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


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

This is one lucky safari. Nice modifications+repairs.
Have you planned anything yet, or already done, for the tyres. Upsizing or AT maybe.
Nothing yet.
Will get Nice ATs (Probably Yokohama Geolander) when current tyres wear out.
Upsizing is a can of worms in Safari (or any car mostly) As it causes suspension problems. Will be sticking to stock size. Which is plenty at 235-70-R16.
Roughly same tyre outer dimensions as XUV & Scorpio.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

Wow you are one happy kid who's found his favourite giant toy to dirty his hands.

Love the use of a discarded CCTV camera as a reversing camera, this is truely innovative.

Regards
Vinod
 

vijay

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Some great work going on with your beast, loved the passion you are having to go with your DIY's.Hows the switches working of now after that glueing and repairing them is the response accurate or for time being doing its duty?
Agreed to what nanofreak said the CCTV camera idea is brilliant and rightly used.How about changing your IRVM to full size screen for camera rather then current OEM one?
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

Wow you are one happy kid who's found his favourite giant toy to dirty his hands.

Love the use of a discarded CCTV camera as a reversing camera, this is truely innovative.

Regards
Vinod
[:)]
Some great work going on with your beast, loved the passion you are having to go with your DIY's.Hows the switches working of now after that glueing and repairing them is the response accurate or for time being doing its duty?
Agreed to what nanofreak said the CCTV camera idea is brilliant and rightly used.How about changing your IRVM to full size screen for camera rather then current OEM one?
1. Switches working for now. Reliably. No plans to put 4k on those unless they completely break again.
2. This Safari is VX 4x4 version. Absolute top end. The Reverse camera is a Factory install embedded in Auto-dimming mirror. All these things are controlled by BCM (Which also controls lights, Chimes, Wipers and many other stuff)

Not much information about this is available. So I am afraid to fiddle any further. If this was a simpler aftermarket unit, I could have replaced the Screen with much bigger arrangement or Made AV-In for dash mounted Tablet/GPS.

VX 4x4 also comes with airbags, ABS and Headrest mounted screens (2 Nos). And Not many of these 4x4s are on road. Some features were actually removed from Storme (Rev cam & Screens being one). So TASC is least interested in helping or supplying parts.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b13- Immobilizer repair--
Since the day I got the car, The car keys and locks were little finicky. The TASC updated key software during 1st service, which means key detection improved. I could start the car reliably now.

The door locks however, Were still little fiddly. Sometimes they would unlock (Upon pressing unlock key on remote) but lock back within a second.

The first part I did was to change cells in the Key. Safari key uses a strange 27A, 12v spec cell. Ordered a few on ebay and put in. Noticed no Improvements other than range of key increased-







I started looking around. The Safari uses Dedicated ECU for Immobilizer under the driver's seat.
I could see that the ECU wires were cheaply repaired by prev. Service-


Removed it-



Upon closer inspection, It seems the wire repair was nothing but a bypass to help pass current over some corroded contacts. I mean it did not change the circuit of wiring. I also noticed that the thin yellow wire was heating up when pressing unlock/lock, Which means this was the main wire to carry current for door guns. I replaced the wire with a beefy one and properly soldered it in.






No More overheating


Proper sleeving-


Hot glue to prevent loose contacts-





ECU sealed with Bubble wrap-


This should keep connectors from getting pulled around due to luggage or kids. Also keeps wire safe. The door locks are not fiddly anymore.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

DRL-
Friends I have a few questions to ask.
1. Whether I should install LED DRL on this beast or not?
2. What would be the location.
3. What shape and size shall I go for (Longish, Square, Slim, Thick etc)

Some Images for reference-










NOTE- Credits to TBP Forums for the image. Just using the image as this is the clearest Image of a clean car I could find Squarely taken head on.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

b13- Immobilizer repair--
Since the day I got the car, The car keys and locks were little finicky. The TASC updated key software during 1st service, which means key detection improved. I could start the car reliably now.

This should keep connectors from getting pulled around due to luggage or kids. Also keeps wire safe. The door locks are not fiddly anymore.
Our very own home grown 'Ed China' in his elements, well done son(just as Mike would have appreciated).
DRL-
Friends I have a few questions to ask.
1. Whether I should install LED DRL on this beast or not?
2. What would be the location.
3. What shape and size shall I go for (Longish, Square, Slim, Thick etc)
May I suggest DRL with indicators (a la Audi), or even the fog light with built-in indicators which you had suggested to me some years back, the OEM indicators are with a clear lens.

