Citrojim's Saxo and Cycling 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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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Given the lovely weather and the fact I started work early, I sloped off early and got an hour or so in on Project Activa this afternoon :D It was actually some much-needed therapy after a pretty intense day looking into and correcting software bugs :roll:

With the rear of the car up in the air I took at look at the lazy height corrector. I thought at first it was seized but in actual fact the problem looks to be just the opposite. It's free enough; too free actually as the part of the mechanism that connects through the plastic link to the ARB has a lot of free-play in the pivot. This is leading to lost motion in that movements transmitted by the link serve to move the mechanism up and down rather than the in and out needed by the hydraulic valve. The valve moves so little that any lost motion at all in the mechanism will have severe consequences for the ability of the height corrector to do its job properly and at the moment it is doing it's job hardly at all...

In keeping with my repair rather than replace philosophy with this car, I'll have the whole corrector mechanism off and see what can be done with it. I suspect that the corrector was seized at one time and was rather brutally freed off and that has resulted in pivot damage.

It might be an un-rivet job and turn up a new pivot in the lathe.

Hopefully tomorrow will allow me to find out.

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Post by admiral51 »

Another quiet day then Jim :lol: :lol:

Glad your still smoke free something i really must attempt myself,been putting it off for far too long

Colin

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Post by CitroJim »

admiral51 wrote: Glad your still smoke free something i really must attempt myself,been putting it off for far too long
I recommend it Colin but don't ever get the idea it is easy :twisted: It's actually bloody difficult and Project Activa is a useful distraction...

One big recommendation is to go see your Doc and join any smoking cessation clinics your practice runs. Big advantage is that they will assess the best method for you and any "aids" you need will be on prescription and that means a big difference in cost. These patches I'm on cost a small fortune over the counter but on prescription they cost just the cost of one prescription. The other big advantage of a smoking cessation clinic is they're with you and keep close tabs on you and are avowed that you won't fail.

It's worth it in the end. You know you've turned the corner when as happened this evening when I went to pick up the girls and we nipped into a corner shop for a few bits for Siany's cookery class tomorrow; the customer in front of us absolutely reeked of cigarette smoke and it really was pretty disgusting :evil: To think I may have smelled like that a few weeks ago :roll:

Go for it Colin!

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Post by RichardW »

The most vehement anti-smokers are usually ex-smokers.... :lol:

Keep up the good work Jim, on both the cancer sticks and the Activa, both will be worth it in the end!

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Post by Gingerposer »

CitroJim wrote: keep tabs on you and you won't fail
:lol: not sure that's the recommended method but all power to you for giving up (been there, know how hard it can be)

Ainslie

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Post by CitroJim »

Gingerposer wrote: :lol: not sure that's the recommended method but all power to you for giving up (been there, know how hard it can be)

Ainslie
It works with her because she's not the sort you would admit that you've failed if you know what I mean Ainslie :lol: :lol:

It is tough and this week has been especially difficult but still going strong :D

Project Activa has taken another small step forward :D The last episode of this blog ended on a cliffhanger where the rear suspension would not rise from low on its own and would only come up if the lever was set to high first... It would not correct an height changes either. Most odd.

Well, it was not the height corrector mechanism :( Changed that, no better.

I then thought the height corrector itself might be bad or full of gunge, especially after seeing the state the roll corrector was in so I removed the height corrector for overhaul. Someone had been there before me and all the hydraulic union flare nuts were rounded right off :twisted: :twisted: I had to resort to pipe grips to undo the very tight unions :evil:

I expected to find the height corrector full of dirt but after stripping it I found it pristine :roll: In fact it looked recent...

This is it coming apart.

Image

I gave the corrector a good clean and check and it was faultless. Back on, the fault remained :cry:

The problem actually turned out to be something very simple. The height adjustment on the ARB was so far out that the only reason the car was at near right height in the normal lever position was that the lever mechanism was over-riding the ARB mechanism. After moving the clamp a fair way, the height now corrects as normal :D Even that was difficult as the clamp bolt was a bit corroded and very, very tight. Plus-Gas to the rescue again :D

I was really lucky, I moved the clamp to just test the hypothesis that it was a mile out of adjustment and the amount I moved it was just about right!

Goodness knows how the height adjustment was set so wrongly. I know now the car had a lot done to the rear a while back, including a new ram. The height corrector was obviously removed at the time but it seems whoever did the job totally cocked up the height adjustment and landed in a situation where the height looked more or less OK but was totally wrong. It now responds a treat and the rear suspension feels distinctly softer :D

Provided the front ram repair holds, that's the suspension work done now.

It raining here, especially to test my sunroof leak repair..

Work now moves inside, reassembling the interior and sorting out all the electrical gremlins stemming from the corroded loom connector...

