Citrojim's Pixo, 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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andmcit
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Post by andmcit » 21 Aug 2009, 23:14

Oops, sorry about the large piccy earlier - I had the photobucket option set
for Ginormous and didn't give it a thought. :oops:

Actually Gareth, your comment in the Activa's spotted for sale that it
looked a bit scruffy was probably about right! It's had a modest amount
of TLC but I believe will scrub up well - the main PITA is the small dink
on the rear driver's wing corner and a minor split on the lower front
bumper. Renewal of the missing bumper window covers have helped
the appearance considerably.

This one has a noticeable raspy fart and actually sound like there's a split.
I have changed the exhaust manifold on a standard 2.0i in an XM and have
to say it wasn't a particularly nice job that's for sure so the turbo manifold
is likely to be nasty squared from the vibes I'm getting. :evil:

I'm going to remove the engine from another Activa shortly so will have the
dubious pleasure of gaining lots of first hand experience. I'll take loads of
piccies for the Activa section - assuming it's not under Hurricane weather
conditions...

Andrew


Image

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 22 Aug 2009, 06:31

I have to say, i have only noticed this being an issue on S2 Activa's and it leads me to believe it could just be a characteristic. Normally, if a cracked in a manifold existed, or a gasket was blowing, this would lessen once warm. As it doesnt, and with mine performance is smooth and strong, holds boost very well, doesnt run hot or have any visible signs of leakage in the manifold area, i am not inclined to go to the hassle! But, when the time comes and the engine is out for whatever reason, it will be getting a very close look, and all gaskets replaced just in case.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 23 Sep 2009, 22:24

I think it's been a long, long time since I've updated this blog. In my defence m'lud, life has been a bit on the busy side recently..

Well, two shows have come and gone and both were excellent, even if the weather wasn't.. It seems a long time now until the next one :( This year I'll try to make the Classic car Show at the NEC and loiter around the CCC stand.

My 2.1TD has left me for a new home leaving me with the V6 as daily driver and my Activa as weekend car. The V6 might seem a strange choice as a daily driver but it actually does the job supremely well and as long as you treat the accelerator like a rare ming vase and keep away from the sport button it does pretty well on fuel; certainly better than the Activa.

In truth, one of my Xantias had to go as running three cars was not sustainable, either from the point of view of properly looking after them all or the expense. And one had to go to make way for Robyn's first car, which loks as if it'll be Dad's Nissan Pixo as he is after another car. he wants a Saxo but is still cogitating over an Auto or a diesel manual.

In one of my last entries I said I must arrange collection of the Exclusive alloys I bought from Will. FCF International Couriers did the business with those and Steve (Myglaren) brought them along to the CXM rally and even delivered them to my house! Steve, you're a diamond!

Two of the wheels have now been tyred and are on the V6, allowing me to get rid of the oversize ones on the rear. The difference in ride is noticeable and they balanced up a treat with a minimal number of weights. The car is now as smooth as silk to 100MPH!

Following my surgery on the electrovalves, there has been no further problems on the hydraulics as such and that part of the car has been reliable. The V6 has seen a number of journeys to Somerset and back recently and since the rebuild I've now done 3,500 substantially reliable miles in it. It did blot it's record a little last weekend though. I went to see the folks in Somerset and met up with John (jgra1) and Kev (red_drarfers). I took Kev for a ride in the V6 with a sport mode demo and that was fine but afterward, the next start showed the engine management light on and an engine running on less than 6 cylinders. After Kev and I limped to dad's house, it was given a chance to cool off and it was then fine again. Sadly, 10 miles into the return journey, it happened again and I had no option but to call out a flatbed. In the end I got home at 03:30 after a two stage recovery. Britannia Rescue were wonderful.

A Lexia check next day showed the ignition coil at fault so a new one was sought. I called the local Stealer who wanted £237 plus the dreaded for one. A Google found one at a coil specialist for £116 and it arrived next day. Remarkably, it was an OE Sagem one :roll: Fitted and touch-wood, problem resolved.

Another problem was discovered though. I have an LHM leak (well, a leak by my standards but a weep to anyone else) I noticed the NS corner of the front subframe was a bit damp. Investigation showed the rubber hose that attaches to the metal leakage return pipe from the steering pinion was perished right on the join. This rubber pipe forms part of the main return octopus and likely would cost an arm and a leg new so a quick call to Pleiades was made. Martin tells me it is OK to trim the pipe back and splice in a length of petrol hose of the right diameter as it's a functional return and under little pressure. The only problem is that being a V6, access is an issue in that it's almost inaccessible; the LHM reservoir will have to come out yet again to sort it.

