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 »

Well, it definitely wasn't ready for the rally back in August/September, however it has an MOT now. I've been driving it around a little bit, and there are still a few things that need attention of course, but it's largely OK.

When testing the car up the road before I took it for an MOT, an enormous hole blew out of the exhaust just after the cat on the right bank of cylinders, it sounded absolutely awful so the first job was to change the exhaust, luckily I had bought a good exhaust which I always intended to put on, so I took it to my mechanic mate who fitted it for me, took us about 2 1/2 hours though, it was a right swine!

Here's the hole in the exhaust:
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And here's some weird writing on the catalyst core:
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According to a mate who works for an exhaust engineering firm, the writing on the core is how the manufacturer identifies the substrate before it has been put in a cat 'housing'.

On the way to the garage to get the exhaust fitted I found that the brakes required a full service. I had to strip them down to the bare caliper and removed each seal, the front seals got replaced along with one piston as one of the 4 dust seals was completely gone which make the drivers side front caliper stick on on the way to get the exhaust replaced! However the rear calipers just required a seal removal, seal seat clean, and relube as they went back together. It rolls really well now so I'd say it was a good idea to do - the fuel economy is better than most people say it should be on the Soarer forums, it's certainly not 'good' economy at 16MPG from my first tank, but I've been razzing about in it a fair bit so I can't complain really!


So, most jobs I had done have had a good impact on the car, however there are still some issues (of course):

The rear suspension struts I had re-gassed, but it appears that the gas has leaked out again, doh! My plan here is to get a kit together to re-gas the struts myself, I've already acquired a nitrogen regulator, £300+ brand new, but we bought it off eBay for £56 delivered - nice! As it's a 105 bar regulator, I'm wondering whether I could use it to re-gas spheres too. It looks like a bottle of nitrogen isn't too expensive either:
http://www.refrigerantgases.co.uk/shop/ ... duct_id=42
The upshot of this is, the suspension is quite bouncy - sometimes. It's unusual because it's not always a rough ride, but when it is, it's just like a Citroen on service low, usually occurs at very very low speeds. However at speed it normally behaves itself and rides very very well.

There's a squeak from the steering, and a clonk which moves the steering wheel after a lot of steering input, which makes me think the steering UJ needs greasing, at least I hope that's all it is..

There was quite a bad knock from the offside rear suspension, I'd previously replaced an upper wishbone there because one of the bushings was stuffed so that was my first port of call, to access the bolts holding the wishbone on you have to lower the rear subframe down, which is when we realised one of the main bolts was totally loose. Sure enough that was the cause of the noise!

Next - During the servicing of the brake calipers, two o-rings (Toyota call them bushings) on the end of the slider pins failed. I didn't note down exactly which ones had failed as I expected them to be a tenner for all 8, but they're £5 each plus VAT, so I need to investigate which are the ones that have failed and replace just those. The problem that these bushings cause are that when you reverse and brake, the brakes shift about and clang one way, then do the opposite when going forward. It's fine if you don't change direction, but that's hardly ideal.

The suspension geometry appears to need setting up, certainly the tracking both front and rear, as the car seems to tramline an awful lot.

And yesterday the car decided to cut out completely, the tab holding an igniter connector tight had failed and the connector popped out, easy to get it going again but not ideal!

I think that's it for now, I hope to get a video of it rounding some corners soon and I'll post them up!

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Dommo
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by Dommo »

So, turns out it's quite difficult to video the car mid corner without the cameraman standing somewhere stupid, but that's what we have here, 3 videos of my brother standing in a silly place while I take a corner. The first is a 90 degree corner which you can see me turning into and there being no body roll at all. The next two are at a different corner, with a strange camber mid corner where the inside of the road raises up then drops away. Ordinarily your car bucks around side to side here so you tend to avoid the inside, but I wanted to try the inside in the Soarer and it basically stays flat :D

90 degree corner:


Fast weird camber corner:


Longer version of the above, with a weird camera angle...


Cheers.
Last edited by myglaren on 07 Oct 2016, 06:40, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: YT links edited

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Dommo
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Re: Xantia VSX and an actively suspended Toyota Soarer

Post by Dommo »

So much has happened since my last post..

My Soarer has been sold for the price I gave for it to a bloke who lives about 3 miles down the road, the car had just had a few too many faults for me to love it any more - I'm sure I'll regret the decision to get rid, but not just yet.. 12 MPG is painful!

