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Club XM Forum > XM General Issues
Hello all,

Well picked up my 'new' car today. It didn't look quite as sharp as I had in memory but still very nice (will have to work on that though). The drive home was quite eventfull, when I was about halfway there (120km) the alternator belt broke (I had already seen it was frayed but didn't want to shell out for them to do a bad job if I could prevent it). No more steering (very heavy blink.gif ) and the battery light came on. In the end the dutch ANWB brought me home on the back of a truck.
I kind of knew this might happen so I had already ordered a new belt yesterday, will be picking up tomorrow.
First jobs: new alternator belt (tips???) and three new spheres at the rear.
Sometime next week two new front tyres and an alignment and we should be ok for a little while. (I also found out that the engine is very new indeed, it has only done 300 km since it was put in!! any tips for breaking in a new engine biggrin.gif ??)
Another thing I noticed was that it starts very easily when cold (half a turn) but alot harder when hot (about 3,5 turns). Any ideas?? (remember I'm new to diesels)

Hi Niek,

Welcome to the 2.5TD owners club. I'm sure you will be very pleased with the car once you get over your first couple of problems.

The alternator belt is very easy to change. Jack up the car and remove the passenger (LHD) wheel and the plastic cover at the bottom part of the inner wing. This gives clear access to the belt. Slacken the 5mm hexagon bolt in the middle of the tensioner. Slacken the lockk nut on the threaded part of the tensioner near the top. Turn the tensioner hex clockwise looking down on the engine. The belt will go slack and is easily removed. remove the tensioner completely by taking out the hex bolt in the middle. If the engine is so new I'm suspicious why the belt is frayed. The tensioner is possibly faulty. The bearings in the middle part of the tensioner have a tendency to go. If so you'll need a new tensioner. I've tried to repair one but its almost impossible. It is not a standard bearing.

Replace the belt and refit the tensioner. Tighten the belt by turning the tensioner bolt anticlockwise. Tighten the belt until you can just twist the belt through 90 degrees with 2 fingers (thumb and forefinger).

The glow plug controller senses that the engine is warm and reduces the time the light stays on on the dash. Therefore, when its warm count to 5 before turning the starting motor and ignore the light. The extra few seconds will allow the glow plugs to heat up just a little bit more and will aid starting. It would be worthwhile checking the glow plugs with a meter to make sure they are all still working. They are arranged in two pairs electrically. Each pair has its own supply from the glow plug controller. The glow plug controller is in front of the battery. Remove the holding bolt on the bracket and turn it upside down. Test the terminals for 12v when someone in the car turns on the ignition switch. The controller is vulnerable to water in that location and the water can get into the electrics inside and corrode the pcb (guess how I know that ! ).

Let us know how you get on.


noz cool.gif
Hi Noz,

Thanks for the description.
The alternator belt wasn't replaced when the engine went in. On top of that it looked like it had been refitted wrongly, on groove off. This means that one of the ribs of the belt was atually outside the pulley grooves and ripped off.
(When I noticed this I made sure to check that the water pump belt was new and took the cover off the cambelt to check this, it also looked very new)
This engine actually frightens me, when you look under the bonnet it looks almost impossible to do anything on the car without spending 3 hours removing stuff first.. Time will tell and the help from this forum will no doubt be much appreciated. (2.016v looks simple in comparison and probably is rolleyes.gif )

Should I take care not to revv it above say 3000 rpm for the first couple of thousand km? And should I replace the oil more frequently untill the engine is run in?


I changed the belt, I had a bit of a fight because I think my tensioner setup might be different from what you people seem to have. I have two separate tensioners, an automatic one with a springlike thing attached and a regular roller with the excentric bolt. (see pictures) I first put the belt on without changing the tensioner, it started flapping straight away. Took it back off put the tensioner almost on the maximum tension (I think I have about 10 degrees left to turn it tighter). It became very difficult to get the belt on (with the automatic tensioned released as far a possible). It now runs ok but there is still alot of movement in the automatic tensioner and at a specific engine speed the belt flaps again. Not sure what to do though, if I can get the regular tensiones a little tighter it might solve the problem on the other hand seeing how difficult it was trying to get the belt on like this, it must be impossible if it's even tighter.
The new spheres went on fine and the car is very soft now at the rear. Alot softer than the 16v.
I also found something under the right wing (picture) anyone know what it is? It has two wires and a tube going to it.
And I found a loose connection, it's attached to the bottom of the fuel filter so will probably be the water detection. Can't find anywhere to hook it up though.

