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Robinmasters' French Fancies - 406 Roffle


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Due to an impending collection, this is for sale.

I've just put a year's MOT on it. It's a 1.1 pez 'Desire', so has electric windows and a manual sunroof. 

It's done 82k, and is available for the shiter's price of £400. Located in Folkestone, Kent, with the usual station collection facilities available. 


Now in the correct sub-forum. 






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Collection now collected. No thread, as frankly I've got bored of my own collection threads, which tend to involve short train journeys, nineties or later bland hatchbacks, and neither poo counts or local pastry delicacies. Also, I did a night shift last night and haven't slept yet. 

Here's a brief summary of the caper:


The observant amongst you may have connected the revised thread title with a registration number-it's the former Broadsword white Xantia Hdi.

Here it is, 'laying frame' near chez Masters. 


Apologies for the blue-forum OMGSLAMMEDYO abuse of the suspension, but I'm a child. 

It's an excellent example. Motorway speeds* all the way home, it handles well, rides well, and feels as tight as a drum. Minor cosmetic shiz on the outside, which are all detailed in Joshua's ad, but the rear arches and the strut tops are solid. 

It's been sat for a while (hence the sale), so there's grime everywhere. It will be receiving a thorough drubbing tomorrow, and a few aesthetic mods-it doesn't actually need anything (touches all ov teh woodz) mechanical at the moment. Even the plips work. 

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I was just about to send a message to check that the trip back went ok. Glad to see it all went ok. Sorry about the grime. A lot of the time it was under a tree at the Boradsword secure offsite storage facility before spending the second half of it’s time dormant not under a tree. It will want a couple of rounds of cleaning, a polish and a wax I suspect. 

That is a hefty round trip to do in one day after a night shift, but I can’t think of a better car for the job. I miss using the Xantia but it really became became redundant as a daily when the Lupo arrived (a car I love equally for different reasons) and any residual money spent tends to go in the fuel tank of a Jaaaag. I really do miss it, but it just wasn’t going to get the use so glad you have it now. And as always nice to meet a shitter in person. 11/10 would sell old green-blooded car to again.

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  • 1 year later...

A very long-overdue update.  I start threads like this with all of the enthusiasm, then after the first post forget to ever add anything more.  So here we go. 

First jobs were obviously remove wheeltrims (and replace with Berlingo hubcaps), and fit stereo (it's been in and out of more cars than the proverbial).



Fitting stereo, as has been the case with my last few cars, led to speakers blowing.  In truth, I think they were already on their last legs but I added the final straw with my continual turning it up to 11. 


As this car was pretty sound mechanically (the best Xantia I've owned by far anyway), cosmetic jobs took priority.  In my defence, the cosmetics are still not up to much.  The car had obviously been owned by a giffer at some point; both mirror units were scratched to buggery, and had been re-painted with what looks like household gloss paint, that's either off-white or faded.  The painted bit was held on by something, but I'm not sure what, and I didn't trust whatever it was to re-stick if I put them back on, so they had to go. 



As the coloured part of the mirror is surrounded by black plastic, I would have painted the coloured bit black anyway.  I have absolutely no painting ability, and no patience for the prep either, so it occurred to me that S1 Xantias are fitted with black plastic mirrors with no painted bit.  So I got some, for a very reasonable £15 each-the passenger side one is electrically adjustable and was still that cheap (sensible move Citroen-why fit an electric one on the driver's side, when you can reach to adjust it manually?).  


Big improvement in my opinion.  

First MOT with me, they told me the front discs were due for replacement soon.  When I had a look, it turned out the front pads were almost down to the metal, the discs were fine.  However, as there was a bit of a lip, I changed the discs as well as the pads; like all parts, they're still cheap.  Sorry, no pics, brake fans.  

I also noticed the nearside rear brake may have been binding; turned out I was right (guess which pad was on the jammed piston?):  


About the same time I needed a new rear exhaust section.  Again, very cheap, when ordered from Eastern Europe via eBay.  Very cheap, and also the wrong part-somehow I managed to order an estate exhaust, for some unplanned OMGBOSOZOKU action.  I drove it around for a few days like this for teh lolz, before cutting it down. 


