Captain Slow Charging
- Nov 26, 2007
- Atomic toaster
The other day I bought two sets of tires for my project Neon. You're thinking, right, what does that have to do with a Citroën?
The deal is that the tires belonged to @Posambique's family heirloom Xsara, which he wanted to get rid of. It was bought new by his granddad, and it was handed down a couple times in the family after that. It eventually got vandalized and the inspection date is nearing, and no-one wanted to invest in the Xsara any more. The tires were the best thing about the car, but I couldn't get them without getting the Xsara as well. I shrugged in a Gallic fashion, handed over the money and headed north with the Citroën absolutely loaded with tires, balcony tiles and beer.
Let me list the issues with the car right here, other than that it takes space from our already crowded lawn:
- Rear window smashed in, meaning the car will need a junkyard rear hatch
- Exhaust has several holes and there's a loud raspy rattle
- Something leaks coolant
- Something leaks oil
- Something leaks power steering fluid
- Door locks do not really work
- One door mirror adjuster does not really work
- Evidence of rear-ending something and evidence of backing into something, also a rocker is lightly caved in
- A/C doesn't work
- Cambelt is 9,5 years old
- Stabi link is an MOT demerit
- Wipers are bad
All in all, it's a forgettable 200,000 km French hatch with just 90PS. When driving up, I thought it just had so much extra load that it wouldn't want to move. Even with all the crap taken out it still doesn't really accelerate with verve.
What to do, then? My original plans included driving it to the scrapper with some worthless tires and calling it a day. But after 500km in the Xsara, I inexplicably started seeing the positive sides, nearly completely hidden by the numerous issues. It drives well! I like the gearchange. It's comfortable and the seats are still presentable. The radio works. The gutless TU engine responds well even if it can't give anything. And importantly the body doesn't appear to need any welding.
I put some Citroën ZX SP3 wheels on it from my storage and they not only fit it well, but it already looks classier. In the near future, I'll go get some extra road legality time by having it inevitably fail the MOT, but which means I can still drive it for a month or two without sticker plates, and then it could/should get readied for autocross, battling the Neon (even if this is a class below it due to being 1600cc).
If the rear axle is verified to need work, or the cambelt goes, or the catalytic converter is gone, or there's anything expensive in the future, the car will be scrapped and that's it. But if I can sneak it through the system so it can take part in the rally we always do, when we have some dates for it, the Xsara gets to die another day.