Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

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

Moderators: RichardW, myglaren

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Xantia had its 1st outing in its new rôle today, or rather reverted to its previous life of family hack as had given use of it as a, somewhat belated, Christmas present to step-son & grandchildren. Only went to local shops, so never got much over 25 mph but very impressed with it, the ride came in for special mention, particularly over speedbumps! Reckons it's really nice to drive, especially given its age, and thinks I made a smart purchase - & that without knowing how much it cost, beyond not very much.

Drizzle in January just isn't condusive to tinkering with cars in the evening* but took C15 shopping (its weekly constitutional,when more isn't asked of it). Wiper delay's failed altogether now - but, hopefully, a relay'll be among a job lot of Xantia bits I'm amassing. Peered at the speedo (do wish I could workout how to remove the instrument cluster) or, rather the tripmeter, it read 256 so took on some diesel as wasn't going to chance it running out, but seems to be improving, as only a couple of months it would barely go over 200 miles before showing all sympyoms of running out, even though it would only take 20, 25 litres.

* shame, 'cos in the post were some bargain basement beam deflectors as can't see the time honoured judicious application of gaffer tape will work on the Xantia - & on the ferry, they're at least 3 times what I paid. Instructions refer to a dimple in the centre of the lens, to use as a reference point, which I've not noticed. Have to spend some time in local multi-storey carpark tomorrow evening methinks.

User avatar
xantia_v6
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 7733
Joined: 09 Nov 2005, 23:03
x 448

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by xantia_v6 »

Tape works well for a continental conversion on a xantia. It needs a 50mm square, move it around to minimise the kick up to the left.

I have got a pair of genuine Citroen clip-on deflectors, but they blank off an unnecessary amount of light.

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Thanks for the tip, maybe another time but tonight really don't have the time or patience to fiddle around, in the dark, trying to find the optimum position for a 2" square of tape, by trial & error (especially, as the lense pattern gives no clue what creates that kick-up). Actually might only have to do one as as only one seems to be RHD, the arrow markings on the other suggest its ambidextrous.

Oh, found the dimple, so, with the aid of quite specific instructions, & in the light (& relative warmth) of the car deck, it shouldn't be too difficult.

User avatar
xantia_v6
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 7733
Joined: 09 Nov 2005, 23:03
x 448

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by xantia_v6 »

I used to know exactly where to put the headlamp patch, but all I remember is that it goes just below the centreline, somewhat towards the left hand side.

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Perhaps I'll start by placing the top right corner on the "dimple" - might have a go at that at some point tomorrow for the retun journey.

I started writing this just after 6:00 am, yesterday & only now, for various reasons, have I been able to tackle posting it: “So, on a ferry – at last but Xantia's 1st trip abroad, in my ownership, is proving to be a disaster.

Idea was to get back from work early, get a few hours sleep in before midnight to be up & away for 2:00 am crossing to Calais. Alarm didn't go off & finally awoke, for the 3rd or 4th time, at 1:30. Only thing to do was to leave a.s.a.p. & see what happens when I check in. Somewhat ironically, couldn't find the gilet jaune in the C15, so left without. No sooner had I joined the dual carriageway at the end of the road than realised didn't have my passport or credit cards. At that time in the morning, managed to turn left from right lane, to get back to the house. Picked up passport – but couldn't find credit cards; no time, & definitely not in right frame of mind, to search, so left without them: fortunately my “foreign use” cards live in my passport cover, but never sure I can remember PIN, when not used for a while.
M20 (STILL) closed between J's 9 & 11, follow diversion but miss a sign - & end up back at J8. Round again, get to where I went wrong & follow signs to an M20 junction - but diversion signs continue (must be J10?), eventually arrive at an M20 slip road, not signed as to direction - & end up at J8, again! Give up, head back up to M25, to go down to Devon (stand to lose a lot of money BUT will retain sanity!). Get to J7 &, on a whim, come off & pass an M2 sign, all the way round the roundabout & off towards the M2 (never been so pleased to see it - how I HATE that road!) See a sign “Dover 38 miles” - must be at least an hour since it was 50 miles. All those extra miles mean probably don't have enough fuel to get to Maastricht & as I'll now have to Autoroute it all the way, fuel will be expensive & probably have to pre-pay by card – another cause for anxiety. Just outside Dover on the A2, there's a BP station where diesel's only £1.27, no “pay at pump” - to test PIN – so put in £20's worth & pay cash. Dover docks seems to be asleep at this ungodly hour, French passport control is closed, at the British booth, the guy just glance at my passport & waves on, if it is open, dock security isn't interested, so on we go.. More worryingly, P&O check-in seems to be closed, despite several lit green, lane open, signs. Then notice a light bulb glowing through a window, reverse round/through all the wagons rolling in, to get to that booth, too bad it's on my left, as daren't open passenger window. Get out, walk round car to window with passport. Not only am I (very) late, there seems to be some mix-up with the booking AND the document printed off from P&O's e-mail. Eventually all sorted, but there's £60 to pay, produce card - & hope – fortunately not only had I recalled the right PIN, but pressed the right keys, as in middle of trying to sort out the booking papers I realised it seemed I'd also left my glasses back in London. I'm doing this with the aid of my reading sunglasses, but how well I'll fare in less bright light I'm not sure. Of course by the time you read this I'll have arrived in Maastricht, so the situation may be somewhat different.”

