Renault 12 v Gordini
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  1. #1
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    Renault 12 v Gordini

    Hi all. Can anyone out there detail the exact difference between a Renault 12 TS and a Gordini. I know the 16 engine is used, and 4 wheel discs, etc. but where exactly (ie. model) are the parts sourced? I have visions of creating a 12G wagon...

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi stuey,

    I think you'll find it's more than just a 16 motor, it's been warmed over as well, and I guess wouldn't run on the fuel available today (maybe avgas?). Next time Dave tunes in I'm sure he'll tell you everything you need to know. I'm sure he's done 16ts conversions before (and he own's a guenuine ex works 12gordini).

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  3. #3
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  4. #4
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Finally, someone with taste on this site,
    Stuey, you want to talk 12 gordini, youve come to the right place.
    To start with, its not a 16TS engine, its a Gordini, its based on the 16TS but uses Gordini block,big valve head, high comp pistons, Gordini cam, crank, rods flywheel etc, not to mention those twin weber 45's that just love to drink, (but don't insult them by giving them petrol), the closest thing on the market is R17, gearbox is pure Gordini, 5 speed close ratio and nothing else is close, the brakes are Gordini 4 wheel disc, the fronts are basically R17, the rear are standard 12 front discs with Gordini calipers, suspension is Gordini 26mm front and rear sway bars, Gordini springs and shockers, there
    are almost no interchangable mechanical parts between 12 and 12G
    The easiest way to build a copy is to use a wrecked 15 or 17 (17G preferred).
    The 12TS was basically what the 12GL was known as in England, when they went to the twin throat weber carby instead of the single throat solex it became the 12 TS, Any other questions just ask.
    Seeya,
    David.
    David Cavanagh

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  5. #5
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    Hi again, and thanks...

    Yeah, I knew that it wasn't a standard 16 engine, but didn't realise so much was different.. I envisaged that it was 17 brakes and anti roll bars all round, 17 bellhousing and 'box, uprated coils, and a warmed over 16TS engine. But I was wrong...

    As a start, anyone know of a source for thicker anti-roll bars, say 17 or the old K-Macs (if they're any good) ? Any suggestions for uprated springs and dampers ?

    BTW good to talk to some people as nutty about French cars as me...

    Cheers

    Stuey


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    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Stuey,
    I can supply R17 sway bars, I think there about 17mm thick, springs and shocks are up to you, Koni are best but hard to find, I doubt any K Mac stuff still exists.
    Most people use R17TL motor, box and brakes, its the simpliest way to get a 12 going, once youve done this conversion the horsepower and performance depends on the size of your wallet.
    Cheers,
    David.

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  7. #7
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    Thanks, David. I'll be in touch, for sure. PS apologies for posting on the General Chit Chat - I discovered this site after a good few pints of Guinness and have just realised today that there is a dedicated Renault forum..

    BTW a friend over here with a few 12's fitted new gas shocks to one and found the front was raised about 35 mm (above the proper height). Have you experienced this?

    Any suggestions for springs? I don't want to ruin the ride, but would like to stiffen them slightly, particularly the rear. I do carry loads sometimes in the wagon. This may also help reduce the roll along with the 17 bars.

    Finally, are the other 17 components reasonably accessible?

    Cheers and thanks again...sorry for so many questions.

    Stuey


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  8. #8
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    Stuey,

    K-mac in Sydney can make up swaybars to fit anything provided they have an old swaybar to use as a template to get the right shape. They cost about $220 each. They may already have the template for the R12, since they seem to be able to remake anything they have made in the past. If they have a template or old swaybar it usually takes them only a day or two to make the swaybar.

    I ordered a 27mm front swaybar for a Pug 504 from K-mac in 1998 and it only took a couple of days before it arrived at my front door via courier.

    Regards,
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  9. #9
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    Stuey,

    you could try getting the springs reset to a different height, I did this on my 17 and they were lowered about an inch and it didn't affect the ride much at all. The 17 sway bars will stiffen it up somewhat, however the 17 rear swaybar (on my 17tl anyway) is pathetic. I've doubled it up with a 18 turbo item (about twice as thick) and it's eliminated virtually all the body roll that my mates in their lowered out Jap cars used to laugh about. But it's still retained its overall ride. Of all the alterations to the suspension, including shocks springs, nolathanes bushes etc, this one change improved it the most. Hope this helps.

