A little more torque?
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  1. #1
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    Default A little more torque?

    OK, perhaps I'm just being greedy, but have just purchased a 12-year old Xantia SX wagon, with 16 valve motor, and would love to extract a bit more mid-range torque from the engine (especially between 2 - 4000 rpm). The engine appears to be in good condition - no oil leaks, and it uses no oil or coolant, and it will rev freely to the (6,500rpm) red line.

    So far I've done the following:

    * Oil + filter change (switched to synthetic oil)
    * Air + fuel filter change
    * Replaced plugs with brand new Iridium ones
    * Removed fuel rail and injectors, to confirm that no muck was blocking top of injectors (which happened to the Turbo).
    * Inspected exhaust - all looks v good condition and high flow - pipes look same diameter as the one on the Turbo, mufflers are bigger (& quieter).
    * Used up fuel in tank, and refilled with fresh (I hope) fuel - currently half PULP (95) and half 100RON (with ethanol).
    * Nulon injector cleaner - half a bottle in half a tank of fuel, 2nd half went in at the next fill.
    * Disconnected battery for an hour, to reset computer.
    * Italian tuneup

    I have not done a compression test - my old-fashoined compression gauge was not made to reach down into those deep-set plug holes (another similarity with 504!). Nor have I removed the in-tank pump and cleaned the strainer, but having had a blocked strainer in the Turbo, I'm not getting those fuel-starvation symptoms. Also haven't tried a teaspoon of brake fluid in each cylinder (cheap decoke).

    Now I know I'm making unfair comparisons (I also own a Xantia Turbo CT), but initially the wagon would not hold 100km/h up the hill on the way to town in top gear (which the 17 yr old family Corolla 1.6 will do). It is a little better now, but you've still got to row that gearbox to pass anything.

    Strangely enough, my very first Froggy (a Pug 504 - in 1984) had the same problem (no power at low revs) which was largely resolved by a proper tune-up (on a dyno).

    So - have I missed anything obvious (& cheap)? Options I have thought of (short of dismantling the engine and rebuilding):

    * Remap/dynotune - do these engines benefit from this without other modifications?
    * Different cam(s)
    * Thinner head gasket to increase compression (just saw this suggestion from Ken W in another thread) - would rather not go this far unless motor needs to have head off!
    * I assume that improving flow of air intake & exhaust would only help at high revs - in fact would an exhaust system with more back-pressure help the low-mid-range torque?


    Cheers

    Alec

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    Last edited by Armidillo; 4th August 2012 at 10:44 PM. Reason: Forgot injector cleaner!

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! stew's Avatar
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    Timing belt replacement and then ask Peter T politely how he tickles the timing for best compression.
    He no doubt, has a less loony explanation on how to, than I!

    I use and recommend an Interject product for a fuel system cleaner. Pour in your choice of fuel cleaner and run engine for 30 minutes and then change the fuel filter before driving off on a fang. And get some throttle body cleaner, take the thing off and a cleena heem up, mate!.
    If the exhaust is quiet in side the pipes and outside and the thing revs cleanly, the fuel system cleaner should clean her owt fora ewe!

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    Fellow Frogger! Karoshi's Avatar
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    Not familiar with your engine variant, but a inlet cam advance for extra dynamic compression?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stew View Post
    Timing belt replacement and then ask Peter T politely how he tickles the timing for best compression.
    He no doubt, has a less loony explanation on how to, than I!

    I use and recommend an Interject product for a fuel system cleaner. Pour in your choice of fuel cleaner and run engine for 30 minutes and then change the fuel filter before driving off on a fang. And get some throttle body cleaner, take the thing off and a cleena heem up, mate!.
    If the exhaust is quiet in side the pipes and outside and the thing revs cleanly, the fuel system cleaner should clean her owt fora ewe!
    Previous owner changed timing belt fairly recently, but if changing timing requires a new belt, I could probably take the opportunity to fit an HSN belt!

    Have put some Nulon injector cleaner through it - no doubt Interject is a lot more aggressive and would be worth a try (if I can find some in Armidale).

    Have not traditionally been a great cleaner of throttle bodies (I have enough trouble keeping the bits I can see clean ) - does it really make much difference, and is a "dirty" throttle body more of an issue at low or high revs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoshi View Post
    Not familiar with your engine variant, but a inlet cam advance for extra dynamic compression?
    So a differently ground inlet cam? Or just changing the timing of the standard item?

    Cheers

    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 4th August 2012 at 10:45 PM.

  5. #5
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Don't forget the extra weight of a wagon.

    I didn't find overly high compression on mine; it was consistent though. PRVs show more compression! As per the Mi16 it also has a few dicky lifters - by coincidence I had the lids off today and at least one is not reliably spinning in its bore. So, I question the longevity of a more aggressive cam profile.

    Having a passenger to look at the dynamic parameters on a hard pull, would be interesting - especially timing and injector duration.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about this for a few days and I really feel you have an uphill battle. The basic engine package is great but you're hampered by lots of mass. The same engine in a 205 goes like a scolded cat. The cams are already maximised for torque. Fitting bigger cams may be a backwards step. Changing the timing of the standard cam will achieve little as it's already so small.

