Some quick R12 questions ...
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! four_plus_two's Avatar
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    Default Some quick R12 questions ...

    G'day all, I normally hang out in the Peugeot forum but I've been convinced to pick up a 1975 Renault 12 GL that came up for sale in Brisbane.

    I hope to pick the car up tomorrow - I had a second look at it today, and noted the following areas:

    - Brake pedal feel - brakes feel quite soft - is this standard on the R12, or more likely due to the low brake fluid level?
    - Exhaust leak - appears to be coming out the gasket. Is it just a 'gasket' replace, or should I replace the whole system (the rear muffler has a hole in it).
    - Suspension bushes - the car has been off the road for a while, so all the front bushes are cracked. What do I need to replace at the front end, and how complex is this?
    - Gauges - the fuel level and battery (?) gauge don't register. Is this a common wiring fault or am I looking at the tank sender?
    - Tyres - fronts are around 10%. Recommended tyres? Cost for a set, on average?
    - Rust spots - body is in excellent condition, however there are a few rust spots starting to appear in sills and weld areas. Can these be kept in check with Penetrol or similar, or should I be pulling door trims off?
    - Trims - how do I re-attach the trims?!

    The car is lovely, the interior is immaculate and apart from a few scrapes where the trim has come off, the paint is excellent. Looking forward to driving it tomorrow, I'll put up some pictures when it's in the garage.

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    Brakes:
    If you put your light pressure on the pedal and it sinks to the floor you will need to replace or overhaul the master cylinder. Moreso if there is evidence of brake fluid on the carpet where the pushrod goes thru the firewal. If it is spongy and "pumps up" to deliver ok braking then you probably have some air in the system and it has to be bled. You will need to do that with the rear wheels on the ground. Check the adjustment on the rear drums. Also check that the driveshaft nuts are not loose (this allows some play in the hub and will push the pads away from the disc).

    Exhaust
    There is a flange gaskit of sorts that mates under the exhaust manifold before the engine pipe. It is notorious. Its a bugger to get the three nuts off. You may need a wobbly extension from underneath and a cut off ring spanner from on top. It is not uncommon to find the remains of an old gaskit "welded" to the manifold. Clean both surfaces to new metal and apply a light smear of Maniseal to either side of the new gaskit when re installing.

    Tip: give the nuts a goodly spray with WD40 (or whatever) the night before and get a good night's sleep.

    Suspension:
    Replacing the front control arm bushes is a bit of a pain. If you are talking about the castor bar and sway bar bushes then they are a doddle.

    Electrics:
    Check the fuses. You will need to remove them one by one. The tips can wear away. Also check that there is an earth strap to the chassis. A simple test is to run a wire from the NEGATIVE terminal to some well connected point on the body of the car - not the engine. If the guages and lights work better then that's the issue. The sender unit is under a bit of fibreboard taped to the top of the tank in the boot. Check that the terminal hasn't corroded off. Is the battery actually charging? After that it can get messy.

    Tyres:
    The world is your oyster. They came with 155 standard and you can go to 175s without much drama. I've got a set of 155s Nankings that are yours (for the cost of postage...). They start at $65 a corner and just keep going up.

    Ah rust...

    Do what you can to stop it getting a firm foot hold. Remove the front scuttle panel and treat any rust you find there VERY aggressively. This is how R12s die. I got the local paint shop to mix me up a tin of paint to match the car. I use a wire wheel to expose the rust - its usually more extensive than you think. I treat the area, prime and undercoat then splodge on some paint with a brush. It looks rough but it will carry me over to the next respray.

    Peter
    Last edited by Exfrogger; 27th January 2011 at 01:12 AM.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! four_plus_two's Avatar
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    Peter, thanks so much for your reply.

    Doesn't sound too bad (compared to working on a 405 Mi16!). Sounds like rust will be the biggest challenge. I could see leaves and dirt and crap on the scuttle panel ... the car is from Melbourne originally, don't know if that will make a difference ...

    I'll let you know about the tyres - thanks for the offer.

    Assume Caravelle / EAI are the best places for sourcing R12 bits? Public hol today so can't call to see what's in stock. It also needs a proper oil filter and fresh oil.

