Citroen XM 3l series 1 advice needed
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Citroen XM 3l series 1 advice needed

    I have enjoyed ownership of most model Citroen except the XM. Can anyone at Aussiefrogs talk me out of owning a Citroen XM auto, series one 3l?! Electrics do not concern me, nor does anything hydraulic -but the auto gearbox frightens me somewhat, as do the rumours of 'cracked' exhaust manifolds (an engine out job!?). Would appreciate some advice. Thanks in advance, Chris (self confessed Citroholic)

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  2. #2
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by citinorbit View Post
    I have enjoyed ownership of most model Citroen except the XM. Can anyone at Aussiefrogs talk me out of owning a Citroen XM auto, series one 3l?! Electrics do not concern me, nor does anything hydraulic -but the auto gearbox frightens me somewhat, as do the rumours of 'cracked' exhaust manifolds (an engine out job!?). Would appreciate some advice. Thanks in advance, Chris (self confessed Citroholic)
    A ZFHP18 will be OK for many thousands of km, if it has been run on Dexron II, not Dex 3. Dex II is also known as Transmax M. The fluid must be changed regularly. Dip the stick, if the oil is black seriously consider walking away very fast. If red then you may be OK.

    If the electrics are functioning now then they have obviously been sorted out long ago.

    You can get the exhaust manifolds out without taking the engine out. But you have to take the cylinder heads off in situ.....

    I have no recollection of hearing stories of cracked manifolds.

    If you want another classic Citroen to try as a hobby and not rely on the car as your one and only essential car, you will love an XM. You just have to live with the foibles of a now 20 year old quite technical for its time car and the impacts of age and wear since manufacture. It is a supremely comfortable touring vehicle.

    Someone else will get on here and blather on with derogatory terms about automatic gearboxes. Ignore him.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  3. #3
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Find yourself a nice CX GTi Turbo ..... I reckon you'll enjoy it more and use less petrol at the same time ..... and have about 5times the performance, better steering, better brakes, better handling, better ride comfort, better reliability, great headlights (the XM's are great ... if you compare them with a pedal powered generator light on an old pushbike) and seats that are far more comfortable to sit in for any length of time. But hey that's only my opinion

    You can't enjoy and old Citroen unless it roasts the sh!t out of you on a hot day, has terrible ventilation, smells, has bugger all space inside it (for a big car) and your wife hates it. Your wife might like the XM so that rules it out right away

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    PS: Seriously the issues with Aussies XM's are well documented, if there's no sign of head gasket issues, the slugomatic is currently working and the (very expensive) strut mounts aren't about to pop through the bonnet, your probably going to be ok...... Oh yeah, make sure all of it's windows work, the winder mechanism are frail sh!t and hidiously expensive to replace!
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! Amopallas's Avatar
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    Listen to what Shane says. He has many tales of woe and frustration with his XM. Then again if you buy it,don't say you have not been warned.
    1975 Citroen DS 23 Pallas

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! XM Mechanic's Avatar
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    Hi Citinorbit,

    From what you have said in your post I am sure XM ownership will be just fine for you.

    UFO has made some valid points in his post. I also have not heard of the exhaust manifolds cracking either. Ours has done 350,000 kms. We have replaced the head gaskets at about 345,000 kms. The exhaust manifolds looked just fine. I regularly change the transmission oil probably every 30,000 kms.

    Just for the record Jinny and I looked at what is now Shanes XM and decided against its ownership for various reasons.

    I am not saying it will be trouble free for you but if you are able to work on the things you say then you will be able to fix it up should it break.

    By the way Shane is right about one thing and that is that the headlights are woeful. I shortly may embark on a project to install xenon globes to see if they are any better.

    Shane would have everyone in Australia driving a CX GTi if he could.
    Regards,

    Garth.


    Fixin' Cit's.

