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


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


b2- OBD fun


Since there were some intermittent errors coming up when driving (Not limp modes), I though to invest in a decent Bluetooth OBD reader and check on things myself. Basically, Most of TASC and practically ALL FNGs are not versed with Tata OBD codes. If the car runs, they are OK with it.

“Saar gaadi Chalao, Light kyu dekh rahe ho? Mast bhaag rahi hai”


(Sir why are you worried? Your car is running sporty, Just drive it, Ignore the Lights)

Is the usual reply. All the TASC told me that performance of my Safari is top notch and I should'nt be bothered about occasional MIL Lights. Coming back to the OBD, I first tried the usual famous “Torque” app. God what a stupid app! Dont know why people recommend it. Hardly anything useful. Then I went to OBD car doctor. Godsend app!

It was able to read most of the sensors in my safari, Including the occasional P1253 Code (which is pending). Take a look for yourself!



























I could not observe anything fishy. The said spikes in readings are due to ME pressing the A Pedal till 2000 RPM. The readings have spiked in accordance with the pedal, which I assume is good. I am still in a jinx how to trace out the P1253 error. Now what I need is similar Data/Screenshots from another Safari 2.2 to compare my data and find out the differences.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b3- Cleaning-

With the usual filth and dirt, Tolerating 5 days at TASC meant that my SUV was no less than a breeding ground for bacteria, Grime, Grease and Dust. Some special Cleaning was on order.

b3 part 1- Door pads-
Door pads scrubbed and cleaned with chemical wash as below. Look at the black Grime!






B3 part 2- Interiors-





b3 Part 3- Seatbelts-
The seatbelts in this car were exceptionally dirty. How Emberassing.
Yuck-





I must give this to my wife. She first tried cleaning them with muscle and Dish soap (Liquid). They were only marginally better. Then she brewed up a unique concoction of Vinegar, Baking soda and some dish soap, and placed belts overnight to soak in small buckets like these-





In the Morning, we could see contrast among cleaned and dirty areas-




The formula was working. More soaking and Elbow grease later, we had belts that looked almost new. Finally the car being presentable.



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

I must give this to my wife. She first tried cleaning them with muscle and Dish soap (Liquid). They were only marginally better. Then she brewed up a unique concoction of Vinegar, Baking soda and some dish soap, and placed belts overnight to soak in small buckets like these-
This mix,will harm the integrity/strength of the belt.Only mild soap and warm water allowed.


But I am enjoying the write-up. Keep it up.
This was not intended to spoil your party.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b3 Part 4- AC vents with 3m Cleaning Foam-
The cooling in this Giant SUV takes time. Esp the middle row roof AC was working just for namsake. Hence decided to take a shot at 3m Cleaning foam. I got 2 bottles of these online for 800.



These comes with long pipe to help reach the interior of Ducts and cooling coil.


Just insert the pipe as deply as you can and squirt the nozzle. The foam juts out and expands with little pops and crackles. Feels quite interesting. I belive this “explosive” expanding action forms the major part to push dirt out.





Socket.jpg



The Roof AC has coils visible which was an easy target to blast away.



The result, ye ask?
Well nothing much other fresh lemony smell for 2 weeks. I was hoping this would do something, Atleast for roof AC as coils are very much exposed. I did 2 cleaning sessions of Roof AC with 3m foam. But no change noted. Anyone who owns safari 2.2 with roof AC, Is it just for show? Or is there supposed to be some actual cooling from it?
This is very contrary to rearmost dedicated AC in Safari 1.9L TCIC. Which was the strongest AC among the group.
 
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Thread Starter #22
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b5- Cabin lamp DIY LED conversion-
The SUV came with usual dingy Halogen bulbs in Cabin lamps. “These need to be gone” I said.
And as some of you might know, I am a fan of 4300k (Sunlight spectrum) Lights. These will not be available in market as the stores are flooded with cheap 6000k lamps with bluish tint and very harsh output. So lets hit two birds with one stone. I decided to MAKE my own lamps.
Note- Description is between photos in text

Opened the Cabin lamp and gave it a quick service-





There is very simple construction. A metal ball held by spring slides on the contacts-


Now coming to the bulbs-
Planned to used 9 SMD LEDs (5050) to replace each halogen bulb-



Took the dimensions of Cabin Lamp glass. 9 LEDs fit perfectly for Middle & Last row. The front lamp will take 12 LEDs for better brightness!


Started Cutting LED strips-


Made 3 modules of LED as below.-


Time to heat up my soldering iron-


Started soldering-








Covered the solders with hot glue for safety and strength-


Test run to check fit-




An Underexposed shot to give you idea of LED chips-


Readying the modules-


Testing-


Full power-




Maximum power-


More!