    One last q - how's the cooling system - should I be looking at getting the rad rod cleaned and flushed? The hoses etc were in good condition.

    2005 Renault Clio Sport 182 Cup
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    Fellow Frogger! four_plus_two's Avatar
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    Default Haynes manual

    Oh yes, does anyone have a Haynes or similar workshop manual for sale (or even a PDF 'for evaluation purposes').

    Cheers,

    2005 Renault Clio Sport 182 Cup
    1983 Peugeot 505 SRDT

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    Default Another R12 spongy brake note

    Just quick one - if you do the master cylinder and/or bleed but get little improvement - try replacing the front brake hoses. Had a Virage with just this problem & could never get rid of the spongyness till I replaced the brake hoses. Seems they were expanding slightly as they were beginning to die. A good roadworthy bod should find this though - if the brake hoses are showing slight cracks they generally pick this up & say "replace the hoses" (the tiny cracks are often due to it expanding under pressure).
    Cheers & congrats on the 12! Great choice!
    Only 19
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    COL
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    Default R12 Brakes

    Hi four_plus_two

    Another thing that i have found with R12 brakes is that if the pedal is long but firm that the rear brakes may need adjusting.

    If its a sedan there are adjusters that are a cam that are accessed from the back of the backing plate, adjust the leading shoe first and then the trailing shoe.

    If its a wagon they have an automatic adjuster which only seems to do so much automatic adjusting.

    No matter what it is, its probably a good idea to remove the drums and clean out the brake dust and also see how much lining is left on the shoes and also check wheel cylinders for leaks
    Regards Col

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  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! four_plus_two's Avatar
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    Thanks chaps. The handbrake is ineffective - would this suggest the rears need adjusting, as Col points out (along with a general bleed of the system)?

    And yes, it's a sedan.

    2005 Renault Clio Sport 182 Cup
    1983 Peugeot 505 SRDT

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    COL
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    Default R12 Hand Brake

    four_plus_two

    Hand brake cables maybe full of dirt, may need removing from car and cleaning out with CRC or WD40 or simlar

    Or maybe just need adjusting
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
    1976 Renault R12 Station Wagon
    2002 Renault Laguna V6
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by four_plus_two View Post
    Peter, thanks so much for your reply.

    Doesn't sound too bad (compared to working on a 405 Mi16!). Sounds like rust will be the biggest challenge. I could see leaves and dirt and crap on the scuttle panel ... the car is from Melbourne originally, don't know if that will make a difference ...

    I'll let you know about the tyres - thanks for the offer.

    Assume Caravelle / EAI are the best places for sourcing R12 bits? Public hol today so can't call to see what's in stock. It also needs a proper oil filter and fresh oil.

    One last q - how's the cooling system - should I be looking at getting the rad rod cleaned and flushed? The hoses etc were in good condition.

    I think you have been a bit mislead by the answers. Replacing bushes, etc., is a breeze IF you manage to get the suspesnion arms off without a hitch. That's tricky on a R12. The front springs are very long and they have a lot of preaload. Be careful and use serious spring compressing tools, not the garden variety which are going to leave you stranded if not injured. Best thing, get a spare set of arms and use that to install new bushings and then ascertain whether or not you should be doing the rest of the job or take the car to a mechanic. I am not kidding.

    If you want to install the bushings yourself, be careful how you extract/insert. The bushing holders are bronzed in the arms and it's easy to damaged the soldering. There is a Nolathane set of bushings for the front, I think you could have a look on their site and find the part numbers.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 28th January 2011 at 12:55 PM.

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    I have new old stock ball joints if you need. Plenty of them still sealed in plastic bags. Cheap!

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    One more thing I remembered. the handbrake on these cars is attached to the floor with a flimsy pressed metal bracket in two parts. Enthusiastic use by previous owners might have enlarged the handbrake lever hingepin holes and worn the pin to the point that the whole bazoonga wobbles around like a rotten tooth. Check that first. Over the years, these brackets also have the habit of breaking around the two bolt holes that are used to secure the whole assembly to the floorpan. That means that when you pull the handbrake, the whole assembly comes up and you feel the handbrake doesn't hold. Check this too. I make my own brackets out of heavy gauge steel and use ballbearings for the pin/bolt to go through. Never has to be touched again.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 29th January 2011 at 02:17 AM.

