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 »

CitroJim wrote:Isn't it amazing we always seem surprised at what a wonderful car the Activa is even though we own them and drive them regularly. It's like each drive is a revelation. No bad thing...

Great news on the Xantia celebrations at the National Chris... I'll be there with Activa...
It is amazing and in a very good way :-D Everytime I drive mine it impresses me that bit more

Thanks Richard, a useful tip. I have used white spirit before, which does work well too.
Last edited by Citroenmad on 17 Feb 2013, 11:37, edited 1 time in total.
Citroenmad
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

Please check out the Citroen Xantia CCC Group on facebook, join and get involved! :)
R9UKE
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by R9UKE »

Chris, top points for not only driving a Rover 75, but having it in the most geriatric colour possible. People must look twice at such a young guy in that!!

I have to say, I had a brief fling with a Rover 75 as it was too cheap to ignore. I wasn't expecting anything, I have honestly never liked them, but I was so surprised by just how nice it was. It was a 2.5 V6 Connoisseur Auto. with blue leather. The ride and refinement were perhaps the most remarkable features. The solidity of the car on unsettled roads and it's composure and lack of rattles were a nice change from the Frenchies. Build quality wasn't perfect though, there were plenty of broken trim pieces - flimsy cup holders etc. Also, the carpets were wet. Turned out to be a very common issue where Rover used sticky tape to secure the sunroof drain pipe behind the glove compartment, well done :roll:. The car had a beautiful roar but the fuel consumption was pretty dire, even for a V6. I would go there again though, it well and truly won me over and it looks like yours is doing the same.
Citroenmad
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

I really like the colour! Its a very nice shade and suits the 75s olde worlde style very nicely! :lol: They might well do, but why conform the the norm!

I did look at a Connoisseur SE before I got this one, it was a 1.8T but was a little rough and I didn't like the person who was trying to sell it :lol: . I really wanted the 1.8 K series as its so easy to work on, gives reasonable economy and with the common HGF sorted its a reliable unit. I did set out to get the turbo version but im quite happy with this non-turbo as the cars condition AND colour was just right :roll: I had thought about a V6 manual but the V6 has three timing belts, which was just too complex and costly for what I wanted. I really only have praise for it so far, it is a solid car as you say and feels much more modern in terms of its body strength than the C5 does. When it goes over a bump it is coped with without shaking the body, its not felt through the steering its just very solid. Yet it rides really well, low speed ride is better than the C5 but not quite as good as the Xantia. Its higher speed and larger bumps which it is not as good on. It can't half be thrown around too! :roll:

I've not heard of that problem but luckily this one doesnt have a sunroof, I like the poverty spec of this one too. However another leak area is the drains in the plenum, the ones on mine were blocked so I did cleaned those the other day.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, I might well keep it and run it along side the Xantia HDi to keep the miles down. The 75 can tackle the worst of the winter then too. For what its cost me its a very cheap car and so might be handy to have around.
ashy90
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by ashy90 »

Its been a really interesting read. I must admit, although I love Citroen, I love Rover too - my two favourite brands of car.


It seems like you have got a bargain with this Rover 75. You may have got lucky regarding the head gasket. I wonder if you are right and perhaps the head gasket has been replaced, but the job was done by an idiot who couldn't time the engine up properly? Either that, or as mentioned by someone else, it could have been treated with K seal/rad-weld or something similar. That you must be careful of, I really wouldn't be too suprised if that is the case. I have seen/known of many K series engined cars that have been treated to K seal to cover up problems, and then flogged the car on.

