Citrojim's AX, Saxo, Pixo, Running 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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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

What a day :D A good day!

A cold but beautifully sunny day until the rain came at dusk :twisted:

Firstly, I've found a way to combat my cold hands in this weather. I tried some "Thinsulate" gloves and pulled the nitrile gloves over the top. I'm a bit banana-fingered like that but at least it keeps my hands warm.

So, hands suitably kept warm, I attacked the V6 dismemberment with a new keenness today :D All that's left now is the rear arms and that's it, job done.

Difficult bits today were getting the gear selector console/cable out. That is a real pain and I sincerely hope none of us auto drivers ever have any selector cable problems :twisted:

I also got the brake dosuer out and that's not exactly a stroll in the park either :twisted:

Mostly though, it was just straight disassembly.

Xac came round to sort out his roll problems on his Activa and to fit a bumper. I'd found him a spare roll corrector mechanism but it was very firmly seized. After some Plus Gas, a bit of encouragement and a long bath in used hydraflush it came good and Xac fitted it. The job was a good 'un and his car looks better for a new bumper on the front. Once Xac fits his new rear bumper his Activa will be looking very smart indeed :D

I experienced my first real ruptured sphere today. I'd already "cracked" the rear spheres long ago but remarkably there was still considerable pressure in the rear hydractive sphere and corners. It shows the anti-sink valve works well!

On removing one corner I was greeted by an absolute deluge of LHM and was staggered to observe the sphere spray a needle-fine jet of LHM from its damper hole for a good two or three minutes with some force :shock: The spray reached from the rear to the front of the car!

The ruptured sphere would be the reason the car used to sink at the back.

A gentleman came by and asked if we were servicing cars (!) No, not servicing exactly but could we help? He was after a jamjar of old oil to help kill the stump of a tree he'd just felled. Apparently you drill holes into the stump, fill them with old oil and it does the job....

Anyways, I took him to my waste oil container and asked him how much he'd like of the 20 or so litres I have... He had to pass the scrap V6 on the way and when he saw the front of it, his jaw fell open. The car still looks complete and tidy from the rear but the front is a very different story. Dismembered totally is the best description :lol: :lol:

Tomorrow, weather permitting, it'll be off with the rear arms and the shell will be virtually ready for the scrapman :lol:

Yesterday I ran my V6 down to Somerset and back. A great trip on deserted roads and she just purred from start to end. Running on V Power petrol she returned brilliant economy too :D
Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

Sounds like a good day Jim :)

Yes i found that method of keeping my hands warm last week, its bitterly cold out there lately. We keep having snow/rain/sleet and hail, nearly all at the same time. WHich then turns to ice over night, such fun!

Ive had spheres like that too, that 94 Xm we had last year, its rear spheres had gone like that, they were spraying fluid for quite a while too.

Good tip about the trees, ill have to remember that and sneek round to the neighbours one night :lol:

The website is coming along Jim.

Chris
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Post by CitroJim »

'Bout time I updated this blog :roll:

It's been a bit of a roller-coaster these past couple of weeks. I love watching roller-coasters but I don't enjoy riding them at all. This metaphorical one I've been riding is now slowing up and coming to the end, thank goodness... Or, at least I hope it is.

Work has been a challenge and a few times just a challenge getting there but I have to take my hat off to my V6, she's been as good as gold in all this weather and as sure-footed as a mountain goat :D Work has been very busy and I've been working late most evenings, coming home shattered and brain-dead only to resume the fight with the forum webserver which, as I'm sure you've all noticed, has been behaving very badly just recently and bouncing up and down like a Xantia on flat spheres... Quite frankly, spending long days at work fighting recalcitrant IT and then coming home and doing exactly the same nearly did for me this week and I came close to throwing a few toys. I hesitate to say this but the host reckon they have now fixed the problem... I bloody well hope so or toys will be thrown...

Yesterday was a day of not good news. My eyesight has been deteriorating over the last few months and a lot of yesterday was spent in the company of a really good orthoptist who subjected my eyes to a barrage of tests and declared that I have bad torsional distortion in the stereoscopic image my eyes produce (basically the image from my left eye is rotated about 20 degrees) and this cannot be corrected with glasses. Surgery is being mentioned :o Due to the effect it has, and being most pronounced at night, I'm under orders to not drive any distance at night until it's sorted :( Night driving has become increasingly difficult and I'm down to about 40mph as that's the fastest I feel safe at. That has nothing to do with the efficiency (or otherwise) of MK1 Xantia headlights either :lol:

The breaking of the spares V6 is going well and had it not been for the white stuff, all would have been done and dusted by now.. This weekend should see the last bits done and the shell will then be disposed of. It is now truly just a shell :)

On my way home from hospital yesterday I called into our local factors to pick up some oil and a filter for my V6 as she's badly due a change (6,000 miles are up) and whilst there I noticed they were selling off relatively cheply some end-of -line tools. I picked myself up a lovely little Facom 1/4" drive socket set. My old one was just about wrecked, being just an old cheapie that had been abused over the years. I find these little sockets a godsend all over the V6 and Facom are seriously good quality tools. And they're French :D

Hopefully the next instalment will be more about cars...
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Post by vince »

Damn Jim that doesnt sound great news about your eyes...

