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Luke's 172 Cup Track Car (And also daily because I can't afford a daily)

  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Only just realised I've never done a build thread for my current 172 Cup so thought it would be rude not to.
Had one back in 2014 which was actually quite a nail so ended up selling it on.
Since then I've had an MR2 Turbo and a Skoda Fabia VRS which became my only car when the MR2 blew up. I managed not to get bored of the Skoda for 9 months haha. Then I made the mistake of looking at Clios on ebay while bored at work.

After looking at a few ads and nothing standing out to me I clicked on an advert for a 172 Cup that was up for £1800 in Carterton. The moment I saw the photos I wanted it but didn't have the money.
I had a couple of job interviews lined up the next day so rocked up for the first one in my Skoda. The first impression they gave me wasn't a good one (wanted me to park over a mile away).
At that point I remembered that Clio so phoned my best mate up and asked him if he wanted to go look at a car. Lo and behold half an hour later I had picked my mate and his brother up and we were on our way to look at this 172 Cup.
I had emailed the dealer asking if they would take part ex for my Fabia but kind of just turned up and hoped they would still have it. They did, the test drive was probably one of the best I've been on. Literally got thrown the keys to it and told to go have fun. The moment I sat in it I knew I was buying it so went and hooned it round the roads outside RAF Brize Norton.
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Deal done I arranged to go and collect it the following tuesday when my mate was off work again so I had chance to get the Skoda service history in order and take my radio out etc. That was probably the longest week of my life haha. But tuesday came and I set off bright and early to go and pick up my new toy and say goodbye to the brilliant but very dull Fabia. Had to take the obligatory photo of them together. Last time I ever saw the Skoda and I've still not missed it once.
I never really made too many changes to my old Cup. Fitted some eibach sportlines and a KTEC induction kit. I originally didn't plan on going much further with this one.
One of the first things I did was fit a stud conversion because I quite frankly detest wheel bolts having come from Jap cars which had studs from the factory. Actually fitted these on Christmas Eve 2015 2 days after I got the car haha.
I also fitted my unmelted steering wheel. Only issue with it was a nicked thumb grip.
This lasted approximately 12 days before I bought a second hand Sabelt. I think the sabelt was the first thing I fitted that began journey into it becoming a track car.
I also picked up another KTEC induction kit, I wanted a blue one but ktec were out of stock so I actually ended up buying a used one.
A couple more goodies included braided lines, an RS badge, new number plates and new engine mounts and a powerflex insert.
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I also removed the sound proofing on the bonnet just to make it sound a bit louder haha. The immobiliser issue I've had a few times reared it's head too although that is always cured by leaving the key in the ignition for a while until it remembers whats happening.

Continued on the next post so I can add more images haha.
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Righto lets continue the tale of my Cup.
I also got a MAD tow hook for it which still lives on the car now. It sat lovely and the 595 RSRs that I bought made it look and handle well.
I fitted my sabelt when that turned up. Wish it still looked that blue haha, recently discovered the date stamp of 06/06 on it so I imagine its seen some racing action. Absolutely love this wheel, need to get it retrimmed at some point.
At this point it was still a very very nice 172 Cup road car and infact got featured on a few instagram pages. I still can't get over how good it looks in this photo. However apart from the door bullets it looked the same as every other 172 Cup with a Fabia splitter and Turinis. I wanted brake ducts, not just any brake ducts, I wanted cup racer ducts but no way was I paying £150 for them so I kept my eyes out.
2 days after I took this photo I made the plunge into it becoming a track car. I fitted a bucket seat and later fitted a 4 point harness which has since become a 6 pointer. I've retained the standard seat belt because running a harness daily was an awful idea so didn't last long.
I decided to make it faster I would paint the brake callipers red. Awful idea, took a silly amount of time and I ended up melting the paint on track.
Also had to fixed the obligatory exhaust mount so made my own like I had on my old Cup. Still cabled tied and still going strong. I'll make a proper one eventually haha.
One thing I had wanted to do for a while was get some 15 inch wheels so when I saw someone local selling a set of 15s that didn't look to bad on here for £60 I knew i had to buy them. Painted them white originally which I soon discovered was a mistake so ended up rattle canning them black.
Next up those Cup racer ducts I had wanted, I managed to find some...
£50! from Fred Hopkins. Wasn't fun cutting into the bumper to fit them but absolutely love them.
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The OMP subframe I had for my bucket seat wasn't low enough so I sold that to a friend and picked up one of the excellent VBD X Low subframes made by Jon Foz. Had a little bit of a struggle getting an XL seat like my Mirco to fit correctly with it but got there in the end.
One thing I had noticed since getting the car was the oil consumption seemed to be getting gradually worse. I suspected that the Valve stem seals were failing. It was due belts shortly anyway so at this point I made the decision to replace the engine. I had read online that the Phase 1 engines had larger exhaust ports so was on the hunt for one. I found one advertised on here, it was 134k miles but the belts were doing 6000 miles and 6 months previously so I agreed a deal of £225 and headed down to Brighton to pick it up.
It still had its full compliment of oil when I arrived so we drained that out. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised to see that not only was the oil still golden but the engine had never been run on anything other than the correct ELF oil. It could have literally been dropped into a Non Cup without issue but since i had a cup it was a case of removing the whole AC setup and simply fitting my cup setup.

