Tales of a C3, a Goddess and some BMW's.

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

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DickieG
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Tales of a C3, a Goddess and some BMW's.

Post by DickieG »

After reading the blogs of other members its time for me to contribute.

Having spent some time enjoying the thrill of running an BMW e30 M3 and a Dax Cobra I had built complete with a Jaguar V12 engine and manual gearbox, in 1995 I needed a change of direction in my motoring (families :roll: ) which is where Citroën came to the rescue as I can't stand dull boring car's and to find something "higher up the scale" from those two car's would be very expensive indeed.

I'd had a brief experience with a GS many years ago and my father had just bought a new Xantia 1.8 16V SX which I found to be somewhat different from anything else on offer at the time so I sold the BMW and Cobra and bought a brand new Xantia 1.9TD SX. Whilst I wanted air conditioning, as an option costing £1,200 extra I couldn't justify it at the price but when it became standard a year later temptation got the better of me and I part-exchanged the SX for a 1,500 mile gold VSX with air conditioning.

This car has been cherished from that day forward, rarely going out on a wet day and always being kept in a garage so as you imagine its very clean and tidy and has mainly been used for long journeys to visit my parents who live 90 miles away so its present mileage of 33,000 have been very relaxed. A couple of years ago I treated "Goldie" to the personal registration of XAN71A.

Since buying Goldie I've had numerous Xantia's from a 94 VSX TD to a 98 CT turbo estate, a 97 2.0 16V VSX to the red Activa now owned by "Citrojim" which is a rather special Activa as its fitted with every factory option. I went through that car with a fine tooth comb and replaced everything that showed any signs of wear including both balancing rams, all of the sphere's and countless other items of which the cost added up well into a four figure sum just on parts alone :shock: .

In between those Xantia's I bought two new Berlingo Multispace's which were great cars but as I also write the Xantia column for the Citroen Car Club monthly magazine I really needed to drive a Xantia on a more regular basis so I last year sold the Berlingo and bought a Xantia estate Exclusive HDi from fellow forum member "Bernie". This car is still my daily form of transport and as it continues to exceed 50 MPG in great comfort its likely to retain that role for some time.

Another Xantia I have is a V6 which to be honest is my favorite version as the performance is so effortless, its the perfect "Q" car, best of all its surprisingly frugal on fuel as well, rarely does consumption drop below 25 MPH which for a 194 BHP V6 is very good indeed. This car came my way after an elderly gentleman had to give up driving and contacted me via the CCC as he wanted it to go to a good home, after viewing the car I couldn't refuse it and added it to my fleet. My other half Dawn ran the V6 for a year or so as a trial to acclimatise herself with an automatic transmission after running a Picasso HDi for five years, however she's been hankering after a convertible for some time and bought a BMW earlier this year. I'd planned to sell the V6 but dawn still wants to keep it as she finds it so much nicer to drive than the BMW :wink:

I've been hankering after a DS for many years now and had almost given up hope of ever owning one as I wouldn't be prepared to take on a rust bucket so the cost of buying a decent one looked as if it would exceed my budget until I spotted a semi-auto 21 EFi Pallas for sale in France which I then bought a month ago. She's a real beauty in silver (Gris Nacre') and suits me down to the ground in that the body and chassis is as solid as a rock but there are a number of small niggles mechanically. Firstly the ignition timing and points dwell gap were out by a mile, various dashboard warning lights weren't working, the exhaust was knackered, headlights out of adjustment, steering lock knackered, new front spheres required, clutch re-engagement tool leaking, the chrome on the interior door handles was peeling off etc etc. The perfect car for me, loads of 'little' job's which in themselves aren't that serious but when added up together make a considerable difference to the overall enjoyment of her.

Today I employed my skill of sewing (yes really) as the radiator blind zip was split, to buy a new blind would have cost me £70 whereas £2 for a new zip and an hour or so :wink: of my time did the job well. This week I bought two new Michelin XVS tyres for her @ £200 each :shock: plus tubes and fitting, this was after quite a palaver in finding a good paint colour match for the spare wheel which needed re-painting. I'd bought three different pots of two pack paint in trying to match the colour of the other four wheels but eventually gave up and mixed my own.

The steering wheel on my DS is of the later "foam" variety which suffers badly from the sun over time and as I much prefer the older style of wheel I managed to find a relatively good one from Brodies Engineering which just needed light restoration to make it 100%. The steering wheel on a DS comes complete with the column all the way down to the steering rack so its quite a lump, I tried to fit the new wheel yesterday but ran into problems when I came up against a small slot headed bolt which secures a collar/spring on the column so I'm investigating finding a special socket to fit the slot.