    Ben

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    Thanks, Ben. When you say doubled up, do you have two rear bars installed, or do you just say this because it's twice as thick?
    Yeah, my rear (and front) standard ones are only 17mm. BTW where did you get the nolathane bushes from? Finally, what shocks are you using? Questions, questions, questions...it's great to have people to ask...

    Does this stiffness give you sudden breakaway in the wet? Theoretically, it should...

    Cheers all,

    Stuey


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  11. #11
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    Stuey,
    By two sway bars, Ben means two sway bars, one above the other, I had this on a 17TL years ago and it does work well. I don't have any problem with stif suspension, my 17 Gordini is lowered 2 inches with Koni shocks and handling wet or dry is exellent, ride is a little harsh but I'm used to it now, the 12 Gordini is all original and rides better than the 17 but has alot worse traction, the 12 has 160hp over the 17's 120hp making the 12 a real handful in the wet, the 17 is a faster car in the wet, and in traffic, but on a dry track a 12 Gordini at 7000rpm is the motoring equivalent to Beethovens 9th symphony.
    Seeya,
    David.

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  12. #12
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    Stuey,

    as David said, the sway bars are piggybacked underneath each other. Simply make up two plates and bolt them up. The only real compromise is reduced ground clearance as the bottom sway bar sits pretty close to the ground....

    As far as handling in the wet goes, I haven't been near a track in the wet to see how far it'll go.

    Nolathane bushes, I just got them them through my brother, he owns a tyre shop, but I think you can get them from most suspension specialists.

    However be careful when replacing the bushes in the rear suspension (if a 12 is similar to a 17) They are a lot dearer- like $300 NZ!

    As far as shocks go, I have just got Munroes? an ozzie brand aren't they? THey do the job, if the pocket could've afforded it back then (student days) I would've got adjustable Konis.

    David, have you had much experience with strut braces or camber adjustment on 12's or 17's?
    Do the strut braces really do that much as the shocks don't attach to the bottom A arm like escorts etc that really benefit from such a mod?
    On the aussie 15/17 site they recommend modifying the bottom A arm to gain up to 2 degrees of negative camber. Has anyone had any experience with this? I'm interested as I don't do much driving in the car and tyre wear is not a concern (I live where I work!)
    I assume they mean to modify the ball jt end as I can't see any way of modifying it (safely) at the end where it bolts to the chassis rail.

    I'm wary of mods that will look dodgy to the warrant man too, any suggestions?

    Cheers Ben

    ps shouldn't we really be in the reno forum.......just how many guiness had you had stuey...

  13. #13
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    Hi all,

    My 12 is quite basic. The only mods, a 17G rear roll bar, re-set rear springs (able to tow a car trailer mit car), 5.5 inch 17G rims with 175/70 Michelin MXTE's.

    While it is no WRX, the basic mods are cheap and endow the car with fairly neutral handling (still with final understeer though)compared to the piggy understeer of a rapidly driven stock 12. The handling in the wet is much better than standard, with a greatly increased limit to where understeer finally sets in. The only downside is heavier steering than the normal 12.

    Really things like strut braces and resetting the camber are only necessary for competition work. The 15/17 Register site camber reset comes from the Renault competition manual and involves moving the pivot points on the chassis rails. It has to be performed by experienced persons who can give engineering approval to allow the car to be registered. Really for an everyday rapid 12, I don't think things like that are totally necessary.

    Simon

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  14. #14
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    Thanks, guys. All great info being stored in the grey matter...

    Ben, regarding strut braces, they have more effect on strut based suspension where there are significant lateral loads when turning corners. The top of Macpherson style struts is forced sideways quite strongly - the strut brace reduces this, and the consequent alignment variations at the road wheel.

