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Jon's Bodge Log - The Peugeot continues to be ungrateful.


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So me and the olds had the Picanto up in the air yesterday morning, well as up in the air as those sketchy looking bits of metal my dad calls ramps can do, looking for the source of the car's sporty* exhaust note. 

Manifold - helpfully hidden from prying eyes by a heat shield with bolts that definitely aren't rusted in place. 

Flexi - doesn't look too clever but the olds says it's fine*. 

Rest of it - bit crusty but no holes or rusted through bits to be seen.

Cue much scratching of the head, and only then does my dad mention that he has a mechanic mate that might be willing to help...

Skip to the next day and the Picanto is up on a proper lift and has someone who knows what he's doing prodding away. Lo and behold he finds the culprit, the flexi wasn't fine and was blowing away like a good 'un. 

He also found issue with my brake pipe fitment, oopsie... 🙈

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  • 2 months later...

Figured it was about time I got round to fitting the new rear calipers to the ungrateful silver lump. 

Disassembly of the old was easy, well apart from liberating the old caliper of its counterweight thingy - that took some swearing and percussive persuasion. Eventually it yielded to the application of lump hammer and we got it swapped across. 

Putting the new one on was a piece of piss, apart from all the difficult bits... Namely getting the new pads into the carrier whatsit. More swearing, more doubting my life choices but they eventually went in. 


Yes, that flexi isn't looking too clever but it looks only slightly better in person. Shiny new disc was put on too before bleeding the system (not my knuckles for a change) and putting the spinny rubber part back on. 

Well all in its gone alright seeing as the work has been done by this idiot, successfully removed one source of squeaking when driving and she seems to roll a bit more freely. 

Now to fix everything else... 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well, dad's bargain C3 has issues... 

30,000 miles and my foot was practically floating over the pedal before the clutch bit. Engine doesn't seem too bad, just feels gutless although the shagged clutch may not be helping matters there. Brakes are squeeeeeeeaky, I sincerely hope it's just the fronts as the rears are drums. 


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  • 5 months later...

The C3 died without ceremony whilst hauling my fat arse along the M65, a judder from the engine shortly followed by a total loss of power had me gently coasting onto the hard shoulder.



Nice chap from the AA arrives after a short 2 and a bit hour wait, absolutely hoofing it down as is tradition in East Lancashire. Our hero in high viz diagnoses HGF based on the oil that had appeared in the coolant expansion tank in rather a vast amount. 

Tow home it is then. Along a motorway. At rush hour. In the dark and pissing down rain. Have I mentioned that I've only been driving for less than a year at this point? 


Tow home was uneventful, bar a quick piss stop at Darwen services. Being an inch away from another vehicle's back bumper at 40 mph is a arsehole puckering experience, not helped by the condensation on the windows and non-functioning wipers. 

Got home in one piece and took myself to bed to defrost and sulk. 

Repairing the Citroën wasn't going to happen on the car park and getting it fixed by a garage equally wasn't going to within my means. Added stress of starting a job that requires a cromulent motor to get me to different job sites so it was decided to chop in the Citroën and get looking around. 

Dad got asking around and I made a nuisance of myself to a couple of forum users (apologies to @wuvvum and @tom13).

Dad came back one day saying that he had found something through one of his mates. I don't know why his friend group has such a ready supply of old cars for sale but I'm not questioning it...

No collection thread, as I don't think a five minute drive to the town next door would really provide much content and, shockingly, it was raining so after a quick look over and handing over the moolah I jumped into the new motor for it's maiden 5 minute voyage home. 

So what is it I don't hear you ask?

Well... It's a diesel and it's French.


Oui, it's a 207 SW with 125k on the clock and powered by the finest 1.6 HDI lump. 

Cons: slight* exhaust whiff through the vents, both front ARBs need replacing and the nearside front wheel arch liner is catching and the rear offside tyre is rather low on tread. 

Pros: tidy exterior, good service history, obviously been cared for by the first owner with good branded tyres and the timing belt changed at 99k.

Most importantly... 


It has a panoramic sunroof that works! 

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If yo u drive faster the exhaust fumes won't be as concentrated 👌

Nice motor! Just plan very frequent oil changes if the tales of the 1.6 I've heard in the modern section are true! 

Sunroofs are wicked in the snow, was about the only time I'd ever open them if I had one at the time

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10 hours ago, bigfella2 said:

What happened to the c3? Was it a Tu engined one?

