Citroenmads Citroen blog.

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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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

Thanks Jim :-D

Excellent, I look forward to seeing you both. Hopefully I'll see you on the stand, if not let me know where you car and I'll come meet you :)

Citroenmad
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

Well its been a busy week, what with the normal things and getting ready for the NEC this weekend gone.

I had been using the XM a little at the start or last week, someone phoned to ask if they could come and view the car on Tuesday. So after a short trip out with the XM I got back and checked its levels etc. I took off the coolant cap and its water pressured out of the reservoir. Very disappointingly it appears that the headgasket has gone. It has not shown any previous symptoms and has never used any coolant in our ownership. Start the car up now with the cap removed and the coolant soon rises, pushing water out and bubbling. These things happen I guess and the 2.1TD is not unknown for this failing. So its now for sale at a much reduced price. I am hoping it will sell as is, if not it'll be beached into a garage to have the work carried out. It'll then be for sale yet again. I am just very glad its gone with us and not with a new owner.

So then, on with my trip to the NEC.

My Activa was destined to be on the stand, which meant having the car at the NEC for Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately I couldn't start my journey down country until around 3.00pm and by that time, the traffic was getting very busy. I had made arrangements to hire a car to travel between the NEC and the hotel for the three days. This worked out at about £50 for the 3 days and so similar to driving to Birmingham and back in another one of our cars. I took my dad with me for the three days so we could have done that, however it saved my dad having to drive.

My first port of call was Birmingham International Airport to collect the hired shoebox. Once collected we headed over to the NEC to find the right hall and door to the CCC stand. I got there at about 7.00, just in time to help with the finishing of the display and parking of the cars. I did get asked to help out the Wheeler Dealer lot to lift a Morris Minor body from the back of a Sprinter van! We left just as we got kicked out, at 10.00pm. Then it was off to the hotel, one I had not used before but was very pleasantly surprised. It was a Best Western, and very nice it was too. Quite up-market, a massive complex including small stand alone rooms/buildings for longer stays and larger building for the hotel. It was like a little village. There was a pool and a large golf course too, the kind of place where for evening meal you can't sit down without the waiter pulling out the chair for you :lol: Anyway, that made the stay very enjoyable, much better than the usual Travel Inn which I have used there in the past, which are basic to say the least. Not a great deal in it price wise either and the cooked breakfasts were excellent.

I aimed to get to the show early each day, otherwise there was an hour or so queue just to get parked in the car parks. Our exhibitor pass allows early entry too, which was a bit of a bonus. The Citroen Car Club stand was smaller than previous years, it did allow comfortable room for 5 cars, which were: H-Van Fire truck, 2cv Bamboo, GSA Special and a very nicely, almost newly built DS, oh, and the Xantia Activa of course! Unfortunately there is no choice as to where the stand is located. This year we were right in a corner, a little out of the way, next to the Wheeler Dealers Live Stage. The CCC stand backed onto the Traction Owners Club stand, which was next to the 2cvGB club and also the BXclub.

The show as a whole was superb, 10 halls of just about every car worth seeing and some which were not! :roll: Everything from a Yugo cabrio to a £2.5 Million Ferrari and everything in between, including Montegos, Jag XJ220s and Rolls Phantoms, everything! There was a good auto-jumble selling cleaning products, tools, brochures, models, number plates etc. The Live stage was quite entertaining, seeing the Practical Classics lot build up the Morris Minor Pick-up over the weekend and interviews with varying celebrities, including Sir Sterling Moss.

I spent some of the days wandering about, taking in bits at a time and other parts of the day on the CCC stand talking to interested people. It was great to hear people enthused about the Xantia and Citroens of the 90's in general. I had quite a few long discussions about Xantias, other Citroens and got asked quite a few technical questions - Which I was able to answer! :lol:

The Activa got a lot of comments, it got its photo taken many times and quite a few people came and asked me about it. I also got talking to a few other Xantia owners, two of which had Activas. Hopefully more people know what an Activa is now!