Then soon, the V6 is going to need a new exhaust system... And I still need to do the heater matrix, the rear arm bearings and the cruise control.

Tomorrow my Activa goes in for an MOT. A check this evening showed one dim numberplate lamp as a problem and it has been treated (at last) to new front wiper blades... It hardly seems a year is up since the last MOT. Time really does fly.

Behind the scenes, work continues well with the new forum server and converting the forums to phpBB3. My personal jury is out over whether or not phpBB3 is a good move or if we should stick to phpBB2 as we are on now. have a look at the new test forums at www.xantiav6.co.uk/forum for the FCF and www.xantiaactiva.co.uk/forum for the BXC and tell me what you think. I'm not happy with the speed of phpBB3.

Life on the domestic front continues apace. Work is busy and the issues with mum and dad down in Somerset are far from resolved; many more runs to Somerset in the near future are expected. My cars are working hard...

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 24 Sep 2009, 20:01

My Activa flew through her MOT test today with no advisories and emissions barely registering on the tester :D :D :D Another year covered. It's a whole nine months until the V6 will need an MOT :D :D

Emboldened, I tackled the weeping pinion valve functional return pipe on the V6 late this afternoon. What a job :twisted: :twisted: It makes a heater matrix replacement look like a stroll in the park :roll:

Although just weeping at this stage, I was determined to change it as it carries a high volume of LHM at low pressure and if it let go big-time it would soon empty the reservoir and I have no desire to call on the services of a flatbed so soon after the last time :lol:

The rubber pipe in question joins the metal pipe from the pinion valve on the nearside of the car. The joint between rubber and metal can just be seen and got-to behind the subframe but there's no room for a hand. All must be done with tools. The rubber slides over a flared end on the metal pipe and this was where the pipe had split. I had to unclip the clip (difficult) and then slit the pipe with a long craft knife before the old pipe would come free of the metal pipe. All this lying under the car and with LHM dripping into my hair :lol: :lol:

Then, the rubber pipe runs at a right angle and disappears up to the LHM reservoir in the company of a positive gaggle of other hydraulic pipes, all clipped together. Finally it ends as one of the three legs of the octopus below the big main return pipe on the reservoir.

I had to remove the LHM reservoir but this did not really make the job simple, it just helped a bit. Next, I cut the offending pipe about five inches from the octopus and pulled it free. Somehow I managed to thread the new length of pipe (5/16" fuel hose, exactly the same size as the old) back down in its clips so that it exited under the wheelarch. Then working under the car and with one hand pushing from the wheelarch, I got the end of the pipe and a jubilee clip onto the flare of the metal pipe and pushed hard. Success. You can't tell the job has been done at all :D

This job is made so difficult by a total lack of any sort of reasonable access at all. I wanted to take some pictures by you can't reallya nd even if you could they'd be meaningless. All you'd see is a glimpse of a rubber pipe joining on to a metal one and from the wheelarch, the barest sight of a rubber pipe at a distance turning through 90 degrees. From there it is effectively totally hidden!

Then it was just a case of joining the stub of old pipe from the octopus to the new pipe and the job was a good 'un. After replacing the LHM reservoir, the wheel and a top-up of LHM, she was good to go.

So, that's another job ticked off the list. I'm just wondering what else the V6 has in store to surprise me...

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davetherave
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Post by davetherave » 24 Sep 2009, 21:47

I think you just do these jobs to condition your hair with LHM Jim!

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KP
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Post by KP » 25 Sep 2009, 08:01

Glad to hear your V6 is still doing well Jim and the repairs are continuing.

Have you sourced a new exhaust system for you car yet or are you thinking of just spending hte money on getting a new custom stainless steel one made up so that it lasts a bit longer?

Do you think an activa would pass the MOT without the CAT then if the emissions are so low? Good to see that even after many years their expensive exhaust bits are still lasting. keeping my fingers crossed for mine as its due in the next month or two :(

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 25 Sep 2009, 10:36

You know Dave, I don't find LHM at all bad and don't worry at all in being covered in the stuff. In fact I work without gloves when doing hydraulic work as partly I find the LHM makes gloves impossibly slippery and secondly, LHM seems to have ony good effects on my skin and it washes off very easily. One of the cosmetic firms could market it and use a slogan like "The anti-wrinkle cream with the added special green ingredient"

I wonder sometimes how much good (or bad) prolonged skin contact with LHM actually does?

