My R12 POS Arrived!
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Default My R12 POS Arrived!

    And it's better then I had imagined.

    There has been some serious love thrown at this over the years, It's honestly, probably in better condition then my Mi16. (not a huge achievement if i'm honest) The interior is that lovely old car smelling green olive colour. I love that colour, T'was the colour in my 504 previous. and all seems to be working. Windows wind down, locks work. there isn't any rust in the bottom of any doors.

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    There is a bit of rust on the right hand side of the rear window. Previous owner had a black sun shade thing that was just collecting crap and rotting it out. That won't be on ever again!

    As for my hopes of this being a run around race car... well the suspension seemed to be in good condition, all bushes intact, it even looks like it has some new sway bar hangers, this is sad because it handled like a yacht on the way home. before I get too excited, who has a hot one who wants to show off and take me for a drive? There'd be a bottle of wine in it for you. oh wait the Cit dudes are running the next french car day in a month or too. I can probably wait till then. Watch out Renault 12 owners! MMhahahaha

    Paint is the varying shades of the off white green colour throughout, crows feat hear and a few bits where someone touched it up previous.. probably would require a re-spray.. but.. well, god when to stop. The rest of the car is probably worth it?

    Oh the drama with the fuel pump! Previously, the fuel pump wasn't doing anything, we sucked and sucked on the fuel line for a bit but gave up. Today we tried again and the sucking cleared what ever was stopping it from doing something. Fuel is swishing around the filter as normal and she started and drove fine!

    Other complains? The drivers seat has given up, although the leather is in good condition. Someone fitted a desk fan to the console, gets annoying whilst steering at times but perhaps I'll probably enjoy it when summer is here, they tell me the airflow in these things is close to 0? Last owner thought white wall tyres were a good idea. One of the whitewalls has fallen off and is now blue. Friends, don't let friends install white wall tyres. Again sadly there is plenty of tread on them so there they shall stay for some time being

    But they really are a charming looking thing Who designed these again?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My R12 POS Arrived!-smimgp3619.jpg   My R12 POS Arrived!-smimgp3620.jpg   My R12 POS Arrived!-smdirtrear.jpg   My R12 POS Arrived!-smfrontdirt.jpg  
    Last edited by bowie; 13th September 2015 at 11:47 PM.
    FedGrapes, lozenge and Tom_95 like this.

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Oh. Can one swap all the clocks around? and no temperature gauge? Are they really that reliable?

    I understand the later "TS" had cool things like a tacho and temp gauge, what are the chances like of finding those. On earth.. and not in my dreams.

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Easy. You can find them in Virage models, so a call to Dave Cavanagh would be my first shot.

    If you get stuck, ebay is your friend.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 14th September 2015 at 02:21 AM.
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    You'll find that the water temp is indicated by a warning light, just like lots of late model cars! They are that reliable. The instrument cluster can be swapped with the Jaeger gauge unit from a 1975-76 model 12, they have the tacho in the centre of the cluster, just like a Porsche, you will also need the wiring loom and the temp sensor in the back of the cylinder head to make the temp gauge and tacho work (or just stuff around with separate wires to get them to work - replacing the loom is likely the easier option).

    One good thing about that rear window louvre though, it has preserved the lovely Australian COTY sticker, I've not seen a good one of those for years!
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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Fair point It does feel vibrant in that mid 70's print! lol Simon I wish I could peal it off and send it to you, but it would probably crumble away and be gone forever more.

    And right the Virage had them cool cool. I'll annoy Dave a bit later (sorry Dave)

    Thanks all

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

  6. #6
    COL
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    Default List Of Things To Improve Your R12

    1) Fit twin headlights from the Virage, so that you can see at night.

    2) Install R17 anti roll bars, takes a lot of body roll out.

    3) Install a SAAS sports wheel or similar, give you some meat to get hold of, those old skinny wheels are terrible to drive with.

    4) Shorten the gear stick and take the slop out of the gear change, makes changing gears a pleasure.

    5) Fit 5" rims (Cosmic, Dunlop mags or R18 wheels) allows a little wider rubber.

    6) Fit thermo fan, can gain a little horse power.

    7) Change to either Bilstein or Koni shocks, gives far better handling.

    8) Fit 807 engine from an r17. 40% power increase.

    9) Fit R17 front brakes, takes far longer to fade.
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    Regards Col

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  7. #7
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    Virage instruments won't fit - they have a whole different cluster.
    But 12GL instruments should give you what you want.

    that's quite an early car - the wipers are set for left hand drive, only the very first Australian assembled 12s had that.
    Aussie assembled 12s generally had the wipers set correctly for right hand drive, with the clever pantographic linkage on the right to make the wiper sweep very close to the pillar. This was unique to Australian cars - 12s sold in UK all has the wipers set for LHD, it's like driving with one eye half closed.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simca1100 View Post
    Virage instruments won't fit - they have a whole different cluster.
    But 12GL instruments should give you what you want.

    that's quite an early car - the wipers are set for left hand drive, only the very first Australian assembled 12s had that.
    Aussie assembled 12s generally had the wipers set correctly for right hand drive, with the clever pantographic linkage on the right to make the wiper sweep very close to the pillar. This was unique to Australian cars - 12s sold in UK all has the wipers set for LHD, it's like driving with one eye half closed.

