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 » 27 Feb 2010, 20:38

lexi wrote: Busy is good Jim..........more money for hobbys and projects 8-)

True lexi but if you have money but no time.... That seems how it is at the moment :twisted: I value time...

Still, today has been a good 'un and lots achieved. It's been a not bad day weather-wise so I was able to enjoy the outdoors, some sunshine and play on my project :D

I was shocked to see an inch of water sitting in the rear seat wells this morning. I knew the car was a bit damp but did not know it had a serious leak. I started pulling the interior out and got to the point of removing the (sodden) carpets when a big storm came on. I was trapped in the car for a few minutes but it was time well spent as I soon saw drips from the
headlining :shock:

Sunroof! Blocked drains :idea: But no, nothing so simple. After having half the headlining down I found one of the gutter drain spigots was detached from the gutter enabling water in the gutter to run straight onto
the headlining. these spigots are held in place by plastic welded tabs and a spot of mastic. The tabs were damaged, I reckon through extremes of heat and cold, so the spigot was not sealing. A new band of mastic and a ty-rap did the job...


Copious buckets of water seem to indicate the repair is good :D

The scuttle has been leaking for a while. Look at these connectors in the wiring loom :shock:


There's even broken wires in there!

Despite all the water, there is no corrosion in the floorpans at all. Shows how well rustproofed the cars are.

Next up was the Activa Accumulator sphere that i suspect is flat. Here is where it lives under the battery tray... Note the battery tray, airboc and air intake pipe removed for clarity.


Well corroded. The wet is Plus-Gas, not LHM. Toby had a problem removing his and i thought this one might be the same. It was :twisted:
The bracket was bending. I remove the bracket complete with sphere and viced it...


It was so tight, the vice could not hold it well enough to give it enough welly. The bracket kept leaping out of the vice jaws.

In the end I put the handle of the Pleiades tool in the vice and walloped the bracket itself with a big hammer like this..


That worked, eventually... What a job. The sphere was flat!

Trooper30 came to visit this morning with his wife's new X plate HDi Xantia for a Lexia session.

I have never seen such a clean Xantia :D It looks to be no more than about two years old and is a minter. It even still has its under tray! It really is beautiful...

We did find one of his cooling fans is a bit sick; one is very reluctant to start and often needs some encouragement by poking the blades with a stick!

A good day :D

No car action tomorrow - I'm spending the day with my girls. I'll be good as I've barely seem them in two weeks due to us all being busy so looking forward to that.

Robyn has her driving test booked for April 21 :D

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Post by CitroJim » 28 Feb 2010, 10:53

It's dead easy Mike :D

The sphere is accessible from underneath the car but I reckon, if it has not been off in a while, a removal of the battery tray makes access much better.

Undo the union with a 9mm flare nut spanner. The pipe is held rigid by a "P" clip just above the sphere.

If the sphere will spin off the bracket, this "P" clip will hold the pipe as the sphere rotates off.

If the sphere won't budge than the bracket is easy to remove. Remove the bolt holding the "P" clip, lift the pipe out of the sphere, remove the earth cable in the middle of the bracket and the two bracket bolts. The sphere and bracket will then slip off for more aggressive removal methods on the bench.

Mind though, the sphere and bracket are surprisingly heavy...

My sunroof repair will be getting a good test today. It's torrential rain here this morning :roll:

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Post by CitroJim » 28 Feb 2010, 17:57

Spent the day with the girls today :D

As reported, Robyn has her practical driving test booked for llate April so today she did all the driving duties in her 206 with me sitting in the passenger seat...

I'm the world's worst passenger but no worries with Robyn at all :D So far, she has had 12 hours professional instruction and a bit with her mum and she really is getting quite competent.

Her mum, despite being a former professional instructor and now an examiner is not happy taking Robyn out in the 206 because it does not have dual-controls :roll: I have no such worries and found Robyn's driving very good. Living so close to Milton Keynes, she is aleady very proficient at negotiating roundabouts :lol:

Fro now on, Robyn will be my taxi :lol: :wink: She needs the practice and next weekend we plan a run to Somerset with her doing a big chunk of the driving...

