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My Renault 21 Quadra Supershed

  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I'm quite enjoying revisiting past work actually so this is from 2015, previously I had been for mapping and the OE clutch started slipping at about 280lb/ft of torque at 18psi. I knew I was pushing my luck with it so what can you do but take a deep breath and look at available options. Of course, my options were nothing, sweet FA and sod all for an off the shelf upgrade (*note for reference since then MesPiecesAuto offer a five paddle with uprated cover off the shelf*).
The solution that presented itself is another story (isn't it always?).... Quite conveniently one of my mates blew his tuned Quadra engine up in spectacular fashion, and given the fact is was a bit rough anyway he decided enough was enough and wanted rid. We had a chat about it and he offered me the car for a stupid amount, and even though I didnt want the car, I bought it anyway as I knew it had a pretty trick clutch upgrade in it and also I didn't want the car scrapped. In the end the car didn't even make it to my house, I collected it on a trailer down near Bristol, drove straight to my mate Craig and gave him the car minus engine, turbo, the 17" wheels (I swapped OE rims on to it) and a few other spares I was given. We literally took the bits off I wanted on his drive and I gave him the car for free under the proviso it was not scrapped. I sold off a few of the spares I took and made my £ back and then kept the clutch for my own car. Win-win or what! The donor car lives on to this day, you can see it's thread here, defo worth a read! I put the clutch in my car but I enjoyed the upgrade a bit too much and it finally decided enough was enough after the car featured at Retro Rides 2015 on the hillclimb. You get three runs up the hill and its a steep uphill start there, I bogged on the first two launches a bit and on the third I gave it the big licks, full throttle launch - looked great, flew up the hill but it started slipping on the way home. The advantage of the new clutch being a TTV flywheel and 200mm Helix clutch is that a re-pad of the friction plate was just £70 and when I took it to Helix (30 mins away) they very kindly did it while I waited :)


So that got me back on the road and has lasted to date. While I was tarting about with this I looked at the torque capacity of the Helix single plate and determined it wasn't enough for the new engine i'm building so had a chat with Ben at TTV (great company, great people) about a new flywheel and their new range of clutches, particularly the twin plate. In the end I bought a new flywheel with 185mm equispaced clutch mounting holes and then drove out to see TTV with a test setup block and bellhousing to trial fit the TTV twin plate clutch, which was a full 10mm shorter in height than the equivalent Helix.






This ball pivot is where the clutch fork levers from, so it's looking good for fitment space wise. There also seems to be enough room for a hydraulic slave between cover fingers and bellhousing so having a couple of options is nice....the 21 is hydraulic actuation anyway so thats no great shakes to fit.


As it stands now I still havent bought the clutch itself, after this point I got into the garage build and for some unknown reason bought a Clio V6 which took funds away from the new engine build, but the plan remains the same. I'll save the stuff on the new engine for a later date :D

Thanks for reading!
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Not much of an update this time around as I only got one day in the garage and half of that was spent on the V6, I dropped the fuel tank, filler neck, fuel pump and filter and solid lines, cleared out the boot, and generally faffed about tidying up. I also stripped the back axle down and stored it. Oh and I made some more holes in the underbody including a nasty hole between the drivers side rear axle mounting points. I picked up some 1mm steel sheet and armed with my new plasma cutter and welder I am going to attempt some minor repairs myself and see how I go.

I took another 40 components including the spare (less rusty) rear beam and wishbones, stub axles and a load of other stuff to be blasted and powdercoated too, and started sorting out the nuts and bolts that I cant easily replace to be blasted and plated, like these funny offset rear axle wishbone/trailing arms bolts that allow you to adjust rear track on the Quadra. I was REAL careful with these as breaking one would leave you in the crap, obviously NLA now and I only have one spare.

  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Had Friday off work, so I turned it into a shopping trolley.

PS Plasma cutters are f**king amazing.


Freehand left, with a datum point right






I also pulled the roof lining out of this and stored it and examined the multitude of spot welds to drill out. There is a lot.



Now debating the best way of approaching the roof swap, or at least getting the replacement skin off without destroying it.

Should be interesting.


