Random Xantia Questions

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spider
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by spider »

I can appreciate the Skoda Estelle comments, not having looked at one but knowing they are a simple (ish) rear engined vehicle. Having removed and refitted a few Beetle engines (by myself with just a trolley jack and axle stands for company) I can understand it only too well. :)

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Zelandeth
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by Zelandeth »

It is a delightfully simple job. Only real grumble is trying to get at some of the bell housing bolts, and the first time the engine comes loose of the car the fact that it then catapults someone across the garage as it tries to flip itself upside-down. We were ready for it the second time!

Oh...and when we discovered that the labels on the wires to the alternator had come off and that none of them were any colours which were mentioned in the manual...cue some time with a multimeter and some head scratching. Then trying to fill and bleed the cooling system is a bit of a chore as the rad is up front and the system holds something like 11 litres.

If you've not seen how ridiculously easy access to the engine bay is on one of these cars - here you go. Bear in mind that the whole rear panel comes off in less than ten minutes. Also that when you remove the engine, all the accessories attached to it remain attached to it - exhaust system included.

Image

Image

Estelle was never meant to have been a rear engined car, which is why some aspects were less than perfect - see also the handling "oddities" of the early cars, and the fact that changing the gear linkage really needs you to move the gearbox...

They're astonishingly *not* dreadful things when you bear in mind the resources that the design and production team didn't have to work with, especially when you compare them to most of the other Communist era motors which were usually re-hashes of existing models made under license, whereas the Estelle was all in-house. I've had a long-time soft spot for Ladas, but from the driver's seat the Riva really does feel 40 odd years older than the Estelle. Everything is light, the brakes are (surprisingly) powerful, while the gearbox is vague, it doesn't hold any real horrors, the clutch is light, the steering is incredibly light, but also gives really good feedback (especially once you stick a nice heavy toolbox in the boot), the ride is very supple, and at normal road speeds expected when it was current it's even pretty quiet - the only really notable noise on the motorway to be honest is wind-noise. It's things like the fit and finish, the instruments from the 1960s, quality of the paint and things that really put it behind decent contemporary motors (not to be honest that it feels any worse put together than any BMC car I've owned...), rather than the actual driving experience, which being honest really ain't that bad. No sports car with 54bhp on tap, but it weighs less than a tonne and can shuffle itself along perfectly acceptably. Anyone ever driven a Mk II Ford Fiesta with the 950cc engine? Now *that* is underpowered.

Yes, you do have to remember that the engine is hung right out the back, especially in the wet. That's no specific fault of the car though, rather just simple physics. If you hit the anchors mid-corner in a Beetle or a 911 they will turn around and bite you just as hard as the Estelle will. Even then, modern tyre technology has made it far, far safer than it would have been back in the day - especially bearing in mind that these were cheap cars, so no doubt left the factory with the cheapest of the cheap tyres on as well!

Riva in sharp contrast required herculean efforts to steer (and using worm and pinion steering generally had a couple of inches of free-play in the straight ahead position), the brakes in that worked...but had a very heavy pedal where there was a very fine line between getting no braking force and locking all four wheels up. Clutch was pretty average, but even low mileage examples I've driven have all had quite a bit of slop in the drivetrain which makes it difficult to drive smoothly in traffic. Gearchange is the one oddball component in that it has a delightfully light, short and accurate action. Noise levels are somewhere between deafening and catastrophic, and going anywhere north of 60mph honestly makes it sound like the thing is about to explode, even if you do have a five speed model!

...It doesn't half make you appreciate how incredibly complex things like the Xantia are though and how refined that it has become possible to make a car for the mass market.

Goodness, that turned into a ramble didn't it...
Last edited by Zelandeth on 12 Jun 2016, 00:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Stickyfinger
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by Stickyfinger »

a good ramble however....

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CitroJim
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by CitroJim »

Love the bright blue airbox Zel and I enjoyed the ramble :D

For accessibility, look at a very basic (LX) 8V 1.8 Xantia. The engine bay almost looks empty with a tiny engine and gearbox cowering in the corner... You can actually get at things very easily!

It's a revelation!

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spider
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by spider »

CitroJim wrote:Love the bright blue airbox Zel and I enjoyed the ramble :D

For accessibility, look at a very basic (LX) 8V 1.8 Xantia. The engine bay almost looks empty with a tiny engine and gearbox cowering in the corner... You can actually get at things very easily!

It's a revelation!
I've not seen one, however that reminds me of the (seemingly rare thankfully!) 1.4 TU 405's that would occasionally make an appearance. Plenty of space there too. :)

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CitroJim
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by CitroJim »

spider wrote: that reminds me of the (seemingly rare thankfully!) 1.4 TU 405's that would occasionally make an appearance. Plenty of space there too. :)
Gosh, they must have been a bit on the slow and ponderous side but again, having said that, the 1.4 ET3 (just an evolution of the TU3) tugs Robyn's 207 along with surprising vitesse albeit with not wonderful fuel economy...

But the 405 remains a big car for such a small engine... What gearbox did it have Andy? MA or BE3?

The BX was also available with the TU engine; both the BX and 405 shared mechanicals and floorpans as did the Xantia and 406...

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spider
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by spider »

I think it had the MA but I'm not sure. They are quite rare. I do not think they were intended (initially) for the UK market.

I'd expect it may be a case of "too small" in that the 1.6 would offer better economy despite being a larger unit as it did not have to work so hard. Although its slightly off topic, very early MK2 Chavaliers had a 1.3 unit fitted, although it worked so hard the 1.6 was more economical in dragging a large box around. I guess the same would apply with the TU3 in the 405. :)

Did not know the BX also had the TU fitted.

