Elmas Xantia V6 and Musical Stuff

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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elma
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by elma »

I finally got bored and went to play with the car a bit today. It hasn't failed to start on me since the other day, but the starter motor is turning over pathetically. The day it happened I fitted a new battery which I had been driving around with in the boot for some time. When I did so the +ve terminal disintegrated a little bit, it will need replacing.

First thing I have done today is fiddle with the idle speed. The ongoing problem has been that the car idles at around 400rpm, causing it to stutter and it rattles in neutral like the thrust bearing is worn out. When I bought the car I was told that it went to a garage for a new accelerator cable and came home running like this having gone in alright. The cable itself is fitted badly so it has a lot of friction where it has been bent and is also cut to short to reroute anyway. When I last adjusted the car the stop screw on the throttle arm that presses against the plunger at the top of the (Bosch) pump had been screwed in almost all the way to hold the throttle open at idle. I adjusted this back and used the cold and warm idle adjusters to try and improve the situation. I also adjusted the cable, but misunderstood Haynes and set it to stand off of the anti-stall stop by 3mm.
The problem lessened after these adjustments but was still there. The car would either idle at 1000rpm or 400rpm. This was not due to the fast idle lever moving though, it was caused by the friction in the cable causing it to move depending on temperature.

Today I had a better understanding of what to do so I disconnected the throttle cable first and started the engine. The engine was not possible to start with the cable disconnected and the throttle arm against its stop so was started with a little shim hiding the throttle open. Once started I went through the procedure for setting the idle speeds. The fast idle cable was disconnected, the rocker set to the position closest to the gear box and the fast idle screw adjusted. It had no effect whatsoever. I tried moving the lever and setting the warm idle speed as well but this also had no effect. So at this point I was still in the original situation and the car only starts with the throttle partially open, which explains my short accelerator pedal travel.

I read a little about the pump and looked closely at it's anti tamper markings. The idle set screw (anti stall) is painted white on the gearbox side and seems untouched. The Smoke adjuster on top of the pump has probably been disturbed as the yellow paint is disturbed and the anti tamper collar is present and correct on the external fuel adjustment screw. With this in mind I tried adjusting the setting on top of the diesel pump that had most likely been disturbed. I tried 1/2 turn adjustments, up to 1.5 turns in each direction to no avail.

I next took a bit of a risk and tried to turn in the external fuel adjustment screw with the locking collar. I was able to loosen the lock nut and turn the screw in about 1/8 of a turn without disturbing the collar. This adjustment made the engine finally able to start and idle without the need for the shim holding the throttle open. I thought I'd got to the bottom of it now and went back to the procedure of setting the idle speed adjustment screws, they still did nothing though and the idle speed was 400rpm so the engine sounded exactly the same but was closer to being correctly set.

From this point the only course of action that really made sense to me was to remove the anti tamper collar and get the car idling. I did so and now have the car idling at 1000rpm with the hot cold adjuster still disconnected. It still makes no difference to engine speed whatever I do with the idle screws and the rocker so I have left it at 1000rpm and disconnected for now. Adjusting it was tedious, the idle would increase gradually from 400-700rpm then jump to 1000rpm. This is why it is set at 1000 rather than something a little slower. I need to work out why the rocker has no effect now. I'm prity sure the diesel pump is faulty, hopefully repairable. I'm feeling quite clueless though, I'm even wondering if the pump is original to the car.

On taking the car for a test drive, very carefully because we have snow here, it went a lot better as well as idling a lot better. The turbo had a little more eagerness to deliver power. It still didn't produce full power though, feeling weaker as rpm increased. I then found that if I adjust the fuel setting higher I'll end up with a 2000rpm+ idle speed. I'm wondering if my turbo pipe expanding is not the main cause of power loss on this car and the fuel settings are more to blame. I'm not keen to start taking the cap off the pump and changing the on/off boost settings without working out why it's all wrong.

