Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

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APro
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Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by APro »

Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum and I want first of all to thank everyone so much for the incredible trove of resources that you put together in this forum

While there is a lot of great info on timing belt change I wasn’t able to find any on rockers and camshafts, but first please bear with me on why I need that information.

After a very strong snow storm (100+ km/h wind and engine bay packed in snow) my Citroen C5 (2008 (X7) 2.0 HDi 138 VIN: VF7**************[VIN obfuscated, can be read by forum staff]) would crank without a successful starting, some very mild hiccups and very perceptible vibrations but no start. The mechanic came to help me and managed to run the engine with some quick start spray. No apparent knocking noise but definitely not a smooth sound (and definitely no control with accelerator). DiagBox (V9.91) shows P0341 error - camshaft signal absent which of course reappears after clearing (at crank). It also shows NO SYNC between camshaft sensor and engine speed (crank) sensor. Except for brief pulses (when plotted on a graph) which correspond with the engine picking up momentum for a fraction of a second but nothing significant.

Battery replaced with new Varta 720 CCA.
Engine speed (crank) sensor replaced with new (Delphi SS10739-12B1).
Camshaft sensor replaced with new (Delphi SS11086).
No faulty fuses found.

Problem persists so I decided to check the timing belt and change it for a new one following the instruction in this post:

viewtopic.php?cache=1&p=611880&sid=07c0 ... 5a16e073aa

Sometimes the wind is powerful enough to push the snow through the smallest gaps and it wouldn’t be the first time that I hear of someone having their timing belt slip on a layer of snow packed in between the belt and the pulleys. I thought that since the engine would run on quickstart it would be a matter of the belt slipping a tooth or two (wrong!) which threw me off when I first tried to align the flywheel and cam pulley - I couldn’t seem to find the hole on the flywheel (I was looking for it based on the position of the hole on the cam shaft) and what I thought to be the correct hole on the flywheel, later (after installing the new belt, cranking and realizing the engine was still out of sync) turned out to be a different one (maybe one of those for the balancing weights). When I finally managed to find the correct alignment hole on the flywheel, the cam pulley was around 45 degrees past its alignment hole. Now the question was is it 45 degrees past the correct timing or 135 degrees before its position after a full flywheel turn? I tried to rotate the cam pulley and noticed that if I increased the rotation from the timing hole (clockwise) I would reach a point (around 80 degrees) where it was not possible to turn it any further (valves hitting pistons?) so I rotated it the other direction and managed to align it with its hole. Timing done. Installed new belt and new tensioner. Spinned the flywheel and noticed that in the first turn it was much harder to turn than expected (first time doing this job) I had to use a 50cm (from the socket) lever to turn it but eventually I managed (would you think that would be too much torque required to overcome the compression in the cylinder?) the other strokes seemed to require the same amount of effort (maybe slightly less). After 4 full turns alignment is still ok. Crank the engine and still no start. This time the starter seems to make a different noise than usual and I couldn’t perceive the same vibrations (I’m talking about those vibration typical of a diesel engine about to start if you know what I mean). Diagbox says all parameters are fine, no errors, fuel pressure is ok, engine spins at around 250 rpm, but still no start.

I thought I might have made the wrong call and synced the cam 180 degrees off the correct position but first I checked under the aspiration ducts and I spotted a broken rocker (on the aspiration of the first cylinder, the only one you can see without removing the cam cover ) - the ones on the exhaust side look fine.

My questions are:

Should I proceed and remove the cam cover to check for more broken rockers?
Is the engine to be thrown away or is there a chance I could get it fixed?
Is replacing rockers a job that I can get done without too much hassle or the need of very expensive tools? Any suggestions/tips on procedures?
What are the risks involved?
Could I have broken the rocker by spinning the engine by hand? Or the first time when I installed the new belt without proper alignment? or they were gone the moment I cranked the engine the first time after the storm?

I live in a very remote area in northern Norway and the closest mechanic is 180 km away (charging 130$/h for labor time) - so any information and help would be much appreciated before taking the decision whether to send it to the mechanic, try to fix it myself or sadly say goodbye to my Citroen :cry: Thanks for your time everyone!
Last edited by GiveMeABreak on 24 Apr 2023, 15:23, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected Link
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by GiveMeABreak »

I think you linked to the wrong post, as that one is regarding draining and refilling the cooling system. :wink:

Regarding the issue, that's something only you can answer as it will be down to whether you have all the tools and equipment to do it yourself as well as the expertise.

You may even consider replacing the C5 with another one of the same engine and keeping you existing one for spare parts...
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by Stickyfinger »

Hi and welcome...Det er hyggelig å møte deg

The 2ltr HDi (138) is the simplest of the engines fitted so that is a good start.

Yes, a single crank with the started could break a rocker.

I cannot see why you could not change the rockers yourself with the given you seem to have some good skills......you would HAVE TO check the a valve was not bent however...if it was then you really would need to look at other needs/work.

