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Initiale dCi Daily Project (yes, diesel.)


ClioSport Club Member
  981 Cayman
Use some gloves man! That filter is vile, although slightly better when I read it was K&N. I originally thought it was a paper one. 69 mpg is mental, I think we have different driving styles and I’m getting 60.


ClioSport Club Member
  182 & Dci 100
Good to see an update on this Mazz. I was starting to wonder if something had happened to it.
Good to see an update on this Mazz. I was starting to wonder if something had happened to it.

Nothing man, it just gets used. Other than the rust problem (and a slight water ingress issue) works like clockwork.
Time to focus on other projects now



ClioSport Club Member
  Kangoo 172cup
Sill should be an easy enough fix, do it right and protect the new metal, and prob never need to revisit for many years.
Unexpected progress on the Clio, I thought I’d never have to do anything to it anymore.

The other day a phase 2 1.6 rear axle popped up on eBay at a reasonable price “ (£70).

That (and a dCi 100 unit) would have the right ABS sensors I need to finally put that ABS light to sleep after being on for the best part of two years, and regain functionality of the system which would be a nice bonus.

So, trip to the scrapyard and here we are



I initially thought I was just going to swap everything straight on regardless of condition since all my meticulously painted bits are now a grimy mess after 10k miles of daily motoring, but sometimes I just cannot help myself, and so will be sandblasting and painting the whole lot before it goes on the car.

That includes:

-rear disc back plates (they only come on non sport axles) which I thought would be a good bonus
-outer calipers

The abs sensors will be going on a ready-to-rock set of rear hub carriers, that by the way are very different from non sport units:


Not sure if you can pick that up, the non sport stuff is much flimsier and it incorporates the stub axle (which comes separate on sports). It also uses 4 m10 bolts instead of 3x m10 and 1x m8.


It’s impressive how many parts change between a standard car and a sport.
Or maybe I’m just easily impressed..

Anyway, I nicked the handbrake cables (was running a non sport on the LHS) and also the rear discs, which are well rusty but will clean up well using the awesome Eicher pads I’m running. Will be swapping genuine Renault pads that came with the axle, they have loads of meat left.

On goes the recycling of parts, the car drives brilliantly, now cranking 80 miles daily and averaging 61mpg at the pump.

A couple of days later and here we are, sandblasted and painted both the back plates and the outer caliper, fitted the lot yesterday as well as the crucial 1.6 abs sensors.




A quick snap to show what road grime does to bits that live in the under carriage.. the 172 axle has only been on for 10k miles (a year and some months) and those outer calipers look like they’re 10 years old ! A fresher set is swapped in, looks are crucial on this car.


After just a couple of meters the abs light went to sleep, and I can now report that I have working anti lock brakes on my Clio.

This car is done as far as I’m concerned.
All I need to do is sort out a water ingress issue from the bulkhead and try a different throttle pedal (this current one always worked very weirdly).
When I win the lottery it will get a paint job and the rust fixed I promise, but for now it just serves its purpose brilliantly, and hopefully it will continue to do so for years to come.

Time to play with the dog and get a move on with the BMW.



Time to update, I’m doing this way more often now after saying that I’d leave this car alone ... because it’s done now, isn’t it ?

Well clearly it isn’t, or maybe this is what being single does to a car guy ?

Whatever, back on the spanners with the red shed.

First order or business was replace the wiper linkage.
When I first bought the car it was a mess, jumped off the locating stud on the firewall and fouling on the scuttle panel generating all sorts of racket that I’m amazed it has kept working during these two years.

I found a good used replacement from the legend of Steve down in worthing, and swapped it on.


While I was under the scuttle panel I discovered and cleared a third bulkhead drain of which I completely ignored the existence. I finally found the source of my water ingress and since clearing the drain my carpets have been slowly drying and the car doesn’t smell as bad.

So happy that I decided to get myself an engine undertray, something that most clios mk2 have lost over the years. Amazing how good it fits; no noticeable difference at speed but it’s one of those feel good things, approved.


Now with commuters life being my new reality the miles are cranking up fast and in less than two months I’m at 135k, time for another oil and filter change as well as some little fixes while the car is in the air.


Two weeks ago during a routine check I found out the NS track rod end had play in it. I was surprised, since it was a brand new Febi unit only 12 months ago and 10k miles.
A new Borg and Beck unit screws on.



Then it was driveshaft time, after last years epic fail when I forgot about a hole in a cv boot and ended up stranded in Italy, I was not going to let these silly things bother me again, so after throwing new grease and boot to the NS shaft last year, it’s now time for the driver side one.
Hose clip on the boot says quality, expectations are high.


Had to cut that quality contraption to get it out of my life, to reveal an air lubricated and cooled cv joint.


Obviously this joint has past its best after being lubricated by absolute nothing, but there’s still life left in it.. and I didn’t have another one (that’s the main excuse) so a proper load of lithium cv grease and a new B&B boot that was a pain to fit but once in place it seems like the right part to get. Will be fitting the same on the other side when I get a chance.



I was then ready to call it a day when something up in the strut caught my eye..



