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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RichardW
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by RichardW »

1 3/8" = 34.925mm. Use of an undersize socket, Jim? tut tut.... :-D

Back to the original exchange.... the 307 needs a hex, not a castellated socket - 41mm and deep at that - of which I have procured one. I'm incapacitated with a stomach bug or some such anyway, so no car stuff this weekend... no doubt I will feel better this evening so I can go to work tomorrow :roll:

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by CitroJim »

RichardW wrote:1 3/8" = 34.925mm. Use of an undersize socket, Jim? tut tut.... :-D
:oops: :oops:

Better ban myself again then!!!
RichardW wrote:no doubt I will feel better this evening so I can go to work tomorrow :roll:
Sod's Law says yes :evil:

Seriously, hope you're better very soon Richard..

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

Yes I'm still alive folks, :-D I've just been incapacitated by a house that needs rather a lot of renovating in certain areas (Kitchen and Bathroom mainly) so the only spanners I've needed recently were for re-levelling and re-sealing an improperly installed bath! :roll: :lol: Bathroom tiling is ongoing but we are getting there...then there is the Kitchen to finish, then the garage roof to repair, then the outside brickwork, yard, and roof to tidy up...you get the idea... :?

I've also had no car crises to deal with, the old girl has plodded on valiantly despite a waiting list of jobs to be done, but last Sunday I decided it was time to put my foot down and get a couple of jobs done, constant house renovation be damned. :twisted:

I decided to tackle both the spark plug leads/spark plugs, and replace the infamous V6 split coolant expansion bottle - on the basis that doing both jobs together is a lot easier than separately. I got there in the end, but not without a few "uh oh!" moments along the way... #-o

The first problem I ran into is that the bolts holding the coil pack in are pretty corroded and one of them rounded off and initially I was stumped as to how to get it out...I eventually managed to hammer in a slightly different bit and get it to undo. Phew!

The second problem is I managed to drop one of the main large mounting bolts for the back of the inlet manifold down the back of the engine, and do you think I could find it ? #-o I spent I don't know how long searching from above and underneath with a torch and just could not find it, so I eventually gave up and proceeded to remove the inlet manifold on the basis that I would have a better view down the back with it out. As it turned out I WAS able to find it much later on before reassembly, but I could only barely see it and only just reach it with my magnet on a stick. Phew #2! (It landed down by the intermediate drive-shaft joint)

Problem number 3 was the condition of the inlet manifold gasket - I've never had any trouble getting these off before but this one was really baked on. I don't think it had any sealant or bonding agent, I think it has just be on there so long that it was baked in place. Some chunks wouldn't come off at all and once again I spent quite a while trying to figure out how the heck to get it off without damaging the surface. I'm not proud to say it but I ended up having to use a small wood chisel to chisel the remaining pieces off, it was that badly stuck on! 8-[ Nothing else I had including a window scraper would shift it. I did end up scratching the surface a bit, but thankfully only at the outer edges of the bolt holes where it doesn't matter too much. [-o<

Now with the inlet manifold off and the inlets plugged with kitchen roll I thought it would be a good time to tackle the coolant expansion chamber so I proceeded to try to syphon it empty, only to find that it was already almost empty. Whoops! That was after being topped up only a few weeks earlier, so clearly the leak at the split had got much worse in the last couple of months, so it is just as well I decided to replace it now. It also points up the fact that apparently the low coolant level sensor is not working... :?

Even though I had a small measuring jug and a large rag to catch spillage I managed to spill the remaining coolant from the expansion chamber all over the corner of the engine when disconnecting the bottom pipe...(curse words were heard) #-o Other than that changing the coolant expansion chamber was an easy job with the manifold out.

Once that was finished I returned to the spark plug lead job and removed the spark cassette at the back to find.... Spark plug well number 4 (closest to the coolant expansion bottle) flooded right up to the top with coolant! Ahhhhhhhhh! [-X Just as well I was changing the spark plugs as well as this one was now completely under water...

Obviously I couldn't remove the spark plug and let that amount of water go down into the cylinder so I spent a very boring 30 minutes or so soaking up all the water out of the well (including the inside of the tube) with bits of kitchen roll, then finally finishing it off with a hair drier to make sure it was completely dry before removing the spark plug...sigh.

On the up side there is absolutely NO sign of oil leaks from the cam box at all on this engine. =D> :mrgreen: Apart from a bit of dirt the cam boxes look like they just came out of the factory...

I also discovered that not only has someone ham fisted snapped the spark plug lead guide at the back where it goes around the curve - they've also snapped the rear cassette in two as well!! [-X There was a clean break between plugs 5 and 6 on the left hand side - almost as if they'd grabbed it and tried to yank it off without removing the strip that bolts on the left hand side above it...

