Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

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

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van ordinaire
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Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 05 Mar 2017, 23:48

Just got the C15 back up to London (with the benefit of its £30 Devon MoT). Not exactly a fun drive but it gave me time to reflect - & I came up with this idea!

I'll try to do a retrospective to put this into some sort of perspective but, for the moment:-

Last weekend had tyre (one of a pair I had bought earlier) fitted in place of the flat spare (the one that cost me all that grief - & a starter) & had it put on in place of the one that had scraped through the MoT as an advisory. On Saturday had that replaced with the other one of the pair but couldn't get the tracking done at the same time. Took it somewhere else I've used before & trusted. All done for £24 (£20 for cash) + free check & any fine tuning once it's had a chance to settle, because it was so far out. Hopefully I've finally cured the voracious appetite for n/s f. tyres.
Now have a pair of Chinese winter tyres (well they're marked "M & S") + a Serbian pair, all almost new, & cost, I recall, £18 (might've been £20!) the lot. It was very windy today which made for less than certain handling. Tinkering with pressures might help but perhaps now I can think about some proper tyres, instead of this endless succession of stopgaps.

Another advisory was the windscreen wiper, which surprised me, as I'd always been quite impressed with its performance. It all became clear (groan) this evening driving in mucky conditions: it takes about 1/2-dozen sweeps to produce a clear arc. Still Lidl's should have some in before the next MoT. Ironically it was the Cherokee that actually needed a wiper replaced on Saturday: finding out in the middle of Dartmoor, in the sort of conditions for which its infamous, that the last 3" of the driver's blade is waving in the air is not good!

I really did miss the intermittant wipe function today; do I need a stalk, a motor - or is there some other fix?

Even in this evening's conditions, I discovered a thermal beanie solves the immediate problem with the driver's window permanently 1" open - but now perhaps I can re-prioritise replacing the winder - or, preferably, the door!

Not only was the weather agin me today but the gearchange started off notchy & ended up graunchy - & getting quite difficult to select (especially changing down to the lower gears). Time to adjust the clutch again methinks, but why after such short time? I feared it was the clutch - but there's no sign of slipping (& it was severly tested once or twice today). Could it really just be the cable?

& finally, I found the new rad. for the Cadillac in the porch on Friday: $116 delivered (& no VAT or duty). That's going to be fun but to think, the rad for the other Cherokee was £150, trade - & I had to go to Plymouth to collect it.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 06 Mar 2017, 10:42

I wonder what the state of the gearbox oil is? Maybe this could explain the notchy feeling.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by CitroJim » 06 Mar 2017, 16:30

Van, it's great to see you doing a blog :) I always enjoy your posts and I'll be an avid follower of this blog... Excellent!
Hell Razor5543 wrote:I wonder what the state of the gearbox oil is? Maybe this could explain the notchy feeling.
Good point well made James :) All PSA manual 'boxes of a certain age are ever so fussy about oil and if they don't get their 75W/80 they are far from happy...

Swap it if not sure. It could make all the difference ;)

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by white exec » 06 Mar 2017, 17:52

On 75W/90, the box will be far from happy. 75W/80 is essential, and GL4 (not GL5).

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by CitroJim » 06 Mar 2017, 18:23

white exec wrote:On 75W/90, the box will be far from happy.


Absolutely. It is amazing what a difference just ten viscosity points makes...

I once had a car with a BE3 filled with EP90 and it was like stirring treacle!

The wrong oil can damage the synchros too.. BE3 cone synchros are quite delicate and don't take abuse well at all. Looked after they will go on for ever though...

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by white exec » 06 Mar 2017, 18:50

The original Rover oil spec for the 1977-on SD1 5-speed (ZF) box was 90EP. Built to very close tolerances (especially the V8 version), you struggled to engage 1st in cold weather, and even if you did manage to get it into 1st, a shift into 2nd could be impossible. The car had to be brought to a halt, 2nd engaged . . . Not a good way to progress!

Spec was changed to 80 grade, 75 was tried, and finally to ATF! Problem solved, and Castrol rose to the occasion by launching something called "Manual Transmission Fluid" (suspiciously red ATF-like), which later gave birth to Syntrax, and the current Syntrans.

Thinking back, my rear axle (and the automatic Luvax chassis lube) on the '35 "Ten" ran SAE 140 EP. Like thick dark honey! No wonder top speed was only 62mph. Don't think metal every got anywhere near metal!

