Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
Hi,

My Girlfriends ZX 1.9D has got a problem that no one yet has been able to answer, I've writen to Diesel Car Magazine, and asked on ZX-Yahoo group, and still no luck. It's quite a long drawn out problem, so here goes.

Car details:-

Citroen ZX 1.9D Elation, 1996N, 60k miles, Lucus type Fuel pump.

Checked/Diagnostics:-

New Air filter, new fuel filter inc water drained, new cam belt inc. timing checked, Always starts first time after glow light has gone out. doesn't smoke any more than my Leon TDi.

Problem:-

Her father bought the car for her in November last year with 48,000 miles on the clock. I got in and noticed it was as flat and anything, only accelerating if full throttle was used, even then, holding 70mph was alot of effort. The other problem was flat spots, it had one at about 3000rpm, and another at 4200rpm, which in higher gears, it wouldn't have enough power to pass 4200rpm. A stopwatch checked 0-60 on a slight decline measured 19 seconds. I checked the airfilter, and straight away bought a new one because it was filthy. This didn't make any difference.

Next, a new Fuel filter wa fitted and water drained, this made a slight improvment, but still needed full throttle. I then checked that the throttle was opening fully on the pump, it was, but only when the peddle was pushed down hard into the carpet pile. It did how ever reduce the flat spots.

I then told her dad that the cam belt shoulf have been replaced at 48K (was now 55k), and that maybe the timing was out on the pump. He finanally got someone to do it, which showed up a water pump problem (needed new one due to leek). This improved things again very slightly. The flat spot has now gone, but there are still 2 other strange things that happen sometimes. 0-60 check again is now better on same stretch of road at about 15 seconds, although it still struggles 85-90mph.

1. Some times it will appare to surge, it has happened at 30mph and at 70mph, only for 1-3 seconds, then goes back to normal. This normally happens while cruising. To add to that, if you dip the clutch while this happens the revs go up and stick at 2500-3500 for a few seconds.

2. Sometimes it losses power, normally after going round a left hand bend, 2 particular places on the A1 from my house in Hertfordshire to hers in Derbyshire it does it every time. 1 is under full throttle coming round a left bend off the roundabout. It feels like its cutting out, then picks up and goes. The second, more serious nearly caused someone to T-bone me while driving it. After cruising at 40mph round a 180 degree slip road, dip the clutch, then either as you power on again it cut (halfway onto the particular roundabout), or, if its busy, it cuts before you get there...but always under power in 2nd/3rd gear.

I have compared this with my girlfriends uncles 1994 ZX 1.9D Aura which is "alot" more lively at part throttle...I think his has a Bosch system. It also still stuggles up hills even in 2nd gear, where a Pug 106 1.0 will steam off ahead.

Any ideas?? One thought is a broken plastic fin on the Lucus fuel pump, or air ingresion??
Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - David M
Your diagnosis sounds reasonable, though I'd like to add a couple of other possibilities/multiple factors possibly working together in combination which may be acting to confuse your able fault-finding.

(1) If the ZX is like the BX, then the pedal bulkhead is a bit flimsy and tends to bend over time or due to vigorous action, resulting ina a characteristic "round the corner" action to work the accelerator pedal, which becomes offset to the right... a welding repair or a new + preferably reinforced bulkhead will resolve this.


(2) Transmission/clutch problems. My BX 1.9D was getting a bit sluggish + relucatant to pull then I suddenly twigged what was happening after experiencing engine surges without corresponding increase in speed above 3000 rpm. The clutch was in dire need of replacement, though showing no other symptoms except a "short" pedal - i.e. little movement before bite.

(3) Injector pump problems (something I don't profess to know a lot about, except that the Bosch setup is reputed to to be more reliable/longlasting than Lucas/Roto-diesel alternative). THat's one of the reasons why I've now got a "spare" BX sitting in my garage, equipped with a Bosch pump, waiting for 130,000-odd miles to take their toll on my "runner".

(4) Hills. If the ZX is similar to the BX then progress up hills, particularly from a slow start, is a question of rev-watching, with the transition from 1st to 2nd being particularly hard to judge on a very steep incline. However, so long as the revs are at 2000 or above, that famed XUD torque will kick in to take you up any hill. Somtimes it even pays to change up to catch that torque-band , something that seems absolutely foreign to any petrol-head. Of course, this is speaking from my experiences with the BX, which I believe may be lighter than the ZX (design-goal: "out-Golf" the Golf) and thus have a more favourable power-to-weight ratio in normally aspirated form. It certainly never needed or rather was never equipped with the 1.9TD, which I gather gives mixed benefits on heavier ZXs and Xantias - a 1.8TD did fine for the BX.

Apologies for the length of the answer....