The spark plugs fitted were single electrode NGK (BKR6EZ I think) that look like they've been in there a very long time. Not fouled but certainly old and worn at the tips and needing a change - I just went with the safe choice of Bosch FR8KDC.

Reassembly was uneventful apart from the manifold gasket scraping and the search for the missing bolt that finally paid dividends..Everything went back together nicely and although the spark plug guide is still split at the back I managed to steal a bolt from somewhere else to at least bolt the front section of the guide in place (that bolt was missing before) so the lead guide and the plug wires now sit properly and securely.

After several hours work I started her up, only to discover a dead misfire on one cylinder that was so bad the engine was shaking and rocking back and forth. Disaster! #-o I've had the inlet manifold off and spark plug leads and spark plugs out of the old V6 I don't know how many times and never once had a misfire afterwards so naturally I was quite disappointed and a bit worried.

I let it idle for a couple of minutes while I contemplated how the hell I was going to figure out which cylinder was misfiring, (really difficult to do an ignition drop test on these engines because of the ignition design) and it was still misfiring. I wondered whether the spark plug well being drowned with coolant could have caused it, but I had been very thorough drying it out before removing the spark plug and the spark plug and spark plug leads were both replaced as well.

With nothing else to try really I decided to give it a little welly and held it at 2000 for a couple of minutes and the misfire seemed to mostly go away, and it was now idling smoothly. I took it for a test drive around the block and it seemed nice and smooth and quiet - certainly no dead misfire, but the performance was a bit on the lethargic side. :? (A little bit like it was the first time I drove it home from Preston - smooth and quiet but lacking in zip and throttle response)

That evening I decided to take it for a bit of a blast to see if it would settle in. I probably drove for well over half an hour including a good hard blast on the motorway and performance progressively picked up and by the time I got home it was going like a little rocket again. :-D

The next day I started it and watched for any signs of a misfire when cold - none at all, idling smoothly right away, and basically it has been absolutely fine since. All this week it has been driving like a little rocket and has been uniformly responsive and zippy, and now that I've had a week to judge it it's definitely running better than it was on the old spark plug leads and spark plugs.

So what caused the complete misfire for the first few minutes after running, and a somewhat lethargic performance that went away after a bit of driving ? I have no idea...

Northern_Mike

Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Northern_Mike »

I have no idea what caused your rough running Simon, but I had a couple of Fiestas long ago with the CVH engine that would do exactly the same after a plug change. They'd take ages to even start then run terribly for about 15 mins. Weird.

I'm pleased to hear it's running well and I hope you're happy in your new home!

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by bxzx16v »

It's good to hear the V6 is running well Simon, I hope your settling in to your new house.

Mark

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CitroJim
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by CitroJim »

That's an odd thing with the misfire Simon :?

Good to hear all else is OK :-D

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Stickyfinger
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Stickyfinger »

Good that another V6 is ready for the summer...

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

Thanks guys.

Yes the misfire for the first few minutes was very odd, I can only assume that it was related to spilling a decent quantity of coolant over the corner of the engine, despite me cleaning it up it must have got into somewhere else that was causing problems and once a bit of engine heat evaporated it the problem went away...

It also seems to have shed some light on the mystery steering "creak". I've mentioned this before but it has steadily got worse and worse to the point where it was a bit of a joke, with an obvious creak when braking to a stop, lifting off to accelerate, as well as turning the steering wheel - in fact turning the steering wheel at slow / stationary speeds was extremely noisy with a constant creak as you turned the wheel...the noise was there regardless of wet or dry weather, and I was worried about the possibility of a failing strut top causing the noise... [-o<

As always trying to locate the source of a noise in a car can be hit and miss but it sounded like somewhere down the left hand side of the steering rack, but nothing was obvious. Well about 5 sunny, dry days after I replaced the leaking coolant expansion vessel, the creaking noise suddenly stopped! Completely! :shock:

After driving (carefully) through a little bit of flooding the following day the noise was back again, although not nearly as bad as before, and when the whether dried out again the noise mostly (but not 100%) went away. It's gone from being loud and obnoxious to only just audible if I turn the wheel while stationary.

So clearly water is getting in somewhere that is causing a noise. My theory is that the leaking coolant expansion vessel (which had started leaking a lot more in the last 2 months) was leaking enough coolant down onto the noisy spot to keep it wet even during dry weather - thus the noise was always there. Now that the coolant leak is fixed the noise stops during dry weather but returns slightly during wet weather.