Any thoughts much appreciated.
Under wing:
Hi Niek,

The thing under the wing is a vacuum pump. The vacuum is used to operate the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) Valve under the command of a solenoid valve. The EGR lets exhaust gas go from the exhaust pipe to the inlet manifold. It makes a big mess of the inlet manifold so I have disconnected mine on both my 2.5TD's. It only operates on cruise so you won't detect it at the MOT test.

Your tensioner setup is different from mine. Do you have aircon? I don't have the spring tensioner only a manual one. It's located at the position in the top right hand corner of your photograph. If I was you I think I'd dismantle the whole tensioner mechanism and grease it well.

I take it you know there's a strut missing in your photo? It goes from the engine mounting at the top of the photo to the arched hole at the bottom on the chassis. Did you remove it to get access to the belt?
Your HP pump puley looks a lot larger than mine.


noz cool.gif
Hi Noz, Neik and all

Noz I think the big pulley is the air con compressor not the hydraulic pump.
On a 2.5 with air con the Hydraulic pump is moved up above the altenator and the air con compressor goes on a very expensive bracket so that it can be impossible to get to. The drive belt is longer but I think the tensioner is the same.
I only know this because I am collecting the bits and trying to work out how to air con one of my 2.5's.


Hi people,

I do have aircon and the big pulley is the compressor. This setup apparantly has two tensioners the one Noz mentioned and the complicated(expensive wacko.gif ) one.
Called the friendly specialist today and they immediatly told me that this is a 'known' problem on 2.5tds (with aircon I guess). The problem is that the bearing the whole assemly pivots about wears with age making the tensioner sit at an angle (visible on my car) and the spring/damper thingy also fatigues. They tell me they replace it as standard when doing the belt. I've ordered it and will let you know how I get on.
I took the strut out for better acces.
So it will do no harm to disconnect the vacuum pump? (and should even be better (for the car not the environment I guess))
Xmexclusive, the belt is 1.86 metres long!!! If you need me to check anything else, let me know.

Two more things:
1- With the new spheres on the car it is now so soft at the rear that on accelerating the rear almost drops to the ground. And although this looks and feels spectacular I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to do this. Can anyone tell me where to find the throttle sensor for the hydractive and how to check it??
2- When turning the wheel at standstill I get a loud knock every now and then from the steering setup. This is play in one of the ball-joints I think. How do you test these to find out which one? (it only does it when steering, not when bouncing the car up and down)

One day it will be perfect!

Hi Niek,

Disconnection of the vacuum pump will only cause the EGR valve not to work. It will save your inlet manifold from becoming gunged up. I would say that's pretty environmentally friendly rolleyes.gif

I've never had aircon so I'm not familiar with the extra pulley and the effect on the belt & tensioner. But it sounds like you have it fixed anyway.

When you bought the two new spheres were they specified as being for a car with hydractive suspension? It sounds like you have 'normal' spheres. 'Normal' spheres have large orifices in the neck of the sphere because there's only two spheres. Hydractive suspension has 3 spheres per axle therefore the orifices are much smaller because there are more of them. Check you have the right spheres.

Check your strut tops where they connect with the inner wing. The strut tops are famous for disintegration. Check lower swinging arm bushes for movement - I had to replace mine on the silver 2.5.

Now that you've got the hang of your new car can I ask a favour. Can you post your individual questions in the right section. It makes searching for information if your in trouble much easier if its in the right category. Thanks.


noz cool.gif
Ok wink.gif

I'll check the sphere numbers and description and post in the correct section.
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