Help a pro be pro buying a 225

Discussion in 'Megane Discussion' started by TurboJ, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Been working in the automotive field for about fifteen years but my Renault knowledge is lacking. We've only had our first Renault in the family for two years now (A Clio III TCe) and are very happy with it, but I feel it's now time to go back to something that has more oomph.

    I live in Finland and this means even old cars cost a lot (tax issue) and availability for sporty cars is very limited. Even so, I'd really like a Megane 225. Sadly Trophy, R26 and any other special variants are out of the question because there simply aren't any available and importing is a no go because of those same tax issues. What I can get is a very limited choice of 225s, some standard and some with cup kit. A couple of questions if I may:

    Is the standard 225 as soft as all the press say? I don't have access to a non-Cup example I could try out right now so I'd like to know if the difference really is that big between regular and a cup-kitted version. For me I think the most important thing would be how much the steering is worse on the regular model. Steering makes or breaks a car for me.

    The "cup" allegedly has some physical changes done to its steering system in addition to tweaked PS software. What exactly did they change and can this be replicated on a regular 225? (Please remember I'm lucky to see three or four RS Meganes for sale in the entire country so I can't really try to find the ideal car).

    Can you tell me how the ride and handling balance is on the 225/Cup compared to, say, a Mini or a Golf GTI or something similar? Roads around here require some level of suppleness. Originally I was looking for a Pug 208 GTi because of its great combination of ride and handling, but for half the price I could get a RS 225 and frankly the older car's more simple engine and electronics would make things easier for me.
  2. 225 is a competent car,but bare in mind,a old car now.
    Its interior will be many steps behind a modern hatches.
    Steering is decent for a electric set up,but without the LSD of the R26,expect some torque steer,and scrabbling for traction out of tighter corners.

    The mk2 meganesport only really became a great car through evolution ..225/trophy/f1/R26/R26R.
    All small,but significant changes, to make a good handling car a great one.

    You can only really tell if its for you with a test drive..but any modern hatch will be more than a match for a 225.
    I would honestly say a golf gti or mini cooper S of the same era, is a better all round package.
  3. Thanks for the comments. Even though alternative makes and models are more popular, I'm still leaning towards the Renault. I like the 225 and I know too much about the VW group cars and I've heard too much about Minis... The Renault's strength should be that it has a solid body shell and good galvanizing, and a reliable engine and gearbox. Almost no other hot hatch of the era has all that. I realize the Megane is a "high maintenance" car but I'd rather be changing hubs and window regulators than engines and gearboxes :smile:

    So I took a little road trip today and checked out a '06 225 with a cup pack. Purely as a car it was quite impressive. Ride is definitely not too harsh and it's surprisingly agile for such a large car (I used to run '80s cars mostly so I'm used to more lightweight cars). And I actually like how it's not quite as refined as a Golf GTI - it feels more of an event to drive.

    For a Finnish-driven car this example was in OK overall condition, but far for perfect. Around 75k miles on the clock and that's considered very low miles here. Big minus points are a generic remap and a foam filter kit, and also that it needs a cam belt service immediately. And an air con refill. Still it wasn't a totally neglected car as the paint work had stood up well, the engine ran perfect as did gearbox and clutch, brakes were faultless in use and the suspension/steering almost without fault too. A lot of positives and a lot of negatives on this car... Overpriced for its condition but I feel the price may drop some once the seller realizes it's not a collector car...

    What do you guys say about the engine sturdiness - would it likely be able to shrug off the stress of a generic remap having been driven ~13k miles with it? If I was to buy the car I'd return it to stock or get a real dyno session done definitely. There was nothing wrong with how the engine was pulling on the test drive, nor with idle or any lumpiness anything at all really, but generally I just don't trust non-dyno tuned remaps...

    What about the steering then - if I find a better example of a car but it doesn't have the cup kit, how noticeable is the difference in steering weight and feel really? I'm asking this here because the other cars for sale are really far away and it'd help me a lot to know if non-cup cars would suit me at all. How about the ESP on a non-cup car - is it intrusive like on our Clio III TCe or is it more sport-oriented? Asking this since on the non-cup the stability control can't be turned completely off.
  4. The f4rt engine can be traced back to the old renault fuego in 1.7 guise! its been around a long time.
    The weakspot on a tuned mk2 is the rods..same rods as in a 172/ designed with 140-150lb/ft in mind...not 220+.

    Many are still fine after many years..but it really does seem to be luck if it holds together.
    Not to many cases of blow ups...but as with any tuned are increasing the risks.

    I dont think the steering on the 225 will be any different to my R26.
    mainly geometry,the diff and improved springs/damping made the difference in the way the car handles..not the weight/feel of steering.

    Just make sure it changes direction the rack bush,and track rod ends/inner arms, are all wear parts on the meganesport...recently changed all mine.