An MOT beckons :D

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Post by CitroJim »

happy to see the car still riding nice and high this morning...

Previously and with the mis-adjusted ride height, the car would sink quite rapidly at the rear.

Since the adjustment has been made it no longer sinks :D

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Post by davetherave »

Nice one, all seems to be coming on Jim. :)
I remeber riding around with the back end up in the air on the 1st xantia, not much fun!
You are soon going to have serious problems deciding what car(s) to take to the rallies this year! :?

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Post by CitroJim »

davetherave wrote: You are soon going to have serious problems deciding what car(s) to take to the rallies this year! :?
Yep :roll: I reckon my next project perhaps ought to be a car transporter :lol: :lol:

Not much has been happening on Project Activa recently. Saturday was busy with the girls, mainly giving Robyn lots of driving practice. She's doing really well and I can see a definite improvement now every time we go out.

Sunday I got a little done on the electrics. The big corroded connector that mainly carries speaker wiring I've managed to save but the really bad one that carries the wiring up to the sunroof and IR receiver is beyond salvation and has been replaced.

I'm now ready to refit the interior after finding all leaks are now gone (thanks to some good, hard rain :D )

This evening was too wet and cold to do anything out of doors so needing to do something mechanical, I looked at the height corrector mechanism I had dismantled earlier thinking it was the cause of my rear height correction problems. It wasn't and effectively I'd destroyed a perfectly good mechanism by pulling it apart as it was necessary to un-rivet the pivot and the only way to do this was chop off the rivet head meaning that it could not be re-riveted :roll: :( So, basically the mechanism was scrap.

I rescued it by mounting the pivot in the lathe and drilled and tapped an M6 thread in it so that it could accept a 10mm bolt.

I now have a height corrector mechanism that can be dismantled in fiture for thorough cleaning and lubrication :D

Here it is in its component parts:

Image

And here it is all ready to go back into service:

Image

So, a seized height corrector mechanism is not necessarily scrap :D

I've been rotating my two working cars on a weekly basis for a few weeks now and currently I'm using my Activa :D

Last week I used the V6 and she is now resting...

On Sunday I took a ride down in the V6 to see Richard and return his sphere tester I'd been borrowing. Whilst nattering, Richard observed my V6 is riding a bit high at the front. I'd not consciously noticed it but looking at his HDi and V6, he was absolutely right. So that'll be the next job..

Apart from that, both the V6 and Activa are fine and nothing significant to report on either :D

Next wet evening project is to build my own sphere tester. It's such a useful thing to have. I have all the bits. it's just a case of assembling them. I've been saying that for a year or more now; I really must set to and do it, just like I must do the headlamp relay mod on my V6 :lol: :lol:

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Post by vince »

Good stuff Jim :)

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Post by CitroJim »

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible but for now I'll be a bit quiet.

I have ongoing and worsening problems with my ears which is affecting my balance and my ability to think and do things clearly, hence why I've been a bit quiet on here lately. In fact it is making me feel very rough and the maximum I can concentrate on here for is about ten minutes before a raging headache comes on and everything goes cross-eyed. Me head feels like it is clamped in a vice.

To add to my misery, I have tinnitus so loud it is deafening me :twisted:

Doctors tomorrow. Hopefully he'll get to the root of it.

My ears are my Achilles heel.

The massive queue of PMs I have will be answered as soon as possible.

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Post by way2go »

CitroJim wrote:
Doctors tomorrow. Hopefully he'll get to the root of it.
Not pleasant, I can empathise.

Best to press the Doctor for the ENT referral straightaway as you now have to book an appt on the web after he gives you this. Good game as I had to ring the appointments line then because the website said "no appointments" as it hadn't been updated across a few potential hospitals by the NHS. Then when you get sent an appt it's at least a month away! :evil:

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Post by CitroJim »

Happy to report things are almost well again. It was awful, my ears were blocked, the tinnitis sounded like an Activa with a blowing manifold gasket and my head felt like a very tight sphere being removed with a Pleiades tool :twisted:

Got onto the surgery. They don't syringe ears any more :evil: and won't look at hearing issues until they have been. They revealed a nugget of information that chemists now sell a DIY syringing kit. I never knew that and nor do a good 75% of chemists in Milton Keynes :twisted:

I spent virtually the whole of yesterday morning on a tour of our fair metropolis looking for a chemist that did both know of the product in question and have one in stock. Eventually after visiting about 297 chemists I finally found one 8-)

By golly it works :D After a session my hearing went from mutt'n'jeff to cor blimy guv. I could hear pins dropping onto carpet at 50 paces and that was as bad, almost...

Today things are more or less back to normal. The tinnitus is a good 6dB down on what it was and sounds now more like a hydractive electrovale in soft mode... Quite tolerable and more or less normal for me.

