It's been a very busy Xantia weekend. On Friday Richard (DickieG) delivered his Activa to me and I took him back home in the estate to collect a wealth of spares. The spares fairly filled the estate but have somehow now all disappeared into my tardis-like garage.
A very big thank you Richard for everything
So I am now custodian (hopefully for a very long time) of Richard's Activa. It is very special and prehaps one of the finest. Not only is it in near mint condition but it has all the options, including leather, sunroof and winter pack. To really put the icing on the cake, it's a red one
I now think I know what it might have been like to take delivery of a brand new Xantia. It pays tremendous homage to Richard's skill in all matters Xantia.
It's a MK1 and it has been rather interesting to compare my outgoing MK2, which is now in the ownership of Gareth (XantiaMan583).
Fundamentally, the ride and drive of the MK1 is very similar. Richard's is riding on non-hydractive corner spheres at the front and these make the ride just a little softer (no bad thing on an Activa) without compromising the handling to any noticeable (by me) extent. The rear seems a little softer compared to the MK2 despite running Activa rear corner spheres. At least having the opportunity of driving Gareth's and Richard's back-to-back, I know Gareths's is pretty good mechanically.
The egine response is totally different though. The MK2 feels more powerful and urgent. With the Mk1 you need to press the throttle harder and further to get the same response. The MK1 is gentler.
The reason for this apparant different behaviour from what is at first glance the same engine exactly perhaps may be seen in the throttle body. The MK1 throttle butterfly has a shaped "lump" on its lower edge and the butterfly itself is operated via a cam and linkage whereas in the MK2 the lump is absent and the butterfly is directly operated. The lump is there to improve throttle response at low openings and has the effect, it seems, of requiring a lot more throttle to make it go. It tries to make the response linear whereas in the MK2, it is anything but; a very small change in throttle opening makes a big difference, hence the more urgent feel of the MK2 engine. There is also a suspicion that due to its duties in a former life, Gareth's ECU may not be 100% standard.
Driving the new MK1 is beset with some fear at the moment. It's akin to driving around in a precious and irreplacable Ming vase. Every Sunday driver seemed hell-bent on running into it this morning
Me? paranoid? What?
Richard has carried out the headlight relay modification and what a difference, I never knew MK1 lights could be so good. The mod is well recommended and my estate will be done soon
Gareth and I spent the moring yesterday removing his diesel pump ready for overhaul. It had been leaking when running on veg and most of the leaks are from the timing device. It's only a couple of O rings but due to the need to remove the armour to get the device out, it was felt best to leave this job to the professionals for reasons given in an earlier entry in this blog.
Gareth's 1.9TD is a cracker of a car. It is absolute testimony to Gareth's skill in bodywork. You can see the transformation in Gareth's before and after pictures in another thread but to really appreciate it, it has to be seen close up and in the metal. He has also made it a very convincing Activa lookalike. It's a real credit to you Gareth
It is also a pleasure to work on because the engine bay is so nice and clean. I hate working on an oily, unkempt engine
Beside the pump, we have a few more jobs to do. A sphere change, wishbone bushes and the lower engine mount, which is in a very sad way, are on the list and at the end of that lot it will be a very well sorted TD. It runs like a clock and is one of the sweetest sounding TDs I know.
Gareth did find an easy way to replace the glowplugs. Remove the pump first
He found two glowplugs totally dead so thay will be replaced before the pump goes back on. Not surprisingly, the two dead ones were the ones that traditionally are hardest to reach.
It was a most enjoyable Saturday all in all and you know Gareth, you're welcome here any time, although I did get the feeling you were a little surprised at the extent of "Dad's Taxi" work I carry out