Harman Patil (Editor)

Renault Billancourt engine

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Manufacturer  Renault
Successor  Cléon-Fonte engine
Production  1947–1985
Renault Billancourt engine
Also called  Ventoux engine, B-Type engine

The Billancourt engine was an automotive engine designed by Renault for the Renault 4CV, used subsequently until 1985. It later received the internal code "B", for Billancourt. The "sport" version is called Ventoux engine.



The engine is liquid-cooled, with four cylinders in line. It is also characterised by its three main bearing design and its piston stroke of 80 mm. It has a cast-iron block, aluminium cylinder head and uses a lateral camshaft to operate overhead valves, which also operated the fan belt on its other end. In June 1940, Louis Renault appointed Fernand Picard who became deputy technical director in the automobile engine department. During the World War II, he participated in the study of a small car: the future 4CV. Its engine is ready in 1942 and a year later, it makes its first turns of wheel.Renault replaced this engine with the Cléon-Fonte engine completely new design.

This engine designed by Fernand Picard was produced from 1947 to 1985, in displacements of 603 cc, 748 cc, 782 cc, and 845 cc. These differences were carried out by changing the cylinder bore diameter

760 cc

Commercialized in 1947 with the Renault 4CV, the first version of the "engine Billancourt" is a 760 cm3 of 17 hp SAE. In 1950, a 21 hp SAE version was fitted on the Renault 4CV Grand Luxe, produced only in 1950.

747 cc

In October 1950, the 747 cm3 replaces the 760 cm3. The slightly lower displacement is obtained by slightly reducing the size of the bore from 55 to 54.5 mm, while the stroke remains unchanged. This change was decided by the leaders of Renault in order to be able to engage the engine in the competitions where it is necessary to stay below 750 cm3 to homologate the car in its category. This new displacement offers six power levels, from 24 to 35 hp SAE, all of 4 Fiscal Hp.

782 cc

In 1971, the 782 cm3 appears with the increase of the bore which passes from 54,5 to 55,8 mm, always with an unchanged stroke to 80 mm. This engine was proposed in both variants developing 27 and 36 hp. The less powerful was mounted under the hood of the Renault 4L produced between 1971 and 1980, while the variant developing 36 hp was mounted on the Renault 5 produced between 1972 and 1976.

845 cc

The highest engine capacity of the engine Billancourt appeared in 1956 at the launch of the Renault Dauphine, one of the main models equipped with this engine; It is 845 cm3. It will equip the Renault 4 from 1964 and the Renault 6 base. The bore is increased to 58 mm. The power varies between 30 and 55 bhp SAE.

The third version develops 38 hp maximum power and 57 Nm torque at 2,500 rpm. This is made possible by machining the cylinder head, with new valves and valve seats, as well as improvements in engine cooling. It will be fitted on the Renault 5L from 1977 to 1984.

603 cc

This is the cheapest Billancourt engine to produce. The bore is reduced to 49 mm for a total displacement of 603 cm3. The maximum power reaches 23 hp SAE (20 hp DIN) at 4,800 rpm, while the maximum torque is 42 Nm. This engine was mounted only on the Renault 3 (1961-1962), ultra-Spartan version of The Renault 4.

Ventoux Engine

The "sport" version is called Ventoux engine, named after the Mont Ventoux Hill Climb.

747 cc Ventoux

The sport variant of the engine, which equips the Alpine A106 and the Renault 4 CV R1063, has undergone major modifications which affected, among other things, the connecting rods (now more powerful and duralumin), the camshaft, The larger valves and the Solex carburetor. Significantly higher values are obtained, ranging from 35 hp SAE nominal for a Renault 4 CV R1063 standard (up to 40 hp SAE and more for the versions used in racing) to 43 hp SAE for the engine used on the A106 (some were prepared at 50 hp SAE). For this last application, the Solex double body was preferred to a Weber double-body carburetor.

Ventoux Gordini

The more powerful versions will be developed by Amédée Gordini from the original engine. The machining of the inclined valve seats allows for a greater range but leaving intact the camshaft spindle, improved cylinder head cooling, and the engine is fitted with a new 32 mm Solex carburettor . This, in conjunction with the increase in compression ratio, results in a maximum power of 37 hp SAE at 5,000 rpm with a maximum torque of 62.8 Nm at 3500 rpm. This engine made its debut in the fall of 1957, then, in 1959, it underwent further modifications and its power was increased to 40 hp SAE. The "Sorcerer" then makes a small preparation, thus the Dauphine Gordini (type R1091) is born in 1957.

