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picassodad
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Post by picassodad »

I have started a new thread as others may benefit.

Resume, the lad got the car sept/oct time and when we went to see it it seemed a bit sluggish on starting, suggesting a failing battery, but started all ok.

After a few weeks now and again when the engine was running the charging light would come on then go off after a few seconds. The lad fitted a sterio with a volt meter build in, that showed a charge rate of approx 13volts ish. A bit on the low side.

Anyways connected dmm voltmeter cross battery which more or less confirmed the same.

It always seemed to start all ok, but one day simply refused to start, flattening the battery in the process.
The battery looked new, well it would bearing in mind where it lives. The date windows on the battery had not been pricked out so we do not know how old the battery is.

Anyways the mondy battery was the same ( 075 ) so that was fully charged and fitted. No joy, so lad followed dis connect, re connect and key procedure and it started all ok. It ran fine for about 2 weeks or so and the same problem seemed to re occur.

It was "booked in" to mine for yesterday afternoon, the car port space i have.

Yep, you guessed it, it refused to start !!!

The lad said it started fine that morning, drove some 14 miles there and about 20 miles to the other place where it sat for the morning. Come to start it to come to mine and it just refused to start. Typical.

So load Thunderbird 1 ( pug 306 ) with fully charged original battery and leads and head off. Got there, followed disconnect, re connect charged battery and key procedure and it started after 2 compression, thank god.

Got it home to mine.

We had checked some under bonnet earth points weeks ago, but he needed the car for work every day.

It was mine for the afternoon.

We disconnected the battery and attended to some more earths under the bonnet as well as the previously cleaned battery "bridge" under the bonnet. The bridge "bolts" seem to be brazed to the metal bridge so no voltage drop there me thinks.

We noticed that the main earth from engine to chassis looked bad, as well as the 2 earth points behind the ABS block. We also noticed that the main earth on the engine was not fitted properly.

After removal of stuff in the way, we sorted the heavy ish green earth wire eyelet to a "loose" bolt very close to the main earth lead engine bolt connection. It seemed to want to fit naturally. next we attended to the engine main earth lead connection that was "cocked over" and not connected properly.

Next we attended to the really bad main earth lead to the body by the ecu. This was really bad and not what I would call "tight".

See pictures.

Top, main earth from engine to chassis. This was bad bad bad, bolt not what i would call tight and connections where very very very dirty, they shine now along with some washers, new bolt and spray grease.

Centre, main earth heavy lead to engine, incorrectly fitted in this picture. You can just see the "loose" bolt head to the left. This is now the green earth lead that seems to head off to the ecu direction. It also holds a now "extra" earth lead and seems to fit naturally. The main heavy earth lead is now fitted properly and was not "clean". They all shine now and are tight.

Bottom, the 2 earth points behind the abs block. The eyelets shine now as do the bolts and washers. Difficult to get small drill with wire wheel to the body connection platform, so earthing thru bolt and its eyelet contact. These had been sprayed prior to removal, but all the others where "as is", ie not sprayed.
P1010002.JPG
P1010004.JPG
P1010005.JPG
The 2 earths behind the abs block seemed all ok after removal.

We have added an extra earth lead with the heavy ish green earth lead as a belt and braces, to be connected when I have the car again.

Reconnected the original battery etc. and started. It burst into life after 2 compressions.

Charge rate now is 14.4 volts, an improvement. We checked the glove box light just in case that was staying on and flattening the battery, but was going off all ok.

The car stared fine this morning initially showing 14.7 just after start up dropping to 14.4 when he got to work. The main acid test is this evening when he comes back from work ??

We have done some work on the car in between times like change the oil and filter. The cam boxes have black sealer, the cam belt has been changed at some point, and was checked a few weeks after he got the car, the cam belt looking good with some ink marking still remaining.

Marks on the bolts seen when doing yesterdays earth points and missing nuts and incorrect main lead fitting suggests the engine may have had a cam belt failure, or clutch maybe. Who ever did the job did'nt do very well we feel.

I will be checking all the bell housing bolts and starter bolts for being tight, and anything else that was "removed" doing a head off/clutch/engine out op, just in case.

Some more work to be done as some bolts did not seem tight to me, maybe I eat tooooo much porriage.

Will report back, squeek to find.....plugs and fuel filter to change......then the dam stalk he broke!
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: non starter

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Well investigated - the usual suspect earthing connections - there are so many of them for each of the systems that as you can see, can easily become corroded and cause havoc. That then has a knock on effect to other systems. Cleaning them up and protecting them going forward gives some peace of mind. I'm sure your son appreciates it!
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white exec
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Post by white exec »

On some PSA cars, those body-work earthing points are square nuts, spot-welded to the bodywork. As such, they should be making good contact. However, the square nut top surface often (always?) gets painted along with the body, and so a bolt-down connection only makes body contact via its threads, and not with the full surface of the eye-connector. Not good.

