Some of you have questioned why I fitted a new racing steering wheel to my Renaultsport Clio 182 before sorting the car’s more pressing issues, which came in the form of a soft front shock absorber and weak brakes. Fair point.
I can explain the delay in fixing the former easily – I’m saving for a set of Bilstein B14 coilovers because I figured that if I’m going to spend time fixing the suspension, I might as well upgrade it. So the steering wheel upgrade is something to keep the ball rolling while I add pennies to the pile for a more significant modification.
My reason for not addressing the weak-feeling brakes, however, is not so simple to explain. In fact, I’m still not entirely sure why I’m in this situation, but the truth is, the brakes seem to have fixed themselves. I have no idea how, but when you own an old French car you learn never to question things like that.
I can only guess that in the weeks since the car was returned to the road earlier this summer, its more regular use has helped clean off a glazing on the Ferodo DS2500 pads or the Brembo High Carbon discs. Or perhaps a kind stranger worked on my car in secret. Either way, my ‘to fix’ list has decreased to just one item.
Video: Driving the 456bhp Renault Zoe e-sport flat-out on track
The set of Bilstein B14 coilovers I’m saving for will set me back more than, breathe deeply, £500, so it’s taking quite a while to prepare for this hefty financial burden (I’m on a journalist’s salary, after all). But in order to keep that modification ball rolling in the meantime, I’ve removed the back seats from the car.
I didn’t go through the trouble of weighing the seats, but I’d confidentially estimate that the whole bench arrangement adds less than 30kg to the car’s mass, meaning the effects of its removal will be negligible. But no bottom has perched on the rear bench since 2014 so there’s little point in them being there. And 30kg is 30kg.
Anyway, the seat removal has brought some other indirect improvements, such as improved space for a harness, the fitting of which will be my next port of call. After some interweb investigating I’ve found that bolting a harness to the Isofix bar holes in the car’s floor, rather than the rear passenger seatbelt holes ahead of them, will extend the belts further back. This, I’m told, will ensure they’re stretched out far enough to not break my spine in an accident – which is a genuine risk for badly placed belts and possibly worse than the prospect of an inverted face caused by headbutting the steering wheel in an accident.