Citrojim's Activa, 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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Post by CitroJim » 13 Aug 2008, 14:20

Good news :D I've been to see my doctor today for an MOT and all is well. In fact I seem in fine fettle generally for my age (pushing 50) and my blood pressure is on the low side of normal :)

Apparantly, that, my small stature, lack of fat and the speed at which I bled were contributory factors as well as something else...

He asked for a brief outline of what I've been up to for the past few weeks. After I told him he got rather serious...

"You're not a bloody teenager any more you know, you may feel like one and you may try to act like one but you're not one, you're 49 so just remember that. Slow down right now...."

Unsaid was the comment that things may not turn out quite so well if there is a next time.

"Yes Doc. I will..."

And I reckon I'd better do as he says as well.... Just got to learn to relax in ways that do not always involve sorting out problems on Xantias :lol:
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Post by myglaren » 13 Aug 2008, 17:14

I hear basket weaving can be relaxing and profitable :D

Seriously Jim, best wishes for a speedy recovery and heed the doc's advice - when it suits you!
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Post by CitroJim » 16 Aug 2008, 21:54

Pleased to report all back to rude health now :D

myglaren wrote:I hear basket weaving can be relaxing and profitable :D


Xantias are my take on basket weaving Steve :lol: It relaxes me, that's for sure but not a lot of profit in it though :roll:

I brought my old 1.9TD home today for a bit of a check-over before she goes on loan to a friend for a while. She's in perfect helath and all was found to be in very good fettle. She's a good girl really, nearly 15 years old and not far off 200K and still going very strongly. I felt she was worth another 12 months road tax :lol:

I swapped the front spheres on my Activa back to the proper ones. Richard had put non-hydractive spheres on the front in order to soften things up a bit up front and they do but all in all, I must say I prefer the proper ones. They're Westeron reconditioned ones and thy are painted a very fetching shade of glossy green and they look rather good under the bonnet!

I fixed KP's dead blower control module this evening. It had the usual probem of offering any speed you like as long as it was flat-out mini-cyclone :lol:

As seems always to be the case, just one of the pair of transistors had an emitter-collector short but as a precaution, I replaced the pair with a new matched pair and tested it on my estate to make sure it was good before it's posted back off. I'd be worried about the continued reliability if I had just replaced the one faulty one although I do now have a small collection of good transistors I've kept from previous repairs which might do service in one of my cars should any of mine fail.
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Post by CitroJim » 20 Aug 2008, 21:55

Tuesday was an absolutly stunning day, a real cracker of a day :D I took at trip down to deepest Sussex to visit Malcolm (Citronut) and on the way, popped in to see Gareth (Xantiaman583) to wish his partner Vicky a happy birthday and help him swap the front spheres on his 1.9TD..

The journey down the M1 and the M25 was smooth and trouble-free beyond all expectations and I arrived at Gareth's earlier than planned but he was up and about and had a very welcome cup of tea on the go very quickly :D Gareths sphere swap went entirely to plan and bounce has now been replaced with float :D

Then it was down the A21 :twisted: to Malcolm's. The A21 is a right pain. It starts off nicely as dual carriageway and rapidly deteriorates into a twisty single carriageway that everyone seems to crawl along. 5th gears must get very little use down that way. Malcolm told me it's known as the "Snail Trail" and it's well named :twisted:

I spent the rest of a very thoroughly enjoyable and memorable day with Malcolm and his son and was treated to a great lunch at his daughters.

The reason for my visit was to see if we could turn Malcolm's Peugeot DIAG2000 diagnostics machine into a Citroen Lexia 2. We thought it stood a chance as the DIAG looked more or less identical bar button colour to a Lexia. I had residual worries abut any cunning firmware differences that might have thwarted our plans.

I'd spent a long time on Sunday understanding the Lexia 2 rather more deeply than before and building a couple of relacement hard disks for it as well as practicing dismantling it. To swap a hard disk in either a DIAG or Lexia is a job on a par with swapping a Xantia heater matrix and has almost as many pitfalls :)

I swapped the DIAG Hard Disk for a Lexia one and switched on whilst keeping everything crossed. It fired up and gave me a bit of a nail biting moment whilst it announced it was doing a firmware update that may take ten minutes :shock: In less than that time it did and lo and behold it soon proclaimed itself to be a Lexia 2 :D

A session on my car then showed it was working absolutely perfectly and I took Malcolm through all the tricks it could play. We started with the engine ECU and worked our way through the other ECUs on the car. ABS, Airbag, Air Con and so on.

Success :D and I was one very happy person as well I think was Malcolm!

