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Richard1

Progress Report on my Renault Ondine in Bolivia

42 posts in this topic

I mentioned on my Corvair thread that I had started restoring a Renault. Here it is, with a brief summary.

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It has been sitting in this garden for about 25 years. Recently the guy dug it out of the garden and was doing some body work on it.

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I haven't had much time since I bought it, (I divide my time between two cities 450 miles apart) but I've stripped it down (brakes were full of mud) and sandblasted, welded, straightened and painted the suspension and brake parts. Had to fabricate the front spindles and bearings.

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A couple of weeks ago I got back to Tarija and had a little time Saturday morning, so with the help of a neighbor, I tied a fire hose around the engine and a post, and we lifted it out of the car. 3 hours later I had it apart to start cleaning.

It appears that it has very few miles since a rebuild, just that they messed it up. Block was welded on the side, but not the top, so the sleeves became ovaled and the pistons scraped the sides. I left it with the welder. Next month I'll get back to paint and assemble as much as I can.

Looks like it never had antifreeze in it

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Anyway, it's on its way. I've located a steering wheel in a junk yard in Argentina so I'll go there in January and get it.

Lots more pics on my site.

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Richard,

I went to your website to take a quick look at it..........and ended up spending an hour+ reading and viewing the pics. :D

Great site, and some great cars. Can only imagine the issues related to finding parts for the Corvair. I admire your perserverance in restoring these cars.

I'll check back often.

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Good for you for restoring this car; that will be quite a challenge. You'll have something very unique when you're finished. Can't wait to see more of your progress.

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The wheel cylinders are supposed to be 22mm up front and 19mm in the back. All I've been able to find are 23.8mm, so I'll end up replacing the proportioning valve with an adjustable one so that I can set up the stopping.

I'm sure the original 50 kg proportioning valve is shot anyway.

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Well, I've been back in Tarija for a couple of weeks, using spare moments to do a little at a time. At this point I now have about everything ready for reassembly. I went to Argentina for the steering wheel and they had sent the car to the crusher. I did get a few other parts from someone else, just driving the streets and asking who has seen "a car like this" (showing a picture).

I had the block re-welded and it now looks good. Pulled the rest of the power train and cleaned and painted it, using some Rustoleum Rust Reformer where needed.

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I also cleaned up the intake manifold

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Unfortunately the front crossmember is welded in, so I had to restore it in place, but now it is ready to assemble.

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The cracked motor mount had to be welded, and of course the CV joints cleaned up a bit.

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More on the site. This afternoon I'm going to start assembling. Though I haven't decided where to start yet.

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Thank you for the great pictures and story. you start with some rough cars right from the junk yard and turn them into beauties. Your website is well organized and intuitive. It is encouraging to us who are doing some restoration. Jim

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Got a few more things done after posting that, then finished up the other day when I got back to Tarija for 3 days. I'm going back next week and will have the parts I ordered, so the engine will go together and I'll see where I wander with it.

I've ordered everything I need to make it 12 volt, as well as other misc items.

Instead of assembling things, I decided to take apart the transmission. A little more difficult since my manual is for a 3 speed and my transmission is 4 speed, but with the help of a few dozen pictures, I got it back together.

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Here are the before and after of the intake and exhaust manifolds. Exhaust is done with rust restorer and BBQ black.

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Also got a set of aluminum rear grills that needed a little cleaning up and welding

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But nothing that couldn't be sanded out and polished

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At least there is enough to do that I can switch projects and not get bored.

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Great work, I can't wait to see the car come together. Thanks for posting!

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Christmas in June. My cyber friend came through and sent me parts from Buenos Aires.

All I need for the 12 volt conversion, plus water pump and thermostat, steering wheel and lighting controls I never had, plus a few other things. Turn signal switch is NOS.

I decided to go 12 volt since the generator was trash and no one sells 6 volt batteries here.

Something to work on this weekend.