One thing about working on a DS is that space is always tight and just to add a little bit of spice to life is that the nuts and bolts on them have a different tread pitch, so should you drop one into the very crowded engine bay simply reaching out to pick up a replacement from your supply won't work :(

On Friday I drove the DS to work as I'd been having so many demands from colleagues to see her, well to say that DS is special is a complete understatement as people just stared in amazement at her as I passed them at bus stops, fellow motorists on the A40 slowed down alongside me then when I got to work I spent the whole day (literally) explaining what, why, how she works, so much so that I didn't have time to do any work at all :D

At present my DS is still French registered, I had intended to get her MOT'd this weekend then UK registered this week but that plan went out of the window when I discovered that the metal brake pipe linking both sides of the O/S/F caliper was chafing against the radiator drain tap, so that's another job on my list.

Being a bit of a computer duffer I haven't got round to working out how to post pictures on the forum (opening up an account with whoever etc) but should you wish to take a look at my DS, the previous owner has a website dedicated specifically to her http://www.mygoddess.co.uk/exterior.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A DS really is a wonderful car not only the individual looks but the very different way in which they drive nothing else comes close, yes they are now an "old" car but bear in mind how advanced they were when they were released they feel far more modern than anything else from the era, the experience is truly special, I enjoy every minute of owning her, a dream come true :D :D :D
Last edited by DickieG on 12 May 2017, 21:12, edited 2 times in total.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

It's really great to see you blogging here Richard :D

I don't quite know why but I have a bit of a hankering for a GS. I've been rather captivated by the GS column in the Citroenian. The engine fascinates me but I'm really not sure I'm up to fighting the old tin-worm that might accompany a GS :twisted: Like you, Im far happier with the oily bits than the painted bits.

Excellent result with the DS Zip :D I used to regularly get needle and cotton out on my 205GTi. In the interests of originality it still had the cloth seats and the drivers bolster was a bit worn. Over time I stitched it up many times and let in a new piece of cloth when the original finally went too far to respond to simple stitch repairs.

andmcit
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Post by andmcit »

Not quite a Ds, the G's are a truly superb car!! Got me bitten with the Citroen
bug and there's absolutely no hope of my ever even considering another
marque now - like I'm going to buy a Ferrari... :roll:

I've viewed a couple of D's over the years but didn't fancy the DIY work
when I'm more in my comfort zone with Cx's and Gs's.

I'd wish you "all the best" with your future motoring Richard, but you're
there already with your D now!! :D

Will be good following progress on this blog and may motivate me to swap
half a dozen CX Gti Turbo's for a trade up!! :lol:

Andrew

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

I quite fancy a GS, particularly the earlier chrome bumper version but have been put of by the rust issue (not that a DS is immune to rust!) and the lack of available spares being reproduced. There is a good GS specialist "Chevronic" in Shefford, Bedfordshire to offer help but maybe the bigger issue is that the value of GS's is still so low that should any restoration be required its unlikely you'll get much back on your investment financially.

andmcit
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Post by andmcit »

Trust me, with a good GS you won't want to part with one after getting it
fixed so it's got nothing to do with resale value but how much you personally
rate the car!! Top dollar one's barely resister in the value stakes to a duffer
D either...

Andrew

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

Having picked up a nasty tummy bug yesterday I needed to take the day off work today to recover and ensure that I was near to a bathroom, yesterday my 10 mile cycle home from work became very uncomfortable just prior to getting to the halfway point :shock: after which Lance Armstrong wouldn't have been able to keep up with me :lol:

I made good use of todays good weather to catch up on a few outstanding job's, firstly I'd suspected that the ride on my HDi had become a little firmer at the front end recently (the sphere's are four years old GSF/Amtex ones) so I removed them to test the pressure and discovered that they had lost 15 bars of pressure so I'll replace those in due course with a pair from a collection of sphere's I'd recently bought from Ebay of NOS genuine Citroën ones. I also found that the LHM fluid looks to be past its best, no longer is it bright green but a horrid yellow/brown so I'll make use of a gallon of Hydraflush I have in stock and change both the fluid and sphere's quite soon. One of the front tyres was getting a bit low on tread so both front tyres were replaced with a new pair I have left over from the CT Turbo estate Jim and I broke up for spares several months ago, however the tyres are a cheap pair with the name of "Fate" on the side wall, hmm 8-[ .

