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My BG182 Clio Revamp



Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
My first project thread on here and one that’s a bit of a stretch to call it ‘my project’ as I did little more than agree to things being done! Anyways, a bit of back-story first…

Back in November 2018, I created the thread below and kind of sat on it for a while.

https://cliosport.net/threads/clio-182-revamp-initial-thoughts.822944/

Perhaps what didn’t help was the OSF driveshaft failing right before Christmas a month later – then came Christmas itself, then life carries on and priorities change, etc.

Still, the car wouldn’t magically ‘fix’ itself and I was in that position where I really didn’t want to get rid. The replacement driveshaft wasn’t doing much better as when it let go, it didn’t exactly help the gearbox that it was connected to. So along came a subtle, yet clearly audible whine – at first little more than a small background noise. But as these things invariably do – it got worse. Knowing that a fixable issue might lead to a complete failure of the gearbox if not sorted, I knew it was on borrowed time – more so with the 182 being my daily.

As a side issue, Steve @ Birchdown had confirmed that the compression on one cylinder was significantly down by a ‘good 40psi’. The engine by this stage had done 160k+ mileage and this in turn raised the question of an overhaul of both the engine and the gearbox together. When one unit is dropped, it makes a lot of sense to address the other at the same time.

I had a look on the forum for ideas and suggestions. Do I go for a factory fresh approach, pretty much as it rolled out of the factory back in 2004? Or do I look into tweaking it slightly while everything was in bits? The complexity and additions that go with the force-fed route, either by turbo’ing or supercharging the car put me off. Also, the ITB path would be too much compromise to continue using the car as a daily, for me personally.

I stumbled across @Niall 's thread https://cliosport.net/threads/nialls-bg-182.804998/ and read through it. Although he was going further with his BG182 that I would in making it more track-focused, the overall engine mechanicals had me intrigued. It was that level of tweaked additions, without going too far to mess with the fun aspect of what the Clio was all about.

The main issue I could see was that the car would be completely immobile while this work was carried out. Wherever is got to was where it was staying – unless I factored in expensive transportation costs. More so, I understand that from a garage perspective, such work carries a lot of hidden hassle that isn’t purely monetary. It’s in and out of the unit a lot for when parts and other bits arrive, occupying ramp space and generally just hanging around like a pain-in-the-arse that won’t go away. Birchdown said as much and the unknown saga of where such a revamp would lead to, meant that I had to look elsewhere.

Enter Alex (@AlexW) at AWMotorworks. Niall had mentioned him during our PMs and his work from social media certainly looked good. It’s worth mentioning here that I originally searched for AWMotorsport and came across a garage near Portsmouth that specialised in Porsches. I can imagine that would have been a bit of a confusing conversation if I’d phoned them out of the blue.

So, I provided Alex with a summary of the work that I was after being done and we agreed on a loose ‘starting’ price. By this stage it was late February 2020 and the gearbox on the Clio sounded like it was crying in pain. My wife flatly refused to drive it in such a state and we were down to using her car mainly for the commuting trips, both to and from work.

Another niggle that cropped up – Alex was 215 miles away from me. Do I risk driving the car on what would be mainly motorway driving down there? Or do I play it safe and get it transported?

25th March arrived and I got it loaded onto some Eastern European knackered flatbed. The driver could speak 3.2 words of English and seemed to be smiling far too often. Would it get there? Was he having a laugh? Should I have just risked driving it in the first place? I genuinely hadn’t been as concerned about the Clio in all the years I’d had it.


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The following day, Alex messages to tell me that Clio arrived intact – relief! Not only that, but this was the time where COVID restrictions came on in force. I was set to work from home, so I didn’t really need the car anyway. But I had no idea if this would affect Alex and his work practices and whether or not some parts would even get delivered?

The strip down started in earnest and alarmingly quickly. Even though you know what’s going to go on, it’s still a bit of a shock to see your own car in so many parts!


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The strip down and cleaning revealed that I had very slight scoring on one cylinder lining – which matched the same cylinder that had had a failed injector on. Aside from that, Alex said that the engine was in good condition given the age and the mileage, being a good platform to do a refurb/enhanced build on.

Aesthetically, as can be seen, several bits were very tired – over 15 years of being exposed to the elements and crap thrown up by the road had taken their toll. I wasn’t initially that concerned with the tarting up of such parts – but having seen their condition, I couldn’t just leave them in that state. This was going to get more expensive…. :LOL:

So away various bits went to get refurbed and retreated, subframe, rear beam, brake callipers, etc..


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The wheels got a fresh refurb at the same time – a combination of bubbling paint in a few areas along with an ill-fitting tyre seating, meant that pressure was being lost gradually at least on one wheel.


