Citroen ZX (1992 - 1998) - xud 1.9.....best diesel ever?  
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - telecaster
I would welcome thoughts on this engine.

My wifes car is a 1993 Citroen ZX n/a 1.9 on 234k......it still returns 55/65 mpg with regular oil changes......when is this going to break down?

Thoughts please!

It will probably break down as soon as I fix some poor "spelling", Rob

Edited by rtj70 on 08/12/2008 at 00:04

Tags: technical issues chain cam scams electrical faults

xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - Rattle
Probably as soon as the cambelt snap! Or the HG goes.

My friend had a 306 with 170k on the clock, it needed a new HG and the cambelt was due for replacement so he decided to scrap it. If that work had been done, the engine could have easily done 200k now. The problem with a 15 year old PSA will be rust, although the ZX was never knwon for it, it will eventually kill it one way or another.

I see a few L and M reg ZX's about but I haven't seen anything earlier than for years, I wonder if PSA improved rust protection from 1993 onwards?
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - b308
Cambelt went on my next door neighbour's 405... quite common with that engine...

"best diesel ever"?... car-wise perhaps the early VAG 1.9TDis in 90 or 110 bhp mode...?

Though the old Perkins in the Monty and Maestro was a pretty reliable beastie...

Edited by b308 on 08/12/2008 at 08:59

xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - Altea Ego
Though the old Perkins in the Monty and Maestro was a pretty reliable beastie...


and shockingly unrefined.

Yes the XUD was probably the best non turbo diesel engine made for passenger cars. Many a happy miles in a 405 pulled along by that lump. The rest of the car was badly made but never mind.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - OptimaBen (formerly SeeFive)
Surely the best diesels will be the model that has been on sale the longest without major changes.

I jointly nominate the 1.9TD XUD and the 2.0 HDI 110, both been on sale for ages.

xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - b308
On that basis the 1.9 NA VW engine is there as well...

But shear numbers sold don't make the "best" of something... best of what?

- numbers sold
- in the most number of different cars/makes
- best refinement
- best economy

the list is endless...
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - Baskerville
The problem with
a 15 year old PSA will be rust although the ZX was never knwon for
it it will eventually kill it one way or another.


Funny you should say that, but having owned a few PSA cars and being acquainted with several others going back 30 years I'd say PSA had the rust problem more or less nailed by the mid-1980s or maybe even earlier. Rust was less of a problem in their day for a mid-1980s Pug 309 or Citroen BX than for many recent Fords. 15 years is well outside the design life for a low-cost mainstream car, so if there is rust on them as they approach that age and a quarter of a million miles it's not really surprising. Nor is it surprising that they are few and far between.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - AshT
Best ever - maybe? I've had a Peugeot 205 and now have a 306, both with very high mileages. No major problems with either, no rust, and no major work required other than oil changes every 6000 and cambelt changes. Talking of which, the 306 is coming up for renewal now....
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - Andrew-T
>a Peugeot 205 and now have a 306 ..

I still have one of each, but not with high mileages (yet..). I have not yet found any rust on the 1999 306 (despite having to fit a new wing 5 years ago) and there are just a few spots breaking out above the screen on the 1989 205. In the early sales literature for the 205 they made a lot of the umpteen-stage rustproofing process, so I guess it was introduced about 1983 with the 205 (and perhaps the 309 too).
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - M.M
I think this range of engines came out in 1986 and at that time pretty well every other diesel was a noisy, slow and unrefined beast. The XUD across the Citroen and Peugeot ranges were really a major part of the average person accepting diesel was an acceptable choice for the family and business car user.

I would rate the 1.9TD as perhaps the very best as the turbo added real refinement (for the time) and upped the performance a huge amount. A 1.9TD ZX of the early 1990s made a very capable cross country car with a real life performance similar to a Golf GTi.

These engines have a very strong cambelt and tensioner... they are not known as belt breakers in the trade. The tensioner in particular is very robust and makes those from Fords, Vauxhalls and Fiats plus many more makes look like Christmas cracker toys.

Head gaskets were never a problem themselves and the eangines were easily capable of going to 250k mls without the head off. The problem was usually the fault of owners and garages not realising the cooling system had to be spot on or you could in turn trash the head gasket in one journey.... as with all modern diesels.

As Baskerville says rust was not an issue with any post 1984 Citroen (or Peugeot) compared with the competitors. Our local MOT station always comment on "typical" excellent underbody condition when they see a 15yr old Cit or Pug.

