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Cleon-Fonte

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About Cleon-Fonte

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    Rank: BL Wedge

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    Royston Vasey

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    England

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  1. Good lord, I'm in awe. It's difficult to pick a favourite from that lot. Your Clio is the spitting image of my other half's current wheels. I too have had pretty reliable service from Renaults (and the Renault engine in my Volvo 340), the only major problem I've had being the shit carb on my R4. They're much tougher cars than people think, what a shame they nuked their reputation with stuff like the Laguna II 20 years ago.
  2. Fuck, that's dedication right there. Congratulations on having the car back and condolonces for the loss of the contents of your wallet.
  3. I guess after 30-odd years of heat cycles and hard use the plastic bits become brittle over time, just one of those things really. At least it was just the throttle shaft and not one of the deep internal bits of the pump, it'll be easy work for a diesel specialist.
  4. That'll be the control lever shaft seal that's leaking, it's a common problem on VE pumps. Entirely possible to fix with the pump in situ like so. Change the pump cover seal whilst you're in there, everything you need is in this kit.
  5. Here's the Green Bastard, otherwise known as J191 KBK, a TZD Turbo Hurricane. Utterly shagged on purchase, slowly being rehabilitated with regular injections of new parts and money, seems reluctant to work if it can avoid it. Fundamentally it's a good car but has been owned by idiots for a large portion of its life. At this rate it may actually be on the road again soon.
  6. That's the whole charm of a diesel BX though, the things look like props from Blade Runner then the whole illusion is shattered when you start them up and they sound like tractors. Admittedly it's worse on the N/A ones as the turbos act as great noise suppressors and above 2,000rpm they sound almost sporting, rather than rattly. I'm still not sure why people struggle with Renaults, they're tough as fuck and I've never worked on one that's been anything but straightforward. Plenty of us drive them as reliable dailies, especially in GGG country. Something like a Supercinq would be perfect minimal motoring. Drift weapon, innit. They're surprisingly entertaining on twisty roads and ride remarkably well, especially considering the rear end is suspended by leaf springs even an old Land Rover would laugh at. Admittedly the steering's a bit heavy (there must have been some extremely strong giffers about in the 80s and 90s) but otherwise they're quite good all-rounders. I still miss mine.
  7. You'd think if they were going to struggle with anything on a BX it wouldn't be a clutch. Or did they not like doing clutches generally? In fairness to M&M they weren't the worst, I presented them with a tricky problem and they said they hadn't seen a BX for years and therefore they couldn't be much help. I'm tempted to try them again at some point (now they've re-familiarised themselves with your BX) as any desire to do further serious jobs on my BX has completely evaporated over the last year or so and Manchester's Citroen specialists are seemingly all a bit strange.
  8. Plus it would be an engine out job every time a belt needed changing.
  9. I've been fairly lucky in that most garages round here outright refuse to even look at the BX, let alone put it through an MoT. When I first bought it it needed tracking and the reasons garages gave me when they refused to do it ranged from stupid to impressively elaborate. Luckily I found someone who learnt his trade fixing BX company cars 20+ years ago, although even he refuses to do another octopus. The one time I took it somewhere else for an MoT I ended up in a bizarre circular argument about the rear suspension cylinders, where they tried to argue that the LHM leaking out couldn't possibly be split gaiters and had to be the cylinders themselves, whilst I tried to encourage them to at least change the gaiters and see. Once my usual guy was back from holiday he spent a few minutes changing the gaiters then passed it as the leaks stopped. Unfortunately any garage will work on the R4, which makes it much harder to weed out the idiots.
  10. It's definitely best it was replaced, I knew it wasn't pretty but I did think the whole thing still existed and would be capable of limping on until I manage to take the body off for full restoration. I'll give the MoT tester that one... My experience with MoT garages is much the same, if the tester's not particularly understanding of old cars things can become a pain in the arse quite quickly. I went to this garage because they'd done some decent work on the other half's ancient Clio and there was a Citroen Visa on one of the ramps, which led me to think they'd be sympathetic to elderly French hatchbacks and their foibles, clearly they weren't. I'll be going back to my usual tester once everything's back together, at least his diary will be fairly empty now. An electric Renault 4 would be a perfect everyday runaround, although I would miss the constant din of the little engine thrashing and wailing away up front.
