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2002 Xsara VTS
#31
Yes, the belts only 18 months old though. As you say, cheap enough to do. Will go to Carl Grimsley to be sorted.
Cherry Red Rallye - Full on OEM resto.....
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#32
All of the big bits with the exception of the engine (and I've a buyer committed to that at the end of the month) sold, and a lot of the small bits also sold or boxed up for spares for mine, it was pretty much stripped. The last job was to pull the dash, the heater matrix and blower motor and then the carpet and sound deadening, leaving a bare shell.

A stripped shell....

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I thought about rolling it onto its side but then figured this gave me just as much access. Engine cranes are great!

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Rather than try and cut individual sections, it was just as easy to cut a massive square. Didn't take long, maybe an hour or two with Tea stops....

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This morning, before the scrappers arrived, I took the last few bits off the Xsara. Couple of bits I'd missed from the towbar and then the spoiler and rear wiper motor (which strangely on the Xsara is rivetted in, not bolted) and then that was that. Done. The lorry turned up about lunchtime, the guy driving had a chuckle at how little was left, chucked a chain through it and promptly hiab-ed it onto the back of his wagon and was gone!

Over a brew, I got busy with some more interior bits. Finished cutting out the gearshift gaiter material sections (yes, it's not lost on me either...a gaiter that mounts onto a 4 sided piece of plastic, made from three bits of material..... typically french!). I'm going to have it sewn with the Citroen Racing colours of red and white.

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Then, inspired by jim and his Clio and the work he's done, I decided I wanted to use a few of the spare trim bits from the breaker and wrap them in a 4d carbon fibre type film...

First was one of the sill trims. Quite a complex shape, especially around the Citroen lettering and it's not perfect but, as another friend said, no-one is looking at it with magnifying glass...

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Spurred on by that, I threw caution to the wind and decided to wrap the entire dash console. In for a penny etc......it was a bloody awkward shape and probably took me three hours to finish. Lots of heating and stretching and shaping and trimming...

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Due to its shape, it's going to need an extra strip adding to finish the recessed section for the instrument binnacle but given the angles etc, the join should be fairly invisible.

I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.

Tomorrow, it's about the brakes. The new front discs are on order, as is a fitting kit for the rear pads from the local Euros branch. New brakes format and rear, refit the seat and front bumper and then figure out how I'm getting it to CG cars ......
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#33
True to your word you really didn't drag your feet stripping that Xsara. You know your way round these PSA cars pretty well now though.

The wrap looks great. Never tried doing it myself but am pretty sure it would look a bit of a mess if I did!

Cheers for the good read.
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#34
Well done! Im fairly sure the phase 3 306s have the wiper motors rivetted in.
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#35
Well, it might not go, but should it do so, it should stop now.

Picked up the discs and rear pad fitting kit this morning, had a brew and broke out the spanners.

The fronts were ugly. The pics say it all really but once I had the disc off, the inside edge was even worse. Definitely the right time for new....

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The inside face of the front disc. Lucky if there's been 50% contact.

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New gear fitted all round, front and rear but not before I periodically had to drain the reservoir of fluid. Usual thing....don't bother replacing the pads, just top the fluid up.....Rolleyes

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Anyway, the new stuff went on with no issues (right size discs this time) other than having to drill out a couple of disc retaining screws and looks much better. Oddly, my car doesn't have the wiring for the brake pad wear sensor, yet the one I broke, which was built two months before my silver one, did.....odd. Pair of scissors made light work of the sensor wiring.

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I then trial fitted one of the carbon bits I'd done.

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I think it looks alright actually!
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#36
I have a fan that works as it should again!

The resistor pack arrived this morning. I fitted that to the fan unit id taken out of the breaker car as I figured it was easier to test if it was this pack by simply unplugging the wiring from the existing fan motor and plugging into the other one...

So ready to rock, I set about removing the one from the car.

Few trim screw clip things to remove to drop this piece of carpet.

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Small issue when rebuilding the fan motor. I couldn't get one of the connections in the sub loom in. Looks like the tab was slightly bent.

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Easy fixed.

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Carpet section out of the way and faced with this....3 7mm bolts hold the fan in. You can see one to the right of the fan motor in this pic.

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The other two were more difficult to access as you are pretty much doing it blind and by feel. Eventually all three bolts out and with some contortionist skills, fan motor out.