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  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I had a few days off last week which I mostly ruined (car wise) by smashing a shower cubicle door and spending two days fitting a new one. Epic fail.

However I did start to tackle the roof skin I bought from Le Frenchie. First feck around was removing the back screen in one bit, so we would have a communal spare. It was pretty well stuck in, but my screen guy wasn't available and I wanted to get on so I attaccked it with knives and stuff and got it out in one bit after a good old scrap lasting a couple of hours. The hard bit it getting the first corner up, once you can raise it a little it gets easier to cut out.

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This is now in long term storage for when/if its needed.
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Next I started looking at the structure that supports the skin and started drilling out the spot welds on the rear cross support. I didnt like working underneath, upwards at all, but you cant put a roof skin on its head as it'll damage and kink so I has a cuppa and a think and then went and got my self inflating airbed and blew it up, then covered it with a plastic sheet and some old duvet covers and a curtain :) This made it MUCH easier to work on and I started carefully cutting away at the support structure.

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The front and rear bracing wasn't too bad, spot welds on the leading edges and seam sealer on the back that just needed heating and a scraper running along it but the sides where all the pillars are, boy oh boy it was like trying to untangle a bramble bush. I used a spot weld drill, a small and large grinder and a plasma cutter as I picked it all apart. The second side was easier once I knew how it all went together after getting the other side apart.
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Its made me seriously reconsider trying the transplant myself, lets put it that way! I finally got it all separated off though, and stored pending my decision on attempting it myself (any volunteers? :p )

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The quarter windows didnt make it lol

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After that I had a big tidy up and swept up all the metal shite and then started the last parts of engine bay strippage by removing the struts and calipers, brake master, clutch master and started on the rack. I left the wheel arch rack bolts soaking in WD and packed up, they can wait as they look very snappable!

Look at that ATE super blue going to waste :(

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These shocks and topmounts were all fitted brand new OE equipment (with prima -35mm springs) what seems like not so long ago. In retrospect, it was not so long after I originally recomissioned it so probably fifteen years ago!

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Suppose its time for coilovers, then :D


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ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 182 Cup
Excellent work as usual.

Nice to see you’re keeping hold of what you can as spares too, so many bits must have been thrown away over the years.
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I had a busy weekend with other stuff this time around so not much done on the car, but I found a few hours Sunday evening to strip a little more out the engine bay. Rack, ABS Accumulator and diff lock control set all out on the bench.

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The chassis under the accumulator is fairly solid, bit of surface rust but I don't see anything that needs welding (yet)

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Under where the brake master sits is a common spot for rot, the fluid spilled by careless hands strips the paint away and it rots like a sumbitch. Luckily, mine seems to have escaped terminal damage as i've always been carful to keep it clean, a blast on this side to clean up the surface rust should suffice.

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Another common spot is the rack end joint to the turret, it looked a bit suspect and weak so I just battered the rack braket out - I was right its a bit thin so I will replace it all.

Where the brake union fitting welds to the wheel arch has a big hole and I found another real nasty section of perforating rust further toward the front in the arch side of the chassis rail too, once I jabbed it (not pictured) it all fell apart.

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Not happy to still be finding rust at this stage, but what can ya do. Better find it and deal with it that letting it spread.


  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I also decided to stretch the legs on my new welder and plasma cutter combo. The old Clarke MIG I have is 15-off years old and really doesnt weld car body well, it's just a massive struggle to not blow holes all the time and usually ends up a bloody mess. I bought a MIG 180 and a P30C Plasma cutter from R-Tech welding who were very helpful and good to deal with.

Apparently according to the label my MIG welders inverter is LGBT so maybe on weekends it goes pink or welds rainbows or something :D

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I set it up with 0.6 wire, and the manual has a table of recommended settings for the dials n stuff, very handy indeed for an amatuer such as myself. I hacked up some 1mm sheet and had a play, first go...

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World of difference from the old Clarke unit. I need more practise, for sure, but the difference is certainly huge with the new unit. After chopping and welding scrap for a bit I thought I'd just have a go at the car, it's not like I could make it worse is it! NSF inner wing...

