Simon's new Xantia V6 and Leaf 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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KP
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by KP »

The weather shouldn't matter simon, your under the car anyway for the rear ones and two at the front :D

RichardW
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by RichardW »

Mandrake wrote:Did I ever get back that long reach spark plug tube socket that I use as an extension for the sphere removal tool ?
Think so - I haven't seen it recently... it was with the spare hyd pump seals - although I'm willing to bet the one you need for your new pump isn't in there!
Mandrake wrote:The only thing is though, do you think those ones are deep enough for that specific job ?
Dunno - I bought those to do 1.9TD glow plugs - just went in the local factors and picked the set with the deepest offset. I thought they were Laser, but I will check - they're dead useful as they are nice and long too for undoing tight bolts 8-)
CitroJim wrote:Just think, it could be a little of Richard's old car that ends up patching your exhaust!
:P Has it been re-cycled that quick??

Actually it may well be .... or part of the problem child - I still have bits of both exhausts lying about that have never quite made it to the tip yet 8-) :roll:

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Mandrake
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

I'm back - job done, albeit a back breaking 5 and a bit hours! :shock: :twisted:

For anyone considering changing a full set of spheres on the side of the road - yes it can be done, but only if you're certifiable. :lol:

As we're on something of a slope the only safe way to do it is to face the end of the car I'm working on uphill and lie under the car only from that end - should the car roll off the ramps and down the hill (unlikely with an auto box in park mode but still...) then it won't run me over. [-X

I was unable to lie under the side of the car due to passing cars on one side, the pavement on the other and the risk of being run over by my own car if it escapes, which made accessing the rear hydractive regulator and anti-sink challenging - especially when my ramps are not the highest around.

I tried to remove the spare wheel carrier which gives a lot better access to those two spheres with low ramps but the 13mm bolt was well rusted and wouldn't turn more than a few degrees despite lots of penetrating fluid, so I decided to leave well enough alone in case I broke it. With it in place there was just enough room underneath to work. Fortunately apart from my tummy I'm a fairly skinny chap. :mrgreen:

I did the front spheres first - I ended up removing not only the air filter box but also the air intake sock bracket so I could push the sock aside and get good access to the top of the hydractive regulator. In the process I discovered the sock is half crushed with a big kink in it half way down - something I'll have to sort out at some point, and possibly the source of my strange "induction whine" noise...

I then turned the car around and set everything up to do the rear spheres. As predicted the Hydractive regulator spheres were the most difficult - the front one particularly so because the mounting bracket is rather flexible and can actually be broken off with the torque needed to turn a rusted sphere. The only way I could get it to move was to use my 2 lb block hammer to hammer on the handle of the sphere tool - the shock is enough to free it where turning alone would only bend the bracket.

The rear one was the same - only hammering the handle of the tool would make it let go. By comparison the accumulator, rear and front struts, and anti-sink were all a dawdle...

I then bled the rear brakes (very little air came out - not surprising when I bled them a few weeks ago) and went for a test drive.

WOW! :-D After driving around with rock hard rear spheres for a couple of months the difference is phenomenal. I'm pretty sure that the ride is considerably better than the silver problem child ever was, even when it just had new spheres fitted.

I remember Jim saying V6's don't ride as well at the front as other Hydractive models - well this one seems to. :) The best riding Xantia I have ever been in was my old 1997 S1 VSX 2 litre petrol back in NZ - although it had the intermittent harsh ride issue for a while, when it was behaving the ride and handling on that car was outstanding. I did a lot to tweak and fettle the suspension on that car - I even did the rear arm bearings, although in hindsight they didn't really need doing.

The silver problem child rode well, but never as well as the VSX, and the handling felt quite different as well. This one with the spheres replaced rides and handles almost identically to my old S1 VSX - it's quite uncanny in fact, so rarely do two Citroen's (even of the same model and year) ride and handle the same! :lol: During tonight's test drive I felt like I was back behind the wheel of the old VSX but with a lot more power behind the accelerator pedal... :mrgreen:

Citroen really knew what they were doing tuning the Hydractive 2 Xantia - I'm glad I stuck with the "normal" spheres and didn't experiment with comfort spheres...the ride in the soft mode is super stable, wafty and cushioned feeling but without QUITE venturing into floaty territory, then when you chuck it around corners in sport mode it feels tight and extremely stable - even on a bumpy country road... and that was NOT the case with the stuffed spheres where it was actually a bit scary to drive at speed on a bumpy road...