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A little done this week

Of course that alternator has to sparkle, so I took some buffing compound and Meguair's to it.

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Then I took apart the steering rack I picked up in Argentina a couple of months ago. Inside was almost new, so I'll use this one.

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A little honing of the new cylinder sleeve

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And sanding off the scratches from the pistons. This engine was only run a few miles after the last rebuild, then sat for about 25 years. The new pistons were scratched from the cracked bridge between the 2nd and 3rd cylinders allowing the block to expand and the sleeves to oval.

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The machine shop broke their 12mm x 18 in bit making my water tube, So the engine will have to wait for me to come back in a couple of weeks.

Might as well get started on the trim, right?

I'm not sure how this is supposed to come off, but this spring steel did the trick

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Of course there were some dents in the stainless (lots more detail on my site)

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I wish I could dedicate enough time to mine to progress faster. Running my business with 40% annual growth takes up a major portion of my time.

You are doing great, and although I don't post much, I like to follow your comments and progress. It reminds me of my restoration of the TR-3, when it was my daily driver. By Monday morning it had to be running, no matter what.

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Congratulations on the 40% annual growth! That's going in the right direction, and I'm sure, takes up plenty of your time. But you are dauntless - if I looked at that little truck or the Renault, I would throw up my hands and surrender. Too much for me to take on!

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Got a little work done on the car in the last three weeks. I decided I could do office wok from home from 6:30 to 8:00, car from 8 to noon, then office from 1 to 7 or 8 pm. Very productive

Lots of parts to assemble

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Found one broken oil control ring (since they were "new" I hadn't pulled them yet) so I ordered a new set.

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Several missing or defective gaskets in the "complete" set I had bought, so had to make a few.

Had to replace a few studs and cut them down to fit, but got the engine assembled

Here is a before and after

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Also adapted the filter housing to fit a 3/4" filter rather than the 16 mm original.

Here is the transmission/differential assemble before

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and after

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Anyway, more pics on my site, but here is the power train installed

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And a rear brake

Rear_brake_after.jpg

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Thanks. No, my French is not that fluent anymore. I did review some of the on-line information. Some help has come from a forum in Spain and some from a couple of forums in Argentina, a little from a US forum. I've downloaded a French parts manual and workshop manuals for the US version and the Spanish version. Since the Spanish version did not come with the 4 speed, I used a lot of pictures and common sense for the trans rebuild. I just recently got the US manual, but there are differences for the US.

The basic design for the water tube came from the French site, but it had inconsistencies between text and drawings.

Makes it more interesting.

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Got some more done this week, taking the seats to my upholsterer so he can have the framework and cushions ready for me to buy the fabric at the end of the month.

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Also got my body guy turned on to cutting out the rust and making replacement panels.

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My brother-in-law will be sending me updates these next two weeks while I'm away.

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Back in Tarija and got some pics at the body shop this morning. He has done a nice job of replacing the left side frame, rockers and sills. The doors actually close now that it is not sagging.

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Now he has been working on the right side, where he had to replace a long section of the rail, then rocker, and then will be putting the final sills on.

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He has been cutting up some Toyotas, Nissans and Mitsubishis for steel. Once the rockers and sills are done, he will cut out the front floor and replace it.

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Now with the front door frames and chassis finished, we are ready to cut out the front floor.

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The detail of the frame repair is here: Month 20

Now we have started replacing floor panels. When finished it will have a layer of fatmat between the steel and the carpeting.

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Floor is now finished. Tomorrow we start on the body.

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Also bought the upholstery materials. Brown vinyl for the seat and panel edges and backs, ivory imitation suede for the center of the seats and door panels. I'll probably put them on the dash in some form or another.

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I haven;t been able to get back to Tarija, but they finally sent me some pictures of the progress on the insides. The floor is now patched and primed. Once the body shop has finished I'll cover the floor with fatmat and carpeting.

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