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Clio 182 revamp - initial thoughts



Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
This same thought has cropped up a few times over the years with regards to my 182. It's well into its twilight years now - and with regular posts of 1*2s being broken, scrapped or simply sold for peanuts - I've repeatedly thought about the revamp route.

Why? Well I have a lot of personal provenance with it. It was my first car that I ever bought new. It's been used pretty much as my daily drive for the past fourteen years and I have many memories of great drives and visiting various locations within the U.K. It's not worth much at all in a financial sense (realistically £1,200-£1,500 perhaps?) and would in turn barely qualify as a deposit on something newer.

Then there's the whole 'newer' car argument that I ponder on. Sure, many new cars are quicker, more capable and feature an array of tech that would simply laugh at the 182. But they are also heavier, more complex, more 'clever' in their efficiency, larger and dare I say it, possibly more dull as a consequence?

I really like the Mk2/Phase2 RS shape. It's always been appealing to me since I saw my first Phase2 172. And the 2.0litre lump that powers it is a relative dinosaur that simply cannot be bought new in a modern hot hatch.

Where is all this leading? Well, to reset the clock on the car as much as possible - when in reality it should be looking towards the scrappers. I've got a list of initial points that I'd want to consider doing to it and would more than welcome any input from the likes of @bloke , @gally , @STEVE.M , @NorthloopCup (and others who I haven't immediately remembered!) However, any feedback in terms of thoughts, issues, obstacles or even ideas that hadn't crossed my mind, would also be very much appreciated.

Initial thoughts/wants are:-

  • Complete strip of the car, back to the shell.
  • Any rust issues to be addressed - such as the fuel filler cap area, etc.
  • Total respray with relevant primer/protection undercoat - colour unknown as of yet.
  • Engine to be charged - I'm slightly biased towards supercharging (despite not being a fan of the noise) as I believe it's less harsh on the engine/transmission overall? Please correct if I'm talking crap there. I don't want silly power - more something that would be usable in the daily role, perhaps circa 250bhp?
  • Rebuild of the gearbox - ideally with a taller 5th and potentially an LSD fitted.
  • New brakes and lines.
  • Suspension - a complete unknown. I like the current balance of OEM dampers paired with Eibach Sportlines - but I don't know if these would be insufficient for a higher powered car?
  • New wiring loom and fuses - not a chance that going to all this effort would I want to rely on 14+ year-old electrics!
  • Interior - pretty much standard - just new carpet and cleaned up - possibly new type of driver & passenger seat?
  • Updated stereo and slightly better speakers that would sit behind the existing fittings. Not into blasting out tunes - but something better than the existing OEM unit would be great.

In essence - I would want to use as much of the existing Clio as I could. I know it doesn't make financial sense - but if I don't utilise the majority of the car as a donor to itself - what's the point? I might as well buy another cheap 182 and get that rebuilt. The core want from all of this is to give it another lease of life and make it a little more unusual than the other RS's out there.

I'm under no illusion that all this would be doable in under £five-figures. Yet when I think about taking out a new car loan or finance, I find that my mind keeps reverting back to updating what I already have, right before me. It doesn't make sense from a monetary perspective. It could be done a whole lot easier perhaps with a car that's an unfinished project, that just needs finishing.

But none of those options are my car - the same one that I've had all these years and (hopefully) will have for quite a few more. My mate said to me only recently that "...your 182 will outlast us all" and I guess that struck a chord with me. Who knows - maybe it will??

Comments/thoughts/suggestions (bad or good) - are all welcome!
 

welshname

ClioSport Club Member
Sounds completely stupid from a monetary point of view but very interesting.

One thing I'd be looking to do is swap to 182 CUP hubs and run fresh trophy dampers if you can get hold of some. Also I'd be inclined to go down the megane conversion route personally. To me it makes sense to stick with as much OEM as possible, and a megane engine will take 250bhp all day long in stock form. I'd have also thought it would be easier to keep climate/ac this way as you definitely lose that when going down the SC route.

Brakes swap over to the Mk3 brembos with adapters would be my choice, again OEM, availability of parts etc for me would be key if you're looking to spend this kind of money, the more custom parts and work you have, the harder/more expensive it will be to keep it on the road long term.
 

obcuz

ClioSport Club Member
I feel for your quest, and wondering if you have done something like this before?.
However.....
If you're going DIY, then go for it, but you'll need a second car and a LOT of spare time..

If your are going proff. route with all those things, you're probably off your rocker, you'll still need a second car.

Complete strip and rebuild, you'll probably without the car for a year or more.

I am not trying to put you off, but either don't do it, or commit yourself and complete it no matter what, if you fall short then you'll just waste a lot of money.

Incidentally, when I looked into a professional 'proper' full respray you'll be looking at least 5K, and a lot of agro finding someone who will do it right (just as an example).
 