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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by Mandrake »

spider wrote: Early models did not have the 'valve' to prevent sinking so they would slowly drop when turned off. I think this came in about 1995 ?
Anti-sink was added at the end of 1993, so less than a year after the Xantia itself was released in early 1993. So sinker Xantia's are very rare now.
Early 'mechanical' HP box replaced with 'electronic' AL4 around 1998/1999 (this matches the 'change over' time for the 306 actually)
The early petrol auto box was the 4HP14, which is a fully mechanical/hydraulic box with no ECU, and was used in the Series 1. I had a 1997 2 litre petrol with this box and it was a very reliable and nice to drive box that didn't give me a moments trouble.

The Series 2 petrol's got the AL4 which is a totally different ECU controlled box with a reputation for being unreliable initially. This was coincident in the switch to Series 2 in 1998.
'Activa' only available over here with the 2.0 turbo 8v unit. Elsewhere the V6 was possible.
In Europe in LHD Activa's were available in V6 manual and HDI110 manual as well, and I'm pretty sure I've read there was an Auto version of the Activa as well, (not sure whether V6 or HDI110 - I think the latter) which sounds daft but I've heard of stranger things.. :-D
My Questions:

2. Were V6's offered with a manual transmission ? Not that I'd want a 'five on the floor' stick with the big V6 though. The only reason for asking this is the 406 was freely available in saloon / estate / coupe form with either transmission. Auto was more popular however.
There were never any RHD V6 manuals, however in LHD there were Activa V6's with manual transmissions (like Stickyfingers!) and I think but am not certain that you could get a non-Activa V6 manual in LHD too.
3. Were the V6's the later 'more poke' units ? I do not have specifics on this, suspect variable intake as everyone else does it. My V6 knowledge is very limited.
Nope, as Jim mentioned only the ES9J4 was used in the Xantia. The ES9J4S was introduced with the transition to the C5.
5. Do they have to have the 'green' LHM or can they take the later (orange?) fluid as per the newer models ? There is no reason for asking this other than curiosity.
All Xantia's use green LHM plus. However it's been discussed/debated on the forum before that there really isn't that much difference between LHM+ and LDS. LHM+ is a low viscosity semi-synthetic mineral hydraulic oil with anti-frothing and anti-corrosion additives and that's about it.

LDS is a fully synthetic oil of about the same viscosity, which no doubt also has anti-frothing and anti-corrosion additives. It's compatible with the same kinds of sphere membranes, rubber seals and boots as LHM+, in fact I think the rear suspension units on the early C5's are identical to the Xantia including the rubber boots.

In short, LDS is essentially an upgraded longer lasting fully synthetic version of LHM+ and although I wouldn't go putting LHM+ in a C5, should LHM+ ever become unavailable I suspect that LDS would work just fine in a Xantia as long as it was well flushed. The ride might be slightly firmer or softer if the viscosity differs but it certainly wouldn't harm the seals or metal surfaces.

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Mandrake
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by Mandrake »

CitroJim wrote: 3. No, all V6 Xantias had the ES9J4 194 engine although subjectively to me, and I've run both extensively, the S1 variety always felt livelier and more 'urgent'
Interesting comment Jim - I wasn't aware there was any significant difference to the Series 1 V6 and Series 2 V6 ?

I've also had and driven both and haven't noticed any real performance difference between them. The only difference I've noticed on the engines is the S1 seems to have two unused plugs in the vicinity of the air filter box while the S2 only has one unused plug there... but after doing work on both engines I haven't spotted any other differences...

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spider
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by spider »

Thanks for the detailed info Simon. :)

The 4HP14 I know was the earlier mechanical box, same as fitted to 405/205/ BX ? etc

I don't recall hearing any issues with this apart from its fixed shifts, then again a tweak of the K/D cable would settle that for most. I'd prefer mine a bit slack really rather than have it drop a cog at a few mm movement.

I see brake band adjustment on this unit too, although I've never seen any specs / adjustments for it. I seem to recall some cars needed regular adjustment of these, typically every x services. From memory it was simply a low torque setting applied I think.


Regarding the comments about S1 vs S2. I can only assume it is due to increased emission controls of some kind or perhaps (related?) differing inlet pipework. I'm not sure on the airbox plugs unless this airbox is shared with the diesel units as that would make a suitable "point" for the vacuum pump.

I thought about air injection units but I do not think many PSA engines have these, which is no bad thing.

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Stickyfinger
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by Stickyfinger »

The later s2 cars had the same induction side, but the twin cats and exhaust pipe work is more restrictive by the look of it.

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Mandrake
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by Mandrake »

The ES9J4S with the twin pre-cats and single main cat (3 in total) was never used on the Xantia, only the ES9J4 which only ever had a single cat and single oxygen sensor, so I'm not sure where you're getting twin cats from ?

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Stickyfinger
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by Stickyfinger »

Oh....thought the S2 cars had the same set up as the Pugs.....I am mistaken

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CitroJim
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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by CitroJim »

Mandrake wrote:
CitroJim wrote: 3. No, all V6 Xantias had the ES9J4 194 engine although subjectively to me, and I've run both extensively, the S1 variety always felt livelier and more 'urgent'
Interesting comment Jim - I wasn't aware there was any significant difference to the Series 1 V6 and Series 2 V6 ?
I'm not aware of any significant differences. As I say, it's just a feeling I have... Can't explain it any further than that...

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Re: Random Xantia Questions

Post by elma »

Can't beat an S1, it's just how it is.