Regarding the K series of engines......although I agree that the post 1995 K series - after the engine was re-designed under BMW ownership, DO have their head gasket issues if the cooling system is neglected....you know what, they are not THAT bad. Having owned several, I can tell you they are no way near as bad as some(lots) of people make out. It is a mountain of hype made out of a mole-hill of truth. At the end of the day, a head gasket change on a k series is not that difficult at all. Having done several K series head gaskets myself - and all running perfectly to this day, when I went to change the head gasket last year on my 1998 Xantia 1.9 td....I nearly gave up and scrapped the thing! I would imagine other engines such as the HDI are even more difficult. The K series is a doddle in comparison! They are nearly always a straight foward HG swap as well. Generally, you only run in to more serious issues such as the 'dropped liners' that people speak of, if the engine has SERIOUSLY over heated. If they over-heat considerably, the cylinder heads do go soft and the fire rings of the head gasket make impressions in the cylinder head. If its minor then they can be skimmed, however it is preferable to replace the cylinder head. Make sure the liner heights are measured. If they are quite low, do NOT use the MLS head gasket. The original head gasket is much more forgiving when it comes to sealing around the liners. If you do use the original style HG, make sure it is the uprated/re-inforced version.

If you need any advice feel free to PM me.

By the way ~ I currently own a year 2000 Rover 45 Connoisseur 1.8 which has covered over 151,000 miles (yes original engine including cylinder head). It is a great car IMO and the engine is lovely.
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

ashy90 wrote:Its been a really interesting read. I must admit, although I love Citroen, I love Rover too - my two favourite brands of car.
Thanks. I'm Citroen through and through but it is nice to have a bit of a change. Like I said there are not many cars I like enough to warrant owning one but the 75 has always tempted me. I like its Britishness, the fact it was built here and all that nostalgia. Every year when i go to the NEC Classic Car Show I find myself hanging around the 75 club stand, at the show in November I was hooked on them and as the Citroen stand was just opposite where my Xantia was sat, I had 3 days to look at the 75s and talk to owners. That sealed it, I had to have one!

I then got looking at production pictures which I always find facinating, how a car is built and the history of car production in the midlands and what it brought to the area etc. I stumbled upon quite a few sites of pictures of the Longbridge factory after it was shut and then a few years after that, it was amazing to see what was left behind, what had been planned for the cars, and how the factories looked. The number of cars which were still sat around on the site in various states, most of which got crushed. I really like all that stuff! :roll:
ashy90 wrote: It seems like you have got a bargain with this Rover 75. You may have got lucky regarding the head gasket. I wonder if you are right and perhaps the head gasket has been replaced, but the job was done by an idiot who couldn't time the engine up properly? Either that, or as mentioned by someone else, it could have been treated with K seal/rad-weld or something similar. That you must be careful of, I really wouldn't be too suprised if that is the case. I have seen/known of many K series engined cars that have been treated to K seal to cover up problems, and then flogged the car on.
While I am positive that the HG is fine now, I am not at the point of trusting that there is nothing wrong with it or that something won't develop. I am wary that K-seal might have been used but I can not find any evidence of its existance in the coolant, as it usually has a trace floating around. One thing is for sure, it has no HGF signs. 1000 miles covered and it has not used any coolant, the oil has not mixed with coolant, the coolant is not pressurising etc.

If the worst comes to the worst then the head gasket will be done, I bought it thinking I would be doing it so Im not too concerned about that. It's part of the reason I chose the K-series as its so easy to work on and parts are available everywhere and cheaply too. I would not and didn't consider doing the HG on our 2.1TD Xm, but I would happily take on this should I need to.