The Goddess wasn't to miss out of course, after a week of being soaked in penetrating fluid I finally managed to undo the slot headed bolt to release a collar on the steering column which allowed me to finally fit the refurbished steering wheel :D I also adjusted the parking brake pads then when it got dark, the aim of the headlights. Needless to say she needed to be taken out for a quick spin around the unlit twisty lanes around where I live just to check on the aim of the headlights and ensure they are correctly pointing around corners :wink:

Earlier this afternoon I popped to the Post office in the Goddess to return a rubber boot seal I'd bought for her from Centreville garage, going anywhere in her requires me to allow extra time for questions, both in the Post Office from an elderly woman then outside where there was a number of Poles from the building site next door.

As far as I can see she is now ready for a UK MOT (she still has some time left on her French version) so I'll get her booked in for Sunday morning if the good weather holds as the next step to getting her UK registered.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Ahh, we've both been playing spheres today then Richard :D

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

citrojim wrote:Ahh, we've both been playing spheres today then Richard :D
Yes, wonderful things sphere pressure testers, a mechanical Lexia in their own way.

I forgot to mention (no change there :roll: ) that my car insurance was up for renewal and with so many car's I did the usual checks and investigated taking out one of those multi-car polices and was pleased to discover that changing over to an Admiral multi-car policy for the Xantia's and BMW has saved me in excess of £200 :D .

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

Good news with the Goddess, she's just sailed through the MOT and didn't get even one advisory \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ with that now out of the way I'm off the deal with the DVLA later this week to get her UK registered :(

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Excellent news Richard :D

Made the MOT tester's day to see a DS I reckon!

What emissions test did he do?

andmcit
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Post by andmcit »

As the D is a '72 car it's just a visual check when the engine is revved

Andrew

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

citrojim wrote:Made the MOT tester's day to see a DS I reckon!
Funnily enough it did as he stated that he had done his appenticeship working on DS's @ the old Slough Citroën factory just around the corner from the testing station.
citrojim wrote:What emissions test did he do?
As Andrew stated it was just a test for visual smoke, I was hoping he might be able to tell me what the exhaust CO reading should be from a database but no luck there. I've been searching high and low trying to find out what it should be set to, anyone know what it should be for a DS 21 EFi?

Another good bit of luck for me this afternoon as I've managed to buy a rare as hens teeth original Bosch diagnostic tool for the DS D Jetronic Injection \:D/ and no Jim its not as big as a house :lol:

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Post by CitroJim »

DickieG wrote: Another good bit of luck for me this afternoon as I've managed to buy a rare as hens teeth original Bosch diagnostic tool for the DS D Jetronic Injection \:D/ and no Jim its not as big as a house :lol:
What a find Richard :D Anything to do with diagnostics interests me so more details please! What does it tell you?

If you need spare valves for it, I most likely have some :wink: :lol:

CO, I reckon, shoud be around 4.5% at idle. That's based on the first legislated value from the late 70s. It then went to 3.5% sometime in the 80s and then to 0.5% when cats became mandatory in 1993. I used to get my 205 through emission on the 3.5% value.

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

citrojim wrote:What a find Richard :D Anything to do with diagnostics interests me so more details please! What does it tell you?

If you need spare valves for it, I most likely have some :wink: :lol:
Its a Bosch EFAW 228 - S10 which plugs into the terminal block of the ECU (No valves in there :lol: ) and performs tests on every component on the injection system right down to each injector. Strangely enough there's no digital readout, just one of those funny old meter needle things where you have read the numbers off of a clock face behind the needle :wink:

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Post by DickieG »

God please give me strength as I feel I've just taken part in a sketch for "Little Britian" :evil: :evil:

The story goes like this, this afternoon I trotted off to the DVLA office @ Borehamwood to register my DS complete with all of the insurance documents I've been supplied with, a cover note and a faxed copy of the insurance certificate. Man @ the DVLA insists he needs to see the original insurance certificate to process the application to which I said "Surely you check the validity of insurance online now don't you?" He replies "Oh no, we can't do that" :roll:

Oh well no point in getting involved in a bun fight with them, so I returned home and phoned the well known classic car insurance broker to get them to post me the original certificate. Clown on the end of the phone says, "We can only send you the certificate when you have a UK registration, at the moment the car is insured on the chassis number so we can't send you a full certificate".

I replied "Let me explain, I cannot get the car registered until you send me the certificate that you won't supply until I register the car which I can't do as you won't send me the certificate".

"Yes that's right".

Despite spending some time reasoning with the Clown and his supervisor the same answer came back; "The computer says no" :evil: :evil:

Needless to say I'm now in the process of canceling that policy and taking out a new one.

If you want the name of the broker send me a pm and I'll gladly pass it on :twisted: