Jump to content

I'll get round to it at some point - I’m all out of XM piss jokes and I’ve bought an A frame

Rust Collector

Recommended Posts

Today I wanted to sort out the last problems of note on the XM.

I started with these warning lights this morning.


Replacing the coolant that was lost when changing the pump got me to here:


The handbrake is on, so that leaves the ABS.

To recap, as it’s been sometime, when I last ran the diagnostic test on it I was given two codes that wouldn’t clear - the near side front sensor and the offside rear sensor. When I busted out the multimeter, the NSF was open circuit and from memory the OSR was very high impedance. I replaced the front, and that cured that code. I then procrastinated over fitting the rear and focussed on the fuel pump instead.

The pump was sorted* yesterday, so that just leaves the offside rear sensor. Luckily the rears are the most miserable ones to sort. Legend has it that they’re bonded in with adhesive, and use a height adjuster to get the correct clearance as they have to be a gnat’s cock away from the badly designed reluctor ring.

Best get started then.

Amazingly, the rear shield came away without an any disasters.


The sensor was well and truly stuck in there. With a bit of persuasion it snapped off and left the shaft in. Standard.


Disc off then.


That needed some proper testing with a nylon mallet to get it free.

Next up I needed to crack loose the hub.


Lots of teeth and lots of shiny bits.


Well, there’s your problem:


Release the STUFF!



I chiselled out the remains of the collar with a screwdriver, and I was left with all this shite.


It was fouling the new sensor and stopping it going in. I seem to recall this being mentioned on the XM forums as being a menace to clean out properly. Fortunately I’m a lazy bastard, so I realised that an 18mm drill bit and my laser guided eyeball would do it in two seconds.


I then fucked around measuring things to figure out if I was going to have any length issues when it came to going sloppy seconds on the freshly reamed hole.


The reluctor was in when I took that measurement initially.



Looks good to me.

I then spent some time fucking around looking for a suitable shim to get the clearance I needed, before realising the heat/dust shield that bolts under it is the perfect thickness. Here’s how it looked before I realised that, and I was using a washer:


Reassembly is the reverse of removal. This is the absolute worst part in my opinion:


That connector is up between the top of the rear beam and floor pan. It’s best to get to it from under the car, popping up in alternate places under the subframe like a demented meerkat. It’s one of those things where you can either see it or you can touch it, but not both at once. Speaking of which, if you’re doing this job then it’s worth observing this:


Similar to the front, there’s a couple of types of sensor and if you’re lucky like me then you can use either impedance value which opens up some options. The green one is original to my car, the blue one is the replacement. The lugs are in different places, but a craft knife sorts that.


Once it was all back together, it was time for the moment of truth.


Result! The ABS diag ran as it should then the lamp went out. I now have no warning lights whilst the car is running.

I’ll give it a quick run round the block, then see if I can sort the slow starting by tweaking the fuelling and throttle adjustment (I’m 99% certain they’re marginally out as it was originally firing instantly on this pump) and then I’ll get her in for a ticket.

Im really pleased to finally be whittling down the known big jobs on this car, hopefully the MOT doesn’t throw up anything horrible.


Also, a big shout out to the weather today. It would’ve been absolutely miserable doing this job whilst rolling around the floor in near constant rain…


Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, wesacosa said:

top work mate, I feel thoroughly ashamed having done nowt of note on mine for a good while

on that note, remind me . Did you need to fashion up a puller for separating the pulley from the shaft?


Don’t feel bad mate, I’ve got about half an acre filled with shame just down the road from me 😅 The XM was becoming a millstone and was in the way of other things happening so that’s mostly what has motivated me to get things done.

RE the puller; yes, you’re meant to make one, yes it looks fairly easy to make with an angle grinder and a pillar drill, but that would mean clearing my workbench and so I just used this special* puller instead


It didn’t take much force to free it off, I just worked gently-ish against strong looking bits of the casting. This worked on both engines/pumps without any exciting consequences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After deliberating the best course of action, I've booked the MOT at a 'just MOT's' type of place a couple of towns away. The 'no pass no fee' place was tempting, but it's about an hour and a half away and would be a false economy if I end up stranded.

