Thursday 16 October 2014

Air Horns....

The standard 5 GTT has a single air horn fitted, the compressor sits bolted behind the header tank on the passenger front wing and the trumpet is behind the bumper. Mine wasnt performing great and I found this twin FIAMM air compressor sitting in my garage.

Id already moved the header tank out as im fitting that in the drivers side bulk head, which left the old bracket and horn compressor looking a bit unsightly on the inner wing. The relay and wiring is long enough, so I have mounted the new horn & trumpets in the space where the original trumpet was just under the passengerside headlamp.

Foolishly I have not tried to fit the bumper, indicator or headlamp yet so I may well encounter some problems in the future if the new horn fouls things, but we shall see.

It also means that side of the engine bay has more space in it now, so I can experiment with where I put the air filter.

Some people build an air box by panelling off that part of the engine bay between the passenger strut mount & the front of the car and fit the air filter in there. I might just bolt it straight onto the turbo and direct cold air to it via some ducting...

New body kit / wheel arch mounting.

As anyone who has taken the bodykit off a 5 GTT will know, the mounting bolts tend to pull out of the plastic kit. And sure enough no matter how gentle i was and how much penetrating oil I used, I found nearly all of my bolts ripped out.

The back arch you can reach the nuts inside the wheel arch easily enough, but on the front you need to remove (or twist out of the way) the black plastic wheel arch liner to reach the bolts.

What I did was to buy a pack of M6 stainless bolts. Then I cut the heads off the bolts and glued the remaining piece into the hole in the bumper where the old bolt used to live. First though I drilled out the hole slightly bigger than the size of the bolt. I then used some EVOSTICK number 5 adhesive to bold the new bolts into the holes. It looked like in the pic above. Not a bad result. I then used some new washers and M6 locking nuts on the inside of the arches to hold them in place.

Getting the old bit of bolt out which remained attached to the carbody was a bit fiddly and involved my angle grinder with a cutting disc. I did scuff up the bodywork a little around where the bolt came through, but as this is all hidden behind the wheel arches, a lick of rust preventing paint should hide things nicely.

The actual side skirts themselves simply slip onto clips which you clip to the rivits on the side. The OE kit is then rivited along the bottom to the bottom sill. I used some self tapping screws instead in case I ever need to remove it again.

Sorting the interior out - stripping out sound proofing & a repaint.

Well its been a while since ive updated the blog - 2 months to be exact. And thats not because ive been lazy its been purely because ive had very little time to get into the garage due to work & family commitments. I did manage 4 hours one Saturday and a couple of odd hours here & there, but not really had the time I needed to make some decent progress.

However, I did manage to make some good progress on the interior. Id already stripped all the stock interior out way back about 10 years ago, but there was still a lot to do. Firstly I had to chip out all the bitumen slabs which makers seem to glue on the floorpan in the car. Theres no end of it. All in the boot floor, and 3 separate slabs under the seats. The best way I found to do this was just a screwdriver & a hammer. Most of it chipped off cleanly. Some bits were a nightmare though, especially around the gearshift tunnel, so for this I used a blow torch and a wall paper stripper tool.


 Above you can see the car as im nearly finished. The black squares are where bitumen came off leaving the black original shell paint. I also stripped out the remaining red carpet and tons of foam soundproofing from behind the dash.

Once done I painted the whole inteior with some rustoleum grey paint. Its pretty good stuff. I opted for grey as I thought white would be a bit too reflective and highlight any imperfections. Black would be too dark. So grey is a good halfway house.

 The grey actually turned out lighter than it looked on the tin which was an added bonus. I painted all the cage and rear strut brace also. The grey actually seemed to blend in nicely with the rest of the remaining original inteior like the door panels. Ive not decided yet if to keep them or replace with something else.

I then drilled all the mounting holes through the re-enforcement plates id welded to where the cage bolts using 12mm drill bit, and used some brand new high tensile m12 bolts to bolt it all into place. Screwfix turned out the cheapest place for the bolts. Fitting the actual cage wasnt too bad. The rear half bolted straight in nicely. My cage also bolts to the top seatbelt fixing points which were a bit tight, so i had to hammer the floorpan slightly down to give clearance. The front cage and the doorbars fitted fine, but I did have problems with the top parts of the cage which connect front to back. They needed some "adjustment" with a lump hammer and pry bar before it all lined up. Still, its all done now.. and wont be coming out again in a hurry.

