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Thread: Xantia rescue

  1. #1
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    Default Xantia rescue

    Ok well it's loaded! It's a green Activa, and it's at Coonamble.Now I've got a 6 hr drive home again.

    The car was garyk's, but I doubt he'd want it back - apart from what I assume are a few new cosmetic issues, including peeling clear coat on bonnet and bumpers, it has a blown head gasket (no compression at all).

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    Sorry no pix until I get home to my computer...

    Cheers
    Alec

  2. #2
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    Default A grand day out!

    900km, 141/2 hr day, and I'm stuffed - too old for that sort of lark! Found myself driving slower and stopping more often as I tired. At the moment I could probably send all my vehicles to the crusher and just use taxis/air flights/hire cars, but I'll be better tomorrow!

    I sent my wife (who is away ATM) the first picture under the above heading. She replied "Day out where - the car wash?"





    IMG_6307.JPG IMG_6306.JPG


    All you can really tell from those photos is:

    a) It's green
    b) It's dirty
    c) It's not registered - a shame as the XAN 11A number plates have been handed in

    There were small oil patches on the concrete where it had been sitting (despite being assured that there were no oil drips), but the rear Activa ram looks completely dry. Fingers crossed re. the front ram (haven't had a chance to look yet).

    The starter motor spins the engine freely - so no compression. If it had a broken timing belt, would the 8-valve engine spin freely, or would the open valves slow the starter? I'm thinking broken belt is probably more likely than blown head gasket...

    Oh and there's a 12v fan heater in the boot - speaks volumes about the heater .

    Cheers

    Alec
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  3. #3
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    Gary Kurzer passed away last year

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    Sad to hear. We just started hanging out and was womdwring where he had gone. Rip.

    Enjoy the car! I used to see it on my way to work in Bondi for years.

    Cam
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    Yes very sorry to hear of Gary passing. I chatted with him a couple of times on the phone and he was very pasionate about the marque.

    a link to an article he wrote:

    https://driventowrite.com/2018/02/24...ood-as-it-was/


    You didn't drive that far with a snapped belt. Were Guiness book of records officials present?
    Whats the oil and coolant look like and is it blowing fumes like a car with a head gasket problem or valves and rings? It only had a 160K? on it so it must have been thrashed somewhere.
    Last edited by forumnoreason; 23rd April 2019 at 10:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by myourd View Post
    Gary Kurzer passed away last year
    Really sorry to hear that - I had no idea! I knew he hadn't posted for awhile, but assumed that he was just taking a break from AF. I also had talked to him on the phone - actually considered buying the green Activa back in 2015 - and had also experienced his passion for his beloved Citroens.

    Regards

    Alec

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    No I didn't drive it far - a friend of the owner was on hand to help push it out of the carport, and sit at the wheel and steer while I winched (maybe I should have spent the extra on an electric winch - it was hot work!). Fortunately the anti-sink valves are working.

    IMG_20190422_140352.jpg

    On the way home the trailer wheels hit a dead roo (tow vehicle seems to have escaped), and I might have to pressure wash the driver's side of trailer and car before I can tell you anything more (we need a smiley for a very bad pong!!!).

    In any case, I won't be doing much on it for the time being - all the parts for my XM have now arrived, and I need to get it back together and out of the garage.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Smell has dissipated overnight...

    Looks like I have my answer re. engine - there are (mostly empty) coolant bottles in the boot! Radiator cap is non-genuine, & there's no sign of moisture of any kind in the coolant bottle! No mayonnaise under filler cap, and the oil on dipstick seems to be just oil, but level is way over-full. BTW engine does not start - seems to have zero compression.

    So an ongoing cooling system problem, which came to a logical conclusion. Timing belt may be OK. The depressing thing is that the owner (who is away, so haven't met him) told me that the car had been given a clean bill of health by local mechanic not long before it failed to proceed. Now I accept that he is not mechanically minded, and probably telling me what he believes to be the truth, but that implies his local mechanic is incompetent at best (but probably just not interested), as the car must have had cooling problems. I'm guessing that one or both radiator fans have failed.

    I also noted before trying to start it that the fuel gauge didn't move, and a large box of fuses came with the car - draw your own conclusions.

