Advert of the week : Peugeot 405

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

Peugeot 405 did indeed, take your breath away.
Peugeot 405 did indeed, take your breath away.

Picture the scene – it’s 1988, and you’re a middle-ranking salesman climbing your way up the marketing totem pole. It’s a competitive place to be, and your choice of company car was absolutely essential. Buy the right one, and people thought you were a success; get it wrong, and you were on a one-way trip to loser’s-ville.

And that’s why Ford, Vauxhall and Rover were fighting hard to make their Sierra, Cavalier and Montego appeal to aspirational types. So, Ford introduced the Sierra LX – essentially an L but with rev counter, two tone paint and  more sporting attitude (all in marketing terms, of course). Austin Rover did the same with the Maestro (1.3L) and Montego (1.6L and 2.0Si), and proved reasonably successful in revitalising the fast-fading pair. Vauxhall’s approach was also to introduce an LX, and then fuel-inject everything in sight…

But in truth, all three cars were starting to get a little dog-eared. But their makers fought hard to keep fleet managers on-side – so equipment levels were constantly upgraded, colours and trim improved, and most importantly, discounted to the hilt. The Sierra’s impressive 1987 makeover (and introduction of the Sapphire four-door) was probably the most successful in keeping it in the repmobile fast-lane, but the Cavalier and Montego’s charms had rightfully been eclipsed by Uncle Henry.

And it was in the midst of this bloodbath that Peugeot rocked-up into with the impressive UK-built (in Ryton, Coventry) 405. In truth, this was the first time that Peugeot had attacked the mid-market so directly – even if its Talbot Solara was pitched as a Cortina rival when launched in 1980. But unlike its Alpine-based predecessor, the 405 an exceptional product that just arrived on the scene and did everything right. It looked good (thank you, Pininfarina), went well thanks to its XU and XUD powerplants, and it rode and handled superbly – a traditional Peugeot strength.

It was also priced and specced to go toe-to-toe with the big three, and because its UK credentials were as impeccable as Vauxhall or Ford’s, the 405 found itself on rather a lot of fleet managers’ lists. And from that moment on, it proved to be a worthy success, paving the way for over a decade of growth for Peugeot in the UK.

And just why the 405 made such a big impression in the minds of buyers is probably down to this wonderful advert – it really does have it all, underscored by a faux version of Berlin’s Take My Breath Away. No way would they get away with crop burning on such a scale just to promote a car – but this was the 1980s… and what advertising executives wanted back then, they got.

 

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

58 Comments

  1. I remember all the car magazines back in the day saying how this was the best car in its class because of how well it drove (which it did). However, they only looked smart in metallic colours (not the dull beiges and whites that the poverty spec models seem to be in) and the build quality was truly shocking, especially the interior.

    I’d rather have had a BX, personally. Basically a 405 with character and the best ride this side of a Rolls Royce at the time.

  2. I had a 405GLX 1600 petrol, ‘N’ reg, bought second hand in 1998. Good drive but a bit slow.

    By the time I owned a 405 it had lost its advantage over rivals. I always felt mine was a fraction boring.

    Still think a tidy, more sporting model still looks surprisingly good though.

  3. I drove a new 405 1.6GL hire car in 1988 to Glasgow and back and actually found its performance was decent… nice to drive too. I had a colleague who owned a 405 estate for his job and it had good carrying capacity aswell.

    Although they didn’t capture the entire Sierra/Cavalier market they were at least a useful alternative.

  4. There are still quite a lot around too, especially the estates, yet Sierra is basically extinct. I nearly bought a 405 a few years back but ended up with the Cavalier in the end.

  5. I’m guessing that ad was used across Europe, despite the odd shot here and there of right hand drive vehicles

  6. This possibly completely untrue factoid has just popped into my mind, but apparently this ad was filmed at the Goyt Valley in the Peak District near Buxton in Derbyshire.

    I can’t remember when or where or by whom I was told this, but the last shot just looks so much like the little access road up there (which isn’t usually on fire) I’m inclined to believe it.

  7. “I’d rather have had a BX, personally. Basically a 405 with character and the best ride this side of a Rolls Royce at the time.”

    And at the time Citroen were supplying/licencing their suspension system to RR too! I’d agree though the BX was much more stylish. Although the 405 was more naturally within Peugeot’s family look than the BX was in Citroen’s.

    “There are still quite a lot around too, especially the estates, yet Sierra is basically extinct.”
    I would imagine most of those still around are the Diesels. Reliable, Cheap to run, comfortable, and pretty good for corrosion resistance. Paint always seemed to either go dull or the lacquer would peal off.
    Sierra’s suffered Rot quite badly though, like all the Fords of that era. I remember a Sierra estate that had rotten wheel arches which had rusted across under the seat, there wasn’t much left holding the two halves together!