I know somewhat how you feel as i have an eye disease callec cerataconis or something like that :) It too cant be helped by glasses but luckily contact lenses help for now. If it gets worse later in life then i will need a cornea transplant :)

Hope it gets sorted :wink:
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Post by CitroJim »

I have great faith in out health services Vince so hopefully...

Your problem sounds really nasty :twisted: Makes mine look a bit pathetic!


'Tis advancing years with me. The lady I saw on Thursday told me I'd had this issue (unknowingly) all my life but as I age, so do the eye muscles :lol: :lol: Still, looking on the very bright side, the rest of me is aging pretty well...

On the subject of night driving, I'm intrigued to know if yellow bulbs might help, given my blue focus problems or if those yellow glasses might help...

Still, some good news. I scored a 4HP20 autobox on eBay last night for a very small sum of money and I'll be off to collect it later today :D

This damm weather is putting a bit of crimp in my plans for today. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day :lol:
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Post by Xaccers »

Mum had to have her eyes adjusted after the socket linings had to be removed due to a virus infection.
She's always been terrified of going blind.
The recovery from it was quite quick too.
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Post by myglaren »

Sorry to hear about the eye problem on top of all the others Jim.

An item of good news on this front is something I read recently about replacing worn lenses with squishy plastic ones that replicate brand new ones and look like being a great success.
If I can remember where I read it I'll post a link.

I keep an eye open for this kind of thing as my wife is now legally blind with macular degeneration and has to use glasses with two pair of lenses, rather like binoculars, and still can't see much.
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Post by CitroJim »

Oh, Steve, that's terrible :( My glasses contain prisms to correct the up/down distortion but it's the torsional stuff that's the problem that lenses cannot correct.

Be interesting to hear more about replacing worn lenses :)

Been over to near Evesham this morning to collect my gearbox. I was expecting a visit to a breakers but it turned out to be two very enthusiastic and capable lads who have broken a 406 V6 for its engine which is finding a new home in a Peugeot 306 Rallye :D

They're using an ML5 manual 'box on it and were busy working out how to cable operate the clutch when I arrived...

The 406 in question was in good nick and was declared dead because of the gearbox. A duff diff seal had caused an oil leak and it ran very low on oil. It's done 140,000 miles but drove OK so I'm told. The 'box was very economically priced :D

The lads have lots of 406 bits left over and may be up to sell some stuff. The car (not a coupe) has a nice leather interior etc. Anyone interested and I can put you in touch...

I only went across there today because it was raining so heavily. Sod's law of course saw the weather clear up and I could have done some more dismantling today but hey-ho... It was good to take the V6 for a decent spin...
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Post by CitroJim »

Just nipped home to see the scrapman take the gutted shell of the old V6 away :D I've got my driveway back now, albeit only temporarily no doubt!

I was intrigued to see how they did it. Just a normal Tranny-sized recovery truck and a power winch. They just attached the winch and dragged it up onto the bad of the truck. Job done...

Yesterday was very productive and saw the last bits stripped off. It was a real mini-meet at my place at one point and we could count 6 Xantias in attendance at one point as Nigel (FOWMC), his dad (Scratcher), Sid The Squid, Mike and I were all present :lol: It was good to meet you Nigel and Jerry :D

Nigel and his dad were there collecting stuff they'd bought whils Sid the Squid brought up his dad's 2.1TD (my old one) for a pre-MOT check. It was good to see my old TD :D It was pleasing to see it being well looked after :D

Had some fun with the TD though. The bolt that holds the battery clamp had sheared off. It was wee in there. In the end we removed the battery tray complete and applied the propane torch to it. That did the trick :D

My workshop is all tidy again and ready to get stuck into autoboxes again. It looks quite full now with two autobaoxes and a V6 engine in there...

Now the weather has warmed up again, I can spend some time in there and get some Activa ram bushes made up on the lathe.

Plenty to keep me busy...
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Post by CitroJim »

I can honestly say that between my last entry and today I have done nothing on the cars at all. Last weekend was dominated by the forum server troubles and my kids.

Thanks to Xac's sterling efforts, the forum is now running like a clock and that's good because I can get back to cars :D

And today I did. I looked under the Activa and found a puddle in the vicinity of the rear ram :( The leak had got considerably worse and action was needed so I set about swapping the ram for a spare I had. It looked good and dry so I assumed it was good.

Replacing a rear ram is not at all easy due to the location of the hydraulic pipes. In fact it is a monster of a job :twisted: :twisted:

I'll be doing one of my web pages as a guide to the job soon as there are many pitfalls to avoid. At first, it is a toss-up how to go about it but the task soon becomes clear, if not easier.

Before even attempting the job, give yourself a full day and ensure you have a 17mm flare nut spanner, a 21mm open ender and a good 8mm ring along with a length of plastic washer hose.

To cut a long story short, the job went well enough and it was all ready for a test as Paul (citroenxm) pulled up on my drive in his black 1.9TD..