Then I got some money for Christmas, so this unnecessary extravagance happened:  



The observant amongst you will notice that since the last tailgate pic there has been OMGBADGEDELETE (last time I say OMG-anything, sorry).  Those observant types may also notice this is an S1 heckblende, as the upper half is tinted grey, and not clear like the light clusters.  Close enough for me.  

Another cosmetic addition, albeit one with some practical value in that it keeps the car a bit cooler.  A rear sun blind.  I couldn't find one here, so again this was sent across from somewhere in Eastern Europe for a very reasonable price.  However, when it arrived it turned out that the parcel shelf into which it was fitted was really scruffy, and not as dark as it had looked in the pictures, and my parcel shelf didn't have fittings or a cut out for the blind.  Didn't take long to adapt the old one though:



This improves the rear of the car no end in my view, but unlike tints, is retractable.  


It's darker in reality than it looks above, but it does still allow good visibility, even at night.  Like tints, but better.  


Please excuse the state of the car here; I've just got back from a week away, when I cleverly left the car parked under a tree which produces red berries, and is a popular spot for the local birds to shit.  Took a stanley blade to get the crap off the windows.  

I did have a small altercation with a bird on the motorway (flew out from the left, was in front of me before I saw it), which left the only functioning front fog not functioning.   You can see the passenger side fog slightly out of place in the first pic in the post-presumably as a result of a similar impact.  


I don't use front fogs (I could count on one hand how many times I've used them in 25 years of driving), and replacement is a bumper-off job, so it's staying like that.  

We also had an issue on the way back from Brighton a couple of months ago.  Bear in mind, I live in East Kent.  The whole journey there was a funny noise from the driver's side.  Got home, parked, clunk.  This had waited until we got back to totally give up. 

[It appears I've lost the picture. Imagine the external trim on the drivers door, held on by one clip, hanging down onto the road. Found it.  It was held on just by the front clip when we stopped, but had fallen off by the time I took the picture. ]


I did think trim clips would no longer be available from Citroen, and bought some Chinesium ones off eBay; they were rubbish, and the trim would come loose every time I shut the door-turns out Citroen do still do the clips, and the genuine ones have been perfect

That's pretty much it.  I did replace the front drop links for the last MOT, and had the garage do the reluctor rings and waggle the airbag connectors to the seats - these have now un-waggled themselves and the airbag light is back on.  I've just had a new centre section put on the exhaust, really tricky job due to access, so got the garage to do it. We've just ticked over 140k.  

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  • 7 months later...

Bad times at Chez Masters. 


Green shiz everywhere. Working nights since I discovered it, so haven't had a proper look, but it's not the strut return pipes, looks like it's probably the pipe to the steering rack, which is NLA from Citroen. 

Obviously I am taking the only logical step to remedy this problem. 

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7 hours ago, robinmasters said:

The solution. 


Poo count: 0

Breakfast: Consumed without photographing

That London: completed it mate

Peril: None

Looming deadlines: None


Total collection score: 0/10

What was the poo count though? These details matter.

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  • 10 months later...

The less said about this one the better. No collection thread, because the poo count was impossibly time consuming. Fine when I left, then in the words of Mickey Flannigan, the world fell out of my arse. On the train. At the same time as I was Exoricist sick. 

It's a 407 2.0 HDi. All the toys; leather, electric seats, dual zone climate control, cruise, (non-working) sat-nav, auto folding mirrors, auto dimming rear view mirror, 6-speed, rear sun blinds, etc etc. So far, sounds like exactly the sort of thing that would give me the fear, I should have realised it wasn't for me, but it was for the wife, so I blocked so that out. 

I discovered today (from the recovery bloke's paperwork) that's it's actually a 407 'Bellagio'. Had I known that before purchase, I may have changed my mind-pretentions beyond my simple needs. 

Anyway, no real problems with it. 237k, but still faily tight, and it has had the timing belt and clutch done 70k ago. Until the brakes went. Changed the master cylinder and servo for a used £25 part, still leaking. 

