.

One query - how come the video appears "stabilized" like a gunner's sight ? Some special camera mount?
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Old 30th July 2021, 19:38   #65
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Thanks for the nice update with some beautiful photos. Just one question, did you use the bed for the kids to sleep while on move or used it for the sleepover in the night?
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Old 31st July 2021, 21:00   #66
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pashin View Post
We had the Tempo Trax - Town & Country and it was one of the first vehicles I drove while learning how to drive. I remember taking it off-road even before I knew what the term really meant and the ease at which it handled bad roads is probably unmatched even today.
That is certainly nostalgic, I remember the 'Town & Country' very well and much later the Judo and was always intrigued by it, had never imagined at that time though that I would ever buy something from its stables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
One lucky car this. Really being used like a lifestyle vehicle / off roader in the wilderness.

One query - how come the video appears "stabilized" like a gunner's sight ? Some special camera mount?
Thank you ... Yes, it was purchased with a clear objective in mind and with the grace of the heavens we are able to stick to it.
The GoPro optical stabilization works quite well, almost Gimbal like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H0RSEPOWER View Post
Thanks for the nice update with some beautiful photos. Just one question, did you use the bed for the kids to sleep while on move or used it for the sleepover in the night?
Thank you, its multi purpose, depending upon our state of motion.
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Old 9th August 2021, 15:37   #67
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Reading: 22650 kms

Update: Broken fan belt.
Reason: Jammed belt roller.

Investigation result: Upon opening the 'sealed' bearings, found that they were completely rusted and wouldn't budge a bit.

Now that this happened, it reminds me that I have forgotten to mention about the Belt replacement carried out in March-2021 at Siddarth Motors Kasarwadi.

Upon my subsequent visit to SP Automobiles at Mira Road, Mumbai in March again I picked up an additional cable to carry along.

Last few days I could feel something rubbing/grinding as I drove, but could not figure out the source of the same - now it is clear where it was coming from.

As I entered Khajuraho market (near the Western Group of temples, I heard a clear snap and then before I could understand what caused it I realized as the power steering stopped functioning and then right after that the Air conditioning.

The weight of the vehicle could be felt every inch of the way, anyone who has been to Khajuraho will know how busy that street is and at crawling speeds it needed a lot of strength to maneuver along as we went to a nearby workshop known to me. It was sheer good luck that it happened in the city and not inside the forest ghat roads which I had crossed earlier in the morning.

Not only that the workshop was close-by and the owner known to me, but they are also the authorized workshop for all MP Police vehicles (Safari Storme) so their workforce is quite adept at working on big SUVs.

Upon inspection they told me that the rollers upon which the Belt is placed is jammed and that's why it has snapped because the belt seemed new. I told him that it was replaced in March. They removed the roller to get the bearing out and normally bearings are sealed so they took it to a neighboring workshop to open it up and here's what was seen inside.

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-rusted-bearing.jpeg

This looked like a salvage from a sunken ship, forget grease, this thing will need to be soaked overnight in WD40 to even make it rotate. Again, they stock plenty of spares and after replacing both the bearings, the belt was refit and we could return back to camp.

I informed the Force Western Region service Engineer about it through WhatsApp and a phone call.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
Why was the belt replaced so early in the first place? is it part of the maintenance schedule?
Sorry missed writing the reason, I had noticed visible cracks along the grooves and hence replaced it, after removal it was found to be very hard and brittle as well, so it turned out to be a good thing that we changed it.


Cheers,

Last edited by Trojan : 9th August 2021 at 15:56.
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Old 9th August 2021, 15:50   #68
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Why was the belt replaced so early in the first place? is it part of the maintenance schedule?
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Old 25th August 2021, 16:37   #69
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Default Re: Service Experience

Kms 23500

So here is an update with regards to my sad and going downhill Service experience with Force authorized service centers

Mahalaxmi Force, Hadapsar
May-2020


Issues During Delivery
  • Owners Manual - Missing (Recvd after a Year that too after company intervention)
  • HSRP Number plate - Missing (Pending - no refund provided for money already paid)
  • Fastag: Missing (Installed myself - no refund provided for money already paid
  • Torn Rear Seat Cover (Pending)
  • Torn Gear lever gaiter (Pending)
  • Vibration during driving identified during investigation as due to Propeller Shaft (by Force motors)
Dealership Service Manager, accepted that they identified the Propeller issue during PDI but they just tightened it and delivered the vehicle (citing lockdown). Mentioned that they will order the part soon and to visit the center for the same.

During the first week of ownership, they promised to clear all these issues, unfortunately none was complied.

Oct-2020
Kamat Motors, Goa.

