Citrojim's Ka, Saxo 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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Post by CitroJim » 07 Dec 2008, 23:27

A whole week has gone by since I last posted here.. It's fairly flown by :roll:

It's been a great week all-in-all. Lots of very hard work done, not enough free time but what free time there has been has been thoroughly enjoyed :D

The cars continue to run well. The cold has shown the glowplugs in the 2.1TD are not quite in their first flush of youth but I have a nice new BERU set all ready to go in. No time today for that though... Too busy on other things..

Kev (red_dwarfers) popped in to see me on Tuesday and a most pleasant evening nattering was enjoyed. Kev had a bit of an ABS issue and popped back in on Thursday for a Lexia session. Thursday was quite an occasion. Not only did Kev meet Xac but also my son and one of my daughters!

My son is off early tomorrow moring for an interview we all hope will lead him to becoming a prison officer. A job, given his massive stature, tough appearance and gentle nature, he would be well suited for. He has to be in Birmingham for 7.30 and I gave his 406 a quick once-over. He'd been loosing a bit of coolant and the engine was occasionally racing and idling erratically. Being a 2.1TD, the latter was worrying. The former problem was just a displaced washer on the expansion cap and easily fixed. The coolant was blowing out of the overflow due to the cap not sealing properly.

The latter problem was the result of a bodge. I noticed a smell of diesel and a very wet engine, especially in the region of No.1 injector. Someone in the past had replaced the leakoff pipes and had not used a correct end blanker. Instead they used just a short length of pipe with a self-tapping screw in the end :twisted: Diesel was leaking and air was getting in. I had no pukka end blanker to hand but made up a temporary one from a length of hose very well sealed at the end.

So, whilst ordinary Lucas pumps can have bad leakoff pipes with no effects except smells and leaks, this does not apply to the EPIC pump. They are as critical as a Bosch in this respect.

I also spent a bit of time looking over my old 1.9TD sinking Xantia today. It's on long term loan to a friend and today he brough it around for a check-up as the LHM was a tad low. He looks after it and was concerned the LHM level was just below the lower red ring. I've not seen the car for weeks and was delighted to see it remains in top order :D It's a good 'un!

Saturday was an all-round excellent day. I spent the day with Richard (DickieG) and we went to have a look at his Brother-in-Law's 2.1TD Xantia down on the south coast that has developed an unhealthy appetite for crank pulleys. We went right through it and came to the conclusion there is a bit of wear on the crank tail causing the pulley to be a bit more of a sloppy fit than is good for it. We replaced the cambelt as it had suffered a little in the last episode, the belt sprocket on the crank, the woodruff key and the pulley itself. The crank bolt was done up very FT and a paint line put across it to see if it moves. Hopefully it won't but if it does, there is another potential solution to try.

This particular 2.1 had not run for a good few weeks but when we went to fire it up, it started instantly and ran like the sweetest engine you could imagine. Far sweeter than my own 2.1..

I had a very rare treat of being a passenger there and back in Richards HDi Exclusive Estate. He has done a lot of experimentation with spheres on this car with the result that it rides absolutely beautifully. The whole journey down and back was like travelling in a Rolls! I also had a demo of the diesel-fuelled auxillary coolant heater on Richard's HDi. It's hilarious to see a cloud of smoke issuing from under the wheelarch accompanied by the sound of a little jet engine when the unit is working. And work it does! What an excellent accessory and just what the doctor ordered on a frosty morning with a diesel that is so efficient it takes ages to warm the coolant on a cold day.

We rounded off the day with a very quick visit to Malcolm (Citronut) to deliver his new door that had travelled down to me form County Durham by way of Steve (myglaren) as part of the "Parts Relay" system. At Malcolm's I picked up some parts he had for me: a sinking Xantia HP pump, FDV and Accumulator (PR) block. Essentially these are spares for my sinking Xantia (they're not easy to get hold of now) but whist they wait, they are going to be put to good use as the core components of a sphere tester. I've started work on that but need a lump of brass to make up a pressure gauge fitting. Luckily Malcolm salvaged all the pipework between the pump and PR Block so all I need to do is add the gauge and an LHM reservior and it's all ready to go. Unfortunately not too much progress was made as firstly the workshop was too cold for extended working and two cars needed my attention as well as a small job on my 2.1; the turbo hose was slowly working its way off the inlet manifold and was not far off popping off completely :lol:

I did give the pump and PR Block a good clean-up and stank the workshop out with white spirit in the process; a smell I hate above every other smell :twisted: :twisted: At least the pump and block now shine!

