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A Monaco Blue 2002 Clio 172



SiC

ClioSport Club Member
This was my first car back when I passed my test in 2003:
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A lowly 1.2 Expression that I saved up 2/3rd for from my part time job in B&Q. The other 1/3rd was split between my Parents and Grandparents. Their idea was that if I had a new car, I'd be less likely to crash it. It must have worked as I didn't! However I didn't want a Clio, I wanted a 206. But my mum insisted and these were being knocked out at £6500.

I had that car for a year and half with many good memories with school mates going far too quickly while ragging the poor little thing. It had done 2.5k miles by the time I passed my test and when I sold it I'd put on just over 20k on the clock.

That poor thing was red lined on Every. Single. Gear change. No matter if the engine hot or cold, gears only got changed at just under 6.5k. However looking at its history, the subsequent owners managed to get it to over 120k, so it didn't do too bad. Thankfully I have a lot more mechanical sympathy than that.

In the subsequent 17 years I've gone through many different cars but always wanted a Clio 172/182, but never quite had the right time to jump for one. Last year I've noticed that prices have rapidly started increasing and the number of stock unmolested ones are diminishing even faster. So a case of now or never.

After a good month of looking at too many stripped out track specials (why do people want more money for less of a car?), highly modified but immaculate cars and absolutely shagged out examples, I came across a Monaco Blue locally for not a bad price. Incidentally I'm still after an absolute minter 182, but this satisfies my want for one and allows me to keep searching for that low owner, mileage Black Gold example I can add it to the treasured pile.

So this 2002 Monaco Blue Clio.
Catches? Miles are quite high with a number of scuffs and other marks over it. Also a few other issues like central locking broken, headlight washer leaking, rubber steering wheel grips peeling, etc.
Pros? Only 3 previous owners, large history file and the seller had put 4 Toyos + new pads & discs all round, two new genuine OEM shocks up front. Also absolutely bone stock - just how the Renault engineers intended to leave the factory as. As this was to be a station car and runaround, so my other cars in the "fleet" don't get damaged, I didn't mind a few scuffs. Plus I now live in a Village and having a car I can throw against hedges to get past in on a narrow lane is a useful trait. Miles didn't concern me as the paperwork backed up it had been looked after.

A good look around and a test drive cemented it for me. A deal was done, but no handshake because COVID. Drive back was uneventful and was only 15 miles away.

It was pretty filthy, so after a quick clean and polish...
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Interior is all there and pretty tidy.
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Seat bolsters aren't badly worn, but you can tell the foam has had 150k miles worth of bum sat on it.
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When you find this in the CD player, you know the seller is a different type of the usual Clio 1*2 expected demographic!
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This was about 3 weeks ago now and other stuff has happened since. I usually post on other forums, but I endeavour to keep this thread up to date with the cars progress! Don't expect mods in this thread, but more general DIY running of a higher than average mileage small French hot hatch.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Previous owner was a mechanic and got the car after a customer couldn't be bothered to fix it up. The final straw was the belt tensioner failing. With a lot of luck it didn't take out the cambelt. The mechanic bought it off the chap, fixed the tensioner and apparently replaced all the belts. As he was in the trade, he did it on the garages accounts and so has no record. I do tend to believe him on this, but to be honest, I want the belts done again as a precaution. However I want to give a runaround for a few months first before spunking a large sum of the cars value on belts and it turns out to be a turd.

First order of business was a new key. Got a local auto-lock smith out to get one programmed in and cut for £150. I was hoping that by coding a new key in, I'd get the Remote Central locking working again. Unfortantly, while the key was coded into the immobiliser, the key fob on both didn't unlock. Button on the dash works fine though.

So for the first two weeks and 200 miles of ownership, I didn't really do much. Just have a blast around and get antiquated with the car. After the first fill-up, I got back in and turned the ignition on to be given the first opportunity to show its Frenchness...
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Ah-ha! you said. I bet you moved the seat. Well my wife did a few days previous, but inspecting the connectors under the seat showed no real issues. However what was noticeable is that carpet was sodden.
IMG_20200726_181448.jpg.7fe882bd29a32e14b3c208347ca877e6.jpg

Turns out a couple of bungs under the car are missing and allowing water spray to get into the cabin.
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Unfortunately those bungs are NLA from Renault (turns out a lot is now!), so will be a scrappie job to find replacements.

