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Return of the Storm Grey 172 track car



Hi all, thought id put together a bit of project thread for the Clio as a log of what I’ve done to it.

So, I’ve owned the Storm Grey 172 for 4 months and I think its fairly well known on here, with several of its previous owners being CS members, the last one being @Losi_8_boy, who bought it off @TimR26

Ive wanted a 172/182 since I first started driving, but my performance car ownership missed out the hot hatches like Type Rs and Clio sports, and went straight into the world of boost and Evos.

My VI track car – stripped, caged, RS diff, brake mods, 380bhp

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My VIII FQ340 MR – Tein Coilovers with EDFCs, carbon bits galore, all stage 1 mods - running around 400bhp

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So recently (after several years of owning BMW and Audi diesels) Id been getting the urge to get back into track days, and also wanted to scratch that itch of owning a 172/182, as it seemed to tick all the boxes – light, fast, relatively cheap, and with a large number of options for aftermarket parts.

The diesel daily..

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As I was browsing on CS I noticed a build thread for a Storm Grey 172, and really liked the colour and the attention to detail, and remember thinking ‘I’ll do that’ and ‘Ill need to buy that’ etc.

Glen’s build thread - http://www.cliosport.net/threads/rs-clio-172-storm-grey-track-toy.790548/ (shame about photobucket not working anymore)

Then as I was casually scrolling through my facebook news feed I noticed a for sale advert pop up on track time classifieds, recognised the car straight away and messaged the owner straight away. I was the first person to get in contact with him and managed to secure the first viewing, even though there were a number of people offering more than it was up for and wanting to send deposits over without even viewing the car. Respect to Glen (@Losi_8_boy), he was true to his word and gave me first refusal (even though I knew I was already having it). A quick shift around of some funds and I had one-way train tickets booked to buy it... I mean view it, obviously!

Credit to Glen for these pics!

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The car already had a decent spec, with the following done:

Body

· Storm Grey full professional respray

· Gloss Black roof

· Gloss Black front bumper trim

· Renault Sport roof logo

· Red Rear bolt in cage

· OMP rear strut brace

· Corbeau club sport seats

· Sabelt 3" 4 point harness

· OMP Red LE 330 wheel

· Black flocked top dash + pillars

· Jon Fossard X Low seat mounts

· Door card blank (drivers side)

· Carbon fibre jet/wiper blanks

Engine

· Fatty filter set up

· New Bosch 063 battery

· Custom battery cover

· K-tec stealth exhaust

· Powerflex black series exhaust bush

· Epas conversion

Wheels

· Gloss Black Speedline 2118 alloys with AD08R tyres and TPI Polarised bolts

· Gloss Black Williams alloys with R888s

Chassis

· Cooksport springs with Cup Dampeners

· PMS solid top mounts

· Eibach camber bolts

· Powerflex Dog bone bush

· Powerflex top mount Powerflex black series inner & outer front arb bushes

· Powerflex black series wish bone bushes

· PMS gear shift linkage

· PMS 19mm rear ARB

· Powerflex black series rear beam bushes

Brakes

· Brembo HC discs

· Ferodo DS 1.11 pads

· Good Ridge braided lines ATE super gold fluid

Extras

· Black headlining

· After market pedals

· Refurbed and rebuilt callipers in 727 capsicum red

· Cup alternator

· Climate control, xenons, auto lights, and auto wipers

Weight removal

· Acoustic valve

· Carbon canister

· Rear wiper

· Aircon system

· Back seats


I bought the car with the intention of not doing anything/much to it, but as we all know that quickly goes out of the window when you start looking at the mods available. But the first thing was to get some trackdays booked in and to enjoy the car. So with that in mind, I booked in some trackdays for summer - the Renaultsport day at Anglesey, a day at my local track Oulton park, and a day at Donnington.

On track the car was spot on, with zero brake fade, and very little body roll considering it was only running springs and cup shocks. I was impressed with how quickly I connected with the car, and after a morning on track I found myself pushing on and passing more powerful cars. It didnt really feel like it needed any dramatic changes.

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Now onto the bits of tinkering that Ive done since I’ve had it.

First thing was obviously 5 litres of the good stuff (and many more since):

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Next step was the addition of a KTEC decat to go with the KTEC stealth that was already on the car, as I wanted to release a few ponies and also more noise!

