Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

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

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daviemck2006
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by daviemck2006 »

Leave it tomorrow Zel, and jump I to the xantia and come up to the national. If I came 500 miles you could manage 50 lol

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daviemck2006
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by daviemck2006 »

Actually I must be a proclaimer. If I can drive 500 miles, then I can drive 500 more, da la la la, da la la la, da la la la etc hee hee

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Main plan for tomorrow for the Xantia is to get the belt tensioner changed and bodge the exhaust so I can get there for the Sunday, as it screeched at me when I started up a few days back.

It would *probably* be fine but do I really want to risk it? Especially given the potential results of an XUD throwing a belt.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by daviemck2006 »

I would probably agree with your last bit of that message! Better fixing it I think! I can't get the proclaimers song out of my head now, not the best when trying to sleep in a b&b lol

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Either way I'll be there Sunday, question is just whether it be with the Xantia or the 107.

Well...actually Xantia or both probably as my other half reckons taking both would be fun.

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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Shame I'm away for the week Zel, I likely could have done your broken stud for you...

Still, as Richard says, it'll not be such a difficult job...

Been following this job with interest. Surprised the head is cast iron. I had the idea all Skodas since year dot had alloy heads...

Motorserv are an excellent factors still.. Once got a big engined Xantia Handbrake cable from them and in stock too..

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by elma »

CitroJim wrote: Been following this job with interest.
Me too, I'm finding it very interesting.

I showed the pictures to a friend yesterday (he works a mill for a living). Regarding the stud he said "thats easy to get out.............if you have a mill."

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

CitroJim wrote:Shame I'm away for the week Zel, I likely could have done your broken stud for you...

Still, as Richard says, it'll not be such a difficult job...

Been following this job with interest. Surprised the head is cast iron. I had the idea all Skodas since year dot had alloy heads...

Motorserv are an excellent factors still.. Once got a big engined Xantia Handbrake cable from them and in stock too..
Skoda back at this point in time were a bit strange. Alloy heads? Nope. Only ones with the alloy heads were the 136 (and 135 which was the fuel injected version). The blocks were all alloy though!

Upshot of this is that the first thing the engine tries to do if you take it out is flip itself upside down.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

How bizarre! Alloy block and cast iron head... Any reason why? Seems very illogical to me...

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Absolutely no idea whatsoever! Completely counterintuitive and there have been many, many speculations by mechanics I know, but unless someone who worked at Skoda when the engine was developed would like to explain it we'll likely never know!

My guess is that they probably ran out of money when designing the new alloy engine so had to re-use their existing head design.

Is this the thing people are referring to for removing the remains of the broken stud?

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote: My guess is that they probably ran out of money when designing the new alloy engine so had to re-use their existing head design.
Just like British Leyland then :roll:
Zelandeth wrote:Is this the thing people are referring to for removing the remains of the broken stud?
Yes, that's the one! That and a bit of heat from an oxy (or MAPP gas) torch should do the trick.. Stump of the stud needs to be glowing cherry red...

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Good good. That kit (which seems to be the only one stocked locally) doesn't have a small enough bit for this stud (M6 originally before it got stripped) so guess I need to find one that goes smaller.

Do have a blowtorch somewhere, will need to dig it out.

Think the head and block are pretty much ready to go back together now, just need to sort this out.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by RichardW »

http://www.pvrdirect.co.uk/silverline-1 ... -5pce5pce/

I bought one to try and get the caliper bolts out of my 307 - except the size was between the std sizes, so I had to cut them off anyway. However, they made short work of whipping the studs out once the caliper bracket was on the bench.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Well aside from not yet having managed to get the stud out of the exhaust manifold, today has been pretty productive.

Firstly started out by spending a bit more time cleaning the head itself up.

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Think that's about as good as it's going to get to be honest. Despite the discolouration where the gasket has been there's a nicely smooth finish all over now. As best I can tell with the straight edge I have to hand it appears to be flat. Which is a surprise to be honest given the reputation these heads have for warping.

I was slightly intrigued to find this nick out of the edge of the combustion chamber on cylinder no 2 though.

Image

Manufacturing defect I wonder, or evidence of something having gone awry in the past? No corresponding damage to the piston crown that I can see, and I'm not about to rotate the engine to look at the bore in case I disturb the piston liners as I know from prior experience that it's both easy to do that, and lets you in for a world of pain.

