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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Default Less is more

    Following on from the previous topic of discussion a review of clio vs r5 the comment more is less was made.

    I am currently on a work road trip in south west victoria. I am driving a hire car, lancer 5sp manual. A basic modern hatchback. Driving the hilly, twisting road in to lorne gave time to reflect a comparison with my renault 12.

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    I was probably quicker in the modern lancer than my r12 but definitely not as much fun. I didn't feel connected to the car or the road. The road noise was high but the engine noise low so it was not easy to know what the engine was doing.

    The flip side is that for the several hours of highway cruising the lancer beats the
    R12 for driving ease and comfort.
    - cruise control
    - quiet
    - comfortable seats
    - bright headlights
    - good heater

    Would i swap my R12 for a modern basic hatchback? No way driving my r12 brings a smile to my face every time u drive it (well nearly every time).

    Ian
    R12 tragic
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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by IThompson View Post
    Following on from the previous topic of discussion a review of clio vs r5 the comment more is less was made.

    I am currently on a work road trip in south west victoria. I am driving a hire car, lancer 5sp manual. A basic modern hatchback. Driving the hilly, twisting road in to lorne gave time to reflect a comparison with my renault 12.

    I was probably quicker in the modern lancer than my r12 but definitely not as much fun. I didn't feel connected to the car or the road. The road noise was high but the engine noise low so it was not easy to know what the engine was doing.

    The flip side is that for the several hours of highway cruising the lancer beats the
    R12 for driving ease and comfort.
    - cruise control
    - quiet
    - comfortable seats
    - bright headlights
    - good heater

    Would i swap my R12 for a modern basic hatchback? No way driving my r12 brings a smile to my face every time u drive it (well nearly every time).

    Ian
    R12 tragic
    Hi Ian

    Thats exactly how I feel when I drive my R12
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
    1976 Renault R12 Station Wagon
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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Hi Ian

    Thats exactly how I feel when I drive my R12
    Same here with the fuego.

    The one time though I'm happy to forgo all those antiquated driving pleasures gained from the old renault, is in a heavy rain.
    My other car is an SUV and a wet weather king.

    There is nothing fun about slip sliding around unintentionally with crap visibility.

    Jo

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    1000+ Posts Richard W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IThompson View Post
    Would i swap my R12 for a modern basic hatchback? No way driving my r12 brings a smile to my face every time u drive it (well nearly every time).
    I generally agree, but for carrying my family in safety on a day to day basis, there is no substitute for a modern.

    Also, I've done a couple of freeway drives in the 205 over the past month. I love the 205 because it's great fun around town and through the twisties, but it's a right pain in the a#se if you really need to cover some miles, droning away on straight boring freeway at 3500rpm... Meanwhile, my modern would be ticking over in near silence and vastly greater safety at 1500rpm, cruise control on and stereo on quietly instead of having to be turned up to ear bleed levels to be heard....
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    I was the initiator of that thread & my (unoriginal) quip was actually 'less is more', not 'more is less' (means the same though).

    I agree with your sentiments & it's one reason I hope Renault do a minimalist "Alpine-lite" roadster/coupe version of the new Twingo.

    I live in Tasmania & none of my four toys has a heater (not even the Moke); I don't mind noise (they're all around 4,000 at 100-110 kph); all have supplementary driving lights (to give me low, medium & high); visibility is fine & I rather relish sliding around in wet weather. The main thing I'd happily add from the modern menu is ABS. (I am trained in threshold braking but in an emergency one tends to "mash it".)

    cheers! Peter
    Last edited by 4cvg; 26th July 2014 at 02:36 AM.

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Same here with the fuego.

    The one time though I'm happy to forgo all those antiquated driving pleasures gained from the old renault, is in a heavy rain.
    My other car is an SUV and a wet weather king.

    There is nothing fun about slip sliding around unintentionally with crap visibility.

    Jo
    I find my R12 to be more than capable in the rain, it has good tires, good wipers, and good lights for driving at night. I have no problems at sitting on the speed limit in the pouring rain.
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
    1976 Renault R12 Station Wagon
    2002 Renault Laguna V6
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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Hi Ian

    Thats exactly how I feel when I drive my R12
    Me too.

    If I'm feeling lazy or cold then I take the 307 Wagon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    I have no problems at sitting on the speed limit in the pouring rain.
    My fuego seems to have problems sitting on the speed limit in any conditions. Thats most the problem.

    Jo
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    You guys have simply identified driving European cars to Japanese cars - no comparison in terms of feel, "soul" if you like.

    It's something the Japanese, and most other countries, have never been able to find regardless of the car's overall competence.

    i will put in a good word for Mazda though, not too bad and there's a reason they are called the "Euro Jap".

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    More is less or less is more?

    I deliberately switched the order because i find the basic R12 (less) a more engaging drive.

    I do agree about the safety aspects.
    I am separated from my wife which has allowed me to finally get an old car. My son only rides in it occasionally and not on highways. So i am willing to risk driving an old car for myself.