My Activa fronted 1.9TD VSX is still very much in use, currently on 155k miles, but has a few issues. Firstly it has a fairly good leak of LHM from the steering rack area, it's not a constant pour yet, it seems to lose around 3-400mls of LHM over 1000 miles, so hardly the worst leak known to man, but it's enough to have relegated the car to the roadside instead of on my drive! It has a clunk coming from the passenger side strut top area, despite having a new old stock strut top fitted within the last few years, any thoughts on this one chaps? Lastly it seems to have rust in a very strange spot - at the bottom of the C pillar, see the following post for more info:

http://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/v ... =3&t=55188

So we have a replacement steering rack pinion to go on, just need the time and inclination to get around to it. And the rust I attempted a repair on, didn't work unfortunately as it's coming back through again!


I've fancied a C5 for quite a while now, I love the look of the x7 but parts prices make me cringe, and I really don't like the look of the early mk1 C5, so that left me with the C5 II (Mk1 facelift).. Now these all have hydropneumatic of some flavour, but I wanted the Hydractive 3+ (with the sport switch). The difficulty here is that most 2.0 litre HDi's don't have the sport switch, they have the 'standard' Hydractive 3 (akin to LX/SX in Xantia speak), leaving you to choose 2.2HDi's, of which the early engines were plagued with DPF issues, and have similar power to the 16 valved 2.0HDi, making it a bit of a daft choice, I also think the early 2.2's are limited to 4 or 5 speed autos.

So I thought I had struck gold (almost literally as the car was Sable in colour) when a 55k miled 55 plated 2.0HDi Exclusive 6 speed auto popped up with the sport switch, unfortunately the car was not described very well so I came away empty handed/with an empty trailer. It was advertised with a slight exhaust blow but in actual fact a huge chunk of the EGR system was missing. This meant there was no coolant in the car as the coolant flows through the EGR system in more modern engines to cool the gasses flowing back into the inlet, sort of like an intercooler for the gasses, or to look at it another way a faster way of heating up the coolant flowing into the heater matrix.

The later 2.2's (2006-2008 ish) had a twin turbo system, which gives a healthy 175hp, however finding this in Exclusive spec is nigh on impossible for a decent price. Luckily there was a spec of C5 called VTX+ which was aimed at the company car market so a lot of these have the 2.2 twin turbo HDi engine, and the extras on them include built in sat nav as well as a phone (but you have to put your sim card into the dash, so it probably won't get used), and a cloth interior that doesn't make you want to pull your eyes out which makes a change - I find a lot of the pre x7 C5 interior's absolutely dire. So when this almost immaculate 2.2 cropped up fairly close to home I went to view it and bought it there and then. It's a lovely car that pulls really hard, it does need a cambelt change though so I won't be running it yet until we've done it.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/162174328834

The funny thing about this car is that I bought it from a dealer of sorts down in Sutton Coldfield (about 50 miles from me) who got it from an auction as the previous owner had part ex'd it, and the previous owner's details are from about a mile from my place, so it's almost like the car has come back home.


And the last piece of news is that I'm another Activa owner, I bought it last Friday for the princely sum of £650. 75,000 genuine miles, an immaculate interior, working A/C, slight leak on both rams but I have a 2 month old front one sitting in my shed from my previous Activa, and a leak free rear one with it. All the spheres feel flat and the brakes are awful because of it, I think the gas has leaked out of them into the brake circuit which made for a fun journey home. So I'll be on the hunt for new sphere's over the coming few weeks.

I'd love to type some more stuff but I promised a mate we'd go for a bike ride and I was supposed to leave 10 minutes ago, I will update this post in the near future!

Thanks for reading. Dom.

bxzx16v
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by bxzx16v »

Looking forward to updates Dom , the C5 looks nice by the way .

Mark

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CitroJim
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by CitroJim »

bxzx16v wrote:Looking forward to updates Dom
Same here Dom, don't be a stranger ;)

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Dommo
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by Dommo »

This weekends job was to finally get around to changing the cam belt on the C5, good job we did based on the look of the belt:

Image

Image

We can't believe how easy this engine bay seems to be to work on, certainly much more friendly than the Turbo D Xantia was.


