Clementine's Garage
Clementine the Cat
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Yellow R4
Réparateur d'automobiles

Noddy recommissioning.


Cyprus EU
I thought I had better let you all know how 'Noddy' is coming on, well I certainly bought a good solid 1983 Renault 4 GTL that was restored 16+ years ago using NOS original Renault parts like 4 new wings/4 doors then put into dry storage. The Chassis/floor has been welded properly in a few places with the body removed, and the paintwork is in excellent condition.

First I drained the fuel tank of 20 litres of stale stinky petrol ! And the brakes were seized solid up so I am currently replacing the complete system.
Also some idiot has messed about with the wiring, but I am getting there with that one.

I also have a broken dashboard support clip/dash fixing, and had forgotten how fragile these cars are with all the plastic parts after 37 years since I last owned one.

Some idiot also fitted the wrong wheel nuts on the 'Amil' alloy wheels, but I have located the correct 60 degree chrome nuts from Franzose in Germany.

I have also stripped out the inside of the car ready to install 'Fatmat' insulation. The carburettor was worn out but I bought a new one on EBAY from France.
The new exhaust system was so loud with just a rear silencer fitted, so I am fitting the original under front wing silencer and the rear silencer as well because it is a straight through box so shouldn't affect the performance. So I am enjoying myself working on a French car after all these years that I can improve. I need a dash mounting clip and a post 1983 RHD dashboard/Steering column cover to complete the restoration if anyone can help. 20231108_172049.jpg
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You might ask Angel in Athens (on here) -If sufficient demand for these clips he might reproduce them... -Reid
Well, I guess these brittle clips must break quite often, and they could be reproduced on a 3D printer ? I will send Angel a message.
Either that or I will fabricate a metal sprung clip myself. Thank you !
Well I have been busy enjoying myself working on 'Noddy' today, and I think the worst thing about the car is the smashed up dashboard which is in a terrible state with cracks/chunks missing ! The steering column cover is also damaged. So looking for these parts if anyone can help please !

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'Noddy' is a good solid car, although the braking system was completely seized up and worn out. So I have replaced virtually everything: New master cylinder, X2 Rear wheel cylinders, New old stock brake limiter, X4 New flexible hoses, Some new copper brake pipes, New rear handbrake cables/Brake shoes/springs. I also had the rear brake backplates sand blasted and repainted them. I am also renewing all the wheel bearings, etc.
Next job is to rebuild the front disc brake calipers and fit new discs/pads. I have also fitted a new Fuel pump, Carburettor and Exhaust system with both front and rear silencers fitted just to see how it runs ?

I now know my car is post 1983 GTL car with a Rear handbrake set-up, Front disc brakes and with a 1108cc 688/D7 engine, it also has the later dashboard, and seats with headrests, Amil alloy wheels fitted. All matching chassis/engine numbers in the logbook. Yet is says its a 1978 R4L 845cc ! Never mind !

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I did some more jobs on 'Noddy' today, moved the number plate from the bumper up on to the bonnet which looks so much better like other people have said on this great website.
Then after checking/renewing the petrol pump/hoses/new carb etc thought I would try and start him up up after 15 years standing. He wouldn't start at first and flames were shooting out of the carb, so I knew the problem straight away after 53+ years working on cars ! The previous owner had got Number 1 and Number 4 HT leads the wrong way round ! So I corrected that and he started straight away, and the engine sounds good. The exhaust is also very quiet with both front rear silencers fitted. I will tune up the engine tomorrow. The other good news is that Angelos in Greece has managed to find me a full set of original front/rear De Carbon gas shock absorbers to replace the rubbish oil filled Unipart oil shocks.
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I made a start working on the front end of 'Noddy' today, the first job was to make a safe thick wooden support with two blocks for the axle stands.
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Well, I have very been busy over the Christmas period stripping down the Front brakes/steering/drive shafts which are all badly worn.
One of the drive shaft CV joints was broken inside after 130,000 km, so I will order X2 complete new shafts from De Marco (They are the best !)
in Italy at only 68.90 Euro each (Inc Italy 22% VAT). I still can't believe how cheap the parts are for these cars. 20231226_160949.jpg20231226_161142.jpg
Well, I have also been busy doing other jobs on 'Noddy' in between making X10 Mud flap bracket kits. The seat covers were in excellent condition, although all the foam inside had disintegrated and X7 springs were broken ! So I ordered new seat foams from De Marco in Italy, because they are the best supplier of R4 parts in my opinion. Then set about making X7 new seat springs, which was quite easy using my vice and a club hammer to bend the springs cold. Because heating the springs in not an option as they loose their temper.
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Another little job I did the other day, was to replace the drive shaft seals/'O' rings that I purchased off Angelos.
It's an easy job really, you just have make sure you centre punch the original position on the ring before unscrewing the hub for reassembly, so that the bearing is not over or under tightened. I pulled in the new oil seal using a large nut/bolt with a two big washers so no damage.

'Noddy' is coming on well, with many new parts fitted: New steering joints, New gas 'Monroe' front shock absorbers from Angelos, Drive shaft seals, X2 Drive shafts, Brake discs/pads, Hub Bearings/seals. Anti roll bar/bushes, Exhaust, Hand brake cables. And I have ordered X2 New front brake calipers from De Marco.
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I removed my 'Unipart' oil filled rear shock absorbers today, and replaced them with the original 'De carbon' air shocks that I purchased from Angelos.
The shocks were wire locked to keep them together, so it was quite an easy job really.
An easy day today, I just fitted a new grey coloured front grille on 'Noddy' which I think looks much better than the black one.
It matches the bumpers and side panels as well.
Well, it looks like post-1983 RHD dashboards for R4's are like hens teeth ! So I am doing a fibre glass repair job on my original dashboard using metal mesh for a mould to get the correct shape.