  8. There is a mint LX Sierra knocking about around here, I see it from time to time on the sunnier days!

    Also please ignore my comment about the Goyt Valley as the filming location – I’ve watched the ad several times now and I’m now pretty certain it wasn’t filmed there. Though I haven’t been up there for about 5 years I confess.

  9. Anyone remember the Mi 16?and 16×4? great q cars and were comfy when peugoet made thier own shock absorbers in house!

  10. I had a White 1993 L Reg 405 SRDT about 6 years apart from the leaking back window (rust) it was a lovely car to drive as it handled well, and was quite quick.

  11. I remember one of the car mags tried a 100k example (after it had been out a couple of years) against a similar mileage Cavalier (I think) and it didn’t fair very well – usual duff Peugeot quality!

  12. Yet again its assumed the only people to receive a company car are employed in sales. Utter nonsense. Over the years I have known many people with company cars – Sierras, Cavaliers, Mondeos and 405’s. Not one of them has been a salesman. Occupations have included Engineers, Architects, Project Mangers, Bank Managers and opticians.

  13. “Anyone remember the Mi 16?and 16×4? great q cars and were comfy when peugoet made thier own shock absorbers in house!”

    The Turbo Mi16 used the hydro-pneumatic suspension from the Citroen BX, which is why it had such a good ride. The 4×4 405 was built on the same platform as the Citroen BX 4×4.

  14. Ridiculous advert, but a decent car, back in the days when cooking Peugeots drove well and looked good, and hence sold well.

  15. I find Peugeots these days look ghastly, but having said that they do tend to age well. In other words, they are (for better or worse) trendsetters as far as styling goes. Just look at the 308 — I think every mid-market car is following its styling cues.

  16. Bloody good car. Pleasing if not particularly memorable looks, well put together and (particularly in diesel form) utterly bomb-proof – hence why there are still plenty knocking around in Africa and, indeed, France. But then I am a touch biased, owning a similar age 205…

  17. “Anyone remember the Mi 16?and 16×4? great q cars and were comfy when peugoet made thier own shock absorbers in house!”

    Had a GLx4. Ghastly thing, being pre-facelift interior. Carbed, so gutless and thirsty, the Mk 1 interior was brittle and made of far too many components, and the high loading sill was a PITA. Phase 2 405s were better.

    Also the brake pipes went before the first MOT. Requiring the rear subframe to be dropped…

    “The Turbo Mi16 used the hydro-pneumatic suspension from the Citroen BX, which is why it had such a good ride. The 4×4 405 was built on the same platform as the Citroen BX 4×4.”

    Not strictly true – the 4×4 405s used a rear subframe similar to a BX, with a boot mounted electric hydraulic pump, but it was only for self levelling. You could push a button in the boot for workshop mode, but that was JUST for ease of access to the spare and servicing; not only did it have no travel (like an HP Citroën in workshop setting), it also ended up with a nose-down stance that would defeat any ground clearance benefit. I suspect the C5 and subsequent HP systems Citroën use, without an engine-driven HP pump, are evolutions based on lessons learned with the 405’s electric/hydraulic setup.

    The BX 4×4 was the best one to have if you were of that inclination – imported as an estate as well as hatchback, injected 8v, and with proper HP suspension.

    One of the front CV joints went on my BX 4×4 and I drove it home by locking the centre diff – I now can’t remember if the Mi16 had the diff locking switch. It wasn’t as useful as my ’85 90 Quattro, which had the proper Quattro system and could lock centre and rear diffs, but it was a hell of a lot better than the VC slipper-based Syncro setup in my Jetta – which you had to get the front wheels spinning to get any benefit out of in snow, otherwise simply giving you a heavy and underbraked Jetta to do battle with.

  18. I did wonder if the 405’s picked up fleet sales from companies thay had previously used Alpines & Avengers.

    Until a few years ago it was easy to spot a lot of 405’s in use as Minicabs.

  19. As a 14/15 year old growing up in Northampton, I was lucky enough to go on a school trip to Ryton when the 405 was being made there. Impressive as a teenager. The factory officials were great and showed us all aspects of the process. I remember the factory workers made animal noises at us – the guide said you could tell what part of the factory you were in by which animal noise was being made. Afew years later I drove both a poverty spec 405 and a SRi spec – both impressed. More recently I drove past Ryton a short while after it closed – very sad. Does anyone remember the Jasper Carrot recreation of this ad on his show with a toy car on the end of a string on a burning table?