JB21

ClioSport Club Member
There's worse things to spend your money on. I wouldn't strip it back to its shell or rewire the whole car personally as it's just not worth the cost and hastle.

I'd make sure the chassis is sound, sort the rust on the body and do the rest you mentioned.
 

Eddie555

ClioSport Club Member
  Q7 2018 & 172 Cup.
Just for an example and idea of costs. This is my mates Astra. It was rebuilt from the ground up using many many new parts, also 2 whole cars were broken down to have all the best parts salvaged. The body shell was acid dipped and fully rust repaired and fully resprayed. All the work was done by some of the “CAR SOS” tv program team. Total cost was mid £20k and took 2 years.
77359B7D-FC14-4832-BA98-4E9FD1A51FE0.jpeg
B48CB6CB-40FE-4064-8AF4-B31D3D35CBFC.jpeg
17679311-3F18-4181-97CE-F7EFAFBB59C1.jpeg
 

Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
Great responses guys - these are exactly the sort of comments I was after in terms of people who had done similar, or at least knew someone who has.

As above, £20k into an Astra GTE is absolute idiocy from a money perspective. But with projects such as this, the financial aspect is secondary - within reason. The big fear (as @obcuz says) - is that you have to totally commit, or not at all. Nothing worse than a half-completed car with £10k already spent, that can't even move under its own power and with an unfinished paint job. Conversely, if you do TOO good a job, are you then s**t-scared to take the bloody car out?? I'd never want to make it a diva-car where it managed 100 miles per year before being put back into storage.

I do have concerns about silly things that might be like unicorns' teeth to locate or fabricate. Weird fittings, odd seals - those kinds of things. And of course, you only have to look at the saga of builds such as @SharkyUK (sorry Andy!) - where that was predominantly just engine based. The time and money spent on that alone is gob-smacking and I would hate to fall out of 'love' with the car - through my own desire and ignorance to make it better in my own mind.

I can see how people end up having back-yards and lock-ups, housing several cars that have yet to have work started on them. You get a vision in your mind as to what you want - yet the path to get there is not only expensive, but not guaranteed of success either. The "one day, I'll get around to that" frame of mind kicks in and before you know it - that potential project car has been sat in the corner collecting moss for the last three years.
 

JamesBryan

ClioSport Club Member
  Titanium 182
I wouldn't strip the shell back completely, just repaint what's needed to sort any chips/scratches/rust and whatever.

Remove all running gear, replace bushes and underseal the car while everything is off.

Getting someone to do you a full new wiring loom will probably be nearly £1k on it's own, it's not a cheap job. Might be slightly easier if you were to go to a standalone ecu i don't know, but could be handy if you are thinking of 'charging the engine.
 

bloke

ClioSport Club Member
  dan's cast offs.
Strip the underside of the floor, arches etc as that's where the problems will be.

For wiring I'd look at rewiring as much a a possible, ideally bin the ecu and uch and run stand alone and run the switches etc through a control panel.

Engine won't need much bit while it's apart you might as well go high comp even if it's something like 197 pistons, crank will probably be fine with a polish, supertech valves won't do any harm, arp rod bolts and mod the oil pump.
 

Martin_172

ClioSport Club Member
financial suicide, which is what generally makes it a fun thing to do lol!!

say you spend £20k and in 5 years its worth £7k, your not really any worse off than if you bought a brand new car which makes it seem a little less daunting

HOWEVER, these projects 60-70% of the time get abandoned half way though so you need to be REALLY committed to go ahead with it, think of the time without the car, then at the other side you have a mint car you are potentially worried about using in case something happens to it.

I always liked the idea of a mk2 with a nicely retrimmed interior with some tasty seats and a 197 engine and box to combine the best of both but in the end went for a 220 trophy and im not sure I could go back to a mk2 RS now! I have fond memories of my 7 or 8 that I owned but.....
 

SharkyUK

ClioSport Club Member
I do have concerns about silly things that might be like unicorns' teeth to locate or fabricate. Weird fittings, odd seals - those kinds of things. And of course, you only have to look at the saga of builds such as @SharkyUK (sorry Andy!) - where that was predominantly just engine based. The time and money spent on that alone is gob-smacking and I would hate to fall out of 'love' with the car - through my own desire and ignorance to make it better in my own mind.
Oh, hai! :) No need to apologise, D. It's almost laughable how things have turned out! I still hope that it (the Trophy) will see the light of day in 2019 though...

It's scary how easily the proposed restoration / upgrade / modifications can evaporate the budget. You really do need to keep on top of it and ensure you use the RIGHT people from day one (if not doing the work yourself). Work out what you want to do, estimate the costs and then triple that figure to establish your budget!

Worryingly, as hinted at in your post, there's always the risk of falling out of love with the car. I'm quite concerned at the moment as - at the time of writing - I haven't even enquired as to the state of my car in the last few months. I have hardly even given it a thought. I honestly hope that my enthusiasm to see it finished will return in the New Year as the car now owes me the 'wrong' side of £40k. :( Admittedly it has been a comedy of errors and misfortune over the last decade but still...

