My R12 POS Arrived!

bowie

1000+ Posts
And it's better then I had imagined.

There has been some serious love thrown at this over the years, It's honestly, probably in better condition then my Mi16. (not a huge achievement if i'm honest) The interior is that lovely old car smelling green olive colour. I love that colour, T'was the colour in my 504 previous. and all seems to be working. Windows wind down, locks work. there isn't any rust in the bottom of any doors.

There is a bit of rust on the right hand side of the rear window. Previous owner had a black sun shade thing that was just collecting crap and rotting it out. That won't be on ever again!

As for my hopes of this being a run around race car... well the suspension seemed to be in good condition, all bushes intact, it even looks like it has some new sway bar hangers, this is sad because it handled like a yacht on the way home. :tongue: before I get too excited, who has a hot one who wants to show off and take me for a drive? There'd be a bottle of wine in it for you. oh wait the Cit dudes are running the next french car day in a month or too. I can probably wait till then. Watch out Renault 12 owners! MMhahahaha :p

Paint is the varying shades of the off white green colour throughout, crows feat hear and a few bits where someone touched it up previous.. probably would require a re-spray.. but.. well, god when to stop. The rest of the car is probably worth it? :blackeye:

Oh the drama with the fuel pump! Previously, the fuel pump wasn't doing anything, we sucked and sucked on the fuel line for a bit but gave up. Today we tried again and the sucking cleared what ever was stopping it from doing something. Fuel is swishing around the filter as normal and she started and drove fine! :joker:

Other complains? The drivers seat has given up, although the leather is in good condition. Someone fitted a desk fan to the console, gets annoying whilst steering at times but perhaps I'll probably enjoy it when summer is here, they tell me the airflow in these things is close to 0? Last owner thought white wall tyres were a good idea. One of the whitewalls has fallen off and is now blue. Friends, don't let friends install white wall tyres. Again sadly there is plenty of tread on them so there they shall stay for some time being

But they really are a charming looking thing :) Who designed these again?
 

Attachments

  • smIMGP3619.jpg
    smIMGP3619.jpg
    48.3 KB · Views: 892
  • smIMGP3620.jpg
    smIMGP3620.jpg
    59.3 KB · Views: 1,301
  • smdirtrear.jpg
    smdirtrear.jpg
    77.2 KB · Views: 1,061
  • smfrontdirt.jpg
    smfrontdirt.jpg
    74.3 KB · Views: 913
Last edited:

bowie

1000+ Posts
Oh. Can one swap all the clocks around? and no temperature gauge? Are they really that reliable?

I understand the later "TS" had cool things like a tacho and temp gauge, what are the chances like of finding those. On earth.. and not in my dreams.
 

schlitzaugen

1000+ Posts
Easy. You can find them in Virage models, so a call to Dave Cavanagh would be my first shot.

If you get stuck, ebay is your friend.
 
Last edited:

Simon

1000+ Posts
You'll find that the water temp is indicated by a warning light, just like lots of late model cars! They are that reliable. The instrument cluster can be swapped with the Jaeger gauge unit from a 1975-76 model 12, they have the tacho in the centre of the cluster, just like a Porsche, you will also need the wiring loom and the temp sensor in the back of the cylinder head to make the temp gauge and tacho work (or just stuff around with separate wires to get them to work - replacing the loom is likely the easier option).

One good thing about that rear window louvre though, it has preserved the lovely Australian COTY sticker, I've not seen a good one of those for years!
 

bowie

1000+ Posts
:p Fair point It does feel vibrant in that mid 70's print! lol Simon I wish I could peal it off and send it to you, but it would probably crumble away and be gone forever more.

And right the Virage had them cool cool. I'll annoy Dave a bit later (sorry Dave) :p

Thanks all :)
 

COL

Alpine A110
List Of Things To Improve Your R12

1) Fit twin headlights from the Virage, so that you can see at night.

2) Install R17 anti roll bars, takes a lot of body roll out.

3) Install a SAAS sports wheel or similar, give you some meat to get hold of, those old skinny wheels are terrible to drive with.

4) Shorten the gear stick and take the slop out of the gear change, makes changing gears a pleasure.

5) Fit 5" rims (Cosmic, Dunlop mags or R18 wheels) allows a little wider rubber.

