Simon's new Xantia V6 and Leaf 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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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by white exec »

Interesting the mention of the sealing fluid "going milky". Remember that old "Barrs Leaks" fluid did the same: about 150ml thick and brown in the tin, which went milky on contact with warm water. Many cars from post-war times onwards ran with it.
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by RichardW »

The Forte stuff is a milky blue colour to start with. Very odd stuff!

Matrix reference info: https://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/ ... 11&t=29981

Despite doing over 200k across 3 Xantias it is a job I have thus far avoided....!
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

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CitroJim wrote: It's certainly a job that needs assistance.
This kind of assistance ? :-D

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by lexi »

The miliky blue stuff is probably a latex type fluid with " liquid glass" in it and maybe a binder. I made the glass last year from silica cat litter and sodium hydroxide. I then put it in a mix of perlite and high alumina cement, with sand. Refractory for log burners.
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

Well that's the Forte arrived already, so if its not raining I'll see if I can get it in there tonight so that it has the rest of the weeks commute to do its thing...
CitroJim wrote: Yes, if need be, drain out a bit of coolant from the expansion tank. Or rather than draining, just use a turkey baster or similar to suck some out...

Then add the Forte but ensure there is enough coolant removed to ensure that none of it can be lost through the overflow when the system is up to temperature and pressure... You don't want the level anywhere above the mid-point of the tank (i.e the top of the internal framework) or you will loose some out of the overflow.

It will soon circulate as the coolant in the expansion tank is by no means static or stagnant... There's a decent flow going on...
I've discovered I have a spare unopened 5L bottle of coolant from the last coolant change, so I think I'll drain 1-2 litres out via the radiator drain tap (which should still be working as I only changed the radiator a few months ago!) and then add the Forte then top up with coolant no more than half way as you say, so none gets wasted.

Is it best to add it when the coolant is cold or hot ? And should I go for a drive to heat things up and mix it after adding it rather than leaving it for the following morning ?

One more question - assuming it does block the leak and lasts a long time (like Richard's example :shock: ) when the coolant is next changed, would more Forte need to be added to prevent the "repair" from being flushed out ?
DHallworth wrote: If you're pushed for time and need it done quickly, have a weekend away and book it in :) One way of guaranteeing it's done right and back together quickly.
Thanks for the suggestion David but I think it's a non-starter on many fronts. 8-)

Driving all the way down south and paying someone else to do a very labour intensive job is just not going to fly with the other half. :-D

Pushed for time is mainly about getting it back on the road again for the Monday commute - driving all that way with a coolant leak worries me more than my own ability to do the job... 8-)
RichardW wrote:I put Forte in my HDi as a temporary measure till I could get to the matrix. It was still there when it went to the scrap yard about 75k later; and still sealing the matrix :lol:

Let me know when you want to do it, I'll come and laugh, er, no I mean help!!
You might live to regret the offer. :-D Normally I like to do as much as I can myself but after reading through that thread it really does look like a two person job - or at least a two contortionist job! :twisted:

Looks like a bit of preparation work is in order too including getting the correct o-rings from Citroen, checking I have some of the necessary specialised tools including some way to get the scuttle off and back on... my scuttle is already badly cracked in several places - I strongly suspect it's been off before!
RichardW wrote:The Forte stuff is a milky blue colour to start with. Very odd stuff!

Matrix reference info: https://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/ ... 11&t=29981

Despite doing over 200k across 3 Xantias it is a job I have thus far avoided....!
I'm onto my third Xantia too and maybe about 50k miles all up and had avoided having to do a heater matrix until now but I suppose at 19 years old it's fair enough if it was the original!

If I had a spare car for the daily commute and the luxury of taking my time I wouldn't sweat it at all, I'd just pick away at it until done but unfortunately I now rely on the car for the daily commute. :(

Fingers crossed that the Forte works as well as it did for you! I'd feel guilty if it worked too well and I never replaced the matrix though... 8-[
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by white exec »

Probably ok to add to cold coolant (you could always dilute it with a bit of coolant before adding it), but a good idea to then take for a drive, to get it up to temp, stat open, and well circulated. And then it's bleeding time.
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by RichardW »

Simon

I would go for a drive to make sure it circulates rather than sitting at the bottom of the header tank. It took a week or two for the one on my HDi to dry up - but that had the worst leak (I Forted all 3 of mine!).

No problem with coming to help - or bring it to mine and we can get medieval on the ball joint at the same time :lol:

I added more Forte to mine when I changed the water pump - however, it always lost coolant after that (due to cooking the electric heater - and that was beyond Forte) and I never put any more Forte in - and the matrix never leaked.
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by CitroJim »

Agree fully with both Chris and Richard on how to add the Forte Simon.... I've added it cold and then gone immediately for a decent run to get it well circulated...

As far as I know it doesn't separate out if left standing...

