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Thank you Roger; I can understand what you are saying too but I imagine that parts for your Cadillacs are readily available and not available only from a strange secret society as Renault parts seem to be. As a direct contrast as I see it, the cars that you are "playing" with are of comparative recent (Post WW2) manuafcture and sold in numbers that would have made Louis Renault dizzy in 1929. Also I believe that American parts dealers are much more ready to converse with people from outside the USA. For example, in my own experience, the French people who put 1920s parts on LeBoncoin make absolutely no attempt to reply to any queries from ourside France. This too is a rash generalisation but I have found to my own cost that when they do reply, the description of the part is far from acurate and very often deliberately dishonest. ie. When someone tells you an engine has been "turned over" you automatically think that the crank has been rotated indicating that the engine is not seized or rusted solid. Not so! what was implied was that the engine had been rolled over to allow the rusty water to drain out and that in fact the engine was completely rusted solid. If I had been told that in the first place, there is no way I would have 1. Bought it and 2. Thrown good money after bad to the tune of more than 1,000 Euros having the pile of absolute junk air freighted from France to Australia.

 

QED

 

Bernie j.

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Bernie, my intend was only to respond to your comments about the shipping prices. I have no experience with French cars and searching parts from vehicles that old can be a nightmare. On the other side, about production numbers: the '57 Brougham was produced in small numbers: 400 for 1957 and 304 for 1958. No body parts are interchangeable with regular Cads from that time. Of course, mechanical parts are much easier to find, except for the air suspension.

There are crooks in the US too. For my Brougham, I bought parts for many thausends US $ to a man living in California. Not all parts were nice, but they could be improved/repaired and installed. Later, many years ago, I visited that person; went to his storage room where he had 6 or 7 cars in various stages of parting out. I saw 2 excellent large pot metal parts  as well as 4 wheels which are chromed aluminum in perfect condition. He quoted a price which was in line with the condition of the parts and he agreed to send them as I could not take them with me. When the parts arrived, it was a real desaster, not at all the ones I saw at his shop. Needless to say that to get a partial refund was a dead end.

Twice I translated in French a response for an Australian guy who saw something in the Boncoin. I don't remember if the first attempt was successful, but we never got an answer for that Cotal transmission...

 

Years ago, there was in the Hemmings Motor News (the bible for US cars and others) a translation from the most usual sentences you can read in advertisings like "overhauled brakes" is to be translated: "removed drums, saw the mess and put the drums back" Unfortunately, I did not keep that list; it can be used everywhere in the world!

 

I hope that you can find a buyer for your project.

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Hi Roger

I must admit finding a buyer for the Renault comes fairly low on my list of priorities. We have just returned from two days of fairly rapid motoring in the Lagonda on a highly competitive Navigation Rally. About 400 miles on relatively unused country roads at times maintaining 75+mph to meet some very tight timed sections. Field of about forty Pre-1939 cars including nine Bentleys a couple of Bugattis, an Aero engined Hispano Suiza, two or three Delage, just one other Lagonda.

 

Bj.

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Last weekend Helen and I attended the VSCC Two Day Rally which was centred at the central Victorian city of Ballarat. We had left the finish mid afternoon for the drive back to Melbourne. Arriving home after a rapid run down the Western Highway and Ring Road, I noticed an unfamiliar noise coming from under the Rapiers bonnet as I drove into the carport. We had been sitting very comfortably on the "Legal Limit" 110 kph, 65-70 mph, between 3,200 and 3,600 rpm, for most of the two hour drive. Next morning I did not restart the engine but decided to have a look first, removing the inlet side cam cover. Straight away it was obvious that I had broken a timing chain tensioner. But where had the "other" half gone. First I drained the oil and removed the sump. Nothing there, so next step was to remove the radiator and place a jack under the engine. I could then remove the bolt from the front engine mounting and proceed to remove the timing case. Fortunately I had previously heeded the recommendation in the Register Technical Notes and replaced all the studs with bolts so it was a relatively simple matter to remove the timing case from the front of the engine without having to remove the engine. At first I could not see anything untoward but then looking more closely, there it was, the other half of the Weller blade sitting comfortably on top of the half time gear held in place by the dynamo drive gear. At this point for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the Lagonda Rapier engine. The timing chain tensioners are slightly curved strips of spring steel anchored at one end. This one had broken quite cleanly across its width about half way along its length. The "leg" had slipped down behind the half time gear and had not fortunately been drawn into the mesh between the two gears. There was no sign of damage or  debris anywhere. Both the timing gears and the chains and sprockets were entirely undamaged and it will now be a simple task to replace the broken tensioner from my personal stock and replace the front cover  and cam covers and refit the radiator. As a precaution I will refill the sump with fresh oil. Looking at the centre photograph you can see the "highlight"where the timing gear had been rubbing ever so lightly. I shudder to think what may have been.