The power of the block increases to 37 hp SAE and the top speed to 126 km / h thanks to a new cylinder head, increased compression ratio and the use of a 32 mm carburetor, springs Harder valves and larger intake and exhaust ducts. The first modifications made by Amedée Gordini (cylinder head with vertical outlet) will not however be kept on the model of series for reasons of cost.

The engine will win three horses on the 1960 models. The Dauphine Gordini will appear in the catalog from the summer of 1957 to 1963 and reappear in 1965.

In 1960 and 1965, new modifications improved the torque. Then came a much more powerful version, obtained by a new camshaft, new valves, a 32 mm Solex double body carburettor, and by increasing the compression ratio by 9.2: 1. bringing the maximum power to 55 Ch SAE (49 hp DIN).

Ventoux 1093

Renault calls on Amédée Gordini to produce a survitaminated version of the Renault Dauphine: The Dauphine 1093 (type R1093) is a sporty derivative of the Dauphine which appears at the end of 1961.

The modifications mainly concern the engine. It receives pistons with convex heads (compression ratio increased to 9.2), a reversed Solex double-body carburetor type 32 PAIA 3, a special camshaft, double spring valves and Autobleu intake manifolds And exhaust. The sprockets are reinforced as well as the clutch. With a capacity of 55 hp SAE (49 hp DIN), the car reaches 140 km / h.

The 4th gear is modified compared to the box of the Dauphine Gordini. The braking system, which is the original one, is improved by the addition of cooling fins on the perimeter of the front drums. The suspension is that of the Dauphine type "bad roads" but with shorter springs without lowering the ground clearance. The 1093 is the only Dauphine to have been marketed in France with electrical equipment in 12 volts similar to the export versions instead of the original 6 volts.

Externally, the 1093 is distinguished from the Dauphine Gordini by its projectors of big diameter (180 mm) borrowed from the version USA, its body white cream "réjane" decorated by two blue strips glued in the axis of the vehicle and its acronym 1093 to The right rear as well as the right front wing.

Inside, an additional tachometer integrates to the left of the specific meter graduated up to 180 km/h

Despite its very sporty character for "everyone", the 1093 "series" could not be competitive without having been prepared. The preparation consisted of modifying and polishing the existing mechanics because the new sports regulations in force as early as 1960 prohibited any increase in displacement as well as changes of parts. Ferry dealt with many of the 1093 Dauphine competitors who became "1093 Enhanced".

Only 2 140 copies (plus 8 of pre-series) were produced in two series. The first of 1,650 units for racing approval purposes (1,500 copies minimum) and a second of 490 units (disc brakes and white gray "valois" colors) to satisfy customers.

The 1093 is the most sought after of all the Dauphines. Today, it is estimated that a hundred hundred of 1093 have survived, half of which are still rolling.

In 1962, the Dauphine 1093 was illustrated at the Rally Tour of Corsica. However, its late launch and modest changes did not allow for a long sports career. The 1093 remains an engaging car that ensures the transition between the artisanal 4CV 1063 and the R8 Gordini that will revolutionize the car competition "tourism series".


In 1962, the Sierra engine later renamed "Cléon-Fonte engine" appeared on Renault Floride S and the Renault 8. It innovates with its five-stage crankshaft. It is a medium displacement engine whose purpose is to equip vehicles of higher ranges, not to replace the engine Billancourt which remains it destined to models of the lower ranges. Over the years, cars became heavier and more efficient, forcing Renault to abandon the Billancourt engine and, as a result, the Cléon-Fonte engine, which was a medium-displacement engine, would be considered a small-displacement engine in years 1980, when the Billancourt engine disappeared.

The Cléon-Fonte engine is not an evolution of the Billancourt engine but an entirely new engine designed by the engineer René Vuaillat. At that time, all the engines have a lateral camshaft and a chain or sprocket distribution, hence a distant resemblance between these two engines.

Models equipped with this engine

  • Renault 4CV
  • Renault Dauphine and Ondine
  • Renault Juvaquatre
  • Renault Caravelle and Renault Floride
  • Renault Estafette
  • Renault 3
  • Renault 4
  • Renault 5
  • Renault 6
  • Alpine A106
  • Alpine A108
  • References

    Renault Billancourt engine Wikipedia

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