Brief Encounter II - The Sequel

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CitroJim
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Brief Encounter II - The Sequel

Post by CitroJim »

I have now taken custody of Paul's (fatherjack2002) V6 Xantia that he enjoyed all too briefly before the gearbox threw it's toys..

Here's Paul's story of his own "Brief Encounter" with this car.

I went to pick the car up from Paul's yesterday and it travelled back home on a Citroen Relay recovery truck.

Yesterday, I was pretty exhausted by the time I arrived home and there was really only time to settle the car down in front of my garage before darkenss fell.

Today I've been having a good look at her and have been delighted with what I've found :lol: Fundamentally, she's a very sound car, very tidy and remarkably free of dents, dings or scratches. There's a few minor marks but nothing a Gareth Smart Repair will not sort. The wheels are good but will one day benefit from some Gareth TLC.

The interior is lovely; it looks like only the drivers seat has ever been used. It has just a slight bit of wear on the bolster but nothing serious at all. I geave the interior a good vacuuming out, fed the seats and gave the outside of the car a good wash. It looks very presentable now and with a coat of good polish, it'll really look good.

It's in rather a nice shade of dark blue, Mauritius Blue I believe, and I cannot decide if it's metallic or solid.

One thing I was very happy to find is a very dry passenger footwell :D

Apart from the gearbox, mechanically its great. The engine purrs and everything works :lol: I checked the oil and thoughit it was really low and dirty, not realisng the dipstick has a funny black plastic tip on the bottom of it. In the even it's full of clean oil.

The LHM is sparkly clean too. I know that because it's developed (since yesterday) a heavy leak from the rear hydractive block. It's strange as it only leaks on the suspension falling and not rising :? It's either the electrovalve leaking or the sphere seal has let go. The sphere itself is as rusty as a horse shoe; never seen a rustier one on my life. I reckon it's the original.

I'd have cracked the sphere off and had a closer look today but was defeated by the pressure regulator bleed screw. Like much on the V6, in the words of the BoL, access is poor :twisted: Poor? it looks bloody impossible, the PR on the V6 is mounted backwards so the bleed screw faces the gearbox. The accumulator sphere, which is a bit weak, hangs down vertically. Lastly on the hydraulic front, LHM is weeping from the usual place. Just a new O ring needed and that'll be OK.

The Hydraulics generally though are in tip-top condition. The Stop Light goes out quickly and the suspension rises and falls perfectly and both hydractive electrovalves work.

Other minor niggles is the blower running permanantly at top speed and a broken elbow on the heater matrix. Plaul has supplied a spare and paradoxically, access to the matrix elbow is a doddle compared to a TD or Activa - about the only thing that is accessible apart from the brake dosuer!

Strangely, she has the wrong size tyres on the back - 65 section rather than 60 :?

Apart from that, as I say, she's in fine fettle, even the PLIP and alarm ultrasonics work :D There are a couple of bulbs out on the instrument panel and that's it for electrical problems :D

I thought I'd dip the gearbox oil today. The 'box has a dipstick but it's useless as you can't get to it without major disassembly it seems. I reckon it might be accessible if the airbox comes off but even that looks a major undertaking :twisted:

I can see this V6 is going to be fun. It'll be well worth it as she's a lovely car and far and away too good not to be repaired :lol:

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DickieG
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Re: Brief Encounter II - The Sequel

Post by DickieG »

citrojim wrote:It's in rather a nice shade of dark blue, Mauritius Blue I believe, and I cannot decide if it's metallic or solid.
Mauritius Blue is pearlesant.
citrojim wrote:The LHM is sparkly clean too. I know that because it's developed (since yesterday) a heavy leak from the rear hydractive block. It's strange as it only leaks on the suspension falling and not rising :? It's either the electrovalve leaking or the sphere seal has let go. The sphere itself is as rusty as a horse shoe; never seen a rustier one on my life. I reckon it's the original.
I wonder if that's the same leak as was from my mates Activa? It turned out that there was a leak from the block AND from one of the large pipes running into it. If you need another block give me a shout, likewise borrow my sphere tester so see what you've got sphere wise. BTW I have a few spare Exclusive wheels if you want one.
citrojim wrote:I'd have cracked the sphere off and had a closer look today but was defeated by the pressure regulator bleed screw. Like much on the V6, in the words of the BoL, access is poor :twisted: Poor? it looks bloody impossible, the PR on the V6 is mounted backwards so the bleed screw faces the gearbox. The accumulator sphere, which is a bit weak, hangs down vertically. Lastly on the hydraulic front, LHM is weeping from the usual place. Just a new O ring needed and that'll be OK.
As mentioned on previous post, access is from underneath/behind from the gearbox side.
citrojim wrote:I thought I'd dip the gearbox oil today. The 'box has a dipstick but it's useless as you can't get to it without major disassembly it seems. I reckon it might be accessible if the airbox comes off but even that looks a major undertaking :twisted:
Its not that bad, undo a couple of jubilee clips and the air temperature sensor and the air box will lift clear enough to get access to the dipstick. The level is critical on these boxes, too much/little will cause problems.
citrojim wrote:I can see this V6 is going to be fun.
Oh they are :D :twisted:

BTW have you plugged your Lexia into the car yet?

