Fixed the Renault 12 again today. As I was working on the starter motor I saw the engine mount had let go completely. So after buying all of the missing bolts, nuts, and washers, today was spent putting it all back together again. Never has the engine sat so perfectly now!
While the engine protection plate underneath was still off, I took advantage of the access, and sealed up the leaking exhaust flange gasket. This time I think it will work.
Finally, after all of this, and changing over our front wheel for one without snow tyres, it was time to fix the starter motor — the main and primary reason for which I started working today.
The problem here was that there was a piece missing from the motor. An important piece. It was the part that caused the gear to engage and, more importantly, to disengage. Acting like a hinge, it was only a piece of hard rubber, but without it nothing worked.
So I made it out of wood. Taking a piece of wood, an electric saw, grinder, chisels, and vernier calipers, I set to work to create something I had never seen so it would do something very precise.
The end result was two pieces of wood carefully crafted to have a gap between them, yet to interlock in place so as to not move or dislodge in use. It worked.
Now I have the starter motor back in the car working perfectly. One more thing fixed. The Renault 12 is ready to roll again.