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Initiale dCi Daily Project (yes, diesel.)

welcome to this, rather ordinary, project thread.

be aware, I like writing.

I thought about this and immediately realized two things:

1) This thread is about a diesel clio, not a sport.
2) being this diesel clio my daily driver, you won't find any infos on welded roll cages, 4 pots calipers, straight cut gears, torsen diffs or aircon delete kits.

if you're ok with this and fancy some occasional ordinary reading then welcome, I'll be trying to resurrect a once very valid little car that's been neglected for a while but still retains loads of potential.

If you haven't read my Introduction thread I'm Diego, 27, Italian, one of many italian Londoners.

My car history started with a 1 liter Toyota Yaris, by far the best thing I've ever driven: countless trackdays, holydays, off road driving and some good quality late nights (remember, first car..)


I sold that to buy a tatty EG6 Civic that i then built into a very clean looking and daily driveable track car, lots of money but in the end it looked ace and was very fast, at least for me.


With track wheels here, used to have gloss black TD ProRace3.

When i moved here i tried to fulfill one of my all time dreams: owning a fast rwd estate car (I'm weird). So I sold the Civic to a mate back home and got myself this beauty:


94 540i Touring E34, and it's a 6 speed, 61 made in RHD !!

Yeea, I know, nobody's impressed; but I like it, and remember, I'm weird !

I drove it for a year (don't really know how) and then realised she needed some love. I sorned it, got the axlestands out and started the project, this is June 2016.

things soon looked like this


Restoring this car is taking me forever, working on it is a nightmare, parts are not always a click away, and more importantly, it does 16 mpg at best.
I was owning a car but I still had to cycle and use trains to get around, I started missing driving something mine.

Yes, I too, needed a daily.

I hate this word, people now justify having a second car with the worst nonsense, and now I'm one of them, well, I guess it proves that everybody is right !

My solution for cheap motoring has always been a Clio dCi. it's the only decent car, imho, that you could get for sub £1000 which does 65+mpg, costs £20 in road tax and occasionally has aircon, sunroof and 5 doors (these are my key parameters). I was looking for a Privilege, hopefully 80bhp. I've always had my search alerts on ebay, gumtree and auto trader but everything was either too far away or too expensive, until two weeks ago:


This HAD to be it, an Initiale 5 doors, dCi 80 intercooled (the one to have), 106 thousand miles, £500, 2 miles away.

waat ?

later that night I jumped on a plane for my two weeks holidays. bye bye cheap clio!


two weeks later the car was still there, available for sale.

went there with a colleague on my lunchbrake, started her up, no aircon, plenty of little dings and scratches, disastrous bonnet and roof, mix and match tires, overall pretty dirty, very little history, 4 owners, been sat since 2015.

on hpi check came up as a Cat C in 5/2007, damage on offside rear.

with the HPI printed out I managed to talk the guy down to £350, handed the cash over, took a risk, again (bmw memories, but that was £3k!!) and made her mine.

let me talk you through this gem if I may:

-Leather/Suede interior
-Leather steering wheel
-Auto Xenon headlights with washers
-Auto wipers
-Auto AirCon
-Electric sunroof
-factory Alpine 6CD changer
-Leather parcel shelf compartment
-Special "Jade" 15 inch alloys (name of my EX, funny as)

Should have heated seats, I see some wires but no switch ??

doesn't have electric rear windows and is not dark blue, but hey, can't have everything.

20 quid road tax seemed like a joke, monthly insurance is £47 with me driving. (remember, 27 yo italian immigrant, one year no claim on a different car no uk insurance history before then) so pretty good, and it averaged 58mpg round town when I took it home.

very smokey when going for it, I hoped that was just lack of use and old fuel.