So you're now thinking that connector must be corroded to buggery now. However I thought I'd do a quick code scan before going any further...
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Well that was unexpected!

I switched the passenger airbag switch on/off a couple of times, then turned the ignition back on to find the light out. Result! Shows you have to be careful jumping to conclusions when you get the warm amber glow of that SERV light.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Now as previously said, this car was owned by a Mechanic. However as he had several other cars, this one didn't get driven much. His intention was always to strip it as a trackday car. But as usual with life, time and money never made it quite right. His current project was a camper for him and his missus to go travelling in, which was taking priority. As he never intended to sell nor did he use it much, it didn't really get serviced for the last 3 years.

So I had a poke around to see what bits needed to be ordered. Air filter is slightly dirty but nothing a bit of compress air cleaned out. Pollen filter the same. Plugs, leads and coil have a receipt 4 years ago (only 8k miles) that also mention the correct NGK plug number too. Really all it needs then is a oil change - simple!

I know idles on these things aren't ever fantastic, but this does seem a lot rougher than I'd expect. As the plugs, leads and coil are fairly new I knew it wouldn't be that. I have put on the order list the intake gaskets. Cheap enough and worth changing.

Also looking at the crank sensor, it appears to be on the original black unit. Going by the markings, I suspect it may be original to the car!
IMG_20200722_121427.jpg.c1b5cc90db603f87ce3ea6f0aa3feee8.jpg

For those that don't know (which is probably no-one on here!), Renaults of this era had massive problems with cutting out - usually when warm or struggle starting when cold. This little sensor was the culprit. Actually it turned out not to be the sensor, but actually the connector. Usually you can get away with a bit more life on these things by cleaning up the end and splaying the pins slightly.
IMG_20200722_121445.thumb.jpg.f71da1e271c8a1125b5eb8776f1e47ac.jpg


However for 85 odd quid, I wasn't prepared to have this blighter make me miss the Train for work. So also on the list went a genuine sensor and its associated blue connector. This arrived the other day and is awaiting to be fitted.

I tried my local dealer for one however they not only had none in stock, but they'd have to be ordered from France too! I can't imagine these will go NLA anytime soon, but new OEM parts are definitely drying up on these and reaffirms why I needed to get a Clio now rather than later.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
This car was always supposed to be a local run around. However I tended not to bother with it as having the Remote Central locking not working was very irritating. Luckily being a 2002 car, it still has the door lock on the drivers side. But irritatingly it is clear that Renault intended to always have these cars predominately use the remote central locking. The pushing the lock button on the dash, jumping out checking the boot is locked,closing the door and then locking it was getting old quick. I mean I bought a top of the range Clio, I shouldn't have to be locking the car like a peasant!

As mentioned previously, I had an auto lock smith out to have a key coded as I only had one key when I bought this. Unfortantly that didn't get the remote locking working. The button on the dash worked great, so I knew that it must be in the fob. Given I had a new one fitted, I knew that its was highly unlikely the fobs themselves. I tried the dance you see online (holding down the lock button for 10 seconds, etc, etc) that is supposed to resync the fob but to no-avail. Checking the Renault workshop manuals, this trick appears only for the IR fobs and the first generation RF systems - basically the Clio II PH1.

My suspicion was up that it was something playing up in the UCH. Before that, I checked the fuses. Noticed a number of them were corroded, so cleaned them up but still no cigar.

Great. So I better pull this UCH and see if anything obvious is amiss...
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Doesn't look too bad from the outside. Date code points it to being original. Lets look inside!

Oh dear thats not good.
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Oh dear oh deary dear
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This bit in-particular looks rather nasty
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These funny shaped square PCB traces are the antennas for the remote central locking. This makes the chip connected to them the receiver chip.
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I gave it a good clean up with IPA. It does look like a few whiskers are growing between the pins. Worse, the top left pins look like they've broken off the package.
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But crucially the corrosion on the back had caused a PCB trace to be lost and a few vias damaged. I tack soldered on a jumper wire to reconnect the track and luckily the Vias looked to only go to test points.
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Still no worky. New UCH time!

