Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

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Rhothgar
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Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by Rhothgar » 02 Jun 2018, 11:31

Morning Guys,

I'll try and keep this short but I am beginning to wish I had scrapped the car a couple of months ago when I offered it on the forum. Please bear with me as this will probably be a long post so your time is very much appreciated in reading this and responding.

Some of you will know that the clutch on the S2 2.0 HDi eventually failed in December 2017. I say eventually because I saved the car from being scrapped in early 2012 with a slippng clutch. We've been driving it ever since covering approx 34k.

In December, Sylvia was driving the car at the time and reported that the clutch went to the floor. I went to rescue her and I could just engage gears. There was about 1" travel even though the clutch pedal was near to the floor. I managed to get it home where it sat until April.

Many of you will know that my best mate owns a garage. They charge at least £50 an hour so. in late March, my mate being my mate said, "Why don't you ask Jon to be do it?". Jon is a member of his staff, who I now know to be a fitter, and he said he'd do the clutch for £80. My mate bought the clutch in at cost £99.12 and I paid him for the part.

Now this job is listed as 7-8 hours on my mate's scheduling system. Jon ripped through it in just over 4 hours. In taking the gearbox completely off, he damaged the hydraulic steering pipe. In fairness, the steering did feel a bit strange when I drove it up the night before. The pipe was probably already leaking. It was very rusty. So I accepted that the pipe got damaged and had a new one made up. The pipe guy only used rubber pipe with a maximum working pressure of 180 bar so I hope that is not going to explode once the car is put under stress at any point.

So on 7th April, I went up to the garage on my bike and sat in the waiting area whilst Jon did the clutch. He called me out and showed me the pipe. A few hours later he had installed the clutch but couldn't start the engine because of the failed hydraulic pipe. I gave Jon the £80 and my understanding was that once the pipe was installed everything would be fine. At the time, I said to Jon that I believed the clutch ran off the combined system but have since realised it doesn't.

Either way, he couldn't start the car to check the job was complete.

It took me 3 weeks to find someone who would make a pipe up and get it fitted. I started the engine. No clutch! The pedal just dropped to the floor again or was on the floor when I got into the car.

I scratched my head, read a few posts on the forum, found the master cylinder reservoir (a stupid place to put one) and found it to be empty. There appears to be very little actuation at the slave end. There are no signs of leakage past the seal. Jim has since said that if the fluid has come out through the clutch over-extending it is unlikely you would see any wetness 5 months later.

Now a few things here. I didn't see the inside the bellhousing or if I did, I didn't pay any particular attention as to whether there were tracks were leaking fluid may, at some time in the past, have ran out and through a clutch dust covered surface.

I have read a post Jim pointed me in the direction of regarding bleeding the 'sealed' system. How can it be a sealed system if you can take the top of the reservoir. It just seems nonsensical. Jim has previously made an adapter using a motorcycle nipple and drilled and tapped it into the union.

On 9th May, I had not heard from Jon so I called him to see if he could complete the job. He said he was busy either that night after work or was busy that weekend for a family birthday from memory but that he would call once he had looked at it.

16 days later, I texted him. He read the message within 2 minutes but I expected him to call or text during his lunch or after work. Silence!

I then work up at 3:40am on 26th May and lay there worrying about the clutch so I texted him at 4:00am saying I was laying there worrying about. Again, text was read in 2 minutes. No reply. Perhaps he would call later. No call.

I have since lost patience, trust and faith in him.

He has said he has done the job I asked him to do which he says was "to change the clutch" and that he did it on time and on the day stated.

My issue is I have a car that has not been repaired. Is it me? So I texted him to say that, " I've lost all trust, faith and respect in you, Jon and so will deal with this in the way I know best" and latterly "Don't worry. I'll put this all down in writing to you formally and give you 14 days to response before I take it further". There is more to it. I said things like I think he lost interest once he had been paid.