The 206 is proving to be a great little learner car and very forgiving. If Robyn forgets to change gear it does not seem to mind that much as the engine is very flexible and has lots of low-down power.

Had a great meal in an Oriental resturaunt today, Thai I think, and I had some tea called "Gunpowder". Delicious!

I'm pleased to report the Activa project is now water-tight. My sunroof repair has been a success :D The carpets are drying out nicely too, being spread around the house...

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Post by red_dwarfers » 28 Feb 2010, 21:58

Ah, so the driving test waiting lists haven't decreased then :evil: Cor, it must have been nearly two and a half years ago when I passed mine :shock:

When I first started driving (I went out with a parent once, before decided that going with a local driving school would be a better idea) I was shocked to find that when the car went into first it moved forward, I had previously had the idea that the gas pedal was needed to get it moving so I promptly slammed on the brakes and stalled :lol:
Oh how times have changed!

Robyn will get some good practice on the back roads around here as you know, everywhere I seem to go its single track roads!

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Post by Citroenmad » 28 Feb 2010, 22:06

I remember calling every other day to get a cancellation, i did eventually! I think in 2004, when i passed, there was a 3 months test waiting list :o

Good luck to Robyn, im sure it will go fine.

The best instruction i got was when drivng my own car with l plates on, mainly because i could spend much more time in the car and pick up road hazards etc. So long as any bad habbits are not picked up.

I remember driving down to Beverly with my parents while the Saxo was wearing L's. We went down for the weekend to our house, all country roads and at night. 250 miles in a weekend, i was totally worn out by the time i got back but enjoyed every second.

As they say, you only start learning how to drive, once your on your own and have your licence. I can still remember my first 'own' driving experience like it was an hour ago. Driving was so much more fun then!

The 206 is a great car, i miss mine a little, certianly have another one if i needed a small car.

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Post by CitroJim » 01 Mar 2010, 22:52

Citroenmad wrote:The 206 is a great car, i miss mine a little, certianly have another one if i needed a small car.

Yes, I drove Robyn's this evening Chris and I agree wholeheartedly :D She drove herself to Girl Guides and I then took her car for petrol filling duties, the low fuel light was on as her mum was using the car today and typically, did not fill it up. Seems all women have a gap in their colour spectrum that makes them totally blind to amber lights on dashboards :twisted:

Robyn then drove home from Guides...

Earlier, I came home from work with my brain like jelly after a long, hard day of recalcitrant software and servers and as it was a lovely sunny evening with a bit of daylight left, I dived out to get some therapy on the Activa project. I needed it as I was feeling a bit wound-up and cranky.

An hour on the Activa did the trick :D I checked a few spheres but failed to budge the front centre hydractive sphere. It is incredibly tight and resisted all methods to remove it, including a chisel :shock: I tried so hard I even sheared the bolt in my Pleiades tool :twisted: It's still there and if it is flat I reckon I'll need to remove the sphere block complete and mount it in my big vice. It's a triple diaphragm one so it may be OK as they seem to generally last a long time and to date, I've not found a flat one. If it is good, it'll stay put...

After breaking off to do the necessary domestic duties, I returned to the workshop and reassembled the roll corrector mechanism I'd dismantled last week because it was seized. I cleaned it up, greased it, reassembled it and re-riveted it back together successfully. I reckon they will only tolerate one dismantle though as the pivot pins form the rivets. A second disassembly would likely need new pins turning up in the lathe. Because of this and the clearances involved, nuts and bolts to hold it together are not really practical.

I'm hoping I'll be able to get another hour or so in tomorrow evening. I'm planning on removing the roll corrector hydraulic valve to see why it is leaking and how amenable to repair that is. I'm hoping a normal height corrector overhaul kit will work for it as the basic valve is identical, the only difference is that the roll corrector does not have the damping elements.

Then it'll be an attack on the rear spheres. Later in the week though.

I really am enjoying this project and trying to do it for minimum cost as well. It's also just the tonic and relaxation I need after a hard day at work. It makes such a difference :D

At least two evenings this week will be spent sitting beside Robyn whilst she drives...