You know I said that new OEM parts are getting harder to get hold of? Well I thought for a laugh I'd find out from a Renault dealer how much a new UCH was. Turns out they are now NLA too. 😲

Luckily second hand jobs are still available for a reasonable price.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
I ordered a replacement UCH from Renbreakers on Friday night last week. To my surprise, this morning I had a package arrive with this! Top service. 👍
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They do offer a service to code them into your car, but as I was able to do that myself, I skipped that and made an Best Offer on that. Mostly because I didn't want to send off the unit and wait, when I could do it quicker myself.

I copied the latest data off the EEPROM on the old UCH using RenoLink. Plugged in the new UCH and copied the new data on with the same tool.
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Success! Well kind of. Engine started and ran but Remote Central locking didn't do anything.

You know that b****cks I mentioned earlier about using the unlock/lock button to resync the control? Well its still b****cks for these, but you can do similar with another method. Turn the ignition on, wait for the red immobiliser light to go out, turn ignition off without removing the key, keep pressing the button on the fob and then remove the key. At which point the remote should be synced and the door locks actuating with the button.

This it did, but the only thing it did was lock the doors. Clio owners will recognise the sound in this video as just that...

Darn! How very irritating. At least its an improvement I guess.

So what now?

Well Renolink essentially is a third party program that reads the DDT database. As far as I can tell, it's essentially the database for Renaults engineering tool. However it's all in French. So I made the guess that the configuration option "Clé 1 bouton" was "1 button keyfob".
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Thankfully this worked!

I imagine that the older UCH configuration is a bit different than the new one the data got dumped into. The data that specifies this option is set to 0 by default. So the original UCH (UCH-HG) that came out had software that didn't care what this bit was set to. However the new UCH (UCH-N3) needed that option set to specify one button remote.

As you might have gathered, I'm in the electronics industry, so I don't mind getting my hands dirty fiddling with such things. I'm really tempted to make a freeware standalone application to do this. Could save many a Clio from the scrapyard that are playing up electrically.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
So that pretty much brings this thread up to date on where I am at with the car.

What are peoples thoughts on this thread? Interesting or bland? Too much technical detail or too little?

If no interest at all, I don't mind either way and open to all ears!
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Great thread mate and welcome to the forum. Not boring or bland at all, makes a nice change seeing some work on the electrics to the usual performance upgrades.

What are your next plans?
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Great thread mate and welcome to the forum. Not boring or bland at all, makes a nice change seeing some work on the electrics to the usual performance upgrades.

What are your next plans?

My garage is currently occupied by a 1968 Austin 1100 (basically the 1960s Megane equivalent of the Mini - also know as the car Basel hit with a branch in Fawlty Towers) that was an impulse purchase in lock down. Unfortantly my time is lacking at the moment and its spent far too long in there having its brakes and engine tended to.
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That's pretty much road ready now, just need to give it a run around and sort any snagging issues. The Dolomite Sprint on the left (first mass produced car with 16v engine and still respectable performance) is supposed to be next on the list with a whole crap load of welding needed. But with the Clio arrived, it'll get put behind the Clio as that could do with some fettling work first. I also realise that I happen to own quite a few blue cars! Certainly not intentional!

Short term, the Clio job list for when it is pulled in the garage, is looking like the following:
  • Oil + filter change
  • Check/change gearbox oil (mostly as a precaution)
  • Replace the crank sensor
  • Either find replacement bungs or glue thick plastic on the floor pan drain holes.
  • Sort anything else out. E.g. I've noticed turning the steering wheel produces a knocking noise.
    IIRC these do suffer from rack inner arm failures.

I'm debating whether to remove the side skirts and see what the state is like underneath. I'm trying to avoid jobs snowballing as they can easily do on cars! However if I know they're rusty, then I can't not weld up. Incidentally how easy is it to get replacement metal panels for these cars for stuff like sills?

Longer term the belts need doing. I hear a lot of talk about them being a b*****d to do, but I mean its only nuts and bolts, so how hard can it be? 🤣
Tempted to lob it at the local garage though if they're prepared to take it on, as they're not badly priced and always do a decent job with my cars. I'd like to do it, but as you probably guessed by this post, my job list is pretty long already!

