Xac's adventures with Cassy (and friends + wife)

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Xaccers
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Xac's adventures with Cassy (and friends + wife)

Post by Xaccers » 12 Sep 2008, 09:41

I'd like to tell you about a girl I know, who's very special to me, and her name is Cassy.
She's a Xantia Estate 1.9TD+ SX, the + is because she now has a 90Bhp Hdi gearbox, wich is much more suited to our driving style.
Now Cassy and I have been through a lot together since I first met her back in 2006.
Not long after, on the drive down to Staines one night for work, her timing belt snapped doing 40mph on the M25, taking out her cam.
I patched her back up and she was good as gold, until one of the lock nuts from the belt tensioner came off, causing the belt to chew it's way through the cam covers, before finally getting jammed on the fuel pump pulley.
This was how Cassy introduced me to one of the finest Xantia owners in the world, our very own Citrojim.
We patched Cassy up again, replacing the tensioner's stud, belt and covers.
Her tax was running out and we had to get her off the road, so Jim drove her to a friend's house.
Unfortunately, due to the rush, I hadn't got her timing quite right, so there was much smoke and flames from her exhaust on the way (and a need to change underwear after seeing all that come out of her!).
SORNed on a friend's drive, we sorted the timing and Cassy was purring again.
Unfortunately it didn't last.
With the timing slightly out, the cam cap closest to the pulleys cracked which prevented starting one morning, and worst of all, the crack had gouged into the cam which then damaged it's journal.
It was time for a new head.
As usual, Citrojim came to the rescue, and we set about removing the old head and he sourced a new one which he had skimmed and tested.
The bores were pristine, although there were slight valve prints in the top of the pistons!
It looked like this wasn't the first time Cassy's head had been removed either.
The job took about two days in total, with Cassy parked outside my house on the street.
Her engine hasn't given me a single sign of trouble since.

A few months back, Jim got hold of a gearbox from a 90Bhp Hdi to swap with Cassy's, as I'd damaged the synchromesh on 3rd (when I first got her, the clutch cable nut used to unwind disabling the clutch).
Under his wisened tutilage, I set to work (with him doing the hard parts), while Jim helped out on of his neighbours with a Saxo.
Eagle-eyes Jim noticed that the rattling noise around the belt area which I was planning on investigating once the gearbox was done, was actually the aux belt spring tensioner bolt.
It had sheered. I set about removing the hydraulic pump and alternator to get their mount and the tensioner off (course with hindsight I don't think I needed to remove anything to replace the tensioner).
I have this bad habbit of resting the removed engine mount on the scuttle panel, and that day it taught me a lesson.
As I returned from Eurocarparts with a new tensioner the heavens opened.
Jim dashed over and quickly packed away the tools I'd left out and closed the bonnet.
*crack* went the windscreen. That'll teach me! Totally my own fault.
While Jim played Dad's Taxi Service, I set to work lining the gearbox up in position.
So, try to picture this; I'm lying on my side, using my left hand to guide the gearbox through the wheel arch, my right hand controlling it's tilt with a trolly jack, and my left foot to pump the engine crane lever.
Yes, I was combining gearbox replacement with a pilates workout!
It seemed to work as by the time Jim returned, it was pretty much in the right position.
So Cassy was "upgraded" with the new gearbox.

The next job is to replace her N/S/F caliper as it's leaking LHM, and do a proper job on the heater blower bypass relay.
Then there's the dreaded heater matrix...
Last edited by Xaccers on 24 Jun 2009, 13:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Xaccers » 13 Sep 2008, 05:27

Jim and I have just gotten back to Milton Keynes after visiting Sturdybloke (Craig) and Andmcit (Andrew) down in Swansea, where I picked up Craig's 1.9TD
Was great to meet you both, next time we'll come down earlier so we can have a chinwag somewhere like a pub rather than out on the street in the cold! :D
I'd write more, but I've been awake for over 22 hours on just 2 hours sleep, and Jim's been awake over 24 hours now so I think he's just as knackered.
Time for bed.

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Post by andmcit » 13 Sep 2008, 07:51

Great stuff Andy; pleased for both you and Jim that the journey home proved uneventful albeit time consuming!

Great to meet you both and finally match faces to names and also have the opportunity to meet up with Craig too after years of threatening to meet up: silly I haven't yet done so considering I live a mere couple on miles away... :roll:

Looking forward to further opportunities to meet up with you all again and spend some serious nattering time; even over a coffee if not a pint!