There are Citroen's that handle better than a HA2 Xantia (an Activa comes to mind) and many that ride better (CX, DS, XM etc) but I don't think there is any other Citroen that has such an exquisite balance between ride and handling...

I haven't even done the diode mod yet, nor have I had time to lube the front struts and already it rides this well. Apart from those the only other thing I feel it needs is the front ride height tweaking slightly. (like so many Xantia's it seems a smidgen too high at the front sometimes when on the move ?)

I took note of the manufacture date of the spheres before fitting them - perhaps slightly disappointingly whilst many were just a few months old, a couple were much older.

Front struts - 7 May 2014
Rear struts - 1 July 2013
Front Hydractive - 8 July 2014
Rear Hydractive - 28 September 2012
Anti-sink 7 May 2014
Accumulator 28 August 2014

Of those the rear ones were the ones that were a bit old - including nearly 2 years old for the rear hydractive. I noticed on this particular sphere there was fresh oil in the neck of the sphere which may suggest they pressure tested it before sending it to me ?

In any case, the rear rides VERY well indeed and I can tell from a bounce test in both soft and hard mode that there is absolutely nothing wrong with those older spheres, so I'm not concerned.

One small bit of bad news - the exhaust situation is worse than I feared. The pipe on both sides of the clamp at the front of the rear muffler is quite rusty with a small leak there somewhere (although I can't see it) but I discovered today that the seam that runs along the bottom of the rear muffler (which is an original Citroen OEM type) is rusty in two places and not only is condensation dripping out of the seam while idling but I can feel one of the rusty patches of seam "chuffing" slightly, so I think that's actually my main source of noise. #-o

So it looks like I'm up for a new rear muffler and possibly some repair work to the end of the pipe coming from the centre silencer, as I do NOT want to replace a perfectly good centre silencer and disturb the joint to the cat which touch wood, is in good order...

Anyone have any suggestions on where would be best to get just a rear muffler and what type ? I don't want a noisy cheap after market one if I can help it - the ebay muffler on the silver child was quite noisy with an annoying drone at 2500 rpm...
Last edited by Mandrake on 02 Sep 2014, 20:48, edited 3 times in total.

Hell Razor5543
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

See? I said he was replacing those spheres and then having a HOON!!!

Simon, I would strongly recommend you loosen those spheres every 6 months, so you don't have any arguments from them in the future. It worked for Gracie. Just loosen them off and then do them back up hand tight.

Might this be a starting point for the exhaust?;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CITROEN-XANTI ... #vi-ilComp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mind you, Romford is a bit of a trek, but you now have a cruiser that can do the journey without worrying you if it will make it.

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Mandrake
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

Oh, and I may have found another possible culprit for the "induction whine" noise that comes and goes with throttle opening and rpm:

Image

I had noticed before that the top of the filter was a bit wonky looking (it actually looks like someone has stepped on it sideways !!) and fully intended to replace it when I give it a service soon, but I didn't notice until looking at it upside down that the distortion in the shape is actually letting some air pass around the side of the filter - which could very well be the whining noise I'm looking for... #-o

A new air filter will be on order tomorrow... ;)

RichardW
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by RichardW »

Good work on the spheres!

OEM exhaust no longer available - even when it was, it was £360 :twisted: Looks like you'll be saddled with aftermarket or custom SS. My guess is that if you investigate it, you will find that the rear box inlet is much worse than it looks, they usually just crumble, and then break off :roll: :cry:

KP
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by KP »

Yip, had and seen that happen first hand and it's across the range of engines as well :( td's do it from outside and in and petrol do it from both sides! :(

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CitroJim
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by CitroJim »

That's great work Simon and pleased it was all successful in the end. Changing a full set of spheres is quite a task...

I'm surprised the spare wheel carrier bolt is rusted. It will come free, just wire-brush the exposed thread ends, keep soaking it in your favourite penetrating brew and gently turn backward and forward until it comes out freely. It may take days!

Then really grease it up!

A while back there was a Polish firm offering V6 exhausts complete for a very reasonable price. I bought one for stock. I wonder if he's still offering them?

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by xantia_v6 »

I had one of the Polish exhausts and it was much better than any other after-market V6 exhaust (and I tried a few). I may still have the name of the company somewhere.

Did you know that the Mk 1 V6 has XM valve block and hydroactive dampers on the front? (the mk 2 uses the standard Xantia ones).