First things first, I watched videos about this without even owning the car, let's clean the EGR and cooler pipe:



... and I did an awesome job NOT taking any pictures ! But trust me, they came up MINT. we have an aquablaster at work, which is a lot like a soda blaster only much better. The valve itself was NEW, not a mark on it, moved freely as it should and looked great, the pipe took some serious scraping and blasting, then received two new orings and back at work. I shall take them off again to take pictures and also because I'm very curious about how they get so sooty.
The inlet manifold got a good scraping and vacuum clean, I'll be back there soon.

one of the rear wheel bearing was roaring since mile one of my ownership. I've heard these are pretty easy to do, let's give it a go.



people don't lie, that was a 5 minute job, if not 4:30! I'll do the other one for peace of mind if it's this easy !!

next is something that is one of my trademarks: useless stuff that looks cool, at least to me. so there you have it, genuine Renault roof rack


faded of course, so it matches the roof. I'll justify this with a roof box soon, then I'll be forced to drive home (italy) with it to justify that one !!

next, faded headlights, Unlike the bonnet, roof and roof rack these won't be staying like this. I purchased one of those 3M kits with drill attachment and gave it a go.


well, I'm happy. here's the before:


and after


and I rushed it a lot, there's more there if you're patient, I shall try again.

then aircon regas. I was ready for failure because, and this is my opinion, a/c gas doesn't just fade away, if it's gone there must be a leak ! and well, there isn't really, the car held vacuum like a champ, but lost everything when the fittings were taken off, suspect schrader valve. we tightened it and gave it a go, regas it is then !


after a week of driving I think that valve might still be leaking, I'll get a new one. But hey, aircon is back for now !

I then put my first 20 liters of proper V-Power diesel with some Hydra diesel treatment that I found on ebay, and drove it for a week.

And we are at the present time, time to get my gloves on again for a major service; I got myself a genuine service kit, might aswell, was only 80 pounds including the oil !


I racked the car next to an half french EB110GT, maybe even cars do small talk, at least these two should understand each other! we don't have anything french at the moment..



the pollen filter had never been changed I think.


diesel filter one of the easiest I've ever done.


I can't stand 4 different tires, so while she was in the air I threw in two GoodYear EfficientGrip that I found on gumtree last week; 28 quid for two 2015 tires, 7mm tread left, almost new, I'd say pretty good deal.
While fitting the tires I cleaned the inside of the rims and removed any old leftover weight and glue, very common on cheap old cars; both front wheels then balanced on zero respectively with 25 and 35 grams each, they're straight.
I'll be fitting two more efficient Grip as soon as they come up at a decent price.

as said before, I replaced the other rear wheel bearing, nearside, even if not needed. the part was 10 quid, and the fitting took 2 minutes, timed this time.
God I missed cheap hatchbacks so much !

this is today, there's still some stuff to do;
I've got a complete gates timing belt and water pump kit, also some genuine Renault coolant to go with it. The job seems pretty daunting, I'll se how I go, it's needed.

Also on their way are two front shocks; the offside has an "expired" top mount that has torched the threads and won't even come off, will have to grind it off. almost two inches of vertical play, not nice. after that a geometry will be mandatory.

the brakes feel ok, plenty of pads still left but the discs are grooved and the fluid it's probably 14 years old. the abs light comes on occasionally because of a cracked sensor ring. I bought two stainless ones, to go on soon.

driver seat cannot be adjusted in height, will look into that.

clutch is heavy, but doesn't slip and the gearbox doesn't crunch, although some new oil there could help.

oh, and that Cat C thing: I think she was hit by something on the offside rear: from the jacking point up is all rust and the rear door doesn't close nicely, I'll see what I can do.

I'll also give a go at respraying the bonnet.

those 20 liters I put in lasted for 300 miles. that's almost 70mpg, city driving, I know this is and not Clio MPG enthusiast club, but feels so good to be mobile without feeling guilty !

more updates soon, cheers for reading !


cheers guys, yeah the garage it's quite posh but I'm still an amateur when it comes to tech work!

Anyway, last Saturday I tackled the replacement of the cambelt. I don't know when and even if it's ever been done, so I didn't take any chances and did it as soon as I could.

Here's the stuff


That's a complete Gates kit with water pump that turned out to be the wrong one but still useable, I had to reuse the bolt for the crank pulley, belt and water pump fit right in and so does the tensioner.
New coolant also to go in, genuine Renault again.
I replaced the drive belt too as it was long due.

