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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Post by Deanxm » 31 Mar 2010, 22:06

Neither did i, thats why the soon to be scrapped work van with a 1 tonne load positioned on the back axle was the first to ride them :lol:

D
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Post by Citroenmad » 31 Mar 2010, 22:08

Oh yes, i had that with my 206 :lol: Took a little while to find it mind, the little clip had fallen off. The bootlid rattling on its catch is also another 206 common thing.

Whats a BoL?

Well i think the UK roads are very sedate, compared to French roads anyway. Id not relish the thought of driving through Paris again :lol: Mind their motorway lane use is very good, pull out pass and pull in. So long as you have your foot to the floor and not park close, as they seem to use bumpers as bumpers!

I found that when taking my car test and HGV test, the instructors do try and push you along fast, especially at first when your still getting used to things.

Seems your making good progress on your project Activa, good luck with its MOT :)
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Post by CitroJim » 31 Mar 2010, 23:03

Those wheelbrace clips do not inspire confidence do they! One good pothole and I'll bet it'll jump out again...

I did adjust the tailgate Chris as it seemed a little floppy. Two T30 Torx bolts on the catch are not really up to the job in my opinion so I expect it'll be a regular job...

I collected Robyn from her boyfriend's house this evening and she drive home. On the way I asked her if there was anything different about her car, referring obliquely to the absence of rattles. She said...

"I can't see anything different dad, it's dark..."

"Can you hear anything different?"

"Oh yes! the rattle's gone..."

The BoL is the Haynes Manual. BoL = Book of Lies...
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Post by Citroenmad » 01 Apr 2010, 22:47

Ah :lol: not heard it called that before but that yes i see the point :roll:

I too have a 206 haynes, picked it up for a few quid at a CCC event, of all places :P
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Chris
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Post by CitroJim » 02 Apr 2010, 21:14

It's a day for celebration today :D My Activa project is finally dry :D

The last downpour and copious pourings of water coloured with green food dye has proved she's now watertight.

The cure was packing mastic into the extreme corner of the screen like this:

Image

The mastic I used was caravan bedding sealant normally used to bed awning rails and joints on tourers. It is as sticky as a sticky thing and always remain flexible and workable. Useful stuff even if you don't have a caravan...

Note the plastic bag over the air intake whilst the scuttle is off to keep water out...

So, the interior is now completely back in :D Before that there was the small matter of replacing one of the corroded loom interconnects. This was the state of it:

Image

Pins had corroded away and wires had come adrift!

I used crimp butts to join the wires...

Image

With an overall heatshrink for a bit of additional protection..

Image

So that's it. Ready for the MOT man now :)

But not quite. I noted a small pool of LHM under it late today. The roll corrector has a weep. I expect (hope) just a union nip-up job...

I also want to do a heatshrink bandage on the rear ram as it's not actually dripping but is remaining damp. A bit damper than I'm really fully content with for MOT purposes.

If/when she secures an MOT then the work of sorting her cosmetically will start.

This project is by no means over :wink:
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Post by vince » 03 Apr 2010, 10:19

You must be in your element Jim with another project on the go, especially as it seems to be nearing completion :)

Ever fancied doing an older Citroen ?

What are you going to do with the Activa once its done? Is it a keeper?
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Post by CitroJim » 04 Apr 2010, 22:29

vince wrote:Ever fancied doing an older Citroen ?


I do Vince. I'd love to but I'm a mechanical/electrical engineer and have absolutely no ability when it comes to bodywork, paint and rust and in any older Citroen, rust will be an issue. I've toyed with an XM as a potential project but the spectre of rust in those makes me want to run and hide.

And that's the beauty of the Xantia for me. The risk of a rusty one is low and generally there's no welding needed :D Project Activa will need a bit of painting though and that's one area I've got to get to grips with. But the thought of dealing with rust and all the faffing about with sheet metal and welding gives me the screaming heebie jeebies :twisted: If I did take on an old Citroen, I'd have to farm the bodywork out to someone with the two things I don't have; the skill and the enthusiasm...