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by CitroJim »

xantia_v6 wrote: Did you know that the Mk 1 V6 has XM valve block and hydroactive dampers on the front? (the mk 2 uses the standard Xantia ones).
Now that's interesting Mike. It may well account for the difference between the S1 and S2 feel. The S1 feels a bit softer to the S2.

Northern_Mike

Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Northern_Mike »

CitroJim wrote:
xantia_v6 wrote: Did you know that the Mk 1 V6 has XM valve block and hydroactive dampers on the front? (the mk 2 uses the standard Xantia ones).
Now that's interesting Mike. It may well account for the difference between the S1 and S2 feel. The S1 feels a bit softer to the S2.
Having had both too, I think the S1 feels more like a Xantia than an S2.

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

xantia_v6 wrote:I had one of the Polish exhausts and it was much better than any other after-market V6 exhaust (and I tried a few). I may still have the name of the company somewhere.
I fitted one of those Polish ones (as recommended on the forum) to the Silver V6 a couple of years ago:

Image

Image

It was good value for £75 all up, however...as Richard may remember it was a bit rough around the edges, literally... :twisted:

The support legs on the rear muffler were not welded in the right places so took a lot of "persuasion" to fit into the rubber mounts, the tail pipes were not angled properly so looked kind of kack-handed when viewing the car from the rear, none of the supplied exhaust clamps were usable, (they simply didn't fit) but the biggest problem was that the bend in the pipe at the front of the rear muffler was not at quite at the right angle - I'm not sure if it was the muffler or the centre section pipe that was angled wrong, but the two flanges didn't come together properly square so I was never able to get a proper seal at that clamp without lots of exhaust paste and good luck...(and it's almost certainly the source of the minor exhaust leak noted in the advisories when Will took it for an MOT)

It also had a somewhat loud annoying drone at 2500 rpm which this new car doesn't have so I don't want to introduce that noise if possible. Hence looking to see what alternatives there might be for just a muffler on it's own.
Did you know that the Mk 1 V6 has XM valve block and hydroactive dampers on the front? (the mk 2 uses the standard Xantia ones).
That's interesting - do you mean the XM style valve block with the bleed nipple on it that was used in a few 2001 Xantia's ? If so, this car doesn't appear to be fitted with it, it looks like a standard Xantia hydractive block to me, I would have noticed if it was of a different design.

The damper valves on the other hand could well be XM ones - the only way to know would be to remove them... if the dampers are different that could explain why the front rides better than the S2 V6 did.

When you increase the diameter of the hydraulic ram (as is the case on the front of a V6 versus other models) to achieve the same ride/damping/handling characteristic you would need to increase the gas pressure of the spheres proportionally, and also make the damper valves "softer" - larger bypass hole and weaker leaf springs.

The same applies for the rear of an estate versus a hatch - the estate with its larger ram needs a higher gas pressure and a softer damper just to achieve the same balance. (But the payback is increased maximum load carrying ability)

If you just increase the ram size and keep the gas pressures and damper valves the same the spring rate will get stiffer and the damping will also increase.

The gas pressures on the front of the V6 are still the same as a standard Hydractive 2 model (45 and 75) so technically it still shouldn't ride as well, but if it has softer damper valves then that would go a long way towards improving the ride.

Whatever the explanation it rides very well indeed and feels almost identical to my 2 litre VSX both in terms of ride characteristics and handling. :)

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CitroJim
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by CitroJim »

You're right about the Polish exhausts being a bit rough around the edges Simon but for £75, who cares? They're functional and excellent value. You can always tidy up some of the worst excesses :)
Mandrake wrote: Whatever the explanation it rides very well indeed and feels almost identical to my 2 litre VSX both in terms of ride characteristics and handling. :)
Knowing how hard you worked on that car to make it very good I think that's a high complement to your new V6 Simon =D> :-D

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by KP »

As Jim has said, for the money they can't be beaten and I think the only way you'll get close to OE is to go for a custom stainless unit made up :(

To be honest I can't hear a drone when at any cruising revs even with the CD player off :) just a lovely V6 purr from under the bonnet the gas leak may cause a slight rasp when revs are applied but that can be fixed easily enough and isn't a big issue to be honest :)

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by RichardW »

RichardW wrote:I thought they were Laser, but I will check
Laser they are: these ones don't remember paying anything like that though! Under £25 on the 'bay... 8-)