Cleaning the engine side of things up was actually pretty quick as the gasket came out almost entirely stuck to the head, the only remnants really being around the studs down by the tappets. Again it still looks less than clinically clean, but it's all perfectly smooth. There don't seem to be any really heavy carbon deposits on the piston crowns so tend towards just leaving them well alone for fear of doing something daft and scratching the bores.

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Think this was taken about half an hour before I wrapped it up actually so a bit more cleaning was done after this was taken. I'll be making sure the last thing that gets done before the head goes back on is that the bores are blown out to make sure there's no crud in there which will scratch the bores or anything like that, then a bit of oil will go in to lubricate things on the first start up.

Then I argued with the exhaust manifold stud for a while (without success, though I now have thanks to you guys some tools to find), before shoving the head back into the corner in disgust and turned my attention to something else for a while.

Gave the carb a bit of an external scrub up as it was disgusting, stopping when I ran out of carb cleaner. Still needs a bit more, but at least is primarily grey now rather than brown as it started out.

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While it's off the car I'll probably pop the lid off it and give the jets a clean and make sure there's no crud in the bottom of the float bowl. Don't imagine there's much in there though given it was cleaned out not that long ago.

Finally ended up with a few minutes to kill before we headed out this evening, so grabbed a cloth and some cleaner and gave the interior plastics in the front a quick skim over. The car has been off the road for a good few months now, so it was full of dust and spiders etc. Looks a bit less neglected in there now.

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So that's where we are with the Skoda now. Basically ready to put the head back on once I get that blasted stud out!

If I can't find the tool I'm looking for I do have half a plan for how I might drill it out.

Basically clamp something onto the manifold with a hole through the middle only slightly larger than the stud to act as a guide, then drill from the protruding side. Hey...Look I still have the exhaust that just came off the Saab...with a nice big thick flange at the manifold end...Horrible bodge, but no reason it couldn't work if done carefully and slowly. Especially given I'm not worried about the threading in the hole as a nut and bolt are going in there rather than a replacement stud.

Xantia on the other hand got argued with for about an hour this afternoon (because I was still half hoping to get it to the National tomorrow), during which I managed to half remove the spring tensioner for the belt. Having been pointed at the how to for this process I now know in theory how it comes off. Being a severe faff of a job however I decided that it was one for another day!

Haven't *entirely* decided on my plans for tomorrow yet. I'm really torn between wanting to get over to the National, but also being so tantalisingly close to actually getting the Skoda running again is seriously providing some major determination to actually get that done.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Eventually decided to concentrate on the Skoda today, having two out of three cars out of commission was really starting to bug me, and I was determined to get something useful done. There's a show in a couple of weeks that I really want to get it to, and goodness knows what else it will need for the MOT...so trying to be efficient and proactive.

So, first order of business for the day. Removing the mangled remains of the exhaust manifold stud. Nowhere locally that was open today stocked any tools that were likely to be helpful, so back to working with what I had. Eventually decided to have a shot at drilling it out. Conveniently it had snapped in such a way that there was a dip right in the centre ideally to situate a drill in. Started with a 1.5mm drill and went up in 0.5mm steps. Time consuming for sure (especially given that the stud appeared to be made of military grade titanium), but actually worked a treat. After a while it eventually just screwed itself out the far side of the hole along with the drill.

Image

Actually managed to avoid any real damage to the threads, though I've no intention of actually using them so it was a bit of an irrelevant point.

Next up was continuing the cleanup of the carb, including pulling the top cover off and making sure all the jets had been given a blow through.

Then it was just a matter of putting things back together...reassembly as they so often quote in manuals and such was the reverse of disassembly.

Image

No photos from when that was going on as I needed both hands, and it wouldn't have shown anything you've not already seen anyway!

Basic procedure though for reassembling the head of a Skoda 120LX runs as follows:
(This also apples to the Estelle/Rapid 105 and 130 - 135/6 will be slightly different as they have a different head - though the block is identical so the procedure can't be that different).