As it was such a nice afternoon, I did get to take the Activa on a quick joy-ride, sufficuent to get the oil nicely warm and far enough to thoroughly enjoy the Activa experience. I love that car :P

I have a problem with one of my grandfather clocks. The hour hand is loose and fouls on the second hand at midnight and stops the clock. I'll have to pull the clock apart and see what's gone wrong. The clock is very old and I'll most likely find age had cauget up with something and some delicate work will be called for. Spares are not available and If I need any I'll have to make them from scratch. It's not the first time I've had to do so!

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Post by CitroJim » 08 Dec 2008, 22:23

I'm pleased to report Mark's interview went very well today and he came home happy. He now has a nail-biting week to wait before he receives any further news.

Fingers remain crossed..

I got hold of a lump of brass today to make my gauge adaptor for my sphere tester project. One small problem is the thread on the gauge I have is big. Bigger than my biggest M12 tap and I've not yet fully identified what pitch it is, only that it is very similar to the thread on a Bosch diesel pump driveshaft.

This means I'll have to make it truely from scratch and cut an internal thread for it on the lathe. It's 20 years since I've done screw cutting on the lathe so I'll be on a learning curve for a bit. A good job the lump of brass I have is big enough for several goes at the job :lol:

Not much achieved tonight. the workshop is still too cold, even with the fan heater on, for such jobs and "dad's taxi" has been busy.

I have managed to get a day off tomorrow and I'll be taking full advantage of it by going Christmas shopping and getting that chore over and done with before it gets silly at the shopping centre. I don't really 'do' Christmas and heave a sigh of relief when it's all over. Quite honestly, the best way iI can spend Christmas is up to my ears in a sick Xantia :lol: Still, looking on the bright side, it'll soon be 364 days until the next time I have to bother about Christmas.

Don't get me wrong and think I'm some present day Bah Humbug Scrooge. I'm not and love the spiritual side of Christmas to bits, it's just the blatent commercialisation, disruption and obligation to get into debt I hate. Roll on the day after Boxing day! I feel terribly trapped on Christmas Day having to do Christmassy things. This Christmas Day I've arranged a few outings to friends to break it up a bit. I don't drink so no problem in driving on the day...

I smile driving into work at the moment. We have a big radio mast on site and our intrepid riggers have decked the full height of it, including it's stays, in bright coloured lights and put a big Christmas tree right on top of it :D That, for me is what Christmas is about. Lots of lovely lights doing their best to banish the gloom and despondency that December brings. I even approve strongly of houses looking like mini-Blackpool illuminations.

Even our little town has taken on a cheery glow since the Christmas lights have been on. I shall be happy to be part of that next year :D

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Post by red_dwarfers » 08 Dec 2008, 22:29

Im glad to hear that Marks interview went well :D
This next week will be the worst part :(

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Post by DickieG » 08 Dec 2008, 22:43

Saturday was very enjoyable if a little rushed towards the end in order for me to get back in time for a neighbours party before incurring SWIMBO's wrath :evil: (been there, done that once or twice :roll: prefer to avoid a repeat :lol: ), it was good to finally meet up with Malcolm and put a face to the name.

So far it looks as if Jim's 2.1 magic touch has done the trick as I've just spoken to my BIL who states that he's now driven a few miles in the car, checked the pulley and no sign's of movement/loosening, fingers well and truly crossed [-o<

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Post by CitroJim » 08 Dec 2008, 22:52

DickieG wrote:checked the pulley and no sign's of movement/loosening, fingers well and truly crossed [-o<

Excellent news Richard :D Fingers crossed too that it continues to be good....

There must be something in the air. Nothing but good news this evening :D

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Post by CitroJim » 09 Dec 2008, 17:23

My grand plans to get the Christmas shopping out of the way today failed miserably :( The Shopping centre was packed out and I don't 'do' crowded places and I went somewhere else instead but could find no inspiration whatsoever :( So I gave up.

