Xantia - worth a look?
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! pips's Avatar
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    Default Xantia - worth a look?

    As a fair few aussie froggers know, I've been looking at defecting from Peugeot to Citroen.

    I've found a few on the net. I was wondering about one of them, as it is well within my budget. But the owner has blatantly mentioned that it was side swiped by a truck. It has been repaired, and looked great in the photos. But sometimes the bodywork may look great, but the chassis is like a banana, and the car crab walks up the street. The car can be foundhere.

    Also, I wanted your opinion on what models of the Xantias are best to look out for? What year? What spec?

    I'm still (from previous threads I've read) worried about the complexity of the suspension systems in this car. It appears to be somewhat of a black art, no one REALLY knows how it works. But it also appears that all that needs fixing it the green spheres. If they're okay, the suspension is okay. ???

    What are the key areas to look at with this car, things that are known, common problems?

    Are the timing belts changed every 80,000kms or 100,000 or what?

    As much as I'd like a turbo. I'm thinking I might prefer something with decent power, like my Mi16. But still smooth, possibly easier to look after then the Mi16. Plus, I think turbo's cop a rise in rego and insurance premiums, which I cannot afford at this stage.

    I suppose a dumb question, are prices of parts stupidly high like with the mi16, where I have to sit down when I'm telling the parts guy the part number. (eg: drive shaft; $850rrp from pug dealer)

    Are there common leaks? Common faults? Common parts that fail? Most people I've talked to on this forum and out and about have told me their Xantia is fine, great, and runs perfectly, without one issue. So I'm a little hesitant about selling the Mi16 and getting the Xantia, but I think it's for the best. :p

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    pips
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  2. #2
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    If it was only 'nudged', it was probably only panel damage. There is NO WAY IN HELL the damage would have been fixed for $3000 if there was structural damage, however $3000grand sounds about perfect to repair a couple of scraped doors and give most of the car a respray (ie: fixing the bonnet stone chips, respray the hatch where the paint crazes and fix the stone chips that would have been on the roof). BTW: It'll no doubt looked skewed if you look down the side, infact it'll look equally strange down both sides, you see Citroens have a much narrower rear track than front track (in increases high speed stability).

    That's a sister car to Alans with that sort of milage, and is the EXACT car I'd be looking for if I needed another Xantia for Ang. ie: VSX 5spd 2litre 8valve.

    Do you want a Xantia or not I suggest getting the car you want, after all you only live once... Certainly a Xantia is a brilliant car for the money and a perfect car for my wife. But I wouldn't swap my 25year old CX turbo for one (I think it's the heat stroke getting to me ).

    The last thing I'd worry about on the Xantia is the suspension, if she rides nice 'n' soft it'll be fine, especially if the LHM is green. Citroen have been selling hydraulic cars since the early 1950's without major issues .... Yes for over 50years. They have sold litterally 100's of millions of them (Tractions, DS, ID's, CX's, GS's, SM's, BX's, Xantia, C5's etc...).

    About the only person you'll hear say anything bad about the hydraulics is Brenno.... I don't what his issue is with them though

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Quote Originally Posted by pips
    As a fair few aussie froggers know, I've been looking at defecting from Peugeot to Citroen.

    I've found a few on the net. I was wondering about one of them, as it is well within my budget. But the owner has blatantly mentioned that it was side swiped by a truck. It has been repaired, and looked great in the photos. But sometimes the bodywork may look great, but the chassis is like a banana, and the car crab walks up the street. The car can be foundhere.

    Also, I wanted your opinion on what models of the Xantias are best to look out for? What year? What spec?

    I'm still (from previous threads I've read) worried about the complexity of the suspension systems in this car. It appears to be somewhat of a black art, no one REALLY knows how it works. But it also appears that all that needs fixing it the green spheres. If they're okay, the suspension is okay. ???

    What are the key areas to look at with this car, things that are known, common problems?

    Are the timing belts changed every 80,000kms or 100,000 or what?

    As much as I'd like a turbo. I'm thinking I might prefer something with decent power, like my Mi16. But still smooth, possibly easier to look after then the Mi16. Plus, I think turbo's cop a rise in rego and insurance premiums, which I cannot afford at this stage.