Righto I've run out of images again so I'll continue from the engine change on the next post.

Oh yeah when I said the old engine was getting worse, it got to the point where it was using a litre of oil in 300 miles!
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
The Saga continues.
I forgot to mention in the last post. I got stripes fitted to make it faster. No idea why they weren't done all the way to the end of the bonnet and I need to get this sorted at some point.
13346575_10208477470987267_6770168452277953898_n.jpg (That was in Brighton)
One thing I did having seen an immaculate Racing Blue 182 written off due to a failed bonnet catch was to fit some pins just as a fail safe while still retaining the OEM catch.
Anyway moving on, as I said, engine change, a friend who is a fellow ClioSport owner @Beasley Clio182 very kindly gave up his weekend to help me (by help I mean do most of the work) fit the new engine. I'm learning as I go along but Dean is a Nissan Master tech and has many years experience working on cars. He said it himself, it was one of the smoothest engine changes he has ever done. On our backs on my grandads drive we had the engine swapped from driving in to driving out in 9 hours! Couldn't have gone more smoothly. We didn't drop the subframe and instead took it out through the top which in my opinion was much easier.
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Obviously first port of call after the completed engine change was McDonalds, we definitely ruined their sinks washing all the oil off our hands haha.
Next up I had entered the Javelin Sprint Series round at Croft. The car seemed to be running well and behaved itself on the drive up. It did look cool with the numbers on it. This wasn't to last though unfortunately.
On my first practice run the High Pressure power steering pipe exploded ending my day and nearly resulted in me having a big off. Luckily I managed to hold it but that was my dad over sadly.

Limped the car away from the track and called the AA to rescue me after realising I couldn't fix it at the circuit.
After doing some research online I decided what I was going to was convert the car to EPAS so promptly ordered all the parts and then left them in my shed for the next 6 months. I did however fit a shorter aux belt to run it without powersteering until I got round to fitting the EPAS.
Because its a track car it clearly made sense to fit some better speakers. It was more the standard speakers were awful and I had these from the MR2 I blew up which happily fitted perfectly into the Clio so the Focal Polyglass speakers went in.
I also decided to delete the charcoal canister to save some weight. Literally just blanked off the lines with bolts and kept the solenoid in place to avoid tripping a warning light.
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Right I've run out of images again haha. More to come on the next post.
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Enjoying this! You copying and pasting from somewhere?
Nah writing it as I go. Having fun trying to remember what order I did stuff in haha. Think I'll probably carry on tomorrow. Time for bed now haha. I've still got a way to go with the car but she's getting there slowly. By the time I'm done should be a bit of an animal.
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Righto I shall continue.
I forgot to mention in the previous post that I had fitted some Camber bolts and a set of CL RC6 pads. The increased camber meant a massively improved turn in and the RC6s meant that the car had stopping power it had been lacking for a long time previously. The brakes were something I had never been too confident with so fitting these meant I was able to push on track that extra bit harder. (Yes I do use these daily too haha)
I managed to secure free entry and free track time at the Fast Car Festival held at Donington park, the free track time appealed to me greatly as I had been meant to do Donington in my first car but the day got cancelled due to snow. I got 2x20 minute sessions free however typically the car broke in the first session. It kept dropping into limp mode which would clear when restarted but then reoccured until it wouldn't drive normally. I also managed to snap the exhaust off bouncing it over the sausage kerbs at the chicane on the national circuit. I had fitted some 20mm bolt to hub spacers at this point too meaning the already good turn in was improved even more.
This was the first time I'd had the Clio on a proper circuit and I have to say I was very impressed. Not only was it very very quick through the corners it also managed to hold its own on the straights. I had the GoPro recording, next time I'm out I'll be using the side mirrors and removing windscreen mounted mirror (which slides off) to allow a better view.