Some random pics, it's a very hard job and I was tight on time so not much time to photograph stuff around



New gates pump with gasket, I cleaned up the bolts and on it goes



Some torque wrench shots so I look cool and pro



So job done but what a pain. The crank sprocket can turn freely on the crank, never seen that in my life; also the timing lock pins are almost useless, as the one on the crank only acts as a stopper but can allow the crank to turn back when you're undoing the bolt. Why not make a hole as per the cam ??


Anyway, I need to do the whole mess again as I forgot to put in the lower timing cover behind the belt, and without that one you can't put in the other two. Yeah.

Yesterday was shock day, I tried to change the front shocks with some cheaply aftermarket ones, can't go genuine on this one !



Some of the new stuff the kit included mounts.

I still have an awful amount of play on the right strut top mount, but I'm up against the lower retaining nut so I'm guessing whoever has been there before me has messed up the order in which things go back together.
will look into it again, I run out of battery on the impact, today the other side goes on, we'll see.

The car has also received a proper interior clean as she will be traveling to Paris on Friday and people are paying to ride (blablacar) she'll look and smell mint.

There's a full set of genuine Renault floor mats coming as well as some yellow h11 fog light bulbs, probably the only exterior mod I'll be doing.

The air con has strangely started working again after the belts service, and was dead again this morning. Any thoughts ? I've got climate control of that helps

Found the problem with my new struts.

Here's the retaining nut that comes with the aftermarket ones


And here's the one that genuine ones have


As you may notice, once you do up the top nut, the one in the engine bay, this happens


The two nuts come in contact before the top mount clamps down the chassis. Not good.

Strangely my car had the good nut only on one side. The shocks then are perfectly ok, all I need is another "good" nut !
pointless update:

the car has received a second pair of Goodyear efficientgrip, that makes for a matching set, don't know when the last time was for this car !

Tire change done my way, takes twice as long as "trade" time







On zero again, although both rear rims have lost their roundness, we'll see how they do on the motorway.

Another addition, this is the first time I've ever bought floor mats for a car



The best of the tires found on the car when I bought it ended up being the spare, and the boot got a good clean.

I fixed both the hinge and the catch of the OSR door that now closes like the one of a maybach.

A/C still temperamental, seems to only work when the car warms up, in mornings, or when the outside temp is at reasonable levels, like on the drive back home in the evening.

Fingers crossed ;)
  182 Cup & DCi 172
Nice little project looks a nice spec car as well

I did exactly the same for my cheap daily/dog transport. Also got a thread on here as well as for the Cup
Cheers Robbie !

Trip to Paris completed. Almost 600 miles, 85mph average speed meant just under one tank of diesel did it, it would have done a lot better if I wasn't in such a rush. Border control pulled us over and checked everything right down to cylinder head bolts torque, what a pain.
Learnt lesson for next time: get that bonnet painted and shave.

All in all a nice trip to get used to the car. 6cd changer works a treat if you can still speak the CD language, air con worked the whole time, climate control bang on too.
I had my foot to the floor almost the whole time and she didn't miss a beat. Averaged 62 mpg loaded up to the roof and again, no less than 80mph. Came out intact from a minor collision with a fiat 500 left with no handbrake on, the cute little French girl was so sorry but no damage was reported.
I'm happy with this little red thing, fingers crossed for the future !


I finally fitted those yellow h11 fog light bulbs


Here's the before




Final result


They are pretty yellow, not bad.

This car keeps me busy buying useless poser stuff, I promise this is the last time.
I lied, i bought a pair of Osram Zenarc D2S bulbs, damn it.

Two questions:

A) I'd like to retrofit the rear disc brakes, I found some 172 rear axles on eBay for around 50 pounds complete, other than ABS rings is it really a straight swap? Same master cylinder ?

B) another thing I'd like to have is cruise control and I've seen that on some cars the loom is already there and all you need is some switches and you're set. True?

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Another update for the red pile.

None of this stuff is adding any horsepower but I'll get there, I've got a plan.

Sorted the wiper mechanism that made me cringe every time it operated: turned out to be the usual (from what I've read) linkage that had come off the locating stud.