 


Bernie J.


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Below is the drawing of the Lagonda Rapier timing gear-chain arrangement. The tensioner I broke was the left hand (inlet cam chain)

The broken half fell down and was stitting on top of the main (half time) gear. I do not use the coil spring additional tensioner.

 

Bj.

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Back to the Renault!

A little white van pulled into the drive yesterday. Out hopped the driver with a cardboard box with familiar printed tape to keep it firmly and safely together. The good ladies at Depanoto had recieved my last e-mail and acted promptly, inside the box were the fifth hubcap and four wheel nuts. Added to this my friend and fellow Rapier owner had called in on Friday en route to the start of the VSCC "Two-day Rally". He had with him another 4.50 x 18 tyre in almost unused condition. Once the Rapier is all back together, hopefully later today, I can think about finishing the Renault's spare wheel carrier that I had been working on last week. all that I need now is another three 14mm X 150 studs to go with the one I had already in my sundry Metric nuts and bolts bin.

And that dear friends is the way the money goes. 124.10 Euros equates to near enough to Aus$ 200.00 and Visa still have to add their % fee.

 

Bj

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Hello Ben

Sorry no "starting line" photos, we are sent off at one minute intervals with people milling about and everybody with their heads down deciphering instructions and plotting routes. VSCC "Navigation" is traditionally "tricky" and the competition is quite serious.

 

Bj

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Interesting shipping costs: when we go to our vacation house in France, sometimes I'm sending to French customers what they order and I have in stock. Compared to Switzerland, the shipping costs in metropolitan France are expensive; however, the hub cover and bolts for € 31 is quite reasonable. It would costs probably more to send the same package from the USA to Europe if a flat rate box is used, about $ 40.00.

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Oups! This unfavourable exchange rate make goods much more expensive. It's the contrary in Switzerland: 50 years ago, 1 US $ was 4.5o CHF. Quite recently, 1 $ was as low as 0.90 CHF. It improves a little better to about 0.97.

Same thing with the Euro: Maybe 7 years ago, 1 Euro was 1.65 CHF. Now its about 1.08, making all goods we import less expensive. The dark side: our export industry suffers greatly from this.

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As to date there has been no interest from any potential purchasers for the Renault, although it has not really been advertised for sale widely. I will get back to working on it over the weekend. Remember that we are 22 hours ahead of the USA and it is 9.24 am of Friday October 2nd as I write this. We start Summer time on this coming Sunday.

 

Re time difference 9.24 AM. Thursday E.A.S.T. = 11.24 PM. Wednesday AACA Forum time

 

Bj.

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Changing the subject ever so slightly, having ejected the Possum* from our roof space I spent yesterday afternoon closing up any possible points of entry. Now today I am clearing out a lot of what is basically junk; Offcuts of trim material and carpet from "past restorations" with the exception of one or two cars that have stayed in Australia it is most unlikely that I will ever see them again or that their owners are in the event of some accidental damage be likely to come to me looking for repair material. This means that there is no point in my storing short lengths of carpet or off-cuts of hide or matching vinyl material, some for more than 20+years. Straight into the bin! Some time soon I am going to have to "get tough" with the 10 or 12 five litre containers full of second hand nuts and bolts and other (perhaps) useful stuff.

 

*Australian Possums are nocturnal creatures about the size of a small domestic cat. The are excellent climbers and regularly can be seen at dusk "tight rope walking" along power cables to reach the roof of houses. Although quite small they wear size 14 boots and clump around in the space above the ceiling and across the outside of the roof.

