Albi Blue - Clio 197/Megane R26/Meglio 300

Discussion in 'Projects/Progress Threads' started by Jason Ball, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. Jason Ball

    Jason Ball Paid Member

    Renault Clio 197
    Hello everyone, been meaning to start a project thread for some time just had no time recently.

    It all started with an idea between me and a good friend, of whom happens to be my mechanic. I was contemplating what to get after my last Subaru WRX STI and what would be a good base for a track car, so I decided that I would purchase my now Clio 197 in Albi blue from my mechanic of whom took very good care of the car, and then do a Megane R26 engine and gearbox conversion.

    This is how the car started when I first picked it up. Car had only done 55,000 miles, with the gearbox being very strong with no crunching in any gears especially in 3rd.

    The first port of call was to lose some weight, so I decided to completely strip the car, bar the door cards, ISO fix and roof lining.


    Then next item on the list were to install some bucket seats, I settled on a Turn One Oreca Trophy S seat from K Tec Racing. Including the turn one sub-frame, side mounts and seat slider. This made the car even better and gave more confidence when pushing the car.


    Next were coilovers and after many a discussion with colleagues, I decided to go for some decent suspension and contacted AST. I then purchased a new set of AST 5100 coilovers and had the spring rates changed to suit a more track orientated car, so settled on 80N front and 80N rear. I also purchased some comp brake camber and castor top mounts. This is by far one of the best mods I have done, the car handled liked a dream and the increased I could carry around bends was night and day difference from the original cup suspension. This was how the car was sitting once installed:



    I then had a geometry set up on the car and settled on the settings: - 2.00 ° negative camber, -0.03 ° negative toe on the front. However, the rear settings were all over the place, so decided to install some camber and toe shims to sort that out.


    It was then my first outing on track. Me and a colleague decided to go to Brands Hatch one day for an afternoon session. The car performed faultlessly, the biggest thing I noticed was how good the brakes were compared to my previous Scoob due to the large weight difference between the two. After that session I was very happy with how the car performed, however felt the brakes could be slightly better. So I then installed some HEL braided brake lines, which did help quite a bit.

    I then was having issues with the floor plan having a ridge just under the brake pedal so made heal and toeing quite difficult. I managed to source some chequer plate from work and installed. This made a world of difference and was quote happy with how it turned out.


    One day I decided to go for a drive and take some photos of the car, here were the results. The car stayed this way for a while, while I was deciding what to do next.


    After doing a lot of research I was then looking as to who would be the best company to carry out the engine and gearbox conversion, after many a phone call and test message I decided to go with “Beanie Sport” of whom are based near Milton Keynes.

    I decided that I wanted to go for the best power I could get while still being manageable on track so I settled on the below spec list:

    New Forged R26 Engine: including

    • Supertech Uprated Double Valve Spring Kit with Titanium Retainers

    • Forged Pistons

    • King Crankshaft Big Ends

    • King Crankshaft Mains

    • Replacement valves including re-seating, valve guides and seals

    • Replacement MLS head gasket

    • Replacement head studs

    • ARP con rod bolts

    • Cam belt kit, dephaser pulley, water pump, auxiliary belt kit, crank pulley bolt and cam seals kit. The kit also includes the 2x cylinder head end plugs.

    • Brand new R26 LSD

    • R26 Gearbox

    • R26 ECU

    • New drive shafts

    • New sparkplugs

    • Oil change to Fuchs Titan Race pro S 5W-40

    • 90mm Intercooler

    • Hardpipe Kit

    • RamAir external air filter

    • Siemens 630cc Injectors

    • R26R Clutch Kit

    • Megane 275 turbo

    • Low temperature thermostat

    • Full 3-inch exhaust-Ktec Racing (designed for the Megane conversion)
    Also relocated the battery to the rear of the passenger seat. However, retained the original battery box and cabling within engine bay.

    The car was dropped of mid-November with an anticipated completion time of mid-December 2017. Photos mid progress:


    After a much-anticipated return, I got the phone call to say it was done and made really good power. This was the result:


    I was very happy with this result and couldn’t wait to drive it. Chris said the car was stupidly quick and very eager to spin up. Wasn’t the best time for picking up the car as it was snowing so made the drive how quite interesting. Made 303.2 BHP and 329.9 lbft torque.

