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Full Version Lots Of Play In Drive Train

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noz
Hi all,

Another problem to add to the list ! My blue 2.5 has developed a lot of slack in the drive train. There seems to be a gap between letting your foot off the clutch and the car picking away which it does with a jolt. When throtling back there's a pause on over-run then a sudden deceleration jolt. I've checked the CV joints and theyre fine. The nuts on the end of the stub shafts are very tight. With an assisstant rocking a wheel back and forth in gear whilst lifted off the ground I can see that the slack is narrowed down to either the gearbox/differential or the clutch plate. I can see through the hole in the bellhousing and the flywheel doesn't move.

I'm thinking about one of three possibilities:
1. Worn pinion or crown gear in the differential
2. Worn gears
3. Knackered springs on the clutch pressure plate

I think I can rule out no. 2 because it happens in all gears so its got to be something common to all gears. I think I'll need to perform a few more tests to narrow it down before jumping in with both feet.

For a laugh I priced a clutch at two places today. GSF in Glasgow want £220+VAT for the kit (presumably bearing, spring plate, pressure plate). Although he didn't have one in stock he could get one next day. Clutching my sides I bade him farewell. My next stop was a local accessory shop. They wanted £160 inc VAT which was a might better than GSF. However, its still painfull. No-one seems to do the pressure plate on its own. Mind you if I have it broken down to that level I'm not sure I'd be happy putting it back together without doing the spring plate too.

Has anyone ever heard of the clutch being done in situ by splitting the gearbox and engine in place? An engine out job isn't even worth considering (shiver gong down back of spine).

Cheers

noz cool.gif
xmexclusive
Hi Noz and All

Live with the play if you can!
All sources I have consulted say that the engine and box has to come out to get at the 2.5 clutch.
When the clutch started to go on the green estate I even got the job priced. One indy XM specialist even said take it to a Citroen dealer as at just under £1500 the job is underpriced by Citroen and uneconomic for him to do. The green estate is now SORN as it was a real surprise to have the clutch virtually worn out at 115k miles. Either it must have had a very hard and unusual life or else there are going to be a lot of uneconomic 2.5's with dying clutches in the next year or so.
What mileages are your cars? My 2.5's range from 140k down to 51k so it was a surprise to have the clutch go on the one in the middle.
I am not surprised at the clutch prices you have found as even on ebay they reach £80 and I have only seen a couple. There is also the risk as to why they are on ebay.
If you go ahead have a care with the hydraulic clutch actuator as if these have to be replaced then it is Citroen only, a whole assembly only, at around £240.

Regards

XMexc
Masterclock
Hi Noz,

Couldn't comment on the 2.5, but I did the clutch in my old 2.0l myself and it was just possible. Order of play was:-

Undo hub nuts, depressureise lhm, jack up, split lower balljoints, draw hubs off driveshafts, remove drive shafts ( catching oil), remove gear linkage clutch cable speedo drive, remove lhm tank, support engine, remove gearbox mount, remove support strut between sub-frame and inner wing, remove starter, lhm regulator, undo bell housing and manouver gearbox untill 5th gear casing is poking into wheel arch between sub-frame and inner-wing. This left a ten inch gap between the bell housing and the block to get in and replace the clutch. Its a bit like key-hole surgery.

A year or so later I had to replace the alloy blocks that support the anti-roll bar. After almost scrapping the car I decided to give it a go as the blocks were only £35 each. Like your description of lowering the rear sub-frame, it turned out the front can be dropped as well. The only fiddly bit was disconnecting the intermidiate steering shaft, but the rest moved quite easily, within the limits of pipework etc. Might be worth a try to get the box further under the front wing.

Ian
techmanagain

I've had the clutch replaced on a 2.5TD. At 246k miles it failed because the release bearing failed, but when it was taken out one could see that there was not much left af the friction surfaces anyway.
The job was done by two fitters - in between jobs - but in the same garage, and the hours spent doing the job without taking out the engine were so horrendous that the boss said, "I have cut it to the bone; God knows what they were mucking about at" Then he presented me with the bill - £600 labour only! And his rate is £28 +VAT per hour!.
Speaking to the foreman in the pub that night, he said "Don't bring one of those bloody jobs in again" "The next one that comes in will be done with the engine out"
The clutch was a Valeo (which is original equipment) and came direct to me from M & C Lockwood; the release bearing shaft bushes (essential replacements)from Citroen; and the lot set me back another £200. The clutch unit was complete with all three parts and a locating mandrel in the box.
In my opinion, money well spent for almost a quarter of a million miles!
The garage reckons an engine out and back, even on a 2.5TD would be easily done in just over 12 hours. A considerable saving.
If I would venture to advise noz, I would sugget that he works the clutch several dozen times and then tries again. I suspect that either the clutch disc is sticking on the gearbox input shaft or the bushes on the release bearing need a spray of lubricant as they may be sticking. ( the car has been standing some time hasn't it?)
techmanagain

Two things I forgot to mention - the clutches on ebay are for petrol engines usually; and I have done a 2.1TD engine myself with a helper and it was a doddle (relatively). The 2.5 is a heavier box and even a heavier clutch unit so I would not attempt it (at my time of life!)
Peter.N.
Noz - I know it sounds very obvious and I am sure you have checked, but the engine isn't moving is it, like mountings, stabilizer?