Other things is I want to get on with is getting my diagnostic app up and going again. I did an Android app a few years ago and had a little bit of success (Oh no Renault!). However the Chinese manufacturers of the knock-off ELM327 Bluetooth adapters then started making knock-offs of them that worked completely differently. Complete pot luck if you got a decent knock-off or not and so support of the app became a head ache. So I ended up pulling it from the app store as I simply didn't have time to both provide support, add new models, do my day job and all my other projects!

However this time I'm thinking of tailoring it to RenaultSport models instead. Previously I focused on Error code reading and deleting, but I'm thinking that possibly focusing on a few core models and offering as much functionality as possible. Stuff like steering angle calibration, ABS pump bleeding and the like. I know there is stuff available already, but not as an mobile phone app. When working on a car, its a massive pain in the arse bringing a laptop outside - especially when you have a phone in your hand that has more than enough computing power to do it!

So essentially I'd use this car as a test bed for the app and development. I'm also keen to get a complete loom + ECU set as a bench test bed. All well and good testing on a live car, but when experimenting and reverse engineering you have to pull things apart. I'd rather not give myself a 1 Tonne driveway brick while I pull out a module and solder wires to it. I'd be interested if anyone in/around the Bristol/Somerset/etc area has some old Clio looms and modules they're prepared to sell cheap. Being a bench setup, its perfectly ok if they're butchered around a bit or not working.
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
My garage is currently occupied by a 1968 Austin 1100 (basically the 1960s Megane equivalent of the Mini - also know as the car Basel hit with a branch in Fawlty Towers) that was an impulse purchase in lock down. Unfortantly my time is lacking at the moment and its spent far too long in there having its brakes and engine tended to.
View attachment 1488633

That's pretty much road ready now, just need to give it a run around and sort any snagging issues. The Dolomite Sprint on the left (first mass produced car with 16v engine and still respectable performance) is supposed to be next on the list with a whole crap load of welding needed. But with the Clio arrived, it'll get put behind the Clio as that could do with some fettling work first. I also realise that I happen to own quite a few blue cars! Certainly not intentional!

Short term, the Clio job list for when it is pulled in the garage, is looking like the following:
  • Oil + filter change
  • Check/change gearbox oil (mostly as a precaution)
  • Replace the crank sensor
  • Either find replacement bungs or glue thick plastic on the floor pan drain holes.
  • Sort anything else out. E.g. I've noticed turning the steering wheel produces a knocking noise.
    IIRC these do suffer from rack inner arm failures.

I'm debating whether to remove the side skirts and see what the state is like underneath. I'm trying to avoid jobs snowballing as they can easily do on cars! However if I know they're rusty, then I can't not weld up. Incidentally how easy is it to get replacement metal panels for these cars for stuff like sills?

Longer term the belts need doing. I hear a lot of talk about them being a b*****d to do, but I mean its only nuts and bolts, so how hard can it be? 🤣
Tempted to lob it at the local garage though if they're prepared to take it on, as they're not badly priced and always do a decent job with my cars. I'd like to do it, but as you probably guessed by this post, my job list is pretty long already!

Other things is I want to get on with is getting my diagnostic app up and going again. I did an Android app a few years ago and had a little bit of success (Oh no Renault!). However the Chinese manufacturers of the knock-off ELM327 Bluetooth adapters then started making knock-offs of them that worked completely differently. Complete pot luck if you got a decent knock-off or not and so support of the app became a head ache. So I ended up pulling it from the app store as I simply didn't have time to both provide support, add new models, do my day job and all my other projects!

However this time I'm thinking of tailoring it to RenaultSport models instead. Previously I focused on Error code reading and deleting, but I'm thinking that possibly focusing on a few core models and offering as much functionality as possible. Stuff like steering angle calibration, ABS pump bleeding and the like. I know there is stuff available already, but not as an mobile phone app. When working on a car, its a massive pain in the arse bringing a laptop outside - especially when you have a phone in your hand that has more than enough computing power to do it!

