Flintoff has been a revelation for me. Wasn't convinced at all when he was announced as a host but the bloke has balls the size of watermelons. That bungee in a car off the side of a dam is one of the most nerve-wracking things they've ever done on Top Gear.
I wonder how much driving training they got? Harris is still obviously in a different league but both Flintoff and McGuinness are very capable of chucking their cars about.
I quite liked the way McGuiness took the piss out of himself with that fake Ferrari. It’s exactly the sort of thing middle-aged Paddy would have bought if he’d still been doing the doors at the Phoenix Club.
Flintoff has got good taste in cars, he’s come a long way since that knackered LeBaron convertible.
In my ongoing efforts to sabotage myself get a daily that isn't the BX, large enough to load big stuff in and reliable enough to last - I caught myself knocking on someones door when I saw a car languishing on a local drive the other day. I really need to stop looking at peoples drives when I'm out....anyway
Fast forward a week later, a few phonecalls price agreed and hands shook (well, not really because COVID) - it's now mine!
Story: Lovely chap who owned it - is the second owner and it was maybe a couple years old when he got it. MOT just ran out, it's had some work on the top mounts in the past and now one of them is starting to crack a bit. Showed it to my welding man and he said it just needs a bit of a clean up but easy enough. Also has a coolant leak from the back of the engine he said and tends to empty itself in a day or so - he would have fixed it but he's too old now to get under it and be working on it. Older chap. With a bit of love it should be fine - sills might need a bit of seeing to but it's going to be a rough and ready runaround - hopefully.
When we put some distilled in it to start it it did only take a couple liters and it'd been sitting - so we will see. Probably as the thermostat was closed.
Just under 170k, 1.9XUD Turbo Diesel, Bosch pump for veg oil goodness. Laquer peel galore but it has a lovely roof rack, starts, drives, stops on the button. It's friken huge. Clutch is nice and low too. He said he had a spreadsheet of the work he has done to it over the years he's going to send over so that should be a good read!
As it's an "Executive" (ooh-er) it has heated seats, full leather, electric mirrors, headlight protectors, AC. Even has the original radio and some wood* on the dash.
Like I said - really lovely chap. Had a good, long chat about it and his / my life. The cars future was the scrappy - but he was happy to see it go somewhere where it could potentially be returned to the road. He was sad to get rid after owning for so long. Seems like a really honest car and an honest, kind long term owner sad to see it put to pasture.
I love the XUD engines - so it was a no brainer for me - plus it was 15 minutes away.
ANYHOW, I know you all want to see pictures!
(Ignore the water - that was me being silly)
I had a 306 with this engine and it was very nice. Had a 405 Saloon that I got super cheap locally and sold straight on with it - regret that a lot - but an estate is way better for me. And it came with like 4 keys - crazy. It shifts too! I also thinkl they're very pretty.
Happy days. Stay tuned for more.
Hopefully it'll go better than the Bravo....
It's 2006, and an old lady who bought her Rover 75 brand new a couple of years ago has given up driving, The car is being sold by her son-in-law, with 11,500 miles on. It's especially nice because it's a Rover Monogram paint job (Chatsworth Gold) on a top-spec contemporary with every available extra, It's a nice car!
Thing is... it's actually 2021, and the car still has 11,500 miles on. It looks new, smells new and is looking for its third owner having served two elderly custodians previously. I've just agreed to purchase it, and I can't quite believe my luck happening upon this one!
It's a 2004 Rover 75 Contemporary SE, with the 131BHP diesel in Monogram Chatsworth Gold. MOT'd until 21st December this year & is absolutely mint. Picking it up on Monday!
Well, at the beginning of December I made the decision to put the C6 into service, despite the fact it wasn't strictly...well, fixed. My logic was that seeing as it was already broken, I had nothing to lose!
By luck rather than judgement, this proved to be a masterstroke, taking my grand total of great ideas since 1983 (when records began) to three. I genuine believe that if I hadn't put it on the road, warts 'n all, it'd still be dumped at my workshop collecting moss. "I'll do it when I have time" says I, knowing full well he never has 'time'.