I'm sitting here with lovely soft hair right now :lol:

Will, it's a moot point about a decatted Activa passing the MOT. I reckon it would as I once looked at a decatted Activa wearing a custom stainless exhaust. It had recently been MOT'd. Point is, unless you pull the innards out of the existing cat case, it'll fail on a visual test by a keen-eyed tester. We need someone to take a decatted Activa for an MOT or at least an MOT-type emissions test.

I'm cogitating over the V6 exhaust issue. My main problems are a ratty back box (not yet leaking) and a very corroded joint where the middle box joins the cat. It looks like this might write off the cat :cry: unlessd a clever company can do a repair and it's quite feasible to do if someoine has the necessary skill; perhaps as part of making a stainless system for it.

The only thing that worries me about a stainless system is the noise. Said Activa I looked at was terribly noisy and boomed and resonated to the extent that it made the whole car horrible to drive.

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KP
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Post by KP » 25 Sep 2009, 11:15

If you spend the money on a custom one you can get the noise set how you like.

My coupe wasn't too bad until over about 80ish and that went from 1cat, 1 centre box and 1 rear box, to just 1 rear box and was 3" pipe from the turbo back instead of 2". it was great when it was on full boost and on cam, but not too bad low down when in the car.

Glad the alloys are good for you as well and that they are still being used on a car worthy of them :)

Personally on the decat Activa discussion we need to see if someone could get a decat pipe put in place and is easily able to bolt the cat back in. Not sure on the exact layout of the exhaust as never seen the car in the air for long enough but if i get the tracking done i'll have a nosey at mine :)

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 25 Sep 2009, 11:44

I may find out soon what the emissions are like without a cat...

Its part of the downpipe though, so flanges would need to be welded onto the cat and the decat pipe to make them easily swoppable.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 25 Sep 2009, 12:21

XantiaMan583 wrote:I may find out soon what the emissions are like without a cat....
Good stuff Gareth :D Yours is a good test bed because we know with cat it was like mine at last MOT with very low emissions.

The V6 has the same cat arrangement as the Activa only about three times the size...

I'll start making enquiries about an S/S system for the V6. Any good recommendations of places to go?

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KP
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Post by KP » 25 Sep 2009, 14:16

Blueflame were good for me but it would be a trek and a half for you jim and they generally tkae a whole day to do it as well but saying that it was about £300 all in for mine, that was without cat though...

Sid_the_Squid
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Post by Sid_the_Squid » 25 Sep 2009, 16:21

I second Blueflame, had a full stainless exhaust inc cat replacement pipe for my FTO from Blueflame, it sounded amazing, not to loud and chavish.

For £300 that's an absolute bargain, my FTO one was about £470~480 that was 5 years ago, when did you get that quote KP?

There's plenty of good exhast garages around, there's one here in WGC which seem quite good, heres a URL
http://www.predatormotorsport.co.uk/

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red_dwarfers
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Post by red_dwarfers » 25 Sep 2009, 18:30

CitroJim wrote:And I still need to do the heater matrix
If you and Xac want an extra pair of hands I'd be more than willing to help out with the matrix :D (famous last words? :lol: )
Maybe we could film it...

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 25 Sep 2009, 22:18

Thanks Kev :D

It would be educational and most valuable to film. Can you edit out the inevitable naughty words though?

I let a fair few go yesterday when I was replacing my pinion valve hose :lol: :lol:

Thinking on, we should liaise with Xac on this and do mine and his as a dual job.

I'm planning to take a week off commencing the 5th October and that's when I'm planning the job.

Thanks for the exhaust heads ups :D I need a new cat as well, simply because its exit pipe is rusty at the bell-end joint to the mid-section and I'm not sure it's repairable as it's double skinned and has begun to leak.

I've found this Exhaust Supplier local to me and it looks like a good price for the whole shebang. I can collect it and fit it myself with a bit of assistance.

Might be a good place for your Activa Xac. They're located in Blisworth (near Northampton). They'll knock out a complete system for less than £100 for your Activa. Speaking of which, mine will need one before the next MOT as well :(

Here's the Activa System with prices for all parts of it...

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 25 Sep 2009, 22:32

Excellent find Jim, £105 for a cat/downpipe is very good. There is a local powerflow place here which did my Maestro back box 7 years ago, and its still spot on, so thats where i am going for the Xantia. May pop up there tomorrow to get a quote.