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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve owned a few “performance” cars over the years and built a few impreza’s but decided I wanted to get back to having fun driving and tracking again with as little hassle of fixing and building as possible. So wanted something with decent handling out the box, wouldn’t cost the earth to build or run but still be fun. My initial thoughts were clio 172 / 182 so I did a bit of looking and a bit of reading and went out to find one I could test drive. Unfortunately I didn’t really gel with the clio. I felt a little cramped, feet felt close together and the power felt alike it was missing something. I guess just too many years of turbo cars. But that was kind of the point. Move away from turbo cars where the tuning potential lures you in to spending on power mods and reducing reliability etc. At this point I felt a bit put off and wasn’t sure where to go. A mate suggested staying French for cost reasons and the Megane 225 sort of became the new focus. Saw that they could be had for pretty sensible money but as always the budget crept a bit and I found myself convinced that an R26 was the way to go. Save me spending on a diff etc. Anyway the target was narrowed down to an R26 with under 80k miles a s full history!! There was a black one about 70 miles away that ticked all the boxes and after an exchange of e-mails I was pretty convinced I’d found the car and was away to call and arrange a viewing when I had a sort of strange girl moment and decided I wanted a blue one.... worse that that, I was actually willing to pay more and travel further to get a blue one :sweatdrop:
This almost killed me, being a tight a fook Scotsman it’s realy not in my nature to spend more than is absolutely necessary :yes[1]:

But anyway back onto the usual websites and the budget and distances were increased and I spotted one!! A bit above my original budget and a lot further away (about 800mile round trip) but I sent the initial e-mail (it was early hours so didn’t want to call, but didn’t want to leave it and talk myself out of it LOL) anyway next morning I got a reply and a mobile number to call. A couple of conversations later and I was fully convinced the car was the right one for me!! Makes a huge difference when you are talking to a real enthusiast seller! The deal was struck and date was sorted to go and get the car!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The car had a couple of modifications. R26R clutch and SMF. Back box chop and a forge dump valve.

Mechanically the car had been well serviced, all the usual repairs had been done. Swivel bearings replaced etc. The gearbox had been removed to replace 5'th I think it was due to an engagement issue, gear was replaced even though report said it could be repaired etc. and the rest of the box had been inspected and was fine.that was some 8k previously. So all paperwork was there including receipts for everything done. Car looked and drove exactly as described so the cash was exchanged for keys. (Or cards in this case LOL) I did notice however that the rear discs seemed pretty corroded and grooved.
The paintwork seemed all original including the R26 decals, but pretty swirled and a bit neglected.
Interior the same, overall very good condition, just in need of a good clean!!
Last job before cleaning.... pick up a job lot of wheels!!

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Finally a first look at the car back home to give it a clean and assess the paint




Snow foam, 2 bucket wash with lambswool mit and then full decontamination required! Auto smart tardis to get the traffic film and tar off and it started to look better already. Then Gyeon Iron and Gyeon clay to remove the rest of the contamination. That made a big big difference and Removed the rest I feel the contamination.

Gyeon Iron doing its thing


The fully contaminated car looked OK and a decent shine from a distance but up close the paint was pretty swirled and scratched in place


 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
So into the garage it went for a single stage machine polish. Just a DAS6 with Menzerna medium cut and a blue lake country pad.
I'd never machined Renault paint before but was lead to believe the paint was soft but I dint find this easy to correct like you'd expect from soft paint. Hence the blue pad, I tried orange to start with but it wasn't enough cut. I would have gone for a more aggressive polish like 400 and tried that but I'd ran out LOL
Anyway it eventually cleaned up with what I had. Just took a bit longer to work it.






It won't let me post the 50/50 video's but here are a couple of before and after photos:-
Before:-


After:-


And the other side:-


After:-
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Around the rear number plate and the tail pipes were particularly bad but it all cleaned up pretty well!




With all the polishing done it was a case of IPA panel wipe down, and then I gave it a protection and wax. Went with blackfire wet use over fire.
Dressed the trim etc and outside for the first time in a couple days!




The gold wheels were not really to my taste but they were in good condition. Too good to merit a refurb just for the sake of a colour change. Gave the wheels and callipers a quick clean also.