    I suppose a dumb question, are prices of parts stupidly high like with the mi16, where I have to sit down when I'm telling the parts guy the part number. (eg: drive shaft; $850rrp from pug dealer)

    Are there common leaks? Common faults? Common parts that fail? Most people I've talked to on this forum and out and about have told me their Xantia is fine, great, and runs perfectly, without one issue. So I'm a little hesitant about selling the Mi16 and getting the Xantia, but I think it's for the best. :p

    Cheers
    pips
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  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! pips's Avatar
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    Once again, you've given me a great answer. Thanks for that.

    I might call the guy and have a look at the car this weekend.

    I've also noticed another Xantia that's been sitting around for quiet some time at Continental in Punchbowl. Not sure if it's just because no body likes it?

    How can you tell just by the model if it's an 8 or 16 valve engine?

    I don't want to get something like the Mi16 I have, where before I bought it, I had the majority of people telling me that 220,000 kays is nothing for that car. Then after getting it, people telling me that the engine should be on it's last legs.

    In the meantime, I still have to sell the Mi16 before I can buy the Xantia.

    Seems every time I talk to you, it seems like a great car.

    Just a few more unanswered questions like service intervals, belt change intervals, and what "characteristics" (quirks) does the car have?

    BTW, What does LHM stand for?

    Cheers
    pips
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! ajpolden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pips
    BTW, What does LHM stand for?

    Cheers
    pips
    Liquide Hydraulique Minerale - Hydraulic Mineral Oil.

    Pips, I bought a hydraulic Citroen as my first car, as a few people on here have done, and if you're capable of doing a bit of maintenance to the hydraulics (ie LHM and sphere change every 2 years or so), there really shouldn't be any reason for a mechanic to go anywhere near the system, unless a part fails.
    I can't speak for the VSX's hydractive system, but I know the hydropneumatic system as used in the BX is very simple indeed, that if you did have to take it to a (trustworthy) mechanic that has not seen such a system before, show him a diagram of the circuit and he ought to be right.
    They really are top cars, great ride!

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  5. #5
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    That mileage should mean nothing; mine has about that on it and I have to go to Brisbane sometime in the next few days. i'd better check under the bonnet before then I suppose just in case, but I run 15W40 semi synthetic and change it when it gets a bit off coloured; I think I may have changed mine twice since I've had it, last time was March this year from memory. I never have to top up between changes.
    With the clutch, flywheel and brakes all being done, it's had more done than mine. I did the front pads on mine (about when I did the oil last from memory) and I did a cambelt at the beginning of the year; not a hard one to do and they reckon the new style belts are suppodedly good for = 72,000 miles as opposed to the 48 they previously quoted, but I'll do mine again at 100,000 klms as it's only about $30 and 2 hours work.
    Spheres; stop giving yourself ulcers over them; join the club and do them every couple of years at club Tech days. The VSX has more than the SX but the ride is brilliant.
    To check models, look for the 2.0i on the nudge strip on teh front guard.
    From my experience, as I've said before, I am more than happy with the performance of the 2 litre 8 valve and I normally drive a BX16V which is slightly nippier than the Mi16.


    Alan S
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  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    Counterpoint to the above .

    Stalling from new - new ECU
    Rear suspension LHM leak from new (unusual)
    Engine fan control unit replaced (not unusual)
    LHM leak from front strut pipe (heard of, redesigned in series 2)
    Catalytic converter failure (rattling, loss of power)
    Ignition switch failure (known prob, apparently a simple fix for this)
    Interior fan motor failure (known problem, mine was expensive - more fool I apparently)
    Water pump leaking around seal
    Rocker cover gasket oil leak
    Driver's window failure (expensive to repair, not uncommon)
    Indicator/light stalk failure (not common)
    More stalling; idle stepper motor cleaned, replaced later (common, not expensive)
    Water inundation of cabin (UNDER carpets) due to blocked plenum chamber drain (my own silly fault, but take care!!)
    Just had third set of front rotors and 5th set of front pads (cheap as).

    This car owned from new, specialist serviced from new [no rants please ], carefully maintained and driven daily and sympathetically. Now at 115,000km. Just had 10th birthday party.

    We do our timing belts at 60,000km/5years (whichever first) - not expensive; nor are the general maintenance issues, just those occasional niggling extras, of which our car has certainly had more than its fair share.

    Go for condition and service history, rather than specific model - I don't think an average 16 valve or VSX is better than a good 8-valve SX for e.g. The series 2's might have fewer issues, but again, they aren't that much different.
    John

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    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Just had third set of front rotors and 5th set of front pads (cheap as).