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One issue I had was that at Anglesey I found that my front wheel bolts were coming loose, despite being torqued up every session - at one point I was close to losing a front wheel and had to pull over on track, causing a red flag, stopping the session.

After this a PMS stud and nut conversion was quickly purchased.

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Fitted some pressed plates, PMS tow eye, “TOW” stickers front and rear, team Heko wind deflectors, and RS tuning rear window sticker.

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Due to a lot a vibration from the PMS shifter at cruising speeds I purchased their gear linkage weight which just clamps on and moves the vibration to a higher RPM – handy when cruising down the motorway to track days. I tried installing it where the PMS instructions said to, but was getting a lot of clashing, and couldn't select all gears, so it was mounted where the linkage bends up, which has worked fine.

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Brake ducts were the next thing on the list, and ducting was to to be run from the fog lights to the brake callipers/discs.

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Checked on full lock:

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While I was changing a wheel I noticed that my offside driveshaft gaitor was leaking and had made a right mess, so this was replaced.

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Another pain in the ass on trackdays was that the connector on the starter motor kept on disconnecting, and we couldnt access the starter motor due to the hot manifold. We would then have to bump start the car for every session. A new spade connector was fitted along with a Renault heat shield, however the issue came back at Donny.

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Birchdown found that a non-genuine starter had been fitted, which seemed to have a poor spade connector. The solution was to fit a genuine Renault starter motor, which seems to have solved to problem!

Next was some weight reduction, with the roof lining, headunit, speakers and all rear trims being removed, along with the sound deadening from the roof.

Before:

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During/after:

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Stereo blank fitted:

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Roof sound deadening removed

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Next up was a trip to BLiNK motorsport for a full track geo setup. I wanted to run more negative camber, but we were already pretty much maxed out already on the camber bolts @ -2.25 degrees, so in the future I may look into ways of increasing this. Toe out was added on the front rather than the toe in that it already had, and the back was found to be bang on and one of the best rear beam geos that they had seen on a clio.

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While it was there the car was also put on the scales to see what it came in at. Was weighed at 1015kg, and I worked out that without the fuel on board it would be 1001kg, so keen to get some more weight reduction underway to get it in the 900s.

With all this track use the next logical step was to invest in some decent rubber. The R888s on the car were past their best, and the AD08Rs were ok in the wet, but I wanted more of a wet specific tyre. A trip to Demon Tweeks was made, and some A048s were purchased for dry, and R1Rs for wet.

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Turns out having a stripped-out car gives plenty of boot space!

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The next drama was that we found that the Clio was too wide to fit on the trailer that we had access to, so a quick purchase of a couple of Clio steel wheels with a higher offset helped to resolve that. Gave them a quick tidy up to help ease my OCD!

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Still a tight fit, but it was on which was the main thing!

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Thats pretty much where things are up to at the moment but I have plenty planned for it:

Short term

· Make ‘cup racer’ style headlight blanks with cold air feed for intake

· Remove front carpets and all front sound deadening, possibly paint interior.

· Fit full set of lightweight doorcards

· PMS front strut brace

· PMS hubcentric spacers

Long term

· AST 5100 coilovers

· Strengthened rear beam

· Wishbones stiffening plates + PMS bearing kit

· Full slicks for dry, possibly on another set of rims.

· Quaife/gripper LSD

· Roll centre corrector hubs

· Roof vent

· Polycarb windows all round

· Lightweight bonnet and bootlid

Will post updates as they happen!
 

green

ClioSport Club Member
  Hi comp phase 1
Is all that in preparation for engine mods too ?

Lovely looking clio this one.. Good luck with your turn in the #cliosport.netslut :wink:
 

mintno1

ClioSport Club Member
  Ph1 172 & 172 Cup
Looks great still, such a great colour, looks like you have some interesting bit's planned, look forward to seeing what happens with it :up:
 

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  RB 182/Mk1 F7P+F4R
love this car, glad its going more track focused as well and all the go to track mods in the pipeline sound spot on :)
 

TimR26

South Central- West Berks
ClioSport Area Rep
Glen spent a ridiculous amount of money on this to just sell after less than a year. I'm glad it's had a new lease of life though as it wouldn't have if I'd kept it.

Was the radiator being held on my cable ties and what I think was the clutch return spring attached to the fan housing ever fixed?