Installation-


Just remembered I do not have cabin illumination shots now. Will post later.
 

vijay

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Heartiest congratulations on your beast buddy and wishing you many many happy miles to clock with.Finally the dream comes true for your 4x4 beast hunting.Glued to this thread for your updates and DIYs for this machine.That blue shade surely looks amazing and awaiting to see the final outcome.Enjoy this beast to its fullest for what its capable of.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b6- Headlight LED conversion -

After driving 350Kms in dark I had enough of the factory dingy 55w Halogens. Headlights are usually the first thing I Upgrade upon getting car. The cost is so less but the safety advantage is tremendous, Its a no-Brainer really. On the side note, I am surprised that prev. owner stuck with original 55w lamps. There is no wire cutting. Even dust caps are intact with no cutting (And I wish to keep them that way).

The requirements were simple-
1. LED bulb with low power consumption
2. Should maintain Factory cutoff and Anti-glare design
3. Should be a serious upgrade over stock 1100 Lumen 55w Bulb
4. Should fit inside default headlights with no cap cutting and fiddling.

The search, however was not. After hunting roughly a month on Aliexpress, Found OSLAMP LED H4 bulbs for roughly 1500 a set.

Note- Description text is between images.


Came decently packed-




Close-up of Glare shield-


The upper 2 LEDs are for Low beam, whereas Lower 2 work for high beam. I was assuming all 3 LEDs will light for High beam but its not that way.





Decent H4 plug-


The special feature of these lamps are Inbuilt fan with inbuilt driver. Makes the entire design very compact. These fit into factory caps without cutting.



Removable H4 adapter chuck Makes installation easy.


Testing begins on Multimeter-



So bright, My Ghetto Glare shield for testing.



About 2.14 Amps for low beam. 2.34A for high beam.





Considering nominal 13v vehicle voltage, this bulb operates at about 30W nominal. Considering 7w for fans and Driver losses, The group of LED should be seeing roughly 23w. 4 LED chips in total are lit at one time (being low or high beam) which means each chip sees about 5 to 6w. That makes sense as these are Cree XB-D clones. I can also forsee that the bulb makes roughly 2300 Lumen, A sizable upgrade. But still a far cry from chinese 70w, 7000 Lumen claim. Just as expected.

Upper 2 chips for low beam- (Photos taken from X-ray print)


Lower 2 for High beam-


Left- Factory Low beam. Right- LED low beam (Needs to be aligned)



Left- Factory High beam. Right- LED High beam (Needs to be aligned but still pretty similar beam pattern)



Both LED low beams-


Both LED high beams-


Low-





I will post better pictures on a flat wall later. After alignment, Beam pattern is decent and Low beam glare cutoff is visibly present.

Driving Impressions-
1. The car has very much become drivable. There is significant difference in brightness over stock 55w Bulbs.
2. Glare limiters are working well and one can visibly notice difference between low and high beams. The beam pattern seems to compliment Stock Safari Reflector very well and all the quality of illumination is Maintained. High beam has decent reach.
3. Power consumption reduced from 55w to 30w. The battery is very happy
4. No overheating or fading observed over 4 hours of continuous driving.
5. The Color temperature is 6000k which I do not like. However it was getting impossible to find decent bulb with decent beam pattern in 4300k. Maybe next year some better options will come.
6. The 6000k Color compliments nicely to 6000k Cree Aux lamps I have added.
7. Instant flash and very cool 6000k color with sharp optics (LED High beam feels very crisp from a distance compared to Halogen High beam) lends a Premium look. I am sure oncomers are thinking that approaching car is an Audi or something (Witnessed this myself). Same effect in rear view mirrors. The car looks very premium like new Germans.
8. Headlights can be left on as DRL without worrying about heat and power consumption.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b8- Speaker repair-
The Previous owner had mentioned that Stereo does not work. So upon reaching home (in utter silence) I started working on the stereo next day.

I replaced the fuse and Stereo started working. All good there-


I must say that this model of JVC is very well and has decent features. There are crossovers settings inbuilt, lots of EQ options and the rear outputs can be bridged to drive a small sub!



After fixing the HU, I turned my attention the speakers. Rear speakers were't working. So I opened the grilles. Safari has these unique grille design where you can reach the speaker without opening the door pads! How convenient!

Also, I must thank Tata for providing component speakers in the front and Composites in the Back. The speaker quality is ages ahed of Mahindra XUV (Stupid Paper speakers all around). The Safari speakers use a Fiber Cone with rubber surrounds.