Being nocturnal they seek out dark spaces to sleep through the day emerging an hour or so after dark. As they are "protected" Native animals you are not permitted to poison them and can only capture (trap) them alive and they are supposed to be then released within a mile of their place of capture. They are known to be capable of easily beating the world record for covering a mile and often, on release, return to the scene of the crime long before the house-holder. The only way of combating these dear little friends (fiends) is to make sure that every possible point of access no matter how small is securely blocked off. This one had discovered that he/she could access our roof space via the garage roof eaves.

 

Bj.

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On going through the various trim off cuts and left over pieces of hide I have discovered that I should have enough of the Biscuit coloured hide left over from the 1923 Packard seats to do the facings on the two slightly smaller seats for the Renault. This will mean re-thinking the colour scheme. Back to the Chocolate brown and Biscuit. This will mean repainting the wheels but they needed another coat of paint so nothing is lost. While I do not have sufficient of the Ocelot fake fur for another lap rug I have enough to make a very dashing scarf for a fashionable passenger. Those with sufficient imagination will be able to make a mental picture of the car using colours from the attached.

I believe that the Renault's shape really lends itself to two tone paint. The other plus is that I still have more than sufficient of the Fawn "Salt & Pepper" top material for a tonneau cover.  Looking closely at the photograph of the Packard you can just see the Ocelot lap rug on the rug-bar behind the passenger seat. This went with the Packard to the new owner.

 

Bj.

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Hello Ian

I am sorry but any interior that may have been originally with my Renault had long gone.

You may not know but what I purchased as a COMPLETE, STRAIGHT FORWARD RESTORATION PROJECT was in fact a collection of assorted Renault parts rescued some years earlier from a wrecking yard that was scheduled for re-development. What I received was a collection of parts from at least three different cars and at least two different models. One a 1926NN, one a 1927 RY and another a 1929 RY1. There are significant differences between the RY and RY1 and of course the RY and RY1 are both SIX cylinder 1500cc and the engine that came with the "straight forward restoration project" was from a 1926NN FOUR cylinder 950cc. When I looked more closely there were NO gears in the gearbox and so it goes on. You could say that my task has been anything but straight forward. The TWO six cylinder engines that I have subsequently purchased, one from New Zealand and the other from France are both contary to the vendors discriptions absolute rubbish! The Engine from New Zealand was totally dismantled complete with one BROKEN connecting Rod and a smashed piston. The engine from France was rusted solid having been left out in the open for some considerable time without any sparkplugs screwed into the cylinder-head, permitting the engine to fill with rusty water. I was told that this engine had been recently "turned over". In my innocence thought that was meant to indicate that the crankshaft had been rotated indicating that the engine was "Free"! What was actually meant was that the engine had been physically rolled onto its side to allow the rusty water to drain out. Silly me! The freight alone on the engine from France was almost $2,000. CAVEAT EMPTOR!
Oh boy! this restoration game is all good fun!!! The only way I can hope to recover even a fraction of the money I have outlaid is to build it all into a car, either that or to cut my losses and sell it all for scrap.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

 

Bj.

 

Ian, sorry about all that, what was your question?

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This afternoon I finished re-making the seat back frames and will continue working on them (the seats) tomorrow after Lunch after Petanque in the morning..

 

Bj.

I had to look this one up Bernie :)  Sounds like an interesting sport; I guess the closest we have in the US to this would be horse shoes. How long have you played Petanque?

 

Petanque (French pronunciation: ​[petɑ̃k]; Occitan: petanca [peˈtaŋkɔ]) is a form of boules where the goal is to throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally "piglet") or jack, while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground.

 

Boules (French pronunciation: ​[bul]) is a collective name for a wide range of games in which the objective is to throw or roll heavy balls (called boules in France, and bocce in Italy) as close as possible to a small target ball.

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I have been playing Petanque with the local branch of the U3A (University of the 3 Age) for probably 10 years or more.

It is great fun if you like competitive games. Quite different to Lawn Bowls which the other "ball" game played by "Seniors" here in Australia.

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Digressing for just a moment, I came across this one while going through photographs of some of my earlier restorations. This one was my Daily Driver for a while in the late 1950s. "Le Mans" green with Sand coloured top and London Tan InteriorTrim. Can anyone recognise it? It was quite rare at the time especially Drop Head Coupes like this one. I have not seen it since the day I sold it and have never seen another one the same.