I inherited those from Faxo and to be honest I wasn't impressed some of the jobs he had done.

I'll post up the video of my Nurburgring crash with an E46 M3 in it one day.
 
Great thread and the car is looking as good as ever :up::up:

Some very nice little additions being added to an already well sorted car......... good thinking with the steels although doesn't quite look the same with those on does it 😂

P.S. that red evo looks stunning!
 
Is all that in preparation for engine mods too ?

Lovely looking clio this one.. Good luck with your turn in the #cliosport.netslut :wink:
Thanks! To be honest, with these cars im not sure theres much point chasing power for the £ per bhp, especially coming from evo world where big gains can be made. My main focus is on handling and getting the weight down.
But never say never, when the belts need doing again Id probably drop a set if cams in, then if I want to take the car as far as possible ITBs would be nice :cool:

Still looks great, bar the horrible pressed plates :wink:
Haha! Well after a run-in with the Welsh police about my front 3/4 plate I needed some full size ones, and prefer these to just the standard plastic ones.
Its on track plates 95% of the time anyway :wink:

Glen spent a ridiculous amount of money on this to just sell after less than a year. I'm glad it's had a new lease of life though as it wouldn't have if I'd kept it.

Was the radiator being held on my cable ties and what I think was the clutch return spring attached to the fan housing ever fixed?

I inherited those from Faxo and to be honest I wasn't impressed some of the jobs he had done.

I'll post up the video of my Nurburgring crash with an E46 M3 in it one day.
Yeah I did notice that the rad was basically hanging on by a thread 😊 So for now Ive secured it with jubilee clips as the original brackets are missing, it feels solid now. But tbh the rad could probably do with changing soon as its looking a bit tired.

The clutch return spring one Im not aware of, will have to look into this.
 
Top car @Alex__ :up:

Good to see your making it more track focused. Maybe ditch the lower dash?

How are you finding the roof without the liner and sound deadening?! I bet it feels a bit flappy now ?
Yeah I might remove the lower dash, depending on A) How much does it actually weigh? and B) Am I going to be left with loads of exposed wires and the car looking a mess?

I like a car to be stripped but still look tidy if that makes sense? Going to fit front and rear doorcard blanks to neaten it up.

And yeah its fine with the headlining and sound deadening removed, no complaints :up:
 
Not a massive update, but done some tinkering over the last few months..

Lightweight doorcards all round, from @RS-doorcards
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Spent ages removing every last bit of sound deadening/tar and glue, front and rear

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CM Composites roof scoop as it gets quite stuffy in the car on trackdays. Must have checked the hole position 20 times!

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Coated with Hammerite to prevent any rust
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Now Ive decided to take the car off the road and make it a track-only car, the Xenons were removed and put to one side, some cheap units purchased and made into lightweight headlight blanks, with a cold air feed to the induction kit. Thanks to @Greeny. for the guide.

Had a lot of fun with the Dremel :smile:

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As the 2118s looked lost in the arches due to the offset, got some PMS spacers
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Haven't tracked the car as much as Id like to recently due to other commitments. But plan to get a lot more in next year.

Couple from Oulton where I finished off the DS1.11s and discs, so they're on the list to replace

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The car is also screaming out for coilovers as the current suspension is far too soft. BCs are on my shopping list for early next year, which I plan to have fitted before my next track outing.
 

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  RB 182/Mk1 F7P+F4R
lovely work and love this car, if I ever decided to chop in for a mk2 track car, this would be it................pah who am I trying to kid, Mk1 till I die!!
 
What a stunning, stunning Clio.

Shame about the roof scoop though. I know they serve a purpose, and the CM one is pretty discreet, but I hate to think you've drilled a massive hole through the roof of an absolutely mint little car!
 
Nice Clio. But more pics of the 8 needed :hearteyes::hearteyes::hearteyes:
Cheers man!
I'll try and dig some out. I do miss that car.
What really rubs salt in the wound is how much theyve gone up in value, and what it would be worth now vs what I sold it for 😢😢

What a stunning, stunning Clio.

Shame about the roof scoop though. I know they serve a purpose, and the CM one is pretty discreet, but I hate to think you've drilled a massive hole through the roof of an absolutely mint little car!
Thanks, appreciate the kind comments.

