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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XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 15 Jul 2008, 22:57

DickieG wrote:Jim,

To confirm your concerns re armored diesel pumps, I noticed a few days ago that there was a diesel pump for sale on Ebay that IIRC had suffered the very same damage that you fear may be caused by dismantling one, by the sound of it a wise move to leave it alone.


Very interesting, have pm'ed Jim about this and suggested that if the pump is leaking from behind the armour, i will take the pump to a specialist that has done the job before, only want the pump off once!
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Post by CitroJim » 20 Jul 2008, 13:20

It's been a very busy Xantia weekend. On Friday Richard (DickieG) delivered his Activa to me and I took him back home in the estate to collect a wealth of spares. The spares fairly filled the estate but have somehow now all disappeared into my tardis-like garage.

A very big thank you Richard for everything :D

So I am now custodian (hopefully for a very long time) of Richard's Activa. It is very special and prehaps one of the finest. Not only is it in near mint condition but it has all the options, including leather, sunroof and winter pack. To really put the icing on the cake, it's a red one :D :D I now think I know what it might have been like to take delivery of a brand new Xantia. It pays tremendous homage to Richard's skill in all matters Xantia.

It's a MK1 and it has been rather interesting to compare my outgoing MK2, which is now in the ownership of Gareth (XantiaMan583).

Fundamentally, the ride and drive of the MK1 is very similar. Richard's is riding on non-hydractive corner spheres at the front and these make the ride just a little softer (no bad thing on an Activa) without compromising the handling to any noticeable (by me) extent. The rear seems a little softer compared to the MK2 despite running Activa rear corner spheres. At least having the opportunity of driving Gareth's and Richard's back-to-back, I know Gareths's is pretty good mechanically.

The egine response is totally different though. The MK2 feels more powerful and urgent. With the Mk1 you need to press the throttle harder and further to get the same response. The MK1 is gentler.

The reason for this apparant different behaviour from what is at first glance the same engine exactly perhaps may be seen in the throttle body. The MK1 throttle butterfly has a shaped "lump" on its lower edge and the butterfly itself is operated via a cam and linkage whereas in the MK2 the lump is absent and the butterfly is directly operated. The lump is there to improve throttle response at low openings and has the effect, it seems, of requiring a lot more throttle to make it go. It tries to make the response linear whereas in the MK2, it is anything but; a very small change in throttle opening makes a big difference, hence the more urgent feel of the MK2 engine. There is also a suspicion that due to its duties in a former life, Gareth's ECU may not be 100% standard.

Driving the new MK1 is beset with some fear at the moment. It's akin to driving around in a precious and irreplacable Ming vase. Every Sunday driver seemed hell-bent on running into it this morning :lol: :lol: Me? paranoid? What?

Richard has carried out the headlight relay modification and what a difference, I never knew MK1 lights could be so good. The mod is well recommended and my estate will be done soon :D

Gareth and I spent the moring yesterday removing his diesel pump ready for overhaul. It had been leaking when running on veg and most of the leaks are from the timing device. It's only a couple of O rings but due to the need to remove the armour to get the device out, it was felt best to leave this job to the professionals for reasons given in an earlier entry in this blog.

Gareth's 1.9TD is a cracker of a car. It is absolute testimony to Gareth's skill in bodywork. You can see the transformation in Gareth's before and after pictures in another thread but to really appreciate it, it has to be seen close up and in the metal. He has also made it a very convincing Activa lookalike. It's a real credit to you Gareth :D It is also a pleasure to work on because the engine bay is so nice and clean. I hate working on an oily, unkempt engine :twisted:

Beside the pump, we have a few more jobs to do. A sphere change, wishbone bushes and the lower engine mount, which is in a very sad way, are on the list and at the end of that lot it will be a very well sorted TD. It runs like a clock and is one of the sweetest sounding TDs I know.

Gareth did find an easy way to replace the glowplugs. Remove the pump first :lol: :lol: He found two glowplugs totally dead so thay will be replaced before the pump goes back on. Not surprisingly, the two dead ones were the ones that traditionally are hardest to reach.