Can you find a complete cylinder head/valve carrier in Norway ?............. as that may be a good source of parts/just replace the whole thing if your head is damaged.
00071506.jpg
00088132.jpg
If I were to bet on it....(assuming a single "spin/crank") at starter motor speed then I would bet on just the rocker being broken...BUT I would like to know where I could get a cyl'dr head just in case :)

This should assist
https://catalogs.ssg.asia/citroen/?lang ... VDAwMTA%3D
Last edited by Stickyfinger on 24 Apr 2023, 11:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by darbuck »

I would remove the rocker cover have a look see how many rockers are broken. You seem to live in a very hostile environment so I assume you are not too bad with the spanners. If you have broken rockers it's possible you have bent valves.does the starter make a higher pitch it could have burned out if the engine is unable to turn freely. Also if you feel it is taking too much torque to hand crank, chances are you bent a valve or two when you cranked it initially with the starter. You will need to remove the head to change bent valves. I would eliminate rockers and starter as issues forst. A new head or engine if Conrods are suspected might be your best bet, if it has bent valves, Conrods could be bent aswell. The engine is simple enough to change if you have a way of lifting it out. Just take your time and photos to aid in reassembly whatever you decide.
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by APro »

GiveMeABreak wrote: 24 Apr 2023, 10:37 I think you linked to the wrong post, as that one is regarding draining and refilling the cooling system. :wink:

Regarding the issue, that's something only you can answer as it will be down to whether you have all the tools and equipment to do it yourself as well as the expertise.

You may even consider replacing the C5 with another one of the same engine and keeping you existing one for spare parts...
apologies, the correct post was this one:
viewtopic.php?cache=1&p=611880&sid=07c0 ... 5a16e073aa
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by APro »

darbuck wrote: 24 Apr 2023, 11:05 I would remove the rocker cover have a look see how many rockers are broken. You seem to live in a very hostile environment so I assume you are not too bad with the spanners. If you have broken rockers it's possible you have bent valves.does the starter make a higher pitch it could have burned out if the engine is unable to turn freely. Also if you feel it is taking too much torque to hand crank, chances are you bent a valve or two when you cranked it initially with the starter. You will need to remove the head to change bent valves. I would eliminate rockers and starter as issues forst. A new head or engine if Conrods are suspected might be your best bet, if it has bent valves, Conrods could be bent aswell. The engine is simple enough to change if you have a way of lifting it out. Just take your time and photos to aid in reassembly whatever you decide.
I would say that the starter engine makes an higher pitch noise (almost as it would spin faster) but how would it explain Diagbox recording the engine rpm? (around 230 rpm at crank)
The other thing that I don't understand is how it would run on quick start if the rocker was broken after the timing belt slipped.
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by APro »

I've ordered gaskets, rockers and the extractor for the injectors (maybe I should have ordered a new chain tensioner as well.) I think I'll try to replace the rocker myself - do you think I should buy the heynes manual or is as simple as removing the cover, lifting the camshaft and replace the broken rockers?
I've ordered a universal injector extractor but now I think maybe I need a specific one, has anyone any recommendation on it?
Is there a way to check if the valves are bent without removing the cylinder head? Or should I just replace the rockers, put everything together and hope for the best?
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by Michel »

APro wrote: 24 Apr 2023, 15:32 The other thing that I don't understand is how it would run on quick start if the rocker was broken after the timing belt slipped.
No, nor me. Nowhere in this thread has anyone asked if fuel is being injected as it should be..
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by darbuck »

I thought you said the rocker was broken and the engine wouldn't turn over but starter was making higher pitched noise. I obviously misread your post. It might run on quick start if it's off by a tooth but it won't be fueling correctly. Are you sure you retimed it correctly mine was off by a tooth and wouldn't start coughed a few times but no start. Retimed it and ran I did have a bad injector so ran rough check your fuel pressure. Have you access to diagbox if you do you can check it on it.
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by APro »

I had to re-time it twice. The first time I did it thinking it was a matter of a tooth or two so when I couldn't find the alignment hole on the flywheel I first pegged the cam pulley and then find my way to the flywheel hole by giggling it back and forth max 5 degrees. when I've found a notch in it with the pegging tool I thought I've found the alignment hole, put the new belt, tensioner and tried to crank unsuccessfully (still no sync). Then I started from scratch and looked very carefully on the flywheel to actually see the hole and not just "feel" it with the tool. when I find it and inserted the tool (all the way in) I realized that what I thought the first time to be the alignment hole was a different kind of notch/hole on the flywheel. Then I checked the position of the cam pulley and that's when I realized that it was off by 45 degrees and not only one or two teeth. So, yes the first timing was wrong (but more or less not that different from the timing present on the engine after the belt slipped), now I wonder if also the second timing was wrong (even if the two alignment holes were pegged correctly) with the cam pulley being 180 degrees off the flywheel.
This is the injection report from Diagbox prior the timing (the one after the timing is similar but with cam sync YES)

