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Thread: My new Xantia CT

  1. #26
    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    Time got away this weekend to attack any big jobs. I had the time to give the interior a good clean and vacuum. Came up a treat.

    Whole cleaning I noticed some white residue in the passenger footwell. It was close to the firewall close to the exhaust tunnel/consol. Is this the heater core or an aircon evaporation leak?

    Dash out time then?

    I had a look at the clutch hydraulic cylinder fluid level. It was near the top and didnt move when the clutch was operated. The clutch is also shuddering a tiny amount with 4 people on board. Gear changes are notchy which also points to the clutch.

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    Its only done 69k/20yr old but by the looks of it only really had oil changes. Fair enough. Every 205 I owned had heater core issues. Not at involved to remove mind you!

    2 full days for the dash out replacement?

  2. #27
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    Normally if the heater core is leaking you can find the drips and smell it, but white residue sounds right I'm afraid. My R8 heater valve leaked a tiny bit, smelled and left a white residue where the drips landed. For the dash out, I think it is about 8 hours if you are paying a workshop to do it - I weakened and paid! Super care needed with plastic pipes in the engine bay also if I recall.

    Our Xantia gearbox was always a bit notchy over ten years of ownership. Yours probably needs another 100,000 km on it. Clutch wouldn't help though. Does it crunch into reverse? I'd have thought if disengagement was an issue, you'd have real trouble selecting reverse.

    I'm quite jealous of you having a CT, but I know I've moved on.....

    CHeers
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  3. #28
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    Before you rip out the dash, ascertain if you can get new heater hoses. I couldn't for my 1995 Xantia VSX.

    Figuring that I didn't need a heater in Sydney, I cut the heater hoses behind the engine and inserted a bent 20mm copper water pipe to completely bypass the heater. Fortunately my next door neighbour is a plumber, had some pipe and a pipe bender and did a wonderful free job.

    My next job is to get one of three used cabin fans working properly. I managed to buy a new fan module which should go a long way to sorting that so the aircon works for the coming hot summer.

    The joys of having a 22 year old Xantia with a backup of a 31 year old 2CV. At worst, I have to rely on 71 year old legs.
    Life is a numbers game until your number is up.

    John

  4. #29
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    there's an ACTIVA on carsales if you want to ditch the 95 John! I'd love to take that for a drive.

  5. #30
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    Re. the gear changes - my Xantia CT gear changes weren't smooth when I bought it in 2006 with about 130,000 km - particularly 3rd gear if I remember correctly. My recollection is that I changed the oil & put in fancy expensive multigrade gear oil - no better .

    Then I followed AlanS's advice, which was to drain the gearbox, and refill with Castrol VMX 80 and a tube of Teflon gearbox additive. Am pretty sure he recommended repeating the procedure after a few thousand km (esp. if old oil was not as clean as it might have been) to make sure you had rinsed out all the nasty residues. This really did resolve the rough/sticky gear change issues. That car is currently off the road after reaching about 210,000 km. It had a number of problems which led me to retire it (at least for awhile), but the clutch was not one of them. I'd be surprised if you really had clutch problems with such a low distance traveled. Might be worth looking for any oily residue dripping out from where the bell-housing mates to the engine - if either the rear crankshaft seal or the front gearbox seal is leaking, then you might be getting oil on the clutch, which does not improve it's behaviour (ie can cause shudder)!

    Re. G-box oil change - I don't think Haynes covers the ML/5 gearbox. BTW - the 406 V6 (SV) uses the same gearbox - it's a heavy duty box not fitted to mere 2lt N/A models . The drain plug is obvious, but the filler plug less so. It is on the side facing the firewall. Undo the filler plug from below (you will have already got the car up on ramps or stands to get underneath and drain the oil - don't forget to put suspension on High before jacking and supporting on stands).

    Originally I bought an oil gun, which allowed you to fill from below, and kind of worked, but leaked and made a ghastly mess. I found a big funnel from Super-cheap with removable nozzle/tube. The one I bought came with both a concertina style nozzle, and a simple clear plastic tube. The concertina style has it's uses, but the flexible tube is what is needed for this job. Poke it down between engine and firewall, then without kinking, poke it into the filler hole. Attach funnel to top, and add about 1.9 litres (pretty sure that's right) of nice clean VMX 80, plus the tube of Teflon stuff. When the gearbox is full, oil dribbles back out the filler hole - obviously the car needs to be pretty level for this to be correct (so wheel ramps aren't such a good idea for this). I think the total capacity is 2 litres, so just top up with small amounts until oil dribbles out when you remove the tube.