6) Fit thermo fan, can gain a little horse power.

7) Change to either Bilstein or Koni shocks, gives far better handling.

8) Fit 807 engine from an r17. 40% power increase.

9) Fit R17 front brakes, takes far longer to fade.
 

simca1100

Member
Virage instruments won't fit - they have a whole different cluster.
But 12GL instruments should give you what you want.

that's quite an early car - the wipers are set for left hand drive, only the very first Australian assembled 12s had that.
Aussie assembled 12s generally had the wipers set correctly for right hand drive, with the clever pantographic linkage on the right to make the wiper sweep very close to the pillar. This was unique to Australian cars - 12s sold in UK all has the wipers set for LHD, it's like driving with one eye half closed.
 

schlitzaugen

1000+ Posts
Virage instruments won't fit - they have a whole different cluster.
But 12GL instruments should give you what you want.

that's quite an early car - the wipers are set for left hand drive, only the very first Australian assembled 12s had that.
Aussie assembled 12s generally had the wipers set correctly for right hand drive, with the clever pantographic linkage on the right to make the wiper sweep very close to the pillar. This was unique to Australian cars - 12s sold in UK all has the wipers set for LHD, it's like driving with one eye half closed.


You can fit the whole dash (and I bet it's easier too, not to mention more visible and clear) but you're right, the Virage cluster doesn't fit in the 12 dash. I was trying to remember the 12 model that had all the upmarket dials - GL, like the one in my driveway!

But hey, your car is quite pretty, wouldn't say it deserves the POS title.

PS. You know what? you might be lucky. I think I have a GL cluster in my stash of spares. Yell out if you need it. Not sure how good it is (I mean if everything in it works) but if it is, it's gonna cost you an arm and a leg!
 

Sunroof

1000+ Posts
1) Fit twin headlights from the Virage, so that you can see at night.

2) Install R17 anti roll bars, takes a lot of body roll out.

3) Install a SAAS sports wheel or similar, give you some meat to get hold of, those old skinny wheels are terrible to drive with.

4) Shorten the gear stick and take the slop out of the gear change, makes changing gears a pleasure.

5) Fit 5" rims (Cosmic, Dunlop mags or R18 wheels) allows a little wider rubber.

6) Fit thermo fan, can gain a little horse power.

7) Change to either Bilstein or Koni shocks, gives far better handling.

8) Fit 807 engine from an r17. 40% power increase.

9) Fit R17 front brakes, takes far longer to fade.


If it is a real early R12 then an 807 might not fit as the cross member in the rear of the engine bay is straight it needs a bend. Last week there was an R12 barn find for sale in QLD already converted to R12 Gordini specs. Would save a lot of work.
 

bowie

1000+ Posts
Yes it really is an early r12. 1971 build and Simon had already pointed out it had the smaller 1.2L

Yes I bought this expecting a POS. I wanted a cheap something to throw spanners at and do club events with. The blessing is I can, but I'm less likely to be aggressive with the power tools. :p I may have to rethink this.

An early discussion about the cross member ended with being ok. I'd have to check, but I believe you just needed to remove the tab where the battery sat? I best go back and check as there is a r17 engine sitting in my shed. And I missed that thread! Where was it?

Yes Col all those items are on the shopping list, but I confess in getting cold feet over how bad it is to drive in its current form. But I'll clean it up on the meantime and see if it grows on me.
 

bowie

1000+ Posts
Regarding the cluster and dash... Yes I'll wait and annoy you all a bit later. I keep forgetting these things are 40 yrs old and parts are thinning :p but given the prices.... It might be more fun to fit some modern clocks to size within the existing cluster.

Oh re the cross member, uncle Dave says.

I never worried me, I use to just grind the lip off the early X member and reweld it. Easy with the engine out. And I'm not a legend....Dont call me a Honda.
 
Last edited:

bowie

1000+ Posts
Just so we can keep track of these dam things, personal vin information as follows :p

So all the R12 were built in Melbourne?

smengine1.jpgengine plate.jpgsmadr plate.jpgsmchasis plate1.jpg

Ah! and the 810-02, the proper big 1289cc and not the sneaky little 1250ish cc?