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Post by DickieG » 01 Mar 2010, 23:17

CitroJim wrote:An hour on the Activa did the trick :D I checked a few spheres but failed to budge the front centre hydractive sphere. It is incredibly tight and resisted all methods to remove it, including a chisel :shock: I tried so hard I even sheared the bolt in my Pleiades tool :twisted: It's still there and if it is flat I reckon I'll need to remove the sphere block complete and mount it in my big vice. It's a triple diaphragm one so it may be OK as they seem to generally last a long time and to date, I've not found a flat one. If it is good, it'll stay put...

If you borrow my higher pressure gauge you could test the sphere in situ Jim. I've come across a couple of very stuck sphere's but a good clout with a chisel/club hammer whilst applying leverage with the sphere tool has always done the job :twisted: I hope you're not using that little toffee hammer :lol:

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Post by xantia_v6 » 01 Mar 2010, 23:24

Good to see you making progress, and having a bit of fun with it.

Maybe you need to invent an adapter to use your air-wrench on spheres?

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Post by KP » 02 Mar 2010, 09:15

I know what you mean about that sphere jim, the one just behind the rad...

Taking mine off last night i was applying so much force it was bending on the cross member! i kept the pressure on though and kept tapping away with my hammer and it cracked :)

It took forever to unwind it bit by bit as it was totally flat and still had some pressure and fluid in it as it came pouring out :( glad i got a new one to replace it.

keep up the good work though its definately therapy after a long day at work. you don't even notice when the temp drops to -2 :D

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Post by CitroJim » 02 Mar 2010, 20:45

DickieG wrote: I hope you're not using that little toffee hammer :lol:

No, I was using my small club hammer. It's well known I'm a bit of a girl around hammers (remember the V6 driveshaft Mike :lol: ) but this evening I'm happy to report success :D

A very large cold chisel was brought into play, one my dad made from a Morris 8 half-shaft many years ago, and a few well aimed blows did the deed. Once released, it spun off hand-tight. I really must get a decent man-sized club hammer as my biggest is only a tiddler really.

That was the first time I've used a cold chisel on a sphere but it was remarkably effective :)

Good job I got it off, the sphere was ruptured totally :twisted: Looks like it was the original....

I removed the leaking roll corrector. Another of those jobs that look almost impossible but actually turns out to be easy :D

It was leaking because the outer casting was damaged. See the big ding in the periphery in the picture below:


This damage was at the top of the body so it must have happened by something, the exhaust maybe, dropping hard on to it. It only started leaking when I disturbed it. The seized mechanism must have previously held it in a non-leaking spot...

I partially dismantled it. Given the sparkly bright LHM in the system, I was surprised to see all this muck in the end of it :shock: This was behind the seal and not behind the dust cap.


Luckily, I have a spare roll corrector although it looks like a standard height corrector could form the basis of one if the dampers are removed.

Next up was inspection and removal of the front ram. It is leaking because the leakage return spigot has a small split in it, right at the base.

One of the flexible pipe unions loosened off OK but on the other the flare nut is corroded to the pipe and will not spin on the pipe. I'm soaking it in Plus-Gas and will return to it another evening.

It's looking good and the interior is drying out nicely in this lovely spring-like weather :D

One big interior job I have to do is deal with the wiring harness interconnect plug under the passenger carpet. It is green with corrosion and several wires are broken in it. I shall rejoin the wires either will butt crimps or solder and heatshrink sleeving, maybe a mixture of both. Tellingly, the blower is not working. I have a feeling (not proved yet) that the supply to it runs via one of the corroded interconnect plugs.

I saw (or rather heard) a harbinger of spring this evening! Our local ice cream van has started making his rounds :D

KP wrote:you don't even notice when the temp drops to -2

No, that's true Will and you don't notice how the hands of the clock have suddenly become turbocharged either :twisted: :lol: :lol: :lol:

As you say though, great therapy :D

No work tomorrow evening as I will be taking Robyn out for some driving practice and then off to our local curry house to bid a fond farewell to our soon-to-be-leaving boss :cry: A pleasurable evening that will be tinged with some sadness...