    As you say..that generic map needs to go.
    many say henk who sells the RS Tuner maps is the man outside the uk.
    i have a RS Tuning map on mine,(leeds,england),set up at there facility, 7 years problems.

    The stand out difference for me when driving a 225 against my R26 was the suspension seems to lift more on the front when accelarating hard,and obviously not being able to plant the throttle mid bend,due to the lack of LSD.

    Not a huge difference..but certainly noticeable...
  5. The map it's running now is claimed by the company who makes them to make 264 Hp and 353 Nm (I think that's ~260 lb-ft). I don't believe the hp number, at least I hope it's not been run with that much hp without supporting mods! But it did feel like 353 Nm easy. Would that kind of torque be ok for the rods for 13k miles? BTW I have good reason to believe this current owner hasn't regularly trashed the car but sadly he didn't have the know-how to look for the correct ways for power increase.

    The engine did feel and sound absolutely healthy in every way though. Maybe it's fine....

    The cup pack has different springs, dampers and ARB than normal 225 I'm told - is the LSD the main difference to an R26 when comparing it to a Phase 2 Cup? Or still different spring/damper setup? Also I am told that Renault only sells R26 dampers these days, sells them to replace all Meg II RS dampers apparently. Will those dampers make the Phase 2 Cup ride harder?

    Tried Henk with our Clio III but he wasn't interested in selling me his stuff. Very difficult for him, it seems, to reply to e-mails. The RS Tuner device is ace though; might just get one simply for datalogging, steering fine tuning and ESP disable etc. As for the remap, we do have good shops for dyno tuning in Finland; trouble is our equivalent of MOT - tuning a car of this vintage is not strictly legal here - although lots and lots of people still do it.

    Since I'm going to face significant trouble trying to find a stock 225 for test drive, can you guys tell me if it "needs" the added power of stage I mods? I don't really do track days and on the road I do seven tenths max. Most important for me is a strong mid range and great handling with stability on acceleration. So is the stock 225 still properly quick? The car I just drove was a bit of a beast 50 to 115 mph.

    One more thing: I know someone posted earlier how stupid it is to ask about what oil to run on these cars. Well, having been selling automotive oils for ten years, I beg to differ. The 225s around here have been run on anything from Mobil ESP 5W-30 to 5W-40 and even 0W-40. I'm personally very strict about what oils I use. Is the FR4T engine picky in this respect and does it prefer thinner or thicker oil? No track days planned atm.
  6. Could someone be kind enough to answer to some of the questions above? It would really help.

    Also one another important question. I could potentially get a very nice deal on a Phase 1 five door 225. Done 130k miles and is a non cup, but good service history and lots of expensive parts fitted and seems in good nick. So my question is twofold: how about high miles on a 225 engine and gearbox? And is there some major difference between driveability and reliability between a Phase 1 and Phase 2 model?

    And in terms of cup vs non-cup, would a high quality spring set and R26 dampers bring a non-cup close to a cup version handling wise?

    Thanks guys, the help is much appreciated!
  7. Renault did no sweeping changes to the suspension as the megane went through its various versions.
    They were all slight improvement,that in the end made a noticeable difference to how the car handles.
    If you dont drive to the maximum,you really are not going to notice the difference between a R26 and 225.
    All the diff does is help drag the car out of bends without wheelspin.
    So unless you are thrashing it..traction wont be a issue.

    My R26 was lethargic before its remap...The torque increase was the biggest welcome addition when mapped.
    Its widely acknowledged to keep the lb/ft and HP below 300/300 on these cars.
    Gearbox can be qa problem on high milers..but again,it really is down to luck if you get a good one or not.

    I have always run mine from new on elf 5w40.

    The R26s dampers are stiff.But in conjunction with the OEM Eibach springs..the ride is perfect.
  8. Thanks. I was thinking already that since I'm not going to do track days with a primary car (which this RS 225 would be for us) the improvements made in the suspension and steering might not even be beneficial for our use. I don't take risks on public roads so more than seven tenths is not my thing because of everything that can happen by surprise (pedestrians, cyclists, incoming traffic, wildlife etc.).

    After giving all this some more thought I'm leanining towards the low miles Phase 2 Cup. It's overpriced for the amount of work it needs but it's still the best one on sale.

    The remap that car now has; I really don't know. It's done by a big supplier that sells a lot of remaps off the shelf, but I have no proof on what AFR, intake temp etc. it's running. The company attitude seems fishy but the car did drive really well. The map could be fine but I'd need to have a datalogging session done on it at the very least. This much I know - they don't make the maps themselves, they are bought from somewhere else.

    But even a completely stock 225 is still quicker than the same era GTI which I feel is quick enough considering the local attitude towards performance driving. So I might just return the 225 to stock for originality's sake and for longevity.