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Drew around the bits I cut out, plasma cut the sections a little bigger then ground it back a bit to fit the hole. Please note I have basically zero experience of car body repair and metal forming like this so don't take the piss too much please lol. This is the first bit cut out and welded in, and the first weld line (bottom left) ground back...I was concentrating and forgot to take step by step pics. I decided I wasn't going to grind the rest back because it was awkward to get to and I couldn't be arsed, plus you wont see it anyway under the wing/arch.

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Inside, I will grind back and probably smear some filler or something goopy over it to hide the welding trace lines, afraid i'm not talented enough to weld bits in and leave no trace!

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I'll round out the oval hole properly with a dremel when the repair is completed. Next up will be making the curved bit that makes the seam/join from the arch to the inner wing bit. Any tips, pointers, advice, anything on stuff like this is welcome!
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Another flashback today, back in the days before I had my kids I started an engine build, probably about 2003. Having tinkered around a lot of French chod i'd owned a Renault 21 TXi Multivalve, which was a 12 valve SOHC lump giving a respectable 140bhp. It was a familiar engine being based on the "Douvrin 4" all alloy J-Series shared by Peugeot, Renault and Volvo across many models including the 21 Turbo. After a cursory examination I found that the head was physically a bolt on exchange for the waterways, oilways etc and so the plan formed in my youthful mind for a 12v Turbo conversion.


Turbo block, 12v head, glue a turbo to it and Robert's your fathers brother. Right?

Well. As I started to collect parts for the experiment I got into Adaptronic standalone when it first came to the UK with the E420b ECU. Rude not to eh? Around the same time a French chap tried the same conversion and even with a remap completely melted the 12v exhaust valves and ruined his engine. The Turbo valves have an 8mm, sodium filled stem for heat dissipation where the 12v ones are 7mm solid. I guess looking back his mapping or fuelling was crap too but this got me worried and I decided to not bodge-it-and-scarper and build a proper lump, with proper internals and standalone with a target of around 300hp.
I got as far as having a fresh bottom end built (but with OE rods), Arias Pistons and ductile liners with wire ringing, and the head with a standard TXi 12v cam ready to go on with a modded OE cast 4-branch manifold. In retrospect it wasnt ideal as there was a bit of pickup on the cam runners and an NA cam is never ideal for a turbo conversion is it. Not that that mattered anyway as a change in circumstances, new mortgage and baby no1 arriving put a stop to any expensive engine builds for a while! Baby 2 arrived in 2007, and the block sat in my garage, the head under my bed and various other bits strewn around in storgae.

Fast forward to 2012, (maybe 2013? I cant remember lol) and another shift in circumstances left me single and with a enough resource to think about picking this up again. Remembering the OE rods in the bottom end I found a french supplier listing steel rods for the J-Series and threw about £450 their way, supposedly 800hp and 8000rpm rated


As the block had been sat a while it all got pulled down again, assisted by my trainee mechanic.



While I was in here I popped out the under-piston oil spray jets having seen the internal springs falling apart on other engines. Good job I did!



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Picked up some replacements courtesy of a chap called John Wheeler who was building a quick J-Series for his A110


Took the pistons and liners to my machinist for a clean, the new rods fitted and to get the liners re-honed.

  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Back they came, and in they went.


I think we are in mid-2014 now. While the bottom end bits were away I was busy talking to CatCams about a bespoke 12-lobe cam and matching 5-bolt adjustable pulley. They lifted about £750 off me for this little billet number, simply eye watering.





With stuff like this you dont just get to order bits off the shelf, if i'd gone F4R I can probably order 400hp worth of parts from one place with one phone call. Ask anyone about a 21 Turbo post 2010 and they usually laugh, let alone a chimera head swap thing :) So, anyway, new cam meant the head needed more work so that all came apart and I decided to just do everything. The aforementioned John Wheeler hooked me up with a company called G&S valves and after a few head scratches I ended up having a set of bespoke exhaust valves made in Nimonic 80-A, also used for turbine blades and exhaust nozzles on jet engines. In fact I bought 2 sets so i'd have spares while I was there, a snip at £84 + VAT. Each
(and I can't find any bloody pics of them either!)

