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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Renault R12

    I am thinking of taking on a renault r12 1.2l elf engine as a HSC major work.
    The car has these problems:
    The frame appears alright but there is rust in the doors that would need too be cut out.
    A little rust in the boot.
    The petrol tank needs to be replaced.
    A leak has caused rust in the floor and around the gear box which would need a steel plate welded underneth.
    Exhaust pipe needs replacing.
    Some work needs too be done.
    The engine was replaced 10 years ago, it has an issue with the carburettor which is loose and is not providing proper vaccum retard.
    The gear box was replaced several years ago.
    The car body needs a new paint job.
    One head light has a little rust that may require to be replaced to meet rego.
    Side rear view mirror needs to be replaced.

    Any ideas on the estimated cost and time frame would be great and also anyone who knows where i can get parts and if anyone has attempted something like this before would be most appreciated

    Cheers

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  2. #2
    Simon's Avatar
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    A 1.2 l elf engine, please elaborate?

    As for cost this will be difficut to estimate. Especially given the rust in the doors, I’d imagine as you poke a bit closer you will fid that both the inner and outer skin of the doors are rusted, so it would be easier to replace the doors with less rusty ones. Then again, if the point of the HSC project is metal fabrication involoving rolling and wheeling up new panels it may be a good candidate.

    If the floor is rusty, check out the rear footwells and passenger side of the floor panel. These are covered in bitumen matting which holds water underneath, but on superficial examination the floor looks fine. This again could be costly to replace, in terms of fabricating a new floor section, but if the school is supplying the steel, the tooling and expertise again the cost is minimal. Then again you could cut the floor out of a donor car from a wrecker and weld that in. Check first that the floor has not rusted through into the chassis rail, which has then filled with water and rusted out as well.

    I take it the carby is loose on the manifold studs, and that the carby face may be bowed causing intake leaking? A piece of emery paper on a flat surface should cure that if the bow isn’t too bad.

    Paint job, depending on the paint, and assuming it is all your own labour in completing the job it shouldn’t be too expensive.

    As for time, what is the time period that the project has to be done over if probably the more relevant question? Cost could be an issue, I’d say you would have to budget on more or less around $2,000. Who knows? If the front suspension balljoints and bushes are worn out among other things, worn clutch, unseen rust, if it has the rust you mention there could be other nasties lurking. Slashed trim could also be an extra cost too. Either way the market value of a pristine original mythical ramped and stamped one owner Renault 12 wouldn’t be a lot more than $2,000, so it wouldn’t take a lot to overcapitalise on the car. But if it was kept after being refurbished it could provide many years of reliable motoring.

    For parts, I’ve no idea where you are located, but Caravelle Imports at Box Hill in Melbourne would be able to supply a lot of new parts, as well as French Connection in Airport West. As well as your local Pick-A-Part wrecker……

    It sounds like a great school project! Good luck!

  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    i think we have about 8 or 9 months too complete it i havnt seen the car myself my mechanics teacher gave me a sheet with info on it and asked if i wanted it there are metal work facillities at my school and im located in sydney im not sure on the details of the engine though it does run also is it hard too work on these types of cars ive only had experiance on bmw's mazdas, vw and saabs. thanks for your help

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    Sans Pond. STALLED's Avatar
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    Hey,

    I can give a bit of history on the car.

    The car is made in France but assembled in Rhodiesia and is white in colour with a brown interior (are different coloured interiors harder to get?) It is definately a Renault 12 and the motor which he quoted was given on the information sheet by the person donating the car, i personally have never heard of a 1.2 elf motor maybe this was distinct to a Rhodiesian built car?

    I havent seen the car as well, only the same amount of information as my mate and i reccomended him to come on here to ask a few questions.

    Cheers people!

    Cyas Stalled
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    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    The renault 12 had elf on the oil filler cap, from the oil company. This is probably where the confusion has come from. Sounds like as good a project as any.

    Contact the RCCA for help on info etc. There are a few guys in the club with R12's.

    Good Luck.
    Kevin

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    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    Maybe put up some pictures on here and some of the REnault guys can help you out?
    I also have never heard of a R12 1.2 engine. I know they had 1.3. Maybe could it be a R5 engine of some kind?

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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    Maybe put up some pictures on here and some of the REnault guys can help you out?
    I also have never heard of a R12 1.2 engine. I know they had 1.3. Maybe could it be a R5 engine of some kind?
    Should I even dare respond to this?

    ipb

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    well the average of 1.2 and 1.4 is 1.3, so Daniel is technically correct.

    The earlier engine was 1289, the later virage had a 1.4 (1397cc). The book renaults in australia also lists a 1255cc but I don't think I have seen one to my knowledge.