Not perfect but a lot better and more than good enough for the weekend b-road warrior / track toy
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Next up was to have a look round and see exactly what was needed mechanically, knowing that it was going on track I wanted to make sure everything was spot on and consumables fresh!
Titan Pro oil
New genuine filters
Sump plugs and washers
New oe rear discs and pads
New rear wheel bearing nuts
New brembo HC blank front discs
CL RC6 front pads
RBF 600 fluid
Braided brake lines
K-tec brackets
New spark plugs


I also managed to pick up a second hand k-tec air intake so it was time to get into the garage and fit some of it LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
So it was time to get out into the garage and fit some parts!

Spark plugs done, quick oil and filter change, air intake and MTC hose getting fitted.
Battery and ECU had to come out and the hose clip at the turbo is a bit fiddly with limited access but not too bad to do!


Front brembo HC discs, braided lines and CL RS6 pads fitted to the front

All straight forward, no issues and back together no probs.

Next up was the rears... not so straight forward! The bolts holding the calliper carrier were E16 and quite badly corroded. They came off in the end but I wasn't happy reusing them so they were on the list of parts to order.
Callipers off and you could see just how bad the discs were!!


Next problem was the calliper rewind... or lack of rewind!! They were absolutely solid, so remover the calliper and tried to work it free but no luck at all even on the bench! one side was slightly easier than the other but still not happy with them


Put the rest of the rears together and had to wait for new rear callipers to arrive from Renault Parts Direct, as well as the new mounting bolts. Which came with standard hex bolts instead of those stupid E16's.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
New rear callipers and bolts arrived


All together and done!


Fluid in and bled through and it was just time for a quick clean! My little helper there as always
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Plan was to put some track rubber onto the newly acquired R26 wheels which were away for refurb but had a small setback there...




The other 3 completed


One of the spokes had been cracked and poorly repaired previously. Only found when stripped right back ready for powder coating. So threw them onto the 225 Cadbury wheels instead


While I was at my mates garage using the tyre fitting equipment we popped it on the ramp and fitted the RS240 cat back exhaust that I actually bought about an hour before I collected the car LOL
Was late so I didn't take any pics of it fitted, this is the only pic I have of it LOL


The rear seats were taken out the following day when I got home

I see that the spare wheel well is just plastic so probably not much weight but for the sake of a few bolts and some sealant I think I'll probably remove this and fit a flat panel instead!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Enough work.... finally time for some play!!! We got really lucky with the weather, especially for the time of year
Out with some good friends, all running well sorted subaru's between 360bhp and 530bhp.
Arrived at knockhill and swapped the wheels over.












One of my modes chancing me in his 2.5 forged engined Impreza running 475bhp with AST suspension and AP's all round. He got past me eventually at the end of the start finish straight LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So part of the reason for the first track day (as well as having fun) was to figure out what areas of the car were top of the list for improvements. I find it varies from person to person depending on driving style etc so no point just following what everyone else does LOL. I'll get a bit of a write up done on that soon
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Right, photobucket was being a ****bucket so sacked them off and Ive transferred the pics to a host that actually works!!

So what I found at the first track day...
DMack tyres are amazing as expected, being a road legal WRC tyre LOL

The OE R26 / Cup suspension is actually very very good. compliant and not too much roll etc. I'm actually happy to use this instead of running straight out for coilovers etc. And I've not actually checked the geometry etc.

Power wise the car didn't feel like it was desperately in need of more pick-up or top end (knockhill being a pretty short and twisty track) the only place it did feel like it could use a little something is at the peak of the hill on the start finish straight (longest straight). But a decat and better front mount may help this... we shall see, but its only slight and I don't feel the need to go running out to get remaps, injectors, hybrid turbo's etc. The whole point of the car was to keep it as close to oe as possible and go for reliability. I don't want to lose interest because its always broken etc LOL

