Another 306 in my garage - 2001 XSi
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Thread: Another 306 in my garage - 2001 XSi

  1. #1
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    Default Another 306 in my garage - 2001 XSi

    Well, I've done it again. Made a rash decision to buy another 306. Now, before I go further, I am aware of my bad choices with cars but I can't seem to help myself. Basically I didn't want this one to get dumped on the street. The vendor was leaving the country in a few days so I made an offer...

    I have to admit to a little buyers remorse but all I can do is fix the known issues and then enjoy the car.

    Before buying I knew the timing belt was due - that's fine. But 30 mins in to the drive home the clutch really started to shudder on pick up. It was heavy, but not unduly heavy. Now I'm thinking that I'll need to do a full clutch kit and main seal.

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    So, for full transparency I paid $1500 for a 2001 XSi with 255,000 kays. See, idiot.

    BUT, there are positives. The paint is good, clearly the car has been cared for by previous owners. No dents, no major scratches and no peeling or fading. The interior is 95% good. The usual door lining sagging but the door mirrors adjusters work perfectly, the power windows work and I think all the AC needs is a regas. Even the heater matrix is still intact for now.

    The engine seems absolutely fine and the gearbox is smooth.

    So yet again I'll be gaining knowledge from here and hoping to get this car back to 100% and enjoy it until I find something better...

    With all that in mind, what would the most economical way to do all the work? Should I invest in a push clutch conversion, buy and install a quaife?

    Would anyone like to help me learn how to do the work myself in exchange for A) money B) beer or C) top level advertising and design work?
    Another 306 in my garage - 2001 XSi-xsi-2.jpgAnother 306 in my garage - 2001 XSi-img_20180416_112705.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Another 306 in my garage - 2001 XSi-img_20180416_112442.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowpugV2 View Post
    hoping to get this car back to 100%
    My thoughts are unless you love this particular make and model just drive it into the ground then buy another $1500 car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66 View Post
    My thoughts are unless you love this particular make and model just drive it into the ground then buy another $1500 car.

    It was meant to be just that - a stop gap until I find exactly what I want. Unfortunately my 15 minute test drive didn't highlight any weirdness with the clutch - was only after it got hot in traffic on the way home it started to really shudder and feel like there's slippage.

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    Don't change to a push type clutch. The pull types make for smoother shifts and they have 10% more clamping force to suit the 2L. The pull type clutch plates tend to wear or break the springs before wearing out the lining. They are the weak point in the driveline and are one cause of shudder.

    Suspension will be the same as GTi6.

    Fresh coolant with concentration of 33%-50% will extend the life of the heater core and radiator.

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    You should drive my XSi with push type clutch Bluey. It's very nice. The clamping pressure isn't an issue, even with a 250hp 2L.

    XSi has a softer rear end, by way of 22mm ARB instead of 25mm like GTi6.

    '92 205 Mi16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    You should drive my XSi with push type clutch Bluey. It's very nice. The clamping pressure isn't an issue, even with a 250hp 2L.

    XSi has a softer rear end, by way of 22mm ARB instead of 25mm like GTi6.
    I should have bought your car Peter. Infact your drivetrain in this shiny blue shell would be great!

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    Oh and yes, Peter's car drives really nicely with the push clutch... Hence why I was thinking of doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66 View Post
    My thoughts are unless you love this particular make and model just drive it into the ground then buy another $1500 car.
    A sorted 306 is a great drive, reliable, reasonably economical and sadly getting thinner on the ground - and having good paint and interior is a great basis to start with. Being a fan of the 306 (Iím on my fourth one now) makes it a no brainer for me! I would offer assistance with getting it up to scratch but Iím on the wrong side of the country!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by blahblah View Post
    A sorted 306 is a great drive, reliable, reasonably economical and sadly getting thinner on the ground - and having good paint and interior is a great basis to start with. Being a fan of the 306 (I’m on my fourth one now) makes it a no brainer for me! I would offer assistance with getting it up to scratch but I’m on the wrong side of the country!!


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    This is my fourth one now too. I have no doubt the car will be good once everything is done. To this day I have not driven another front drive hatch that has the feel of the 306. Supple, agile and simply fun.

    The Ford Focus ST170 is the only other FWD car that felt the same or actually better than the 306. Would have one if it had 4 doors!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    XSi has a softer rear end, by way of 22mm ARB instead of 25mm like GTi6.
    Rear ARB's seem to be a lucky dip between N5 306's & N7 Xsara's. I've pulled 24mm ARBs out of XSi's & 20mm ARB's out of XSi's. The Xsara VTR is the same, 1 large, 1 small. Every GTi6 ARB I've seen has been 24mm not to say there aren't 25mm bars. Then there is the Xsara VTS with all the fruit yet a smaller 23mm ARB but 1mm larger torsion bars.

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    Bit of a general health check on my newly acquired XSi - it all seems positive. Timing belt and water pump is done. I chickened out and got PQ automotive to do it. Probably something I should learn to do DIY but time restraints etc. and it's good to have to the car by checked over by a professional. Overall they said the car was great and well worth doing the few bits and keep it going.

    The usual suspects will need doing over time. Lower control arms - I'll upgrade the bushings at the same time. What's the forum approved solution these days? Just buy new arms whole or re-bush with Poly bushes and upgraded P-bushings?

    Will need new front discs eventually and brake lines. Will go braided for this - again - what should I look for here?

    Other than that I will need to replace the cat ( i could here it rattling) and maybe look at the diff -hmm, quaiffe lSD ?

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    Well done with another project.

    However you so should have bought my China Blue Gti6 late last year. They have all gone up in value now.

    Hindsight

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    Had I seen it I probably would have! Although the reason I sold my Gti6 was that I need 4 doors...