My family don't make it any easier, no hints at what they'd like, direct questions result in shrugs or a "Nothing much.." response. But if I get them all "nothing much" (as that is what they've asked for) I just know I'll be sharing quarters with our Springer Spaniel on Christmas Day :twisted: What a dilemma. It fairly drives me up the wall :twisted:

So, instead of joining the thronging masses trying to spend their way out of recession, I did what is only sensible in such predicaments and sought solace under the bonnet of a Xantia...

My 2.1TD has not been starting well as well as it should first thing in the morning, often bumping a tad and running roughly for the first few seconds. I also noticed that mine ran nowhere as sweetly as Richard's BIL's 2.1TD we looked at on Saturday. Interesting. Why?

I thought the glowplugs were due for replacement so set about swapping them. They're a doddle on the 2.1 after the upper inlet manifold is removed to gain access. That's easy too, just for bolts and an unclip of the EGR pipe :D All so much easier than a 1.9TD!

So, that was done in a jiffy really. I noticed however that No.1 injector was wet, leaning on a leakoff pipe between No.2 and No.3 made an audible hiss (perished pipes) and that the Needle Lift Sensor connector was bound up in tape. Why?

After unwrapping the tape, the plug fell apart. It was broken. Someone had been there before me :twisted:

I started up and observed the connection or disconnection of the lift sensor made not a jot of difference to the running of the engine. A test with a multi-meter showed the sensor was open-circuit. It was duff. Luckily, I had a spare injector and that tested good so it was off with the manifold again so that I could swap injectors. Nice and easy with my special tool :D

All back together again and the engine runs much more sweetly, the Lexia showed all was happy and healthy and on a road test the car was found to be running much better, with more urge and life :D

So, that'll explain the odd intermittent needle lift faults the Lexia has thrown up in the past and why the engine would sometimes start and run sweetly and at other times sound like a bag of spanners for the first couple of seconds. It all fits. That and a couple of suspect leakoff pipes that I now know are critical with an EPIC punmp may be the cause of the issues. It may even be the reason Xac never felt the engine ran quite rightly back along and used so much diesel for him.

I wonder though why the K light did not come on to warn of the needle lift sensor fail?

Experimentally, whilst I had the Lexia running, I disconnected the sensor again and the change in engine running is barely perceptable, unlike on a 1.9TD where a duff needle lift sensor makes it run like a tractor. The Lexia told the true story though and showed the pump timing to go almost static whereas with everyting working, the timing can be seen to change very rapidly with changing conditions.

The acid test will be tomorrow morning. If it starts and runs immediately smoothly from dead-cold as I now know a 2.1 should, I'll have cracked it..

And the moral of this tale is: Working on a Xantia is more fun and far more satisfying than going Christmas shopping :D Maybe I should give everyone in the family a Xantia for Christmas :idea:

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Post by addo » 09 Dec 2008, 22:18

Maybe I should give everyone in the family a Xantia for Christmas
Which one will get the sixpence inside theirs? :P

Spending has fallen flat as a tack here, although the shopping areas seem busy - it's oddly low on spending. I dropped off some car parts to a courier and there were about 60 vans there, just waiting for some work.

Aldi are pumping, but that's about it.

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Post by CitroJim » 10 Dec 2008, 08:13

addo wrote:Which one will get the sixpence inside theirs? :P

Rooting around under seats can be a financially rewarding experience Adam :lol: I've found a a lot in the past, especially our One Pound Coins that look very much like your A$2 coin!

Success :D :D 7AM this morning, heavy frost, car covered in ice.

On with the ignition, wait for the glowplug lamp to extinguish and waheyyyy! Instant, smooth start, not a knock, miss or chug. Just like a hot-start. Running as sweet as a nut :D

I'm happy.

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Post by KP » 10 Dec 2008, 11:55

Glad my bits are coming in use Jim :)

My HDi is being a novel experience at the moment despite my dislike of it with it starting on the button every morning after only about 3seconds of glowplug warming. Guess its the higher pressure of injection and compression as well that helps this. Reminds me of the old Transit 2.5 i had for a while once that never had plugs, just got in and cranked and it started. rough as nails like but still worked like the workhorse should :)

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Post by CitroJim » 10 Dec 2008, 13:23

KP wrote:Glad my bits are coming in use Jim :)

Absolutely Will, it was one of the injectors that came with the spare pump you very kindly supplied. I can tell you, I was very appreciative!

