Renault 12 GL restore engine advice
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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Default Renault 12 GL restore engine advice

    I have a 1973 r12 gl (1289cc) that i will begin restoring soon. I would like some advice regarding what to do with the engine.

    I already have one registered standard R12 gl as my main vehicle. (I live near a train station it doesn't get much use)
    I want to do the second R12 as a warm club car.

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    I have a third rusty R12 (1.4L) that was previously prepared for weekend rallying. It has a warm cam, extractors and side draft webber, larger R17 ts brakes, roll bars a good dashboard and no seats. The engine head has been moved to the boot.

    The current 1289cc engine has had no work done to it. It has reasonable compression with one cylinder down about 5% (from memory)

    So what to do...

    Rebuild the 1.4 engine or the 1289cc engine? (I have never rebuilt an engine before.)

    There seems to be debate over which is better the 1.4 or the earlier 1.3. I already have a standard R12 so want to warm this one up.

    I could install the exhaust and carby on the existing 1289cc engine but that may be wasted.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated as i get started.

    IanRenault 12 GL restore engine advice-imageuploadedbyaussiefrogs1402610715.181562.jpg

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! Sarosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IThompson View Post
    I have a 1973 r12 gl (1289cc) that i will begin restoring soon. I would like some advice regarding what to do with the engine.

    I already have one registered standard R12 gl as my main vehicle. (I live near a train station it doesn't get much use)
    I want to do the second R12 as a warm club car.

    I have a third rusty R12 (1.4L) that was previously prepared for weekend rallying. It has a warm cam, extractors and side draft webber, larger R17 ts brakes, roll bars a good dashboard and no seats. The engine head has been moved to the boot.

    The current 1289cc engine has had no work done to it. It has reasonable compression with one cylinder down about 5% (from memory)

    So what to do...

    Rebuild the 1.4 engine or the 1289cc engine? (I have never rebuilt an engine before.)

    There seems to be debate over which is better the 1.4 or the earlier 1.3. I already have a standard R12 so want to warm this one up.

    I could install the exhaust and carby on the existing 1289cc engine but that may be wasted.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated as i get started.

    IanClick image for larger version. 

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    If I was in the above situation I'd:

    If it's beyond it, totally strip down the modified rusty 12 and dispose of the shell
    Clean and refurbish all the parts to put on your good second shell
    1.4 Engine wise - do you know why the head is off? Are the liners clamped? From what I've read 1.4 Piston & Liners maybe scare.
    Build up the second rust free shell using all the bits from the rusty one.
    As you don't use it during the week, put your exiting car on club plates and spend the savings on the above project.

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    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    Make it stinking hot! With or without much money.

    If the pistons in the 1400 are good re-use them. If not, go 78mm Mazda pistons and do a 1480cc. Still good for standard head gasket.

    Take CR up to 10.5:1 at least. Easy because you might not even need a head skim with the added cc. Have the valves machined to remove some metal behind the head and have a decent 3 angle valve seat cut. The engineering shops should know what you're talking about when you take the head to them.

    You already have a side draught and extractor, the cam can be up to 280-290 advertised duration with good breathing.

    This should get you to 110 - 115 hp at very little cost and still be reliable. Remember those bottom ends can take up to 200hp before serious money needs to be spent.

    I have done this a few times and this is proven reliability.

    Frans.
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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Frans,

    With 100+ hp in an R12 how do you stop the front wheels spinning uncontrolably?

    My registered R12 gl has enough trouble keeping grip when accelerating.

    Nevermind a lot more horses.

    Ian

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    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    That is your problem , but imagine the feeling once you get it moving and then planting it ! There is always 2nd, 3rd and 4th to enjoy as well.
    Old enough to know better
    Young enough to do it anyway.

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by IThompson View Post
    Frans,

    With 100+ hp in an R12 how do you stop the front wheels spinning uncontrolably?

    My registered R12 gl has enough trouble keeping grip when accelerating.

    Nevermind a lot more horses.

    Ian
    Fit some better tyres and learn some clutch and throttle control. The only time I have trouble is in the wet.
    Regards Col

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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Haakon,

    Nice suggestion but i don't want to bastardise the car. Citroen had the birotor but i don't recall a renault with a rotary engine.

    I have ridden in a mazda rx3 and the rotary engine is amazing. But i am partial to a roaring 4 cylinder.

    I have heard arguments both ways as to which is the better engine, the renault 12 1289cc or 1.4l.
    - some suggest the 1289cc revs better
    - others suggest the 1.4 has more torque.
    Any thoughts?

    I have seen on the net various replacement cylinder parts for the 1289cc engine but none for the 1.4l.
    For an engine rebuild will the 1.4 parts be difficult to obtain?

