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As 2020 hasn't been awful enough yet: My £750 Citroen C6!


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(posted 16/10/20)

Well, as you probably all guessed, things have not been well with the big Citroen. I pressed it into a week's service (because that's how much MoT was left on it) in which I was effectively giving it a chance to show me everything that isn't right with it.

And, as I think we all assumed, the week wasn't without issue. I knew this was a risk, and that it was a risk that could bite me in the arse. And my arse has been well and truly bitten! Didn't think it would happen in the first WEEK, though! 

You'll all judge, sure. You'll all tell me that you saw something like this coming. Well, I can't say I blame you. Perhaps I'm the fool in all this?

OK, so what's happened? Well, there's this little piece of rubber underneath the bumper, kind of like an air deflector. And, well....look at it!

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Seems that when I parked that big long noise over a kerb, I forgot the car would drop itself after I got out! It raises when you open the door, too, before lowering again when you start the engine (unless you're on uneven terrain). This bit of trim was getting squashed and pulled and squashed again. I had to lay on the floor to push it back together! Disaster!

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Wow! I hope I don't get any more issues like that, otherwise I'm going to start believing all the big French luxo-barge horror stories to be true!

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(Posted 23/10/20)

I suppose I should probably give a quick update of the barge of despair. Luckily there haven't been any further disasters like the one under the front bumper, but time is pressing on, and I wanted to have this on the road early November. So far, I've done nothing to make that happen, except spend money on parts.

The first thing to note is that the £750 C6 is no longer really a £750 C6. This is no surprise, though the car did actually work when I bought it, and it did have an MoT, ergo it would qualify for the 'Shed Of The Week' column on PH (do they still do that?!) However, in order to make it a nice C6 that works properly, it was always going to need some expenditure. With fully sorted C6s still sitting in the £5-6k region, my aim is to keep my total spend under £2k. I have seen a C6 advertised for £1800 in the past; The guy wanted a quick sale, but there's no guarantee it wouldn't have needed all the other bits that this one does.

Still compared with what it would have cost new, it's an absolute steal:

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And that was in 2006!

Well, I've been on the hunt for parts, both old and new. My costs have included

* Pair of genuine new repeater lamps (old ones look old) £13.78
* LED no plate lamps (old ones are all old and dim) £11
* x2 Washer jets (old ones look broken) £13.84ea
* Service kit (for when I do it next) about £65
* Boot lifters £24.99

Sub-total: £142.45

Most of that was stuff I chose to buy, rather than what HAD to be bought (perhaps the boot struts were a neccessity, actually - it's a heavy bootlid, and it hurts) In terms of what the car actually needed, I've now sourced:

* Front brake discs and pads £100
* Rear brake discs and pads (unique to a C6, which made finding them more fun than the Peugeot 407/C5 items I'd assumed I'd need) £97.47
* Front wheel bearing (I think the O/S is noisy) £24.12 This one is the same as a 407!
* Used C5 door mirror glass £15
* Used gearbox (complete), handbrake mech, front axle sensors and engine cover £520

Sub-total: £756.59. So far, my C6 is a £1649.04 car, technically.

The gearbox was quite a big purchase, but it seemed like a no-brainer. The issue with my current one is that although it might be resolved with a hundred oil changes, or even just a new valve block, it might also...not. The car has been to one C6 specialist prior to my owning it, who informed the owner that it could be the valve block, the box itself, or the torque converter causing the issue, so when a known-good 110,000 mile unit came up for sale in Bournemouth (complete with torque converter) it seemed silly not to just bite the bullet. Yes, it's a lot of work, but I can change the whole thing and hopefully be done with the issue. The car it came off was broken for spares by an established C6 forum member, and he'd run the car around for three months, so could vouch for its operational...goodness.
The other advantage was that I could raid this other C6 for a couple of other parts, chief among which was the handbrake mechanism, which is realistically the main component this is preventing the car from getting an MoT again. I'm on a crash course learning C6 handbrakes (well, C6 everything, to be honest!) and have made a prediction that, if I'm lucky, all the car needs is new handbrake cables, because I suspect that what has happened, is that one of the cables has seized, and that the motor has either had a duckfit trying to operate it, or the motor did indeed tension the cable, but it wouldn't release. Whatever happened, the N/S/R cable had been cut to allow the car to continue being used, but until I had a new cable, I couldn't test it.

So why didn't I just buy one from Citroen? Well, for two reasons. Firstly, they're backordered until such 'n such-a-date, and secondly they're THREE-HUNDRED AND FIFTY FUCKING POUNDS!! Which is nearly half the cost of the car, so no. I'm not doing that. I could buy a new handbrake unit, but those are only a few quid more, at...oh, no, they're a grand. Sod. That.

