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 » 30 Jan 2010, 23:47

I'm still of the opinion that lack of regular use contributes to their failure. I'm not sure how often you use your Activa but more often than not, mine gets driven every weekend at least and this must help keep things in good order.

I assume the replacement 2nd hand ram had been sitting for a while? Was it leaking from the same spot as the '2007' replacement?

As far as i was aware, the main leak spot on the rams was due to the leak off stub splitting, now a lot of failures are due to to leaking between the body and the return rubber, and strangely, all in cold weather.

I remember you saying a little bit of dampness in that area is quite normal, in fact thats how mine has been since i've had it, and as long as it passes an MOT, doesnt leak more than a spoonful a week, its not really something to worry about but like you, i would want things to be perfect.

Clearly yours was leaking significantly, to get the stop light on must be half a litre or more of lost fluid.
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 30 Jan 2010, 23:54

XantiaMan583 wrote:I'm still of the opinion that lack of regular use contributes to their failure. I'm not sure how often you use your Activa but more often than not, mine gets driven every weekend at least and this must help keep things in good order.


I agree Gareth, I think I killed mine with kindness. Previously it had not been run for about five weeks. They really don't like not being used.

XantiaMan583 wrote:I assume the replacement 2nd hand ram had been sitting for a while? Was it leaking from the same spot as the '2007' replacement?


Yes and yes, exactly the same place.

XantiaMan583 wrote:As far as I was aware, the main leak spot on the rams was due to the leak off stub splitting, now a lot of failures are due to to leaking between the body and the return rubber, and strangely, all in cold weather.


Yes, that's true but studying the leak on the removed ram I'm of the belief that this rubber ring also forms a general seal between the cast lower part and the steel upper section and thus carries the high pressure lines as well. It is these that cause the leaks I believe. The return spigot was totally dry, as was the piston itself.

Yes, I reckon a little wetness there is inevitable given the sheer hydraulic pressure present in this area.
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Post by XantiaMan » 31 Jan 2010, 00:03

CitroJim wrote:
XantiaMan583 wrote:I'm still of the opinion that lack of regular use contributes to their failure. I'm not sure how often you use your Activa but more often than not, mine gets driven every weekend at least and this must help keep things in good order.


I agree Gareth, I think I killed mine with kindness. Previously it had not been run for about five weeks. They really don't like not being used.

XantiaMan583 wrote:I assume the replacement 2nd hand ram had been sitting for a while? Was it leaking from the same spot as the '2007' replacement?


Yes and yes, exactly the same place.

XantiaMan583 wrote:As far as I was aware, the main leak spot on the rams was due to the leak off stub splitting, now a lot of failures are due to to leaking between the body and the return rubber, and strangely, all in cold weather.


Yes, that's true but studying the leak on the removed ram I'm of the belief that this rubber ring also forms a general seal between the cast lower part and the steel upper section and thus carries the high pressure lines as well. It is these that cause the leaks I believe. The return spigot was totally dry, as was the piston itself.

Yes, I reckon a little wetness there is inevitable given the sheer hydraulic pressure present in this area.


As the saying goes, gotta be cruel to be kind :wink: 5 weeks is some time especially over the really cold period we had recently.

I've been out and checked mine about 10 mins ago (thats your fault :lol:)
and all seems ok with the same weep i spotted last week. Gave it a wipe and barely anything went onto the paper towel, so i guess its one of those things you have to accept, in the spring/summer/early autumn its bone dry.

Maybe the rubber they used on the rams wasnt as LHM as it should of been, and this hardens the rubber, which could then split? Who knows, one thing is for sure, its a PITA.

Do you know the price of a new ram yet? Maybe get a group buy going :D If you want i'll check with Duff Morgan as they always do me a good deal there.
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Post by CitroJim » 31 Jan 2010, 00:28

XantiaMan583 wrote:Do you know the price of a new ram yet? Maybe get a group buy going :D If you want i'll check with Duff Morgan as they always do me a good deal there.


Not yet Gareth but I've expecting a pain in the wallet :twisted:

I'd really appreciate if you could sound out Duff Morgan as I trust them and we don't have a decent Stealer here now :(

Ask him for a Ram and you'll likely end up with a male sheep :twisted:
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Post by Toby_HDi » 31 Jan 2010, 00:32

These rams are scary stuff :shock:. My rear one is weeping ever so slightly so hopefully its actually fine. Front is bone dry.

Look forward to tomorrow Jim, have many questions for you :lol: I shall be keeping a close eye on my ram :twisted: :P
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Previous:
2004 Peugeot 407 HDi 138 SE Luxury Pack
2001 S2 Xantia HDi 110 SX
2001 Peugeot 406 V6 Coupé
1998 S2 Xantia Activa
2000 S2 Xantia HDi 110 SX
1999 Peugeot 406 2.0 16v Estate

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Post by XantiaMan » 31 Jan 2010, 00:37

CitroJim wrote:
XantiaMan583 wrote:Do you know the price of a new ram yet? Maybe get a group buy going :D If you want i'll check with Duff Morgan as they always do me a good deal there.


Not yet Gareth but I've expecting a pain in the wallet :twisted:

I'd really appreciate if you could sound out Duff Morgan as I trust them and we don't have a decent Stealer here now :(

Ask him for a Ram and you'll likely end up with a male sheep :twisted:


I'll pop in on Monday, if you can find me a part number, even better.

