RX4 Engine / Gearbox swap
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  1. #1
    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Default RX4 Engine / Gearbox swap

    Anyone know what the model number of the RX4 (Scenic I, phase II) is?

    I've tried cross referencing wiki pages, and the car's plates, but aside from going through each model and comparing the stats, I can't work out the model number for the ugly orphan.



    Thanks

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    Answer: JA13, Equip Level:E2 Code:SAN913 Additional:SAN513 Trim:HARM02 Seats: DRAP10 (base level cloth trim RX4 without sunroof.)
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    Last edited by vivid; 8th March 2019 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Answer my own question.
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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    doh, I found the oval plate.. all good.

    planning on an engine swap (retaining it's current gearbox) of an RX4 I bought with a broken timing belt.

    I'll rename this thread.

    Another question for those in the know, I have a timing kit that looks like this:


    I figured it would be a good time to do the belt in the donor engine while it's out, I think this tool is suited to the RX4 engine.

    If it is the right tool, will I be needing any other specialised tool for the job?

    I know others have swapped out RX4 motors on here, so any tips before I start would be welcomed.

    Thanks,

    David.
    Last edited by vivid; 8th March 2019 at 09:02 PM.
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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Good luck with it. Pleased you are still out there too!

    Scenics are fantastic.

    Best wishes
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    JohnW

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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Hi John!

    I've purchased a registered RX4 with a blown motor, and an unregistered low km one with a blown gearbox.
    $400 and $300 each, before registration and towing for repair (haven't moved them yet)

    In TAS a car doesn't need to go over the pits if sold, as long as the registration doesn't expire (WA still like this?)

    Our (trusty) Hyundai Sonata is about to hit 350k so I'm looking to retire it, if anything for the scenic's airbags and grip on unsealed roads.

    I recently hit a juvenile Tasmanian devil in a 100km zone.
    Had already slowed down to about 60 but the little devils merge into the roadkill and I only saw it moments before impact.
    We picked (her) up and she was rushed to a vet by the 'devil team', diagnosis a fractured skull, but she's doing well considering. Hopefully she survives.

    The RX4 likely wouldn't have hit her given the ground clearance, and my teenage daughter will be driving soon, so airbags are a must.
    The extra boot space and roof-racks will be a novelty we aren't used to.

    I have a couple of other RX4s with good gearboxes that are too good to part up, so I'll be putting at-least one of those on the road when we have another licenced driver in the family, and 1 spare.
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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Sounds excellent. Yes, same in WA.

    We've been just delighted with our Scenics in every way.

    With the RX4, you have to keep an eye on one of the front driveshaft boots as the gearbox oil is lost if it splits and bingo, no gearbox. You probably know that. It's one of those "perhaps do this now as a precaution" jobs I reckon.

    Best wishes

    John
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    JohnW

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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    With the RX4, you have to keep an eye on one of the front driveshaft boots as the gearbox oil is lost if it splits and bingo, no gearbox. You probably know that. It's one of those "perhaps do this now as a precaution" jobs I reckon.
    Agreed John, DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

    I'll be interested to know the condition of the boots on the one with the blown gearbox.
    I've been looking out for scenics with good gearboxes for this reason, after I put a deposit down on the one with the blown engine (and it had a few days rego left, had not been off the road long) the blown gearbox one showed up, same colour!

    Between the 2 they are both cloth trim, and there are alloys roofracks and towbar, both have low kms.

    In both cases the previous owners claim the cars were serviced, and I guess in the case of the timing belt (by others experiences) they can go inside the scheduled replacement times / kms stated.

    With the gearbox my guess is once it's getting noisy its already cactus, empty of fluid and about to fail.
    So many RX4s have met their end because of this stupid rubber boot / CV seal arrangement.
    I wonder if there is any clever engineering solution that could be applied to fix this 'design fault'?
    Maybe even an 'early warning' alarm would do. I might have to have a think about this.