Project Activa now has a complete interior and the scuttle panel has been bonded back on. She looks a complete car again now...

Yesterday I took a trip to Somerset in the V6. Nothing to report on that front. The V6 performed as usual...

Today, after boring myself silly watching the F1 on TV, I did a bit more on the Activa. It was good to see our local team, Red Bull - based in Milton Keynes, do a 1 - 2 but apart from that, Watching the grass grow proved more entertaining.

My roll corrector was still weeping on one of the unions so the first job was to replace the seal. It was my fault. I thought the seals I had were a bit too long so I trimmed them down a tad before fitting. This one, the most inaccessible, I trimmed a bit too far.

The car is still throwing me the odd curved ball :twisted: Today I noticed a tiny drip of LHM from the middle of the rubber part of the PAS supply pipe. Closer inspection showed the pipe had a tiny nick in it and that was weeping, ever so slightly. I did a temporary fix of sliding some heatshrink over it. To do that I had to disconnect the pipe at the pump and remove all the "P" clips. I'm after a replacement pipe now. I may have damaged the pipe in my epic battle with the centre hydractive sphere :twisted:

Last job today was the most tedious; setting up the Active Roll corrector linkages :twisted:

After my complaint about Halfrauds only having one wheel ramp in stock Xac, bless him, dropped his ramps around to me with the instruction that they can live with me now. Thanks Xac :D :D

I found the very best way to get the front wheels up on ramps was to put axle stand under, jack up the anti-Roll bar to raise the wheels up and then slide the ramps under the wheels. Then the axle stands can come away. It's no problem reversing off them but I'd hate to try driving up onto them.

Setting up the Activa linkages is not an exact science; it's a black art that can only be acquired through much trial and error and the consumption of lots of petrol. In doing the job today I discovered that the engine cooling fans are in perfect working order :D

After much trial and more error, the car is riding reasonably level but I'm not entirely happy. It still needs a bit more trial :roll:

Not sure yet what the fate of the Activa will be Vince. I may keep it as I have put so much into it that it's become intensely personal now. The fight goes on and I'm going to win it. It's become like my V6; a car that has so much of my blood, sweat and tears all over it that I could never consider parting with it even though it'll never be anything but an old scruffbag. Cosmetically, my V6 is seriously challenged but that does not really bother me in all honesty. It's a sound car mechanically.

I know this will be an anathema to you Vince but I find the "Rat Look" somewhat appealing. I have my minty Activa and to be honest, for me the car is so good I'm scared to use it for fear of damaging it. If I had yours Vince, I'd never use it :roll:
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Post by DickieG » 04 Apr 2010, 22:44

CitroJim wrote:Setting up the Activa linkages is not an exact science; it's a black art that can only be acquired through much trial and error and the consumption of lots of petrol.

Hmm I'd prefer to forget the hours I spent getting your red Activa level :evil:
CitroJim wrote:I know this will be an anathema to you Vince but I find the "Rat Look" somewhat appealing.

Has anyone noticed the number of matt blacks cars that are about now? Recent ones include a new M3 and a Porsche Cayenne.
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Post by vince » 04 Apr 2010, 23:30

Yes i have noticed those too Richard...i think most are normal painted cars that get body wrapped but they do look amazing, especially at night 8-)

Jim, for me i am a mad lover of older cars. My ideal dream would be to go back in time and buy a brand new car and bring it back, that way I would have an old car but also a new one if that makes sense. But failing that the next best thing is to fix up the one i have hence my interest in running a clean car :) My car is current sat in the drive with a garden water feature no doubt leaking all over the back seats...The interior and exterior are filthy and havent been cleaned in about a week but its still the family hack unfortunately with chores to do :)

Im not sure how id feel about having car that was uber clean and that i was tentative about driving.....Sure id love it but then could i enjoy driving it? or would i spend more time fretting about stone chips or kerbing a wheel perhaps :?

