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The Dark Knight.... Progress Thread


OK. Here goes.

The megane, its ermmm fixed but not fixed. About 2 months before LeMans I started to sort her out. Tidy xenons, cut a bigger inlet in air box, refit dust seals on brakes and cover all interior holes with metal tape. My son knows more than me about cars so I left it to him...


photo by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

I bought BigAshs Sabelt Taurus seat off him recently and managed to source some Team Pyro RenaultSport Clio Cup Racer mounts for dirt cheap. The 225 has the same floor plan as the 197 so they are a straight bolt in job (obviously with mild tinkering as is always the case with Renaults.) My mate Alex C got me some eyelets and bolts from his touring car workshop, thanks again for that, and helped me get the seat fitted in properly.

Snug, low but my days its good. Really puts you in the car now and you feel the car moving about on the road, I love it, granted I used a pillow in it for LeMans but nobody needs to know about that. This is how it looked during fitting.


photo 4 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 1 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 2 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 1 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

Feedback on it has been great and yeas the passenger seat is staying OEM as my nan comes shopping in it with me!

The O/S hub was totally mashed so I decided to get it taxed MOT'd and down to BTM. Whilst it was there Fred replaced the gearbox oil (which was like treacle), sorted the CV boot, changed the oil, fitted the Milltek decat and sorted the hub bearing out. Unfortunately we didn't have time to fix my N/S CV boot and check the hub and on return from France its really deteriorated, more below. It was mainly due to time, the bolts on the cat took HOURS to get off, they were a right bugger, gotta be fair to fred he kept smiling and we got it all on.


photo 4 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 3 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 2 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 5 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

Car felt alot smoother on the way back up north, the gear change was better but not much noticeably better. The decat though, my lord. During startup, when cold its marginally louder but not so much you think 'god thats had a decat put on'. Its when you're at speed and you can hear the turbo spinning along with the boost being dumped and/or used it truly becomes addictive. The midrange is alot stronger since fitted, talking 5/7bhp off the top of my head but theres definitely greater pull, its thrown the engine management light up once but a single flash with the scangauge and it hasn't come back since. It'll need mapping asap as a friend blew his car up with a decat and no fettled map and I dont want that. Pops and bangs on overrun are naughty but no way in your face. So its all good.

With a few days to go before Lemans I got some Contis 5s on the front and had my split track rod end replaced.


photo 3 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 2 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

It was then time to set off for lemans. We met Danny and Gaz and along with my mate sy in his R26 we set off from Mcr on the tues night at midnight.

The cruse down was nice, the car wasn't heavy on fuel and bar a minimal pull to the left felt utterly fantastic. We got to the others at about half four in the morning and I decided to sticker the car up in the carpark of their hotel, as you do. We'd done an allnighter and were 7 miles from Dover so sleep seemed pointless. We left for Dover at 9 and pulling onto the M20 I decided to give Gav in his diesel Megane RS chase. Closing on him up the slip road I braked and there was an almighty wobble. Its like nothing I've felt before in a car and it scared the s**t out of me, the car started to instantly wander across lanes. My brother told me to stop but being so close to Dover i decided to nurse it, applying the brake the car kept violently juddering so I'm thinking the calliper has seized.

My heart honestly sank as for once I had tried to make the car run well and be in top form and yet again she'd developed an issue. We kept going and crawled into the ferry port, I passed through passport control and then slowly through the check in booth, I turned left and lost steering. I was hoping I'd make it to the holding lanes and get under the car but we fell short. My brother jumped out saw one wheel pointing left and one right and noticed the drop link had fallen out, yeh, THE DROPLINK HAD FALLEN OUT!!!


photo by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

I was literally lost for words and started to get really annoyed as we dragged the car into an area away from everyone else. I started to think about it failing at speed and how I'd have had no control but as someone said 'someones watching over you'...