    Speaking about springs and dampers, can you still get original ones for a Phase 2 Cup? I would NOT want to make it any stiffer because that would only make the car worse for its intended use. KTR says Renault only sells R26 dampers anymore.. And all the aftermarket stuff tends to be stiffer than OEM which is not what I want. Rather be happy 95% of the driving time than 5% of it.

    Sorry for asking so many questions but can you get some understated OE mud flaps for the 225? The Finnish winter is such that with all the salt and gravel even galvanized cars have a very hard time not rusting up their sills.
  9. The r26 will only be slightly more stiff than early models.
    I really dont think you will notice.
    I think the R26 has a perfect ride balance.
    Lowering the car is a mistake IMO..I put cooksports on,and the ride is now terrible on anything but smooth tarmac.
    They will be coming off.

    I would have bought a new set of OEM eibachs,but even in the currant RPD sale..they are still close to £100 a spring!
    Renault OEM mudguards are very understated for the megane.
    Not sure if they are still available..more like arch extensions than a `flap`.
  10. Thanks again.

    I went and took another, more thorough look at the car I was talking about. Turned out there was pretty massive neglect going on after all. Car needs multiple big issues sorted right away but seller is still wanting pretty much collector's car money even after some hard core haggling.

    Although just a small sample size of five-six cars I've looked at either on the spot or from pictures and phone analysis, these cars here seem to have had a rough and neglectful life. I don't personally get it why people allow zinc coated cars to rust but they do. And why people own a performance car yet are only interested in it passing the MOT-equivalent, not in the slightest interested in how it actually drives and if it's even safe to drive.

    This era of cars is a tough era for hot hatches anyway, since everything apart from Honda and Toyota have serious technical issues by design. Both of them have naturally aspirated engines which rules them out for me, and the Toyota has no handling while the Honda has no torque. The Renault is actually the smartest car to buy out of all the cars that appear in this price point in Finland (least expensive common faults), but a good one is very hard to find because people just don't take care of their cars like they used to. And about 80% of hot hatches available here are VW group cars which have the time bomb engines and gearboxes on top of all other gremlins. 207s and R56 Minis are available but you can't find a more troublesome engine anywhere so not tempted by them really.

    I will keep looking but it doesn't feel too promising. If I was looking for a pure project car that'd be fine but the prices for the cars should reflect that, and they don't.

    Some questions about the Meg 225 again: How much would I need to pay for a second hand set of OEM boost pipes, hoses and a stock intercooler? How about good condition second hand set of OEM Cup springs and dampers? Or a stock exhaust system in good condition? Speaking UK prices. Thanks again!
  11. oem intercooler,and exhaust,you wont be paying much at all..almost worthless.

    Cant see you getting a set of oem cup springs/shocks second hand that are going to be worthwhile.
    Cars to old for them to be still as they should.
    My own R26 only had 40K on it..but both shocks and springs were tired by then.

    R26 shocks at the moment from RPD...£60-ish for front and £40-ish rear.
    Its the springs that cost...£90+ a corner..even in the sale.
  12. Thanks again. There's one potential car available for which I might get a nice deal;

    However. Intermittent, apparently rare misfire. Not even under higher load but sometimes just cruising on. What would be the worse case scenario? Sure it might just be a plug or coil but might be something more serious since the seller hasn't fixed it.

    Oh and BTW; one car comes with a remapping device from I understand the device was originally developed by the Dutch guy Henk. But does this British device allow adjusting the car's power steering and stability control like the Dutch device does?
  13. coils and even more so injectors are known faults with meganesports.
    replaced mine years problems since.

    dont know about the rs tuner.
    you would have to phone them for that info.
  14. Vibration when accelerating on second gear. Benign but noticeable. Nothing similar on other gears. I didn't push the car hard but all gears go in as they should and don't pop out, gears seem otherwise perfectly normal except for this vibration on second gear. Is there any change it could still be flywheel related or would I be looking at gearbox repairs? Interestingly the vibration didn't happen every time I accelerated on second gear, it was also gone a couple of times :/
  15. probably engine mount on its way out.
    common for these to fail on meganes.
    My own car is starting to do this when accelarating hard.
  16. andrewjeffs, I really appreciate alll your help - big thanks to you.

    In the end it is the high mileage car that seems to be the best example. As so many times before.. Has some niggles and it's running a stage 1/2 tuning setup, but at least doesn't need full suspension overhaul and rust repairs like the other ones. The only car close to an honest example available right now actually.

    Apart from the second gear vibration (even when accelerating very gently, and it's a high frequency vibration) the biggest issue is that the car has been running with a faulty aftermarket dump valve for a while. A Forge unit with a snapped spring (now waiting for a replacement). Unsurprisingly there has been a couple of issues with running the car like this. Hard part is how to know if the power cut-off that has been happening a few times apparently, is caused solely by this or if there is a fault with the ignition and/or injection system also.