My goal is to have an older car that you could eat your dinner off but i have utter admiration for engineer type folks who can almost make anything out of anything...your like magicians to people like me who cant do it :lol:
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Post by CitroJim » 08 Apr 2010, 21:42

It's been back to my revenue earning work this week...

I returned wondering what was in store as a large piece of work that had consumed me for several months was virtually complete with nothing much apparently on the horizon except the routine day-to-day stuff..

Wrong! I've been given another big project to get stuck into that will be a good tester of all my programming skills. I'm loving it... Breaking new ground and really having to be creative. Just the job..

That's not left any time for Project Activa but I've been able to get a bit of automotive relaxation in.

I've almost been into mass Activa rear ram bush production for a couple of evenings this week and have despatched them to Greece, Northern Ireland and Geordieland.. Bizarrely it was cheaper to send to Greece than Northern Ireland :roll:

I've now made up a device that makes production of the bushes both quicker and more economical on the raw materials used.

The sunny weather has got my lad getting his Nissan 200SX drifter sorted out for the upcoming season. He came round today armed with his front wishbones needing the swivel joints replacing. In concept they're similar to Xantia ones but rather than screwing in they are pressed into a boss on the wishbone and retained with a circlip. Rust makes them a challenge to remove. One of his pals, who had access to a press, had a "go" and had failed. To be fair, they are very tight in the boss.

I, or rather my press, succeeded but had it not been for my pressing out some duff Xantia front wheelbearings a few days back, I may have failed too. The Xantia wheelbearing, along with an old Pug 106 wheelbearing made a set of make-shift mandrels for the job :D

Funny how the bits remaining from one job comes in good for the next....

It also vindicates my policy of keeping old duff bits around. It just shows how they can be valuable for the most unlikely of purposes.

Looks like a good weekend is in store and perfect for a bit more work on the Activa project...
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Post by myglaren » 08 Apr 2010, 21:54

vince wrote:Yes i have noticed those too Richard...i think most are normal painted cars that get body wrapped but they do look amazing, especially at night 8-)

Jim, for me i am a mad lover of older cars. My ideal dream would be to go back in time and buy a brand new car and bring it back, that way I would have an old car but also a new one if that makes sense. But failing that the next best thing is to fix up the one i have hence my interest in running a clean car :) My car is current sat in the drive with a garden water feature no doubt leaking all over the back seats...The interior and exterior are filthy and havent been cleaned in about a week but its still the family hack unfortunately with chores to do :)

Im not sure how id feel about having car that was uber clean and that i was tentative about driving.....Sure id love it but then could i enjoy driving it? or would i spend more time fretting about stone chips or kerbing a wheel perhaps :?

My goal is to have an older car that you could eat your dinner off but i have utter admiration for engineer type folks who can almost make anything out of anything...your like magicians to people like me who cant do it :lol:


Right up your street :)
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Post by CitroJim » 09 Apr 2010, 21:40

Following the read of the stuff on Planete Citroen (French version of the FCF almost!) about Activa Rams, I've delved a little deeper intot he subject and took teh bull by the horns, bit the bullet and dismantled a front and a rear one and learned a lot in the process :D

Most rams leak not because the hydraulics have failed in them but because the leakage return pipe spigot or the leakage return collar seal fails. I'd tried a fix using heatshrink sleeving but that proved not quite successful. It still wept LHM a tad but worse, the gaiter would not stay properly put and as will be revealed later, a good gaiter is critical on a ram.

On the front, it's easy enough to take off the top balljoint after making up a special thin spanner to engage on the flats at the top of the piston rod. The gaiter can then slip off. Then the outer metal cover can be removed by twisting it using a pair of pipe grips. Following that, the leakage return collar can be removed.

The leakage return catches leakage from the top of the ram and this runs down inside the outer metal cover and then out through the spigot.