    Additionally, because the standard cams are so mild, the standard ECU/injectors can't really support too much more cam timing. If you were really in love with the car, the solution would be to build a new bottom end with longer stroke and bigger bore, in addition to a new ECU to manage it. The cost of that is weigh beyond the value of the car however. The engine is already 10.4:1. You don't want it any higher with small cams, else risk detonation/pinging.

    Don't waste you money on injector cleaner. Get them cleaned professionally and run the car on 98.

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Don't forget the extra weight of a wagon.

    ....

    You would be right if I was comparing apples with apples ! For otherwise identical specs, a wagon is about 50 kg heavier than the equivalent hatch, and a Series II is 20 -25 kg heavier than a Series I.

    However I am comparing my Series I Turbo CT hatch (kerb weight 1376kg) with my Series II 2.0i 16v wagon (kerb weight 1368kg).

    So weight is not the issue (for me - less weight might make the equivalent 16v hatch a bit more nippy), but I think I know what is - according to Wikipedia, the later 16v engine (XU10J4R) was detuned.

    Up until 1995, Xantias had the XU10J4D, with 110kw and 183 Nm. After 1995, we got the XU10J4R, with 97 kw and 180 Nm. Although the torque figure isn't much different (if correct - some of Wikipedias numbers look a bit rubbery...), it is attained at higher revs - 4200 to be precise!!

    2.0 i 16V 1993–1995 I4 16V XU10 J4D/Z (RFY) 1998 cc 110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) @ 6500 rpm 183 Nm (135 lbft) @ 3500 rpm 2.0 i 16V 1995–2001 I4 16V XU10 J4R (RFV) 1998 cc 97 kW (132 PS; 130 hp) @ 5500 rpm 180 Nm (130 lbft) @ 4200 rpm

    So this would appear to support my gripe that the 2.0i 16v engine in the Series II wagon does not have much torque in the rev range where most people will drive it.

    Cheers

    Alec

    [PS - drove the Turbo CT last night for the first time in about a fortnight . I had got used to the 20.i 16v! How does an 8-valve 2 litre motor, that has done 220,000 km without any attention beyond regular servicing, manage to produce so much grunt . Well yes, it does have a turbo ...]

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    I've been thinking about this for a few days and I really feel you have an uphill battle. The basic engine package is great but you're hampered by lots of mass. The same engine in a 205 goes like a scolded cat. The cams are already maximised for torque. Fitting bigger cams may be a backwards step. Changing the timing of the standard cam will achieve little as it's already so small.

    Additionally, because the standard cams are so mild, the standard ECU/injectors can't really support too much more cam timing. If you were really in love with the car, the solution would be to build a new bottom end with longer stroke and bigger bore, in addition to a new ECU to manage it. The cost of that is weigh beyond the value of the car however. The engine is already 10.4:1. You don't want it any higher with small cams, else risk detonation/pinging.

    Don't waste you money on injector cleaner. Get them cleaned professionally and run the car on 98.
    Thanks Peter - the car is for my son and his partner. I have recently aquired it, and am fixing up as many things as possible (mostly minor) before handing it over. If more mid-range power was available without a major engine rebuild, I'd certainly try and get it done, as I am expecting they will use this beast for towing. However from what you are saying, it is a lost cause.

    Can you explain the lower power figures for the XU10J4R as compared to the earlier 'D' version (see previous post)? Lower compression perhaps, but what about cams, and ECU map? Is it possible to turn an 'R' engine into a 'D'?

    Cheers

    Alec

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Whilst both 2L, the RFY or D as you call it, has a cylinder head and cam timing based on an Mi16. The RFV head, whilst port and valve size near identical to Mi16, is very different physically. So it breathes exceptionally well but is held back by very small cams.

    The cams from a GTi6 are near straight fit into the RFV head, but the additional lift pushes the valve springs to nearly coil bind. The GTi6 head has double valve springs instead on single.

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

  10. #10
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    It would be a shame to get blown away by a little green R10 aye Alec
    Cheers Peter

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT
    The cams from a GTi6 are near straight fit into the RFV head, but the additional lift pushes the valve springs to nearly coil bind. The GTi6 head has double valve springs instead on single.
    So Alec could theoretically fit a GTi6 camset (or head) and ECU from an N5 era donor?

    Also, I take it the double valve springs in this case, are not simply a "spring plus damper" but a way of moderating the seated pressure without eating cam lobes in a jiffy?

    Weight: My wagon with a 220kg (verified) trailer, 50kg (guess) tools, 30 litres fuel and three people (say 90+60+70kg), clocked 1970kg on the Kimbriki outgoing weighbridge. So I don't believe Wikipedia for the kerb weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J Kent View Post
    It would be a shame to get blown away by a little green R10 aye Alec
    Cheers Peter
    Exactly! And in the Xantia's current state of tune, I'm sure they could do it (although I think my top speed might be higher ).

