wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa - progress

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wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa - progress

Post by wurlycorner » 31 Mar 2014, 11:58

Hi all,

Been a member for a while but not had a running Citroen for ages... Time to change that again.

So one of my Citroen fleet is this '96 Activa. I've had it for about 6 ( :? ) years, but it's been off the road for at least the last 3 (I think).

ImageImage

Always liked the look of Xantia's since they were new and had always wanted an Activa. At the time I bought it, insurance on my Prelude was killing me, so that was sold and I bought an Activa with no V5, in a pub car park, in the dark and with rock hard suspension, an ABS fault and semi-seized front brakes :-k What could be a better purchase, eh? :rofl2:

I ran it for a few years, doing a few bits to it (new front discs and calipers, new rear suspension spheres, new exhaust, new front suspension bushes, new front ball joints, new driveshaft gaitors) but then I had enough cash to buy myself another prelude so one of those got bought and the Activa slipped down the priority list and when the rear brakes seized up and another ABS sensor failed, it got parked up, I bought the bits and started work on it.

The calipers had corroded badly against the arm and bent the retaining bolts, so that the calipers were at an angle and rubbing on the back of the discs (lovely design having aluminium calipers bolted against steel arms :roll: ) I got part way through the job but the ABS sensor was a complete and utter bastard - properly seized in the rear arm and as some will know, access to the connector on the drivers side rear is near impossible. Eventually I lost patience and it just stayed parked up on bricks, waiting its next turn for enough time/enthusiam to return.

Around this time last year I had a few months between jobs and set about trying to get it back on the road...

This was how I'd left it;
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Partially re-built rear brakes on one side (work not even started on the other side). Sensor wire run through, but hadn't been able to get the sub-frame grommet properly seated;
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Job number 1 - get that bloody grommet in place!
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=D>
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Give everything else a quick clean/scrub up;
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New calipers and discs;
ImageImageImage
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Caliper is now bolted onto the arm with a good bed of cavity wax in between to keep water out and to try and stop the 2 corroding again :evil:

And then the same on the other side;
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Image

Moved off its home in the drive for the first time in many years! :-D
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The eagle eyed might have noticed that the drivers side rear hub was missing its cover - correct! That was a lovely discovery for me and explained why when even after the caliper had been removed, the rear wheel on that side was basically siezed - it had been left off by someone previously, water had got in and washed out the grease and the bearing was really stiff #-o
Anyway, a good spray out with de-greaser showed that it wasn't corroded and hadn't been too badly overheated (I suspect this is what had caused the ABS sensor to fail on that side) so after being re-packed, it feels fine and hopefully won't be another thing that I need to replace. [-o<

After that, I gave it a wash and chucked it in for an MOT and driveshaft gaitor change, expecting it to pass tbh... It didn't! They failed it for the rock hard suspension ( :lol: I knew that, but somehow it had always passed before) and being wonky so it threw out the headlamp aim... I guess this was the result of putting it in for an MOT at an ex Citroen main dealer, rather than through my usual garage ;) Anyway, after lots of reading on here I decided the rock hard suspension was probably due to failed hydractive/activa spheres and ordered them from lockwoods. They took ages to come in but eventually turned up and I set about changing the front ones, which were a right pain but I managed to do it without breaking any of the original pipes etc (much to my surprise). I had a look at the rear and decided I probably won't be that lucky so prevaricated for a week and then after that I started a new job and ran out of time, so it returned to resting and waiting more tlc from me (in the front garden this time :cry: as I'd intended the Xantia to live on the road and now pre-filled the drive space by buying another (second) prelude #-o )
Last edited by wurlycorner on 30 Jan 2016, 22:19, edited 8 times in total.
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Iain.

2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
'96 Xantia Activa (Black)
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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 31 Mar 2014, 12:37

Having sold our 'daily' ('86 Porsche 924S) and needing a) something to replace it, b) something a bit more practical (living with 3x 2 door coupes - 2x preludes and 1x Porsche 924S had been 'interesting' in terms of practicalities! :lol: ) focus is now properly back on getting the Activa sorted.

So along with the rear suspension hydractive/activa spheres to change (still dreading that) there were a couple of other 'minor' jobs that needed doing. Because I was dreading the spheres, I decided to do the nice jobs first (easing myself back into it... ;) )
Cracked rear lense;
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Repalced with NOS genuine Citroen part from lockwoods;
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And then onto the next 'easy' job - the rad. This had been leaking slightly for quite a while - not dripping, but when hot you could see some steam escaping and this had started to damage the drivers side headlight (condensation inside). So new one ordered from lockwoods and set about removing the old one.