    You can fit the whole dash (and I bet it's easier too, not to mention more visible and clear) but you're right, the Virage cluster doesn't fit in the 12 dash. I was trying to remember the 12 model that had all the upmarket dials - GL, like the one in my driveway!

    But hey, your car is quite pretty, wouldn't say it deserves the POS title.

    PS. You know what? you might be lucky. I think I have a GL cluster in my stash of spares. Yell out if you need it. Not sure how good it is (I mean if everything in it works) but if it is, it's gonna cost you an arm and a leg!
    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.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    1) Fit twin headlights from the Virage, so that you can see at night.

    2) Install R17 anti roll bars, takes a lot of body roll out.

    3) Install a SAAS sports wheel or similar, give you some meat to get hold of, those old skinny wheels are terrible to drive with.

    4) Shorten the gear stick and take the slop out of the gear change, makes changing gears a pleasure.

    5) Fit 5" rims (Cosmic, Dunlop mags or R18 wheels) allows a little wider rubber.

    6) Fit thermo fan, can gain a little horse power.

    7) Change to either Bilstein or Koni shocks, gives far better handling.

    8) Fit 807 engine from an r17. 40% power increase.

    9) Fit R17 front brakes, takes far longer to fade.

    If it is a real early R12 then an 807 might not fit as the cross member in the rear of the engine bay is straight it needs a bend. Last week there was an R12 barn find for sale in QLD already converted to R12 Gordini specs. Would save a lot of work.

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Yes it really is an early r12. 1971 build and Simon had already pointed out it had the smaller 1.2L

    Yes I bought this expecting a POS. I wanted a cheap something to throw spanners at and do club events with. The blessing is I can, but I'm less likely to be aggressive with the power tools. :p I may have to rethink this.

    An early discussion about the cross member ended with being ok. I'd have to check, but I believe you just needed to remove the tab where the battery sat? I best go back and check as there is a r17 engine sitting in my shed. And I missed that thread! Where was it?

    Yes Col all those items are on the shopping list, but I confess in getting cold feet over how bad it is to drive in its current form. But I'll clean it up on the meantime and see if it grows on me.

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Regarding the cluster and dash... Yes I'll wait and annoy you all a bit later. I keep forgetting these things are 40 yrs old and parts are thinning but given the prices.... It might be more fun to fit some modern clocks to size within the existing cluster.

    Oh re the cross member, uncle Dave says.

    I never worried me, I use to just grind the lip off the early X member and reweld it. Easy with the engine out. And I'm not a legend....Dont call me a Honda.
    Last edited by bowie; 14th September 2015 at 09:04 AM.

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Just so we can keep track of these dam things, personal vin information as follows

    So all the R12 were built in Melbourne?

    My R12 POS Arrived!-smengine1.jpgMy R12 POS Arrived!-engine-plate.jpgMy R12 POS Arrived!-smadr-plate.jpgMy R12 POS Arrived!-smchasis-plate1.jpg

    Ah! and the 810-02, the proper big 1289cc and not the sneaky little 1250ish cc?


    Olive Green is the best green
    My R12 POS Arrived!-interior-rear.jpg

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

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    There's your problem right there. That's why it doesn't start. Nothing to do with the fuel pump, you've got no battery terminals.
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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Oh you're a funny one Dave

    Previous owner had a fan wired up from the battery, I'm chasing that wire back before I zap myself again

    Anyways, who needs a Tow bar and mounting plates? there is even a tow ball and elec socket. Swap ya some thick sway bars for it?
    Last edited by bowie; 14th September 2015 at 06:19 PM.

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

  15. #15
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    Looks like tombstone seats but they only appeared mid 1974 update 1289cc models.

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Yes they are tall, was it cool to fit better interior bits as they came out once upon a time.

    Anyway found some polish. She looks ok
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My R12 POS Arrived!-imgp3636.jpg   My R12 POS Arrived!-imgp3638.jpg   My R12 POS Arrived!-imgp3639.jpg  

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

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    Just looking at the pics above, and noting the "carbon fibre" boot lid, I note it also had what is likely the original toughened glass windscreen. If taking it onto the track, you will need to replace it with a laminated screen, which then leads onto the screen rubber. As your car is a very early model, it has a larger windscreen aperture in the body, so the windscreen rubber is different to the later versions - note the narrow locking strip. So try and be nice to the rubber when replacing the screen, the actual screens themselves are identical in size regardless of the model era.

    Also note that the car has single circuit brakes, rather than the dual circuit brakes fitted to the later models. So in an upgrade to say 15/17 vented front discs and 15/17/12 Wagon larger rear drums, it would be worth also updating the master cylinder and fitting a brake servo from a later model at the same time.
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  18. #18
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Again Simon, Thank you.

    Didn't think to check the windscreen. Hmmmm And yes the brakes feel like a bowl of onion soup. That's a little harsh. they are ok, just primitive But yes Suspension and brakes will be on the car before the 807 goes in.
    Last edited by bowie; 15th September 2015 at 01:15 AM.

