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    Thread: Suggestions on which (used) 4WD to buy

    1. #11

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      Quote Originally Posted by rawat_a View Post
      Thanks bhvm, your observations are spot-on.

      1. I wan't aware of clutch packs on AWDs. I was under the impression almost all Transfer Cases use locked driveshafts while those in Fortuner/Pajero and AWDs use open central differential (with former able to lock it). Thanks for the info. Yes, clutch packs will be more susceptible to failure under stress.

      Wouldn't Duster be OK for rock strewn paths? Also, wouldn't low-range 4x4 also feel equally underpowered on sand (as traction rather than torque is the primary challenge) unless using MT tyres and/or low tyre pressure?

      2. Completely agree about last 100m capability. But to play devil's advocate, if Duster can do snow, mud, sand and rocky paths, it covers most of my usage scenarios. Also, how would Duster behave on water crossings (on roads) or wading small streams - a common phenomenon in Himalayas. Perhaps, here's when rock-crawling capability will make the difference.

      3. Pajero Sport would be a good choice but for high price, wife's desire to avoid large SUVs (it would be only slightly smaller than Safari) and maintenance cost. Parking should not be an issue for me - have space at home and local runabouts are not in very crowded areas.

      4. Thanks for sharing your experience with Safari. That said, getting clean, 3-5 year old models with low-mileage is a long shot. Came across a 2014 Strome VX 4x4, quoting for 7-7.5 L with a dealer 3-4 months ago but it just didn't pass the smell test (dealer informed me that actual mieage was 85k vs 60-65k on the odo and hence he was being transparent).
      1. The use of clutch packs allows the AWD to be used on Roads. As clutch slippage allows for differential action between front and rear section. In absence of Clutch pack, The mechanical turning difference between front & rear wheels (as happens during turns) Will cause Windup (Major damage). That is the reason Traditional 4x4s cannot be driven in 4H or 4L on Pavements.

      When AWD 'LOCK" button is pressed in Any AWD vehicle, It tries to lock the front & rear section. This however is usually done by using a motor or Spring that increases the pressure on clutch pack causing them to lock. However during difficult situations, The clutches may slip or motor may overheat.

      A Transfercase, on the other hand, works like a gearbox, where forks are used to Shift the gear selection, Providing Robust, Mechanical locking. This shifting can be done using Second 4wd lever (old Jeeps, Gypsy, old fortuner) or a Motor that shifts them for you ( Most modern 4x4s)

      2. Any AWD does not do well on Rocks. The reason is missing slow CRAWL ratio of 4L, where you can idle up the SUV while paying attention to the spotter and handling the steering wheel. 1st gear in AWD is fast enough to either crash into the rocks or be difficult to control the SUV. Also, you may burn up the clutch while half clutching the AWD to prevent engine clip.

      3. Low range Vs AWD in sand. No contest. Esp when you have two more gears available to downshift before you loose all momentum in the sand. 3rd in Low range works like 1st in normal. So you have LOW 1st and 2nd as all new lower gears. Trying to gun out an AWD out of sand will cause digging and sinking.

      4. Water crossing in modern vehicles is a complicated affair. They generally fail long before Wheels loose traction, because water hitting the sensors, ECU etc will cause failures.

      Safari Storme: 300 mm
      Safari, Scorpio: 350 mm
      XUV-500: 350 mm
      Duster: 350 mm
      Grand Vitara: 500 mm
      Fortuner: 700 mm
      Pajero: 600 mm

      Interesting read-
      Water Wading Depth of the Safari, XUV500, Duster etc. - Team-BHP


      Duster-


      5. BTW check out anshuman Bishnoi's channel for indian Offroading. There you can compare AWDs to Large full size SUVs.
      And Most interestingly, Large SUVs to SWBs like Gypsy and THAR.

      The beauty of SWB is it allows for very nice Ramp breakover angle where large SUVs will Sink/High center.
      Also Thar can do lot of obstacles in just 2wd!!

    2. #12

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      A very good Example of Front wheel Biased AWD (Duster, XUV) Struggling.
      Look how rear wheels spin for a moment, but stop spinning while later. I don't know the entire story here, But looks like clutch packs (for rear power) either slipping or overheating.

      Another nice read-
      Off road review: Mahindra Thar, Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner, Tata Hexa, Isuzu D-Max - Feature - Autocar India

    3. #13

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      Quote Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
      An AWD duster suits your requirement much better than the Thar then.
      I read your ownership thread for Duster. Couldn't conclude if maintenance costs are high.

      What is your reading?

    4. #14

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      Quote Originally Posted by rawat_a View Post
      What is your reading?
      91k is the odo and I use it pretty much everywhere. A service sets me back by around 10k average

    5. #15

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      I would suggest the Duster AWD. The first condition of yours is to handle bad or difficult roads, which doesn't need a dedicated 4x4. You can easily do the Ladakh route with an AWD.

