Hello, I've hung around gathering info from here and other sources ( including much Clee bothering ) and thought it was time to give something back and join up fully, so I can post my Alpine story, hopefully in full, warts 'an all which may help/inspire/interest other owners or potential owners. I am a member of another Renault club, but the RAOC is in my view priceless as a point of information and mutual assistance, in what can be a challenging car to deal with.
I am a long time Biker as well as Renault nut and back in '99 I concluded as a new father it was time to hang up my helmet,( very painful ! ) and to quench my thirst for speed buy a car I had always come close to buying, a GTA Turbo, in the end I bought E200JVV from Doncaster, and kept the GSXR anyway, may as well hang for a sheep as a lamb!
If I've done this right here's a picture of the car now,( I haven't any pics of then as digi wasn't my bag then)
So anyhow, I ran the car as a toy for a year or two doing jobs here and there but more things seemed to go wrong than I could keep up with and it was becoming clear the underside was wanting more than a brush of waxoil, so I bought another car which ended up a full on resto, but now looks like this......
Via a lot of this
You get the idea! Don't worry there's some scary GTA pics coming up.
The long and short of it was I kept MOT'ing the GTA but it was getting a struggle as persistent brake seizure, which was not just sticky calipers ( telltale squirt of fluid when opening the nipples at rest ) meant the car sat about dragged here and there including a house move to somewhere with less drive space, Oh I nearly forgot before I did the above 4Cv I did my 11 Turbo, which had been sat for 5 years or so..........Anyhow the dragging brakes were becoming a pain to move the car so out with the tank and lets have a look, buggered servo, a plea on RCCC forum and John from Renaultspeed came up with a brand spanker he didn't know what it was for, but matched my measurements and description........Boom, result, but as the old servo had been pushing the master out permanently the bore had rusted and on fitting the new servo the master began to weep and so started a web search and I found the RAOC forum and in turn found a specialist not 20 miles away ....RATS who supplied a new master and I've bothered him ever since!
Of course in true Alpine style that part of the story is never as simple as it should have been, because Tinny the Tin worm had been doing his best to return my Alps front crossmember to the mother earth and I had a big decision to make sell and live happily ever after, or enter two plus years of pain, torment and welding burns, well here I am!
The car had two large bulges on the rear of the front crossmember beneath the rack and the only way I could think to get to it was airsaw the front off and see inside the section,.......oh dear..
This is bringing back bad memories think I'll have a lie down.
If you look at the drawings in the parts book and manuals it becomes clearer how the front end is constructed and from there I was able to formulate a plan to repair the rot.
Behind the fuel tank there is a flat section partially covered by a GRP panel which is part of the boot inner and bonded on top of the crossmember, this was cut just to reveal the complete steel panel where servo bolts on, I then gave some thought to how the car would react to having large sections cut in this area and concluded it would be best to remove the front struts to stop them from prying the front end open, as the bit inbetween that would be weakened during the work, I also stripped as much weight off the front of the car ( headlights, bonnet, bumper, rad etc ) as it would be on stands/tyres under the triangles ( under the pedals ) and I didn't want any drooping ( quiet at the back no giggling! ) a picture paints a thousand words so look at this........
I left a little of the panel shown above ( N/Side) towards the right between the upper and lower wishbones so it would highlight any movement by buckling, it didn't ( buckle ) so with the flat front cut out I could unbolt the lower rack mount but leave the rack in situ, and chop out the rotten inner as shown in the first pic.Then cut the rear out which is the bit you can see if you look up between the bulkhead and the crossmember is where the rack is visible and mounts and where the fuel pump lives.
Basically the rear extends off the central spine up, level and back down to the servo panel with a section at the top bracing and two upturned ' wings welded to the spine and woefully spot welded onto the outer with the rack bolting through, the rot starts inbetween the double skin and is only visible when you look up or through the gap side-on.
After butt welding a section to repair the outer rear, I made a two piece section to replace the inner , a wing shape with the hole for the rack and what was left of the top right angled section and welded the living shite out of it, big plug welds through and seam welded everywhere, plenty of Bilt Hamber rust killer then seam welded the outer back on. Same servo side and paint plus a litre of Dynex50 wax.
Servo and master back in new brake pipes and tank back in.........oh that looks crappy below the rad.....need any explanation?