Citroenmads Citroen blog.

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Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

It is Gareth, the list of things I want to and need to do is slowly stacking up, as I look at it more, though nothing iminent and nothing desperate. Rear ram bush and sphere pressures are first on my list. Need to get cracking with those.

I dropped by to get an old friend back today: P104CMO our old white XM. It had an odd noise which a Citroen indy thought might be the strut top. I didn't think it would be, as I was driving it home the noise seemed to get worse and more alarming, it turned out to be a drop link. Spraying in some lubricant to the joints had it silent again. Amazing that such a simple thing can cause such a noise which could have proved an expensive fix had the strut top of been replaced and still the noise remained. Im going to get the XM back from Rob within the week and fit a new drop link.

Even now its the best riding XM ive been in or driven, thats a good few now. All of our Xms have been spot on with their spheres (as you would imagine as we have regassing equipment), LHM condition etc, but this one is super smooth. I think our current Xm is slightly more firm due to the fact it is an estate and has slightly thicker ARBs, still, it rides lovely. The white one has genuine Citroen spheres regassed slightly over the standard pressure and its lovely. It was great to drive it again, it feels like home!
If you want a softer ride, slightly more BAR in the spheres is the way to go, not fiddling with the damper settings which drilling out the spheres does. Comfort spheres are just that, regular spheres with the damper hole slightly drilled, not a good idea in my opinion. The control the suspension has is lessened.

I also dropped by a friends to pick up a S1 Xm front bumper, its in good condition in S1 maroon. Comes complete with bumper light units but not the chrome strip. Let me know if anyone is needing one.

As Rob is buying a V6 Xm this white XM needs re-homing and unfortunately there is no room at the in here. Id very much like it back though. Anyone wanting to give a nice, refined cruiser a good home?

Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

Today me and my dad set about testing the spheres on the Activa. All were removed, pressure tested and regassed to within spec if needed.

Pressures as found were:
Front corner spheres: NS: 38bar OS: 32bar - should be 45 - both are now 50bar
Front centre sphere: 70bar - should be 70 - now 70 as it was
Front Activa Balancing sphere: 52 - should be 62 - now 65bar
Accumulator sphere: 58 - should be 62 - now still 58 (not worth bothering with for 4bar)

Rear corner spheres: NS: 32bar OS: 32bar - should be 30 - still at 32, these appear to be the most recent ones fitted
Rear centre sphere: 60 - should be 55 - Kept at 60bar
Rear Anti-sink: 50 - should be 50 - same
Rear Activa Balancing sphere: 50! - should be 30 - reduced from 50 to 35bar

As you can see some I have put in 5 bar more than spec, though this doesnt actually effect body control or handling but does give the ride a slightly better feel and keeps damping the same. Most spheres are pressured 2-3bar over stated when new anyway.

I do wonder why the rear balancing sphere had such a high pressure though, these were Westroen spheres.

The car does ride much better from the front now, higher speeds it really rides nicely. The LHM is crystal green and now the spheres are as they should be thats another job off my list.

Surprisingly easy to get to all of the spheres, I was expecting more of a fight with them. Much better locations than the anti sink on an Xm for example.

Rear ram bush to contend with next.

Deanxm
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Post by Deanxm »

Oh damn i was hoping you wouldnt post this Chris, mine are all westroen and im not 100% happy with the way it rides, i think the front strut sphere on the passenger side is down by a lot.

The rear Ram bush is a nice easy job, is Mr Eastment making you one up?

D

Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

Ive yet to be convinced by spheres "reconditioned" by Westroen, our XM estate has them too and the pressures were all over the place too, now corrected. I also have heard they dont pressure test before regassing, not good news.

I was surprised that the pressures in the front strut spheres differed by 6 from one side to the other. I can't imagine the rear Activa one being too good at 20bar over recommended either.

Its all done now and rides beautifully, very much improved.

I didn't want to ask Jim as I know he is usually a busy guy, though my options to get one made up are runny thin. I might drop Jim a PM. :)
Last edited by Citroenmad on 07 May 2011, 23:54, edited 1 time in total.

Deanxm
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Post by Deanxm »

I will have to get my tester made up then and get them tested. must finnish the dinning room first though the mrs is watching.

Im sure Jim would make you one up next time he has the lathe running, the bush doesnt look like much but it sure does the job and he has sized it just so it slides in place by hand with a little grease, makes life very easy when doing the change.

