Yiannis' Albi Blue R27 - Toning down...


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Hello people, I think it is about time I did a project thread for my Clio.

About a year and a half ago I was in the market for an R27. Buying second hand is quite tricky as you all know clearly because you want to tick as many boxes as possible. So, I knew I didn’t want a 200 because of its looks, hugely dislike the front and I don’t like the new diffuser either. Therefore I was looking for an unmodified R27 in good condition with low (relatively) mileage. So I travelled to Manchester to view this albi blue which had 29k on the clock and looooads of other bonuses apart from the colour which happens to be one of my favourites.

First, it was on extended warranty which at the time gave me peace of mind, second it was in seriously good condition, wheels and bodywork TOTALLY unmarked (not any more I’m afraid), the interior wasn’t tired at all, Recaros had been replaced under warranty, no cup spoiler which meant that I wouldn’t have to respray the tailgate after having it removed (not a fan of cup spoiler or any other aero bits, R27 is loud enough as it is IMO), full Renault service history and new contis all around. Win. However, no Xenon (but still projectors) and no clima/auto wiper/auto lights package. That still pains me not because of the functionality but clearly because of the interior's looks. Those heating controls are simply awful to look (and use), couldn’t be cheaper and personally I find them unacceptable to be in a £17k car built in 2007. And to add to that, who buys a new car and doesn’t pay £150 for this option?

Anyway, some pics after I picked her up.


First thing I did was full LED upgrade. Roof, doors, glovebox, rear plates, sidelights, fog lights, the lot. It gave the car a much fresher look. just a quick pic, you all know how the LEDs look like I suppose.


Then it was HIDs. At first I went for 6K but it was too blue (ish) so I immediately replaced them with 4.3K. Slim ballasts used obviously given that there is a bit of a squeeze in there and I did both sets, dipped and mains. Huge difference, very happy with the outcome. I also took the opportunity while the bumper was down to change the front grilles to a new pair.


Then it was Renault Sport mats and the ‘’Renault F1 team’’ sticker I got from Rocky, they gave a nice note to the interior. After that it was the 200 clocks, big fan of yellow rev counter and also the beep (mileage correction done as well). I also debadged the rear and a new RS badge went on (pics to follow)

Then it was time for lowering. However I didn’t want to ruin or compromise the handling/ride of the car by any means so I did a fair amount of research that took me nowhere. Some people say it’s a winning combo, some not. There is no information whatsoever about H&Rs spring rates, how progressive they are etc so I decided to take the plunge and go for H&Rs 30mm all around. Didn’t want to lower the back more, I prefer the lower front, better turn in etc. The look is spot on and the car in smooth roads (1/100 of UK roads) behaves nicely but in real life it’s not that good at all. The ride is crashy and the car bounces like a trampoline making the rear totally unpredictable when cornering. Not happy with them that’s why they are going. I at the same time had 200 cup dampers, a rear anti roll bar and front strut brace I got from Danny, and adjustable top mounts I got from Simo fitted. Currently running 2.1 degrees negative. Very good mod, happy with it.


Then it was time to sort out the interior’s cheap look. Sprayshack did all the work when the group buy was on, like 4 months ago. The idea was to make the interior look like stock but different at the same time. I wanted an anthracite based colour so Simon worked his magic and he did a special anthracite pearl mix. This is as dark as the stock one so when you look it from afar it looks the same, but it is gloss with smooth finish and some…’’bits’’ in it, so when you have a closer look you realise that something good is going on. I also asked Simon to do a ‘’R27’’ on the right bottom area of the main console exactly as he’d do the ‘’Renault Sport’’ on the dash strip. The outcome is really good and most importantly discreet. It’s not a sticker and that makes it look like it came from the factory. Pics don’t really do it justice.
We actually sprayed the lot. Pics to follow.

Clock surround and gaiter with yellow stitching sorted by Steve from Edge Automotive. I asked him to embroider ‘’Renault Sport’’ at the front and run the stitching at the back which he did (and now there is a group buy going I believe). However this is too big for me so I’ll have it done again with the a smaller ‘’Renault Sport’’. . Here are some pics.


I have to add that not only the panel with the electric window switches looks fresh but it feels nice when you come to use the switches as well:smile: It's like a woman who just had her legs waxed:smile: quality.


I went one step further with it as I had the vents sprayed as well and not only the vent's surround. Hope you like it.


Side vents as well
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I also fitted the Alpine IDA X305S with KCE 400BT, great piece of kit, best headunit for operating an iphone and on top of that it looks the business. Bluetooth is crap though. Anyway I had the headunit facia and the adapter sprayed as well to blend in with the console.


I found a different use for the RS letters I took off the rear. Mid trim of the console also sprayed


Tweeter grilles as well


Renault sport knob and red illumination (out of two options) from the headunit. I don't like the feeling of the new knob, I prefer the old one which would slot in my hand. It's staying anyway because it looks nice.

