Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

Moderators: RichardW, myglaren

admiral51
Donor 2019
Posts: 2170
Joined: 24 May 2007, 10:11
x 235

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by admiral51 »

Zel this a brilliant blog and the BX along with the others in your fleet are in safe hands. =D>

I dabble and cause problems whilst trying my best, if only i had listened to my elders when i was younger #-o

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6561
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1126

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by white exec »

Haynes covers early dash, iirc.

Hell Razor5543
NOT Alistair or Simon
Posts: 11321
Joined: 01 Apr 2012, 09:47
x 1246

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

On my BX (quite some time ago) I found a few of the lines in the heated rear windscreen had failed. A small pot of silver conductive paint brought them back to life nicely (and I kept the painting tidy with some masking tape).

User avatar
xantia_v6
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 7673
Joined: 09 Nov 2005, 23:03
x 438

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by xantia_v6 »

I have looked at a few exploded diagrams of similar Solex carburettors, and I think that the only 2 balls are the check valve in the accellerator pump, and a detent ball and spring to hold the choke lever in the correct position.

Gibbo2286
Donor 2020
Posts: 4963
Joined: 08 Jun 2011, 18:04
x 947

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Your lost ball bearing is part of the accelerator pump, it should be sitting under the the jet i.e. the inverted U shaped jet that squirts the fuel down the carb, there's no spring, lift out the jet and drop it into the hole.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3831
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 402

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Having had a closer look at the diagrams I agree that under the accelerator jet seems to be where that ball should live. Especially likely given the pump doesn't work - which if it was missing it's check valve it wouldn't. If dropping that ball back where it belongs sorted that without needing to take the carb off that would be a nice result!

Should have thought to check the manual regarding dash dismantling, there are two in the car!

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3831
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 402

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Okay...so that ball does not live under the accelerator jet. With it in there it's not possible to get the jet to seat fully so it plainly lives elsewhere. Except of course now it's stuck in the hole so I'll need to remove the carb so I can extract it. The smallest magnet on a stick that I have is significantly larger than the hole the ball has been dropped into.

Isn't it fun when things don't match the diagrams?

Moving on from that, investigation of the non-functional hazard flasher warning light has proven somewhat successful.

The switchgear actually comes apart really easily...two screws out then everything just unplugs from the base. I was expecting this to be a lot more of an involved task. Many, many manufacturers could learn from this setup...

Image

The bulb in the switch was indeed blown, and replacing it has restored the illumination which comes on along with the headlights.

Image

However it still does nothing when the hazards are actually on which to me seems wrong. That's been filed under "stuff to investigate later."

Got about halfway through pulling the dash out before I ran out of time. Annoyingly, you have to pull apart the whole cowling below the steering column to access the bottom two retaining screws.

Then I'll need to stock up on lamps... didn't realise quite how depleted my stock was.

I did try replacing the one for the speedometer (as that is readily accessible from above) sadly this had no effect, so looks like there's a power supply (or grounding) issue on the panel itself somewhere. Sure that will be fun to trace...

User avatar
mickthemaverick
Donor 2019
Posts: 5725
Joined: 11 May 2019, 17:56
x 1559

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by mickthemaverick »

Zelandeth wrote:
23 Feb 2021, 21:11
Okay...so that ball does not live under the accelerator jet. With it in there it's not possible to get the jet to seat fully so it plainly lives elsewhere. Except of course now it's stuck in the hole so I'll need to remove the carb so I can extract it. The smallest magnet on a stick that I have is significantly larger than the hole the ball has been dropped into.
Try a nail on the end of your magnet then down to the ball!! :)

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6561
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1126

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by white exec »

Or magnetize the nail, by stroking it repeatedly across a strong (eg speaker) magnet...
Or wind a good bit of insulated wire round the nail, and feed it with 12v, to produce a strong electromagnet.
You forgot all this schoolboy stuff, didn't you? :wink:

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3831
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 402

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

To be fair I didn't put too much thought into it. I need to pull the accelerator pump apart to figure out why it's jammed up. That's on the back of the carb so it really needs to come off to improve access.

Just hoping the ball isn't now going to be jammed in place...

Jumping topics a bit, she desperately wants the rear spheres changing. Where is generally the best bet these days? I think it was Westroen I got the ones for Gabriel, my first Xantia from.

The rears are currently stuffed to the extent that the car really isn't driveable. Expecting to get a nice old shower when they come off...

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3831
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 402

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Ran out of time and mental energy before finishing an update yesterday, so here's yesterday and today bundled into one.

Didn't have much time to dedicate to the work on the Beige Wonder, but when the new fuel pump arrived almost perfectly in sync with me getting back from running several errands I decided to take a few minutes out to at least get that fitted.

