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Thread: Xantia survival

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    Fellow Frogger! IE23's Avatar
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    Default Xantia survival

    Determined not to allow a small failed part cause early termination of my beloved Xantia, I set on a mission to find the solution.

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    The plastic expansion tank was leaking and using the two pack glue Rapid Fix didnít work as it had so confidently promised on YouTube.
    Having searched the globe for a replacement part, including being given false hope by Reagan Motors that they could order one from France only to be told many weeks later that the part no longer existed and their records needed to be updated, I was left with having one made.

    The aluminium tank works and looks nice. The one exception is the low level indicator could not be fitted. A small inconvenience compared to the alternative of trashing the car in my opinion.


    99B9B903-59FC-47C2-AF6D-1D13518EEE75.jpeg
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    Adrian

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! IE23's Avatar
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    Adrian

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    Well done , looks good. Wouldn't be hard to fit a level sensor either. I love my Xantia v6 too. Enough to tolerate a few problems. (Cam box oil leak and going into limp mode occasionally )

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    What a great solution! Are you willing to share what it cost? I have just recently re-commissioned the first of 2 V6 Exclusives I purchased a few months back, and I'm acutely aware of the issue of expansion tank failures, mainly (exclusively - no pun intended) on the V6. I suspect that its location just above the exhaust manifold contributes to the problem. Interestingly, V6-engined 406s have their expansion tank on the inner RH guard, in a position similar to 4 cyl Xantias. I'm told by Lewin Partridge that he has not heard of a 406 V6 expansion tank failure. I'm wondering if a 4 cyl Xantia exp tank can be successfully retro-fitted in the 4 cyl position on the V6, away from the heat, or whether a 406 V6 tank could be fitted in the 4 cyl position. I've owned two 4 cyl Xantias for over 15 years (a wagon and a CT Turbo) without any exp tank problems, but I'm led to they are inevitable on the V6. Hence I"m watching mine VERY carefully and often.

    On the subject of V6 Xantias, I wonder how many are out there among AF-ers. IMHO the Xantia is one of the most underrated Citroens on the road, and the V6 is simply superb and sublime. I'd even be interested in a V6 Xantia thread. The one i've just put back on the road is a UK import with just over 70k miles on the clock. After being off the road for nearly 2 years, we did the timing belt (service history unknown) plus a full service including hydraulics. It has a few goodies we didn't get here on Aussie spec versions like split-fold rear seat with headrests, ski port and centre armrest, heated front seats and headlight washers. The other one i have is Aussie spec.

    Long live Xantias!!
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    JBN
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    I have had cooling problems and coolant leaking in my 4 cylinder Xantia. I decided to replace the radiator. Got a new one for $300 but found out afterwards it is for a manual, not auto like mine. Gave it to Denton in exchange for a second hand one. Now it seems that the thermostat is cactus so I will replace that. The heater bits fell to pieces a while ago and now a 20mm copper water pipe bypasses the heater.

    I expect after I replace the thermostat I will be looking at an expansion tank replacement. My wife is looking for a Xantia replacement. If the Xantia doesn't behave soon, there may be a mutual spouse replacement. The French may be great lovers but once their cars are fornicated it can lead to serious deterioration of conjugal relationships.

    John

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    I have a love/hate relationship with thermostats - have had a couple fail in the closed position (not on french vehicles I hasten to add), leading to significant expense in both cases. Makes me wonder why (afaik) they are not listed as a service item like a timing belt, to be replaced at regular intervals - I would suggest 100,000km as a starting point.

    Several years ago, when I replaced the thermostat in our family's Xantia wagon, I decided to have a bob each way and drill a (small) hole in the thermostat, thus hopefully buying a bit more time in the event of failure. It was only this winter, when it had come back to me after a long deployment in Canberra, that I realised that my little modification had completely stuffed the heater on frosty mornings - took ages for the engine to warm up enough to get the heater working, and even then it would stop working again every time the road dipped through a cold valley.

    So I do recommend using an unmodified thermostat, but plan on changing it every 100,000km or (say) 5 years. They are not usually expensive or hard to replace, and like timing belts, repair costs when they break can be out of proportion to the money saved by not changing the old one.

    BTW - expansion tanks have been the least of my problems with Xantias, but I haven't owned a V6.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Fellow Frogger! IE23's Avatar
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    I wasn’t sure what pressure rating the cap should be so I guessed it at 13/90 psi/kpa. But after some test driving yesterday I saw the cap was releasing coolant at high running temperature. So with some small amount of research I believe the original cap is rated at 20/140. I plan to get a 20 psi cap tomorrow.

    I wonder how I could adapt the low level indicator?


    Adrian

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    Armadillo, that's quite strange. I've never replaced a failed thermostat on a car (although I've obviously seen them replaced) - but for you to have a number of them fail, that's pretty bad luck!