Back at home, even greased, luxury


Don't worry I did hover all the funk out of there


Next was the rear bench: the long part wasn't clipping back in position when upright, something wrong in the latch mechanism maybe?

Gut the back first


Obviously the winning rate was too high from the wipers job so the car said f**k ya kunt


But I was determined and found the culprit


c**ty spring had come off its pegs, thankfully it didn't get lost in the car


Good job I had another seat to take inspiration from



Double win, it hasn't happened in years.

Also the driver seat decided to let go after some serious massaging, and finally the height adjustment works.
I can finally slam the seat where it belongs: all the way down!
Thankfully I didn't have to take te off the car, phew.


The other day I fitted those bulbs I was talking about and yes, they definetly make a difference but I'm still not convinced about the auto dimming, I'd like to be able to do it myself !

They are Osram Xenarc Night breaker unlimited d2s, got the for £60 on eBay.

New one on the left of pic


Pleased with this.

To finish this off, I realized why one of the tires was still low after all that work changing it and surprise..


See those bubbles? Yup, not repairable.
I've asked the seller if he could supply a matching tire otherwise I'll have to find it myself or whack an inner tube in it.

Cheers ;)
I didn't do much last week.

The only job worth reporting is the addition of a new engine torque mount, people call it the dogbone lol


Genuine Renault part paid 14 quid and some change.
Didn't improve much but there's definitely a difference. Better than nothing.

I fitted an inner tube in the punctured tire as a traditional puncture repair was not possible. I wouldn't fit an inner tube in a tubeless tire either but I had no other tire to put on and I'm currently in the hunt for a matching good year because that's the only way I roll.

On its way is a used driver side damper complete with spring and top mount that I bought with the only intention of using the top 17mm nut to correctly secure my new shock, I'll keep the other bits as spares; £15 from renparts, not bad.

The broken bolt of the last post has been drilled out and the threads repaired. New bolts and fixed rear bench back in, happy.

I also bought my first roof box, Thule Polar 100, used of course, for 31 pounds. I hope it will be big enough to carry all the gear during the Christmas trip to Italy lol

Average Real mpg is around 59, all city driving. 10 liters are good for 130 miles.

Air con only works when is warm outside.
Hi everyone,
The list of jobs on the little Clio is starting to get shorter thank god.

I picked up a used bonnet as my old one was absolutely shot, plus they tried to bodge it with some oxy primer and the wrong shade of red.

Paid 30 quid for the "new" one, is not perfect but at least the front of the car is all the same color now. Oh and the headlights got another polish, getting closer to acceptable.



A couple of weeks ago I bought a spare strut with top mount for like 12 pounds off RenBreakers, only to use the correct retaining nut for one of my aftermarket shocks. Here it is


Now the two front dampers sit almost the same way. The car still leans on the driver side strangely but I kept the spring off that used strut, I'll compare it to the one that's on now and see what's what.


I bought some mist washer jets, the Citroen/Fiat ones that everybody talks about. Well, they spray way to low, so I cut some rubber wedges and boom, they're spot on now, I'll buy a different set in the future.

As for the radio I managed to get my hands on one of those wiring harnesses that use the cd changer plug to then have the aux lead on the dash. Top stuff, a little bulky but does the job, I only need a longer rca cable.


Today I had some time and some tools to play with so I decided that I was time to get dirty and gut the catalytic converter


I can't believe nothing broke during removal, not a single nut.

Here's the cat after surgery


And this is what was inside


While doing this I decided to have a look at the egr again and try to fit a blanking plate that I bought a couple of days ago.
The valve was quite sooty and this surprised me, as I only use v power diesel and its only been a month and a half since its been out for the first time. Oh well, cleaned up again




Same goes for the cooler pipe


I then found out that the blanking plate would not work for my engine, and so I tried the old trick of flipping the valve upside down, and I had to grind one of the holes for the bolts as it came in contact with the shoulder in the cooler pipe housing.

Well, I have no vacuum leaks and it seems to work pretty good.

Cat back in with new bolts


And driveshaft back in.

Once you know what you're up against is not as bad of a job as I thought it was going to be.

