Xantiaman's Blog

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 » 08 Dec 2008, 20:56

After sorting out the Activa last month my attentions have now turned to the Td. I've been using it inbetween the Activa for a couple of weeks and it compares very nicely but also illustrates the stark differences between the two cars.

The Activa feels pin-sharp, the TD a bit wooly but the ride is marginally superior on the TD as to be expected. Its such a good car and well worth hanging onto.

On Saturday if it all goes to plan, the TD will be having its MOT. The p-bar bushes need replacing before then and hopefully the rear engine mount but should otherwise sail through.

The downside to this plan was last Friday, it was announced i was being made redundant on 9th Jan. A nice Christmas present but it means we will have to tighten our belts even more, and it was already very tight!

Our PDI centre is being shut down, despite it being in profit and the SMART repair side is still doing well. Its closure will leave us without a base.

However, i have decided that i have enough work out there to go it alone. I may purchase the works van, a 55 plate SWB Transit but it may be beyond the budget ive been given, and they may also turn around and say sod off, we dont want to sell it and would prefer it to sit and rot for a year!

My back up plan is to purchase a nice Berlingo van, of the HDi type for maximum fuel economy, as the Transit only does 32-35mpg, the lack of space in comparison will be made up for by the savings i will make.

So a heck of a lot of things going on right now, as i have to get it organised before the 9th so i can continue as before and not have a gap between wages.

On the plus side i will be able to offer my services to FCF at very good prices, at some point i will put a list up and areas i can cover if people are interested.

Gareth

andmcit
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Post by andmcit » 08 Dec 2008, 21:30

Wishing you a decent MOT, Xmas and more importantly success in your
lone venture Gareth!! Reading your preamble I was expecting the dreaded,
"unfortunately the Activa will have to go..."

BTW, I'd be thrilled to pay for your magic with car paint rescue problems
but am not that close unless you plan on doing tours of the country like a
Circus act!! :D

Andrew

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 08 Dec 2008, 21:39

andmcit wrote: Reading your preamble I was expecting the dreaded,
"unfortunately the Activa will have to go..."
No worries on that score Andrew. Gareth is made of sterner stuff than that!

It's very hard to part with an Activa you know...

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 08 Dec 2008, 21:49

Citroens are in my blood now, i would never part with either...

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red_dwarfers
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Post by red_dwarfers » 08 Dec 2008, 22:23

Good on you for going it alone Gareth!
You never know, this could be the start of something :D
XantiaMan583 wrote:Citroens are in my blood now, i would never part with either...
I suppose now you won't be allowed to donate blood now, what with it having a slightly green tinge :lol:

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 08 Dec 2008, 22:29

red_dwarfers wrote: I suppose now you won't be allowed to donate blood now, what with it having a slightly green tinge :lol:
Ahh, perhaps that was my problem last time I gave blood Kev, It certainly put my personal STOP light on :lol: :lol: I ended up in casualty :roll: You could say my personal suspension well and truely collapsed as well...

Funnily enough, the Blood people were at our works today. More than one person asked if I was going to donate again, hardly supressing a giggle as they did. I'm still well remembered for leaving site in an ambulance last time...

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG » 08 Dec 2008, 22:50

Gareth are you still after the front suspension bushes, I've found a couple of new ones in my garage.

I've also dug out a rear badge for an Activa, black background with Activa written in silver, in excellent condition,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,might you be interested =P~

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 08 Dec 2008, 22:52

DickieG wrote:Gareth are you still after the front suspension bushes, I've found a couple of new ones in my garage.

I've also dug out a rear badge for an Activa, black background with Activa written in silver, in excellent condition,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,might you be interested =P~
Yes to all! I'm sure we can sort something out, i have PM'ed you 8)

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Post by XantiaMan » 21 Dec 2008, 21:56

Well how time flies, almost the end of the year! I'm starting to make progress with setting up on my own, i find out tomorrow if i can purchase the work van or not, and if not, i have a suitable van lined up which just needs a deposit to hold.

Its another Ford Transit, which although a Ford, its an excellent tool and has the right image i need for the job. It also returns good mpg, close to 40mpg which is great for a van of its size.

So it will be pretty hectic to say the least over the next 2 weeks, no festivities for me!

I popped to Richards last week to do a couple of repairs for him on his wife's car, was good to see him as the last time was in July IIRC. A true enthusiast as many who know him will vouch for, far too many cars hanging around the street :wink:

He kindly sorted me out with a pair of suspension bushes and that all elusive 'Activa' boot badge i've been looking for to top off the rear look.

I have a couple of bumpers to paint for him to fit his HDi estate and make it a bit tidier, so that will keep me busy over Christmas and into the New Year at this rate!

All is good in Activa land, apart from the occassional K light which is easy to reset, its been performing excellent.

I visited a friend of mine who has had a few fast cars over the years, including like myself, an MG Maestro Turbo. Not to mention the R32 Skyline and 300bhp Toyota MR2 with Nos, his current Rover 220GTi Turbo is a deceptive and extremely rapid tool, approx 240bhp in a light car it certainly shifts and has a pace the Activa cannot match outright.

But the Activa does have a few tricks up its sleeve. My friend had heard all about it and wanted to experience the anti-roll suspension which i gladly did. Not only was he impressed with its torque and general turn of speed, he was blown away with its cornering abilites and has never been in a FWD car like it!

So another person now aware of this hidden gem of a car, but he is unlikely to purchase one anytime soon!

On a more personal level, i had to attend the hospital last week for a minor eye op. For nearly a year now, i've had an irritating lump below my left eye which looked red and sore.