So essentially I'd use this car as a test bed for the app and development. I'm also keen to get a complete loom + ECU set as a bench test bed. All well and good testing on a live car, but when experimenting and reverse engineering you have to pull things apart. I'd rather not give myself a 1 Tonne driveway brick while I pull out a module and solder wires to it. I'd be interested if anyone in/around the Bristol/Somerset/etc area has some old Clio looms and modules they're prepared to sell cheap. Being a bench setup, its perfectly ok if they're butchered around a bit or not working.
I own a spitfire so I know the triumph resto life far too well 😂
 
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SiC

ClioSport Club Member
I own a spitfire so I know the triumph resto life far too well 😂

Nice! Got any pics?

I've also got lurking about a 2000 Boxster (my most needy car!), 1974 MGB GT and a 2002 Laguna II 1.8 auto. Yes, I have very random tastes in cars and also have a particular affection to 2000-era Renaults...
Oh we also have a 10 year old A4 that has just run in at 195k. Not particularly interesting at all though but my wife likes it and thus allows me to buy random shite that takes my fancy. 😄

That Dolomite too, despite being the most rusty and needing the most work, it has ended up being my most valuable car - despite it being a bit of a shed at the moment. Classic car prices have got a bit ridiculous now. 🤔

Also very much why I bought the Clio, as I wanted to get one before they become unaffordable!
 
Last edited:

DomP182

ClioSport Club Member
  ph1 172, Arctic182
I'd imagine the bungs are missing in the floor pan because a previous owner has removed them to let water out rather than the water splashing up through them. Clios of this age love to leak water in, usually from flooded/blocked scuttle drains, leaking door card seals from having been removed previously. However mine I tracked back to the heater blower gasket in the scuttle having deteriorated.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Went for a good old blast in this tonight. Drove alright and was reasonably good fun.

However...

Doesn't feel as pokey as I think it should be nor as planted on the road. Nowhere near as confident in driving this hard as say I am with my Boxster. But then I'm still familiarising myself on the Clio and the high seating position in them probably doesn't help this feel instantly planted. I'm wondering if on a previous cambelt job, the cams aren't perfectly in line. Could also explain the rough running it has at idle.

When I get it jacked up for its service, I'm going to have a good look through the suspension and drivetrain parts. My suspicion is something has gone a bit loose or worn somewhere on it. I could feel a slight clunk when wiggling the wheel with the engine off. So perhaps a inner track rod or ball joint is going bad.

Also got noticable squealing but that didn't seem rev dependent. Plus it was pretty noticable at times but went away completely with others. This made it hard to test exactly where it is coming from. Something I'm just going to monitor. Hopefully a stone rattling in and out of the heatshield or something.

Finally when rushing into third from fourth I did notice a couple of times it crunched early on in the drive. However that could also have been the gearbox not quite up to temperature at that point. Trying shifting into third quickly later didn't give a crunch, but then it didn't slide seamlessly in.

I know these boxes suffer from third gear going bad. My original intention on the upcoming fettling work was to top up the fluid. However given this box has never been out in almost 150k and I can't see any record of fluid changes, as a precaution I think I will change the fluid. Any recommendations?

I'll just go easier on the box and especially into third. I have no real need to rush them into place. I'm not so worried either as I couldn't cause it to happen when warm. I am just going to put it down to the box giving me a prod by saying "Oi you! I've done 150k, go easy on me through the ratios a little bit will ya".

So my RenaultSport experience is going pretty much how I should expect it! At least the Remote Central Locking now works. 🤣

Oh and the exhaust is pretty droney when revving the engine. The 4pot noise gets old pretty quick. Maybe I'm just getting old 🤔
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
I'd imagine the bungs are missing in the floor pan because a previous owner has removed them to let water out rather than the water splashing up through them. Clios of this age love to leak water in, usually from flooded/blocked scuttle drains, leaking door card seals from having been removed previously. However mine I tracked back to the heater blower gasket in the scuttle having deteriorated.

Could have done. Also might have just had the plastic degrade and broke off after being poked.

However definitely water is splashing thru those holes. I can poke the foam under the carpet through it and get a decent amount of water out of the foam!
 

DomP182

ClioSport Club Member
  ph1 172, Arctic182
Could have done. Also might have just had the plastic degrade and broke off after being poked.

However definitely water is splashing thru those holes. I can poke the foam under the carpet through it and get a decent amount of water out of the foam!
Is the foam wet any higher up towards the bulkhead. Took me ages to find my leak
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Is the foam wet any higher up towards the bulkhead. Took me ages to find my leak

Feels dry when I last felt it. Just where the bungs are, are wet and the usual wet boot.