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CitroJim
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Re: Brief Encounter II - The Sequel

Post by CitroJim »

DickieG wrote: BTW have you plugged your Lexia into the car yet?
Yes indeed Richard :D The gearbox ECU had a couple of stored intermittents relating to solenoid operation but they cleared fine, the Engine ECU was completely clear and the Hydractive ECU had all the usual suspects in there. All cleared Ok though :D

Last evening I dabbed a bit of polish on the paint and I see now it's pearlescent. I like it :D

I've done a bit more this evening as it's fine and clear outside; bit cold though :twisted:

I removed the airbox and saw for the first time the gearbox..

Image

Not that you can see very much more but at least the dipstick is getattable and the bleed valve on the Pressure Regulator can be got at with a long spanner and the assistance of Mr. Tickle :lol:

I dipped the oil in the gearbox and found it very high in level (as expected - see later) and happily, very clean as the next two pictures show:

Image

The black smudge is bleed-through from the blue paper underneath the tissue.

This is a better one

Image

That is pleasing as it looks and smells OK so hopefully, there is no major damage in the 'box itself.

I shall drain it very carefully and save it and given that it's new and clean, I shall filter it and risk re-using it.

I said the level was very high. This would be the case I would have thought if the torque convertor is more-or-less drained fully.

I've really been studying the 4HP20 and in fact so much that it kept me awake on Sunday night churning it over in my mind :twisted: On Monday I was like a bear with two sore heads and totally exhausted but with a better understanding in theory how the 4HP20 works :roll:

Now, when I had the Lexia on the gearbox ECU I noted that the gearbox input speed was registering as nil. The Input speed sensor measures the speed of the drum of the first clutch after the torque convertor and this should be spinning all the time the 'box is in park or neutral as it's coupled directly to the torque convertor turbine. the fact it is not would seem to indicate the torque convertor turbine is not moving either.

Now, my practical knowledge of torque convertors is nil at the moment but I would have expected the turbine to be "windmilling" at least with the 'box in P or N and the first clutch disengaged. That it is stopped is worrying. Is the torque convertor duff? Perhaps, given that the torque convertor is drained, given the very high oil level in the 'box itself means the turbine cannot windmill and is static? Does a torque convertor need to be full of oil under pressure to even windmill? Anyone?

The Lexia also indicated that the gearbox oil pressure was zero but looking through the notes carefully, I cannot see how the Lexia or ECU measures oil pressure; it's not mentioned anywhere and the 4HP20 training notes are very detailed.

This leads me back to wondering how the torque convertor drained. is it cracked or does it lead back to the main fault in the 'box is a failed oil pump and so there is no pressure to fill the torque convertor and during periods of engine running to diagnose, the torqe cvonvertor has drained through a sort of centrifugal action?

All I know is the 'box has to come off and looking tonight, I reckon it'll come off with the engine in-situ, just. I reckon the inlet manifold wil have to come off though along with lots of other stuff :twisted:

The 'box itself is very squat (short), which may help!

Whilst I was looking around, I spotted these two connectors hanging loose, with no apparant home :? It's the white and the brown two-pin. I know what the grey one with the green wires is; that's the inlet air sensor on the airbox.

Image


Any thoughts?

I'm really having fun here :D No, really!

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

On Sunday I got to do a bit more to my new project. I was staggered as to how well she started. After a full week of not being run, she fired up instantly and settled down to the smooth purr and burble that is so beautifully typical of the V6 :lol: They do sound lovely!

In the week I'd done some more research on the gearbox problem and with the help of the lads on the Club-XM forum, the conclusion is very much that the oil pump has failed and that the torque convertor will indeed pump itself dry if the oil pump is not working, thus leading to a very high oil level and no rotation of the torque convertor turbine, not even "windmilling" in neutral. Richard and I did a joint Lexia Session, me on mine and he on his V6 and when everything is normal, the input speed sensor should register near engine idle speed when the 'box is in P or N.

The oil pump itself may be OK and there is a chance the pump is starved because the oil filter is totally blocked up. This'll be the first thing to check and it looks as if the 'box has to be fully stripped to get at the filter but there is just an off-chance the filter may be just accessible if the big circular end-cover is removed and it might be possible to do that in-situ. I shall investigate but knowing the fiendish Germans (it's a ZF 'box) and my luck, it will be to no avail but these avenues must be investigated.

As it is now nearly a foregone conclusion that the gearbox has to come off and not being in a position to do it on Sunday, I turned my attention to other matters on the car. First on the list was the LHM leak from the rear as even just idling the engine briefly it was loosing plenty of LHM.

The leak was in the vicinity of the rear hydractive sphere block and it was hard to see where from exactly as the sphere was covered in LHM as was the block itself. Visibility was obscured by the spare wheel tray.