What happened next really made me realise how lucky I am to have the friends I have. James (Bigash), his mate Dom, Danny and Gaz, Riad, Bloor, Rich and Sy between themselves instantly got the car jacked up and the wheel off. Fearing the worst we could see that the nut had sheared on the thread and that due to it being a fine thread a spare nut wouldn't cut it. Bear in mind it was 10am when this happened and the ferry was leaving at 11.10am.... I resigned myself to not taking the car at this point but and old chap then turned up, Bob from P&O maintenance. He basically says theres a ECP/GSF in Dover so he'll have a run over there and see if they have a drop link, we ring and they do... Off he trots and we're sat there. We checked the hub and drop link for damage and this point and it was all ok. I was still full of adrenaline at this point due to what had happened and went to the ticket office to book a later ferry and calm my little self down. He arrived back at 10.45...


photo 2 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 3 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

We used the bolt off the TRE and tightened it back on (holding the bottom of it too so it didn't spin as I think thats what caused the issue in the first place) and dropped the car, due to Bob from P&O's ancient jack catching the side skirt as we dropped it in a flurry of excitement we clean snapped the front of the side skirt off, FCUKS SAKE. But the car was working so I taped it back on we started the car and I kid you not drove into the loading bay as we were called forward to embark, we then got shouted at for stopping for a celebratory pic!


photo 4 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

Arrived at Calais and were first off, we got south of Calais and the car seemed fine, pulled into a service station and waited for the gang. It was HOT and I gotta be honest the meg absolutely sang her way to LeMans. The roads on weds are a little more quieter and it was the best journey down I've had in all the years I've been. I noticed now that the gear changes were really smooth as the new oils were in and doing their job perfectly.


photo 3 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 5 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

Got the the campsite, unpacked and left her till the thursday morning. Go to start her on the Thursday morning and she won't spark, the car was cranking perfectly but no spark. To give Gaz and Rich their dues they instantly said my Crank sensor had gone, we fettled around for a while, gaz pissed about with the fuel lines to check and fitted one out of an R26 to test. The car fired. So off to Renault in LeMans. Their main LM showroom made any Renault showroom in the UK look a joke, the models on display stood at about 15 I'd say, they were really friendly and offered in a new 'Capture' (Crank Sensor) from Dieppe for the next morning for €28! (They even gave us discount and wanted a look around Rich's 225 Cup!) To be honest, bar the good service from Adam@Wolverhampton any UK dealer I've used could really do with pulling their socks up after dealing with the so called miserable french....

I drank far too much alcohol that night and we picked the part up on friday morning, I was sick and went back to sleep and woke to the news that fred had arrived and fitted the part, probably with one hand, drinking a beer.

And thats that really, we went out and did mad friday, did a few burnouts as you do and enjoyed the epic race, blagging Alpine hospitality helped too.


photo 2 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr


photo 1 by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

Left everyone for a while on Sunday evening and drove the circuit a few times with Riad, we met one of Riads clients, Driver Oliver Webb, in the McDonalds there. He had just got a podium in the 24hr race and yet was happy to poke around the car and pose for some pics with it, true to form Riads iPhone froze and we have no bloody evidence of this. Only these bad boys...

10446093_595199140577788_7273348820206497561_o by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

10448768_10154296139655422_7259792796570102059_n by NaithanAriane, on Flickr

On the way back on the Monday morning the N/S part of the car with its shot bearing started to creak and clunk and isn't 100%, but the car like on its way down flew on the motorway and made short the journey to Calais. I've not had a chance to get the car on a ramp since I've been back but it needs CV and hub refurb so thats on the agenda for the next few weeks. When we got to Dover we got onto the M20 ready for the blast back up north and finished off the old "Bad luck comes in threes" as a massive stone cracked the windscreen from top to bottom. I didn't even react at the time as I was so worn out and wired from it all.

And thats that, I've promised myself she won't sit there anymore and during the next few months I'm going to keep refreshing bits. Ive already refitted alot of interior bits I ripped out and bought new bumper pins and bungs as they do perish over time.

So she's still needing the exhaust remounting (not touching DANMAR again), the front windscreen replacing and the N/S hub and CV boot repairing. I've got some buttons for my OMP wheel so I can retain cruise and will fit that next week. I'll sort all the other bits over the next month or so along with the single mass flywheel thats on its way and a prototype diff from the USA, they will however go on when they go on as I need to wait on the limited slip diff.

Never a dull day with her.
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ClioSport Club Member
Awesome update as always Naith!

As you've said, never a dull day with TDK.

If in doubt, crank sensor..

Thanks to Warren for letting .GAZ. and myself get underneath his Megane to remove his crank sensor to test on yours! :rasp:

It looked awesome in Le Mans mate. That bucket is absolutely epic as well! (Without the pillow ;)).
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Formerly Mashed up egg in a cup
ClioSport Club Member
You're my hero Naith, what brilliant guys the community has also! Fred would give his bollock to help out also. Brilliant.

