Newbie does a Xantia 1.9TD Head Swap - ho ho ho!

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MikeM
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Newbie does a Xantia 1.9TD Head Swap - ho ho ho!

Post by MikeM »

Well our '97 Xantia finally started to feel neglected and in truth she has been taken for granted. She doesn't owe us a penny and she's just sailed through her MOT again needing only new front pads and discs, so any probs now are worth fixing rather ditching the car - to us anyway.

It all started when motorwaying at 'ahem, 70mph officer' and a dense black cloud appeared from the tailpipe. Easing off the throttle made it go away and it hasn't returned, but (and it's a big but) now she generates a huge blue cloud on starting from cold as well as initially firing on 3 or possibly only 2 cylinders.

My local Citroen specialist (not dealer) thought it might be a timing issue, saying that the belt may have slipped a bit. But on checking the timing was fine.

Even though I always thought blue smoke was definately oil, he kept on saying that the smoke on startup was diesel and as the timing was okay it might be glow plugs or injectors, but didn't have any garage time available to look at it further.

My theory (my theories are always right - even when reality gets it wrong :lol: ) was that oil was seeping passed a valve stem seal during extended engine-off periods and accumulating in the cyclinder, and was then being burned off during start-up causing blue smoke and rough running. Sounds good huh?

Well it's been a long time since I did any engine work but, I'm out of work at the mo' so plenty of time to spare, a friendly farmer neighbour of mine has lent me a place to work, I've got loads of tools and most importantly - I've got a Haynes manual to guide me should I have any problems :lol: so let's get that head off!

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MikeM
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Post by MikeM »

Woop! Woop! Hindsight Alert :- Please read http://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/v ... hp?t=28882


Step 1: "Disconnect the battery negative lead."

Done. :) - This is going to be soooo easy

Step 2: "Drain the cooling system."

Done. :D - Okay, so it's uncomfortable under here but I'm starting to feel like a real mechanic.

Hang on a mo - nobody mentioned the drain plug was hidden behind a plastic electrical conduit thingy - still, no worries. This car work stuff's a doddle :wink:

Step 3: "Remove the inlet and exhaust manifolds as described in Chapter 4B"

Whoa!!!!! Okay, I must be missing something here. I need to get the plastic pipes off the turbo to get the inlet manifold off, but I can't get to the bolts which hold them on because the inlet manifold is in the way. :?

Oh well. Improvise, wriggle, stare pointlessly at BoL and repeat... Ultimately success, now for those manifold bolts - errr bolts? uhhh - studs. Shouldn't be a problem though. Just as I thought, a bit fiddly but all six nuts are off and on day three (yes - day three) Bolt 'B' succumbed to my 1/4" drive wrench and ingenuity - yep inlet manifold slides back ohoh...

...not far enough :( Seems to be fouling on the turbocharger oil feed pipe. Okay - remove it - didn't work. Those studs will have to come out...

...slide mainfold back up to cylinder head. I'm supposed to be able to get the original nut and another to lock it, on that much thread (not convinced) and while in situ (becoming more sceptical - lots more sceptical).

Improvise! Slide mainfold away from head - insert 'Mole-Grips' (I know - I'm a bad boy for even owning such a tool but they've earned their keep) and rotate each of the top four studs in 30 degree steps all the way out of the head. (time consuming and back-breaking but it worked)

I won't need these studs again as :idea: I plan to refit the manifold using bolts (which I purchased today. ps If anybody needs a set gimme a shout as I bought enough for a few more sets just in case anyone else follows me down this road).

Okay the inlet manifold is off and now I've much better access to the exhaust manifold. Fortunately, trying to undo the nuts just rotated the studs themselves so no double-nutting required - however one of the bottom studs won't come completely out as it fouls on a small pipe on the turbo :roll:

Decide to reward myself by doing some easy stuff on the front of the engine to make the day look well spent.

