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Back after a while <----- long time 172 owner, using lockdown to get car back on the road!

  Clio 172 2001
Hi all,

I have been a member on here for a while but getting serious about getting my iceberg clio back on the road.

So with lockdown i have had more time to play with the car, i'm very amateur at car repairs but eager to learn and i love my clio, i have owned for many many years mostly driven but she has been off the road for probably 2 years now (safely in a dry garage and regularly started etc so its done responsibly).

Anyway enough waffling, so my current jobs are to get the bumper back on, when i took it off it was so rusty one of the brackets fell off during removal ha ha! Not to mention every nut and bolt was rusted on and wouldn't come off! I have treated the rusty area by removing/converting the rust, i'm now working on welding a plate behind the metal to re-attach the bracket to. However whilst i was doing this i had to remove the skirt and guess what..... more rust :(.

I really need your help guys to understand how bad the rust on the sill is, can i convert it or is it too far gone and i need to weld in replacement?

Is this common on Clios and if so how do people prevent and treat this?

Pictures attached, i'm really doing this on my own without much experience, so any advice you guys can give would be amazing. As you can see I've treated the front corner and cut the plate but not fitted yet as i'm not sure if i have to hammer this so its flush with the outer body work, really i'm trying to strengthen this area to take the bumper and so it doesn't rust in the future (once welded in i will treat all with Hammerite with Waxoyl undercoat). And yes this was old accident damage (not me, or the repair) so happened 16 odd years ago.

And as for the sills i'm not sure what to do here, I've had a go at it with the drill and wire brush which has unveiled all the holes and it gets worse toward the rear wheel.

Please help with any advice and experience, i had this checked over by a professional a year or so back and car is in good structural condition its just these cosmetic bits that bother me and before i start messing with the interior (very good condition) i thought id try and future proof it.



ClioSport Club Member
Thats alot of rust mate, you really wanna bother?

Can pick up a decent 172 pretty cheap still, find one with a blown engine or gearbox for cheap and swap your good items in.
Flog the rest.
  Clio 172 2001
Is it a lot of rust, that's what i'm trying to understand? And tbh im trying to learn a bit as well so not shying away from these as i have the facilities to weld (good equipment, lacking experience and some space issues) not to mention this has always been my car so id liek to get it going again preferrably but i get what your saying, But is this a lot for a 20 year old car? And the sills dont bother me too much as you can see them, i just want something to connect the skirts too haha and ideally protect it from getting worse.


ClioSport Club Member
  Q7 2018 & 172 Cup.
That looks like a lot of rust and will be a LOT of work.. the whole sill will need replacing and also the whole area around your bumper bracket.. The costs of all that work will far out weigh the value of your car.. As said above, if you love the Clio scene then you'd probably be better off getting another Clio..

Edit: You will need to cut out anything that is rusty and weld to non rusty metal.. If the oitside of that sill section is that rotten id guess the inside is just as bad.. That sill rot would have started around the rear sections and spread all along the sill so youll probably find that the rot has gone up the rear quarter panel and if you remove the rear inside quarter panel and look down youll no doubt see its rotten all inside at the bottom..

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Last edited:
  Clio 172 2001
Ok thanks for the replys, i appreciate it, i am prepared to do some work, so are you basically saying most people would write this off and not try to tackle?


ClioSport Club Member
  Q7 2018 & 172 Cup.
Ok thanks for the replys, i appreciate it, i am prepared to do some work, so are you basically saying most people would write this off and not try to tackle?
Tbh.. Yes, personally if i found rot like that id be looking for a fresher shell and re-build..

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ClioSport Club Member
  172 Sunflower
it is all fixable, depends if you think it is economical. i have recently replaced the sills on my 172, i bought the replacement sills and cut off all the bad, treated the rust, replaced some inner sill patches. it is quite a lot of work but if you can weld then all you need is parts, steel and products to treat it properly.

I was lucky in that the rot hadnt moved above the line of the sideskirt. I cut the entire length of the sill and then removed it from the bottom edge by drilling out the spot welds and peeling it off. then patched up the inner sill also had to put some small plates between the floor and the inner sills.

pull off the inner rear door cards and look down.....can you see the driveway where the sill should be ?


ClioSport Moderator
  Whichever has fuel
That is all fixable and if you do it yourself, will cost you peanuts.

I’d advise you to buy either a scrap car or some scrap panels and practice your welding.

Do plenty of reading.

Then go for it.


ClioSport Club Member
that's had a whack at the front end and had a new cross member cut and welded in where its rusting by the looks of it. the 182 I re shelled into my van had the same idea but a hell of a lot more and that's why I scrapped it.

that's all fixable at the sill etc, its just getting someone you can trust to do it well enough so it doesn't come back. given that there is plenty cheap 182s about, I would need to think hard and have a good connection with the car to make that worth while though!

Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
Depends on how much the car means to you. If it's simply a 'car', then scrapping it makes sense.

If you've got any form of attachment to it, maybe look into the costs of getting it fixed?