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Mark 1 Track Car - Trophy Red 172 Project

Bought this back in October 2013 from Danny-Ace on the forums, he'd ebayed it randomly as a none runner (aux system removed for s/c mock up and all wiring sold) so I snapped it up for a few quid.

Its since sat on stock in a mates lockup since then over Christmas etc with me having little or no time to look at it, until now. Track season is approaching, I've already booked Bedford in May and as of now I have no car to take! so best get going!

No idea how well I'll keep this up to date, knowing me, badly! but I will give it a shot.

So here she is as I bought her back in October, JWC, one of the old valvers I remember from when I got my first one, so sort of a car I always wanted to own after it inspired me to get/modify a mk1 16v Clio.


and sat tucked up


Danny had used the car on track a bit and he's spent a lot of time and effort on the car, its spec is pretty decent and although it was looking a bit sorry for itself when I collected it, I could see the potential easily.


- Clio 1.8 16v shell fully resprayed in Clio 182 Trophy Red
- Full welded in cage, modified and added to with harness bars and tied to the a pillars
- Rewelded and mounted steering column supports and seat bars.
- Clio 172 Engine and Gearbox on 55k
- Clio 172 full front end conversion (wishbones, hubs, brakes, driveshafts)
- Brand new FK Highsport Clio Williams Coilovers modified to fit 172 hubs
- Clio Williams ARB
- Fully polybushed
- Uprated engine mounts all round
- Clio Williams PAS rack, greased and sealed for manual use
- Clio 172 Cup master cylinder
- Seam welded subframe
- Plastic windows
- Chopped doors for weight saving
- Manual Sunroof
- Mongoose exhaust, modified to link to 172 manifold and tailpipe modified
- Some sort of quickshift gearlinkage

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Pics of Engine and cage when I bought it




So a good base to start with. But theres some weird things that need addressing, like the front is so low that the front arch on the nearside was smashed apart and despite all the trick mods and track prep, its got Halfrauds front brake pads. And the radiator is zip tied to the slam panel, so tinkering needs to be done.

Also it has a clio 1.8 16v alternator, no use as I'm going to wire it up fully with job lot from a phase 1 172 I have in breaking currently.

So I picked it up this weekend and dragged it back home, first job before was to pop to my mates garage and check the timing as the aux belt pullet and crank bolt had been removed (s/c project legacy from Danny). Popped the locking pin in, whipped the oil caps off and bang, slotted the timing tool straight in. turned it few times, locked again and boom, in again. Bonus! so timing was still all fine :)

Also fitted my AST solid adjustable top mounts to the FK coilovers

Car is now back on my drive and the list of parts and things to do is as follows:

Parts Acquired:

- Mocal oil cooler and sandwich plate
- Cobra Imola 2 seats with side mounts and TRS harness'
- Helmet net
- Clio 172 Cup JC5 gearbox with Quaiffe Limited Slip Differential
- Clio 172 Alternator
- Clio 172 phase 1 full engine and interior loom with clocks UCH etc (wiper/headlight stalks as well)
- Clio 1.8 16v plug set to splice to 172 loom for lights/wipers etc
- Seam welded subframe (another one modified to fit 172 radiator correctly)
- Two Front wings
- Front Bumper with cooling ducts and proper 1.8 16v splitter
- Pair of Phase 1 1.8 16v mirror caps
- Fibreglass bonnet and pins
- Eibach camber bolts

To do:

- Fit all the above including painting/powdercoating as necessary
- Sort front end geo with camber bolts and top mounts then laser track it
- Get to Bedford on 19th May :)

so that's where we're at currently, hopefully some updates over coming weeks, slow progress more than likely until the nights get lighter and I can get on it after work!

quick comparison of the changes the cars undergone, as heres an old pic from when I originally used to covet the car


and as she currently stands in the cold light of day:

Fitted my new oreca wrap round seats and PMS shifter this weekend just gone

The PMS shifter fitted no problem to the mk1 and I think I'm safe in saying I'm the first to do this. All I have to do was file one of the mounting holes out slightly to fit the chassis mounting studs.

Adjustment took all of 5 minutes as well before I had all gears, so no idea what people moan about saying they take hours to set up as that definitely wasn't the case for me, was a total piece of piss! I will acknowledge I do need to tweak it very very slightly to ensure 1/2nd is right up against the reverse stop for ease of selection but getting all gears took minutes :)

I also acquired a OMP suede wheel to finish off the interior, however I intend to get the yellow bits changed to red or green (not decided yet) to be more in keeping with the car.