    Ian

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    The safety aspect includes the driver.
    I am somewhat more focused on driving consciously carefully in my R4 than the Megane.

    I say 'somewhat' but I really mean sh-tloads...
    There is a solution to every problem. There is a problem with every solution.
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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kram View Post
    You guys have simply identified driving European cars to Japanese cars - no comparison in terms of feel, "soul" if you like.

    It's something the Japanese, and most other countries, have never been able to find regardless of the car's overall competence.
    That sort of sounds logical, but still I cant agree.
    Some of the honda's I've driven have been full of character, fast, and corner like a they are on rails.
    You cant compare for example a Type R to a renault scenic and say one has soul and one does not......If one does not it is nothing to do with its country of birth.
    The most 'soulful' car I have driven and the car I have had the most fun in ever was a bogo standard skyling gts-t.

    No 4x4, just RWD, not a big powerfull motor, but jeez that car made more of an impression on me than any other car has in the last 20 years.

    As for my scenic rx4... Its got less soul than kenny G.

    Jo

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    I know i am a lot more aware of where my fellow road users are when i'm driving my Alpine.
    It doesn't matter if it's an R4 an Alpine or any other classic, it's a prized possession and you don't some
    moron running into it.
    If you've got too much traction, you haven't got enough horse power ...




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    Quote Originally Posted by 27of85 View Post
    It doesn't matter if it's an R4 an Alpine or any other classic, it's a prized possession and you don't some
    moron running into it.
    Talking about morons i had a very close shave a month back. I went for a drive i the hills east of melbourne. I had just enjoyed a very twisty section of road and the road was straight for a while.
    As i approached an intersection (i had already backed off a bit as i know that is where most incidents occur) a van crossed the road in front of me. I braked firmly then eased the braking as i calculated that he was going to make it across just before i arrived. I was feeling a a little annoyed but relieved because i though he had cut it a bit fine.

    Then the second car decided to cross as well. Unmentionable words popped into my mind. I don't think any came out of my mouth as it all happened so quickly. Brake, swerve, Brake (not sure of the exact sequence there) then just as i was passing his bonnet there was a loud THUMP.

    I brought the car to a stop at the side of the road. Oh no there goes the rear right quarter panel. I slowly turned the ignition off and got out of the car. The other driver pulled up behind me. Once we established neither were hurt we looked at the cars.

    His plastic bumper had scratches and black marks right across it and the number plate was crumpled.

    Francine (my r12) had a small scratch on the crome bumper and the mud flap was split as it had caught on the number plate of the other car.

    The other driver was most appologetic. Being a cold morning his windows were still fogged up. He never saw me comming.

    Like geoff and others i keep a keen watch on other drivers. As i know i will most likely come off second best in any accident.

    The best surprise was how well the car behaved. I performed an emergency slalom but the r12 just soaked it up allowing me to bring the car to a prompt
    controlled stop.

    I know francine (my r12 gl) is only worth a few hundred dollars but she is precious to me and i am glad both of us are still in one peice.

    Ian
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    Yes, I've had to do a few "Elk avoidance" manoeuvres over the years (mostly wombats but once a cyclist). The 4CVG & R8 (both 2.5 ratio steering for later events - definitely makes things tidier) have been the vehicles but I have had two R12 Virage wagons. My advice with them has three elements:

    First, fit R17 anti-roll bars.
    Second, fit 175/70-13 tyres (increasingly hard to find anything decent in the wet although Col swears by some (obsolescent) Dunlops.
    Third, play around with tyre pressures (more in the front) until you find the lift-off adjustability you like.

    cheers! Peter

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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Peter,

    Thanks for the suggestion.
    I have some r17 swaybars for my other project car.

    Francine has r12 wagon springs and two r12 swaybars on the rear. Dunlop turanzas 185 on the front and barum 175 on the rear (they came with the car). The armstrong power steering struggles a bit at low speeds but otherwise she handles and grips quite well.

    What do you recommend for tyre pressures?
    I am currently running 32psi all round.
    At a defensive driving course (20 years ago) they recommended 36 front 32 rear for a mazda 323.

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    I'll tick the Skyline box too. What a fabulous engine.
    JohnW

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by IThompson View Post
    Peter,

    Thanks for the suggestion.
    I have some r17 swaybars for my other project car.

    Francine has r12 wagon springs and two r12 swaybars on the rear. Dunlop turanzas 185 on the front and barum 175 on the rear (they came with the car). The armstrong power steering struggles a bit at low speeds but otherwise she handles and grips quite well.

    What do you recommend for tyre pressures?
    I am currently running 32psi all round.
    At a defensive driving course (20 years ago) they recommended 36 front 32 rear for a mazda 323.
    The tyres I have are Dunlop Le Man LM701, my pressures are 33 psi front 30 psi rear. Like Peter says you need to play around with the pressures to find the balance that suits you.

    I have not had any problems with these tyres, they seem to be good on different surfaces and I have never had a problem in the wet. They were only a $100 each which I think is good value.