Toby, a weep is normal :wink: Only cack yourself when you have to top up the LHM every day :lol:
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Post by CitroJim » 31 Jan 2010, 00:41

Gareth, thanks :D I'll get hold of a part numbers ...

Toby_HDi wrote:Look forward to tomorrow Jim, have many questions for you :lol: I shall be keeping a close eye on my ram :twisted: :P


Arrive as early as you like Toby. Come early and you'll see Paul (citroenxm)...

Looking forward to seeing you :D
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Post by Sl4yer » 31 Jan 2010, 01:07

My indy garage has always noticed that mine was damp. Even to the point of a drip hanging from the bottom of it. But as I was told at MOT time, 'if it doesn't drop it isn't a drip'!

The last few weeks has seen much more than a drip. For over a year I believed the float on the LHM reservoir was stuck - only when this started had I ever seen it move. On Sunday last week I put about 1/2 litre of LHM in, following a substantial top-up the week before. But the float was still on the max level mark today (was probably slightly overfilled last week) so the leak doesn't seem to be so bad.

It seems to me that there is clearly a problem with these rams - I'm still leaning towards legal action (when I get around to having it looked at). If a reliable rear ram isn't available, the future of these cars is extremely bleak. And the responsibility for the supply of those rests with Citroen. A joint complaint may carry more weight that individual ones - after all, Citroen UK would happily forget these cars even exist.

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Post by Sl4yer » 31 Jan 2010, 01:14

Ram part numbers:

Front: 5090 02


Rear: To RP06778 5290 03 (Still available?)
From RP06779 5090 04

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Post by CitroJim » 31 Jan 2010, 08:57

Thanks for the part numbers James :D

I've just published my guide to replacing a rear ram here

Any comments or feedback would be most welcome...

It looks easier now having written it up :lol:
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Post by XantiaMan » 31 Jan 2010, 09:18

Sl4yer wrote:My indy garage has always noticed that mine was damp. Even to the point of a drip hanging from the bottom of it. But as I was told at MOT time, 'if it doesn't drop it isn't a drip'!

The last few weeks has seen much more than a drip. For over a year I believed the float on the LHM reservoir was stuck - only when this started had I ever seen it move. On Sunday last week I put about 1/2 litre of LHM in, following a substantial top-up the week before. But the float was still on the max level mark today (was probably slightly overfilled last week) so the leak doesn't seem to be so bad.

It seems to me that there is clearly a problem with these rams - I'm still leaning towards legal action (when I get around to having it looked at). If a reliable rear ram isn't available, the future of these cars is extremely bleak. And the responsibility for the supply of those rests with Citroen. A joint complaint may carry more weight that individual ones - after all, Citroen UK would happily forget these cars even exist.

James


I agree, this part is not a consumable and should last at least 100k and 10 years or more, likewise a replacement should not last 3 years. Had i bought one and found it leaking, i would be writing to Citroen UK complete with all the other people who have had issues. This would be the best step, power in numbers to show its not an isolated case.

With so few on the roads in comparison to other Xantia's its crucial some sort of support is gained to ensure the future survival and viability of these cars. As they get older, the risks get higher and unless you have a disposable income and like wasting money, throwing £300 at a ram every few years isnt something i would want to do, so maybe setting aside a 'Ram Fund' just incase might be a good idea :)

As for the drip and drop issues, i think a lot of it is down to the discretion of the garage doing the MOT. Many cars have their quirks, for example my Maestro's and Montego's used to have excess play in the power steering rack which would be eliminated when running, i have heard some stories of people replacing racks because of this only to find the new one is exactly the same! After a while knowledge gets passed around and its accepted as a design quirk that does not affect safety.

In the same way with the Activa rams, they were clearly not 100% thought out for the job, so a minor weep in cold weather should be considered one of those quirks that you live with, and doesnt cause any safety or functionality issues. It doesnt make it right, but when you own a car like this its something you have to accept.
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 31 Jan 2010, 09:31

Indeed Gareth,

We Activa owners really do need to do something to ensure continuity of supply of good quality rams. As you say, three years is not good, however you look at it.

Not only with Citroen, we need to look at the possibility of a substitute or refurbishment of them.

Handyman, we need to speak on this subject :wink:
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Post by XantiaMan » 31 Jan 2010, 09:50

Is a ram completely sealed once manufactured? I've never looked at one close enough, but as its one area on the ram that always causes a problem, there must be a clever engineer out there that could think of a heavy duty solution to the problem, or as you say, an alternative part is found.
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 31 Jan 2010, 10:14

Yes, it is completely sealed :twisted:

The construction seems to be that the ram proper is in a tube, much like a shock absorber and this tube crimps to the cast base (the bit with the eye and pipe bosses) and the whole shebang is sealed by a rubber ring between them that seems to be the source of leaks. If you pull up the gaiter, you can see the crimp ring as shown by the green arrow in the photo below.

The red arrow shows the rubber sealing ring...

Image

getting it apart would be a challenge...
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Post by XantiaMan » 31 Jan 2010, 10:46

Question is, who is brave enough to put a cutter to it and dissect? :wink:

Mines fine fortunatly, after going ouit last night and placing a plate underneath, there was no drip, and after a icy morning drive it was actually bone dry, phew! :oops: :)
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