After removing the Grille, You can remove speaker by undoing few screws-


Aha, A solder had come undone.



Are these SPIDER brand speakers?




Soldering done and coated with Hot glue for more stability-






The only downside I see now is that door pads have too much rattling during bass,which will need attention later on.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b9- Door lock markers
Tata Had given small red markings on door locks to show if they are open. These are quite helpful.
Now the markings had become faded/rubbed-off due to the sands of time and sun.
So Whats a DIY'er with an empty sunday afternoon to do? Well what we do best.

The faded lock markers-






Started Cutting reflective Vinyl sheets I had-


Getting a try on-




From Far. As this is Reflective, It looks even better and bolder than the original Idea. Good for checking locks at night.



Also Cut a Small dot which Tata had on top and started applying-




Unlocked!-


Locked-


Completed all 5 doors this way.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b10- Power window switch repair-

Noticed that the switches of my Driver side power window panels weren’t feeling positive. They were either sticking or way too loose. No positive feedback or click. The windows were still working after fiddling with them a bit. First sprayed a liberal application of WD40. Did not change much. Showed it to TASC- Things are wonky from the inside. Will have to replace whole panel.
Another day and another challenge Accepted!

The Panel-


Cables tied so they don't fall off-


The gunea Pig on my desk-




The blue square is a Child lock button. Which works in spring.


This was incorrectly installed by prev. service so Installed properly.
Also set the spring properly-


Switch panel dismounted from fascia-


Started removing faulty switches-






Taking a closer look, I can see that one of the Mounting pin is broken-




Inner part also comes off. This is the rocker-


The rocker Has a diffuser plastic to spread the light from tiny LED (At night)-


Glued it properly- (This glue will become clear once it dries)



My Jugaad for broken mounting pin-


Pressed (Melted) it in with heated soldering Iron-


Tons of Glue on top-




Glue is drying up (Becomes clear)



The screw receptacles for fascia were cracking. Time for More glue job!








Everything complete and assembled!


Car ready!-


Was the excersize worth it? Well Not, frankly. Its just my hunger for DIYs and having time to kill. The switch panel costs 4K from TASC (Not Incl wood fascia) and would've been a better deal Overall. However, the windows work far more reliably now.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b12- Camera Repair-
Its the usual Story with Safaris. The rear camera falls off or gets stolen. The stupid design that Tata has used is the culprit here. The OEM Rear view Camera is mounted on a small plastic cover, Which takes just 2 fingers to pull. One of the worst OEM designs I have ever seen for mounting a cam!

The Prev. Owner reported that the camera was stolen in a parking lot.
Well. Well. well. Drove to TASC and enquired what to do. The Rear camera costs a whooping 12,000!. And they weren’t sure if it will come with the flimsy plastic cover to mount!. “Thank you sir” And I moved out out TASC as swiftly as possible.

Expensive camera. Flimsy mounting. Poor design. No Money in pocket.
What's a DIY'er to do? Well look below-


Sir Yes Sir, You guessed it right. Its a CCTV camera that I had lying around. Here is how it looks properly fixed-



How to Install?
There were wires dangling at the rear of vehicle. Must be for camera, I thought.
Sum of 4 wires total. Makes sense. I sacrificed the OEM connector. Got 4 wires in Hand. Out of these 4, two should carry voltage (+& - 12v) and two should carry Signal.

I figured out the voltage on Multimeter. Got 12v. All good there.
Used connectors like below (Soldered) to Convert the wires into standard RCA type AV plugs-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCA_connector



The open Socket you see is for audio.

Engaged Reverse, And we have a Live feed folks!


Tata has used a small 2 inch Screen from Old Nokia Phones (Or new Nokias of that era (2005~2007 When this SUV was designed) . The resolution should be about QVGA (320x240) at best. Not impressive, but gets job done. I guess these were the way things happened in older days! The Camera looks better to eye that what you probably see in the images. Its not THAT bad.



So how did it all turn out? Impressive!
The said CCTV camera has excellent night vision capability and sharpness. The colors are washed out though (looks brownish always). The camera now has a secure mounting location (On metal plate running along the length of Bumper) And is secured using 2 nuts (Incl. Checknut). Overall result is great for reversing the beast, Which is godsend as small stuff like Kids, scooters, Cars etc can very well hide behind the towering elephant.

Note- I do not have detailed images for this DIY as I was working underneath the vehicle
 
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This is one lucky safari. Nice modifications+repairs.
Have you planned anything yet, or already done, for the tyres. Upsizing or AT maybe.
 
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