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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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

myglaren wrote: Which is quite enough offtopicness for one day :)
Not at all Steve. It is VERY interesting stuff indeed. Thanks for digging it out :D :D

The bit about the Singer Sewing machine was priceless.

This bit really go me though and describes the Beemer issue a treat..
Gauge blocks, when properly wrung, may withstand a 200 lb (890 newton) pull. The detailed physics responsible for this phenomenon remains unclear. Possible causes that have been suggested are: atmospheric pressure, molecular attraction, a minute film of oil, or a combination of these factors.
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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

Indeed Jim, I was so taken that I have been practising my Swedish and writing to the guy who first described them to me.
A very unusual person, he was a photographer (still is) camera technician (self taught) Marine engineer, Electronics engineer (self taught), Automotive engineer much like yourself, again self taught.

He was the guy, while in the Swedish navy, on MTBs that had Rolls Royce ex fighter turbojet engines in them. The boat broke down in the Baltic (Gulf of Bothnia) and he crawled into the engine to see what was up.
Some of the turbine blades had sheared off so he got out and grabbed some military spec superglue that they had acquired from the US Navy and glued the blades back in. Lasted long enough to get them back to harbour :)

He was on holiday in Norway when his car - VW Combi, broke down.
He and his girlfriend pitched a tent on the lake shore where they had stopped, he pulled the engine out and stripped it to find the crankshaft webbing broken.

Walked into the nearest town, bought some araldite and cleaning fluids, cleaned the webbing up, glued it back together, waited 48 hours, filled it with fresh oil and carried on with the month's holiday, drove the car for two years after that until it packed up while on holiday in Germany. Sold it for more than he bought it for, flew home and bought an ancient SAAB to replace it.

These were pretty much run of the mill occurrences for him.
Anything he couldn't fix or redesign so it worked better wasn't worth bothering with.
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

You know Steve, I reckon he and I would get on very well indeed :D :lol:
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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

Like yourself he is a very genial character and impossible not to like.

He will also undertake to do anything or anyone, without reserve. Which means he does get put upon frequently but he just seems to thrive on it.

Indeed, you are very similar in nature :)

The guy we worked for was quite similar and very encouraging of any endeavour whether it was related to our work or not.
The only exception was when Dan was very new to the company and no-one knew what he was capable of.
The boss (Lennart) brought in a brand new Canon calculator, costing a small fortune. Dumped it on a desk and wandered of to get coffee and yack on the phone.

When he came back fifteen minutes later to examine his new toy, Dan had it in a million pieces investigating how it worked and what was in it.

Lennart went white and turned on his heel an left without a word but we could hear him swearing to himself in his office.

When he came back it was all back together as though it had never been apart and working perfectly.

Nothing was said about it for several years but Lennart never interfered when new equipment was bought and Dan immediately reduced it to it's component parts and often rebuilt it with improvements.

I came over to England to the Wainco factory in St. Neots and bought a very expensive colour processing machine to take back.

Dan helped assemble and trim it, along with one of Wainco's engineers. While doing so he made several modifications that were later adopted by Wainco (he had never seen one prior to that).

There were some very complex electronics that were expensive and sometimes problematic to replace quickly so he ripped the lot out and replaced them with a huge but simple relay-relay logic that any electrician could understand and the only parts subject to failure were the relays themselves, readily available, cheap and replaced in minutes.
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Post by xantia_v6 »

I have not had the pleasure of alloy suspension components, but I would have thought that GENTLE heat would be the answer to removing tjoints, due to the differential expansion of the metals. I would expect that 150 to 200 degrees C would make the components just drop apart.
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Post by DickieG »

After struggling to find enthusiasm to start work on the BMW on this damp cold morning I finally set to work and refitted the N/S suspension, the ball joint splitter managed to split one joint on the O/S overnight but the same one as caused me the hassle on the N/S refused to separate so that one will have to wait for another day when I can pop up to Jim's to use his press. A quick test drive revealed a significant improvement in steering accuracy so despite the hassle a job well done, now to start on the O/S :roll:

The Xantia I mentioned earlier which I went to view on the Welsh border showed quite some potential but with the cill's having plates welded on each side did somewhat take the shine off the car leaving me to have a very good think as to whether to take a chance on the car, what was strange was that the MOT tester not only pointed out slight corrosion on the cill's but also a noisy cooling fan :? leaving me to wonder whether the welding had been done due to an over zealous MOT tester or whether the cill's really were rotten. Well the decision has now been made for me as the car sold to someone else today, so I'm still on the search.
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Post by DickieG »

After finally finding a decent HDi estate as reported here I've been itching to get stuck into giving her a thorough going over (oh err missus :lol: ) but with the dark evenings and biting cold I was restricted to doing a few small but important jobs such as re-aligning the wipers so that they clear all of the screen close to the drivers 'A' pillar and don't have that pointless flick up just prior to parking. I also replaced the pollen filter and discovered that the cover was incorrectly fitted resulting in air escaping from the filter housing, restricting airflow from the vents.