    Ian

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    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    First find out if you do need new pistons or does the sleeve have a huge ridge that cannot hone out. Then worry about the cylinder parts or go Mazda and have the sleeves re-bored to suit the 78mm Mazda pistons. Nice narrow 1,2mm thickness rings on there as well which means that you won't break rings due to flutter at high rpm. The skirt at the bottom of the sleeve gets a little thin at 78mm but has caused no issues for me yet.
    If you have proper breathing the 1400 will rev as hard as the 1289.
    Be like Nike and "Just do It"

    Frans
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    Tadpole
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    Frans he white car you have is my old car I can tell you all bout it engine build etc

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    Tadpole
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    when motor was built it had mild cam I had pistons balanced crank machined head machined bigger valves . . Had thermo fan on radiator bigger front rear sway bars wagon rear end all new bearings in the front with the 17 hubs an rotors .

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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Danb,

    That sounds like it.
    Thermo fan
    Extractors
    Lynx manifold
    Sidedraft webbers
    Big front and rear brakes

    I was told it had a warm cam.
    The head is off so i will need to do some work on it.

    I would love to find out more about it.

    Ian

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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments guys.
    I spoke to danb and he had doneost of the work previously to get the motor running very warm.

    All i need to do is clean it up work out why the head is off and put it back together again. Oh and put it in a different shell.

    Thanks everyone

    Ian

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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Following on from everyones advice on the engine rebuild i have found out why the head is off.

    I have the engine out and examined the pistons. The top of No1 has a small chunk missing and a corresponding extra piece of metal embedded in the cylinder wall and head. The gudgeon pin also has a bit of play (1/4 mm?)

    My guess is a ring broke and jammed the top of the cylinder.
    So a serious rebuild would be necessary.

    Thanks

    Ian

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    So the 1.4 will need new pistons! See my previous post.
    Frans
    Old enough to know better
    Young enough to do it anyway.

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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Frans,
    I was just about to post you.

    Are there multiple mazda 78mm pistons available or only one?
    Are the mazda gudgeon pins the same?

    Ian
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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    I found a 1397cc piston and liner set on ebay. I descided to stay with renault parts as i thought it easier than adapting non-renault parts for my first engine rebuild.

    Ian

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    Quote Originally Posted by IThompson View Post
    I found a 1397cc piston and liner set on ebay. I descided to stay with renault parts as i thought it easier than adapting non-renault parts for my first engine rebuild.

    Ian
    Makes sense to me.

  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    I finally got around to pulling appart the 1.4 engine.
    i had bought a liner set on ebay and later a whole lot of parts including a piston snd liner set which I was told was for the 1.4.

    As I had two sets I sold one to another Aussie frog.
    (you are probably guessing where this is going)

    Well with the engine stripped apart and having I found and rung an engine rebuild workshop.
    i looked at the new boxed pistons. They are for the 1289!!!!

    So Franz, Mazda pistons then!

    I think the wild cam you have mentioned previously was cosworth A6 or more sensible A3.
    Is it safe to assume the engine workshop would know the doecs?

    Ian

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    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Re cams, Clive Cams in Melbourne can still grind. I spoke to them late last year, they offered this;


    Hi Daniel


    Thank you for the enquiry and apologies for the delay in our response.
    We would recommend our #0121 profile, which has the following:

    Lobe Lift .276"
    Advertised Duration 305
    Duration @ .050", 240
    Phase Angle 106.75


    If the profile can be ground straight onto your existing cam as it is, it would cost $207.00, however we may need to weld the lobes in order to put this profile onto your cam, which would cost $801.00 (plus postage, if applicable).

    If you have any queries or would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact Clive on (03) 9758 5977.

    Kind Regards
    Tara Stenlake

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    Fax: (03) 9753 6774

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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    So Bowie what did you end up doing?

    Apparently the Cam is already a warm mild cam grind.

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    I sadly haven't done anything yet

    I was going to get the cam sorted once I had the spare head shaved, ported etc. So.. I need to finish tidying up those ports, then find a head man, then probably order a bunch of replacement valves and associated hardware.. so.. yeah.. I've been dawdling.

    Works: 1999 Volvo S40 T4, (has Choo Choo's)
    Playing: R12, SuperPos, thinks It's a race car.
    Previous: SuperGrumpy fuel spitting 504ti(ish), SuperComfortable 505 STI, SuperDoper carried my groceries Mi16
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    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    Re cams, Clive Cams in Melbourne can still grind. I spoke to them late last year, they offered this;


    Hi Daniel


    Thank you for the enquiry and apologies for the delay in our response.
    We would recommend our #0121 profile, which has the following:

    Lobe Lift .276"
    Advertised Duration 305
    Duration @ .050", 240
    Phase Angle 106.75
    Interesting that a Tighe Cams 121 Grind in remarkably similar to Clive Cams 121. On the Tighe Cams site under Ford 1600 it is said to be A3 Cosworth.
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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Well I bought some mazda pistons.
    78mm +0.20
    i took them to the machine shop.
    the gudgeon pins are 2mm too wide for the renault connecting rod.
    Ah this is not simple if you don't know what you are doing and don't have your own workshop.

    Ian

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    Alternatively does anybody in Vic have a surplus tired r12ts engine that they are willing to sell?
    I have the matching cylinder liners.

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