Quite like the design of this - in theory a couple of quick release main hose fittings, one other spring clip smaller hose fitting, lift up the retaining springs at the top, swing it back and away we go...
Top hose fitting;
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:-D
And then it all started to go downhill... It wouldn't swing back far enough to lift out and the bottom main hose just wouldn't budge and I couldn't really see what was going on with it, so cue stripping down the intake system to improve access...
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This is why the bottom hose wouldn't shift (and probably what was steaming tbh);
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:roll:
Try as I might, just couldn't get the 2 to seperate, so out came the side cutters and that's another bloody thing to change :evil:
Rad free;
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The offending article;
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:evil:

Rather full of crap under/behind the rad;
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Started cleaning it up and realised a fair bit of it was bits of aluminium so whipped the intercooler fully out;
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Doesn't look too bad from here so started taking a soft brush to it to clean away the loose crap.
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:evil:

It's serviceable atm but the bottom is really brittle. When you touch or brush it, bits come off, so all it's going to do is keep disintegrating and cover the new rad in crap and then need changing a year or so down the line (and I can't face taking all this apart again! :lol: ) so that's also being changed now (just got off the phone to lockwoods and a new one is on it's way at £80+VAT).

After taking it out, my anality wouldn't let me leave the bottom looking like this;
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So I started cleaning it up.
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The shell is in good nick, the rusty bits are just the bolted on brackets that aren't galvanised. It's only surface rust though, so I've taken them off and I'll treat them and refit before I finish putting it back together. The hydraulic hose isn't too bad either, so a rub down/treat and protect on these 2 bends should see it right.

That left me with the rest of the coolant hose to remove. Those who've changed this one will know it's a sod. It connects to the bottom of the expansion tank and then runs down the side of the engine, to the back of it.

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Access to the bottom of the expansion tank to undo the clip is impossible - sandwiched above the washer tank and below the inner wing. I could reach up and feel it, but you can't even see the clip;
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And the other bit of the T runs to the back of the engine;
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Cue gradual dissasembly of the car to improve matters, including angle grinding off of washer tank retaining bolts (bolts were ok, but the crappy push in metal clips they screw into just broke and spun of course :roll:)

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(Notice the chocolate teapot in the last of those 3 pics ;) )

After all that and some more work with the side cutters, the pipe was out and this is where the coolant hose attaches to the bottom of the expansion tank, viewed from up underneath the bumper.
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That's after I've chopped the rest of the hose away and shifted the washer tank out of the way (sits underneath the hose) but as you can see, it's a complete sod to access and to top it all, the bloody squeeze clips were round the furthest away side as well :roll:

Finally managed to get it off - even after taking the spring clip off I still had to cut the rubber off the bottom of the tank it was so tightly stuck! :lol:
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And this is the bastard finally all off; :evil:
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So hopefully it's now at a stage where once I've cleaned up and treated the brackets, I can start putting bits back together [-o<
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Iain.

2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
'96 Xantia Activa (Black)
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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by bxzx16v » 31 Mar 2014, 16:27

I look forward to updates on your activa, there's plenty of activa knowledge on the forum don't be afraid to ask.

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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 31 Mar 2014, 16:52

Thanks.

Just got off the phone to Citroen, checking about the coolant hose (lockwoods couldn't get that).

Absolutely bloody hopping mad with Citroen Parts - officially completely crap these days!!! Good job a random google search earlier had turned up a supplier (www.mister-auto.co.uk in case anyone else is interested)

How the heck can Citroen have deleted supply of a coolant hose for a car they only stopped producing 16 years ago - and that I can still buy brand new from the OEM supplier (Sassic) via third party factors?!

Seriously, WTF is that all about? They don't even need to still hold stock themselves to be able to supply something that the OEM supplier still holds stock of, so there's no reason to take it off the supply list!!!

:argue: :grr: :gt:

(Fortunately not an issue this time, but bodes so badly for whenever you need to get anything that is very unlikely to be available from third party suppliers and absolutely stinks in terms of customer service after-sales support - same as I had when I tried to buy new activa control rods in 2012 and they were apparently no longer available)
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2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 31 Mar 2014, 16:59

Inspiration to get them back on the road perhaps??? :lol:
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Iain.

2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by Deanxm » 31 Mar 2014, 18:24

Well done, i do like a happy..............ish ending :wink:

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Service Citroen is awesome, it shows me pictures of all the parts i used to be able to buy............

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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 31 Mar 2014, 20:54

I haven't yet - I was going to change them as part of the process of sorting out the wonk, on the basis they were only £20 each and I'd better get some new ones while I could :roll: so after I've finished all the sphere changing, I'll get back on to looking at the wonk and see where I get to...