    I also find as a tyre ages for some reason they seem to make the steering heavier, not sure why this is
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
    1976 Renault R12 Station Wagon
    2002 Renault Laguna V6
    1973 Alpine A110

    http://alpine-a110.weebly.com/

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    dvr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kram View Post
    You guys have simply identified driving European cars to Japanese cars - no comparison in terms of feel, "soul" if you like.

    It's something the Japanese, and most other countries, have never been able to find regardless of the car's overall competence.

    i will put in a good word for Mazda though, not too bad and there's a reason they are called the "Euro Jap".
    Can't agree with this age old myth. I've driven quite a lot of bimmers, mercs, renos, pugs and other euro cars that are boring, uninvolving and soul-less.

    Most manufacturers including the Japanese, have built cars over the years that make driving for sake of driving fun. Even back in the 60's there were jap cars that met this characteristic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvr View Post
    Can't agree with this age old myth. I've driven quite a lot of bimmers, mercs, renos, pugs and other euro cars that are boring, uninvolving and soul-less.
    My X has a Peugeot 307 2l manual. A good car but for the brief time i got to drive it i did not find it engaging. I found the previous car, a renault scenic 2l manual front wheel drive, more fun to drive. One thing i liked was how it handled pretty well for a micro people mover.

    Ian
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    On tyres:

    Curiously, for years I deliberately ran 175/70 fronts & 165/75 rears & liked the size difference as a way of better balancing the handling. Then, as 165/75 became obsolete, I moved to 175/70 all round & increased the tyre pressure differential to maintain similar handling balance.

    My mechanic now has my second Virage wagon (re-engined with an R18 motor & a 5-speed) & I fitted a pair of 175/70 fronts to it last year for him. Splendidly grippy & taut tyres which are now, sadly, not available anymore -Bridgestone's AR10 (the 'AR' stands for 'active response'). I fitted them to my daughter's Corolla as well when Conti EcoContact3s became unavailable.
    One nice feature of the AR10 is a dual layer tread with a softer compound which becomes exposed as the tyre wears. That system worked very well on some Potenzas I had on the rear of my R8 years ago. Apart from Col's Dunlop's, I'm not sure what to recommend now; the size has gone from common to rare.

    The extra anti-roll bar at the rear of yours has already moved some weight-transfer from front to rear & thus degraded rear grip; so, together with your size imbalance, it is conceivable that even pressures would suit. (The power steering sounds the a bad move.)

    I am hard-wired for neutral to oversteer as a handling balance so, with my Virages, I ran about 8 psi difference (38/32) on the 175/70s but you can but experiment & find what you like. With front wheel drive, when fanging I always left foot brake into the apex or briefly lift at the apex (depending on gear changing duties) to unsettle the rear & there is one favourite corner (with good sight lines across a paddock & room to get a bit untidy) which I use to sort out my tyre pressure balance. I want to be able to unsettle the rear without being spat into the fence backwards so I make an initial guesstimate & then (when the road is wet) experiment with an apex lift off (gently at first) until I get it moving controllably at the finally chosen pressures.

    Steering lightness is mostly a function of two things (tyrewise). The first is pressure. Increased pressure means a smaller (& usually shorter) contact patch & thus less road-binding rubber to have to haul around. The other factor is contact patch shape. The shorter it is, the easier it is to twist for a given area (have a think about levers & pivots & forces & whatnot). A 175/70 is shorter & wider than, say, a 165/80 is which is why it's common for people who shift from O.E. latter-size tyres to the former to report lighter steering.

    As a tyre wears, the blocks usually wear asymmetrically in the fore-aft direction. Look at them & you'll find that instead of the block walls all being the same height, the rear wall (as it meets the road, before the front wall does) is shorter than the front wall. As the block is now worn to a diagonal of the original block top as it meets the road, a greater area of rubber is in interaction with the road surface (as the diagonal which is the new block surface length is longer then the original block top length). Effectively, as the block distorts bit under tractive load, the contact patch has more rubber meeting the road than in a brand new tyre. Larger contact patch means heavier steering.

    This lengthening of the block surface is why many advise that tyre rotation should always maintain the same direction of rotation. Change it & one chamfers the block from the other direction & ends up with a peaked roof block top. (Personally, I don't fuss about this &, favouring wet grip above everything, I favour having a film-cutting new block edge in action for a while and then greater ground pressure.)

    cheers! Peter
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    (The power steering sounds the a bad move.)
    Peter i am not sure what the above sentence means. Power steering is a bad thing or not a bad thing.

    I was under the impression that Armstrong steering was a standard fitting on all renault 12s. Do you not have Armstrong steering in your R12?

    Ian

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    R12 never came with power steering (maybe some north american models?).
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    By Armstrong steering, i think he means you get strong arms using it. ( not power steering)
    If you've got too much traction, you haven't got enough horse power ...




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    I was wondering how long it would take for someone to work it out.

    Sorry i have a weird sense of humor.

    Ian

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