It eventually ended in an unproductive face-to-face shouting match last Saturday as I had said I would take him to the small claims court to get the issue sorted. During the slanging match, I said that any reasonable person would expect that if they had taken their car to a garage that it is not unreasonable to expect it to be working upon completion of the work. He retorted, "Well! You didn't take it to a garage, did you?". He carried out the work after hours at my mate's garage so technically I did take it to a garage, he is an experienced mechanic so his argument is that he has done the job I asked him to do.

Jon accused me of being a "cheapskate". "Why didn't you ask Mark (my mate) to do it?" The answer is because obviously it would be too expensive but this is no defence in law. He gave me a price to 'do the clutch'.

I am 100% sure my mate said that Jon had moved the car from over the pit to the ramp. Surely, he would have tried to drive it at some point and realised the clutch pedal was on the floor. At this point, if there was an issue with the hydraulics I would have expected him to tell me prior to starting the work but he just cracked on and changed the clutch.

He says in one text that "there was clearly a fault with the haudralics from the start but not noticed due to the car being driven till the clutch's distruction. I told you at our last conversation that therr was a fault with hydraulic system and it needs replacing you said you could not afford it and started going on about some mate who could make a pipe with a bleed thing in it and I thought you were going to sort it"

I texted him the other day but he is adamant he has done the job he says I asked him to do but I had texted to say, "I have based my decision on adivie from friend and family i have done the job you paid me for the fault with your car is no fault of mine i think it's best you get someone else to do your car as i think you are not prepared to pay me to rectify the problem you have with the car so as far as i am concerned this is the end for me the only thing I think I am possibly gaulty of is a loack of communication with yourselves".

So there it is. Would you all think? Am I being unreasonable expecting a car to work when it is has been taken to someone to fit a clutch?

If I decide to take him to court, on what basis do I do it? I could claim loss of use of vehicle which would be very expensive but I do not want to bankrupt someone over this. I have mulled it over and trying to formulate a rational view and what would I expect. I don't want him to touch the car again as I have no control over what he may do. I went up last Saturday and it was just sat in the yard with the bonnet open with it having rained. Just ditched because they all think Citroens are crap and have a lack of regard for old cars.

For me, the whole sorry state of affairs comes down to the fact that I expected, rightly or wrongly, to have a fully working car once the clutch was done. I texted him to say that I wouldn't have spent any money if the car was only going to be fit for the scrapyard after he had done his job.

Your thoughts please guys. Please only focus on the facts above and try not to draw any conclusions. I want this to be unbiased and I know I can trust you all to do that.

As an aside, I was looking again through the posts and I think the clutch fork does not appear to be as near to the slave cylinder mounting hole as the photos show and as Jim suggests. If you were to bend your middle finger at 90 degrees at the second knuckle (between the phalanges and metacarpal bones) and insert it centrally so that the end of the finger touch the depression where the clutch rod sits then the face of my hand rest on the bellhousing. A distance of about 45-50mm..

There is a post that discusses engaging the clutch bearing onto the fork. I wonder if he has done his job properly even in fitting the clutch. He used to work at a clutch centre and has fitted well over a 1000 clutches apparently.

First and foremost, I am b****y worn out with this. I need a working car and preferably fast but I don't want to get someone else to finish it off or anyone to touch it if the consensus is take him to court.
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Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by andy5 » 02 Jun 2018, 12:55

I don't know enough to give a solution, but I can make some comments.

An old thread you may or may not have found from a forum search was started by me, about a similar low pedal height, in which people corrected my initial wrong guess about a cable, and explained a bit about this system. I tried the fluid top-up in the cylinder but of course it wasn't that simple, and RichardW's and HDIDave's descriptions put me off thinking I could explore this complication myself

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=34890

What I didn't later add to the thread was I chickened out of looking at it myself, didn't even ask clutch specialists, and took it to a main agent a few miles away after their local branch said the best bloke for that job is there, he knows the Xantia inside out, for a partly discounted labour rate that still brought the whole job close to 4 figures. I don't have the invoice to hand, and can't remember the cost of parts.