With all this firmly bared in mind, the below seemed like a sensible purchase:

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A new floor might be my second sensible purchase...

That's the box which houses the handbrake motor. There are two wheel cables, and one emergency release cable (I was trying to suss out how that would apply the handbrake - turns out it doesn't, it's purely a mechanical release in the event of a failure or flat battery).
Now, because of the coding of the unit (and the fact you can't re-code the unit) switching the entire assembly wasn't an option. Therefore, my plan was to remove the cover of the unit, learn how it works inside, and then harvest the cables from it.

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Quite a clever little device, and actually quite simple in its design. Basically, the offside cable is fixed, with a nipple (lol) on either end; The nearside has a nipple at the caliper end as per normal, but it has a threaded insert on the motor end. The motor (labelled "Johnson" (lol)) rotates the bronze-coloured barrel, which is threaded internally, and when this winds, it draws the end of the nearside cable in, effectively pulling the handbrake on.
As it does so, the offside cable gets drawn in by the whole assembly trying to shift to the left, and this in turn pulls on the cable. Once the tension is taken up, the pull to both sides is equalised and they just continue to pull until the sensor (white plastic with a barcode and ribbon cable going to it) detects the maximum torque load has been reached, and shuts down the motor, locking it in the process. 
When you release the park, the motor winds in the opposite direction, releasing the cable until the sensor decides it's slack enough to stop.

On my car, the nearside cable has been cut. I think this is because the cable had seized in the outer sleeve, which means either one of the following is the likely cause:

* The cable seized as the motor tried to pull it on, and the maximum torque load was reached before the brakes were fully applied, due to the resistance in the seized cable. The handbrake ECU (yes...really) had a duckfit, because the car could still move and went into OMGweHAzApHale mode, locking everything up and refusing to come out of park.
* The mechanism applied the handbrake, but the seized cable wouldn't release, and the sensor prevented the motor from unwinding further as it wasn't detecting as much slack on the cable as it was expecting. This meant the cable had to be cut, which released the wheel, and eventually allowed the opposing side to free-off.

I think the second is more likely, or possibly a combination of the two. Either way, a new pair of cables would test the theory that the mechanism/motor is actually OK (because initially I'd assumed it was borked and required many monies), and the issue was simply the presence of a seized brake cable, just like you could experience on the most basic of Ford Fiestas! The only difference is that in a Fiesta, you'd push the lever back down, wiggle it about and hope the car still moved, whereas in the C6, it tried to release, found it couldn't, threw its baguette out the window and slumped over the steering wheel in tears. I'm hoping my calm demeanour and warm embrace will convince it to try again...or something.

With this theory, I conducted some research and found that others had also mentioned the seized cable issue. I also decided to check my used replacements, and, lo & behold, they're very stiff (lol). So, before I did anything with the car, I had to see if these cables would come back to life.

I decided on a combination of tipping them up one way, and filling the end with penetrating fluid. Satisfaction is watching the bubbles come up with streams of brown rust in each one, as the level drops. Eventually, it stopped dropping - that'll be the seized bit, then!

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To aid the process, I flipped them the other way around, squirted them (lol) from the opposite end, and watched all the brown drizzle out the hole (lol). Then, I used a drill set to screw (lol) speed to spin the cables around inside, while thrusting (lol) them in and out. This had the desired affect.

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Then, I blew the penetrating oil out, and trialled some very sticky LSD oil I use in TVRs, to see if that would act as a good lubricant (lo.......alright, I'll stop now) for the cables.

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This was the gloopiest, stickiest stuff I could pour down the cable, but it's still not really slippy-enough (because it's limited-slip? lololololololololLLLO!O!11!!!!) 
Problem is, getting grease in there is pretty difficult. In the end, I used a syringe to inject grease alongside the cable, while the drill rotated. It drew enough in that the cable now moves nice and free, and now all I really need is a protective rubber sleeve to go over the end of the nipple, and keep the grease from coming out. The absence of that sleeve is likely what caused the seizure in the first place.

Now I had my two substitute cables ready to rock, I set about removing the remains of the old ones. Although only one had been cut, I figured the other one wouldn't be far behind it in terms of corrosion and wear; I was right!

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This car has been used a lot, and not really loved a lot. I don't mean from an emotional POV, as the fella before me clearly was very fond of it, but in terms of maintenance and mechanical sympathy, it's looking pretty sorry underneath. Nothing that can't be put right, though!

