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
Posts: 1603
Joined: 12 Aug 2007, 18:47

Post by XantiaMan » 26 Jun 2009, 22:21

Sl4yer wrote:
XantiaMan583 wrote:So, i took these new pictures, and wanted to know what people thought?


Still looks just like mine Gareth. Well, mine's the same colour anyway... Actually that's about as far as it goes!

I need to find someone local in a similar trade to yourself to take care of some chips on the bonnet. Some is bare, and some has been 'touched up' in a very poor way. :(

James

[Looks wonderful BTW. Although I'm not sure if the boot badge is a good idea or not!]


Need some pictures of yours up too!

My bonnet is also chipped, the S2 seems quite prone. It also has a number of annoying dents in odd places. There are 3 or 4 left along the panel sides from the 25 ish (i'm not joking!) that were on it when i got it, next weekend or the one after i have a friend who is also dent man who will be getting the bonnet as good as he can, and the remaining left on the doors.

Once the bonnet is in decent shape, i will be painting it sometime this year.

The front wings are also afflicted with the same chippyness but these are easy to do and i may get them done before CCC.

This is how it looked when i first saw it, parked next to my old Td -

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Image

I had a good look around it as i had never seen an Activa so late, and really felt sorry for it with its dents and scuffs, and really poor paintwork condition, which wasnt far off looking like it had been cleaned with a scouring pad!

None of this was Jim's doing of course but his forte is on the mechanical side of things, with the patience and dedication a car like this deserved Jim turned it from a potential early death to a well sorted motor that just needed cosmetic attention.

I dont know the full extent of the work Jim carried out but know most of it, and it really did have a comprehensive overhaul and its a testament to Jim's work that the car exists as it is today.

From those early pictures i think its come a long way. Both bumpers have been painted, the front was pretty tatty and needed a bit of filler to sort it, all 4 wheels refurbished, machine polished, every panel was covered in dents, i really didnt know how well it was going to come out but wanted a challenge to see what could be done.

I wish i had took some close up's of it now, its an ideal example of what can be done without the expense and hassle of a bodyshop.

I will be hanging onto it for as long as possible, i enjoy driving it more than any other car i've had, nothing matches the blend of swift performance, excellent handling and comfort, space, build quality.... i could go on!

I have been promised a de-cat pipe for my birthday :), so instead of having an uprated turbo for now this will keep me going. I am also toying with the idea of putting the electronic fuzzy logic boost controller i bought recently for the Maestro into the Activa, its quite small and has green illumination so should look at home in a place i've not yet decided!

It made a big difference to the way the Maestro drove but as i barely use it, not much point at the moment and i reckon the results on the Activa will be excellent as i can adjust the gain and get the boost set with more accuracy than the current manual controller. The MBC has been well behaved though but suffers from atmospheric and temperature changes, making it inconsistant. The Activa being a sophisticated motor deserves a sophisticated controller!

Sadly i cant drive it at the moment until Tuesday which is when the boost hose gets here, and then Tuesday night i travel down south again to do an extra day at work, so it will be next Sunday before i drive it again properly!

Sl4yer
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003, 04:29

Post by Sl4yer » 26 Jun 2009, 23:07

XantiaMan583 wrote:This is how it looked when i first saw it, parked next to my old Td


That's pretty much how mine looks now. Money might be tight for a few years, so I doubt I'll get it to look as good as yours anytime soon. But an Activa is a unique car, and I've no intentions of parting with mine. Ever. (Yes, I know it will happen one day!). Even returning 20mpg, I still love it!

Mine needs a good clean and shine. And a £200 remap, and a £240 private plate. The last 2 will have to wait though! Oh, and I'm still waiting for £600ish of garage bills, dating back to last November. Still, I never expected it to be cheap!

James

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Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad » 30 Jun 2009, 10:09

Totally stunning 8)

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 04 Jul 2009, 18:23

Had a day free, with Vicky and Jack away and the weather fine, i had to do something on it !

The front lower lip on the bumper is prone to getting damaged and mine was no exception. It spoilt the frontal appearance (apart from the chips) but was easy to sort out, using 180 and 400 grit on the D/A sander and a lick of filler on deeper gouges.

The OS wing mirror had a little mark on it so i decided to do it to match the other side that was done a few months back.

I still need to give those bits a polish, but i have spent most of the afternoon cleaning the interior which i am sad to say, has not been cleaned for nearly 6 months!

Having a young son you gets all sorts of junk, including broken up crisps, old fruit shoot bottles and spilt drink on the carpet, together with the odd fleck of chocolate on the seats (ok thats me) it was looking pretty bad.

