Renault 12 Bench Seat Conversion????
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Renault 12 Bench Seat Conversion????

    Now here is a tricky one for all the technically minded. I'm pondering trying to adapt my Renault 12 to a front bench as a short term stop gap for our impending fourth child. Being a 1973 model I will will need to shift the handbrake but I am guessing this isn't too crazy because the previous model had the handbrake under the dash. I hope I can simply flog a handbrake setup from a 72 model and adapt it. Does this sound stupid or logical? I suppose the hardest step will be finding a front bench. Probably a custom job unless some early models had bench seats??? Forgive my ramblings - just publicly musing the idea until we can find the perfect 505 Familiale. The 12 is so low mileage I am loathe to let it go but we can't justify a second car.
    Philip

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  2. #2
    Simon's Avatar
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    The handbrake is likely to be the easiest of the problems to solve.

    If you could find a bench seat from an early 12, of which there were none sold in AUS then there is one problem solved. I have seen two bench seat equipped 16's, but that was many years ago, so you may be able to adapt those seats.

    However, both of the above bench seats were sans head restraints. Assuming you and your car are in Australia (nothing on your description) it will be required to have two outboard head restraints for the front seats. Finding a seat like that is likely to be difficult, unless say from a narrow gutted Japanese utility. That is engineering problem No.1.

    Engineering problem No. 2 If the car is an Australian production car, it will have the compliance plate under the bonnet saying the seating capacity is five. Engineering approval has to be obtained to change this to six, so all alterations will have to be certified by an engineer such as the seat mountings and the fitting of a centre seat belt, which would likely be a lap belt, and therefore a compromise in itself. If they aren't properly certified, you may well run into problems with insurance in the event of an accident. Probably tell your insurance company what you are considering too to find their point of view as well.

  3. #3
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    Lap only belts are dangerous... mixed with children = irresponsible.

    All passengers, especially children, should be restrained by a proper lapsash seatbelt or child restaint. Just my view of course.

  4. #4
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    Default R12 Bench seat

    Looking at the replies I am wondering if it would be best to get a custom bench made up. I had thought about the compliance issue and wondered if a specialist seat manufacturer would be able to jump that hurdle. I wonder if the manual gearstick placement will be an issue as most bench seat cars I've seen have column shifts?
    Philip

  5. #5
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    With all the money you are likely to spend on custom seats, engineering and mods, you could probably buy two or three Pug 505 wagons. Whilst watching the value of your low mileage 12 plummet (if 12 resale values can still now go any lower!?) because it is no longer “original”.

    Save that cash now, and invest it in something modern, sensible and safe for the family.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Europa's Avatar
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    Don't do it dude. If you are really broke, why not pick up a 1980's Mitsubishi Nimbus or something like that, they should be pretty cheap.
    '05 Pearl Black Mégane 5-Door LXR(Daily Driver), '75 Trak Yellow R16TSA (Parts Car), '74 Midnight Blue R17TS (Rebuilding), '73 457 Blue R17TL (Parts Car), '72 Alpine White R16TL (Retired), '69 Sunburst Brown R16TS (Awaiting Rebuild), '68 "Appliance White" Europa (Stored)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Europa
    Don't do it dude. If you are really broke, why not pick up a 1980's Mitsubishi Nimbus or something like that, they should be pretty cheap.
    Wouldn't that still be a five seater?

  8. #8
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    Default Cost of conversion????

    I'm starting to wonder if would be cheaper to ditch the 12 and start again. Any idea what a 12 with 10500 genuine miles would be worth? I inherited the car after it had been garaged for nearly ten years. I'm almost finished the restore but are loosing steam because I suspect I will have to sell her before long. Such a crying shame.
    Philip

  9. #9
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    Probably what someone would be willing to pay. There has been a “low mileage” 1975 12 advertised here in Adelaide sporadically for the last six or so months asking price starting at $5.5K -$3K and then increasing back up again, last asking price seen was $3K or offers……

    What restoration has been done to the car? And what still needs to be done? All these things will have an effect on price.

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    Wouldn't that still be a five seater?
    Nup, 7 seater, don't forget the third row of seats....

    Looks like around the $3K mark for a pre-1990 model (according to drive.com.au)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Renault 12 Bench Seat Conversion????-spawabro1b.jpg   Renault 12 Bench Seat Conversion????-spawabro2b.jpg   Renault 12 Bench Seat Conversion????-spawabro3b.jpg  
    '05 Pearl Black Mégane 5-Door LXR(Daily Driver), '75 Trak Yellow R16TSA (Parts Car), '74 Midnight Blue R17TS (Rebuilding), '73 457 Blue R17TL (Parts Car), '72 Alpine White R16TL (Retired), '69 Sunburst Brown R16TS (Awaiting Rebuild), '68 "Appliance White" Europa (Stored)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Europa
    Nup, 7 seater, don't forget the third row of seats....
    Just goes to show how much I know, or care, about Nimbi :-)

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts Europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    Just goes to show how much I know, or care, about Nimbi :-)
    Well, if Dad hadn't bought one when we were kids, I guess I wouldn't know much about them either!