    Original books in the proper place - Gary owned it from new (1998). Service stamps up to c. 90,000km, no indication that timing belt has ever been changed.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Jeez!! The XM & now an Activa!!!..You are My hero!..Really pleased that you have taken them on. The Activa is too scary for most people (including myself), so it's great that it has been saved.
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    Yeah - I'm starting to think it's too scary for me too... I loved my Series I Turbo CT - how much worse can an Activa be?

    Re. timing belt - have now spotted white writing on the timing belt cover "04/10 128 K's", so with car having now travelled 168,500, timing belt has only done 40,000 km, but is 9 years old. Obviously if head is coming off, a new timing belt will be fitted.

    Have tried spinning engine over for an extended period to see if hydraulics might get pressure up - no luck, but hydractive rams reacted - car lifted a bit on driver's side, then settled back again.

    Am really very pleased with the paint - even the roof is good, so I will have to find a way of keeping it under cover. Just a shame there is a patch of clear coat peeling on the bonnet. Panels are very good - except passenger side front, where it looks as if something has backed into it (eg corner of a ute tray). Mirror, door and wing have all suffered damage (wing damage is slight). Given that I am unlikely to be aiming for "show & shine" condition I will probably learn to ignore it until a more major repair/respray is needed.

    IMG_6316.JPG

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    Have you had a compression tester on it to check and its Zero across the engine? Seems likely to be a timing belt.

    You would also hear the belt slapping around if its snapped. It may have slipped?

    Cam
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    Alec, is there a chance the spark plugs were taken out for a compression test and not replaced? I know you'd probably notice the huff and chuff, but...


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

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    Quote Originally Posted by cam85 View Post
    Have you had a compression tester on it to check and its Zero across the engine? Seems likely to be a timing belt.

    You would also hear the belt slapping around if its snapped. It may have slipped?

    Cam


    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey View Post
    Alec, is there a chance the spark plugs were taken out for a compression test and not replaced? I know you'd probably notice the huff and chuff, but...
    Nag, nag nag... All right already - I've been out in the dark and the cold (car is still on trailer, as I'm planning to put it in a storage shed some distance from home - can't keep it under cover here), and checked compression.

    No the spark plugs hadn't been left out, but it wouldn't have made any difference ...

    Compression test results:

    Cylinder 1 (nearest to timing belt) - 0 (choose your own units - psi, kPa, N/M2 - I don't care)
    Cylinder 2 - 0
    Cylinder 3 - 0
    Cylinder 4 - 0

    and just to prove that my compression tester is working (& that I know how to use it):

    Randomly chosen cylinder of the V6 in my XM - 185 psi! So the results are genuine.

    I haven't removed timing belt cover or the tappet cover, which are the only ways that I know of telling for certain whether the timing belt's broken, so here are my observations:

    1. Zero compression on all cylinders - this was evident as soon as I first turned the engine over - the sound was just wrong!

    2. Cooling system has been using coolant in significant quantities - empty 4 lt containers in boot, plus radiator header tank empty.

    3. Engine oil level very high - just overfilled, or foreign fluids in sump?

    4. Spark plugs not crusted up (as might be expected if burning oil), but none looking as clean as I would expect if water had been introduced into at least some cylinders.

    Is it possible for the cam shaft to stop at a point when there is at least one valve open in all cylinders? If so, then my guess is as follows:

    Maybe when timing belt was replaced in 2010, the idlers, adjuster and water pump were not done. So water pump started leaking, and either it or one of the pulleys eventually stopped rotating, causing the timing belt to break. However, I'm blowed if I can hear anything that might be a timing belt flapping around, nor any evidence of pistons hitting valves. Also this scenario doesn't explain the overfilled sump.

    If this was a Pug 307 diesel, I'd be whipping off the tappet cover in the expectation of finding broken rocker arms, but AFAIK this doesn't happen with petrol engines...

    Cheers

    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 23rd April 2019 at 10:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey View Post
    Alec, is there a chance the spark plugs were taken out for a compression test and not replaced? I know you'd probably notice the huff and chuff, but...
    Having only been told that it wasn't running, and it might be head gasket, I was mentally running through various possibilities on the drive out - all of which involved me miraculously diagnosing (& fixing) the problem. I was hoping it might be one of the issues that I was confident I could fix simply by swapping components (most of which have happened to me):

    * Coil
    * Fuel pump
    * Ignition module
    * Blocked fuel filter or injectors
    * Blocked cat/exhaust
    * Starter
    * ECU (unlikely of course)
    * A fuse!