These shocks are done, I should really get a decent set of 172 dampers for this thing. Makes no sense to keep rocking these tired ones after all the suspension work.
Reseat the spring then and slow right down at speed bumps.


Before lowering the car down I had a minute to fit and balance the 2011 vintage winter Continentals ready for another season, the PS3s go in hibernation. Great tyre.


Time for a rare vanity pic. This absolute pile of crap still looks good to me.
Any 20 year old would look and say “riced out Clio with wheel spacers”.. yeah right.


Next in the list are engine mounts.
I changed the dogbone two years ago for a genuine unit, didn’t make any difference, the engine still shifts pretty happily and likes a move around.

I then fitted the front 172 gearbox Mount last year and was chuffed, still not fixed but it was a move in the right direction.

This time I decided to finally change the two main engine mounts, timing side and gearbox side.

Timing side first




Last piece of the puzzle today with the gearbox one, a bit more fiddle since those bolts like to fall down and start spinning, luckily I managed to wedge the engine so they wouldn’t, was quite an easy job tbf.




Before rolling off the ramps I fitted a throttle pedal kindly donated by @YorkshireKyle, a real gentleman.


Times have changed, I now take a forum pictures without clearing the dead leaves from the carpet. Low standards here. Sorry.

Well here we are, the last update of the red initiale.
The engine mounts have softened the shaking, really feels a lot better now, going up and down the gears is much more pleasant.

Then out of the blue one of the sunroof sliding tabs destroyed itself.

Oh dear.

We’re not done, more coming up.

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Many things have changed but I’ll wait until the new year to properly explain things.

Christmas time means one thing for me: Euro trip! This year I’m only heading to the alps, and not Rome, so we’re cutting a good 1000 miles off my yearly long distance nonsense.

In my last update I mentioned the sunroof being broken: One of the metal hinges of the tilt mechanism had snapped off, and therefore the already noisy sunroof went even more noisy, to the point where I have to turn the radio right up to hear anything at speed.

This is not the first time I’ve fiddled with this component, two years ago I fitted a new seal for the glass panel, that improved things slightly but not a great deal in the grand scheme of things.

Today I decided to do something about it since I always have carpooling passengers during my long trips, and this will not only be uncomfortable and noisy, but would also make me look like a right c**k.

Problem here:


Pop the b*****d off, wasn’t as straightforward as I thought.


I initially decided to strip it and try to fix it, I bought an hinge kit and my plan was to carefully pry it open and figure out a way to pop the glass panel off it.
Not a chance, as expected. My old e34 bonnet makes a good work bench.


In the end I decided to pinch a good working unit from another car I recently acquired, and I probably would not have tackled the job if I didn’t have this safety net, in all fairness.

In it goes, looks much better.


In both cases the famous cassette seal was not an issue. I was ready with 3mm double sided tape but I don’t think I’ll need it. Will see if tomorrow any water leaks in.

Chucked the big coffin on top


And then for the usual Christmas spring swap, the sport lines are way too stiff for long distance driving fully loaded, thicker and softer 172 swapped in.


If all goes well all she needs is a good clean and we’re ready.
Hopefully no breakdowns this year !!


Aaaand back we are.
All my best wishes for the new year to whoever reads silly updates on a diesel cat c non sport here, you’re a hero.

As mentioned before, the poor crusty shed wasn’t going to travel as much this year; Just a quick drive down to Chamonix, and not the usual Rome, and back from there after a week.

Last minute job (I’m famous for these) was chucking in a brand new genuine drive belt tensioner that was kindly sent to me by @Austin-182, in the hope that it would cure some unpleasant noises on startup and low revs.




...It didn’t, but Austin you’re still a legend and I owe you one.
Chances are, I drive so many miles (17k this year) that the belt could just be worn already after 12 months, specially if the old tensioner was tired. I also have to abuse the air conditioning lately as otherwise the windows just fog up.

To the trip!!

Note to self: it is possible to clock into work, have tea, and promptly sprint out the door heading for Chamonix at 8:30AM, just in time to sit down for dinner at the above location at 10:15pm same day, on Christmas Eve, driving a 17 year old diesel Clio with a coffin on top.

This is exactly what I did; with no holidays left (used them all [and some] to do the Mongol Rally) I had to go to work in SW London, to then immediately shoot out (connections..) and drive to the Chunnel and then to the alps in time for dinner on Christmas Eve.

The drive was lovely, nobody in the roads.
I had “Driving home for Christmas” on loop for a while..


Didn’t quite make it there with a single tank.
Could easily make it in standard form, but the coffin ruins aerodynamics so bad I was down to 47mpg, absolute nonsense on a tiny economobile.


Merry Christmas, frozen Clio


Had to rest one day to give my knees a break, so I went fwd drifting on the hills to defrost the car, was starting to lose it



9 year old winter continentals doing really well, these things are ace


And back we came, right after new year I had to turn around and head back for normality.
Thank god for cruise control, my ankles were done.


1357mi this time, average mpg 51. I used some redex injector cleaner, was cheap enough.

Strangely the air con had stopped working when I reached Chamonix on the way down. After 10hrs of driving all the windows started started steaming up, must have been a low temp protection.