It was all over fairly quickly although i am a fussy bugger and hate people messing with my eyes, and needles! The eyelid was clamped and the oil duct that was blocked drained with some sort of spoon, didnt see it as i had my eyes shut ;)

Still, thats over and done with and i feel much better about having it done, was sore for a few days after but almost back to normal now.

Gareth

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Post by XantiaMan » 10 Jan 2009, 09:24

First blog of the new year and things are hotting up! After a relatively crap Christmas due to the annoucment i was being made redundant, its now busy busy busy.

I was told officially yesterday that i and 29 others in our building were being made redundant with immediate effect, we were in a consulation period but we all knew any fight to keep us open would fall on deaf ears.

I dropped my old van off yesterday, a bit sad as ive had it for 6 months now and its become a part of my life. I said goodbye to everyone, all good blokes with some exceptional skills and qualities and i hope they do well. Like all of us, they all have bills to pay and now things are uncertain.

I get one weeks pay in lieu of notice and 6 days pay for the month, so as they say 'i'm in the s**t' when it comes to paying the rent next month. I'll be speaking to our local council about getting some help for housing now there is no source of income.

All is not lost though. Thanks to the kindness of my parents and their ability to help out no matter what cost to themselves, they have helped me with the purchase of van and equipment to keep me on the road and continue working as i was.

I have secured only one contract so far, but its worth alot of money and combined with retail work, should provide me with a decent living once things are up and running. I anticipate a little over a month before i start to see any money appearing of any significance, but longer term things should work out, i'll be my own boss which is worth a pay cut in itself, the freedom to organise and do things the way you want is worth far more than my old job was.

I am still sad though as it was a great opportunity but the dealerships were a fickle bunch, chosing to use sub-contracted SMART repairers over our official company ones. I'll have the advantage of having establised a good reputation for my work, and being able to undercut my competitors due to low overheads.

After a bit of a trek there and back to get the van, we got home at 830pm and used quarter of tank to get back from Tewskbury to Kent, which im very happy with. The new van does have a couple of niggles but nothing i cannot sort out. Today we have been relieved of Jack, and Vicky is going to help me get the van sorted, fitting a compressor, a bead breaker and mains power to it.

Lots of work ahead of us, it will work despite the economic climate as used cars are selling better than new and most used cars are just that, used, so will have their fair share of kerbed wheels, scuffed bumper corners and door dings.

In between all this there wont be much Citroening going on, may drive the Activa if i get the chance, the TD is awaiting an MOT before the end of the month but thanks to Jim, i have no worries about a pass ticket being issued.

Gareth

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myglaren
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Post by myglaren » 10 Jan 2009, 09:38

Good luck with the new venture Gareth, I sincerely hope it goes well for you.

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Post by XantiaMan » 28 Feb 2009, 13:28

Back in business now, with 2 Xantia's back on the road.

Finally had 583 MOT'ed this morning, not been able to do it financially but we are moving in less than a week, it needs to be mobile. Pleased to say it flew through, and as always, very nice to drive it again, its been over 2 months!

Needs a good clean and an empty out, its been used for storage over winter, fortunatly our new place has a garage so i'll have somewhere to put things.

The Activa when driven once a week continues to perform well, i thought it looked a little wonky the other day and mentioned it to Jim, however on proper flat land its less than half an inch out on one side, seems my driveway is the culprit!

Should not forget my Transit in all this, as it gets used the most. Since i got it i have had issues with starting and poor performance, a good service and inlet manifold clean helped performance wise but the problems were a bit deeper, this involved someone having out a magnet in the tank when the injection pump went, to pick up bits of swarf.

This was block the fuel feed in the tank and causing starvation. The replacement pump is spot on, nice and crisp and a genuine Ford recon.

Starting continued to be a problem though, and i had to give up a little and have it diagnosed, it pinpointed a problem with a watchdog signal wire to the fuel pump, or the pump itself. I found out the wiring is prone to rubbing on the rear of the starter motor, this it had done and corroded right through the wire and caused the starting issue all along.

Once fixed with a butt connecter, its been running 100% for a month.

I had it remapped last week, its now running about 110bhp from 85PS, and a good 50nm more of torque, all for £250 quid, speed limiter was also removed as part of the process.

Van is now transformed, loads of pulling power (for a near 2 ton van) up hills and sprightly acceleration, its lovely to drive now.

If anyone is interested in having their own car or van remapped, visit www.vantuner.co.uk and speak to Martyn. He is a very knowledgeable chap that aims for perfection everytime, each remap is individual not a generic chip, its the best money i've ever spent on any vehicle and will give me better economy too!

Work has been exceptionally busy, past 2 weeks i have been flat out and there are no signs of it slowing down yet, so i cannot complain at all there, and now my van is reliable i can concentrate more on the actual work side of things.

Here's the van as it looks now.

Image

Image

Image

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 01 Mar 2009, 09:53

Great to hear all is looking very rosy for you in these recessional times Gareth :D :D That is so good.

And great to hear the TD flew it's MOT :D If it had failed I think I would have hung up my overalls in shame and disappeared from the automotive world for ever...

Garage at the new house eh? Life doesn't get much better than that :lol: Is it a double?

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 01 Mar 2009, 10:02

Hi Jim, Its just a single garage, but ideal if i need to do the odd repair here and there and more importantly, somewhere dry and secure for my Maestro which really does need some attention now, its been at least 8 months since i drove it!

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Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad » 02 Mar 2009, 16:48

Everything seems to be working out nicely for you :)

The transit looks very tidy, are you getting it sign written fror your business?

I had not realised your Activa was your main driver, TD is the play thing then! :lol:

Im quite interested in the remap, i have thought about getting the C5 done, but ive only had it 10 days so ill see how it goes first. Thats quite an improvement to your transit though.

Has your Transits MPG improved since the 'map?

Chris.