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I bought a glacier white Clio 200 cup in in April 2020 together with my son. COVID had struck and I was mainly working from home. My son, who is 19, was furloughed and he was bored. We decided to look out for a “cheap” 197 that was no more than £2,000 and buy it as a bit of an experiment to see if we could fix anything that was really wrong with the car.

I started a family in my early 20s and always wanted to get a Renault Sport of some description. Originally I wanted a Clio Williams, then a Clio 172. Money and sensible cars like a Vauxhall Zafira and a Grand Megane Scenic got in the way of me having a “nice” car for years. Then in 2016 the Wife surprised me by trading in the Grand Scenic and coming home with a Clio GT (a proper GT with flappy paddles and not the GT Line). It was a really nice car with every possible optional extra, full leather trim etc., etc., but I always knew I wanted a bit more. When the finance was running out on the Clio GT the local Renault garage suggested a test drive in a Megane RS 280. In January 2020 I picked up my liquid yellow Megane 280. I really, really enjoy driving the Megane but would often see Clio 197s or 200s driving about and would always think it would be good fun to have a second car that can be taken to bits to enjoy whilst I still had my daily driver to rely on.

My son was driving a 2015 1.2 Clio in April 2020 and he wanted a bit more power.

The original pan did not really work out as we looked around in April 2020 for a suitable car to buy and each time we saw something we would want a bit more. We finally settled on an agreed list of must haves:
  1. It had to be a Clio 200 as we both preferred the front end, and the rear exhaust tips.
  2. The car had to have Recaros.
  3. The car had to be no more than 10 years old.
The list of must haves drove the budget up to £5,000. We looked around locally but struggled to find much, or places that were prepared to let us do a viewing due to the lockdown. Eventually we stumbled across an advert on eBay and after a few phone calls organised a viewing. When we arrived the guy was selling a few Clios as part of a business and we knew that the price was probably a bit more than we would normally pay in a private sale. The seller gave me the keys and let me take the car for a drive without him, and he encouraged me to “give it some”. 15 Minutes later we shook hands and I drove off later that day with a 2010 glacier white Clio 200 Cup with 72,000 miles on the clock for £5,500. Here is photo of the car before I drove it away.


As far as I can tell the car is pretty standard except for 20mm spacers on all wheels.

The Clio is a Cup, so not a full fat. Since owning the car we have done a few things to it but nothing in terms of major mechanics yet. Things that have been done so far are:
  1. The silver Clio badge and RS sport badges on the boot came off. A newer style RS Renault Sport badge was spayed black and put on the boot. A RS badge went on to the front grille. Black badges were put over the silver diamond badges at the front and back.
  2. The door pillar vinyl had seen better days so that was removed and new vinyl was stuck on - although we have not been able to find any Cup badges to put back on the pillars.
  3. Replaced the rear quarter glass seals as they were falling apart.
  4. Replaced the fuel filler cap as the plastic strap to keep it attached to the car body had fallen off.
  5. New floor mats with white Renault Sports logos.
  6. Black centre caps to replace the worn and silver center caps that were on the wheels already.
  7. New Bosch wipers all round.
  8. New rear view mirror.
  9. Replaced the auxiliary power socket by the handbrake as the plastic flip lid was not secured ot the main body.
  10. All of the interior bulbs have been replaced with white led bulbs.
  11. Philips Crystal Vision headlight bulbs and side light bulbs.
  12. The orange indicator bulbs have been replaced with less orange coloured bulbs.
  13. A stubby radio aerial.
  14. Aluminium RS gear knob.
  15. The Cup steering wheel was replaced with a full fat steering wheel and retrimmed by Royals with alcantara and perforated leather, together with a yellow centre stripe and yellow stitching - to match the yellow dot Recaro seats and yellow rev counter.
  16. New alcantara gear stick gaiter with yellow stitching.
  17. New OEM headunit with Bluetooth - this was a real pain to install as I did not realise I had to flash it with firmware before it would work. Eventually I paid a local Renault garage about £130 to flash the radio as my cheap Chinese Clip clone could not do it.
  18. Replaced the standard display unit with a RS Monitor.
  19. A new wiper/stereo control stalk to control the RS Monitor.
  20. When we took off the wheels we noticed that the passenger side front wheel arch liner was damaged so that has been replaced.
Here is the car with it’s black badges:



Last month we started on some more serious upgrades. A full set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4s all round to replace the budget rubber the Clio came with. The car is going to have the black satin Speedlines refurbished next week as they are looking a bit tired and worn.