In for a penny in for a pound so to go with the cam and valves I got some double valve springs from Isky, ballache again, then I had the spring seats/tops made and the rockers hardened by Julian Godfrey engineering (big rocker ratio, 2:1 on this head).


  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I think that all went in with Volvo stem seals IIRC. As the head got put together it was vapour blasted and ported, and then the cam caps were machined down a little and then the cam runners we line bored and honed.





Inlet on right (2 valves), Exhaust on left. The more observant may notice that on the Turbo 8v head the plugs are put in from the cold side, where the 12v plugs sit on the hot side.



While I was basically pouring a metric fuckton of cash away on this thing I also had a tubular exhaust manifold fabricated with a T3 flange and an external wastegate take-off.



I think this is as far as I got in 2014, when another shift in circumstances in early 2015 enabled me to start building my new garage (Warning, long project thread), I also bought a V6 and in the interim of all that i took on this 21 Quadra in early 2016 and this 21 Turbo in mid 2016 which took me waaay longer than I thought it would.

If you're hoping for an end result/rolling road graph for the engine i'm afraid ill have to disappoint, it's now in my garage ready to be built and then I need to buy a turbo
I've decided it will be built and put in the car when its restored. Which is now in progress.
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
If you're hoping for an end result/rolling road graph for the engine i'm afraid ill have to disappoint,
...although worth mentioning actually one built to a similar spec but with a smaller turbo and smaller manifolds / internal gate made about 420hp on the Julian Godfrey bench dyno. So...yeah. It has potential.


ClioSport Club Member
Thats a serious frankenengine build, hats off to you for pulling that one together and I hope when you do get it running it makes its potential. How well do the transmissions cope with that sort of power?
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Thats a serious frankenengine build, hats off to you for pulling that one together and I hope when you do get it running it makes its potential. How well do the transmissions cope with that sort of power?
I fully expect the tranny to do its very best impression of a grenade at some point beyond 300hp. Its why I put so much effort into the clutch package, which will enable me to swap in and out primary shaft splines easily. I've not done any serious relacement research yet and cos its a longitudinal/transaxle setup it limits my options, but I do know an upside-down Porsche 996 turbo box would fit size and output point wise but they're REALLY expensive now, ive also looked at Audi 01E 4wd stuff but not sure that would be strong enough as i'll be using launch control with boost build. I did also have a quick google for standalone mechatronic controllers to see if I could implement a DSG box with standalone control, that would be cooler than penguin piss!

Worst case I could spaceframe the front and pack an evo drivetrain setup in there, and rotate the engine 90° :p Renaultsport did that ran transverse with the Superproduction 21 back in 1988.... but thats a bit much work and cost even for me to consider at the moment! (Mortgage paid off in 9 years though.... ;) )

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ClioSport Club Member
I guess it depends on your motivation, if you want to make the best possible car out of the bits you have because you're attached to it, or the best possible renault 21 Quadra because you love them as cars
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Powder coat porn. Current total of components coated in flame red = about 60 :D Brackets, mounts, hubs, covers, axles, trailing arms, pulleys, water pipes... you will NOT rust any more!

Gearbox legs

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Water pump pulley

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Stub axle carrier

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Front ARB and subframe brace

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Rear beam, rear trailing wishbone things

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Assorted stuff
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Subframe components

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Next up will be blasting, then seam welding and powder coating of the subframe I think. Will have to calm down after that as this and xmas and 2 kids birthdays in December have ruined me. Even the local dole scoundrels donated me half a can of Tenants super and a lottery scratchcard (used)
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I guess it depends on your motivation, if you want to make the best possible car out of the bits you have because you're attached to it, or the best possible renault 21 Quadra because you love them as cars
All of that.

I suppose it would help if you knew where this was headed, especially with the red and white theme. There was a Europa Cup car series for the 21 and a couple of the colour schemes are fecking awesome. I want to build something along these lines, but not a straight up replica, more my interpretation of it. The Europa cup was based on a Phase 1 2wd and had about 300hp, i'm going with a Phase 2 base with 4wd and going for power up toward the Superproduction (440hp/8000rpm)

Maybe think of it as a road legal Europa cup Plus / MKII / Evolution / DaveL485 Edition of the Joel Gouhier car. Or something like that.

