Help Needed Xantia Cooling Fan Removal
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  1. #1
    JBN
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    Default Help Needed Xantia Cooling Fan Removal

    I am sitting here armed with two Supercheap thermo fans and the Xantia in bits, trying to work out how to remove the existing radiator cooling fans.

    • The front bumper has been removed
    • The battery and condensor bracket have been removed
    • The radiator has been pushed back about 6"
    • The aircon evaporator moves maybe a few inches
    I have tried to undo the 3 screws holding the fan motor from the front, but the captive nuts are not captive so nothing is happening. Access to those nuts is very restricted and I have no idea what size nut they are.

    The original idea was to remove both fans. One doesn't work at all at any speed. The other only works at high speed when the engine is about 95 degrees. The aircon switch doesn't have any effect, but then it also doesn't switch on the condensor and since the blower fans don't work, aircon is via the windows. I figured that if one is on the way out, the other wouldn't last too long and I doubt if either has been replaced since 1995. I had intended to try to replace the Supercheap fan blades with the Citroen ones, in effect just using the new electric motors and then connecting them to the existing wiring so they would work at two speeds as required.

    The Supercheap fans (12") fit on the engine side of the radiator and shouldn't be too difficult to attach. Since they would be back to front, the fan blades would need to be reversed (not difficult as they have a nut holding the blades to the motor). The motor also needs to be wired back to front (positive to negative and vice versa) to get it to spin in the opposite direction. If I do go this way, I will probably wire it up very simply, bypassing the fancy relay switching from 6V to 12V and use a potentiometer that I recently bought so that the fans run continously after the ignition is on - similar to belt operated fans that are simple and work and are a good counter to cooking engines.

    I did try moving around the 3 relays positioned between the fans. It appeared the drivers side fan was open circuit and that hasn't worked for a few months.

    I would appreciate any ideas from anyone.

    I did notice that the black plastic "beam" across the top of the radiator had "warranty void if vehicle operated in Canada or USA". I put that down to the fact that there is a high gun ownership in North America, and most people in my predicament there would say "both fans not working? Looks like a job for the double barrel shotgun". Well, at least I know I won't go to Hell when I die as I am already there - Citroen, electrics, nothing works and I have no clue.

    Happy New Year? Day 2? Only 365 of bliss to go.

    John

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    Hi John

    can't help much with the disassembly. However from the symptoms you describe, one possibility is the fan that doesn't work is open circuit. Can you apply power from the battery directly to confirm. The other possibility is the crossover relay is faulty.

    good luck

    Greg
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  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger
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    Look firstly to the relays and their sockets, which can overheat and melt. Some people have dismantled the motors and just replaced the brushes. You should be able to remove the radiator support with the fans, but removing the bumper would be enough to access the relays and wiring.

  4. #4
    JBN
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    I have finally managed to remove the electric motor. I removed the fan blade after finally twigging that it was a reverse thread. The captive nuts are 10mm. Using a really cheap combination tool set which had small short 1/4" sockets, I used those sockets with my better quality 1/4" driver and just managed to squeeze it in between the rear of the motor and the evaporator and then unscrewed the 3 screws. If only Citroen had moulded a hex barrel rather than a smooth barrel, it would have been straight forward.

    I connected the motor directly to the battery and it turned!!!!

    Tomorrow I will take the motor next door to the auto electricians to get them to confirm that it is OK. Then I'll try to get one of them (they all hate Citroen both individually and collectively) to come around and inspect the relays and ask for their opinion. Normally they don't give their opinions, instead offering me their cigarette lighters (they know I have some petrol handy that I use in the lawnmower).

    One lives in hope. I hope they will help me. They hope I won't go around and ask them.

    John

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    I have finally managed to remove the electric motor. I removed the fan blade after finally twigging that it was a reverse thread. The captive nuts are 10mm. Using a really cheap combination tool set which had small short 1/4" sockets, I used those sockets with my better quality 1/4" driver and just managed to squeeze it in between the rear of the motor and the evaporator and then unscrewed the 3 screws. If only Citroen had moulded a hex barrel rather than a smooth barrel, it would have been straight forward.

    I connected the motor directly to the battery and it turned!!!!

    Tomorrow I will take the motor next door to the auto electricians to get them to confirm that it is OK. Then I'll try to get one of them (they all hate Citroen both individually and collectively) to come around and inspect the relays and ask for their opinion. Normally they don't give their opinions, instead offering me their cigarette lighters (they know I have some petrol handy that I use in the lawnmower).

    One lives in hope. I hope they will help me. They hope I won't go around and ask them.

    John
    John,

    Just have a really close look at the molded relay sockets, also the wires connecting to them.

    Any sign of melting or wicking back or blackening of the insulation indicates heat. Heating means poor connections and possibly a buggered relay.

    It's a pretty basic test and I believe we can collectively help you replace a sockets/s for less than an autoelec check up!

    After all relays only have four connections and the relay /socket combo is less than $10 trade.

  6. #6
    JBN
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    Thanks Robmac. I did play with the relays first and swapped them around after spraying all contacts liberally with contact cleaner. Two of them were Cartier and therefore possibly original. The other was a Bosch. I'll get a new one tomorrow and use for the drivers side fan. Looking at the wiring behind the relays and "dusty" was the thing that came to mind. Didn't see any obvious damage but will reinspect tomorrow. I must admit Citroen have hidden away most of the wiring to the relays and fan motors so inspection is challenging.

