Citrojim's Skoda, Saxo, 207 and Bike Tales

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 18 Mar 2011, 21:13

Pleased to report this week has been a good week and I'm feeling very much better now although still taking it easy...

So well in fact that this past week I've been to London and in doing so laidd a ghost. The only sensible way of travelling to London from here is by train and we often have a choice of a London Midland commuter special or if lucky a non-stop Virgin Pendolino. The Pendolino is the Activa of the train world; the high-speed tilting train. Last time I rode one I hated it and found the tilting most off-putting and actually a little scary as the line between here and London has some rather tight sweeping curves in places where the train really does tilt like a good 'un. Well, on Wednesday I rode a Pendolino again and thoroughly enjoyed it :D No uneasy feelings. I'm getting better :D :D

I've also been doing some gentle spannering in the evenings this week on the Activa. I'm replacing the cambelt, waterpump and radiator. As i say, just gentle, easy stuff..

The cambelt on an Activa is delightfully easy and that was no real problem but by gosh the radiator has been a challenge. Firstly, the access is a bit on the tight side and secondly, the bottom hose bayonet was well and truly corroded into the socket on the radiator; it just would not play and come free however I tried. I tried all sorts and cogitated over it a bit. I thought I'd look at the trick you can do on a 2.1TD and remove the rad complete with the bottom hose and then deal with the problem in the workshop. On the Activa the bottom hose has a tee along it with a pipe going up to the expansion tank so that avenue is firmly closed. Removing the expansion tank to get at the bottom hose would involve a heck of a lot of work, including depressurising the aircon :twisted:

Salvation arrived in the shape of Chris570 :D He's had past experience of this and his method was to take a hefty cold chisel to the socket and break it off the radiator. Then the remains of the socket stuck on the hose bayonet vcan be attacked with rather more access. Chris did the deed and the rad was soon out. However the ramains of the socket was still firmly on the bayonet. Much care an patience saw me cut a slot across the socket with a broken junior hacksaw blade being careful not to nick the O ring on the end of the bayonet. After 15 hours of careful cutting I could finally wedge a screwdriver in the cut slot, twist it and get the remains of the socket off the bayonet. Another 15 hours has been spent carefully cleaning up the bayonet ready for fitting the new radiator.

The old rad was weeping and it's core was well choked with debris and oily muck. It was the original and seeing how blocked it was it was no real wonder the car ran a bit warm last summer :lol: I've given the aircon condenser and intercooler a good clean whilst I had access to them.

I've taken photos and will do a write-up on Activa cambelt and radiator replacement. The latter job is a bit of a devil on an Activa at the best of times; it is amazing what needs to be removed to give sufficient access to lift the rad in and out. Give me a V6 any day :twisted:

Hopefully, tomorrow will see it all smoothly go back togetehr...
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Post by Xaccers » 18 Mar 2011, 21:21

Had the same issue with the socket on Juliet, had to smash it off the old rad then fight to get the remains off.
As for space, imagine trying to squeeze in a 406 rad which is slightly larger.
I would not have been able to do it without Ian's help.
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Post by davetherave » 18 Mar 2011, 23:30

Jim your the only person in the world who would class cambelt / waterpump replacement as light work....
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Post by robert_e_smart » 19 Mar 2011, 08:37

Jim your the only person in the world who would class cambelt / waterpump replacement as light work....


The TCT is easy to change the belt on. Nice access, and one tensioner/idler.
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 19 Mar 2011, 09:18

robert_e_smart wrote:The TCT is easy to change the belt on. Nice access, and one tensioner/idler.


Absolutely yes :D Mind you, it's about the only job on an Activa that is easy :twisted: :twisted:

And even then there's a a big 'gotcha' with the crank pulley timing hole. Because it's on the outer edge of the dual-mass there's no guarantee it's accurate; invariably it's not :twisted:

So there you go, typical Activa, even a prima facie simple job has a big complication....

:roll:
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Post by davetherave » 19 Mar 2011, 09:57

I think its just because the word "timing" scares the crap out of me!
I have a belt and tensioner sat under the stairs for the Cx, I keep putting it off :?
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 19 Mar 2011, 15:31

All this work just to swap a rad :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Image

Full story later...