    AlanS is still greatly missed, not least because he had all manner of tips like this which he freely shared.

    Cheers

    Alec
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  6. #31
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    Hmmm - sorry about last night's long-winded post. Not trying to teach anyone's grandmother to suck eggs - I'm sure Cam knows how to change gear-box oil - but maybe in the future it'll be useful for someone .

    Cheers

    Alec

  7. #32
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Hi Alec,

    Haynes does cover the ML/5 because it is used on the turbo diesel as well. I certainly used their description on how to get the gearbox out to change my clutch but they didn't tell me there is -1mm clearance to get the gearbox down. Luckily I didn't have to unbolt the pressure plate on mine as the throw out bearing had already disconnected - but it probably would have made it easier.

    Cheers, Ken

  8. #33
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    Thanks - I should have checked before opening my mouth - hadn't realised it was used with the oil burner(s) as well as the V6 and Turbo petrol motors. Certainly no Turbo CT motor in Haynes!

  9. #34
    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    Thanks again gents. It certainly is hard to get reverse. Its rarely goes straight in. 1st is also very tight sometimes. Usually taking a couple of goes of both the clutch and leaver to get away.

    I had a flirt with anoth CT for a few weeks from a mate and the gearbox was very sweet to use. It still had a higher than usual pickup point like mine just with more bite and more modulation range.

    I live next door to an auto elec so will see what he thinks about the diagram.

    In the process of ordering a heater core. Will take plenty of photos.

  10. #35
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Cam,

    The problem with new heater cores is that they are just as bad as the originals unless you have found something special. These cooling systems run at 15psi pressure and the heater core is the first thing to leak. You will just end up smelling coolant everytime you turn the heater on. Don't ask me how I know. If I were having problem these days I would just bypass the whole caboodle.

    Cheers, Ken

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam85 View Post
    Thanks again gents. It certainly is hard to get reverse. Its rarely goes straight in. 1st is also very tight sometimes. Usually taking a couple of goes of both the clutch and leaver to get away.

    I had a flirt with anoth CT for a few weeks from a mate and the gearbox was very sweet to use. It still had a higher than usual pickup point like mine just with more bite and more modulation range.

    ...
    I think the difficulty getting it into reverse might be a common thing - our 406 SV (same box) does that sometimes too. I'd always assumed it was more to do with getting cogs in the right position so they can mesh smoothly. Problems getting it into 1st would get pretty annoying though - does it improve as it warms up?

    So the clutch has a high take-up point? If the clutch was dragging & not releasing properly, wouldn't the take-up point be close to the floor? What about linkages? I've never had to replace them, but I don't think they last for ever...
    Last edited by Armidillo; 31st October 2017 at 06:35 PM.

  12. #37
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    Small update. Big win it seems.

    I had a break in time today and did a few small jobs.

    1 replaced droplinks. So far, zero knocks at the front. Steering was very rattly before so far seema tight as a drum.

    Replaced top engine mount (large one the engine sits on under the top arm on the CT motor) and my O my the difference!!! Gear changes and clutch action have improved out of site! Clutch pedal now picks up an inch or so lower allowing it to disengage properly! Am I a happy boy! I could not believe the difference. The old mount was at least 2cm lower from age and wear. New mount has improved the entire drive of the car. I had the jack under the engine to take the weight while changing and had to jack the engine up considerably to put everything back together.

    Check your top engine mount! This car has low kilometers. Easy job to do and made the biggest difference of any 1 part of the car.


    Makes sense now! Cant wait to drive it all day tomorrow!
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  13. #38
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    Small update. Big win it seems.

    I had a break in time today and did a few small jobs.

    1 replaced droplinks. So far, zero knocks at the front. Steering was very rattly before so far seema tight as a drum.

    Replaced top engine mount (large one the engine sits on under the top arm on the CT motor) and my O my the difference!!! Gear changes and clutch action have improved out of site! Clutch pedal now picks up an inch or so lower allowing it to disengage properly! Am I a happy boy! I could not believe the difference. The old mount was at least 2cm lower from age and wear. New mount has improved the entire drive of the car. I had the jack under the engine to take the weight while changing and had to jack the engine up considerably to put everything back together.