    There's been a few posts previously about modding R12 engines in renault 10's and the people who know say the 1289 is the best engine as a starting point.
    KB

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    Sorry the only photos i have are on the sheet, i took a photo and they were a bit shabby plus they were too large upload and i dont know how too compress them. sorry

  10. #10
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    The Renault 12 TL models with the 1255cc engines were only sold in Australia. This was because of a ridiculous Australian import / assembly rule requiring there to be a minimum difference in engine capacity between a car company assembling and selling different models.

    In this case, the difference between (in those days) a R12 and a RI6 TL. The regulation was short lived, and the R12 then returned to a capacity of 1289cc. As a matter of interest, nobody could tell the difference, in performance terms, between the 1255cc versions, and that of the 1289cc.

    Cheers,
    Kim.

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    The 1255cc motor is an error, one of the MANY errors in that Renault in Australia book. It was actually a 1251cc motor with a 71.9mm bore, 842-01 in TL form from about May 1971 to December 1974 and 842-05 in GL form with 2V Weber carby from July 1974 to December 1974. It was for the reasons as described by Kimdeb.

    As the car is from Rhodesia it will have "foreign" trim, but it could all be replaced by local stuff or re-trimmed if required. The Elf motor is clear now, it will be like Renault8/10 suggests, the Elf oil filler cap rather than the Oil only cap fitted to enines in markets where Elf was not sold.

    If you have had experience with VW's, Saab's, BMW's and Mazda's, it sounds like you have a good basic grounding. The 12 should be easy peasy to work on in that case, also the timeframe of 8-9 months sounds reasonable achievable. One thing though, check that the car has been registered in Australia before though, depending on when the car was imported it may not be fitted with a private import compliance plate. There would be nothing worse than doing all the work on the car only to find that it cannot be registered when it has been finished. Try to get a copy of the rego papers to prove that it has been registered in Australia before.

  12. #12
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    Simon,

    Yes, you are right about the capacity error - it was 1251cc. I should have re-checked my memory bank before hitting the keyboard!

    I had also forgotten that the early 12GL version shared that same capacity engine, albeit for a short time. My recollection was that part of the "hoopla" at the release of the new model GL was the 1289cc engine, twin throat Weber, wheel trims, cabin trim etc.

    I also recollect that 1251 cc P&S kits quickly became non-available, as there was no sense in actually retaining that engine capacity in the event of an overhaul. The single throat Solex versions of these engines had quite a reputation for turbine like smoothness, and a seemingly endless top-end rev range.

    Do you remember the "Renault Newstar" race series that produced some interesting variations in performance in supposedly CAMS controlled stock cars??

    Cheers,
    Kim.

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    Probably just an addendum to the easy peasiness nature of servicing a 12. There is an exception to this, any work involving the front springs or replacement of the front shock absorbers should only be undertaken using quality tools under knowledgeable supervision. Uncoiled, the front springs of a 12 are near on a metre long, and whilst on the car they are under a lot of tension, serious personal injury could be incurred if incorrect or faulty tools are used. These are best left to people who know and understand Renault 12 front springs and have the equipment required to replace them safely.

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    The only reason I was picky over 4cc's was because I didn't want confusion to start in some people thinking that the early 12's had 1255cc 8 Gordini 1300 compatible engine kits....

    The weird thing is that in all the early press material, the cars were quoted as having 1251cc motors, but all the very early 12's up to May 1971 were actually fitted with the "proper" 842-01 1289cc motors. And the Wheels road test performance figures of one of these cars was used, unchanged, until February 1974. Surely all those cars were not that consistent :-)

    The 12GL sedan introduced in July 1972 retained the normal 12TL motor with the flashy chrome rocker cover which was an Australian addition. It was only the later 12 sedan from 6/74 that gained the Weber carby on the 1251 motor, and the 12GL wagon had to make do with the old non-Webered motor......

    I'd agree with you for the revability of the Solex motors, they just seem to rev forever, I thought it may have just been the car I had which still had an original untouched motor as opposed to my other car which was a later 1289 Weber version but which had been rebuilt. It revved (and still revs) well, but never seemed as free as the Solex motor although it does seem to pull better. I just put it down to the engine not being balanced when I rebuilt it. I never intended to keep my current 12 for as long as I have :-)

    That Newstar series seemed pretty competitive, I was too small to ever see one, but I liked one of the tricks being to use a slack fanbelt which would eventually braeak as the race went on, giving a few extra kW towards the end of the race!!

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    Can I impose on one or other of you R12 experts to help me out?

    I'm close to finalising the installation of an R12 motor into my R8. It's been more complicated than I thought it would be, but I'm nearly done now. I have just a few things I haven't figured out yet. Here goes.

