1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève
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Thread: 1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève

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    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Default 1956 Renault Frégate restoration...Project Geneviève

    On new years eve 2013 I purchased Geneviève, lonely, disheveled looking and partly disassembled, but otherwise complete. She comes with lots of spare parts, trims, autoglass gearboxes etc.

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    I've known of this car for a couple of years but only recently acted and secured her. So the restoration begins, the plan is to completely strip the car to a bare shell, place on my home made rotisserie to facilitate a thorough clean up, repair and repaint before reinstalling the running gear..

    I don't need to track down many parts (except engine parts) as the car came with a few essentials already, wheel bearings, brake shoes and brake cylinders etc. The whole inside trim will be rebuilt from scratch and I'll be trying to make it as original looking as possible, with period correct fabrics, flooring, roof lining etc. The front end, gearbox and drivetrain will all need to have new rubber bushes and mountings remade by myself using liquid polyurethane (probably 45 items) as I don't care to be scouring the world for these parts, it's just easier to make them.

    1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6563.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6566.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6567.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6571.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6569.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6573.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6574.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6575.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6576.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6568.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6570.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6577.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6578.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6579.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6572.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6580.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6581.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6582.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6583.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6585.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6584.jpg  
    Last edited by 59 Floride; 28th January 2014 at 10:35 PM.

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    Default The Good...

    The car came with heaps of spares including 4 sets of windscreens (front and rear), a set of newly chromed bumpers, spare gearboxes, diffs, body trims, a full extra set of doors and panels, one 2.1 litre engine and many extra parts too numerous to mention..

    1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6587.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6613.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6614.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6609.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6606.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6591.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6598.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6599.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6601.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6605.jpg
    Last edited by 59 Floride; 19th January 2014 at 04:59 PM.

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    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Default The bad..

    Having completely stripped the body shell of all panels and other parts I have identified 17 points in need of rust repair, none of them life threatening. Apart from these rust damaged areas the rest of the car is pretty straight with only one sign of a previous collision repair in the rear right corner. The four original doors have a thin skin of body putty in places that is delaminating, but the doors are otherwise sound...

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-body-shell.jpg  
    Last edited by 59 Floride; 19th January 2014 at 04:57 PM.

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    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Default The ugly..

    Some parts will need to be remade unless someone watching this can sell or trade the necessary bits.

    I need one of these if anyone has one, it's made from cast alloy and has just rotted from being exposed to moisture. I think I can make a new one in chrome plated brass if I have to.



    I need a set of four, or two minimum, bumper over-riders similar to this if anyone has them to sell/trade, else I'll have to make those too.



    The gauge console will be a challenge. even though I have a good spare from a different year model I would prefer to restore the original one which was in the car when I bought it. But I am confident I can restore it using parts from the others. And restore the steering wheel too..




    Even though I have a better front panel than the one shown, this grill won't fit into it so I'll have to repair this entire panel and attachments..piece of cake.


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6595.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6596.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6597.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6602.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6726.jpg  
    Last edited by 59 Floride; 19th January 2014 at 06:54 PM.

  5. #5
    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Default And so it begins..

    I have made a good start already but not many worthy photos to show yet.

    The first task was to clean and vacuum the decades of rat poo, mouse poo, spider webs, dust , muck and crud from her poor neglected frame.

    The car is stripped to a bare shell except for the engine which will be removed sometime next week. The bonnet, boot lid and four guards have been stripped, cleaned and sanded, treated with rust converter and primed ready for minor repairs when I get to them.

    I have done nine or so rust repairs to the body shell which I'll post in due course and all the running gear (from the gearbox back to the rear wheels is in the process of rejuvination...

    Geneviève is most pleased.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6627.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6680.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6682.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6715.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6727.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6727.jpg  

    Last edited by 59 Floride; 19th January 2014 at 05:52 PM.

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    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    Good work. Re engine removal. if you dont have one, you know where you can get engine crane
    Any day I wake up and don't have to go to work, is a good day
    Every day is a good day

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    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIVEDOOR View Post
    Good work. Re engine removal. if you dont have one, you know where you can get engine crane
    Thanks Arto I'll keep you posted on that, don't know when it will happen yet.

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    Here is a copy of a 1955 Fregate brochure. There are a few differences but most of it would apply to the 1956 model. Bob G.
    1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-12s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-01s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-02s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-03s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-04s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-05s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-06s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-07s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-08s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-09s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-10s.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-fregate-1955-11s.jpg

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    Thanks Bob, as I learn about things Fregate I realise that this car will be a bitsa because I have 1955 bumpers which were also used on the 1956 Domain (station wagon) but not the sedan. Having said that, the more I look around the cyberworld and see what others have done for parts I can see that anything goes, after all, parts for these cars aren't common, so I'll be putting her back together with the parts that I have, I'm sure it will all work in the end.

    And this should be a good representation of what I'll end up with, with those exact same bumpers and grille. (maybe Renault did their old trick of mixing and matching whatever parts they had on hand).

    Last edited by 59 Floride; 19th January 2014 at 09:29 PM.

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    There are some serious lumps of metal under these cars, which is why they weigh 1400 kg compared to a Dauphine at 660kg.

    These are rear trailing arms, compared to a R10 brake disc, they are enormous.

    The brake drums have plenty of thickness left so it's off to the machine shop for a true-up.