    I think that the coolant fans died around the same time as the blower fans and the aircon died shortly after.

    Still have no idea where the Bitron switch is. Also can't see ANY coolant temperature sensors near the thermostat housing, particularly none with a blue connector. The car is a 1995 Xantia VSX 8V EFI automatic.

    The only good news is that my youngest daughter leaves for the UK tomorrow night, leaving behind a Lancer with aircon that works, so my wife can live without the Xantia until I fix:
    • the coolant fans
    • replace the Plip receiver with a radio receiver from a SuperCheap central locking system
    • fix the lock barrel on the passengers side so that it works. It used to be the drivers side and went on the blink. Very carefully moved each spring and tumbler into another barrel, one at a time. Unfortunately it doesn't work. Next step is to ditch all the springs and tumblers. The lock works - with anything such as a screwdriver, flat key or X key. No security, but no one would know.
    • replace the drivers side rear door lock with a new one I bought on eBay so that the car acts like a 4 door rather than a 3 door
    • get the heater blower fan working
    • get the aircon working
    • regas the spheres
    I really think that a cheaper way to run a TAFE Mechanics course is to give each student an old Citroen. Sure has taught this dog some new tricks. In the old days, I used to pee against trees. Now, every time I see the car I pee my pants.

    John

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts arunine's Avatar
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    Having the same problems with my daughters car. She complained of overheating in Perth at traffic lights. Checked the fans; passenger side one; the blades had fallen off, other one wasn't working, removed the headlights and grille to access the fans. Removed the left-hand thread bolt from the other one as it wasn't working and repaired the passenger side one. I then attempted to remove the front bumper and gave up in disgust.
    How do I remove the front bumper from a Xantia to get at the fan wiring?
    I now need a left-hand thread Phillips head screw for the other fan.
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  8. #8
    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by arunine View Post
    Having the same problems with my daughters car. She complained of overheating in Perth at traffic lights. Checked the fans; passenger side one; the blades had fallen off, other one wasn't working, removed the headlights and grille to access the fans. Removed the left-hand thread bolt from the other one as it wasn't working and repaired the passenger side one. I then attempted to remove the front bumper and gave up in disgust.
    How do I remove the front bumper from a Xantia to get at the fan wiring?
    I now need a left-hand thread Phillips head screw for the other fan.
    To remove a Xantia front bumper:
    • Put car on highest suspension setting to give some added room to manouvre
    • There is a rectangular rubber plug (or hole where it has been) inside the front wheel arch, to the front and near where the bumper joins the wing (about 3" X 4" plug)
    • This gives you access to the bumper side bolts. Use a 13mm socket on short extension. Feel around for position, remembering the bolts go sideways into the bumper
    • There is also a Phillips head screw that needs to be partly undone (not removed) that holds the bumper top end (ie furthest rear point of the bumper) to the metal wing. Again this is found by feel as the wheel arch shrouding is in the way. The bumper slides out sideways when the screw is partly undone.
    • There are 3 13mm bolts underneath the bumper, self evident and easily visible
    • There are two rear bumper bolts accessible after removing the front fog lights. For some reason they are not present on mine, maybe I left them off last time I removed the bumper
    • The bumper then needs the rear top extremities to be pulled out to disengage from the Phillips head screw, and then pulls of forward
    To get to the wiring for the fans:
    • remove front grill
    • remove carbon canister near battery. First remove battery, then two bolts near the battery clamp then another holding the canister support underneath the battery support (I had to remove the air intake tube and a long extension for the socket to get access. Pull the canister backwards to allow room for the radiator to tilt back
    • Tilt the radiator back (I didn't and wouldn't remove the radiator hose as recommended in Haynes). The radiator only tilts back about 4".
    • The evaporator hardly moves, but most of the wiring is visible behind the 3 relays. Not easy to get to any of it though.
    • The wiring from the motor to the relays is hidden behind the motor supports. After removing the fan blades, the motor can be unscrewed (Phillips head) but the 10mm hex nuts are out of sight at the back of the motor inside a hole. Need a very short 10mm socket on a very skinny 1/4" driver and gingerly force into place without damaging the aircon evaporator
    Good luck. With a bit of decent design, the securing of the motors and access to the wiring could have been much easier. I think Citroens idea is that the fans are for the life of the car. When they stop, buy a new car.

    John

  9. #9
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arunine View Post
    Having the same problems with my daughters car. She complained of overheating in Perth at traffic lights. Checked the fans; passenger side one; the blades had fallen off, other one wasn't working, removed the headlights and grille to access the fans. Removed the left-hand thread bolt from the other one as it wasn't working and repaired the passenger side one. I then attempted to remove the front bumper and gave up in disgust.
    How do I remove the front bumper from a Xantia to get at the fan wiring?
    I now need a left-hand thread Phillips head screw for the other fan.
    I have to admit that just before Christmas one of the 306 fans ran its bearings and was flopping around noisily. I applied money to the situation and Corrado fixed it the next morning.

    I now know I'd likely do the same if the Xantia ever misbehaves!

    Best wishes for 2012
    JohnW

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