Transits: Compared to an XUD or HDi, the old ones really do sound like a bag of spanners. They're Direct Injection (unlike the XUD) but use mechanical injection and this is what causes all the NVH (Noise, Harshness and Vibration). They are very efficient though. The NVH issue was the reason the IDI system was used in cars. It's not as efficient but it's quiet, smooth and will enable the engine to operate over a wide rev range. It's also cleaner too.

The HDi gets over all the NVH problems of Direct Injection by the use of clever things like multiple injections and pilot injection that can be done easily by electronics but was just not possible with mechanical injection.

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Post by CitroJim » 12 Dec 2008, 23:24

I'm happy to report the 2.1TD with its new injector is running like a dream :D It's quieter, has more urge and seems to even warm up faster although that might well be my imagination :lol: Bottom line is that it's a lot nicer to drive now.

There was a temporary setback though; I smelt diesel the other night and on looking, No.3 injector was soaking wet. One of the leakoff pipes on it had split after being disturbed. Like a twit, I replaced the injector but had no new leakoff pipe in stock so I cobbled them up hoping they'd last until I had time to do a proper replacement. No such luck :twisted: Ahh well, off to the motor factors and I got stuck-in last evening before taking the girls (and I) Christmas shopping. I got the new leakoff pipes on from start to finish in 30 minutes. Not bad considering the top half of the inlet manifold has to come off to get at them :D

We had a good Christmas shopping session and treated ourselves to a meal in Wagamama, which is a Japanese sort of semi-fast food sort of place doing noodles and things in rich soup. Delicious and just the ticket for cold and weary shoppers :D I could enjoy it safe in the knowledge my leakoff pipes had been sorted.

We heard today that my son Mark has been successful in his quest to become a Prison Officer. All that remains now is for him to pass the vetting process and be offered an appointment.

Since it's a bit warmer out in my workshop now, I was able to get a bit done this evening. The place was a tip where I'd been in and out after tools and not bothering to put it tidy. I also had a Lucas diesel pump half in bits that has now gone on the back burner for a while in favour of my sphere tester project. I could not work around the pump so the first job was to reassemble it and give the whole place a good tidy up.

My first task with the sphere tester is to make up an adaptor to connect the pressure gauge to a short length of 3.5mm hydraulic pipe to connect it to the PR block. The major challange is to cut a 20tpi internal thread in a 7/16" hole for the pressure gauge to screw into. I shall machine a piece of brass with the thread in one end and a tight hole to take the pipe on the other and hard-solder the pipe into it.

As I'd not done screw cutting on the lathe for years, I thought a bit of practice was in order. The first job is to set up the lathe. My lathe does not have a gearbox but rather a set of gears which you manually have to set up in a train to drive the leadscrew at the right speed. I have a chart that tells you the gear ratios needed for various pitches but in the years I'd forgotten how to actually set the gear trains up it so had to work it out from first principles. I got there in the end after looking at a pile of gearwheels in a box and a table that said the Driver needed a 20T gear and the leadscrew a 50T gear with an idlewheel in between for cutting a 20tpi thread. Working out how to create the idlewheel was the tricky bit but I got there in the end I think! The proof will hopefully come tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'm off to Buckingham Carnival with the girls. They're doing their Majorette bit. Hope the weather is a bit kinder tomorrow than it is today...

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Post by jgra1 » 13 Dec 2008, 02:14

goodluck with the thread Jim :D

as much luck with the weather and some soggy majorettes :twisted:

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Post by CitroJim » 18 Dec 2008, 21:34

It rained on Saturday but the girls still did their stuff in the carnival and it was very enjoyable despite us all ending up soaked. In the carnival procession we were being followed by a Ford Focus belonging to the Air Ambulance (never knew a Focus could fly...) but it hated going along at walking pace and showed its displeasure by setting it's clutch on fire. The smell was atrocious.

On our journey home I had trouble keeping the windows clear with a carload of soggy girls noisily steaming away. One, bless her heart, was ever so worried about making the seat wet but no problem, they're leather. I did have to dress them after though. The seats, not the girls!