I can see your point, but the primary purpose of the car is to use it on track. Its not a show car, and as much as I appreciate aesthetics and keeping things in good condition, its there to do a job. :blush:
I guess the same could be said for drilling the car to fit the cage.

I also like the look of the scoop, suits a track car (IMO). And now its going full track-spec, Im fully commited 😂
 

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  RB 182/Mk1 F7P+F4R
how do you get on with the scoop? mate of mine fitted same one recently and it just hums and whistles loudly all the time with the airflow, really really off putting
 

haimsey

ClioSport Club Member
  ph2 172
Such a great example of a car, good to see it being taken further. Crying out for itb’s
 
how do you get on with the scoop? mate of mine fitted same one recently and it just hums and whistles loudly all the time with the airflow, really really off putting
Mine doesn't make any noise. Not as much airflow as I had hoped, but definitely good enough. Especially with an open faced helmet and one of the vents shut.

Will see how I get on in summer. Normally have the windows down a few inches but the wind noise is ridiculous - hence the wind deflectors.
 
Been very busy on the SG 172! The car has been screaming out for coilovers for ages now, as the previous cup shocks + cooksport spring setup was far too soft for track. I also noticed that fitting sticky track tyres seemed to really highlight the suspension as a weak point, as I was getting increased roll and brake dive, as well as some bouncing out of corners.

So treated the old girl to a set of BC Racing DR coilovers, with 10kg front springs, 8kg rear, as well as adjustable top mounts. As the car is off the road and trailered everywhere I opted for the stiffest front springs as I don't have to worry about potholes etc!



Treated myself to some air tools for the workshop as I knew some of the old bolts would be stubborn, so the impact wrench would be handy.



Started with the backs, as after reading a few guides on here it was very straightforward.



Old vs. New


Coat of ACF-50 for protection


Backs on


Fronts on after some difficulty removing the camber bolts..


PMS solid top mounts removed and replaced by BC adjustables.


Old suspension removed, was in very good condition in fairness


Next up was fitting the rear camber shims, as I wanted to move to more of an aggressive track setup. Was a ballache removing the old torx bolts, as they were rusted over and looked like they'd never been off the car. Typically the smaller diameter one rounded off and had to be drilled out.


Took the chance to remove the surface rust, apply hammerite, and fit new nuts and bolts from PMS

-1 degree camber shims on:




Gave the beam and spring pans some attention too





As I completely killed my front brakes at Oulton, as the pad was down to the backing plate and the fronts have had their fair share of abuse, I got in touch with [email protected] for new brakes all round. The backs weren't in too bad condition but I fancied an upgrade.
On the front I went for Brembo HC front discs with Ferodo DS1.11s, then on the back Renault OE discs and DS2500s.


Gave the rear calipers a clean and a fresh coat of VHT paint


Then one morning after the car had been sat for a while over winter, I decided to get the car out to let it run for a while, only to return to the water temp being right up and two warning lights on.


After some asking around on here, it sounded like it was either coolant temp sensor or thermostat, so both were purchased along with some Renault type D coolant.


However after fitting both parts and thinking id sorted it, I came back an hour later to find the coolant level had dropped drastically and the car pissing coolant out everywhere underneath. On closer inspection the radiator had a crack at the bottom, so a new one was sourced, along with an MTS silicon hose kit.



The rad had been looking worse for wear for a while and was on my list of things to change, so Im just happy it happened now and not at a trackday!

As I'd fitted new suspension all round I needed the geometry setting up again. So the car was loaded up for a trip to BLINK motorsport


Old geo settings here


New geo settings. As you can see, an extra degree of neg camber on the rear from the shims, then -3 on the front, also with increased caster. The plan is to try full slicks in the future so extra camber required. Looking forward to seeing how it handles on my A048s on the next trackday.


Had the car corner weighted too


Excuse the state of the car, it's in need of a good wash but Im loving its new stance. Was FAR too high before, and it had become like a 4X4 on the back with me stripping out a lot of weight. Sitting nicely now though.


Still a lot to do before she's track ready, but the end is in sight..

To do:
-Source radiator brackets (previous rad was held on by jubilee clips)
-Fit rad and pipes, full coolant flush & replace with type D.
-Fit front discs and DS1.11s
-Full bleed with RBF600
-Engine oil change
-Engine bay clean

Then Ive got a trackday booked in March and Oulton to see how it all feels!
 
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