In dismantling, I found conclusively why they leak at the collar. Corrosion eats at the machined surface at the bottom of the ram as the following two pictures show:

Image

This shows corrosion on the collar itself and this one shows pitted corrosion on the machined surface of the ram body which the collar seals against. Once again, I think we can blame road salt for this; I don't now think it is caused by infrequent use of the car.

Image

This is a rear ram but the front suffers precisely the same way.

It is repairable, the front with an XM Steering ram leakage return collar, of which I have some on order. These won't work on the rear though as the rear ram is much larger. I have a cunning plan to make a new collar out of nylon in the lathe and bond it to the lower sealing surface. More on that as soon as I've got some suitable material and have tried it out.

getting the rear ram apart is a bit more tricky. In the first picture you can see the balljoint that is at the top of the rear ram and the gaiter is very tight on the balljoint body. It is very tricky to remove the gaiter without damage as it has to be carefully stretched over the balljoint. It can be done but patience and care is needed.

Again, it's necessary to make up some special spanners to hold the piston rod flats and a mighty big spanner is needed for the balljoint itself. 32mm! Luckily, the balljoints are not too tight.

In doing this work I discovered a method to test ram serviceability. I have a very duff front ram I know was leaking from the piston rod. On close inspection, scoring can be seen in the rod, due presumably to grit getting in from a displaced gaiter.

To test if a ram is serviceable, bung the two hydraulic pipe holes (I used the green bungs that new rams ship with) and pump the piston rod up and down a few times. If you feel growing resistance that grows to a point that you cannot pump any more or one of the bungs explode out, the ram is good. If you can pump the rod for ever with little resistance, the ram is bad and will be leaking from the top. Often bubbles of LHM can be seen or if you hold the top close to your ear whilst pumping, you'll hear hissing.

A very interesting little investigation. Rams that pass the "pump test" are definitely salvageable but those that don't are definite scrap.

I will report further on a new repair technique for rear rams that will be developed as a result. I'll also report how good the use of an XM collar on a front ram is :D
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Post by vince » 09 Apr 2010, 21:48

myglaren wrote:
vince wrote:Yes i have noticed those too Richard...i think most are normal painted cars that get body wrapped but they do look amazing, especially at night 8-)

Jim, for me i am a mad lover of older cars. My ideal dream would be to go back in time and buy a brand new car and bring it back, that way I would have an old car but also a new one if that makes sense. But failing that the next best thing is to fix up the one i have hence my interest in running a clean car :) My car is current sat in the drive with a garden water feature no doubt leaking all over the back seats...The interior and exterior are filthy and havent been cleaned in about a week but its still the family hack unfortunately with chores to do :)

Im not sure how id feel about having car that was uber clean and that i was tentative about driving.....Sure id love it but then could i enjoy driving it? or would i spend more time fretting about stone chips or kerbing a wheel perhaps :?

My goal is to have an older car that you could eat your dinner off but i have utter admiration for engineer type folks who can almost make anything out of anything...your like magicians to people like me who cant do it :lol:


Right up your street :)


Amazing 8-)
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Post by Toby_HDi » 09 Apr 2010, 21:51

Jim that is immensely impressive. Very very interesting too.

Makes me feel a bit better about mine having a lay up.
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Previous:
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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 Sid_the_Squid » 09 Apr 2010, 21:55

Fantastic research Jim, should keep some more Activa's on the road, always a good thing. :)

Makes you wonder how many Activa's have been scrapped because of this simple road salt corrosion!
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Past Citroens
'99 Xantia HDi Exclusive
'99 Xantia 3.0 V6 Exclusive (Green Goblin)
'02 C5 Hdi 110 LX Estate
'98 Xantia 1.8 sx auto with LPG
'00 Xantia Hdi (110) forte
'97 Xantia 1.9D sx
'93 Xantia 1.9D lx (my first) R.I.P