David
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - stunorthants26
I always loved the L-series in Rovers. It had great pulling power from idle and strong mid-range punch, plus generally reliable if looked after, esp the 105 bhp version - my old 420D had its problems including HGF but that turned out to be more due to poor maintainance by previous owners than the engine - I knew many that had surpassed an easy 150k when I worked at an MG Rover dealer.

It was a proper diesel, ie you could feel it through the car - if it dont vibrate, its not a proper diesel.

That said, I think the earlier 218 diesels had Pug engines and they werent bad, even the non-turbo ones.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - Focus {P}
A 1.9TD ZX of
the early 1990s made a very capable cross country car with a real life performance
similar to a Golf GTi.


Wasn't there a Volcane version - the first overtly 'sports' diesel?
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - oldnotbold
"Wasn't there a Volcane version - the first overtly 'sports' diesel? "

That title could also go to the Mk2 Golf GTD - it had the intercooled engine alos found in the Audi 80 of the same era, and the GTi trim.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - pmh2
David

Can you tell me how the newer the newer (normally aspirated?) 1868 cc Diesel fitted in the Xsara is related to the older tough XUD 1905cc ? Is it as good? (It is also badged as 1.9).

I have been brosing thro some Ebay adverts and found one locally claiming to be non turbo but 90bhp. I think it should be 71 or 74 bhp?


xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - mike hannon
Isn't this the engine that had major problems with units built from about 95-99, when an allegedly faulty batch of metal led to many conrod failures - sudden engine blow-ups?
I seem to recall there is or was a long-running court action in France over this.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - M.M
Mike. Yes there was a very narrow range of engine code serial numbers that "might" be affected by this in the 98/99 model years. Even with the large amount of this engine type I have serviced I have never know one to have the problem and indeed our own Xsara has an engine within the range but I had no real hesitation when buying and it has not stopped us taking it to 135k mls with brisk driving. I did have one 1999 Xantia through my hands with a replaced engine and sump damage which I thought may have suffered this way. It is said they are more likely to have failed in their early-middle life so any left now have proved themselves OK.

David
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - DP
A difficult call. The XUD is reliable, and is still acceptably refined and smooth even by today's standards, but driveability is poor, at least on the ones I've had. Lots of dead travel in the accelerator pedal, and a nothing, wham, nothing delivery which takes quite a lot of driving around. My old 306 D Turbo was quick, but wouldn't pull its own weight under 2000 RPM, and then "died" at 4000 RPM. The bit in the middle felt fantastic, but was over in seconds.

The Ford 1.8TD and VAG 1.9 TDI both had a far wider useable rev range in my experience, but the Ford's appalling refinement would exclude it from consideration. Of the old school diesels, I prefer the VW unit. My father in law had a 90 bhp Golf mkIII TDI which did over 200k and still drove brilliantly.

Regardless of any of this, I am one of the heretics who firmly believes that modern diesels are infinitely better than old ones, threat of big repair bills or not. I have 120 bhp, mountains of torque, and 45-50 mpg in a 1500kg 7 seater car. I have a delivery as smooth, responsive, progressive and refined as many a petrol engine, and I don't cringe when I have to start it in a sleepy street at 5am.

It's called progress, and I'm happy to take my chances on the repair bill side. :-)

Cheers
DP
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - oldnotbold
The not-so-well-kept secret is that the XUD TD with a Bosch injector pump runs waste veg oil very nicely. Despite the fall in pump prices I still use free waste oil collected very locally, and with a dash of petrol it starts/runs fine at 0C. I've driven about 12k this year on an an average of 90% waste veg oil.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - massey
Quote;

"Isn't this the engine that had major problems with units built from about 95-99, when an allegedly faulty batch of metal led to many conrod failures"

Yes I had a 98 Xsara with this conrod failure but it was the turbo version
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - GJD
Head gaskets were never a problem themselves and the eangines were easily capable of going
to 250k mls without the head off. The problem was usually the fault of owners
and garages not realising the cooling system had to be spot on or you could
in turn trash the head gasket in one journey.... as with all modern diesels.