  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Finished off the hole in the NS inner wing, not happy with it though and had more trouble with blowing holes. I've set the welder up over again and its better now so will come back to it. It looks OK here but when you get a light behind it you can see some pinholes, it's just not neat enough.

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I had a bash at the other side where some of the sterring arm hold had disintigrated and i'd previously made a pretty horrific repair with the old welder to get it past an MOT. No pics of that, too ashamed! Chopped it out

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I did have a bit of original inner with to go here, but somehow I measured up for the hole wrong and cut it too small. What a spaz. I made a whole new bit from sheet. It's not perfect but it's not too bad either.

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I decided to look at the decidedly ropey bit inside the drivers wheel arch. Its not pretty.

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  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
So I set about hacking it out and started making the steering rack mount from scratch.

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I made a reinforcing plate for the middle bit and welded that together, spot the point where I ran out of welding gas.

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More gas, much better

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Tacked the plate in

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Looked OK and rack mounted up so welded it in. Blew a few holes which was frustrating but the car metal is so thin in places it's almost impossible not to

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Ive seen better, bit i've seen worse! Then I ran out of gas...again! The £15 disposibles are lasting like 1 day with this new rig so I need a better gas solution, it's costing far too much. I stripped 2 doors down to literally the metal and bagged all the parts in prep for the shell dip if I ever save the money up for it and that was that.

In the end I took a break from the 21 and started a bit fo work on my 1986 Renault 9 Turbo....which ironically seems to be less rusty than this thing lol. I'll bash up a thread on that too if anyone is interested, it'll be a slow burner though (even slower than this one lol)

And...Happy new year from me and the Supershed :D
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Nice progress. I use hobbyweld gas, you pay a deposit (but no rent) for the bottle and then exchange it at each fill.
You're the second person thats recommended that actually so I think I might go with it, looks about £120 initial outlay and £50-60 a refill, The other option I have is £11/mo rental and £26 per refill, which would probably be better for the short term while i'm using a lot but after that would not be economical for my usage.

Decisions decisions.


ClioSport Club Member
Aye I used to use the big BOC bottles and it's undoubtedly cheaper if you use a lot. The tiny bottles are completely prohibitive if you ever use the welder unfortunately.

Hobby weld suits me as I've long ago written off the bottle deposit, so I pay for a fill about once a year and that's it.
  Clio Trophy + GT3
I have fond memories of the 21 Turbo.

Managed to snag one a couple of times as a courtesy car when my 5 GT Turbo was in for service.

Quick cars for the time.
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
After weighing up options, I decided to go for a welding gas rental cylinder.

There is a BOC place half a mile from my house that will do me a "Y" cyliners (4.84 M³ ) for the equiv of £4 a month rental and £37-ish per refill, against the rent free stuff which is coming in at £130 initial outlay and £65 a refill for a similar-ish cylinder. Based on using 4 cylinders a year for the next year which I think is conservative given the 2 rotboxes I have...

BOC Rental = (4 x 12) + (37 x 4) = £196
Hobbyweld rent free = 130 + (65 x 3) = £325

No brainer! Maybe when everything is a little less sieve like and i'm on the far side of the body resto, I will switch to the rent free.


ClioSport Club Member
  197 Cup
With repairs on outer panels, i tend to tack in, then slowly fill in between the tack's one or two tack's at a time spreading it across the the whole repair to try and keep heat and distortion to a minimum. Flap discs in a 4 1/2" grinder can clean up the welds nicely too.

Also if possible put a join near a swage, about 10mm or less, the sewage tends to keep it's shape better than a flat panel. Just sometimes means cutting out more can make a nicer repair.

Decent gas will be a big help too!
My aim is for it not look like it's been done at all.



ClioSport Club Member
  197 Cup
No problem Dave, you can't be too far from me as I'm only about 1/2 hour from cadbury's.
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
No problem Dave, you can't be too far from me as I'm only about 1/2 hour from cadbury's.
Live in Coventry, work in Birmingham, if you wanna do Cadbury World drop me a line I can get a decent discount.