I howled at your 'two contortionist' comment Simon :lol: Actually, yes it is!
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Stickyfinger »

Run the car with the rad covered (at the back) with card, run at 2k revs and with the cap off from the start, it will soon start to circulate as the thermostat will open quickly.
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by white exec »

Yes, petrols do warm up rather quickly. All that waste heat! [-X
I'm not used to that . . .
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

RichardW wrote:Simon

I would go for a drive to make sure it circulates rather than sitting at the bottom of the header tank. It took a week or two for the one on my HDi to dry up - but that had the worst leak (I Forted all 3 of mine!).
Well the rain held off so I've put it in tonight. :) It was less than an hour after I got home so the engine and coolant was still nice and hot, I decided to drain about 1 litre through the radiator drain tap, (which came out clean, clear and sparkling blue I'm pleased to report) which was about twice that required to empty what was left in the expansion chamber but not enough (I think) to require re-bleeding, as that requires taking out the air filter box to fiddle with the bleed valves on the thermostat housing which I wasn't keen on in the cold and dark.

I then poured the Forte in (which still didn't make it visible in the bottom) and about half a litre of new coolant on top of that to bring it up half way in the expansion chamber. I then went for a couple of spirited drives up the M74 to get it nice and hot and circulate it.

For the last few days since I noticed the leak I've had a fresh sheet of kitchen roll each day up in the top right corner tucked under where it leaks - any leak shows up clearly as a wet patch spread out on the paper, the bigger the patch the more leakage. I've been seeing a double folded piece of paper become soaked half way across each day - not massive but quite a bit.

I was expecting it to take a few days as you suggest Richard but to my surprise after both test drives the new piece of paper was completely dry! :shock: That is promising indeed. Perhaps the leak is so small that it sealed it more or less straight away - so it will be interesting to see how long it lasts! [-o<

Does anyone know what the leak is likely to be ? Do they usually pinhole in the radiator core, or do they leak at a joint somewhere ?
No problem with coming to help - or bring it to mine and we can get medieval on the ball joint at the same time :lol:
I'm not that much of a glutton for punishment to attempt both a heater matrix and that really stubborn balljoint in the same weekend. :rofl2:

It does need doing though, whatever that rattle is is still getting worse. I now notice it when I accelerate on a tight right lock - if there is any loss of traction it rattles quite badly with the wheel torque. :evil: Still not convinced that it couldn't be the inner steering rack joint but the only way to know is to replace one or the other and see what happens! :?
CitroJim wrote: I howled at your 'two contortionist' comment Simon :lol: Actually, yes it is!
:-D

I've done enough under dash jobs like heater blower relay modification to know how awkward it is to be under there upside down legs sprawled over the folded down front seat. :twisted:
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by CitroJim »

That's looking promising Simon :)

My experience suggests it's rarely the matrix itself that lets go but rather the O Rings on the joint between the matrix itself and (for want of a better word) the 'interface' to right angled elbow connector...

The ones I've looked at have gone very hard...

It's a brave person who juts replaces those O rings (not available as spares) and reassembles everything just to see if it's worked... I've never been that brave!

I have seen one holed and I believe it was a poor quality one that was just a little too big and the bottom 'U' tubes rubbed on the base of the heater box and thus holed after a while due to vibration and movement...
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by RichardW »

Mandrake wrote: I'm not that much of a glutton for punishment to attempt both a heater matrix and that really stubborn balljoint in the same weekend. :rofl2:
Lightweight!
Mandrake wrote: I've done enough under dash jobs like heater blower relay modification to know how awkward it is to be under there upside down legs sprawled over the folded down front seat. :twisted:
Ah, you've missed out on the joy that is changing the clutch clip on a manual Xantia..... :roll:
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by CitroJim »

RichardW wrote: Ah, you've missed out on the joy that is changing the clutch clip on a manual Xantia..... :roll:
:evil: :lol: That and a heater matrix are akin to baptisms of fire!!!

The clutch clip can be especially character building....
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

CitroJim wrote:That's looking promising Simon :)
Still no leakage after this mornings trip - I was not expecting it to work this quickly! Let's hope it holds up... [-o<
My experience suggests it's rarely the matrix itself that lets go but rather the O Rings on the joint between the matrix itself and (for want of a better word) the 'interface' to right angled elbow connector...

The ones I've looked at have gone very hard...

It's a brave person who juts replaces those O rings (not available as spares) and reassembles everything just to see if it's worked... I've never been that brave!

I have seen one holed and I believe it was a poor quality one that was just a little too big and the bottom 'U' tubes rubbed on the base of the heater box and thus holed after a while due to vibration and movement...
Ok that's good to know.

The reason I was curious is that if it was something like a pinhole in the aluminium due to corrosion then I would consider this to be a temporary fix at best, however if it is helping a hard o-ring to seal by sealing the gap between the o-ring and the surface the o-ring is supposed to seal against using something sticky it could very well last a long time...

I'm guessing that part of the formulation of the stuff targets bonding with rubber o-rings specifically.