    I seem to remember some thermostats in the old days having a hole in the flange as standard with a small valve made from a brass ball, I think, for some kind of bypass possibly to make it heat up properly. Not sure though of the purpose and I can't remember which way the 'valve' allowed flow. The hole was only about 3-4mm.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey View Post
    Armadillo, that's quite strange. I've never replaced a failed thermostat on a car (although I've obviously seen them replaced) - but for you to have a number of them fail, that's pretty bad luck!

    I seem to remember some thermostats in the old days having a hole in the flange as standard with a small valve made from a brass ball, I think, for some kind of bypass possibly to make it heat up properly. Not sure though of the purpose and I can't remember which way the 'valve' allowed flow. The hole was only about 3-4mm.
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  10. #10
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    PSA radiator caps usually have a colour marked on them to indicate the pressure. I'd think the Xantia V6 would be Purple 1.4Bar, but you can check in the parts list. There are different level sensors and the fitting on the tank was changed sometime around the time the C5 arrived. They vary in length. It shouldn't be hard to machine a small cylinder to accept the sensor and have it welded on to the top of the tank.

    A hole in the thermostat is there to help with air-bleeding when the thermostat is cold and closed. Essential on many systems. Many also have a jiggle pin. Most of the later Citroens officially require a filling cylinder on the reservoir to bleed the cooling system. You let it warm up and run until the cooling fans have cut in and out a couple of times telling you the thermostat has well and truly been open.

    A Jag V12 has two thermostats. Both need a hole for proper bleeding. One can fail and since the temp sensor is only on one bank, you may not know until the second one fails. Then you call the tow truck.

    On an ES9 24V V6 (406, Xantia, XM, C5 etc), the thermostat has a cylinder that moves within a steel backed rubber seal in the housing. If you don't maintain the cooling system, the steel backing ring swells and jams the thermostat.

    The radiator end tanks for most of the Xantias are shared with the PRV XM, but auto and manual differ as the manual lacks the cooler auto connections. With care, you can unpick the little fingers to remove an end tank and then refit it. There's a rubber seal, but add some sealant too. 4 cylinder Xantia and XM V6 cores differ only because the XM is a little wider. Just be aware there are some options for mix and match if you get stuck for a radiator.

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    JBN
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    I just replaced the Xantia thermostat with a new one. Cost about $20 plus a small Express Post satchel to ensure delivery before the weekend. I did put the new one into boiling hot water and couldn't figure how it worked. Anyway, its in the car, both plastic hand tightened bleed valve and 6mm internal hex cylinder head screws bled.

    The car has me wondering as the temperature gauge gets up to 90C at which time the thermostat must open and then drops down to about 80C and stays there. Since I am running the aircon, both fans are on. I don't know what the temperature gauge did originally as I don't look at gauges (other than the fuel gauge) in the normal course of events. Now at Christmas time, I look at the speedo since they have the two-for-the-price-of-one special running over the holiday period.

    I do have this dreaded feeling that the Xantia is on its way out. My wife who's car it is reckons its between dead and being buried. I look at second hand Toyota Camrys and get that Oh What a Feeling message.

    John

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    Your temperature gauge operation sounds completely normal to me - exactly what mine does.

    "Oh What a Feeling" you will have if you compare the ride of the Xantia to the Camry ;-)

    I'm hoping both my Xantias will live for quite some time yet.

    Kim
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    I do have this dreaded feeling that the Xantia is on its way out. My wife who's car it is reckons its between dead and being buried. I look at second hand Toyota Camrys and get that Oh What a Feeling message. John
    Hmm. I might sound a bit like a broken record, but we've found Series II Renault Scenics to be fair Xantia replacements. Cheap, reliable, huge carrying capacity and super-easy to get in and out of. Ride is reasonable, not remotely up to a Xantia, but way ahead of Jap stuff I've experienced.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hoffmann View Post
    I'm told by Lewin Partridge that he has not heard of a 406 V6 expansion tank failure.

    Long live Xantias!!
    Yeah, right. I don't know of any that haven't failed.

    Mine had a leak that was nearly impossible to find. It split a seam underneath. The leak was so small that the coolant did not even run down the guard, but evaporated, so there was no snail trail.

    A pressure test did not find it because it was so small, or maybe did not have any or enough coolant in it. In the end I took it off on suspicion, and had to eyeball the underneath. Managed to find a good replacement.

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    JBN
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    Today the Xantia bit me on the bum again (or should I say pee'd on my leg?). My wife and I sell Kids With Cancer car raffle tickets and we had the desk loaded into the Xantia. Half way to the shopping centre, the water temperature gauge hit 110c, the little light came on. I was between a rock and a hard place so I continued to the shopping centre. Then the oil temperature started to move very close to 150c. Then the big warning light started to play the Last Post. I parked the car as the engine made some horrible death rattles.