With the new seat fitted and the closer wheel I can now hardly get in and out the damn car however, lol! so think I need to gain some flexibility.

the final issue I had with the PMS is nothing major and just an extension of a slight issue that was already there. The selector rod under the car on the old linkage banged very slightly on the lambda sensor. with the pms is basically fouled completely, stopping any gears being selected, in fact stopping me setting up the linkage full stop. So I have removed the link pipe and its at a local engineering place this week to have the boss for the sensor moved about 2" further down the pipe to resolve the issue

I purchased a new cat fitting kit from Adam at Renault Wolverhampton as well to make the most of the exhaust being off and freshen up the fire ring and spring assembly, so that'll go back on Friday and I can test the PMS linkage properly!

pics to follow


oh, I also replaced the alternator for the spare I picked up and sussed out part of the issue. Like a plank I had attached the adjustment bracket to the wrong side of the flange on the block, thus meaning I had to use the spacer. I have moved the bracket to the correct side and now, bingo no stupid spacer required.

so with any luck that's another niggle fixed :)
Fraid not Martin. as mentioned I've had to remove the link pipe on the exhaust currently, rendering the car immobile, due to the linkage fouling completely on the lambda.

review to follow when I hopefully refit the exhaust at the weekend and 'give it some' :)
Exhaust refitted with new from Renault fitting kit on manifold side so that not bodged up with random nuts and crap now

PMS linkage clears the new lambda location lovely so that sorted

replaced the ripped out tow eye with a crappy tow strap, I've used the front subframe bolt for it so its clamped tight and hidden behind the bumper, so can 'whip it out' if needed. Can't stand tow straps just hanging out, look gash imo.

rewired the fogs and sured up the bumper lower brackets as well, so that's the legacy of the broken tow eye all fixed back up bar a bit of paint loss on the bumper itself. not to worried though as its a track car :)

and finally got to drive the car with new seats, wheel and the PMS kit and wow, what a difference, feels brilliant!love it!

love it so much I decided to book Blyton Park for Sunday, the east circuit, not done it before on the new layout so should be fun!


and here's the current 'list'

To Do:

  • Repair leaking washer bottle and fill (DONE)
  • Underseal sills
  • Paint sills red (DONE)
  • Buy/fit bleed nipple dust covers for callipers (DONE)
  • Fit door pulls (DONE)
  • Change/remove aerial
  • Sort tow strap front (DONE)
  • Investigate vibration on heavy acceleration (DONE)
  • Check pad wear (DONE)
  • Paint bumper insert
  • Bond on side strips (DONE)
  • install bumper insert (front done)
  • Replace/repair fog wiring (DONE)
  • Fix new exhaust mani to system clamp bolts (DONE)
  • Check handbrake action (crap?)


  • Run new fuel lines (in car?)
  • Remove breather from fuel tank
  • Fit brake bias valve in car for rear
  • Powdercoat inlet etc
  • Fit Whiteline RARB
  • Fit PMS shifter kit (DONE)
Did Blyton Park Sunday just gone, great day and only way to roll is slicks for me now, RSR's just don't cut it! lol!

also looking at pics and from feel of the car I need to get some firmer front springs to get rid of some of the body roll






Awesome. I want a go in it again for old times!

Even if it is a track car the green looks shocking. Looks much better on the black wheels but then again, looks aren't what it's about.
correct, the whole idea of the green is to divide opinion and in all honesty preferable get most people hating and going yuck. it amuses me :)

if your ever on a trackday when I'm there TomSx feel free grab a shotgun ride
It's at end of estate every night mate but not nosey'd over it no mate. Oh and yeah some time, seven years or so :)
After the rolling road, I removed my front springs to measure them up (incorrectly as it turns out) to spec up some new firmer ones


in doing so I noticed my shiny new subframe was coated in a thin film of oil/grease of some sort. not loads, but some. So bit of poking about and I found this:


split on the inner CV joint on the offside shaft. no biggie but another thing to sort. Thankfully Andy RG sorted me out with a spare shaft and I have ordered a boot kit from Renault to repair the old one and keep as a spare :)

I also corrected the mounting for the alternator by swapping the bracket onto the other side of the flange on the block to eliminate the spacer that caused the mounting hole on the last alternator to sheer off

I also managed to tighten the main wiring connector to the alternator and that seems to of solved my intermittent charging issues and I get a solid 14.5V at the battery now :)



Well, fixed the driveshaft (cheers AndyRG) and went to Cadwell on Saturday.

