Clio dCi

Winter wheels taking the brunt of the weather, but it’s getting warmer…

It’s almost time to replace my winter wheels with the Slots ready for the warmer weather and saltless roads, but first I’ve had to check that my wheel alignment was up to scratch, as I’ve smacked about 300 potholes recently.

Since the Clio’s suspension has been modified all over the place, what with lowering, bushes, rear beam, new bearings etc I was betting the wheel alignments was way out of whack.  Knowing of a trusty local garage with  state-of-the-art alignment kit, I popped the Clio over to see what the specs were, and to see if it could be put right.

Westbury Tyre and MOT Centre

Local friendly bunch, and they seem to know what they’re doing too

Westbury Tyre and MoT Centre have one of the best alignment kits available, the John Beam.

Paul quickly got the Clio on the ramp and checked out the suspension for any worn parts before alignment, using their automated ramp he found the two bottom ball joints were stuffed and the inner track rods were on their way out.  Not to worry, just next door is a motor factors and one quick phone call later the parts were bought round ready to fit.

With the suspension fine and dandy Paul set about setting the kit up on the car, it’s quite complicated-looking but Paul assures me he’s read the instructions.

I had already installed a pair of Eibach Camber bolts to the front suspension so Paul could set the front camber and toe correctly.  Needless to say, it was out by a mile but Paul got it set bang on spec using the camber bolts.

Rear Wheel Camber

Offside camber 3.4Deg compared to Nearside at 0.8Deg!

The rears however were a different matter;  there is no adjustment at the rear, the only way to adjust camber and toe is to get camber shims.  Paul took the measurements of the rear and they were well out.  The beam was straight and there were no signs of accident damage, so the adverse camber must’ve been a combination of lowering the car and Renaults’ lack of tolerance!

Luckily Eibach offer these camber shims in 1 and 0.5 degree variants, they can be stacked too.  To overcome the adverse camber at the rear I took the Clio back to the FC Workshop and popped 1.5 Positive on the offside, and 1 Negative to the Nearside.  If my calculations are correct, that should have equalised both sides to approx 1.8 Deg Negative.

In all this should reduce my tyre wear and also improve my handling a little bit.  On a seperate note, I’ve ordered a clutch kit from Euro Car Parts as my clutch is about to give up!  So next months job is already decided!

Alignment £75
Camber Bolts and Shims £41
Clutch Kit £100
Total £216

Westbury Tyre and MOT Centre
Euro Car Parts

See more of Matt’s Renault Clio Project