By this time my wife had lost all confidence in it, so it has to go. I've lost all enthusiasm, given that I had very little in the first place what with it being an OMGmodern which everyone knows are impossible to repair at home (obviously not true, but that idea is always nagging in the back of my mind with anything this 'new').

 One pic:


A more forum-friendly replacement has already been obtained. Details to follow. 

NB: One note-worthy feature of the car-the external boot release button is hidden; it's the hole in the middle of the '0' in the 407 badge. Pretty cool. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Righto, time for an update on the 'fleet'* (*two cars, no three).  

When I got the 406 there were a handful of issues with it which the seller (Bramz7 formerly of this parish) was totally upfront about.  Firstly, the rear drop links were making a noise; I think he supplied me with the replacement parts.  Anyway, those were changed in short order because the noise really was very noticeable, and irritating.  They didn't fight too much.  


Knob.  Fell apart on the drive home from collection.  Replaced.  


Stereo didn't work.  Bramz7 thought it needed a code.  Turned out it was just defaulting to weird settings of the balance and fader, which I changed, to discover that the speakers were fooked.  


The nearside rear light lens was filthy, on the inside.  Turned out it was full of water.  Removed, cleaned, and a drain hole drilled.  


This car has obviously been giffer-owned at some point. The boot was filed with crap under the floor.  Bits of carpet offcut, what appeared to be pieces of fabric from some plaid trousers, bits of tarpaulin, and some rubbish.  


There was an amazing parking sensor fitted.  It had a display fitted in the ski-hatch, so you still had to turn round and hold the passenger seat when reversing. MAGIC.  




It didn't work, possibly because the wiring was hanging down below the bumper, but I do have a suspicion that the wiring was fitted like that. 


Final score of shit removed from boot:


Second giffer modification.  Under the drivers seat a small length of metal had been bolted on to a plate under the seat, with some wire rope bolted onto the other end.  Not attached to anything, no idea what this may have been for.  


Very soon after purchase the indicator stalk made a cracking sound and stopped making the indicators work.  It was a mechanical problem with the self-cancelling mechanism I think, but given the cost and availability of a replacement I didn't investigate.  Also because of the tiny components with springs-not worth the aggro. 


Appalling paint job on the door mirror:


A replacement did come with the car, but it's an S2 mirror and not 100% interchangable, so I've left this as is; it works fine.  

Another item that came with the car were new running strips. The ones on the car has been 'repaired' with electrical tape, and some if the clips were missing. The new ones look so much better.



Other than that it's been a great 'an car'.  It's got electric windows all round, and electric sunroof, the stereo is fairly capable, it's an un-killable XUD, it's comfortable, and it hasn't FTP'd (yet).  It's just sooooo boring.  I've always thought of 406s as boring Xantias, but up until very recently there has been a disproportionate demand for them, leading to values above what I think they're worth.  It was never intended to be a long-term car, just a temporary replacement whilst the Xantia was fixed, but the Xantia's been off the road since last June; it's back now, and having driven the 406 after the Xantia, my earlier 'boring Xantia' comment stands.  It's not as comfortable, not as fast, not as interesting.  

Went through the last MOT needing front brake hoses, a ball joint nut tightening, and a bulb.  

That being the case it's on it's way out.  Might be a roffle, I suspect this might be a popular one.  

EDIT: Forgot to mention, the stereo is FROM TEH FUTURE.  'But where does the tape go?' (repeat of the knob-shot) - the blank part above the buttons is a MOTORISED door.  


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Next up (yes, I've been watching a lot of Doug Demuro), replacement wifely transport.  Bought from someone I strongly suspect is a home trader, with a suspect MOT.  Somehow driving 800 miles has reduced the wear on the rear axle swivel pins.  


Viewed in the dark, shonky MOT, home trader pretending he isn't (only got the new keeper supplement for the V5, 'I bought it off a mate who was struggling for money').  A recipe for success.  

Its a Citroen Xsara 2.0 HDi.  It's flippin' lovely.  