Eventually I managed to free the offside cable off, and remove it, but the nearside proved to be more fun, for a while. I mean, ever needed a laptop to remove a handbrake cable before?

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Well, if you've got a C6, you probably will do! Though hopefully, you won't have as old a laptop as me with a hooky copy of DiagBox that is jammed in French and requires a translator app on my phone to decipher, because I can't go back in time to 1997 and listen more in my school French lessons.

However, all was not well! Computer says no (in French):

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What I was attempting to do was put it in maintenance mode, where the mechanism will fully extend and allow the removal of the cables. Would have made the offside much easier, too, but them's the brakes.
At this point I was scratching my head, until I remembered my emergency release cable. I exposed it, gave it a tug and heard a buzzing noise, followed by the sound of something dropping onto the floor:

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That's the remainder of the nearside cable - result! Now all I need to do is fit me new ones.
 

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(posted 08/11/20)

With a car as vast as a C6, a list of issues accompanying a cheap, mildly-neglected one isn't likely to be small! For this reason, I decided to set my project out into three stages:

Stage One (pre-MoT):

* Sort handbrake (done, aside from rubbing down and painting some clamps)
* Try and improve the condition of the sills (more on this later)
* Lights - sort out the ones that do not...well, light.
* Bootlid - it rattles and clangs and falls down on you when you're leaning into the boot. Honest, it does!
* Check the air-con system for leaks, while the car runs etc.
* MoT test (to get a list of failures to attend to)

Stage Two (post-MoT):

* Change gearbox (just like that! 5 min job for sure)
* Renew brakes
* Try to improve fitting of various damaged undertrays and arch liners
* Oil leaks...find them, and stop them
* Coolant hoses - there are a number of pipes that are renowned for rusting through and failing, so while I'm elbow deep, it makes sense to replace them (if they haven't already been replaced)
* Evans Waterless Coolant conversion - look into suitability of this.  
* Wheels/tyres - while the car is in the air, all four wheels can be removed, so it makes sense to make this the time to sort out the absolutely battered state of the rims. Two of the tyres have slow punctures, too. I might just end up renewing the tyres, as they're half-worn already. Will inspect them closely first.
* Get the MoT pass.

Stage Three (once on road):

* Suspension fault-finding: Trying to figure out what the issue(s) with the suspension is/are, basically.
* Wheel alignment

Easy, right?

Well, the handbrake is effectively done, but while the car has the four post ramp occupied, it made sense to tackle the sills, which are suffering from the initial effects of tinworm. I know....I'm surprised too! I've owned plenty of Rennes-built cars over the years* , including BXs, Xantias and a Peugeot 407SW. In the case of the latter (which is very much of the same DNA a the C6) there was little to no rust at all. It's cliche, but it actually looked like new underneath!

* Plenty of cars from the Rennes plant, yes, but how many how their own wood-laminated production line?

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*edited to add - It looks like the answer to the above question is the Peugeot 407 Coupe. All I had to do was look at the picture!

The C6, on the other hand, doesn't. Sure, it's not rotten, but some areas of the underside are looking for trouble. These areas mostly feature the jacking points, which are the flat 'blade' design, and common to all Citroens of recent years. They're a perfect example of Citroen believing this approach is the correct one, while the entirety of the civilised world does not.

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The reason this is a stupid idea, is because a vertical strip of metal is only strong if a load is applied to it, well, vertically. You have to lift the car completely squarely underneath, otherwise you stand a chance (a chance laden with high-probability for fuck up) of bending the jacking point.
This is fine... if you're using a two-post ramp, which is able to lift the entire car squarely, but if you're using a Halfords trolley jack on a gravel driveway, this happens:

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This has the added advantage of breaking up the underseal all along the sill, aswell as bending and breaking much of the panel that the sideskirt attaches to, causing the skirt to pop its rivets and partially detach from the car. Neat!

Time to remove the skirts, then.

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You can see the state of the jacking points! This is a heavy hector, and a single jack placed under one corner at a time is a receipe for disaster. I would go as far as to say that you just shouldn't do it, full stop.

Now, the thing I want to try and avoid doing, is welding on this car. A number of reasons for this: Firstly, it's a 2009 (or 2007) car - it shouldn't need welding! Secondly, there is a lot of sound-deadening in there, and I can't be arsed with removing it all and breaking every type of trim clip ever devised in doing so. Thirdly, there are many, many ECUs in this car; law of sod dictates that, despite disconnecting the battery, I will annihilate one of them.
Luckily, there are no holes. No structural issues that I can see, other than the bent jacking points, so I set about straightening those with a special straightening device and rubbing down all the affected areas.