Engine speed 206 rpm
Measured injected flow 41.94 mg/impulse
Camshaft/crankshaft synchronisation NO
Reference fuelpressure 304 Bar
Measured fuel pressure 355 Bar
Fuel pressure regulation status Regulated
Flow regulator current 853 MA
correction strategies activation status Strategy active
Injector control error status No faults
Open cycle ratio controlling the regulation of the fuel flow 45 %
Main injection flow 39.00 mg/impulse
Pre-injection advance 4 °
Pre-injection 1 duration 0.00 Μs
Pre-injection flow 1 0.00 Mg/stroke
Pre-injection 2 duration 293.89 Μs
Pre-injection flow 2 2.00 Mg/stroke
Duration of the main injection 1193.87 Μs
Cylinder injector 1 flow correction -1.96 Μs
Cylinder injector 3 flow correction -1.96 Μs
Cylinder injector 4 flow correction -1.96 Μs
Cylinder injector 2 flow correction -1.96 Μs
Coolant temperature -2 °C
Fuel temperature -4 °C
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by APro »

Stickyfinger wrote: 24 Apr 2023, 10:51 Hi and welcome...Det er hyggelig å møte deg

The 2ltr HDi (138) is the simplest of the engines fitted so that is a good start.

Yes, a single crank with the started could break a rocker.

I cannot see why you could not change the rockers yourself with the given you seem to have some good skills......you would HAVE TO check the a valve was not bent however...if it was then you really would need to look at other needs/work.

Can you find a complete cylinder head/valve carrier in Norway ?............. as that may be a good source of parts/just replace the whole thing if your head is damaged.

Image

Image

If I were to bet on it....(assuming a single "spin/crank") at starter motor speed then I would bet on just the rocker being broken...BUT I would like to know where I could get a cyl'dr head just in case :)

This should assist
https://catalogs.ssg.asia/citroen/?lang ... VDAwMTA%3D
Your "HAVE TO" really putt on alert. Any suggestion on how to check for bent valves without removing them? is it even possible? Still struggling to get the cover off (injectors are stuck) but I hope to proceed with valve check this weekend
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by Stickyfinger »

When you have the new rocker in place, turn the engine over by hand and observe the valve stems....this will show if the valve is so bent it is "hanging up"....it will not show a slight bent however.

The only way to be 100% sure is to remove the cylinder head (you are 70% there)....it would be your gamble
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by darbuck »

You could as you say be out by 180 degrees. If you lock the cams and remove the belt, rotate one full rotation by hand you should then be at top dead centre. I would imagine you have bent valves if the belt slipped by that much but you could be lucky . As for the injectors you will need at minimum a 20 ton hydraulic puller. If they are stuck a slide hammer won't pull them. I have just been through something similar with mine and I am now trying to extract 2 inches of sheared injector from the head.
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by Armidillo »

Have you removed the cam cover to check for more broken rockers? I would definitely check exhaust as well. The rocker(s) is/are most likely to have been broken before you changed the timing belt. As you said, the cam timing was 45 degrees out. The fact that it ran roughly on aerostart would indicate not running on all cylinders.

I really wouldn't be too worried about bent valves. My understanding is that the rockers are "sacrificial" and break before valve-bending can happen (other engines don't do this - it seems to just be PSA diesels). We have experience of this in Australia from broken timing belts.

The higher pitched noise of the starter is almost certainly because it is now spinning faster - it's a useful clue to a broken timing belt. With the broken rocker(s) there are less valve springs to be compressed. Also with intake valve(s) not opening, the cylinder can't draw in a great lung full of air before the compression stroke, so that should help it spin more freely.
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Re: Citroen C5 X7 rockers- a blizzard might have killed them

Post by APro »

darbuck wrote: 28 Apr 2023, 08:09 You could as you say be out by 180 degrees. If you lock the cams and remove the belt, rotate one full rotation by hand you should then be at top dead centre. I would imagine you have bent valves if the belt slipped by that much but you could be lucky . As for the injectors you will need at minimum a 20 ton hydraulic puller. If they are stuck a slide hammer won't pull them. I have just been through something similar with mine and I am now trying to extract 2 inches of sheared injector from the head.
I really hope the injectors are not that stuck.
Wouldn't I be on TDC (I assume you were referring to cylinders 1-4) anyway even if I am timed correctly? What I would see is the aspiration stroke and power stroke inverted, wouldn't I? I was thinking that maybe I can just check whether I have piston going down with aspiration valves open or piston going up with exhaust valves open, if that's not the case I would be off by a full rotation on the crankshaft.
Haven't managed to remove rocker cover yet - still waiting for tools and parts, it takes a lot of time and patience to get things delivered up here in the Arctic.