What's too far gone with your Activa's?
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Iain.

2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
'96 Xantia Activa (Black)
'01 C5 2.0 HDi LX Estate (Blue)

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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 03 Apr 2014, 21:09

Spoke too soon on the rad hose - got a message from mister-auto saying they'd cancelled the order and refunded me because the item was "currently unavailable". I've rechecked with them why they hadn't told me it was on back order first, instead of automatically cancelling the order and they replied to say that they'd checked with their suppliers and didn't know when it would be back in stock, so it wasn't on back order :evil:

So it's not looking good for future supply of this :( It's the same hose that's on 1.9 TD's as well, so this is properly ridiculous! :roll:

I've messaged the oem to ask them about it, but they're in France so this could be interesting :lol:

In the meantime, I've maybe located one in Germany, but we'll see what happens when I try and order that one 8-[
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Iain.

2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
'96 Xantia Activa (Black)
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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 08 Apr 2014, 10:26

Ok, this is really not looking good on the rad hose.

Summary of the saga now;

I've had no reply from the OEM (SASIC) at all.

More hunting round lead me to think there might be an equivalent Gates part (thanks to allparts.cc). It's really not clear though...
The website I've found it on doesn't list the Gates hose as being for the 2.0 turbo, it only lists the previous Sasic hose. But it lists the Citroen part number (1343P1) against the Sasic hose and then allows you to search by that.
Doing that turns up 6 possible equivalent OEM suppliers (one of which being the Sasic hose, another being the aforementioned Gates part).
If you then click on e.g. the Gates part though and then click onto what cars that fits, it says it's not for the 2.0 turbo (says it's for other Xantia models) :roll:
The gates diagram of the hose looks spot on though.

So next stop on the detective trail was the Gates on-line catalogue, but that doesn't recognise the Gates part number that allparts.cc shows against the Gates hose :evil: Searching Gates online by my car, doesn't list any Gates hoses suitable for my car :roll: (I'm thinking that's possible though, because it may have been the right part, but might not be a part they supply any more in which case it would have been removed from their current catalogue???) :-k
Anyway, basically I'm going round in circles here... :grr:

The Gates part might fit, or it might not (looks right in the pics) and I was desperate so decided it was time to take a chance! [-o<

mister-auto catalogue says they stock the Gates part and it's only £15 more than the Sasic hose (but says it's not for my car of course :lol: ) and that it's in stock. Given previous experience, I messaged them first to ask if it actually was in stock - they checked and computer says no! (TBH, I am actually very impressed with mister-auto customer service, far better than I've had from anyone at GSF!!! RIP Andyspares :( )

So next stop, more searching on-line for the Gates part number... Which turned up the supplier in Germany.
I placed an order with them (at exoribitant cost and have then paid an extra exorbitant amount for express delivery) but logged on today to find that they'd cancelled my order (I don't know why yet, but I assume same reason - can't get the hose).

This is utterly crap, I really didn't expect to have trouble getting a bloody radiator hose for a car they only stopped manufacturing 13 years ago!!!

I've started messaging a few custom manufacturers to see if they can make the hose - my concern is the bayonet quick release fitting on the rad end. If so I'll see if there's any interest in a group buy - I'll start a new thread for that!
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2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
'96 Xantia Activa (Black)
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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by Chris570 » 08 Apr 2014, 17:37

What about changing the hose for one that doesn't have the bayonet connector, the later activas and TD's i think went back to normal hoses.....
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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 08 Apr 2014, 19:28

Interesting..? Can anyone with an S2 Activa confirm that please?

(The PITA is of course that by the time I found out the hose was knackered, I'd already got the new rad!) :roll:

That being the case, though shouldn't Citroen parts list the discontinued bayonet hose as superceded by the later non-bayonet hose? That's my experience with Honda and even my experience with Citroen of old (with my CXs) at least!

( :-k Or does that bring us full circle to PSA after sales/spares support now being utterly crap?!! :roll: )
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Iain.

2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
'96 Xantia Activa (Black)
'01 C5 2.0 HDi LX Estate (Blue)

wurlycorner
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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 04 May 2014, 23:08

Ok, so I managed to get sorted with a hose, by a stroke of luck;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/161269590089? ... 1497.l2649
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This randomly appeared on ebay. It wasn't the right part number and doesn't cross-reference on http://www.allparts.cc, I couldn't see for sure what the end connector was but couldn't think what else it would be other than a bayonet fitting, with that plastic cover over? Also hoped that the diameters are the same and took a gamble and bought it...