    However, in the Renault style suspension, most (almost all) of the loads that occur at the top of the shock tower would be vertical, as the wishbones take most of the lateral loads. Consequently, I couldn't see much benefit - of course, ANY extra rigidity in a monocoque is desirable. Welding that bit of steel that goes between the bulkhead and the shock tower woul probably cope with any loads, if you feel inclined...

    Simon, have you altered the front anti-roll bar diameter? What makes the steering more heavy? I can understand the reduced understeer - stiffening up the rear roll with an anti-roll bar actually reduces grip at the rear and brings it round more easily.

    As for front camber, I still think it would be desirable on a road car to have about 1 degree of negative. But it's a hell of a job (at least at home) to move the inner lower pivot point outwards... I'll take your word for it that your mods have reduced that terrible scrubby understeer, and have a go at similar mods to those you've tried. What diameter is the 17G rear bar?

    Cheers again all...I'm being inspired to get off my ar** and do something, finally.

    Stuey


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    Hi Stuey,

    My 12 still has the stock 12 front roll bar. I've got the small block 1289 in mine, not the big block 1565. I figured the 17 front roll bar would just increase the understeer. The heavier steering comes from the bigger tyre footprint on the ground rather than the stock 155's. The rest of the front end on the car is stock, right down to wheel alignment. Basically the wheels and tyres, with the rear roll bar have reduced the understeer a great degree.

    As a Renault cheapskate I basically avoid spending money on this car apart from normal maintenance. The money is better channelled into buying a more worthy car :-).

    Simon

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  16. #16
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    Hi,

    hey that camber adjustment Stuey- by moving the inner pivot points (or the locating holes for the bottom 'A' arm) , what sort of bracket would you make up to do this?

    Obviously what ever you put in there would have to be adjustable, as well as once you had determined the right spot for it you would not want it to move.

    I had thought of two pieces of steel with a spacer at one end , that slipped over the holes, so you can bolt it all up using the original pounting points and then somehow make a 'cam' arrangment so that you can alter the camber as and when needed?

    Rather than cutting out and the bottom attachment points and welding in new ones, so you can return it to standard at a later date if need be, or if the warrant/insurance man doesn't like it, use it only on the track! What do you guys reckon?

    Seeya Ben

  17. #17
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    Ben, I hadn't really thought that far. Just had a quick look while I was working on the tie rods. Basically, it would take a bit of chiselling (air) to remove the existing lower wishbone pivot, then fabrication of a spacer to place it further outwards, and rewelding. If you were very careful, you could get it right, but yeah, adjustability would be a better bet.

    I had also thought of the eccentric bushes, sort of like they use on the rear of (shudder) Hyundais and Mitubishis on their lateral locating arms. However, I don't think you could get enough angle this way; I could be wrong. The R12 at least is 1 degree 30" positive from memory.

    Interestingly, a European mob have started supplying camber adjusting eccentric bolts for MacPherson struts here in Australia. Basically the two bolts that go through the strut at the hub carrier are eccentric. By rotation of these, the strut tilts. Something like this on the lower wishbone could work.

    Then again, if you cut the top arm, took out a piece of metal, and re welded (with reinforcement) this would work too, and wouldn't move the tyre contact patch outwards so much (thus affecting bump steer less). With all this rambling on, though, your calcs would have to be pretty spot on....

    Cheers

    Stuey


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  18. #18
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Buump steer is not in any way related to changing the camber at all. It is to do with the relationship of the tie rod arc with the arc described by the lower arm on a strut suspension.

    Note that the Peugeot have the same length arms and tie rods, and they run parallel. No bump steer...

    As for the Gordini engine vs the 16TS etc, there is no need to sink to the Gordini bits at all... I have the forumula for a nice engine, as I ran in a Clubman many years ago... Repco pistons etc...

    I don't really think the Gordini had larger valves than the 16TS, either.

  19. #19
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    Hi Ray,

    changing topic a bit, but as I am interested in building a gruntier motor for my 17 just what was the formula for your clubman motor?