Reminds me that I need to order a new boot mat too. Someone has put something heavy on it and split it around the tyre well area.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
This happened the other week.
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This happened last week.

Current (best) thoughts is the aux belt slipping and/or tensioner seized. Ordered a new genuine belt and tensioner from Kam Racing. Hopefully it is the belt and not the PAS pump failing...

Will now need to figure out how to change it. Apparently bit of a pig of a job from what I've read?

Ordered a 90mm Jubilee clip to butcher/expertly use in getting the tensioner compressed.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Hopefully no worse than replacing the Coolant Expansion tank on my Boxster when this happened...
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Probably the same type of job where you read it's a nightmare.
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But once you're at this stage, you're properly balls deep into it and the only way out is to keep going
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But then the satisfaction of doing it quickly makes you forget the pain you've just been through.
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Except the bruises and cuts will be reminding you of the job for a little while after...
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I intend to do the cambelt on this sometime in the future, having never changed a cambelt before so wanting to learn and this probably being due soon. I mean it's only nuts, bolts and belts. WPCGW?

However I did want it to prove itself to be reliable before I start splunking too much cash at this car. Which given I've only managed a few hundred miles so far hasn't really proving itself. Not that usually stops me wasting money on old heaps...
 

jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
I intend to do the cambelt on this sometime in the future, having never changed a cambelt before so wanting to learn and this probably being due soon. I mean it's only nuts, bolts and belts. WPCGW?

Just done mine the other week, It is a really tight job.

One important thing is to make sure you get a new aux belt and tensioner too. Also, check your crank pulley before you start, mine was quite perished on the rubber damper part so held me up waiting for a new one.

Soak the alternator bolt where it meets the top angled bracket with penetrating fluid now and keep doing it as it will be seized if it hasn’t been off for a long time.
 
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SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Just done mine the other week, It is a really tight job.

One important thing is to make sure you get a new aux belt and tensioner too. Also, check your crank pulley before you start, mine was quite perished on the rubber damper part so held me up waiting for a new one.

Soak the alternator bolt where it meets the top angled bracket with penetrating fluid now and keep doing it as it will be seized if it hasn’t been off for a long time.

Why does the alternator need to come off?

This is the guide that I was roughly going to follow: http://www.***********.com/article/298/ Edit: Do we not like Clio-OC here? Alternative link: https://bit.ly/3aR3GOw

Kit of parts for the job that should be arriving this week: https://www.kamracing.co.uk/car-tun...oe-auxiliary-belt-kit-rs-172-182-air-con.html
 

jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
The alternator comment was for the timing belt.

I didn’t remove the alternator but just tilted it out the way. Can’t remember exactly why but pretty sure it’s in the way of being able to remove part of the alloy cover the engine mount bolts to.
 
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SiC

ClioSport Club Member
This arrived today. Very impressed with the quick service from Kam Racing.
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The decision was cemented by the fact that it makes the noise in the video all the time now. Even turning the wheel stationary without hitting the stops. The car is basically giving me plenty of advance notice that I need to fix it asap before all hell breaks loose by snapping.

So I pulled my other French beast out of storage...
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Inherited from my Grandad last year (he knew I liked my 2000-era Renaults), this is a proper weird spec. Essentially the model one below top, but every single option box ticked. This cost him more than top spec but he refused to have top, as the top only came with leather seats. As a life long vegetarian he didn't want leather seats!

It also had the speaking computer that merrily only ever chimes in when something breaks. Only Renault would sell you an option to tell you something has gone wrong! 😂

In the space of a year I've only done just over 1k miles and really can't justify having it on the fleet. My wife has an A4 estate and doesn't like driving the Laguna anyway. So no real purpose. The agreement with my wife was that if I got the Clio I'd sell this Laguna. However it has a fair bit of emotional attachment being my Grandads, so hard to let it go. I had hoped her view would be softened if I left it out of sight for a few months but apparently not...