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The nearside does leave me with more to do than I'd hoped, as once I'd began grinding the paint/rust away, I found that the little flimsy return lip which the lower portion of the sideskirt attaches to was, effectively, missing for a small portion under the B-pillar. You can just see it in the picture above (locate the yellow stanley knife, look up towards the wheel of the car behind and spot the bit missing...yes, I know it's a bad picture, but what do you want; This is free, isn't it?!)

I ground away both sides, and once the metal was all good, I treated it with some copper-based weld-thru primer (even though I'm not welding it, it's just good primer!) Then I made a selection of 2mm alloy strips:

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The purpose of these was to both realign, and strengthen the lips at the bottom of the sills. Though only a small portion had corroded away, the tin there was so flimsy and felt so weak, I decided to beef them up with something that won't rust. So, behind every part of this section, I placed a strip of alloy, which was bonded and then riveted in place. The alloy strips would also give the trim clips something stronger to anchor to.

Here's the nearside strip going in

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Once the pieces were all in place (three each side; a small piece either side of the jacking points, and a big'un in the middle) I riveted them in and treat the primed areas with some black paint. Says it's tough chassis paint from Frost; In honesty it was a new product I was testing out to see how tough it was, because if it's decent I'll begin to use it in my professional life!

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While the paint was going off, I took the skirts outside for a date with the pressure washer. They're not in bad condition at all, but they're hideously filthy (like everything else on the car!)

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Meanwhile, I'd decided the paint I'd applied wasn't the right stuff for the job. The finish was nice, and I think I'd use it in certain situations (such as bracketry, uprights, driveshafts etc - basically a good version of Hammerite) but it's not hardcore enough to use as a chassis-based paint. It's not a proper 2k paint, to be fair, so I would have been surprised if it was as good as something like Rustbuster 121.
Because I didn't know what other paints could go over the top of it, I decided to keep my fingers crossed and stick some seam sealer OVER the top of the paint, because I wanted that thick, rubberised finish that would repell stones, grit and water.

I didn't cross my fingers enough, because again due to the law of sod, the seam sealer ate its way into the paint and caused it to become runny once more, two days after it had dried! 

At this point I had two hopes:

* Bob Hop....no, wrong anaology; That'd I'd be able to simply scrape it all off and start again. lolz.
* That it would all cure together in one thick, ugly, lumpy cast, and flukely do the job I wanted. Even more lolz.

Well, in this instance, I got lucky. I ran out of time, so left it the weekend. When I came back, the paint and sealer had sort-of fused together, creating this ugly mish-mash of seam sealer and glossy black paint. I tried to pick it off, but couldn't! Ugly as it is, it's doing the job. And it is ugly...it's like Deadpool without the mask. You couldn't handle pictures of it, it'd haunt your dreams.

One thing I've come to realise during this work, is that the French automotive industry shouldn't listen to those who moan about build quality. In all the years I've worked on these things, I've never had too much trouble removing trim from a PSA motor (can't speak for Renault, as I've worked on surprisingly few). If you discount the BX 16V (the sideskirts of which are, without doubt, the hardest body panel to remove of any car, anywhere) they're all pretty easy to strip down. Sure, BMW have got the art of making lasting solutions when it comes to underbody trim, and their engineering really does shine when you take a 20 year old car, and easily remove things like sideskirts, arch liners, heat shields etc. But, for everybody else (VAG; Ford...I'm looking at you), yes, not a lot falls off, but trying to simply remove pieces just to access certain areas is a nightmare of rusted fasters, broken clips, rounded nuts and pain.
With the French cars, there is normally (or, there used to be) the bare-minimum holding everything together. The bare-minimum is fine, and with the bare-minimum everything stays in place, but if one monkey mechanic or bodyshop breaks something when they pull it apart, that's when things start falling off. I'm a firm believer that French engineers are among the best in the business, but when the vibe I'm getting with my time under the C6 is that they've been pressured into doing things the same way as everybody else.

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This is a pain I am used to, owning an S-Max, but on Citroen? It's new, and not in a good way.