Once back the only thing worth noting is a new fuel filter, Delphi this time, will see if it’s any good.


140k, time for another oil change.

Renault Wolverhampton has stopped selling £33 oil and filter kits.. hopefully they’ll re stock soon, as I need one.


Oh here we go, the last update for the red Initiale.

Never thought I’d write this but it has come to a point where I have to be realistic about what I want to do with this car and sort some of its issues that are just out of financial reach, and more importantly, would make no sense at all.
.. as if converting the car to widetrack and chucking the best part of £1000 at it in the process made sense.
Bit of a recap: bought this car in September 2017, shortly after realizing that daily driving my old BMW had drained me of all the precious monies I’d saved (30p), and since buying it I proceeded to completely deviate from the original plan of keeping it dead cheap and just spend the bare minimum to keep the car on the road, instead going for a more “suicide” approach, pampering the car with everything it needed and more, using the best components I could and dedicating most of my weekends and free time to it, in the hope that it would be a tad better to drive, while still being cheap to run.




And it’s been fun! Most of the repairs are simple to carry out for an amateur like me, the maintenance is also easy to the point of being borderline enjoyable for the very easy stuff.
I was lucky to find an Initiale, these things are specced with all you really want out of a car, and some. Sure, a millennial used to phone activated engine start and self driving cars will find this funny, but for me, having Climate Control, rain sensing wipers and cruise control on a car from 2003 is quite darn awesome, made me realize how essential these three things are, at least to me. The seats are relatively nice quality if you ask me, considering the whole circus is now 17 years old, and the fake alcantara/leather finish feels lush.

Nice little cars these Clios, never had a French car before, and only went for it because I knew how cheap they were to run, and it is known that the Sport variants are amongst the best hot hatches to drive; after a couple of weeks I was already fully into it, enjoying even small drives and liking the look of the 17 year old car.


Change of target then: my hope was to try and combine the frugality of the diesel with some of the key components that make Sports great, minus the engine of course, and after reading loads on this forum about “Widetrack” conversions and diesel sport replicas I was all over it, and after 3+ years of improvements I’m as happy as I can be.
Chuffed with this particular upgrade. It is quite a lot of work to just end up with the same 80hp, I’ll admit, but the handling is dramatically improved, and for me these are the best upgrades, plug and play OEM stuff engineered to work that for some reason just fits ! The look of the stock body with wide front and rear track looks ace in my opinion.






Sure, this hasn’t been as cheap as I budgeted for, but the most I had to spend at once was £250 when buying the parts for the conversion, not too bad, and in the meantime I learnt many things and gained confidence, which is always a bonus when working on your main source of transport.


One of the things I wanted to achieve with this cheap ecomobile was to get off my ass and see some world, and in 3+ years and 35k miles I can say I’ve been to a few places, including Paris 3 times, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy 3 times all the way down to Rome and Napoli, French Alps 4 times, Edinburgh and Scottish Highlands, Wales and Cornwall. Even managed to sneak a trip to Bedford Autodrome! Been to Land’s End, been to Lowestoft, but didn’t quite make it to John ‘o Groats, had to settle for the top of Skye which isn’t too bad after all; always wanted to make it to the tip of Europe in Norway, but that will be a job for the next chapter of this story.







The red Clio has been great, only leaving me stranded once when the clutch pedal link rod came off it’s ball joint, fixed for £25. The other time I broke down in Italy doesn’t count, as it was my fault for not checking a set of used driveshafts properly. For some weird reason I am yet to have problems with the fuel or electrical systems. (leaves the desk to touch everything made of wood in the space of 2 miles)

So very happy after all, the car costed £360 to buy, had 106k on the clocks back then, and 141199 is the furthest the odometer will ever go.

Quite sad really, as said before I get attached to things and I’ve always dreaded the idea of getting rid of it or breaking it up, but the more time (and miles) went by, the more obvious was how the car never recovered from its shady past:
It was written off in 2007 after suffering from a side whack, was then put back on the road as a Cat C and continued with its life; might have looked alright 10 years ago, but cheap spray paint and backstreet bodywork don’t last long, and today it just looks grim, and that’s being kind to it: the whole driver side sill is rotten, both driver side doors are made out of filler, the roof is faded and rusty in places, while the whole C pillar is more like a sculpture made out of body filler. It’s come to a point where I purposely don’t wash the outside as the car is just too rough. Wasn’t this bad when I bought it, but shortly after the purchase it became obvious why this otherwise good car was so cheap.




All these things, plus the fact that I never liked the cherry Red color, made me come to a conclusion.

I love the way it drives, hate the way it looks. There isn’t much too it but to reshell the damn thing, keeping all the bits that make it work so well, saying goodbye to the sad body that has seen plenty of this world.

For those who aren’t losers like me, reshelling a car means stripping a usually rotten or damaged vehicle to a bare shell, to then swap all the components on a better car.
I have been in the hunt for a good shell for the best part of a year now. Not being a master with wiring, and dreading the idea of taking apart the interior, I was looking for another Initiale, maybe a cheap non runner, so that it would come with all the fancy stuff I got used to already wired and ready to go; it also had to be a diesel and a 5 door, and more importantly I wanted a phase 3 with electric rear windows, possibly in a nicer color. Not many cars around in this spec, and when they are they float around the £1200 mark.
After some months I found an example that ticked all the boxes, plus was cheap and clean enough for me to make the whole thing worth the effort, and so in early December I dished out £280 and made the thing mine.


