R8 as a race car?
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default R8 as a race car?

    I'm wondering what to do with an old R8. Its a 65 1100 pretty original but neglected and the engine has broken rings and other problems arising from lack of use (not driven in 10 years) Thinking of a resto to race car or maybe back to original. Does anyone know if the later 'Sierra' series engines from fwd cars fit this engine bay. Could be an interesting project...

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! MARK BIRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitenoise
    I'm wondering what to do with an old R8. Its a 65 1100 pretty original but neglected and the engine has broken rings and other problems arising from lack of use (not driven in 10 years) Thinking of a resto to race car or maybe back to original. Does anyone know if the later 'Sierra' series engines from fwd cars fit this engine bay. Could be an interesting project...
    Any of the Seirra motors from any Australian R12 will fit with including the 1.4

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARK BIRD
    Any of the Seirra motors from any Australian R12 will fit with including the 1.4
    I'm sure it doesn't have to be an Australian R12 donor. It'd be a bit difficult if in NZ :-)

    Basically any later Sierra motor can be a donor. You will need the later R10 bellhousing and fine spline gearbox input shaft to suit the later type clutch pressure plate without the triangular thrust pad though.

    Probably for the finer points and details, do a search for Ross and check some of his posts. He has installed a Sierra motor from either a 9 or an 11 in his rally Dauphine.

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    Hi whitenoise,
    Interesting to see you are from NZ as well. Johan has a '65 R8 that he is turning into a race car and I have a '66 R8 that I am turning into a race car. At the moment we are thinking in the way of keeping them on the road. Johan's R8 is on the road and he has done his first 3 or 4 events with a 1300 R12 motor that has been jacked up a little. Both our cars will be running Gordini motors soon and we will classify them as 1100 Gordini Replicas because of the single headlights.
    If you do a search on "2 new race cars in NZ" you will find a picture of his car and we have planned to make them identical.
    Yes the 1400 will fit easy and I will tell you what to do if you need any mods on your side. It is a very potent motor and with a few mods we got Ross's engine up to 125 hp, and a 0- 60 mph time of 7.6 secs. It still is very reliable and he has used it substantially with out breakdowns this last 2-3 years.

    So if you want to do it, go for it. It will be really nice to have another one on the tracks.
    Frans
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  5. #5
    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    I have a Dauphine and a 1.4 motor, together they go like the S%!T, but the lack of weight in the front end does scare me at speed.

    Any advice as to modifications to the suspension to bring weight forward, and ideas to minimise the rear wheel 'tuck in' on hard cornering of the stock setup?

    Not going to be touching my R8 for a while, and its too original to modify, but I'd consider having a 'spare' to drop in it for the track also... maybe.

    Cheers,

    David.
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    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    Re the front end mods. Common mod in the era was to buy a bag of cement and leave it in the front of the boot. As it absorbs moisture over the years, it will mould to the shape of the car and fit in nicely.

    Frank Gardner employed much the same fix for the JPS Corvair Sports sedan Jim Richards (if my memory serves me correctly) drove for him in the 70's.

    Kevin.

  7. #7
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10
    Re the front end mods. Common mod in the era was to buy a bag of cement and leave it in the front of the boot. As it absorbs moisture over the years, it will mould to the shape of the car and fit in nicely.

    Frank Gardner employed much the same fix for the JPS Corvair Sports sedan Jim Richards (if my memory serves me correctly) drove for him in the 70's.

    Kevin.
    Yup! We ran a cement bag for 5-10 years in the R8. It helped the cross wind stability issue, particularly when my wife used it regularly in the late 90s here in Perth, and the freeway with a blustery sea breeze was a real challenge.
    JohnW

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    Default Transfer of weight

    Back in the late 1970's (when I was a younger man) I built up a R 750 (4CV) and competed in hill climbs and sprints with it. It was fitted with R8 front disc brakes and R10 rears with the 10 gear box driven by a well worked 1289 R12 motor wearing a single 45 DCOE and a fabricated exhaust manifold.