Even the drive home was good and again, apart from the A21 living up to it's local name, both the M25 and M1 were congestion free all the way home :D For it to be like that twice in one day I think is getting on for a miracle and if it were on a Wednesday I'd be tempted to do the lottery. Bound to win with luck like that!

I hope the M1 and M25 are the same tomorrow. I'm taking the kids for a day out at Thorpe Park. I'm looking forward to it as well...

Malcolm, thanks for a great day! Thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it 8)

The only downside to that day was not realising until today that I practically passed right by John's (jgra1) house on the way :(
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Post by jgra1 » 21 Aug 2008, 00:29

next time Jim :D

so... I think myself (and I am sure others here) would like evidence that you went on 'stealth' :lol: :twisted:



it really is twisted... in more ways than 1

I pretended to try, but it was broken... :evil:
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Post by CitroJim » 21 Aug 2008, 21:52

jgra1 wrote:so... I think myself (and I am sure others here) would like evidence that you went on 'stealth' :lol: :twisted:


Stealth is awesome :D Almost as good as an Activa :lol: :lol:
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Post by jgra1 » 21 Aug 2008, 22:34

you a krazy loony ! :twisted:
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Post by CitroJim » 22 Aug 2008, 08:27

jgra1 wrote:you a krazy loony ! :twisted:


Me? :lol:

Stealth, for anyone who has never had the pleasure of Thorpe Park, is a roller coaster that launches its train of cars horizontally on a winch line and accellerates them to 80MPH after 2.3 seconds 8) and the cars then proceed to climb vertically to a height of 205 feet at which point they almost stop. They then run around a half loop and then fall vertically for about 180 feet before doing a couple of ups and downs and braking sharply :lol: It is bloody terrifying :twisted:

Thorpe Park is heavily recommended as a magical day out, especially if you like roller coasters. It has Colossus which has a ten turn straight corkscrew run, Nemesis Inferno which is just mad and No Way Out which the girls tell me is a coaster that run backwards in complete darkness :roll:

For sheer fun you can't beat Tidal Wave. This is a mega log flume that falls at 45 degrees on water from about 150 feet up and relies on the boat striking shallow water at the bottom of the run to retard it. The resulting bow wave is spectacular and rises about 70 or 80 feet in the air which soaks all the occupants of the boat and any unsuspecting passers by as the wave is deliberately aimed to land well outside the confines of the ride!

Go there and have the time of your life :D

The only down side is you have to use the M25 to get there and as it's just past Heathrow, it can be a bit of a nightmare. Even when we left at 8:30 last night the M25 was still busy :twisted:
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Post by Xaccers » 22 Aug 2008, 12:43

Stealth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n94K6JbSB7M

Too many negative G's by the looks of things for my delicate constitution!

Glad you had a great time Jim!
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Post by CitroJim » 22 Aug 2008, 21:18

Xac, thanks for posting the Utube videos of Stealth. Did you see the videos of the "rollbacks"? I was so hoping it would do a rollback or two yesterday. It seemed to cone very close to it a few times!

Great to hear you are now the proud owner of a Lexia Superloopy :D

The question of dual-booting a Lexia 2 so that it can also be a DIAG2000 has been raised before and I'm not sure if it can be done in a satisfactory way. The basic operating system is embedded XP and thus the boot.ini file couuld be modified to dual boot from two partitions but already the hard disk is split into two partitions and the partition names may cause problems when running both. Also, the firmware "knows" if the personality of the machine is Peugeot or Citroen. When Malcolms had a personality change, it did quite a lengthy firmware update. I'm not sure what would happen if you tried to revert it back to a DIAG2000.

I have DIAG2000 hard disk in my posession but I've not yet had a chance to look at it to investigate the structure of it. This weekend I'll have a look into it if the SWMBO's allow me to have some playtime :roll:

The recovery CD is CD No.1 and is called the Evolution CD. You invoke the recovery process by inserting the CD into the drive and holding down the validate key whilst you turn it on until it bleeps furiously and a small menu appears on-screen. It then launches Ghost to install the OS. Then it asks for an update CD to install the Lexia Applications. On the subject of update CDs, My latest is CD37 and I thought it was the last one. Interesting you have CD39. The restore process takes a long time and it's a lot quicker to build and fit a new hard disk from a previously taken ghost image using a normal PC.

Cables. There are a plethora but only a few are essential. Those are the 37 way D to the 30 pin diagnostic connector (for pre '98 cars), the 37 way to 16 pin EOBD for later cars, the power cable to run the portable from a 12V supply which should end in bananna plugs to enable a cigar lighter adaptor or croc clips to be fitted and the test probes that end in 15 pin D plugs for using the oscilloscope and multimeter functions. Other leads will be for the modem, printer and Automatic Harness Tester but unless you have the breakout boxes to go with them, they will be of little or no use. I have leads I have not a clue as to their use :lol:

All Lexias I've seen have been very dirty after years in a garage environment. They clean up well using foaming cleaner spray.