I do feel quite guilty for what I've done, I do my recycling religiously and I've just emptied my cat ?? I'm a little s**t.

The car runs good, so good that I tought I needed some downforce, and that led to this


172 boot spoiler. The gayest thing ive ever done.
In the dark it matched the roof pretty good, during the day you can tell it's flame red lol

As per how the car actually goes with gutted cat and blocked egr: the throttle response is much smoother, there isn't that annoying "step" that I tried to cure with the new torque mount, or maybe there still is but it's much improved. You can hear the turbo spooling up from low revs and there no smoke at all from the back.

Performance wise, it's a 1.5 diesel.

Some other little jobs and she'll be ready for the big Christmas trip !



ClioSport Club Member
  2012 Renault Clio
Looks a good little car. I'd have to sort that OSR light though for what they cost
Another pointless update:

I said I was going to compare a used coil spring that I got with a spare strut with my osf one and I was right, mine was shorter, a lot shorter


So I swapped that on and the car finally sits at the same height from side to side, I can finally get it aligned!

The play on the top mounts has been drastically reduced with the new shocks, and with the correct nut fitted on the osf one it's even better.

Last Saturday I had to remove the bumper to replace a washer jet that must have pissed off a dog at some point..



There are easier bumpers to remove I must say. It felt like a lot of f**king around for a small thing. It's done now, happy headlights.

I then finally fitted the roof box I got, makes the car look like a multipla and rumbles like f**k at motorway speeds, but it should swallow all our bags during the Christmas holidays, so good times



I've also swapped a used osr light for a used one that's not cracked, and finally got myself an OBD2 wifi scanner, now it's a matter of choosing the right app for the iPhone. Any suggestions ?

I also need to fit a set of continental winter contact that I bought for 80 pounds, eBay rocks!

The car has developed an injector leak, on cold starts runs funny for a couple of seconds and puffs out blue/whitey smoke. Must be diesel seeping down overnight, very nice.

See ya soon !
Just read all of this... it was a rather good read actually.

As for your roof box rattling around it could be a number of things
1) Items in the box - try laying a thick blanket in the box first.
2) not being tight enough to the bars - try a few washers
3) the box is clanging on the bars - try a few rubber washers.

To be fair, it’s not the most aerodynamic roof box so it may be the wind noise that you’re talking of, if this is the case your best bet is a wind deflector. Then you really will be weird :up:😂

Oh and as for being weird with the estate thing... I’ve had a Corsa (first car) then bought a Passat, three Zafira’s an Octavia VRS and now a Superb :grimacing:
We’ve had a few other cars, but all been quite big
Cheers ;)

Good evening people, some other jobs have been completed today, time was short as always but nothing broke, went missing or cought fire which is good.

I wanted to mount the winter tires I got two weeks ago and also do some work to the front brakes and change the fluid.

Let's start with the brake job; what I'm about to show you is not scientific and some people can judge it plain wrong, but it has worked for me in the past when I needed to restore some "bite" in the braking system without changing any parts. I did have a genuine reason to take the brakes apart and I wanted to see the condition of the pads.

Here we go, parts on the ground


My goal was to clean up as much as I could from the caliper carrier, clean all the bolts and grease where needed, swap the discs left-right and swap the pads in-out. Yes, this can lead to vibrations at first but, at least for me, has always done more good than harm if this makes sense for you.


On the left, brake pad after belt sanding, the right one is still grooved


Then the carrier was disassembled


Those pad seats thinghys got a nice blast in the aquablaster


Slider pins in the parts washer


New load of grease in the boot and all over the pins. 3M silicone paste works best here, I didn't have it.


All partially assembled. I also blasted the caliper carrier but I soon realized it was gonna take too much time to strip it all to bare metal, another day. Some black paint to protect the bare parts and on it goes


Good old copper slip on the piston and also on the other side, that should kill the squealing.


Rinse and repeat on the other side lol

A shot of the other set of pads, right one not done yet, see the difference ?


Finally the reason I did all this for: a stuck slider pin, excuse me miss vice..


Success, no heat or penetrating oil needed. Badass.


Comparison with the other one, fully working. They both got a sandblast and proper a proper grease up.