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Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
New bearings in the hubs – I honestly can’t recall if I’d ever had the originals replaced?


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Alex agreed that the brakes were shocking. Not the pads and discs themselves – but the lack of any direct force applied to them. Quite frankly, it was dangerous – the handbrake creaked and groaned when applied and I believe it was only properly engaging on one side. Plus, my brake lines resembled withered spaghetti. They were on the original list to get looked at as well, but to see them in the condition that they were in, revealed just how bad they had got.


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Bits started arriving and Alex was on with the engine rebuild itself. New cams went in…


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Lapping of the new valves…


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And it wasn’t long (or it didn’t seem like it!) before all the parts started to look like an actual engine again…


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My poorly gearbox had in the meantime been shipped off to Mark (NorthloopCup) in order for him to work his magic on. Expecting a lot worse news, it was nice to see the thread he created about my gearbox in particular. 😊 https://cliosport.net/threads/the-unicorn-jc5.832201/

As part of the gearbox work, I was intrigued by having the taller 5th gear from the Ph1 added as in stock form, I thought the 182 was always a bit too revvy on motorway journeys.

Bushes and fittings aplenty got swapped out as it made a lot of sense to do so at this stage.


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The Eibachs went back on. Strictly speaking I should have perhaps replaced these as well – more so with the dampers all round being renewed. But they looked OK, with very little corrosion or tip sections snapped off.


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One thing I was eagerly after changing were the shitty, crappy, awful light-silver headlights that 182s came with as standard. These were a pet-peeve of mine and I wanted the darker grey/black ones of the 172s. It took me a while to find a set (and I still have a slight issue with the passenger side one, to be honest) – but the colour difference is very clear.


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Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
Whilst removing my headlights and swapping parts over, Alex had noticed that part of my driver’s side unit had appeared to have melted at some point in the past. It still worked, but that’s never a good sign!


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My air-con rad was shot, along with a fair bit of the accompanying pipework. Those were being replaced, as was the main radiator behind it.


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Alex kept a constant stream of pictures and updates coming through. It was great to see the car coming back together again and actually resembling a 182 once more.


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One of the last parts to be done was the remap. For this it was off to Andy at Engine Dynamics and on the rollers to get fettled.


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The results I was more than happy with. Hopefully once the mileage cracks a thousand or so and all the parts of the rebuild loosen up, it will nudge into the 200bhp bracket, but from the offset, it was tantalisingly close!


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Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
Finally, ‘Collection Day’ arrived – just one day short of the car having been away for three months. I caught the train down to Stansted Airport and arranged with Alex to bob over and meet me in my own car. I heard it before I saw it – walking over from the meet & greet at the airport, recognising that unmistakable 2.0litre and KTR exhaust sound combination. In my mind it sounded different – but similar for the most part. Would I actually notice the difference?

So Alex and I chat on the way back over to his unit about the Clio and the work having been carried out – all the while, this completely familiar car to me feels decidedly different. The air-con is blasting in my face – something that I’ve not had working for years. The clattering of loose parts that came from the OSF wheel area doesn’t exist. The whine from the gearbox has gone. The gearbox itself is firm and super-decisive in selecting gears. The handbrake had required a proper motion to disengage and along those lines, the brakes were a joy to use again

This was clearly an end result of many hours worth of work. My car had been de-aged by at least a decade, feeling taught, rigid and really quite poised. It was tired previously and needed TLC – ironically the gearbox issue and weak compression of one cylinder tipped my mind into actually getting the work done.

Back at Alex’s unit, I get to walk around the car properly and discuss what’s been done. Alex was clearly busy, but rather than just hand the paperwork over and say ‘bye’ I think it’s a testament to him in understanding that level of attachment that some owners have with their cars.


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And to put into context the amount of parts that have gone into it. Alex himself said that there’s a few sundries that have been missed off – they just got ‘done’ alone the way. 😊


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Once I left Alex’s, it was time for the 200+ mile drive home. It was mid-afternoon by then and really quite warm. Thankfully, with the working air-con, it was a much more comfortable place to be sat. I’d asked about the initial maintenance during that immediate period of post-build. At my request, Alex had been putting miles on to it since the rebuild, including two trips to Engine Dynamics – more of a final confirmation that everything was fine than anything. He’d managed to clock around 200 miles himself and with my trip back home on top – I’m about halfway before requiring a precautionary oil drain and change.

But did it really feel any different? Pootling about and lazily progressing through traffic – it was just a normal 182. It felt a little more eager and certainly engaging with the cog changes. So far so good. Then came the slip-road for the motorway – nothing ahead, clear view of any traffic and I left it in third gear. Acceleration, then more….. then oh, hang on, that’s a bit different, then shitting hell! I glance at the rev counter and its well beyond 6k but is pulling and pulling. I quickly loop up into 5th having already joined the motorway at wrist-slapping speeds. Erm…. Wow.