    Yes I will replace the boots, I'm looking now at what thing's I should order ahead of the engine / gearbox swap.
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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    I'll reply to myself.. as this has been mentioned more than once before...

    Thanks Richard, Haakon, David C etc.

    RX4 Gearbox issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Cavanagh View Post
    Richard, as Haakon says its bascally the same box thats in Tania Laguna except beefed up for extra torque. The reason the RX4 chews out the boot is because of the angle of the driveshaft because its higher off the ground and the boot is never straight in line at anytime. Its the same old boot back to the 19 (I think) so no problem getting one.

    When you service it just keep an eye on it and if it looks like it might be perishing replace it. Oil changes are more inportant, every 30,000 at least and use the correct oil.

    I have customers heading for there 3rd cam belts and no gearbox problems.

    If you do have a problem you could always fit a 2wd box and Mel would never know the difference. ( I know someone who did that)
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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    I reckon just regard that boot as a regular replacement item, perhaps every four years? Check monthly for leakage - just swing under and see if your hand remains clean. I've just had an inexplicably punctured boot after less than 12 months poking around the suburbs. I have NO idea how this could have happened.

    My experience in buying Scenics with full service records is that the work done may be inadequate, even if by a Renault dealer since new. One private sale was way over time with cambelts (pulleys being the worry, not the belts), had no coolant changes in 8 years, had dubious engine mounts and a tired harmonic balancer. The other two were from Eurocars and fine except for the cambelt not being changed by the dealer even though it is specified as part of the factory servicing. You really need to sort out what has been done, or assume everything needs doing (my approach) and change all belts and fluids as a matter of course.

    Best Renaults since the R16 I reckon, at least for my multipurpose requirements.
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    JohnW

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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Sound advice, I will probably have to replace all the pulleys.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Best Renaults since the R16 I reckon, at least for my multipurpose requirements.
    If the 16 had all round airbags and a 5 star safety rating I'd be there!
    The RX4 has feelings of old from the R16 I think, how great would it be to have a 4x4 R16?!

    I am going to try similar to you and run a few RX4s to hopefully keep the cost of ownership down.
    My daughter who will be of driving age in 12 months has wanted one since she was little visiting Renault Roundups in VIC.

    My sister, and up until recently my brother drove one, written off in an intersection both had scenics.
    In my sisters case it is to do with the driving position and her disabilities getting in and out of a car, she's on her second.

    My brother owned the grand scenic (big family) where they needed a 7 seater, before he moved to the dark side in a pug.

    Australians undervaluing the car is my gain.
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    One of the pins is to lock the crank and the silver U shaped one is to lock the cams.
    Not sure why there’s a second pin or what the black thing is, but a fly wheel locking tool would be handy, so you don’t rely on only the pin to tighten which may bend or snap as they do. I found out the hard way on a Clio Sport belt change and had to drop the sump to get the broken metal out. Hell of a lot easier to change the timing belt with engine out, but good luck any way as it’s still a little fiddly so watching a few YouTube videos is handy
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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Re the 16, I'd add power steering and integrated AC.
    JohnW

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    In anticipation of the 2 RX4s arriving, I am looking at the things I am going to need.

    The Dialogys manual says:

    Always replace:

    * the water chamber seal,
    * the inlet distributor seal,
    * the exhaust manifold gasket,
    * the dipstick guide tube seal,
    * the camshaft position sensor seal,
    * the coolant temperature sensor seal,
    * the air inlet pressure sensor seal (if fitted),
    * the air inlet temperature sensor seal (if fitted),

    * the inlet distributor studs,
    * the exhaust manifold studs,
    * the exhaust manifold nuts,
    * the accessories belt,
    * the accessories belt tensioning roller,
    * the accessories belt fixed roller.


    Are these all really necessary?

    Surely I can get away with not replacing all these seals?
    The car hasn't been off the road long and has done 140k.

    I guess I can understand the exhaust manifold studs, nuts, manifolds and besides the accessories belt a new timing belt and (tensioning?) roller.