Granted, the first thing I decided to tackle was a part that wasn't actually fitted to the car anyway, as I'd left it off from the last time I had it up in the air. This was the engine undertray. On some cars this is purely a loose piece of protection (if the car in question is from the VAG stable, it's probably no longer there anyway). On other cars - cars that are a bit more cleverer - it forms part of the aerodynamics and affects the cooling efficiency of the radiator. I've gone and stuck the C6 on the road without it, which I'm sure will be fine. It's not like it has a high-capacity, twin-turbo charged diesel engine and active aero, right?
The reason it needed tackling was that it was split. It wasn't fully in two pieces, but it was well on the way, and I figured prevention is better than cure, so I beefed it up.
Why so many rivets? Because there's some sealant in there too, and it was quicker than clamping it together!
Meh...I'll throw some black paint over it. It'll soon get covered in shit! Main thing is that it's now strong...stronger than it was previously, I should think.
The C6 was now on the road. The handbrake issue I'd sorted, but the suspension and gearbox issues remained. However, much more pressing than either of those two minor issues was a more serious problem that required my attention. You see, the headlamps on the C6 are xenon, as you'd expect and that gives off a nice, crisp white light.
The sidelights, however...oh man! They're not white at all. Being a standard W5W (501) bulb, they're like a tinged yellow. Kinda like the doorframes of your average 1980's council house. You know, the one with an ashtray next to the telephone in the hallway.
I decided this was something I could live with no longer. I installed these:
Kudos to Citroen on this one, because looking at those headlamps (especially with the bonnet open) you'd assume they'd be a total pig to change, but no! Open the little access panel on the side of the unit, and rotate the long white rod-ish stick thing.
While I was playing with the headlamps, I decided to play with the laptop. I told it to depressurise the system, to see what would happen. Resulting low-boi image below:
When it depressurises, the fluid all returns to the reservoir, and in my case it overflowed and spilled a bit. I'm taking that as a sign it was overfilled. Incidentally, these LDS-based systems are quite different to the older LHM ones. In the case of the latter, overfilling the reservoir (as a result of a faulty level indicator, or an ignorant operator (ask me how I know...both times)) leaves you with a worst case scenario of wasting a load of money in the form of a bright green puddle on the floor. The reservoir on a BX or Xantia, for example, barely seals. It's a fully breathable setup, and, of course, with the cars sinking when they're switched off and then pumping up again when they're restarted, the level tends to fluctuate quite a bit; When the suspension is slammed, the tank is full, and when it's raised as high as it'll go, it's...well, it's not empty, but it's got less in it.
An LHM car is also pretty fully mechanical, when it comes to the pressure regulation side of things. The engine runs a mechanical pump, which whips the green blood up into a froth until it reaches about 1400psi. The regulation is done via springs and valves, and in the event you want to release the pressure completely (dropping the car to low does not achieve this), you simply turn a 12mm-headed bolt head about 180degrees, and wait for a hiss.
LDS cars are different. LDS cars are far more complicated! For a start, the pump is electric, not engine-driven. The evolution of this is pretty much as per the evolution of power-steering pumps, where, certainly in PSA's field, electro-hydraulic was flavour of the month. Lots of PSA cars (starting with the Saxo) have run electrically powered hydraulic pumps, and the cars from the C6's era even used the same LDS fluid for their steering as the C6 does for its suspension. Of course, with the LHM cars, the high-pressure circuit powered the steering and brakes too, meaning you got fully-powered brakes, as opposed to assisted brakes via a servo. C6 runs a servo, like a peasant's Kia Rio. I mean, you can kind of pretend they're the same, as they do actually share the reservoir, but the PAS pump is a standard belt-driven affair. Bum.
In terms of space and packaging, it's much neater, because you have far less in the way of pipework and hoses littering the engine bay. The pump can also act as regulator and distributor, too, but there are some quirks to this system. Firstly, for reasons I don't fully understand, the reservoir isn't breathable. When jacking a LDS-suspended Cit up, it's imperative you remove the cap from the LDS tank, because if the suspension droops as you raise the car, it can fracture the tank. Yes, really. Same with C5s, too. I assume that if you raise the suspension to its highest setting, effectively locking-out the travel, you shouldn't need to. I think...