    I then started to do a few other mods during winter, in preparation for more track days in the summer. I got a new Renault sport gear knob, I cannot believe how expensive these are, however I wasn’t happy with the standard R26 gear knob and this was the only alternative I could find. Also installed another bucket seat to match the drivers side. Installed a Perspex piece to cover the cambelt/auxiliary belt area as I wasn’t happy with how exposed this was once I removed the wheel arch lining.


    It was then the trial day on track to test the car and find out how it performs and to see if there were any issues before my yearly Nürburgring trip. I went with a friend and drove down to Bedford to do the Bedford GT track for an afternoon session. The conditions were not ideal as the track was still quite damp, however decided to carry on.

    The car performed really well despite the conditions. The power delivery was ridiculous, it started boosting from 1,800 RPM and continued to pull until around 5,500-6000 RPM. This made it quite challenging when trying to manage to power delivery coming out of a corner as it was just wanting to spin up. The car did take some getting used to as it was now a completely different car to drive. The LSD was a brilliant addition to the car and gave so much confidence when really pushing the car, another one of the best mods done to the car.

    I then decided that I needed some better rubber as the standard sized Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2’s was good initially then started to fade when hot.

    I decided to get some Autec Wizard wheels in anthracite with some decent rubber. Got a good deal with Demon Tweek’s as they had a sale on at the time. Wheel size is: 17X7.5 ET45 5X108 PCD 70MM. Then also got 2 x 225/45R17 94W NANKANG NS-2R for the rear and 2 x 225/45R17 91W ADVAN NEOVA YOKOHAMA AD08R’s. This was how the car was sitting once fitted, I was very pleased with how the car was looking, gave a much more aggressive stance and filled the arches just right.

    IMG_20180524_182912220.jpg IMG_20180524_182903528.jpg

    I then got some stickers for the car, so got a friend to design a sticker and thus named the car the “Meglio 300” and was very pleased with how they came out. Also got some rally stickers with mine and the wife’s name. Wife’s name is on top as she lets me have a track car as well as a daily Cupra 280 so I am very fortunate that I have an understanding wife.

    This is how the car currently sits, just doing some minor maintenance on the suspension and brakes in preparation for my yearly trip to the Nurburgring with some friends on the 20th to 23rd July.
    suj, Mark_L, Sean197 and 4 others like this.

  2. Pav

    Pav Moderator

    albi blue 197 with boost
    this is brill...all in one post i'd say..very good looking motor..attention to detail no cut corners..hope you have a great time in Germany...
  3. Big Ben

    Big Ben Winner - POTM February 2018 Paid Member

    Echo what Pav said. Lovely looking build. Be nice to see it on track one day....
  4. Jason Ball

    Jason Ball Paid Member

    Renault Clio 197
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Had to do some maintenance on the brakes, they have not been feeling as good as they used to for a while now, and upon removing the front calipers it seemed the drivers side seals had been shot. So decided that they needed a refurb as well so best just get them both completely refurbed as purchasing new was more than double the cost of the refurb. So luckily I found "Scoobyworx" who do a refurb service on these brembo calipers as they are practically the same as a Subaru. So after 5 days this is how they came back:


    Managed to install the wheel stud conversion the other night. This is a must, makes changing the wheels so much easier.

    I was very pleased with the result of the calipers, they did a pretty good job. So fitted them last night ready for a brake fluid change and rear brake pad change this morning:

    Mark_L, Micah, Big Ben and 1 other person like this.
  5. Pav

    Pav Moderator

    albi blue 197 with boost
    nicely much was the refurb mate??looks brill :thumb:
  6. Jason Ball

    Jason Ball Paid Member

    Renault Clio 197
    It cost £ 214.77 from Scoobyworx, and included new stainless steel banjo bolts and bleed nipples with caps. And insured, recordered postage to them at £ 27.00. So all in all £ 241.77.
    Big Ben likes this.
  7. Pav

    Pav Moderator

    albi blue 197 with boost
    just the fronts??
  8. Johnny 99

    Johnny 99 Platinum Member

    Clio Renaultsport 200
    Very nice & well sorted car!
  9. Micah

    Micah Clumsy McButterfingers Moderator

    Clio 220 Trophy
    Coming along very nicely, some great mods you've done. Can't beat fresh calipers either!
  10. Jason Ball

    Jason Ball Paid Member

    Renault Clio 197
    just the fronts??

    Yes just the fronts.
    Mossy likes this.
  11. Paid Member

    Cape town
    Ferrari 308 , BMW Xline X3 , Clio RS 200 20th anniversary
    Hi Jason , greetings from Cape Town , couldn't help noticing the flag behind your name . Great build , really impressive .

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