David M

You know Citroens make sense in an up-and-down world......
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - Big Vern
(1) If the ZX is like the BX, then the pedal
bulkhead is a bit flimsy and tends to bend over time
or due to vigorous action, resulting ina a characteristic "round the
corner" action to work the accelerator pedal, which becomes offset to
the right... a welding repair or a new + preferably reinforced
bulkhead will resolve this.



The bulkhead in my old R19 TD cracked very gradually so I did not notice the drop off in performance as the crack got bigger, fixed it by bolting an extra metal plate between the pedal and the buckhead, I could not belive the difference. You will have to pull back to carpet to check for damage to the bulkhead, a right pain in the ....

Also the R19 did not like MANN fuel filters for some reason.
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
The bulkhead in my old R19 TD cracked very gradually so I did not notice the drop off in performance.......


I see what your saying, but the linkage does open all the way to the max-speed stop on the pump...??!!??


Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
Thanks David,

I should have added to my original question, this:

I adjusted the accelerator cable on the lever by moving the end of the cable towards the pivot point, i.e, giving a shorted movment to open it fully, this helped slightly, as did opening the max revs adjustment by one turn.

In answer to your 4 points:

1. I have heard of the bulkhea problem, although the surging is only in a straightline on even throttle. It can happen on a motorway at 70mph, or on a town road at 20mph. I believe it is connected with the revs idling at 2500-3500 rpm for a few seconds sometimes, before dropping back to 900rpm.

2. Must admit, it has had a slight bearing type gringing noise from the front end, i.e gearbox area, although it's not expected at 48k miles, which is what it was when bought. I also think maybe that that wouldn't give the surging or the cutting out??? although I don't know too much about Citroen setups. BTW, brakes are not binding either....infact, they are very bad, and are having new disk/pads/shoes next week.

3. How easy is it to replace the injector pump, or to convert to a Bocsh from a Lucas??

4. When she first had the car it wouldn't pull up a hill in 2nd at any revs that my Leon would storm up in 5th at low speed. When I say it was slugish, were talking an inability to keep up with anything on the road. Motorway inclines saw 65mph if you was lucky, it was almost like driving an old van, where you were stuffed if youdecided to overtake on the motorway before a hill.

I'm pretty sure, although I'm no expert, that the performance, cutting out and surging are all related. The only other thing that hasn't been checked is injector timing, it does have a smoother idle than her uncles 1.9D which is alot less work to get moving, maybe her injector timing is too retarded??

cheers,


Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - Alf
Neil,

I would have thought that if it was an air problem you would have a b***** of a job trying to start it.

I can't offer much more but have you tried fuel injector cleaner additive?
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
yes, have tried fuel injector cleaner additive, but no luck I'm afraid...:-(

All the problems do arise once its warm....
Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - Ian Cook
Neil

This lot sounds weird - I've had several XUDs, including a couple of ZXs (one a not turbo, like the one you quote). To be honest, the bending bulkhead theory doesn't fit my experience of the ZX, but there is something else to check on the throttle.

I know you said the throttle goes full travel if you bury the accelerator pedal so check the cable slack in the outer. It has a clip that secures the outer in a bracket and you can reposition this clip to give less cable slack and a better pedal response. On two of my cars this gave better perfomance.

Also it should be fairly straightforward to check the cam belt timing - you'll need a Haines manual and a free afternoon but at least you will satisfy yourself that the timing is OK (the belt was replaced, yes?).

There are adjustment screws on the pump for idle speed, maximum speed, and anti stall - but it's best not to go fiddling with an injector pump unless you know exactly what you are doing. The pump is also fitted with a fast idle thermostatic sensor.

I would recommend that, after checking throttle cable and timing belt that you trot the car along to a Lucas diesel specialist to have these settings checked. Once you know that all the basics are right then you can explore further (faulty pump etc).

Ian Cook
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
Ian,

I have also adjusted the outer cable to take up the slack without it being too tight.

Yes, the timing belt was replaced, and all pulleys timing set as per the book.

The accelerator does have a stiffer feel than her uncles 1.9D, but I put that down to it being a different pump, and hence a different return spring strength.

The most frustrating thing about the whole thing is that her dad, who on paper at least owns the car thinks it's because I'm used to drivng a 150bhp TDi, or that it could just be a slightly different feel to her uncles 1.9D, if only he would drive both ZX's back to back to see just how different they are.

I fear it's gonna take my girlfriend to break-down on the A1 or M1 on her way down to mine (a 150 mile trip) for her dad to realise there is a problem, which is why i'm trying to sort it out.


Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - David M
Think this has to be the sticking point, never mind the mechanics. It's a case of who pays, wins (or loses, come to think of it). Perhaps you should mention that you're looking at something else for her instead of the ZX that he won't approve of......and see if that has any effect. It might act as a spur to action , though I wouldn't guarantee success......

