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Reintroducing myself: I bought a second C6...

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Wed Jun 05 2024, 06:07am
Joined: Feb 11 2010
Member No: #49
Location: Derbyshire
In 2011 I wrote... " I would rather sit and burn money than own another one"

During that time life has passed, I worked for Parkers, I drove and owned many more cars (personal ownership is 3 shy of 200 now), and tried one more C6 - a black with black and sunroof Lignage - that I didn't buy but lead to me owning a C5 II Tourer with 280-odd thousand miles on it.

As a former CX/XM owner who had a specific idea of what 'a big Citroên should be', I've continued to be mean about C6s on the car forums I'm on, with tales of woe and horror.

Karma - Carma - is funny. Thing is, when I wanted my brand new one in 2008, and the experience was maybe 60/40 ruined by 'the dealers' and 'the car', it was the style, the aesthetic, the promise of what the car represented. I wasn't upset about a bad car. I've had loads of those. It was the broken dream.

On a forum, a chap with a cheap C6 finding the specialists were exactly as I recalled - breaking the cars half the time, refusing the difficult jobs, and of course PSA (Stellantis') monumentally evil approach to spares supply on obsolete cars.

But it still looks like a C6. More importantly, it looks like the spec I'd asked for when I test drove a car and left a dealer with the words 'when you get a black and cream new one in stock tell me'.

A small difference. In 2008 I shelled out £800 and a Suzuki Ignis Sport plus £345 a month. In 2024 I shelled out £600 and £400 to pay for the parts bought to fix the electronic handbrake. But it's okay, the tax is making up for that.

The handbrake still doesn't work, mind.

But maybe I've grown. Or other cars have. It felt smaller this time, bowling down the A1/M1 with a little off-beat tone to the 160,000 mile V6 diesel. The suspension floats, pitches a little but more front-back rather than diagonal, and sport still works. It has non-Michelin tyres on and my teeth are itching, but my wallet says "are you mad' - the wheels aren't balanced right anyway, or there's another fault. It's a cheap car, I drive around it or ignore it.

I can see the parts supply is horrible these days. Part of the justififcation for buying it when I really don't need more cars was 'I can break it and not lose money' - but I don't want to do that. That's not my way.

Idly, I check if C6 RTK still exists. Maybe I could get my registration back... no, it's still alive!

This makes me happy. I wonder if it has aged better and fared well. That iron grey, RT4 car was called Osiris; my new one has yet to tell me a name. But I have a feeling it's going to stick around and make me wish I'd kept the C6 and ditched the main dealers, rarher than ditching the C6.
Wed Jun 05 2024, 09:44am

Joined: Oct 01 2009
Member No: #1
Location: Northumberland
In 2011 I wrote... " I would rather sit and burn money than own another one"

I really do understand where your coming from and sympathise with you. I'm still sorely tempted and if the right C6 came along, who knows what will happen.

To answer your question though, I, at this point, would ignore the tyres issue and just drive the car
Mon Jun 10 2024, 06:48pm
Joined: Apr 03 2015
Member No: #2113
Location: Wales
C6RTK lives in North Wales, or at least it did until very recently. I saw it in the local Tesco car park and had a chat with the owner. He did say he was thinking of selling it, though. I last saw it sometime in April.

Tue Jun 11 2024, 03:19pm
Joined: Feb 11 2010
Member No: #49
Location: Derbyshire
That's amazing! Looks better than mine does. Bonus points for the CX23 registration in the background.

If it's cheap and comes up for sale, who knows, maybe I'll buy it back and fulfil my original plan of still owning in in 2025, even if the rest of the dreams of 2008 are a shattered mess.
Sun Jun 23 2024, 10:15am
Joined: Feb 11 2010
Member No: #49
Location: Derbyshire
So, how is my £600* C6 faring?

How it started:

How it's going:

The good news is, if I need a car that I am fairly sure will get me from A to B without visiting point AA or RAC in the middle, the C6 seems to be the choice. I'm attempting to reward it with a bit of TLC, and it's responding to that with various levels of spite.

Perhaps the numberplate was a mistake...

There is, of course, a LOT of stuff that needs attention, but the ride height is my big concern. I have followed the excellent thread on setting suspension and MOSTLY followed it, but the car rejects most attempts to programme the actual height - reference heights are fine, of course, but then the car thinks it has 160mm clearance at the front when really, it's more like 130-140 depending on the mood.

Crack on with DiagBox, the most infernal creation since Windows ME. "WAITING FOR CONNECTION"...

DiagBox tells me the front right height sensor is showing 0.1-0.3V at standard height, vs. 2.8-3V for the other sensors. That's probably worth sorting out then.

I have no lift, hence the ramps. TERRIFYING. WHen I did suspension raise and lower in DiagBox through actuators, I learned a: I had too much LDS, resulting in a lot of cleanup after depressurising the car prior to bleeding (and a bit of Citrobics). I got a Laser pressure brake bleeder and removed the spout and nipple, making a flat pressure cap to pressurise the LDS reservoir.

