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Is My Car Still Stock, 1 Year Later?


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I have to disagree with you on light mods dear @Rob S. They may seem essential when you drive in places too dark at night but from my experience when you add additional lights you need to provide a better power source to power them up. The OEM alternator doesn't have that much power to supply the discharge from the battery when you switch them on. Getting a higher rated AH battery is not going to help you when you switch on the aux lights for long. Very soon the battery will tell you it doesn't have the 12V to keep your car running ok. This is an area where no one has dwelled into. As @munkybizness said even adding an amp and running it demands more power from the alternator you have to consider this when adding additional lights. Sadly higher rated alternators are not available in local market. Even if you find one there are additional mods to be made when you fix that alternator. As is the case with every mods you need to research and study how its going to impact the systems in your car when you veer off from OEM specifications and then implement it. Otherwise you will find yourself using a jumper cable to start your car once you stop it.  

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2 minutes ago, Thomas Varghese said:

I have to disagree with you on light mods dear @Rob S. They may seem essential when you drive in places too dark at night but from my experience when you add additional lights you need to provide a better power source to power them up. The OEM alternator doesn't have that much power to supply the discharge from the battery when you switch them on. Getting a higher rated AH battery is not going to help you when you switch on the aux lights for long. Very soon the battery will tell you it doesn't have the 12V to keep your car running ok. This is an area where no one has dwelled into. As @munkybizness said even adding an amp and running it demands more power from the alternator you have to consider this when adding additional lights. Sadly higher rated alternators are not available in local market. Even if you find one there are additional mods to be made when you fix that alternator. As is the case with every mods you need to research and study how its going to impact the systems in your car when you veer off from OEM specifications and then implement it. Otherwise you will find yourself using a jumper cable to start your car once you stop it.  

The point about power source is 100% correct. In a light-hearted way, I am winding @munkybizness up. I say they are too big and too much of an improvement he needs to move them from augmented change to modification :) 

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Let me share you my experience. I have aux fans installed which someone suggested will cool the engine. Now fact is they don't. In fact they disrupt the air flow drawn in by the main fan and makes the engine run hotter when switched on. The only time they help is when you are idling in a traffic bottleneck. It helps the AC condenser to cool better and give you better temperature control inside the car when you are at snail pace. Due to the summer I use them often and forget to switch them off sometimes and end result is when I come out of a 2 hr meeting I find a dead car. Thankfully I have the good jumper cables being an offroader and I can even get a micra car owner to convince him to jump start my car. The proud look on his face after my car springs to life is really funny. Its because the jumper cables are so good and can really draw all the power from his battery to power a bigger car like mine. In that sense my better jumper cables is also a mod.  

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1 hour ago, Rob S said:

Where do I start with a reply on this one @munkybizness! and how do I keep a reply short . . . let me try!

Part of the joy in being in a "car" club and seeing members every few weeks is to see how they have individually adapted/modified/personalized their "pride and joy". I smile when you say stock, because every time I join you on a drive a notice something a little different about your car :)  . . . . . . I like your description and split of modifications but I am going to politely disagree with you on the subject of those monster front lights! I've seen them in the light and the dark, definitely not an augmentation, definitely a significant change and modification :) haha

For me I look at anything as a change from "stock" as a modification (a bit like the UK insurance firms do!), and put these into 3 (though I sub-divide 1 into to parts). Need, Want, and Waste. its also important to note that it also depends on how much of a dedicated off road vehicle you have, and what you bought before you got the bug!

1. Need - if you have a car with 4 low and decent HP then there are only 3 (edited 4) things that falls into the category. Decent flag Mount, so you cant attach a proper flag! BashPlate to save the radiator / bumper and for those with newer 4x4s that follow the trend for bigger wheels and lower profile tyres, Some new Rims and Larger profile tyres. (edited - 4th, decent tow hooks if you dont have.)