Checks were done, fluids topped up, no parts were available so propeller shaft was left unchanged

Feb 2021
Mahalaxmi Motors, Pune

After coordinating for nearly a month I planned for my first major service and Propeller shaft to be changed as it needed to be ordered from their Indore plant.
After multiple discussions and a few weeks and dates planned, the day I was supposed to take the vehicle to the service center, I am informed by the dealership team that the part is no longer available as they used it for another vehicle upon the MDs request.

I asked them to continue with the servicing at least. After keeping the vehicle for 4 days, they delivered the vehicle with NOTHING being done.
What transpired there was escalated in written with Force officials.

Net result : I was left high and dry again!

Mar-2021
SP Automotive, Mira Road (Fountain Chowk)


After this episode, I was asked by Force to revisit the Pune dealership to get the work done again. I could not get myself to trust those people again.
As there was no other authorized Gurkha service center in Pune, upon Force motors suggestion I traveled to their Mumbai dealership to get it done -

But what happened there... read on

After keeping the vehicle for around 10 days, they ordered the part (Propeller shaft) changed it and delivered the vehicle but forgot to carry out the servicing (yes - they forgot)

After traveling 200kms to pick up the vehicle, I was left with no choice but to drive back.
Further, at the time of billing they asked me to pay for the 'warranty' change of the Propeller shaft citing technical process as the original dealer who has delivered the vehicle needs to submit report etc. and that the monies will be refunded within 30 days.

Left with no choice and a couple of assuring phone calls later (to Force officials) I drove back to Pune.

April : Lockdown Excuses

May : Give us a few more days Sir!

June : Dealership stopped answering my calls or replying to messages

July : Escalation, no updates

August : Escalation, no updates.


I would not even get into the other issues which remain unsolved or the amount of energy, time and money spent wasted dealing with these bunch of unprofessional dealers.
But am not sure what disappoints me more, the dealers apathy or the apparent helplessness and lack of active decision making on the part of the company.

Now this is where things get very interesting/murky
- there are no records of my 1st visit to the Service Center (within 500-1000kms) wherein all issues were recorded. Luckily I have all Whatsapp communication with Force officials.
- there are no records in service history of my visit to Kamat Force in Goa, though I have a bill too
- as per the Force official who I am dealing with now, the first visit on records show up only in Feb-2021. He was surprised when I joined the dots for him and he got additional info from the other Force guys.

And in all this the vehicle continues to shine and chug along. This is the only saving grace in an otherwise disaster in the making. I have a lot of patience as such and they have managed to really irk me to the limits.

As I have mentioned time and again in each post, Force really needs to work or rather get new Dealers who give a dime about the customer. Else product or no product - this won't work.

The company officials themselves are always available and answer queries or try to resolve them every time. But the circle is left open majorly and so is the frustration.

What a lovely product it is but the utter lack of professional support and right attitude is blemishing our otherwise wonderful experience. I mean why can't people just deliver what they are charging for and how many opportunities does one need to turn over a new leaf and make things right?

Last edited by Trojan : 25th August 2021 at 16:41.
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Old 25th August 2021, 17:49   #70
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Default Re: Service Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan View Post

What a lovely product it is but the utter lack of professional support and right attitude is blemishing our otherwise wonderful experience. I mean why can't people just deliver what they are charging for and how many opportunities does one need to turn over a new leaf and make things right?
I understand your frustrations. But Force is not alone. Here are other companies that had stellar products but just left everything to flow into a drain.

Fiat (Palio 1.6, Adventure, Punto, Linea, Abarth!)
Mitsubishi (Pajero, Montero, the list goes on)
Force Motors and the Gurkha
General Motors and the Opel brand
Hopefully Ford doesn't join this list

Are there any others?

The only way out for you is to find a very good friendly mechanic, build a solid relationship with him, and procure all these parts well in advance of potential wear and tear and do premature replacements at your own cost and forget about dealing with the company at all. Luckily for you, the product itself is sound, so it's just about ongoing routine and preventative maintenance.
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Old 26th August 2021, 16:36   #71
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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
I understand your frustrations. But Force is not alone.
The only way out for you is to find a very good friendly mechanic, build a solid relationship with him, and procure all these parts well in advance of potential wear and tear and do premature replacements at your own cost and forget about dealing with the company at all. Luckily for you, the product itself is sound, so it's just about ongoing routine and preventative maintenance.
It is really sad that first one has to look for products which can work and function as expected and then the added worry about basic service. I was never too worried about general servicing but it was the warranty aspect due to which in spite of the lockdowns and our extensive travels, I have followed all the guidelines to the T and visited only authorized service centers, but am yet to see the warranty refund - which kind of defeats the entire purpose itself. The amount of money spent in all these travels is much more than the warranty claim - which is now over an overhead above everything else.