Clearly I had to go past the Silver 182 even with the limp mode issue even if it did mean then immediately pulling in to let him back past haha. It was after this I discovered that my centre pipe had partially snapped and was blowing quite badly. I made arrangements to travel up to Blackpool to purchase an OEM centre pipe which was 200 miles old for £25.
On the drive there it was getting gradually louder but when I stopped it looked like it was still attached so I continued. Got there and paid my money for the centre pipe and we had a good chat. Just as I was about to get in the car to leave (bare in mind it had been parked for about 45 minutes at this point) we hear a *Thunk*. Looking under the car somehow while we were talking the centre pipe had completely snapped and that Thunk was the sound of it hitting the floor.
Sooo... I was in blackpool, and had got tools but no jack. Luckily the guy I bought the exhaust off had got a jack I could use so we got it up and proceed to fit the new centre pipe...
Which turned into also fitting his 200 mile old back box that he let me have for £10 because my centre pipe was rust welded to the back box and the only way to separate them was to cut the pipe in half.
By the time we finished it had gone dark so I decided to get a photo with the Blackpool tower lit up in the background. Not the greatest photo but you get the idea haha.
I then managed to go a few months without anything breaking which is very good going for me with cars. Went down to London in September and then attended TRAX in the same weekend. Took a cool photo of the car next to the London Eye.
And got what is one of my favourite shots in Wales.
This photo was taken at a track day I did at Curborough in May last year. Locked up going into the corner and decided to see if pulling the handbrake would help me get round. It did, wasn't quick but resulted in an amazing photo of the car.
I decided to treat myself to a whiteline Rear Anti Roll Bar which feels like it has made a slight difference to the turn in of the car. There is a rather tight roundabout at the bottom of my road that in the dry on semi slicks I can go round at 40mph since adding the camber and fitting the ARB.

