Xantia spongy brakes

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jonT
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Xantia spongy brakes

Post by jonT » 07 Jan 2002, 18:56

I have been driving a 2.0Xantia vsx for a year and have always moaned about the poor brakes, esp the amount of feel through the pedal, and the strange on/off feel under moderate braking. The dealer I spoke to said that there all like that and maybe the brake valve was faulty.
To cut a long story short the problem lies with the sound insulation attached to the bulkhead where the brake pedal assembly makes contact with the brake valve actuator.
The pedal had a plastic rod attached 1/2 way between the rubber and the pivot, which presses on the actuator when the brakes are applied. This plastic rod had a ring of plastic about 10mm from the end that fouled the sound insulation when the pedal was pressed, thus the braking effort supplied was also used to compress the insulation as well as the actuator.
I could see a ring around the origonal hole cut in the insulation where this had occured over time. 10 minutes with a stanley Knife to make the hole bigger sorted it out. The brakes now work as well as any other citroen, the on/off sensation has disapeared.
The question that I asked myself is why citroen never figured it out, am I the only poor sap with this problem?
Also on another dealer realted question, how do you set the drivebelt /cambelt tension without the seem special tool?
Cheers
JonT
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pwatson
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Post by pwatson » 08 Jan 2002, 01:32

You are certainly not the only "poor sap". Have had the same problem (on/off feeling of brakes)on my wife's Xantia for years and new discs, pads, bleeding brakes have never solved it. If yours is the solution I salute you! Can it really be something so simple? Now all I need is a light evening to go grovelling in the footwell! Will let you know if it works on ours - but I find it hard to believe!!
PhilW
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pwatson
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Post by pwatson » 12 Jan 2002, 18:51

jonT,
Brilliant!! Like I said - difficult to believe such a simple solution to the problem (I even considered replacing the doseur valve since it was about the only thing left to replace)Just been out and cut away the insulation as you suggested, tested the car and found myself using the brakes with confidence for the first time - they are almost as good as on my BX! Pity you can't market you idea.....?! Many thanks for the tip
PhilW
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alan s
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x 4

Post by alan s » 13 Jan 2002, 04:40

Regards the cam belt tension. The "seem" tool is merely a tension checker not as a lot think, a "setter."
Depending on the type of motor you have, the basic idea is that held between the thumb and forefinger it should be able to be turned to almost 45deg at the longest run.
If set too loose they will flap and if too tight they will whirr.
Details of how to fit are on this forum on page 2 of general problems and cures with attached links. If you use common sense it will be no problem.
FWIW, we made a few enquiries a few months back & found most service agents either didn't have the "seems" gauge, had one that was broken, had lent it to someone and couldn't remember who, didn't know how to use it properly or didn't bother to anyway. <img src=icon_smile_shock.gif border=0 align=middle>This being the case you are not taking any bigger risk fitting yourself than you are paying them to do it. <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>
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Dave Burns
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Post by Dave Burns » 14 Jan 2002, 04:20

Thought I would have a look at my brake pedal and see if it suffered the same problem, and no it doesn't, when the brakes are firmly applied the boss or plastic ring round the pushrod is about 1/2 inch away from the sound insulation material and there are no marks to suggest it has ever touched it, clearly something different about this aspect of these cars, I have a 97 td hatch what year are yours.
The power of my brakes seem to fluctuate a bit and thought a likely cause would be the variance of pressure inside the accumulator sphere, because the regulator cut's in around 1400 psi and back out at 2500 psi (haynes figures) you may have a difference of over 1000 psi on tap to operate the brakes, a valve with 2500psi behind it will require more effort to open than one with 1400 behind it, does this have any affect bearing in mind that the plastic pushrod has a spring inside it to act as a cussion, there were complaints about the brakes being to keen for some people so the spring was put in to try and take the sting out, I have only ever driven one BX and remember the pedal being solid and the brakes incredibly sharp, obviousely no spring in that pushrod, or is it simply the amount of pressure available from the sphere at the time that causes the various braking sensations. Only Citroen know.
Dave
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jonT
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Joined: 07 Jan 2002, 18:28
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Post by jonT » 14 Jan 2002, 15:01

Mine is a 95 N reg, it seems that the brake pedal has been changed as mine is 'unsprung' My friendly local citroen dealer also said many people thought the brakes to be sharp, then again he did not seem suprised when I told him the insulation was obstructing the pedal. The range was overhauled between our two cars so I guess that was one change, I can only speculate but I assume the problem that affected mine is not all that common, maybe a production line fault?
On the whole hydraulic system I don't understand how citroen managed to screw it up so badly compared to the bx, the brakes on mine a 91 j 1600 were always fine, and so was the rear suspension, no uppy-downyness at traffic lights. if fact the bx seems more bullet proof in many ways, and the haynes manual is relativly usefull.
anyway such is life
re: the seems thing, well, if the dealers don't know who does... just typical!
jon
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