Olive Green is the best green :p
interior rear.jpg
 

David Cavanagh

1000+ Posts
There's your problem right there. That's why it doesn't start. Nothing to do with the fuel pump, you've got no battery terminals.
 

bowie

1000+ Posts
Oh you're a funny one Dave :p

Previous owner had a fan wired up from the battery, I'm chasing that wire back before I zap myself again :p

Anyways, who needs a Tow bar and mounting plates? there is even a tow ball and elec socket. Swap ya some thick sway bars for it? :p
 
Last edited:

bowie

1000+ Posts
Yes they are tall, was it cool to fit better interior bits as they came out once upon a time.

Anyway found some polish. She looks ok :)
 

Attachments

  • IMGP3636.jpg
    IMGP3636.jpg
    58.1 KB · Views: 506
  • IMGP3638.jpg
    IMGP3638.jpg
    42.6 KB · Views: 459
  • IMGP3639.jpg
    IMGP3639.jpg
    47.4 KB · Views: 453

Simon

1000+ Posts
Just looking at the pics above, and noting the "carbon fibre" boot lid, I note it also had what is likely the original toughened glass windscreen. If taking it onto the track, you will need to replace it with a laminated screen, which then leads onto the screen rubber. As your car is a very early model, it has a larger windscreen aperture in the body, so the windscreen rubber is different to the later versions - note the narrow locking strip. So try and be nice to the rubber when replacing the screen, the actual screens themselves are identical in size regardless of the model era.

Also note that the car has single circuit brakes, rather than the dual circuit brakes fitted to the later models. So in an upgrade to say 15/17 vented front discs and 15/17/12 Wagon larger rear drums, it would be worth also updating the master cylinder and fitting a brake servo from a later model at the same time.
 

bowie

1000+ Posts
Again Simon, Thank you.

Didn't think to check the windscreen. Hmmmm And yes the brakes feel like a bowl of onion soup. That's a little harsh. they are ok, just primitive :p But yes Suspension and brakes will be on the car before the 807 goes in.
 
Last edited:

4cvg

1000+ Posts
On R12 handling:

I owned 2 R12 Virage wagons over a 22 year period & played around with handling adjustments in various fairly minimal ways (including, at one point, larger front tyres than rears - worked well; did the same on my Moke). Col is right in his suggestions but enjoyment can be had without changing wheels or dampers.

Much as Col says, fixes are available but I'd approach changes in stages.

Minimum pain path is to endure the lean (not really an issue once one gets used to it unless one is doing a left-right "jink" - they lean but take a "set" & stably track around) & concentrate on getting a nice handling balance. I suggest that a crisp turn in & nice apex lift off (or left foot braking) oversteer attitude adjustability are nice qualities for a front driver. Much can be done with tyre pressures. Increase them with the fronts higher than the rears. It's ten years ago now but, as I recall, I'd run high 30s at the front & low 30s at the rear. But it's dependent on the tyres' structure, your taste in handling balance etc. . . . . .. I'd play around with pressure differences on a favourite bend on a wet day.

Next easiest is to change tyres. Best size for standard 4.5 rims is 175/70-13. Have a look at a longish analytical post by me in the "Decent 13" tyres?" thread. For reasons explained there, I judge the Hankook Kinergy Ex to be the best tyre currently available in this size for the brisk driver.

Last, & a bit fiddly as I recall for the rear bar, is indeed to fit R17TL anti-roll bars. They certainly make a difference & I ended up having them put on my first Virage & then transferred to the second one.

I wouldn't change to a small diameter steering wheel & would simply fit a Virage wheel. Nicer rim but still allowing a bit of lever length.

As I said, do changes in stages until you get to what you find enjoyable.

cheers! Peter
 

schlitzaugen

1000+ Posts
Yep, I would advise against a smaller steering wheel as well. If there's one thing that doesn't suit the 12, it's a small steering wheel. Another alternative to the Virage wheel is the R17 or if you find one from a late Dacia (this is even more like rocking horse rocket surgery). I think some of the Renault 5 wheels fit as well (I had an R10 with one), but you have to do your own research here. I prefer the R17 wheel of all these.

I also support the comment about the body roll. These cars are designed by proper engineers who obviously knew what they were doing. The car relies on body roll to generate surprising grip whilst providing a comfortable ride. Leave it alone. If going to a thicker roll bar for the front, I would suggest you make sure you have the corresponding rear bar on hand.
 
Last edited:
Top