Clementine's Garage
Clementine the Cat
 
Image of flower
Yellow R4
 
Réparateur d'automobiles

1972 Renault 4l not idling

Brenda

Enthusiast
Messages
6
Location
Malaga
#1
Hello, any ideas pleas. We just bought a Renault 4l 1972, it keeps cutting out at low speeds or idling. Any ideas what could be the problem?
 

Paul Narramore

pre-moderated
Messages
844
Location
Aylesford, Kent
#2
Firstly, has the car been serviced recently? If that's been done (new oil and air filters, new oil, new spark plugs, new points) I'd be having a look at the carburettor for dirt and/or blocked jets particularly the idle jet. Got a Haynes manual yet?
 

Brenda

Enthusiast
Messages
6
Location
Malaga
#3
Thanks Paul, it's no to everything as we just bought the car on Saturday. It's booked for a service this weekend. We need to use it to get to and from work until then and it keeps cutting out in traffic, is there any quick fix until the service.
 

harbourseal

Renault R4 Lunatic
Messages
849
Location
Breda The Netherlands
#4
Try to keep it running with the choke on. if it runs better you probably have an air leak.
My experience is that probably one of the breather pipes from the rocker cover to the carb. and to the inlet manifold is leaking.
Or there might be air coming in from the connection of the carburetor to the inlet manifold.

you can check for air leaks by spraying WD40 on all the connections if it starts to run better you might have found the source IMG_0461.JPG

The pipes with the y connection are the breather pipes, usually the connections are cracked because of age.
the topmost pipe connected to the y connection runs to the inlet manifold just underneath the carburetor. There should be a restriction in it.
If its not there you're engine won't idle if all the connections are ok.

The restrictor is a small piece of plastic with a 1,3mm hole in it. It fits neatly in the breather pipe.

If the restrictor is missing and all the connections are ok.
As a quick fix you can either make a restrictor yourself.
take a bolt that fits snugly in the breather pipe and saw the head of. You want to end up with a piece of about 10mm. Drill a hole of 1,3 or 1,5 mm through the length of it and push it in to the breather pipe and re connect it.
Or block the pipe that runs to the inlet manifold.

good luck
 

Brenda

Enthusiast
Messages
6
Location
Malaga
#5
Hey thanks for that, fiddled around with the idle screw and it has stopped cutting out more or less, still sounds as if its racing a bit. Will do a pipe check later.
 

Brenda

Enthusiast
Messages
6
Location
Malaga
#6
Another question, the fuel gauge is not working properly so can anyone tell me what is the capacity of the tank, it is a 1972 Renault 4 Super.
 

harbourseal

Renault R4 Lunatic
Messages
849
Location
Breda The Netherlands
#7
Hi Brenda,
Look underneath your car. If you have a flat tank its 26 liters If it has a hump that sticks out just after the torsion bars you have 32 liters
 

Brenda

Enthusiast
Messages
6
Location
Malaga
#9
Okay another thing, car is a 1972 R4S with the five bearing 813 cleon fonte engine of 852 cc (mechanical fan), manufactured in Vallodolid , Spain. We use the car daily and in a week would do about 800 kms with 80% motorway use. Last night the engine overheated after 90 km/h run, preceded by chronic pinking. My question is should we use an additive or is there any other brand of petrol sold in Spain which might be better suited? If added is required, what sort and how much to add. Tank is 26 litres.

Also the heating system doesnt seem to be working.
 

Grumm

Enthusiast
Messages
42
Location
Salisbury
#10
Sounds like it needs a good service, including the points.

I know it's a bone of contention, but I always use super unleaded in my 1974 R4, the higher octane the better. Runs much better - 99 octane from Tesco's is my favourite.
 

benchseat

Enthusiast
Messages
279
#11
If the heating system isn't working then possibly you've lost the coolant or you have a blockage/airlock/pump failure in the water system so the water isn't circulating. You can get a certain distance with radiator convection alone (I once did 25 miles when the fanbelt broke — fortunately it was a freezing, moonlit night on empty roads so I could drive without headlights and not drain the battery unduly) but 90 kph would be too much for this to cope with (on the occasion in question anything over 70 kph brought on the overheating light). Either way, no water or no circulation would rapidly lead to overheating and if the water is lost you'll damage the water pump as well.

In this situation the pinking would not have been caused by dodgy points but by the petrol pre-igniting in overheated cylinders.

Hopefully you haven't cooked the engine otherwise it's a rebore/new liners.

Overheating may also explain the poor running. There has been a recent exchange of views on this entitled "Fuel starvation problem" posted by member ID WIzarick in the "Renault 4 Discussion" section.

Regarding petrol octane rating : R4s were designed to run on 1960s French petrol, i.e. low octane, in fact complete cr*p. They have hardened valve seatings so no lead additive is necessary. I've run two 845cc R4s on unleaded ever since it was introduced in the UK in 1989, with no problems. But obviously, as Grumm says, the higher octane of unleaded the better if you can get it. Only problem is, higher octane = more benzene additive = more carcinogenic.