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 06 Mar 2017, 22:40

Hell Razor5543 wrote:I wonder what the state of the gearbox oil is? Maybe this could explain the notchy feeling.
So did I when I got it, so changing it was one of the 1st things I did - so it's only about 18 months old. AND it got worse on the drive back, although that morning I'd topped it up, as I didn't think I'd managed to squeeze quite as much back in, as I'd drained out before changing a driveshaft last week.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 07 Mar 2017, 00:20

Jim, thanks again for the encouragement - it's really your fault that it's come to this, I never imagined when I discovered this forum that I would be contributing to it at this level. Nor, indeed, that someone would enjoy my posts - & admit to it.
2 important things I omitted from 1st post were, as promised, when I got back from breakfast in Princetown on Saturday, the weather being so much better in Torbay than out on the Moor I did, carefully, attach the stickers (&, no, I didn't put one on the Cherokee!). So now people will forever associate a tatty (not so) old van with the forum - or t'other way round!
When I'd got the tracking done (I think for the 4th time since I got it) the steering wheel was actually straight for the 1st time: just makes me want a single spoke wheel even more - well it is a Citroen after all (if you ignore all the Pug bits at the front).s

As for the viscosity of the oil, I dunno, it was whatever I had in stock - &, must confess, I'd never noticed there was more than one multigrade - certainly never been faced with a choice (AND, Chris, you've lost me with GL4 & 5). Anyway, I will check at the w/e but I suspect it's 75/90. However, if that IS the issue, why has it suddenly occurred & why did adjusting the clutch seem to fix it before? Oh, & I didn't mention, double declutching seemed to help, but, I suppose, that's as indicative of synchro probs as it is the clutch. Oh well, always did think it would benefit from different ratios.

I do remember the received wisdom with Jag 5-speeds was to use ATF , rather than the specified hypoid, but don't recall ever getting round to putting into practise. MTF, now you mention it, it does ring a bell - but had no idea it was still with us, albeit under a different name. Curiously that very same car developed very similar symptoms (towards the end of a drive down to Devon) in fact it became so bad I did the last couple of miles in 4th. The following morning walked to local garage for some hydaulic fluid, found a bit of pipe bled the clutch & hoped it would get me back up to London &, in fact, never did do the job properly, as never had another moments problem with it!

Ah yes, EP180 - great in noisy diffs. I once resorted to putting it in the gear box of an old Ford to keep it going 'til the w/e: gear changes early in the mornings were particularly leisurely!

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by RichardW » 07 Mar 2017, 09:03

If the clutch is dragging, and adjusting it fixed it, but only for a short time, and adjusting it again fixes it again, then you need to plan on having the 'box out.... odds on the release bearing is chewing its way thought the pressure plate, and sooner or later will go all the way through leaving you with no clutch at all. PSA clutches of this era like failing this way! Later ones like failing by the 10p release bearing exploding.... been there with our C4!

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by white exec » 07 Mar 2017, 09:39

Always enjoy your posts! :)

Gear lubrication GL4, GL5
These are two main gear oil standards (as opposed to viscosities, eg 75W/80...), with different levels of extreme pressure additives.
Full details here, and on other sites:
Wikipedia - Gear Oil

An extract:
GL-5 is not necessarily backward-compatible in synchro-mesh transmissions which are designed for a GL-4 oil: GL-5 has a lower coefficient of friction due to the higher concentration of EP additives over GL-4, and thus synchros can not engage as effectively. Also, transmissions which explicitly call for GL-4 oil may have been designed around this lower concentration of EP additives and thus may contain yellow metal parts which GL-5 will corrode.

Many older PSA vehicles should be run on GL-4. Some newer vehicles can run on either. Check with Owner's Handbook or Service Data.
I have recently realised I had (not very old) GL-5 in our XM, where GL-4 is specified. Replaced it, and gear changes have become easier.
Last edited by myglaren on 07 Mar 2017, 18:10, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Wikipedia link fixed.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 08 Mar 2017, 02:32

Thanks for that enlightenment, something else to look for on the containers when I check the viscosity.

Must admit, it had never occured to me that hypoid had specs, & that the latest was necessarily right for older applications, just like engine oil - I suppose because it didn't seem to change for years (or even decades). Actually, I did look in the handbook last night (balanced, as it conveniently was, on the arm of the chair) but it only mentioned viscosity. Still, I know what I'm looking for now, although where I'm going to find it, I've no idea.