2.a Want (sensible) - For confidence and/or less hassle. A/T Tyres with bigger profile if you own an older car, Auxiliary fan for transmission cooler in the summer if you car is susceptible. Kill switch for ABS / traction control. The Bumper cut I did on my prado was the single best thing I did. I no longer caught the bumper edges and it stopped my hesitation and over cautious driving. Along with the bashplate this change gave me much confidence and completely transformed how I enjoyed my time in the desert. Ive ended up fitting a Snorkel because I'm fed up of vacuuming out the airbox every weekend in the middle of the apartment parking!

2.b Want (less sensible)- To make time in the desert more enjoyable, or just for fun, or maybe just for looks, or because you have always wanted it! Some of us always wanted to have that loud exhaust, that remap, those fancy lights, the Wide wheel track, the lifted jeep. Many of us in UAE are here for a defined or limited period, the cost of modifications and labour, along with insurance rules mean for many of us this is the only time and place to do it! 

3. Waste - For those new to the desert and 4x4 life, this list will depend on where you sit on the above. Reserved for Mods that are likely to make our cars worse. . . . . Lift springs without matched damper on a car with sufficient ground clearances, or maybe Beadlocks wheels, maybe a pedal commander, Open "oil based" air filter kit. 

PS - I was never going to be in the "1. Need" camp and moved quickly to "2.a Want (sensible)" and now probably in "2.b Want (less sensible)"

@Rob S guess you forgot to mention how you got convinced of those dobinsons?? 😂😂

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All I wanted to say @Gaurav is a better amp battery will prolong the death of a battery when its not charged properly by a competent alternator. The OEM battery is enough if you have an alternator which can power up the battery as per demand. But ultimately the battery will die if the alternator cannot cope with the power demands you subject the car.  Light mods are taken lightly until you end up in the middle of no where with a dead battery

Edited by Thomas Varghese
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6 minutes ago, ASAD. said:

@Rob S guess you forgot to mention how you got convinced of those dobinsons?? 😂😂

I can answer this. Dobinson is a brand leader in offroading stuff. If they are selling something it must be good. Price is good. I can afford it. Let me have it. If I really need it I will know once I subject it to test. If it works I'm happy. If not consider this as a hobby and learning experience. 

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Thankyou @munkybizness for bringing up this one.

We started off-roading more or less at the same time and this might be a good time to consider this subject even though I would like to believe that I fall in to the category of so called 'purists' in terms of mods. 

I bought my Jeep mainly for off-roading (its not my daily driver), but I got it in stock form and tried to keep it the same.

As of now the only thing I have done is

1- 80Amp Amaron battery as @Gaurav mentioned when my old one died.

2- I had my first pop out on my 53rd drive and until then I had kept the HT tyres came with the car when I bought it. Now I have changed to LT/AT tyre but with the stock measures of 245/75/R16. I had a presumption  that changing to a bigger tyre will give me more traction but @Frederic advised me to keep it in stock size and I am glad that I did not change the size.

Also to be honest I do not feel much of an improvement in performance by changing my HT tyre to AT (It looks great through!). 

But I feel the following mods are inevitable for me and hopefully can be accommodated in the next year's budget.

1. Head lights: changing the head lights (I have the stock Neon / Yellow ones and it does not even give me enough illumination on road let alone during a night drive. But I want that retro look and still have not managed to find a retro looking bright head light).

2. Suspension: I have stock suspensions/ shocks which gives me real trouble on bumpy climbs as it is very easy to loose momentum. I eventually want to go with a stiffer suspension. Many people have advised me to get a 2" lift along with the suspension (which apparently will improve my ridge riding abilities 😁) but I am still considering only about a stiffer suspension.

3. A roof rack: A Rhino / equal rack may be a good addition if I want to roam around with family during winter. Bonus will be the looks. Really like what @Ranjan Das got now.

