So. What’s happening with this beautiful bastard?
Well let me tell ya.
First off, after taking the pics which are in the OP and driving around for the night we noticed something was… wrong. There were smoke and heat coming from the wheel wells. The brakes were completely stuck. I thought to myself: “crapcrapcrap I bought a fucking shitheap” and briefly thought of selling it forward already.
But I didn’t. I just… repaired the brakes.
We repaired and replaced every single brake piston, 3 of them were salvageable. One of them beyond repair so we bought some spares. Some other repairs include new brake pads all around, new brake lines, a new front brake disc to replace a cracked one and the handbrake cables. I think we replaced a caliper as well.
While working on the brakes we noticed some other somewhat alarming issues. First one was that the oil sump was oily. As I’ve driven the car I’ve noticed that it only leaks oil when the engine is running but luckily it doesn’t burn oil at least when diagnosing the exhaust fumes, they’re invisible and all good. So it just might be a faulty sump gasket. The other issue is that the dumb big-ass central exhaust pipe runs right under the fuel tank and it’s damn hot, so I hope my car doesn’t turn into a Pinto 2.0. Oh and the “Renault Sport” muffler I talked about in the OP? It’s not. It looks like it’s cobbled together from scrap metal.
After the brake problem was sorted I went for a test drive and I immediately noticed another problem. The clutch was slipping. And it was slipping a lot. On 2nd gear and 1/3rd of the way down on the gas pedal and suddenly CVT MODE ENGAGED.
Yes, it said that in a robot voice when that happened. I guess it’s KITT but in a Renault form.
I drove it for a few weeks with the bad clutch, it didn’t slip as long as the engine wasn’t pushed too much.
But this is a rally car. And what do you do with rally cars?
You race them.
So I bought a new clutch. I didn’t install it myself, but there was a friendly lad who was willing to do it for me for a payment. I let him do it, he did the job well and asked for like a third of the price of an actual repair shop. The old clutch was absolutely fried both literally and figuratively, as the clutch plate had slightly burned the pressure plate. But now the new clutch is in place and working nicely.
While I’ve been driving I’ve also been battling with the driver’s seat. The backrest of the seat kept falling back if I put too much weight on it. I fixed it by replacing the hard, uncomfortable, heavy, cold and badly designed aftermarket seats with proper stock seats, which are way comfier, offer better support, are somehow lighter and have heating for the pleasure of my buttocks. They made the car quieter as well so I can drive for longer in one go. (side note: my ears were actually ringing for driving the car at 100km/h for 15 minutes with the crappy seats and my ears hardly ever ring.)
very good and cool:
What else? Hmm… Well, the paint job is in a bad shape. I think it hasn’t been waxed in years. There’s also been some repair painting done with a slightly off shade of gray which can easily be seen in certain lighting conditions. Luckily it isn’t always visible, but when it is…
Other things include the electrics (they’re faulty, what a surprise) and the driving.
Oh my god, the driving feels so good
This thing is absolutely amazing to drive, you can feel the road and the borders of the grip so well, the acceleration is damningly quick, the brakes feel direct and powerful and are able to lock all of the wheels on dry asphalt. Even the shifting feels good even though the throw of the shifter is quite long. It has the perfect balance of power and lightness. The engine is preppy, loves to rev and it seems very healthy. I heard from a buddy of mine who was driving behind me when I accelerated hard that the almost-straight pipe spits flames.
I told you this is a rally car.
A few days ago snow started falling and I got winter tires installed just in time. I think that the black steelies fit it pretty well. It’s winter car capabilities is surprisingly good, it keeps you on your toes at all times. If there’s ice under the front wheels, you can feel it immediately through the steering. Rack-and-pinion ftw It needs some kind of a heater though, it has an Eberspächer installed but surprise, it doesn’t work. Some wires could just be faulty or the whole heater is fucked and if the latter is true, I’m not repairing it. That’d cost probably around a grand and I don’t feel like doubling the car’s purchase price. I’m better off with a traditional electric heater installed to the engine block.
I think that wraps it up nicely. This old girl has many kilometers ahead of her and she’s not even near the end. She still has many sunrises left to see.
Oh and did I ever tell you how much it’s been driven?
So if someone still tells you that French cars aren’t built to last, shut them up.