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Phase 1 Renault 9 Turbo


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Well. I went to build the engine this weekend and it didn't go well.

I gave the block a good cleaning out, then looked to prep the crank to go back in. It didn't need a grind, so I got out the new bearings and checked clearences. The mains put the brakes on at the first hurdle though, as the STD bearings I bought and stashed some ten years ago were actually +.25 - so useless. Looked at the big ends and they were also +.25 too, god damn it. That put a stop to the crank going in straight away.

I thought i'd get ahead on the pistons and rods so I heated the old pistons/rods in front of the space heater then heated the rod further with a oxy-butane torch, pressed the pin out of the first piston and though I got the pin out it broke the piston skirt. Bit pissed as they were in good nick, but OK....I have new ones anyway. Repositioned the press support and did the second one, again a broken piston :( it seems they are in no way strong enough to take the sideways force when pressing the rods out on the skirts. I then plasma cut some holes in an old liner and used that as a piston support and got the other 2 pins out without breaking the pistons. Put that down to experience I guess.

Took my new Pistons/Rings/Liners out the box - bought these a while back and stashed them away. I find this staring at me. Brand new, never fitted or used. Pins are a sliding fit in the piston so how this happened I have no idea. FFS - piston is scrap.


So now i'm down to 2 original and 3 new pistons. I should have quit here....but I didn't.

So I heat the first rod back up, drop the oiled gudgeon pin in the piston, insert rod and press it - for some reason the gudgeon pin went through the rod fine but picked up on the far side of the piston....HOW?!



The pin is now stiff in the piston, so thats now also goosed. I'd had it at this point and rage quit. Absolute waste of time.


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I really wanted to get the engine built over the break..but...sigh.

I resolved the piston issue, had my local machine shop fit them... 2 new 2 old pistons with the all new rings.

I ordered new mains & big ends off the web, the big ends arrived but the mains didnt and were due, according to eBay, at the end of Jan! I went to a local engine place and ordered some instead. They came next day...great...except when I went to fit it all i'd orderded big ends not mains! What the f....
I went back and asked them to exchange them for mains, which they did (£20 more though!). Went back next day, the last working day there before xmas and they hadn't arrived. FFS! They said they would try and get them couriered direct from the DC. Amazingly, next day, they arrived! YAY. I now had mains & big ends.....

.....BUT in one final blow, the big ends I did have when fitted locked up the engine. This was confusing, until closer inspection revealed they were +0.25 oversize again!! For f***s SAKE. Not only now did I have two sets of oversize big ends, but the std set I need were in my hand last week and I returned them! So annoying. In the end I had to settle for doing as much clean up as I could and then fitted the crank and liners in. I will be ordering the

Anyone need any oversize C1J bearings? I have plenty of the blasted things!




The piston odd mix lol


The offending big ends



Had to remove the oil pump grille, cleaned the holes out


Much better


Stripped and cleaned the rocker shaft


Ready to lay the crank




ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I've decided to take a sabbatical from the 21 for a bit while I wait for some things to happen, so I put it in the corner and dragged the 9 to the work area to go on the rotisserie



I emptied out all the spares I had stashed inside the car so everything doesnt get tumble dried when I spin it over.


Between sorting the frame out for the 21, the huge tidyup and rearrange and selling another two cars this weekend all I got done was dropping the subframe off the 9 and mounted up the front rotisserie fitting.



ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Just had a few days off work but ended up getting tangled up in non-Renault-9 things until late Friday, overall for a 1986 car (35 years old) it's not bloody bad you know. Far better than the 21.


...but not completely rot free :D


I decided to drop off the rear shocks and investigate the poorly looking bit on the NSR wheel arch, checked the new shocks I have look OK - hopefully they are fine for use as they have been stored for probably 15, 16 years!


Buzzed it with a wire wheel


Choppy choppy, weldy weldy. Still debating whether the top bit where the shock goes is OK to leave with treat/paint or if I need to reinforce it. It was pretty crusty.



ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I managed to bag a pair of new sills not long back, so I just went all in on Saturday. Feck it. Didn't look THAT rusty but the jack point was bad and it's damaged at the back (been like that since I bought it in 2002!)


All in for the win.