Judgement day is this Saturday, at 10:50am.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big sweaty ball bags.



Looks like that line has burst where it squeaks past the anti roll bar. Must’ve been where I was jostling things about.

I reckon I need to drop the exhaust for access. Then need to make up some lines.

None of you good folks would happen to have a set of the dies handy to make the flares, would you? I’ve got the bench mounted tool, just never got round to buying the Citroen dies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Rust Collector changed the title to I'll get round to it at some point - Green Piss

Well, sadly my replacement line didn’t arrive in time for weekend fun, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t still treat myself to half the enjoyment* by removing the old brake line ready for the replacement’s arrival.

It was pretty hot here, so it was important to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of thinking juice. This hit the spot, and was suitably themed:


I’ve been reliably informed that I need to drop the rear subframe in order to replace this line. I’ve been keeping an open mind as to whether I’ll do this, as it looks like a recipe for more damage and just a general ball ache.

First off was to remove the rear silencer, which came off surprisingly easily.


The rear mid section; not so much.


It would’ve taken a real fight to get that out, it’s bonded into the mid section pretty well and some work with a hammer and various drifts and chisels didn’t shift it. I repositioned the stands for more height, and decided to save the subframe on. I did remove the spare wheel carrier as I was getting caught in that constantly like a hapless animal in a beer can holder.

I then laid in the shade for a while, whilst contemplating my life choices.


The tow bar electrics had made a bid for freedom some time ago, so I tucked those away and made a mental note to buy a new bracket for them.


I definitely* won’t forget that that there.

This is the clusterfuck that I could see on top of the rear beam.


Don't have nightmares, etc.

I couldn’t find any helpful pictures so I had to fumble around following the line where it dipped out of sight.


I reckoned it was the line that terminates on the furthest right side of this four way piece.


Luckily I was right. The two brackets that hold it are a bastard to remove though. Captive nut on the one closest to the beam so it just span, I managed to bend the tabs up to release the line. The bracket on the trailing arm uses a nut on a stud. It’s also in an absolute bastard of a location.


It ended up removing the stud too, space was right so I tapped it out at an angle in the end and I’ll replace it with a bolt and a p clip or something.

After that it was just a battle against plastic clips and I was free.


I did make a cut where I couldn’t get my fingers in to release a clip. The new line should hopefully push in though. I snipped the ends off so that I could put a socket over the tiny unions to crack them off - I found a 9/32 was perfect, provided you spanked it on with a hammer.

Line removed:


I’ll make the new line up to match that one roughly, and then jiggle it into place.

With any luck that rear subframe and axle can stay in place!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Put it on the list of shit I never want to do again. Until the next time I have to, of course.



I spent a bit of time after this spacing the coils so they won’t chafe. And fucking around with clips and brackets and making sure nothing rubs.

I then started the car and it didn’t take a big green slash on the driveway.

I put the exhaust back on, and I’ll bleed the brakes tomorrow. Hopefully that’s me back in a position to put it in for a ticket at the weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Rust Collector changed the title to I'll get round to it at some point - Green Piss CONTAINED. Hopefully.

Judgement day for the XM today!!

Ive just done the final job, which was to reattach the towing electrics.


It was one of those very simple yet very fiddly due to corroded fastener type jobs.

Its going into a dedicated MOT place in Lewes later today, wish the old girl luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who had money on ‘test abandoned’?

The man from the ministry informs me that the second it rolled onto the hallowed ground of the test bay, the XM immediately started vomiting out coolant.

I’ve limped it home whilst topping it up at each convenient lay-by and it didn’t get too hot, the temp wavered around 90 which is the midpoint on the gauge. It does put the low coolant light on fairly quickly, but the main coolant hoses all have coolant in when I give them a fondling.