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    One more thing I remembered. the handbrake on these cars is attached to the floor with a flimsy pressed metal bracket in two parts. Enthusiastic use by previous owners might have enlarged the handbrake lever hingepin holes and worn the pin to the point that the whole bazoonga wobbles around like a rotten tooth. Check that first. Over the years, these brackets also have the habot of breaking around the two bolt holes that are used to secure the whole assembly to the floorpan. That means that when you pull the handbrake, the whole assembly comes up and you feel the handbrake doesn't hold. Check this too. I make my own brackets out of heavy gauge steel and use ballbearings for the pin/bolt to go through. Never has to be touched again.
    French Car Care in Brisbane had sturdy alloy hand brake brackets cast up years ago to rectify this problem. Don't know if they have any available now.
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    If it's a handbrake problem then I reckon that several careful prior owners might have amassed the 10,000 handbrake turns that all R12's were designed for and that there is no escape from the humdrum of over-use. The alternative was to never ever park your car. (Whether it was sliding sideways at the time or not). It was even worse in a 16/16TS though, with an umbrella handbrake! Consider yourself lucky!

  14. #14
    Tadpole
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    Default r12 questions

    some more please help
    what is the offset of the wheel rims from centre.
    I need to give this to a wheel guy to make up a set of mag wheels.
    Jimmy

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    bob
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    G'day,

    this was, maybe still, a manual at scribd.....

    http://www.scribd.com/document_downl...&extension=pdf

    just right click & save.

    cheers,
    Bob

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! four_plus_two's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    If it's a handbrake problem then I reckon that several careful prior owners might have amassed the 10,000 handbrake turns that all R12's were designed for and that there is no escape from the humdrum of over-use. The alternative was to never ever park your car. (Whether it was sliding sideways at the time or not). It was even worse in a 16/16TS though, with an umbrella handbrake! Consider yourself lucky!
    HAha, thanks all!

    Maybe I'll just fit an air brake, there's a few leftover F-111s might have some spare up here...

    Still haven't picked the car up yet, I think I'll just take it to Le French Motor and get Rob to do all the tricky-fixing ...

    2005 Renault Clio Sport 182 Cup
    1983 Peugeot 505 SRDT

  17. #17
    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Default R12 experience

    Looking forward to hearing about your R12 adventures - keep in touch please when it is on the road. Have fun! (can't not in a 12 - SO chuckable! )
    Cheers
    Only 19
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! four_plus_two's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the R12 purchase is on hold for a while, as I had to spend $2k fixing my wife's car ... and the Renno needed a bit of work to get it up to roadworthy condition.

    So if anyone is interested in a white R12 in VGC, it's still for sale in Brisbane! I'm a little sad about it, it was a really nice looking car - just needed some exhaust work and some attention to the brakes. The body and interior are immaculate.

    Guess I'll revisit the R12 'Sunday driver' in six months time ...

    2005 Renault Clio Sport 182 Cup
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    Sorry to hear about your aborted dreams of 12 ownership four.

    Quote Originally Posted by Exfrogger View Post
    Ah rust...

    Do what you can to stop it getting a firm foot hold. Remove the front scuttle panel and treat any rust you find there VERY aggressively. This is how R12s die. I got the local paint shop to mix me up a tin of paint to match the car. I use a wire wheel to expose the rust - its usually more extensive than you think. I treat the area, prime and undercoat then splodge on some paint with a brush. It looks rough but it will carry me over to the next respray.

    Peter
    With all the rain in Victoria in Melbourne over the last few months, I've discovered that my Virage leaks into the driver's footwell. The source seems to vary from the steering column to the brake pedal. Is the scuttle panel a likely culprit?

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    Default Remove the front scuttle panel and treat any rust you find there VERY aggressively.

    Yes!

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    Its what you find under the scuttle panel that requires attention.

    Note the drain hoses are flat "tubes". If they are still reasonably intact make sure that 1) they are free from debris and 2) attempt to push some of that black irrigation (1/2"?) hose backward up the tube. This ensures that it drains freely. If they're blocked or if the rain exceeds their capacity to drain then you will find water making its way into the footwell via the heater air intake.

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