The car service booklet claims that it was serviced just before I picked up the car. I am not 100% sure about that and if they did I am not sure that the budget tyres I found the car indicate that genuine or reasonable parts were used during the service. From the full service history I have got, and the invoices for those services I can see that the belts, water pump and dephaser have all been done already.

We have ordered over the weekend some Fuchs engine oii, Motol gearbox oil, oil filter, plugs, air filter and pollen filter. Coolant has been ordered. A new set of brake fluid is on order. I have also ordered four power flex mounts for the engine - although on a closer inspection yesterday I think that the top mount has already been done. We have also ordered some HEL braided brake lines.

I am waiting on a set of yellow seat belts to be delivered and a new set of breakdown tools for the boot as all of the tools have bene removed from the set that sits under the boot carpet from the Clio.

I have no real experience of mechanics and am a solicitor by trade. My son is technically minded so between the two of us, or rather him whilst I stand around, will attempt to do the oil and fluids next week.

So far I have really enjoyed the difference between the Clio and my Megane. There is more power in the Megane and you can feel the power come in very low down the rev range. The Clio is different, it really revs, and it keeps on revving. Someone described a Clio 200 as being a bit like a go kart the other day and that seems to be correct. You can pretty much throw it around and the car just deals with it.

I have not done a track day yet and am on the look out for a novice track day, probably at somewhere like Bedford (I am in Essex). So far every novice track day I have found is fully booked so I might not get out on the track until next year now.

The car is not going to be a daily driver so it can be loud and uncomfortable to drive. We are not going to strip the car bare and turn it in to a track monster.

Over the next few months/years the plan is to do the following:
  1. K-Tech air induction kit.
  2. New springs and shocks.
  3. New exhaust.
  4. New discs and pads all round.
  5. New registration/personal plate
  6. Side skirts
  7. Cup spoiler
  8. Replace the driver bottom seat as the fabric is wearing though the seat bolster. The Passenger seat and the upper part to the drivers seat is fine. It looks like this will be a £350 job from Rofag as we want to keep the yellow dot Recaro fabric.
I have seen some progress threads on here where people take a few months, spend thousands of pounds doing their Clio, and then sell it pretty quickly when they have finished their work. I am intending to take it easy. The next lot of planned work will be expensive. Hopefully as the work is done I will be able to appreciate the hard work and difference that the upgrades make when I do finally get out on a track day.

As you can see from the plan above we still need to decide what brake components, suspension set up and exhaust to get.
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I had some deliveries over the past week and had amassed some goodies for the car.


The plan on Saturday was to give the car a service, change the brake lines and change the engine mounts.

The first task was simple enough. Put the breakdown tool kit in the boot. When we bought the car it was missing the jack and few essentials out of the basic kit. I had managed to find a complete set on eBay for £30. There is also a can of tyre weld in the boot. I might buy a Slime smart repair kit rather than use tyre weld in the future.


Next job was to change the oil and the oil filter. The oil drained out and was a thick black colour/texture. The oil filter looked a bit worse for wear and had corroded slightly on the outside.


The air filter and cabin filters were changed. The cabin filter looked pretty grubby.


Next job was the spark plugs. The plugs we took out did not look too bad although the left hand coil pack had a bit of what looked like rust dust on the end. The other coil packs and plugs were free of debris.


This was the worst looking spark plug.


The next job was to change the coolant. It was a real pain to remove the coolant hose at the passenger side of the radiator. The clips Renault use are really difficult to remove. After pulling off the clip and wiggling the hose free the coolant came out a dull yellow colour. We opened the bleed point by the bulkhead and filled the coolant tank up. After starting the car steam and then coolant trickled out of the bleed point so it was done up.


We then gave up for the day. Today whilst I am sat in front of the computer working Ethan has replaced the difficult coolant hose clip with a jubilee clip and is trying to get the wing nut off to change the gearbox oil. Hopefully by the end of the day the car will have had a change of gearbox oil.

The engine mounts, brake fluid and brake lines will have to wait until next week.
The gearbox oil has now been changed using a vacuum pump to get it in the awkward wing nut hole.