One benefit of being on a much later ferry was it would be (just about) light by the time we disembarked. Also I expected to arrive before it got dark - but I was wrong. Still the last 10,15 mins on the Autoroute (or whatever the Dutch call them) didn't matter if I stayed out of the outside lane - & most Continentals seem to drive on mainbeamin any event. When I got into town, I just used the foglights!

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Reasons to e cheerful, une, deux, trois: Thursday evening finally fitted the Visa passenger door I've had for yonks to C15 [not too bad a job really - although the previous w/e, having made a real pig's ear of drilling out the mirror screws (which is what had stopped me doing this job long ago) did ensure that drifting out the stay & hinge pins wouldn't present any difficulty] :)
Having removed the mirror from the old door, managed to nip-up the 8mm nut under the base, which tightened the arm, to stop it gradually folding inwards on longish M-way journeys. :-D
Took it in for (a slightly belated) MoT this morning - & it passed! :lol:

(yes I know the previous post left me, in the Xantia, in Holland, but then I fell foul of DFDS's on-board wi-fi (again) & I sort of lost the momentum - & initiative - will try to fill in the gaps, not in any deatail - but then, not a lot's happened)

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

When I parked up on my return from Paignton (now) yesterday morning, the mileometer was reading 189,999 - so that 200,000 miles I once never thought I'd see, is only a couple of oil changes away! However, as the Xantia is now in daily use ('though doing no great distance) it might get there 1st - & I won't even know. :(

Got a little closer to upgrading the C15 to twin horns because:-
(a) the original can best be described as "charming" - the audible equivalent of a friendly wave or, at best, "please be aware I am just the other side of this blind bend"
(b) I have a spare pair (off the donor Cherokee). In fact, the C15's & the Cherokee's low horn are one & the same - but the terminals are different! Also discovered that an American(?) parts site, accessed via an Indian forum (where else would you go for all matters appertaining to all horn related matters?) is more accurate than the C15 BoL on the relevant wiring :clap:

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

A tale of three tyres

A couple of weeks ago I started sorting out the Summer tyres for the C15 (prompted by knowing one of the Winter tyres being marginal for the imminent MoT) & discovered one was flat due, I discovered, to the metal centre of the valve stem having become unbonded. :shock:

Friday night on the way down to Devon, got decidedly out of shape coming out of a roundabout, which I put down to that marginal tyre (MoT'd without even a mention) & the damp/greasy road surface. [-X [-X