    To be honest, it wasn't a bad car, but I think the gearboxes can be troublesome and I bet the motors get nice and smokey.

    Used to get great economy though, front seats were really comfortable and heating/airco worked well. Even had a "chilled" glovebox, which seems to be a feature in more modern vehicles. Rear middle row seats had very flat cushions, but when folded down flat and combined with the third row folded flat, they made a pretty good bed.

    Not sure what the more recent models are like.
    '05 Pearl Black Mégane 5-Door LXR(Daily Driver), '75 Trak Yellow R16TSA (Parts Car), '74 Midnight Blue R17TS (Rebuilding), '73 457 Blue R17TL (Parts Car), '72 Alpine White R16TL (Retired), '69 Sunburst Brown R16TS (Awaiting Rebuild), '68 "Appliance White" Europa (Stored)

  13. #13
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    Default Renault 12 restore

    The 12 has had the radiator flushed and welded, the calipers and drum brakes all rekitted, new brake hoses all round (braided - non-genuine), the master cylinder rekitted, new brake proportioning valve etc. I've bought most replacement bits for the exhaust but haven't fitted them yet. I'm still having hassles with a caliper leaking so this and the exhaust are what is left for the roadworthy. New water pump, VDO gauges for temp and oil pressure, electronic ignition kit from Jaycar, new leads, points, plugs, cap, condensor, radiator and heater hoses. I also have boxes of new parts including master cylinder, clutch plate, wheel bearings, brake pads, wheel cylinders, carburettor. The dream had been to keep her as the family car for the next ten years.
    Philip

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts edgedweller's Avatar
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    Default R12 dilemma

    Put it back in shed or sell one of the kids.

    Cheers ed ge

    reconsider wether, in 3 or 5 or 7 years, you could have justified and should have kept it.
    Last edited by edgedweller; 16th March 2005 at 04:04 PM.

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R12 Fan
    The 12 has had the radiator flushed and welded, the calipers and drum brakes all rekitted, new brake hoses all round (braided - non-genuine), the master cylinder rekitted, new brake proportioning valve etc. I've bought most replacement bits for the exhaust but haven't fitted them yet. I'm still having hassles with a caliper leaking so this and the exhaust are what is left for the roadworthy. New water pump, VDO gauges for temp and oil pressure, electronic ignition kit from Jaycar, new leads, points, plugs, cap, condensor, radiator and heater hoses. I also have boxes of new parts including master cylinder, clutch plate, wheel bearings, brake pads, wheel cylinders, carburettor. The dream had been to keep her as the family car for the next ten years.
    Philip
    I've spent $$$ on my R12 too - are you really prepared to spend thousands of dollars on engineering to change it into a 6 seater? (assuming you do it legally)

    $3000 will get you a second hand 160,000km 7 seater Mitsubishi Nimbus. I can tell you from experience that it would be a vastly superior solution to your problem. Yes I know it's not French, but at least it's legal and a hell of a lot safer!

    Keep the R12 as a second car?
    '05 Pearl Black Mégane 5-Door LXR(Daily Driver), '75 Trak Yellow R16TSA (Parts Car), '74 Midnight Blue R17TS (Rebuilding), '73 457 Blue R17TL (Parts Car), '72 Alpine White R16TL (Retired), '69 Sunburst Brown R16TS (Awaiting Rebuild), '68 "Appliance White" Europa (Stored)

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Renault 12 as a second car....

    I have to admit I keep wishing I could keep it as a second car. It would more than suffice for getting me to work etc. Better send the wife back to work as soon she finishes with the new kid so I can keep my little french beauty. :-)
    Philip

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R12 Fan
    I have to admit I keep wishing I could keep it as a second car. It would more than suffice for getting me to work etc. Better send the wife back to work as soon she finishes with the new kid so I can keep my little french beauty. :-)
    Philip
    That's what I did :-)
    '05 Pearl Black Mégane 5-Door LXR(Daily Driver), '75 Trak Yellow R16TSA (Parts Car), '74 Midnight Blue R17TS (Rebuilding), '73 457 Blue R17TL (Parts Car), '72 Alpine White R16TL (Retired), '69 Sunburst Brown R16TS (Awaiting Rebuild), '68 "Appliance White" Europa (Stored)

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