(off-topic: when someone abroad clouted it while parked a few months later, I managed to argue this recent expense meant I didn't want to scrap the car, and eventually we agreed a settlement in lieu of repairs, I received £650, and spent £15 on glue for the bumper and £27 on a secondhand towbar and postage, so luck gave back a good chunk of the clutch cost)

When you were talking about this a few weeks ago, I pointed out that Citroen have a fixed £399 price for a Xantia clutch. Frankly, given my price 7 years ago I find this hard to believe, and wouldn't be amazed if they would do some sums and want to escape from that price if someone actually walks in and asks.

But this is just background comment so far, what about your problem now?

He has obviously, er well presumably, fixed something, but not the whole problem. For a wild guess at what could still be wrong, I'd go back to the comments by RichardW and HDIDave on my thread, bearing collapse, and bits being pushed out through others and hard to get at, etc. And HDIDave's own thread, describing his in more detail http://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/v ... sc&start=0

As for resolving the dispute, maybe it's a bit tenuous to get too legalistic about it, given the slightly unofficial way it was arranged, that so far it hasn't been wildly over-expensive, and to speculate, money probably hasn't actually been spent on and wasted on attempting to sort whatever is still wrong, so hypothetically the cost of fixing that would still be ahead of you however the dispute about the incomplete diagnosis so far went (in other words if you'd had a call that said I've just discovered something else needs doing too)

As a point of argument though, surely the replacement pipe you've acquired is to do with the steering, and thus the main hydraulic system, and the clutch is separate, as you now know, even if you previously guessed different, so the clutch not working now isn't to do with this interim separate problem of the steering pipe, and he ought to at least understand this on the way to a solution

What to do? Hmm, well of course there are conflicting temptations: don't pour good money after bad, or on the other hand once this hurdle is fixed even an old car can last quite a while yet.

Personally I've just splashed out on having a second cambelt and big service done, so that's my bet on the car (a year older than yours) lasting a few more years, with (I hope) not such big jobs in front of it for some time ...

Now let's hope for some more expert comment than mine
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Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by Kerek85 » 02 Jun 2018, 16:43

Hiya.

Can you explain what he meant by 'over extending' the clutch system? I've heard of over extending the brake pedal, pushing the pedal travel passed what its normally travelled at (happens when bleeding them). I guess if the gearbox has a external slave cylinder, if the pedal was pressed when the cylinder wasnt inplace it'd push it passed its limit, simply pop out and leak out everywhere. But to rectify you'd put it back in and bleed it up, simples.

I've done 2.0hdi synergie clutches. They may use an external system, you twist and release the cylinder and leave it carefully ouy the way. If its not disturbed the system is fine.

The synergies used the backwards pull clutch system rather than pushing, if hes not clipped the thrust bearing into the fingers then that may also create the same issue.

I've never done a xantia clutch from what i can remember, done a series 1 engine change but can't remember if it was on a cable.

As someone who runs a garage its a tricky situation, as its a mates rates job. Officially not booked in. This can get messy fast when you both lock horns.

I've never had issues, but my customer and 'mates rates' base is pretty sound. Im lucky.

If it were me, I'd get the car up lifted and get it sorted elsewhere. You'll throw alot of brass at court proceedings and as it was never officially booked in its very murky.

Use the court money you have set aside (if you have) and get it finished off elsewhere. If he's done the clutch then he's done the knuckle scuffing hard part. The hydraulics arent that bad if its all external.
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Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by GiveMeABreak » 02 Jun 2018, 18:03

Rhothgar wrote:
02 Jun 2018, 11:31
Your thoughts please guys. Please only focus on the facts above and try not to draw any conclusions. I want this to be unbiased and I know I can trust you all to do that.

From an unbiased point of view (as I don't know any of you :wink: ) and focussing on the episode itself... I would say that technically you didn't formally take the car to a garage and ask for a quote to do the job. Rather, (if I understand it correctly), you asked an employee of a mate to do it for you, who used the works tools & equipment to do the job with the bosses say so.

On that basis alone, I don't think you have any recourse as your contract is not with the garage itself. It was with an employee of the garage who would undertake the work outside of work hours in his own time.