And during all the escalations with the Force western region official, instead of first resolving and/or giving an update on the existing issues, the guy messages me that my warranty is about to expire in 18 months
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Old 26th August 2021, 17:49   #72
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Force motors does not sell that many vehicles overall, therefore no incentive for Force to keep that many service centers or technicians. Apart from Traveler that sees a more widespread demand , other vehicles of Force have localized demand, they are reliant on aftermarket servicing of course as warranty means nothing really.

To draw a parallel - In certain districts of Tamil Nadu, you will see a ton of Mahindra FC vans, Hindustan Motors Trekker etc. They run on 100% aftermarket support.
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Old 27th August 2021, 12:02   #73
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

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Force motors does not sell that many vehicles overall, therefore no incentive for Force to keep that many service centers or technicians. Apart from Traveler that sees a more widespread demand , other vehicles of Force have localized demand, they are reliant on aftermarket servicing of course as warranty means nothing really.

To draw a parallel - In certain districts of Tamil Nadu, you will see a ton of Mahindra FC vans, Hindustan Motors Trekker etc. They run on 100% aftermarket support.
Exactly, maybe the commercial vehicle owners don't really care a lot about warranty etc. but for a private buyer in a supposed 'lifestyle segment' this sure matters.
I would say that 5 months should be a decent amount of waiting time to refund the customers money on a warranty change, it is not about technicians or number of service centers but the overall attitude and clarity/complexity of processes.
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Old 27th August 2021, 14:46   #74
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As I have mentioned time and again in each post, Force really needs to work or rather get new Dealers who give a dime about the customer. Else product or no product - this won't work.

The company officials themselves are always available and answer queries or try to resolve them every time. But the circle is left open majorly and so is the frustration.

What a lovely product it is but the utter lack of professional support and right attitude is blemishing our otherwise wonderful experience. I mean why can't people just deliver what they are charging for and how many opportunities does one need to turn over a new leaf and make things right?
The first new-car experience I was exposed to in India was back in 2002, with respect to a brand new, blue Tempo Trax Gama. Friends had booked it a few months previous after impulsively selling off their old Town& Country for "an offer too good to refuse".

So at that time and place in rural A.P., there wasn't a proper showroom even, only an (apparently) authorized service center that seemed to work mainly on three wheelers, with no new vehicles of any type in stock.

The Gama (shockingly) DID come with an owner's manual (interestingly depicting a locking-diff option even in those days) but from day one it had some kind of issue with the injection pump, maybe a sluggish governor, as it consistently had a wildly fluctuating idle speed.

The buyer was an elderly friend of mine who had, in pre-electronic times, driven 18-wheelers in the U.S. and had probably seen big old diesels with similar issues on occasion. I knew something wasn't "right" and told him so - I believe he inquired at the "service center" - predictably nothing was done, but it didn't seem to bother him enough to ever irritate him, and he drove the car like that happily till (sadly) becoming terminally ill a few years later.

A company like Maruti from the beginning was aimed at private middle-class customers whom would naturally have higher expectations and be a little more demanding.

As others here have alluded, Tempo/Force was dealing almost entirely in commercial vehicles, which besides being pretty rudimentary and crude, were probably not being bought up by many who would lose sleep over various anomalies, incl. fluctuating idle and all manner of little rattles/ vibrations. Buyers who were small-time owner-operators were not generally drawn from classes groomed for assertiveness or calling up CEO's or whatever, and even with bigger fleet-owners, there would have been a disconnect as they weren't the ones actually driving them; So as long as the vehicles got the goods/people down the road, profits came in and all was basically ok...

So traditionally the company probably never was required to offer reasonable customer service in order to sustain and increase sales...

...And old habits die hard. And even now private vehicles must constitute less than 0.1% of Force sales.

Not a lot of incentive to change, till a greater percentage of their customers one way or the other become the types with higher standards and expectations, and sufficient levels of indignation and/or influence to drive things forward. That old-time fatalism just isn't going to do it.

-Eric
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Old 29th August 2021, 13:00   #75
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...And old habits die hard. And even now private vehicles must constitute less than 0.1% of Force sales.

Not a lot of incentive to change, till a greater percentage of their customers one way or the other become the types with higher standards and expectations, and sufficient levels of indignation and/or influence to drive things forward. That old-time fatalism just isn't going to do it.
Spot on Eric!

Eventually and that eventuality has caught on with me, though I can garner copious amounts of indignation and a wee bit of influence- the behemoth of ignorance and ineptitude is just too stone wedged to move forward.

Lets see how this pans out, hopefully I will find a reliable local workshop or a reliable Force service center to get things done! Fingers crossed!
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