I’m now off outside to perform an exorcism track down the leak.

At least we had a nice afternoon out in lewes, I took the mrs and the kids for a coffee and ice cream by the river whilst I waited for the bad news.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I topped the coolant up, left her running, and… nothing.

Eventually a little dribble came out.


Following it up the block…


Brought me to here:


The hose to (or from, I’ve no idea to be fair) the cold start timing advance wankery enters the block here. It wasn’t visibly leaking though, just a tiny dribble down the block from that general area was present.

Being impatient, I adopted the poke it with a stick method.



That’ll be it then. It appears to have let go under the jubilee clip, and when disturbed and pressurised it pisses out coolant. If it settles into the right position then it doesn’t visibly leak. Having not got the car properly hot on the driveway, I hadn’t been able to observe this.

Funny* it made the 20 minute main road drive no bother, then immediately dumped the coolant out as the tester drove it into the bay.

I’ve got a spare for this hose, but it’s not looking fantastic so I may just grab some suitable sized coolant hose and lob that on instead.

Frustratingly, I’m not going to be able to get it back to Lewes for another test until next weekend now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Rust Collector changed the title to I'll get round to it at some point - Additional hot piss action; coolant system MOT misery

It’s a real pisser, but the saving grace is that the chap kindly didn’t charge me and just said bring it back in once you’ve had a tinker.

Not wanting to be beaten and/or this get pushed to one side, I’ve taken the offending hose off and replaced it with the spare I had. It turns out the old one had become deformed on the side closest to the block (possibly I’ve snagged it when refitting or something). The spare I have is in better shape and after fitting it I let the car idle up to temp, then gave everything a prod and no coolant pissed out this time so I’m hoping that’s sorted.

Whilst I had the manifold off I adjusted the idle on the fuel pump as the hot idle was about 1100rpm. It turns out the anti stall screw was badly adjusted, as was the cold start waxstat. I’ve sorted those so hopefully it should be a bit nicer to drive, as it was pulling just a little too much when you held it on the brake in drive.

When putting everything together again for the millionth time I also noticed this


Thats after the turbot, so presumably I’m losing valuable BOOST through that split.

Handily, the one on the spare engine was in good condition.


So that’s gone on the car, and now finally I think that’s the last time I’ll be taking this apart/putting it back together. For at least a few days.


Satisfied that this should be the end of any more failures or breakages, I triumphantly slammed the bonnet shut.


Yeah, that pretty much sums up how things are going.

One last job sprung to mind after this; washer jets. They were pretty feeble when I was driving to the test centre, they’d clogged since I last unplugged them. I managed to find a suitable pin and spent what felt like a lifetime fucking around with them until all 4 jets hit the window.

So now, dare I say it, the XM is finally, finally, finally ready for MOT. I’m going to try and get it booked in during the week around work. I look forward to the bastard thing failing or blowing up for a third time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Puts my car problems into perspective and like you, I have a family to look after so shite-spannering time is at a premium. You have exponentially more patience than me.

Seems your spare engine is absolutely invaluable, it's great not to have to worry about those hard to fine small spare parts.

Good luck on the retest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks chaps, the car has definitely been trying me but it’s now booked in for a ticket first thing Saturday and if it fails on anything then I’ll be tearing it straight apart, getting parts in and getting it sorted for the following weekend hopefully. I really hope I don’t have to buy anything stupidly expensive or, even worse, do any fucking welding…

As has been pointed out, without that spare engine I’d have been up shit creek a few times now.

Once the XM is sorted and gone, I’ll have to figure out what to do with the spare motor.

The idiot in me says that a 2.1td automatic BX is the correct* thing to create from what I’ve got laying around on my driveway. Whether I have the time and patience for that is another thing.

According to my Big Board of Priorities (tm), I should be welding the Proton up and then selling it. I lay in bed at night thinking about things like my partners friends naked the ZAZ 968 though.

What would you folks like to see me drag out of the field and fix this year?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...