The question is, what is it and where is it ? I think we can narrow it down to somewhere near the left hand end of the steering rack - eg below the coolant expansion vessel, if it was the coolant leak that was keeping it noisy. An inner steering joint perhaps ? (Someone mentioned a steering joint as a possible cause of the creak) or perhaps chafing of the left handbrake cable through the guide loops or against the chassis ?

Two other jobs that need doing fairly soon - one is I noticed that the hydraulic pump leak has got quite a bit worse and that my alternator has a good coating of oil on the underneath, grr.... I was hoping to do that job in my garage, but as the garage has a leaky roof I can't use it for any car work until repaired.

The other job that needs doing is both lower swivel joints which seem to be getting more noisy all the time. Just the job for a still boxed up Clarke Impact driver. :D

Aside from the steering creak, the swivel joints, the HP pump o-rings and the cruise control the car is running beautifully and doesn't really need anything else other than a really good wash! :)

Oh, and it just passed 70k, so I've done 5k in it in about 9 months...

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by RichardW »

See, I told you you needed a house, then you could stop obsessing about the car :lol:

Tiling - you have got a wet diamond wheel cutter? If not come round and borrow mine - it's makes life sooooooo much easier!

Creak - that's an odd one.... normally would expcet creaking noises to reduce when they are wet as they are lubricated. The only thing that is under the coolant bottle really is the ram, but I can't see why that would creak on start / stop or power on/off. The inner joint should be inside a rubber boot, so shouldn't be affected by water - it will be easy to look and see if the boot is broken anyway. Other than that, no idea :)

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Stickyfinger »

Try spraying a load of lube spray (not WD40 :) ) on each part in order UP from the bottom swivel.....see when it stops

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

RichardW wrote:See, I told you you needed a house, then you could stop obsessing about the car :lol:
Ain't that the truth! :roll: :lol:
Tiling - you have got a wet diamond wheel cutter? If not come round and borrow mine - it's makes life sooooooo much easier!
Yeah we have a wet diamond wheel cutter - just a cheap one but it seems to do the job. The bathroom tiling is nearly finished (thank god) just grouting to do, but there are still kitchen tiles to do which should be a lot easier after the hassles in the bathroom!
Creak - that's an odd one.... normally would expcet creaking noises to reduce when they are wet as they are lubricated. The only thing that is under the coolant bottle really is the ram, but I can't see why that would creak on start / stop or power on/off. The inner joint should be inside a rubber boot, so shouldn't be affected by water - it will be easy to look and see if the boot is broken anyway. Other than that, no idea :)
I know - it's really odd. Until fixing the coolant bottle the creak was REALLY noisy and obnoxious too, I've never heard anything like it on a car before... and when I had the engine manifold and coolant bottle out I had a good view down to the steering rack and the boots and plastic sleeves all looked to be in order...

I know the handbrake cables are a bit worn and starting to seize, I wonder if it could be that ?
Stickyfinger wrote:Try spraying a load of lube spray (not WD40 :) ) on each part in order UP from the bottom swivel.....see when it stops
Hey that's a good idea, I have a can of spray grease with a nozzle that I could use, all I need is to find the time to get away from the house and back to the car... :rofl2:

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Zelandeth
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Zelandeth »

That creak sounds very similar to the noise and times it would appear on my Niva several years ago. Eventually I got fed up of it and started replacing bits until it went away (parts for that thing cost pennies. Two quid for a track rod end, fiver for ball joint, eight quid for brake pads...). Eventual culprit was found to be a stuffed lower ball joint. Rubber gaiter was intact, there was no play it it, it had just gone sticky. Think I do actually have an audio recording of it somewhere if you would like to compare.

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by RichardW »

I had sort of come to conclusion that it could only be the bottom joint, Zel.... nothing else appears to move with all the inputs Simon says makes it creak!

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Zelandeth »

Had forgotten I'd actually put the recording on my website at some point in the past (in response if I remember rightly to somebody asking what my home-made exhaust sounded like).

The link can be found Over Here.

The crack/creak can be heard just before I actually pull off.

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 blog

Post by Mandrake »

RichardW wrote:I had sort of come to conclusion that it could only be the bottom joint, Zel.... nothing else appears to move with all the inputs Simon says makes it creak!
Except the strut top rubber!!! :shock: [-o< :lol:

I would be very happy indeed if it was only the lower swivel joint or a steering joint - I have two new swivel joints and an impact driver ready to go. :twisted:

(I need to get the balljoint removal tool though - anyone got a good recommendation for a Xantia lower swivel joint removal tool ?)

The right hand side clonk on full right lock when hitting certain bumps has been getting steadily worse too so they need to be done...
Last edited by Mandrake on 28 Apr 2015, 11:39, edited 1 time in total.