So to me this is exactly the same as asking a mate down the road to do a job for a few quid. You have no comeback and take a chance as if anything goes wrong, or there is consequential or associated damage caused to other components (accidentally or otherwise) you won't be covered by whatever insurances a garage would have in place. You also wouldn't be able to make a claim against the garage because it was not an officially booked in job.

Many years ago I had my XM in the Main Citroen Dealer for a job. They called me to say that they accidentally dropped the car down onto a metal ramp and damaged the sill. They apologised and had it repaired and painted for me at the body shop. If this had happened where the chap was working on your car out of hours unofficially - you wouldn't have a leg to stand on - and I suspect the owner would also not be happy to claim this on the business insurance either.

So in terms of the work done - who can say whether anything happened when he moved the car causing the clutch issue - due to no fluid? or not being bled? or whatever. All I can suggest is that if you had formally asked for the clutch to be done - they would either agreed to do it or not, depending on their abilities. If they accepted and found that there was another issue with it or the master / slave unit, they would have to inform you and seek your approval to go ahead and fix it or say we can't do it. But as this was not a normal business transaction between you and the business, there is little you can do I feel. I don't even think the small claims court would entertain it either as this would call into question all sorts of other things like backhanders and VAT avoidance.... say no more.

I can only say that I am sorry to hear this has happened - but there is very little you can do. The other downside it that it may also have damaged relationships and friendships as a result of the incident. I would call your breakdown out and get it towed to Citroen and take advantage of their fixed price repairs - and yes to the other chap who mentioned it - they do have a list of jobs and the all-in prices published. Check via phone call first (because of the age) and see if it is viable. But your pipe is going to be another issue unless you have got that fixed now. Citroen should advise you if there is anything that they cannot do due to lack of part availability though before they undertake the job.

Best of luck with it.
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Post by Eddie Nuff » 02 Jun 2018, 18:14

I'm firmly in Jon's camp on this. You didn't take it to a garage, you got a mate of a mate to do it at a fraction of the cost. The fact he did it in the garage is immaterial as he wasn't on the company payroll whilst doing the job. The fact he 'ripped' through it in just over 4 hours shows he does know what he's doing. The rest of it is you not providing him with the tools to do the job.

The amount of time you take between each correspondence with him must have left him thinking you'd given up and they were just waiting for the scrap man to turn up.

And as far as legal proceedings are concerned you haven't got a leg to stand on.
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Post by Eddie Nuff » 02 Jun 2018, 18:15

I see Marc just beat me to it.
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Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by GiveMeABreak » 02 Jun 2018, 18:19

I think we are on the same wavelength on this one though Eddie :-D
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Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by Gibbo2286 » 02 Jun 2018, 18:54

Four hours for £80, hardly any sort of rip off, especially as the op was present when the work was done (according to his own post)

I imagine there's a simple answer here to do with the hydraulics, a common problem being, as spoken about, 'over-extending', ridges worn in the master cylinder bore tear the lips off the seals if they're made to go past the normal travel and so it becomes impossible to bleed out.
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Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by Rhothgar » 02 Jun 2018, 20:19

Thanks for all the replies guys even though I felt I'd described the situation accurately I feel a few of you have entirely got the wrong end of the stick.

I wouldn't be taking my mate to court whose garage it is as I have no contract with them. As for not having a leg to stand on, a handshake forms a contract but clearly there is an issue of communication. Interestingly, one poster said that Jon may have thought I'd have abandoned it and was waiting for the tow truck to pull up. It is, in fact, the exact opposite. It was left that he would call me I understood within 1 week of 9th May (our original phone call) to update me. He has admitted already that his communication could have been better.

My mate and I are going to remedy the situation after hours one night.

Court would have been the last option with his employee. Irrespective of the fact that he was working in my mate's garage doing work in his own time, he pays my mate to rent a ramp and has his own tools so yes I would have expected him to know exactly what he was doing.

I didn't think it was unreasonable for him to take a brief look at it prior to starting the job and say whether or not changing the clutch would have rectified the issue. Having now spoken to my mate at length just now, I fully understand the process but perhaps naively I expected that the car would be working once the car had had the clutch replaced. After all, he knows and a few on here know that I saved the car from the scrappers 6 years when it had a failing clutch. Was it unrealistic to assume that the clutch had failed when the pedal dropped to the floor 6 years later?