    I have an early R8 with a brass, sort of triangular radiator tank thing in the radiator panel, where the more familiar glass bottle normally resides. I hadn't seen one before I got mine. It possesses one ordinary spigot about 5-6mm diameter, at the bottom, that I assume connects to the radiator overflow hose. At the top, it has a screw-in cylinder thing, also with a spigot -- it looks like it might be a pressure relief valve. What does this spigot connect to, if anything?

    Next question relates to the fuel pump, which has three spigots, where the R8 had only two -- one in, one out. Two are horizontal and bear small arrows. The 'in' arrow is clearly the fuel tank connection, and I believe the one on top goes to the carby. So what do I do with the 'out arrow' one? It has a tiny hole about 1mm diameter, and when I crank the motor, it squirts like a tiny water pistol. Do I just block it off?

    I've replaced the r8's four-blade fan with the R12 six-blader. Is this OK?

    I know these are not very exciting questions, but if anyone can assist, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks, Clive

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    I did not know about the "slack fan belt" trick; however, there were a few knowledgeable motoring identities involved with the preparation of some of the entries, so anything was possible I suppose.

    The race series was always interesting not just for the relative similarities in performance (for most), but the amazing photographs produced highlighting the body roll into the corners. The crowds loved it!

    The other interesting version of the 12, which also produced good top end performance was the XL. This had the 1.4 body, dash, trim etc, but with a 1.3 version of the 1.4 motor. It was an interim model until the 1.4 hit the showrooms. Almost as rare as the 12 L, which was a bare-trimmed version of a TL, intended as a price leader on the showroom floor.

    I have a brother-in-law in Sydney with a 75 12GL, that has covered over 500,000 km. The motor has yet to even have the head removed. It was their only family car for over 20 years, and has also survived the 'driver learning process' of their 3 children. From memory, it has had 3 clutches, a couple of drive shafts, an alternator etc. Even the transmission is original. I was last in the car over a year ago, and the engine still pulls 7000 RPM easily. Its demise is imminent, however, because of body rust.

    Cheers,
    Kim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KIMDEB
    I did not know about the "slack fan belt" trick; however, there were a few knowledgeable motoring identities involved with the preparation of some of the entries, so anything was possible I suppose.
    There seemed to be lots of stories of dodgy covert mods, and even more blatant ones such as balancing motors.

    Quote Originally Posted by KIMDEB
    The other interesting version of the 12, which also produced good top end performance was the XL. This had the 1.4 body, dash, trim etc, but with a 1.3 version of the 1.4 motor.
    I found that the later big flywheel cars (the 12XL onwards) just never seemed to rev as nicely as the small flywheel/crank cars. The extra weight in the flywheel and clutch, and the emission systems on the 1.4's must have had something to do with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by KIMDEB
    Almost as rare as the 12 L, which was a bare-trimmed version of a TL, intended as a price leader on the showroom floor.
    I've only ever seen two 12L's, absolute stripper specials, I can see why not too many were sold. More common, in relative terms, seems to be the later liquid amber only 12LE's, equally stripped, but to the later R1177 12TL/GL spec with a tacho and the 1289cc Weber motor. I get the impression this may have been a good Newstar car :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by KIMDEB
    I was last in the car over a year ago, and the engine still pulls 7000 RPM easily.
    I just find it scary at the insane revs that those old 12 motors pull, even with a lot of k's under their sills!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clive Atkinson
    I have an early R8 with a brass, sort of triangular radiator tank thing in the radiator panel, where the more familiar glass bottle normally resides. I hadn't seen one before I got mine. It possesses one ordinary spigot about 5-6mm diameter, at the bottom, that I assume connects to the radiator overflow hose. At the top, it has a screw-in cylinder thing, also with a spigot -- it looks like it might be a pressure relief valve. What does this spigot connect to, if anything?
    This is just the very early version of the glass bottle expansion tank, so the car you have must be an R1130 or an early R1132. The spigot on the screw in valve goes nowhere, it is just a breather so the tank can suck air back into the tank. Surprisingly the valve is still available form Renault.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive Atkinson
    Next question relates to the fuel pump, which has three spigots, where the R8 had only two -- one in, one out. Two are horizontal and bear small arrows. The 'in' arrow is clearly the fuel tank connection, and I believe the one on top goes to the carby. So what do I do with the 'out arrow' one? It has a tiny hole about 1mm diameter, and when I crank the motor, it squirts like a tiny water pistol. Do I just block it off?
    It can just be blocked off, that pipe is a return pipe back to the fuel tank when the 12 motor is fitted to a 12.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive Atkinson
    I've replaced the r8's four-blade fan with the R12 six-blader. Is this OK?
    It certainly won't do it any harm, and just gives an extra edge for cooling. Make sure that all the engine undertrays are still fitted to the car to enable the air to be pulled through the top of the engine cover when the car is moving along.