Got stuck into the inner sill




Then attacked the jacking point section - yuk.



Deeper in looked OK, it's just the actual jack point that was goosed



ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Sunday I was supposed to be going somewhere to do something but it was cancelled last minute, so I dived straight back in the garage hoping to get the outer sill back on. I painted the inner with Bonda...


While that was drying I stripped out the remainder of the fuel pump and lines, the pressure reg and the trip computer fuel flow thing, all being replaced with the stuff for the EFI conversion anyway. I also removed all the front struts, brake lines, the brake master, remote brake reservoir, the choke cable, and the headlight adjuster cables (never worked anyway!). I put the front calipers aside to go for a refurb. And yes, the bleed nipples freed up ok :)



ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
By this time the primer was dry so I started refitting the outer sill panel. It's a non-OE one so not perfect, but better than making something from scratch! Punched some spot holes.


Cleaned up the welding surfaces and away we went (after about an hour of messing and adjusting and trying to get it in a good position)





I was happy to spot the door openings, and seamed the pillars/ends. I also seamed the back edge to the floor, which was a great bit of welding even if I do say so myself!




And there we have it. Sill back on :) Got a bit of floor to replace inside, and the reinforced part of the jack point to make next time.


16V F7R

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 16V
It is great to see you saving a 9 and the 21. Great work you are doing and welding skills all self taught and doing a cracking job 👏


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Finished patching the floor and made the jacking point reinforcement & welded it on, on BH Friday, then attached the OS sill.




Should last a few years that!


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
And BH Monday I did half a day on the OS sill and started cleaning up/patching the rotted out shite


Evidence of an old get-it-past-the-mot-repair by yours truly, from well over 15 years ago


This side is worse at the front




f**king OW, knotted grinder wheels are savage!



ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Working on the inner sill and floor






Floor is super duper thin so was difficult to weld but it's in now and strong, once I slap paint on this side and Gravitex on the other nobody, including me, will give a s**t :)


Not far off refitting the full sill - should be on that this weekend :p


ClioSport Club Member
I'm going to glue some sand to it for the sputter effect :D :D

I built the garage myself - 17 page, 3 year build thread here!

Yes good man - then badly spray some zinc primer over the sandy bits without degreasing anything first - that should get you the best result i'd say 😅

Thank you for the link to the garage build, I'm working up the courage to start on a garden workshop so your thread will be read with a lot of interest!


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
As promised, managed to get both sills and jack points rebuilt, put some seam sealer on the joints and left to dry.

OSF jack point - did this in less pieces than the other side this time.






Sill prep


And fitted - this one was a lot harder, the fit wasn't anywhere near as good tbh, took quite a bit of messing about to get it anywhere near! You can see the misaligned lip at the bottom of the front door aperture.





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ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Slapped some seam sealer on, will smooth this off before I paint it. I think it had started to go off a bit in the tube, as it was a half used one. No skirts on the Phase 1 so below the ridge line of the sill is just black underseal, Silver paint above. The join of the paint/sealer is covered by a chrome sill trim. These actually rot less being open to atmosphere...less trapped moisture.



While this was drying I did three patches on the top of the OSF inner wing, where the wing bolts on. Didnt take any pictures but they were flat patches, quick and easy. Then I turned to the OSF wheel arch, has some old repairs in here that still seemed OK, but then I looked at the chassis rail in front of the wheel arch...oh dear me :( A small poke resulted in the bottom of the chassis rail falling apart so I just went in heavy with the grinder!


This resulted in me having to take the loom out that runs through this chassis rail and also let me to this absolute horror. The brake fluid res sits on the front of the NSF turret, spilled brake fluid from its early life has run down the arch and along the chassis rail and stripped all the protection off, and... this is right under the brake master.



I started cutting out the rot but ran out of time. Note to self - 30 year old sound deadening catches fire REAL easy when its within a foot of the 'exhaust' stream of a plasma cutter lol. This is going to be a tough repair, complex shapes and awkward access.


Dreading this one if i'm honest.


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
How is the servo reinforcing plate attached, spot welds? Wonder if it would be easier to remove that for the repair?

Great work as always.
It's bolted in I think but it holds the brake and clutch pedals, not sure if thats a dash out job. Further investigation required.