Saturday morning set off to have new valve fitted (having had a quick walk round to check for soft tyres), only gone about a mile when my attention was drawn to almost flat n/s rear tyre (the iffy one was on the o/s). Conditions were not good for changing wheels, so out with the Lidl's electric pump & 40psi later off to the wonderfully named “Bay Wash” which also does used tyres. Explained about the valve, having hoiked the wheel out of the back but another person assumed I wanted tyre (there is a bit of a language issue here – as there is in a lot of “Hand Car Washes”) & while the valve was being done my eagle-eyed friend was going through his stock of 155/80 x 13's to find a good one. I tried to explain I wasn't that bothered as I had a set of wheels with Summer tyres that would be going on in a couple of weeks (especially as the best tyre he could find was some obscure Chinese make). To soften the blow a bit I said if he could find a decent Winter tyre I might be interested. Bingo: one very healthy Semperit M&S - for £15! A great start to my decision to move away from budget tyres :) so having put the tyre with new valve back in the back, he then found he had a tyre to fit - & a new valve at no charge, because the one fitted was too long & he was concerned about it being damaged on a high kerb; nice touch, that. =D>

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Oh the irony (once, twice, possibly, three times over)

I do seem to have spent a lot of time re-inflating tyres (& that's the 2nd valve I've had to have replaced for the same, previously unprecedented, reason) this last couple of years - ever since I was finally satisfied I'd cured its voracious appetite for front tyres, in fact but Sunday was the 1st time it'd been as a roadside repair. That aside, as I have recently been constantly reminding myself of late all I've done in the last year is several oil changes, 1/2 that number of new filters, an air filter (at 180,000 miles, its 1st in my ownership) &, possibly, 2 fuel filters - all the more remarkable when I noticed that it'd done 13,000 miles between the last 2 MoT's! This year will be a little busier because I know that the back brakes need doing (or converting to discs, which I'm not sure mightn't be easier - those shoes look an absolute nightmare to replace!) but I digress.
The much improved weather on Sunday prompted me to tinker with the C15 (after another 1/2-hearted attempt to start the red Cherokee) when,really, I should've spent the time (almost literally) in the boot of the Eldorado investigating the return of the n/s indicator/brake light puzzle. Having decided where to mount the relay for the twin horn conversion, exactly where to drill the hole would be determined by the position of the yet to be installed relay sockets that are part of the uprated headlamp wiring. The way it worked out, the headlamp job has progressed further than the horns, although it's still not all hooked-up. One of the reasons is trying to get the adjustment right before any enhancement of output, which means carefully scrutinising the pattern on the road & trying to convert that to how many flats on the adjusters to turn at the next stop to improve matters (yes I've read lots about walls, chalk marks, bits of tape - even looked at a couple of U-bend vids - but, in real life, you'd be inviting a run-in with Security or the police being attracted by, if not called to, your suspicious behaviour). So, stopped about 1/2-way backto London on Sunday, to avail myself of the facilities, & have a fiddle with the adjusters - only to find that between leaving the carriageway & pulling up at the door of the Services, the n/s dipbeam had failed! Now I doubt many of you will know that the C15 is probably the very last application of the old P45t bulb (which had given way to the more common H4 nearly 15 years before the C15 started its 20 year production run) albeit a halogen version - well it was by 2005! I did, however, have a spare - in a set I'd acquired (for the 2CV really) in a Belgian autojumble. Of course what I'd forgotten was that it was a dear old fashioned conventional "golf ball" bulb, i.e 45/40w AND, on closer examination, it was yellow (quite pale, not like a typical Cibié foglight). Still, it's better than only one headlight - but what surprised me, once out of the glare of the forecourt lighting, how little difference there was between the 2 lights, in reach, intensity & even, on the road, colour. (renewed my interest in what those yellow H1's I got on a whim for the Xantia's fogs'll be like in use) The final irony was that I have a pack of 4 100/90w's on order but although they are, ostensibly, Hella they're coming from Hong Kong, so won't be arriving just yet! H'mm, don't really fancy starting the run downto Devon with odd headlights - so, courtesy of eBay, there's a pair of 65/50w's for a ridiculously good price on their way by Friday latest. [-o<
Oh, & ebay also netted me a 2nd Semperit "Master Grip" with 5mm of tread, for £24.99, including carriage, so that's me set for next Winter, even if that n/s r tyre does let me down again! :)

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Got in from work this evening to find that "new" tyre in the porch - & I thought e-t-a tomorrow was a bit optimistic. I mean I only ordered it at 9:45 Sunday evening & it was here, from Burnley, just after 4 o' clock this afternoon. By any standards, that's impressive! :yes:

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Sorry if this is more like a diary, but here goes:-

Thursday (evening) - bulbs hadn't arrived (no great surprise, they weren't posted 'til Wednesday - but still with a Thurs/Fri delivery!), noted Xantia's 170 miles o/d for oil change, returned to stripping the old passenger door off the C15 (sick of the sight of it in the porch): not much left to do but couldn't remove external handle 'cos haven't worked out what you can get on the rear nutm thought access (or, at least, sight) would be better if latch came off 1st - 'cept can't shift the screws with what I've got to hand in the way of hex bits.