It was a most enjoyable Saturday all in all and you know Gareth, you're welcome here any time, although I did get the feeling you were a little surprised at the extent of "Dad's Taxi" work I carry out :lol: :lol:
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Post by DickieG » 20 Jul 2008, 14:10

Enjoy the car Jim, I did :D

It will be interesting to find out whether swapping over the rear bump stops for the ones I took off my 'spares' Activa which were in better condition will make much difference to the ride.
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Post by XantiaMan » 20 Jul 2008, 15:10

Yep it was a very good day, learnt alot about some things Citroen that i was not familiar with.

Without CitroJim's help that pump would have been a struggle to get off, mainly because my fingers are not as long and more chunky than Jim's!

His new Activa is a very nice bit of kit, and wont take much to being a show winner IMO. I think Jim has wanted this car for sometime and certainly seems a extremely happy with it.
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Post by CitroJim » 26 Jul 2008, 21:50

First off, a huge thank you to Richard (DickieG) for all your hard work today :D :D

Today we replaced the heater matrix in my 2.1TD that had been leaking for getting on perhaps a year and was only held togeter by Forte Stop Leak. Replacing a matrix in a Xantia is a very major job and a full days work. Without Richard's help and deep knowledge of this task it would have taken considerably longer and with a risk of doing real harm.

The job went like clockwork and luckily, the matrix water connection, usually the difficult and risky part of the job, only put up a token fight. That was lucky as on the 2.1TD, access to the connector is very restricted. As it was we had to take the top half of the inlet manifold off to give greater access. Richard's trick of letting the engine get so hot the fans cut in and then immediately attacking the connector works!!!

The old matrix was in a shocking state as the pictire below shows. The Forte Stop Leak had done it's job well as it was as dry as a bone but smelly still because of the crusty crud both on it and the large quantity of crud that had collected in the bottom of the heater box. We broke it up with a screwdriver, hoovered it out and then gave the heater box a good wash out with a sponge.

Image

The heater now gives lots of lovely hot air but still smells a bit but now it is a good smell, a slightly oily smell that all new maxrixes make when first used. A rare case of an oily smell being a very good smell :D No more curry in the car for me!

We did a few value added jobs as well, cleaned the LHM filters, finished off the electric seat wiring and installed a Parrot hands-free mobile kit as well as Richard realingning the wipers to make then park neatly and get rid of an upswept area right on the endge of the drivers side of the windscreen. The Parrot is a top piece of kit and only cost me a fiver, brand new, from the CCC National Rally the other day :D

All in all, a most excellent day :D Richard brought his dog, Barney, along and he was as good as gold. Perhaps the only Airedale that knows how to replace a Xantia matrix :lol:

Again, thanks Richard :D I really do owe you one...
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Post by DickieG » 26 Jul 2008, 22:41

It was a very pleasant day as the job went according to plan in the most glorious weather. This is now the fourth Xantia matrix change I've done and I must say that whilst I don't particularly look forward to the next one its now not a job that look at with dread having learned all the dodges, pitfalls and ways of avoiding them. As Jim states Barney was as good as gold and had a good walk on the way home in Langley Park, he's a Xantia matrix veteran now. two in a month!

Jim, it looks as if both you and I are now getting on top of all of the outstanding jobs on our fleet of Xantia's. I'll be adjusting the rear height of my estate in the morning (raising it) then fitting new pads to a neighbours Picasso. Hopefully my "Jobs to do on my Xantia's" will then be clear for the first time in history :shock: If the weather holds tomorrow I might take 'XAN71A' out for a spin to recall how a new Xantia drives :D
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Post by Xaccers » 27 Jul 2008, 03:46

Well, if you both ever get bored, my matrix needs doing.... ;)
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Post by andmcit » 27 Jul 2008, 11:51

I'm with Xac; I've one to sort on my Activa that I'm dreading.

