R12 more fun than a Megane
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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    Default R12 more fun than a Megane

    I have just put R17 sway bars on my R12. It has made a huge difference in the car sitting flat during cornering. I went for a drive on some wiggly roads near my house. I couldn't stop grinning it was so much fun.

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    I have previously mentioned driving a Renault Megane GT (a hertz hire car) over the same roads. Whilst the Megane is a far far far superior car i found the R12 more fun when driving within cooee of the speed limit.

    I also did an oil change. After the recent visit to the Penrite office by the renault car club vic i thought i would give penrite oil a go. It was even on special at my local parts store.

    Ian
    Becoming more renault tragic every drive.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    So what you are driving now is not an R12......
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    Kim, don't spoil a good story with the facts
    Frans
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    Old enough to know better
    Young enough to do it anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frans View Post
    Kim, don't spoil a good story with the facts
    Frans
    Many a good arguement/story etc has been shot down by somebody that had the nerve to use the truth.
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    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    I put R17 sway bars on my Virage when I had it and I know exactly what you mean
    cheers,

    John

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    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    A 17 is only a 2 door 12. It's all the same to me.
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    David Cavanagh

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    Yeah I did the same. I got some fat sway bars, some "rally" springs (they came off a rally car) and koni shocks. I didn't have the tools needed to upgrade the front springs and shocks so I just did the rears. On nothing out of the ordinary 175 tyres the change was breathtaking. I found myself backing off because I felt sure when I reached the limits of adhesion I'd lose it in a big way. It never happened.

    A year or so later I put the stiffer springs and shocks on the front it made a difference but not as much as changing the bars and firming up the rears.

    What I'd really like to do is find some good original springs use the stiffer bars and shocks and find out just what that does.
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    It'll be exactly as your R17. As Dave said, they're the same car.

    One thing I don't like about these cars is the front unloading under acceleration from standstill. I guess a little bit less front end droop would help.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

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    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    The 12G had Koni all round, 25mm sway bars, and very short thick springs. Best handling R12 I've ever driven. You can see in my profile pic how flat it corners and yes it did still have torque steer, but 160hp trying to get to the front wheels what do you expect. It's an old design but would still show alot of moderns which way to go.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Cavanagh View Post
    A 17 is only a 2 door 12. It's all the same to me.
    They are obviously not the same car, or the 17, 15 and 12 would all have had the same suspension components. I wonder did you ever run your 17 with R12 sway bars and suspension to see how much the same they were? :-)
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Bit like saying an XU-1 was the same as a four cylinder Torana......
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    yep had an ex Renault newstar series r12 back in the late seventies,previous owner had left the thicker rear sway bar in the back but put a standard one back in the front,great fun play with right pedal and steering wheel through the sweeping corners out to yarra glen,felt like rear wheel steering.the main point I suppose is that with all the playing around with virtually every model Renault from r8g to 2013 koleos,and Peugeots 403 ute to 405sri,and passing the sense of froggy road feel to our 3 children,now adults,is that one has to respect other peoples taste and choice in froggy cars because at least we all have moved away from boring

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    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    Bit like saying an XU-1 was the same as a four cylinder Torana......
    You mean there not???
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Cavanagh View Post
    You mean there not???
    They all looked the same, didn't they......
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    How about, an R12 looks like a Mazda Capella but neither are as much fun as a Mazda RX2.
    John
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    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    They are obviously not the same car, or the 17, 15 and 12 would all have had the same suspension components. I wonder did you ever run your 17 with R12 sway bars and suspension to see how much the same they were? :-)
    Lets see. same floor pan, same chassis, same suspension design just upgraded to take the extra weight and power. Yeah completely different cars aren't they.

    Yes I have swaped sway bars, good fun.

    I use to pick on the 15/17 boys by telling them the best way to make a 17 go faster is to body swap it all into a 12......they hated me.

    I've built more 17 powered 12's than probably anyone else in the country (at least a dozen off the top of my head) so I've got a fairly good idea about what the same and what isn't. It was me who got Shannons to except that a 12 using all the running gear off a 17 could be insured as a 12G replica. Robert Shannon himself rang me a few times to get my opinion on modified Renaults.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I'm sure we all owe you a great debt for the work you did with Shannons, David. No-one's taking that away from you. The fact that you can mix and match the components after manufacture is simply due to Renault's penchant for cost savings in production, mainly in using a common floor structure. All I'll say is that the specification and drawings for each of the models were not identical.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Just to ad to the above. I've got both a 17 and and a few R12s. Over the years previous (and current) owners have modded these cars and its hard to know what's original and what's not but - from memory - the road feel of an standard R17 and 12 was different. And it wasn't just the stiffer bars, the springing seemed different, the 17 just felt like a heavier car.

    As mentioned above I want to try standard springs with the stiffer bars and uprated shocks. My thought is that it might give some rather nice roadholding with great comfort. Somehow I don't think it would feel just like the R17 as they seem to be sprung a bit firmer.

    P
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  19. #19
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I'm sure we all owe you a great debt for the work you did with Shannons, David. No-one's taking that away from you. The fact that you can mix and match the components after manufacture is simply due to Renault's penchant for cost savings in production, mainly in using a common floor structure. All I'll say is that the specification and drawings for each of the models were not identical.