  11. 'What's happening with the R4?', you probably haven't asked yourself recently. Just in case you were clamouring for an update, here you go. Early March saw the R4 brought into the workshop for its seemingly annual MoT-mandated welding session, this time on the chassis front crossmember (or Naepoleon's Hat as it's known due to its shape). Yet again it found itself in the company of a slightly rancid Morris Minor. This rancid Morris Minor, in fact, seen in happier times when it was used to collect the R4. It was brought in for a bit of remedial work and that's where the problems started, it was soon found that what wasn't made of filler was made of rust, with a number of previous welding repairs appearing to have been carried out by Stevie Wonder on heavy skunk. I've recently been making a living preparing it for some slightly better welding and a fresh coat of paint, I can always upload some pictures and words about it if anyone cares. Back to the Renault, I may have foolishly said this about the rust in one of my previous posts: Clearly that was never going to be true and with the front bumper off those 'few small holes' quickly became this. Had Naepoleon tried using this as a hat he'd have got a very wet head, more worryingly I was relying on this to hold my engine in place and provide a semblance of structural rigidity to the front chassis legs. Unfortunately, by this point the common cold's angrier brother had reared its head, sent the world into a frenzy of hysteria and basic necessities like pasta, bog roll and freedom disappeared overnight. Worst of all it seems to have provided La Poste with an excuse to operate even more slowly than usual (proof that anything is in fact possible) and the Renault was sat waiting for the two bits of Naepoleon's Hat for what seemed like forever. Last week, however, the parts finally arrived and work could begin again. Step 1 was remove the rusty old bits. This photo gives you a flavour of how asymmetrical a Renault 4 is, it's not just the wheelbase but the entire car. Then the new rear panel and the back of the front panel were given a coat of weld-through primer. These new panels are galvanised and the metal used about twice as thick as the Renault originals, which should help them last more than five minutes. Once the two bits were welded together and a lot of cutting, filing and sanding carried out on the chassis (the R4 they used to measure up the panels was clearly very different to mine) the panel was finally put in place for welding. Welding was carried out - rather stronger welding than Renault originally employed - and with the first proper coat of paint on the front of the panel here's how things look now. Unfortunately this is now the most aesthetically pleasing bit of the car. That leaves me with a bit of seam sealing to do on the back of the panel, the final painting, then everything can go back together and hopefully this thing will finally be road legal in a week or two.
  12. Has the fuel heater down the back of the engine been blanked off yet? It's a well documented air ingress point and bypassing it shouldn't make any difference.
  13. Cheers, to be honest the work hasn't been that bad so far (thermostat aside). Certainly nothing like the battles I've had with a certain old Citroen. I can confirm mine has the same two indentations, which do indeed look like accident damage at first glance. My best guess is they're there to add extra strength to what would otherwise be a flat sheet of steel, but surely then they'd be a feature on both sides? I didn't find the rear brakes such a bad job on these - aside from the sheer number of springs - and taking off the rear hubnut is quite easy compared to anything French (where you usually need a 40mm+ socket and they're done up to ridiculous torque settings). The major problem I had with handbrake cable reassembly is that the clips on the suspension beam are knackered and the nearside cable kept popping out, easing off the tension seems to have helped a bit but new clips are probably on the horizon somewhere (joy!). If the air would bleed out of the braking system that'd be nice, though. Welcome to the 100,000 mile club, it should do the same again easily. They do shrug off abuse well. I wouldn't mind a slushbox on this, changing gear is hardly something you'd do just for the fun of it with these things anyway, sadly Vauxhall never gave people the option. At least you never have to worry about your gear linkage falling off at the worst possible time. Having serviced a neighbour's 1.4 slushbox occasionally they're definitely somewhat easier to work on than the little Fiat oil burners but I'm still quite enamoured with the latter. They add a bit of Italian flair and character to what is otherwise quite a dour, teutonic car, plus I love the way it flattens out Derbyshire hills and the fact the fuel gauge never really moves.
  14. I'm truly envious, clearly the Bini was designed by rational, sane folk rather than a bunch of pissed up Italians. If it had been that easy I'd have done it months ago.
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