There are spring nuts, and fabric-type arch liners (like you get on Fords). This means it's practically impossible to remove and blind nuts, once they've rusted a bit, and you end up tearing the arch liner. Everything is bolted to everything else. There are the sort of clips and fixings you see on Golfs, and sure enough the same cable ties you find, due to the fact that half of the fixings seem only to work from the factory, and then sheer off once the warranty has passed. 
I would actually go as far as to say (get your sharp intakes of breath ready, people) that the C6, in many ways, is more poorly executed than a Saxo. There is plenty that is good, and even some that is amazing, but every seemingly menial job ends up taking three times as long as it should, because you spend more time faffing about trying to find ways to re-secure various components (like sideskirts), because the original design has proved to be flawed. A regular garage would say "Oh no, that's terrible!" And then put it back together anyway, or even leave the said component off, but I don't want to do that. I want everything to be where it's meant to be, and for it all to work, partly because OCD is a bitch, and partly because what's the point of having something if it doesn't work like it's intended?

The bottom of the arch-liners, which fasten to the skirts, use the same half-witted blind nuts as shown above. Of course, these turned to rust and it has not been possible to disconnect everything without breaking it. That in turn has ripped the arch liners, and so unless I want them flapping in the breeze, I need to make them strong again. 

Que cardboard!

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Then some genuinely real-life carbon fibre that is absolutely not plastic...

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Bit of time with the bandsaw later...

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OK, yes...you spotted it! I've used one of those stupid blind-nut things exactly where the new ones went. Why? Because I'm short of time, and I felt a rivnut would have just pulled out of the plastic I used. No...carbon fibre! 
You can't get to the back of it, and I wanted to keep the bolt head that would originally be there in place, so using a plastic fixing was out of the question (ridiculous, aren't I?)
So, the bolts are back in place, and this time with a lot of grease on them. Hopefully the plastic will prove to be less of a sponge than the original arch liner it was secured to, so it might even last!

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But now, the skirts are straight, and they're fully secured unlike before. Also straight are the jacking points, though I'm not prepared to test them with a trolley jack just now....or ever.

Question you're all asking, is where did that blind-nut clip/shitty thing come from. It was all silver and clean, and new looking! Well, I didn't buy any new ones - it came from somewhere else on the car, and I will reveal that location once I've been to the loo and made cup of tea.

(The loo and the cup of tea are different exercises; I'm not making a cup of tea in the toilet! Not again, anyway)

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Nope. No censure here. Someone had to buy it, and it has the best chance of not being parted out nor fragged going to someone like you. Keep those updates coming, esp for utterly critical FTP like with that bit of plastic...

God C6s look lush.

I just remembered the door bins. I may have to have a lie down.

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(posted 08/11/20)

Cup of tea took a fair bit longer to make than planned.

Anyway, where did the rogue clips come from, you ask (I know you didn't, but just pretend you did for a minute...)

They came from here (this is the only remaining un-broken fixing!):

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This is the back of the bootlid trim. On the bootlid itself, you've got a plastic insert which houses the reverse & fog lamps and numberplate. Here's a terrible picture of it, for reference:

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This trim is secured in multiple places, much like the arch liners. What would have once sufficed with a couple of clips and some ingenuity about where they should be positioned has been replaced with the now more common 'cover it in fixings and break half of them when you need to remove it' policy, only this time they're thrown in the added bonus of securing the lower portion of the trim in a method that fails, should you not operate the bootlid exactly as Citroen intend you do.
What this causes, is the entire trim to work loose along the lower edge, meaning when you shut the bootlid, the panel rattles and clangs and sounds like people who slag off French cars expect it to sound, rather than how it should sound. Can't be having that in a car that is marginally more noticeable to Joe public than your average grey saloon car!
It's not an issue unique to my knackered  more experienced example, as many owners report the same problem. It's down to the fact that the retaining method along the lower lip (where most people catch the bootlid as it closes) is, well, for lack of a better word; wank. It comprises of four plastic tabs that more of these blind nut-things clip in to, the fixing bolt for which goes in from the reverse of the bootlid, hiding them in the process. The plastic tabs break off from the trim, causing the trim to rattle and annoy me.

Problem is, how to refix the trim in the same manner, i.e. with hidden fixings, but with a lot more strength so this doesn't happen again. Most of the remains of the original fixing tabs have long-gone, so any chances of caking those in fibreglass are long gone. Only one thing for it - I've got to hit it Binky-style!

Here's the rear of the panel. The fixings used to clip onto little plastic tabs along the bottom edge, but those are gone.

There are four fixing points (circled in the picture), and you can just make out the remains of the original fixings. You can also see the space limitations, and why this required some head-scratching!

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Like I say, every job on this car is, so far, taking longer than you anticipate it will. If I was paying for labour, this would be an expensive C6 already!

To compound issues, the panel is curved in multiple plains, meaning anything I make has to fit the curvature of the bootlid, and the panel. It also has to fit in the remaining space between the two, which is approx. 8-10mm. Meanwhile, the outer mounts have to occupy a deeper space, but fit in around the fog/reverse lamp housings. 