I have written the previous owner a letter but have not yet sent it ... I would like to know why the car was taken off the road for 18 months before me seeing it. It did have a private plate which was removed and put on a Skoda Fabia, which I guess is the previous owners current car. They owned the car for over 5 years during which time it was very regularily serviced and covered quite a few miles. Going by the condition of the car its been cherished and still had left over polish on the bodywork.
ashy90 wrote: Regarding the K series of engines......although I agree that the post 1995 K series - after the engine was re-designed under BMW ownership, DO have their head gasket issues if the cooling system is neglected....you know what, they are not THAT bad. Having owned several, I can tell you they are no way near as bad as some(lots) of people make out. It is a mountain of hype made out of a mole-hill of truth. At the end of the day, a head gasket change on a k series is not that difficult at all. Having done several K series head gaskets myself - and all running perfectly to this day, when I went to change the head gasket last year on my 1998 Xantia 1.9 td....I nearly gave up and scrapped the thing! I would imagine other engines such as the HDI are even more difficult. The K series is a doddle in comparison! They are nearly always a straight foward HG swap as well. Generally, you only run in to more serious issues such as the 'dropped liners' that people speak of, if the engine has SERIOUSLY over heated. If they over-heat considerably, the cylinder heads do go soft and the fire rings of the head gasket make impressions in the cylinder head. If its minor then they can be skimmed, however it is preferable to replace the cylinder head. Make sure the liner heights are measured. If they are quite low, do NOT use the MLS head gasket. The original head gasket is much more forgiving when it comes to sealing around the liners. If you do use the original style HG, make sure it is the uprated/re-inforced version.

If you need any advice feel free to PM me.

By the way ~ I currently own a year 2000 Rover 45 Connoisseur 1.8 which has covered over 151,000 miles (yes original engine including cylinder head). It is a great car IMO and the engine is lovely.
I like the K-series as an engine, for its ease of working and in the 75 there is so much room around the whole engine. What has held me back from getting a 75 previously has been engine choice, the V6 is just too uneconomical for my use and it has 3 timing belts! Far too much for me to think about, considering I had not done a belt change before. The diesel is pretty decent but the clutch changes are horiffically expensive and involved. I also like a change from a diesel, the HDi PSA cars are very good but you do still know they are diesels, the 75 is so smooth and quiet inside. So I had to come around to the idea of a K series and so far I'm pleased I did.

I have done quite a bit of research into them, I find the 75&ZT club forum is very good. I actually went along to a meet in Leeds the other weekend. I have read about the different head gaskets and when to use them etc.

The more I use the 75 the more I like it, I do often think should I have got a diesel one but part of the reason I like it is its not a diesel! Its smooth to drive and while its not a ball of fire it can move if the revs are used but for cruising around at normal speeds its actually not lacking in torque too much. The 75 is an impressive car, given that it was launched in 1998 the body shell is superbly strong and it shows in the way it takes bumps and bends. It also only just missed out on a 5 star euro n cap, stating that had it of had standard window airbags it would have been a 5 star - which would have been the first 5 star awarded car, I think. Impressive! The build quality isn't bad either, they are not without their problems but most are easily sorted. I love the shape of them (saloon but Tourer is quite nice). Im quite surprised that almost all of the comments I have got from family, friends and collegues are very positive, even if they are surprised to see me in a car which isnt a Citroen :lol:

I'm not sure how long it will be staying for yet, I look forward to driving it so thats a good thing and its perfect for sharing my daily commute with my Xantia HDi. I do really fancy another XM though but not until later in the year, if at all.

Thanks for your offer of advice, I might well take you up on that should problems arise.

Your 45 is going very well never having had a HG, it just proves what a good engine it is when they are looked after. Mine has done almost 102K miles but is very smooth, quiet, consumes no oil and drives very well. I did look at a few and quite a few K series seem to have a knocking (piston slap?) when cold but this one is very smooth.

I'm sure Im getting close to having my FCF membership limited here :lol: :roll:
Northern_Mike

Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Northern_Mike »

Citroenmad wrote: I have done quite a bit of research into them, I find the 75&ZT club forum is very good. I actually went along to a meet in Leeds the other weekend. I have read about the different head gaskets and when to use them etc.
This tells you all you need to know about the Kettle series engines.... imagine having to read that ! :P

To be fair, we hired a 1.8 back in 2005. It wasn't a bad car. Very smooth. Quite staid. Well insulated, rode bumps nicely, no ball of fire. I didn't drive it too much, but it was a hire car so I did explore it's "performance". Not bad for a 1.8 heavy car I suppose.

It's just a shame so many of them were so badly put together.

