Dom's Car 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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Dommo
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by Dommo »

Time for an update.

The xantia has been working almost flawlessly since it's new exhaust, I recently had a constantly squeaky brake which I narrowed down to the front offside brake. It also sounds like the nearside front wheel bearing is past its best, doesn't sound too loud but on quiet surfaces at motorway speeds there's a definite hum from that side, I did the offside one when I first got the car so I always knew the nearside one was due to be done at some point. I've also got a brand spankers strut top for the nearside, the offside was replaced a while back so the nearside could do with being done - I might get it changed at the same time as doing the wheel bearing. Could also do with a nearside wheel arch liner, mine has a hole in it for some reason leaving the horn open to the elements... Sounds like quite a shopping list now :lol:

Anyway, I took the brake off to find one pad with a good 10mm of meat left, the other one however.. Approximately 2mm at best! So I've got a replacement set of pads on order, I narrowed the problem down to the slider as it wasn't very well lubricated, packed it with moly grease and it's right as rain now, just need the new pads.

Here's a bit of advice to everyone from my mechanic friend - always use moly (CV joint) grease in sliders as most other greases expand the seals and stops the slider from sliding!


Today I removed the leaking strut from the Active Toyota, surprisingly easy, and surprisingly akin to a Citroen!

I used the 'active dance' to catch the car at full height, stopped the engine, got a jack under the front subframe/jacking point, removed the offside front wheel and set to it. On the top of the strut you are faced with this rubber cover:
http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x226 ... 02b721.jpg

Removing that by undoing the three nuts reveals the top of the strut, which houses a large banjo fitting and a brake caliper style bleed nipple:
http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x226 ... e6cb79.jpg
http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x226 ... 417de1.jpg

After putting a long hose on the strut bleed nipple I released it and drained approximately 300ml's of fluid, which was curiously greeney/brown colour and had a certain LHM smell to it.

After releasing the pressure and removing the banjo at the top, a smaller banjo underneath, then undoing a single nut and bolt at the bottom, and three nuts at the top, the strut is ready to be removed - sounds like a lot of work but it really isn't:
http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x226 ... ef6a21.jpg
http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x226 ... 52980f.jpg

I'm not sure what the banjo underneath does, it has a thin metal pipe coming from it, it looks similar to the citroen leak off pipe, however thin metal pipes normally mean high pressure don't they? Or is it just an over-engineered leakage return (most likely) ?

You can see how the suspension fluid has leaked all over the place, EVERYTHING is covered in oil and has since been covered in dirt, it's very manky down there!
http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x226 ... 8a6d5e.jpg

Removal was very easy, just compressed the strut (no spring so easy to compress aka citroen), dropped it down from the top mounting point, pulled the top towards you, pushed the wishbones down, and out popped the strut. I've not yet started to change the seals, but I'm on nights now for the next few nights :(

I quite like the Toyota method of checking the suspension fluid level, it gets it's own dipstick, the hole it goes in is in the bottom of this photo about 2/3s the way across:
http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x226 ... 31fa57.jpg

Speaking of dip sticks, I also checked the gearbox oil dipstick today, the oil smells really burnt and not how I'd imagine ATF would smell (if manual transmission fluid is anything to go off anyway!), so I reckon that needs replacing.

Lastly - while doing all this I heard an almighty smash from around the back of the house, when I went round to see what happened I was greeted by a smashed kitchen window and a VERY dazed pheasant on the floor surrounded by glass - poor thing! It just sat there for about 30 seconds blinking and breathing quite quickly, then eventually came to and legged it down past my shed!

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x226 ... c2d447.jpg

A bit of a mess!!

Cheers for reading, Dom.

KP
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by KP »

Is that a double glazed window dommo?? Sounds like a food mornings work on the jap tank :-)

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myglaren
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by myglaren »

Was that a deliberate typo Will?