I have found my 97 ZX TD sufficiently prone to radiator failures that coolant changes are automatically frequent enough to protect against head gasket problems.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - deezlfan
I would agree with these thoughts. I had a non-turbo 205 and thought at 156k it was doing alright when I traded it in for a non-turbo ZX. But I kept seeing the 205 and I know that it went well over 200k.
The ZX ran well and was one of the best riding cars I've had. We traded that in when it was still running well at 202k.
The 205 used to get through wheel bearings and needed a new radiator late in its life with me but otherwise was reliable. The ZX was more solidly built and was also reliable except for warped brake discs early on and minor electrical glitchs.
At the same time that we had the ZX the wife had a non-turbo 306. That didn't do the same mileage, about 120k,but was again reliable. What surprised me was the difference in the engine feel between two engines that should appear the same. The ZX had low down grunt and ran out of revs at 4600 whereas the 306 was more free runnning up to 5000.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - woodster
I had a ZX TD Volcane. Loved it. In terms of driving pleasure one of the best cars. Great fun maintaining speed and it was relatively quiet and free revving. Unfortunately, as someone else mentioned, failure to change/flush coolant killed it. Got a 306 DT with the same engine/gearbox and it wasn't a patch on the ZX, but thrashed around and sold on without trouble. Glof GT TDi nowadays, which is lovely, but that old Citroen is up there with a Capri 2.8i as some of my best loved cars.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - madf
Nostalgia rules...

CR diesels are far smoother and better . Period.


xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - telecaster
I have seen 96/97 models badly rusted......seems the early citroens were built better.

Annual coolant changes and proper bleeding should ward off any HG problems.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - M.M
Peter I've only serviced a couple of Berlingo vans with the 1868cc engine (pretty sure they were non-turbo). They were at less than 40k mls so no issues and couldn't really judge the drive compared to a car with the older engines... but broadly similar feel.

madf I know the thread says "best diesel ever" but I think all the posts are judging it in the context of probably the first acceptable mass market diesel in a car. For that it deserves great praise.

It's true to say the whole power delivery of the VW TDi 110 (I test drove in a Skoda Octavia last weekend) was far better than the Citroen Xsara TD I've been driving this week.

I would judge the early 1990s XUD with no electronics to be one of the most maintainable and long lasting car diesels around without going back to the rugged but wickedly unrefined lumps of the early days.

As always though the current improvement in efficiency is tainted with the threat of electronic gremlins biting the private owner.

David
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - DP
madf I know the thread says "best diesel ever" but I think all the posts
are judging it in the context of probably the first acceptable mass market diesel in
a car. For that it deserves great praise.


I completely agree.

The turbodiesel 306 and it's Citroen ZX sister were certainly the first mass market diesels that were enjoyable to drive, too. A gutsy, smooth and economical diesel engine installed with great care and expertise into a great chassis.

Edited by DP on 09/12/2008 at 10:57

xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - jeremy99
Yes I had a Peugeot Partner a few years back and it still did not seem to give that much away to newer units.

As you say the introduction of turbos and electronic engine management to more recent diesels does not bode well for longetivity. Perhaps Peugeot should consider re-introducing a simple 1.9/2.0 litre diesel as an option in these troubled times. If they kep the overall weight of the car down it could still work.

However most of the failures mentioned above suggest that owners expected to do zero maintenance and get 250k miles. If they are not prepared to change oil, change the cambelt, check and maitain the cooling system what can they expect.re
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - DP
Perhaps Peugeot should consider re-introducing a simple 1.9/2.0 litre
diesel as an option in these troubled times.


Fantastic idea, but Euro IV (or even III) emissions compliance is a pipe dream with old school diesel technology.
Its appeal would also be almost exclusively restricted to used car buyers, as ease of DIY servicing simply doesn't register on the radar of most new car buyers.
It would need to be in a small, lightweight car, which is extremely expensive and difficult to produce in today's crash test sensitive climate.

Cheers
DP
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - M.M
DP you commented on the small rev range of the XUD. I understand what you mean because it can be annoying to have that flow of power chopped off short. However I think the reality is better than the feel becausae you actually are pulling some quite high speeds before this happens.... I noted yesterday in the Xsara that using 3rd & 4th in a typical pressing on cross country manner (on my private test track of course!) you could go from 25mph to 83mph in a big whoosh punctuated by just one gearchange.

I have always thought the 1993 era model would rev more freely to their max at 4600rpm whereas the newer models do seem to have a falling off of urge from 4000 onwards.

David
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - madf
I find servicing a well designed CR diesel very easy. little to do and everything accessible.

No cambelts, No spark plugs, all filters accessible from the engine bay, a owners manual which tells you what to do.



As for people's concerns about electronics, if you buy a MB or Renault I agree. Neither can build or design anything properly .

BMW and Toyota seem to be able to get it right.

