View Full Version : 0281 - L258GYN

02-04-2012, 06:49
Welcome to the project.. Been long overdue this one!

Williams Clio Number 281
First reg. 06.01.1994
Previous owners - 6
Purchased by me - November 2008 from West Sussex


Itís hard to know where to start this write-up, having not been hanging around here much for a while. But the short story is that GYN is now back on the road having had some much needed restoration work. I feel I should I should do a bit of catching up is needed owned the car for 3 and a half years but never started a project thread. I have to say itís very good to have it back as it was off the road all of last year. To start with, Here is a quick summary of the last few years..

Spring 2009

Since I bought 281 itís spent time on and off the road, itís been a main car and a second car, leisure mobile and a work horse. Itís hid away in a garage in bits and sat on drives through neglected winters in the cold and the wet. Itís faced the chop on several occasions throughout the difficult past few years and fought off its fair share of offers from observing enthusiasts, keen for one of the last bits of the action.

The truth is that even in the modern times when costs soar and this piece of motoring heritage becomes more impractical, the very nature of owning it becomes more and more important to me. Iíve fought against reason to keep it on several occasions. In a sense itís now become so much more than just a car to me. Itís gained a symbolic nature and i know that if I sell it itís probably gone for good. I think as sure as I can be, its here to stay.

Working class hero

I Purchased GYN in the winter of 2008 after looking around for about a year. I had previously owned a mk1 Brooklands Green RT a couple of years earlier which I had enjoyed a lot until the day it strangely disappeared and was never to be seen again. I also have some mechanical experience and knew roughly what I was looking for having done my research and gorging on this site. I settled on this one due to the decent service history and the fact that it had recently been fitted with a re-furbed gearbox and new water pump, hopefully saving me the hassle of sorting these in the near future. At the time the body work looked pretty good apart from a dent in the lower rear quarter. The tires were fresh and it ran and a quick drive proved that it still pulled and handled well so I bought it. Two weeks later I drove it back to Manchester and fell in love along the way.

Breaking from the norm

First thing I did was service the car and replace the oil and filter, (I Wont ever forget that first filter change either). I did a coolant flush and changed the coolant bottle, but the coolant still turned brown after a short time as predicted. There were a few oil leaks on the engine, mainly coming from the rocker cover but also less seriously from around the sump. The engine didnít visually look its best compared to others that id seen due to a tatty loom and some minor rust in the bay but I figured I would wait to take on a full rebuild/clean up later on and just changed the rocker cover gasket and the plugs at the time.

The first MOT was a fail due to corroded brake lines, which i replaced myself although I think I may redo them at some point to make them straighter.

On the way to FCS 09, Northy pointed out that my car was pretty bouncy at the front. On returning I took the front suspension out to find a leaking damper on one side and a cracked spring on the other. Both front struts and springs were then renewed along with all the bearings and bushes. I did all the brakes at the same time.


Bouncing to FCS 09

I thoroughly enjoyed driving and got to know the car over the summer of 09. I went to Wales a few times and drove around Anglesey and the evo triangle. I had a few near misses around Cheshire on the lethal lanes that exist around here. There have been the usual few moments of panic, some glitches but mainly just plenty of lightweight and primitive hot hatch induced B road ecstasy. I kept it serviced and though the winter I kept it mostly locked up in the garage that I rented at the time as I had use of another car. Unfortunately I was unable to really commit to doing any improvements over this time due to being too busy and I always have wanted to go full on if I started pulling the thing apart.

One of the few winter ventures

Before I came to FCS 10 I removed all the black plastic trims on the front and repainted them satin black along with the boot trim. The bumper strips were masked off and painted as well. This was a bit of a last minute bit of ghetto styling but it bought the car up a treat and it looked the part sitting next to Carol Anneís pristine new paintwork.


FCS 2010

I had been inspired by hers as well as Talking fishís car which went on to win best in show that day. I was really keen to give mine some of the much needed body love that it was deserving and also starting to need quite badly in places despite its deceiving first appearances.

Fresh on the outside, summer 2010

We finished off another summer of problem free motoring together and did a few drives to London and the south all with no issues. Everything of importance on the car seemed sweet and I had managed to just about get it through its MOT although the warnings about the rust were becoming quite stern ones. I was using the car as daily and was loving it but the ever increasing need for serious work became a nag in the back of my mind.

The main problem were the sills, namely the driver side which I had managed to push my finger through sometime earlier in the year, there was some pretty nasty jacking damage which had rusted out and it was obvious that someone had patched the rear of the sill a few years earlier leaving all sorts to the imagination about what might lie beneath.
The dent in the rear driver side quarter had also started bubbling into the rear arch causing some concern as I was hoping to save the arches before it got serious. At the time the other sill showed some surface rust underneath but was not as bad. Also, the bottom of the passenger door had started to go.

Drivers side rear arch, autumn 2010

Towards the end of the year the car spat one of the rear pads while driving home forcing me career through a red light and stop somewhere in the middle of the junction after managing to regain some braking pressure. I was pretty shaken, and admit ably slightly pissed at the cars attempt at self destruction. Knowing the tax and insurance was heading out and having been offered a VW caddy for £100 I parked it at my parents and SORNíd the beast. It proceeded to sit there for nearly 18 months without use.

Watching the rust build on the MOT failing offside sill, winter 2010/11 (on SORN)

Thanks for reading this intro, its good to be back!



02-04-2012, 12:51

Nice car in the background...


