Citrojim's Saxo and Cycling Tales

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

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myglaren
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Unread post by myglaren »

CitroJim wrote: Siany and I were going shopping anyway this evening to buy Robyn some small presents. very small ones from me after what I've shelled out recently...
Diamonds are fairly small Jim :twisted:

XantiaMan
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Unread post by XantiaMan »

CitroJim wrote:
Regular readers of this drivel will be aware of two minor issues on my Activa; the slightly bouncy rear suspension and the couple of instances of cutting out. The latter has not reared it's head since the last time despite a couple of long motorway runs so I think it can be considered now OK. The former issue was looked at, and the reason found, with the aid of Richard's sphere tester. It's just an HP pump, a PR block, an LHM reservoir and a gauge. It still faintly staggers me that you can pressurise a sphere to 70-odd bars just by turning the pump pulley about five revolutions by hand.

All the rear spheres are well down on pressure, including the Activa balancing sphere. All the spheres are Westroen ones and still have just under a year to run on their 3-year warranty :D
Extreme post resurrection!

My car is equipped with many Westroen spheres which i suspect are low, particularly the Activa specfic ones.

On the slam panel is a sticker saying it was all done in 2008, meaning they should have some warranty left?

Did you send them the spheres and they sent replacements?

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CitroJim
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Unread post by CitroJim »

Err, I had a natter with a rather Northern accented gentleman at Westroen and the warranty only extended (in my case) to blown ones. Not ones that had dropped in pressure. I naturally queried this.

He (as I recall) got a bit defensive and asked how I had determined the spheres in question were low and from where had I got my information. When I said I used a pressure tester on them and consulted the charts in the factory manuals, he got even more defensive and hinted that I might not quite have a full grasp and understanding of Citroen hydraulics.

The conversation was terminated thereafter.

In his defense, the remaining ones, when tested in July, were still just about borderline serviceable after four years in use...

Regassed ones can be a lottery in my experience. I've known of two loose every bar of pressure just sitting in stock...

On to happier things - Robyn's 18th birthday celebrations went extremely well, culminating in a big party last evening/night. A great time was had by all and everybody was extremely well behaved :D

It was a very late night and I've been recovering a bit most of today :roll:

I was proud to take Robyn to the party in my Activa - not quite a Limo but the next best thing :D She was hoping for the cream leather V6 but was happy with the Activa...

One thing I noticed again last evening with the Activa and have many times in the past, is how the rear window is so enthusiastic about steaming up at the slightest provocation. My others don't do this and nor do they rain water into the boot when the tailgate is soaking wet. I had a little investigation today and might have found the cause.

Firstly, I had the boot carpet up, mindful of leaks in the past and my concomitant paranoia about them, as dry everywhere as a Temperance pub so that was not the issue. The I looked at the "raining" issue and found the water was pouring from a gutter under the lower edge of the glass. Just under the glass edge is a channel designed to catch and water that might leak past it's seal. This channel is open to the inner surface of the glass and has drains on each side of the tailgate - water was pouring profusely from these after a good downpour whereas on old V6, hardly anything at all.

The culprit turned out to be a very loose gland on the rear wiper, the black one just below the arm. This was allowing water to run into the channel and fill it. Over time the water evaporates and condenses on the inside of the screen. The gland just needed tightening up...

Time will tell if this was the reason or just another red herring...

Still, at least I know the car is unconditionally dry now... That's good...

One little thing I rescued when we were clearing up after the party was an empty helium balloon gas cylinder. They're disposable but it seemed like it might be useful for something...

Not sure what just yet. Any ideas?

XantiaMan
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Unread post by XantiaMan »

I think after that, i may speak to our closer expert in spheres over near Duxford way. Although i would prefer to get new ones, can you still get them ?

You'll have to let me know when your free next for a bit of sphere testing!

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CitroJim
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Unread post by CitroJim »

XantiaMan wrote: Although I would prefer to get new ones, can you still get them ?
From a Dealer maybe but not from the usual after-market source...

If you're happy with non-Activa Spheres then yes, as in my mind, normal Hydractive ones work fine and these are readily available from the usual vendor and work fine.

The two that can't be got by this route are the Activa Accumulator and the Activa Balancing Sphere. Both can be obtained from our man over Duxford way by supplying him with a normal anti-sink sphere and a normal accumulator. For the former he blows it up to 62 bars and the latter he lets down to 30 bars. For the latter, another option is to test a load of worn accumulators and select one that measures around 30 bars on the pressure tester.

If you have a balancing sphere set on the high side, it makes the ride a little softer with concomitant slightly less Activa response...

Most weekends between now and the dreaded are good for me Gareth, now 18th birthdays are out of the way for a while...

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DickieG
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Unread post by DickieG »

Jim, when it comes to Activa's I'm going to call you Mr Moist :lol: :lol:

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CitroJim
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Unread post by CitroJim »

DickieG wrote:Jim, when it comes to Activa's I'm going to call you Mr Moist :lol: :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Oh dear, I've had more leaks than the cabinet Office in the time of my Xantia ownership...

I only need to see a trace of mist on a window now and I fear another leak...

Paranoid or what?

XantiaMan
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Unread post by XantiaMan »

Dear Mr Moist, i have a leak on my MG ZR, could you please come and fix it? Thanks :lol:

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Unread post by Deanxm »

:lol: :lol:

KP
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Unread post by KP »

The ones from Plaides i can vouch for :) All but 2 oin my activa have been sourced from them :)

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CitroJim
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Unread post by CitroJim »

XantiaMan wrote:Dear Mr Moist, i have a leak on my MG ZR, could you please come and fix it? Thanks :lol:
I'm sure I can apply my learning to a British Citroen Gareth :lol:
KP wrote:The ones from Plaides i can vouch for :) All but 2 oin my activa have been sourced from them :)


I have a very old Pleiades sphere I use as a "keeper" on my sphere tester. It was an accumulator and still has 25 bars in it. I once lent it to a fellow forum member with a blown Hydractive centre sphere and it did good service until he bought a brand new one...

davetherave
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Unread post by davetherave »

Ive got quite a few under pressure, but not blown spheres sitting around my pressure tester!.
Just waiting for me to buy a regas kit....
One day!

citroenxm
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Unread post by citroenxm »

Ive a good collection of spheres too, mostly Amtek or IHFS ... but I also kept a few with Valprex Valves already fitted to them that have come off cars...