The hydractive sphere was very rusty and looked about 1,000 years old so that was the first port of call. Out came my trusty Pleiades tool and it woud not budge the sphere, even with a scaffold pole extension on it. In fact the whole sphere block mounting was bending instead :shock:

I took off the spare wheel carrier to give better access and reapplied the Pleiades tool to the errant sphere but this time, rather than use a scaffold pole, I hit the end of the tool handle with a club-hammer. That worked a treat :D One blow and the sphere surrendered.

The sphere was not, naturally, the cause of the leak. I gave the sphere block a good clean-up and started up. I could now see precisely where the leak was coming from. It was from the base of the hydractive electrovalve, between it's alloy body and the sphere block.

I had a read of some old posts in this forum detailing exactly the same problem. It's not at all uncommon and seems to be as a result of electrolytic corrosion between the dissimilar metals of the valve body and the sphere block. A shame as the valve itself works perfectly :(

The acid test is to remove the Hydractive ECU fuse so the suspension stays in hard mode. If the leak then stops, it's the valve. Mine does indeed stop leaking completely when in hard mode.

I have a spare electrovalve (condition unknown but presumed good) but I'm a tad concerned about fitting it as it has two green O rings to seal it and these are not available as spare parts. If you want these O rings you have to buy a complete new electrovalve at an eyewatering £138. I'm not sure if I can get away with using the original O rings again...

On the subject of O rings, I wonder if it's possible to buy assorted sizes of LHM-proof O rings? What material should they be made of? Is it Viton or something rather more exotic?

The next job on the list (as fill-ins before the gearbox is removed) is to do the heater blower. It runs flat-out constantly and needs a new set of transitors in the regulator module. For now it's disconnected although later in the week, for a bit of light relaxation, I hope to do it. Then I need to do the broken heater matrix elbow joint. Paul supplied a spare with the car but a quick examination shows the remains of the old one to be well stuck. It may have to wait for warmer weather or the application of a heat gun to get some warmth in there. Surprisingly for a V6, access to the heater matrix elbow is very, very good :D

I just hope I find the heater matrix itself OK. Knowing my luck... :twisted: :twisted:

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Post by vince »

The Hydraulics generally though are in tip-top condition. The Stop Light goes out quickly and the suspension rises and falls perfectly and both hydractive electrovalves work.

How can i check the hydractive electrovalves Jim without a radio that tunes into LW and no Lexia?.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

vince wrote: How can i check the hydractive electrovalves Jim without a radio that tunes into LW and no Lexia?.
Hi Vince,

Have a look at this thread from the 4th post onward. It's based on the Activa but if you ignore the Activa-specific bits, it holds perfectly good for any Hydractive car...

You may find you need to do the "diode mod" after doing these tests.

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Post by vince »

got it Jim, thanks :wink:

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Post by RichardW »

CitroJim wrote:I was staggered as to how well she started. After a full week of not being run, she fired up instantly and settled down to the smooth purr and burble that is so beautifully typical of the V6
Modern engies are great aren't they? My mate is building a Cobra replica and has shoe horned a BMW 4.0 V8 into it :twisted: It's about 18 months since we ripped the engine out of the old (it's BIG!) and despite having transferred the entire wiring loom and the engine not having been started for 18 months, at Christmas he got all the electrics connected and a fuel pump wired up. Turned on, let the fuel pump prime for a good few seconds, cranked it and it started first time over, just like that. He was, to say the least, chuffed!

Said mate, however, is a bit of a liability with cars, and a 300 BHP torque monster rear wheel drive car weighing less than 1000 kg, with 'suspect' dynamics looks a recipe for visiting the nearest hedge backwards to me! Still, it's keeping him happy....

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Post by KP »

jim you may want to visit your local Pirtek office and ask them to look at the seals for you. Then buy a few that seem to match, stick them in some pans of LHM and boil them cool them and boil them a few times during the week and see how they go.

Also dont forget to stick them in the freezer in a bottle of LHM for true brit weather experience :)

jgra1
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Post by jgra1 »

good work Jim :D

I will see if I can identify that brown connector...
John

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Post by jgra1 »

Jim I have found you an autubox for £50


hi.i,ve a gearbox with the top mtg broken off the casting.you can have that for £50 with torque convertert,post would be as much though,thanks adrian
Adrian lives possibly Manchester way.. could get a relay for the box maybe? or possibly pick it up sometime..

I have asked him to confirm whether the box was actually working before it was removed..

:twisted:

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Wow John that's magic :D :D :D :D

No worries if the mount is broken or even if it's not working..

Quite happy to go to manchester to get it too...

Very happy at that...

Can you reserve it for me?

KP
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Post by KP »

how much does one of these wiegh?? could one person lift it or is it a engine hoist jobby as me and family often pass manchester every week or two jim if its easier for you to pick up from donny again?

jgra1
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Post by jgra1 »

100 kgs :)

I have my gas tester in Yorkshire if anyone is there andis coming down :) not too far from the gearbox,

more details soon

Jim, yep will tell him straight away

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Post by jgra1 »

:D :D :D
hi.it was a 39,000 miles x reg car with front damage so it was definately working before it crashed.the kick down switch is not present if that makes a difference
just bung it in Jim :twisted:

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