How much was the Quaife, if you don't mind my asking? They're pretty expensive for the Clio and seeing how it's value has dropped quite substantially in the last few months I'm averse to spending unnecessary money on it.
The mechanic has started looking at the car and I?m informed the front underside of my car is in many bits. Issues have been identified:
? Clutch slave cylinder is leaky as result of corrosion from water in the fluid
? Drive shaft boot has split
? Front ARB bushes are shagged
Everything should be fitted and installed by tomorrow.
Oh, so nice. I almost regret buying my VXR when I was dead set on one of these for so long...
That being said, depending where in Vic you are - I can recommend a mechanic if you ever need one. Family business, Alfa, Fiat, Lanica etc mechanics with diagnostics equipment.
It's only been a few days and I haven't had the chance to properly drive the GTA since it returned from the mechanic on Tuesday, but it feels markedly different to drive.
For one thing, it feels a lot more planted. Whether that's the differential working or the ARB bushes letting the suspension work properly, there's also a lot less racket and noise when travelling over bumpy or undulating road surfaces (tram tracks). The clutch is also a great deal softer and easier to depress. I hadn't realised just had hard the clutch was becoming as it steadily wore out. I had a look at the surface of the old clutch and there was less than a millimetre of material left before the bolts of the plate would start impinging on the fly wheel. Speaking of which, that was machined smooth, so the car no longer judders as I slip the clutch.
The clutch take-up point has changed and the take-up is a lot more progressive as well, so I'm getting used to that. There is still a clicking noise when I depress the clutch, but the mechanic was pretty adamant that it's nothing to worry about.
The Quaife ATB differential is pretty amazing. I can give the car full throttle at any steering angle and it'll drag the car out of corners. It'll still pushes (pulls?) wide, but both wheels will spin up at the same time and the steering wheel won't tug violently. It's a lot of fun and a lot better than spinning away power on the inside wheel, ploughing wide through the corner.
I've been babying the throttle for the last month as I've heard plenty of stories of the standard differential exploding under a lot of load and have been loathe to have my gearbox explode. Since I've been pretty scared to apply the throttle liberally, it's a lot better to be pretty care free in giving the car full throttle. I seem to get between places a lot faster now (in the last two days).
I also got a new radiator as the old one was pretty gummed up and coolant came out looking toxic with gunk in it. The system was flushed and now the car seems to run a bit cooler, though I really can't tell since I've been driving the car pretty hard. It helps when you leave for work at 630am and don't return home until after 11 - traffic is non-existent.
The mysterious MOTOR CONTROL SYSTEM FAILURE cause was undetected and no error codes returned after they were cleared, so it fixed itself again? (More likely dried out.)
I have to compliment this independent mechanic. I was informed that it would likely take until end of Wednesday to finish the job on Tuesday lunchtime, which was fine with me. However, the mechanic worked late and delivered the car to me at around 830pm on the Tuesday. I arrived a little early at 8pm and was immensely pleased to see the level of attention paid to putting things back together and checking the car for completeness.
This was the first time I looked underneath the GTA, so here's a shot of it's less than pretty underbelly. I was surprised to see a pair of catalytic converters, one for each cylinder bank.
Finally, here's a link to the high resolution files of the above photos, as was requested.