My rental car was in the shape of a Chevrolet Spark (I didn't need anything lavish but the rental place obviously wanted to treat me ...) 1.0+. Well, I did only rent the cheapest car as it was to do so few miles and for just two people. Upon arrival to the airport to collect the car we were threatened with an upgrade to a Corsa. However someone brought the keys to a Spark in just at that very moment, an instant downgrade again! On the plus side I hate Corsas, very dull things. So this was a chance to try another cheap, basic and hopefully a small car with a bit of character - I have a lot of time for small, cheap cars. its why I like the C1 so much and have a liking for 2cvs etc. Motoring but back to basics. As it turned out, this Spark had air con, central locking and a very decent stereo. To my surprise there was no clock and there was a constant orange light on the dash to warn of the passenger airbag being active! Other than that, it was a reasonable little car, compared to the C1 there is slightly less road noise, a slightly bigger boot and a better ride. But its not as fun to drive. The 1.0 engine is very gutless and slow, despite having the same power as the C1. Its also a 4 pot and lacks the character of the C1s 3pot. The interior was ok, a bit shiny and cheap but not bad, though I would have liked the blue dash lighting to be dimmer for night driving and there didn't seem to be an adjustment. There was decent space inside, the steering was nice and accurate, the car felt solid over bumps and rode quite well for a small car. Overall it was a very acceptable car and I would recomment one! It did 70 miles with me all in, so not many. Looks aside!

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On the Sunday morning it was time to hand back my Chevy to the airport. This was easy, as there is a monorail which links the airport to the train station and the NEC halls are within inside walking distance of that.

Over the few days, many pictures were taken, the Xantias boot was filled full of things from the auto-jumble and a very good time was had. At closing time on Sunday all the exhibitors sit in their car and beep the horns to signal the close. After the the stands are quickly stripped and the cars driven out of the halls. I was following a fleet of Bristols, which did make quite a nice noise but were just not going fast enough! My trip home was a brisk one, dry and clear roads and an Activa which needed its legs stretching :roll:

Overall, an excellent few days away :-D

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The Activa did 400 faultles miles over the weekend :-D

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by red_dwarfers »

Sounds like I missed a treat!

I imagine the XM is throwing it's toys out of the pram because it doesn't want to go anywhere! Are the head gaskets on the 2.1's much of a job?

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DHallworth
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by DHallworth »

Sounds like you had a great weekend.

I wish that some of these events were closer to Glasgow as it's a hell of a long way to come down for a weekend. Activa looks great sitting on the stand!

What a bugger about the head gasket on the Estate though!

David.

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by bxzx16v »

It's good to hear you had a fantastic time at the NEC Chris , is a shame to hear about the Xm though . Mind you at the price you want for it now even with the hg problem surely someone will take it on .

Mark

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

red_dwarfers wrote:Sounds like I missed a treat!

I imagine the XM is throwing it's toys out of the pram because it doesn't want to go anywhere! Are the head gaskets on the 2.1's much of a job?
You really did!

Yes, I think it is a bit of a job on the 2.1TD! Not something I would ever get around to doing myself.
DHallworth wrote:Sounds like you had a great weekend.

I wish that some of these events were closer to Glasgow as it's a hell of a long way to come down for a weekend. Activa looks great sitting on the stand!

What a bugger about the head gasket on the Estate though!

David.
I partially know how you feel, as most events I go to are a good 200 miles away, however that must be about 300-350 miles for you! Will you make Weatherby next year?

Just a little! :twisted:
bxzx16v wrote:It's good to hear you had a fantastic time at the NEC Chris , is a shame to hear about the Xm though . Mind you at the price you want for it now even with the hg problem surely someone will take it on .

Mark
I was a little gutted to find the XM pressurising its water out, yes.

I'm not having much luck with headgaskets this week either. Luckily its not mine but the Transit I drive at work. Ive put 8 pints of water in it already today and its overheated once. Frankly, that is the least of its worries! I'm hoping it'll go pop and then the company will have no choice but to bin it!

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by DHallworth »

Citroenmad wrote: Will you make Weatherby next year?
Hopefully, as long as the dates are announced far enough in advance I'll be able to request leave and make sure it's not my weekend on call.

David.

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

DHallworth wrote:
Citroenmad wrote: Will you make Weatherby next year?
Hopefully, as long as the dates are announced far enough in advance I'll be able to request leave and make sure it's not my weekend on call.

David.
Excellent, I'll more than likely be there. It's usually around the early part of May.

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Post by DHallworth »

Citroenmad wrote: Excellent, I'll more than likely be there. It's usually around the early part of May.
According to the CCC website Wetherby is 17th, 18th and 19th May 2013. I'll get my annual leave request in asap.