    This car owned from new, specialist serviced from new [no rants please ], carefully maintained and driven daily and sympathetically. Now at 115,000km.
    Please tell me you're kidding. Do you live in the Mountains or just race at Bathurst every year?
    Mine's had one set of pads in 215,000 klms which I realise is above average but neither the other driver or I are hard on brakes, but getting less than 25K klms a pad set & 40K per set of rotors is getting a bit hard on them innit?
    Is your car an auto by any chance or do you tow a caravan or trailer a lot??

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Please tell me you're kidding. Do you live in the Mountains or just race at Bathurst every year?
    Mine's had one set of pads in 215,000 klms which I realise is above average but neither the other driver or I are hard on brakes, but getting less than 25K klms a pad set & 40K per set of rotors is getting a bit hard on them innit?
    Is your car an auto by any chance or do you tow a caravan or trailer a lot??

    Alan S
    Not kidding. All true. The first set lasted 30,000km. I did an advanced driving course and the rotors shuddered a little after that and were skimmed once. The next two sets of pads only lasted 25-ish. Then new rotors and pads; my wife has been the main driver since, and the pads are lasting less time. You tell me - inferior materials or just women drivers?

    All the driving now is inner urban; you know 150m, brake, 100m, brake, 200m, brake. Little crawling, all 30-70km braking to 20-30 for corners, humps etc. Few longer runs nowadays and usually only wife and 1 or 2 kids so all the braking is on the front. Its manual. I can only measure this by my Subarus - in similar driving I've still had 20-30% left after 50,000km.

    EDIT: Oops, I've included the original pads and rotors in the tally, in other words I've just CHANGED the rotors for the second time at 115K, although they are the third actual set - sorry.
    Last edited by Trixie; 3rd November 2005 at 02:01 PM.
    John

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    Trixie, is that a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house on your avatar? Niiice.

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66
    Trixie, is that a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house on your avatar? Niiice.
    Its Rose Seidler house, built in, I think 1948, in Turramurra north of Sydney. Designed by famous Citroen driver Harry Seidler no less.

    Its open as a museum on weekends, furnished with classic pieces, plus they sometimes have evening talks there by eminent architects. Its worth a visit if you're in Sydney.
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by pips
    I don't want to get something like the Mi16 I have, where before I bought it, I had the majority of people telling me that 220,000 kays is nothing for that car. Then after getting it, people telling me that the engine should be on it's last legs.
    Are you saying that people changed their minds? Or did different people advise you that it would be on its last legs? If so, well, that's just a difference of opinion, which you have to expect on these forums given the breadth of experience.

    A looked after Mi16 engine should get around 350-400k kilometres before needing overhaul. Similarly, the Xantia you're looking at should achieve this life if looked after. Of course, some people like to do it early if the car's still decent because they can get a bit rattly in the top end...

    Stuey


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    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    About the only person you'll hear say anything bad about the hydraulics is Brenno.... I don't what his issue is with them though
    Bahahaah yeah I'm the only person ever in the history of this planet to have a fault with the hydraulic system. How does the sand taste down there Shane?

    FWIW I love the hydraulic system. It has fascinated me ever since I was a young lad. I just can't stand the lack of knowledge on fine tuning it as opposed to having it just working. I doubt you're even reading this, as usual.

    Pips: Good luck with it mate. Tread carefully. I'm sure you'll make the right decision. That Xantia in the advert looks like it has a spastic intake setup though. Let me know if you find a good mechanic.

    Trixie: Are you an architect too? It seems architects and Citroens are almost synonymous My grandfather used to service Utzons Citroen when he was in Australia. I know of quite a few other prominant Aus architects have that classic Citroens too.
    Last edited by brenno; 3rd November 2005 at 09:55 PM.

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    Fellow Frogger! PSvensson's Avatar
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    Thank you Shane

    You really hit the nail on the head there(or maybe Im just too honest? ),I am the owner of this Xantia. She was probely a bittoo close that day because I like eye shot view of my car as I work(gotta keep watch of d rangers working in Sydney mate! ).

    It was a small Daihatsu truck delivering our much needed sand for the day,the driver was very embaressed and the company owner was very pissed off( he personely paid cash the panel beaters) being the slight scrape. I paid an extra 600 to get the bonnet and front bar resprayed.

    Dont hesitate 2 call 0401223616

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    Fellow Frogger! PSvensson's Avatar
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    And whats wrong with my airfilter Brenno?

    its a K&N and works excelent for fuel effeciancy and power in rev range.