I've stopped here now so I can go out for a proper drive. I'll take the dog somewhere further away than normal and see if I can learn anything more about whats going on here. When I get home I intend to get the multimeter on the starter motor and confirm weather the relay mod or a replacement starter is wanted. Something handy I noticed whilst playing with the diesel pump too, the hydractive solenoids click with the ignition on if you open the throttle suddenly even if the engine is off. I have heard both of mine now, I was never sure when I was trying to activate them with the door. They weren't in doubt anyway but it was nice to hear them work.
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CitroJim
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by CitroJim »

Good stuff Elma :)

Sounds like some unskilled twiddling had been going on around the pump...
elma
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by elma »

CitroJim wrote:
Sounds like some unskilled twiddling had been going on around the pump...
Totally, I wish I knew what they did. Reading all about the Hot cold idle at the moment. If I can get that working I think I solve most of the problem. It goes really well now I've fiddled. I think when the back brakes are restored to not rubbing I probably don't need to find more power. I just wish I could sort out the idle, it makes sense that the rocker is knackered though, maybe thats why it went in for the cable to begin with.
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CitroJim
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by CitroJim »

I expect yours has the old waxstat for fast idle Elma. Is there a cable from the back of the pump disappearing into a big hexagonal lump on the thermostat housing? If yes then that's it. They fail and that upsets the idle and then the twiddler get to work unintelligently.

Having the fast idle working properly is critical to good cold running and starting so it's good to replace the waxstat if it's failed. Then set up the idle for about 850 rpm hot and 1050 -1100 rpm cold by careful adjustments to the throttle lever slow end-stop screw and the two screws that control the movement of the fast idle cam.

The collared adjuster is the maximum fuel demand screw and should not be adjusted as this can cause a dangerous over-rev if the throttle is floored when the engine is unloaded. That and the throttle lever fast end-stop adjustment should be set to ensure the engine just red-lines when the throttle is floored and the engine is unloaded - the conditions the MOT emissions test is performed under...

It's all going to be a bit of trial and error to get it right...
elma
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by elma »

Yes what you said Jim is basically what I'm doing my best to achieve. The problem is though that the lever which the cable operates to change the fast/slow idle has no effect whatsoever regardless of setting. I realised I'm chucking out black smoke today as well so I have overdone things a little. I do suspect that the Max Fuel screw was backed off 1/8 turn to get rid of the smoke as this explains why the collar was loose and the performance poor.

I shall be doing my best over the forthcoming weeks to get it as close to standard settings as possible. I think a pump repair, accelerator cable, wax thing and boost gauge (as a tool to plug in not a permanent feature on the dash) will be required. Possibly also some new fuel hoses and injector nozzles. Sounds expensive, probably will compromise a little. I need to figure out the plunger thing too, it seems to be a part of the idle increasing. When the engine gets going it pushes the accelerator arm about 2mm and increases the idle. I've obviously set it wrong and must try again.

It's quite interesting to drive at the moment. The idle goes between 600 and 1200rpm. It often chooses to sit at 1000rpm as well. There doesn't seem to be a pattern. At the moment I'm blaming it on the issue mentioned above with the plunger and also I think the advance/retard is floating around totally independently of the lever it should be attached to.

I tallied my running MPG today it stands at 37.54MPG. The rear brakes rubbing, tracking out and kaput bushes probably account for that. I've got until 28th January to sort it all out for the MOT. I'm off to London for a bit now so will hopefully get slightly better economy at a steady speed.
MikeT
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by MikeT »

I would certainly want to get that cable sortd first.
elma
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by elma »

I think your right Mike. I'll be ordering my last bits for the MOT tomorrow and the cable will be in there.

I had a fairly successful trip to London, lots of fun with my friends. The car was well behaved with only a headlamp bulb failing. Only used one tank of fuel for the whole trip and saw a very tidy gold DS parked up on the 2nd, sorry no camera on me at the time.

The idle problem is getting a little clearer now. The idle is set to 1200rpm and that is a constant. It varies with electrical load down to as low as 400rpm. The reason I thought it was erratically changing the pump setting itself is the glow plug post heat causing a low idle. It seems that the fast idle lever on the pump does naff all rather than randomly setting itself which is a separate issue and brings into question if the pump is knackered. I'm not quite sure why this is all happening so will have a multimeter session with the car when I clean it. In my head at the minute I need to eliminate alternator, wiring, injectors, diesel pump, turbo, stupid crazy tow bar wiring (remove and start again) and earthing. I'm not sure if this is an electrical issue or a lack of torque from the engine to push back against alternator load at idle.