Sunday I swapped glowplugs again in my 2.1TD as I'd been supplied the wrong ones - non-turbo ones. They don't suit turbo engines that use lengthy post-heating so the old NGKs went back in. There was nothing really wrong with them. The Needle Lift Sensor and leakoff pipes were the real problem.

However, in doing the work I discovered the aux belt tensioner was dying and needed urgent replacement. I got one from the GSF eBay shop for just over £40 and it arrived next day :D

Yesterday I was working in London but completed early and was home by early afternoon. I began the job of replacing the tensioner but bad light stopped play early :evil: Why in December must it get dark so bloody early? :twisted: The job is not going to be quick and my hope that I could do it without dropping the engine down was soon dashed.

Yesterday turned out a really bad day. I should have known from how it all started to go horribly wrong on the train to Euston. We stopped near Leighton Buzzard and sat there like lemons for 40 minutes before the guard with a very nasal voice (why do they always have nasal voices? Is it an essential qualification?) mumbled something about a failed freight train in front of us. Eventually we reversed back to Bletchley and then across onto the fast lines and eventually, very late, to London. Good job I had this months edition of the Citroenian to keep me amused on the journey.

The job I went there to do was not a total success either :twisted:

When I got home I was surprised to see my Activa still steamed up inside. Funny, I wonder? Hand under passenger carpet and I got bitten by a fish. It's soaked under there and for the usual reason - a failed windscreen scuttle seal :twisted: So, that means I now have to pull the entire interior out to dry it :evil: :evil:

That, and my inability to complete my tensioner because of aforesaid light failing for once caused me to loose my sense of humour big-time. It's very rare but when I do, take cover :lol: I am a shocker.

I had to go to Tesco and then pick up my girls from Majorette practice. I was like a bear with two sore heads. Tesco niggled me because their PA system was blaring out bloody Christmas music at top volume. If I hear "Merry Christmas Everybody" one more time :evil: :evil: Don't they know there is NOTHING to be happy about when you have a wet Activa AND a duff aux. belt tensioner? It didn't help my mood at all.

Today, I hoped it would be quiet at work so I could have most of the day off to do the cars. It would have been a perfect day too but as my luck runs, no chance. far too busy :evil:

In fact, I was still growling this morning when I got to work and my mood did not lift when I realised there was no way the workload would let me take the day off. My workmate deepened the gloom even further when he announced a big job I did on Tuesday did not work :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

My mood really was :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: by now.

But, funnily enough, it turned out a brilliant day. The earlier problems became absorbing and engrossing technical challanges and I got a real buzz from resolving them and setting everything back on track :D

So from :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: to :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: in less than a day.

I still have a duff aux. belt tensioner and a soggy Activa though. When that lot will be sorted, pass. Saturday I'm in Somerset and then it looks as if it'll be wet on Sunday. If Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are fine, no question, there's cars to be fixed.

Now, here is the real worry. This morning in depths of gloom, I even considered buying a new C5...

One bit of good news, my nephew had his 205 Lucas diesel pump replaced on Sunday. On Saturday I will acquire the dead pump for a bit of forensic examination and see what died inside it.

Seven days and it'll all be over. Christmas that is. The day after Boxing day is my very favourite day of the whole year. 364 days until next Christmas :lol: :lol:

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Post by Sl4yer » 18 Dec 2008, 21:52

citrojim wrote:Seven days and it'll all be over. Christmas that is. The day after Boxing day is my very favourite day of the whole year. 364 days until next Christmas :lol: :lol:

I know the feeling exactly Jim! At least now that we've got all the shopping done tonight, I can relax a bit.

My Activa is on the moist side too. Doesn't feel wet inside, but the scuttle seal isn't the best (looks spongy as someone else on here described).

The car can mist up suddenly as soon as the fan air hits the windscreen. No, it's not the heater matrix - was changed by Citroen last year. Is there a drain on the air conditioning that can block up somewhere?


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Post by DickieG » 18 Dec 2008, 22:14

Sl4yer wrote:Is there a drain on the air conditioning that can block up somewhere?
Yes, its quite easy to break off the plastic air con drain tube from the heater box when changing the matrix. To check it you'll have to get right under the car on the bulkhead behind the gearbox and look for a rubber drain pipe held in place by two Torx 20 screws, remove those then check that the plastic tube behind is held firmly in place. If its has been broken off use 'Airfix' glue to re-attach it :D .