Yes, new genuine trw pads are 15£ on eBay and discs are not much more than that. But there's plenty of life left in these parts and I'm now feeling better about the front brakes, lovely jobbly.

Then it was time for the winter tires to go on. I have no experience with these but I'm going on a skiing holiday in new year so I thought I'd give them a go as they're mandatory where we're going.
I was going to get just two but ended up buying a full set to be legit. They came on some Mazda 2 steelies that I'm trying to sell, and I paid 80 for the lot.
They're continental winter contact ts790. Dot 2011 so they're surely not new but there's a s**t load of tread left and I'm hoping that being a top brand they won't be as bad as any other 6 year old tire. Fingers crossed.


I finished off the day by changing the brake fluid and bleeding the system




Cheers everyone and have a good weekend ;)
I'm leaving on the 20th, planning to arrive in Rome by the evening of the 21st.
The roof box has a crack in it that needs to be fixed with resin, I need to redo the whole timing belt job just to fit the plastic covers onto the belt, wait for the aircon pressure switch to magically appear to try and fix the problem and maybe change the oil again.

fingers crossed !
  Clio 182
I'm leaving on the 20th, planning to arrive in Rome by the evening of the 21st.
The roof box has a crack in it that needs to be fixed with resin, I need to redo the whole timing belt job just to fit the plastic covers onto the belt, wait for the aircon pressure switch to magically appear to try and fix the problem and maybe change the oil again.

fingers crossed !
Did you not have any issues with car when you drove to Paris and back? Did all go alright?

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
Not really, the car was fine and I had to push it hard the whole way as we were always late! This time will be a much longer trip so I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for any rattle or strange noise that this thing could make before the trip.
Another weekend update before Christmas, very likely to be the last one of 2017 !

Didn't do a whole lot, as I was working and I only had lunch time to use the workshop.
I left the car in the hands of a mate with the task of aligning it, good luck with that..


In the meantime I tried to fix a broken inlet pipe, picking from my stache of what we call "donkey dick"..




At the same time I repaired a broken peg in the air box by salvaging one from a spare that I bought



It turns out the car could not be aligned. The inner tie rods were glowing red but still wouldn't want to turn, and the alignment ramp leaves not much room to work, I'll have to spend some more time with some more space to work to get it to release. For now I'm gonna have to make do with 6mm toe out in the OSF and that pisses me off.

After the failed geometry I threw in a genuine Renault aircon pressure switch that made the a/c click in straight away. That was my problem, I now have fully working climate control, happy days.

Then it was motorway time, a long 470 miles trip to bingley to pick up this




A complete 172 rear axle with disc brakes, abs and all the handbrake linkage. It will need some work before going on the car but for £45 can't really complain, I just hope it's not bent but will get the tape measure out soon.

I also ordered a bunch of parts that are due before Christmas and I'm probably only going to do an oil change before going.

That's it for now !
By the looks of it they are 48 teeth like the fronts on the dCi. I haven't looked at the ones on the drums anyway.
Im not sure about the master cylinder, on the TRW website there is one that fits both dCi and 172/182 but there are another 3 that don't, so will find out soon I guess.

I want to rebuild the calipers, new pads, sandblast discs and get new wheel bearings. I'll also put new bushes while I'm there and hopefully that will be it, on it goes !
  172 AiRS & DCI101 RS
i realy like your refresh of a very used looking car. i have a 101dci too, and now the fun :D; I recomend to do a straight pipe! it is a realy nice turbo sound, but not a noisy one. also i swap to a k&N filter, i think the turbo spools better now.
So, here we are in 2018, may this year be full of whatever matters to your life or the one of your loved ones.

With that said, what about my Christmas/new year/suicide enormous trip? How did it go?

In a word? Well! I'm here in the Uk again so the car made it, 2551 miles to be exact and what a trip.

First of all, I'm not going to endlessly go about how great my car is and how incredible is that it made it so far and all that rubbish, no. It's a normal diesel hatchback that is mostly stock with 15 years and 100000miles on it, it should be able to handle the task.
What is remarkable however is how little I paid for it, that made me feel like I was in one of those top gear challenges where the car costs less than the flight home, and I like that.