I decided what I needed some something tough, but malleable. That ruled out aluminium, which would have been ideal...if I had some the right size. I did have carbon fibre, but that was even less suitable! So, it was back to good ol' box section steel.
I managed to find a thin strip of (what I assume was) 10mmx10mm box, and cut it to length. Then I spent forever bending it to just the right shape.

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There was the added complication on my car that the trim itself had been busted for so long, it had fractured:

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I can't deal with external evidence of a repair, so whatever I make had to deal with this, too. It hadn't broken all the way along, so it was perfectly saveable, if I could find the right way to save it.

I took a punt careful measurement where the brace needed to sit and drilled a single 3.2mm hole in the centre, before fixing the brace in the place (London!) that it needs to be, once fitted up to the bootlid.

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I measured and marked everything else out so that I could take it back to the bench and finished the drilling etc.

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(n.b. the bench isn't the TVR bonnet pictured! I just put everything back down on that because it needs weight on it while the bonding agent on it goes off!

Now that I'm able to secure it to the bootlid trim, the next stage (I realise I'm going into a inordinate amount of detail for this) is to sort out the method of securing it to the bootlid itself. Seems silly not to use the original fixings, or the original fixing holes, so in place of the two crappy blind nut things, I've inserted some rivnuts.

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Because the box section is so small, I had to create another hole in the opposite side for the rivnut to protrude through!

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This would be a problem, but only if the rivnut didn't sink below the surface of the tube once it had been riveted in. Which, of course, it didn't, because I'm awesome.

Rivnut in place and doing its job:

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And a test fit bolting to the bootlid:

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That's the two inner bolts taken care of, but what about the outer? Can I just use more of the same? Well, no, because that section of the panel is deeper. Of course it is, why wouldn't it be?!

So, some 20x20mm box for this me thinks.

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A bit of reverse engineering to get the fixing holes for the rivets (I've left the lamps out for now, as they foul this small piece of box section).

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With everything mocked up in the rear panel, it looks like this:

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The keen eyed will spot that the centre brace has had a lick of paint!

The outer pieces took a fair bit of fettling to both get them to fit properly (without fouling the lamps), plus adding lots of holes for lightness.

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OK, so the holes may not be there for lightness. They're actually there because (and some of you might be ahead of me here) that in their current design, they only secure to the bottom inner lip, or to put it plainly, they only secure on one side. And, with the centre brace, the one side is already partially broken. So, the holes serve a purpose, which you'll see in a minute.

Everything gets coatings of black stonechip paint:

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And eventually, dry-fitted, everything looks like this:

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Now I have the four mounting holes as per the original design, only this time they're mounted in steel, not 1mm thick cheap plastic.

And those holes? Here's the reason:

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Lots of sticky sealant! I didn't want to risk using glue, or something you mix together incase the heat generated warped or caused the plastic panel to mishapen (it would have been very noticeable from outside!) This PU sealant will bridge gaps, brace cracks and stick like shit to a blanket.

A pair of Remoaner numberplates were sourced (while I still can - aside from the fact I'm a blatant remoaner, I plan to drive the car to France when normal life resumes....one day!) These were fitted along with a set of LED number plate lamps, as per my C4 VTS (I fitted them ages ago, just haven't updated that thread!)

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Everything was put back together, and I even treated the bootlid to new gas struts! Now it doesn't fall down any more, which is nice.

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Oh, the tape? Yea, I didn't spot the top retaining clip that was also broken off, meaning despite all my efforts, the trim didn't sit totally flush. But this point patience was a virtue I no longer possessed, so that top corner was also bonded. Now it's solid!

As well as the work on the bootlid, I discovered that a number of bulbs weren't working, including all but one of the amber marker lights at the front and rear corners. Some LEDs sorted that:

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I managed to get an MoT slot for the 4th, so just before this I recitified the faulty windscreen washers. The O/S barely worked, and the N/S was hanging out. Here's a pic of the bonnet with the old ones removed:

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Were you expecting a picture of the new ones? No? Good, because I forgot to take one. They worked, though!

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That's a set of brand new Valeo blades on there, too. I really pushed the boat out!

So, MoT time rolled around. I cautiously took it to the test centre and kept fingers crossed that it didn't bite me in the arse. A small list of cheap failure points that I can attend to within the free-retest period would be ideal. 

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Only went through first time, didn't it?!