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Oh yeah got F1s too as you can see in a couple of the photos.
The next post is where it starts to get more fun. Fitted some parts which you don't see on many Clios.
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Ok so carrying on.
First of all I decided to fit some 10mm stub axle spacers to the car as the rear tyres had been rubbing on both the arch liner and the strut itself. Horrible horrible job. Whoever decided to use Torx Bolts on something that is exposed to the elements needs to be shot. Ended up borrowing a bigger drill from one of my neighbours and drilling the old bolts out. Got there in the end though and resolved it scrubbing on the inner arch...
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I still had my rear interior fitted at this point so instead going over bumps it began to rub on the outer arch when I had a passenger because of the springs its on. (Bought it with Apex Springs and CompBrake top mounts, still not got round to changing these, saving for Gaz GHAs and PMS Top Mounts
Rear interior removed this issue was solved. Oh and head lining. Still a lot to strip but not going too mad while its my daily.
I attended a dyno evening at a Lohen where the car ran very healthy indeed. It hasn't recorded the RPM correctly but the Power and Torque are bob on.
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169.9hp and 161.8lbft! Very happy with that for a 143k mile engine. All I've done engine wise is fit a KTEC Induction kit so some more breathing mods and a map should see a nice figure indeed.
I had been running 20mm Bolt to hub spacers, a few days later I was driving home and suddenly it started to feel like I had a wheel loose. I pulled over and checked the nuts but they were all tight so limped it home and made a very worrying discovery. Upon attempting to tighten the bolts for the spacers one of them simply snapped with barely any force put through it.
Knowing that I had some modified hubs in the shed I decided to fit these instead of removing the snapped bolt (which I had stupidly loctited in). This didn't go well when I discovered that the driveshaft was seized into the hub. Having managed to pop it out of the box I took it to a friend's work where he tried to remove it using a hydraulic press. At 4 tons of force something budged. That something wasn't the drive shaft. The cast hub actually snapped under the force so got chucked onto the scrap pile along with the shaft. A 2nd hand shaft was purchased from ebay and I shortened the new track rods ends to fit my modified hubs.
When I say modified, they have been drilled to allow the fitment of a JapSpeed Bump steer correction kit which has genuinely made a massive difference to how it feels.
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It kind of gives me an idea of what the car would feel like on @NorthloopCup's Roll Centre Correction kits which is something I'm definitely going to look into at some point.
I then ran the car for a while with no front spacers which meant it didn't drive nicely at all thanks to the rear track being wider than the front. We had some snow which was amusingly deeper than the Fabia Splitter in places so it made a good plow.
The next post is where it gets very expensive and I finally get round to fitting my EPAS that had been in the shed for ages haha.
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Probably the last post for a short while. This pretty much brings us to where the car is currently.
So as mentioned in the last post, with my MOT being due at the end of February I decided I should probably get round to fitting the EPAS to the car. Thankfully Clios are easy to pull apart so the Dash was out and the EPAS fitted and wired in using an EBay kit without too much effort. I do like the look of a top dash only so once its no longer a road car thats probably how it will be run.
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So to thank me for fitting the Power Steering, on my test drive to make sure said power steering was working the clutch release bearing exploded. I managed to limp it home and decided to attempt to fit a clutch and release bearing myself.
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Sadly I didn't realise that the collar which the release bearing sits on had been damaged which meant after managing to put it back together having never done a big job on my own before (I swapped the clutch with no help what so ever) the first time I engaged the clutch it was still making a horrible grinding noise. This very very nearly ended up with me breaking the car for parts, as you can imagine after having done such a big job on my own and having found out it wasn't fixed I was extremely dejected and had I been able to extend my bank loan I don't think I would have fixed it.
Looking at Photos of the car made me realise I couldn't bring myself break it however I had vowed at this point I wasn't going to pull the box off myself again so I booked in into RS Four Ashes in Cannock to get the clutch issue resolved and to have an MOT which had expired at this point.
It managed to make it from Stoke to Cannock however I noticed some oily smoke on the way there, at this point i was too annoyed to actually care and finished the trip there. Upon parking up outside Four Ashes I realised that what had happened was that the gearbox had dumped its oil.
The box was stripped down and it was found to have damaged the planetary gears in the diff, I also had a complete synchro set as 3rd had been crunching and had a few other bits and pieces done. After a week of driving the 1.4 Courtesy car I couldn't wait to get the Cup back.
Getting it back after the box rebuild made me realise how bad the box had been before, it felt like a different car. It seems to have behaved itself since then, I finally bought some longer studs and fitted some 20mm slip on hubcentric spacers. I'm taking the car to the Nurburgring in June and after speaking to Dale Lomas from Bridge to Gantry discovered that my Bonnet Pins wouldn't be allowed onto the track. To ensure that I wouldn't have any issues I decided to fit aero catches to the bonnet and also to the bumper which was only held on by the factory clips at this point so not solid at all.
They aren't straight at all but I don't mind, the fact I did them myself is good enough. I also made some headlight blanks for when it is used on track and will eventually fit a rectangular duct to the passenger side one so that it is the same as an actual cup Racer blank.
So that pretty much brings us to now. The car needs to go back into Four Ashes at some point before Germany as it occasionally crunches going into 5th Gear. So when it does I'll likely get them to replace the ebay driveshaft as it makes a grinding noise in reverse and possibly get them to fit a 182 Manifold and Decat pipe as I've had the manifold for over a year in my shed. I took a photo of the car yesterday loaded up with stuff and have decided when I get coilovers this is how it is going to be set ride height wise.
As you can see I've also deleted the rear wiper, it was rattling and annoying me and also for weight saving. Still can't decide if to get another one as the arm had snapped.

I'll try to keep this thread updated. Oh yeah for those of you that are interested this is a full list of everything (including stickers) that has been changed from Standard.
Current Mods
1. Stud Conversion
2. Sabelt Cup Racer Wheel
3. PH1 Horn Stalk
4. KTEC Induction Kit
5. Braided Brake Lines
6. Carbon Lorraine RC6 Pads
7. Cup Racer Brake Ducts
8. VDB X-Low Subframe
9. Mirco RTS Bucket Seat
10. Side Mounts
11. OMP Boss
12. Black Speedline Chrono reps
13. Black Renault OZ F1 Wheels
14. Compbrake Solid Top Mounts
15. Apex Lowering springs
16. Gordini Stripes
17. Name Stickers
18. Tow Stickers
19. Powerflex Dogbone mount
20. Powerflex Upper engine mount insert
21. TRS 6 Point Harness
22. Fabia Splitter
23. Pioneer Headunit
24. PH1 172 Engine
25. 20mm Hubcentric Spacers
26. GoPro Mounts
27. Eibach Camber Bolts
28. Painted Inlet
29. Charcoal Cannister Delete
30. Whiteline RARB
31. SunStrip
32. Focal Speakers
33. Aero Catches – Bonnet/Bumper
34. 10mm Stub Axle Spacers
35. Bump Steer corrected Hubs
36. Partially Stripped Interior
37. EPAS Conversion

