“The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods


Thread Starter #197
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1. Installed new leather steering grip. The grip costed 750 and is quite premium in quality. I also checked out regular 350~550 range ones, but this one is a definitely a notch above. The color also matched nicely with door pads and seat covers. Feels nice to hold.

2. Gave a round of regular Kangaroo interior polish on Dash, steering, doors etc.

3. For those who were doubtful about longevity of my Painted steering wheel, please refer to the pics below. No change in paint finish noted after roughly 15k Kms of use

4. Added STP diesel oil additive in the Safari engine sump. It reminds me of good old Nulon days (we used that stuff in the late 90's). Its very thick, honey like oil. Super sticky. However there was this waxy, almost varnish like residue on the bottom. Not sure if one is supposed to pour that. I Did shake the can vigorously before adding. Will report any improvements after 1000 Kms of use.

5. The STP fuel injector cleaner I used last month has solved minor RPM fluctuations that had happened due to use of Essar Diesel. Rock solid RPM needle with Rock solid smile on my face.

6. MRF wanderers quoted at 6800. a piece.
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5. The STP fuel injector cleaner I used last month has solved minor RPM fluctuations that had happened due to use of Essar Diesel. Rock solid RPM needle with Rock solid smile on my face.
I love their fuel additives and injector cleaners. They did wonder every time I used them, especially on high-mile cars. Truly a potion.
 
Thread Starter #200
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Part C. Painting.

As I got my vehicle mechanically sorted, It was time to turn to more cosmetic side of the mods. Painting is one of the longest Write-up. There are tons of pics. It also took me a good 4~5 months to get these things done. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed working on my 4x4.

c2- Wiper sticks

The wiper Sticks had Faded in the sun. Time to give them a good blast of Gloss black paint.
Each stick is just held in by one Nut. And off they come.
e8QzPCT35E9YxmhcAHdYyNwkj4ITiaj1sSYHOudi-1.jpg
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And here is how they look when done-

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Thread Starter #201
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c3- Wiper cowl area
The wiper Cowl is known hotspot for rust and debris. Mine wasn't any different.
Take a look-
4P2oO4fA1_pr6__86s5rpINKdk_penrAoJJ7_pwk-1.jpg
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Got the wiper cowl Cleaned and sanded. We had to clean it over 3 times as everytime there was black water in the bucket. On 4th time we got cleaner water to my satisfaction.

Painted it with Anti Rust-

odkeZrl2CgLhbGUmnGeTxkIV0Iv6i1bZquYj1eTP-1.jpg


These are 3 coats of some neatly thick anti rust.
I also sprayed it white for Visual reasons but forgot to take pics.

The wiper motor, which was out also got painted-
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Motor was also serviced and links were lubricated.

I also took the opportunity to seal the cowl once and for good.
Adding stiff foam as below-
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The vents going inward to AC system were also sealed in same manner. Now There are no smells coming inside vehicle. Yay!
 
Thread Starter #202
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c6- Scuff plates

I Must give it to TATA for designing some of the stupidest Scuff plate Mounts on this planet. Entire engineering is completely faulty. These scuff plates have push pins that go into the body (You can see ground from there) to hold them in place. Needless to say , these pins either leak or break, which means everytime I cross a puddle or wash the car, My Carpet becomes mysteriously wet. What's worse is that water and gunk sits under scuff plates for extended periods and makes these areas Very rusty. I have read many times on various forums of people complaining why carpets become wet in the Safari. Now I know why.

The rust-
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Painted and holes sealed-
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Scuff panel before-
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After-
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All done-
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Thread Starter #205
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c4- Wheels

Wheels and Tyres are one of the critical components of any vehicle. They are closest to the ground and have some serious duties to perform. Which also means they don't live an easy life. Unfortunately, As you can see the Rims of my beast were pretty Scratched up. There were also pinpoint rust at spots.

Removing the wheels-
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Look at the beautiful 4x4 assembly-
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A closer look explains all the damage-
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Started sanding the rim with a buddy- Started sanding the rim with a buddy-
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We started with 180 Grit sandapaper to smoothen the larger scratches and moved up to 320 Grit for finishing. Wet sanding technique was used.

How it looks after sanding and washing-
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applying 1st coat of Anti rust-
You can see the rust at inner bead area on unpainted rim.

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2nd coat-

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3rd and final coat-
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All Rims Painted-
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Adding primer to prepare Paint surface-

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1st and 2nd coat of Paint.
The paint shade is METALLIC GRAPHITE.

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Gradually building up the layers-
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Overall about 5 layers of Paint was used.
The Final spraying was done with Tyres mounted so that I could cover up and scratches due to Mounting Machine.
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After this 2 coats of Clear Coat was used.


Here is how the Finalized Rim looks like-

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Thread Starter #206
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C5 The Hub Caps-

The Hub Caps were also in sorry state with cracks and scratches all over.
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Filled clear Epoxy in cracks and deep cuts-
(You cant see it easily as its transparent.)

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Although the caps look horrible, due to levelling of Clear Epoxy and then sanding, they feel super smooth to the hand.
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Adding Primer-
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2nd coat of Primer-
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Hub caps with 3 coats of GRAPHITE-
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My Final product on the vehicle-

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Thread Starter #207
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C12- Steering and gear lever.

Take a look at this Faded Steering. Or Rather not! Because its quite ugly.
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This has to go. Because steering is your Point of contact and It should always feel good to hold and use.

Started wrapping & Masking the interior. I must thank my Wife for helping me pack the stuff. Using clingwrap on steering Dia was also her Idea.

1st coat of Primer-
2nd coat-
3rd Coat.

Note how everything becomes very shiny and smooth 3rd coat onwards-
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I have used more coats as These Command controls are very frequently touched, I wanted to build up the layers so the paint may last as long as possible.

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How the Interior Looks now-
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The Gloss and feel Is Immaculate-

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After about 1 year of use, I am Thankful to report that the paint has stayed on and looks as fresh as on Day one. I have used the Same wheel Paint, Which I believe is designed to resist abrasion and as a benefit it stays on The levers quite well. No fading or chipping observed , even after leaving the car in sun for a week. Now Whats next?

Note-
4 coats of Primer
7 coats of Graphite
3 coats of Clear coat was used.
Its a headache arranging pics with TAI image uploader due to all the scrolling up & Down. The pics may not be in right sequence.
 

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fantastic work to give a fresh update to the safari.[cheers].I can understand how paint work can eat away hours during preparation state .But the final finish just evaporates the hardwork put in to get the desired finish
 
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I like your rim painting work very much.Good honest job there!! Very meticulous too.It looks like you always get assistance from your staff/house worker ,as seen in all the numerous pics posted so far .He gets the hard part of labour.Nothing wrong in it. Lucky you!
Lots of hard work ,pain and preparation has gone into your safari.
XUV is neglected??
 
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