I let it settle down and coast back over to the inside lane. Not long later, I come across a middle-lane dawdler with NOTHING on the inside lane ahead of me. Slight blip of the throttle, pickup 4th indicate to the middle lane, gaining on the car in front and indicate again to the outside lane that was also empty. I leave it in 4th, easily passing the dawdler and carrying on over back to the inside lane. This process was repeated again and again on the way back – each time being very much impressed in the way the car picked up and continued to surge forward, way after the previous engine incarnation would have ran out of puff.

I arrived home tired, but very much happy. It had been a long day including that 6hr+ train journey down to Alex’s. I pulled up in the underground and couldn’t help but have another look at the end result. The car pinged as it cooled down and I felt a little guilty having messed up a lot of Dr Jekyll’s superb detailing work with the genocide of several hundred insects….!


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I guess the final question is – “Would I do it all again?” My answer? Without question.

The car has immeasurably been improved – the actual sum of the results far out-performing the individual parts. The car had been away for a quarter of a year. The amount spent being absolutely insane for a small French hatch that was rapidly approaching its 16th birthday.

I get the nay-sayers and their viewpoint that I could have bought ‘that car or this car’ instead for the same money - but that was never an option for me. This Clio has been with me throughout my 30s and the first half of my 40s - I was 29 when I ordered it and I’m 45 now. It’s been there through various house moves, changes in my job and even a divorce. It’s the one constant that aside from regular maintenance hasn’t required anything else. Above all, I still find it a fun car to drive, the likes of which simply cannot be purchased new from a dealership again.

To have cashed in on a high-mileage Clio with a noisy gearbox, under-performing engine and shot brakes for a few £hundred would have been an easy cop-out. It deserved resurrecting and I know full well that I would have regretted selling it on for the peanuts of pennies that I would have got for it.

All is good apart from my bank balance. Meh…… now what were my thoughts about what I could do with a full respray again? 😊

Massive thanks again and heaps of appreciation for @AlexW, @NorthloopCup and @Dr Jekyll as without all your time and effort - the finished car wouldn't have been anywhere near this good. Cheers guys! (y):cool:
 

frayz

ClioSport Club Member
Superb write up and I’ve actually had the pleasure of looking over it the Thursday before it was mapped on the Friday.

I fully understand the emotional attachment and your reasons for overhauling it. I own my own 182 for the second time so fully get why you don’t want anything else for the money.

It’s a stunning car with Alex’s excellent attention to detail and it really shows in the finished article.
Glad you’re happy with the high comp refresh as this is a route I’m keen on myself. Once again, congratulations on making the decision to breath new life into it.
Wishing you another 15 years of happy times in it. 🙂👌🏼
 

Dr Jekyll

ClioSport Club Member
Very nice write up Darren. Having spoken to Alex, I knew a bit of the back story on it and its nice to know that all this work has been done by the original owner. Just goes to show that there is something that attaches us to these little cars.

I cant take too much credit as I didnt do nowhere near enough work on it as Alex did. I've helped out a bit here and there and gave it a clean, prior to your visit. Talking of cleaning, I was actually quite happy that I managed to get the tailpipes shiney again. The engraved dirt took some going, but that was my best part on the cleaning!

Another note which I liked and commented on, was how quick and smooth it turned over and ran. Very impressed.

I've seen Alex's work first hand (known him for around 8 years now) and he's worked on a few of my cars now and I can honestly say his workmanship is fantastic. He's a clever guy, but not smug about it. He understands the relationship customers have with their cars and takes that into account when working on them. You was certainly in good hands and im glad to see that you agree. The same can be said for Mark (@NorthloopCup) I've not experienced any work by Mark personally, but have seen work by him and know how well he is clued up and takes the same care, both on what ive seen on here and through others. Another praised worker.

Great save and onwards to many more smiles and miles.

(Pictore I took vefore I left on sunday)

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MRBILLYUK

ClioSport Club Member
  FF Jeden Osiem Dwa
Wow, amazing write up Darren. I totally understand you not wanting to give up on the old girl after nearly 16 years of ownership. Should be good for another 16 years now :)
You're a little bit ahead of me , I've only had my 182 for 14 years and 4 months lol.
 

Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
Very nice write up Darren. Having spoken to Alex, I knew a bit of the back story on it and its nice to know that all this work has been done by the original owner. Just goes to show that there is something that attaches us to these little cars.

I cant take too much credit as I didnt do nowhere near enough work on it as Alex did. I've helped out a bit here and there and gave it a clean, prior to your visit. Talking of cleaning, I was actually quite happy that I managed to get the tailpipes shiney again. The engraved dirt took some going, but that was my best part on the cleaning!