    Naturally it was none of the above!

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    if you can turn the crank pulley by hand then belt no good!
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    zero psi compression across all cylinders .... How is that even possible. You would think at least one cylinder would have surviving valves so show compression ..... even if the belt broke

    It will be interesting to see what you find when you whip the head off .....

    seeya
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    Hi Alex
    THanks for the story, sorry the end was not a magic fix with a loose wire or ?
    Perhaps now is the time to go to the obvious guess and look at the timing belt. Remove the top cover screws or whatever and if necessary lever back the cover so the belt/pulley can be seen. Get someone to crank the engine and see if the cam belt/pulley is turning. Probably NO. Then you need to look more fully at the belt, pulleys, tensioner etc. I have seen some belts that have been softened by oil leaks and the belt teeth at the crank pulley were stripped when it was cranked to start one time, usually for a hot start. Thus no cam etc rotation. At a quick look it seemed OK except for the oil.
    Possibly the motor has had a previous problem, or two. An oil leak and/or a coolant leak. But it sounds like there is coolant in the sump. Possibly a head gasket, but possibly not related to the lack of compression. Anything is possible with cars !!
    Good luck, but my advice is do not pull the head off until you know what are all the problems. That way you can fix them all in one go instead of two sessions.
    Jaahn
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  18. #18
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi Alex
    THanks for the story, sorry the end was not a magic fix with a loose wire or ?
    Perhaps now is the time to go to the obvious guess and look at the timing belt. Remove the top cover screws or whatever and if necessary lever back the cover so the belt/pulley can be seen. Get someone to crank the engine and see if the cam belt/pulley is turning. Probably NO. Then you need to look more fully at the belt, pulleys, tensioner etc. I have seen some belts that have been softened by oil leaks and the belt teeth at the crank pulley were stripped when it was cranked to start one time, usually for a hot start. Thus no cam etc rotation. At a quick look it seemed OK except for the oil.
    Possibly the motor has had a previous problem, or two. An oil leak and/or a coolant leak. But it sounds like there is coolant in the sump. Possibly a head gasket, but possibly not related to the lack of compression. Anything is possible with cars !!
    Good luck, but my advice is do not pull the head off until you know what are all the problems. That way you can fix them all in one go instead of two sessions.
    Jaahn
    You can fix no compression .... 0 psi across all pots without lifting the head ...... I'd be itching to lift it off just so I could see what has happened

    I'm imagining holes in the pistons or even valve bent ... and open

    seeya
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    You can fix no compression .... 0 psi across all pots without lifting the head ...... I'd be itching to lift it off just so I could see what has happened
    I'm imagining holes in the pistons or even valve bent ... and open
    seeya
    Shane L.
    Hi Shane
    Yes you can fix some of the diesels without lifting the head I am told, on here even. So a complete waste of time and effort to be driven by "itching to lift it off" and have to do the extra work and spend the extra money too Do not let your imagination run away with you, just stick to logical testing.
    jaahn

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    the covers require you to undo and remove rhe top right engine mount, to drag them off and out, so jack up the engine for support, if you have a Haynes around handy for steps, I watched some youtube vids and had a look at French Forum in UK for tips, those guys are good and some from here chimed in on that site for suggestions, the crank pulley has a habit of twisting on its axis and rubber casues outside section to rotate badly so the timing hole will be useless as reference so MARK everything as you go, just for a start point, but don't rely at all on the pulley. A 205 solid metal pulley is recommended as an alternative. I picked one up form the spares guys in Melbourne/Sydney, pug and cit guys (whats their name?) There should be a timing hole in the flywheel to use which requires removal of starter and then a hole in crank case to put a pin through, I couldn't find one on the CT when I did mine and just relied on the marks I made intially, the timing does not rely on TDC I recall ( anyone back that up?) Ken in QLD gave me some tips... Take a photo of the belt if still intact so you can replace as it looks obvious until you're actually hanging over it and forget which way it snakes around! Especially on the auxilliary belt, I got that arse up till I looked at a correct image that I think Ken added here for a BX no less.


    heres the page where I rant,

    quick Xantia questionv

    photo supplied by Ken VERY useful but I guess check what motor is yours firts and study what you're looking at. New pump, correct belts and tensioners need to correspond obviously.

    keep you busy for awhile?
    Last edited by forumnoreason; 24th April 2019 at 10:51 PM.