I emptied all the rubbish out and cleaned the plastic first, then gave it a good hoover. I then cleaned the seats and carpet with Autoglym Interior cleaner which is excellent, smells good, doesnt foam up too much and shifts the stains. Once all the plastics were dry i treated them to Autoglym Vinyl and Rubber Care which evens out the finish, covered up light scuffs and scratches and has a pleasant lemon fragrance.

That it itself has taken most of the afternoon!

Here are some more pics.

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XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 04 Jul 2009, 22:14

Couple of random shots. Took one of the front interior but came out fuzzy, will get another tomorrow.

Image

Image

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KP
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Post by KP » 06 Jul 2009, 07:54

Looking good Gareth, would it not have been easier to take the wing mirror cover off though than covering all the area around it or have you pro's got it down to like a 5min job to mask up such areas??

Love the look of the carpet as well, definately would like mine to look like that as bet it feels soft and fluffy now as well :)

And yes Kids = fruit shoots and all sorts. Im glad me and Rachel take turns in carting kids around as the SSS for the last weekend or two has taken the brunt of this work where the activa would have done and the interior is starting to look like a battlefield as well....

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 06 Jul 2009, 19:32

KP wrote:Looking good Gareth, would it not have been easier to take the wing mirror cover off though than covering all the area around it or have you pro's got it down to like a 5min job to mask up such areas??
...


Reasons for not taking the cover off, firstly i have never managed to remove one without breaking the clips, secondly it means i dont have to handle the cover once painted, which would take a couple of hours at least.

It took 10 mins max to mask up so no big hassle, i use 3M tape which is the best you can get, its precise enough and sticks well but easily removed afterwards.

Car is now bloody filthy, done 550 miles since Sunday! Of course without a hitch :wink:

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 15 Jul 2009, 13:23

As usual its back to normal with virtually no Activa action :cry: The plus side to that is it saves me a bit of money fuelling it.

I did manage to give the bonnet a good machine polish, and touch in the hundreds of chips it has aquired over the years, its the wrong colour for it as it is literally peppered with them and as soon as you wax it, the chips show up even more!

But it does look alot better. My dent man had fun with the bonnet, we reckon at some point someone has walked on it, or had a hit and run :lol: Most of the dents were caused by the stiffener panel underneath, rather than the normal external dent cause by a stone.

He has made quite an improvement but access was really difficult. Its more presentable now which is what i wanted until i find a donor bonnet.

More fun and games with the Transit. I treated it to a set of genuine Ford front discs and pads. They are a bit of a pain to do, with the hub bearing bolted to the disc and often seizing to the CV joint, so i paid one of the Ford techs to do the job for me.

All went great, except the ABS light was on after. Upon testing it seems the NSF wheel locks, the OS tries to work as normal. I took a closer look at it seems the sensor has cracked by the force of the CV joint hitting it when the disc/bearing was removed. Hope to get a good deal on a sensor and have the chap replace it, his fault after all :wink:

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 17 Jul 2009, 13:59

Woo hoo, i've done something else on it!

Jim may remember when he sold it to me, that the boot carpet had a section cut out near the seats, for some sort of electrical equipment in the cars previous life.

I cleaned the replacement carpet that Jim gave to me last year, but never got round to doing it, it had sat in a shed for most of its time then in the roof of my garage when we moved, today thats all changed and i got Vicky to give me a hand with a few bits of trim removal whilst Jack was asleep this morning.

Its silly all the bits that have to be taken off. In each corner of the boot is an anchor point for a luggage net, these were riveted in place so had to be drilled out first, and also the rear seat backs had to be unbolted.

Another little job ticked off the list at least. Its not often i put thing in the boot, but glad its done!

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 25 Jul 2009, 19:13

Done something today that i've been meaning to do for ages. I fitted the EBC from the Maestro into the Activa, and what a PITA it was!

On the Maestro it took 30 minutes, on the Activa, closer to 3 hours! There is simply no decent place to route the wires and hose through, so it had to drop down the a pillar and through the door loom, under the carpet and to the centre console, where the main control unit now sits where the ashtray was.

The manual control valve is removed and an electronic solenoid takes it place.


Now, the real surprise to me was when i drove it. Not because it suddenly because blisteringly fast which it wont, because the basic boost level will be the same, but because on default setting of no gain and minimum duty cycle i.e actuator spring pressure only, i was getting 3.7psi!!!

This is not a good sign but easily solved, but it *may* also solve my ticking problem.

Its well know within Rover tuning circles that a cause of a rattle/tinkling noise at idle is caused by a loose wastegate. This also causes slower boost build up, and because the spring in the actuator is weak, the boost created pushes the wastegate open, causing an even bigger drop but more importantly, flow.

