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Gaurav

Why do you love your car so much.....?

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Every car lover has a story to tell, so it's your time to share that story with the world that why do you love your car so much?

I'll start with mine: Never ending love affair with my Pajero

With so many cars at dirt cheap prices in UAE, my only goal after getting my license in 2002 was to try them all as soon as I can. I have never driven any car for more than 1-2 years max and always changing or upgrading to different category and niche (sometime) to try them all. Once I sold my Patrol out of frustration being a non-climber I took my wife's 3.0 SWB 1999 Pajero by chance to Sweihan and that damn dinky car followed modified Jeep all the way up to any size of a dune. After that quick short experiment, I started searching for 3.5 SWB (older shape) Pajero and found my love after 6 months of searching.

Just like all good love stories has a tragic part, so mine goes like this: My current 1999 Pajero bought in 2010 was great on road but as soon you go offroad she starts to overheat. Tried and replaced almost everything to anything on the engine cooling system but nothing helped. Sent to Habtoor even for full diagnose and no good news came out other than everything looks fine sir, as the car is too old so you can upgrade to newer Pajero, lol.

I changed radiator to triple core copper, water pump, thermostat, radiator cap, all cooling hoses, spark plugs, HT leads, ignition coils due to mild missing but nothing has changed. As soon as you engage 4x4 car heat gauge starts climbing from 45% (idle temp) to close to 80% within 15 minutes and then I have to exit out quietly on 2 wheel drive. This frustration went for 3-4 months and all my best car buddies running out of solution and then one of the guys spotted from a video recording while the car was overheating the engine viscose fan was not running at higher revs and clutch was not engaging. Replaced that damn bloody clutch and car came to life and started roaring on top of all dunes.

With all my previous stock 4x4's - Landcruiser, Patrol, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Discovery I could barely reach Big Red at 50-70% height, let alone Iftar bowl and Faya from the front. Once this Pajero was ready for service with real punishing duties, it impressed me completely. Mitsubishi parts are generally more expensive than other Japanese brands but they also outlast lot longer so you save on labor cost and downtime a lot if you put the quality parts in the first attempt. Apart from peppy 225 hp engine on SWB body weighing 1.8 tonnes, I seriously think that the Pajero 4x4 system (super select) is far too intelligent than most of the other 4x4's I have used. I have seen many times, that while climbing up on cross tracks a lot of car loose momentum and fail to climb up straight, but this Pajero always left me with a big smile in such situations. After almost a year of ownership, I realized the correct usage and purpose of center and rear diff lock that made self-recoveries a breeze in the nastiest of situation. 

Why I love her: I am not a big fan of extreme modifications and then go through the RTA hassles every year, so I have been searching for capable out of the box 4x4 and this Pajero gave me just that and lot more in return. I don't think any car ever can replace my love for this Pajero, not only because of her capabilities but its also extremely reliable in the UAE heat.

P.S. She is very emotional too, any mechanic who worked on her with rough hand or hatred she refuses to start.

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After arriving in the UAE a few years back, I was looking for a reliable small car (read cheap) that I could take out for camping in the desert but also would serve as my daily commuter that has a decent backseat (sorry wranglers). I started googling and looking on the local sites and had Xterra, Gen 4 Pajero SWB, and Jeep XJ on my radar when suddenly I came across the little ‘99 SWB that stole my heart as it was quirky yet in such a good shape and used to belong to an Emirates pilot that drove it on the weekends. I settled on it and only after googling to get more information and details and coming across the adventures of @Gaurav on Carnity i came to know this oldie can go a long way in the dunes. I had the engine and rear axle replaced and since then it’s been running smoothly but low on power on my first off-road drives which frustrated me after having all the reactions from the local workshops saying “it’s normal sir it’s just an old car”. Spent weekends on measurements of TPS, Massflow meter, injectors cleaned, trying K&N filter but to no avail. 

I came across a guy that runs a little shop in al quoz and he told me the timing was probably a bit off. After adjusting it it finally opened up and I’ve been a happy camper since then. 

colleagues and friends keep asking me why I’m driving such an old car, I just tell them that it does what it’s suppose to do brilliantly and that’s what the Mitsubishi brand has been about I guess. 