Friday (evening) - bulbs had arrived: opening the box they'd been sent in revealed 2 plain white,old style bulb boxes, with 45/40 on the flaps. Opened one, contained a "Ring" 60/55 halogen bulb. Not 1st quality - but not unbranded/obscure/Chinese either, so that's a +! Quickly fitted - & off down to Devon for the w/e.

Saturday (between showers) - discovered the other bulb (recently received wisdom is replace bulbs in pairs, keep good old one as spare - & when you have to fit that, buy another pair) while in an identical (anonymous) box was unbranded &, if not used, NOS; fitted it anyway, only to find the old was was also unbranded - whereas the one that had failed was one of Uncle Joe's.
Finished the relay/upgraded loom install (i.e. attached earth to battery clamp, re-made the in-line connector in +ive lead & plugged the bulbs in) - BUT nothing worked! Difficult to trace the wiring, as the loom's actually quite nicely put together in flexible convoluted tubing, especially without dismounting the relay sockets so, with mood deteriorating with the weather, decide to call it a day.
Of course, with coffee & warmth my resolve strengthened - & the more convinced I was that the problem was the component I didn't recognise/couldn't identify, which I'd never seen in this sort of set-up (with which I am very familiar) but thought must be some sort of thermal cut-out, as there are no fuses.

Sunday (won't say "this morning" in case midnight'spassed before I've finished) bright, sunny, dry (hallelujah), almost warm, i.e. much more conducive to faultfinding & fiddly jobs. 1st thing I discover is that the mainbeam side of things seems OK now, replace relay & it clicks, reconnect a headlamp, turn on mainbeam & it lights up. So it should (although I'm sure it didn't on Saturday) as that is is perfectly straightforward & logical - although there is a wire going to this cut-out (if, indeed, that's what it is) but unplugging it makes not 'ape'orth of difference. However, the dip circuit is altogether different: no wire direct from the original bulbholder to the trigger terminal on the relay but, at 1st sight, altogether too many earths - except one of the black wires goes to the "cut-out" - or would, if I hadn't unpugged it, soooooh, bridge the 2 terminals in the plug which AREN'T main beam, turn on dipped h/l's - &, voilà, terminal 85 or 86 (whichever) is live, replace relay, which clicks, reconnect headlamps - & they work!! Work very well too, as became obvious on the drive back up to London. All I have to do now is tidy-up the "cut-out" delete - AND splice a couple of fuse holders into the power lead from the battery. :)

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3916
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 438

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Zelandeth »

Could your mysterious box in the circuit be a dim-dip device? Know they were everywhere in the early 90s, no idea when they stopped being fitted.

Their purpose was to ensure that dip beam was lit dimly when the side lights were turned on to improve visibility.

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Oh yes dim-dip - DRL's by another name! Yup, know about those: re-configuring the 2 relays used on 2CV's so they served more useful function, i.e. stopping the lightswitch melting, replacing the the modules on XJ40's (not being clever enough to deal with their infamous dry joints) - including utilising an extra relay to use the more common single headlight ones in twin headlamp ones (which all 3 of mine were). But, I digress, this little box is an integral part of the aftermarket headlamp relay loom.

I did ask the seller about it but he didn't know (he's a salesman, not a technician) but sent me a wiring diagram (which I recognised as the the Chevy S10 one I got for the I got for the red Cherokee!!) which is for the perfectly conventional set-up and doesn't include the mystery component.