The first thing that needs addressed is the brakes. I went for pretty aggressive RC6 pads.... too aggressive for my braking style. I will leave the brakes as long as possible and then stamp on the stop pedal. this was working amazingly!! after 7 fast laps or so I had to come in and drop the tyre pressures as although they still felt good I knew they would be climbing. Pressures dropped and back out, car feels even more sure footed, more grip and I'm happy with the car after that initial run out so braking a little later and taking better tighter lines knowing I have the grip and increasing pace a bit at a time.
About 7 fast laps and I get on the brakes and get a shudder.... back off for a lap and let it cool but still shuddering so back into the pits,] after another cool down lap. A lot of heat coming from the brakes still and the callipers had done the usual and gone from nice bright red to a darker colour. No big deal there but concerned that the discs have warped. Left to cool on the flat and went for food and had a few laps in a mates Impreza. Then back to the car and a wee run around the car park, all feels good so back out we go. Nice slow warm up lap, bring the pace back up and more aggressive on the brakes and its all good!! Fantastic, time to push on again haha.
Had a really good run against my mates Hawkeye Impreza running 475bhp, AST suspension, AP's all round etc. Very well sorted car. Neither of us been round KH for a loooong time so both rusty but fantastic fun. A couple laps and he gets past on the start finish straight but he's carried too much speed into seat curves and I have a wee laugh as he struggles to keep it on the black stuff.... right until I realised I was following him in and doing the same Oops!!
The Dmacks save my ass and give even more grip that I thought possible so I decide I'll push them a little further for a couple laps. WOW, these things are good!!
Up the start finish straight and go for the stop pedal... What stop pedal?? its gone, pedal to the floor, Oh dear!! pump pump pump time and I get just enough speed off to turn in with some hope of getting round seat in 1 piece but carrying too much speed and I cant lift or I'm off. Back [umping the break as soon as I can and off line and limp back to the pits. Fresh RBF600 fluid boiled. No prior warning or sponge feeling in the pedal, just gone when I least wanted it. Oh well, game over, limits found LOL

Only other things - steering wheel needs changed and the leather seat does allow a little too much movement with the seatbelt but that was always going to be changed anyway so no big deal
 

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Discussion Starter #15
SO back the the drawing board and research to do on brakes. A lot of talking and reading.

Are the pads too aggressive, did my running in procedure not get enough heat into them etc.
I think my braking technique and the aggressive RC6 pads are generation too much heat and there is a lack of cooling.
This is based on the fact I managed to get the discs a bit out of shape and the fact I boiled fresh RBF600 fluid.
I could try and work out exactly what, try better fluid, different pad, add cooling ducts etc but I don't want to lose track time trying to fix 1 thing at a time.
Decision made, I ordered mk3 Megane RS Brembo Callipers, Discs and Fitting kit from John and some PF Z rated pads.
Castrol SRF fluid and Trackspec cooling ducts which replace the fog lights




I'm actually still waiting for the SRF to turn up after some delays and the brake ducts were only ordered today as they are only just available haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
A couple of other bits also arrived. I managed to pick up a second hand Sabelt steeringwheel in very good condition, complete with boss and spacer.
But as the car is still road legal and we have all these average speed cameras up around Aberdeen I didn't really want to lose the cruise control. Bit of research later and I ordered a carbon plate with bottons mounted so I could retain the cruise control. Brilliant and looks fantastic!


Mock up on the wheel, although I will need to cut out the centre for the horn button!


Next up came another bargain!! Was looking at Sparco Rev 2 seat but then an Evo 2 came up at a price I couldn't refuse!
Trip to Edinburgh later and I had this. Only about 5 months old and perfect size for me. YES!!


I also sorted out a gauge pod. Just deciding what 55mm gauges to go for. That will at least let me decide if an oil cooler is needed. No point spending money on one if I don't know what the temps are.


I also decided to play with the scrap R26 wheel. It happens to have 12 spokes so its going to become a clock!! I had some old spray cans in the cupboard so played with red to see if I would like that colour on the car. I think it looks good but not tried it against the car yet.


Ive now ordered an intercooler and I'm looking at de-cat pipes. I think that pretty much takes it up to date.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So the fog light Air ducts for the brakes arrived and I also got some hose to feed the air to the brakes.



Front mount also arrived


As did the brake fluid (Its for more than 1 car LOL)


Stud conversion


And a Sparco Rev Plus for the passangers :)
 
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