I also now need to workout how to bolt in my seats. Ive a pair of old Cobra Monaco bucket seats in blue (one here pictured lying down in back of car, hence the rollbars looking strange). I can either buy some universal subframes and try to get them positioned correctly, or just weld some cross members/angle iron/boxing across the floor pan and bolt them to that. Either way it might take some experimenting to get the positioning right. Im also now wondering if these seats are a bit too tatty for the car. They come complete with lots of fag burns and marks from the old owners. Will have to have a think...

Monday 18 August 2014

Clearing out the boot

Thought id make a start on the interior a bit. It needed a lick of paint. First of all I had to clear out the rubbish id left in the back. An old battery charger, some old bits of wire, some oily racks to mention a few bits.

But I did find a brand new OE oil filter and these 2 bits which I was very pleased to find.

The missing towing eye cover!!!!! These are pretty rare as nearly 99% of Renault 5`s I see have them missing. And also a brand new door catch which I desperately need as my sagging doors have shredded mine!

I also found a new braided oil feed hose for the turbo. Sods law really, as id already bought another one as I couldnt find the one I bought years back. Still, its handy to have a spare, or I can always sell it on.


New dials/gauges.

I had a bit of spare time in my lunch hour today, so I decided to make a start on the dials. As you can see in the picture above, id fitted a white dial kit many many years back and it had long since faded into orange. So I bought a new set of lockwood white dials and fitted them. Its a pretty easy job if you take your time over it. The clear perspex front is held on by 4 clips top & 4 clips at the bottom, pop them off and you can get to the dials as above. The speedo & the rev counter have 2 small screws holding the face in. The other 3 gauges use small rivets. The needles can be levered off using a fork from the kitchen! But, make sure you note the position of the needles before you pop them off.

As you can see, the improvement with the finished result is much better. Above is a spare set of OE gauges I have. I swapped some of the needles over as mine were a bit more faded, but you can see in the pic above just how faded the OE dials get. You can get a replica set of OE dials from the RTOC website. They are made by lockwood who made my white dials above.

Pic below of the finished item fitted back in the car. I just need to screw it down at the top. You can also see the OMEX shift lights. Im going to glue that to the underside of the sun shield top part of the speedo housing. It should look fine there.

Rear bumper. Rear brakes & fuel tank strap.

I decided to make a start on the rear bumper this weekend. You can see the state of the mounts here! The bumper is held on my 1 bolt each side under the rear wheel arch of the car and one at the back. The top mounts were so rotten that after undoing the bottom bolts, i could just simply pull the entire back bumper off the car with a bit of force!!

 The other side was just as bad as you can see here!!!!

 I cut out the old metal back to solid metal and treated all the rust with some rust-to-good-metal chemical stuff. Then welded in some new sheet metal. I then seam sealed it and painted it with industrial black paint. I will have to drill new bolt holes in it to mount the bumper back on once ive finished.

Whilst I was under the car I thought id have a look at the reserve tank strap. This is notorious for rotting through and falling off. As you can see in the LH picture, mine also has fell off at some point. A new strap is £45 online. Looking at the actual metal i realised i only needed a bit of steel, 3 or 4 cm wide and about 40cm long. Looking about the garage I found a suitable bit of metal in my scrap pile. I just chopped the right length off and welded it straight onto the old metal. (after chopping off the rotten bit). It easily bent around the tank to shape and after a lick of paint looked brand new.!

The funny thing about this is that after finishing it was puzzling me as to what the scrap bit of metal actually came off, as it looked perfect for the job. After a bit of head scratching I realised it was actually the fuel tank strap from a classic Mini Cooper which id scrapped many years back. Looking on ebay these sell for £28! Doh! So I didnt save quite as much money as I expected in the end!

I had a bit of spare time so I wired up the launch control button . I fabricated a small bracket and bolted that to one of the steering wheel to boss bolts, and positioned the button so its in perfect reach of my thumb whilst im gripping the wheel. Im pretty pleased with how it came out as you can see in the picture below.

A couple of other bits I needed to do was to finish the drivers side rear brakes. Id already fitted new discs, pads, callipers, braided hoses & new brake lines to the passenger rear side, so it was just a simple case of doing the same to the drivers rear side. They all just bolt straight on, nice & easy. The only hassle I had was the brake hose->line brackets, the RH side ones were completely rotten away so I had to fabricate some new ones - easy as you can see below!

And heres the finished result... completely new brakes at the back! Not looking forward to bleeding new fluid through this lot though as theres a lot of joints to check for leaks!

Saturday 2 August 2014

Exhaust & handbrake. Plus a start on the RH side.