Obviously being a Xsara it's only the 90bhp, but it's a little car, so it goes ok.  It's got those wheels; Citroens own torque thrusts.  When I viewed, in the dark, it was fine.  When I collected it the next day, the central locking was bouncing.  Wiring to the drivers door, so quickly fixed.  

Also has giffer repairs; *high quality door mirror bodge:


Replacement (in the right colour!), £25.  

Wife likes it, isn't complicated enough to give me the fear, and it's a nice colour.  

Also, correctly veloured (washed out flash photo):


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  • robinmasters changed the title to Robinmasters' French Fancies - (the return of) W[C] PGW?

Xantia update.  It's back.  It's actually been back a while.  

I found a relatively local Citroen specialist (Paul Clifford Motor Services in Wingham, near Canterbury), who located the leak.  It was only a return pipe, but it was underneath the 'octopus', so required some dismantling to fix.  Very reasonable price though. 

Next step, MOT; however, an hour before MOT, the airbag light came on.  Access is so much easier with the seat tipped back, so I unbolted the seat, sprayed contact cleaner on the connector under the seat, and it worked again.  I thought that was the only problem, but the garage found CORROSION on the back of the nearside sill; this was MOT-standard plated; they also found that the driver's seat was insecure-I'd forgotten to tighten one of the bolts when putting the seat back.  

Here's the MOT patch, and the C5 wheels I've put on it:


Within three weeks I had an FTP.  Five minutes from home the engine just cut out; no warning.  Would not restart, with the ignition on accessories, only the battery light came on.  I coasted to here; came to a halt where the white car is:


On an upwards slope, so I couldn't push it by myself; it's an NSL road, and there's nowhere to stop if I'd rolled back.  I couldn't push it up the hill by myself, so sat there for a while hoping someone would stop and offer to help me push; they didn't.  I called the recovery company.  Then someone stopped and helped me push it far enough that I could coast down the first exit of that roundabout, and into a layby.  Sitting in the layby, with the ignition in the accessory position, waiting for the recovery man.  Suddenly all the previously unlit warning lights came on; car started first turn of the key, so I drove home and stood down the recovery man.  

Apparently these are prone to dry joints in the fusebox, which would certainly explain a sudden loss of most electrical systems.  This was the state of the fusebox:


Many dry joints.  After some soldering and cleaning, I had this:


I ordered a solder sucker, tried again and got it fairly neat looking instead of the mess of pigeon shit shown above.  Having refitted the fusebox, it's not shat itself again. 

Now onto the important stuff.  

Music.  The rear speakers were fooked.  


Duly replaced.  However, aftermarket speakers do not come with the same connectors as the standard ones.  So rather than just cutting wires, obviously I cut the connectors off the old speakers and made up adapters so that I can retain the original connectors on the car and just plug in the new speakers. 


In their infinite wisdom, Citroen decided to label their speaker terminals 1 & 2 rather than + & -. 


After looking at a wiring diagram, consulting the internet, checking with a multimeter, writing down notes, obviously I wired up the speakers backwards.  Eventually I ended up with these:  


I've put the original stereo back in, and bought a bluetooth cassette adapter thing.  

Next important repair; the rear sunblind.  Bit of glue required.  


I'm just starting to look on this as an old car rather than a cheap car.  So I bought a sticker (I always remove all stickers when I buy a car, so didn't have the original).  Also this is colour coded.  


So there it is.  Current state of the (tiny) fleet:


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  • 1 month later...

Fleet update:


Cactus 1.6HDi Flair, in 'Sport Red'.

The Xsara will be going-separate thread to follow later.

The Xantia is leaking, again, but not much, probably a return pipe but in a difficult to access place so I've admitted defeat and it's going in to be fixed in a couple of weeks.

The 406 remains an excellent 'an car', but will also be moving on in the not too distant future, I'm still looking for a Berlingo van, but they're all either fucked, too expensive or too far away. 

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  • robinmasters changed the title to Robinmasters' French Fancies - Van life

FLEET UPDATE. Much excites. 

DW8 Berlingo. 170k, side door, not boarded out, solid sills, rear axle ok (at the moment). Engines a bit oily, but TADTS on these? 


Xantia is at the menders, again. Just a return pipe this time I think.