The red car will donate all its soul to revive this new black beast that is already on its second engine, and was given up on by the last guy that worked on it since 2017.

This is the end of the road then for the trusty red Clio, a car that would have easily gone to scrap 3 years ago. I learnt so many things upgrading it and over-maintaining it, plus I got to know how good these little things are to drive, as long as you’re lucky finding one with a good fuel system, like mine seems to be (touch wood, again). I have enough faith in the mechanical parts that I’m going to swap them all into the black car, including the whole fuel system.
Farewell “Padre Clio”, the rusty red shed, off to be recycled responsibly after 17 years of service.



Stay tuned for the next chapter

Cheerio !
  Not a Clio
Excellent post and always good to see someone get attached and have so many adventures in an old car.
Hope the new one lasts as long!
welcome to chapter 2 of this story,

Even though it’s literally 4 or 5 people I’d like to thank everyone that commented on this thread, which is a mere diary for me, something like a service history but with pictures and comments, so thank you again and happy reading.

With the hardest part behind me (make the decision in the first place) I started looking around for a good enough shell for my stupid project.
Think about it for a second: a reshell is a big job, it’s usually worth the effort when the end result boasts hundreds of horsepower, or a stunning bodywork or sometimes both; thinking of doing this knowing that it will be the same old diesel powered 80hp short legged ecobox has required some extra motivation.
That came in the form of harsh reality, and in this case the reality is what’s described briefly in my last post: my car had such a nasty body that I felt ashamed of driving around in it, leaving it dirty so it would not show up the rust that much.

I know I need help, but even as a mere exercise I decided this job was doable and it would have helped me, in a twisted way, to finally leave alone the Clio and concentrate on getting the BMW on the road again.. even though I promised myself that the next step was finding a girlfriend.


After 3 years of posh motoring with my top of the range “Initiale” spec beast, I now have high standards when it comes to choosing a whip, and will not settle for anything that doesn’t have the following:

-cruise control (the love of my life)
-auto wipers
-xenon headlights (washers yes please)
-climate control

As @GrahamS teaches us, all of this can be retrofitted to any Clio if you know how to hold a spanner and can work a soldering iron. However I much prefer spanner work to tedious wiring, and therefore I was happy to swap the entire mechanicals of my car on a different shell, but feared the idea of taking apart the interior and hybridize wiring harnesses.

Plus, I was determined in finding a car with electric rear windows, which I though was only available on Phase 3s but have since seen a couple of late phase 2 with the optional, so I guess it’s a bit of hit and miss here.

Electric sunroof also on the shopping list, as it slides as opposed to the tilt only of the manual version. Plus the manuals are way too old fashion, tryna keep up with 2020 here bro.

So in short, it had to be a late car with posh spec, oh, and had to be a diesel too, as converting a petrol car means more wiring work, and it will probably still pay petrol road tax, no thanks.

Need to find another freaking Initiale.
There’s usually a couple of them on eBay, surprisingly enough, sitting a 1/1.5k, all automatic 1.6s, and mostly in boring colors.

Oh yeah, the color. Never liked the cherry red NV713 of my old car. At the time I couldn’t give a toss, but if I have to do this it has to be for something that would actually look good once finished: dark blue and black were my first choice; I remember seeing a petrol blue 100hp car up for sale for £250 4 years ago that needed two injectors, I regret passing on on it to this day..

I kept my search alerts on and continued looking after the red car as time and miles passed. I was basically trying to preserve the mechanicals as I knew the body was just too compromised to be worth fixing, plus there’s the color issue.
It has taken almost a solid year for the right car to come up for sale. There have been a couple that I just missed, one of those being @Austin-182 £200 bargain find, as well as others that I found out about only once they’d gone already, the best feeling.

Funny enough, the car I ended up buying had also sold a month before to someone else that failed to pay and collect it, luck had it that the second time I was ready to bid.


I asked hundreds of questions about the bodywork, as that was the main reason for my interest. I also had to factor in transport, as the car was in Sheffield and I live in south London.

The owner sent over some pictures, here’s a few low quality screenshots. He didn’t bother taking good ones as, understandably, he probably thought I was just nuts.



A couple of scratches here and there but no rust damage to be seen. At this point I should mention the car was HPI clear, supposedly never been in an accident and only ever failed MOTs on stupid things like tires and ball joints.

I decided to try and buy it, and was prepared to dish out as high as £300, but really I was hoping for £200.

As with most eBay auctions, it all comes alive during the last minute, and thanks to a handy app suggested by a friend, I was able to put in a bid at the last second, as you do, for £280.
That’s a touch dear for a non runner.

Too late now, time to pay up and get it to London, and with that let’s talk about shipping cars over the internet.