EDIT: If you fancy dropping in for an in-person welding tip session the kettle will be on and i'll make sure there's some goodies in stock from the staff shop :)
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
And i thought my r5gtt was bad, fair play alot work going into it.
It's worse that I thought it was, most people would scrap it I think.

Anyway, got busy with the welder on the subframe so it can go back for powder coating. It was harder than expected, as despite being blasted clean there was still gunk and sealer and oil and shite sandwiched between the layers of metal where I was trying to weld, it's not as neat as I wanted but is functional and I havent had to grind it back on the most part. Once its powder coated it should look fine....and if it doesnt who gives a crap it's hidden at the bottom of the car anyway lol

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I did the wishbone brackets and then odd intervals around the main seam where there wasn't any seam sealer. I think it should suffice for now. This is all I got done on the 21 this weekend as I wanna get the axle back on the 9 asap and as well as the axle itself is coming on I found some more yukky bits underneath (update on that thread in a few mins).
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I havent yammered on at length about my beloved for over a week now so i'm starting to get the shakes.

Here is the front brake upgrade from 2013-2014. I looked at a few options and although back then Hi-Spec has a bit of a negative rep proper research showed they had done a lot of work to rectify issues and up their game recently. They also did a kit for the 21, 325mm bells and rotors and 4-pots for £1200-ish, so long story short I decided to go for Hi-Spec kit. £1200 was a bit rich for me though, so more research ended up in me buying some Clio V6 front discs (330mm, 5 x 108). I had to chamfer a teeny bit out of the edge of the retaining screw holes but other than that they were a rather pleasingly easy fit.


I bought the Billet-4 calipers and yellow stuff for under £400, discs were about a onner and that left me lines and brackets to sort - if I could do that for under £700 i'd saved myself a few quid :)

I went to my mates factory (Custom Metal Solutions in Notts) - he does staircases, railings, balustrades, platforms, posts, fences mainly but tolerates me rocking up with very bizarre wants and needs for some reason. We dug out something suitably substantial and basically made the hangers on the spot from leftover steel and big nuts lol









  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I expected a couple of iterations but v1.0 was bang on and are still on the car to this day (until I took it apart anyway) after many miles of extreme abuse.




The brackets cost me 2 trips to notts (£40 in fuel) and a tenners worth of chocolate to the machine shop. I treated myself to the easy solution for the lines which were around fifty smackers from Hi-Spec. I also got the pictured 15mm hubcentric spacers in a clearance sale (also Clio V6) for a score and then went for a stud conversion too with grayston tuner nuts to fit my stupidly small wheel nut holes on the wheels (BK604 multi-fit)



I think the total cost was under £700 which is a significant saving over a retail kit so was well happy with that, and performance with the setup is absolutely great. Once the yellows get hot the pedal tightens up and they will haul the car to a halt in an astonishingly abrupt manner. I get no fade on track, even in the thin air of the Alps 2.5km up, chasing a Noble M12 down the Nuffenen Pass there was never a moment when I had any concerns on stopping.


I'll be lobbing the front brakes back on as-is when i rebuild it.
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I didnt have so much time spare this weekend but aware of the lack of progress on the 21 I spent a couple of hours finishing stripping the other 2 doors down to bare metal. Every single little plug, bung, screw insert and clip removed and bagged up. I guess most of it won't go back in the end but best keep hold for now. I also took the passenger seat out, removed the Adaptronic bracket and battery tray in the back, and found some more rust hiding under the passenger door seal.

It's not far off being a completely bare shell now, pretty much only the dash and dash loom, heater box and windscreen left to come out. I'm still hunting for some sill panels, and in fact I know of three different sets out there (2 genuine, one repro) but none of the owners of them will sell - and I mean I have offered a LOT of money for them (£600 for the genuine ones!).

There MUST be a set out there for me somewhere. I refuse to believe there isn't some, gathering dust somewhere, waiting for me to arrive with a fistful of cash and a stupid grin.

If anyone finds me a pair of R21 saloon sills (7701463749 & 7701463750 or equiv) i'll give you tickets to Cadbury World for a family of 4. (note that i've already spoken to the turkish guy @ and he's checking stock :) )