Today has been spent getting under the car, firstly removing front sphere's for pressure testing (they weren't too bad 5-10 Bar down) whereupon I noticed that the LHM is a rather bright shade of orange, no offence to supporters of Blackpool FC but I prefer LHM to be bright green so I'll be carrying out a long LHM flushing/filter cleaning session tomorrow. I thought the spare travel on the handbrake was rather low which was confirmed when I tried to push the car on level ground as it was evident that the brakes were dragging, a quick loosening of the handbrake cables has sorted that issue out.

The car has a detailed service history 9filyters and oil etc) but as there was no record of the timing belt having been changed I removed the belt covers after a fair bit of hassle as the cover bolts had been secured using thread lock making the task of removing the bolts rather laborious in the tight space available. When the belt covers were removed it was evident that the water pump was past its best with a trail of crystallised anti-freeze below the water pump pulley so I've fitted a new water pump.

When I viewed the car the engine sounded normal from stone cold but when I picked it up I noticed a louder than normal knock which I initially put down to the typical HDi knock when accelerating but louder as it was so cold, however when I had the engine running this morning with the lower engine covers removed I noticed a similar knocking coming from the crank pulley so as a precaution I bought one of the new single mass pulleys to replace it. For a change and as GSF and ECP did not have the new solid pulley or centre rear Hydractive sphere's in stock I bought the replacement parts from Neat Auto's who are not that far from me and provided me with good service, no queuing and genuine parts at a decent price so I'll be using them again in the future as whenever I visit GSF at Heathrow I always end up at the end of a long queue.

First impressions on the car are very good with the underside in excellent condition, tomorrow I'll finish off fitting the timing belt and changing sphere's then check the rear brakes for corrosion behind the calipers and pads wearing at an angle then give the brake system a good flushing session. Should time permit I also want to remove that silly spring under the brake pedal as the brakes feel rather spongy with it there.
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Post by RichardW »

DickieG wrote:as the cover bolts had been secured using thread lock making the task of removing the bolts rather laborious in the tight space available.
For reasons best known to themselves, this is factory fit by PSA!!?? Presumably though yours is he earlier engine that does not have the water pipe up the back cover obscuring access to the already difficult bolt down the back :twisted:
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Post by vince »

Congrats on the new addition Richard, Jim mentioned it the other day when i spoke to him.....Its nice to get a car that needs little done to it :wink:
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Post by DickieG »

RichardW wrote:
DickieG wrote:as the cover bolts had been secured using thread lock making the task of removing the bolts rather laborious in the tight space available.
For reasons best known to themselves, this is factory fit by PSA!!?? Presumably though yours is he earlier engine that does not have the water pipe up the back cover obscuring access to the already difficult bolt down the back :twisted:
No it doesn't thankfully.
vince wrote:Congrats on the new addition Richard, Jim mentioned it the other day when i spoke to him.....Its nice to get a car that needs little done to it :wink:
As to how much needs doing and how much I'll do is a different matter :roll: :lol:


Sunday was a rather busy day as I ran into a couple of stumbling blocks in the process of changing the timing belt which delayed the job by a few hours, firstly I have a specific tool made by Facom designed to exactly fit the hole on the block to lock the flywheel/crank. I'd used the tool on a number of occasions and found it to work well but for some reason on this engine the size of the hole is smaller so I spent some time thinking I must be going mad when I couldn't get the tool to fit, not helping was the issue of a lack of access behind the starter motor and only just being able to view the hole from an acute angle from below. When I realised that the hole was smaller I substituted the tool with a length of copper brake pipe which in reality works very well as it can be bent to whatever shape is necessary according to the equipment fitted to the particular engine.

As I intend to keep the car for a while I bought a timing belt kit (genuine Citroen) complete with new tensioner and roller, simple you'd think, remove the old tensioner and fit the new one except that as I was tightening the securing bolt I noticed that it became very tight as if it had cross threaded so rather than force it I removed and inspected the bolt to discover that the lower thread section had some swarf attached to it :? so I changed the bolt for another one exactly the same and again found the bolt tightening before the washer became pinched as the bolt was bottoming out, very strange :? so I consulted Citroen Service to check that I was using the correct bolt whereupon I discovered that the bolt length had been shortened from the original specification due to the new tensioner having a recessed face compared with the original one. Thankfully I applied common sense when I found the original bolt becoming tight otherwise I'd have been in a right old spot of poo with a stripped thread on the engine block :evil: The belt kit is version 6 so beware if carrying out this task yourself.