I used this website called Shiply, that lets you link your eBay item to a network of transporters that then asses possible costs and come up with an offer, it’s up to you to choose whichever one you like best.
I let offers roll in for 2 or 3 days, contacted a couple of possible transporters and eventually landed on a guy that goes by the name of Harley1053, based on his promise to collect and deliver the car same day (in 2 days time).

Many important “firsts” in this experience: never bought a car over the internet, and never shipped a car over the internet.
I can comfortably say I’d do the former again, but after dealing with Harley1053 via Shiply to get my Clio to London I just decided to apply for a trailer license and do it myself next time.

It took 9 days, an endless series of lies and pure rudeness by people that should just not be in business. If you ever use Shiply make sure you stay well clear of Harley1053 or DTR Transportation, you’ve been warned.

The car was home in mid December, my goal was to complete the swap before Christmas to drive the thing to the Alps.
If you read about my latest Christmas trip then you’ll already know that Things didn’t really go as planned, as that was the last trip of the red car.

Upon checking the car up all I could find were some dents on the bonnet and tailgate, I believe this is Richards work (that Harley1053 guy) trying to push the car on and off his beavertail transit, considering it was calling it my F.....g car that would not surprise me in the slightest. The bodywork is nv676, a much more popular color than my old cherry red, will probably get replacement panels if they’re cheap enough in the future.


The car is a ph3 dCi100 initiale, 04 Plate from Gloucestershire. 113k, non runner. It had a replacement engine and a new clutch 26k ago, and apparently this new lump gave up the ghost too back in 2017, and the car has been sitting since.
If I had more time I would have tried to find out what was wrong with the engine and try to get it running, possibly putting that in the red car and sell it as a runner, but again, the bodywork is rough and it’s just too much work for virtually no profit.

Within 1 hour the car was already on axle stands, ready to be stripped of all the mechanical parts.


To be continued ..
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so here we come to the job itself.

Most people will find this funny but yes, I will be essentially downgrading a dCi 100 to 80 spec, and the reason for this is simple: widetrack.
I’m a huge fan of this mod and I think every owner of a dCi that has any interest in driving should do it, if only to get to know their car a little better as, I’m sure you’ll agree, there isn’t a better way to get to know your vehicle than taking it to bits and putting it back together again.

The 100 uses a different engine block and gearbox, the latter being a deal breaker as it won’t fit the sport driveshafts.

Pity really, as I could do with some more go, but the VGT on the K9K712 doesn’t inspire reliability as much as the little fixed geometry unit on the 80 does, and there’s the aforementioned driveshaft problem.

What’s on the list then?

The black car will be stripped of all its soul, basically becoming an empty shell, to then be revitalized with everything that made the red shed great, same will happen to the red car but in reverse order.

I’ll be removing the following:

-engine and gearbox + wiring as an assembly


-front discs, calipers, hubs and carriers

-front struts

-front subframe with wishbones and steering rack as an assembly

-rad pack as an assembly

-rear beam

Being the new car a 100 with hydro clutch and Bowden shift cables I’ll have to add to the menu:

-gearshift assembly

-pedal box

Also don’t forget the car came in as a non runner so a fuel injection issue is the first thought I had. To avoid polluting a good fuel system I’ll therefore be swapping over the fuel tank and and lines to be safe; to do that the exhaust will have to be dropped together with it’s heatshields.

Last but not least: the sunroof I swapped on the red car back in December came off, you guessed it, this black one. That will have to go back on too.

One last thing: the driver seat on the red car had the usual worn base bolster, and during the last year it had also got a nasty rip on the upper one. The one on the black car still has good support but an even bigger tear on the base. I’d like to make a good driver seat by using the foam and fabric out of the passenger seat of the red car, keeping the guts of the driver seat so I don’t lose any airbags and lumbar adjustment. stay tuned to see if I’m lucky or the usual tool.

All the fluids drained from the new car will be recycled; I’m lucky enough to have access to a posh workshop with waste tanks that are emptied quarterly, so I’ll be making the most of it by collecting everything in separate containers to then dispose of it responsibly.

Never taken an engine out of one of these, and wasn’t really daunted. I’ve done this before in my Honda days but the only weird thing for me was the wiring. Luckily for me (I bet he doesn’t think the same) I have @GrahamS phone number, and he was able to point me in the right direction when time came to disconnect the engine harness at the fuse box. Not sure if it’s my lack of experience or what, but I reckon this is a creative way of making a connection between body and engine harnesses!


After the first night all front suspension and axles were out of the way, out of 4 captive nuts only 1 wanted his own 5 minutes of glory, the others were happy to let go easily.


In a matter of two evenings I had the engine out of the black car. I dropped it down and basically rolled it out from underneath. I was forced to do this by my landlord that also happens to be a colleague, he's the "I've done loads of these" sort of guy.
Wouldn’t recommend it, next time I’ll be trying a more traditional approach from the top.


After that I decided to just gut the whole front of the car of anything that needed to be out of the way. Next order of business was then the pedal box with all the clutch hydraulics, specific to the 100.


Then the landlord/colleague popped round again and proceeded to strip the steering column out of the car, as that was a necessary step to get the pedal box out, according to him.

I could not stop him.