Initial tests looked good. No leaks :D

Sadly, after a few rounds of Citarobics, drip drip :cry: :cry: The "new" ram was leaking worse than the old one. Not by much but it was worse :evil: :evil: :evil:

I'll be buying a brand-new ram now. Not going to use another second-hand one as it is just too much hassle.

Still, the experience was good and having done it once, it'll be quicker next time...

Last job before darkness fell was to give the V6 an oil change ready for it's run to Somerset next weekend. That, I'm pleased to say, went OK :D

I'll post up as soon as I have the ram guide published on my website...

Spent a very pleasant evening with Paul and tomorrow we're expecting to see Toby in his new Activa for continuing electrovalve diagnosis. I wonder if he'd notice if I nicked his rear ram :lol: :lol:
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Post by XantiaMan »

I'm still of the opinion that lack of regular use contributes to their failure. I'm not sure how often you use your Activa but more often than not, mine gets driven every weekend at least and this must help keep things in good order.

I assume the replacement 2nd hand ram had been sitting for a while? Was it leaking from the same spot as the '2007' replacement?

As far as i was aware, the main leak spot on the rams was due to the leak off stub splitting, now a lot of failures are due to to leaking between the body and the return rubber, and strangely, all in cold weather.

I remember you saying a little bit of dampness in that area is quite normal, in fact thats how mine has been since i've had it, and as long as it passes an MOT, doesnt leak more than a spoonful a week, its not really something to worry about but like you, i would want things to be perfect.

Clearly yours was leaking significantly, to get the stop light on must be half a litre or more of lost fluid.
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Post by CitroJim »

XantiaMan583 wrote:I'm still of the opinion that lack of regular use contributes to their failure. I'm not sure how often you use your Activa but more often than not, mine gets driven every weekend at least and this must help keep things in good order.
I agree Gareth, I think I killed mine with kindness. Previously it had not been run for about five weeks. They really don't like not being used.
XantiaMan583 wrote: I assume the replacement 2nd hand ram had been sitting for a while? Was it leaking from the same spot as the '2007' replacement?
Yes and yes, exactly the same place.
XantiaMan583 wrote: As far as I was aware, the main leak spot on the rams was due to the leak off stub splitting, now a lot of failures are due to to leaking between the body and the return rubber, and strangely, all in cold weather.
Yes, that's true but studying the leak on the removed ram I'm of the belief that this rubber ring also forms a general seal between the cast lower part and the steel upper section and thus carries the high pressure lines as well. It is these that cause the leaks I believe. The return spigot was totally dry, as was the piston itself.

Yes, I reckon a little wetness there is inevitable given the sheer hydraulic pressure present in this area.
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Post by XantiaMan »

CitroJim wrote:
XantiaMan583 wrote:I'm still of the opinion that lack of regular use contributes to their failure. I'm not sure how often you use your Activa but more often than not, mine gets driven every weekend at least and this must help keep things in good order.
I agree Gareth, I think I killed mine with kindness. Previously it had not been run for about five weeks. They really don't like not being used.
XantiaMan583 wrote: I assume the replacement 2nd hand ram had been sitting for a while? Was it leaking from the same spot as the '2007' replacement?
Yes and yes, exactly the same place.
XantiaMan583 wrote: As far as I was aware, the main leak spot on the rams was due to the leak off stub splitting, now a lot of failures are due to to leaking between the body and the return rubber, and strangely, all in cold weather.
Yes, that's true but studying the leak on the removed ram I'm of the belief that this rubber ring also forms a general seal between the cast lower part and the steel upper section and thus carries the high pressure lines as well. It is these that cause the leaks I believe. The return spigot was totally dry, as was the piston itself.

Yes, I reckon a little wetness there is inevitable given the sheer hydraulic pressure present in this area.
As the saying goes, gotta be cruel to be kind :wink: 5 weeks is some time especially over the really cold period we had recently.

I've been out and checked mine about 10 mins ago (thats your fault :lol:)
and all seems ok with the same weep i spotted last week. Gave it a wipe and barely anything went onto the paper towel, so i guess its one of those things you have to accept, in the spring/summer/early autumn its bone dry.

Maybe the rubber they used on the rams wasnt as LHM as it should of been, and this hardens the rubber, which could then split? Who knows, one thing is for sure, its a PITA.

Do you know the price of a new ram yet? Maybe get a group buy going :D If you want i'll check with Duff Morgan as they always do me a good deal there.
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Post by CitroJim »

XantiaMan583 wrote:Do you know the price of a new ram yet? Maybe get a group buy going :D If you want i'll check with Duff Morgan as they always do me a good deal there.
Not yet Gareth but I've expecting a pain in the wallet :twisted:

I'd really appreciate if you could sound out Duff Morgan as I trust them and we don't have a decent Stealer here now :(

Ask him for a Ram and you'll likely end up with a male sheep :twisted:
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Post by Toby_HDi »

These rams are scary stuff :shock:. My rear one is weeping ever so slightly so hopefully its actually fine. Front is bone dry.

Look forward to tomorrow Jim, have many questions for you :lol: I shall be keeping a close eye on my ram :twisted: :P