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Clementine the Cat
 
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Rodeo Recommissioning

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
It's been 8 years since I last did any work on the Rodeo. I remember it being almost finished - work so far covered on https://www.renault4.co.uk/rodeo-mot.htm I've pulled the cover off again and it is still an odd looking thing.

The electrics were misbehaving which is why the instrument panel is out. There are a number of earth problems. The main body earth wire was routed into the cabin for some reason. I've relocated that to the traditional position at the front of the inner wheel arch. I'm not getting a good earth from the instrument cluster. Does anyone know where that earth connects to the body? Maybe through it's mountings. (Edit - it earths through the choke cable bracket and you need a temporary earth while the instrument panel is removed)

I've pulled the heater out to fit new hoses. It had been disconnected from the system probably because a hose failed but doesn't seem to be leaky. Don't know why I am bothering- it isn't going to do much with no roof.

Anyone know where to buy driveshafts for a 1972 car? They are different from the GTL and have a pin securing the connector at the gearbox end.


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malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
I'm getting on well with the electrics. Nothing worked so I started going through all the earths and power feeds and they all seemed OK. Turns out everything really was broken. The new rear earth loom fixed the rear lights and I've ordered a new flasher unit to fix the indicators. A couple of other wires weren't connected at all.

The wipers didn't work despite having power and ground. The SEV Marchal wiper motors are serviceable - the cover comes off with just one screw allowing access to the commutator which was dirty. A good clean and the wipers work perfectly!

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edwin

Enthusiast
Messages
832
Location
Lichfield
Hi Malcolm. What engine is in the Rodeo, and what type of drive shafts would it have. My car is a 72 1126 782cc with one driveshaft looking like the usual type , a replacement ?,and the other like a bean can, very different, and i have been told probably an original. I would like two of the original type if possible, but will look at another type if it’s better.
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
Hi Malcolm. What engine is in the Rodeo, and what type of drive shafts would it have. My car is a 72 1126 782cc with one driveshaft looking like the usual type , a replacement ?,and the other like a bean can, very different, and i have been told probably an original. I would like two of the original type if possible, but will look at another type if it’s better.
I've got the 845cc engine with dog leg 1st gear gearbox. It came with a mis-matching pair of driveshafts with CV joints and they were worn.

The CV joint type are best if you can find tham. I've fitted a pair of old stock driveshafts with the double universal joints outboard (the bean can style) similar to the ones advertised the other day in the parts for sale section. I know Paul Cunningham had trouble with them fouling the lower wishbones on Ornella.
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
The wheels are ready. I got lazy and had someone shotblast and paint them. They ended up costing £38 each. The ones without the hole in the middle are early van wheels for the Rodeo. The rest are for Claude.

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malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
I fitted the new heater hoses (they weren't a good fit) and tried bleeding the cooling system. I don't remember changing the coolant after buying the car but the coolant that came out was clean. I was worrying I would find rusty stuff and bad cylinder liners after all this time.

I realised the old glass expansion bottles have the hose going in from the top so you can't sit them on top of the engine to help bleed the system. Luckily I had an old GTL expansion bottle.

The new wheels and tyres make a big difference. Also the indicators work now. The Rodeo is slowly coming back to life.

I looked at the engine number and turns out it's the 680 type which is 747cc. I thought it was 845cc. It's going to struggle with the aerodynamics. Though it's a 680S which I'm going to assume means sport rather than a low compression van version.

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angel

Enthusiast
Messages
2,428
Location
Athens, Greece
I have new driveshafts for the 334 gearbox, if you cant find them locally.

I think that "S" suffix denotes a factory exchange engine.
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
Finally the electrics are all working and the instrument panel is back in position. I wanted to get the dash in too but I'm still waiting for the washer jets to arrive. A tidy up should probably be next on the list.

The screen wash pump was leaking from it's body. I had a spare but it had a smaller pipe connector on one side. Looked up new ones in the UK and saw one at £80! Turns out the larger pipe will fit over the smaller pipe and seals OK so I can use my spare.

The Rodeo is wider than the standard cars. The spacers at the outer end of the under-dash storage shelves are made from wood and they made the effort to match the shape of the shelves.

I've borrowed a throttle return spring from the van. It's from a Jaguar Mk2 and about 8 inches long and a little too stiff but can be made to work on the throttle and gearstick. Now I can see if it starts after 12 years.

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edwin

Enthusiast
Messages
832
Location
Lichfield
I've got the 845cc engine with dog leg 1st gear gearbox. It came with a mis-matching pair of driveshafts with CV joints and they were worn.

The CV joint type are best if you can find tham. I've fitted a pair of old stock driveshafts with the double universal joints outboard (the bean can style) similar to the ones advertised the other day in the parts for sale section. I know Paul Cunningham had trouble with them fouling the lower wishbones on Ornella.
Hi Malcolm. You mention CV type drive shafts. Does that mean the bean can type? The top pic, of the drivers side driveshaft, shows something like what is on Ronnie, a more usual arrangement. The lower pic shows what I call a bean can type, which is on the passenger side (LHD) and is quite different, and look different to the ones you mentioned on sale in Parts for sale. Can you advise please.
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malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
The engine did start and runs really well. I turned it off to fix some fuel mixture problems and it hasn't started since. The starter clicks and spins but doesn't turn the engine. Turns out the teeth are damaged on both the starter and the flywheel starter ring.

