Renault 5 Mk1 - Debugging After Restoration

This restoration story went quiet for a a couple of years. So what happened next?

I moved house at the start of 2013, and despite a last minute rush the Renault 5 wasn't quite finished.

The Renault 5 sat in a barn waiting for me to build a garage at the new house. After a year and a half it was clear that the new garage wasn't going to appear any time soon so I brought her over to finish off outside.

Renault 5 in barn

There were a lot of small things to sort out. The front ride height was too high, then there were a few days of finishing fiddly little bits. The wipers didn't work (there was an earth on the RHS behind the bumper I forgot to connect).

The MOT was passed in September 2014 (first time in 7 years) but there were still a lot of problems to fix.

Idle was very lumpy causing gear rattle. It turns out the bong bong noise from the timing chain had also been caused by this. The idle mixture screw was turned fully in! Unscrewing it by one and a half turns made the idle lovely.

Ready for the MOT

Changing the starter motor in a Mk 1 Renault 5 is a pain. It is much easier to do after removing the exhaust manifold. Fortunately I also wanted to rebuild the carb to sort lean running on the first choke.

The problem with the old starter was the solenoid which allowed current to spin the starter before it had engaged in the flywheel.

Stipping down to change the starter motor

The carburettor took a while to figure out. The car was lean on the second venturoi and would almost die when the second throttle was just opening. I'm still not convinced I found the problem but blowing out all the jets and passageways on four different occasions seemed to fix it.

I think the picture is a gordini carb as I forgot to take a photo of the R5 one.

Carburettor in bits

FInally with the carburettor working properly the car was properly driveable for the first time. It was only then that I realised I didn't fit inside it. My leg touched the steering wheel whatever position the seat was in.

I've fitted an aftermarket Intersport steering wheel found on a scrap Renault 5 Gordini which has a deep boss. I now have an inch of clearance between my leg and the steering wheel. I prefer the look of the TX steering wheel but couldn't live with it.


New steering wheel

On the way home from work I found the instrument panel lights didn't work. That was due to corrosion in the dimmer rheostat which was easy to clean up. I had to manually adjust the Girling rear brakes. I hate the things and will fit Bendix ones at the earliest opportunity.

Last update 24th December 2014

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Other Restorations:

Renault 4 Gordini

Renault 4 GTL

Renault 5 restoration

As found

Rear suspension mounting repair

Damper tower repair

Front sill rust

Welding the RHS


Battery tray and longeron welding

Engine Rebuild


Wheelarch Liners