I would have thought a judge would see this for what it is. You take your car to someone to repair it and it isn't repaired and 8 weeks later after no communication for 3 weeks you're finally told that I've done the job but the car isn't mobile.

Also, I never said it was a rip-off. I've said the job wasn't completed. £80 was a bargain if the car was repaired but it hasn't been. I now find myself needing to remedy the problem myself. In truth, I should have done it all from the outset but I knew £80 was a bargain. Had I have known that the car would not be mobile spending the £80 on labour, I would have done the job myself as my time is free. I always normally do jobs myself using my mate's facilities.

Like I said to him, even if I won in court, I have still lost ultimately because it would then put further strains on relations with his staff.

Marc and all, one thing I didn't mention is that when I was there last week, this Jon was on holiday but just happened to turn up to work. In the argument, he said that my mate wanted the car off the yard so he would be moving it on Monday outside of their compound and "whatever happens to it after that is your responsibility". I raised my concerns with my mate and he said, "Well. I can assure you that won't happen!". I then tried to find the key but it wasn't in the key box. Jon had taken it I am pretty sure.

I wanted to secure the car so he couldn't sabotage it. So I had to text my mate afterwards to ask him to implore Jon to do the right thing. I received a text a couple of days later saying the key had been found in the foot well of the car. Thing is, I had stripped off the door panel on Saturday because the window had dropped and there was definitely NO key in either footwell.

*oo**n' stress!
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Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by GiveMeABreak » 02 Jun 2018, 21:01

I wasn't aware he was renting space in your mate's garage - I got the impression he was an employee of your mate and doing a bit of work on the side after hours as it were.

Either way, because a person has a load of tools and rents a ramp, it wouldn't be enough to convince me the person had enough knowledge or experience or was qualified to do the work I'm afraid.

I'm glad you are still on good terms with your friend and that you get it resolved somehow. I think there is a lesson there for all of us, truth be told. :-D
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Post by Eddie Nuff » 03 Jun 2018, 08:54

Rhothgar wrote:
02 Jun 2018, 20:19
As for not having a leg to stand on, a handshake forms a contract but clearly there is an issue of communication.
A handshake does form a contract but courts deal with facts, provable detailed facts, and all you have is a few text messages. It's your word against his really.

Irrespective of the fact that he was working in my mate's garage doing work in his own time, he pays my mate to rent a ramp and has his own tools so yes I would have expected him to know exactly what he was doing.
And yet in your original post you say
Jon is a member of his staff
So Jon is your typical employed mechanic doing a bit on the side except he slips his employer a few quid to use his ramps. And instead of paying your mate £50hr to do the job you bite Jon's hand off when he quote's you £80 for the job. In future why don't you rent the ramp off your mate and show Jon how the job should be done properly. If he can do a 7 - 8 hr job in 4 hours I'm sure you can.
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Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by Gibbo2286 » 03 Jun 2018, 10:10

That's a lot of waffle, you asked him to change the clutch and you supplied the parts, he fulfilled that deal, you didn't it seems ask him to diagnose the fault you diagnosed it yourself and got it wrong,

As for the small claims court the judge would dismiss your case out of hand. (I speak from experience as I've attended quite a few hearings as a 'Friend of the plaintiff' or 'Friend of the defendant.')
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Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by cam205gti » 03 Jun 2018, 12:17

Sounds like you need to get remove the clutch cylinder from the gearbox by twisting it with grips towards you 1-4 turn and pull it out. Get your fingers inside where the cylinder was and pull it towards you. You will hear it click in place and the clutch should come up right away.

Dont put LHM in the resivor if it needs a top up. It runs on brake fluid.

I recently changed my clutch and had the sane issue.

Drop the case. You get what you pay for. Buy the guy a beer and move on.