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Plugged the new one in, started up the car (fan only works when the engine is running) and it worked as it should. Same messing about to get it back in and then refitting the mounting bolts but all in all, including a brew, it took perhaps 30 mins.

Only jobs left to do now are the service (hopefully tomorrow) and the door card clips one they arrived from Poland (had confirmation they have been despatched)

Today was supposed to be a simple service task, taking an hour or so. I get the feeling nothing will run right for me and this car...

So, all the bits I need to service it (apart from the Mann filter, because this is a pic I took before buying the proper one). Oil, filter, proper OEM air filter and a copper crush washer for the sump plug.

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All was going well. Car jacked up, sump nut cracked and sump drained. All good. With a little effort, and assistance from a large pair of pipe grips, the oil filter was off, the new one one, sump nut replaced and 4.25 ltrs of new oil added...with not a drop spilt.

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Excellent. Started up the engine. Noisy lifter was noisy but there was another noise.......oh, that will be the 4.25 ltrs of oil getting pumped out from behind the oil filter all over the floor.

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Its a good job the neighbor was out on the front with his kids, because I'd likely have turned the air bluer than blue. As it turns out, I made a proper schoolboy error.

When I removed the old oil filter, it left the old seal behind. I didn't check. Screwed the new filter back on (with the old seal kinda just hanging in place on the filter screw thread mount) trapping the old seal, meaning no seal.....engine start and voila. Oil. Everywhere.

Speedy call to the wife to get some cat litter on the way home and another order of 5ltrs of oil from ECP.

Took me 90 mins to do a 22 mile journey, thanks to the joys of your local football team playing at home.

New oil added, car dropped off the jacks, oil level checked and topped up and car started. Noisy lifter was still noisy but as the oil warmed and got round, it shut up. Took it out tonight and blew any remaining cobwebs out of it. She's ready for the driving weekend.

I had the new VTS badges arrive today.

I never understood the choice of yellow for the 'S' part of the badge. To me it implies that's it's not quite a hot hatch....which I could understand for the VTR but not the VTS. Good job someone makes the badge I think this car should always have had.

As they arrived this morning, fresh from Rich at VehicleDecals (https://vehicledecals.co.uk)

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Side by side with an old badge.....

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The clips on the badges are very fragile indeed so to get them off, I took the whole trim panel off, giving me access to the badge clips from back. Took the opportunity to clean under where the trim had been and gave it a coat of Orchard Autocare's Speed Seal

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Badges back on...

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I think the red looks so much better, especially against the silver of the body.
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#37
Stripped the Koni suspension that came off the breaker. Came apart easily enough.

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Now cleaning up a pair of hubs which I'll have powder coated which will go on when the suspension goes on.

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#38
Decided I'd make the most of the break in the weather on Friday night and get outside and get some fresh air (work from home on a Friday, been cooped up inside all day because of the rain) and decided to swap the back plates over on the Xsara with the ones I'd cleaned up from the Rallye.

Not a massive job, just a bit awkward as you have to unclip the ABS sensors from the loom as they thread through a hole in the back plate. Bit of a pain to get to as they are tucked up behind the beam so have to jack up and crawl right under to unplug them.

Anyway, that done, I knocked the torx bit into the screws and used the impact gun gently and the nuts came out fine. Well, for the first one they did, until the torx bit gave up. Halfords Advanced too so will get it replaced, just annoying mid job. Anyway, they done make much difference but I know they are there and cleaner and better protected than what was there...

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Said chocolate Torx bit....

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#39
looks really tidy and those new gel stickers are great. Is the carbon stuff in the interior wrapped or real? Doing a hard job telling with just pictures!
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#40
What did you use to clean up the hubs Ben?  Deox again?
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#41
(11-06-2019, 08:46 AM)Eeyore Wrote: looks really tidy and those new gel stickers are great. Is the carbon stuff in the interior wrapped or real? Doing a hard job telling with just pictures!

Yeah, wrapped with a vinyl film I got from eBay. Need to work a bit on technique still!

(11-06-2019, 10:35 AM)Mighty306 Wrote: What did you use to clean up the hubs Ben?  Deox again?

Yes, more deox c. I have a bit plastic tub in the garage now into which I just throw bits and come back later!
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#42
Tonight's episode: The Wrong Cat featuring Blue Language and Incredulity Big Grin

I really dont know what's wrong with me and cars, honestly I don't. Nothing really seems to go right, be easy or simple or generally not cause me hassles. The Xsara, it seems, doesnt want to break with tradition.