Image

That took a little under seven minutes from setting foot outside the front door to having the vehicle running.

Image

Knowing these cars I'm sure I will pay a heavy price for that going so smoothly later on at some point...

Today's main task was to have a look at the carb to see if we could figure out what was up with the accelerator pump (and to retrieve the little ball and hopefully figure out where it's meant to be).

Ten minutes and the carb was off.

Image

The correct home for the mystery ball bearing has been found, there should be one at the end of a spring on the choke mechanism...there's a distinct lack of ball on the end of the spring.

Image

That has now been reinstated in the correct place.

It didn't take long to spot what was wrong with the accelerator pump..This is what was facing me when I took the pump cover plate off.

Image

That spring should be pushing the diaphragm out (so up in the photo, the carb is sitting on its side). It was never going to work like that! I think we've all been there at some point haven't we? Especially when you're not used to playing with carburettors. If you're not able to get everything done in one sitting it's so easy to wind up making mistakes like that, especially if you don't have a nice clear diagram in front of you.

Sadly when reassembled it still didn't work. It just pulls a vacuum - there's a hard blockage between the float bowl and the pump cavity it seems. No amount of blasting with carb cleaner or compressed air will seem to shift it. I guess I'll try giving it an overnight soak and a couple of hour run in the ultrasonic cleaner...but I'm not holding my breath.

For now I've put everything back together while I consider my options.

Image

At least this keeps the car mobile and makes running other tests and such easier. If I can't clear it I may just need to drive around the lack of an accelerator jet (which I've done before...the Lada didn't have one until I did the injection conversion) initially. Once the car is driving and (hopefully!) has an MOT, it might be easier to justify splashing out on a new carb for it. I still don't really have any idea if she will end up being a long term fleet member or not yet...Though it wouldn't surprise me. The driving position is absolutely spot on for me, which is something I often struggle with...and I don't know. Just the moment I sat in it for the first time it was kind of like with the Saabs...just felt somehow "right" for me. Though I do keep telling myself I have two cars too many already! Time will tell.

This evening I decided it was time to do something about this thing.

Image

Which I still has to be one of the most brilliant yet bonkers instrument panel designs out there - Though it doesn't quite make it to the same level as the madness of the one in the GSA. I'll be really curious to see how it works in the real world. However it needs to light up to get the full effect...and as the car arrived none of the illumination worked at all and at least half the warning lights were also on the blink.

Immediately finding evidence of prior repair work to the flex-PCB doesn't fill me with confidence that this is going to be an easy one.

Image

I found a grand total one one blown bulb...in the glow plug light so I'm guessing that's been swapped from somewhere else at some point. However what I did find that the most widespread case of scratchy, oxidised contacts I think I've ever come across in one device. After cleaning a dozen or so slide contacts and then what felt like somewhere around five thousand lamp holders...

Image

I had no idea that the little diagram of the car and the Citroen name/logo were illuminated!

Image

Obviously it goes without saying that it will need to be completely dismantled at some point to be properly cleaned. That will probably be the best part of a full day's worth of work though so is very much on the "once she has an MOT" list.

It's a shame that in quite a few places on the left hand cluster the mask has failed. You can see the light from the backlight bleeding through.

Image

When I have it apart for cleaning I reckon some (very) careful application of black paint to the back of the filter gel will be the way to go to sort that out. There is a similar issue on a couple of the main warning lights on the right too - but it's far less obvious and unless you were actively looking for it you'd not see it. Plus none of those lights should be on while you're driving anyway - whereas the actual panel backlighting is on whenever the ignition is unless I'm mistaken.

Sadly back in the car...no backlighting. So I'll need to do some further digging to see if we've got a missing supply or if there's just problems with the harness connectors. The fuel gauge I *think* gets its feed from one pin over from the panel lighting too...so given that doesn't work that could well be a clue.

We have victory in other areas though. All the lights which the handbook says should now light when the test button is pressed - we were missing the overheat warning light before.

Image

The lighting cluster is now fully functional, the side light, main beam and rear fog light indicators were missing before.

Image

Image

You can see what I was saying about light showing through the areas which should be black. Being a humble RE spec car she doesn't have anything in the door/bonnet/boot open locations.

I was intrigued to find that there are two temperature lights - an amber one which is the overheat warning, but also a blue one (not used by the looks of it), which I assume is an indicator on some models/in some markets to show you that the engine is still cold. First car I ever saw that on was in 2010...never realised Citroen had done it back this far.

When I went out to get my errands done yesterday I decided for no reason other than "because I can" to take the Invacar out. No real opportunity for scenic photos when you're driving point-to-point for specific tasks.