    Cheers

    Alec

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Weight: My wagon with a 220kg (verified) trailer, 50kg (guess) tools, 30 litres fuel and three people (say 90+60+70kg), clocked 1970kg on the Kimbriki outgoing weighbridge. So I don't believe Wikipedia for the kerb weight.
    Actually the weights came from the handbooks. Series II handbook v. similar to Series I, but things like weights have been updated.

    But if you're right, the extra weight certainly would be part of the problem!

    Alec

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    Whilst both 2L, the RFY or D as you call it, has a cylinder head and cam timing based on an Mi16. The RFV head, whilst port and valve size near identical to Mi16, is very different physically. So it breathes exceptionally well but is held back by very small cams.

    The cams from a GTi6 are near straight fit into the RFV head, but the additional lift pushes the valve springs to nearly coil bind. The GTi6 head has double valve springs instead on single.
    So the cams you grind are only available for the XU9J4s and the RFY engine? I was hoping one of your cams might hold the key when I saw your website .

    As Addo said - would a GTI6 head (if one could be prised out of the grip of the 205 brigade ) bolt straight on? If so, would the ECU from same car be best option, or a dynotune/remap with current ECU?

    Edit: OK - found part of answer in Peter's first post. Would need larger injectors (the ones from the donor engine?), and an ECU that could be tuned to suit what would presumably be a "hybrid" engine.

    Cheers

    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 4th August 2012 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Answering own question

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Surely sea freight must be an option!!

    Anyway, thanks Addo - it does get one thinking (assuming it's a simple bolt-on process)! The price of the head seems very reasonable, if it is as advertised...

    Cheers

    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 4th August 2012 at 09:35 PM. Reason: typo

  17. #17
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    I cannot say how much a "bolt on" it would be, however I am 100% anti the Chicken Little brigade.

    Pretty sure the Gti6 runs 3 Bar fuel rail, if so your pump and reg are sorted already. Inlet ports look like they should seal with the plastic J4R manifold. Exhaust I think you could assume interchanges, as there's been talk on other forums of just popping VTS/GTi6 exhausts on lesser engines.

    So - surely it would go until it started pinging - at which point the ECU would crimp its style and only a bonehead would press it harder?

    Not sure a tubular exhaust will clear the small "shelf" across a Xantia firewall. They, too, are dirt cheap O/S and about $120 will see one on your doormat.

    RE seafreight: My experiences can be generalised as "The faster it arrives, the less damage"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    ...

    RE seafreight: My experiences can be generalised as "The faster it arrives, the less damage"...
    Ah - OK, see where you are coming from. We have also had experience with shipments arriving a bit the worse for wear...

    Cheers

    Alec

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts Dave's Avatar
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    The catalytic converters do block up over time. I know our xantia wagon had a bit more punch after a new cat.

    Dave


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    The catalytic converters do block up over time. I know our xantia wagon had a bit more punch after a new cat.

    Dave
    Thanks Dave - that's a very good suggestion (especially as my other Xantia had cat problems at a similar age). There's a buzz in the exhaust system, so will get it all checked out.

    Cheers

    Alec

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Your best course of action is to give it a full examination & overhaul. ie

    (in order)
    - new cam belt, tensioners and water pump
    - compression check
    - injectors cleaned professionally
    - exhaust system check as suggested
    - filters/plugs/oil etc.

    If all is in order after that and you're still not happy with its performance, well, there are many choices.............

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the advice Peter - appreciate your help.

    Previous owner changed belt, idler and water pump (but didn't keep old parts).

    I have just bought myself a compression tester that can handle deeply recessed plugs - might be a while before I get a chance to use it

    Not sure where to get injectors cleaned - suspect there is no-one in Armidale, and I'll have to send them away.

    Local exhaust guy is reasonable - although I might purchase a new cat (online) & get him to fit it - he's a bit exxy for such things.

    Filters, plugs, oil is the one thing I have actually done!

    Cheers

    Alec

  23. #23
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Bruce changed the timing kit, from memory.

    I thought the car had received a head-off service, not sure whether a blown gasket or busted belt?

    From my experiences, injector cleaning is a slight improvement, not a kick in the pants for a laggardly engine.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Bruce changed the timing kit, from memory.
    Who's Bruce? I bought the car from Harvey, he got it from a guy in Queanbeyan (not Bruce) who had it from 2003. Harvey said he changed the belt etc. in April this year. No receipts unfortunately...

    I see that Bruce H in Queensland owns Xantiae, but this is a NSW car (although it did reside in Qld for a few months, still on NSW rego).

    Reasonable service record handed across with car. There is a gap in this from 2005-2008 (and from about 90,000km to 160,000 km ) - but owner could have been changing own oil and not having any problems. No indication of anything beyond what would be classed as normal maintenance + a few electrical items (eg. a fuel pump!).

    Cheers

    Alec

    PS - checking various ads, it seems that most Xantia wagons are dark blue, with a few white ones thrown in. So yes, mine is a blue one .

  25. #25
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    It's dark blue, with grey leather interior and splitfold rear seat? Ask "fathergoose" if he serviced it.

    Otherwise could be a body double.

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