    I moved the radiator, coolant swirl tank, battery, and a foam filled fuel tank up front under the bonnet to attempt to combat understeer and front end skittishness. This was only partially successful and the best solution I found for understeer was a load of negative camber and 8'' wide slicks.

    I used the old Formula Vee trick of a cable and pulley's linking both axles together to control the dreaded tuckunder and found that simple and pretty successful.

    After solving various problems I found that in the hill climb scene the 750 could run with and match the under 1300 Cooper S's.

    Of course not all the above would be practible for a road car .... although back then I did keep it road registered until I hotted it up beyond what could easily be driven on the road. After all needing 5000 rpm to move out of the supermarket car park gets very annoying!

    JYD
    Last edited by JY Dog; 30th December 2005 at 11:32 AM.
    JYD

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  9. #9
    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the advice.

    I currently have some sandbags in the front, but was moreso looking for an alternative to adding weight.

    JYD, I'll have to have a chat with you about this in detail when I have fetched that Fuego towbar for you.

    Even if weight in the front end could be reduced, if not completely removed.

    David.
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  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    I have made eccentric wishbone bushes for Ross for the upper and lower wishbones. That gives you enough negative camber for racing purposes and then the radiator plus electric fan plus fuel tank and lowered suspension. Dot tyres on and he never complained that the car is a handfull. I have navigated for him and on the Targa Bambina over 2 days and never noticed any misbehaving. The Dauphine also has Toyota coils and Commodore shocks in front.
    Be careful when you lower the suspension that you raise the rack & pinion to prevent bumpsteer. Is it not your problem? Perhaps you have bumpsteer and the swaying of the car will be the same as a windy day.
    Sandbags is really the last thing to do because that 50 kilos is a drawback for a 1300 or 1400 motor.
    Frans.
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  11. #11
    Tadpole
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    thanks for the posts. its good to hear of R8's being raced in NZ. glad I'm not the only nutcase out there. this will be a VERY long term project so there wont be many progress reports..the ultimate goal is Targa, with not enough rear engined cars represented! Now, as I understand, none of the kiwi R12s got a 1.4 did they? I think maybe an R5 would be a good donor?

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    If you use the R5 as a donor then remember that the R5 with north/south engine can not be used because of a piece of the engine block is cut away and that is where the block mounts on the R8.

    Ross put an advert in the Trade & Exchange for Renault R11 engines and within a week he had 2 for $80. Might work for you as well. If you can get one of these motors you have the advantage of a much better cylinder head. The ports are completely different and better than the older R12 type heads.

    Frans
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  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default 8 stuff!

    Great to hear of yet another Kiwi!
    The transverse 5 motor is near as dammit the same as the 11 as well, Christchurch Trade and exchange may be a source for you.
    Frans, can you remember what the Supercheap part number you gave me for the bush for the tie rod rack end is? Need to put a set on the 8, and I gave the spares to Don.
    Allied question, for the inlet manifold do you believe that there is a problem having one choke feeding 1 and 2, the other 3 and 4?
    A way of geting rear camber is to put spacers between the X member and the gearbox mounts, thus pushing the box down about 12mm. This shows in the original A110 manual that I have,

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    Yes the part no is SPF2092BK. Cut 2 of them to be 11mm wide. You can put them on a rod in the drilling machine and part them with a carpet knife. Stick the 2 together with Superglue and put it in the tie rod. You will also need a bullet shape leader that is pressed in in front of the tube otherwise the little tube gets stuck in the middle when passing over the joint.
    It works like a charm and me and Ross has it in our cars.
    Frans.
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  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    I forgot about your question. I think you will have a problem because if the inlet ducts is seperated they are more dedicated feeding only 2 pistons. On 1 cycle ie. 4 strokes you will have piston 1 & 2 on a intake and exhaust cycle, which means an overlap between the 2. Both pistons will have a slightly open intake valve. Then the same on 3 & 4. If all the ports are common and shared I think it will reduce the effect.
    That is only my opinion and I have not seen or tried it before. Maybe someone else can comment on this as well. It will be an interesting subject.
    Frans.
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  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default R8 race car

    Frans, thanks for the part number, what you suggest is a bit different from what I did, the efffect is the same.
    What version of a Toyota are your front springs? Obviosly NEED them!!
    Rhys

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    Rhys
    Toyota springs for front and rear but I think Ross will remember what models it is. Ross are you there?
    Frans
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  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! Ross's Avatar
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    Sorry guys I havent ben watching the posts much lately

    I spent a lot of time and effort getting the suspension set up right on the Dauphine. IMHO putting a bag of cement (or any dead weight) in the front is just stupid. The whole advantage of these cars is their light weight, so why would you want to carry around a whole lot of unneccessary wieght??

