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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Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

CitroJim wrote:
Citroenmad wrote: I might pinch the C1 for this week, its much more secure on the road in snow. With winter tyres it would be virtually unstoppable!
So that kind of adds weight to my theory that in snow you can't beat light weight and skinny tyres :D It's what the 2CV and R4 had in common.

The idea to get a set of winter tyres is becoming very compelling now. Especially if the trend is for harder winters.
Yep I have that theory too, which is why I thought the C1 would be good, and it is, its great!

I think ill be investing in some winter tyres for my car before long, with snow this early i would think its going to be a cold and snowy winter to come. Id rather get some smaller 15" C5 wheels to put on snow tyres. Because the 15" wheels are much narrower and also snow tyres are much cheaper. Otherwise its about £140-£160 per snow tyre, though they should prove their worth.


I agree about the salt, it does often make roads more slippery, especially if there is no snow on the roads. Though it does help prevent the roads from freezing, they do still freeze but at a colder temperature.

We have only used 3 cars since the snow arrived, so today I dug out (from under 6" of snow! - i measured it!) the Seat, C5 Estate and the 1007. My digital thermometer said the cars were -15 degrees! They all started apart from the Seat, which had been standing for a while and its battery had been slowed by the cold. A brief charge and it was running. Though getting them out of the rear drive was hard enough, traction control is next to useless too.

Ive just come in from about 25 mile drive, still only one lane on the dueal carriageways are totally free of snow, but all roads seem just on the point of freezing, its very very slippery. Most smaller roads are still very much snow covered and icy.


Mr Audi seems very selfish, obviously doesn't think about anyone else. Mind, your lucky to have a grit box, our road is always the last to clear from snow and there are no grit boxes for miles!

Ill post some pics in my blog later of our snow, its quite a bit more than you have there :)
Last edited by Citroenmad on 28 Nov 2010, 16:58, edited 1 time in total.
XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan »

Our 'snow' is pathetic, the north east has got a pasting!
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Citroenmad wrote: I agree about the salt, it does often make roads more slippery, especially if there is no snow on the roads.
Even worse and more dangerous is where they salt footpaths to melt snow and then the melt water freezes. Last year, where footpaths were salted once and then froze it was actually far and away safer to walk in the snow on each side of the salted area. The frozen melt water was lethal in the extreme and this must have resulted in a lot of injuries from falls.

A case of if they'd have left well alone, it would have been far better.
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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

Looks as though you had it worse than here Chris.
I dug mine out from 4" of snow. The onboard thermometer displayed -1°C.
Car started OK but took about 15' cranking. No problems following that so it may not be the battery.
Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

myglaren wrote:Looks as though you had it worse than here Chris.
I dug mine out from 4" of snow. The onboard thermometer displayed -1°C.
Car started OK but took about 15' cranking. No problems following that so it may not be the battery.
When i said the digi thermometer said -15, it was one of those hand held laser things. I didnt check what the car said at the time :lol:

When i went out earlier my C5 said it was -5, then most of the day its been around -2/-3.

Ive been putting mine in the garage, so the battery hasn't been too effected by the cold. But it is getting slower to turn over so i best get that replaced before it lets me down.
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xantia_v6
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Post by xantia_v6 »

Citroenmad wrote: When i said the digi thermometer said -15, it was one of those hand held laser things. I didnt check what the car said at the time :lol:
I have learned the hard way that these things are prone to surprising inaccuracy if the ambient temperature is varying (e.g. you take it outside from a warm house) there is internal temperature compensation that doesn't settle down until the circuitry has reached the same temperature as ambient.
Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

Yes, i believe your right, it has to get used to the temperature first. Although it did seem to make things appear colder when it has been outside for longer. Maybe the interior of the cars which have been stood under 6" of snow could have been colder than the cars -5, but not by 10 degrees i wouldn't have thought.
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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