Not had a clutch go on me for a very long time (except my son's 2CV - which doesn't really count) but I fear that might be a job too many for the C15: sentimental attachement alone cannot justify the time/effort &/or cost. By a remarkable coincidence, not long ago, I was talking to someone who breaks a few cars (mainly, I think, small Euro hatches) as a sideline & he said over 1/2 of them are because they're not worth the cost of a new clutch, although some he does the job & sells them on.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by white exec » 08 Mar 2017, 08:33

Total's gear oil that meets PSA's specification B71 2330 (which is GL-4) is currently Total Transmission Gear 8 75W-80 oil. Our nearby Citroen main dealer workshop use this across the range.
Interestingly, Castrol do not appear to have a gear oil that meets this PSA spec.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by RichardW » 08 Mar 2017, 08:57

You'll be hard pushed to beat this price for the genuine stuff... https://www.nielsencdg.co.uk/acatalog/T ... 01278.html

Available off the shelf at your local Halfords: http://www.halfords.com/motoring/engine ... 80-plus-1l

Clutch on a C15 shouldn't be too expensive if you DIY - no DMF to worry about.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 08 Mar 2017, 14:42

Just a quick update:-

Had a night's sleep to accept the inevitable & a bit of time trawling through various on-line parts sources this morning produced a clutch kit at an acceptable price: unused source, unknown make BUT has 2 yr warranty, so that'll do me.

Not sure about D-i-Y, never done a transverse clutch (we did have a Mk 3 Escort long, long ago - but I wasn't even allowed to think about doing that: too close to the date we were going away, I think) - & the manual's down in Devon. Have a Visa one - but it doesn't cover the diesel model so might flick through the ZX one, which should give me an idea of what's facing me. However time/opportunity is another factor so will have to speak to my friendly neighbourhood mobile mechanic to see what we can work out. At his rates, if it's a 4 - 5 hr job, it should just come in at less than the purchase price of the van.

While I was on t'net came across this:-
"Comma EP75W-80 Gear Oil - 1 Litre

Suitable for use in Rover manual gearboxes where this grade is recommended. Specially formulated to meet the requirements of Peugeot and Citroen . . . " from Wilco Direct, of all places but @ £7.99 a litre! i.e. nearly twice the price of any other hypoid; so, Richard, very grateful for being put onto Nielsen's. Never would've thought of looking in Halfords - something to do with their prices?
Like to buy oil in 5 litres really, so will check out Mole Valley Farmers, & a couple of factors, to see what they've got, but at least I know where I can go, if needs be.

So, peeps, p'raps a plan is slowly coming together - but can't see it coming to fruition this side of Easter.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur » 08 Mar 2017, 15:08

van ordinaire wrote:I feared it was the clutch - but there's no sign of slipping (& it was severly tested once or twice today). Could it really just be the cable?
If its not the oil, it could be the clutch plate, which for me was the cause of a clutch job on my 405 a couple of years back.... The 'fingers' on the pressure plate wear and eventually snap (see pic, this is what mine looked like) causing lots of strain on the clutch cable and difficult gear changes: I found 'Reverse' went first. Coz the friction plate is unaffected, you could stick it in 4th at 20mph uphill and bury the throttle & it'd slowly struggle up without slipping.

I would imagine, the DW8 and the XUD being largely similar, that; just like the XUD 'box, you can take the half-circle bottom cover off the box (where it meets the engine block), 3 x 10mm head bolts on mine and have a prod about in the bottom of the bell-housing. If you find a 'finger* or two' in there* it'll point to this being your problem.

*will look a bit like the end of a feeler gauge.

NB: I suspect you realise this but a mention anyway, it is possible, thought not particularly easy; to drive without a clutch; getting started again after a full stop and changing down when going downhill are especially tricky; so defo no driving it in Dartmoor again til its sorted; one of the rare locations that I've found where a given hill can be steep, narrow AND incredibly twisty. You often get '2 out of 3' but less so all 3.

NB2: my apologies re faffing & delay with t'other. Missus needs the car locally today & tomorrow, hence having won a genny - to power the grinder - on the bay Tues, I can't get to MK to pick it up til Friday.
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