I was hoping to get a good day in on the car this week, but other things have come up and ive also not been feeling too great, so havent managed to put much time in. I was up at 5am again today, so after feeding the baby and cats I managed to get in the garage for 7am.

First thing I managed to do was to remove the exhaust. I was running an after market Scorpian stainless system which I think is about a 2inch bore. This system comes in 3 parts so is easy to remove. The downpipe is bolted onto the rest of the system using 13mm bolts and springs. Easily got to from underneath the car. Im replacing this with a 2.5inch side exit system. You can see the difference here in the 2 pictures below. The new system looks like its been thieved from a lorry or something, it looks huge in comparison!!!

Apparently the 2.5inch system is good for 250bhp so it should last me a while. Very annoyingly I missed out on a tubular exhaust manifold today on ebay. It went for just 80quid and I was prepared to pay upto £100 for it. Oh well, i will keep my eye out for another one.

With the downpipe removed you can see behind the engine nicely. And see the starter motor. Ive changed this before, many many years ago, and normally the best way to get to this is under the drivers wheel arch. Ive a high power one to replace this one, so thats another job on the list, but will have to wait until I can get under the drivers arch - still with the downpipe out, access will be much easier.

After removing the exhaust I was looking to see what next I could do. Finishing off fitting the new LH handbrake cable was a good start. Under the car you can see the handbrake adjuster below. Theres a 13mm lock nut, then a 11mm nut and a knurled adjuster. I was expecting these to be completely seized, but to my surprise they werent. I did notice they were on max adjustment though. So I slacked these off completely which allowed me to remove the old handbrake cables from the pivot bit. I lubed this up with plenty of copper grease and cleaned it all up. You can see in the 2nd pic the new handbrake cables fitted. I will adjust the handbrake up after ive finished with the rear brakes.

Whilst under the car with the exhaust removed you can see the brake lines & fuel lines going from the back of the car to the front.. you can see they look a bit rusty. Im going to replace these.

So I then decided to make a start on the drivers side of the car. I pulled the car away from the wall a good bit and jacked it up on axle stands. I was hoping the drivers side was better than the passengers side, but unfortunately not. Jacking point at the front is shot, and mega rust along the sills. The back bumper mount below left is completely rotted away. So looks like I need to buy some more steel sheets to weld in!

Also under that side you can see the fuel pump & filter. Im pretty sure this probably the original fuel filter! Ive a high capacity fuel filter and a more powerful fuel pump to fit here. Ive sprayed all bolts/clips with penetrating oil so hopefully they will come undone easier.

Whilst i had access to the drivers rear side of the car I stripped off the rear brakes. Only took a few minutes. The bits are below. As with passengers side, ive new disc, caliper, pads, lines & hoses to fit here. I did feed the new handbrake cable through the rear trailing arm so thats all ready and did make a start at trying to remove the original brake lines this side. They are proving hard as the reserve fuel tank is in the way which is messing up access to the lower brake line. The top one came off easily enough after cutting the line off and using a 11mm spanner on it. Anyway, thats it for today, a good 2 hours work. Hopefully will be able to put some proper hours in next week.

Monday 28 July 2014

turbo oil feed pipe & rev limiter

 Well I really didn't get much time spare this week in order to work on the car, only a couple of hours max if that. One thing ive been meaning to do for a while is to fit a braided oil feed pipe. Its the pipe on top of the turbo which feeds oil to the bearings. This comes from the front of the engine as you can see in the picture below.

The big spacer bit you can see on the bottom of the hose is actually a one-way valve. Apparently these can fail and cut off oil to the turbo which then causes the turbo to blow. What I did here was to remove this valve and drill the insides out, effectively removing the one way valve. I then re-assembled it, using my new braided hose. These connectors are 19mm and its much much easier to get to them after removing the radiator - so I had to remove the new alloy race radiator I fitted first in order to get to this. Still, its another job to tick off the box.

That out of the way I had about 45 minutes spare, so decided to fit the rev limiter. That was really easy as it uses the same connections as the shift light unit - i.e. connected to the positive and negative terminals on the coil & a decent earth. It mounts nicely next to the shift light unit. The launch control button I will need to mount on the steering wheel, ive left plenty of wire from the unit to the button so I can try and make sure it don't get tangled when driving etc. Will workout a mounting bracket once I get the steering wheel back on the car.

And that was it really for this week. Bit disappointing that I didnt get as much time, but I did manage to get out on my Ducati 996 for a short ride out over the weekend. Hadn't been out on it for a couple of months so I was missing the thrill of the open road.