I've rediscovered the joy of music today and been sitting here most of the day on the forum listening (via speakers) to my Ipod... I had a load of posts and PMs to catch up on and it's taken a good few hours

The Activa project has received just a little attention recently. Truth told I've not felt like it and now I do it's raining. Still, in a way that's good as I'm still chasing leaks in the damm thing :twisted: My new forum strap-line: CitroJim - Xantia Leak Specialist :evil:

Water was still coming in at the back and at the front. The back was easier as it turned out to be the wiring to the after-market stop-light in the back window. Actually, thanks to a chat with Richard, I find they were a genuine Citroen accessory but this one had been very poorly wired; the wire being squashed in the tailgate seal. Just the job to collect water and direct it straight into the rear so it could trickle down the C pillar and pool under the rear seats.

The front was worse. I'd fully dried out the septum membrane only to find it sopping wet again next day :twisted: The windscreen scuttle seal was not the outright cause being reasonably sealed although it had an open quarter-inch or so right at the end. In an ideal world this would not matter as a lump of blue mastic is cunningly positioned to divert any water safely away from the heater intake that gets in from this source. However, after removing the A post trim I could see a little pool of water on the base of pillar where the screen bonds in. Looks like the screen bonding has failed right in the corner and water dripping off the edge of the screen under the scuttle right in the corner is then running uphill under capillary action and into the cabin. At least I hope this is the diagnosis. If it's not then goodness only knows...

I had to remove the scuttle to determine this. All I can say is the technique of using a heat gun (carefully) and a very sharp craft knife
works.

The heater blower did not work and this turned out to be the thermal fuse in the blower resistor pack being open circuit. It has a resistor pack on account of it being non-aircon model. Bypassing the fuse (for test purposes only - it's a safety component for good reason - thanks for that Spider!) proved the blower good and also proved the heater matrix is 99% good too :D Finally! On a car with so many problems and issues I've found something that is actually serviceable on it :lol: :lol:

This week I'm on leave and the intention was to get the car MOT'd and on the road. The adverse weather and the need to make sure the leaks are properly cured has delayed that aim somewhat as there is no point in putting the interior back in if the leaks are still extant. An MOT with the interior stripped out is not on either although I'd love to see the MOT testers reaction to a Xantia with just a drivers seat fitted being presented :lol: :lol:

V6 and red Activa continue to perform well :D The V6 is back on duty this week although until Thursday Robyn's 206 is here with me and the V6 is resting in the normal 206 parking slot at the other house. Robyn's car is here to make some intense tuition easier for her this week and for me to get rid of a rattly parcel shelf. It drove my over-sensitive ears crazy last night :twisted:

Speaking of rattling, for all the time I've been running my V6 it's had an annoying rattle at the front, a drop-link sort of noise. Speaking again with Richard (DickieG) he suggested I pull the handbrake on gently to see if it was the known problem of rattly brake calipers. You're dead right Richard :D That's what it is! I still need to drop the front ride height a tad on the V6 too, as well as do the headlamp relay mod....

One day...

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Post by xantia_v6 »

CitroJim wrote:Happy to report things are almost well again.
Thats great news.
CitroJim wrote:HI still need to drop the front ride height a tad on the V6 too, as well as do the headlamp relay mod...
ME too on both of those...

And fix the cruise control?

Mine stopped working on Sunday, after I had had the steering wheel and cowling off replacing the airbag connector (again - but I have worked out why 4 have failed). So I thought maybe I forgot to reconnect the CC switch, so off with the wheel again, but CC switch was connected.

It turned out to be the brake pedal switch (again.. second or third time), so I cleaned up and fitted the switch from the Silver car. All now ready for an Easter trip (apart from loading 40m2 of parquet flooring blocks).

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

xantia_v6 wrote: And fix the cruise control?
Ahh, that reminds me Mike. I must get mine working. It's never worked since I've had the car. I know the switch is OK so I'm guessing it's the old vacuum hose split... Another of those jobs like the height, headlings and so on. One day....

Have a lovely Easter break Mike! I must admit I smiled at the thought of you shipping a load to parquet flooring to France. The other day the kids and I watched the rival to Grand Designs on the TV because it featured a house in one of our posh outlying villages. They brought a load of Parquet (amongst other things) from France. They showed the reclamation yard they got it from; the owner drove a Xantia :D

Been out most of the evening sitting with Robyn in her car. She's had a good time of it today: 2 hours with her professional instructor and another two with me. She's really making progress and getting good. Her instructor is really pleased with her. Tonight Robyn did a very good job of parking in a bay at our local Tesco...

It's still a bit of a funny feeling being driven along at 70MPH by your little girl though :roll: :D