    I see your still selling the 16v how long has it been now 2 years, at least it sounds alot better than it did.

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pips
    As a fair few aussie froggers know, I've been looking at defecting from Peugeot to Citroen.

    I've found a few on the net.
    Cheers
    pips
    I guess you don't want an expensive one in Perth? Only 47,000 km. Not 147,000 or 247,000.... They're very good cars and, like Alan, I'd vouch for the 8V engine.

    JohnW
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    Fellow Frogger! Andy N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pips
    As a fair few aussie froggers know, I've been looking at defecting from Peugeot to Citroen.
    Defecting or evolving? Uh oh! Outnumbered again! I live in a town full of Peugeots but my CX is still totally different to anything on the road here.....and rides better than anything I've seen.
    I do wonder what is so special about Peugeots though, it can't just be "cos they're French and they have better engineering" which is true and their suspension is good....but springs are so horse-and-cart when compared to the versatility of hydraulics. Not just my opinion, this engineer seems to have good reasons too: http://www.alphalink.com.au/~petero/springs.html

    Pips, do a search on the Citroen forum on "Citroen technical guide" and it should show a thread I recently posted with a link to a PDF file that will tell you everything you need to know in laymans terms about the hydropnuematic suspension from the DS to the C5.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PSvensson
    And whats wrong with my airfilter Brenno?

    its a K&N and works excelent for fuel effeciancy and power in rev range.

    I see your still selling the 16v how long has it been now 2 years, at least it sounds alot better than it did.
    Haha I just realised who you are....now I can put a face to the name Man that filter is sucking hot air straight off the exhaust manifold. I think those filters are a huge waster of money....give me a paper OEM filter that I can replace every few thousand kms anyday.

    Apart from a small effort at last year and this years FCD I've only really been trying to sell it recently. And yeah I have spent a stack of money on it, and I've slowly realised that it's never going to be what I expected it to be. I've found it to be an expensive mistake, both financially and mentally. One day I'd love to buy another one, but I'd have to make sure I'm a bit more financially prepared next time round.

    Good luck with the sale....

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! PSvensson's Avatar
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    Icon6

    Dude,

    on the Xanita theres a pipe that goes through the top of the rocker cover that extracts cold air from under headlight, there is no mods done to the car so the next owner can just put th original back ( exactly where the K&N is).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie
    Its Rose Seidler house, built in, I think 1948, in Turramurra north of Sydney. Designed by famous Citroen driver Harry Seidler no less.
    My XM (build date Sept 1990) was first owned by Harry Seidler. I'm still trying to work out whether that makes it better or worse. Does he look after his cars or does he neglect them and then trade them in?

    Roger

  20. #20
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macquered
    Bahahaah yeah I'm the only person ever in the history of this planet to have a fault with the hydraulic system. How does the sand taste down there Shane?

    FWIW I love the hydraulic system. It has fascinated me ever since I was a young lad. I just can't stand the lack of knowledge on fine tuning it as opposed to having it just working. I doubt you're even reading this, as usual.
    .
    Of course I'm listening. They are the simplest car around to 'fine tune'... What you need is a set of sphere's with removable valving. All the dampening is in the valve. DS's had a screw in 'stacked' plate valve. You could make it mushy and floaty as a marshmello or quite firm (for a DS) just by screwing a different stack of valve shims in there.

    You can't go to the local riceboy shop and buy sphere valves though, so I imagine costs would add up quite quickly (or you could simply try to find a set of the spheres from the ex bathurst BX16valves that apparantly had removable/changable valves ).

    I'm just happy to drive a car that's riding/handling exactly as it should be. Doesn't mean much though when I like driving ID19's around on the doorhandles though

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    Fellow Frogger! pips's Avatar
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    WOW,

    I get home from dropping the wife off at the airport, and I'm overwhelmed with the responses.

    Glad to know the owner of the Xantia is a forum member. A little more reassuring.

    Where abouts in Sydney are you located?

    Andy N: Cheers for the reference on the hydro-suspension. I shall read into it more.

    Cheers guys.
    pips
    Ever wonder why Mad Scientist talk to themselves? They know others just wouldn't understand.