Play with it to see what it will do and how to use/interpret it but in a nutshell, it can diagnose and access all ECUs on a given Citroen so on your Activa you'll be able to look into your Engine ECU, Hydractive ECU, Airbag ECU, Aircon ECU, ABS ECU and if a MKII, you should be able to get into your alarm ECU and on automatics, into the Gearbox ECU.

Stored faults can be read, diagnosed and cleared.

You can also use it as a pretty full-featured multimeter and oscilloscope, read wiring diagrams on the screen if you have the wiring diagram CD's (I have an incomplete set and I don't have CD1 which covers the Xantia :cry: ) You can download software updates to ECUs and on MKIIs you can recode keys. It also works as an EOBD tester for EOBD compliant cars.

The only way to get au-fait with it is to play with it. You need to know the RP number of the car you want to daignose and the engine and engine ECU codes. So an Activa will have the RGX engine and MP3.2 ECU. Conversely on a 1.9TD it'll be the DHX Engine and Bosch VP20 ECU (IIRC?) You have to tell Lexia this but everything else it figures out for itself from the RP number. When looking at the Hydractive ECU you need to tell it if you are looking at an Activa.

It's slow to read the ECUs because of the low data rate and you can ignore the prompt about turning the ignition on and off when initially interrogating an ECU. Just push the validate (*) button.

With a running engine, you can read live data from it and also, if you go for a drive with the Lexia running, you can watch the hydracttive suspension switching in resopnse to cornering etc. If you really want to watch it live, travel as a passenger as driving and Lexia watching is a tad dangerous...

The battery won't hold it for long. Just long enough to move the portable off the trolley and into the car and get it running from the cigar lighter. If you are running from the cigar lighter and go to start the engine, the Lexia will reboot as power to the lighter is cut when cranking. When running from the lighter socket, the internal battery is disconnected :twisted: and will not prevent this power-loss reboot. The battery will also only charge when powered from the trolley supply. It's charging when the green light is on and fully charged when it goes off. If the portable is running on internal battery, the battery light goes red when it's about to run out. The battery is a standard Acer laptop battery.

Lexias take an age to boot. perfectly normal.

Charge your Activa battery off the car and make sure it is fully charged before trying to start. A low battery makes the tacho needle spin around full-scale and jam against the end-stop requiring some work to get the needle back to zero. The alarm will go off when you reconnect the battery but it's easily reset with either the plip or by holding down the ultrasonic defeat switch whilst turning on the ignition.

Tells us how may faults are recorded on your cars. Your Activa is bound to have Hydractive faults recorded!

Any Lexia questions that crop up, give me a shout!
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Post by CitroJim » 25 Aug 2008, 18:56

Ahh, another good weekend :D Saturday was spent doing a partial, triple house move and run to IKEA for some big stuff with me as white van man and a strong pair of arms :roll: I was helping a group of girls and I was the only bloke :)

I hired a nearly new LDV Maximus for the job. Brilliant van. Everything on it was perfect except for the gearstick. It was a bit stiff and bore some resemblence to a 2CV/Renault 4 gearstick :o

It had a supurb 16V diesel engine of apparantly Italian origin that did all we wanted, including a run to Hatfield and back, all for £20-worth of Diesel. Excellent :D It was busy 12 hours of tiring work in the end and I was a bit tired at the end. Still, the girls rustled up a tremendous meal at the end of proceedings :lol:

The most fun was extracting an 8 foot long and huge IKEA sofa out of an old cottage with a very narrow door. It went in through the door but that was before the old doo was replaced with a modern uPVC job which narrowed it even more :twisted: In the end I unhung the door and that gave us just a fag papers-worth clearance and the sofa came out. Phew :)

So on Sunday I chilled and did nothing of any consequence and bored myself rigid :lol: I just cannot be doing nothing but sometimes the spirit is willing but the body is just too weak and it demands rest :twisted:

I made up for it today. I spent a lot of time getting my Activa ready for Stratford next weekend.

I started off by checking the cam timing as the Activa (in common with others) has it's crank timing hole in the outer of the two-part crank pulley and as is the nature of things, this hole is never accurate and wanders all over the place due to the pulley outer moving in relation to the inner. I use a solid pulley from an old XU5 engine for checking timing. In the event it was spot-on :D I always like to check it and be sure.