    Check your top engine mount! This car has low kilometers. Easy job to do and made the biggest difference of any 1 part of the car.


    Makes sense now! Cant wait to drive it all day tomorrow!
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  14. #39
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    This is good Cam, would you mind telling me where you got the parts from, inspired to do the droplinks on mine.

  15. #40
    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    Went and paid a visit to Carlo at Dapco/Autofrance. He has the links and top engine mount in stock. Well worth taking the 10 minutes to take the top arm off to get to the bottom mount to inspect. I should havw taken a few snaps for everyone. I will from now on!

    Just drove to mums and back (30k round trip) and its so much nicer to drive. Smooth as. (Aside from the dud center spheres)


    Motivated now to change those spheres. First time and I must admit Im a little intimidated.
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  16. #41
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    Thanks kindly for info I'll chase that up, spheres, no biggy, the rear centre one anti sink needs to be disconnected via the pipe, 9mm spanner, and you'll need new seals for any swaps, plus release the pressure on the regulator a quarter turn max ( you'll hear it hiss quickly) with a 12mm spanner, that is after you have got it on stands safely supported or a hoist. Don't try and change a sphere without depressuirized system first. You can buy whole sets of spheres OS and there are comfort ( confort?) spheres as alternative pretty sure for CTs. I think I got Lizarte spheres when I did mine. If they won't budge when unscrewing you might need to look at making up a sphere tool, a big ring spehere diameter size with two bolts through in eiher side ( to grip sphere) welded to a bar for a lever, or getting a cit garage to do it.

  17. #42
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    Our CT is on its third clutch now with 160k km on the clock . The first clutch lasted 50k (Sydney car), the second installed at 150k (Wagga Wagga driven). We have put that down to the CT's low down grunt and one's urge to use it (smile). All CT clutches have had high take up point. Reverse is sometimes difficult to select ( must check top mount). The gearbox additive Alan S recommended is Nulon G70 Smooth Shift.....and it works a treat.

  18. #43
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    I'm surprised - I'd never thought of the clutch being a 'weak point' in the CT drivetrain. I have always assumed that mine came with it's original clutch (when purchased at 130,000 km), but that was based on the car in general seeming original/unmolested - I never did manage to get any service history out of the owners (apart from a few stamps in the book).

    Given your experience, it seems more likely my car's clutch had been replaced before I bought it. Certainly country driving must be kinder on clutches than Sydney traffic - more than once I drove from Tenterfield to Armidale (almost 200 km) without changing out of top gear! The torque available at low revs allowed me to climb Bolivia Hill and Ben Lomond, plus idle through villages like Deepwater, without ever touching the clutch pedal !

    Cheers

    Alec

  19. #44
    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    New droplinks. No rattles in the steering! Theres still a little something there which Im guessing is the rack bush. Do the 'top mounts' have rubber donuts like conventional struts? These are usually a high wear item on psa struts in my experience.

    Two new front tyres as the originals were flat spotted fron sitting. The rears are better but will replace in time. Its now as smooth as its been. The tyres are P4 Pirelli. My tyer guy only had those tyres. The vibration over 100kph was unbearable.

    Its now boosted even more! I fitted the manual boost valve and she now flies! Plenty of grunt from any revs! Spent 10 minutes fitting it and am delifgted with the results. I highly recommend doing it.

    Clutch and gear changes are still good if not improving! Ill look into flushing the gearbox and using the teflon solution.

    Thanks again for all the help. I had a look under the car today to asses the rear knock. The rear tailpipe was hitting the passenger side tow bracket. Have moved it over and it seems the knock has gone. Although theres still sonething rattling. Trailing arm bearings and shafts felt fine.

    Fingers crossed for a sphere change this weekend. Wheres the best place for LHM in Sydney?

  20. #45
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    Personally, I loved my Xantia Activa (1998) ... it did not have a clutch replacement in the years I owned it (from new), 1st gear was always a tad slow, but the rest of the forward gears were always very smooth. Clutch take-up was always fairly high up.

    I reckon these are great cars, and "mostly" very durable. My main service items were things like brakes, muffler, eventually a radiator, but the overall experience was a very lovely, comfortable, reliable car that was not unduly expensive to own, or service. However, it was getting to the stage where it was becoming more of a car moving to restoring status (rubber bits, etc) and a manual had become hard to cope with in Sydney traffic. The interior was virtually as new when I sold it. Very durable finishes.