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    Thanks for the info, Simon -- you certainly seem to have an amazing fund of 'nault knowledge at your fingertips. You're right -- it is a very early 1108cc R1132. Onya!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keithturbo
    The frame appears alright but there is rust in the doors that would need too be cut out.
    A little rust in the boot.
    The petrol tank needs to be replaced.
    A leak has caused rust in the floor and around the gear box which would need a steel plate welded underneth.
    Exhaust pipe needs replacing.
    Some work needs too be done.
    The engine was replaced 10 years ago, it has an issue with the carburettor which is loose and is not providing proper vaccum retard.
    The gear box was replaced several years ago.
    The car body needs a new paint job.
    One head light has a little rust that may require to be replaced to meet rego.
    Side rear view mirror needs to be replaced.
    Kiethturbo, if youre still out there..

    does this car have number plates still?? if so what are they??

    I used to have a 12 which had very similar problems (about 5 years ago)... I sold it back to the original owner for a case of beer.

    plates were GIB.320

    He was a renault enthusiast - had all sorts of things done to the car, one of which was a freshly built (imported?) engine - he claimed it was built by an Argentinian mechanic who built race renaults... maybe thats where the elf association comes from??

    miss that little beast...

    id be interested to hear from you...
    1992 mi16 1.9 litre - it's a love hate realtionship.

    whatever you do NEVER tell anyone your car is reliable. doesn't matter how much wood you touch!

    previous cars: peugeot 306xt, peugeot 205si, renault 20, renault 12 - sedan and wagon, renault 25, alfa 155 twin spark

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    Quote Originally Posted by enthused!
    Kiethturbo, if youre still out there..

    does this car have number plates still?? if so what are they??

    I used to have a 12 which had very similar problems (about 5 years ago)... I sold it back to the original owner for a case of beer.

    plates were GIB.320

    He was a renault enthusiast - had all sorts of things done to the car, one of which was a freshly built (imported?) engine - he claimed it was built by an Argentinian mechanic who built race renaults... maybe thats where the elf association comes from??

    miss that little beast...

    id be interested to hear from you...

    Ill ask my mate to look at this, he will tell you all the details hopefully!
    2005 Renault Clio 182 Cup

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by enthused!
    Kiethturbo, if youre still out there..

    does this car have number plates still?? if so what are they??

    I used to have a 12 which had very similar problems (about 5 years ago)... I sold it back to the original owner for a case of beer.

    plates were GIB.320

    He was a renault enthusiast - had all sorts of things done to the car, one of which was a freshly built (imported?) engine - he claimed it was built by an Argentinian mechanic who built race renaults... maybe thats where the elf association comes from??

    miss that little beast...

    id be interested to hear from you...
    Sorry, i asked and its not the same car- Different plates!

    Cyas STalled
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keithturbo
    Sorry the only photos i have are on the sheet, i took a photo and they were a bit shabby plus they were too large upload and i dont know how too compress them. sorry
    Get irfanview -free download

    set the image size to 500x500 which is fine for the forum

    My Mum had one of the R12 virages and they are a great little car. Pick A part in Kilsyth had one in the yard a few months ago.


    I'm mainly into Peugeot 404 so I can't help you much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon


    It can just be blocked off, that pipe is a return pipe back to the fuel tank when the 12 motor is fitted to a 12.
    The other thing you can do with this return line, which is what I did with the white car, is tap a return into the fuel filler nozzle. Any excess fuel is dribbled down the filler tube back into the tank - there's not much returned, even on idle. Tidier than blanking off in my opinion.

    Most of the parts shops are only selling this later r12 type fuel pump these days. The old R8/R10 ones don't seem to be available anymore.

    Kevin

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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10
    The other thing you can do with this return line, which is what I did with the white car, is tap a return into the fuel filler nozzle. Any excess fuel is dribbled down the filler tube back into the tank - there's not much returned, even on idle. Tidier than blanking off in my opinion.

    Most of the parts shops are only selling this later r12 type fuel pump these days. The old R8/R10 ones don't seem to be available anymore.

    Kevin
    Agree with most of what is in the many postings here. The usual excellent Aussiefrogs response!

    However, I bought a new 2 pipe pump not long back from France (Melun Retro Passion and Mecaparts have them). The right pump is probably available as far as I know. But this doesn't matter. I suspect the return line is a good idea, as these engines tended to be too rich on hot start, due in part to the retained pressure on the fuel system bleeding excess down the carburettor throat.

    Enjoy your project. Once you "understand", you'll find a Renault 12 to be a much better car than people out there realise.

    Cheers

    JohnW

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