Sounds like a food mornings work on the jap tank
a VERY dazed pheasant on the floor
:mrgreen:

KP
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by KP »

Predictive iPod text at its best Steve :-D

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myglaren
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by myglaren »

KP wrote:Predictive iPod text at its best Steve :-D
I hate that predictive text, it's even worse than my typo's.
I don't think my HTC has it and if it has I don't want to know.

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Dommo
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by Dommo »

Yep double glazed! It's taken out the outer pane, but the inner one is still intact luckily.

Bad news for the VSX, someone has modified my offside doors with their front wing due to their brilliant lane discipline and lack of mirror checking. They think it is my fault, however the offending roundabout has lines painted on it all the way round so if you follow them you can't really get it wrong. They managed it though and as I say, him and his passenger blamed me for it.

Ho-hum.

KP
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by KP »

Hope you phoned their insurance company up to submit your claim dommo, and sorry about the bad news :-(

One reason I am thinking of getting a blackvue system fitted to my car as driving seems to be getting lower in standard lately :-( and not mine, mostly anyway!!
Last edited by KP on 20 Feb 2012, 17:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Dommo
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by Dommo »

I've phoned my own one, based on what I said they reckon it's his fault. Just hope it gets sorted and doesn't affect my insurance premium too much, all this work on the Soarer will be pointless if I can't insure the thing...

Is that a camera that fits in your car??

KP
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by KP »

Yeah it sits behind your rear view mirror and needs a 12v power source (say from a sunroof supply :D ) and then records from when its turned on in full HD at 30FPS. Also comes with gps as well if you want it for a few quid more and can have upto 16 or 32gb Micro SD card in it for about 18hrs of recording at full res.

KP
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by KP »

Wierd the bird only cracked one sheet of the glass as normally both seem to go in double glazed windows as they do bend a fair bit from my own experience ( moved into a new house when much younger with a massive double patio door with thin frame... the amount of times i ran into the thing thinking it was open.... Even the cats used to do it so much so that after a while my mum covered them in car rear window type stickers!! Never broke or even scratched once :D )

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Dommo
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by Dommo »

This weekend I finally had all the parts to rebuild the strut, and hopefully have it leak free. I've not taken any photos of stripping the strut down (as it's a big oiley job once you get started and I'm loathed to cover my phone in oil!) but I will take some photos of the strut I've stripped down today when I get chance over the coming weeks. But essentially what I discover on stripping the strut down is how brilliant my chain whip come mole grips come sphere tool, is. I managed to completely strip the entire strut using only my chain whip style sphere tool, a 32mm spanner, and a vice. Perfect. Upon stripping the strut the first time a good month or two ago I had discovered that the chap I bought "every seal to re-seal the strut" off, hadn't provided every seal! One was a very specific oil seal that is only available from Toyota within a large gold nut, the cost is £38 + VAT, so not the end of the world, and I have replaced the first strut with a new nut and seal. But after doing this I decided I'd have a go at removing the leaking seal from the nut, with some success, I have a make and part number. I can't seem to source any information on this particular seal however :x The seal is a NOK seal (NOK = the make), and the 'model' is a BR4647E. If anyone out there knows anything about seals or a supplier of said seal I would very much appreciate it - a few replacement seals would go down very well!! Assuming the cost is less than the nut + seal from Toyota that is!

Before I first stripped the strut I had a feeling that the bump stop was buggered, mainly because around a fast roundabout on the way to work the front offside wheel (the corner I have so far rebuilt) seemed to bottom out on the wheel arch! Upon stripping the strut I was removing all this disgusting stuff from under the gaitor, thinking it was mud I was just binning it, we then found this ring of nylon that was looking very very mullered! I looked on a photo which showed the bump stop attached to a piece of nylon, it turned out the crap I was throwing in the bin was the remains of the bump stop! :lol: See the photo below. From the right you have the nitrogen filled part of the shock (on the bottom on a Soarer), think of it as the Citroen sphere, then you have a big black collar which the gaitor mounts on (and collects all the bits of the bump stop when it starts to fall apart!), the next bit is the bump stop, I only had the nylon ring left, all of the rest of it was mush!! The next part is the big gold nut, which houses the seal I mentioned, the next part is the bushing (all very replaceable as you can see!). Not sure what the next part is but it is made of a VERY cool material, a very red and very hard plastic type material. Very unusual.