Definately time for bed

ps. Any and all comments constructive, sympathetic or simply telling me how niaive I've been are very welcome. At least I'll know I'm not alone in my insanity. :wink:

Mike
Last edited by MikeM on 29 Nov 2009, 13:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Xaccers
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Post by Xaccers »

You're doing great Mike! :)

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MikeM
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Scotch-Brite

Post by MikeM »

Cheers Xac,

BTW, did I read somewhere that you've done something similar? Was it you who used Scotch-Brite to clean the cylinder block? If so, which scotch-brite product would you recommend?

Mike

MikeT
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Post by MikeT »

Good man! Feel free to photo and post for others that may follow. I like the idea of replacing the studs with bolts but then wonder why studs are used in the first place as I notice they're quite commonly used for manifolds?

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MikeM
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Post by MikeM »

Thanks Mike.

Tell me. How would you recommend preparing the surface of the cylinder block ready to accept the head?

I know that cleanliness is paramount but don't have any experience of doing this 'for real'. I'd like to avoid finding the same pitfalls that others ahead of me have already found (or hopefully sidestepped).


Mike

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Xaccers
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Re: Scotch-Brite

Post by Xaccers »

MikeM wrote:Cheers Xac,

BTW, did I read somewhere that you've done something similar? Was it you who used Scotch-Brite to clean the cylinder block? If so, which scotch-brite product would you recommend?

Mike
I didn't clean mine up, Jim got hold of a second hand head and had it professionally skimmed.

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MikeM
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Post by MikeM »

Xac
I didn't clean mine up, Jim got hold of a second hand head and had it professionally skimmed.
I'm taking the 'let somebody else do it' option here too. I'm getting a remanufactured head fully built ready to fit for £300. Lot of dosh I know, but I'm quite pushed for time and can't be fiddling with reconditioning the head myself.

Mike

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MikeM
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Post by MikeM »

MikeT,

I took this from your blog :-
I then spent way too long and used too many scotchbrite's trying to get all remnants of old gasket off the block face.
May I ask, which scotch-brite product did you use to clean the block face and did you find it effective?

tks

MikeM

MikeT
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Post by MikeT »

Mike, I didn't know there were variances of scotchbrites, I just picked up a pack.

I packed the bores out with newspaper, blocked the bolt holes, oil and waterways and smeared grease around the top of the bore to trap dirt - fluff ended up everywhere but it seemed to do the job. It was a labour intensive job though.

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MikeM
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Scotch-Brites

Post by MikeM »

Tks Mike

I had read about them on your blog before, and did some googling only to find a complete range of products including heavy-duty pads and some sutiable for non-stick pans.

Ended up getting the heavy-duty ones - but I'm getting ahead of myself ...

MikeM

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MikeM
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Another day another challenge (or three)

Post by MikeM »

Since last time I've trying to get my head around the order of removing bits at the timing end of the engine as it all seems a bit catch-22.

The timing covers need to come off so that the sprockets and timing holes can be aligned, but that means taking the crank pulley off first...

...but I'll need to put the crank pulley back on so that I can rotate the engine to insert the timing lockup bolts. Okay I think this will work.

Crank pully removal: I tried the method of holding on the brakes with the engine in gear, but no matter how hard I strained, that bolt is not gonna shift. So I tried the starter motor method and in just a few clicks of the starter the bolt freed :D

I should just say here that if you're reading this as a guide then do this only as a last option and only then with extreme care. The potential for flying tools is great and last time I checked, the tools were a lot tougher than me :wink:

Okay - now that the pulley bolt is free I can see some point in carrying on and so now I'll remove the aux drive belt - these cars were not designed to be worked on :(

Belt off, tap pulley lightly with wooden mallet and she slides off easy - am I in for a good day here :?:

Timing covers off with a little head scratching

Wow! The timing belt tensioner works just like the BoL says - wonders will never cease. So now the the timing belt is off too. me thinks I should quit while I'm ahead :D

To get the engine mount bracket off the end of the engine, I need to fabricate that little tool shown in the BoL to retain the tensioner plunger and as I'v not done anything like this since school I decide to procrastinate over a cuppa and stare at bits like that'll make the problem go away - it doesn't (note. would have been useful if BoL gave dimensions - I've got them now if anyone wants them)

Fortunately, the workshop I have access to is, unlike my shed, equipped with a bench mounted vice and a good supply of scrap sheet steel. I surprise my self when in less that ten minutes I'm holding the completed 'tool' in my hand. It's amazing how you can feel so accomplished by such a simple creation.