Permanent cure is to remove the paint (dremel/scrape) from the nut-top, clean up the eye-connector, tighten down and apply a dob of protective grease/wax.
picassodad
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Re: non starter

Post by picassodad »

As above, quite, the 2 earth points behind the abs block where painted and will be re visited next time i see the car, but......

sit rep the lad said the car said it was minus 2 this morning, and the car started on one turn of the key with 2 to 3 compression, with voltmeter reading 14.6 when engine had started. He got to work no problem ( and home again yesterday of course ) with no drama.

Xsara ( picasso ) is a "cherrrrry" again rather than a bitch!!
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white exec
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Re: non starter

Post by white exec »

Good news about the much better starting.

Just been looking closely at your photos of the body earthing points. It's unusual and worrying to see any rust on these, not of the bodypanel itself, or the welded-down square nut, but the 4-spike 'washer' that looks as if it sits between the square nut and the cable's eye-connector. Not sure what that item is there for - unless it was intended to hold a ? plastic cover for the earthing point.

When you come to clean off the paint on the square nuts, it might be a good idea to discard that spiky washer (assuming it's not also firmly attached), so that the eye connector can make decent direct contact with the nut top.

Does anyone else know what those spikes are for?
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Paul-R
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Re: non starter

Post by Paul-R »

The spikes will surely be there to pierce the paint and provide an electrical pathway.
wheeler
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Post by wheeler »

I just always thought the ‘spikes’ were there to stop the eyelet terminal rotating all the way round & twisting the wires when tightening the bolt?
It also seperates the eyelets if there are multiple earths on each point.
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white exec
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Re: non starter

Post by white exec »

The spikes seem to point upwards into fresh air.
They could be anti-rotational, if fixed down.
There's no good reason to separate eye-connectors from each other; they naturally fan out radially.
If that spiky washer is made of steel (and they do look rusty) it's not a good thing on such a connection.

Still puzzled.
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Sloppysod
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Re: non starter

Post by Sloppysod »

white exec wrote:
04 Jan 2019, 18:35
..................The spikes seem to point upwards into fresh air.................Still puzzled.

Possible answer :(
picassodad wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 11:18
Marks on the bolts seen when doing yesterdays earth points and missing nuts and incorrect main lead fitting suggests the engine may have had a cam belt failure, or clutch maybe. Who ever did the job did'nt do very well we feel.
When I had difficulties in starting my C4 Ehdi, my local Citroen garage found it needed a earth lead replaced, via recall notice - this was a 2011 car and was only 6 months old!! -
picassodad
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Re: non starter

Post by picassodad »

Spikes to stop rotation of the eyelets I feel.......

Remember the mini days, bmc, choke cable and throttle cable sometimes welded up, earth lead broken, earthing via the cables in the choke.....happy days.

Modern cars, you cant have toooo many earths.

The main culprit was the incorrectly fitted engine main earth and the heavyish green earth, AND, the very very very bad main earth from body shown.

I have to check the main earth from the battery but suspect half the cabin may have to come out to get to its connection under the carpet/false floor.

Lads says first turn of the key immediate start this morning, 14.7 v after start dropping down to 14.4v at arrival at work some 14 miles away ish.

He is heavy into stock take at the moment so i will have the car next week end for some more servicing work and earth point attention.
wheeler
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Re: non starter

Post by wheeler »

white exec wrote:
04 Jan 2019, 18:35
The spikes seem to point upwards into fresh air.
They could be anti-rotational, if fixed down.

They do indeed point up into fresh air, if they pointed down towards the body they wouldnt stop the eylets rotating when tightened?
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white exec
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Re: non starter

Post by white exec »

Rubbish earthing has a long history with PSA. BX had multiple body earthing points in both engine bay and cabin, and many of these gave trouble, with systems dropping out and misbehaving. Cost-cutting by PSA gave early XM 0.25" push-on grounding connectors, which had to be re-thought (and recalled) early on, and uprated to bolt-down.

Making important ground connections to painted bodywork (and lightly painted threads) is just plain crazy, but easily rectified once-and-for-all. On XM, cleaning up the 10 or so inner-wing earth points in the engine bay, and several more in the footwells, is pretty much essential.
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van ordinaire
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Re: non starter

Post by van ordinaire »

. . . & I thought bad earths were a problem with fibreglass bodies - oh, & '90's Cadillacs (which have so many, there's a schematic to supplement the wiring diagrams, to identify their location.

Back to those "spiky" washers, I'd be inclined to replace them with star washers (per earlier Citroëns) to both stop rotation AND cut through the paint UNLESS, by reference to other Picassos, I could be sure they were correct - & correctly fitted!
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Re: non starter

Post by wheeler »

The spiky bits arent removable washers, they are fixed to the earth points so they cant be incorrectly fitted.
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white exec
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Re: non starter

Post by white exec »

Oh dear.