:o :twisted: :rock:

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The layout etc looked spot on and 2 of the 3 connectors are exactly the same, including the bayonet one. The hose at the back of the engine (water pump) is about 6mm bigger on the new hose, but that's ok - bigger I can cope with...

Last bank hol, I intended to crash through the Xantia and get stuff finished, but that didn't happen because I was so exhausted at the start of it after 2 mad weeks at work and then got so terribly wasted on the Sunday night :lol: but I did manage to get a bit done;

This is some of what needed to be dealt with on the rear spheres
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Access with tooling wasn't great, so this lot came out;
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Which left it looking like this;
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I was going to change the top 2 ('hydractive' and 'Activa').

Beefy strap wrenches were getting no-where, as can often be the case on these bloody things, so out came the metal custom wrench.
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Oh and a big hammer. Don't forget the big hammer!

Tightening the end of a bolt really really hard into the side of a sphere and then whacking the crap out of it with a big hammer still doesn't come naturally, even after all these years, however as we all know, it is necessary if you want to achieve this;
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Clean up the valves;
Activa sphere
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Hydractive
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Wire brushed down the hydraulic connections and sprayed up in Dynatrol Underseal to stop them corroding in future and being impossible to undo;
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New spheres fitted and more spraying up of connections;
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8-)

So that was the Easter weekend.

At that point though, I'd decided that neither of these spheres were actually knackered (they weren't full of fluid, so the membranes probably ok) so in for a penny, in for (lots of by now) pounds, I ordered up the centre sphere to change that as well...
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2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
'96 Xantia Activa (Black)
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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 04 May 2014, 23:12

Last weekend I had loads of work to and and then a car show with some of my other cars (Xantia not back on the road so X-Rally was out anyway) so it was late Sunday afternoon/evening before I could set to with the centre sphere.

Rear strut brace removed to ease access;
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Image

More whacking/abuse with the metal wrench;
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(note the strap part of it is no longer round and the handle and bolt are bent! :lol: )

Off :rock:
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This one is just an accumulator sphere, so it just screws into a housing and the hydraulic pipe screws directly into the end of it. Fortunately the pipe end came undone without any major grief :hail:

New one in
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Sexy stuff!
and pipe reconnected (nice easy access :roll: )
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Unsexy stuff;
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That was it (dark by then) so back onto it this weekend. Hoping to get the front end back together, bleed the hydraulic system (and cooling system of course) and pray that has sorted the rock hard suspension at the back :?
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Iain.

2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
'96 Xantia Activa (Black)
'01 C5 2.0 HDi LX Estate (Blue)

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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by wurlycorner » 04 May 2014, 23:13

Nothing too exciting to post up today. Lots done and it's nearly there, but loads of today was niff-naff fiddly stuff.

Sussed out the best way to orientate the jubilee clip on the bottom of the header tank, so there's at least some chance of undoing it in future :roll: This is while lying upside down, looking up inside the front wing, with the arch off to the head of the screwdriver...
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Despite the arch liner, there had been a lot of mud build up inside the back of the front wing, but fortunately being galvanised, 18 year old car still in great nick 8-) Worth a good clean up, quick wire brush, quick rust treat and Dinitrol underseal though
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Also the front wing stay/washer bottle hanger;
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Took this all the way out to give it a properly good clean up inside while I had the chance (get rid of any sludge/scum)
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One thing that I thought was a really nice touch :oops: colour coded hoses and pump ports (black hose to black port, clear hose to clear port)
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Bolted up using normal bolts and nuts now, none of the clip in bolts.
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After that I did some more undersealing at the back, ran it up, charged the suspension and bled the rear brakes.
No leaks from the suspension or cooling system 8-) (forgetting the heater matrix, which still needs doing! :lol: )

So got to re-build the front end and then should be back on its wheels tomorrow.
And after all this? It re-paid me with chucking an ABS fault and springing an exhaust leak :roll: :evil:
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Iain.

2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s1 (metallic blue and green)
2x '85 CX GTi Turbo s2 t1 (metallic silver and grey)
'88 CX GTi Turbo s2 T2 (metallic light blue)
CX DTR T2 Safari (silver)
'96 Xantia Activa (Black)
'01 C5 2.0 HDi LX Estate (Blue)

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Re: wurlycorners '96 Xantia Activa

Post by CitroJim » 05 May 2014, 04:50

Excellent Iain :-D Really enjoying this blog and just read all to catch up...

It is really great to see what is now a very rare car getting all the attention it really deserves to make it good again. Brilliant =D> :-D
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