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Covid182 the longest clutch change ever


ClioSport Club Member
Hi all,

I bought my little 182 on a whim after exploding the LSD on my (up until then) daily, initially I wanted to give a little French hot hatch a go as its something I've never owned. Initially it was only going to be a temporary run around but suddenly one month turned into a year.... without break down, and with lots of grins. Our family had recently grown, and I still hadn't fixed the LSD so parked the Clio up and bought a boring SUV.

I hate selling cars, never wanting to pass on a problem. My Clio was a little tatty, and getting generally loose suspension wise, clutch (original) was well on its way out and third gear was beginning to crunch. So as lock down struck I decided to sort the clutch and sell the car on as an honest Clio which needed some money and time spent on it.

One thing lead to another, decided the belts could do with changing, together with clutch figured it was sensible to remove the lump and box





Pictures just to show general condition of car etc. Its feeling a little tired at 80k, its got a decent service history but has all been done economically by garages, like just changing one front shock absorber etc?!?!


ClioSport Club Member
With the engine out it was somehow dragged down a rough drive and up a step into the back garden


At this point I decided to get the box rebuilt by Agency Transmissions, no sense in replacing it with a crunching third. Wanting to make a good impression I gave it a good degrease and jet wash.... yes, that is box fluid, and yes she did shout a lot!




ClioSport Club Member
At this point I was expecting the box back within a week however Agency went on lockdown and the box was with them for about a month, which was my biggest downfall, with the car outside looking sad I decided to tidy a few bits up




Being a terminal idiot I just kept removing parts, finding more dirt and removing more stuff. With all the bits removed bay was starting to look alright


Found a few bits of crust hidden behind brackets etc,



Bushes looking 'past their best'



ClioSport Club Member
At this point I should have probably just stopped but the box wasn't back and I had found a fair few bits I wasn't happy with so order the first of many things from RPD

Inner/outer track rods
ARB brackets
Steering rack bushes and brackets

Powerflex ARB inner and outer bushed from Awesome GTI

And made an order with FROST for some dinitrol and wire wheels. Time to set about the manky looking subframe and the scabby bits



After it had been wire brushed it got epoxy mastic 121 and then a coat of Dinitrol 447, came out looking alright. At this point I had pretty much decided that I wanted to get the car to a point where it would survive another 10-15 years with minimal maintenance only, figuring that I could sell it after some fun with a clean conscious. I've restored a few cars in the past and have always gone too far, I wanted this to be something presentable but not show worthy that I wouldn't feel bad about for driving in the rain etc.



Front ARB was wire brushed, painted/waxed. Fitted a set of Powerflex purples



ClioSport Club Member
Still no gearbox..... Engine had been under a cover in the garden for a few week at this point and looked absolutely terrible



Standard stuff, degrease, jetwash, degrease, paint blah.

Used some of this which seemed to work fairly well, not sure I would buy it again:


Stripped ancillaries off and removed covers etc for cleaning and paint.



Was starting to look much better at this point but still miles to go...



ClioSport Club Member
No gearbox, time for another RPD order:

Inlet gaskets
Exhaust gasket
Cam belt kit with dephaser
Aux belt kit with water pump
Power steering pressure sensor (mine was leaking through the center)

My power steering pump had always been moany so bought a refurbished one too.

Also picked up a set of Renault timing tools ready to do belts

Pretty sure these had never been changed






Why am I here?




Sadly had to end there as I had forgotten to buy a few bits


ClioSport Club Member

Crank bolt arrived from RPD along with a few other bits, beginning to feel like I sponsor them!

Tidied up alternator and power steering pipes, still need to install new sensor but the old one was a decent masking plug





What she doesn't know....



Time for all important belts - found a good use for the dipstick, makes for a good TDC finder!





ClioSport Club Member
Belts sorted, time to deal with the clutch






Few more forgotten parts arrived



And a new engine crane block as getting the engine out through the top with box on without it was sketchty as f**k! I'm sure I've missed loads but this is the engine ready to go back in the car... just waiting for that box to arrive. Agency had missed 3 couriers so I was getting (and the neighbors) a bit tense!



ClioSport Club Member
Wow good job on that engine and doing the belts yourself.