Aye it was, we didn't have the chance to do much with it but it had dumped a load of oil into the coolant and twirling the key turned the engine over with no compression. 

37 minutes ago, beko1987 said:

If yo u drive faster the exhaust fumes won't be as concentrated 👌

Nice motor! Just plan very frequent oil changes if the tales of the 1.6 I've heard in the modern section are true! 

Sunroofs are wicked in the snow, was about the only time I'd ever open them if I had one at the time

I just keep it on recirc and then no smells can get in. 😂

I already have filters and oil ready for the next break in the weather. Got the horrible feeling that I'm going to have to do it in the rain... 

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Peugeot update:

Oil and filter successfully replaced. That's the good news out of the way, now time for me to go on a bit of a whinge. 

I mentioned in the Peugeot's debut post that both droplinks needed replacing post haste, I definitely said droplinks there's no need to scroll back up honestly... 🤫

Well this weekend, buoyed with enthusiasm after a relatively fuck-about free oil change, I decided to have at said droplinks. Decided to attack the driver's side first and set about attaching the wheelbrace to the bolt, now at this point I should admit that the oil change was actually a bit of a fuck-about and should have forewarned me.

You see the last charming* individual who had his greasy tools near the Peugeot had torqued up the sump plug to a hernia-inducing amount of ft-lbs, this combined with the bumper being too low for the car to go up on the ramps led to an hour* of much swearing before I was able to get the sump plug out. 

Anyway back to the main course, the wheelbrace didn't provide enough leverage to even start budging the recalcitrant fasteners. Break out the breaker bar then... to the same result and now one of the heads is starting to round off! 

OK I get the hint, I'll do the other side first. Wheel dislodged with minimal trauma, I did my best to contain my excitement but a few profanities did fly. Jacked up, the car that is, and set about loosening off the nuts holding the droplink in place. Top one came off without a hint of bother and led me to believe that the other one was going to be just as easy... 

Now if you recall the last time I was dicking around with the Picanto, it also included droplinks and seized up fasteners. Oh yes, hubris was about to bite hard. 

No amount of whaling, penetrating oil, swearing or crying would loosen off the bottom nut. OK, fine I'll cut the damn thing off with dad's splitter thingy. Only problem was the amount of penetrating oil and tears had a slight negative effect on the splitter's ability to stay on the damn nut. It was now 4 o'clock and I had ran out of daylight so chucked the wheel back on and went indoors to be consoled by the cat. 

Sunday. I need the car to get me to work on Monday. I'm going to have to come up with a cunning plan. Which I did courtesy of my Christmas bonus from work and borrowing the brother's car to acquire a new tool*. 

This plan was very, very cunning and the seized up bolt wouldn't know what was about to hit it...

Turns out it somehow did know what was coming and was ready to make me doubt my own sanity one more time.

I bought a dremel and it did the job, eventually... 


New droplink was quickly installed and torqued up before anything else happened. 


Beautiful isn't it? 

It'd be even better if it was this side that was making the most noise... 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Good news: The Aunty Pol fault light hasn't shown its face since. Driving around on Wednesday it was hoiking shit out of the exhaust when 'making progress' but has cleared up now, any advice from more learned dizzler shiters is welcome. 

Bad news: Decided that seeing as it wasn't raining today I'd try and get t'other droplink replaced. This one was being held hostage behind a wheel with a stuck bolt - said bolt had resisted an angry bar and my amazon special extractors thus far. Taking heed of advice on here I got myself some of them fancy six-sided sockets that only bear on the flat faces of the fastener  (Halfrauds Advanced* I'll admit). 

They did the trick, the bolt came out with no issue whatsoever and with that my last excuse to not do the job had disappeared. 


As is becoming a tradition for me, the old droplink was an absolute bawbag to extricate and the correct sized hex key somehow managed to round out the hole in said droplink. Dremel deployed. 


It was reasonably painless and straightforward after this... 


Glad to see the back of this absolute pain of a job. I'm sure the Peugeot has more lined up for me! 

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The bastid thing did in fact have another surprise up its manky sleeve... 

Currently staying away from home with work, finished on site for the day and jumped in the car wanting to bugger off back to the hotel ASAP. During said arse hauling I felt the clutch pedal going decidedly meh and changing gear getting harder. 

Almost made it to the hotel, coasted into a car park just off Sherburn-in-Helmet*'s high street and weighed up my options... OK, I called the AA and then went across the road to get myself a Domino's. AA's estimated arrival was 19:30. 