 

Bj.

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This afternoon I finished re-making the seat back frames and will continue working on them (the seats) tomorrow after Lunch after Petanque in the morning..

 

Bj.

Despite todays temperature reaching 35 Degrees Centigrade this afternoon I have "roughed out" the sheet metal for one seat back. As you may see I am currently working outside in the full sun not the most condusive for a lot of work but at least I am not welding.

Tomorrow morning my first task is to go and buy another pop rivet gun to replace the one I lent to someone. My second string "old one" has decided that it does not want to work any more. Obviously being thrown into the bottom of a box of other "old" tools has had a bad effect on it. Pulling it apart and re-assembling it has not worked  this time, it may be just worn out after several thousand pop rivets.

 

Bj

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, it may be just worn out after several thousand pop rivets.

 

Bj

I think I know just how that poor old Pop Rivet gun feels, after so many restorations and rebuilds I could do with a rest at the bottom of a box. But somehow I don't think I am really ready. Not while I can still draw breath. While the Renault is sitting there, it at least deserves another chance. Having gone this far and if there is no one else prepared to take it on, having started I guess that I may as well keep going. The "purists" may hate it but then I have never let the thoughts or ideals of a "purist" prevent me from "doing my own thing". 

 

Going back to #264 The car is/was a 1945 Sunbeam Talbot 10Hp. a glorified Hillman Minx but still a very pleasant little semi-sporting car. It had two problems, Dreadful Bendix mechanical brakes that did not work at all in reverse. I remember quite vividly, going backward down any sort of a  a hill was extremely challenging. The other problem, It developed VALVE BOUNCE at about 65 mph in top gear. Perhaps it was never meant to be a "Highway Car"........ more suited to tottering gently around the English country side.

 

Bj

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Digressing for just a moment, I came across this one while going through photographs of some of my earlier restorations. This one was my Daily Driver for a while in the late 1950s. "Le Mans" green with Sand coloured top and London Tan InteriorTrim. Can anyone recognise it? It was quite rare at the time especially Drop Head Coupes like this one. I have not seen it since the day I sold it and have never seen another one the same.

 

Bj.

It's obviously British, is it a Riley?

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Sorry Craig

You are correct that it is British but in some ways much more humble in it's origions than Rileys. I certainly have owned between 15 and 20 Rileys during the earlier part of my motoring life. I also had a period when I was a great fan of Rootes Group cars and Sunbean-Talbots in particular. As mentioned above this one was basically an up-market Hillman Minx. Again as I said previously I have never seen it since I sold it and have only seen one other D H Coupe that one was the two Litre which used Humber Hawk engine gearbox etc. Every so often a saloon pops up but they do not have the appeal of the Drop Head.

 

Bj

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I certainly have owned between 15 and 20 Rileys during the earlier part of my motoring life. 

Bj

I must be a slow learner, it took me quite a while to work just how bad Riley's are. Most of my Rileys were late 1920s or early 1930s 9hp although I have also had a 1926 Side Valve 11 hp, a post WW2 1.5 Litre, a "Pathfinder" and a Mini based Riley Elf. You could say a reasonalbe sample.

 

Bj

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Petanque aside the Renault continues to dominate much of my time, most of today being devoted to the seat frames or more correctly the seat backs. While working on these I am having some serious rethinking about colours. The traditional 1920s Paris Taxi, two tone green really seems locked in with so much I have planned and talked about it is hard to get away from.  The other alternative being my own "team colours", Old English Ivory and Mid-Brunswick Green does not sound quite geographically right on a French car. This is something that I will have to decide about before I take the seats to be upholstered, perhaps as early as next week. What ever colour goes onto the seats will tend to dictate the colours for the rest of the car.

 

Bj.

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Meanwhile I am conserving my meagre cash supply doing lots of little  but necessary jobs. I am currently sorting out the rear floor which is fiddly and time consuming with not much to show at the end. I hope to have sufficient aluminium sheet "in stock" to do this.

Having just received the UK based "Renault Freres" membership list I now know that there are at least TWO 1927-9  Monasix in England along with one or possibly two in New Zealand, probably between 15 and 20 in France and my car all alone in Australia. The next question is how many, if any, are in the US and Canada or for that matter any other parts of the world?