Further job's completed was a new seal on the hydraulic pump, then after lunch I received a very welcome visit from Jim who couldn't resist getting involved in the work despite not being dressed for working on a car :lol: all eight sphere's were changed, the LHM drained (horrible brown colour when it was poured out) and renewed with fresh LHM, the filters cleaned and the brake system flushed through to remove as much of the old LHM as possible.

As things turned out I was very grateful for Jim being there keeping an eye on things as a few minutes after starting the engine loads of steam (or maybe even smoke) started to rise from the rear of the engine from around the coolant heater plugs causing me to think that the whole lot was about to burst into flames, at the time I was at the rear of the car removing a wheel to bleed the brakes and would more than likely have missed the dramatic development until it was too late :shock: had Jim not been there.

Long story short here but I learned a good lesson of never taking things for granted :oops: I've lost count of the number of Xantia's I carried out a coolant change on and had never had a problem but on this occasion a large airlock must have been trapped in the heater hose causing the heater glow plugs to overheat. Following this dramatic event I connected up my coolant header tank to give a substantial head of water to push out the airlock and found that air bubbles kept rising for an eternity and much longer than any other Xantia I'd done this job on previously including my previous HDi, I've no idea why this engine is different from the other but there you go lesson learned :oops:

As the car has only completed 49K miles and I have a number of new sphere's for non Hydractive Xantia's I decided to fit a set of those in order to have a smoother ride. I have done a huge amount of experimentation with Hydractive Xantia sphere specification and have discovered that as mileage rises, the suspension damping become less effective so whilst my VSX (35k miles) rides well on non Hydractive sphere's, by comparison my old HDi (149k) felt a little sloppy fitted with the same sphere's, so I presume that as the struts wear their damping effect reduces. On Monday evening I adjusted the ride height as the front was a little high and the rear a little low, ultimately this estate now rides very well indeed, smooooth but without hitting bump stops or oscillating so I'm one happy bunny now especially after feeling every bump in my BMW sport :lol: When the mileage is much higher I'll fit Hydractive sphere's.

For the past three days I've used the car for work but discovered that there was a terrible groaning noise sounding very much as if there was a knackered engine mounting allowing the engine to vibrate against the body, strangely the noise was only audible/felt between 30 - 40 mph when in 4th or 5th gear and under load but no other gear's. Having examined the engine mounts and adjusted the top/suspension tower mount I had a chat with Jim who mentioned rattling brake calipers then carried out a forum search and found the answer here, it had already been diagnosed previously by me on my last HDi and V6! "Oldtimers" must be hitting me hard these days. Doh!

I'm looking forward to being able to give the car a thorough clean and polish but with another cold snap now upon us that may have to wait for a while unless I do it in the garage at work, outstanding job's still include removing the rear brake calipers to check for corrosion between the suspension arm and caliper, remove the brake pedal spring and fit a Parrot handsfree kit. Oh and I still have the O/S/F suspension to sort out on the BMW, just as well I'm off work from tomorrow until the new year.
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

I've just read that thread on the brake rattle Richard. Now I know why new V6 is so quiet :D

Old V6 is very rattly in the brake department so I reckon I'll be after a set of those shims soon...

Pleased the new one is running well :D
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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

A bit of catching up to do here as I'm getting to know a little more about my latest HDi, having had the engine management light illuminate a Lexia session was done which revealed that unlike my previous 1999 (RP 8382)HDi, this 1998 (RP 8045) car doesn't like the EGR valve being disconnected as whenever I'm on a motorway travelling around 65-70 mph the 'K' light illuminates but then goes out following re-starting and driving at slower speeds. This was never an issue with the later manufactured car.

Having carried out a fair degree of research I'm of the impression that this car has the first HDi software (evolution 1), searching the available downloads within my Lexia reveals that there are several later versions which addresses a couple of other issues I find with this car, namely a loud combustion knock when cold and under load and a slight hesitation/misfire when travelling at very light throttle settings. I did try to update the software but the Lexia kept stating a failure to communicate :( however whilst carrying out further research of Service Citroen I stumbled upon a "Info Diag" which states that when updating the software on these HDi ECU's (Bosch EDC15C2), further procedures are necessary such as connecting up the battery to a charger and using a breakout harness to a manual harness tester and then putting a shunt between terminals 10 and 38 in order to the download to be successful, so a bit of a palaver but if it sorts out the smooth running then it will be worthwhile.

