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Jono's Pug Daily

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  • Jono's Pug Daily

    So, after years of reading through car forums, I’ve finally decided to start a build thread of my own. After a frighteningly large number of dumb choices over the years, with regards to buying and modifying cars, I obviously haven’t learnt anything because about 10 months ago, I decided to buy an early 2000s Peugeot. At the time, I was in desperate need for a daily and wanted to try going diesel since I do a large number of highway kms between Canberra and Sydney.

    I picked this up for $2k with about 160ks on the clock. It’s a 2006 Peugeot 307 HDI with the 2-litre (DW10) turbo diesel and a 6-speed manual. The car was in decent shape mechanically but had the obvious wear and tear of a family car. Needless to say, I tried my best to just drive the car for what it was… a cheap daily. I knew the bad reputation of these cars, but I was pleasantly surprised to have no issues for the first few weeks of owning it. Of course, being a Pug, this didn’t last long.

    Within the first few months, I started to notice a fair bit of vibration whilst idling. I did a little research and got some advice from my local transmission shop and established the flywheel had seized. Apparently, these came with a rubbish dual-mass setup that seizes every 150k and has to be changed pretty much every time the clutch is changed. My local shop quoted me 3k for the parts and labour, which I couldn’t really justify. At the time, one of my relatives owned the same model and, upon mentioning it to him, said he had run into the same issue. His mechanic told him to just keep driving it until it died and two years later, the car was still running fine (although the clutch was probably wearing a bit fast). Anyway, I decided to just keep the thing going with general maintenance, but I kept an eye out on the Pug forums.

    Eventually, I stumbled across a few forum posts with a step-by-step conversion from a dual to single mass flywheel on the DW10 motor. Apparently, it’s a really common conversion – especially in Europe and the UK where these cars are everywhere. After a little bit of looking around, I ordered a cheapo kit from Techniclutch on eBay There are few options for these conversion kits with varying degrees of quality, but I just went with the cheap and nasty option ($350). The flywheel and pressure plate were good, but the clutch definitely looked budget. For anyone interested, here’s the installation guide I followed Cheapness aside, I’ve now been driving with this kit and (more recently) a stage one tune for about 12k kms and haven’t had any issues.

    But yes, having invested a couple of days work changing the flywheel and clutch, I immediately wanted to keep working on the car. Initially I just spent some time detailing the exterior and repainting the alloys black. But at some point, I stumbled across HDI tuning in the UK. These guys offer some awesome options for PSA group cars and the HDI engine range (used in early 2000s Citroens, Peugeots, Fiat, BMWs, Fords and Volvos). Of course, getting some extra power was always going to be appealing, but they also offered immobiliser removal (which I had started to have issues with) and a DPF/EGR delete. I ended up ordering the “online remap” option with the DPF and EGR delete for $180 (as well as a $20 BDM tool off eBay). HDI tuning also have a bunch of YouTube videos that walk you through the remap process. Prior to this, I had no tuning experience, but the process was really straightforward when following their instructions.

    Fortunately, in the ACT, we don’t have annual pink slips, so the DPF delete won’t be an issue for me (although I suppose I could technically get a defect notice on the road). I was ok taking the risk, being that I don’t drive too wildly, and I don’t’ think cops are going to be on the look out for a Peugeot 307 when there’s flogged VY in the overtaking lane! Plus removing my DPF meant I’ll have one less expensive piece of maintenance in the future (new DPF = $1300) and the motor runs much healthier. After the stage one tune, my power stats are somewhere around 170bhp (375Nm). Being a diesel, I do get a bit of torque steer and taking a look at HDI’s dyno maps, the power band is pretty peaky. But the current setup is still really enjoyable for daily driving. The funny thing is I’ve actually seen an improvement in fuel economy too (thanks to the DPF/EGR delete). So overall, my engine is more powerful, healthier, and more economical – plus I don’t have any issues with the engine immobiliser activating while I’m trying to start the car!

    So, at the moment, I’m working through a few cosmetic mods. I’ve removed the front bumper for a respray (clear coat was peeling badly). I’ve got a nice new shifter and shifter boot on the way, as well as a cheapo GTI-style spoiler and some window tint.

    I’ve also finished installing the stereo from my old car – running a 4-channel and monoblock completely off the factory head unit and controls. I haven’t tried this before since I normally just throw in a new head unit and run RCAs to the amps. But in this case, I wanted to keep the steering wheel controls and trip computer, so I’m running a couple low-level line converters.

    Really hoping to get decent set of tires on the car as soon as I have some cash to spare and I’m looking at re003s. I found a lowering kit for $355 made by Vogtland in Germany, so that might be another addition in the near future (although Peugeot’s suspension setup is quite good from factory). Will also be ordering a new set of number plates (since the current ones are destroyed). For some reason the front number plate has been angle-grinded down (presumably to avoid a ground clearance issue), so I’m going to try to get a slim-style plate which they offer here in the ACT. I might also look at respraying the brake callipers when I have them out to change the pads next week.

    All in all, it’s been a weird journey. Working on a Pug has been a bit of a learning curve compared to the 500 Japanese cars I’ve owned previously. Oftentimes it felt like a massive pain in the ass trying to get my head around quirky French engineering, but I’m pretty happy with the car now. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to switch between torx bits, sockets, allen keys and square drives working on this car, but it’s kept me busy in lockdown. I’m sure there a thousand reasons why it would be better to own an old WRX/GTI/commo, but I think owning this has cost me way less and was equally rewarding to build (as a daily).

    Any other crazy 307 owners here? I’m hoping to get out an take some decent photos after I finish fixing up the paint and stuff. Will post them here whenever I get a chance!
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    Last edited by jonomark99; 12-09-2021, 06:08 PM.

  • #2
    Great write up Jono, sounds like your Pug is very capable daily driver and mile muncher!


    • #3
      Yeah the dual mass can be a pain. at least it's not a VW, certain ages of them are particularly bad for dual mass flywheel and DPF failures!

      My first car was a 2001 Peugeot, I drove that from about 100k all the way to 300k and the only issue I had aside from usual wear and tear like brakes etc, was an error on my part which caused the oil pressure to become suddenly not there May or may not have involved a turbocharger.

      DW10 is a tough engine if it's looked after.
      I stripped my car out so much it now has 49/49 weight distribution.

      Project Diesel Tune:

      My new Daily HA36S Alto Works

      Martin's Kei to success