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The advisories are no big deal, either. The brakes I knew about (I even told the tester about them). I've bought new ones, I just haven't got round to fitting them yet, because I've been too busy farting around with sills.
The rack gaiter I hadn't spotted, but I'll order a pair of genuine ones I expect. They tend to fit better than the aftermarket ones.
The pins it mentions are effectively lower swivel joints. I'll get some of those too, so all the advisories will be done in the next few weeks regardless.

But, it's roadworthy once more, and that's a big relief! If only it wasn't tempered by the sight of this:

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I am very much not looking forward to this...

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(this was from 15/12/20 - less an update and more an idle musing having used the car a little bit and began getting to know it slightly better)

Having obtained a year's ticket, I threw some tax on the C6 at the beginning of December and decided to start using it as-is. My logic (or lack-of) was that now I have a replacement gearbox, it doesn't matter too much if this one dies on the side of a road. Apart from the prospect of having to push an 1850kg car with huge tyres and a busted automatic gearbox, of course.

First things first, I owe the C6 (in general) an apology. A while back, having read "Citroen SM: Accidental Death of an Icon", I got a little more passionate about Citroen in the pre-PSA days (I defy anybody who reads that book not to) and decided that, unless a model was genuinely innovative, that it was not a real Citroen. Therefore, the C6 was more a technical exercise for the company, which might also aid marketing, and the last true Citroen was, in my opinion, the Xantia Activa.
Well, I don't think I'm hugely far away about the C6. It isn't really that innovative, in that there isn't much on it that is new or hasn't been seen on other cars, at some point. The suspension is an evolution of that used on the C5 (the fugly one too), and things like laminated side-windows had already been used on the C4, let alone other brands like Mercedes, who I'm sure also fitted a heads-up display to some S-Classes. Oh, and headlamps that steer around corners? Pah! They've been around since 1967! (1970, if you want them to self-level). 

However, I needed to cut Citroen some slack. I mean, how many things can you keep inventing? And just because you think of something new, doesn't mean people are going to buy the car, it just means losers like me get excited about it when the arse has fallen out of their resale value, and one or two of those innovations might still work...intermittantly, at least.
The other, more important reason, is that Citroen need a massive, MASSIVE pat on the back for even getting this thing past the PSA accountants. It just makes no sense! They knew they wouldn't sell any - regardless of how good it was - and even with some heavy parts-bin raiding (there are a LOT of shared components with all manner of other mainsteam PSA cars, mainly C5 and Peugeot 407) it was still going to cost a bomb to make. Even at £38k, I'd be surprised if they made much of a profit on it. And that's before you consider that the car itself was massively late to release! It was meant to be ready five years previously, and it's no surprise that, despite it being a newer car than the C4 I've replaced it with, the C4 feels more modern. Looks-wise, the C6 is a little timeless, to my eyes, but in terms of the trim and the interior, it's all very mid-naughties.

Still, you overlook the Pug 407 stereo and heater panel, or the C4 door handles and centre caps. You overlook the billy-basic side repeaters, too. Why? Because you can sense the enthusiasm of the designers every time you open the door. You don't stop looking at it; Well, I know I don't! You keep finding new angles that you never noticed design details on before, and it feels special every time you're stood near it. And that, is why this is a true Citroen: It feels special!
The more hundrum PSA-based mainstream cars produced wearing double-chevrons might not (although they certainly feel more interesting than their rather conservative Peugeot counterparts), but the C6 does stand apart. My C4 VTS has a certain element of 'funkiness' about it (I don't mean it stinks), but it's purely style over substance as underneath it's thoroughly average. A Ford Focus drives much, much better.
The C6 is funky; different; stylish; eye-catching and 'out-there', but more than that, it's still a wafty Citroen. Sure, it doesn't neccessarily do anything new or different to previous Chevron offerings, but who says it needs to? Couple everything it does with everything it is, and it's every inch the traditional Citroen.

There, you heard it here first; I was wrong!

I'll do a progress-report on the £750 C6 soon, I promise. Short-version: I love it! It's still saddled with faults, and there is still a lot of work to be done, but I'm feeling that it's worth doing it now much more than I was when I got it. I think when it arrived, I bought it and set about fixing it simply due to protocol; I'd bought a car that most people run away from (even in perfect condition), and it was all a bit of a joke and a bit of fun, and I've got a ramp so I might as well fix it etc. Nothing to lose and all that.
Well, that's changed. I now want this car to work as well as it possible can, simply because it's my favourite way of getting around. It's the car that, right now, I would choose to drive out of all the cars I currently own, and that's despite the faults. Faults which prevent you from being able to do more than about 10 miles in it before it makes it so obvious that it's in pain you feel bad for setting off.