If you insist on buying cars from makers whose history of design is poor, you get poor cars.

Edited by madf on 09/12/2008 at 12:52

xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - DP
Hi David,

Yes I agree, and found the same difference between older and newer models. My brother-in-law had an L reg 306 XTdT which was a lot more driveable than my later R reg example. It was actually the hole at the bottom of the rev range I found more annoying, particularly around town. Once out on the open road and in the longer gears, it was much less of a problem to keep the engine in its sweet spot. And boy, did it pull between 2 and 4k. Felt genuinely fast at times.

As a mark of how good the chassis on the 306 was, I went from a 90,000 miler to a brand new Focus and was actually disappointed.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - mattbod
Excellent engine in 1.8 form in the 205 and the D Turbo version of that car flew. I too have heard that the XUD was prone to gasket failures.

From what I have seen Mercedes Benz Indirect injection non turbo engines of the 80s take a lot of beating. Not fast but more refined than any current Diesel. I know one guy with a 190D 2.5 withover 300K on the clock and the engine is still going strong, another guy i know has a 300 TD Five pot (W123) estate with over 200K and another has the 6 cylinder 300D with close to 200K as well. The W123 is a bit of a rattler but the encapsulated engines in the 190 and 300 are unbelievably refined, hardly any rattle or thrash at all even from cold.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - Number_Cruncher
>>From what I have seen Mercedes Benz Indirect injection non turbo engines of the 80s take a lot of beating.

Yes, I agree. They have in-line injector pumps which are like scaled down versions of the types of injector pumps fitted to trucks, a duplex chain drive, and with reasonable care will cover huge milages.

The later engines, OM603 and afterwards are fitted with hydraulic tappets, which removes the chore of valve clearance adjustment (via threaded valve stems and upper spring keepers!)

They do have a serious weakness though. The vacuum pump is driven from a face cam on the injector pump chainwheel. If the vacuum pump fails mechanically, the resulting debris can ruin the timing chain, and cause serious engine damage.

One odd feature of these engines is that shut down is actuated via a vacuum capsule on the injector pump. When you turn the key off, a valve on the ignition barrel admits vacuum to the stop actuator. So, if you lose vacuum, you can't stop the engine! (in fact, once running, there's no reliance on the vehicle's electrical system at all!) For this reason, one these cars, there's either an accessible stop lever on the injector pump, or, a fuel stop tap atop the fuel filter!

Another odd result of this method of stopping the engine is that if the crankcase breather blocks, and pressure builds up in the crankcase, this acts on the other side of the stop diaphragm, and stops the engine!

As prior to the W210 (or so), MB didn't go in for electronics in a big way, many functions are vacuum powered (even headlamp levelling!), and there's quite a complex assembly of valves and restrictors to mimic the inlet manifold vacuum of an equivalent petrol engine, to provide the correct load signal to the modulator valve on the automatic transmission - a vacuum leak here gives hammer hard shifts!

The engines have a 2 part oil filter, which is part full-flow, as per most modern engines, but there's also an integral bypass filter which is much finer, and through which oil flows much slower.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - 659FBE
Interesting post. The OM 603 was rather a triumph of development over common sense. It didn't have enough power to give a really useful performance and was not very economical either. (I tried one as a towcar - hopeless). Skin and rice puddings come to mind.

The so called longevity benefits of an in-line fuel pump, duplex camchain and pneumatic everything on this engine just didn't stack up. The chain drive is not reliable if the Pierburg vac pump on the face cam puts in its usual performance. The Bosch in-line pump is indeed reliable but the pneumatics really are a triumph of development over original thinking. It's a bit like using gas to light your home - there are better ways...

The VAG PD is a far more useful engine in every respect. If you are prepared to change the cambelt you get a complete new timing drive each time, the Bosch unit injectors last as long as an in-line pump (the elements are similar and lubricated in oil as in the OM 603 pump). Above all else, the magic ingredient of a variable geometry turbocharger and useful electronic control means it actually goes - very well. It's also frugal on fuel.

The first generation 1.9 litre EuroCat III VAG PD engines gets my vote.

659.

Edited by 659FBE on 09/12/2008 at 18:05

xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - Number_Cruncher
>>Skin and rice puddings come to mind.

Yes, until MB decided to make a turbocharged version of these engines available in the UK, there wasn't a huge amount of power available - the best of the naturally aspirated ones being the OM606 24 valve engine, which does go a bit better if you're prepared to allow it to rev.