Before the trip the only upgrade worth mentioning is the addition of a k&n air filter.


Totally unnecessary but it was so yummy at £30 that I could not resist.

After that I proceeded to park in the only street a "£350 car with a k&n" owner should park


... got that ?

To the trip-->

It all started the evening of the 20/12. I ended up being by myself, no carpooling passengers all the way to Turin where I was going to meet with my brother and, only then, two paying passengers.
I crossed the channel via ferry this time, I was in no rush and it was cheaper, like half the price lol



Then it was a long night, calling everybody I knew to stay awake and do some chatting, but at 2am I called it a night, very little one, as I only slept a total of 3 hours sitting down as I had the roof box inside the car and felt too tired to put it on the roof.

When I woke up I drove another couple of hundred miles and finally reached the alps for the first fuel stop.



Once in Turin, at around 10:30, I met with my brother and we mounted the roof bars and box on top, and filled the box with all our junk to leave the boot at our "guests" disposal.
The car looked very far from home judging by the amount of dirt and salt on it. I like that.




The first miles with the box on top and the car fully loaded soon revealed a fault, in the form of a massive amount of wind noise! As written before, I thought it was just part of the experience; the car is not designed to have a box on top and the box itself is not the most streamlined thing out there.
Part of that is true.. if only the sunroof closed properly! My brother infact pointed out that most of the wind noise was caused by the sunroof not pushing down on the gasket enough to isolate the cabin from the outside noise. Here's the solution:


We only had to stop 4 times (lol) between Turin and Rome to find the perfect combination of duck tape and speed, and after feeling very embarrassed and tired, we made it to Rome and later to Naples, to stay with our family for a couple of days.


I then remembered how to park back home


Boxing Day was mostly spent driving, this time in the other direction: Rome, Vercelli, Turin, and finally Chamonix, in the French Alps. No pictures but this is when the car was loaded beyond its design figures. No rear suspension, full on "Italians on holiday".

The next morning we woke up in Les Houches, lovely small village in the valley of Chamonix, in the shadows of the Mont Blanc.
The car was nice and frosty, -5, not the end of the world.


The snow gave me multiple chances to test the winter Continentals. They worked, of course they're not snow chains but they did the job, only once I had to reverse the car uphill because it wouldn't climb driving forward. All the other times the tires did great, you can still slide and lose traction but I never felt without control. A back to back test with normal tires would be the best thing to compare the driving feel.

Anyway, second and third day were a little bit colder: -14, and the most difficult cold start to this date with the Clio, I'll post a video soon.



We even snatched a Vivaro out of a ditch !



5 days had flown by, and right when 2018 came, we had to head home.
This time 4 passengers and even a little cat to transport, two to Paris, the other two from Paris to London. The duct tape held most of the way and only gave up south of Paris which is fair enough after days of ice and snow. A quick bodge with a better "vtec" tape and we were on our way, 80mph, late again for our train in Coquelles. But we made it!


Another shot to remember how full the car was, but the roof box did a great job keeping the cabin free of bags and stuff, so the passengers (and us) could still travel in comfort though in a small car.


A couple of figures:

Without the roof box the car can go an estimate 700 REAL miles (OBC says 820) on a tank of diesel, that's 50 liters. I've never seen that figure because I'm a pussy and I think carrying a jerrycan of diesel waiting for the car to run out to see the exact fuel range is a bit too much, but I've been as far as 640, and had some fuel left. That would mean 63mpg which are miles away from what this car should do. It's plenty, but not what I was promised when I bought it.

With the roof box and people and luggage, I went a maximum of 500 miles. That's 46 mpg, an awful loss of range !!

I concentrate a lot on my driving, I use engine braking and I think ahead as much as I can, this is not a driving problem.

So although I'm very happy for the trip, I think this car drinks too much. I know these figures are quite high for an average Clio Sport owner, but I bought this car to be economical and I do as much as I can to ensure the mechanical part is healthy; I think these injector may be in need of a refurb, that or the car could benefit from a remap.