The big repair will come, I'm just waiting for a ramp. I'll go into details about my adventures so far later on, though.

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(and that's as far as the other thread has got! Yes, I can waffle on a bit too easily!)

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43 minutes ago, loserone said:

What a fugging hero!

 

Will be following this closely, these appeal terribly.  Also, has @maxxo seen this yet?

Ha! It's not that big a deal really. It's a posh 407 really, and they're not as bad as folk make out. Does look nicer, though!

18 minutes ago, chodweaver said:

Nope. No censure here. Someone had to buy it, and it has the best chance of not being parted out nor fragged going to someone like you. Keep those updates coming, esp for utterly critical FTP like with that bit of plastic...

God C6s look lush.

I just remembered the door bins. I may have to have a lie down.

FTP: Fuck The Population?!

Yes, the door bins are cool. I don't use them, obviously.

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That handbrake control unit looks identical to the one they put on the Laguna II phase 2/Scenic II/Espace/etc! 

There is an old boy around here that drives a C6. Completely oblivious to other road users, drives at 40mph everywhere, indicates but never remembers to cancel and very much the type you give a wide berth.

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Thanks for posting this great write up, I've really enjoyed reading it so far and was also excited to see you had a C4 VTS as I've had three of them, two with a pan roof.

I've also had a XM V6 and didn't like it as much as the C4 and I didn't find it as inovative or quirky either (apart from the exterior, the steering wheel, speedo, rev counter glowing red at red line etc). The XM put me off any thoughts I might have had about getting a C6 even though I love the look of them.

IMG_3659.thumb.JPG.758ab20100a30783f265773e52ac4c9a.JPG

 

Now I'm off to read your thread on your C4...

 

PS were/are you friends with someone who used the name Captain Slower on various forums including C4Owners.org when he had a C4 VTS in about 2012?

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15 hours ago, SiC said:

Apparently what Rolls Royce called their breakdowns. 

What, C6?

15 hours ago, SiC said:

That handbrake control unit looks identical to the one they put on the Laguna II phase 2/Scenic II/Espace/etc! 

There is an old boy around here that drives a C6. Completely oblivious to other road users, drives at 40mph everywhere, indicates but never remembers to cancel and very much the type you give a wide berth.

I thought it was, but turns out it isn't. Well, not according to the handbrake specialists I contacted way back when I got the car.

15 hours ago, maxxo said:

Oh my.........

This is absolutely beautiful! well done to you!

storm grey, same colour as my picasso, comes up absolutely beautiful with super resin polish

keep up the good work!

and now i want a C6.....thanks

Storm grey, that's right. Haven't tried polishing it yet (don't enjoy cleaning cars!) But I'm hoping it'll come up OK.

15 hours ago, FakeConcern said:

Thanks for posting this great write up, I've really enjoyed reading it so far and was also excited to see you had a C4 VTS as I've had three of them, two with a pan roof.

I've also had a XM V6 and didn't like it as much as the C4 and I didn't find it as inovative or quirky either (apart from the exterior, the steering wheel, speedo, rev counter glowing red at red line etc). The XM put me off any thoughts I might have had about getting a C6 even though I love the look of them.

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Now I'm off to read your thread on your C4...

 

PS were/are you friends with someone who used the name Captain Slower on various forums including C4Owners.org when he had a C4 VTS in about 2012?

I've got a thread on PH on the C4. I've enjoyed it, but it's no driver's car. Suspension is crude, too, which is a bit of a crime when you're wearing chevs on the front and rear. A likable car, though. I've actually loaned it to a mate as it wasn't worth selling it!

Captain  Slow aka Simon? Yes, I went with him to buy his C4. I know one of the subsequent owners too, though I believe that car died later on. Simon's got a C5 Exclusive now, having flirted with the idea of getting himself a C6 finally. He chose against it. He chose wrong.

13 hours ago, Frogchod said:

Welcome to the cheap C6 club. 

Membership on here is now two. 

Citroen made 25000 of them, maybe more will join the club? 

I hate to jinx mine but it's only still working... 

 

I expect the numbers on here will increase, now with the prices being lower. The purchase prices, I mean, not the running costs. Hello £50 a month road tax!

10 hours ago, cort16 said:

You seem to be the right person to be tackling a 750 quid C6 most people would be crying into their crepes.

I've been very close to buying one on many occasions but never had the stones to pull the trigger.

We'll find out! So far I'm winning, but long term it could still implode on me! I really needed to not do this as I have a million and one other projects on the go, but life is too short to not own a C6 at some point.

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