I then serviced it fully and found nothing amiss whatsoever (as to be expected of an ex-DickieG car of course :D ) and after tidying up, washed and polished it. It looks really rather smart now.

The only (very, very) minor problem is a tiny, tiny weep of LHM from one of the HP Pump unions, on the big hexagon. I must order some new O rings for it next time I'm passing our local stealers. A good excuse to have a chat with the girl on the parts desk if nothing else :lol:

Naturally I could not leave the estate out and so I washed and polished him as well as well as doing all the normal weekly checks and Citarobics.

Last thing was to take my Activa out for a lovely blast around our local twisty stuff :lol: Over the years I have developed a test route of about 15 miles that takes in dual carriageway, fast A road, a small town, a small village or two, very twisty unclassified roads and a stretch of twisty B road. The route is fully circular and I know exactly how a car should feel on it. One of the unclassified roads on the route has a little hump-back bridge that when taken at 60+MPH is a good test of the suspension damping. Recalling a thread saying the Activa rear is a bit underdamped, I tend to agree when fast hump-backed bridges are involved. My new Activa does not seem to be as well damped on this bridge as Gareth's (my old Activa) was. I'll have to borrow his rear spheres and make a comparison!
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Post by CitroJim » 30 Aug 2008, 20:27

I've spent yet another day day pampering my Activa ready for the Stratford Show tomorrow. Shame it's forecast to rain :cry: Despite my Activa being well cleaned and polished last weekend and not being used since, it had still managed to acquire a layer of dust and a few small bird marks so it was out with the cleaning materials again.

After finding that the AutoGlym bumper snot really works, I did the black bits of both cars with it. The estate now has really black bits, completely free of polish stains and the whole car looks wonderful :D The black trim is a now really strong contrast against the white paintwork.

The Activa received a good leathering and a further application of wax.

I've moved the Forum Announcements to the top of the forum now, and out of the members area so that people contemplating joining the forum can see and read it and so that I can link the AOL post to newly registered AOL users having difficulty. Just recently there has been a considerable increase in newly activated AOL users having difficulty logging in.

I also noticed the forum email had stopped working. After logging into the web server (which also hosts the BXC and a whole raft of other small web sites) I was greeted with a pop-up to say the server was low on disk space. Low was the word - just 4Mb free on drive C:\ :shock: I reckon I caught it just before the server keeled over. Mail is flowing again and the problem was not caused by the low memory. If the forum mail stops, members cease to receive new post and PM notifications and I cease to receive new user alerts and spambot alerts.

I'm just starting the early planning work of looking into migrating the forums to phpBB3. We're currently running phpBB2 which is obsolete now and for which support ceases at the end of the year. Critically, this means no further security patches will be released for it. Don't hold your breath on this and expect to see phpBB3 on here tomorrow. There is a lot of testing and planning work to be carried out to ensure it all, if and when it does, goes smoothly.

From a user (and admin) point of view, phpBB3 is radically different in its look, feel and facilities. We'll all be on a steep learning curve.

I'm contemplating the aquisition of a BX in the spring. It is likely my old 1.9TD will become surplus to requirements then as we're considering the future of the caravan. We've not used it this year and with the kids on the cusp of adulthood, we don't reckon it'll be used next year either. So the 'van and 1.9TD will go and I can replace it with a BX project. I need a new challange as I now (touch-wood) have three very well sorted Xantias.

There is a reason as well, it's not just a whim and a desire for a new challange totally. I'm very much an honoury member of the BX Club and spend nearly as much time on the BXC forum as I do here. The other day, one of the members proposed a BXC trip around France that roughly describes a hexagon shape. Details can be found here. Provisionally it's known as the BXagon Run and the aim is to run as many BXs as possible on the trip and raise money for charity. I'm very keen on the idea and an adventure like this is something I've wanted to do for a very long time. Naturally I can't do it in a Xantia can I? All this has really done is brought my plan to get a BX one day off the proverbial back-burner and more to the fore so come the spring, I'll be on the look-out for a diesel BX :)
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Post by CitroJim » 31 Aug 2008, 21:48

Stratford was good. The weather was not that good though and affected the turnout a little. There were some very tasty Citroens present to droll over 8)

The drive to and from Stratford was good. I decided to take the scenic route rather than slavishly follow the tom-tom and use motorways. In fact the route I took was the A422 which runs all the way from Newport Pagnell to Stratford via Buckingham, Brackley and Banbury. It's a great Activa drive as it's nicely twisty, relatively quiet and very picturesque, running through the Cotswolds :D My fun was spoilt a little by a very slow horse box that could not be passed :twisted:

It was good to meet Malcolm (citronut), his wife Chris and Kev (Red Dwarfers) who travelled up from Exeter with his new ECU fitted. Meeting people is what these events are all about really. There was a good turnout from the BX Club and the whole event was most sociable. On BX Club member won the Comittee Shield for best pre-2000 car in the Concours with his incredibly immaculate MK1 BX GT.

