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PSA (Peugeot/Citroen) XUD Diesel Engine - How did they get it so right?

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Reminded by Stereos post on the "burning fresh oak" thread here's a little story.

 

In 1982, european acceptance of the high-speed diesel was far ahead of the UK and rest of the world. In the same year, some very very intelligent and remarkable individuals at PSA had come up with the XUD engine which single-handedly changed the entire passenger car diesel experience, perception and acceptance here within a decade.

 

This IDI (indirect injection i.e swirl chamber in the cylinder head) cast-iron block and alloy head unit has probably featured in the household of many an arbtalker represented here. In 1769cc and 1905cc (we'll ignore the 2.1!) variants, both naturally aspirated and turbocharged (with and without intercooler) who can forget the loud cold clatter of one of these smooth-running beauties. With the exception of coolant neglect leading to head gasket failures, this engine was simply unbreakable (some 306s developed a record for throwing #3 con-ron during a later batch fault but proportionally very insignificant numbers). It had a mega high compression ratio of between 21.8:1 and 23.5:1 and under square configuration (i.e. it was long stroke - the stroke is longer than the bore). You would expect such a resiliant lump to be agricultural in operation but no; it was sweet as sweet, as I rediscovered yesterday - more on that in a mo. Not only that, its durability far exceeds that of its replacement - the HDI lump with wet liners - yuck. Some even swear that it is more efficient than the HDI. Well, that's good old thermodynamics for you - cast iron blocks - always the best.

 

So long as the 6k oil change is observed, this is one engine that would survive a catastrophe; simple, reliable and not plastered in more electronics than the starship enterprise. I've had 3; the first a N/A 1.9 in a Pug 309, later a 1.9 turbo in a Xsara and latterly a 1.9 turbo in a 405. All were brilliant and took a lot of running in! The first two were equipped with the Lucas/CAV injection pump which ran lower injection pressures than the superior Bosch pump allocated to the 405 which I bought for £100 in 2008 when I was made redundant and lost the company car.

 

The punch line is approaching! The fame of this engine I fear is being forgotten; EUI, common rail, stratospheric power outputs make it easy to forget. The 205 DTurbo, 306 DTurbo, Citroen ZX Volcane TurboD - infamous pocket rockets were they not.

 

Ok, so here's the reason behind my marvel. As I mentioned, we bought a very high mileage but extremely well cared for 405 estate in 2008 as a fall back position. The previous owner had had the car from new and with good reason - he was a vegetable grower and used the car to transport his award winning fayre from Nottingham to Scotland twice a week! He did this for 13 years! Hence the mileage. I carried out a compression test when we bought the car and was unsurprised when they were all within spec and it drove like a sewing machine.

 

Since we have 4 vehicles in the family now :blushing: the vegetable wagon as we call it had not run since the previous summer when I flattened the battery trying to start it. I assumed my over enthusiastic use of SVO (aka morrisons veg oil at 40p/litre) had congealed in the system and just parked it up knowing I'd get around to sorting it later.

 

18 months later; drove the truck up to it yesterday, jump leads etc. Not before draining the little "top-hat" fuel filter housing and re-priming. A few minutes of charging and 3 precautionary pre-heats and away she goes!

 

Small stone on the pump lever to hold it at fast idle for 15 minutes and then go for a little drive. Could not believe how smooth the engine was - puts my 2004 L200 to shame and is probably less shakey than my Wifes VW Bora TDI 130.

 

All this from an engine that has covered 979184 miles !!! Yes, there have been a few replacement ancilliaries; injector leak off pipes, belts, stats etc, but the inj pump and short-engine is completely original.

 

I think I might write to someone at Peugoet soon to tell them about it.

 

How did they get this engine so right?!

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Brilliant engines, maybe pug will buy it of you I remember hearing a story about vw buying back a high mileage motor for the boffins to pull apart .......

 

I remember that story too; VW Golf; 1 million kilometers tho I think; vales like twiglets!

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alex_m   

Brilliant! 980k!!!

I have a bit of a soft spot for pugs. I've owned 3 since passing my test (HDi engines not 1.9Dt's) 6 years ago. My parents have owned citreons and pugs since the late eighties when they had a white BX (used to love the up/down sus!).

I'd say drive it for another 20k, then get in contact with peugeot, the local rag etc! :D

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