      Duster would also ensure you and your family are comfortable through the whole journey till the bad roads as well. It gives good mileage, good ride quality, decent handling for the hill routes, luggage capacity required for those trips all with decent reliability and affordable cost os maintenance. If you check megazoids trips, then you wouldnt need further clarifications.
      2012 Cruze Eco 1.4Turbo ... Commuter Car

    6. #16
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      The Thar, I think isn't a proper family drive kind of vehicle. Its more of a day outing and getting all muddy/dirty kind of steed.

      Why not a Fortuner? It'll be as reliable as sunrise, better NVH and overall refinement than the Thar. And. from what I decipher from your list of requirements, the 2WD would suffice.

    7. #17

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      Quote Originally Posted by bhvm View Post
      1. The use of clutch packs allows the AWD to be used on Roads. As clutch slippage allows for differential action between front and rear section. In absence of Clutch pack, The mechanical turning difference between front & rear wheels (as happens during turns) Will cause Windup (Major damage). That is the reason Traditional 4x4s cannot be driven in 4H or 4L on Pavements.
      Please pardon my radio silence - the vagaries of modern family locked me up in a dungeon for the weekend.

      1. Agree that mechanical coupling is anyday far superior to clutchpack or fluid coupling off the road. That said, AWD is more practical on most "roads" - good or bad - which one has to use to get to these off-road like places. While TC will get you everywhere, the question I have been trying to answer is the acceptable compromise between go-anywhere capability and everyday usage.

      For the reference, few circuits I would "wish" to do with 4WD are: i) Delhi-Manali-Ladakh ii) Delhi-Kaza-Manali iii) Delhi-Kalpa-Shipki La (contingent on finding jugaad for permits) iv) Delhi to Niti Pass/Mana Pass (again contingent on permits) and v) Delhi-Pokhra-Mustang.

      The tipping point in favour of Thar would be a) if Duster is unlikley to complete these circuits on slightly less-than-lucky day, or b) if the repair bill for Duster in case of likely damages while visiting these places.

      As per my understanding, Kaza-Manali and Niti Pass/Mana Pass would be difficult or very expensive to visit in a Duster (I do acknowledge that bravehearts have done theese circuits in 2WD cars as well).

      2. When you say rocks, do you mean this ( )?

      Or this ( ). I have no foreseaable intention of doing the former.

      NOTE: Dear Moderators, please pardon the clumsiness of links and if possible direct me on how to rectify. Thx

      3. Yes I did read a bit more on the topic. Agreed

      4. Unfortunately, that is true of all most modern cars. Yet as per this link (6 SUVs that can nearly go : Ford EcoSport to Toyota Fortuner) Thar (500 mm) stands a better chance than Duster (350 mm).

      5. Yes I agree that ceteris paribus, SWB will give an advantage over LWB. Yet, Duster clocks 30/35 degrees in apporach/departure angles vs 44/27 deg for Thar. Thar's RBO (27 deg) will be better though than Duster (23 deg).

      All said, I am tilting towards Thar with HT vs Duster. The only fly in the ointment is absolute lack of safety features in Thar. But then beggars can't be choosers

    8. #18

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      Quote Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
      91k is the odo and I use it pretty much everywhere. A service sets me back by around 10k average
      Thanks. I am trying to get more info on the subject from Duster owners in my circle. What I am afraid is the hit costly electronic bits may take while doing bad roads mentioned in my other post (in reply to bhvm). Those would be both expensive and time-consuming to repair. IMHO, Thar will have much lower chances of such agonizing damage.

    9. #19

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      Quote Originally Posted by rawat_a View Post
      Those would be both expensive and time-consuming to repair. IMHO, Thar will have much lower chances of such agonizing damage.
      Unless you are wired up for taking noise, slow speeds, dust etc the Thar may not be the vehicle of choice for long drives. Nothing wrong with any of these vehicles. They do things differently. The bigger variable is you and whether you can cope with them satisfactorily.

    10. #20

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      Quote Originally Posted by sds View Post
      The Thar, I think isn't a proper family drive kind of vehicle. Its more of a day outing and getting all muddy/dirty kind of steed.

      Why not a Fortuner? It'll be as reliable as sunrise, better NVH and overall refinement than the Thar. And. from what I decipher from your list of requirements, the 2WD would suffice.
      sds thanks for the suggestion. But if I have to stick to 2WD, I do not need to swap Waggy as BRV can take me to most places any other 2WD can. In fact, its GC + relatively moderate dimensions make it an ideal choice for not-so-difficult mountain roads in good comfort (I say that after having done long-distance trips in a friend's Fortuner and BRV). And Waggy can continue to do the daily runabouts. Also, used Fortuner in decent condition will easily cost 15L which is beyond the budget.

      That said, agree that Thar is not a family oriented vehicle. But then, that purpose will be served by BRV.

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