(This is courtesy support, and at your own risk.......)




David M

You know Citroens make sense in an up-and-down world......
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
It won't be such an issue in a couple of years as she'll move out of her parents house, and come live down south with me......by which time my Leon TDi will be on 120,000+ miles and she can have that to make way for a a new car for me....

The ZX is infact her dad's on paper, and as she has only just finished being a student, it suits her that way....... I shall take it to a Lucas dealer myself, then he'll no doubt give me the money once it's fixed.


Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - Toad, of Toad Hall.
It won't be such an issue in a couple of years
as she'll move out of her parents house, and come live
down south with me......


Run away! Run away!


--
Parp, Parp!
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
>>Run away! Run away!

I can't, someone needs to do the washing, ironing......:-)

OK, OK, only joking, b4 i get loads of hate mail from women...


Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - Toad, of Toad Hall.
>>Run away! Run away!
I can't, someone needs to do the washing, ironing......:-)


Can't you simulate living with her by staying in every night; buying furnature you hate; running up a massive phone bill; having screaming arguments late at night because you've come home at 22:55 after half a shandy; spending your weekends at Ikea then give her half your place when she forces you out?

Just a thought...


--
Parp, Parp!
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
Might work......We haven't gone through some of those things yet such as Arguments (she knows i'm right), big phone bills (mine are normally bigger), furnature (she has good tastes I'm reluctant to say).....one things for sure.......I choose the cars in the house hold...:-) She's already told me she's limiting me to 5 cars.....D'oh, that means I can have 1 more, then I explore the loop hole in her request, and put others in her name..:-)


Neil T
SEAT Leon TDi 150
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - jamd
Have you tried replacing the accelerator cable? I had a customer with an 1800 Escort diesel which had the acceleration of a slug. After a somewhat protracted investigation involving cam timing etc. etc. etc. I eventually found that the accy cable was dragging in it's liner, although it wasn't obvious if you disconnected the pump end and pressed the pedal. This made a huge difference to the performance!

Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - Daedalus
Very late reply to this one.

Do as ToTH suggests run away, run away, FROM THE CAR, and get another one before it costs any more money. Any more spent on this one and you wont want to get rid!

Bill
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - Richard Hall
Must remember never to buy a Citroen ZX from a bloke called Neil. To judge from this forum, it would be more trouble than it's worth :-)
Richard Hall
bangernomics.tripod.com
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - stuart5
Your getting water into your diesel tank. Check that there is no hole in the filler pipe where water from the wheel can be thrown into the filler and tank. If this is OK then someone poured dirty fuel into the tank.
Changing the fuel filter will not cure the problem until you empty the tank. This will entail taking the tank off the vehicle to clean it properly.
The other problem you are likely to have is a damaged injector pump. You will have to take it to a diesel specialist to have it tested. Lucas service will do it for you, but is costly.
If you do all that work be sure to fit a new filter and blow out the fuel lines with compreesed air.

Ex-diesel engineer
Stuart5
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - keo-the-dog
ever thought the car might be scrap 4 years later? ...Keo
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - 659FBE
Check the boost pressure and the injection timing accurately first, assuming that routine filter maintenance has been done. If there is water in the tank, there will be water in the agglomerator (beautiful word) which is the bootom bit of the fuel filter with a drain tap. Then take the pump and injectors to a diesel specialist to be checked. I would be particularly watchful of the boost control diaphragm on the pump, which enables the max fuel setting to increase as boost pressure rises. Any splits here and you will not get extra fuel to match the boost pressure. A give-away is no smoke on boost.

659.
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - dieselhead
I assume it's a non turbo...I don't think the engine is getting enough fuel to achieve full power. On the Lucas injection pump there is an adjuster screw with a locknut and lead seal. Break the seal and turn the screw no more than 1/2 a turn and also note it's origonal position so you can go back if need be. The Idle speed should increase slightly if you have turned the screw in right direction. If you turn the fuel up too much the car will smoke excessively on hard acce;eration or will tend to 'chug' on start up unless you blip the throttle if it's not getting enough fuel.
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - 659FBE
I would be surprised to see a naturally aspirated XUD in a 1996 car - maybe the thread originator could confirm. There are plenty of NA XUD engines in India doing sterling service as generating sets though!

Obviously if it's a non turbo, the comments about checking boost pressure and the manifold pressure compensator diaphagm don't apply, although the rest of my post is valid. Injection pump timing might be a good place to start.