Unfortunately a F4P 1.8 16v automatic Laguna II is as desirable to most as a COVID infected needle... Even if selling cheap I'm not looking forward to the selling experience. Then to top it off, I'll know it'll just get run into the ground. ☹
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Made a start on this last night
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Fits in with plenty of room at the front compared to my other cars. Impressively small for a post 2000s car.
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The stiffness of the chassis is clear why these little things handle pretty well. This is jacked up on one side
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Wheels off
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CV boot is split on offside. Balls.
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Bumper off
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Light out
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Engine jacked up and supported on the sump. Rubber sandwich to spread the load
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Engine mount bolt out
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Top of cambelt/engine mount off
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SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Good chance to look at the belt. Not new but doesn't look horrific really.
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Fluffy engine padding out. Looks a bit chewed up but the worst bit I think is rubbing against the block rather than pulley.
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Crank pulley looks a bit perished
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Can't go any further now until my Jubilee clip arrives. Ordered it at the weekend so it's a bit irritating that it hasn't arrived yet. Especially was hoping it would be here today too.
 

jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
I didn’t like the look of my pulley so ended up with a new one. Incidentally, I was told Renault don’t have them anymore but my local dealer could get me one in a few days. I ended up ordering from Kam as they said it was in stock and next day, sadly they didn’t have it in stock as it didn’t arrive next day... 5 days later it turned up and had clearly come direct from pure motorsport which was a bit annoying when my car was on stands in the workshop.

Not really sure why people use the Jubilee clip on the tensioner, could be pretty dodgy if it comes off when you’ve got your fingers crammed in the tight space trying to fit it.

I had zero issue just using the correct square socket on the tensioner. Just fit the tensioner up with the spring fitted and get your belt partially fitted, then just use your ratchet to load the tensioner and pop the last bit of the belt on.
 
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SiC

ClioSport Club Member
I'll do another full write up later on so far, but the Jubilee clip actually slipped off under tension when trying to tighten it up. Just pinged off an Aircon pipe with quite a bang!

Tensioner is seized. I suspect this let to the belt to be under tensioned and slipping on the crank pulley. Over time this caused excessively heat and delaminated the rubber. That's my theory anyway.

Currently debating if I should just go all in and replace the cambelt, dephaser and water pump while I'm here.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Progress on this has slowed right down to a crawl for waiting on parts.

Quick update from before the video. Removing the belt was a pain but not as bad as I expected.

Employed these:
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Which I put around the tensioner.
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Then tightened with loads of extensions. First attempt had it ping off. As you might imagine it had a lot of energy stored into it!
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With that tightened the belt came off. Belt actually looks in pretty decent nick
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Discovered the source of the noise.
 
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SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Tensioner wasn't too bad to undo. Anyone reading this doing it themselves, make sure you keep your fingers away from it. Mine was seized and once cracked off, it then banged hard as it moved around on the bolt.

Also make sure you take off the spring as recommend in any instructions. I didn't and it got stuck removing it.
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As the assembly was no longer attached to the car, I couldn't get that bolt undone. So ended up having to remove the alternator for enough room to remove.
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Bottom idler pulley was awkward. Simply no room to get a socket and ratchet in.
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There is a hole that you can get a tool through if you jack the engine up to the right place. Required moving the jack to get the engine to fall into the right place.
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Idle pulley didn't seem to bad. Actually a lot freer moving than the new. Hopefully the new will loosen off in use.
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At this point everything ground to a halt awaiting parts. I've ordered a replacement crank pulley, bolt and water pump that is still to arrive. Unfortunately the online retailer I used is taking well over a week before even shipping the parts. Something I'm putting up with as the crank pulley is over a third cheaper than OEM Renault.

As everyone who knows anything about these cars, the cam pulleys are all loose spinning on the pulley side. The tightening of the bolts is what locks everything in place. So once I undo that crank pulley there is potential for everything to be out of time.

Second hand locking tools came yesterday. Says diesel engines but does petrol too. Admittedly not a full set really needed for a cambelt change but I only intended to lock things for the crank pulley. Plus they were only £18.50 shipped.
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These caps were a nightmare to remove. I ended up using a chisel to cut down so I could prize it out. Will need new end caps now.