One thing we did notice is that the windscreen washer bottle absolutely stunk, and the car always thought that the bottle was empty, so we thought it would be a good time to investigate. I found the bottle full of fungusy type lumps, absolutely disgusting, took bleach sitting in it for an hour to soften it all up and get it out, gross! The fluid level sensor is an odd looking thing:

Image

It sits horizontally, and when the water level goes above it the end floats up, changing the resistance of the sensor. We measured it's resistance when open and when closed, I can't remember which way round it was but in one position it was 0 ohms and in the other position it was 400 odd, we expected it to be either 0 ohms or open circuit, but apparently not. That's assuming this sensor works as I haven't been able to check it works yet - I'm hoping it was just gummed up with the fungus.

While under the front end I noticed that a certain area looked damaged, it looks like the front has taken a little bit of damage, though it seems limited to the large bracket that the radiator/intercooler/condensor mounts to. This could explain why half of the under-tray is missing, I've also noticed on both the radiator and A/C condensor was quite oiley, I'm wondering whether the intercooler has a pin hole in it. So the car is still in bits while we search for parts to get it back to stock condition. Nothing structural looks to have even been touched, looks like the damage was very minor either way.


With the Activa, not much has been done just yet, I've bought a set of spheres for it and all the parts to do a general service to it, plugs, leads, filters, etc. It could do with a pair of strut tops as these two don't look fantastic - anyone have any good spares?? I took some photos of the car:

Can see Goldie in my garage here, also see the LHM spots on the floor from the VSX:
Image

Image

Image

Rare Activa badge ;)

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Can see the VSX relegated to the street so it can leak it's LHM over there instead of on the drive!

Image

Goldie - battery disconnected hence bonnet open:
Image

And finally the VSX, it has done me proud - bought for £486 off eBay back in 2010 - still going like a trooper despite it's leak
Image


Thanks very much.
Last edited by myglaren on 09 Oct 2016, 22:04, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Image links fixed

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CitroJim
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by CitroJim »

Good to see Goldie is still being well loved Dom :D

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Dommo
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by Dommo »

It certainly is. The first thing we did to Goldie was fit my old Activa strut tops to it as the ones on it were pretty dire. Shot myself in the foot there though as my new Activa needs some strut tops and I now don't have any good ones spare!

Now it lives in my garage pretty much full time :)


I've ordered the parts to repair the damage to the C5, they should be here by the weekend, I won't be able to get around to fixing it before then anyway. In my personal life I've gone back to university part time to complete part of a masters so I'm in Bradford for 1 week a month until January.

Cheers

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CitroJim
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by CitroJim »

Excellent news on going back to Uni to do the Masters Dom :D Good job it's only part-time with all these Citroens to look after!

Looking forward to Activa updates in due course...

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Dommo
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by Dommo »

Hello again Jim, I'm only doing a 1/3 of the masters, technically called a post grad certificate. I can carry it on and finish the post grad diploma as a second year and finish off the masters as a third year, depending on how well this goes!

This week I've done more work on the C5, it no longer has any damaged components which is great. And I've cleaned off all the oil from the engine to try and trace a leak but I've yet to find it.

The Activa has also had some love, I've replaced all the spheres and lubed the height correctors. One thing I did notice while I was underneath is that there is a lot of slop in the dog bone, see the YouTube video linked below. Do we think that is an acceptable amount? It looks a tad excessive to me but I'm not sure?





Thanks very much
Last edited by myglaren on 23 Oct 2016, 13:29, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: YouTube link edited.

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Stickyfinger
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by Stickyfinger »

with a new one there is zero play............

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CitroJim
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by CitroJim »

As Sticky says... Should be zero. Something definitely not right there Dom.

I expect the ball has corroded and is not as large as before or else the dog-bone is badly cracked..

That may soon fail with all that play in it...

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Dommo
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by Dommo »

Thanks chaps. I figured it seemed a bit silly to have that much play, I've just priced a replacement dog bone and it's only a few quid, however the ball joint that mounts to the faux Anti roll bar (on an Activa) is £30, so I think I'll try just dog bone replacement first.

In other news my bosal turbo-back box downpipe has failed on me today on the TD VSX so I'm going to have to use the Activa until I get an exhaust fixed up (shame!!)

Thanks again.

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myglaren
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by myglaren »

That seems a lot.
It was a few years back but mine was only £16.

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DHallworth
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Re: Dom's Car Blog

Post by DHallworth »

Good to see progress being made on the Activa :) Good to know it's been saved and gone to someone who will appreciate it :) A good Activa is a very rewarding car to drive and own.

David.