659.
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - autumnboy
My ZX Elation of 96 is a TD with a Lucas system of some 170k. Who ever said Bosch was better than Lucas, better eat his hat

My son has a 306 with the same engine of 80k with a Bosch system, has had hell with starting problems with the Bosch system at fault each time where air gets into the lines or the fuel running back into the tank, etc. Which only Bosch suffers from this problem not Lucas. Granted Bosch is a better pump to use if you want use Chip pan oil instead of diesel, which does the seals no good in a Lucas.

If you want to change the system from Lucas to Bosch you have to replace the pump, injectors, injector pipes, and other fuel lines and etc. You will also need to replace the cambelt unless its fairly new as it has tobe removed to replace the pump.

If your sure all the cable settings & etc are correctly setup, the cheapest option maybe for you visit a Diesel Specialist who overhauls pumps and injectors and have your pump checked out and recalibrated.

If its a turbo model it may be as simple as having blown one of the pipes off or a split somewhere between the turbo and intercooler or even the intercooler has a hole or the manifold joints are loose, all of which allows no boost (air pressure) to build up giving you ummph (power).

Good luck
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - autumnboy
"On the Lucas injection pump there is an adjuster screw with a locknut and lead seal. Break the seal and turn the screw no more than 1/2 a turn and also note it's origonal position so you can go back if need be. The Idle speed should increase slightly if you have turned the screw in right direction. If you turn the fuel up too much the car will smoke excessively on hard acce;eration or will tend to 'chug' on start up unless you blip the throttle if it's not getting enough fuel."

All this adjustment will give is a higher max rpm, nothing to increase the fuel or smoke, unless you mean the anti-stall or tickover stop, both will still have no effect.

The only way to increase the fuel setting is by using an Allen key through the side of the pump with a plug removed and the engine in the right postion and you must not never never never use a key with ball end type to it as they will snap off, then you're in big trouble.
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - dieselhead
"All this adjustment will give is a higher max rpm, nothing to increase the fuel or smoke, unless you mean the anti-stall or tickover stop, both will still have no effect".

No I don't mean the anti stall adjustment screw or the maximum speed adjustment screw leave these alone.. .. on these non turbo engines the maximum fuel adjustment is as I described (It must be non turbo as it's described as a ZX 1.9D and gets to sixty in about twenty seconds and most ZX's are non turbo!).
On the turbo engine the adjuster is through the side using an allen screw.
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
"I would be particularly watchful of the boost control diaphragm on the pump, which enables the max fuel setting to increase as boost pressure rises. Any splits here and you will not get extra fuel to match the boost pressure. A give-away is no smoke on boost."

Is this the same for the HDi models? My Citroen Dispatch HDi doesn't smoke, and feels really flat compared to a friends 1.9TD model.

BTW, the ZX 1.9D that I originally started this thread on is still in service, although no longer my wifes car.


--
Neil T
E90 BMW 320d M Sport, E91 330d SE Touring
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - 659FBE
The boost pressure fuel control using a diaphragm, only applies to the earlier non-common rail engines which use a conventional rotary injection pump. The later HDi engines have an electronic boost pressure transducer to set the fuelling in relation to boost pressure.

659.
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
Interesting, so a lack of boost (either wastegate problem or split pipe etc) would cause less fuel to be pumped, and hence lack of smoke.
I've got a boost gauge that was fitted to my old 406 Turbo (petrol), any idea where to fit it on an HDi to check boost?

Funny thing is, sometimes the turbo is louder and performance is better.


--
Neil T
E90 BMW 320d M Sport, E91 330d SE Touring
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - 659FBE
Sorry Neil, I've only tested an HDi engine as a bare unit, not in a vehicle. Boost ought really to be checked at the manifold - see if there is a tapping somewhere you can access.

659.
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - autumnboy
"I would be particularly watchful of the boost control diaphragm on
the pump, which enables the max fuel setting to increase as
boost pressure rises. Any splits here and you will not get
extra fuel to match the boost pressure. A give-away is no
smoke on boost."
Is this the same for the HDi models? My Citroen Dispatch
HDi doesn't smoke, and feels really flat compared to a friends
1.9TD model.
BTW, the ZX 1.9D that I originally started this thread on
is still in service, although no longer my wifes car.

>
>>

Neil, are you now saying that the engine in the ZX is a Turbo ??

You seemed to be mixed up, at the start its your "Girlfriends Car" and now "its no longer your Wifes car ????
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - autumnboy
Sorry Neil,

Just seen the the difference in the Dates 02 then 06.

I should take more note of the dates with these topics.

Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - NeilT
No problem.... The ZX was my girlfriends (now wife), now owned by my father-in-laws, and non-Turbo. The HDi I talk about is my Citroen Van.


--
Neil T
E90 BMW 320d M Sport, E91 330d SE Touring
Citroen ZX 1.9D power problem? - Insect
What was actually wrong with it in the end? If it's still about then it must have been cured at some point!
 

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