1. Clean everything again, and clean it some more.
2. Blow out all the bolt holes in the block to make sure there's no bits of gasket or anything that might have fallen into them left.
3. Do the same to the bores.
4. Lubricate bores with a little engine oil.
5. Drop the new head gasket into place, noting that it does have a top and bottom surface, so get it the right way up!
6. Offer the head up carefully. Thankfully once it's there the four studs on the offside mean that it stays put.
7. Drop in and do all the bolts up finger tight (except for the two at the ends of the rocker assembly). Note that the engine lifting point is retained by the top four head bolts, so drop this into place before they go in. I *may* have forgotten this. Oops.
8. Put all eight pushrods back into their respective places.
9. Offer the rocker assembly up - now this is where it gets a bit fiddly, I'd recommend that you have an extra pair of hands ready. You need someone to hold it in place while you get the first bolt in either end so it doesn't just slide off the head. Again, just lightly finger tight.
10. Stick the rest of the retaining bolts into the rocker pedestals. Make sure when you do this that the respective pushrods are all situated under the rockers - I used a piece of cardboard to help line them all up as it can be a bit awkward getting all eight to play ball at the same time otherwise. I spent five minutes swearing at them before I had the idea to grab the cardboard I'd used earlier to keep the head bolts and the pushrods in order while out of the engine to wedge them in place.
11. Stick the nuts onto the head retaining studs. Note that the first one (at the pulley end) holds the alternator top bracket in place, and the third one holds the coolant pipe bracket in place. Skoda are fans of the "why would we use two nuts/bolts when we can use one for two things?" philosophy.
12. Start tightening things up. I did it in 10Nm steps as that seemed sensible. The head bolts want to be tightened to 50-55Nm, and the nuts 30-35Nm. I went for 52Nm and 32Nm so right in the middle of the ballpark.
13. Tighten the rocker pedestal bolts up. 35Nm for those, while you're there you may as well set the valve clearances as they will have changed.
14. Reattach the rocker cover. Note that the rear nut also retains the fuel hose bracket.
15. Then just reconnect the sundry items you removed. In no particular order - Fuel cut off solenoid, temperature gauge sender, choke cable, throttle cable, fuel line, coolant pipes, exhaust, warm air intake shroud, vacuum advance hose, spark plugs and finally the HT leads.
16. Reattach the air cleaner, remember to reattach the throttle cable return spring to the air cleaner mounting bracket while you're there.
17. Stand back and admire the fact that your engine bay now actually looks like an engine bay again.
18. Change the oil and filter as quite a bit of coolant will have found its way into the sump when the head came off. Beware the fact that the drain plug is huge and has a tendency to overwhelm many drain pans!
19. Refill the cooling system. I'm just using tap water here right now as I intend to drain the system again once I've had the engine running for an hour or so as it'll have gained some crud during the head being taken off as well. Remember the system holds roughly 11 litres, so budget accordingly when you get your antifreeze...you may need more than one bottle.
20. Crank the engine over without choke or priming the carb until the oil pressure is up, this particular engine builds oil pressure very quickly which is always good for confidence.
21. Prime the carb and then go for a normal cold start and cross your fingers.

I was to be honest frankly astonished when she fired on the first turn and settled into a silky smooth (if as you would expect given the oil deliberately put into the cylinders, smoky) idle. I then discovered that I'd left the throttle cable way too loose, but that's easily resolved.

I made the executive decision when putting things together that I'll adjust the valve clearances once the engine has been run for a little bit of time (um...okay, I couldn't find the feeler gauges! ...Found their case they live in though!), and it is a bit tappety as a result. Otherwise though, sounds quite happy. The exhaust is actually gas tight for the first time since I bought the car for one thing, and the strange whistling noise that I'd never managed to track down the source of has stopped...so I do wonder if that was actually coming from the head gasket before.

I did then discover the "bolt left over" syndrome had indeed taken its toll. Managed to completely forget to attach the rail which has the engine lifting eyes on it.

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Not really much I can do about this given that it's held on by the top four head bolts...Oops. Oh well...it can stay off then! Means the air cleaner is missing one mounting bolt as well, but it's still held in at two places anyway so should be just fine.

I let it run for fifteen minutes or so and think I've got most of the air out of the cooling system, and there were no untoward noises or anything. Didn't want to run much longer than that as I know that there isn't much fuel in the tank. Will drop a couple of cans in tomorrow morning and do some more testing and see how things go - and actually get the valve clearances set. If things go well, we'll get her booked in for an MOT...

A bit sad to have missed the show today, but feel that it was worth it. Having an extra pair of hands really helped speed things along today and I wouldn't have had that help in the week.

It's quite an astonishing feeling when you turn the key and hear that engine that you know that you literally had split in half and reassembled yourself suddenly burst into life.