02-04-2012, 12:55
Great story!
Thanks for taking the time to put that up 8)

I need to get on with part 2 of my own project :D

05-04-2012, 16:38
PART 2...

Here is my old caddy TDI that I bought from my old company for £100 as a none-runner. It was proper sweet! You could even live in the back as long as youíre 5.8 or less which made for some good summer road tripping.


Summer Dub love 2011

After fixing it up for next to nothing I ran this van for a year with bare maintenance before everything ran out and it became needy of a few bits. Meanwhile, my parents were starting to get a little annoyed with the fact that my Clio had been on their drive for so long.

18 months on, winter 2011/12

Pressure was starting to mount up. On one hand I had a Caddy which needed a wad throwing at it, (tyres, exhaust, brakes, insurance, tax etc..) and on the other I had my Clio, the much more impractical and expensive option to run which needed an even bigger wad shot straight to the heart and was taking up beloved driveway space. Something had to go and after some thought I naturally went for the more insane option, selling the Caddy for a pretty decent profit and using the money to fund some of the Clio restoration and road worthy revival.

The plan was to get the car running again and then get it shifted to the body shop to have the driverís side sill replaced so it could pass its MOT. Sadly, in the whole time Iíve lived in Manchester Iíve never found a body shop I could really trust so I was really keen to use L.W Smart Repairs in Alfreton who came so highly recommended from many other Clio owners. Coops had provided the details some time earlier so I rang up and had a chat with Leigh, the owner who assured nicely that his shop would be the best option for GYN.

I got in touch with Northy to arrange some transport for the route down. And set to work getting the Clio drivable so I could hopefully drive it back from the body shop and straight to get its MOT.

First step was finally getting round to sorting the rear brakes out. I had lost the spare shims for the rear pads but luckily matt brown came to the rescue and got some more to me just in time.

In need of some bedding in..

I replaced the battery and filled it with coolant which had gone somewhere else over the last 18 months. Started it up and it ran like an absolute dog, idling somewhere around 2k. A few hours later most of the coolant had leaked out of the radiator too. Not good..


With time against me I ran some rad weld through it which seemed to do the trick even though I hate using that stuff. I took the ICV off and flushed it out with carb cleaner. I put some fresh oil in and held my breath while I turned the key. With just a few hours to go to the deadline, the car was now running like a peach again. Everything else on the car still worked fine, Awesome.

The next day Northy arrived with his trailer and we loaded it up and began the 60 mile drive to Alfreton. Snow had been forecast so time was of the essence. The drive went well and it was good to see the Clio out again even if it was being carried on a trailer like some sick patient on the way to the operating theatre.

Ready to go, Feb. 2012

The next picture shows just how much worse the rust got over that time of standing still. The rear arch was definitely starting to go now. At the same time I had a bad feeling that the inner sills were probably pretty ****ed as well but would have to wait for the guys to start chopping into it to find out.

Time for action, Feb. 2012

I kind of hoped that it wouldnít be too bad though. And went home that day knowing the car was in safe hands.


06-04-2012, 08:08
Nice update. It's amazing what one year doing nothing can do to a car!

06-04-2012, 11:53
keep the updates coming!

How many owners and what miles has your williams had? Much history with it?

Is the car still at Alfreton? Its only 10 mins from my house!


07-04-2012, 15:07
Cheers. Car is back with me now. Just writing up the next update.

Mileage is currently 123000.

07-04-2012, 18:37

So anyway, so much for hoping it wasnít going to be too bad. These are the photos I really want to show you which mostly speak for themselves. (pics by LW Smart Repairs)

The nearside sill..the one that looked ok from the outside..




And the offsideÖ




New metal going in, both inner sills needed doing..





And new outer sills..


New rear arch cut and blended in..


So as you can see things got pretty intense down there :shock:

07-04-2012, 18:59
You're not wrong about it getting intense!

16-04-2012, 12:40
Wow that's some rust!!! You got the car back now????

09-05-2012, 19:27
Sorry for the long delay in updating this. Iíve had the car back for a while but the weathers been rubbish so hadnít had a chance to clean it or get any shots of the finished work.

I bought some new stickers of Wrighty, and after a wash and some careful measuring I was able to get them on.

So good to see the Clio both clean and complete again.


Here are some shots of the new sills. Iím really pleased with the outcome and would recommend Alfreton for quality, honesty and a friendly service. I half expected to pay top dollar but was also very pleased with the overall cost for the amount of work. You saw how bad it had got but they have definitely taken care of it, both rear quarters have been painted as well. I will let the pics do the talking and Il try and get some from underneath soon.






Been driving the car as a daily again and its running really nice but I have definitely noticed the hike in petrol since it was last on the road. It should be a fun summer though.

Next on the agenda..

Get some new front tyres
Change coolant again
Get some new front inner arches
Change the gearbox oil
Find a new pass door
And so onÖ

Thanks for reading.

09-05-2012, 19:57
Looks very nice indeed. It worries me that my ridiculously long term project will need this TLC and there is no one near me that I would entrust (or can afford!) to breath the same recovery into it.

Dare I ask how much the cost was?

09-05-2012, 21:37

10-05-2012, 20:41
Nice to see LW Smart Repairs come up trumps again!! I should be on commission, lol!!

Car looks really good!! :D

11-05-2012, 00:19
aye, and props to coops as well. The best business is always done by word of mouth.

27-09-2012, 15:17
0281 - for sale ebay June 2007