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5 GT Turbo Abandoned in 2003, going for a big save/restoration


Well-Known Member
So my story is that I had a r 5 gtt as my first car when passing my test 15 or so years ago now.
I did the usual respray, bodykit and engine mods that were all the rage back then. I loved the car, it's noises, character and the fact it was a turbo go kart. There was nothing else like it!
As time passed it was sold and moved onto more modern skyline gtr's, e60 m5 v10 and lately porsche's.

Recently I had sold all my toys in search of a new house, but I was getting bored as I always had a project or nice car to tinker with. So i thought why not search for a 5 to restore the love and save a classic. I started looking near the end of 2014, i was shocked to see the price of gtt's selling for 6,000 to £15,000!
Anyway, I traveled the country for a few months, from Bradford to Devon in the search of a decent original car that needed some love. I looked at a few and was so disappointed at how abused, how delusional some sellers were and the sheer state of the cars for £3,000 +

I very nearly threw in the towel and bought a new Nissan Gtr, but I preferred the money in the bank then sat on the driveway. But then one Friday night I was on my phone searching and I came across a car on Gumtree in Leicester. The catch? Well it had been stood since 2003, didn't run, no log book and no history! BUT, it was 98% original, 70k miles, Red (well faded pink and mouldy) and even amber indicators still! So the next morning I did the hour and a half trip to see it, it ticked a lot of boxes but wow it was rough as you'd imagine! Still I know these cars well and there's not a lot to them, I had restored a fair few back when I owned a body shop, but that was 10 years ago when I had all the time in the world!

So I just had to have it, I booked a recovery truck there and then. Here's how it looked:

Off it came home with me to a lock up arranged until I was ready to spend some time assessing what needed doing

So first I had to get me and a friend to give it a bloody good wash to get years worth of grime and leaves off it! And I gave the car a going over listing what's what. It still even had a revs mag air freshener in it!
Yep, that's a standard exhaust!

Then I wanted to try and figure out why it wouldn't start. It wouldn't turn over with a jump pack on, although there was power to the starter...=seized starter. So, I fitted a new starter motor, filled it with £10 worth of fuel and....nothing. The starter would turn the engine, well every other turn of the key(solenoid click,click,click..) but nothing else. So i obviously had no fuel or spark. So i ordered up new ht leads, plugs, fuel pump relay and tdc sensor. Once they had arrived I got everything all together, then I heard the sweet sound of the fuel pump buzzing so I knew I was getting fuel on cranking the engine but then realised the carb accelerator butterfly had completely seized! No matter how hard I stamped on the accelerator or forced the cable it wouldn't open, so the engine wasn't seeing air or fuel! So next purchase was a fully rebuilt carb, I popped that on and then....

It runs! Well it has a little misfire and I need to set the idle. But for some reason there was a new renault dizzy cap and worm drive boxed with a invoice from 2003 in the car, maybe why it was taken off the road? Who knows

So next I had the car taken to my work where I could spend a hour or so after work stripping it down and to see what's not Crusty baguette and what's salvageable
Lovely stock bumpers, complete with original yellow fogs and bump strips, although the front bumper has seen better days with some interesting previous repairs on the inside which I'll sort.
The drivers side of the car had had some poor previous repairs and hadn't last well, the front wing was completely rotten through out, so I picked up a decent used one. The rear quater had had a bad time as the rear arch and seal were never refitted correctly and water just sat there for years resulting in this
Fortunately this is the only bad part that I've found so far, as I expected the sills and rear bumper mounts to be all but gone anyway...and I was pretty much right
I was quite surprised to find the inner wings to be pretty much perfect
And the front crossmember plus near side front bumper mount

Now onto the sills
Both with a first sized hole as expected and they will be replaced, as will the inners
Rear panel is solid
Passenger quater and wing are all good

So, I've ordered new sills inner and outer, already have both rear bumper mount panels and I need a good look at the jacking points

I've tried to buy as much stuff that's still available from renault, I wanted two new doors but only the drivers is the only one that was left in stock
While I was at it I bought a new clutch cable and turbo heatshield before they are gone
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Along the way I've have bought a few things without hesitation, knowing they'd be a pain to track down
Like side decals, skirt clips, seat material to trim the seats to factory condition and above the clutch cable and heat shield. I even bought a forge carb lobster (you'll see why if you keep reading).

A bargain pipercross induction kit with heatshield for £20

So what's the plan? Well I want o.e. Looks, yet I fancy a good 180-200bhp car, I don't want to be overtaken easily by more modern cars. I want everything to be immaculate, yet if I wanted to I could swap back any engine hoses or the like back to stock as I will keep all original bits I remove.

Next job is welding and removing the interior, I don't get much spare time so I'll keep this thread upto date
I forgot to mention, I was panicking that I didn't have the original box badges, but when I was removing the border carpet the other day, they were hidden under neath! Win!!
i90.photobucket.com_albums_k274_clarky_gtt_DSC_0629_zps09mayptl.jpgoh and here's the kit all removed, I can't edit my original post lovely stock bumpers with original yellow fogs and bump strips
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I had a bit of time today to do a fiddly job, my grille had split each side, top lugs snapped off and lower part of the grille lug broken
Here you can see I'd already plastic welded the splits on each side and filled, but notice the top two outter lugs (the grille is upside down in the pic) are completely snapped and missing
So i got to work bonding, plastic welding and filling to make my own lugs
Such a good job you can't even tell from behind
All I need to do is re drill the holes and it's ready for priming
Lower grille all repaired
One job off the list
I've not got around to removing the interior or anything else yet ready for new sills, so I'm going to start doing a few little jobs on the body kit and bumpers so I'm atleast making some progress.
Since the last progress. Just more parts hoarding and the car having to move workshops
Here's some of the bits, unfortunately it appears renault have supplied me with the thinner driveshafts and not the thicker gtt items. Even though the part numbers cross reference the correct gtt one's



I bought a pair of the thinner driveshafts from Renault too a few months ago, compared to an old driveshaft it the shed which was loads thicker so got my money back from Renault. The thinner shafts are campus shafts.
Well it's been nearly a year with hardly any progress, but finally I've managed to fit the car into the panel work shop at my work (Fortunately I been in the body repair trade 15 years).

So time to replace the inner and outter sills, jacking points and do a few repairs to get the car solid. And then I'll bring the car home and prep for the full respray

Finally in the panel work shop

And a few shots of the floor and jacking points, a lot better than I expected. Check out the standard exhaust ha!





Now lots of cutting and welding, I'll take pics as we go
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