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    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    They are the simplest car around to 'fine tune'...
    Not from my experience. All of the mechanics I've used are only concerned about getting it to the point where it is able to get around a corner, not how it gets around the corner. Any query about why or how the car behaves is met with a suggestion to replace more parts.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    What you need is a set of sphere's with removable valving. All the dampening is in the valve. DS's had a screw in 'stacked' plate valve. You could make it mushy and floaty as a marshmello or quite firm (for a DS) just by screwing a different stack of valve shims in there.
    I have easy access to this but this is not what I want. I want to see the car handle well with stock spheres, just like it should. I want someone to drive the car and understand exactly what area's I'm concerned about, and I want them to feel it from a drivers perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    You can't go to the local riceboy shop and buy sphere valves though, so I imagine costs would add up quite quickly (or you could simply try to find a set of the spheres from the ex bathurst BX16valves that apparantly had removable/changable valves ).
    Costs adding up quickly? Noooooo that just doesn't happen in a Citroen!

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    Quote Originally Posted by macquered
    Not from my experience. All of the mechanics I've used are only concerned about getting it to the point where it is able to get around a corner, not how it gets around the corner. Any query about why or how the car behaves is met with a suggestion to replace more parts.
    Brenno, have you driven an Mi16 yet? I'd be intrigued to hear your comments about one in comparison to the BX, since they are so close in their design parameters other than the springing - and the fact that contemporary road tests rated them closely.

    Stuey


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    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    We got both here and the son that owns the Mi16 reckons the Cit would run rings around it as did its previous owner (a traffic cop) when I took him for a blat in mine.
    I'll lay quids that if his 16V isn't handling correctly that the wrong spheres are fitted or there's been something strange done to the set up.
    It seems strange that overseas (forget about anyone here) evrybody talks about the way they handle and Gary Cole races one with outstanding success, most of it done around corners and through "S's" yet Brenno reckons his won't handle.
    We tried a set of "comfort" spheres on mine once and it was some scarey sensation complete with wagging tail and loss of braking ability and most repairers I've spoken to out here don't have a first idea about how spheres work, varying dampers being a different proposition to the damper hole etc, so I think it gets back to it needing to be sat alongside a known good handler and parts swapped across etc. It also begs the question, what kind of specs has the wheel alignment been set to in case during all the stuffing around in the past, more than just the toe in has been fiddled with.

    Alan S
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    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Brenno, have you driven an Mi16 yet? I'd be intrigued to hear your comments about one in comparison to the BX, since they are so close in their design parameters other than the springing - and the fact that contemporary road tests rated them closely.
    I've driven a couple of S1's and a S2, but this was a while ago. The most recent 405 I've driven was the S2 SRi we had for a few years. The most notable difference I found was the ability to steer with the rear on the Peugeots. The lift-off oversteer was so gentle and predictable that you quickly learn to to use it and rely on it. The BX is far less playful on the limit, but the limits are still high. The BX initially feels neutral but resorts to plough understeer as the chassis loads up.

    The 405's I've driven seem to have an amazing ability to dance over a rough section of road in mid corner. In the Citroen, the same set of bumps seems to knock the car offline, as if the suspension can't cope as well with small changes when it is already under load. The Citroen is a demon over large speed bumps though. I'ver never really driven anything that can handle them with such aplomb. These are long and slow suspension movements though.

    I'd love to have both side by side to compare them though. Shame you're on the other side

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    We got both here and the son that owns the Mi16 reckons the Cit would run rings around it as did its previous owner (a traffic cop) when I took him for a blat in mine.
    Thats fine. I respect his opinion. It's different to mine, but I'm not going to rant on about how his Peugeot must have been poorly setup, or poorly serviced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    I'll lay quids that if his 16V isn't handling correctly that the wrong spheres are fitted or there's been something strange done to the set up.
    It couldn't possibly just be my unbiased opinion, could it? Rest assured, I have the right spheres on and everything is working perfectly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    It seems strange that overseas (forget about anyone here) evrybody talks about the way they handle and Gary Cole races one with outstanding success, most of it done around corners and through "S's" yet Brenno reckons his won't handle.
    I never said it wasn't quick, nor did I say it didn't handle. Don't get me wrong, it must have been quite nice back in its day, and if you're old and used to Toranas it must have been a relevation. Compare it against some modern cars though and you highlight the ~25 year old design origins of the BX. As I've said before, it's purely a matter of perspective. We're looking at the same thing but from different backgrounds. Any comparison to racing cars is completely irrelevant.

    With regard to wheel alignments, I'm anal about having a proper setup and have it checked and corrected many times and it is all within spec. The only problems I've had with wheel alignments is finding people that will actually do it on a Citroen. Most can't fit their equipment on the rear wheels.

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