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

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    On R12 handling:

    I owned 2 R12 Virage wagons over a 22 year period & played around with handling adjustments in various fairly minimal ways (including, at one point, larger front tyres than rears - worked well; did the same on my Moke). Col is right in his suggestions but enjoyment can be had without changing wheels or dampers.

    Much as Col says, fixes are available but I'd approach changes in stages.

    Minimum pain path is to endure the lean (not really an issue once one gets used to it unless one is doing a left-right "jink" - they lean but take a "set" & stably track around) & concentrate on getting a nice handling balance. I suggest that a crisp turn in & nice apex lift off (or left foot braking) oversteer attitude adjustability are nice qualities for a front driver. Much can be done with tyre pressures. Increase them with the fronts higher than the rears. It's ten years ago now but, as I recall, I'd run high 30s at the front & low 30s at the rear. But it's dependent on the tyres' structure, your taste in handling balance etc. . . . . .. I'd play around with pressure differences on a favourite bend on a wet day.

    Next easiest is to change tyres. Best size for standard 4.5 rims is 175/70-13. Have a look at a longish analytical post by me in the "Decent 13" tyres?" thread. For reasons explained there, I judge the Hankook Kinergy Ex to be the best tyre currently available in this size for the brisk driver.

    Last, & a bit fiddly as I recall for the rear bar, is indeed to fit R17TL anti-roll bars. They certainly make a difference & I ended up having them put on my first Virage & then transferred to the second one.

    I wouldn't change to a small diameter steering wheel & would simply fit a Virage wheel. Nicer rim but still allowing a bit of lever length.

    As I said, do changes in stages until you get to what you find enjoyable.

    cheers! Peter

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Yep, I would advise against a smaller steering wheel as well. If there's one thing that doesn't suit the 12, it's a small steering wheel. Another alternative to the Virage wheel is the R17 or if you find one from a late Dacia (this is even more like rocking horse rocket surgery). I think some of the Renault 5 wheels fit as well (I had an R10 with one), but you have to do your own research here. I prefer the R17 wheel of all these.

    i also support the comment about the body roll. These cars are designed by proper engineers who obviously knew what they were doing. The car relies on body roll to generate surprising grip whilst providing a comfortable ride. Leave it a lone. If going to a thicker roll bar for the front, I would suggest you make sure you have the corresponding rear bar on hand.
    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.

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Is it just the weight of the steering that all is worried with the smaller wheel?

    Glad to see I'm on the right track then re sway bars. Yes I'm under no allusion that I'll end up with a rocket ship with 17 parts, But if one can ultimately make it change direction like this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50y2SkPB51Y

    You lot with Gordini and Gordini replicas (17 bits jammed in) does your's look anything like whilst changing direction?

    And It's not the body roll mid corner that's so much an issue, but yes the agility going from one direction to the other which I worry might be annoying.

    Anyway it's nice to have dreams

    I'm sure the boffins in Renault did / do know what they are doing, but I'm confident club events and light motorsport were not on the design brief when they were drawing up the 12. I mean, it was there Beetle right? The 12 was designed for export, well to be built cheaply anywhere on earth primarily? And we only got the Gordini 12 thanks to the marketing department right?

    Anyway. As linked above, others are having fun with the humble design, I'd like to also

    If the stars align I'll be at the Rob Roy come try day on the 27th. But I want to change the oil flush the radiator, bleed the brakes, throw some new tryes on it etc etc etc..

    Maybe the next one..
    Last edited by bowie; 15th September 2015 at 12:03 PM.

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts daffyduck's Avatar
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    Jesus! There are none of those left here. Haven't seen one in decades.

  23. #23
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    This is me up at Winton. Notice how flat it corners for a standard car.

    It's a standard R1173 Gordini on standard rims and road tyres but they use 26mm sway bars front n rear and thicker lower coil springs. Mine had Koni shockers.

    Yes you can make yours do this but instead of using R17 sway bars get some 26mm made up. Give them your old bars and say you want that in 26mm, no idea what they'd cost these days.

    First lesson in motorsport. There is no substitute for cubic dollars.
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  24. #24
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Cheers David. I had seen that image and was unsure how standard your Gordini was. Aright, wonderful. And yes.

    Cubic dollars do rule hahaha.
    Last edited by bowie; 15th September 2015 at 02:47 PM.

    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
    Wanted Old 15/17 brakes and gearbox bits Click!

    "More and more of less and less" - Marina Abramović

  25. #25
    COL
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    I find the Virage steering wheel still a little thin in the rim, although they are better than the standard plastic affair.

    Fuego steering wheels also fit, but the only disadvantage is the boss being a lot deeper moves your fingers away from the lights and wiper controls.

    The standard size steering wheel is 14". I have used a 13" steering wheel before gives nice direct steering but it is a little heavy on hard surfaces.

    David is right the large anti-roll bars front and back flatten out these cars and makes them very responsive.

    I have been lucky and have come by my go faster bits at good prices.
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
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