Alright, we have some catching up to do.
So I mustered out of service exactly two weeks ago triumphantly, letting my center-mounted exhaust do the talking when I accelerated out of that gate for the last time. Damn, it felt good.
Anyways, that isn’t important. What happened to the car is. Let’s dial back to last summer.
I parked the car out of sight in my yard, I had no garage or shed where it’d fit so it stood there under the open sky. Not ideal, but I had to work with it. I started the engine always when I could.
In August I took the car for a drive and it worked like charm. I got this sweet picture with a friend’s RSi:
The RSi is kinda my “fault” because my friend thought my Clio was cool so he had to have one too.
In October I bought spare bumpers from a stripped-out 16V. I wanted some other spares too but they had been already sold. Apparently the car had been rallied before, the engine had been extensively modified but the guy had already sold it. The bumpers show some wear but are easier to fix than my current ones. My front bumper has a nasty crack and it’s bent due to a slight wipe-out in the winter of 2019 and the rear bumper has that annoying notch where the exhaust comes out.
The bumpers need a bit of fiberglass and paint and they’re good. Also, fog lights.
During the next months, I noted that some aspects of the car were deteriorating. One time when I started the engine, the aux belt started immediately screaming. I quickly analyzed the situation: the alternator was not turning.
I took it out and couldn’t turn it even with the help of tools, so I got a new one with a new aux belt as well.
Turns out, the fitting was much harder than taking it out. This was mainly due to the crappy belt tensioning system, which always let the belt loose every time the engine was started. However, with brute force I got it to keep the belt nice and snug.
The start of the alternator job in December. The old one’s still in place and can be seen on the left of the radiator and my now very much broken soapbox racer is on the right.
The interior was getting… moldy. I fixed it, however, with my hand. Wiped those annoying spots to oblivion. It doesn’t smell weird either, so I think it’s good.
I think we’re getting close to the present. I’m now dailying this and here’s a list of very cool flaws that came during the 9 month period:
- Rear fog light doesn’t work
- The interior fan doesn’t work
- The radiator fan doesn’t work
- The fuel pump hates life and doesn’t let the car start if the fuel level is under 1/4. Runs well even when under that, though.
- Oil level gauge now only works 33% of the time
- Oil pressure gauge drops to zero and after a few minutes jumps back to normal
- One tire drops 1 bar of pressure overnight (before it dropped that much in 2 weeks)
Other things that need to be replaced/fixed:
- Throttle cable
- Cracked driver’s seat frame
- Side window seals
- The damn exhaust
- Clutch still slipping (hasn’t fixed itself)
- Windscreen washers (doesn’t spray liquid, noise can be heard)
Things I want to do but aren’t necessarily urgent/obligatory
- Wheel restoration
- New paint (original color)
- A complete strip of the engine (checking of wear/replacing gaskets)
- Group N exhaust + headers
- Side skirts (OEM RSi)
- Rear window heater
- New wheels + tires (wheels are like shoes)
Dammit, what a list. Well, at least it runs and drives. But hey, that’s what a car’s supposed to do, everything else is just extra
I’ll try to be a bit more active on this thread. And on the forums and discord. Probably. Hopefully.
I think that’s all. I’ll see you guys around.
The latest picture of my Clio. Also seen is the RSi owner’s dad’s 306 GTi in the garage. Yes, that one’s kinda my fault too.