I found that I needed to reset the tensioner into it's least compressed position (if that makes sense) to squeeze the 'tool' in and then compress it to align the bolt holes. And so far it's doing the job well.

So the bracket can now be removed and after a little jiggling of the engine, the bracket lines up nicely with the recess in the right wing and out she comes.

I didn't see any need for removing the cam shaft sprocket prior to head removal and so decided not to, thus avoiding any chance of rotating the camshaft (especially since 1 and 4 are now at TDC) - I figured it won't matter once the head is off.

Injector leak off pipes are not going to move so decide to cut them off and replace during refit. No great shakes.

Now for the big moment - drum roll please...

The head bolts: Praying they won't snap I gently apply a breaker bar and start each of them on their way. Little by little until finally they are all finger loose. That was probably the scariest point so far. Not just because if one sheared I'd be looking at a shed-load more work, but also because, once the bolts are loosened I'm commited to the head removal - as indeed I now am. :roll:

I don't have the official Citroen bent rods for shaking the head loose, so with bolts removed, I decide to tap on the underside of the vacuum pump with the palm of my hand and 'merci boocoo Rodney!' up pops the head. :D

Inspection shows that my initial theory is in jeopardy as I can't see any oil on the valves but there is considerable oil around No 1. on the block face and I don't think it's related to the head removal.

With the head off I remove the glow plugs and No 1 and 2 are in pretty bad shape. The injectors come out next - with a lot of persuasion on No 2 from a scaffold pipe used as a lever.

I just hope I can remember how all this goes back together...

Mike

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Xaccers
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Post by Xaccers »

For scary, just wait until you do the final stretch turn on the new head bolts!

Does sound like you're having fun :D

Putting everything back on the engine does seem to take a lot longer than taking it off!

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MikeM
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Bits n Bobs

Post by MikeM »

Well now the head's off I can get the new one ordered. Didn't want to jinx those head bolts by buying the new head in advance :wink:

The new head arrived Tuesday (much to the anguish of my landlord as is turned up at 7.30am getting him out of bed :P shouldn't laugh) and it is a thing of beauty - all ready to fit minus the front camshaft oil seal and the woodruff key.

New glow plugs (Bosch Chromium) also obtained and a new timing belt from eBay for a fiver (QH so reputable quality) from a guy who bought but never fitted it.

The head gasket set I also got off eBay was a huge disappointment. The picture matched the one I took off but when it arrived it was clearly a different make and some googling revealed the brand to be 'Tomic '. Now they may well be very good (yep, there's a but coming) but, it just didn't have any quality feel to it and googling further I found that the entire Tomic H/G set can be bought for £14 - another pointer to budget rather than quality (IMHO). Decided to cycle into Norwich today and buy a Payen H/G - another £30 but given the amount of work involved in replacing it I figure I'll only curse myself for taking the short-cut and possibly soon (very very soon).

Right, I've now got all the bits I need (minus oil and filter which I'll send much beloved out for over the weekend) so the rebuild starts in earnest tomorrow morning. The block face is already scraped clean so tomorrow's tasks are :-

1. Fit camshaft front oil seal and sprocket (remember to align timing)

2. Apply H/G and fit head loosely
(note. All this business with chopping up old head bolts seems a bit much to me. Anyone tried lowering the head with a couple of the front head bolts dangling through it and inserting through the H/G as it goes down? Just a thought :!: )

3. Refit exhaust manifold loosely and investigate if I can refit the turbo pipes prior to the inlet manifold.

4. If time allows refit right engine mount bracket and timing bits.

Slight change

0. put beer in fridge

5. drink beer.


Mike

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MikeM
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Post by MikeM »

Xac,

That little job had already shown up the radar. The thought of torquing through 180 degrees :shock: passed stage 2 is going to test my faith in steel and the laws of physics to the limit.

Maybe I'll just leave them all finger tight to make the job easier next time :P

Mike