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Which actually didn't end up as much a big deal as I thought. This is the exhaust side with the locking tool in the intake position and crank locked.
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Intake side with in exhaust slots.
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I can't leave it like this. Not least if I can't get the locking tools in, it risks being even worse out when undoing the pulley bolt. But to sort properly I'm basically going to do everything required for a cambelt change except removing the belt. So looks like I'll be ordering a cambelt kit and genuine locking tools so I can lock up those pulleys. 😐

I'm debating whether to buy a replacement dephaser. I know on here everyone will say just do it as you're this far. However they're not cheap and my view + experience on them is that (apart from a bad batch early on), they last a long time if regular oil changes are kept. Which this car has had. So I feel the risk is quite low if I don't. Plus worse case is that it'll just be noisy and down on power. Yet to see any reports of a failed dephaser taking an engine out. Will save £150 if I don't replace!
 
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jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
Sure you’re not 180° out? The cam slots are off centre.

I still don’t get the idea of using a jubilee clip to do the aux tensioner, the spring is crazy strong and I’d rather not loose an eye! Regardless, It has a female square drive hole on it to allow you to easily move it like you would most other tensioners.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Made the fatal mistake of adding up part costs. Currently at £686.87 and that's not including the official Renault Cam Locking Tools. Car was a bargain buy! 🤣

Let's hope Mrs SiC doesn't see my credit card bill this month 🙉🙈
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
Carried on with this tonight now I know the belts are coming off and parts on their way.

Removed the upper manifold.
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This plug lead was crushed. FFS
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Plugs look alright
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Apart from this one?
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Jammed a screwdriver into the flywheel to lock the crank. Renault approved method.
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Removed the crank locking pin as you're not supposed to drive against it.

Then used my big'un. This is exactly the type of job I bought this for and why I got the biggest I could get.

Pulley fell off thankfully. Was worried this maybe a war if seized on.
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Note the lack of key. This is supposed to be normal and how the pulleys float.
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Noticed some surface rust here. Will need to come back with a wire brush, Vatacan and paint.
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Double checked everything lined up still.
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Required tightening up the pulley bolt to hand tight and then little bit of waggling for getting the pin back in. The screwdriver must have fallen out when doing it. Thankfully impacts don't cause too much movement on the pulley when working against them.
 

SiC

ClioSport Club Member
While I was here I took off the pulley for the water pump. Then a lot of jacking the engine up and down to get it out. Pulley needs to come off so the pump can come off.
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Next up was removing the cambelt covers.
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These fixings were properly stuck on. Required a bit of tool abuse to get them to crack off. Way too tight to get an impact in.
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Bottom plastic cover was a right b*****d to get off. Cracked a corner of the plastic cover but I don't think that'll be a problem when back on as it was only a small piece. Guess that bit is plastic as you need the flexibility to get it out.

Finally got full access to the cams. Feels like I'm looking at the reactor face of Chernobyl here.
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Tensioner I think is in the right place.

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Removed the dephaser cover with a 14mm Allen key that was in a cheap eBay blue box drain plug key set I had. What no-one warns you in guides that oil will come out here. Despite the engine sitting for a good few weeks now!
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Dribbled right down the belts. Good job I'm going to be replacing them now!

At this point I couldn't go any further. I did try undoing the crank pulleys but they wanted to start moving. This is a good thing as it means the bottom pulley isn't seized. However it does reaffirm why I need the official Renault tool with the crank locking plate.

Possibly possible to get them undone if loosened while the crank pulley is on and the flywheel is locked with the screwdriver. Still risk everything moving about though.

With not much else to do, I took out the dephaser solenoid while I had access and sprayed liberally with degreaser. Then a good spray of GT85 to keep it moist until oil flows back through the lump.
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Just had delivery notification that the water pump will arrive tomorrow. Unfortunately the crank pulley which is part of that order has been split. It was the last one they apparently had in stock, so I fear that it might not actually exist... Or that it'll be really shite quality. We will see.

Locking kit from Renault Parts Direct is coming too. So it'll give me a chance to lock up the pulleys, loosen them and practice retiming it. Once I'm happy with the old belts, then go ahead with replacing with new parts.

Still need to drain the coolant to do the water pump. Hate liquids as always end up getting them everywhere. Also terribly fearful of leaving coolant puddles and my cat walking in. So end up soaking down the garage floor as a precaution but making it unusable until it dries.
 


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