That said, I wouldn't mind a go in one now I'm older and saner. Much as I like the Subaru, even I'm finding it a tad hardcore for daily use, despite it returning a not unreasonable 28-32mpg depending on sanity mode.
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad »

Yes, its not a quick car but you certainly dont buy a 75 to race about :lol: I like its laid back nature and comfort, much why I like Citroens.

They are not really badly put together though, the build quality I find good. The tirm holds up well even with galactic mileages that some 75s are at, they dont rust and they use a lot of well designed ideas. They were built under very different quality measures and on a parellel production line to the smaller Rovers.

I like the fairly basic spec of mine and the smaller engine too, its the lightest of the lot which cant be a bad thing. It grips really well and handles very solidly considering its bulk and ride quality, that is not to say it doesnt roll :lol: I tend to keep speed high in the corners and it copes well.

I guess I'm quite odd in my car choices, at 25 I should have something lairy and sporty, perhaps. But thats just not my thing, while I might find something like that fun for a short time I soon get bored with it. Its why I got an Activa, it can be driven quickly but without sacrificing too much refinement.

I drove a Smart Roadster recently, am absolute grin a minute car and I was singing its praises. However, I know had I of bought it that I would have driven me mad by now. I could have one as an occasional car, which is not out of the question just yet ...
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Northern_Mike »

I was pottering about in the Berlingo earlier, really quite enjoying it's laid back nature, the upright seating position and the roly-poly handling on roundabouts. I found myself thinking it's preferable to drive than the Subaru. The Subaru is very easy to potter about in too, it's very happy around town in that bland Japanese car sort of way, and very easy to drive, much like any 90s Japanese car. The ride is hard though - not as hard as the more modern ones, so I'm told, and it doesn't jiggle or shake on bumps. It's still very solid. It doesn't roll hardly at all, even at speed. I noticed this when i got back in the Berlingo which felt like it was going to roll over for the first few minutes!

It's problem, and it's greatness are the same thing. It's all too easy to drop down a gear (or not, just use the boost) and unleash 260bhp and head for the horizon rapidly. It's not just quick, it's fast. Seriously so. 0-60 in 4.8, 0-100 in 12.2 . A 2006 Porsche 911 Turbo does the 0-100 dash in 11.4, so you can see this Subaru really is not a slow car. It's just lucky it's so unpleasant on the motorway over about 75. The Activa is a much better cruiser than the Subaru would ever be, but the Subaru would leave it for dead, very quickly, on any other sort of road. I might still buy a good Activa when more drive space becomes available in May/June, or another TD Xantia, if I can find a mehanically sound but bodily scruffy one. I'll have a lot of motorway miles to do, alone. I'm thinking economy, veg, no seats other than the drivers, everything possible removed in the interests of weight saving and we'll go hypermiling..
Northern_Mike

Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Northern_Mike »

Damn, I meant to post that on my own blog Chris! sorry! Mods - can you move it please?
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CitroJim
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by CitroJim »

Northern_Mike wrote:Damn, I meant to post that on my own blog Chris! sorry! Mods - can you move it please?
Not easily Mike.. Best you copy and paste it into your blog and when you’ve done that we can then come along later and delete your two posts in Chris's blog...

Interesting comments on the Scoobie..

What you really want is a nice XM Mike :wink:
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Post by myglaren »

Laura's 75 seemed to be very well assembled. No squeaks or rattles and it drove very well and was very comfortable. When she wanted a smaller car for economy reasons I was very tempted by it.
She hates the Clio she replaced it with and hasn't actually saved any money if the cash she lost on it is taken into consideration.
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by ashy90 »

Indeed. The 75 I went in seemed of a superior quality to my mates 53 or 54 plate Mercedes C180 saloon. Certainly better quality than my old 1998 Citroen Xantia I had at the time - by quite some margin to be honest. (By the way, my Xant 1.9td had HGF ironically) I still love Xantia's though :-)
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

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Almost 3 weeks without an update! :lol:

I've not got a lot to update with really. The biggest news is our very well loved C1 is going this week in favour of something a little larger. It will be three in a few months, having had it from new, its a superb city car and we all enjoy driving it. All of our cars are on the larger side and the C1 makes for a very easy car to potter around town in and throw into parking bays. Its dirt cheap to run, does around 50mpg around town, £20 a year road tax and holds its value very well. Its covered just over 14,000 miles and has never needed anything other than oil changes. A superb car which I would recommend to anyone.