Another note which I liked and commented on, was how quick and smooth it turned over and ran. Very impressed.

I've seen Alex's work first hand (known him for around 8 years now) and he's worked on a few of my cars now and I can honestly say his workmanship is fantastic. He's a clever guy, but not smug about it. He understands the relationship customers have with their cars and takes that into account when working on them. You was certainly in good hands and im glad to see that you agree. The same can be said for Mark (@NorthloopCup) I've not experienced any work by Mark personally, but have seen work by him and know how well he is clued up and takes the same care, both on what ive seen on here and through others. Another praised worker.

Great save and onwards to many more smiles and miles.

(Pictore I took vefore I left on sunday)

View attachment 1483047
I mentioned and pointed out the tail-pipes to Alex when I was there! Usually horrible, crap-covered things and frustratingly awkward to clean - that now looked super-shiny! I can’t promise how long they will stay like that, but again, little things that all add up in making the car look a lot better.

At some point, I want to address the whole of the bodywork. That could end up being as long as a piece of string and financially make even less sense. But we’ll see - at the moment, I’m just enjoying the revamp that the car has had. 😄
 

MRBILLYUK

ClioSport Club Member
  FF Jeden Osiem Dwa
I mentioned and pointed out the tail-pipes to Alex when I was there! Usually horrible, crap-covered things and frustratingly awkward to clean - that now looked super-shiny! I can’t promise how long they will stay like that, but again, little things that all add up in making the car look a lot better.

At some point, I want to address the whole of the bodywork. That could end up being as long as a piece of string and financially make even less sense. But we’ll see - at the moment, I’m just enjoying the revamp that the car has had. 😄
The tips on my Yozza were constantly dirty and sooty. Every now and then I would clean them with autosol and wire wool.
I bought some Carpro cquartz dlux last year to seal my headlights after polishing them. I thought why not try to seal the exhaust tips with the dlux. What a difference it made. I now keep an old microfibre cloth in the boot and just wipe the tips clean, literally takes a few seconds now every couple of weeks. :)
Get yourself a bottle. Plus you can do your headlights and restore the black trim , that comes up like new and lasts ages.
 
Last edited:

AlexW

ClioSport Club Member
  Many.
Well isn’t my ego big.

All I can say is it’s been a pleasure to “build”, knowing we both wanted the same end result, no corners cut & a hopefully reliable Clio to last another 16 years 😳

I’ll see you in 16 years or another 165k miles.
 

497adam

ClioSport Club Member
  clio 172 phase 2
Looks great, really nice write up too. How’
much taller is the ph1 5th Gear?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
Looks great, really nice write up too. How’
much taller is the ph1 5th Gear?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I haven't got exact numbers through driving at the time, but it's a several hundred RPM drop off the standard 182 fifth gear - according to the dial. Mark @NorthloopCup might have some more accurate numbers to hand?

I think it would be worth having it done with anyone's gearbox in bits and if they do any form of motorway driving. The extra benefit I've had through the other engine work being done is that I now have the option of being lazy and leaving it in fifth to overtake. It just doesn't feel like you're unnecessarily ragging the engine to make decent progress at motorway speeds any more.
 

NorthloopCup

ClioSport Moderator
I haven't got exact numbers through driving at the time, but it's a several hundred RPM drop off the standard 182 fifth gear - according to the dial. Mark @NorthloopCup might have some more accurate numbers to hand?

I think it would be worth having it done with anyone's gearbox in bits and if they do any form of motorway driving. The extra benefit I've had through the other engine work being done is that I now have the option of being lazy and leaving it in fifth to overtake. It just doesn't feel like you're unnecessarily ragging the engine to make decent progress at motorway speeds any more.
It’s the ph1 final drive that’s fitted in your box mate. The gear ratios from 1st through to 5th are the same on all the Rs boxes (089, 129, 130).

The rpm drop works out around 250/300rpm when you’re in 5th on the motorway sitting at 70mph.
 

497adam

ClioSport Club Member
  clio 172 phase 2
Did you ever find out what cause the low comp? Was it worn rings on the bad cylinder ?


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497adam

ClioSport Club Member
  clio 172 phase 2
How’s it running ? New engine loosening up nicely ?


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Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
How’s it running ? New engine loosening up nicely ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Absolutely great - I'm even getting used to the lumpy idle when cold! I park it in the underground, backed up to the wall usually and it's pretty loud, but in a good way.

It's going for it's first oil and filter change on Saturday since the rebuild. Treating it to a replacement of Millers Nanodrive 5w40.... https://www.millersoils-shop.co.uk/cfs-5w40-nt-plus-engine-oil
 


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