Unfortunately the ride wasn't quite as enjoyable as I wanted, there were millions of lycra clad wannabe Bradley Wiggan`s all over the nice bendy local roads and if it wasn't them it was people towing caravans off on their holidays. I also had a bit of an unsettling moment when the back tyre slipped out on a LH bend under power. Not sure what's happening there as its the 2nd time that's happened and it doesn't inspire confidence. The suspension is all set up nicely so I suspect it might be just the tyres. Will have to swap them out for some decent ones. So what I was hoping to be a nice long ride out turned out to be a 25/30min quick warm up. Maybe next weekend!

Tuesday 22 July 2014

AEI unit, coil, rear brakes

 I had a couple of hours spare last night so thought id get some more work in on the car. The first task was to swap out the old AEI unit for a newer one. My car seems to be kind of what is known as a phase 1.5. Its 1987 so one of the early phase 2`s and apparently they used up a lot of phase 1 bits in the process. My AEI unit was mounted above the turbo inside the engine bay. Its a Bendix 209 unit which is what the phase 2`s used but its in the phase 1 position. My previous 2 GT Turbos were both 1988 and by then the unit was moved inside the bulk head next to the battery to avoid heating problems from the turbo. 

You can see in the pic here of the engine bay, just above the header tank the AEI coil unit inside the engine bay.

I bought a later phase 2 AEI, mines a 209 B this new ones a 209 C. Im not sure what the differences are, as the main difference is between phase 1 AEI 208 and Phase 2 AEI 209 which has a different ignition map and 500rpm higher rev limit.

I firstly opened the unit up and undid the 2 torx screws holding the coil in. Reason being is that my rev limiter & shift light units need to be wired directly to the coil. The coil once you pull it out you can see 2 terminals either side of the spade connector on the front. Handily they are labeled - and + so you straight away know which ones are plus and negative to wire the gadgets to.

I drilled a few mounting holes inside the bulk head and mounted the coil up. I then had to extend the TDC and knocking wires to reach, plus drill a hole for the main king coil lead to reach through. Luckily the lead set I bought was for the phase 2 so it was plenty long enough. I have to admit I do now feel a bit nervous as to whether the car will start now. Im always reluctant to change to many things at once incase of having to narrow down any problems!

Pictures here of the new shiny AEI unit and the old worn one.

I then couldnt resist fitting the back brakes, so I fitted new EBC disc, new calliper, new EBC green stuff pads and bearing.

 Looks pretty good! I then had to fit the brake line which goes from the flexihose on the beam (replaced by new braided HEL line) to the calliper. Luckily I had kept the old brake line so I roughly knew where the route was. I also hadnt broken any of the mounting clips in removing the old line so could re-use them. The new copper-nickel line was really easy to bend into shape and you can see in the pix, looks lovely.

 I also fitted new handbrake cable whilst I was at it. It looks like the pivot on the adjuster under the handbrake is seized so I need to free that off, but new cable fed through the rear swing arm and to the calliper a treat. I need to get the rest of the exhaust off first before I can get better access to the handbrake adjuster/pivot.

So thats about it for this update, more later!

Saturday 19 July 2014

Heater removal, gauges, OMEX shift light and brake compensator valve.

Well I've had a couple of busy days in the garage. I was very lucky on Friday that we had a big thunder/lightning storm which woke me up at 3am, and then just as I was about to drop back off to sleep the baby woke up and wanted his breakfast at 5am. Normally he doesn't wake up until 6.30 then goes back to sleep for a while, which means by the time ive fed him, its time to go to work so I don't get any time in the garage. However, 5am feed was perfect, he was back asleep by 5.30 which meant I could get a good couple of hours in the garage.

I figured Id start by finishing off the welding under the passenger side sill.

You can see the state of it in this picture here. Its not too bad really, just a few holes so I will weld in a new piece here.

With welder at the ready and baby monitor close to hand I can multi task!

Unfortunately at that point the end on my welder where the wire comes out decided to weld itself to the tip and in getting the old tip off it looks like the swan neck is cross threaded so I need to get a new one. With the welding off the cards for today I turned my attention to the rear brake compensator you can see on the left..

Its pretty rusty. Its held on by 2 13mm bolts which you can see from under the passengers side right wheel arch. As per usual the one which is easy to get to undid a treat but the top one was a nightmare. In the end I had to hammer on a 12mm spanner and use that to undo it.

Its times like this im pleased I have some ratchet spanners.