Image

As I've been handed back the little Akaso action camera (which had been drafted into use as a webcam for the last few months for home working) I did a couple of test recordings as I really want to figure out a decent way to record video in this car - my phone is basically useless as the optical image stabilisation just can't keep up and you end up with footage that is completely useless thanks to the amount of camera shake. I know from prior experience that the little Akaso handles this issue far better. The biggest drawback it does have though is that the onboard microphone is absolutely dire. Well it's actually passable...but the manufacturer for some reason decided not to implement any form of gain control. So as soon as I go anywhere beyond about 2/3rds on the throttle the induction noise just results in diabolical levels of clipping. I do plan to (once we're out of lockdown) do a couple of driving videos that I'll actually post as public videos on my YouTube channel, when I take those I'll use a separate audio recorder and just splice the two together in the editing phase. Just a shame that the Akaso doesn't have any ability to use an external mic.

So these really were only intended as camera tests, so I didn't put too much time into framing or anything. Also I'm still 20 miles away from finishing the break in period for the new CVT belt - meaning that I currently have to obey a 50mph speed limit. That is far more difficult in this car than you'd expect.

First one was done with the camera attached to the window on the offside door just behind my shoulder. This gives the best view of how you actually drive one of these cars, but has quite a bit of shake to it because the doors do wobble around a bit when in motion.



The second was done with the camera attached to the windscreen in more of a conventional dash cam type way. This gives a far, far more stable picture - but misses much more of the driving. Probably the best solution would be what I did on one of my first test runs where I attached the camera to the rear windscreen. I wasn't doing that yesterday though as it involves a lot of clambering around backwards and forwards to get the framing right. I didn't want passers by yesterday thinking I was out to record video, whereas the reality was that I was just setting the camera running while I was already out and about picking things up for people.



Again...apologies for the audio.

Hopefully if you compare that to some of the earlier videos of TPA being out and about you can see how much happier she is now. The whole driving experience now is actually pleasant.

RichardW
Forum Treasurer
Posts: 9420
Joined: 07 Aug 2002, 17:12
x 414

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by RichardW »

There should be a little thumb wheel rheostat somewhere to adjust the brightness of the dash lamps - can't remember where it is on a MK1 - on a MK2 it was on the bottom of the steering column cowl - these are well known for giving trouble!

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3831
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 402

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

RichardW wrote:
26 Feb 2021, 08:24
There should be a little thumb wheel rheostat somewhere to adjust the brightness of the dash lamps - can't remember where it is on a MK1 - on a MK2 it was on the bottom of the steering column cowl - these are well known for giving trouble!
Under the steering column, same spot as on a Xantia. Though mine doesn't have that degree of luxury only being in RE trim.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3831
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 402

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Today saw a big milestone passed by TPA.

Image

Which doesn't mean anything unless you really remember things usually well from two years ago. When she first arrived on my driveway looking like this...

Image

The odometer was reading 11353 miles.

Image

That's us now over the 1000 mile mark. I'm gutted that I was keeping an eye out for the big 1K that I totally missed 12345!

We actually ended the day on somewhere around 12380 as I seem to have been running around all over the shop today thanks to an utter and complete failure to plan out the day's missions in anything resembling an efficient manner. Not limited to but including picking up our week's groceries.

Image

Reckon that was the most unusual car to appear in the customer collection point at Tesco today?

Another fuel up today showed 33.1mpg, so it seems to have settled down to mid 30s fairly consistently. Would like to see what the figures were on a run out of town, but obviously can't do that at the moment. I'm pretty sure I'd be seeing into the 40s if I was anywhere other than Milton Keynes - this place is just murder on fuel economy - especially in a car with a small engine. It's a bit like driving a 2CV, conservation of momentum is the name of the game.

Service coming up at the weekend. Engine oil, oil filter, gearbox oil, diff oil will all be changed, plugs will be checked and all grease points will be gone over. Oil pickup strainer will also be checked and cleaned as she had quite a bit of sludge in after the first oil change. Never really seen any since, but better safe than sorry.

Oh...and clean the rear windscreen. I've managed to leave a hand print right in the middle of it and it's driving me mad!

There are probably other far more important things that I *should* get done this weekend, but currently at the top of my "I really want to do..." list is polishing the poor BX. I reckon she will look so much less sorry for herself after that. Found a tube of Sikaflex yesterday evening too so I'll hopefully get the fresh air vents re-sealed too and see if that helps keep the weather outside.

User avatar
NewcastleFalcon
Posts: 14580
Joined: 25 Feb 2009, 11:40
x 1451

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

On a trivial note Zel, love the number noticing stuff! :-D

What was the BX odometer at when it first unloaded at chez Zel? I'm sure one of your photos will have it for the record.

Answered my own question 149,076 :-D

Image


Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 27 Feb 2021, 00:16, edited 1 time in total.