    Was it for a R17 1565cc motor or a 1289?cc 12 motor? Either way my brother is not sure about what to put in his as we have 'spare' 1565cc motors lying about. You mentioned repco pistons- are they still available- how mcuh were they etc etc. As you can tell I am pretty keen to hear of (affordable) improvements in power for either the R12 or R17. Any tips are appreciated,

    cheers Ben

  20. #20
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I would imagine the Repco pistons are available to order. Their Part Number, from memory, was SR454.

    The problem those days was the rings, they came with Fiat 1500 rings in the standard size, and these weren't up to the revs. The next set I had came with Land Rover rings! Not any better at all! But today I am sure - and with the knowledge of the problem, which I didn't have - that you could specify a better ring.

    The cam was Cosworth A6 grind, the chambers had been relieved around the inlet valve, but not right across as in the Gordini.

    There would be better ways to go about it, but these are the fundamentals. For instance, a crowd in Adelaide named JP Pistons would probably do a better job of the pistons and it would not be hard to design them to be the same as Repco made.

    Of course, there was some relieving and polishing in the ports, and the valves were tidied up a bit, but they were standard valves.

  21. #21
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    JP Pistons quoted me a price of $120 per piston about two years ago. But they need a piston to work from if it isn't already in their catalogue.

    Or try www.mecaparts.com

    The 12G valves are the same larger diameter valves as the 17G, which in turn are the same size as the 2 litre Renault 20 valves. These being larger than the normal 16TS valves. It just demonstrates the well engineered parts bin technology that Renault used to such great effect!

    Simon


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  22. #22
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I would have to find one of the Repco pistons to copy, but I am certain they are the model to use ... rather than Gordini pistons. They gave more power than the forged pistons in Gordinis, which required that the whole combustion chamber be made more hemispherical.

    Wonder what happened to all my pistons? Brian Morrow may know (Burwood Auto Electrics).. honestly, I've forgotten who got the engines, but I think one gravitated to him or John Crouchley.

    Bruce Collier built my engine, and these were the pistons he used. Maybe there are some hanging around at his shop?

    Another source might be Bob Watson...

  23. #23
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,
    Bob Watson's no good for info these days, Bob is retired and altough does a bit of historic rallying he doesn't get involved in cars and his old business Bob Watson service centre is just a Renault/Peugeot service centre.
    Simon is right about Gordini valves, they use R20/fuego valves which are much larger than standard 16TS.
    If you want grut best leave the Gordini bits along, leave them for those of us who need them, my brother used to run a Dauphine sports sedan about 25 years ago, it ran a mid mounted 16TS, bored to 1800cc using toyota pistons, I remember the sleeves were that thin that the piston would slide up and down the sleeves while lying on the bench but when you held them in two fingers they wouldn't moove, with twin 45's, cam, valves that thing flew.
    Wanna hear a funny story?
    Customer of mine used to be the Rumanian rally champion and drove factory R12 Gordini's, he used to go into France to pick up new 12G's and the first thing the Rumanians did to improove the handling was to heat up the cross member above the gearbox,under the battery with an oxy and bend it in to bring the shocker towers closer together, thats one way to get negative camber, the other way was to buy alloy lengthened lower arms from Megaparts.
    Seeya's
    David.

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  24. #24
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    Ray, if you read my post, I didn't relate bump steer to camber at all. If the center of the tyre contact patch moves outwards in relation to the steering rotational axis of the wheel, it will increase bump steer. It's a leverage thing. Shortening the top 'wishbone' would have less effect on this, as it would tend to pivot the wheel inwards about the lower ball joint, and the contact patch would move less as you shorten the 'wishbone'. If you lengthened the bottom wishbone, the contact patch would move outward quite a lot in comparison to obtain the same camber change. Bump steer doesn't only apply to strut suspension...if you get a pure double wishbone suspension (eg. Ferrari, Honda) and put huge wheel spacers on the wheels, odds on you'll experience bump steer. But on saying all this, it was only a passing comment, I didn't think too much. Clearly I'll have to dot my I's with you around...

    Cheers

    Stuey


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  25. #25
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    David, what are these lengthened alloy lower arms, and who is Megaparts?

    These Romanian cars, were they Renaults, or the Romainian equivalent, the Dacia? (The R12 is/was sold there as a Dacia 1300).

    Stuey



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