 

Please do not all rush to answer.......

 

Bj.

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This forum is pretty much the same as home. I talk to myself for most of the time  there too. At least that way I don't get into too many arguments.

Being Friday much of today was devoted to "domestic duties" so only a little progress on the Renault floor.

I think that from the messages left on the garage floor, my possum friend has been checking out it as a possible new home. NBL!

 

Bj.

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The Australian Ring Tail Possum is a pest in NZ. We have no native mammals (other than one bat) so our native birds have no defense against possums, rats, mustelids and so on. The possums like it here; they are chewing their way through everything. I think in parts of Oz they are becoming rare and are protected.

 

Great project BTW. We don't see many vintage Renault here.

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Hello Ben

Our little creatures are simply possums not the irish variety of O'possums that you have.

Spinneyhill,

I could never understand why you imported our Possums into NZ. certainly not as a cuddly pet and there is not much meat on them but you seem to do OK selling possum fur hats and gloves to Aussie tourists. We are such softies that ALL our native aminals are protected by law. At present Kangaroos are in plague proportions ruining crops and taking over golf courses but here in Victoria it is an offence to shoot even one. Just ten miles from the CBD we have mobs of up to 50 Kangaroos in one of our parks. With Summer approaching, when the grass supply in the parks dries up they will move into private gardens eating everything.

 

We have in broad terms two variety of 'Urban Possums, Ring tail and Brush tail we also have minature "Gliders" that live mainly in our mountain bush.

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We have a few other somewhat unwelcome Australian birds here too. The pukeko (pronounced poo-kek-aw, swamp hen, blue with heavy red beak and extra long toes) is a bully and a menace in the garden. They can destroy corn crops and are aggressive in the orchard. The rosella (red head parrot) is a plague in some areas; they strip grain crops, corn, fruit and so on. I think of them as laughing aerial hyenas; they eat anything and when you disturb them they laugh as they fly a short distance away. The harrier or hawk is around plus the silver eye, a wee green bird with a white circle around the eyes. We are enjoying feeding them halves of orange and grapefruit on a nail just outside the kitchen window. Another annoyance is the spur wing plover (called a lapwing by some); it cannot fly around without squawking its head off. It chases the harriers, as does the Australian magpie, which is an aggressive bird that is thought to attack new born lambs.

 

All these birds are self-introduced in the last couple of hundred years. Some may have hitched a ride on a ship.

 

I wonder why they introduced the opossum too. Fur industry perhaps? They also were dumb enough to introduce the hedgehog and the British brown rabbit. Both are a pest.

 

Ref. possum fur, it is very good mixed in a yarn with extra fine merino wool. It is plucked from dead possums.

 

Back to your project. I feel for you receiving rubbish that was made out to be good when you bought it. There are scumbags everywhere. It is bad luck you seem to have met so many during this project!

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Thank you Spinneyhill

I do find it very frustrating at times but all these problems are sent to test us. I find that as I am growing older it takes longer to find a solution to many of these problems. I can not work in several directions at once in the same way that I could once

 

 I simply have to concentrate on one thing and finish it before moving on to the next task. Today I have broken the back of the main floor and should be able to move onto the next task perhaps tomorrow or Monday afternoon. After Petanque!

 

I have almost finished the Louis Renault biography, It goes some way in explaining why his cars were so individual. It seems as though he was completely untrained he would never accept advice and would only do anything the one way. His way!

Certainly you can only say that his approach to problem solving was unique, you only need to look at his pre WW2 cars or more exactly his  pre 1930 cars. It must have been a major leap in 1930 when he abandoned the rear mounted radiators. Not just the one model but right across the range, every model car and truck! Like shutting and locking the door into one room and opening another a without a second glance.

 

Bj

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At last I have some new photos to share with you. If nothing else you can see that while the Renault is being offered for sale I have not stopped working on it.

Today I have been able to trial fit the original toe board sheet metal and supports. The drivers side support also incorporates the accelerator pedal. I have also spent some time cutting out the first of the trim panels and as you can see the main part of the floor is in place. The two seats are almost ready to go to be upholstered. The passenger seat is fully folding. I still have to complete the anchorage on both seats. so this afternoon was not entirely wasted. Unfortunately today's Petanque was rained out.

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