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1966 Renault 4
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
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Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:30 am    Post subject: 1966 Renault 4 Reply with quote

Morning all,

What they're like to live with I've no idea, but in principle the thought of owning an early Renault 4 has a lot of appeal. This one spent most of its life in Spain, so appears to be rot-free. Saying that, there are plenty of minor dings so it definitely wears its age on its sleeve. Some of the dinks I'd probably have rectified, but overall I quite like its look.

How do these stack up to a 2CV?



https://ebay.to/2s3HMpe

RJ
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alastairq



Joined: 14 Oct 2016
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Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FAr better, IMHO.

Especially the later models....

The R4 GTL was geared for better, more long-legged cruising.

Plus, if really wanting to, many of the earlier Renault 5 engines and drive trains could be slotted in....

I had a R4 [as explained on Faceboook].....and thought it marvelous.
I really liked the gear change....so very much more convenient to use than a conventional gear stick....yet so marvelously simple in execution.

Mine had an 850 engine [Ventoux, I think?].....which could achieve almost 70 mph [on the M62....even more going down the other side!].....and could be driven almost flat out everywhere....

Being a bus driver at the time, working 'inter-urban' routes [ EYMS service 121, Hull-Scarborough, for those who may know?]....with Gardner-engined Leylands & Bristols.....overtaking cyclists and tractors was an enormously difficult exercise, requiring forward planning of the diary type, and thorough knowledge of not just the route, but every dip and rise in the roads ahead. [Everything was pretty much all in, in top gear, by about 31 mph......so dropping gears and accelerating was something other vehicles did, not double deck Olympians and VRs...and certainly not Fleetlines!!!]....

The skills acquired so that the timetable could be met, were equally applicable to driving a R4 with anything approaching gusto..[our other family cars were of the Alfa Romeo sort..proper Alfas, not FIAT Alfas, but these were wife #2's domain, not mine]....older members of our community will be familiar with the overtaking procedure known as 'charging the tailgate', perhaps?
Of course, in today's driving world, such antics would be viewed askance by most of today's drivers out there.......''shouldn't be allowed!''....said with a proper Dandy Nicholls accent, of course!
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much experience with them, although I did drive a couple of them during the time I worked for a garage during weekends (early eighties). Very comfortable and likable. In those years rust was still a big item and you could be sure if an R4 was over 6 years old it would rust dramatically. A friend of my brother had a R4 before the annual test was started here (83 or 84 I think). He had two wooden beams across the floor where he had bolted the front seats to because the floor was too rotten to keep the seats in.

Looking at the picture of the R4 I noticed the exhaust ended before the rear wheel. It was a feature of the R4 I had forgotten all about it. Were there more cars with the exhaust ending before the rear wheel?
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alastairq



Joined: 14 Oct 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Looking at the picture of the R4 I noticed the exhaust ended before the rear wheel. It was a feature of the R4 I had forgotten all about it.

It was an 'option' on the R4.....

Some also had the rear side window blanked off....

On later ones, main rust point was around where the rear torsion bars mounted.

[Body can be removed from chassis, however]


My main 'expense', was having to replace the rear shocks every year...[long travel suspension would wear them out]
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Fiat 126 BIS
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peter scott



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alastairq wrote:
older members of our community will be familiar with the overtaking procedure known as 'charging the tailgate', perhaps?


That was the only way to drive my Reliant Rebel Estate at any speed and a very sensible way too for gaining enough speed for safe overtaking.

Peter
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BigJohn



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved mine, crazy lean angles in bends, flat out 70mph, and it seemed to get 40mpg driven gently or beaten with a big stick. Lovely French weirdness, and the wheelbase is longer on one side than the other.
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poodge



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the type with the blanked 3rd side windows were called R3,as a cut-price,very basic machine.They appeared well after the initial launch of the R4L.
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Penman



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
The RH side rear appears to be 4.8cm (48mm) further back than the LH side.
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/61/5d/04/615d04a0184a9fc8c1d03af192722dbf.jpg
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MVPeters



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Penman wrote:
Hi
The RH side rear appears to be 4.8cm (48mm) further back than the LH side.
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/61/5d/04/615d04a0184a9fc8c1d03af192722dbf.jpg


Suspension set up for Indianapolis Speedway?
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badhuis



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Penman wrote:
The RH side rear appears to be 4.8cm (48mm) further back than the LH side.

That difference should be felt when you go over a ridge or something. LH rear tyre first going over the bump, raising the suspension, then the RH wheel. I suppose the rear of the car would shudder a bit? Was this not something magazine road testers at the time would pick up? I cannot remember anything about it so it probably was not very noticeable.
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alastairq



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's doubtful any difference would be noted. We're talking less than 2 inches!

Squidge of the tyres would take that up nicely....It would be a bit like crossing a rope at a very slight angle?

I certainly had to be 'told' about it, before I started worrying...... Smile
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Dellow Mk2, 1951 built, reg 1952.
Ford Mustang coupe, 1967, 6 cylinder auto.
Fiat 126 BIS
Cannon special [1996 registered. Built in 1950's]
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Ford Pop chassis, Ashley 1172 bodyshell, in pieces.
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 570
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A more practical car than a 2Cv, by means of having a proper tailgate. Like the 2Cv, most parts are easily available, including new chassis. Liquid cooled engine is fairly quiet, but you need to be careful when 'upgrading' to a later engine because some Renault engines run anti clockwise and others clockwise, so you would not be the first to end up with 4 speeds in reverse and one in forwards!
They tend to rot like all cars of the era particularly around the rear suspension mounts , but most of the car superstructure bolts together rather like a 2Cv and all panels can be bought.
I think that the 2CV engine has the advantage in being air cooled. The 4 has a wet liner engine that can leak though its bottom seals and of course has all of the apparel of liquid cooled engines that require maintenance, ie: hoses, water pump, radiator, heater core, etc, etc. 2Cv just has a piece of plastic that you clip over the grille in cold weather.
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alastairq



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the 4's heater?
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Dellow Mk2, 1951 built, reg 1952.
Ford Mustang coupe, 1967, 6 cylinder auto.
Fiat 126 BIS
Cannon special [1996 registered. Built in 1950's]
----------------------------------------------
Ford Pop chassis, Ashley 1172 bodyshell, in pieces.
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alanb



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
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Location: Berkshire.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a photocopier engineer in the late 70's I had a P reg Renault 4 as a service vehicle, the big advantage over the Ford escort estates (which replaced the Renault) was the lack of intruding wheel arches and 4 doors which meant you could get 2 copiers in the back with the seat down against only 1 in the escort . It was great fun to drive and you could hold off mini's and escourt's on twisting lanes if you kept your nerve and left leg against the passenger door , the body roll was alarming but it would corner at alarming speed and angles, the engine would rev like crazy and the gear change when you got used to it was quick.
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