Xsara is going soon, having been roffled here recently.

406 is going too; possibly also by way of a roffle.

Cactus is being an car for the wife, as it's got Bluetooth and air con. 

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  • robinmasters changed the title to Robinmasters' French Fancies - 406 Roffle

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      Purple Avensis: Just about to click over 185,000. Minor drama this week when an HT lead split but otherwise utterly fantastic, fantastically boring and boringly reliable.

      Granvia: Just done 1000 miles in a month around Norfolk, 6 up with suitcases. 31mpg achieved on the way up which is good for an old tub with a 3.0 Turbo Diesel on board. ODO displaying 175,000 which is a mix of miles and kilometers. Say 130,000 miles for argument's sake.

      Mercedes: Being a PITA. It's had the top end completely rebuilt after the chain came off. Now needs welding to pass another MOT and the gearbox bearings are on strike. It's about to go into the garage for winter until I can stomach it again. 151,000 miles on the clock.

      Sierra bASe: Still on sabbatical with AngryDicky who only took it bloody camping in cornwall! Legend.
    • By juular
      Old car - check
      Full of rust - check
      Siezed engine - check
      Cheapest on the internet - check
      Bought sight unseen - check
      No space for it - check
      Poo count - 1.5
    • By captain_70s
      I'm a masochist from Leeds who is running two rusty, worn out Triumph Dolomites as my only transport in rural Aberdeenshire. You might recognise me from various other forums and Facebook groups. Realistically I need to buy a modern car of some sort, but instead I find myself looking at £300 Citroen BXs and Triumph Acclaims on Gumtree and thinking "yeah, that'd fit right in with the rest of the broken cars I can't afford".
      On to the cars, the main attraction being my 1976 1850HL "50 Shades of Yellow" that I bought for £850 and is currently my daily driver, here is a picture of it before I sanded off some surface rust and sprayed it badly in the wrong shade of yellow with rattle cans:

      Within a month of purchase I managed to plant it in to a steel fence backwards after a botched gear change on a wet roundabout and ruined the N/S rear wing, although judging by the other dent that's packed with filler it looks like somebody had already done the same. I also managed to destroy a halfshaft and one of my Sprint alloys (good for an extra 15hp) in the incident, so now it's sitting on it's original steelies but painted black (good for an extra 5hp).
      It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines... 
      I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost £1400 (about £400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:

      It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about £20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:

      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
    • By mat_the_cat
      Thought I should probably start a thread, given that a few people have suggested it. For my sins, my first car was a 1985 Hyundai Stellar. Bought back in 1997, when the sun still shone, I had more hair, and the world was generally a better place.
      This may be the earliest photo I have, I think from 1998:

      Anyway, I drove everywhere in it, and clocked up over 100k miles before I was given an Alfa Romeo 75. So I took the Stellar off the road for some much needed TLC. Made some progress on it - Rebuilt all the suspension, fitted a rebuilt Cortina* rear axle, Princess 4 pot front calipers and Capri vented discs etc - before a couple of house moves and renovations put it on the back burner.
      * before anyone says they are identical underneath, there are some differences. I fitted a replacement axle fairly early on in my ownership, only to fit that not only was the propshaft flange the wrong size, the UJ was totally different so I couldn't even fit a new yoke. Finding a company on the day before New Year's Eve who could cut off the end, weld a new UJ on and balance it wasn't too easy, especially one that was accessible by push bike!
      Anyway, late last year I found some renewed motivation, and have been working on it when time and money permit. Here is what it looked like in October:
      OMG barn find?

      Front suspension OK at first glance...

      ...but it has turned out the calipers had seized (so are away being rebuilt) and all the (brand new) ball joint boots had perished:

      Quite a bit of welding is needed too, but I had a setback just before Christmas when we were burgled and my welder stolen

      Crusty roof rail

      I've cleared some of the crap away from it now (it's not stored at mine - I'd love to own somewhere that big!) so might be able to get more photos. Currently working on the rear brakes, and disappointed to find that the shotblasted rear axle is now starting to rust after two coats of POR15 and 7 years storage under cover...

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