So, way back at the start of this thread, when it was up on the ramps being tracked, I noticed the cat had been 'clearanced'....since I've owned it, there has been an issue with the exhaust vibrating against the car body somewhere (most likely the subframe) under acceleration. Up until today, I suspected the reason to be a worn bottom engine mount. I'm now entirely convinced that this is not the issue.

Since the weekend drive out to Yorkshire, the engines not been happy, throwing a code for the position 1 lambda sensor (covered that already) and seeing as I've a spare from the breaker, I decided I'd swap them. How hard could it be?

With it being so low, it's a pain to get jacked up enough for me.to get under it but eventually I did. Axles stands in position, away I went. The lambda sensor was a complete pig. Even with a 2 ft bar on the end of the spanner, it was having none of it and my left shoulder gave out before it cracked free. Hmmm, plan b.

I've a spare cat from the breaker and given the one on the car has been butchered, I figured why not take it all off and have a proper look. First job, remove battery, battery box and then ECU from the back of the battery box to gain access to the two lambda sensor connections. With those disconnected and the leads fed down, it was time to get the exhaust off. I only needed to remove the centre section, the back box could stay in position. Centre section came off easily. Cat, much less so.

Access was awful. A 12" extension bar, a 3" bar on top of that and a deep reach 13mm socket. Stupidly designed clamped, lots of swearing fiddling, access you need the hands of a 5 year old for....

Battery box off and ECU separated

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Lambda plugs undone

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The horrible clearencing job

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And the god awful clamp

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Eventually, I got everything undone, the clamp remove and the cat off.....where the full horrors became evident.

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It's clearly the wrong cat. Something that needs that much adjustment, and still doesn't fit right, clearly isn't right. I know its not the original cat as the history details a replacement after an MOT failure on emmisons. However, that's been hammered so much, the pipe is less than half it's original diameter.

At this point, I got the other cat from the breaker out and compared them. It was at this point, it dawned on me it was the wrong cat. The difference is massive and the garage must have known with the amount of modification they had to do, and even then it still didnt fit properly.

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This is the biggest bit for me. This is the difference in the section that's been flattened. It's almost 2" in difference. That's 2" more clearance over the subframe.

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So the cat that's come off, won't be going be going back on. I'll try the one that came off the breaker. I did a trial fit, and it's much, much better.

For a giggle, I thought I'd see what Citroen want for a cat....

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I'll take two please lol
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#43
Cheers for the update Ben ...a good read as always.

[Quote] "I really don't know what's wrong with me and cars, honestly I don't."

It's not you Ben, it's the cars ….20-something year old cars! Firstly, you're bound to find a few bodges on a car that age, we all make mistakes along the way, and finally some jobs are just an utter pig without the car up on a lift. That exhaust was definitely on the comical side. Honestly, what sort of s**t garage would have butchered a cat section to that extent to make it fit? It probably didn't pull the power down as much as you think though. Have you ever watched this? …… https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3vupq0

As for dealing with that exhaust clamp, have you got a set of ratchet spanners? When I got a set (cheap in Lidl!!!) it revolutionised working in certain tight spaces on the car. Looks like one might have made life a lot easier with that clamp. (Am only going by what I can see in the pictures mind, which probably isn't the whole picture).
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#44
Thanks fella.

I have got ratchet spanners, in 8, 10, 13, 15, 17mm. The clamp bolt was 16mm....! It would have been very difficult to get in there with one too, just because there was about enough room for my hand and nothing else. The clamp was just crusty and old.

As for the cat, well, it turns out it's a Klarius item, and the correct one they list for this car/engine. It's a god awful piece of workmanship. I'm certain the garage who fitted it shouldn't have. If you have to alter something that much, just so it doesn't fit as badly, then something is wrong.

I have my suspicion about that garage anyway. When Carl Grimsley did the cambelt, he said he couldn't see any of the writing left on it. This is a belt, supposedly changed and having done less than 10k miles since. I've every suspicion they didn't change it.

But, onwards and upwards. I do actually enjoy working through and correcting all the faults and bodges. After the cat, I think it will be about there
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#45
I should have been born an octopus.....or perhaps rather I wish I had been tonight and if going into a career of on driveway cat replacements, then it's a must be!

I've finally got it.all back together tonight. First job was to transfer the sensors into the new cat. Immediately had a bit of a moment as I was really struggling to remove the sensor from the old car that's been causing the issues.......until it dawned on me I didn't need to as it was shot.....ahem. So with both sensors into the new cat, it was time to get under the car again.

