Russell Freeman on Google+!

Little French car L’Orange in Medellin Renault 4

Hello everyone, well this week I found a small little imported car originally from France.  Called a Renault 4.  This little car has won in past years the Paris to Dakar to Paris race,   in the 2011 race there were 2500+ of these older cars in the race, no joke and after driving this for a few days with the 1300 cc motor I understand why,  it is a fast little machine.  Build in France from 1960’s till production ended in 1992, same body style nothing changed.

This is a 1974 model, with a newer 85’engine and the best part is the purchase price was cheaper than getting a motorcycle here.  I wanted to share a few photos of the minor restoration & the update of some deferred maintenance of the past original owner whom is in his 80’s,  this little car needed some TLC, help for safety issues I got corrected along with a new set of tires & rims this week.

Repair in Colombia is not an easy task, finding parts availability, really in finding the right mechanic and a good guard dog all play into getting my new ride back on the street as my new mobile photography studio !!

The first photos are of the car on day of purchase, that is the “original paint” too, orange, or L’Orange in French, did I get that word right Natalie?, OK, moving on to a set of wheel adapters to accept a 4 stud rim, original rim is a 3 stud 13 inch wheel, I wanted larger wider tires in 14 inch, so I found a machine shop to cut a set of adapter disk for me.   This first attempt proved not  really successful, from the first machine shop, so.  I had a second machine shop finish the job with threaded studs from the back of the brake drum into the new plate, bolts to plate worked, as shown in the second set, as they work.

The shop I found JJ, the owner is a great guy, John knows these little cars, with no issue.  He replaced all the rubber parts in the front end, now stable no shake, a complete brake job everything taken apart.  Since they have no brake shoes for this model, I had a special brake shoe shop replace the pads on the original metal part of the shoes, cost like $7,000 peso each or $3.50 US, cheap.   John got the second machine shop to re-make the plates for me, adding the threads into the plate with a bolt from the inside of the brake drum to hold the plate, the way it should of been done in the first place, but that is life learning one more thing.

I had them replace all the bearing on the axels, as picking up one of them I can not understand how anyone could drive with these old bearing, I picked up one and when you shake it, sounded like a baby’s rattle !! with all the small ball bearing now worn so small the are loose inside, think about it, this bearing must be 20+ years old to be worn like this, o”well, here if it still runs it is OK, maintenance is zero.  A $3. 00 costs for the part too, cheap.  Then there was the goop that came out of the transmission, well the gear oil is changed now.  The list goes on, a lot more for another day.

This JJ shop is typical mechanic shop of Colombia decorated with posters from all different manufactures of auto parts along with every poster of the local Soccer team, National.  Enjoy the wall collection images, could not pass it up to take a few photos.  To make sure you are getting the repair done correctly you need to pull up a chair, pack a sandwich, the later I did not need, keep reading below, and watch everything being done, correctly no left over parts on the floor, take a look at the floor you can understand.

Now on to the “DOG” . His name, dog but what did you expect?   Note him lying down under the car, he stayed there all day, barely lifting an eye when someone passed, would lick you to death friendly nice dog.  Now when a “homeless” type person passed or stopped by the front of the shop, well he became a growling barking machine,,, WOW what a change, his master said OK, the person continued to walk, he the dog was back in his usual spot of rest, back under the car, great watch dog he protected my ride for the two days it was in the shop!!

Street Food:  Everything imageable came by the shop. I now wish I had taken more photo’s of the vendors, but here is one selling mini sausages with a potato on a stick.    Start of the day,  Hot coffee in the morning, donuts, all on bikes or people pushing carts, the jello lady with white styrofoam cooler filled with cups of homemade jello, which were not bad,  then came the normal hot dog carts, sausage carts, more cold drinks, vendors selling sugar cane juice, or fresh fruit cut up in chunks, mangos & pineapple was the most common, continued all day and into the evening, cart after cart, selling something.  These mechanic’s don’t pack a lunch, lunch comes to them everyday.

They use these little cars for transport from local farms &  villages to the city, as time goes on, I will show you how they pack everything into these, pigs, wood, moving, more stuff tied on top that should be, the photo of the back open with fruit vendor driving the streets, is common back loaded with his farm produce, oranges in bags tied on top, his son in the back.

The white motorcycle photo is a China import a exact copy of a Honda, hum wonder why China has no patent right enforcement, this one can not be sold in the states, only in foreign countries.

I now have a ride, no more taxi around.  This will help me get out more with my photography gear and start taking more photos of the “life” here in Colombia, look for more to share in the weeks to come.  Cheers, Russell


Russell Freeman on Google+!