Peter.N.
Peter.N.
Sorry Noz - I have just re read your mail and see you have isolated it to the drive train. How about the splines on the drive shafts?

Peter.N.
noz
Hi all,

Thanks for the various comments. If it is the clutch then I can afford to run it for a while with no great risk of further damage. Howver, if the play is in just about any other location then driving it will cause further (possibly irrepairable) damage.

Techmanagain
If I understand you correctly the labour rate was £33 inc VAT, divided into £600 (inc VAT?) gives £18 hours labour. This compares with an estimate of 12 hours for taking the engine out. So the saving is about a third. Have I got that right?
The car with the drive play problem is the blue one which I use every day. The fact that it was done (however difficult) with the engine in place proves that it can ! I did notice that they tend to be for petrol engines on ebay. I have written to a couple of regular sellers about one for a 2.5 both neither had any.

XMexc
The car has done 150k miles. I'm not sure if its the clutch at this stage so I can't go blaming it at the moment. I'll take care with the clutch actuator as you warn.

Masterclock
I'm interested in what you said about lowering the front subframe. If its as easy as the rear then it might help to provide room for an in-situ clutch change. I like the sound of that.

Some good and bad comments there. I think I'm now hoping that it is just the clutch. Anything else has serious connotations.

Cheers

noz cool.gif
xmexclusive
Hi Noz and All

The front sub frame is a single unit that bolts to the car just like the rear one. When I scrapped a 94 estate 2.1TD a year or so ago I kept the 2 sub frames with a view to cleaning them up rust treating them and then doing a component exchange with one of the XM's I am keeping long term. They are stood up under a tarpaulin behind the shed. I will see if I can take some photos.

Noz what do you see as the gain from doing the clutch insitu? I had resigned myself to having the engine out of the green estate but this is in part because I need to cut the hole in the bulkhead and fit aircon bits and it seemed sensible to do the lot together.

Regards

XMexc
noz
Hi XMexc,

My problem is that I don't have lifting facilities. My garage is large enough and I have a block and tackle but I dont have an A-frame or the like to hang it off. The 2.5 is one heavy lump.

The other concern is the sheer amount of ancillaries needed to be removed to get access to the engine. Presumably the power unit mounted on the subframe is presented to the car from the underside in the factory. I wonder if the reverse method would be possible?

Cheers

noz cool.gif
techmanagain

Two points that came to the fore when reading the above:-

1. The 12 hours calculated by noz would be correct if that was all it actiually took! I guess that nearer 24 were logged as the fitters had to keep going off and coming back (which wastes a lot of time) and the boss was away skiing when my car was there so they had to account for the time that they were being paid for!

2. There were some considerable modifications made to the sub-frames in the early days, and there were different sub frames for different models, too, so be aware of this when replacing one with another.
Masterclock
A couple of detail points about dropping the sub-frame. To do the alloy wishbone brackets I had drop the back of the subframe by about 3-4 inches by removing the rear bolts and slackening the fronts. The blocks act as spacers between the body and the subframe with the bolts through the whole lot. I mentioned the steering pinion had to be disconected, also the bottom engine mount was disconnected. The one mistake I made was I should have disconnected the height corrector spring. When I released the rear end the anti-roll bar spun round with its arms hanging straight down. It popped the Hydractive sensor linkage off, but broke the height corrector spring. It actualy sheared the brazing where the crank lever is fixed to the spring, so I re-brazed it.

It may be worth considering this if anyone needs to replace a steering rack. Most of the hydrulic pipework runs down to the rear of the frame and I had to make careful use of bits of wood to wedge down the frame, but managed it with no damage. By slakening the back bolts and removing the front I should imagine it would be possible to get a much greater clearence. On the 2.0L there were only two hydrulic pipes at the front attached to the sub. The HP feed to the security valve and the feed to the rack from the diverter valve.

On the 2.0L and the V6 the engines aren't supported by the sub frame. The engine/ gearbox unit hangs from the main front chassis rails, integral with the front wings. There is an auxilliary mounting where the driver-side drive shaft outer bearing sits, a strut to the sub-frame. This is just to control the torque reaction of the engine. i presume the diesel is similar.

My only worry about dropping the sub-frame arrises from the reason why I was doing it in the first place. i.e. the alloy spacer/rollbar mountings disintergrate with corrosion. You may find yourself having to replace the blocks as well.



Peter.N.
In the 'olden days' we used a tripod made of three scaffold poles tied together at the top to lift engines out, with the usual chain block and tackle that would jam at the critical moment. I dont know what your garage construction is, Noz, but would it not take an RSJ to support your lifting tackle?

Peter.N.
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