Any chance of a write up? Did Barney manage to take some piccies
of the process?

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Post by Xaccers » 27 Jul 2008, 18:35

I did mention in passing to Jim that we all come round to my place, line the street with Xantias, have a bbq and all do our own matrixes under the guidence of Dickie and Jim :)
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 28 Jul 2008, 13:00

andmcit wrote:Any chance of a write up? Did Barney manage to take some piccies
of the process?


It would not be a bad idea Andrew :) It's a job that several on here need to do and the BoL is not accurate on the job.

I'd be happy to write one. It'll be long though, will take a while and I'm merely a novice at the job. A joint effort between Richard and I may be the best way forward...


Xac wrote:...that we all come round to my place, line the street with Xantias and all do our own matrixes under the guidence of Dickie and Jim...


That'll go down well with the neighbours Xac :lol: Basically, not a bad idea but a big, empty workshop would be better.

Xac wrote:..have a bbq..


No time for that, it takes a full day :twisted: What we would need is caterers...
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Post by CitroJim » 03 Aug 2008, 18:43

It's been a quiet week on the Xantia front but not so quiet elseware. A coupe of days have been lost to illness this week :( All Ok now though.

It's been great to drive the 2.1 without it smelling like an antifreeze factory and to be able to use the heater properly in conjunction with the aircon to get the temperature just right :lol:

Last Sunday, Robyn and I ran the Activa down to Somerset and back. It ran like a clock and has the best aircon I've ever known. Yesterday I went back down there in the 2.1 loaded up with pot plants for Dad. It looked like a mobile greenhouse :lol: they were all Dad's plants he lovingly tended when he lived here. I'm no gardener so I was pleased to see them rehomed. All I'm good at with plants is killing them and they were starting to show the effects of my "care" :roll:

The ABS light came on on the Activa on Friday :( 5 minutes to diagnose the NSF sensor (as they so often are :? ) and a good hour to recover from the cost of a new one :twisted: £86 from GSF all told and after I ordered it I realised I forgot to claim my 10% CCC discount :evil: The sensor had gone high resistance and measured 1.3K rather than the normal 1K...

Today I've been catching up on all the outstanding jobs in the house and garden (there were lots :( ) but I did find time to give both Xantias a good clean in and out between mucking out next door's gunuea pigs and watering their garden whilst they are away on hoilday. In view of my earlier comments on my gardening prowess, it's a stressful time; their garden looks like Chelsea flower show and they are trusting me to look after it for two weeks :lol: So far it seems OK. Frankly, I'm much happier being custodian of their ginuea pigs than their prize plants any day...

Gareth left me some of his magic Traffic Film Remover and this dealt with the oily fingerprints left on the 2.1 wings and bonnet from the matrix change in short order :lol: It's also shifted off all the old poilsh and oxide from the paint, leaving it very snowy white but as flat as a pancake. It needs a really good polish now, especially as my Activa shines like a mirror and really shows it up. Still, it's coming along and I'm sure, given a polish it'll look a treat. Despite the magic of Gareth's Traffic Film Remover, the marks from the decals that were one stuck to the sides of the car saying "County Carpets" are even more visible (and readable) now :twisted: How to get them off will be a challange!

Here is a picture of both the cars, freshly cleaned.

Image

Look very carefully and you can just see Gareth's 1.9TD hiding behind my estate as it patiently awaits it's pump to come back after some TLC. We'll say nothing more about next door's car. It's not French and it's not a Citroen...

EDIT: The Estate looks low at the back as I'd been in and out of it a few times whilst cleaning it without starting it up and thus causing it to sink somewhat...
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Post by CitroJim » 05 Aug 2008, 08:21

The deed has been done :D

Last evening, the Estate got a good polishing. No ordinary stuff either, only the finest Auto Glym stuff.