Happy New Year everyone.
MikeT
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by MikeT »

I'm not sure which is baffling me most tbh: the inability to affect the idle settings or the fact it can idle as low as 400rpm without stalling

I only commented about the throttle cable because in my mind it's dangerous if it sticks at an inopportune moment. For setting the idle, you can leave the throttle cable disconnected if you want. Also, the anti-stall screw should be backed right off too. And make sure there's no air leaks at all.

If the fast and normal idle lever adjustments are having no effect, then I wonder if it's internal connecting spring is not connected or broken?
Last edited by MikeT on 05 Jan 2015, 16:03, edited 1 time in total.
elma
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by elma »

Sorry you're right, it's 600rpm not 400. It doesn't run properly down there, sounds like running on 2 or 3 and very rattly but just about keeps turning over. I'm convinced now that it's alternator or Earthing issue having shown it to a couple of friends today. I'll swap the alternator with the 306s tomorrow and work from there, assuming they are the same as I have not checked.

The internal connecting spring sounds a likely culprit on the pump. I'm a bit worried about that one and will probably defer fixing it until the rest is sorted. I can't see that causing the Mot to be failed.

I think it would be easier if the problems had been developed with me rather than the last owner/s.
elma
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by elma »

I've had a go with the multimeter now and I'm still non the wiser. The battery is fully charged. I get 11.7V at 900rpm with electrics on. 14.3v at 1150Rpm with no electrics on. I couldn't see the rev gauge whilst the post heat was on so theres a missing measurement. I checked the wiring as well and all values were normal.

Over 1000rpm all is fine. Below 1000rpm as electrical load goes up rpm decreases as does voltage, but not significantly below 12v. It did get rather warm in the few mins I had it on for though.

I took the alternator off of the 306, it is a fairly new Bosch unit. I will try it after walking the dog. It is smaller than the Xantias (only 70A) but will help me decide whats going on at least. Hopefully it'll work otherwise the assumption is that the engine is too weak to push the alternator round which just doesn't figure.
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xantia_v6
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by xantia_v6 »

My feeling is that there is nothing wrong with the alternator or electrics, but due to bad setup (or fault) of the pump, the normal alternator load is dragging the idle down.
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CitroJim
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by CitroJim »

Elma, I have sent you a PM on an unrelated subject but as your email is not working you will not receive the notification so I'm notifying you here :wink:
elma
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by elma »

xantia_v6 wrote:My feeling is that there is nothing wrong with the alternator or electrics, but due to bad setup (or fault) of the pump, the normal alternator load is dragging the idle down.
My feelings have been flicking between blaming the engine and the electrics, I'm still not sure and open to ideas. The pump clearly has a faulty fast idle controller so possibly will need rebuilding or replacing. If the advance is set to advanced then I'm sure this would account towards the poor running.

Thanks Jim, I've sent you my up to date address.

I didn't get around to changing the alternator today, but I did do the glow plugs and air filter. The glow plugs have improved the idle a little. I went out for a drive with a friend who is an electrical engineer. After a good look at some posts on here and the wiring diagrams he has said the most likely culprit is the glow plug control unit. I've just grabbed that from the 306 to try as well as the alternator tomorrow. Also the last of the big parts orders has just been made, as far as restoration anyway. I have on the way an inlet manifold gasket, the bushes I don't already have for the control arms, drop links and the last 2 spheres.
elma
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by elma »

New headlight bulbs have arrived. It's totally chucking it down up here though unfortunately. I had planned to change the alternator, battery clamps and starter motor today. However that won't be possible so I'm having an outdoor day with the Dog and a friend then we'll just chill in front of the fire.
I'm slightly demoralised today, not by the weather or the car. I'm having a little difficulty getting paid by the temp agency and also my final wage from my old work is about 20% short. As such I have just arranged the sale of one of my favourite, but least useful, possessions. Tomorrow my air rifle will probably be leaving. It's not just any old air rifle, it's a really special one that I ended up with by chance and never thought I'd have anything of the likes. Shame, but I need the instant cash hit and I don't really like loans or interest.
If anyone would like to buy a half worn Hydractive O/S (Driver side) strut top I have one for sale now too. I think £40 collected or plus postage at cost sounds fair. I've taken pics but will upload when I'm back later. The near side one needs a refurb and is free to collector or posted at cost.
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CitroJim
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Re: Elmas Xantia VSX

Post by CitroJim »

That's a real shame you have to sell your rifle Elma :(

Hope all is soon sorted, including the weather....