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
After a VERY exhausting week off, working on a number of different things, included in there was a bit of work on the 9 :)

New water pump arrived, bit of a touch from autodoc special offers at £20 along with wishbones and bottom balljoints for about £26 as well!


Dragged my new subframe out too


Cleaned up that chassis rail box section and started repairs




Just hanging out in the garage :p


Also attacked the inner edge of the drivers jack point which was a bit frayed





ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Yesterday I got about 3 hours spare so I popped out and did some underside cleanup, wire brush on a drill to shift the caked dirt, knotted wheel for any rust spots followed by BHH80, then I went to work on the drivers side floor & sill with Gravitex - pleased!





The reconstructed jacking point I am particularly chuffed with :)

  Clio Williams 3
wow this is looking really good! You must be a dab hand at welding now with all that you have done!!??


ClioSport Club Member
  ph1 172, Arctic182
Impressive repairs once again Dave! I did a mini underside restoration on my 172, knotted wheel followed by Hydrate80, electric and then a few good coats of BH Dynax UB. That was last year but I've noticed patches where rust is coming through again this year, not very happy about it.


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
wow this is looking really good! You must be a dab hand at welding now with all that you have done!!??
I do seem to be improving, I tell you what, it's a bloody useful skill to have! I think I qualify as a passable amatuer now :)

Impressive repairs once again Dave! I did a mini underside restoration on my 172, knotted wheel followed by Hydrate80, electric and then a few good coats of BH Dynax UB. That was last year but I've noticed patches where rust is coming through again this year, not very happy about it.
Because French!

Ive just put so much paint and underseal on it that it wont matter if the metal rots away, the goop will hold the rust together LOL


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Saturday I wanted to get the majority of the welding done for the "Adey style" recomission, so I hit it full speed. I did 7 small patches on the tops of the inner wings, then found a "small" patch of surface rust on the NSF inner wing/scuttle was actually a gaping rust chasm so I set about that too. I then also tacked the hole in the bulkhead, which ended up looking rushed and i'm not too pleased about that but inside is covered by carpet and the engine side will be under a big squodge of seam sealer so....who cares :D I didnt take many pics as I wanted to keep the momentum going. Once the welding is done I need a huge garage clean so I can do some engine building stuff.




These bits on top of the inner wings are basically where the spire clips sit with the outer wing bolts thorugh. Half of them, when I pulled the spire clip off it pulled the chunk of wing with it LOL




ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
I managed to get the welding done Saturday and also the majority of the underside clean up and BHH80 done too before I knocked off about half 8, I was knackered! Sunday this meant (after cleaning the Grand Modus I am about to sell) I could get the Bonda primer on, then get ready to Gravitex the rest of the underside up to the bulkhead. I speed dried the Bonda with a heat gun (impatient) and then went for it - 2 more bottles of Gravitex, thats 5 in total on it so far!



Though I had a painters mask on, I was still trolleyed from the fumes, so to finish off I just cleaned up a couple of suspension bits and painted them, before retiring for the F1 and a chilled beverage.





This week I will mostly be thinking about what to do with the engine bay, how far to go on cleanup & paint etc. I also now have a mates 21 in for engine work so need to do that also!


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
So - engine bay - what do I do?

Clean it up, 2pk prime & paint
Clean it up, gravitex, 2pk prime & paint I laquer it?

When I say clean it up, obv I need to remove loose paint and rust but what sore of prep do I need to do for the primer?

I've only ever sprayed my (new) roll cage in the 21 successfully really which was bare metal and was just wiped down with thinners. Can anyone advise on what to do with this engine bay?


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Gearbox is back, completely rebuilt, new bearings and seals, vapour blasted etc. Hefty price tag though, £450 :eek:

Decided to reassemble the engine now the bearing shell shenanigans you may recall from xmas were resolved. Or so I thought. I fitted the pistons/rods and did up the big ends, remember std, unground crank and bearings, and when I torqued the caps it locked up the bottom end AGAIN. Bit of experimentation led me to one cylinder, with the other three torqued up it turned lovely and smooth.

I take that piston out and check that the bearings are fitted right, that the locating tabs are on the same side as the other cylinders and that the tabs are facing each other in the cap/rod. They are.