I gave Kev's car a Lexia session and we found a couple of problems. His fast idle control is not working and the ABS ECU had multiple faults logged. They all cleared OK. Time will tell if they come back. Kev also has a serious alarm problem that will stand a bit of further investigation when the weather improves a bit :lol:

I obtained a complete set of MK1 Xantia workshop manuals :D All seven binders containing a mass of information. It is staggering to see one volume covers the engines, another covers gearboxes, yet another the suspension and hydraulics and the rest (four!) cover the electrical system :shock:

There is so much information in these volumes and it is clear where Haynes got their information for the creation of their BoL. Indeed you can see why it is a BoL now - how do you condense seven thick volumes to one thin book and not loose most of it in translation?

The electrical volumes are pretty impenetrable at first glance but after an hour's study I have now learned how to read them (I think :? ). I reckon I have details of every circuit on any MK1 Xantia now :lol: The BoL only contains a very small subset.

Anyone who wants a specific circuit diagram, let me know and I'll happily scan it for you. please don't ask for a scan of the whole seven volumes though as it's just not on :lol: Scanning it all would be a task of epic proportions and take several years I reckon :lol:

With these diagrams I can now have a look at my 2.1TD alarm problem and hopefully, help Red Dwarfers with his. In the past, a lack of good diagrams for the alarm system has been a handicap.

My Activa is no longer clean and shiny, thanks to the rain and muddy roads :twisted: To add insult to injury, one of my cats lept up on my bonnet when I got home and covered it in muddy paw-prints :twisted: :roll:
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Post by red_dwarfers » 31 Aug 2008, 22:19

Stratford was good :D
It was nice to put a face to a name with you and Malcolm, Citroen owners really are the friendliest of people!
Did you two win anything at the draw in the end?

I've never seen so many Citroens in one place :lol: I still can't get over the quality of the restoration on that DS :o (apart from the fibreglass wings that Malcolm pointed out :lol: )

I think im going to have to start a blog, the amount of things I find myself tinkering with it :lol:

Anyway, all in all I had an enjoyable and very informative day out :D
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Post by CitroJim » 01 Sep 2008, 21:47

Today I finally picked up my son's new car. One I bought for him over six weeks ago knowing there would be a delay before it would be ready. It was well worth it. I bagged him a '98 Pug 406 2.1TD saloon from a work colleague who is off overseas for a few years. I've known this particular 406 for several years and know its history.

A new MOT and 4 months tax means my son has nothing to worry about for a while. The only thing needed is a service. Oil and filters are due and a cambelt is looming. Otherwise the car is in excellent condition overall and everything works. The price was right.

I took it for a drive, keen to see what a big car with tin springs feels like. I've got to say that it felt most perculiar for the first few miles. A 406 feels like a big, lardy ponderous old thing after a Xantia and although fine in all respects and very quiet and refined, it ticked no boxes for me whatsoever. I'd not willingly give up a Citroen for one, that's for sure. Having owned a few 405s in the past, it really just felt like a biggger 405. It seemed so big inside, I felt lost.

My son Mark is delighted with it and unlike a Xantia, it fits him like a glove and herein lies a 406 strong point - King Kong could find an acceptable driving position in a 406 and with Mark not being far off King Kong in proportions, it is the ideal motor for him and after thinking about it, that is perhaps why I did not really click with it; it's just not car for scrawny little people like me :lol: It's just too big. The Xantia, on the other hand fits me perfectly :D

As Mark is not currently insured on it, he ran me home in his Nissan 200SX S13 trackday car :shock: It's been well tweaked and although springs are visible on each strut, they don't seem to do anything significant in the suspension department. You basically get shaken to bits and deafened by the engine noise. The exhaust appears to have a visible silencer but like the springs, it does not seem to do anything! It's not helped by the interior being nothing more than two racing seats and harnesses.

It goes well though, in a bumpy, noisy, fun sort of way :lol: Fianlly, at the end of the journey (mercifully short) you have to perform acrobatics worthy of an olympic gymnast to get out of the thing :lol:

It must be my age but it will be a pleasure to get back in my effectively suspended, smooth, quiet, leather-clad Xantia tomorrow and embark on a journey to the seaside for the day (well, Felixstowe :roll: ) but first I must travel to work as a passenger in a Mondeo before I can be reunited with my beloved Xantia estate :roll:
0 x
Jim

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