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Typhoon's 197.


ClioSport Moderator
Story starts in 2014. (Owned the car just over 3 years now, only put 15k on it, and it's not been moved for the last 8 month - not much has changed).

Was deciding between this and a 1*2 and because it would have also been a daily, I opted for the 197 mainly due to it being a nice place to be over the mk2 range and I felt it would be more appropriate to turn up to work meetings in.

Looked far and wide and finally this one fitted what I was after which was fairly basic, Nimbus Silver and climate control.

Travelled to Swansea from South London and drove it back the next day. (These pictures were taken a few weeks after owning the car hence my plates being on there, roof wrap and rear tints!)




The first thing I did when I got it back to London was a full break refresh including discs, pads and ATE superblue fluid courtesy of @George@RTR_Parts ! I could tell they were knackered so once the order arrived, I popped over to @Cub. mansion and we set about doing them.





Shortly after doing the brakes, I really hated the ride height on the standard springs so replaced the springs all round for the H&R's with a 40% and 30% drop, it would benefit from spaces but this is something I've never bothered with at the minute.

Fitted them as soon as they arrived.


When I came to remove the old springs, I'd noticed the O/S front spring had collapsed completely and this is the remains..


After: (Only photo I have to hand)

Literally a few days after this I was driving along when I felt a really horrible drag and a loud grinding sound on the way back from the gym. Upon inspection it seems that the bolt holding the O/S rear brake carrier had snapped causing the caliper to spring forward and grind across the top of the disc. All I could do was cable tie it so I could get home but unfortunately this lasted all of 5 minutes before the heat melted the cable tie off!


I spoke to a Renault main dealer who said they won't sell the bolt individually and said the only way would be to buy the complete hub (!?).. so a call to Renault Wolverhampton was made and I managed to get the bolt for £7 posted!


Job jobbed, that was that issue sorted.

Next on my list was to sort out the trim and the centre console as I hated the factory silver it came on. Sanded down with wet & dry, primed with 2 coats and then sprayed in a satin black. Looked much nicer in my opinion.





My next mission was to replace the seats due to bolster wear. I have always preferred the factory seats so managed to pick up a good condition set from @welshname / @TheEvilGiraffe !

Once I had the old seats out.. it was best to clean it!

And then this is an old vs new seat comparison:


Next up was to remove the diffuser and spray that from the grey to a satin black (I have no after pics atm).

Next up was LED headlights which as we all know is a bumper off job on the MK3's unless you have hands like an 8 year old.

I just enjoyed it for what it was for about 3/4 weeks and then decided to go to a Renault main dealer for a service and was phoned up about 6 hours later to say the car was done and ready to collect so I got a lift.
As I arrived I saw the valet going moving it to a dry area (after a courtesy clean I asked them not to do).
Once I was in reception the service manager told me unfortunately the car is no longer starting and there seems to be no compression in the engine.
(I won't go in to the legalities, had my legal team on them, didn't work, they offered a free service next time.)

I rung Mike Woodford who is a good friend of mine outside the Renault scene and he popped down and noticed a pulley bolt was only finger tight causing the cambelt to slip and the engine destruct.

I drove it in that morning but it left like this:

We took it straight to Woodys workshop where we set about a top engine rebuild.
This included:
  • Supertec valves
  • Genuine cambelt kit
  • Genuine aux kit
  • Genuine headgasket set
  • Genuine headbolts
  • 5/40 Elf oil
  • Genuine oil filter
  • Type D coolant



Unfortunately, that's where the story ended for a while. It had caused me that much of a headache that I completely fell out of love with the car and it spent its next 8 months under a cover not being used (occasionally coming out to jump start my van which I was using as my daily as the starter motor had gone on it and I couldn't be bothered to replace it!)


I figured it was becoming a waste just sitting there so last month I decided to uncover it and start getting it up to scratch again.
Firstly, I took it for an MOT on which it failed.
Reason for failure: 3/4 tyres were under legal requirement, seatbelt wasn't locking, one ball joint was warn and the handbrake wasn't effective enough.