Are the rubber seals on the coil packs replaceable? Or can anyone recommend a suitable alternative if you cannot get the seals separately?

I have figured how to reset the service countdown.

The car is going in to have the wheels blasted and power coated on Tuesday this week. That should tidy up the exterior.

Next job is to replace the brake hoses with some HEL braided lines, replace the brake fluid, then do the engine mounts.
The yellow seatbelts arrived today. I got them from eBay from a trader called parts-house. £149 for the set of 4 - I have don't have a middle belt in the back. I will get a refund of £30 when I return my old belts. I will also get another £10 back if I post some photos of the installed belts and tag in @houseofbelts on Instagram.


I dropped the car off at place called Paint It in Billericay, Essex earlier today for the black speedines to be refurbished. When I dropped it off they asked me if I wanted the rusty disc bells to be painted as well. I, of course, said yes. It will cost a bit more but it will make the car look far tidier.
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I picked up the Clio from Paint It earlier today. The black Speedlines are now back to their former glory and looking very tidy. The wheels had no major defects before they were blasted and powder coated again but the general wear and tear of 10 years of use has now gone. This is a before picture.


This is an after shot.


The disc bells have also been painted so there is no obvious rust on display round the wheels now.


Now I have taken a photo os the wheels one of the rear discs looked a bit odd and felt as if it might be sticking when I drove home. I am hoping that this is just some paint that has got on to the disc that will clean off naturally when the car is next driven.

The plan for the weekend is to put on some braided HEL brake lines, put on the four Powerflex engine/gearbox mounts and see if there is time to install the yellow seatbelts.
The first job we tackled yesterday was to install a cargo net for the boot. As the Clio is not generally used as a daily driver the boot is usually empty so if anything goes in to the boot it rolls around. A can of tyre weld had been squeezed in to the emergency brake down set before I had found a full set including a jack on eBay. Since the breakdown set had been returned to it's former glory with a full set of equipment including the jack the can of tyre weld had just been put under the carpet in the corner of the boot to stop it rolling around.

The cargo net was a Renault net from RPD. It was fixed in to the loops on the edge of the boot sill. We could not find any decent points to fix the net to deeper in to the boot that were to the side so used the large silver bolts that protrude upwards.


I am not sure you could describe the cargo net as "successfully" installed but it will do for the time being. Later in the day when there was a box of parts and box containing axle stands in the boot the cargo net did a good job of stoping the boot contents from sliding all over the place when the car went round corners.

We then managed to change the brake lines from the standard Renault ones that are come installed on the car for a set of red HEL braided lines. This job took half a day when it should have been far quicker. We had both done our research online and had looked at various videos and guides that described the process of changing the brake lines. Not one of the guides we looked at explained how difficult it was to get the old brake line out of the bracket that holds it on to the front wheel hub and put in the new brake line. Most of the guides gave the impression that new liens came with clips or their own brackets.


Once the brake line was off and the car was just pissing brake fluid everywhere we eventually managed to hammer various screwdrivers in to the large and study round metal clip to prize the old brake line out and put in the HEL line with rubber grommets that fit in to the clip. This whole process took forever and each time we used force on the metal bracket it would flex or move in a way that made it look like the brakes would break at its weakest point if we carried on.

As the brake fluid was coming out I used plastic cup to catch the fluid. When the car had been to a Renault dealer recently to have the headunit flashed with firmware they had said that the brake fluid should be changed as it looked discoloured and brown. The fluid that came out looked pretty awful.


The cup had been left wedged in to the wheel arch as we were sorted out the brake line bracket. When we came back to the car the cup had, of course, fallen on the floor to decorate my drive with more car fluids. Grrr.

Once the old brake line was out of the bracket we squeezed the new HEL Line in and closed up the bracket's arms. The old line looked reasonably thick and sturdy compared the the HEL line that went on to the car. This is the old line (without the bracket).


The new line went in, the bracket was fixed to to the hub and everything was tightened up. Here you can see the new line together with splashes of brake fluid, coolant and gearbox fluid from the recent maintenance work.


The rear brake lines were so much easier to do. Thye were a simple job of just unscrewing the old lines and putting the new lines in place.