However, its only used for city driving and the odd out of town run. It is a 5 door and is surprisingly spacious for 4 but it is what it is. With the departure of the XM estate last year and the C5 estate is a working car and always full of stuff, something larger, more refined and more useful was the order of the C1s replacement.

In truth there was a special event on this weekend at the dealers, we were not really thinking about changing the C1 but we went along to have a look anyway. We ended up finding the ideal replacement and the deal was too good to turn down. Its a car we thought we might get and was going to replace the C1 but later in the year.

Keen to keep hold of the C1s cheap daily running costs but have something slightly larger but still quite small, more refined and more spacious. We all decided that a Citroen C3 Picasso would be ideal, funky looks, a truely tardis like interior and its a proper car, rather than a city runabout. The interior is very versitile, the rear seats slide to make a bigger boot or more legroom. The boot will easily take our two dogs (not something possible with the C1) or the rear seats fold totally flat. With the rear seats slid back and reclined, they make for a very comfortable place. At the moment my Xantia estate is the only car to do trips to the tip, take the dogs out, collect food and such for our many animals etc. So this Picasso does all of that. It'll be my mums car but as with the C1, we all tend to share it.

Its a 2010 C3 Picasso VTR+ 1.6HDI 90bhp in Cherry Red with 20,000 miles. Amazingly this model has £30 a year road tax and does a combined 60+ MPG, with 70 achieveable on a run. Which I can believe going by what the trip computer has recorded over the last 7000 miles. Im also pleased that this particular model does not have a diesel particulate filter. The VTR+ has air contidioning, alloy wheels, trip computer, AUX audio ports, etc etc but most importantly for me, cruise control.

I had a pretty good drive in it and was impressed. It rides very well, has a very solid and composed feeling and is very refined too. It feels like a much bigger car to drive. I like the high up driving position and the view out is great. With my 6ft 2" driving position set I can sit in the back with room to spare. There are lots of funky details: LIke the C4 inspired central speedo which glows orange at night, scented air vents, excellent visability through the many front windows and so on. I also really like the exterior styling, chunky, square and appealing. It is a little different and it will fit the bill just perfectly.

I've not got any pictures yet but this one looks just like it:
Image
Image

We collect it on Wednesday and our C1 is being traded in, I'll miss it but im looking forward to this Picasso being around.

My Xantia HDi is still being superb and soaking up my daily commutes. Ive been doing a bit of waxoyling but other than that its not needed any attention but is due a service. Activa has been out a few times over the nice and salt free days in the last few weeks, I used it for my 100 mile commute once too. It has put the airbag light on which I need to look at, Lexia says its to do with the ECU. The Rover 75 is still here and in occasional use, it will be for sale soon, probably through ebay I think. I've enjoyed having it but its not a keeper and Im starting to resent putting in so much fuel to power a 1.8 petrol. Surprisingly the Activa is only slightly less economical and provides an awful lot more power and thrills! :roll:

I might well get something to fill the gap when the Rover goes, I really like the idea of a C4 at the moment and have done for some time. Possibly another 1.6HDi with its cheap running costs and so on. As ideal as my Xantia is for my daily duties, its miles will soon increase and I'm very keen to keep it good.
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by bxzx16v »

A very useful car the C3 Picasso , we were looking at one for the father in law a couple of months ago but a Renault modus came along at an unrepeatable price so he went for that , similar sort of thing really , I must admit it really impressed on the test drive with it's eagerness . I look forward to some pics Chris when it arrives .

Mark