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As soon as the Renault 21 arrived at my new home, I began exploring what I could readily do, and it didn’t take long until I placed an order for the first batch of parts. Let another money pit begin.

Everything is cheap for this car, although some parts may be difficult to find due to its age. I can’t say I’m surprised because this model almost disappeared from the roads around here and pretty much everywhere else too. In fact, there’s only another one still showing up once in a while, and I didn’t even know mine existed. I saw two other Renault 21s at a local salvage yard a few days before buying mine, but didn’t purchase anything at the time because I wasn’t certain about what I would need. When I went back, both had already been crushed, sadly, but they were Phase 1 models, and the parts I need are all Phase 2.

It’s not worth crying over spilled milk so let me move on…

I won’t even bother with cheapest brands and will just go straight to the best parts available, since the difference is usually only a couple of Euros, so if the budget gets blown (and it will!), it won’t be because of that. You can check the parts and price list by the end of this article.

The first thing to work with was the black license plates. They won’t prevent me from getting stranded on the side of the road and they are far from the top of the most important things to do, but they bring the car closer to the look of its “époque”. I don’t like screws on my plates or holes in my bumpers, so to keep everything clean, I use a very strong double-sided tape to hold them in place. I tried many other tapes, but none provided such a strong fix through all weather as CEYS (…) (link at the end of the article). Finished the job in under 10 minutes, and even though this is just a drop in the ocean, I sat back and spent another 50 just staring and enjoying the view.

Next step was to pop the hood and check the filters for the first time.

After being kept in storage for the last few years, I was impressed that this car just needed a boost and the tire pressure adjusted to get outside and be “ready” for a 25 km drive. That is quite an achievement for an old Renault, clap clap. I must admit I got a bit emotional there. If I hadn’t bought it, the crusher would have been its final destination, and there he was, crawling with all of his last strength for a happier place. It’s weird to personify an object, but every car has a soul, and I won’t say anything else about this. It’s something you should discover on your own… and I hope you do!

The engine worked, but with a very dirty and crusty air filter – the gas fumes out of the carburetor dried it all out – and an almost clogged fuel filter, it felt like it was choking and starving. Getting those two replaced made a big difference straight away.

An oil change will be the next thing in line, and I have to deal with a water leak too, probably replacing the entire water circuit.


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