We then moved on to deal with the passenger side front brake and went through the same process of taking off the old line, dealing with the bracket and having to prize out of the old line and squeeze in the new line to the bracket. This line was far easier to do.

Once the brake lines had been installed we then used an Ezibleed system to bleed the brakes and replace the brake fluid that was left in the system. This was another fun job as most of the bleed nipple screws were really tight to undo and required lots of WD40 and a hammer to loosen them off. The old darker brake fluid came out of each brake and then the new Febi dot 4 fluid flowed through. When the brakes were being bleed there were a few air bubbles that came out and some very small black debris. I am just hoping that the air bubbles were caused by removing the lines and the debris is natural for a car that is 10 years old.

Whilst the car was still up on axle stands we then moved on to the bottom engine mount. I had purchased a set of 4 Powerflex mounts to change all of the mounts in the engine bay. The lower engine mount was reasonably easy to remove.


When it came out we then put in the yellow PU inserts in to the mount, greased up the surface of the yellow PU insert and then struggled to get it back in to place.


It is a difficult job to get the mount where it needs to sit when there is a part of the frame in the way. Eventually we used a jack to put some pressure on the engine and squeezed the mount in to place.

Before we took the car off the axle stands my brother turned up and said, "Have you checked you have got some pressure when you use the brake pedal?" I hadn't checked the brakes at this point. Thankfully the pedal seemed to be reasonably hard when the car was still on the axle stands and the pedal was not hitting the floor. The car then came off the axle stands and we took the Clio for a quick drive. The brakes worked well and after a few emergency stops we concluded that the brakes were still working.
Today we finished off the engine mounts. The lower engine mount had already been changed to a Powerflex bush before we had got the car so we decided to leave that mount in. I tackled the torque mount first of all with a hammer and screwdriver whilst the mount was still in place to try to pry off the metal collar.


We decided to take off the scuttle panel and remove the torque arm from the car to stick it in a vice to manhandle the metal collar off. When we took the scuttle panel off it revealed a horrible and dirty mess.


Eventually the collar came off of the torque mount without having to put it in to a vice.


Then we put the torque arm back on and tightened up the bolts to the required torque. You can see the screwdriver marks on the torque arm where I was battling to get the old metal collar off.


The scuttle drains and areas around them were given a good clean. The drivers side drain was blocked. The passenger side was not as bad but was still filthy.


The next job was to do the gearbox mount. Taking the battery and housing out was a bit time consuming.


After getting the battery housing off we battled with the old mount to try to free it. We used a jack underneath the car to support the gearbox and used a tip found on this site to gently jump up and down on the passenger door sill to loosen the mount up a bit. We tried various methods to loosen the mount but could not work it out. Just as we were ready to pack up for the day there was a metallic sound and the bush had finally come free whilst we were stood about 2 metres away from the car. It may have had something to do with the copious amounts of WD40 we sprayed on the mount thread.

Once the gearbox mount was off of the car the new Powerflex inserts were added to the mount and it was secured back in to place.


We did start to remove the old seat belts in order to replace them with new yellow belts. The rear drivers side belt was changed but then we struggled to get a clip apart on the drivers side.


As far as I can work out this is a connector on the pyrotechnic inertia wheel of the seatbelt - but I cannot work out how to release the old clip to plug in the new belt. There is a red part at the top of the clip that will flip forwards and a plastic part on the front of the clip that will push in - but despite my best efforts I cannot get the clips apart. This is a job that we will have to come back and finish off later in the week.

After changing the engine mounts and packing up for the day I turned the car over. I did not drive the car on the road as the drivers seatbelt was not bolted in. The car does seem to "rattle" more now with the new mounts. I was expecting this. It also sounds like a rear exhaust mount is loose on the left hand side of the car as when the engine is revved to about 2.5 to 3k it vibrates badly. Maybe that is a good reason to get a new exhaust?
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I finally managed to work out how the clip works last night after @turkie172 posted a picture in this thread. Within a few minutes of his post the chap who sold me the belts from eBay also sent a video.


Hopefully Ethan will have time to finish off the belts today as I want to take the car for a drive to see what difference the Powerflex mounts have made to the character of the car. I have had to move the car up and down the drive a few times and when i have started the car up it feels like the mounts are holding the engine and gearbox in tighter, so I think that this will create a more "connected" driving experience.
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The luggage net was not positioned as I wanted it in the boot due to a lack of decent fixing points. Our Cup has fixing points by the boot sill but not other good tether points close to the back of the rear seats. As the trim had been removed to put in the yellow seat belts we purchased two carabiners and some small straps from Amazon to go around the rear seat belt bolt point to extend the width of the luggage net.


