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Joining the Clio Club!


cloudy
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Hi all!

 

Now that I have one I thought I'd introduce myself as I'll certainly be around these part of the woods for a while at least.

 

Name's Sunny, born and raised in the south-west suburbs of Sydney. I'm an IT guy in a high school on the other side of the city, which funds my all-too-many petrol tanks, car repairs and my many odd shenanigans.

 

I've had prior to this a 2000 Mondeo as a first car, which strangely enough is the most fun I've had in a car before the Clio. That thing took on everything I threw at it, including a 10 hour trek through the Snowy Mountains National Park on fire trails. It also liked to bounce for the next kilometre after driving over a piece of gravel. I replaced this with a 98 BMW 5-series as a second money pit, after the first engine died I popped in a better engine and have had it for the last 16 months.

 

It's been a love-hate with the BMW but ultimately when it worked it was a dream to drive. Nothing like a large dropped luxury barge with plenty of torque to boot on the highway, and it even performed shockingly well on the twisties.

 

Here's how he looked as of last week.

bOBz3Q1.jpg

 

Anyway I also had an E36 which I got for pennies, falling apart and not worth saving. So I loved to take it down to the state forests a couple hours south and pretend I was a super awesome rally driver, that thing got plenty of air and by the time I scrapped it I had learnt to handbrake turn on a dime and the car was still in one piece!

 

Also had an N14 Pulsar with the 2L SR20DE engine for a few months earlier this year whilst the BMW underwent some surgery. Also also have a 1983 Mercedes W123 300D sitting in my yard slowly being restored.

 

That brings me to today. Or at least, a couple months back, I was driving to work one day and realised that it felt like the perfect time to move on from the BMW whilst it was still running well and I was totally happy with it, before I got over it and started despising it instead. That began my search for a replacement, which consisted primarily of the following

 

- Mercedes W124 300E

- Clio 197

- Mercedes W211 E320

- VW Passat V6 AWD

and a couple others that I've forgotten about now.

 

This was quickly cut down to the W124 and the 197, and after a month of deliberation I rounded it down to two examples of each. Ended up deciding to pursue the blue 197 after meeting up with the (ever so delightful) sellee at Pie in the Sky and after a quick inspection and a lovely blast up the hill I decided there and then that I was going to go for a 197. Exactly seven days later I picked up the keys and that blue Clio is now mine! (Side note, I believe he's a member of this forum.)

 

Here she is :D

 

iDVzzRb.jpg

 

I've only had it for four days and I've already clocked up 600km on it. It's everything I expected a French hot-hatch to be and not one moment has it not put a stupidly huge grin on my face :D I love this car.

 

Yesterday I pulled apart the interior and ran some wiring for a super slim subwoofer, it only took me something like an hour to run all up compared to the hair-tearing frustration trying to pull apart the BMW. The hardest part really was getting the power cable through the wiring grommet to the battery.

 

The sub itself is tiny and takes up about a fifth of the boot, and I've velcroed it to the floor and side so it stays put. I've also set it up so that it takes 15 seconds to remove the quick-release clips when I need the whole boot or going on some spirited runs when weight is a priority. Didn't take any photos because I was racing the sunset to get it done.

 

Also after a few nice windy runs I've ordered a UR sway bar and H&R springs to address some concerns, should be coming in a few weeks. I was looking into wheels, but they seem awfully hard to find in an offset that won't make me go Mexican. Ambitiously I thought I could be super unique and shoehorn RPF1s in but the highest offset I can find in 5x108 is 38 so that idea is probably out the window for good.

 

Anyway that's me to this point. This shall be my new second motoring forum home after EST now that I'm letting the BMW go. I shall have heaps of fun with the car!

 

Hope to meet many of you over time.

 

Cheers,

Sunny

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Welcome Sunny and thanks for the big intro!

You will continue to love the blue 197 and we hope to see much more of you and it around these pages.

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Welcome mate - glad to see you finally pick it up!

 

Looks like you've got a Cup spoiler already fitted. Might need the front lip and skirts now too 8)

 

Which H&R springs did you go for?

 

Check out the range of Sparco wheels that fit the Clio - they're made by OZ Racing but are much cheaper (Speka has a set on here but there're other designs, I believe).

 

Enjoy getting to know her more!

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Thanks all for the warm welcome.

 

Looks like you've got a Cup spoiler already fitted. Might need the front lip and skirts now too 8)

 

Which H&R springs did you go for?

 

Alex, I got the 30mm all round off k-tec racing. Couldn't find any stockists locally so I figured ah well I'll just get them shipped from overseas. Speaking of the cup bits, I do intend on getting the rest of the kit in due course - you would've noticed I was giving myself a migraine on EST stressing over the fact the gray one had the kit and the blue one didn't :P

 

I've got the same model and colour Clio. Mine sits on H&R's but no swaybar, personally I don't think it needs it.

I must say a decent exhaust really has lifted the character of the 197. I highly recommend it :)

 

I sorta agree that I don't really need it, but I'm still learning the quirks of a FWD with a pretty short wheel base compared to a RWD barge. To get a 1700kg RWD monstrosity around a tight bend at good speed you can imagine a fun way to do it is to turn the steering wheel a little more than one would at lower speeds (if you see where I'm getting at). So you can then understand my consternation when out of habit I did likewise and found the car getting a bit grumpy and moving in not-quite-the-direction-I-wanted! My point is, you're right, I can already see that it's not necessary, and having already ordered it fear it may be completely redundant with the H&Rs. But whilst I grow out of old habits, a little mechanical assistance would be quite lovely.

 

I might get a new exhaust eventually, but in the meantime the scream of the stock exhaust at 5000rpm is shockingly pleasant enough as it is. Which one do you have?

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Out of the box they are a cracking little car. Every little bit does help so im sure you'll feel the difference with the sway bar. Its what i was thinking of doing when i was a purchasing the Clio and indeed its a pretty standard mod for most cars. Its a pretty popular mod in the uk too. The exhaust i have is the akrapovic evolution, beautiful piece of kit.

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