Expecting a hearty wait I decided to go back to my hotel to eat pizza and question my life choices. Imagine my surprise when at 19:15 the phone rings, it's Mr AA and he's with the car... 

After some prodding and poking under the bonnet, he pops in some brake fluid and manages to get some clutchage. Diagnosis: slave cylinder is dying - AA man did try and source a replacement but to no avail. 


So... Early morning tomorrow to get a new slave cylinder and get it fitted. Sigh. 

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We'll be having a serious conversation when I get back to the correct side of the Pennines. Involving pointing at pictures of scrapyards and chopping gestures. 

So yesterday was a good ol' fashioned adventure*. 

Step 1: Bus wankerage to the shining metropolis of Selby... 


Step 2: Brisk 10 minute walk to the motor factors of choice*, YMF, in the rain. 


Step 3: Acquire said part and reverse step 2. 


Step 4: Return to car, throw parts in the boot and head back to WORK. 

Step 5: Finish work and spend 2 and a half hours extracting ded slave cylinder, fitting new one and bleeding 1,002 air bubbles out of the lines. All while cursing the car, the French, my life choices and anyone unfortunate enough to walk by. 

Just as despair was setting in at the lack of any sensation in the clutch, something* changed and I had a clutch pedal again! Probably more bubbles, the bastards... 

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1 hour ago, bigfella2 said:

What happened to the c3 in the end? Didn't you fancy fixing the head gasket.

Oil being dumped into the coolant and a loss of compression sounds like a pretty serious head gasket failure to me. 

The TU engines are great when they work, but they're extremely fragile, and sensitive to overheating. 

Realistically it would want another engine. I've never had much luck trying to do a head gasket on a PSA engine that has badly overheated. They always tend to fail again a few months/years down the line

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7 hours ago, bigfella2 said:

What happened to the c3 in the end? Didn't you fancy fixing the head gasket.

It got scrapped unfortunately. I'm quite limited in what jobs I can do as my 'workshop' is the car park behind my flat, that combined with work commitments really narrowed down my options. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

*driving over potholes* Clonk clonk. 


As it turns out, the merdemobile wasn't just suffering from shaggered droplinks. Wheel off again and poking and prying revealed the most likely* culprit of my latest auditory discomfort. A ball joint that wasn't jointing very well any more. 

Of course Peugeot, in their infinite wisdom, had decided to rivet the ball joint to the control arm. Googlage revealed that the best course of action was to simply replace the entire assembly, I was inclined to prefer this anyway as less hassle...

Fast forward to Saturday, tools out and it's not raining so time to get cracking. 

Sensibly I'd penetrating oil'd all the bolts and the pinch bolt holding the ball joint to the hub came out no issues. 


The fun began in earnest. Would the joint come away from the hub? Hah. Yea nah. A solid hour of fun and games trying to dislodge 14 years of grime and rust and eventually the bastid thing popped out. 

Subframe bolts were surprisingly un-French and popped out with minimal protest, apart from having to wrestle the driveshaft as far forward and up a bit to get one of the bolts out.


Good riddance and that ball joint was properly cooked, so was I to be honest! 

New arm in, subframe bolts point blank refused to go home. Sod this, I was cooked so went inside to warm up and get meowed at for the rest of the evening. 

This morning I go back out, spent three miserable hours getting drizzled on and only getting one of the two bolts back in. At this point, the car also decided to steal my torx bit and adapter. I'm not getting that back, am I? 

In an act of sheer desperation, monkey brain engaged and I hit the top of the bolt with a lump hammer. Fuck me it started moving! Few more thwacks and it was home. 

All that stress sorted with a few taps of a sodding hammer. A short test drive later and I can happily report the clonk is banished. 

Let's see what breaks next! 

Edited by PicantoJon
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Well that didn't take long... 


Finished work and noticed a distinct chattering noise coming from the land of belts. Occasionally said chatter suddenly stops, the engine bogs and the headlights go bright. Signs point to alternator shenanigans but I'm an idiot and don't trust my own judgement any longer. 

At least there's a Subway in the petrol station in case I get hungry... 

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  • PicantoJon changed the title to Jon's Bodge Log - Chattering away under the bonnet...


AA rocked up ten minutes after their ETA, not bad considering that it was around 5 o'clock and the poor bugger had to endure the M65 to get to me (bloody jumped up dual carriageway!). 

One good poke around later and diagnosis: yer aux belt tensioner is fookin fooked m9. 

Really... I called the AA over that?!