Another fault code Lexia revealed related to the pre/post heating having a "short to positive" in English this related to the engine glowplugs. Following a telephone conversation with Jim he popped over in order to get his hands on an HDi's which I was very grateful for as his understanding of electrics and resistances is considerably greater than mine. Long story short here but he discovered that the glowplugs were being initially being supplied with close to battery voltage but several minutes after starting the voltage dropped to 9.5 volts which appeared very strange as it meant that at that voltage the glowplugs wouldn't really being doing any heating of the combustion chamber. Our thoughts pointed to a faulty glowplug relay but thorough testing of it showed clean contacts and nothing obviously wrong. As a quick thought along the lines of why not check them just in case, Jim tested the glowplugs themselves and surprise surprise all four of then were dud! Thankfully Euro Car Parts at Wembley were open and had them in stock, with the new glowplugs fitted the fault code cleared and has not re-appeared.

During all this messing about with the glowplug relay the battery needed to be removed which revealed another problem, namely that the positive terminal was getting rather hot so Jim carried out resistance tests which revealed that the crimping of the battery terminals onto the leads was not sufficiently tight causing a high resistance, hence the hot terminal. Following a further crimping the resistance between the leads and terminals (both positive and negative) was significantly reduced to a reasonable figure thereby allowing correct voltage to flow not to mention removing the possibility of an electrical fire due to melting insulation of the positive lead from the battery :shock: . All in all a satisfying day's work was done tidying up a few loose end's on the car, not having a clue where the job would finally end up from our starting point.

Yesterday was spent car cleaning as all three of our daily driver's the Xantia HDi and two BMW's were absolutely filthy following the recent cold snap and with the garden hose being constantly frozen I hadn't had the chance to clean them. By the time I got round to washing the HDi (for the first time since buying it) it was already dark so it wasn't until this morning that I had a chance to really see the true condition of the car since buying it, well lets say that what I saw pleased me :lol: .

Unfortunately bad news arrived a couple of days ago when my Father in Law was taken seriously ill which meant a very quick drive down to Poole Hospital at 10.45pm as the outlook was very grave indeed, the BMW was put to good work for a timely arrival and performed well popping off overtakes with ease. Thankfully we made it in time but he's still in intensive care so far from from out of the woods yet, fingers crossed he'll make a recovery as he's a good old chap and we could do with a less stressful start to the new year.

The following day I needed to return home to sort out a few things including feeding rabbits :roll: then return back down to Bournemouth in the HDi which gave me an excellent chance to compare cars on the same journey, needless to say the BMW is much quicker and a very nice car but the stiff ride drives me mad. One interesting comparison is the seats, the BMW ones are much firmer but over a long distance I do find them more comfortable under my bottom even though the seats in this Xantia have very generous padding due to the cars low mileage. Overall the BMW has more thrills but if you prefer wafting along as I do then the Xantia is better, especially as its running costs are almost exactly half of those of the BMW.

I have a few more jobs to do on the HDi, hopefully I'll tick a few more off the list tomorrow.
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Post by DickieG »

I had another go at updating the software on my HDi using the technique I mentioned above but still no luck with that so I'll carry on investigating in case I've missed something with the procedure or if there is another later update on how to get it working, at present I Lexia keeeps stating "no dialogue" between it and the ECU when trying to download (it communicates fine in other modes). I also re-connected the vacuum hose to the EGR solenoid so it'll be interesting to see whether fault codes will continue to be recorded when travelling on motorways.

The rest of the day was spent working on my BIL's 2.1 Exclusive, it was suffering from a noisy N/S/F wheel bearing so as I had a spare S/H hub in stock I swapped the hub's which has done the job. Following that I re-programmed a spare remote control to the car and disabled the alarm using my Lexia as after the first programming the alarm kept going off due to duff ultrasonic sensors. On S2 Xantia's using a Lexia you can programme them to have (or not), remote locking, alarm, or deadlocking.

Last job to do was to fit a new seal to the hydraulic pump as the plug on the side of the pump was leaking allowing LHM to drop into the alternator, so that tidied up the list of outstanding jobs on that car.
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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

Today (Thursday) was not a good day as this afternoon my Father in Law passed away bless him :( he was a good old chap and will be sadly missed by all, RIP Alec.
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Post by Xaccers »

Sorry about your loss Richard