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The 12 valve V6 is pretty much bomb proof,so the mayonaise on the cap of one of the cars is probably just that the engine isn't warming up correctly,either lots of short journeys or a thermostat stuck open.
I'd be tempted by the recon box as they are a known weak point,but the engine should be smooth,including on idle.
Having said all that,if you can find a nice 24 valve V6 which has had the cambelt changed on it,then that would be the one to go for.Apart from the odd
problem,they are an excellent engine......not that the 12 valve is bad,it's just that the 24 valve has the power to match it's capacity.
I would love a 24 valve V6, but they were never imported into Aus. We only got the phase 1 laguna between 1995 and 1996 (about 350 cars worth). That's when Volvo were bringing them in - not a good thing!
The advice is very helpful though, yes i was hoping the old emulsification reason was true.
Currently in DeJa Vu 25's garage:
1995 Renault Laguna V6. R25 V6 Bacarra