    So I'd recommend a "good" Xantia, (and the Activa in particular), to any Citroen fancier. But they are becoming a tad more of an effort to keep up to scratch....but probably no more so than any car of that vintage. And, yes, amazing handling!
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  21. #46
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    This one is definitly a keeper.

    Im the first person in the cars life to service work outside oil changes. So am expecting to have to keep up with the above mentioned. Radiator is looking tired and a few coolant hoses need replacing. I wohld love to have the space and time to pull the motor out and give the engine bay a full once over and replace anything that needs it.

    The rear is starting to stay high sometimes. Whats with that? Height corrector?

  22. #47
    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    Spheres changed and ride is now better than ever. Much softer in the rear on the down stroke of bumps and undulations.

    Was fairly easy in the end. Lost about 300ml of LHM all up. I noticed that some of the lhm that came from the rear centre sphere was and orange brown colour. The LHM in the others was green as is the LHM in the reservoir. next on the list is a flush out and a cleaning of the height correctors.

    Thanks again for all the advice on these subjects.


    Ive got leaking coolent hoses now going to the turbo. Ive ordered the same hoses Ken has mentioned (thanks Ken) and will be fitting these when they arrive tomorrow!

  23. #48
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    Usual way to flush old LHM is to remove the tank and empty it, but this does increase the chance of cracking brittle rubber hoses. You will find there is a very fine strainer inside the LHM tank which will need careful washing (petrol is fine) to get the collected muck off. There will be some sludge in the bottom of the tank as well.

    Naturally there will be old fluid in all the lines after you've put lovely new fluid in the tank - most of this will be returned to the tank while the car is running. It's a bit like an auto transmission, except that the proportion of fluid that can't be drained, and is then blended with the new fluid is much lower, so there's no real need to do a second flush soon after the first.

    However fluid in the brake lines is never returned, so I would recommend bleeding the brakes after you've put the new fluid in the tank. It's very easy, as you don't have to pump the brake pedal. If you crack open a bleed valve and put your foot on the brake pedal, fluid will flow as long as there is pressure in the system. In fact, once the old discoloured fluid has gone, you can run a long tube from the bleed nipple back to the reservoir and bleed/flush the brake circuits to your heart's content!

    Sounds like the fluid that leaked out from the rear centre sphere must also be from a non-returning "circuit". I can't think of another reason for it being a different colour.

    The rear staying up may well be muck in the rear height corrector. They do accumulate sludge (presumably less so if the LHM tank and filters are serviced regularly), but are made to be dismantled and cleaned. However it is certainly possible to cause damage when doing so - suggest getting good clear instructions before proceeding .

    It is also possible for height correctors to get out of adjustment. They get their information on current height from a little lever attached to a clamp on the appropriate ARB. This clamp can slip, causing the height corrector for that end of the car to keep the level too high (or low). WARNING - don't touch anything to do with hydraulics - especially height correctors - without having car supported!

    Even if your Spanish is no good, this video clip is quite helpful - it illustrates depressurising system before starting on cleaning out tank. Did you depressurise before changing spheres? If so you already know not to screw the bolt on the regulator right out - just open until you hear the sound of escaping fluid... The video also illustrates some nice dirty filters. It seems to give more detail on reinstalling the tank than to initial removing - so if you want to know how to remove the tank, play the end of the clip backwards!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoRnZsrHSGE

    Cheers

    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 8th November 2017 at 09:22 PM.

  24. #49
    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    My new Xantia CT-img_4659.jpgMy new Xantia CT-img_4655.jpgLooks fairly straight forward. Patients and gentle as she goes looks the case.

    Elbows have arrived for the coolent hoses to the turbo.

    A couple of snaps.

  25. #50
    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up. Ive had a look over a few rebuilds of the height correctors online and concur they need to be treated with care and good methodology.

    Yes, depressurised the system by lowering the car to low with the door open and engine running for a minute. Switched off engine and used the 12mm to undo the valve roughghly 1/4 turn. All the shperes except the above pictured was easy to remove.

    The difference in the ride is actually remarkable after having driven across town. Do they tend to have a rather 'rattly' ride over harsh bumps yet feel smooth in motion. Ie the wheel/suspension moving more than conventional suspension allowing the body/chassis of the car more level/flat?

    Its such a difference riding in other cars now. There all jittery.
    Last edited by cam85; 8th November 2017 at 06:01 PM.
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