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    Thanks for that - you're right, it will keep me busy for a while! Once I've removed everything that's in the way of the timing belt (& presumably the head), then rather like you, I'll probably find there's all sorts of other jobs that can be done while I've got access!

    But that won't happen for a while - first I've got to get last year's tax in (for both me and my wife) and get the XM back on the road (after what is really only a service - but there's a significant learning curve). Anyway, first job is to clean the shed the Xantia's going into - it's been used for hay, and needs a major sweep out before I put a car in there. DC will have to wait to find out what is wrong with this engine!

    Overall this car doesn't seem to have been molested much - there's a remarkably high proportion of original hose clamps still in place, and the only modification is the non-factory cruise control. However I fear that this might also mean that it's been run into the ground - would have been nice to have a bit more of a service record than just a few stamps in the book, and some cryptic white lettering on the timing cover!

    Cheers

    Alec

  22. #22
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    theres a possibility that when they did the belt they overlooked the pulley issue and whoompa caused bigger problems? I guess you'll discover soon enough.

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    I'd have to assume that the belt was done correctly in 2010 while Gary owned it - he had by then been driving it for 12 years, and would surely have complained if the timing was out after the belt was replaced.

    Pretty sure the engine went pear shaped after he sold it. BTW - here's his last ad for this car in June 2016:

    Xantia activa 1998

    and an earlier discussion, in which he admits that Activa rams started leaking, and were fitted with new 'boots':

    Xantia Activa

    His 2nd try at selling it in Dec 2015:

    Xantia activa 1998

    and the original ad (with photos) from May 2015

    XANTIA ACTIVA 1998 for sale

    No sign of the roof racks now of course. Looks like the painted skin on the passenger side mirror was already missing, and some of the bumper marks were already evident. He described the interior as 'virtually perfect' - there are now holes in the carpet on the driver's side (no mats) and I suspect the brake button boot has leaked, as the foam under the carpet felt oily (through the holes).

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Default One step at a time

    Have unloaded the green machine at it's new home, and given it a quick wash.


    Slow and steady - pretty scary rolling backwards down the trailer with no foot brake! Had to climb in and out through the boot or the window, as the sides of the trailer are too high!




    Shed prepared - yesterday the floor was covered with straw (from storing hay in the shed). The Xantia will be parked beside it's bigger cousin - a 605 - also green (and also not running).



    Finishing the unload.



    Damage report - it came like this - I haven't put a scratch on it (yet ).



    So much for Gary's fancy roof racks! Grrr.



    Decided the sooner I investigated the hydraulics the better - so pumped the LHM out of the tank. It's definitely LHM, and actually pretty clean - much less sediment than the XM tank contained. The stuff floating on it did not come out of the tank.



    Quick wash before putting in the shed. As long as you don't look too closely it's a fine looking machine!




    Cheers

    Alec



    IMG_6312.JPGIMG_6350.JPGIMG_6355.JPGIMG_6356.JPGIMG_6361.JPGIMG_6365.JPGGreen machine.jpg
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    Supposedly this car had no oil leaks, but left an LHM puddle on my trailer (roughly below the timing cover).

    Was hoping for two good Activa rams - rear is dry, but front one is wet (but not dripping).

    Driver's side carpet has holes, and is wet with LHM. No idea whether brake switch boot has been replaced already, so it'll have to go on the list.

    Passenger side front carpet doesn't fit - got a feeling that is a general problem...

    Sunroof is genuine, and doesn't seem to leak, but is very lopsided when closed.

    Passenger side front strut boot has dropped - not at all impressed with the strut top - at least it's the new type, so the bonnet is safe!

    This car is not going to be back on the road in a hurry!

    Cheers

    Alec

    Edit - actually sunroof does leak - at the corner that stays higher when it's closed.
    Last edited by Armidillo; 27th April 2019 at 08:12 PM.

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