I braved the cold weather today by donning my "Dickies winter overalls" which are truly brilliant with a quilted lining I never felt the cold at all other than around my lug holes but then I should have worn a hat! I intended to replace one of the front suspension arms on the BMW but discovered that the Franklin TA331 ball joint splitter I'd bought especially for the job wasn't up to scratch by way of the threaded rod running at an angle causing the rod to slide off the side of the ball joint lever arm :evil: so I had to abandon the job until I can get a replacement which was rather frustrating. The suspension components on the BMW are made from aluminium to save weight but when it comes to fitting replacement parts the aluminium is a real pain in the bum as the arms/ball joints are larger than if they were made from steel so a much larger ball joint splitter is necessary than I've ever had to use previously, more expense :roll:
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Post by vince »

DickieG wrote: With all the snow around and an empty road it would have been rude not to have a little play with the rear wheel drive BMW :twisted: Danielle thought it was great fun but SWMBO and Mum weren't impressed at all :evil: and made their feelings well known to me :(
:lol: Heroic Rich, I can just imagine their faces.....Brilliant :lol:
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Post by vince »

CitroJim wrote:Sounds like it might be an idea to add a gritter lorry to your fleet Chris :lol:

Or fit the Traction with a snowplough. I can't imagine a bit of snow impairing the forward motion of that one much...

Best car by far in the snow is a 2CV, closely followed by an R4.

Back in the late 70s when I owned an R4, We got well and truly snowed in down in Somerset. Serious deep stuff. Noting could move for a day as the snow was so deep the cars were just small bumps in the snow.

Next day, the first car out was a 2CV, closely followed by my R4. Everything else remained hopelessly stuck.
I remember digging my Citroen ZX out of the snow starting at the windscreen and working down...was a few years ago but man what snowfall :) Renault 4's were and still are great cars :wink:
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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

Part 245 of changing the front suspension arms on my BMW 530i, having decided that I may as well change all four arms (two each side) in one go I invested in another ball joint splitter then embarked in the job this morning working on the principle of allowing about an hour to do each side which would allow me time to pop over to Twickenham to collect another couple of bunnies from the rescue home (Dawn likes rabbits :roll: ).

An observation I've made about this BMW is that what appears to be a simple job never is, so with that in mind I did a shuffle round with the car's to ensure that I didn't leave spare car's trapped in by the car I was about to carry out work on (been there done that!) jacked up the front of the BMW and attached another new lever arm ball joint splitter to one of the lower suspension arm's and after winding the tool up to what appeared at the time to be a ridiculous amount of pressure the ball joint finally broke free with an almighty crack. Now for the second one, using my 1/2" socket set ratchet became hard work so I resorted to a 2' breaker bar and continued to tighten the splitter but eventually all that happened was that the splitter started to bend then finally sprung off the ball joint and in the process rounding off the thread of the ball joint, great :evil: .

Not to be beaten I decided to cut a few threads off the threaded end of the ball joint to allow me to use my old but smaller and stronger ball joint splitter so after breaking a couple of hacksaw blades I could now use my old faithful splitter, which then also gave up the ghost as it also started to bend. Now realising that I was really up the creek without a paddle I called Superman to the rescue AKA Jim :lol:

With the knowledge of Jim having a hydraulic press I removed the hub complete with suspension arm and travelled up to Newport Pagnell and long story short, we eventually managed to separate the ball joint from the hub except that the ferule also popped out of the hub on the end of the ball joint :evil: the ferule was removed from the ball joint then refitted to the hub using Jim's Activa ram bottom bush re-fitting tool :D leaving me the job of re-fitting the hub and new arms in the morning.

I've left a ball joint splitter heavily torqued up on one of the O/S ball joints overnight to see whether constant pressure will break the joint but I suspect it'll still be intact when I take a look in the morning, if that's the case then I'll leave the O/S intact temporarily until I can get together with Jim at a convenient time as it looks as if his hydraulic press may need to be employed again.