    The original design concept was to be an R12 coupe. 15TL is just that, a 12 coupe.
    Ever driven a 15TL? It really does feel like a 12 but with a better driving position.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exfrogger View Post
    the road feel of an standard R17 and 12 was different. And it wasn't just the stiffer bars, the springing seemed different, the 17 just felt like a heavier car.
    +1. The 15TS/17 are heavier cars to drive in terms of steering and general heftiness. With my 1289cc 12, I found just the 17TL/12 Wagon thicker rear sway bar and the 17TS 5.5" rims tidied up the handling no end. The thicker 17TL front sway bar just tightened things up too much, emphasising the understeer even more, it was replaced back to the stock 12 version.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dacia4x4 View Post
    yep had an ex Renault newstar series r12 back in the late seventies,previous owner had left the thicker rear sway bar in the back but put a standard one back in the front,great fun play with right pedal and steering wheel through the sweeping corners out to yarra glen,felt like rear wheel steering.the main point I suppose is that with all the playing around with virtually every model Renault from r8g to 2013 koleos,and Peugeots 403 ute to 405sri,and passing the sense of froggy road feel to our 3 children,now adults,is that one has to respect other peoples taste and choice in froggy cars because at least we all have moved away from boring
    I believe the R12 rear suspension was designed as standard with a certain amount of rear wheel steering, which varied with the load being carried. Not sure if anyone has ever tried it but rolling the car whilst measuring the rear toe-in and putting a load in the back should show varying toe-in/toe-out angles.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I believe the R12 rear suspension was designed as standard with a certain amount of rear wheel steering, which varied with the load being carried. Not sure if anyone has ever tried it but rolling the car whilst measuring the rear toe-in and putting a load in the back should show varying toe-in/toe-out angles.
    If not originally, definitely some rear steering with 40 years odd wear.

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    Fellow Frogger! IThompson's Avatar
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    According to the factory manual there were three spring stiffnesses groups. Soft for bad roads, medium stiffness for good roads and very stiff. My R12 originally had the soft for bad roads springs. I have put wagon springs on the rear, and have a pair of medium stiffness springs and larger shock absorbers for the front in the shed.

    I think this should work for a nice road car. Exfrogger you are welcome to visit for a drive when you are in melbourne sometime.

    Ian

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    While I am a real fan of R17/15's I have to admit our R12G replica is more fun to drive than my R17TS. I will admit the R12G replica has 13 inch 50mm X 185 wide tyres and the R17 has stock rims and tyres. The 17 just feels heavier and is not as lively nor does it accelerate as quickly, probably due to the smaller circumference of the tyres. Apart from all the mechanicals and brakes we fitted R17TS sway bars, rear springs and 4 Koni's but uprated the front springs. This caused massive lift at the front on acceleration and also oversteer on gravel roads. We have since also uprated the rear springs but it hasn't been reregistered since as it is waiting a respray. So not sure of the results.
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    I've had two R12 1.4 Virage wagons. The first one was bought in about 1985 & used hard until it simply wore out. Rather than give it a substantial refurbishing, I bought a second (known) one with lower mileage. The cars were basically my wife's &, in 2005, she finally got sick of them & the second was passed to my mechanic & my wife got a new Forester. So, twenty odd years in them. I'd driven them from their release & continue to drive my second one (now with an R18 engine & 5 speed) as a loan car when one of my toys is being worked on. Some thoughts:

    Although they were my wife's cars & my driving pleasure mostly came from my toys, I did end up driving the Virages quite a bit. They were good enough for most purposes & certainly safe handlers but, as standard, somewhat understeering & ponderous ( at least in comparison to my toys). My first move to make them more responsive (but still OK for my wife) was to play with tyre pressures to adjust front/rear tyre slip angle relativities. So, comparatively more pressure in the fronts. Then, with the popularity of 175/70 tyres, I did a Citroen DS style of move & ran 175/70 fronts & 165/75 rears. That worked rather nicely (I did the some sort of thing on a toy, my Moke, with 185/70 fronts & 165/75 rears at one stage). But although the balance was nice (good turn in & nice adjustability by left foot trail braking or pre apex brief lifts without dire instability) it was still a bit floppy in turns especially left-right switches.

    So, on went the R17 TL bars. As others have reported, this is quite transformative. I can't imagine why Renault didn't fit bars of these rates as standard. I don't know the specs (Simon?) but my impression was that they increased bar stiffness more at the rear than at the front compared to the standard bars. Anyway it seemed nicely tailier. That impression & the increased unavailability of near obsolescent 165/75 tyres led me to move to 175/70 all round (still standard rims). I also continued to play around with higher front pressures.

    So, compared to some above, mine was a minimal conversion but even that (and tyre pressure balance adjustments) wrought rewards.

    So, is it an R12? who cares; it's a fatuous question. It's less a GT version of that family than the GT Megane is compared to lesser Meganes and the comparison at the start of the thread is apt. A near standard 30-40 year old car of a barely warm sort can provide considerable fun for the enthusiastic driver who likes to have a more intimate connection with the behaviour of the car's suspension than is common in today's more remote (although faster) offerings.

    cheers! Peter

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