    '19 308 GTi
    '15 DS 5
    '74 GS Convertisseur

    In the family
    '51 Traction
    '08 C5 X7 V6

    Previous ownership
    '95 XM V6 Series 2
    '96 306 XTDT

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    great headlights (the XM's are great ... if you compare them with a pedal powered generator light on an old pushbike)
    a quality rant... reminds me of Sir Jeremy Clarkson

    Is this going to turn into CX thread?
    C5 Touring 2008, CX 2400ie Prestige '81 (with dead gerbox), CX 2400 Pallas C-Matic '80, CX2400 Super Familiale C-Matic '79 (to be scrapped very soon) , CX2400i Familiale 5-spd (to be scrapped), GS 1220 Wagon '78 (next project), ID19 '64
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Hey Kimmo, that's a nice joke but Shane is nothing like Clarkson.
    Shane is intelligent for one thing, and Clarkson is a dingbat. ( regardless of the fact that he likes the CX)

    Cheers....George

  8. #8
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XM Mechanic View Post
    Hi Citinorbit,


    Shane would have everyone in Australia driving a CX GTi if he could.
    But, but, but ..... He's in New Zealand.... They get all the desirable cars for next to nothing I'm sure he could even find a 24valve XM or 2.5TD if he looks hard enough!

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! XM Mechanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    But, but, but ..... He's in New Zealand....
    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Your not going to make them all drive CX GTi's as well?
    Regards,

    Garth.


    Fixin' Cit's.

    '19 308 GTi
    '15 DS 5
    '74 GS Convertisseur

    In the family
    '51 Traction
    '08 C5 X7 V6

    Previous ownership
    '95 XM V6 Series 2
    '96 306 XTDT

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger
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    I have a 94 XM II V6 12 Valve and it's essentially the same car under the skin. It's a better design than the CX in many ways, but a very different car. My XM had a few problems left by the PO when I acquired it (AC compressor, window reg, radiator, engine mounts, various suspension issues, paint and usual wear and tear items etc..), but I spent some time and money on it initially and it's been essentially trouble free and reliable for over 3 years. The 4HP18 gearbox is not a big worry at all, but the front strut tops need to be checked regularly and replaced if they are tearing or sagging a lot. If I was buying one again, I'd probably look for a post-1996 24 Valve, but it's not quite as DIY-friendly, the 4HP20 gearbox can be a little less robust than the 4HP18 and you have a timing belt to change, which is an expensive job.

    They all drive a little differently in my experience, so drive a few and buy one you think feels 'right', even if it costs you a bit more.

  11. #11
    Member MikeHolt's Avatar
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    IMHO the ventilation and aircon on the ser II XM is excellent, Better of course than a CX but better than the C6 too.
    And beats the C6 for space and practicality too. (don't have a C6 for going to Ikea)
    Window winders can be fixed cheaply with the kit from ecrofting (plenty of posts).
    And fit his diode/soleniod kit as well. Look after front spheres.
    Auto is fine on transmax M.
    Fix up a few fusebox connections
    jobs done (well, except for the cruise control)
    Mike

  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    When you fix upgrade the ventilation/air-con fuse under the bonnet, don't be smart and put in a self resetting 40amp circuit breaker like I did. As soon as it's hot and you need the air-con the most ........ The lump of excrement will shut the ventilation down for 10minutes, and nothing will get them back until the circuit breaker cools down (good luck with than on a stinking hot day). I guess it's less effort than trying to extract yet another heavily melted fuse from the factory fuse box with your leatherman on the side of the road (it's amazing how little time you get out of a box of 30amps fuses in hot weather... then don't blow, they melt down).