Anyway, now it was established in my anxiety ridden brain that the car was in fact driveable, I set off home with Mr AA in tow as he offered to check it again once I'd arrived home to ensure no more Frenchness had occurred. Home safely achieved and after checking again, Mr AA went on his way to actual breakdowns... 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dad update (couldn't think of anywhere else to put it so hey ho...): He's still in the ICU at Blackpool Victoria but is making progress, sitting out of bed and walking around with the physio. Still early days but I'm hopeful. 

He has asked me to do the timing belt on the Picanto, the bloody cheek! 

I'm going to have to do it aren't I? 


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  • PicantoJon changed the title to Jon's Bodge Log - Dad update and the end of cambelt roulette for the Picanto?
  • 4 weeks later...

Double whammy for this episode of mechanical incompetence. New alternator belt, tensioner and an oil change. 

Saturday began with me getting up at fuckthis o'clock to take the merdemobile for a new pair of front tyres. Only I didn't need to get up early as my appointment wasn't until 11 o'clock! Decided to kill time by picking up the new alternator tensioner and belt. 

Anyway, a pair of shiny new Continental EcoContact 6ses and a wheel alignment later, the Pug feels a lot better to drive. Quieter and less twitchy, old tyres must have been on the edge of perishing despite appearances. 

Get home, get tools out and set about jacking up the front end to get the wheel and arch liner oot for access to the belt itself. 

Getting sufficient access to the tensioner saw me playing brittle plastic connector roulette and winning, thank fuck. Levered back the old tensioner back and using an 'approved tool' (a small screwdriver that only got bent slightly*) locked it. 


Looks deceptively roomy, it really wasn't! 2/3 bolts came out no problem, the one furthest away just wasn't reachable from above so had to go at it from the wheel arch. Managed to get it off eventually and only dropped the spanner 553 times...

Lobbed the new belt and tensioner in and made the absolute stupid mistake of placing my pry tool on the engine cover... 

Of course it fucked off down the back of the engine!


Like, right down.

Bawlicks to this I thought, after removing several layers of skin from my hands trying to wedge them through the letterbox sized gap, so I sacked it off for the evening and went indoors to get mocked by the cat. 

Sunday rears it's head and I head back out to try and figure out how to pry the trapped tool from the HDi's grasp. Didn't take long, though I lost more skin as the car fought to claim it's sacrifice. 




Reunited with it, I was able to finally remove the locking pin from the new tensioner and feel the warmth of a job actually done. 

Oil and filter got changed too, which went flawlessly and there were no issues whatsoever... 



Luckily that was the old oil and I remembered to replace the sump plug before putting in the new stuff.


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  • PicantoJon changed the title to Jon's Bodge Log - New rubber and environmental disaster.
  • 3 weeks later...


Don't do it human. You know what happened last time... 

Against the better advice of my feline assistant, I decided to crack on with more tinkering on the ever-ungreatful Peugeot. Namely refreshing the washer and seals on number 3/number 2 (depending on however Peugeot decided to number them this week) injector. 


Getting to the injectors was straightforward enough, unbolt the plastic loom holder, disconnect connectors and carefully* wedge it out of the way. Likewise, removing the leak-off pipe watsits only required removing the clip holding each in place and levering off its injector, again stuffing it aside. High pressure lines came off easy too. Am I getting my hopes up? Yes. 

Slight battle getting the rocker cover out, as one of the 8mm bolts was helpfully hidden behind the pipe going from the intercooler to the turbo. Though loosening it's retaining clip gave me enough space to get at the aforementioned bolt. Twist, wriggle, curse the bastard who designed this engine and the rocker cover came out.

Oh. Swear words. 


Moving swiftly on (to preserve my sanity if anything...)

Removing the injector involved liberal application of carb cleaner and scraping around the clamp, the escaping combustion gases had solidified back into a hellish combination of tar and very solid carbon. Unsurprisingly effective at holding the injector in place but it yielded. 



That took a significant amount of time to clean all whilst paranoidly avoiding the tip of the damn thing. 

Cleaned up the bore with an amazon spesh cleaning kit and replaced the seal that sits at the top, with only a slight faff getting the blighted little rubber bastard to seat properly.


Not perfect by any stretch but it do. 

Put new spacer thing and copper washer on the comprehensively refurbished* injector before chucking it back in its home, reattaching everything and putting off turning the damn thing back on. 

A smidgen of hesitation and puckering of the sphincter, then I turned the key.

Chuff successfully banished and I don't have to keep the air con in recirc anymore! 

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