The straps and carabiners have worked well so that the carabiners are just visible in the boot and are in the right place to extend the width of the luggage net.


The yellow seat belts have now been installed and I think are looking good. Previous attempts to clean up the old grey belts had removed some of the dirt but did not really get them as clean as I wanted.


There are a few yellow accents now.


I had a chat with CarbonSkins via Facebook last night. I was looking to buy some gloss black door bullets with white Renault Sport writing on them. After he sent me a few photos of his work I ended up ordering:

1. A yellow front RS badge for the grille
2. A black RS badge for the rear with yellow Renault Sport writing
3. Black gloss door bullets with yellow Renault Sport writing
4. Liquid yellow dash trim inserts.

This is how the interior of the car looks at the moment.


The three horizontal yellow dash trim pieces should help the yellow theme nicely. I will probably replace the grey matt centre console with a grey gloss anthracite centre console in the future. I am now regretting buying the Renault Sport floor mats in white. I night have to replace them even though they have only been used for about 1,000 miles so that they also have a yellow trim.

I took the car for a drive yesterday for the first time with the four Powerflex engine bay mounts in place. The car definitely vibrates and rattles a bit more when it is idling. The gearbox feels really good. The gear changes feel smoother but that could be the result of both a gearbox oil change and the new mounts. The whole car does feel more solid and driving it makes it feel more responsive.


The car needs a good clean at the weekend. I am now on the look out for a good wheel sealant - any recommendations?
CarbonSkins sent me a photo of the parts he has coloured for me. They look really good. I will pick them up on Monday as I have found out that Carbon Skins lives and works very close to me.


When we got the car it came with two keys. It is a Cup model so it does not have keycards and keyless entry. The car came with a normal fixed key and a 3 button key fob. The key fob had never worked and was falling apart. I tried to recase the key fob using a cheap part from eBay, but the old body and new body did not match. My local Timpsons told me they were not allowed to cut the key on the eBay part as cheap key blades are often poor quality and can break in the ignition. I eventually found a site called FobFix that claimed to be able to repair most key fobs for £25. I sent the parts off that I had from the 3 button key bob and it came back a few days later in perfect working order. The original Renault key blade has been transplanted in to the new body.


I picked up some Poorboys wheel sealer in the week and will have a go at cleaning and sealing the Speedlines tomorrow. I will also try it on my Megane wheels as they always look filthy even though they are black wheels.
Ethan cleaned the Clio today and applied 4 coats of Poorboys wheel sealer on the Speedlines.


A few of the roads in my town have been resurfaced recently. There was tar all over the Clio. Auto Glym tar remover has failed to move some of the stubborn marks.


Hopefully a clay bar will be able to remove the tar stains. Failing that I might treat the Clio to a proper detailing by a mobile company that can do some paint correction and remove some of the paint swirls on the car. The plan had been to wash the Clio and then seal the paintwork today - that will have to wait. I washed my Megane today and it was also covered in tar. The tar remover managed to get the tar spots off of my car but I had the paintwork treated when I got it so maybe that explains why the tar came off without a problem?


I am now waiting until payday at the end of the month before I order a K-Tec induction kit for the Clio.
I visited Carbon Skills workshop yesterday to pick up the bits he had painted. He is a very nice person doing a booming trade on Facebook for carbon fibre tweaks to cars, and not just Clios. He had been very generous and had offered to fit the bits that I had ordered from him but I turned up in the Megane and not the Clio. The car now has black gloss door bullets with yellow Renault Sport writing to replace the standard silver door bullets.


The rear badge is now gloss black with yellow Renault Sport writing.


The front grille badge now has yellow writing instead of silver.


The gloss anthracite dash trim has been replaced with liquid yellow.


The interior of the car is looking a lot better than it did originally.

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I ordered some Auto Finesse Iron Out to use the weekend to try to sort out the brown speckled stains on the body work.


My order from K-Tec arrived today.


I also ordered some black wheel bolts.


I will try and get these items installed over the weekend.