You can see the difference between the old one and new one here in the pic on the left. On the right ive got it fitted to the car. It was a nightmare to try and get the bolts through the bracket, through the metal shield and into the compensator. The new one is a slightly different shape and looks like the one on normal Renault 5`s. However Renault list this part number as the correct replacement now for the 5 GT Turbo`s one. I ordered this one from France via French Ebay for £35 which I thought was a bargain compared to the £95 some of the UK GT Turbo Specialists wanted. Once fitted I could start doing the new brake pipes. Im using polished copper nickel pipes here. They certainly bent a treat by hand and look ace. I've new braided HEL brake lines here too which go on the flexi-pipe bit between the car body & the rear axle.

That was it for Friday morning. Fortunately I managed to get Saturday working on the car also. 3rd Saturday in a row! Amazing! I decided to now rip out the heater. I figured I don't really need it, it will lighten the car and will free up some space on the dash for me to mount my gauges. Firstly I started removing the dash. This was fun... lots of bits to take off - steering wheel, centre console, ash tray... you name it. The dash is held in by one clip each side and 3 along the top. I didn't realise you have to reach under and release the side clips so a bit of force on my behalf meant I ended up breaking one. Once id done that, the other one i released properly. The top clips I read were notoriously hard to undo. However I found them really easy. The RH one you can see with the speedo out. 

A screwdriver to lever this out and the dash popped out easy. The middle one, I just reached under with my screw driver and levered roughly where it was and again it popped out. The LH one was buried behind the glove box etc. For that, I just pushed the dash up and smacked my palm hard on the front of the dash. Hey presto it popped out.

The next stage was under the bonnet. The picture above is where the coolant pipes attach to the heater. I cut the old pipes off and with a bit of violence and some mole grips the original clips came off.

The next step was to remove the heater fan. You can see this in the bulk head. The plastic mesh screen undoes easily with a couple of plastic wing nuts. Then the white fan which also contains the motor simply pulls off. The main heater unit is held to the car by 2 10mm bolts at the top which you unbolt from inside the car under the dash. Then the whole unit drops out - its pretty big as you can see below.

In fact didn't actually have to remove the dash in the end, simply pulling and lifting the LH side of the dash up, I had enough room to pull the heater unit down and into the passengers side footwell. Watchout as there is coolant in the heater matrix which may come out.

My plans for the holes the heater left in the dash were to fit some gauges in the top vents and where heater controls were I would mount a couple of new cool gadgets ive got. Namely a OMEX rev limiter with launch control & an OMEX sequential shift light indicator.

Looking around the garage I needed a bit of metal or plastic 23cm x 6cm and 24cm x 6cm. I happened to see an old number plate and hey presto it was perfect. It even had a black backing, so I wouldn't even have to paint it. I cut 3 52mm holes using my hole cutter attachment for my drill and offered it up. As you can see, it looks pretty good.

The shift light ECU fits perfect here. It has buttons on it so you can adjust when the 4 sequential led lights come on. The lights are in a separate small little pod which I can mount in front of the speedo. The rev limiter / launch control ECU should be the same size and can sit nicely next to it. Strictly speaking once you have set the rev ranges you never need to alter them, so in the long term I can move these somewhere behind the dash and use this space for something else.

Gauges mounted! Ive an AEM AFR gauge on the left, an AEM Boost gauge (goes upto 35psi) on the right to replace my old 20psi boost gauge and in the middle I have a mechanical mocal duel oil temperature / oil pressure gauge.

Both the AEM gauges come with their own loom which is really nice. All the gauges ive fed their wires/feeds through the big hole in the bulkhead where the heater fan was. I`ll weld in a panel in to cover this hole and feed the wires through using some grommets when im finished. Ive an AFR probe to fit into the downpipe, oil pressure and temp sensors to plumb in, and the OMEX ECU`s need wiring up to the coil. So ive quite a bit of work to do under the bonnet next. Ive wired them upto the old cigar socket which is a switched live, so they all light up and have power once I turn the ignition key. Ive some old wiring I need to remove from behind the dash and then I can refit the speedo/cluster.

So all in all a couple of productive days.

Final couple of pictures... on the right we have what was a £50 set of lockwood white dial kit which is now more of a gold/yellow kit as its faded over time. Ive a new set of dials to fit in here. Although I that the needles have also faded so not sure what to do about them, whether I can repaint them or not as they are see thru plastic. And below we have just a small piece of the sound deadening I took out. There was literally tons and tons of this heavy stuff so I expect ive lightened the car by about 50kg just by dumping this stuff!!!