  20. @MGFMad

    I read that article! If I remember correctly brakes on the 405 were glazed so they drove it down a big hill and gave it an almighty stamp on the brakes to sort it out! The engine was shot though. The firm my Dad worked for at the time used to use a lot of Cavaliers (Mk 2s), Sierras, 405s and Austins (presumably Montegos). The Cavalier was by far his and the workshop managers favourite as they clocked up huge mileages without too much trouble and the 1.6 engine was powerful (certainly better than the Pinto lump in the Sierra). I know he disliked the 405 and Sierra (the vanilla versions which “wandered around on the motorway”, they had an XR4x4 which was like night and day compared to the standard cars). Don’t think he was keen on the Montego either.

  21. “@Magnus – “Well put together”? Not my experience at all; not by a very long way.”
    I’d been in a few and found them ok, the exteriors were pretty robust, no worse than anything else in the mainstream. Interiors were ok too, lots of plastic and didn’t look much but fairly tough. I would say the door sill buttons weren’t that clever and the locking rods tended to rattle a bit with age. Nothing major though and only the kind of thing you tend to get on any old car, they were all atleast 10 years old when i’d been in them.

    “@MGFMad
    I read that article! If I remember correctly brakes on the 405 were glazed so they drove it down a big hill and gave it an almighty stamp on the brakes to sort it out! The engine was shot though.”
    Not the most scientific test though was it. One car, just because two cars have done a similar mileage it doesn’t been they’ve both been treated the same. Even something as simple as a driver who checks the oil once a week can make a big difference. If someone has ragged a car to the red line every day and never bothered to check the fluids other than when it goes to a garage, it’s bound to be knackered.

    “Until a few years ago it was easy to spot a lot of 405′s in use as Minicabs”
    Always a good measure of how good a car is i think, not only do they do high mileages often around town and with customers in the back who’ll often vomit over, yank at, and even slash the interior. If a car is badly made then no minicab driver will bother with it as it’ll spend more time in the workshop than on the road earning money.

    “the 4×4 405s used a rear subframe similar to a BX, with a boot mounted electric hydraulic pump, but it was only for self levelling. You could push a button in the boot for workshop mode, but that was JUST for ease of access to the spare and servicing; not only did it have no travel (like an HP Citroën in workshop setting), it also ended up with a nose-down stance that would defeat any ground clearance benefit. I suspect the C5 and subsequent HP systems Citroën use, without an engine-driven HP pump, are evolutions based on lessons learned with the 405′s electric/hydraulic setup.”

    Ahh ok, i’d never actually looked under one, just knew they had HP suspension. I suspect the move to electric pumps on the modern Citroens is more to do with anti sink and the ability to add more features. Such as the car levelling its self when you get out or when loading the boot. Also reduces the amount of pipe work and the pump can be attached to the reservoir saving space.

  22. I recently bought a 210,000 mile example of one of these (deisel Estate verion) which only needed a new headlight for it’s MOT. Never a hint of bother, ran perfectly for six months and sold for slightly more than I paid for it. Also excellent van-like rear for the DIY/ house doer-upper (which I was fully into at the time) for carting big stuff about – even fridge freezers and so on! Brilliant motor, I’d have another tomorrow if I needed a large load-lugger.

  23. I’ve had two 405s.

    My first was bought in 1993 at 18 months old – a 405 1.9GR Injection, which I absolutely loved at went on my first ever overseas driving holiday in. It was the Loire Valley tour, and I was 23 years old, and felt like a million dollars.

    It did have teething troubles, but all were sorted under warranty, and in the year I kept it, I thought it was a fantastic all-rounder. I should say, though, I did buy it instead of a Rover 214Si – the Peugeot’s undoubted massive performance, comfort, equipment and dynamic advantages were overwhelming.

    In 2005, I bought another one. At the opposite end of the scale. A 1990 Mi16 for £50 as a non-starter. My mate and I turned up, unplugged the immobiliser and drove it on to my trailer. A change of oil and an MoT later, and I had a lovely Mi16 with leather and aircon (working), and the biggest smile you can imagine.

    My thoughts on the 405 are simple – it was a magnificent car that shook up the rep class – but once the 1990 Primera and 1993 Mondeo arrived on the scene, its weaknesses (build and lack of folding rear seat) soon became apparent. And of course, its styling – beautiful at launch – seemed to date quickly.