I'm not a great fan of the vac pump either, but it's quite easy to access - I intend to change the one on my OM606 at about 200K, when I'll probably roll a new timing chain in too.

>>there are better ways...

It's quite surprising how well it works. The first 1 - 2 shift when everything's a bit cold is a bit hard, but, once warmed up a bit, the shift quality is good, which when you consider that there's only the input and output shaft speeds, the vacuum signal and the "kickdown" cable letting the gearbox know what is going on is quite remarkable. To get better shifting you would need electronic signalling between the gearbox and engine.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - mattbod
Forgive me, I'm not up on my Merc engine numbers, is the Om603 the 96 BHP 3.0 5 cylinder or the later six?

Edited by mattbod on 10/12/2008 at 11:17

xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - oldnotbold
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Mercedes-Benz_engin...s 603 = 2996/6
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - Andrew-T
>had an L reg 306 XTdT which was a lot more driveable than my later R reg

Yes. I regretted swopping a great M-reg XRdt for a Mk-1 run-out P-reg car. I think they fitted a different turbo around the N-plate. It didn't matter what I did to sweeten the running, the newer car was less exciting. In the end the HDi came right - for me anyway.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - PhilW
Must admit I liked the 2 XUD engined BXs we had - one did 170k (sold on - I know it topped 200k) and the other did 140k. The only work done on the engines was a few glowplugs (though I did change the oil every 5k.
Oddly enough I saved this from a now defunct French Car Forum in 2002 (M.M. might remember it - I'm sure he was a regular contributor!) . It was written by someone under the name of Mike 1703:-

"I drive a BX diesel which I use as a taxi. It's my 5th. BX 19 diesel & all gave me the greatest satisfaction in both reliability & economy. I still have my 1987 BX which I cannibalise for spares, not that I need many. It was retired for 'scrap' after a crash @ 350,000 miles. It's replacement was sold off for less than the value of its parts @ 450,000 miles; one has been retired to my driveway @ 740,000miles & my current workhorse is now @ 380,000 miles. I've never changed a wheel-bearing, only one gearbox and a few suspension bits; one major engine overhaul; two head-jobs but never a tow-home failure [unless you count the one time I let the cam-belt snap!]".

The number of miles boggles the mind - I make it about 130k a year!! Is that normal for a taxi driver??


xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - OptimaBen (formerly SeeFive)
I vote for the 2.0 HDI 110 as fitted to Pugs, Cits and even Suzukis.

The engine pulls cleanly from just above tickover all the way to 4500 rpm, responds well to tuning boxes, gives 45mpg with ease in the C5. Plus it is a hoot to drive in heavy traffic as there is no need to use the throttle.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - smokescreen
Another vote for 2.0 HDI 110. Smooth, frugal (even with my heavy foot + remap), responsive, refined at speed and doesnt cost much to maintain.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - 1400ted
I agree with SeeFive. I have this engine in my 14 yr old LWB Vitara with autobox.
At 109K it's smooth, quiet and very frugal with lots of power for my 17ft caravan.
Ted
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - Shaz {p}
I loved my 95 ZX Volcane TD. Lovely handling, good, not brilliant economy (40 mpg around town, 45 - 48 long distance). But ran on veg oil, so half price fuel off the supermarket shelf (back then anyway..). Sadily written off a couple of years ago. Replaced witha excellent 156 2.4 JTD (20v) SW. Easily same mpg as the ZX and more - up to 48- 50 on a run despite 175 bhp. Sounds very nice too.

My brother has a 95 306 td reg. Bought when he was a student, still got in now 5 years on, and running great. Aagain, BOSCH pump, so will run happily on veg oil mix.

We also have a 2000 306 HDI in the family. Very good mpg - up to 55 mpg without trying too hard, more refined although a little slower than the old IDI engine. Needs a remap I think..


P.s. frenchcarforum is still going strong!

Edited by Shaz {p} on 09/12/2008 at 21:10

xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - mattbod
I would say VAG TDI PD Euro 3 130 is up there as well. Only thing that counts against is refinement and expensive cambelt change but it's very economical and boy does it go.
xud 1.9.....best diesel ever? - guss
VAG 1.9 tdi 130 BHP . very economical engine 55mpg but fast too. Had it in a golf , very reliable no problems in 6 yrs of ownership i think vw improved on the earlier 115 bhp variant and designed in improvements for the coming 150 bhp variant so the 130 was pretty solid. miss mine !!

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