    The drive back was uneventful, mainly because the car was on a flatbed. I said Happy New Year to the towie as I gave him $250. I seem to have the Casanova touch at the moment as every thing I touch I fluck. I did ask the towie how much to flatbed the car from southern suburbs of Sydney to the northern suburbs of Sydney and he said $350. I am seriously thinking of getting Jason to sort it as I am at my wits end. Fortunately my wife plays "double or nothing" and lam blasts me every time there are problems with the Xantia (her car).

    Thank God this is the last day of 2018. Tomorrow is 2019, 50 years since I was in Vietnam. In those days at least you could take out your angst by firing a magazine of M16 ammo into a rubber tree. Much nicer seeing white sap come out of a rubber tree than green coolant out of a Xantia.

    John
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    Bad luck John. Let it cool down, check the fluid levels and that they've not mixed and see if it will start. Turn on the AC and see if the fans run and then if they will cut in as expected once it warms up a little. Maybe, it's simply a bad fan relay or Bitron controller? There are three relays on the front of the rad support and the sockets can be well cooked over time. Or the thermostat, which you could remove as a temporary fix?

    Re the towing, basic NRMA costs about $100/year. I wanted to tow a car under 5km recently and called the NRMA to ask their preferred local towie. They quoted me about $250. I ended up having it done by ABAL towing a local company I'd used before for $110. Did a great job. However, there are now casual services you can book on demand such as https://www.gotu.com.au/, including 10km towing for $95. I didn't end up using them for my towing job, but it's possibly worth keeping in mind.

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Bad luck John. Hope David S's advice works.....
    JohnW

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    JBN
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    I stopped being an NRMA member about 20 years ago, so I still have money for the odd tow. Looks like the used radiator I recently put in is leaking from the plastic header. Not being able to source new radiators means it is always a bit of luck picking a suitable used one dating from the mid 90's.

    I had advised my wife to always leave the aircon on as that keeps the fans running. However, the useless LED lights in the dash switches can only be seen on a pitch black night with 20/20 vision. The BX had a far better system where the button stayed pushed in so one could feel the status of the switch. Before that the toggle switches were even better. The CX was even better in that they had a row of warning lights along the top of the instrument panel easily seen under all light conditions, with all switches and door openers easily identified and operated by a blind man on a pitch black night. Progress!

    John

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    A new radiator is probably the best option, but if you can't find one easily, perhaps you can change an end tank? I did this 10 years ago with one end tank, adding some quality gasket sealant and it's held up OK since. Which end tank do you need? I salvaged some from a couple of old Xantia radiators I binned some months ago. I think they were all from manuals as the RHS tanks don't have the extra pipe for the cooler, although it may be possible to add one with care. I do have the RHS from a scrapped new radiator if that's the one you need. The tanks with the top elbow tend to leak at the elbow. I'm happy to post any of these to you on Wednesday if it would help.

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    I have imported a radiator from the UK for my Activa which worked out quite economically and the unit is OK. The prices for radiators and condensers in the UK is quite cheap so when you add shipping it doesn't end up too bad.

    Cheers, Ken

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    Hi John,Jason got a new radiator for my activa last year;don't know where from,Andy.

  22. #22
    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by alhantos View Post
    Hi John,Jason got a new radiator for my activa last year;don't know where from,Andy.
    Your Activa is manual. I did own for a short time a new manual radiator. Gave it to Denton in exchange for a second hand automatic radiator. Since most Xantias sold in Australia were automatics, I can imagine stocks for a 1994 car to disappear. Since most Xantias in Europe were manuals, it may be very hard to procure a new Xantia automatic radiator. I have only tried EAI and Dapco (took their last one).

    Anyhow, the car is parked on the street in such a way that their is room for a flatbed to pick it up. On this hot first day of 2019, I thought it would be great if the Xantia was air-cooled rather than liquid cooled. I picked up a brick and was about to throw it into the windscreen but realized just in time that this wouldn't produce the desired result, even if it pandered to my current feelings.

    John

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    You would of course have flow-through cooling so think again.

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    JBN
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    The Xantia has been replaced by a 2000 Toyota Camry which has an all metal radiator, no plastic headers. Odometer reading 88,525 km. Paid $3800.00 cash. Everything works except the cassette player/radio. I'll take the CD player from the Xantia and see if it fits. I only use CDs for music as they are easy to operate by touch whilst looking where I am going. The music is an assortment of good driving tunes. Often the same CD is in the car for months at end.

    A sad end, but a car is only of use if reliable. It's the wife's car anyhow. The 2CVs are my passion.

    John

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    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    Sorry it hear it, John, but hopefully you can both now enjoy a period of trouble-free motoring.
    Bruce H

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