It is not unknown to gain 25bhp simply by tightening the actuator up to increase the pre-load, even though the actual peak boost is the same. Like i said before its to do with volume/flow.

I dont think mine is that bad, i can get 3psi at 1600rpm, 6 psi at 1800rpm and 8psi at 2000rpm, all in 4th, it then takes a little longer to reach its peak of 12psi around 2300rpm.

So a little job for tomorrow, which i hope will also sort the 'ticking' noise i have been getting, it would make sense.

On the plus side the boost is smoother and less jerky on part throttle, because full boost is only made when you use full throttle, the old manual valve would give full boost if the throttle was feathered in the right gear and also made it more prone to boost spikes which the EMS doesnt like.

Using accurate boost control i can also say the decent limit for boost on a standard set up is 12.5psi. When i got a peak of 13.4psi the EML came on whilst driving which needed a quick reset, there is also no extra power to be gained as the turbo is pretty much on the limit.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 25 Jul 2009, 19:28

Good stuff Gareth :D

It makes sense what you say about the wastegate. It is a bit of an agricultural device fundamentally. It'll be interestuing to read part 2 of this tomorrow and see.

Hope it does cure the ticking as that'll save the engine being lifted but again, a lifted engine may just make it easier to do the clutch and besides, you'll be able to give eveything a good cleanup whilst it's out.

You're right, getting anything through a Xantia bulkhead is a big job :twisted:

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 25 Jul 2009, 22:03

CitroJim wrote:Good stuff Gareth :D

It makes sense what you say about the wastegate. It is a bit of an agricultural device fundamentally. It'll be interestuing to read part 2 of this tomorrow and see.

Hope it does cure the ticking as that'll save the engine being lifted but again, a lifted engine may just make it easier to do the clutch and besides, you'll be able to give eveything a good cleanup whilst it's out.

You're right, getting anything through a Xantia bulkhead is a big job :twisted:


I've been out there this evening to assess access and and i'm sure you know already its gonna be an underneath job. I put it up on high and turned the OS wheel on full lock and could see the actuator body and just about the rod which goes onto the wastegate, i liberally applied WD40 to it and shouldnt cause me any problems tomorrow... I used an old jack handle to push the actuator rod which creates even more of a rattling noise in a similar tone. Not being able to adjust the pre-load using the same method meant i couldnt simulate what the extra tension will do. Access is so poor on these things!

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 26 Jul 2009, 08:29

Another job jobbed... Got up early, or rather Jack woke us up at 6.30am :roll: , so out there at 7.15am.

Got it up nice and high and set to work. WD40 had done a decent job of soaking in and after a quick wire brush the locknut on the actuator rod came undone ok. Its getting a little thin around the threads and pretty certain its never been adjusted before.

The circlip holding the arm onto the wastegate broke into 3 pieces, typical, once the rod was off the wastegate lever i was treated to a very and not seized in any way wastegate. I've never seen one and this was a typical example, so nothing to worry about there.

Next problem, the end of the rod which screws on was seized, more WD40 plus molegrips plus small screwdriver to work it loose.

In the end i did about 5 full turns. It had just under half a hole of preload on it, but with the actuator being soft and it has to be said, its a very soft spring anyway, i gave it one full hole of preload to compensate for the wear, and hopefully this wont have shortened the rod enough to stop the wastegate fully opening which would cause boost creep, which does happen on bigger turbos.

Spotted some weeping near my intercooler but no signs of splits. Had a good look at the manifold gasket and turbo unit, all looks nice and clean with no signs at all of any blowing.

Just need to put some top hoses back on and lower to the ground. I replaced the circlip with one from my old Transit turbo i had knocking about, it was a little smaller but squeezed on fine and wont come off!

XantiaMan
Posts: 1603
Joined: 12 Aug 2007, 18:47

Post by XantiaMan » 26 Jul 2009, 10:21

Brilliant, so i sort out the boost build issue, its much better now and i'm happy with that, but in the process my rear ram has now decided it doesnt want to return LHM to the system anymore, it wants to dump it on the floor :x

TBH i'm already fed up, i do one little job and now something very expensive goes wrong and now i cant drive it. Its leaking too bad, so i will have to use the Transit instead now.

Dunno where i am going from here, my spare time is always designated to the little un and missus and i get told off even if i spend 15 minutes on the car, its really doing my head in.

Sl4yer
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003, 04:29

Post by Sl4yer » 26 Jul 2009, 11:22

Bad news Gareth. :(

I feel your pain regarding the telling off!

Is it fixable, or will it be a new ram? I'm sure someone on here bodged a fix on the return pipe. I wonder if Pleiades got any further with reconditioning the rams? It's a bit like sitting on an expensive timebomb.

James