 

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@munkybizness with terms of modification there are many options available in the market. Speaking about shocks mainly I have seen on Y61 installed with kings shocks with remote reservoir. You can definitely do some jumps with it. But that is if you want to do extreme drives like you see on Instagram reels then I would suggest you to go for Kings. Otherwise Lift and spacers will be economical. The battery system should be your priority and also install a fridge so we enjoy the drives when your in the convoy :). You have already removed the 3rd row and i think Cabin drawer will be good specially as you are a support now. 

I have Beadlocks but than again you will have to change your tires. yes there is a sense of safety in the desert driving at low PSI. But there is maintenance for it also with retorquing every 6 months. Do you know in the US Beadloacks are not approved by department of transportation and considered illegal which means tires shops do not even do the balancing of the wheels. 

The issue is with all the Offroaders. Once you touch your vehicle with a Mod you go on spending on it. There is a lot of stuff that can be done. But the main question we need to ask oneself is do we really require it? can I still enjoy the drive without modifying? what difference will it bring to the drive if I do the changes? 

I got one of the best suspensions in the market with Dual bypass and stuff which i had never heard before and let me tell you in the desert its sheer bliss to drive the car. But on road just like what Hamilton is currently going through in his car i am facing with the same challenge. I need to go and have tuning done but its like every 6 months. y

When I started Offroading i was introduced to extreme drives with other group which made me go for premium suspensions and beadlocks. If i would have joined carnity at the initial stage i would have not gone so crazy with the mods.

With my experience, I would say individual should drive their car stock. With modifications does it mean you will not have a refusal? I doubt it. Yes there is piece of mind when the terrain is challenging. I have seen guys having modified every single part of their car but they do crest and have refusals.  

Finally I would like to say one thing "it is not the car but the driver".  And another suggestion to guys who are planning to modify the cars. Go to newbie drives and get used to the modification for at least 3-4 drives. Better safe than sorry.  

 

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16 hours ago, ASAD. said:

My next upgrade were the wheels, this was only triggered after a few pop-outs. I went on to get the method beadgrips just for this purpose. Though if i were to redo this, i wouldnt have changed my wheels in the first place, i bought them out of only frustration of having pop-outs, a couple of them only btw but they were enough for me to think the problem was the wheels rather than the way i was driving.

This is quite true. Most often the pop outs are due to the way one drives the car rather than the tires or the wheels. As an offroad driver, one needs to give a little more time to get familiar with your car than you think. 

8 hours ago, Anoop Nair said:

I had my first pop out on my 53rd drive and until then I had kept the HT tyres came with the car when I bought it. Now I have changed to LT/AT tyre but with the stock measures of 245/75/R16. I had a presumption  that changing to a bigger tyre will give me more traction but @Frederic advised me to keep it in stock size and I am glad that I did not change the size.

When I upgraded my tires, I thought that I had a need to upgrade tires at that time. I was let down by a lot of refusals & crests while crisscrossing, and the general advice was slightly wider tires will help. On hindsight I can tell that with a little more patience & practice, I could have overcome that problem.

The Pareto rule applies here as well. You reach your 80% potential with 20% effort but that last 20% of the potential takes 80% effort and we tend to throw money at it hoping it resolves the problem. Of course, money helps mitigate the issue, but you could always try a little more to achieve the same potential but with time. 

While I am at heart a purist, and don't like to make modifications that alter the look of the car - I love the way 285s look nice on my car. 

 

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23 hours ago, Gaurav said:

Beadlocks can be essential for hard-core offroaders and rally drivers, but for regular weekend off-roaders if you tweak your driving style and be in sync with the correct PSI, you may have an accidental pop-out once in six months. Which is not a big deal.

This being one of the reasons why I ditched bead locks and went back to stock wheels.  I am now forcing myself to drive differently and avoid pop-outs, as much as possible 😅. I also got a good car jack for those situations.

Tires, according to the Y61 owner's manual you can move within the diameter range of 30.6" to 32.4", I compiled the information in a table and is shared below in case it helps anyone owning a Nissan Patrol Y61 :) ... items 8 and 9 are not stock, those are what I have installed.

image.png.9023a932c06bf929b6e5a51befc2594f.png

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