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This is where I needed about 17 hands....some to hold the cat in place, some to get the clamp into position and hold it, another one to guide the socket onto the clamp bolt and a final one to turn the ratchet.

Not quite sure how, but I managed to do all that with just a pair.

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I didn't get any pics but the cat/subframe clearance immediately looked better. I then refitted the exhaust centre section and looked at the tail pipe. With this other cat being about an inch longer, I think the tailpipe now sits perfectly.

Best before I have....

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After

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Then finally off the axle stands, battery box, ECU and battery refitted, fault.codes cleared and started her up

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No engine management light, result. Slight blow from the exhaust but nothing major. Just need to road test tomorrow to see if the vibration issue has gone and let the ECU relearn.
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#46
I didn't think that something as simple as changing the cat could make such a difference to a car. Simply, it's transformed.

Last jobs to do this morning were test drive to see if the vibrations were cured and let the ECU relearn. Pootled off down my estate, got about quarter of a mile and there was this awful noise like something had fallen off. Metallic banging sound as whatever it was hit the car and fell off. Sh!t!!!!!!!!

Stopped immediately and got out and started looking. A lady came out of her house to see if I was ok as she had heard it too. The car seemed fine and I couldn't see anything missing so drive slowly back home. Jacked it up, couldn't find anything missing, or anything in the undertray. All exhaust clamps and bolts present etc....I was puzzled.

I then wondered if I'd left something in the engine bay and it had fallen down so I checked my socket set........and lo and behold, a 16mm spark plug socket was missing, the one I used to tighten the manifold to cat clamp...

I then remembered that whilst I was adjusting the exhaust, I'd finished tightening the cat clamp but left the extension on it. Whilst doing the centre section, the extension fell off. It must have left the socket on the clamp which is what fell off. I went back and widened my search area and eventually found it on a wide grass verge!!!!

With that resolved, it was time for a proper test drive. The lack of vibration under acceleration is just lovely. I was wincing as input my foot down, waiting for it to happen.....it never did. I'm sure it revs more cleanly, the horrible rapsy sound that sounds like a cross wasp is stuck in my exhaust is gone, as is a metallic tinkly rattle. In short, it's an absolute joy to drive now. On part throttle it's comfortable and quiet, full throttle it's just an animal!!!

Exhaust may need sealing on the joints, I'll take it to the garage and have them do that. I am absolutely over the moon now though. It's the car it should be.

Other than the driver's side door card (which should be easily fixed) it's the last of the issues I knew I had with this car. Just need to drive it a bit more now!
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#47
Great to hear all your hard work & the associated hassle has paid off.  Enjoy driving the car!
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#48
Exhaust sealing is something you can do if the joints are correct and not rusting away.

Assemble the exhaust using this essentially as assembly paste. For example, in a sleeved joint put a bead around the inner part before sliding them together. Dries to a flexible sealant and it never causes an issue taking it apart again. It also isn't water soluble and can resist oil and temperature so it's fine. Obviously this is only on joints that are OK for sealant.

If the blow is because of corrosion and shit/wrong joints this might work temporarily but you need to fix them really.
This post is an artistic work of fiction and falsehood. Only a fool would take anything posted above as fact.

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#49
(23-06-2019, 05:10 PM)RetroPug Wrote: Exhaust sealing is something you can do if the joints are correct and not rusting away.

Assemble the exhaust using this essentially as assembly paste. For example, in a sleeved joint put a bead around the inner part before sliding them together. Dries to a flexible sealant and it never causes an issue taking it apart again. It also isn't water soluble and can resist oil and temperature so it's fine. Obviously this is only on joints that are OK for sealant.

If the blow is because of corrosion and shit/wrong joints this might work temporarily but you need to fix them really.

I could but I am absolutely done with crawling around under these cars  Rofl 

They are a real pain to get high enough to work under comfortably because they sit pretty low anyway. Today, I've done the handbrake cables on a mates VTS and it's about killed me!! 

The garage can definitely do the exhaust sealing! 5 mins on a ramp and a few quid. The joints are all pretty good and I cleaned them all up when the exhaust was off the car.

Anyway, with the handbrake job out of the way, I decided I'd cut the old cat up, just to see how much of a restriction the hammered patch was causing. I was quite surprised...

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Probably just less than half the pipes original diameter. I guess that was the cause of the horrible raspy sound.
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