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    Dont worry lowpugV2 - i've just done something similar, went and bought s 207 GTi for similar price...
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    I've driven the car to work a few times now, no issues. The clutch is ok now. Seems the shudder has reduced and mostly gone. Cooling system works well too.
    A few discoveries though. It has 4 airbags, never knew 306 had side bags but this does and it has EBD... Pretty good for an old girl.

    Another discovery is that the is an exhaust leak somewhere near the front of the system. With Windows down and stationary in traffic the cabin fills with a rich exhaust aroma. Easy cure is to keep windows shut but I will need to get it fixed.

    List of things I'll be slowly fixing are now:
    New lower control arms
    Fix exhaust leak
    Eventually do the front brakes
    And one day do the clutch.
    Until then, drive!

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    It's a good idea to have a second set of front arms prefitted with new bushes because the the rear bushes only last 20-40K km. A set of bushes costs less than $50 and a set of arms from a wrecker will cost the same again.

    If your Cat is broken it will be partially blocking the exhaust and could be pushing gases out past the downpipe gasket. You'll also pick up power by replacing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    It's a good idea to have a second set of front arms prefitted with new bushes because the the rear bushes only last 20-40K km. A set of bushes costs less than $50 and a set of arms from a wrecker will cost the same again.

    If your Cat is broken it will be partially blocking the exhaust and could be pushing gases out past the downpipe gasket. You'll also pick up power by replacing it.
    Hmm, interesting. I think I will do the spare control arm thing. Any pointers on what a good bushing replacement kit is? I think for this car I want smooth and compliant so I guess standard replacement?

    I'll investigate the cat. It does rattle a bit and the fumes smell.like an old pre cat car... Probs a bit rich too so I'll get a new o2 sensor

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowpugV2 View Post
    Any pointers on what a good bushing replacement kit is? I think for this car I want smooth and compliant so I guess standard replacement?
    after some research I went for Vibratechnics p-bushes as understand these provide the control and normal Meyle (seem well regarded for longevity) front bushes

    haven't fitted yet but went this way as it seemed to offer the best compromise between control and ride quality

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    Gave my car a little wash yesterday. She's not looking bad for 18 years old!

    Another 306 in my garage - 2001 XSi-img_20180518_162640.jpgAnother 306 in my garage - 2001 XSi-img_20180518_162844.jpg

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    wow that looks great! paint has held up very well

    and theres nothing wrong with an 18yr old french girl... dont ask me how i know
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    Gorgeous!

    Wonder if this is my old girl. I traded one in 2011 for a Golf GTI. If the timing belt cover has Ďliquid paperí on it with date/kms (to track timing belt change), Iíd say itís highly likely.


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    Quote Originally Posted by lowpugV2 View Post
    Bit of a general health check on my newly acquired XSi - it all seems positive. Timing belt and water pump is done. I chickened out and got PQ automotive to do it. Probably something I should learn to do DIY but time restraints etc. and it's good to have to the car by checked over by a professional. Overall they said the car was great and well worth doing the few bits and keep it going.

    The usual suspects will need doing over time. Lower control arms - I'll upgrade the bushings at the same time. What's the forum approved solution these days? Just buy new arms whole or re-bush with Poly bushes and upgraded P-bushings?

    Will need new front discs eventually and brake lines. Will go braided for this - again - what should I look for here?

    Other than that I will need to replace the cat ( i could here it rattling) and maybe look at the diff -hmm, quaiffe lSD ?

    With the control arms (someone will correct me if Iím wrong) you want a spare set of XSi arms. Or refer to the bush alignment of your existing arms. The reason being is it will give you the correct alignment of the p bushes which will be different to the stock higher ride height arms. Otherwise the p bushes will be stressed from the start.

    There are berlingo p bushes which are more robust than the stock ones but need a larger bolt per bush to fit. (M8 I think). These are a bit cheaper than the flash polybush ones but better than the stock ones.

    If you want to perk it up - replace the O2 sensor if not done, replace the cat (which I think youíre doing) and as Iíve discovered recently, feed it BP 98 RON exclusively - the difference between the BP and the others (Peak etc) has been impressive for a 18yo car with 215k km on it. Felt like Iíd changed the O2 sensor again. Apparently they refine the fuel to 98 octane rather than boosting the octane rating. I fitted a K&N filter element with negligible improvement.


    These are an awesome car in their own right... love to get a GTI6...

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    Right. Control arms replaced and new ball joints. Woo, what a difference. The car feels tight, not all floppy like like a knackered old camry.

    Next, the catalytic converter and O2 sensor - they are all fitted up and again, WOW, what an improvement. Engine now idles smoothly and revs very cleanly with zero exhaust stink wafting around. The magnaflow was apparently a bit tricky to fit and they made up a new downpipe and flanges. Whatever they did it works a treat. I can totally recommend.

    The main issue is now I've opened that pandoras box and can see with a few more fixes and more money thrown at it the car will be a great second car in the longer term - may have to revise my initial plans!

    The clutch is still shuddering a little but it's so easy to drive around the issue that it's now last on the list. New tyres are next even though the current ones are technically OK. The rears are some Diamondback cheapies and the fronts are hard old dunlops.

    I think I've tracked down some Michelin Pilot 3 to get fitted up. Just waiting to see if the supplier can confirm their age - don't want to fit a new but old tyre...

    After that I might give PeterT's suggestion of braided brake lines a go.

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    Oh yeah, I also need a rear wiper relay. Anyone have one that functions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Then there is the Xsara VTS with all the fruit yet a smaller 23mm ARB but 1mm larger torsion bars.
    How nice to read this, exactly what I plan for my 'new' acquisition and will follow the advice on front suspension. O2 already done last weekend.
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