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Renault Le Car, Coupe
Aug 26, 2002 (2:38 pm)
Oh, you are so right about those other cars...they had some features that were diabolical. But at least you got something for your torment with a Lambo or an XJ6.
This is why people today are restoring XJs and Lambos and why R5s have long been turned into lawn furniture on Taiwan.
I'll probably get into big trouble for saying this, but I think Imperial is right about the head gasket issue. They gasked blew after the first overheat, and the reason so many were allowed to overheat was I believe (gulp) because the R5 was purchased and driven mostly by women who did not at the time have much car-consciousness as they do now, nor the instrumentation to help them. So the red zone in the temp gauge (or was it just one of those 50 lights across the dash that you were expected to memorize?) was merely the suggestion to "pull over sometime". Renault should have installed a factory whistle or air raid siren on the temp gauge to warn drivers, both men and women, that an overheat on an R5 was fatal----there was NO SLACK in these cars. A similar situation probably killed of the RX7 twin turbos ( I mean the "no slack" issue).
The inboard rear brakes on the XJ6 were real fun, too, and on some mid-engine Ferraris of the time you have to remove the engine to service it.
Aug 26, 2002 (4:18 pm)
I'm not debating these problems,just suggesting that compared to the leaf-sprung Chevette or Datsun B210 the R5 had a lot going for it.
as the Lambo or XJ6 cost so very much more,of course they offered the car entheuist a lot. But compared to the "Opel by Izuzu" or Pinto,the Renault,even if not as long lasting,was a good car,Mazda GLC(was that one really good?)notwithstanding.
#7 of 55 Taiwan Lawn Furniture
Aug 26, 2002 (7:44 pm)
The Renault R-5 just had a red light which was shared by several functions and was called the "broken belt light" (!). If the alternator belt fell off, it lit. If you overheated, it lit. So you really didn't know what was happening unless you stopped. Another light was "EGR", and it was hooked to a taxi-meter-like clock in the speedometer cable and went off precisely every 30K miles (wasn't hooked up to anything else !). One problem I encountered was a water pump pulley which was just pressed onto the shaft. It would fall off at speed and there you were, stranded. But after re-engineering something for twenty years, it becomes like your child and you find it hard to find fault with it. One time I ordered a new R-5 camshaft and it came from Saudi Arabia. It was almost a foot longer than the whole engine and the box had all sorts of Arabic graffiti all over it. It took 2 months to get the right one. There is a website called Katriina's Renault World (Sweden) and they are nuts about Renaults, and you can see all the latest models there. I was giving tech advice there for awhile but just got worn out. You can buy a really nice collector car in the USA for what they are buying derelict Renaults for in Europe. Oh, on the suspension - the R-5 used torsion bar suspension with rear trailing arms, a very advanced design, however I always got the sensation I was going to fall over when making a high speed turn.
Aug 26, 2002 (9:18 pm)
Yes, they could roll their bodies.
Torsion bar suspension was developed by Packard in 1955. It's an old design. Chrysler products used it long before REnault as well.
I can't imagine anyone restoring an R5 or paying more the $300 for one. I'm sure if there was a lucrative market for them in Europe someone in the US would be buying them up and shipping them over in container loads. I never have heard of such a thing from all my imported buddies, and I'm sure they'd be on it if it was a real market.
Geez, choosing between a Chevette, a Datsun B210 or an R5. It sounds like some kind of hell that car lovers are cast into.
Aug 26, 2002 (9:20 pm)
It sounds like the 1970s, and your description is apt.
#10 of 55 Torsion bar suspension
Aug 26, 2002 (11:00 pm)
My comment about torsion bar suspension being advanced didn't refer to the time of use but rather the quality of the design. The first patent on torsion bar suspension was taken out in Germany in 1936 and then copied by all and sundry. There aren't very many cheap cars which feature it, to my knowledge.
Aug 27, 2002 (7:40 am)
Well the '55 Packard wasn't cheap that's true, but many of the 60s Chrysler products had them, and they do appear on many other inexpensive cars.
I didn't know the idea went back as far as '36, that's interesting. Probably for the Citroen Traction Avant, right? I know Morris Minor had them in 1948, also the Citroen 2CV very early on, Porsche of course, Renault, DKW.
Of course, torsion bars have many different designs and uses and some worked better than others.
#12 of 55 This go's to show...
Aug 30, 2002 (7:17 am)
That no matter how lousy the car, every make and model will always have a small group of diehard fans who will defend it.
And I happen to think that's a good thing!
Aug 30, 2002 (8:03 am)
Oh, I have no problem at all with them loving lousy cars, even restoring lousy cars, as long as they don't start revising history and start touting them as great cars. Don't put fake ears on your mutt and start asking for AKC papers is all I require
#14 of 55 Hey-Cool!
Oct 07, 2002 (1:14 pm)
The "Le Car" forum is back up!