Image

And here is the gold nut, it's hard to see the seal but it is in there, with a spring around it as are most beefy oil seals:

Image

Incidently the new nut from Toyota was silver and not gold, I'm hoping the seal isn't a new revised design. But that would explain why I can't find any replacement seals for the part number I have...

I'd decided that because the oil inside the first strut was such a bad colour that I would strip down the other three struts too. As the front was already in the air I decided to start with the other front strut. On stripping this down I'd discovered that the bump stop on this strut was also ruined, so it looks like I'll have to replace all four bump stops and not just the one I had decided on originally.

I met a fellow active Soarer owner yesterday, I'd driven past this soarer a number of times as it is literally only a few miles from me and wondered whether it was an active Soarer, although I knew it was highly unlikely as they made so few. But I did notice that it had a reversing camera (yes in 1991!!) which was only fitted to a select few cars, and meant it was likely to be an active. Anyway yesterday was the first time I drove past and wasn't in a rush so I stopped to have a nosey at it. I checked in the centre console and saw the two switches which suggest it is an active Soarer, and to confirm I got on my knees and had a look at the struts through the wheel arches, satisfied that it was an active I got back in my car and just before I drove off the owner appeared and looked a bit shocked. I put my window down and said "hi sorry I was just admiring it as I've got one myself", his first question was "is yours an active??" and that was it, I got into a 15 minute conversation about them and he suggested a good place to get my bodywork sorted which was nice.


Anyway I'd better shoot off soon, I'm up early for work tomorrow, doh! Speaking of work, on wednesday I had been offered a job at a much closer hospital to the one I currently work at, and a much much bigger hospital, so I'll be seeing a big change of scenery in the coming months! And a much MUCH reduced fuel bill :-D

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Dommo
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by Dommo »

Looks like my last reply put people to sleep so I'll try and keep this one a bit shorter. And it was well over 12 months ago :shock:

Since the last reply I've rebuilt all 4 struts, had the two rear struts re-gassed (similar to having a sphere re-gassed), so there should be no more bouncy rear end. While doing this I noticed that the drivers side rear, top wishbone, had a lot of play in it's front bushing, replacement bushings aren't available anywhere it seems, so I managed to source a good second hand wishbone for £50 - not exactly cheap but not the end of the world either! It wasn't exactly simple to fit either, it's meant to have captive nuts that are held in place by some lugs on the subframe, but the bolts were so stiff that the nuts weren't held any more. So we ended up having to lower the rear subframe down to get to the nut to hold it with a spanner. Sounds difficult, and it was! We have a rear steering rack, rear strut piping, a rear differential, 4 wishbones, and a number of wires, one to each corner's height sensor, one to the ABS sensors on each corner.

The end result however, is a car that is sat on it's wheels once again, with fully working suspension, and no leaks!

The interior is also back in one piece, the last thing I need to do before I attempt an MOT is to sort the rear nearside bodywork which just needs spraying, it's fillered and primer'd, just needs a proper coat of paint. There's also an exhaust leak, which is possibly my own fault as when we put the car on a trailer to bring it home we caught the exhaust. Doh!

Citroenmad
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by Citroenmad »

Are you still planning on bringing your Soarer to the CXM Dommo? It'd be very interesting to ahve a look at 8-)

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Dommo
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by Dommo »

I'd love to, but I can't imagine it would be ready in time. There are a number of things that need doing to it before it would be MOT-able. There's a fair bit of bodywork that needs attention (and I'm useless at fillering) and there's an exhaust leak somewhere that needs stopping. I also need to wire in a rear fog light which is my dads domain and he's off on holiday for a week, shame really as I'd love to take it.

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CitroJim
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by CitroJim »

Dom, I've been reading and enjoying your Soarer tales. It's not put me to sleep at all - just the opposite..

Be great to see it (and you of course) at any Rally, not just CXM...