    The front end is equally mammoth and I'd guess it weighs 80-100kg.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6769.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6770.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6700.jpg   1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6708.jpg  
    Last edited by 59 Floride; 21st January 2014 at 02:18 PM.

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    Welded rust repairs are in full swing and typically they are all in awkward places. I wouldn't want to bore anyone by showing all repairs but this is the minimum standard I hope to achieve throughout.


    Under the windscreen rubber I found this little surprise. The rust was cut out and a new piece welded in, ground back and then leaded. It's not bad for an amateur and will still need a wipe with plastic filler.

    1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6731.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6735.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6738.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6766.jpg


    There was a hole through the firewall which didn't warrant being cut out so I opted to weld a plate inside, and with my MIG welder in one hand and a 2.2mm mild steel wire in the other I just filled and ground it. It took a couple of goes and will also need a wipe with plastic filler.


    1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6660.jpg1956 Renault Fregate restoration...Project Geneviève-img_6752.jpg
    Last edited by 59 Floride; 14th February 2014 at 10:27 AM.

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    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    Yay, the Geneviève thread has started! Loving it already

    GH I
    cheers,

    John

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    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 59 Floride View Post
    The whole inside trim will be rebuilt from scratch and I'll be trying to make it as original looking as possible, with period correct fabrics, flooring, roof lining etc.
    I see you've joined the anorak set. I remember meeting a guy in Junee, "I'm not a car club sort of guy"
    I'll bet you're already thinking about what will be your next renault project... : )
    KB


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    Great work! It's interesting how similar some of the parts are to Peugeot 403. The rear tail lights and the grille for instance. Oviously the grille might be a slightly different shape, but the design is very similar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    I see you've joined the anorak set. I remember meeting a guy in Junee, "I'm not a car club sort of guy"
    I'll bet you're already thinking about what will be your next renault project... : )
    An anorak eh.., isn't that the same as a Renault tragic.? I still have a 20 year minimum apprenticeship before I can qualify for that, and then there's the minimum 20-odd previous Renault ownerships, the beard, the back yard full of rusting body shells and lets not forget the dozens of parts and workshop manuals piled up in the corner.

    No Kev, not an anorak yet, but I'm sure working on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 59 Floride View Post
    There are some serious lumps of metal under these cars, which is why they weigh 1400 kg compared to a Dauphine at 660kg.
    And a good example of why it is good they don't build'em like they used to :-).
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    Fellow Frogger! lozenge's Avatar
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    thanks for sharing this amazing project. you're a brave man, but obviously
    know what you're doing and have an almighty work ethic. best wishes with it all, Lo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    And a good example of why it is good they don't build'em like they used to :-).


    You have a point. Just ahead of the pressed steel suspensions like my 1951 4CV. Interesting. Would those rear drums be bigger than contemporary Holden front drums?

    Good on you Graham. I'm looking forward to a ride at Easter.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by lozenge View Post
    thanks for sharing this amazing project. you're a brave man, but obviously
    know what you're doing and have an almighty work ethic. best wishes with it all, Lo.
    Brave or just plain crazy...I often wonder?

    The way I see it, if I don't save this car from almost certain permanant decay who will...? And if I get 2 or 3 years pleasure from the rebuild, then 20 years or so of pleasurable ownership than it's gotta be worth it right?

    But what will become of our old cars when we, the baby boomers, are dead and gone..?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post


    You have a point. Just ahead of the pressed steel suspensions like my 1951 4CV. Interesting. Would those rear drums be bigger than contemporary Holden front drums?

    Good on you Graham. I'm looking forward to a ride at Easter.
    Which Easter..? I think I could manage a ride in the Blue Rocket if that's acceptable?


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    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    Will all the wheels stay on the trailer this time?
    KB


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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    Will all the wheels stay on the trailer this time?
    We could always follow him and sabotage them near Bathurst.
    J-man and FIVEDOOR like this.
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    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 63-1092 View Post
    We could always follow him and sabotage them near Bathurst.
    Any such dastardly deed will be negatived by superior customer service by the company hiring the trailer.
    J-man likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Would those rear drums be bigger than contemporary Holden front drums?
    Just for info purposes, data extracted from UK Motor magazine and converted to metric.

    1956 Fregate Amiral - brake lining area, 1,135sqcm - kerb weight 1,312kg

    1958 FC Holden Special - brake lining area, 623sqcm - kerb weight 1,062kg

    1956 Renault 750 - brake lining area, 432.25sqcm - kerb weight 575kg.

    (PS - I know this is off the resto topic, so if the mods want to shift it upstairs into the Fregate topic in the Renault forum, feel free)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Just for info purposes, data extracted from UK Motor magazine and converted to metric.

    1956 Fregate Amiral - brake lining area, 1,135sqcm - kerb weight 1,312kg

    1958 FC Holden Special - brake lining area, 623sqcm - kerb weight 1,062kg

    1956 Renault 750 - brake lining area, 432.25sqcm - kerb weight 575kg.

    (PS - I know this is off the resto topic, so if the mods want to shift it upstairs into the Fregate topic in the Renault forum, feel free)
    Thanks Simon, it seems like this car should be punching above it's weight in the anchor department, which is good or I'll have to install front discs at some stage (I like to be able to drive my cars).

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