The starter ring gear damage looks fairly light but I'm guessing if I just put a new starter in the teeth will get damaged again. Though the problem might be internal in the starter. I thought they weren't supposed to start spinning before they became engaged. I tested it with the travel restricted by about 5 to 10mm just to see if it could chew up flywheel teeth and it clicks and spins but doesn't drive the starter gear. The shine on the teeth suggests it was once working fully engaged so it should have turned the engine. I'm thinking it's the tooth engagement inside the starter that isn't working.

I've ordered a new starter. I'm guessing a starter fault caused the damage on the flywheel and a new and functioning starter will have enough flywheel to work with and won't cause further damage. If it doesn't work or I hear bad noises then gearbox out.

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angel

Enthusiast
Messages
2,428
Location
Athens, Greece
This is rather common on R4 starters and is caused by the one way clutch in starter gear spinning instead of transmiting drive.
Teeth on both starter and flywheel gears don't seem that bad. It's usually flywheel ring gear that gets worn first, but this would produce a grinding noise on starting up. You are lucky as it's oil sump out, too, in order to change the flywheel.
 

David M

French car tragic!
Messages
181
I agree with Angel,
I have seen much worse ring gears especially on very early R4s with the pull to engage starters.*
It’s possible that the solenoid might be sticking and not throwing in far enough.
Obviously a new starter should solve all those issues.

early R4s were 6v and had a “crash” style engagement. Did anyone mention Morris Minors. They were really poor regarding ring gears.
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
That's good news. I was worried I would have to remove the flywheel.

The dash is in and I painted the roll hoop this morning. Steering column is out again for access to the starter motor and seats are just sitting there to help position the seatbelts. I think I'll have the seats re-covered before they go back in. Almost finished now.

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malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
Starter replacement was a pain. They are inaccessible enough to start with but this one had a larger diameter solenoid which prevented access to the top bolt with a socket. I had to change the bolt for an allen head one. The solenoid was further forward and I had to extend the ignition wire and replace the big supply cable from the battery with a longer one as it didn't reach. To be fair the supplier did say it was only for 1980s cars and I bought it anyway because it was the cheapest. :-) The small body makes it much easier to install and the electrical connectors aren't hidden by the engine mount reinforcing bracket and are much easier to get to. Maybe that was the improvement made in the 1980s.

Hopefully not much more to do now. I'll finish off the starter tomorrow and run the engine to make sure the cooling system works properly and then do an oil change. I sent off the UK registration documents this week. It used to be an MOT was required first but the rules have changed and now I can register without an MOT which makes things much easier as insurance doesn't like French plate cars driving to the MOT.

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The driver seat is very uncomfortable because the back support has torn and the previous owner's attempt to use the fabric for support instead didn't work. There should be time to get the seats fixed before the registration comes through. The Rodeo is going to be under a cover again for a few more weeks.

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malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
This is odd. The new starter worked perfectly for maybe 5 starts and now it just clicks and doesn't turn. Perhaps I should not buy parts because they are the cheapest. I guess remove it and test off the car before sending it back. Tried turning the flywheel to some new positions but no luck.
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
Even more strange. The starter tested OK when removed. The mounting to the engine was very dirty and I wonder if it wasn't making a good earth. Cleaned it up and put the starter back in and it works!

I can check things now. The new thermostat opens, the dynamo charges and the clutch is free. A bit lumpy at idle but the petrol is old and it needs a run.
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
It's been snowing this week. Not much happening on the cars but they are insured now and the Rodeo seats are at the trimmer.

I've been servicing. The air filter is probably the dirtiest one I've ever seen. I wondered if it might have been the original but it was made by Tecnocar in Italy so probably not.

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malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
New ignition leads have cured the misfire at idle. The engine runs much better now and is much less sensitive to the choke. I think the old coil lead was the original and had failed causing a weak spark. That's a relief - I thought it might have been a valve.

The new leads are the type of leads that you cut to length then fit one of the ends yourself. Accuspark from eBay. I copied the old leads because it was cold outside but it would have been better templating them on the car because the rubber ends are a different length. They are silicone which is a pain as the rubber ends don't slide on the leads unless you inject lubricant every time. They are 'performance' leads and I guess running on all 4 cylinders really will improve performance.

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malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Messages
4,506
Location
Bedford UK
I collected the seats from the trimmer this morning and fitted them to the Rodeo. Started out for the first drive in 12 years then realised I hadn't fitted the UK number plates. Came back to fit the number plates and then went for a drive.

It didn't go perfectly. One of the driveshafts is knocking. It's an old stock double universal joint type and by the grease coming out I'm going to guess one of the universal joints has failed. One of the brakes is binding and the 750cc engine is no match for a binding brake. Otherwise it seems to work.

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