Sounds like I've got a target to get the V6 Activa ready!

David.

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

Back when me and Kev went to Wales earlier in the year, we took a bit of video of the XMs. Kevs stuck it together and here it is. Granted its not the most thrilling of footage, perhaps the best part is the soundtrack! :lol:

The driving part was on the Evo Triangle, a well known section of road used by the EVO magazine people. Its very entertaining, however on a very wet Welsh day, it was a little slippery. I've driven that road in the C5 in the dry, that was quite fun, the barge like C5 managed a very speedy effort! Must take the Activa over that way some time.

That video reminds me of the topgear celeb laps, I was pushing on quite well for wet weather, but it looks very slow! The slow part is the steep and rough track up to the cottage, a bit of XM offroading. Any steeper and more slippery and it would have been 4x4 only territory!

That video is just making me miss the XM Prestige. I did almost 2000 miles within the first two weeks I had it. 1200 or so was my Wales trip and going to the DSM.

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by CitroJim »

I'm hoping to make Weterby too this year... It'll be great to see your Activa V6 there David :-D
Citroenmad wrote: That video is just making me miss the XM Prestige. I did almost 2000 miles within the first two weeks I had it. 1200 or so was my Wales trip and going to the DSM.
That car must like Wales Chris. It's done a lot of mileage there already in my ownership and it'll be going back there in a couple of weeks again...

That really is a shame on the 2.1's head gasket :( It has got to be worth doing...

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by ashy90 »

Citroenmad wrote:
ashy90 wrote: Hmm interesting. Perhaps the newer Michelin tyres are indeed an improvment over ones of a few years back. Or, perhaps it is more the case of certain models of Michelins are better than others, and the ones I had being ones that are not so good.

What do you think is the best then? Michelin Energy savers, or Michelin Primacy HP's?

The tyre size I would be after is 185/55/15, or 195/50/15 - which is the cheaper tyre size.
I have to say that Michelin tyres have never failed to impress me, other than the pair of Energy E3As I have which I think had just aged badly.

Thats not an easy question as they are not generally available in the same size range so I have not tried each on the same car. However due to C5s having different sized wheels dependant on year one of ours has Energy Savers and another Primacy HPs. I find the Energy Savers give the better ride and grip very well but the softsidewall does result in the tyre cornering on the tyre wall if pushed through bends very quickly. The HP resists this more but the ride does seem firmer - again unfair as these are fitted to larger wheels.

So I really like both and would recommend both.

Are those tyre sizes to go on your Xantia? They dont seem quite correct if so. I use the oponeo website for my tyres, check on there for prices.

Thanks for the info. Will have a look at both of those tyres when choosing.

Nope the tyre sizes are for the girlfriends Rover 25. The standard tyre size is 185/55/15 for its alloy wheels. The Michelins dont seem readily available in that size.

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

The XM has now sold, it went on Saturday to Savoy Garage who will repair and resell it. Which is ideal, I was keen for it to go as it was with the headgasket problem. It worked out the same had we of sold it as is or sold it fixed. As the quotes we had got from various garages, including two specialists, ranged from £600 + VAT to £800 + VAT. Its not a small job! So that is one more space gained back, which results in all our our cars being able to be parked out of sight from the road once again.

I put my C5s winter wheels/tyres on at the weekend, good job too as the weather is not at all nice! Almost all of the roads into and out of the town were closed due to flooding yesterday. Good job I have cars with proper suspension :roll: I was out in the Xantia HDi yesterday, the high suspension setting was used at least 3 times to ford floods. Just as I went through one the road was closed shortly after.

I've ordered a few things for the 2cv from ECAS, mainly small things which are niggling. I plan on stripping the carb, cleaning it, fitting new gaskets and the recommended larger jet. So I have ordered a carb kit along with a few other bits.

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by ragger »

I shall be interested to hear what difference the mods make to your Beachcomber.

Rob

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by ashy90 »

Shame about the head gasket on the XM. Was you planning on selling it anyway? Those are quite pricey figures you have been quoted there. Is the 2.1 engine the same design as the 1.9 turbo diesel engine in a Xantia - which I believe is the 'xud'? The head gasket on my 1.9 td Xantia failed at around 130k miles, and it was a pig of a job.