Great, and I hadn’t even seen it done, so good chance of headbutting the wall when comes time to put it all back in.

Next on the list was the back end, with the rear beam and the fuel tank.


The car was now an empty shell. I had a complete dCi 100 in bits now.




All this stuff sat on eBay and Facebook for two weeks for literally no money, nobody wanted any of it, so it all went for scrap, I’m sure I’ll get tons of messages once is all a blob of molten steel.

(to be continued)


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with the black 100 gutted it was now time for the very last miles of the red car.
Took it in the workshop to evacuate all the R134 out of it, then drove it home for the last time.


Without even thinking too much about it I just parked it in the yard and started stripping it down.


17 years of service, drove around the best part of Europe, now ends its life on axle stands in the middle of a yard in Horley; she’s had an interesting life, specially the last three years, I like to think of it this way.


In a matter of hours I had all the front suspension off it, a lot easier than the black car. I’ve had most of the nuts and bolts off before, and it was all properly lubed and torqued up.

Even getting the wheel bolts off the black car was a tough task!


I already knew which captive nuts were up for some fighting (both driver side) and this time I was prepared.


I removed one of those funny looking cast iron balancing blocks. Quite a squeeze behind the AirCon compressor to fit the spanner but worth the effort, you can then fit a ratchet and socket on the nut very easily, just get the receiver dryer out of the way and it’s easy done.

The following evening it was time to disconnect the wiring on this one too, taking extra care in comparing the photos with the other car. Only two relais were different color and the red car had an extra set of wires and fuses for the dealer fitted immobilizer, or so I’m told.


After figuring all that out, I disconnected AC, heater, intercooler and coolant pipes and dropped the rad pack, then the engine and box were ready to come free, this time the proper way (from the top!);


I have to admit, without a tilt adjuster on the hoist it was a real squeeze, the engine and box are wider than the chassis legs and have to be tilted “engine first” to be able to come out clean, most hardcore engine swappers will probably confirm this or just laugh at me, go ahead lol


I was by myself and no way I was calling my landlord again, as he would have made me drag this other engine on the floor too, no thanks.
Out you come, I pushed the car down while hoisting the engine up, it worked!



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Check out the difference from the 82hp K9K702 with fixed geometry KP35 and JC5 box


and the 100hp K9K712 with the variable geometry turbo and big JR5 Laguna Box, the turbine size is dramatically different, although most of it is to accommodate for the VG mechanism


man that 100 lump was oily! god knows what went wrong with it..

Time for a quick health check and rectify some little issues:

The drive belt has been chirping lately, and this continued even after fitting a brand new genuine tensioner donated from @Austin-182. It was only with the engine in the air that I realized how stupid I am.

You know it, wrong groove on the aircon compressor.


Fitted a new Gates belt as it was only £5.

With that done I wanted to have a look at what’s going on inside the inlet manifold after 20k miles of blocked off EGR.


Wasn’t too bad, a little oily to be picky, but nothing that scares me (touch balls). The exhaust egr passage tube is now full of carbon.. lol


To be thorough I decided to visually check the compressor wheel of the turbo, since I never had a look from that side, and it’s quite fiddly with the engine in the car;


looks fine to me, experts opinion welcome on this ! There is no endfloat and very little axial play considering the zero oil flow with the engine not running. I reckon it’s fine! here's a closer look after a bit of a cleanup


Took a snap of the serial number and refitted all the charge pipes.

Next order of business was to fit a new clutch kit. During the last year I was able to get the clutch to slip sometimes, it would only happen while driving fairly aggressively and flooring the car from low revs going uphill, and was specially noticeable after I had it remapped. Was never a priority but while I had the engine out of the car it made sense to do it as a precaution.

So engine in the shed (should have done a time lapse as that was quite a maneuver) and off comes the gearbox.


I believe the clutch is the original unit, would make sense given the state of it and the mileage. Fair amount of wear but what the picture doesn’t show is a loose/broken center plate. All the springs were intact but something in there had let go, that explains why the car sounded like an helicopter at idle most times, I was relieved to find that out, always a good feeling when you can confirm your suspects.


The new clutch is just a standard Borg & Beck part, complete kit with release bearing and grease.

I wish it came with new bolts, so I had to reuse the torx bolts of the original clutch that sure enough rounded off right when the torque wrench was clicking at 20nm.



Tried a Draper “clutch mate” aligning tool. if you ever thought about getting one, don’t bother, it’s made of plastic. Gets you in the neighborhood of where you need to be but it isn’t a proper aligning tool.


New release bearing in, the old unit felt crusty but nothing was broken.


I cleaned and greased the fork, input shaft and pilot bearing.


I thought about doing a rear main seal, I had the part, but it wasn’t leaking and I wasn’t sure about reusing the flywheel bolts. So I left it, and I hope I won’t regret this decision.


When taking the gearbox off I managed to find my tdc sensor, could not see it behind all that wiring with the engine in, so I though I’d take it off and clean it.

Interesting fact: the K9K702 80hp engine block has the threaded holes for a center bearing support on the driver side driveshaft, just like a 172 non cup. I’d be delighted if one of those shafts fitted, so I got a second hand one and will be trying it on.