So I gave fuel additives the last chance and added this thing to my last tank of vpower:


If I won't see an increase in mpg I'll start to wonder..

One last thing before we go!
Today I finally freed up that stuck tie rod and the car could be aligned. The rear axle is out, strangely, but I'll have to go back there when the 172 axle will go on, and that's the next thing.



January update for the pink...ehm, RED clio.

Second oil change in my ownership, I've done about 6500 miles from September, it was time. Same exact stuff off last time, Elf evo 5/40 and genuine filter. I even cut open the old filter just because who knows, I've heard these engines like to chew through big end bearings.. I couldn't find any badness, yet.


The more I looked at that 172 axle the more I wasn't sure wether to leave it alone or go full on overkill rebuilding and painting the whole thing even if the calipers are free and nobody will ever notice the difference.

I decided to go full overkill, that's me.

Remember, £360 clio..

Here's the axle and some of its components before stripping





The discs were already off, I tried some ghetto machining with the lathe. They're now borderline at 10 mm dead, I'll see how many miles I can get out of them, they're only rears.. (he says..)


The bare axle then got some good wire brushing and even some sand blasting, then it was off to the paint room





Four coats of primer, 4 of Matt black, 2 coats of clear for peace of mind.
Will be pressing in some new bushings I got as soon as a colleague finishes his version of the Renault pressing tool..

Then I moved to the calipers, or at least the bit that holds the pads. Sandblasting and some vht silver.


Will be probably rebuilding the calipers even though they seem to work ok, but I just can't help it, sorry :( those will be painted silver too, and so will the fronts.

Once the axle will be done I'll get some braided lines maybe, and hope that the wheel bearings will have some life left, if not I'll have to swap them with mines that are 6000miles old.
New ones are cheap but I hate wastage.


Tonight I finally fitted something I've always wanted: cruise control!
Being my crap clio actually a posh version, I wasn't surprised in finding all the right connectors waiting to be used, all I needed was a steering wheel, airbag, squib, switch panel and clutch switch, then some wizard will have to program it, or at least this is what I read.

Got myself the steering wheel first, I was going to get the cheapest one on the internet and that turned out to be a 182 Cup one, that hasn't got thumb grips. Feckin perfect, I hate thumb grips!!
I'd be happier if it had turned up with both cruise buttons.. the seller is taking care of this


I didn't realize this particular wheel hasn't got the Renault Sport bit of trim at the bottom; that means I won't be able to swap my fake ass walnut bit that comes on Initiale clios like mine.. I'd rather not have thumb grips tho so I'm happy.

Then the squib came, together with the switch panel and clutch switch, and a mountain of other bits..


Fitted it all and boom, cruise control works like a charm, no programming needed, FY.
The clutch switch is wrong, I bought one off an Espace that seems to be the one I need, but the system works without it no problem.

What about the other bits I got?
Here they are


That pile of mess is a complete front end off a 182, with some bits off a 172

-antiroll bar
-discs and even a good set of pads

I also got rear springs and shocks.

Looks like I'll be doing a wide track conversion and full Sport suspension swap, i though about this even before owning the car, I hope that it will make all the difference that people say it does.

I've taken inspiration from other topics like the one of AlexW and GrahamS, both a huge source of ideas. I'll be doing my best to resurrect and prep all the parts the best I can, to then fit them to the car.
This won't be a Sport replica at all, not in the way it looks at least.
I want it to be sorted suspension wise, the outside will stay the same with rusted rear quarter, pink roof and dented bonnet. The wheels will also stay stock, I just hope they clear the brakes !!

The goal is to make the thing go round corners nicely and stop with ease. I hope that standard 172 springs will work with 4 passengers, if not I'll try different combos maybe reusing the stock ones.
If I'll be happy with how it drives, only then a remap will make sense.

Cheers ;)
  172 AiRS & DCI101 RS
very cool trip and nice to read! Thank you! Very appreciate your thread.
If you are interested in some long term experience with it...
i bought mine in nov 2014 with 114k miles; and it is now on 175k miles.
if you want some infos, feel free to ask.


ClioSport Club Member
  clio 172 phase 2
Loving this thread something very satisfying about it [emoji1360]

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