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Post by lexi » 05 Mar 2010, 01:05

I`ve never failed with the chisel yet Jim. It's the shock of moving it 1mm at a time I reckon. You can feel the positive connection through the chisel on that's like when you hit a nail through a sheet and find the joist :lol:

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Post by CitroJim » 06 Mar 2010, 11:10

lexi wrote:I`ve never failed with the chisel yet Jim.

I'm going to have to get the chisel out again on the rears lexi :twisted: I tried them last night with the Pleiades tool and they are just as solid as the fronts were :(

Doing the rears gave me a first chance to try out my new toy. A 3 ton low-rider trolley jack :D Right down it is about as tall as an adolescent gnat and on full lift it stands knee-high to a giraffe! This allows it to slide under a Xantia that is right down on its belly and rise it high enough to put ramps under its wheels. It's brilliant and cost less than a ton from Costco. Well recommended as it lifts a Xantia up effortlessly. On the down-side it is heavy but it has four well-spaced wheels, is very stable and has a rubber pad on the lifting cup.

The front ram is off :D That was difficult as there was a lot of corrosion on the ends of the balljoint threads that caused the Nyloc nuts to go very tight. I got over that by re-tightening the nuts and running a second M12 nut down the threads to act as a die to clean them up. Worked like a charm :D I do have a set of die-nuts for this very job but the M12 one is too big to fit in the tight space where the ram balljoint nuts are located.

I was wary of forcing the nuts too hard as the ram balljoints are only counter-held by a 5mm Allen key and if this had let go it really would have been goodnight Vienna to the ram.

It's been raining this morning so soon I'll be able to check to see if the car has stopped leaking...

I was called into the Doctors this week following a blood test for cholesterol. I thought it was to tell me I was still sky-high but I had a very pleasant surprise; he wanted to see me to congratulate me on how well I was doing as my level has fallen dramatically. It's gone right down and all as a result of lifestyle and diet :D Speaking of diet, I went for a very nice curry on Wednesday to see off our erstwhile boss and on Thursday I was very sick and not well :evil: Speaking about this to the doc, he said that's normal for someone on a very careful diet like me - a sudden, very rich meal will weak all sorts of havoc. So the message is clear, I must continue eating rabbit food and stay off the rich stuff, my constitution is no longer up to a chicken jalfrezi full of hot green chillis :(

Furthermore, I have joined a smoking cessation session to give up the dread weed. I've been wanting to for some time now and it's now two days :D I'm on strong 24-hour NRT patches though... I was addicted badly :twisted: Feeling better for it already...

Off now to check the V6 over and then arm myself with a hammer and chisel and mount a second attack on those recalcitrant spheres...

I will report back...

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Post by Xaccers » 06 Mar 2010, 11:18

Fantastic news on your health Jim!

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Post by CitroJim » 06 Mar 2010, 15:11

Xac wrote:Fantastic news on your health Jim!

Indeed it is Xac :D Remarkable how much more gets done when you don't keep stopping for a fag break I find :lol:

Here are the scores in the Project Activa league:

Spheres 0, CitroJim 1;
Pleaides Tool 0, Cold Chisel & Big Hammer 1.

That gives a clue... The spheres are off :D The rear hydractive centre put up a fair old fight as evidenced by the picture below:


It shows three gouges where I had to repeatedly start the chiselling on a new area because I kept chiselling the risen edge flat! What a game.

The Activa balancing sphere was easier but not by much and the easiest of all (paradoxically) was the anti-sink. The centre Hydractive was ruptured (hence why it was sat in a jamjar for the photo) and the other two seriously low. 5 and 10 bars each :(

It emerges that virtually all the spheres on this car were either flat or ruptured. It has a full dealer service history right until now. Read into that what you will...

All that is left now is the rear corners but I cannot do those until I can get pressure back in the hydraulics. That can't happen until I fit a new Activa Accumulator and have repaired the front ram. The rear ram, although a tad damp, is OK. It was replaced last year...

I must say I'm rather a fan of the old cold chisel method for tight sphere removal now I've used it in anger. It works well. I was always very dubious previously.

Off out now to fit the new roll corrector and refurbished roll corrector mechanism.

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Post by myglaren » 06 Mar 2010, 15:35

Weld a nut on it and use Candy's bloody great spanner on it :)