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Leather Clad, Plus Sized, Gallic Beauty* - Ruff's Latest Lament


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OK so what do we have?

It's a very well spec'd motor,  2.0 petrol turbo,  Auto box and an allegedly recent cambelt.

Being the Initiale model,  it has a full complete of the finest French moo, which is now almost as mucky as the day it left rhe farmyard. 


The previous owner has installed a rather fancy Alpine headunit,  which may be replaced for something a little more subtle...


Note it has climate control too, and it works! 

There are a few recent stamps missing from the book,  but the service indicator only states 'change oil soon' so I might do some detective work on that.


I did go for some bravery points on the drive home, and opened the massive sun roof,  it works nicely too.


The split boot mechanism all works, and there is an industrial strength boot liner present too!



The Snag List:-

● One of the alloys is apparently buckled badly enough to have failed the mot 'Tyre bead likely to become dislodged'


● NSF and OSR windows inoperative. 

● One of the front wheel bearings is UTTERLY UTTERLY FUCKED. No two ways about this, how the fussbudget mot tester missed that I don't know,  I genuinely thought it was going to shit itself on the way home.

● NSR tyre on the legal limit ( which isn't 1.0mm whatever the fuckwit tester said.)

●  Headlamps cloudy - they'd better polish up as they are Xenon units!

● Dash dimmer doesn't work, most annoying! 


● It may or may not need the rear discs and pads replacing. 


All in all, Im quite happy with bringing this home for a McDonald's less than a monkey.

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I bloody love these. Remember my dad bringing home one when he worked at Renault when they first came out. I do really prefer the pre-facelift styling but probably not the pre-facelift reliability (mind you, my Megane was of that era and in hindsight wasn't that bad!). Would not mind one of these as a tip run/car booting hack.

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This is the odd, thing, other than the wheel bearing so loud it had the wrinklies in the old peoples home diving under the tables, it's a genuinely nice drive.  Add to that its a fairly low mileage auto that is ULEZ compliant, it becomes almost desirable.

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Car Mechanics did two projects in a row about 10 years ago, a BMW 320d, then a Laguna 2 diesel. The BMW turned out to need half rebuilding including a lot of bodywork rust repairs. I got the impression that after putting the Laguna's electric windows right there wasn't much left to do to it. The bodywork was totally unmarked. 

They aren't as bad as is often made out. They are definitely prone to wheel bending problems like this one. Is the bearing wobbling around? Because a tiny area of pitting can often make a bearing sound like the Dambusters all taking off at once. If it is wobbling it's hard to see how it could be missed if the tester did the test properly.

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Half hour's investigation today...

This is the wheel that failed the MOT:-


I'm looking at a few options at the moment,  but I may just replace all 4 wheels if I can get a set, as there are 2 tyres needing attention too.

The rear brake that was obviously and significantly worn is *just* below the minimum depth, I've a set of discs and pads on order.


Rear axle bushes dont look terrible in spite of being advised forever:



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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't forgotten this, but sometimes work does get in the way.

The online parts supplier chucked a spanner in the works today by only sending a pair of discs, and no pads.

I've 2 new tyres waiting to be fitted and have had the damaged alloy straightened.

Also today I had a bit of a go with a Holts headlamp restoration kit,  to improve the cataracts. These are Xenon lamps so I hope I can get some sort of pattern out of it!


This evening the monticule d'oignon is doing a rather spiffy Saab impression:


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It was a complete kit by Holts and available from halfords or euro car parts, and probably other equally terrible motor factors.

Holts headlamp kit at ECP


My only criticism would be the cutting polish was a bit tame so I ended up using some AutoSmart stuff I had in the garage, G20 I think? 


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Fitted a pair of budgets to the rear wheels today,  and having read some forums, it seems I shall have to do some fucking about to swap them to the front - the TPMS valves will need recoding to the correct corners and the coloured rings swapping to the corresponding wheels.

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Ok so another update without pictures - sorry!

Last night after packing Mrs R off to work and the children off to Nanny's, I had the house to myself.  

So what does any self-respecting shiter do after having done an early shift after only 3 hours sleep?  That's right, straight out to the garage to unlesh the spanners!

I'd finally taken delivery of a set of rear discs and pads from eBay, the discs are the type with the wheel bearing in so I was expecting tatty bumhole time when it came to prices. all my local factors were £150+ for the set, which just won't do and so a set of Unipart disccs and pads were procured just £72 the set - nice!

So in the dying light of a Saturday night, I got to work on the side that failed the test.  I'd haggled the car down on the basis it would likely want a caliper but luckily it just needed the slider boots removing from the caliper and the holes cleaning out (Laser tools do an injector bore wire brush set that is brilliant for this).  With this done, I got all the shiny bits fitted and swapped all the wheels back to their new places and found that the wheel weights now clash with the front brake calipers,  cock!

Still to do is the front strut (spring stop has been flattened allowing the spring to catch on the inner wing) and one of the front wheel bearings which as previously mentioned is utterly cunted.

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Tonight I thought I'd investigate the grotty spot:


This is the passenger side rear arch,  where I think I shall be pulling out the arch liner and removing the muck behind it.

Sanded and covered in some rust treatment gel...


It says to wait 30 mins before applying more, and so i applied a couple of buckets of water to the filthy exterior:


Like many thinks in life, my French friend here looks better wet - I'm actually surprised at how smart it's come out.  I'm not looking forward to the inside though. I've seen horse boxes cleaner than it.

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So whilst letting the paint harden, I thought it'd look at the non working windows...

Firstly the passenger front - this worked when  I applied live to the motor, but I'm not sure this is an original fitment...


I'd better have a closer look at that...


Yes, that doesn't look ideal does it?


The multi plug looks terrible too, but I am hoping i can rescue it with the soda blaster.



As for the rear door, well that is different again...


Yep some fucker has pulled the mech out and cable tied a metal pole in it's place.

I shall give the paint a cut and polish tomorrow as there is a bit of oversprsy to remove...


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I think I had the only Megane II with largely functional windows. Only the rear drivers side me grief - for a while it would only ever go down whichever way you moved the switch, but you could get it back up again with the global closing. Until I had the clock spring replaced and they had the battery off, and I caught the window while being chased out of a car boot sale by an angry Eastern European chap (there's a story to be told on this somewhere). Ended up calling the RAC to get it back up, as it was a Sunday and nowhere was open. Replaced the temic module which is where they always go bad, and it worked fine other than on the door switch itself, where it still worked the same. Good enough for me at the time!

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Two window regulators ordered and on to the front suspension this morning:-

This corner failed the MOT as the spring was rubbing the bodywork.  So the scene is set, and the foreman is on duty so I'd better get it right.



Droplinks can be a right bastard of a job, and can add unwanted costs if you have to resort to carving them up with the angry grinder.  When I need to remove one, I use a thread cleaning kit before attempting to undo the nut.  Sometime heat is required too, but in this case, cleaning the thread was sufficient. 


Thread cleaning set - I'm sure you can get cheaper than snapon these days.


With the strut removed, you can see the spring has caught the arch in several places...


Also the locating lugs on the top mount had been sheared off by some uggerdugger merchant.


Even when looking at the strut off of the car, you can tell the spring is not a happy one, I suspect it has either the wrong spring, or the spring has been fitted upsidedown. It's flattened the locating tab on the shock absorber too! - 


I fitted a good, used, strut as i wasnt sure what the issue was until I got the car stripped.  This seemed the quickest way to rectify this issue.


The foreman agrees that we have done enough for today, so time for some lunch before I go to work:


Mmm, that'll do!


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