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Edited by Frederic Nuyttens
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It was my grandads car. He got bad with Alzheimer’s. it got progressively worse. Like proper bad. He was pooping in his pants, he didn’t recognise any of his children or any of us grandchildren. My grandmother never had a driving licence but she used to drive to the shop and back. One day she was driving to the shop, the police stopped her and asked her where she was going. She said she was going to the shop to buy potatoes and the cop told her to go ahead. That scared her so much she said she would never drive again so she put my grandfathers car up for auction. Me and my father went half’s on it because it’s a family heirloom. I ended up with the car. It was a 1.7 diesel Peugeot 205. I dropped in a 2.1 turbo Diesel engine from a Peugeot 406. Sourced an injector pump from a Citroen bx. Got the injectors modified for maximum flow. Governor cancelled. Fitted a turbocharger from a 3.0 Renault espace. The car started life with 60 bhp, it’s now running 250 bhp. Real fun car to drive. Weighs under 800kg. Modern cars pull alongside and laugh. When the light turns green, they stop laughing. Can pull 0-60 in under 6 seconds

I’d love to bring it here but the steering wheel is on the “wrong” side 

 

 

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When it comes to ownership of cars, I've gone through a few. With a very boring line up of cars here for the middle east market and very stringent rules, when the USA car market opened up I saw a lot of Mercedes, BMW and 2 door Honda Accords. I finally managed to sell my first car, my Honda Civic.

With money in hand and standing on the car market in Sharjah my eyes could not move from the 1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSR4. After the test drive I found out it was a double clutch, turbo charged 5 gear manual. When I popped the hood the engine was tuned by AMG which really got me interested. For a very decent price, the only hassle was to get it registered in Dubai. Besides that hassle it did not give me a Dirhams worth of trouble. But when I got married and with a family, I had no option but to sell it and get a family saloon.

 

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My interest in cars is something new and hence earlier my knowledge on cars used to be practically zero. I joined the Carnity Offroad Club about 2 years ago, and that developed an interest or rather a hobby of understanding how a car works and operates. I started my offroading with a 2010 Pajero and though I loved that car frankly today I would call it boring. After driving it for about 6 months, I realized that offroading was no longer a weekend interest but had literally became a part of my life where I used to think about it continuously during my spare time. Thats when I decided to have a proper offroader and despite advice from many of my friends went and bought a manual Cherokee XJ (1997 model)

 

1764051991_WhatsAppImage2019-01-06at9_46_41PM.jpeg.d117e9e2d6a65bd520b9f2e32ed0985b.jpeg

 

First let me explain the problems I faced with it, and then I would come to why I absolutely love this car. 

As overheating was a common issue with Jeeps. I immediately installed extra fans in front of the existing radiator. Unfortunately, whiel returning from my very first night desert drive with the XJ, I slept on the steering wheel and banged the car in front while cruising at 100 km/ h.That result in a busted radiator and some damage to the front. On a lighter note, I am still reminded by my close friends of this incident every time I am on the way back home from a drive.

So after the accident, I installed a 4 core full aluminium radiator, installed additional fans, put in the Toyota Coolant (Red Color) and have never had an overheating issue till date even when I have pushed the car to its limit. I credited this to my good friend @shadow79. Though the overheating issue was resolved, then came the problem of me burning my clutch which happened twice till I finally got the hang of it. And the final major expense came when I installed Crown engine mounts and in my very first driveDuring this course, I gave the XJ a nice 3 inch lift by installing harder springs from the scrap yard. There is a also a 1 inch transfer case drop which ensured that there are no driveline vibrations. I have recently put in 31 inch tyres and now the vehicle has a nice presence. 

 

Why I love this XJ

The car has costed me a lot to change the radiators, the clutch plate, etc. Contrary to what many people say about Jeeps and their reliability, my major repair work has been due to my own doing rather than its own failure.