This was one of those job's that was going from bad to worse at every turn leaving me with the thought of why did I ever start it, still this job highlighted the wonderful thing about FCF, help being available when needed, nice one Jim :clap:

My hunt for a HDi Exclusive estate has been continuing, earlier this week I went down to the Welsh border to view another one which looks promising but as always is not quite as straightforward as I'd hope, more details to follow when I've made my mind up about it.
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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

Have you tried a judicious belt with a big hammer while it is under tension, to break the seal?

Haven't done any for a long time but I used to put a scissor jack on them, withdraw the nut as far as possible then welly them with a lump hammer.

Half the time it ruined the ball joint but I took that into account and kept a couple of spares on hand.
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Richard, it was a pleasure to help and a very enjoyable challenge!
myglaren wrote:Have you tried a judicious belt with a big hammer while it is under tension, to break the seal?
There are two problems with this approach Steve. If all the components were of cast-iron then the welly it with a big hammer method would invariably have worked but in the case of the Beemer, the hub carrier, balljoint and wishbones are made of cast aluminium alloy. Walloping would invariably have caused damage and also, due to the nature of the material, big blows would be ineffective as the alloy would have absorbed them.

It was quite tricky to get the hub carrier set up in the press so that a good square force could be applied. The hub carrier is all angles and having a big wishbone hanging off it did not help. It was another of those Krypton Factor puzzles but using pieces of steel bar and wooden packing pieces we got there in the end :D

I've been cogitating as to why the balljoints get so tight on their tapers and the only decent reason I can think of is that they are so accurately machined that there was a degree of cohesion going on. It was not corrosion as the steel ferrule and balljoint taper were absolutely spotless.

I've got to say that Beemer stuff is beautifully engineered.

The hydraulic press is a useful old tool and whilst not used every day, it has proved a very handy "Get Out of Jail Free Card" sort of thing. Originally acquired for gearbox work, it has earned it's keep on many and varied jobs since.

I'd not be without it. It's one of the cornerstones of workshop kit along with the Lexia, the sphere tester, engine crane, the lathe, the grinder and the pillar drill.
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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

CitroJim wrote:
There are two problems with this approach Steve. If all the components were of cast-iron then the welly it with a big hammer method would invariably have worked but in the case of the Beemer, the hub carrier, balljoint and wishbones are made of cast aluminium alloy. Walloping would invariably have caused damage and also, due to the nature of the material, big blows would be ineffective as the alloy would have absorbed them.
Hadn't considered that they might be aluminumin, bashing that would surely end in tears :)
I've been cogitating as to why the balljoints get so tight on their tapers and the only decent reason I can think of is that they are so accurately machined that there was a degree of cohesion going on. It was not corrosion as the steel ferrule and balljoint taper were absolutely spotless.

I've got to say that Beemer stuff is beautifully engineered.
A bit too well, under the circumstances?

They are probably universally available but the Swedes have/had something called Johanssons Passbitar that were very accurately machined metal pieces that were so accurate and finely finished that they would stick together purely through molecular cohesion, so I am led to believe. Never seen any in the flesh though.

Addendum:
Inspired by the above I have just looked them up and while it was said to be Van der Waals attraction it was actually the minute traces of oil on the surface and was in fact air pressure on the exposed surfaces pushing the pieces together.

We get the same thing with piles of 3 M x 1500 CM plastic sheets, the weight of the sheets presses out the air between the lower sheets and they are a bugger to separate, when they to come apart it creates quite an 'interesting' static charge.
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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

This turned out to be one of those things that catches my attention, been meaning to find out more since being told about it in the mid-seventies.

I suppose that they will be well known to Jim, cachacerio and perhaps one or two others here but they are/were outside my experience.
Been reading about the inventor, Carl Edvard Johansson and apparently the Jo-blocks may have had a hand in deciding the outcome of the 1st world war by dint of improving manufacturing accuracy and therefore interchangeability of weapons components .

One rather fascinating piece of info was that there was at the time he was producing them no sufficiently accurate machine capable of polishing them to the required tolerance so he rebuilt his wife's Singer sewing machine to do the job on :)

Which is quite enough offtopicness for one day :)