Thanks mate, with the engine out and with the Renault tools it wasn't hard at all, however with the engine in the car I can understand why people pay to have it done! The aux belt is a bit of a dick to fit out of the car let alone in. Took a few goes to get it timed up properly as I've never done belts on one of these before - I've since had the engine running and can happily report that no valves have said hello to pistons (y)

Was a struggle to not remove sump and inspect bearings etc however I just knew that if I did that I would be into rebuilding the engine for no good reason.


ClioSport Club Member
Great thread mate, can't wait for more updates!!

Also, my mrs usually finds out when I've washed something in the sink/dishwasher 😂 It's like she has a third sense for any dirt in the house. She checked the cameras last week when I was doing my gearbox and rang me to say "You better not be going inside the house like that"... Tbf I looked like I'd been down the pit


ClioSport Club Member
Great thread mate, can't wait for more updates!!

Also, my mrs usually finds out when I've washed something in the sink/dishwasher 😂 It's like she has a third sense for any dirt in the house. She checked the cameras last week when I was doing my gearbox and rang me to say "You better not be going inside the house like that"... Tbf I looked like I'd been down the pit

Haha thanks mate! She caught me using one of her knifes to open a box the other day, was like I had just pissed all over the living room floor. No way I can get cameras, would just be incriminating my self!


ClioSport Club Member
  Cup 172
Awesome job mate! I love these sort of resurrections, you’ve done a cracking job so far


ClioSport Club Member
Haha thanks mate! She caught me using one of her knifes to open a box the other day, was like I had just pissed all over the living room floor. No way I can get cameras, would just be incriminating my self!
Mine checks up on me all the time even when she's at work

"Did you hang that washing out"
"Errrr yes dear"
*checks cameras and sees me frantically hanging washing out*



ClioSport Club Member
  MX5 ND2/220 Trophy
Love updates like this. If it's out you've got to clean it up! Nice job


ClioSport Club Member
Looking awesome mate, I bet you can’t wait to get it back in the car.


ClioSport Club Member
Wow that's great work on the engine. How long are you going to keep the car for once its back together?

Thank you!

I actually don't know, I'm having a car melt down at the moment. I bough a big stupid RX400h which had its catalyst robbed a few weeks back, fixed but suspect the price will drop like a rock over the next year so will be selling it, which is a s**t as I was going to donate it to the Mrs and sell her old C4, which would get the car count down by one (I'm upto 6! and all of them are broke 😢). So now need to find her something I don't mind driving to deal with family stuff (harder than it might sound).

I also have an E46 touring with M3 running gear, I suspect once the Clio is done I'll sort this out and do some work on the house etc. So I could have it for 3 months or it could be here for ever, not sure.... Although I've now (months after the last posted picture) spunked more than its worth on parts so who knows!


ClioSport Club Member
So, with the engine ready to go back in when ever the box arrives I started to put the bay back together, its not as clean as it was due to the wax/Dinitrol over spray however I plan to give it a decent clean when the engine is back in. Gave the bulkhead carpet a good washing, luckily it seems in good condition.



Although not pictured (bellend) any rusty looking scab (all turned out to be surface thank god) was ground back, treated with fe123 painted and then dinitroled using 447.

I've removed (for good) the acoustic valve and the carbon canister and fitted a new top engine mount


Then some magic happened... the gearbox arrived. So without pausing for pictures *that i can find, the box was cleaned up and painted


My drive is angled and I need to get the whole lot down a step and up the drive so after installing box to block I needed something that would let me do it alone, one man covid lock down style...




Unconvinced but will give it a go!

Small boy in box/unhelpful helper included



ClioSport Club Member
Time to sort a few brackets out before engine can go back in

Lower mount was looking a bit past it



Old mount vs new mount... off ebay, I'm thinking this is the OEM part just with the Renault number ground off!


More sink work while she's out


Just before I took too many bits off it I drove the car down to my local MOT place and got them to suck out all the A/C gas (such a planet saver), on the way back it started to stink of fuel/eggs and developed a very lumpy idle, one of the injectors had failed... Like it knew what I was going to do to it so just gave in.

Set of new genuine squirters arrived


Fitted up into cleaned rail


Couldn't find my anal lube or any silicon grease so this had to make do - seals look like viton so not worried about the flavor giving them grief


Then all back on the engine while sitting in its shopping trolley