But all this repair has also generated a major interest on how to do some amount of self maintenance and small DIYs. I have had times when the transfer case lever was no longer working, but being a very simple car I would crawl underneath and be able to shift the car into 4H or 4L manually. Before every drive, I check all the fluid levels, even the differential and gear oil levels (this can be done only from underneath the vehicle). For a guy who knew nothing about a car, this is a decent achievement.

To work on the Jeep has become the favourite passtime for me and my son. When it comes to offroading, though it doesnt have a very powerful engine (only 190 hp),  its light weight (1400 kg) and manual transmission has made climbing really steep dunes a breeze. I do intend to do some minor improvements on the XJ from time to time with the main intention of learning something new along the way.

The XJ is completely devoid of any modern day luxuries, but it has own charm and character. Even today when I drive it to the nearest supermarket it brings a smile on my face. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, skumar83 said:

I have not been a car fanatic and hence my knowledge on cars used to be practically zero. I joined the Carnity Offroad Club about 2 years ago, and that developed an interest or rather a hobby of understanding how a car works and operates. I started my offroading with a 2010 Pajero and though I loved that car frankly today I would call it boring. After driving it for about 6 months, I realized that offroading was no longer a weekend interest but had literally became a part of my life where I used to think about it continuously during my spare time. Thats when I decided to have a proper offroader and despite advice from many of my friends went and bought a manual Cherokee XJ (1997 model)

 

1764051991_WhatsAppImage2019-01-06at9_46_41PM.jpeg.d117e9e2d6a65bd520b9f2e32ed0985b.jpeg

 

First let me explain the problems I faced with it, and then I would come to why I absolutely love this car. 

As overheating was a common issue with Jeeps. I immediately installed extra fans in front of the existing radiator. Unfortunately, whiel returning from my very first night desert drive with the XJ, I slept on the steering wheel and banged the car in front while cruising at 100 km/ h.That result in a busted radiator and some damage to the front. On a lighter note, I am still reminded by my close friends of this incident every time I am on the way back home from a drive.

So after the accident, I installed a 4 core full aluminium radiator, installed additional fans, put in the Toyota Coolant (Red Color) and have never had an overheating issue till date even when I have pushed the car to its limit. I credited this to my good friend @shadow79. Though the overheating issue was resolved, then came the problem of me burning my clutch which happened twice till I finally got the hang of it. And the final major expense came when I installed Crown engine mounts and in my very first driveDuring this course, I gave the XJ a nice 3 inch lift by installing harder springs from the scrap yard. There is a also a 1 inch transfer case drop which ensured that there are no driveline vibrations. I have recently put in 31 inch tyres and now the vehicle has a nice presence. 

 

Why I love this XJ

The car has costed me a lot to change the radiators, the clutch plate, etc. Contrary to what many people say about Jeeps and their reliability, my major repair work has been due to my own doing rather than its own failure.

But all this repair has also generated a major interest on how to do some amount of self maintenance and small DIYs. I have had times when the transfer case lever was no longer working, but being a very simple car I would crawl underneath and be able to shift the car into 4H or 4L manually. Before every drive, I check all the fluid levels, even the differential and gear oil levels (this can be done only from underneath the vehicle). For a guy who knew nothing about a car, this is a decent achievement.

To work on the Jeep has become the favourite passtime for me and my son. When it comes to offroading, though it doesnt have a very powerful engine (only 190 hp),  its light weight (1400 kg) and manual transmission has made climbing really steep dunes a breeze. I do intend to do some minor improvements on the XJ from time to time with the main intention of learning something new along the way.

The XJ is completely devoid of any modern day luxuries, but it has own charm and character. Even today when I drive it to the nearest supermarket it brings a smile on my face. 

 

 

wonderful read @skumar83 

It made me think of my ex-father in law's favourite quote: "The more you spend hours and elbow grease on it, the more you'll eventually love and appreciate it".

Sometimes it takes blood, sweat, tears, and pockets full of money and time to have our cars in the state we want them to be, but we tend to forget the journey and the joy it can give us. I makes me also smile to see my son arriving with his screwdriver to help me out and i hope he inherits the same curiosity for technique as i have.

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