I did manage to locate it in Amazon list.

https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/B01L9OGXWE/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_20?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A35SKRMEASIBJW
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

Our very own home grown 'Ed China' in his elements, well done son(just as Mike would have appreciated).


May I suggest DRL with indicators (a la Audi), or even the fog light with built-in indicators which you had suggested to me some years back, the OEM indicators are with a clear lens.

I did manage to locate it in Amazon list.

https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/B01L9OGXWE/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_20?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A35SKRMEASIBJW
DRL with indicators will need wire changes as DRL power should be supplied. Also, The flasher unit will need a change to prevent hyperflash.

Fogs with DRL seems the best bet. A fog change is in the Contents.
Amazing thread bhvm.

Thats one heck of an exercise. waiting for the final pics.

Did you get the colour changed in the RC as well?
Thanks for dropping in.
The color scheme is such that it does not need change in RC.
 
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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-
image

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

image

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

image

The open Socket you see is for audio.

Engaged Reverse, And we have a Live feed folks!
image

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.

image

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
This is simply AMAZING,1st of a kind for sure.
A brilliant idea to convert a spare CCTV cam into a reversing camera.[clap]
Loved reading your DIY jobs Sir
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

“The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 review & mods.

4x4's They say, Is Passion.
Well I jut think they're just trying to be mild with the words. Its POISION.

There are various different strains of this infection. Some are deadlier than Black Mambas. Some will try to replace your blood with diesel. I was infected way back in April 2017. Thats when I made these threads-

http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/forums/car-shopper/28946-bitten-4x4-bug-now-i-want-one.html

This is when I declared my Friends and Family about it, so lets keep this date official. The actual storm has been brewing in my blood for quite a some time. 2 years to be precise. 2 years was the time it had taken for all symptoms to develop and be publicly visible. The symptoms were very simple to identify if you know what to look for, Such as-

1. Watching videos from Sir Andrew St. Perrie white, Ronny Dahl & Anshuman Bishnoi till late night.
2. Looking on forums for Off-roading shots
3. Watching RFC seasons
4. Making oneself accustomed with off roading technical jargons like Diff locks, MT tyres, Maxx trax and Transfercases.

So it was clear, I had to have a 4x4. Simple.


So a Deep study of What "I" want? That's the most important thing and true identity of an Auto-Enthusiasts.

Liked the way of expressing it as an infection
 
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Re: “Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 review & mods

a1. HISTORY-

At first I tried to keep my mind rational. I went to explore and read about various medicines available in India, From different pharmacies. Here is a sneak peak at my Research-

1. Thar-

2. GV 4x4-

3. Gurkha 4x4-

4. Facelifted scorpio-

5. Older scorpio-

6. Old fortuner MT- (2010)

7. Newer Gen (2015+) Fortuner 4x4- Not fitting in budget

8. Safari TCIC 1.9L- Not considered.

9. Safari 3.0L Dicor

10. Safari 2.2L Dicor

11. Safari Stome 400

12. Pajero 2.8L 118HP (2nd gen)

This all worked for a bit. I also had small entry of duster AWD for a meanwhile. But nothing really tickled my fancy. Somewhere in the corner of my heart, I knew where all this was going. The symptoms worsened day by day, And I could not get the 4x4 bug off me. I was Poisoned. I was done for. The Kind doctors at the forums suggested me a perfect Prescription-
1. A decent 4x4
2. Long wheel base & Comfortable seating/ Sealed cabin
3. 300 MG err. NM of Torque or more.
4. Having a Proper Transfercase with Low and High modes.
5. Rear LSD or MLD

That's a lot of research done in different Pharmacies for finding the best prescriptions.
Finally you got one that fits to the T.
 
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Re: “Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 review & mods

My inner child was screaming.
I am one of those people who has been a safari user since 20 years. We had the first safari in town. It was a 1998 model Safari TCIC with 90BHP 1.9L Engine. An Image as rough estimate- (We didn't own cameras back then)

image

The vehicle was legendary when It came out. Turbocharged Engine. Power steering. Power windows. Double barreled headlights. Fog lights! But the best part? That Motorized antenna which used to operate at the touch of a button. We had her roughly 150,000 Kms. The only gripe was 90 BHP being so much an Hatchback-class engine, was way too underpowered for 2.5 tonne beast. For those can remember, Safari 1.9 TCIC was longer and heavier than current storme. The rearmost compartment had side facing seats. One bench seated two and other side seated one, with a strong ac vent as companion. This made the SUV and effective 8 seater. This long variant which we had was never seen much later than 90's. With safari being always a 7 seater from them on.