Can't believe the luck you have sometimes though, I still remember last years drama! <3 teh Ariane!
I heard Luca as amassed more automotive knowledge in the last few months than his dad has over a lifetime?

Love TDK and your inability to let it go, regardless of the issues she throws at you.

Hope you're well pal.
Nope. I want to change that though. I don't live with the car at the mo as my circumstances aren't ideal but I'm an idiot that can't let go.

She'll be in a garage next to me one say mark my words!
  RS6+ & 40d MSport X5
Right.. I diagnosed and fixed your car myself with my tools. Nickson helped a tiny bit :p

You owe me a torch ;)

(I jest! Great teamwork!)


ClioSport Club Member
There is just something about this car, it's just amazing. The camaraderie to get it back up and running was nothing short of a miracle, looks like you had a great trip!
Just realised, I haven't posted in nearly a year... So hi.

Well, I still got the Meg. And it's hard to believe I'm saying this but she's better than ever. I can't think of all the stuff I've been up to with her so I'll just leave a little update.

I have a daily runner so I've been spending my weekends pulling bits out and generally playing about with her. I started doing it before lemans this year and it is like therapy for me. Generally speaking a lot of bits have been replaced over the year. Boring stuff like screws, plastics and mounts but it's stuff I've needed to do for years and decided I ain't having a laughing stock of a car anymore! [emoji5]️


So yeh I'll update from earlier this year.

In May I got some Powerflex mounts fitted, they really smoothed out the idle, and stopped the shudder on idle, easy to fit and a worthwhile upgrade, around this time I noticed the flywheel was knocking and shuddering. So I ordered a TTV single Mass flywheel, (I still haven't fitted it but it'll be going in at the end of September with an R26R spec clutch and the rear Powerflex bushes at a pals garage).

I purchased some 630cc injectors and took the car up to Paul@RST to have them fitted and the car mapped. Got some positives from it and negatives.

Basically the power is now being limited by the exhaust, the exhaust has always been an important bit of the car for me... People always ask why it sounds like it does and I've never really told... It's down to pipe restriction, 2.75" down to 2" roughly. It in effect it strangles the airflow but this causes the car to not flow as cleanly as it could. I obviously want more power so I'm going to have to sacrifice a lot of the sound.

What I plan to do however is open the exhaust from the decat to rear box to 3" and still have restriction post back box (to 2.75/2.50"). So it'll just be a larger and more free flowing setup compared to what I have now, I just need to find somebody reputable and affordable to assist.

Ideally I want the R26R titanium setup but hey ho.

It's something I want to sort for the next year along with a Mk3 Megane turbo setup.



Had a few spare days so took her to Fred for gearbox mount to be fitted and CV boot fixed..



He found the above sat bolted into a void so we took it out, I think it's for balance or resonance but none of the later megs have it so it was promptly gotten rid of. Weighed a fair whack too.

Replaced broken windscreen, ready for LeMans...


LeMans 2015.

Always been abit of a running joke that my car is crap, that's mostly true, I've tried to sort that over the years and now we are getting somewhere... Sort of.

Run to LM this year was just myself and my mate Matt in the car, we convoyed with another Meg down as our party went a day earlier and I had work commitments. I spent the night before doing my vinyls like every year and we set off on the weds, @ForceIndia kindly put us up in Windsor and we said we'd get an early night, which turned into us watching Tron at 3am drinking flavoured Vodka. Waking to the alarm of him living under the Heathrow final approach flight path we trudged off onto the M25 dreary eyed. It's an awesome sight heading off to LM, the further south you get you see more people doing exactly the same as you. We latched on a classic Rolls Royce and a Lotus Espirit and headed for Dover.

After a traditional Makkys at Ashford we met MisterC in his Meg, joked that the Meg hadn't blown up and continued down the M20 to Dover, to which we then got stuck in Operation Stack... We were late for the ferry but they laughed at the vinyls and let us on (tickets weren't flexi)... The car had done 1/4 of the total journey faultless. In fact she felt better than ever before.




The run down from Calais was lovely, the scangauge which I have showed everything to be ok and the recent relocation of my CAF gave about 3/4 degrees lower inlet temps... There was police all over on the way down so I took it relatively easy, people were getting pulled here, there and everywhere. About four miles out of Lemans at the last toll booth there was a 30 minute queue, me and my passenger actually laughed at how dark the clouds were forming around us, I need my aircon regassing so I had the window down a lot of the way just to cool myself down, as the storm approached and rain started to fall I went to put my window up and my window jammed down....

