Renault Dauphine/Gordini central plate underbody protection

My classic car leaks oil (iV)

Underbody protection central area Renault Dauphine/Gordini

Renault Dauphine/Gordini central plate underbody protection

As the second part of the entry“part III” of“my classic car leaks oil” that we focused on the Renault Dauphine/Gordini, I present this one with the central protection plate.

As I told you in the above mentioned“part III“, the Renault Dauphine/Gordini has completely unprotected underbody at the rear. It is curious, because in fact there is a part that is protected as standard (in our photos you will see that it is painted silver (we painted it that way at the time). But the rear part (between the center of the chassis and the “engine-differential-gearbox” assembly) there is nothing. And all the cables, rods and controls between the engine and the cockpit pass through there (including the battery cable that goes to the starter motor, since in the Renault Dauphine, unlike the Renault 4CV, the battery goes in front).

Also in that area we have another oil plug susceptible to give some “moisture”. This is the one for the gearbox. It is certainly the least conflictive, and does not usually cause problems. But since the bass is protected, the plug is also protected.

Installation of protection plates, easy disassembly, and periodic inspections

This is a point that may seem obvious, but is nevertheless worth mentioning: the fact that you protect the underbody of the car obviously does not mean that it is no longer necessary to check it :-). That is why these plates, if you notice, are very easy to remove and put on and all of them are fastened with bolts that are manipulated from one side only. So our recommendation is that periodically – for example during oil changes – you check the liquid collection trays, where, if there are any leaks, you will be able to see them directly by their presence in the foam collection areas that the plates have.

The central plate

Renault Dauphine/Gordini central plate underbody protection

It is attached to the underside at four points:

  • The rear part is attached to the same brackets that hold the front part of the back plate. See here for details.
  • In the front part, it is anchored to the cross member in the center of the chassis by means of two rivet nuts, as I mentioned in the previous part of this post by Renault DauphineThe new threaded inserts, a small wonder that allows you to insert female threads when you only have access from one side, and best of all, with the possibility of large tightening if necessary, such is the firmness that they acquire when they are installed.

Rivet nuts. For fastening bolts where you have access from one side only

Here is a video from a supplier of this type of material explaining the technology of rivet nuts (they also have them in male thread format, i.e. “rivet studs”).

The tool used in this video is a compressed air tool, but there is also a battery-powered screwdriver for about 70 euros (price in Spain in 2023), which gives the same result.

This video, as I said, is of a specific supplier of this type of material, but there are many suppliers of this type of material on the market, so you will have no problem finding one in your place of residence.

Center plate: Schematic and implementation

Without further ado, here is the diagram of the central plate. The general shape (contour) is made with the base of the real template, and as it has irregular shape, to fit the underbody and especially to pass around the gas tank. You can see that the schematic includes many measurements and dimensions so that you can make it yourself.

As the machining (cutting, drilling, bending) is manual, I suggest that you make a cardboard template that you can “present” at the installation site in order to make the necessary marks and adjustments so that the metal part will fit perfectly and without problems.

Renault Dauphine - Central underbody protection plate. Template and schematic

Click on the images to enlarge or download the templates.

I leave here scheme and templates of the central plate (click on the images and the brackets for anchoring in the area below the differential. Remember that
here you have the details of the fixing of the brackets to the vehicle

Renault Dauphine/Gordini central plate protects underbody: Scheme
Renault Dauphine/Gordini central plate underbody protection: Contour, holes, dimensions and folding lines (in thick blue)
Underbody cover plate for Renault Dauphine. Mounting brackets
Underbody cover plate for Renault Dauphine. Mounting brackets

You can see here the final appearance of the planks once installed. After this overview, I show you below an image gallery with the different phases of preparation.

The plates, as in the other occasions, are structurally reinforced with riveted aluminum angle, which gives them rigidity (especially for this central plate which is considerably long) and provides a frame to house a foam to retain any liquid that may fall.

Renault Dauphine - Central underbody protection plate. Image gallery

Click on each image to enlarge and see description of the process.

This gallery of the central plate is more summarized than those in Part III because many of the details are common between them. Details that you can see in the sub-galleries of part III of this post. Anyway, I leave here three of the most relevant parts:

For the rest of the options specific to this central plate, you can click on the photos below to get an enlarged image and :

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