The same day I decided to get a set of 4 new tyres:

I then sorted the seatbelt mechanism with a little bit of WD40 and that was all it took
I'm still to do the lower ball joint (which is common as muck to go on these) and look in to the handbrake not being effective but upon checking the actual cables and the tension in them, I believe this is actually the rear caliper having seized up.

During my ownership I've also: replaced the other ball joint, replaced the exhaust manifold due to the flexis going which is also another common issue, new panel filters, Hekos and loads of other little bits and bobs that aren't really worth going in to.

Now for the to-do list:
  • Lower ball joint
  • New oil sump (due to a slight crack)
  • New rear caliper
  • Remove the black roof wrap as it's weathered quite horribly and re-wrap that
  • Refurbish the wheels as they're battered beyond belief.
  • New fog light holder as the plastic has snapped causing the fog light to 'sink'.

I'm in two minds on where to go with the car.

Either sell it and buy something else (but I'm not sure what) or just use it on track throughout this year which will determine how to progress with it, hope it survives and then sell it.

This is how the car is sitting at present:

The car currently gets a spontaneous injection failure which will put the car in to limp mode so I checked some fault codes through RSTuner and it led to this:

New knock sensor has been ordered to be fitted, fingers crossed that solves that issue.

While I'm here also, I went to Halfrauds to pick up a few bits and I never noticed how much larger/fatter the 197 is in comparison to the standard MK3's and the MK2's!

I've probably missed a tonne of things off but that's all for now.



ClioSport Club Member
  Mk5 Golf GTI :)
Remind me. When did we speak regarding the plate issues, way back when.

Car looks good. :)
  Seat Leon
Looking good
Keep it imo as you've spent a lot on it and engine is a1.Surprised no go faster stripes bought from halfrauds though
  Mk3 197 clio sport
With me its the exhaust i payed to have new flexes in for 2 hours later the blowing to re appear still waiting to have it bk in and repaired

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk


ClioSport Moderator
With me its the exhaust i payed to have new flexes in for 2 hours later the blowing to re appear still waiting to have it bk in and repaired

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
Did you keep the same manifold and just have the flexies welded in? I just replaced the lot tbh mate, saves further headache!
  Mk3 197 clio sport
Did you keep the same manifold and just have the flexies welded in? I just replaced the lot tbh mate, saves further headache!
I wish i had ov just had a new one tbh but dicided to get new flexes as tjought it would be cheaper at the time

Wow how wrong was i lmao

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
  Monaco 172
I remember the thread about the no compression from when I first joined, what a mess.

Lovely looking car, Nimbus is the best colour for Mk3's in my opinion :up:


ClioSport Moderator
So the inevitable happened, as it always does. O/S balljoint is f*cked and as most of you are aware, Renault won't sell these separately and will only sell the full hub assembly (as these are pressed in).. but @MicKPM came to the rescue as he has on more than one occasion and managed to sort me out one.

Hopefully going in today!



ClioSport Moderator
OK, so.. after the MOT, it failed on several things which included:
Handbrake cable not being effective enough.
Rear seat belt not locking.
3 illegal tyres and 1 close to the limit.
Ball joint perished.
Play in the steering arms.

This has been a busy week for the little mite and it now has new steering arms, a new ball joint O/S, rear seats are out and all tyres replaced with the AD08R's. The handbrake not being effective enough was down to a piston in the caliper being seized.. I remember this one giving myself and @Cub. grief before so he'll be happy to know theres a brand new one on there now.

I've also had an intermittent issue of injection failure and the car going in to limp and the only codes it threw back was knock sensor and throttle pedal circuit.

The old knock sensor is now out and the new one in so that error has now cleared but the throttle pedal remains although it's only knocked me in to limp mode once and that was as soon as the knock was changed so I believe it was just that causing the issue although I will look to source another throttle pedal at some point. The car's been driven as it was designed too and not a single issue.

Next on the list will probably be wheel refurbs and a new roof wrap. Was going to attempt the roof wrap myself but @Daniel told me it was his worst nightmare so may just have to cough up the £100ish and get it done for me.






May do a brake refresh on it in the next month or so.. but just aiming to get it in one piece for CSF at the minute.