The next 30 minutes consisted of my passenger holding the wheel as we crawled along, me managing the pedals whilst holding a coat against the door. Needless to say I was fuming, couldn't even laugh, car was piss wet through.

We got to the camp site, parked up and I decided to get pissed. As I got more and more drunk I decided to pull my door cards off and swap the mechanisms so I could at least close the window, @Nickson helped me and we eventually got it all done. For some reason once we'd swapped the regulators they both decided to work and have done since.

That night another storm flooded everywhere, it was that intense lightning was hitting the ground all around the site, in a drunkern haze I looked out of tent to see the gazebo I'd bought to cover my car had flipped and perfectly landed on my tent above me about 5 metres away, I found the next morning that it had put a mark up the side of the car as it blew from above the car but I hasn't cut the laquer so hoping I can machine it out...


Rest of the trip was as amazing as ever, car worked perfectly, we did our usual mad Friday antics and had an absolute ball as always.




(I filmed this with a selfie stick!)



It would take me hours to write up about the whole trip but let's just say I couldn't have enjoyed the car and the journey more. The same two car convoy we went down in we did on the way back Monday morning, we left at 5.20am and arrived into Calais at 9.30am... That's with two stops one for fuel the other for a coffee. Highlight was belting along with a French Huracan, French chap on his way wearing a pink cravat!

The fuel stop on the way back was for my friends Megane. My car for some reason be it mapping, lack of weight or my amazing skills drank considerably less than my mates Meg, I had a passenger too so the weight thing doesn't matter. What's weird is his MPG readings are miles better than mine but I did the whole trip on 3.5 tanks, that's including some rather brisk travelling and general hooning in and around LM. Odd...

Alas see you in 2016 Le Sarthe..

The first weekend of August I was asked to help out at a SuperCarDriver event, my brother is their official photographer and I'm really lucky in that I get to tag along to all their events. This was to be the most special to date, titled Diamond9.

I'm a MASSIVE plane geek and this event was to be at RAF Scampton with the Red Arrows for the day! Some very special cars were going to attend and the track based at the base would be open for the afternoon after the tour! The guys at SCD said I should bring the Meg alone, I thought they were taking the piss but no they wanted me to bring it along to use as a tracking car for shots of the supercars and so I could give her a run out for the day [emoji23]

I fitted some new Pilot Sport 5s, set the suspension up, did the tracking and travelled over to Lincoln via the Snakes Pass. On the day I felt a little embarrassed having the car there but everyone bar two guys that walked past without realising I was lay sunbathing next to the car and remarked "What's a f**king Megane doing here" was cool. A guy with a 918 said he wanted to buy one and have it as a track car after seeing it. I was probably overdriving a little bit but the track Marshals said I was properly lit every time I went past them.

A few of the Red Arrow lads bought their cars too... a GP Works on slicks, a 182, a TypeR, M3 E92 so it was really good to see some hot hatches running alongside exotica. The day was absolutely amazing for me, level with the birth of my lad [emoji6]... All the guys from the RAF were petrolheads too so there was a brilliant mutual respect for people with supercars and people that live their days in and around the Red Arrows. I took a flight mechanic out on a lap and he was laughing his head off "sounds like one of ours, not as quick mind but what a ball" I'll take that!

It wasn't a competition out there but there was a lot of peddlers, I thought I'd get ripped to pieces but the cornering speed and grip of the Meg was phenomenal, enjoyed putting a few 911s, Cayman S's and Astons to bed and wasn't passed during the staggered afternoon runs so again, happy with that!

Needless to say I didn't go out when the Veyron and FXX were out!









Bar the odd run out over the Moors and days round town that's it really...

I'm waiting on fitting my OMP wheel but just waiting on the kit to arrive that is available on CS to retain CC, as soon as it's done the wheel goes on. I've also acquired some 2015 Clio Cup racer pads and I should have the thicker ARB off one to go on within the next few weeks.

I ordered some R26R fog light blanks this weekend and I'll be refreshing the brake fluid next weekend to Castrol SRF that a friend from 888 managed to get me. I wanna do Donington or Blyton before the end of year too.


Excuse the rambling, those that know me know write as I think.


ClioSport Club Member
Lol at "What's a f**king Megane doing here". Snobs.