For the same reasons, overfilling the system is bad. The level in the tank has to be bob-on, because if it's not it can cause you all manner of headaches. You actually have to connect a laptop to the car and tell it to check its own fluid level, and in doing so, it depressurises and repressurises. Mine spilt a bit out (luckily I'd removed the cap). I guess that's right; I never actually bothered to find out.
The other reason I'd slapdashedly dumped my laptop on the roof, was to see if I could enter the system and learn any reasons as to why my suspension was titting about. I'd made a bit of progress there, you see (once I'd finished doing the important jobs, like fitting tarty LEDs to the headlamps).
Earlier that day, I'd gone hunting on the forums seeing if I could find other people with my suspension issues. I was convinced it wasn't a mechanical issue, as when you first pulled away in it, the ride seemed fine. Not amazing, but not terrible. Eventually, the on-board computer screen would beep loudly at you, while proudly telling you that the car's main standout feature was, indeed, faulty. You'd already know this, however, because it had already started riding like an Audi A3 S-Line.
While traversing the forums, I (perhaps unsurprisingly) found a load of people reporting suspension issues, but despite their commonplace, I was surprisingly relaxed. The fact is that thought everybody tells me these cars are a nightmare, and are scary, I'm just not scared of it. I've got that much faith in Citroen's engineering (generally) that if the car develops a fault, I tend to assume there is a simple explanation, and that I just need to find it. It's probably going to be down to human error, too.
I stumbled upon a thread started by a chap with very similar issues to myself. The only difference for him (other than the fact he'd lived with it 18months, the masochist) was that his car had a pattern to the issue. He'd pull away from standstill, and then after 30secs of driving, he'd get the 'suspension faulty' error message, followed by a German ride quality. Mine wasn't doing that; Mine was just random.
Having read this post when I was meant to be doing something else, I popped out at lunch to grab some food, and decided to count how long my car took to have the same problem. I figured that if I kept a log, there might be a pattern to it.
I drove to the traffic lights, and stopped. I pulled away and counted; 1...2...3...(that's how counting works, you see). When I got to 30secs on the fucking nose, I get the beep. Wow! What a coincidence!
I try it again...30 secs. Madness! What are the odds.
Third time lucky...30secs. Hmmm, I can't be wrong here. It must be the car.
Fourth time...32secs. A-hah!
And then, it hit me. It was every 30 secs after all, but it wasn't 30secs after pulling away, it was 30secs after it went over enough of a bump to make the suspension do something! Apart from the sixth time...I think I overestimated my counting ability with that one.
To test this theory, I found a very smooth road, and managed to make it last 50secs. I did the same road again, only this time wobbled the steering and hit the brakes at speed, to make the suspension compress. 30secs later...beep.
OK, this was promising stuff. I was still nonthewiser as to what the issue might be, but I firstly had an ally (unbeknown to them) with the same problem, and secondly I'd figured out that it was the movement of the suspension that was the problem. Everything else about the suspension was fine, it was just when it went over a bump that I had a problem. If it was parked up outside my house, it was fine. It was only when I wanted to drive it, and more specifcally, drive along a road that wasn't as smooth as a compact disc (remember them!?)
So, when I started pratting around with the suspension pressure, I also did some reading about setting up the suspension. When I say 'reading', what I mean is I scan-read everything people had written in about 10mins, took it all as fact without further questioning any of their logic and then compiled my own assumption about how the brain of an active-suspension system works.
People were talking about taking measurements, and inputting numbers, and so I did the same thing...only I guessed. I did actually measure one of the figures I needed, but guessed the rest and half-heartedly threw it in there to see what happened.
When I did this, the car responded by lowering itself from the height it had previously been running at, to around 10mm lower. The computer informed me that all the information I'd just entered into it had not been accepted, and told me to go away, in French.
Running late, I left the workshop and drove home. To my astonishment...the suspension fault had gone! No beeps; No Audi ride-quality...OH MY GOD! I'd fixed it! The service history is littered with receipts from other Citroen garages trying to sort this out, and boom! I'd guessed right first time, spent no money and fixed my 'massively complex' car!
Well, not quite. Yes, it wasn't going hard any more, but it was clearly riding too low. The front end was bottoming out, and though it was now much nicer to drive than it was previously, it clearly wasn't happy.