All the best,
Andrew

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Post by Sturdybloke » 13 Sep 2008, 11:45

Good to meet all of you guys and Andy im glad you bought the car. Nice to know its gone to a caring home.

That Green VSX you mentioned Andrew (the one with T&T) has had me awake half the night :wink:

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Post by Xaccers » 13 Sep 2008, 11:58

Go on, you know you want it ;)

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Post by andmcit » 13 Sep 2008, 17:05

OMG! pm sent Craig!

Andrew

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Post by CitroJim » 13 Sep 2008, 18:02

Andrew, Craig, a real pleasure to meet you both :D An incredibly enjoyable evening all round, what better way to spend a Friday evening :lol: Just a shame we only saw most of Wales in the dark :( I must return in daylight sometime!

I was getting pretty tired toward the end of the journey, by then I'd been up 24 hours and already had a busy day at work uner my belt. Been busy today as well but mostly not car related although I did chaeck over the 2.1 as it had clocked up over a thousand miles this week. As usual, not a beat missed and not a spot of any fluids consumed, except diesel of course :wink:

Both the 2.1 and Activa also got a wash today...

SturdyBloke wrote:That Green VSX you mentioned Andrew (the one with T&T) has had me awake half the night


There, I did say that you'd have another at some point Craig, "Hotel California" and all that but that has to be some sort of a record :lol: :lol:

You'll love a VSX :D

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Post by Xaccers » 17 Sep 2008, 12:09

Took Jenny round to Jim's again last night to see if we could repair the ABS sensor, but it wasn't possible.
So we used a high resisitance one that Jim had, and the ABS light went out!
Then came back on.
Then went out.
Then came back on.
Lexia still showed that wheel doing a stonking 93Km/h on Jim's drive so something wasn't right.

I've bought new front discs and pads for Jenny, but on checking the o/s brake I discovered the caliper pin has been replaced by a split pin, so will be replacing that next time I get to the scrappy!
The disc retaining screws have been removed or decapitated so at least they won't be a problem.

As I started her to drive home, the ABS light was out. This was a bad thing.
Simply slowing down at the end of Jim's road to do a 3 point turn caused the ABS on the n/s/f wheel to kick in!
Thankfully by the time I got to the main road, the ABS light was back on, and braking was safe again.

Decided that as I'd been neglecting Cassy (driving in Jenny since the early hours of Saturday morning), I'd take her to work.
Got to the end of the road and applied the brakes. Er, well I tried to.
The difference between sprung and unsprung brake pedals is astounding (and somewhat dangerous).
So will definitely be fitting a spring to Jenny's pedal ASAP.
Cassy's clutch feels much lighter, about as light as Jim's old TD's clutch after I was used to Cassy's, so I'd best not drive Jim's old TD for a while lest I put my left foot through the floor!
I really need to take a look at Jenny's clutch, as it is quite heavy and there's about an inch (well it feels like an inch) of nothing before the pedal starts pulling on the cable (which is an auto adjust one).

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Post by Sturdybloke » 18 Sep 2008, 01:02

Bloody hell I never knew about the brake pin! The brakes had started to squeel the last few hundred miles, bear in mind that I put near 7K miles on her in the 3 months I owned her :shock:

I found the brake mod a much improved setup over the Citroen original spring. Then is is horses for courses and it is your car :lol:

The ABS was a right PITA for me and I am glad that its up to you to sort it and not me (harsh I know, but true). I was not impressed with it going west a few days after I bought a new sensor :evil: :cry:

I hope that you enjoy the car as (in the short time I owned her) I spent a fair few hours behind the wheel and it was a good car, despite its minor faults

Image

The only reason that she had to go is that I have to collect a old Ford saloon fron Cornwall and the Xantia is below the weight limit to tow it back. It IS much better that its horrible steel sprung towbar equipped replacement.

Glad you named it Jenny suits her :P


Cheers - Craig.

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Post by Xaccers » 22 Sep 2008, 00:37

Kate (my partner) and I went off to sunny Saxmundham on Saturday as it was the wedding of a very good friend of her's.
We took Cassy and made good time, although nearing our destination, she did flicker her stop and overheat lights, which is her subtle way of telling me her coolant is a little bit low.
I think it is leaking from in front of the fuel heater as there's plenty of white crusty stuff around the join, so I will investigate further when I replace her coolant.
Kate's keen nose suggested that the heater matrix isn't producing much of a smell, although she did eventually detect something "old and wet" which suggests that the radweld added has done it's job, but the remains of the old leak in the heater matrix box are still causing a pong.
I'll try another dose of aircon anti-septic.