Good luck
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My Cars: 1995 Citroen Xantia 1.9TD S1 - M728 GDL
1996 Citroen Xantia 1.9TD SX S1 - N707 MGP (Currrently laid up)
2000 Citroen Xantia 2.0 Hdi S2 - X435 JGJ (Clutch died Dec 2017)
1997 Citroen ZX SX TD - P788 AJL
1959 Landrover Defender S1 - Two owners from new
1968 Triumph Vitesse Convertible 2.0
1980 Ford Escort RS2000 Customer - 2nd Owner
1988 Saab 900 T16S - A 1980's exercise in understated Hooliganism...
Oh! and two Harley Davidsons - A 1990 Sportster and a 2003 Fatboy 100th Anniversary (the only vehicle I have owned from new)
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Re:

Post by Rhothgar » 04 Jun 2018, 08:19

Eddie Nuff wrote:
03 Jun 2018, 08:54
A handshake does form a contract but courts deal with facts, provable detailed facts, and all you have is a few text messages. It's your word against his really.
True with the evidence of texts.
Eddie Nuff wrote:
03 Jun 2018, 08:54
And yet in your original post you say
Jon is a member of his staff
Both fact though he wasn't doing the job for my mate's business.
Eddie Nuff wrote:
03 Jun 2018, 08:54
So Jon is your typical employed mechanic doing a bit on the side except he slips his employer a few quid to use his ramps. And instead of paying your mate £50hr to do the job you bite Jon's hand off when he quote's you £80 for the job. In future why don't you rent the ramp off your mate and show Jon how the job should be done properly. If he can do a 7 - 8 hr job in 4 hours I'm sure you can.

Thereby hangs a tale.
Yes I could have done the job but never within the 7-8 hours. I can borrow a ramp at any time without cost. I just didn't have the capacity to want to do the job hence why my mate said. "Ask Jon". Jon knows I am fully capable of doing the job and I would have done the complete job. He should have known that I wanted the job doing right and in its entirety. The clutch did need doing. One thing I've not mentioned until now which might be pertinent is that as he completely fractured the hydraulic steering pipe through carelessness, albeit the pipe was rusty, and I whilst I do accept that accidents can happen (that pipe would have lasted longer had he not broken it) I have a doubt / suscipion he may done something accidentally to cause the loss of hydraulic fluid. It's certainly a possibility.
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Rhothgar
Posts: 898
Joined: 22 Nov 2004, 01:21
Location: Nottingham - UK
My Cars: 1995 Citroen Xantia 1.9TD S1 - M728 GDL
1996 Citroen Xantia 1.9TD SX S1 - N707 MGP (Currrently laid up)
2000 Citroen Xantia 2.0 Hdi S2 - X435 JGJ (Clutch died Dec 2017)
1997 Citroen ZX SX TD - P788 AJL
1959 Landrover Defender S1 - Two owners from new
1968 Triumph Vitesse Convertible 2.0
1980 Ford Escort RS2000 Customer - 2nd Owner
1988 Saab 900 T16S - A 1980's exercise in understated Hooliganism...
Oh! and two Harley Davidsons - A 1990 Sportster and a 2003 Fatboy 100th Anniversary (the only vehicle I have owned from new)
x 9

Re: Xantia 2.0 HDI Clutch woes - All thoughts welcomed! You don't need to have change a clutch to comment...

Post by Rhothgar » 04 Jun 2018, 08:23

cam205gti wrote:
03 Jun 2018, 12:17
Sounds like you need to get remove the clutch cylinder from the gearbox by twisting it with grips towards you 1-4 turn and pull it out. Get your fingers inside where the cylinder was and pull it towards you. You will hear it click in place and the clutch should come up right away.

Dont put LHM in the resivor if it needs a top up. It runs on brake fluid.

I recently changed my clutch and had the sane issue.

Drop the case. You get what you pay for. Buy the guy a beer and move on.

Good luck


The photo looks as though the fork is not close enough to the opening yet having spoken with my mate on Saturday he tells me that he was helping to lift the box back in and he heard it click onto the clip.

Image

It sits back about 45-50 mm from the face.

If my mate says he heard it click in then I have no reason to disbelieve him.
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