Retorque it down, its binding again.

Take it out, and the one next to it, swap them over in the cylinders and the fault follows the rod/piston. Take them both back out and measure the ID of the bearing in the assembly, both identical to the 0.1mm. I've had them in and out a few times by this time even trying the cap the other way around (didnt work) and it's hugely frustrating. What I did notice though is this: The problem cap seems to orient differently


This suggests the cap is on backwards, but all the bearing tabs are on the right side for both the rod and cap as you look at the pic on all cylinders - I am 100% sure of this. The three good cylinders are all the same way up, the problem one is the other way around. The rods are the original rods from this engine. I havent changed caps between rods, unless thats happened while at the machine shop - I don't know.


I am most confused by this. I was starting to lose my rag and then while I was torquing the cap up for the - I dunno - fifth or sixth time (only 50nm) this happened which properly fucked me over so I sacked it off in a mardy.


It seems like the fix is obvious, orient the cap the other way like the others, but then the bearing tabs are on opposite sides which is wrong (and it locks it up anyway).

I have new studs on the way, but I genuinely don't get whats happened here, and I have wasted another few hours twatting about with this damn thing. Wish i'd just bought a whole, running replacement engine now.
  Clio Williams 3
god sounds like you're having a complete nightmare! I'm afraid I cant offer any help only lots of sympathy. Have a cup of tea and some biscuits and come back to it much later - always works for me!!??


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
god sounds like you're having a complete nightmare!
Indeed. The fact i've bothered to buy all new kit makes it even more frustrating. I've got new studs on the way, all I can think to try now is swap the shells for the old ones, if it turns smooth after that then it must be the new bearings out of spec!


ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Got some replacement studs and swapped in a pair of old big end shells. Still the same issue. WTF.

Took it back out again, took the shells out, gave the cap and rod a super hard clean/polish with a dremel and fine wet & dry, fitted the new shells again and reassembled. This time I can turn it but it's definitley stiffer with that one cap torqued up than it is with it finger tight. Ive left it bolted up while I decide whether to just leave it or whether I take it apart...again.

How can the big end rod/cap be tight when this is the same rod/cap that came out of the engine?

I also established that 100% definite the locators for the bearings are machined in the other way on this one cap when compared to the others, and the casting prints.

Have you confirmed that this cap is reversed by design in all of these engines?

Have you plastigauged the clearances to confirm this bearing is tighter than the others?

You've checked some old shells which eliminates a faulty new shell I guess. Positive the cap is the original one?

If the crank is stiffer to turn over with this rod connected, compared to all the others and the mains then it's got to be either a clearance issue in the rod bearing, or a sticky small end, or excessive drag on the piston as those are the only contact points? I assume the small end felt fine on installation? Ring gap is okay? In which case I'd be trying to measure and prove the lack of clearance in the big end bearing. At least that way you'll be sure of where the problem is.

As to how the same rod/bearing/journal could be fine on disassembly and tight now, no clue. That said, you likely never checked it on disassembly....
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ClioSport Club Member
  21T, 9T, Meglio, V6
Have you confirmed that this cap is reversed by design in all of these engines?
It's not, they are usually all the same way around. Thats why it seems odd to me.

Have you plastigauged the clearances to confirm this bearing is tighter than the others?
No, I was measuring with a micrometer

You've checked some old shells which eliminates a faulty new shell I guess. Positive the cap is the original one?
Absolutely 100% it's the original part
or a sticky small end
Small end is fine, checked that.
excessive drag on the pisto
Checked that too, it's normal. It's defo the big end as it turns fine when the big end is finger tight and only goes stiff when I torque it.
That said, you likely never checked it on disassembly....
It was a running engine when I stripped it, and I set it to TDC to disassemble and I f it was this stiff i'm sure I would have noticed it.

Thanks for the input though. It HAS to be something to do with the rod/cap. I guess i'll have to pull it out again and take it to a machine shop to check the big end for roundness in case it was bent, damaged or something when the pistons were fitted.
  172 Cup
It's not that the little end has been installed 180deg out is it? Been a long time since I've built an engine, but could you try rotating the piston 180deg in the cylinder so that the big end cap is aligned the same as all the other 4?