    Trivial that it is now, the timing belt was apparently recently replaced, and was not due when it let go.
    Quote Originally Posted by the previous owner
    Sticker in the engine bay indicates timing belt replaced at 131k
    Not that I'll be using the blown motor, but I'll be interested to see the internal damage.

    Thanks,

    David.
    Last edited by vivid; 17th March 2019 at 10:50 PM.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I think you'll find most of the damage relates to ventilated pistons.........................
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Sounds excellent. Yes, same in WA.

    We've been just delighted with our Scenics in every way.

    With the RX4, you have to keep an eye on one of the front driveshaft boots as the gearbox oil is lost if it splits and bingo, no gearbox. You probably know that. It's one of those "perhaps do this now as a precaution" jobs I reckon.

    Best wishes

    John
    Back when...The RX4 I bought of a guy in the central coast had split a boot before driving a significant distance, Maybe a few hundred Km.
    The gearbox and all its components were fine.
    The owner put it down to the Nulon G70 added to the fluid.
    This does sound a bit like the old 'Drain the sump and drive to Melbourne' Add, but I reckon there might be some credit in using it on a RX4.
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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I think you'll find most of the damage relates to ventilated pistons.........................
    Ventilated pistons? You mean they now have holes in them?
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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    If the cambelt has been changed, I'd want to verify that the pulleys were replaced too.

    All those seals? I'd not be touching much myself, depending upon what is accessible. But I really don't know about those engines - these moderns don't leak a drop most of the time. Actually my 1988 R8 engine rebuild doesn't leak a drop, come to think of it.

    But those pulleys.....

    Have fun.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    If the cambelt has been changed, I'd want to verify that the pulleys were replaced too.

    All those seals? I'd not be touching much myself, depending upon what is accessible. But I really don't know about those engines - these moderns don't leak a drop most of the time. Actually my 1988 R8 engine rebuild doesn't leak a drop, come to think of it.

    But those pulleys.....

    Have fun.
    Yup, good advice!

    I'm going to do the cambelt and the pulleys to be sure, since I have the tool.
    Maybe the pulley not being replaced was the cause of the engine failure in the registered car?

    I think as far as everything else I'm going to leave alone subject to inspection when it's out.

    At the very least I'll put new manifold gaskets in since they will be unbolted.
    I assume it's not a good idea to re-use the gasket bolts in case they break?

    David.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Back when...The RX4 I bought of a guy in the central coast had split a boot before driving a significant distance, Maybe a few hundred Km.
    The gearbox and all its components were fine.
    The owner put it down to the Nulon G70 added to the fluid.
    This does sound a bit like the old 'Drain the sump and drive to Melbourne' Add, but I reckon there might be some credit in using it on a RX4.
    Well I figured I should replace the fluid in the gearbox given the effort of the replacement.
    Do you know your gearbox now Jo? is the car still on the road?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    If the cambelt has been changed, I'd want to verify that the pulleys were replaced too.

    All those seals? I'd not be touching much myself, depending upon what is accessible. But I really don't know about those engines - these moderns don't leak a drop most of the time. Actually my 1988 R8 engine rebuild doesn't leak a drop, come to think of it.

    But those pulleys.....

    Have fun.
    Yup, good advice!

    I'm going to do the cambelt and the pulleys to be sure, since I have the tool.
    Maybe the pulley not being replaced was the cause of the engine failure in the registered car?

    I think as far as everything else I'm going to leave alone subject to inspection when it's out.

    At the very least I'll put new manifold gaskets in since they will be unbolted.
    I assume it's not a good idea to re-use the gasket bolts in case they break?

    David.
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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Just another thought,

    Previous owner mentioned the ignition barrel has been replaced, and doesn't match the doors.
    So I assume that the ECU doesn't have to match the steering lock or key?
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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Re 18 and 19 dunno I'm afraid.... I'd expect manifold bolts aren't stretch bolts like the head.