I may have a source of equaly home made bushes that im looking into that are steel inner and outer but with a hard rubber bushing between them, they would last a good long time but i have only got imperial ones at present and work would not want too many dissapearing :lol: when i do get it sorted they will be very cheap.

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D

Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

Someone suggested using a bearing if one could be sourced in the correct size. Im not sure how well that would work and if it did for how long.

I like tried and tested methods :)

Your idea sounds a good one, would the rubber bush not effect the effectiveness/quickness of the ram activating?

Have you got your bush replaced yet Dean?

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Dommo
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Post by Dommo »

My bro made me a bush up, which is now sitting in a rear ram that has no car to attach to. If you want to I can send you this one if my bro is able to make me up another one?

Deanxm
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Post by Deanxm »

Chris the rubber is very hard, we use them to bush the hanger arms on hoppers, its more a plastic in its hardness.
And yes i replaced mine a couple of weeks back and oh what a difference, i thought it was only rattling over broken surfaces but it really has quietened the car an awefull lot.

D

Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

Thank you for the offer Dommo, that is very generous. However Jim is very kindly sending one out to me :D

Dean, that might be a feasible option in that case. Im looking forward to having fitted the new bush, as its very noticeable. It now rides bumps very well but the noise from the worn bush has the impression of a worse ride.

Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

Jim has very kindly sent me a ram bush for the Activa, so ill be on with that when time allows.

I had an excellent drive out in the Activa yesterday, it really did impress me and my passenger too. Who commented that it handles better than his VW GTi which has coilovers ... he has spent more on suspension than I have on my Xantia :lol: That does show how effectively the Activas can cover real roads.

I did get our old white XM back the other week to fit the new drop link. Very easy job. It was good to drive it again and no doubt the last time I will drive it or even see it.

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Its weatherby in a days time so Ill spend some of tomorrow getting my Xantia and possibly the C15 ready to take thre on Saturday. Unfortunately im working the Sunday which is a shame as its the best day. The rest of tomorrow im going hunting for a C5 Auto HDi for an old family friend, so ill see how that goes.

Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

Bit of an update then

In Activa world:
I have secured a pair of excellent Activa strut tops to keep in my spares just in case. I couldn't resist getting them when they were available.
Mine look servicable and the OS is quite good, the NSs rubber covering under the wheel arch is unbonding and its very rusty in there. So Ill probably swap that one out for one of these very good ones, might well put the pair on. Though its not urgent.

I also finaly have a full set of Xantia contoured mudflaps which are now fitted, its looking very smart with them. Quick picture but its really in need of a good clean and its a bit dull today, a little different from the 26 degrees yesterday .... The Activas air con is a dream!

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Gareth found the service history for the Activa and so that is now back with the car.

Today I set about tackling the rattling rear Activa ram bush and replace it with Jims substitue. Wasn't too bad a job really, the old one was very well gone. A threaded bar with nuts was the best way of removing it as I didn't want to remove the ram from the car. With the bottom joint disconnected it appeared that there was a lot of play in the upper ball joint, so I had it in my head that the bush would mearly numb the sound and the main cause would still be there. With the new bush in and the lower joint attatched the play had gone. Ive just been out to try it, its totally silent, the car is transformed :D
The rattle had been getting worse and worse and I guess I got used to it a little. Driving it over the poor roads around here its like driving a different car, very quiet and as its not making a noise on the bumps it gives the appearance of a better ride too. Im very impressed, its a much nicer car to be in now.

I recived a copy of some old Citroen themed TV footage on a DVD from a friend this week. It has all sorts on it but what is of most interest here is a TopGear test of the Xantia Activa. Tiff Nedell is the tester, in the original, early TopGear format. He first talks about body control and how cars are either sporty or soft, then about the hydractive on the XM. He then jumps into a 2.0 16V VSX Xantia and puts it round a track, explaining that it handles well but still has noticable body roll which makes the car lift its inside rear wheel, sending weight to the front outside wheel and therefore grip is lessened. He then jumps into a 2.0 16V (LHD car) Activa and does the same, he is amazed at its abilities, composure and grip. Its a very good test and one I have not seen before, its certainly not on youtube, or if it is ive not seen it. Its interesting to see a VSX and Activa both put around a fast slalom, the VSX gets quite out of shape at its speed, the Activa is composed as you would expect.

In more general Activa news, its going very nicely, I have covered around 1500 miles with it. Im still liking it more and more, as I get through its jobs its becomming a better car, im really enjoying it. Its even more of a joy to drive it now.