Must have used liters of brake cleaner to clean the gearbox, makes sense to do it while I had it right in front of me


it was then time to push it back home and fit a new mount on it.



Now you’ll see this isn’t a 172 mount, look at the difference in size.



Looked the same in the picture, it clearly isn’t the same part once you compare it to the correct part. It’s for an R19, also used in Scenics and MK1 meganes.

Looks well beefy, so I decided to fit it anyway, if only to help with my engine movement problem.

I wouldn’t recommend to just fit parts and see what happens, but this is my car and I figured I can be a self appointed engineer when it comes to my own comfort.


Not much left to strip off the red car at this point, next was the 172 axle with Whiteline ARB, followed shortly after by the exhaust and fuel tank.


I decided, while I was there, to try and clean the intercooler the best I could. These get caked up in oil and carbon so it wasn’t a bad idea.
Took it to work and went wild, parts washer, brake cleaner, paint thinner..


Came out all right!


Next was the pedal box, I had to swap my old unit on the black car, but wanted to use the best master and servo combo out of the two pedal boxes I owned.

Decided to go with my old one, even did a quick resto jobbo on it. Wire wheel and coat of hammerite, job done.



don't worry about the overspray, keep on reading.

While I had the hammerite on hand I went over I few spots on the new car after attacking them with the same drill and wire wheel method.



I bought a new master cylinder that was listed as a 172 unit. I was glad it turned out to be a standard Clio item, as otherwise my non sport brake pipes wouldn’t have fitted !



While I had the pedal box handy, I whacked a new clutch cable on it, as this is another pig of a job to do in the car, this is also from Borg&Beck.



Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
great little writeup this, and I too suffer the same sentimental feelings to my cars, perhaps keep them running longer than most sane people would

Wiring time !

all I had to do was repair the engine harness the best I could (not really my field this) as after eliminating the immobilizer wires from it this left two big gaps on the main power and ground wires. Tried to solder, couldn’t do a decent job with the tools I had, decided to crimp and cover in heat shrink in the end.


Time for reassembly, pedal box and brake hydraulics go in first.


Then the steering column and servo motor back in. This was a painful job, even more so considering it didn’t need removing, this made me very angry. Got there in the end, I just hoped everything would work afterwards!



I swapped the receiver driver and pipe work from the old car as the canister is only a year old. Nevermind that it’s been exposed to the elements for 10 days, I hope an AC vacuum will get rid of all the moisture.. put in some new valve cores, I had new ones and they leaked on the red car when I first got it so, better safe than sorry.


Decided on which soundproofing panel I liked best, out of two cars I managed to find all the needed plastic clips for it.



After that, it's engine and box time


Reverse of removal, get the shoehorn out and push it in!

I tried to be as careful as I could be with 5th gear cover, no damage in the end.


With that all hooked up, was time for the rad pack to be assembled and fitted, I wanted to swap the aircon condenser from the 100 but, like the rad and intercooler, it’s a completely different design, so I smoke tested my sorry looking condenser and was happy to see no leaks.



Time to wack the fuel tank, exhaust and rear axle on, man that was tricky with only 2 arms and legs !!


At this point all I had to do was fit all the front suspension back on, fill up with fluids, check for leaks and turn the key.


Ha!! Not there yet, crank but no start. It’s an immobilizer issue, and fairly logical too.

Using the ECU from the red car means that the UCH body computer, magnetic reader and Key transponder have to migrate from it too, so I got to work swapping all that malarkie on.


Done that, managed to pour three pints of clean diesel in the tank, pumped the pumpy thing and the new beast fired.


Shed load of warning lights on, that’s fair enough after all the swapping !!

I quickly bled the brakes and dropped the car on its wheels.


Final touch was swapping the sunroof that was borrowed to go on the red car. Having done this before it only took me 20 minutes, longest bit was going round the 15 10mm bolts to tighten the thing up.


the icing on the cake was of course a cup spoiler !


Was sold to me as a working unit (at working unit price!!), it obviously isn’t.

Still looks cool though.

And there you have it. What a mountain of work for a daily diesel commuter.



put it to work straight away to move house!!


yes, the funniest bit of this is: halfway through completing the job I managed to finally find my own flat, and to afford the rent I’ll have to get back in the old pushbike again!

Oh well, I’m still glad I did it. I know where the majority of the nuts and bolts now go on my car, that makes me feel a lot better about it, and peace of mind is what I’m after most of all with a reliable daily soldier.

Not done yet, a couple of finishing touches soon and I might even have a go at detailing it !
New car update, dealing with the little niggles common to big jobs done in a hurry.

First things first let’s pass a legit MOT shall we ?


Well, let’s say it would not have passed if I didn’t know the tester, but the faults were only minor, like headlight aim and a failed ball joint boot which I knew about and only managed to convince the bloke after showing him the replacement part in the glovebox.


Aim adjustment on the fly!


And we passed !

As promised to the MOT guy, I had the new car on the ramps at work for its first bit of maintenance (I.e: stuff that was planned anyway since this is basically my old car with a nicer bodywork )


Quite a short list, we start with brand new GENUINE Renault sport front shocks.