Anyway, topped up the coolant, and poured 40L of veg in the fuel tank, just in time to save the day.
The taxi the bride and groom had booked a fortnight before hadn't turned up.
Cassy stepped up to the plate and we gave them a ride from the reception to their house so their honeymoon could begin.
Now Chris (the groom and a great friend of Kate) is about 6 foot 5.
His first comments when he got in behind me; "this is comfy, I've got masses of leg room!"
All in all, a great end to the most laid back and enjoyable wedding I've ever been to.

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Post by Xaccers » 03 Oct 2008, 20:52

Let my neighbour drive Cassy last night to get the feel of a Xantia as the gearbox on her Scenic only works in reverse (going to cost around £1500 to repair apparently).
Appart from pulling away and commenting how many revs it needed (she was in 3rd!), she loved it and couldn't believe a 10 year old car could be that smooth :)


Had a good day at the scrap yard with Jim today.
Spotted two xantias the same colour as Cassy with wings and bumper in good condition.
Unfortunately as the yard was so full, I couldn't open the doors enough to be able to remove the wing I need, so will hopefully be able to get back there at the begining of the week to nab it.
The strut tops on the estate looked to be in good nick, so I set to work removing one.
Mmm, that was fun, not!
As the car was on the ground, with no wheels and no way to jack it up (especially with another car ontop), I had to remove the strut from the hub, which involved much beating!
Eventually I got it free and removed the strut top, only to find it was in a worse state than Jenny's! The dome just popped out of the mounting ring.
So I wasted 3 hours :(
Did get many of the other parts I needed though.

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Post by CitroJim » 03 Oct 2008, 22:41

It was a very enjoyable session at the scrappy Xac. Thoroughly enjoyed but sadly my day was not so successful :(

I wanted a Bosch injection pump to practice de-armouring and found a good candidate. Removed no worries as the car had no alternator or HP pump in the way :) My pump removal speed is good!

I also wanted an HP pump and a Pressure Regulator block to make a sphere tester. I found what I needed and removed it.

I dragged my haul back to the folks in charge of the yard only to be told they wated £100 for the pump and £70 for the HP pump and PR block :evil: :evil: They stayed at the yard, as did a pair of GSF front spheres dated 2008 :( No way was I paying that much! We were told later the old boy was in a bad mood...

As Xac said, the yard was chock-full of cars (only three Xantias though) so our assumption is that the bottom hasd dropped out of the scrap car business and he is trying to recoup losses on the cost of recovered spares. Looks like I was the victim of the credit crunch :roll:

You win some, you loose some. It was a great day otherwise :D

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Post by Xaccers » 06 Oct 2008, 23:49

Phoned the scrap yard today and they're going to put the estate they have aside for me, so fingers crossed I'll get that wing and door!

Decided to fit the replacement caliper on Cassy as hers is leaking, and got a shock when I removed the wheel.
On the inside track metal strands are showing through, on both wheels!
Now I checked it 2 weeks ago and the tread was fine, with over 2mm of tread left across it.
They're continental low rolling resistance, and I've not been happy with them since they were fitted.
Noisiest tyres I've ever had, taking a roundabout at anything more than 20mph caused tyre squeal like I was doing 50!
So in a way I'm glad they need replacing, just concerned that they wore down so much so quickly!
4 months for a pair of tyres :(
There's been wheel vibrations from 60-70 so time to get the tracking checked again.
The wheels are now in Jenny's boot ready to be renewed tomorrow.
I replaced the split pin someone had used to keep the caliper in place on Jenny's O/S/F with a proper pin.
It still squeals so I'll fit the new discs and pads tomorrow after work.

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Post by KP » 07 Oct 2008, 08:18

Xac if you want i have a discount code for BlackCircles if you fancy them as i can highly reccomend them for cheap Michelin Energy's which are very quiet, seem to grip well and i've done a good 18k on the front set with some wear still left in them yet :)

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Post by Xaccers » 07 Oct 2008, 10:45

KP wrote:Xac if you want i have a discount code for BlackCircles if you fancy them as i can highly reccomend them for cheap Michelin Energy's which are very quiet, seem to grip well and i've done a good 18k on the front set with some wear still left in them yet :)


That would be great!
Wanted to get Michelins this time round anyway :)