It's a BIG commitment to take it to the level you are considering; I would definitely sleep on it! I would genuinely hate to see you lose copious amounts of cash if the 'dream' started to lose appeal. I do (for the record) think it's a fantastic idea but, from experience, it hurts when I think of the money spent / lost. Spend wisely, choose wisely my friend! :)
 
  Turbos.
Nice to see there are a few mad folk out there. I started a thread on creating - effectively - brand new 182s!

I've had a lot of interesting conversations with people, and there is a lot of enthusiasm out there... so you're definitely not alone.

I have actually been mad enough to buy a couple of donor cars without actually getting any of the rest of the project going. With base Clios sometimes being driven by the elderly. As a result, there is the odd crazy low mileage car for sale. In the long run, MUCH cheaper to buy one and part it out.

I've picked up two cars with less than 15,000 mile on the clock for not much at all really. Whilst they are missing all of the RenaultSport bits, those are the parts I'd be upgrading anyway. What will be hard to get as the years roll by are dashboards with no sun damage, perfect door trims, and those hundreds of little parts you don't see that Renault will discontinue. One of them is proper grandad spec, complete with auto - but garaged it's whole life with 11,000 miles! Feel bad that I'm going to tear it apart, but I paid WAY less than what people want for mint RenaultSports.

Anywho, I am mildly restoring my Trophy along the lines you are talking about. Almost willing my gearbox to pop (JC5s are much more reliable than the internet says!) so I can drop in the DCi 5th gear and Gripper diff.
 

Louis

ClioSport Club Member
Nice to see there are a few mad folk out there. I started a thread on creating - effectively - brand new 182s!

I've had a lot of interesting conversations with people, and there is a lot of enthusiasm out there... so you're definitely not alone.

I have actually been mad enough to buy a couple of donor cars without actually getting any of the rest of the project going. With base Clios sometimes being driven by the elderly. As a result, there is the odd crazy low mileage car for sale. In the long run, MUCH cheaper to buy one and part it out.

I've picked up two cars with less than 15,000 mile on the clock for not much at all really. Whilst they are missing all of the RenaultSport bits, those are the parts I'd be upgrading anyway. What will be hard to get as the years roll by are dashboards with no sun damage, perfect door trims, and those hundreds of little parts you don't see that Renault will discontinue. One of them is proper grandad spec, complete with auto - but garaged it's whole life with 11,000 miles! Feel bad that I'm going to tear it apart, but I paid WAY less than what people want for mint RenaultSports.

Anywho, I am mildly restoring my Trophy along the lines you are talking about. Almost willing my gearbox to pop (JC5s are much more reliable than the internet says!) so I can drop in the DCi 5th gear and Gripper diff.
These non sports without sunroofs?
 

Ricardos

ClioSport Club Member
  LY 200 EDC
Do you know what, if I had the space and the money I'd more than likely do a full strip down and rebuild. So what about the costs, if someone truly loves the RenaultSport model and feels its their desire to take on such a project then so be it. It doesn't matter if the costs outweigh the end value, its their choice.

I have friends that are in the middle of long term restorations (like years long) on Renault models, its as much the enjoyment and involvement of going through all the stages from stripping down the vehicle to rebuilding it back up.

I'm pretty sure we've all spent shed loads of money on multiple 'projects' over the years ??
 

DomP182

ClioSport Club Member
  ph1 172, Arctic182
Different people get their kicks in different ways, smoking, drinking, gambling or all three at once, none of these result in and real gain in the long run and are ultimately less rewarding than rebuilding a car at great cost.

Do it!
 

Iain C

ClioSport Club Member
I love my 172 cup and have had it from new. I wouldnt put 20k into it tho.
It does about 2000k miles year at most cos i hate to use it daily. Dont mind spending a bit on it but not going into big numbers. When it properly dies it will get scrapped or broken.
Will be a sad day but its an 11k french hatch.
 
  Land Rover
If you love your car then do it, still much cheaper than buying a new car.
My opinion.

Yes it is an “£11k French hatch” but my Renault 5 Turbo was a “£10k French hatch”
As was my 205 GTi
 

Gally

ClioSport Club Member
Hi Darren! Hope you're well chap!

Sorry for the delay in responding!

My two pence... It's all down to costs for me and how much would be done yourself. Repainting a car to the level you want and the standard you would require is upwards of 4/5k alone. The rest ... well you'll know by now how much cars cost!

Can you justify to yourself, not just financially logically, is it worth pouring maybe 9k+ into a 182?

It's really tough. Then you could look to buy a Trophy that's got the chance of going back north in appreciation not south.

I know, have you seen the FRP prices? That's if you can find one for sale!
 


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