    I would advise you to start reading as many books and articles as possible on the subject. A good start is "How to make your car handle" by Fred Puhn, an excellent book. One of the most useful tips in it is a spring stiffness formula thats allows you to go round a wreckers and measure the stiffness of any cars springs just by taking 3 measurements.

    I used this method to select the springs for the Dauphine at very little cost. I ended up using Toyota Corolla front springs at the front (from the early model with double wishbone front suspension) and Honda Accord front springs at the rear (about year 1998/2000). Both springs have to be reduced in length and pig tails adjusted.

    There is a lot more obviously, I have changed shocks, front anti-roll bar, castor angles, ride height, rear axle straps, etc, etc.

    Tyres are hugely important also, I use Dunlop D98Js, (175/60/13) these are fantastic tyres and I would highly recommend them.

    This is one way of improving the handling of a rear engined Renault, its not the only way and Im sure there are others who have obtained better results than I have but as Frans said the car does handle well. This is most apparent in wet events when everyone else is slipping and slidding around the Dauphine just inspires confidence.

    Please guys throw away those bags of cement and start thinking about more intellegent solutions.
    Ross:

    1989 Alpine GTA Twin Turbo
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  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JY Dog
    I used the old Formula Vee trick of a cable and pulley's linking both axles together to control the dreaded tuckunder and found that simple and pretty successful.
    JYD
    Thats an interesting idea. I have been considering making up a Z bar (also a Formula Vee trick) for the new Dauphine but the cable idea sounds better in some ways.

    Could you give me some more details please
    Ross:

    1989 Alpine GTA Twin Turbo
    1963 Renault R8
    1996 Peugeot 106 S16
    1967 NSU Prinz 1200TT
    1989 Peugeot 205 GTi

  20. #20
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross
    Sorry guys I havent ben watching the posts much lately

    I spent a lot of time and effort getting the suspension set up right on the Dauphine. IMHO putting a bag of cement (or any dead weight) in the front is just stupid. The whole advantage of these cars is their light weight, so why would you want to carry around a whole lot of unneccessary wieght??

    I would advise you to start reading as many books and articles as possible on the subject. A good start is "How to make your car handle" by Fred Puhn, an excellent book. One of the most useful tips in it is a spring stiffness formula thats allows you to go round a wreckers and measure the stiffness of any cars springs just by taking 3 measurements.

    I used this method to select the springs for the Dauphine at very little cost. I ended up using Toyota Corolla front springs at the front (from the early model with double wishbone front suspension) and Honda Accord front springs at the rear (about year 1998/2000). Both springs have to be reduced in length and pig tails adjusted.

    There is a lot more obviously, I have changed shocks, front anti-roll bar, castor angles, ride height, rear axle straps, etc, etc.

    Tyres are hugely important also, I use Dunlop D98Js, (175/60/13) these are fantastic tyres and I would highly recommend them.

    This is one way of improving the handling of a rear engined Renault, its not the only way and Im sure there are others who have obtained better results than I have but as Frans said the car does handle well. This is most apparent in wet events when everyone else is slipping and slidding around the Dauphine just inspires confidence.

    Please guys throw away those bags of cement and start thinking about more intellegent solutions.
    Ross,

    No argument from me in theory. Especially for a track car but in our case it was (and is) a daily runner that just needed slightly better crosswind stability and changing the relationship between CofG and CofLateral Resistance did the trick without any more effort or time (neither of which was available). I do agree about it being better to have a "more intelligent solution" if more than half-way serious!

    I'm impressed by the efforts and hope to see your car sometime.

    Cheers
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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