Rainy start, sliding all over on the RSR's but after sorting the misting issues got a reasonable morning session in the damp done. Then just before lunch the track began to dry so on went the slicks.

Afternoon was blumming lovely, track dried out completely and car performed well, stomping round and having a good tussle with a couple of cars, cossie with a sequential box was aobut the quickest (bar the aerial atom) and I had him locking up into corners due to sitting right with him ;)

couple of casualties, I have I think either another shaft issue or a wheel bearing issue, or perhaps both. but apart from that the car once again performed faultlessly and was thoroughly enjoyable to thrash about in.

next one is Oulton in August for the RS day, so got a few weeks to sort the niggles and perhaps even get the damn whiteline fitted!lol!


Rainy morning


moody shot of the car


slicks, I f in love slicks


next morning, dreaming of being back there as I also f'in love Cadwell, such a brilliant track, rewarding at every turn :)


and thought I'd weigh the slicks/wheel combo I run, not bad, keeps the unsprung weight down :)



Random update

Had a bad end to last trackday season and first day at Cadwell this year also. Basically I had been nursing a seriously bad vibration on hard right cornering. I couldn't replicate the issue easily on the road as I was unable to generate the grip I can on track with the slicks. As such it was a pig to diagnose.

Parts changed/checked in the search:
- ball joints
- wishbones
- bearings
- track rod ends
- driveshafts
- wheels
- tyres
- balancing done
- tracking done

and finally over the winter I swapped the gearbox.....well I say over the winter, in the week or so before Cadwell, which meant fitting the original 172 JC5-130 is it box (phase 1 172) and losing the quiafe and cup box. As such I had a really bad day at Cadwell, car felt slow due to longer ratios and the vibration issue was still there although I managed to manage it by raising the ride height and removing most of the camber from the front of the car.
Back from Cadwell and literally on the verge of giving up and binning the damn thing completely I realised that by maxing the camber and lowering the car a hefty amount I could get the vibration to manifest itself under road tyre cornering. As such I could diagnose and fix around track days, instead of being frustrated during them.
After much messing about, I had narrowed the issue down to the nearside (wet) driveshaft essentially being too long. I had put 3 different phase 1 shafts on there (taken by myself from phase 1 cars) and no different. So in order to shorten the shaft I removed the outer CV joint assembly and took the circlip off the end of the shaft. This then allowed the CV joint to slide around a further 10mm onto the shaft. Boshed it all back together and boom, issue gone!!
Cue day before Blyton for CSOC day and a rush job to refit the quaife cup box and be ready for the day!
Thank god that's all sorted, and only issues I nursed that day were pads I wasn't familiar with and not massively keen on and completely ruined slicks! I have my car back!!! YES!




painted up the inlet mani, fuel guard and top cam belt cover today, not sure i'm 100% on the colour, but its all I had in the shed!lol!





Not updated this for well over a year, but the car sat mostly dormant last year due to the sill corroding to the point of MOT failure. As such to fix the problem I bought an RS2 inlet.....obviously!
So over this winter I've been fitting that along with a few other bits an bobs.

The new to do list:
- Fit RS2 (done)
- Fit Oil Cooler
- Fit braided fuel lines and inline filter
- Fit Stud conversion
- Fit 172 rear stub axles and camber shims
- Get turbines powdercoated original silver
- Fit NS2-R tyres to above wheels
- Get sill welded up
- Oil and filter service
- Gearbox oil service
- Fit 182 manifold

So that should see me over the winter, hoping to have her on the road in the spring.

So RS2 fitting was a relatively simple job, I bought a fully mapped kit from a phase 1 fitment, so literally bolt on to my car, swap the ecu/uch etc. over and away I go. All I need to do now is sort the radiator at the front as its too tight a fit in standard form. Plan is to chop some of the fan cowling away at the top and then cant the whole radiator and fan assembly forward and make up some new brackets to sit the top in front of the slam panel. I've already checked this works and clears the bonnet and seems all fine.
However before I finalise this fitment I need to drop the subframe to fit the 182 manifold and then route the oil cooler pipes etc. So once those tasks are complete I can then sort the radiator.
Pics of RS2 fitted and quick vid of it on first start




Manifold wrapped, apologies for the two tone look, ran out of original wrap and failed to purchase the correct matching one to finish it! Plus I hate wrapping stuff so perhaps not the best job in the world but she'll do!