My eventual plans are below.
Planned mods
1. 182 Exhaust Manifold
2. Quaife ATB Diff
3. PMS Shifter
4. PMS Top Mounts / Strut Brace
5. Gaz GHA - 400lb front 500lbft rear
6. PMS Strengthening kit
7. Full Cage
8. Additional Bucket Seat / Harness for Passenger
9. Jenvey ITBs
10. CatCam 421 Cams
11. PMS Manifold Back Exhaust (Stealth Tip for 182 Manifold)
12. Poly Bushes
13. RS Tuning / EFI Remap
14. Northloop Roll Centre Correction Kit

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Fingers crossed I eventually update this with ITBs and cams haha.


ClioSport Club Member
That looks fantastic, really liking the yellow side skirt sticker. Mine are dark so you can't really tell.

Not a fan of the white stripes down the car though.

You're pretty unlucky! Haha
  Clio 172 (CUP)
Great read, keep thinking I need to do a thread myself but lack of time at the moment. Out of interest, how did you make those headlight blanks, they look good?

Keep up the good work, as I've always said to friends, I enjoy the building/tweaking (and hence learning the car) just as much as the driving of it, sounds like your doing the same.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Cheers guys, yeah I've had some bad luck with it but it's so much better than my old one haha.
Yeah it's a massive learning curve, but saved so much money doing things myself.
Bought some crappy headlights from ebay and gutted them.


ClioSport Area Rep
looks like youv come a long way with it bud, I live in Cannock, whats that garage like in four ashes you used? might come in handy for any jobs I don't fancy myself lol.
keep up the posts dude, and if not good luck at the Ring youll love it
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
looks like youv come a long way with it bud, I live in Cannock, whats that garage like in four ashes you used? might come in handy for any jobs I don't fancy myself lol.
keep up the posts dude, and if not good luck at the Ring youll love it
Cheers mate, really really good imo. Floyd who deals with the RS side of things worked at KTEC in the past and really knows his stuff. Did a load of work on my mates LY 182. I'd definitely recommend them.

I like the strips :smile:
Cheers haha. Going to get them redone soon hopefully so that they actually finish haha.
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Bit of an update. Gone to have the box looked at sooner than I planned.
Popped the diff circlip yesterday at a track day so got it recovered back to four ashes. If the box has to come out I'll get my 182 manifold fitted.
  172 cup
Nice right up mate sure I've seen ya about in this but wouldn't be hard I only live in bignal. end ha ha , that last pic at curborough I've just ordered a renfort plate for my diff solves the problem
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Nice right up mate sure I've seen ya about in this but wouldn't be hard I only live in bignal. end ha ha , that last pic at curborough I've just ordered a renfort plate for my diff solves the problem
Wouldn't surprise me haha. I live on Audley road so go through Bignall End on the way to work etc. You've probably heard my RC6s
Yeah it's at Curborough haha. Think potentially just going to weld it for now. Planning on getting a gripper eventually.
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
As suspected, circlip has gone, that and my 5th gear issue should be sorted soon. Looking forward to getting it back, can't stand not having a car haha.
  Mondial Blue 172 Cup
Replaced the circlip and welded it in place. This lasted a week so the car is now back in having a 182 diff fitted.
If anyone is interested its going to be up for sale once I have it back. Decided using a track car as a daily wasn't a great idea so I'm putting it back to standardish and am replacing it with a Mini haha. I'll put a sale thread once its back with me.
  RS 200 CUP
Looking good. I work in Chesterton (next to PSI tuning) so really close to you and will definitely consider four ashes when I need anything doing that I don't want to do myself.
Hows the noise for daily driving?


ClioSport Club Member
  Hi comp phase 1
Seems a shame to sell seeing as you've put so much effort into've done a cracking job :up:
As said..keep track car buy crap run about still do track days ?