According to Wikipedia only a few Spanish R4s between 1972 and 1976 were fitted with the 852cc Type 813 engine. It doesn't feature in my 1971-1975 parts book but it looks as if it was only to applied to R4F4 vans. Possibly your car, if it's not a van, has had an engine swop at some time? From the photo the engine looks a bit more sophisticated than the standard 845cc "Ventoux" engine which one normally encounters.
 
Messages
844
Location
Aylesford, Kent
#12
Brenda, please get the poor car serviced before you drive her a mile further. The continued ignoring of its symptoms may result in irreparable damage which will cost you a packet in the future. If this is beyond you, you must find a local mechanic. It sounds like there are a number of problems with the engine so it must be systematically checked until the faults are eradicated.
 
Messages
807
Location
Cheltenham
#13
There are a few pages on the 813-02 engined R2108 in the Revue Technique Automobile. I'm sure any period Spanish publications will contain similar information. However, all this is academic - the important thing is to make sure the cooling/ignition systems are in good order!
 

harbourseal

Renault R4 Lunatic
Messages
849
Location
Breda The Netherlands
#14
From the photo the engine looks a bit more sophisticated than the standard 845cc "Ventoux" engine which one normally encounters.
Thank you for that;). That is my own 845cc Ventoux.
It is somewhat over-engineered, but it does a good job in my R4TL sinpar
 

r4 spain

Enthusiast
Messages
10
Location
spain
#15
Try to keep it running with the choke on. if it runs better you probably have an air leak.
My experience is that probably one of the breather pipes from the rocker cover to the carb. and to the inlet manifold is leaking.
Or there might be air coming in from the connection of the carburetor to the inlet manifold.

you can check for air leaks by spraying WD40 on all the connections if it starts to run better you might have found the source View attachment 17147

The pipes with the y connection are the breather pipes, usually the connections are cracked because of age.
the topmost pipe connected to the y connection runs to the inlet manifold just underneath the carburetor. There should be a restriction in it.
If its not there you're engine won't idle if all the connections are ok.

The restrictor is a small piece of plastic with a 1,3mm hole in it. It fits neatly in the breather pipe.

If the restrictor is missing and all the connections are ok.
As a quick fix you can either make a restrictor yourself.
take a bolt that fits snugly in the breather pipe and saw the head of. You want to end up with a piece of about 10mm. Drill a hole of 1,3 or 1,5 mm through the length of it and push it in to the breather pipe and re connect it.
Or block the pipe that runs to the inlet manifold.

good luck
Any ideas where to buy the restrictor?
 

pepper

Pepper The One and Only!
Messages
2,242
#17
Make one as described above, funnily enough, I've got to do the same with my little 845. Someone's changed the pipework on mine and thrown away the restrictor too.
 

bigoldboy

Enthusiast
Messages
78
Location
Spain
#18
If the heating system isn't working then possibly you've lost the coolant or you have a blockage/airlock/pump failure in the water system so the water isn't circulating. You can get a certain distance with radiator convection alone (I once did 25 miles when the fanbelt broke — fortunately it was a freezing, moonlit night on empty roads so I could drive without headlights and not drain the battery unduly) but 90 kph would be too much for this to cope with (on the occasion in question anything over 70 kph brought on the overheating light). Either way, no water or no circulation would rapidly lead to overheating and if the water is lost you'll damage the water pump as well.

In this situation the pinking would not have been caused by dodgy points but by the petrol pre-igniting in overheated cylinders.

Hopefully you haven't cooked the engine otherwise it's a rebore/new liners.

Overheating may also explain the poor running. There has been a recent exchange of views on this entitled "Fuel starvation problem" posted by member ID WIzarick in the "Renault 4 Discussion" section.

Regarding petrol octane rating : R4s were designed to run on 1960s French petrol, i.e. low octane, in fact complete cr*p. They have hardened valve seatings so no lead additive is necessary. I've run two 845cc R4s on unleaded ever since it was introduced in the UK in 1989, with no problems. But obviously, as Grumm says, the higher octane of unleaded the better if you can get it. Only problem is, higher octane = more benzene additive = more carcinogenic.

According to Wikipedia only a few Spanish R4s between 1972 and 1976 were fitted with the 852cc Type 813 engine. It doesn't feature in my 1971-1975 parts book but it looks as if it was only to applied to R4F4 vans. Possibly your car, if it's not a van, has had an engine swop at some time? From the photo the engine looks a bit more sophisticated than the standard 845cc "Ventoux" engine which one normally encounters.
Hi there . I also have a 1972 R4s which apparently is Spanish built with a Sierra motor with 5 bearings . My question is which is the mixture screw on the carb because although the motor starts and runs it does seem to run a little rich .
Thanks
 

mojobaby

Enthusiast
Messages
1,228
#19
You might not have the same carb as me, but if you look at the below photo, it's the screw on the bottom left, the one with a spring around it.

Before you start trying to adjust it, screw it all the way, counting your turns. This way you can always return the screw to it;s present position.

My carb is set on 2 1/2 turns outwards

IMGP1404.JPG
 
Top