    Anyway, since there's a lot of miles on the car I was thinking new injectors should go in anyway. Where does one get a good deal on OEM injectors BTW?

    There's also a set of Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 wheels on the car; 8x18 but no sign of offset markings. Doesn't look to be terribly far away but definitely not exactly the correct offset, they come out a bit farther than OEM wheels would. Sorry guys for so many questions, but how close to factory specs do you need to be on an RS 225 so as not to noticeably alter the handling and/or cause extra wear on the suspension components? I have to ask since some cars are very particular about this and others not so much. Would be a shame to throw away an otherwise nice set of alloys.
  17. lots of people running 1.2`s with no problems.
    i have 45 offset wheels on mine,which do push the wheels out in the arches,but i cant say i have noticed any difference in handling than with the 67 standard weird renault offset.
    Technically it should alter the scrub radius.But a max attack i havnt noticed any unexpected behavior.

    Been on there 2 years with hard driving..No bearing problems so far etc.

    I had my injectors done on a exchange refurb service years ago,set up by a club member.
    never had a problem with them since.

    Dont know where people are buying replacements from.
    Hopefully someone else can comment on this.

    Just put the standard recirc valve back.
    Ebay should have 1 ,
    or join the facebook version of this site..lots for sale on there,as well as many other parts.
    As well as many more people to give you information..far busier than this site.
  18. Thank you once again. Today some more background checking brought up a potentially nasty problem. It turns out the car's been running six years straight with this intermittent power cut-off; previous owner was unable to fix it and the fault was present before the dump valve started leaking. Fault codes point to boost pressure sensor and throttle plate. Changing the boost sensor didn't fix it. Car even goes to limp home mode sometimes when the error comes up, and not even under hard loads, sometimes just cruising. Also when I was test driving the car it had a judder (felt like running too lean for a little while) with just medium acceleration going on. This could be caused by the leaking DV ofc, but the problems are just piling up.

    Looks like one hell of a gamble. There's a '2007 remap on the ECU, there's a big intercooler fitted and a catback, but I don't know if there's any way to reasonably rectify it all. Maybe fit the stock bypass valve, revert the ECU to stock map and see what happens. But there has to be a reason why the cut-out issue has not been fixed for six years straight.

    Car had a lot of potential and a nice price tag after haggling but this persistant issue means it feels too much to take a risk on.

    Sadly now I'm looking at import cars already. The 225s in Finland that are currently for sale I've seen and driven and they're all bad buys as they are. Too much to fix and prices not reflecting that. And I'm surprised just how much people neglect these cars and yet they pass the yearly inspection...

    I just don't like a carbon-building oil-eating VAG and I'm past my time with VW group anyhow. Everything else is either boring, risky, or way too expensive, and most actually are all three combined.

    I hope you Brits appreciate how good you're having it around there with a plethora of cars available in all conditions and prices way lower than for us poor northmen here :smile:
  19. BTW do you guys see any rust on the lower front sills of Megane IIs in Britain? In the Nordic countries the salt and gravel that gets sprayed onto them in the winter time sees most cars having at least a little surface rust there.

    While we're at this again, how much is the going rate for a good set of OEM RenaultSport alloy wheels?
  20. not fitting mudflaps seems to be a stupid oversite by most car manufacturers.
    Yes the megane gets badly chipped all up the side and on the rear archs.
    But worst of will take the paint right down to bare metal on the front arch leading yes rust can appear.

    A few years ago i was suprised to be able to buy oem 18`s for R26/225 from Renault for just over £120 each.
  21. Looking at the cars that are available, not one of them is rust free on the lower sills and all have the stone chip problem like you describe. Has someone found a reasonable remedy for preventing this? On our Clio III there is an anti-chip coating under the paintwork on the lower sills and there is zero rust on it after 70k miles. The Megane RS however with its wide wheels, sticky tyres and usual lack of mudflaps seems to be pretty bad in this respect.

    The car I'm looking at now has the rear arches and all the lower edges on the sides pretty badly affected by stone chips; some small spots are already rusting but most of it still has the zinc intact. On the front lower sill there is a hand-sized area totally without paint and the surface is brown; seemingly surface rust but who knows.

    Anyway, with older cars I used to do all the metal work first naturally (thorough cleaning, remove all rust, patch up the steel as needed), then use some acid primer and spray an anti-chip coating on the lower sills prior to top coat. Seemed to work OK. But can someone guide me into the right direction how one should proceed on a zinc-coated car such as the Megane and if you guys have found a reasonable solution that reduces the stone chip damage on the sills after the repair. Naturally mudflaps need to go on, but I think these cars need something more substantial in addition to that if they are to hold up to the stone spray that they get...

    Any hints backed up by experience?

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