    I would suggest pulling a fuse unit from a local car (with the BIG wedge fuses in them) and running the air-con/ventilation fuse through that. Oh well, if you get pi$$ed with it enough, the broken back window winder will allow the back window to fall down in the near future either way The ventilation sure it excellent in an XM ................. It moves huge amounts of air except for when it stops when you need it the most

    The XM here has done a lot of milage in the last 6months without being touched (just as well, don't know what I'd have done if the heap of junk had stopped). The rear muffler fell off last week. Don't worry, I've thrown it in the hatch. I'll get to it someday. I guess I shouldn't have been seeing how hard it is to get an XM sideways down the gravel roads near my place It's certainly far more planted than a CX on smooth loosely graveled roads (the CX's different rear track and light weight @rse end tends to give the @rse end a mind of it's own if you push her a bit.... Just as well it's easy to catch with the use of lots of power and a touch of opposite lock).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  13. #13
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Hello Chris,

    Just buy one. Mine was built in September 1990, so it is a relatively early one. I have had it for 5 1/2 years and done 120,000 km in it as an everyday car. It has let me down 3 times: 1. the main hydraulic supply pipe from the pump to the flow divider failed, caused by a previous repairer not replacing all the stand-offs so the pipe rubbed against part of the engine casting; 2. the ignition module failed; 3. the plastic cup on one end of the link joining the shift cable to the auto box broke. Apart from that it has been great. It had had a fair bit of money spent on it just before I bought it, including an auto transmission rebuild, and I have had to do very little to it myself.

    If the auto box is behaving itself, and you run it on Transmax M and change it frequently, it will probably be fine. I change mine when I change the engine oil (1bout every 10,000km). You can drain only about 4 litres, so you are changing only about half the fluid.

    I have not had any problems with manifolds, head gaskets, window winders, fuses or strut mounts. If mine blew up I would buy another one.

    You will find it goes really well on those Central Otago roads.

    Roger

  14. #14
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hey Roger,

    you forgot to mention how easy it was to fix the "melted ventilation" fuse on your XM

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  15. #15
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Shane,

    I did look at that fuse once, having read some English horror stories about it. There was nothing wrong with it.

    As I said (and you would have noticed if you actually read people's posts!), I have not had any problems with fuses.

    Roger

  16. #16
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Yeah I know, it's an amazing work of art that 5000amp slow blow fuse in your car It'll never melt or blow

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  17. #17
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    Just follow Roger's advice and buy it. They are worth nothing these days and a little TLC is all you need to keep these lovely old lumps going indefinitely.

    Peter

  18. #18
    Tadpole
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    Thank you all for your brilliant advice - I concur with all points of view and celebrate being amongst kindred spirits. From what I gather the XM being considered suits, as it will divert my attention away from all the other 'needy' Citroen projects in the wings, and will alleviate the need to source the parts and time required to resuscitate an aging Xantia V6 ( managed to do 150k on timing belts so far but starting to feel just a bit edgy about taking it on trips now). The DIY aspect appeals as, after 40 + years of Citroen ownership, I would feel bereft driving a car without the usual Citroen idiosyncrasy. This 1992 XM, as currently advertised on Trademe nz, has had most things done to it and will respond well to a 4 day tlc session and from what I gather from your response, is not going to cause too many worn knuckles and innumerable nights on the WWW to keep on the road.
    Sorry Shane, swmbo's veto has included series 2 CX, as respective upholstery seems to encourage static when she opens doors, and the ample amount of glass somehow cause age spots on an otherwise gracefully aging skin. The XM in question is dark blue; graced with leather upholstery and matches' the love of my live's' current auburn red hair. I guess its all about compromise. Will report back on any progress soon. Happy Citroening to you all - Chris.

  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! denxm's Avatar
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    Default xm buying

    shane seems a little biased to give a honest opinion,even though he has one,but he has the wrong
    model,he needs the 2-5 diesel or the v6,i have never aircon or window problems or struts
    only real problem was a auto box rebuild at 23000k
    it all works,is reliable,gets a caning out in the bush,regular 3 or 4 height lift to get up-down sh##t
    tracks,but i do check it all over and change oils etc,common sense really,
    but buy a good one that has been looked after,same for any car that getting up in years
    any production faults like bad earths etc were easy to fix
    but reading posts here about any late model cars with problems with low ks
    and the expense,a xm is not a worry at all, just buy a good one like any purchase

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