Situation now confused by seller finally (4 something this morning) responding to my complaint - let's blame the time difference with Bangkok. He wants more info, to pass back to manufacturer. I will re-instate the "box" just to double-check mainbeam, before replying - BUT can I really be bothered to uninstall it all, clean & repack it? Probably not, 'speshly if I have to pay the postage!

Actually, I logged on this morning to do a bit of editing, but that'll have to be an addendum in my next post now.

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Addendum to "weekend diary"

Friday - no sooner had I joined the M25 & joined in playing with the traffic, than accutely aware of a distinct wallowing sensation. Had to stop after about 10 mins to pump up that o/s r tyre: obviously the relative position of the rim to the kerb is NOT a good way of checking for a soft tyre. Seems trick is to pump it up each Thursday (assuming no use since getting back the previous Sunday) for the next couple of weeks, when the Summer tyres will go on. Will have a close look at then but not spending money on it, as that might as well go t'wards having the "new" one fitted - unless, of course, I just happen to pick up another wheel before next Autumn.

Saturday - 1st job was to put about 50psi in the flat Summer tyre, then trickle some soapy water round the rim. Nothing obvious, so just left it, lying face up in the back of the C15, while I got on with other things.

Sunday - when I opened the rear doors I was met by the sight of foam about 3" deep (thick?) around 2 6" sections of the rim. These wheels have a reputation for not sealing due to rust - & this one's had the rotary wire brush treatment twice, since the tyre was fitted. That's why I'd been on the look-out for another wheel last year - & ended up with 3 which, by a remarkable coincidence, left me with 2 pairs of Summer tyres, I pair of Winter ones + 2 odd ones, i.e. 2 complete sets - which means I still need another wheel (possibly 2). Meanwhile, I think I'll try some puncture gloop, in preparation for which I picked up 2 "Renault" branded cans for (I think) £1 a throw at a bootfair - so what can I loose?

update: Curiously, as of this evening, that tyre is still as hard as a rock!
Butchering/perfecting the headlamp loom now on hold, awaiting developments from the seller now I've reported more fully what the problem is. One curiosity I discovered this evening was that while dip doesn't work at all, mainbeam brings on both warning lights AND, I rather suspect, both filaments.

Briefly went back to stripping the old door: managed to loosen one of the striker bolts, part of the problem was that the hex doesn't bottom out in the head, without a little persuasion, but too late for the other one, which just rounded out. Tried a little judicious application of heat (chef's blowtorch) 1st - but the plasic body started to melt. Drilling out the bolt head seems only answer now! Managed to remove the o/s handle though (wouldn't like to fit one though - think you need a ratcheting open ender) - but not the button: only reason now for persevering with the striker.

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

So the man on Bangkok, he gives me a choice of a replacement - or returning the loom for a refund. After tossing this around in my head most of the day, I e-mailed him my preference for a replacement. After all, if it doesn't work I'm no worse off, I can modify this one to suit my requirements - & the C15, & still have a spare for another time/project.

Meanwhile, here's the mystery "little black box":-
IMG_2686.jpg


Any ideas what it might be?

In a mad moment, spurred on by a reasonably mild - & light - evening, I tackled fitting a yellow bulb in the Xantia's o/s foglight: it's a fiddle & a half, but it can be done (even in failing light) - without removing the bumper! f-w-i-w, the trick seems to be, remove from above, i.e. through the indicator hole, then disconnect the 2-pin connector, when you can hold the bulb-holder in one hand & easilly remove the clip with pliers. Replace from above, to the point that bulb enters hole in back of lamp then, from underneath, locate bulb-holder in lamp & twist (i.e. fiddle) to lock, then retrieve the lead from above and get the connector aligned with the terminals on the bulb-holder, although I had to get underneath again to actually push it home & positively locate the wire clip. Access was not actually as bad as I feared, in some ways a bigger problem was never having been able to work out how the bulb-holder locates in the lamp shell, exacerbated in my case, I suspect, by some local damage to shell under the hole. The access issue, I found, was offset by strategically positioned LED work lamps, meaning you can form a clear mental picture of the set-up for when you're, inevitably, working by touch.
Tomorrow, similar conditions prevailing, I'll do the n/s one which, in the scheme of things is understood to be merely difficult - as opposed to impossible!