Somewhere in 2005, Tata ploughed in a 3.0L 2956CC 116 BHP truck engine from the 407! The Torque went up to 300 NM!. Sure, we missed the double barreled headlights, The longer last compartment and few knick knacks, but a more powerful engine in the Safari was a perfect recipe!
Before anyone knew, people saw us rushing towards the nearest metro city with a cheque book just like someone rushes to get tickets at usual Railway booking counter.
Safari it has to be. Once bitten by the bug you cannot run away.
You got the prescription for the infection, but there is no prescription for this Safari bug once bitten. It's forever.

Safari TCIC, I read/hear that anywhere and an excitement goes through me.
It's underpowered, but it's a simple old school machine not much to worry about.

I too had one a 2004 make probably a facelift model from the end days of Safari TCIC. It exactly resembled the 3.0L in looks. The black one in my Profile pic. Had to bid good buy under some unforeseen circumstances. Although it's still with someone known to me. Wish to procure it back.

Couple of questions bhvm on the TCIC, since you owned one from the very first lot.

1. You mentioned "The Motorized antenna", where was it placed in the TCIC? Mine did not had it.

2. I had heard about this 8 seater version, but don't think it was any lengthier than the 7 seater versions (TCIC, 3.0L DiCOR and 2.2 DiCOR).
Anyways if it really was lengthier that meant bad departure angle.
 
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Re: “The Blue Elephant” My Safari 4x4 Review & Mods

So a Deep study of What "I" want? That's the most important thing and true identity of an Auto-Enthusiasts.

Liked the way of expressing it as an infection
Thanks for the appreciation. Glad you liked the write-up!

That's a lot of research done in different Pharmacies for finding the best prescriptions.
Finally you got one that fits to the T.
That was about 1~2 years of research with help from Experienced forum members all around.

BTW Where are Vipul Saarji, IR and others which were on my Initial thread?

Safari it has to be. Once bitten by the bug you cannot run away.
You got the prescription for the infection, but there is no prescription for this Safari bug once bitten. It's forever.

Safari TCIC, I read/hear that anywhere and an excitement goes through me.
It's underpowered, but it's a simple old school machine not much to worry about.

I too had one a 2004 make probably a facelift model from the end days of Safari TCIC. It exactly resembled the 3.0L in looks. The black one in my Profile pic. Had to bid good buy under some unforeseen circumstances. Although it's still with someone known to me. Wish to procure it back.

Couple of questions bhvm on the TCIC, since you owned one from the very first lot.

1. You mentioned "The Motorized antenna", where was it placed in the TCIC? Mine did not had it.

2. I had heard about this 8 seater version, but don't think it was any lengthier than the 7 seater versions (TCIC, 3.0L DiCOR and 2.2 DiCOR).
Anyways if it really was lengthier that meant bad departure angle.
Yes. Safari is Love at first sight. It comes after you. It possesses you.
The only Medicine for Temporary comfort is to fill some diesel in huge stomach of the Safari and go for a long spin. The Medicine should be taken every week.

The TCIC... Aaah.
I loved the way that small 90BHP engine with (Small) FGT turbo would sound. It was almost like an aeroplane when taking off. Back then, Diesels used to sound like tractors. This kind of whistling sound was very new (And hence entertaining) to humble village folk like us. I loved revving it up!
I only wish It had the performance to match with the sound.

Please do post about the adventures and experience with your beasts (TCIC and DICOR) on the forum. Many of us would like to hear and see. It would be great if you can start the ownership thread of your current beast. I do wish you get your TCIC back. Parking issues, Perhaps?

Coming to the questions-
1. The Antenna was placed on the navigator side, Usually where a fender mirror is placed.

2. I am not too sure about the length of 8 seater version. Back then during the childhood days, The rear compartment of safari was perfect for us. It was a Fortress. To play. To study. To eat meals. ( I used to eat meals in Trucks and SUVs back then sometimes, My Mom and Granny often bring that up if the topic of my childhood comes). There goes my one more secret.[surprise]

With all the time spent there, I do believe it was larger/longer than current 7 seater ones.
Also, There was a door pocket on tail door and very strong AC. Which means TATA had designed this area for frequent usage (Which we often did).

3. Bad departure could be a thing. It was not too bad and we never had a problem with it.
The TCIC came with 235/75/R15 wheels. Its also possible that Suspension Geometry was different.
 
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