NO OF COURSE I DIDN'T REMOVE THE BITS FROM THE CAP FIRST. I'm obviously thick, I bought a cheap C6 :D I removed them AFTER discovering the [%*^#@!] thing siphoned the LDS back up the pipe when I tried depressurising it...

You wouldn't believe Physics was one of my better subjects at school...

With the mess cleaned up, I pressurised and bled the system, and it definitely rides better, but that height sensor was obviously still an issue.



Once installed my live voltages are as you would expect, BUT, because I can't program the reference heights reliability it tends to revert to defaults and think the car is -20.xxx on one wheel.

Now, I can't tell if the brackets are as they should be, but I am guessing that I need to replace the brackets on the lower arms at the very least to eliminate the possibility that this is why I can't get the [%*^#@!] in spec.

I'm working on some crude maths and trying all manner of ways, including being naughty and pretending I don't have AMVAR.

The measurements:

R = 333mm for my wheels at 2.4bar. Measured with a laser measure, and verified as 666mm diameter (actually 658-666mm, variation from my set square, wobbly alignment possibly, so I've worked on the basis that R=325 or 330 is fine either way)

Hxm - these are a pig to get to. Seriously. I think I managed to eyeball/ruler/contort a measurement of 135mm at the front, and my front heights are even on level ground, BUT instead I have worked on the basis of wheel arch gap should be around 7cm, or 730mm from centre line of arch and wheel.

Helpfully someone;'s lowered the car on a wheel alignment rig at a guess (from the size and shape of the dent), leaving neat indentations in the arch lips...

The rear suspension is pretty much bang on. If I work on the basis of Kxm = arch height - wheel diameter, I get 731mm - 658mm = 73mm, which would mean I put in a height of 213mm if doing Diagbox reference heights (for a 333mm wheel radius), or 114 I assume if i'm doing the Kxm measurements used by Lexia or Ecotech rather than CSS/AMVAR.

The front suspension is sitting with an arch height around 680mm. It's harder to measure.

So, with that part replaced, the C6's current behaviour is:

Rides well for a couple of miles but sits low
Suspension fault/hard ride
Errors logged are no reference heights programmed, and out of bounds error (which would make sense if it gets an unexpected dip or unfeasible angle
Sometimes complains about steering angle sensor, but live readout shows consistent data. Meh.

It has lost communication with a suspension ECU once, which of course has me looking for bad earth points but they all look fine. I suspect the out of bounds data cases an ECU to reset - my first C6 had a fun habit of deciding to reset the entire dashboard and RT4 system while driving, losing all instruments and switching to kph for a while while it did so.

The next weirdness is DiagBox again. Before I corrected the LDS level and bled the system, raise or lower actuators would raise the back and it would stay there.

Now it sinks as soon as the pump stops.

But when I put it in full height from the dashboard, it stays.

What's the normal behaviour?

The steering assistance variation motor makes noises (I haven't tested it engine running to check the effectiveness of that) but DiagBox reports NO COMMUNICATION error with a power steering electric pump - I assume tjhis is a configuration error - likewise, it whines about a headlamp level thing for one headlamp not communicating, but it doesn't think it has one for the other side.

What I was curious about was the Diagbox height setting procedure in AMVAR. It works on ground clearance not linkage distance, so R - Hxm - but does it twice. You set the 320, 160, 320, 160, 320, 210, 320, 210 sequence and it says 'reference heights programmed', but then goes into the cycle to measure them. I thought this would be where it goes 'oh mate, that's not right, let me change the height and see what the sensor values are', but no, it just goes "[%*^#@!] hell, that's not righjt' and back to square one.

Which is very tedious.

Is the first procedure setting the reference heights used by Ecotech ECU? It rejects the actual heights of course.

So, I know the suspension brackets are supposed to be very cheap, even if I am finding it near impossible to google and find them for sale, but they are going to be miserable to fit when using ramps. I think the sensor mounts look okay, but is the variation in them so small that they can look fine but cause the car to sit 30mm low when on default reference heights?

When I look at the sills on it, I wonder if I'm making the right move spending anything on it...

When I could just accept no-one will ever want my 15,000 mile PT Cruiser Cabrio, and use that instead...

Sun Jun 23 2024, 01:59pm
Joined: Feb 11 2010
Member No: #49
Location: Derbyshire
Fun times - I decided to just keep feeding numbers into Diagbox. Each time I gave it a set of numbers and the programming failed, it adjusted the height slightly. Annoyingly when I'd got it to 704mm at the arch lip - which should be 144mm at the reference point /I think/, so gave it the 144 - it lowers the car rather than raises it.


I was aiming for 720mm arch - on the basis of today's measurements of tyres and pressure at 652mm, so 7cm roughly tyre to arch - but is this too much maybe? I think it references 339mm as the optimum measurement for the tyre radius, which is 14mm more than mine and would presumably mean it expects 160mm reference height with 339mm tyre radius, and to maintain ground clearance it should be aiming for 174mm clearance, but to calculate the sensor angle, it would expect a 325mm radius to yield a 144mm reading?

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