Results are excellent and it now glistens rather nicely :D

All traces of "County Carpets" have disappeared as well...
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 06 Aug 2008, 22:03

The new ABS sensor is fitted to the Activa :D I thought I'd do it in the 90 or so minutes I had between dads taxi jobs. Big mistake :twisted: It had to be done between two taxi runs in the end, and finished off with darkness rapidly approaching and girls patiently waiting for me to complete it :lol:

One day I'll learn that no job on an Activa is straightforward and the problem was twofold. The special small stud that holds the sensor to the hub was tight and a little corroded requiring utmost care to remove and the sensor itself was fairly well corroded in place (as they often are). However, that was not the worst of it, the routing of the sensor cable behind a myriad of hydraulic pipes was the big one and it took ages to tease out the old one and get the new one in. There is, as always just room and you have to be careful with routing to prevent the sensor cable fouling the inboard CV joint.

Job done and the ABS light was still on! It took a Lexia session to clear the fault from the ECU... I never seem to recall needing to specifically clear the fault when I've replaced sensors in the past but if I remember correctly, the same can be achieved by discooneting the battery for a while.

Still, all done now and just been for a nice spin in it with the girls :D
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Post by XantiaMan » 07 Aug 2008, 07:37

I thought you said it was going to be easy! :lol:

Sometimes the easy jobs turn out to take hours on any car..
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Post by CitroJim » 12 Aug 2008, 22:09

Life has been very eventful just recently. Mostly good but not all good!

Friday evening we replaced Gareth's newly de-armoured and resealed injection pump on his TD. We started at around six and were listening to the sound of one of the sweetest 1.9TDs I have ever heard by nine :D

Getting a pump back on is quite a challange needing some patience, lots of rags, blutac and small hands! The rags and patience are needed to ensure that the woodruff key on the pump shaft does not get lost if it jumps out and the patience is needed to get the pump and woodriff key back in it's drive sprocket. The problem is that the pump is just resting on a pumping stroke when it is in the correctly timed position and you have to get everything lined up just right. It's a job very similar to replacing a gearbox when changing a clutch. Lots of fiddling and eventually it just pops in! The blutac and tiny fingers are needed to get the pump mounting nuts and washers back on, especially the practically hidden one right underneath the pump. Again, lots of rag underneath just in case it does not go right first time in order to catch lost nuts and washers! In the event it all went well with no disasters :D I think Gareth was a little surprised just how much churning on the starter it takes to reprime and bleed air out of an otherwise empty pump and fuel lines.

On Saturday we replaced the anti-sink sphere on Gareth's Activa and then we both drove our Activas over to Suffolk so that Gareth could drop his off at home and come back with me to collect his TD. It was rather fun to take two Activas in convoy and watch Gareth taking his around corners with some enthusiasm :lol: His goes rather well with the new manual boost controller fitted.

An extremely enjoyable Friday and Saturday :D

So that was the good. The bad happened on Monday which started well enough until I realised I'd lost my debit card :( I back-tracked and found it was at our local Tesco after I'd stupidly left it in the card reader on the check-out :oops: :lol: At least it had not been stolen but it's unusable now as I'd already stopped it with the bank before establishing its whereabouts :roll:

I gave blood on Monday morning and all went well at first but then, just as I was all set to get off the bed I collapsed. It must have been rather spectacular because the next thing I knew, I had two paramedics checking me over and an ambulance waiting to ship me off to A and E on a stretcher :shock: The next four hours were spent in A and E whilst they hooked me up to various machines and ran tests to see what happened to me. All rather inconclusive so far but it's left me feeling extremely rough and fuzzy headed, even now as I type this I feel far from right.

I'm off with strict instructions to take it easy until I'm fully recovered.

I must say I have the upmost admiration and appreciation for our paramedics and our local hospital A and E. They are both bloody fantastic and the care I received at all stages was second to none :D The only bad bit was the ambulance. I don't know what it was but it was incredibly uncomfortable and awful on its suspension; certainly not one of those CX based ones but I wish it was. Still, it did it's job.

Not surprisingly, I heard today that they don't want me to give blood again...
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