The first job to do when swapping a rad on an Active is this:

Remove bumper and washer bottle...
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Post by robert_e_smart » 19 Mar 2011, 15:53

Lucky you Jim! I bet you're cursing the Intercooler now.
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Post by Xaccers » 19 Mar 2011, 17:28

Um, I don't recall doing that with Juliet Jim, took the rad out and the new one in via the top...
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Post by andmcit » 19 Mar 2011, 17:31

That's what I was thinking Xac. :shock: What additional access is opened up
by bumper removal - the intercooler is everywhere. Most likely removal of the
battery box support etc.
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Post by MikeT » 19 Mar 2011, 18:54

CitroJim wrote:Pleased to report this week has been a good week and I'm feeling very much better now although still taking it easy...


I'm pleased to read this, Jim. Hopefully it means the illness isn't hanging around and you're on the mend.
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 19 Mar 2011, 19:51

Yes, hopefully Mike, I've shaken it. I believe it is a combination of lots of lovely weather and spannering :D :D

Well, the reason I removed the bumper and washer bottle was to gain access to the underside of the header tank. I refitted the rad and intercooler with no issues but hit a big snag when I tried to refit the bottom hose bayonet. It just would not go home. It had enough remaining corrosion on it to prevent it sliding into the socket on the rad. Because access is so bad, it was necessary to remove the bottom hose and investigate what was going on. To do that means disconnecting it's tee pipe from the header tank and the only way to do that is from underneath :twisted:

The washer bottle was nearly full as well, all wasted :(

Still, once that was out of the way I was left with this:

Image

I could then properly clean up the bayonet and that was a job in itself. The socket itseldf was not corroded but it had scale-like deposits on it that were very hard and it took about an hour of careful scraping to get it all off. Once that was done, it slipped home perfectly...

Whilst the bumper was off I took the opportunity to give everything under there a good clean and a rinse-out of the waher bottle...

Then it was a case of replacing the cambelt and water pump and putting everything back together...

Just in case the bottom hose was still going to be troublesome, I assembled just enough to run the engine and left the cambelt top cover off so I could check the tension of the belt with the engine hot...

I'm pleased to report all is good and as darkness fell, I'm just left with a washer bottle and bumper to refit...

It was a right PITA of a job all in all but the light at the end of the tunnel is now shining brightly...

I envy all of you who have swapped rads without any of the aggro I experienced...
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Post by robert_e_smart » 19 Mar 2011, 22:24

Do you have a SEEM gauge Jim?
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 20 Mar 2011, 09:56

robert_e_smart wrote:Do you have a SEEM gauge Jim?


Yes but as a rule I don't use it on the TCT. I prefer my time-honoured and trusted method of being able to turn the belt through 90 degrees on it's longest run between finger and thumb with moderate pressure.

I run the engine up to temperature with the top cover off so I can check the belt tension again on a hot engine. It's easy to set it too tight when cold and as the engine warms it 'grows' and tightens the belt.

I've compared a SEEM gauge against my fingers and I'm sufficiently accurate :roll: I do admit it takes a bit of practice to use the finger/thumb method and for anyone inexperienced, a SEEM gauge is a good idea until you get the knack...

I've taken loads of pictures of the rad and cambelt swap and they will end up on my website in due course... Now the summer is here, that 'due course' may be a little while :lol:

I'm off out to finish putting the Activa back together :D
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 20 Mar 2011, 20:24

She's all back together :D And running as cool as a cucumber :P previously she'd been on the verge of overheating and after driving slowly through town to my house after a run it was almost inevitable that the fans would be on and the gauge reading 90. On opening the door one's nostrils were assulted by the unmistakable whiff of coolant.

Now she sits with the temperature gauge just below 80 under all circumstances whilst moving, even slowly and takes ages when stopped and idling to reach the point at which the fans cut in. When they do they don't run for long.

Looks like the cleaning of the aircon condenser and the intercooler has had a bit of an effect on performance too. She felt very lively and eager :D

Tis was the state of the old rad:

Image

Leaks and a thick blanket of muck are visible and I reckon only about half the rad was flowing any air..

Replacing the cambelt and tensioner has also cured an annoying little whine from the cam area. The old tensioner showed just a tad of play so it looks like good policy to replace the tensioner as a matter of course when changing the cambelt...

All in all, a very satisfying day although I'm now dead-beat tired and seem to have got a bad case of hay-fever. Seems a bit early for it but I'm here with red eyes, a streaming nose and a sore throat :( Surely not yet another bloody cold :roll:

The Activa will shortly be assuming daily driver duties as it's now time to get Old V6 ready for her MOT. That'll be her third MOT in my care and two years since the autobox rebuild...
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