My C5 is as faultless as always, does my daily duties excellently. Its just turned over to 18K miles now. Its front tyres were just about on the limits, yesterday I had a new pair of Michelin Pirmacy HPs fitted and swapped the backs to the front. Should last another 10K miles before the current fronts need replacing. Ill be giving it a service in a few weeks ready for my trip to mid/south France in 8 weeks time. Usually do about 3000 miles in the time im a away so it will be all set for that, im really looking forward to driving it down there.

I had the pleasure of driving a 3.0 V6 XM last week, very nice it was too. I was giving it a service and repairing the speedo to make it work again. Quite an enjoyable job actually.

All of the other cars are going well, the C15 had a trip down to Weatherby on the Saturday for the CCC event, the first outing its had in a while. My dad took his Traction 6H the next day and won best car of the show with it.

Ive been using our little C1 quite a bit recently, a very impressive little city car and it does take to long motorway journeys quite well too. Its just turned 4000 miles, our previous city car only did 2500 a year, so its certainly proving a more useful and more enjoyable car to have around.

My dads 6H and my C5 at the Weatherby CCC event, Sunday
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Some of the fleet in their resting places
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bxzx16v
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Post by bxzx16v »

Great fleet 8-)

Mark

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

A car for every occasion Chris :D

red_dwarfers
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Post by red_dwarfers »

It is a brilliant feeling when you fix something and it makes a noticable difference :D

The contour mudflaps are certainly much better fitting, on the Xantia the NS one keeps almost falling off as it rolls around corners. Thats a point actually, I may fit them to the mudflapless XM which isn't so much of a roller...

I'll bet you took the Activa out for a spin after you watched that clip and had a grin on top of a grin. Seems like it could be an interesting watch, you'll have to bring it along next time we meet. No doubt theres something in all the technology of the XM that can play mpeg files :lol:

Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad »

Thanks Mark :) They do take a fair bit of time up mind :lol: but very worth it.

Your about right there Jim, got just about every situation covered, missing a 4x4 though but they have been and gone, don't have the use for one now. The van is the most handy of things, seating 5 and with a massive load area. At one point we had 3 or 4 very small cars and a couple of big ones, now they are all pretty large and only the little C1. Your right though, they have many uses, which is how we almost justify them all :lol:

Kev: Ill certainly bring that along next time I see you, its well worth a watch, well all of it is really. The guy who sent me the copy of the DVD wrote me a letter saying how much he enjoyed the experience of a ride in my Activa! And yes I did, I had a very enjoyable drive in the Activa after watching that, appreciating its benefits even more! 8-) Yes, the contoured mudflaps are a very good fit and are very secure too, not to mention I like the look of them. Mudflaps are better than no flaps though ... Both XM and Xantia mudflaps seem quite hard to come by now. Only the rear Xantia ones are available from the dealers and they are in limited supply.

That area is the parking at the rear of my house, which is accessed through the main garage and so is totally enclosed. Quite handy really as I dont like having cars on display so they can all be tucked away at night, at the moment there are 5 out there and three in the garages. Not long ago when we were up to 10 cars there were 7 out there, precision parking at its best! :lol:

My heart sank earlier ...

Just after submitting the above post I moved the Xantia to the other side of the drive as I had parked it infront of the garage and wanted to get some cars through there. I noticed a pool of green fluid where the rear of the Activa had been, just in the area of the rear ram :(

I put it straight back up the ramps and had a good look, thinking its surely something which has been disturbed when I had the lower joint off ealier and hoping it wasn't needing an XM steering gaiter repair.

On first inspection itlooked to be a hole from around the neck of the rubber pipe which meets with the plastic leak-off pipe. However it wasnt, there is a tiny hole quite high up that little rubber pipe cover. The leak-off pipe was not pushed in far enough and seems to have worn a hole in the rubber. I pushed the pipe in and the leak has cured. Im not sure why it started leaking then as it has been bone dry. Perhaps with me dropping the ram down lower than it ould normally go its pulled that pipe out slightly and past where a hole has formed. Still, I have cleaned it up, it seems very secure and the car is again LHM tight. I have since driven the car and the leak has not returned. Here is to hoping its going to stay that way.

Ill be using the Xant for the next few days to commute in and so ill see how it goes, ill soon notice if its leaking.

I take the C5s for granted, as they do everything I want and need from a daily so very well. I even managed 65MPG on my way home from work the other day! I was trying but still, for a large car that is extremely efficient. My average is 50MPG over my last 6000 miles, given the way I drive it im impressed. Anyway, these are the pair which I enjoy the most:
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