Looks like a great day, I follow Riad and SCD on Instagram, looked like another great turnout!
I know, tbh when they sawe they were proper embarrassed. I know it's not a special car but it is mine and I've put a lot of time and effort into it so I was abit miffed. Hey ho.

Riad is killing it ain't he, he's worked for it though, that reminds me I need to ask him to do me some pics [emoji28]
Will do mate. I'd literally explode if they were out together. I'll hopefully be on a SCD day too soon so you can be my plus one [emoji6]
Fitted the OMP today, quite easy really, even for me.

Started by taking off the old wheel and all its gubbins. I'm going to retain the cruise control so was careful to not rip any wires, you'd have to be an idiot to do any damage but this is me we're talking about.

Turned wheel 180 degrees, Left battery disconnected for ten mins, I undid two screws and pushed a screw driver in behind the wheel which in effect pops the airbag unit off.



I always have the fear that the airbag will go off even with no power so I took my time and eventually disconnected everything.

No idea what this is, take it it's an earth?


I also removed the steering wheel volume control but only realised upon closing it all up there's a massive gap.

Fitted the boss...


So it's on, not put the airbag resistors in, connected the horn or the cruise control but I'm happy with it all.

I need to get the CC button set from Josh G off here and work out what to do with that sodding hole.

I've not updated this in absolute yonks and a few people have been messaging me asking if I still even own the car. Well I do and she's still fighting fit.

I've tried to update twice now and the tapatalk app has crashed so I'm going to do it now and if it fails well you won't be reading this.

So... Over the winter I drove the car about a little bit, but spent most of the time to just get together parts, be them modified or OEM. Spent a fair bit of time pulling more weight from the car, I also put the battery back in its OEM position with all the associated gubbins.


I've bought some tools to cut the metal brackets down though so the weight of the battery tray and housing I can really pull down, all OEM in the battery setup now though.

Fast forward to May and I got her over to Mark Blacks. Whilst there Mark lived up to his absolutely sterling reputation and worked his magic. I had all the bushes Powerflex'd, new steering rack bush, hub refurb on both sides, new SMF, .R Clutch/CSC, service and all faults cleared.




Apparently the DMF had a week or so left in it, white burns on it and could have been nasty if it failed.


Ended up with a little mishap whereby the clutch ordered was the wrong one, my guy at ECP made the mistake but its no biggy, these things happen.







I left it with him for the week to do other bits and picked it up ready for Lemans.


Did LeMans, she was perfect, trip was epic, well bar the fact I didn't have the time to put the interior back in, about an hour before we set off the OMP boss started clicking and I had to temporarily put the OEM wheel back on. This is her at Dover. Dont ask.



Trip down, faultless, bar the fact we encountered some of the worst weather Ive seen. Had to stop on the motorway at one point as visibility was zero, saw a few write offs too, proper bad stuff. Unfortunately one of my headlights steamed up due to this and a xenon started flickering. But I have a spare one that I'm going to whack on, thats the only fault from the trip!

Managed to get on the circuit on my own on the sunday night, noticed a gap at Tetre Rouge and drove the circuit, there was just pissed up french guys trackside cheering me on, stopped and managed to nab this shot... how good!


Nearly lost it in the torrential rain outside Rouen on the way back home but I'm 99% it was spilt Diesel as the car just snapped from the rear, luckily it was a junction onto the autoroute and I was going about 30mph.

Noticed on the trip that the Passenger side topmount was squeaking and the pass driveshaft clicking, I'll get them sorted the next few weeks and then mechanically she's absolutely perfect. I know, its a first.

I got invited to a 'Supercar Days' trackday at Anglesey Trac Mon during mid July.

AMAZING run down with a new R8, few GT4s, Huracan, GT3 and a Corvette. And theres me and my brother in a 12 year old Megane on its arse trying to keep up haha! Gotta be honest bar when you go a few mph beyond triple figures and aero kicks in the Meg really held its own.




Did a few laps in the morning, made some setup changes out for a few more laps, the track was boiling during the day and it started to rip the tread block from my Michelins and after an off I decided to call it a day, lick my wounds and enjoy watching the others go round.

Above anything it showed me that I can set up my car to a level I like with pressures and damping better than I used to be able to, I am going to invest in some track specced road legal tyres. The Nankang AR1s are in pole position but I am doing work with Michelin and the Pilot Sport Cup tyres keep whispering in my ear! We'll see.


Great play with a Caterham, Elise and I hung onto a GT4 (just about) for a few laps, epic day.