Also, I had the gaiter base trim sprayed as well.

Some more pics

The inside mirror trim as well

When I removed the glovebox it was a good chance to fix the sagging lid as well, very common problem, 5 mins job.


And some more

The traction control switch panel as well



I also did the surround trim of the dials. This is good stuff indeed because the dials reflect to it and it makes the dash look bigger. Similarly during the night when the illumination is reflected. Looks really nice IMO

Plastic Recaro trims as well


And a final one with my bikes, a TREK elite 9.8 carbon 2008 hard tail and a TREK Top fuel carbon 9.9 2011. Funnily enough the bikes are more expensive that the car lol


Future plans. 27th of June I have booked for 5th annual service, cambelt servive, cams and matched inlets. Next month I'm fitting coilovers but I haven't made my mind yet as to which ones I'm going for, and at some point after September 18'' ultraleggeras.

Any comments positive and negative of course very much appreciated and sorry for any typos. It was a long post:smile:

Thanks for looking.
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wow love this car, think the interior is amazing! need to get myself some suede trimmed pieces, looks epic. Like the bikes too, really fancy getting into mountain biking this summer if funds allow!


The Gatekeeper
Platinum Member
Lovely and clean mate and I like what you've done to the interior bits.

Surprised you found the rear to feel unsettled on the H&Rs, maybe they're not a good match to the 200 Dampers?


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Thanks a lot guys:smile:

Surprised you found the rear to feel unsettled on the H&Rs, maybe they're not a good match to the 200 Dampers?
I don't know mate. I wouldn't say unsettle but unpredictable. Again, on smooth roads the set up is really good. But on bumpy b roads (are there any b roads that are no bumpy btw?) it really bounces up and down and as a result, especialy when cornering, the rear end can easily snap if pushed, especially if you drive over a bump on a corner. Maybe because there is less travel to the suspension? Possibly..

The other thing is that rear cup springs are linear and stiffer than the fronts. Renault did that for the rear to be planted, better turn in etc. On the other hand H&Rs are progressive and I don't know anything else about them. Are the rears stiffer than the fronts to follow Renault principles? What are the progressive rates? Have they been developed for the FF or for the cup because these two setups are day and night different. Or is it a generic set that unbalances the whole cup setup? And how can H&R which is a very serious company offers one set of springs for both CUP and non CUP? That for me doesn't make sense. Loads of questions that I can not answer I'm afraid...

The 200 cup dampers are a bit stiffer but I doubt it would make such a difference to the 197s.


The Gatekeeper
Platinum Member
I don't know, the 200 Cup Dampers are about 20% stiffer than the 197 Cup Dampers I believe. That's quite a lot and certainly enough to mismatch things.

The H&Rs are certainly progressive but when I asked they refused to tell me the rates, which is strange. I think there's an old thread on here somehwere that has them on it though. I'm using them with the 197 Cup Dampers and it's a marked improvement over the FF setup, never had any issues with the rear wanting to step out of line on either road or track. As far as I know H&R make the springs/dampers for the Cup race cars so like you say, they should know what they're doing really. The only thing I can think is that they're not meant to go with 200 Cup Dampers, Litchy is also using them with the 197 Cup Dampers and he's in the same fanclub as me over them.

What setup are you going with instead? I like the look of the topmounts, nice bit of kit.


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Credit to you mate, some money spent on making it look superb and it's really paid off!
Thanks a lot mate.

What setup are you going with instead? I like the look of the topmounts, nice bit of kit.
Cheers mate. To be honest I'm 100 satisfied with the cup setup (cup springs and dampers) and I don't mind the harsh ride at all. Two main reasons I want to change the setup however. One is that I want to lower the car for purely aesthetic reasons (obviously without compromising the handling) and two because I want to use the full adjustment potential of the top mounts. At the moment I can't go full negative because the spring is wide and touches the inner arch. Coilover springs are narrower so there would be no problems when it comes to that.

Now as to which kit I'm going for, well, I don't really know to be honest. Still searching. I'm leaning towards the H&Rs though..
Looks great man, never knew you did so much with the interior! big credit to you as it looks amazing! Still deciding for a coilover kit myself, i may give the Spax coilovers a try as they have good adjustability and are very well priced, still not 100% sure though...


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Thanks Ollie:smile: Well we are on the same boat mate. Ben197 from here had SPAX fitted and I'm waiting for a review (if he decides to write one of course). Very tempted for the SPAX due to their price and full adjustability of the kit but I can't find any reviews whatsoever. For some reason people don't seem to go for them even though they are good money..
Thanks Ollie:smile: Well we are on the same boat mate. Ben197 from here had SPAX fitted and I'm waiting for a review (if he decides to write one of course). Very tempted for the SPAX due to their price and full adjustability of the kit but I can't find any reviews whatsoever. For some reason people don't seem to go for them even though they are good money..
Hi mate, I will write one honest! Was planning on giving it a full month before doing it though. This far, I'm very very impressed!