    Cheers
    JohnW

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivid View Post
    Ventilated pistons? You mean they now have holes in them?
    There are no valve recesses cut for clearance in the piston tops (AFAIK) so when the timing belt fails any valve that remains open will contact the piston as the crankshaft rotates. Rebuild on a 1.6L Megane cabrio that dropped a belt coming back from Sydney was over $3000................
    Last edited by Kim Luck; 18th March 2019 at 11:15 AM.
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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivid View Post
    Well I figured I should replace the fluid in the gearbox given the effort of the replacement.
    Do you know your gearbox now Jo? is the car still on the road?



    Yup, good advice!

    I'm going to do the cambelt and the pulleys to be sure, since I have the tool.
    Maybe the pulley not being replaced was the cause of the engine failure in the registered car?

    I think as far as everything else I'm going to leave alone subject to inspection when it's out.

    At the very least I'll put new manifold gaskets in since they will be unbolted.
    I assume it's not a good idea to re-use the gasket bolts in case they break?

    David.
    unfortunately in the big fire sale, both cars got carted off to the scrapper.
    Pity, leather interior, good gearbox's on both.

    Jo

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    Quote Originally Posted by vivid View Post
    In anticipation of the 2 RX4s arriving, I am looking at the things I am going to need.

    The Dialogys manual says: Always replace:
    *BS BS BS
    * the accessories belt,
    * the accessories belt tensioning roller,
    * the accessories belt fixed roller.

    Are these all really necessary?
    Surely I can get away with not replacing all these seals?
    The car hasn't been off the road long and has done 140k.
    I guess I can understand the exhaust manifold studs, nuts, manifolds and besides the accessories belt a new timing belt and (tensioning?) roller.
    Trivial that it is now, the timing belt was apparently recently replaced, and was not due when it let go.
    Not that I'll be using the blown motor, but I'll be interested to see the internal damage.
    Thanks,David.
    Hi David
    I have assisted in a couple of timing belt replacements, This is my non expert thoughts.
    Forget that list it is just for factory profits.
    The two pulleys, idler and tensioner, for the timing belt are the usual cause of failure IMHO. They have a "plastic" coating which cracks and falls off eventually leaving enough clearance for the timing belt to jump teeth IMHO. The belt itself looks OK usually. You probably know this but the crankshaft pulley has no key or a wide keyway so the correct procedure is vital. NOT like the old days.
    If the seals are not leaking then leave them alone. You need to do the rear half round rubber seals you remove to do the cam locking but a tube of silastic works OK. Also for the manifolds if necessary
    You must not use the crankshaft locking pin or hole to hold it for undoing the big nut(screw). You must hold the shaft with a clamp in the starter hole on the flywheel or a big screw driver(with the pin out) etc. Two man job perhaps. As has been said you will shear off the end of the pin or a HT bolt if you use the location hole.

    You must locate the cams and the crankshaft "by the book" using your tool kit, fit the timing belt and pulleys, and then tighten the crankshaft nut(screw) to spec (or very tight) while the flywheel lock is holding the crankshaft. Then turn the engine by hand twice at least to see it is free of interference and refit the tools to double check the belt timing is correct.

    Then refit the other stuff. I saw no reason to replace the manifold nuts when I did it. Just lube them well before removing them and inspect. Much easier to do out of the car. We reused the crankshaft screw in one case also because the one supplied was incorrect. Inspect it to see it has not been used and tightened and streached excessively.
    Good luck Jaahn
    Last edited by jaahn; 18th March 2019 at 11:40 AM.
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    My Supermodel 63-1092's Avatar
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    What he said, with a little more detail than me.
    On the pistons, as I’ve taken two heads off F4R engines, the pistons are fine but the valves have taken a beating by the pistons.
    John
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    My Supermodel 63-1092's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, the cam covers you take off for the locking tool, cut a slot in them (only the middle third has no metal behind it) so you can put in a large tool to carefully pry out, then only a little glue or goo is required to seal then again to reuse.
    John
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