I decided to go fancy as they were only £90 for the pair and genuine stuff is always yummy to me, so there you go £280 car, you’re welcome.


While performing the repair I noticed the top mount bearings are totally shagged on both sides, like almost completely annihilated/missing: properly gone.
So a pair of those was ordered too; I had to refit everything pronto as it was already too late and I had other stuff planned.
Next on the list is that worn ball joint, driver side.
Not impressed with these first line parts, only lasted 15k!


New one in


Time for a bonus fix: while doing end of year stock check in December we stumbled across a weird looking set of brake pads:


I say weird looking as we are an official Ferrari dealership and our average set of pads comes in a box big enough for a large size pizza, these look way too normal and therefore out of place.
Luck would have it that they are R19 pads and seem to fit perfectly on the rear of a clio! And they are genuine ATE stuff, result !


Next job is a new cabin filter, got if from @plees on here, top deal for a genuine filter.


Then it was time to recharge the A/C, did that while polishing the headlights


Stage 2


Lost the 3000 pad on my reused 3M kit. Bugger, let’s go straight to cut and polish and see what it looks like ..


Not too bad I reckon, let’s do the cliche left/right pic to see the difference


Let’s talk about not-so-good things now: the range indicator wasn’t working, how annoying.
A gauge reset fixed it, ignition turned on while holding the trip button on the stalk; let it do its thing for 5 seconds and boom, range works now.


The other annoying niggle was the clutch operation. During the first miles of driving it was not engaging it’s full range of motion and would get worse when warm. That meant selecting first gear from a standstill was tricky and felt plain wrong.
Did not want to get in there and adjust it, so I just googled the fault and turns out it’s a common thing after fitting a new clutch.
Sounded a bit daft to me but what do I know.
After 50 miles the fault fixed itself, I guess the internet was right !

After another week little blackie was on the ramps again for an oil service.
A bit overdue at 5.5k since the last one, if only Smiths didn’t stop selling genuine oil and filter kits for £33 !!
I had to buy the parts separate for almost £40! This won’t happen again, since they won’t be selling Elf anymore, I’ll just use the 5w40 Helix we have at work and just buy a filter and washer from next time.



As it just so happens that I still own 2 initiale mk2 Clios i figured I’d make the most out of two sets of Jade alloys, here we go



I picked the straightest 5 out of 9, cleaned them all and refitted and balanced the tyres, jolly good.


But, this is a Renault after all people ..



Last edited:
Hi people,

A quick random update to just continue my online service history record;
We left the action with my car leaking copious amounts of oil everywhere.
I could not fix it quickly as I’ve recently been told off for using the workshop too often and From now on I can only do it once a month :(

This was however an emergency since during this short period I’ve had to pour in an entire 4 liter can of oil to keep the engine lubricated, and considering they call me Diego Thunberg at work this was hurting my eco-ego a lot.

The leak was coming from the oil filter area, and I tried to cure it by just nipping the banjo bolt which only made things worse


So this wasn’t a quick fix.

I went in there and took the oil filter and the entire filter housing off the engine and disassembled it on the bench


Out of the three o rings available I found the two on the banjo bolt to be completely flat and very brittle. The one that seals the housing was still playable and sat proud of the housing while in place. I could replace the little ones whereas the bigger one needs to be a specific part, so I had no choice but to seal it up with some CAF 4, trying to be as neat as I could.



I decided to go a step further and investigate the seal between the oil cooler and the block.

Seemed in good shape and again, could not be replaced with a generic o-ring so it was gunk time again


Put everything back together and after two weeks of driving I can report no more leaks


Worth mentioning that between the oil top ups and the actual fix the car got two complete oil changes in 15 days, now running on 5w40 Shell Helix Ultra which is still very clean after 200 miles which is unheard of for a diesel! so at least I got something out of this ..

The car still needs the driver seat to be sorted and a proper alignment with front camber adjustment, but not before fitting the new front top mounts and bumps stops.. but with life in isolation and bad things happening everywhere this isn’t a priority at the moment, and so will hopefully all be done when the storm is passed.
Hopefully soon.

Stay safe and have a good day.



ClioSport Club Member
  Kangoo 172cup
Quite common for the o rings to leak on the oil filter housing. My orange dci had a mega tight filter on it when i bought it, had to use brute force to remove it which resulted in a drip from that area. I made the fatal mistake of nipping the banjo up a bit resulting in a gusher of a leak, ordered the o ring kit from Renault was only a few quid, its been right ever since.
Thanks Brigsy that's exactly what I wanted to do but could not find the official part number and RPD never got back to me with an answer, and therefore I had no choice but to get in there myself and see what I could do to fix it since oil was dripping from it at idle, scary.

If you could get that part number for me that would be greatly appreciated anyway, cheerio


ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
Just read through the last couple of pages. What an awsome thread with excellent and detailed updates. Fair play for all the work you have done swapping everything over to the black car. I really like these 1.5DCI's. Very interesting read.

On a side note what a cool workshop you work in. Some of the cars in the background of your pictures 😍.

Keep up the good work 👍