Paul

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CitroJim
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Unread post by CitroJim »

Life's been a bit worky recently, in fact last weekend was spent working at work on overtime :evil: It's be good for helping tax New V6 though...

All this work caused me to get a bit of an attack of spanneritis. This is a very serious condition caused by a prolonged lack of contact with automotiove tools in the pursuance of fixing or investigating something...

There is only one cure for spanneritis and that's to get the spanners out and get spannering...

Salvation arrived on Tuesday evening when a kindly soul gave ame a very duff MA (Pug 106, 206, Cit Saxo and so on) gearbox to have a play with...

I'm happy now and my spannerituis is now fully cured again. I'm doing my favourite thing on one of my favourite subjects!

MA 'boxes are a bit trickier than a BE3 'box and a LOT trickier than a 4HP20 auto....

:D

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CitroJim
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Unread post by CitroJim »

CitroJim wrote: MA 'boxes are a bit trickier than a BE3 'box and a LOT trickier than a 4HP20 auto....
Many a true word spoken in jest...

My advice if you are tempted to dismantle an MA is don't. That is unless you enjoy Krypton Factor puzzles... They are not for the faint hearted.

To be honest, I have spent two very enjoyable evenings and most of today doing battle with the MA.

I fell at the first hurdle really, when taking off the 5th gear synchro hub. One false move and it exploded in a barrage of springs and balls in my hand :twisted: I'd not appreciated these 'boxes have baulk ring synchromesh...

The rest of the 'box is held together with copious quantities of Loctite that makes it fun undoing things. It's seriously worrying when you have to use a 3 foot breaker bar on T30 Torx bolts... As if that is bad enough, the gear selector arm is pinned to the selector shaft with a tapered cotter pin and to get it out required a pin punch on the end of a 4 lb club hammer and wellying the living daylights out of it.

Luckily I managed to find all the errant springs and balls from the fifth gear synchro and managed to do the same thing with the 1st/2nd synchro later on :twisted: Lucky again, I managed to recover the bits after their freedom flight.

Anyway, the 'box ended up as a pile of bits and the reason for the lack of drive became apparent. The crownwheel is heat-shrunk onto the diff assembly and the crownwheel was found to be spinning quite merrily on the diff housing with absolutely no resistance whatever. Apart from that glaring design weakness, the MA box is a sturdy little thing and brilliantly designed and executed. The diff generally was clearly a Friday afternoon job in the design department as in addition to the crownwheel weakness, the diff sun and planet gears showed considerable wear. Elseware, there was not a spot of wear anywhere, even all the synchros looked in fine order and are a vast improvement on the old-fashioned cone synchros in the BE3.

Now for the Krypton factor bit. Those exploding synchro hubs and their springs and balls needed reassembling. Basically, it is necessary to get three balls on the end of three strong springs in a 120 degree arc around a circle back in place simultaneously whilst all the time said springs and balls are trying desperately to make a bid for freedom. I liken it to fitting a wriggling baby into a babygro only a bit easier.

I had a few abortive goes in the garage and got fed up of scrabbling around retrieving lost balls and springs again and thanking my luck that they did not end up in some inaccessible crevice. In my workshop there are plenty of those.

So, thinking I needed to do the job where flying springs and balls had nowhere to hide, I retreated to the kitchen. I tried again... Ping, plink! Where did that ball go? Sounded like it ricocheted off the washing machine. No sign of it. Under the washing machine? No, not quite. It bounced under the washing machine and ended up resting on a ledge up inside the casing of the washing machine...

I retired to bed then and slept on it. I dreamed up a fitting jig and got up early this morning and made a jig. It nearly worked but still the balls and springs flew.

Finally, after THREE hours of trying, I finally cracked it just using hands and fingers. There is a definite knack to it and it takes a lot of practice to get it but then it's easy. The second one I did in three minutes.

One good thing about the MA is that there are no shims and nothing to adjust. Both main and layshafts float on roller bearings.

So, the conclusion is this. If you have an MA that's lost drive, the diff is duff but I reckon the crownwheel could be carefully welded to the diff housing and all would be well again. It would need a skilled welder. The downside is that to get to the diff, the gearbox needs to be totally stripped.

Compare with a 4HP20 crownwheel bolted to the diff assembly with about 15 M12 bolts... That makes more sense.

This problem is, I'm told, a common failing, mainly in Saxos owned by youngsters. Lots of drag-racing starts in McDonalds car parks seems to be the killer for the diff...

There was a reason for all of this. Robyn's 206 has a bit of a baulky first gear. When hot it's a bit reluctant to engage. It does not grind or anything, just baulk. In light of going through an MA, I'm fairly sure the first gear synchro is worn and I'm now happy to fix it if/when it gets worse. Baulk ring synchros, when worn, will not so much grind like a worn synchro in a BE3 but rather make gear engagement difficult.

All in all, an interesting exercise.

I rounded off the day by visiting New V6 and running her up prior to retaxing her in early December. I also gave Old V6 her usual checkover and found all to be sweet.

The weather here has been excellent today. A bit on the brisk side, damp at times, sunny at others but no snow. The BBC got it wrong again... We were due plenty according to the forecast...