    Still, the Mi16 is already a classic, and in time the rest will follow…

  24. “1993 Mondeo arrived on the scene, its weaknesses (build and ”

    See i never found the 1st gen Mondeo’s had great build quality, i don’t think i ever found one where the centre console/armrest thing wasn’t loose, even virtually new ones. Primera, well it was Japanese, dull but exceptionally well screwed together.

  25. Even now the 405’s styling doesn’t look too dated, even the 406 didn’t suffer from not being too different from the 405.

    Oddly, at almost the same time the Vectra suffered from not being too different from the Mk3 Cavalier, which seemed fine in 1988, was still looking alright 1995, but not really the basis for a new model.

  26. BobM – “This possibly completely untrue factoid has just popped into my mind, but apparently this ad was filmed at the Goyt Valley in the Peak District near Buxton in Derbyshire.”

    I read recently that it was actually filmed on a field in Australia.

  27. I had a 405 1.6 GR when i was 18, i know it wasn’t the usual set of wheels for an 18 year old. I loved it,looked good drove good(apart from the gear change). Just wished it was a turbo diesel. Certainly when i was an apprentice at college it stood out from all the other students cars as they had fiestas and metros etc. The only things that went wrong were the rear shock bolts working loose and causing an annoying knocking noise and one of the rods for the gear linkage popped off. One thing i noticed when i went down the breakers yard, there were no 405’s and lots of cavaliers and sierras. I’m on the look out for a cheap second car to use for work, and i think a 405 might just be on my list. I never did like the dash in the face lift models and i thought that while the rear boot lid was more practical, i preferred the earlier design.

  28. I bought a 1995 turbo diesel saloon off a guy at work. It had some very annoying design features.For example to change a bulb in the clock you have to dismantle half the dashboard which also entails removing the centre console which you means you have to disconnect the handbrake cable !.Changing the radiator and disconnecting the bottom hose is also fun, you have no room to work in and you have to unscrew a plastic bayonet fitting which is glued onto the end of the hose and remove it without breaking it!

  29. “to change a bulb in the clock you have to dismantle half the dashboard which also entails removing the centre console which you means you have to disconnect the handbrake cable !”
    Many modern cars you have to dismantle the front of the car to change a headlamp bulb. So really the 405 was ahead of it’s time. :p

    “Changing the radiator and disconnecting the bottom hose is also fun, you have no room to work in”
    Yep, pretty much the same as any other car. Few modern cars have any room to work around the engine. Only recently have cars started to add features like the sliding front cross member on the BMW Mini for example. (nb the bayonet fitting comes with the hose, best to replace the hose at the same time as the rad. Often the Bayonet rusts (usually they’re metal) this swells and cracks the plastic union it goes in to.

    The canted back engines do make access to the back/top of the engine awkward though. Cam belts were a bitch, didn’t help there was an engine mount in the middle of it, but then that’s a common design issue on many modern cars. There aren’t many cars i can think of where the cam belt can be done in under an hour.

  30. I forgot to mention changing the glow plug in number 4 cylinder behind the injector pump was also good fun due to the lack of access. I dropped the old one uncrewing it and it disappeared somewhere (it didn’t fall onto the floor anyway)I often wondered where it went!.Trying to start it on only 2 glow plugs was also quite entertaining. I bought a complete cambelt kit as it was due to be done but when I came to do the job I couldn’t see an easy way to change the tensioner pully and idler pully as there seemed to be so little room so I just changed the belt ( do you have to drop the engine down a bit on the cambelt side ?)

  31. “changing the glow plug in number 4 cylinder behind the injector pump was also good fun due to the lack of access.”

    Yes that is a pig, but on the other hand having the injection pump on the front makes that easy to access for tuning/Timing. Vauxhall Corsa/Combo’s had them hidden down the back almost impossible to get at. Merc A-Class Starter motors are a REALLY fun job! Older VW Diesels also have the same problem with the glow plugs, many of the old straight 6’s only had 5 working plugs.

    “I bought a complete cambelt kit as it was due to be done but when I came to do the job I couldn’t see an easy way to change the tensioner pully and idler pully as there seemed to be so little room so I just changed the belt ( do you have to drop the engine down a bit on the cambelt side ?)”

    Few years since i did one, but i seem to remember once you’d got the engine mount out of the way you could lift the engine a little with a jack to access one, then lower it a bit to access the other. Easiest Cam belt i’ve ever done was on a Volvo 740 (petrol), just take the cover off and replace it. They’re old school cars though and in the minority now.

  32. Is there any way of putting some life back into the rear suspension without swapping the complete subframe complete with torsion bars etc. for a known good set. With 3 adults in the back it feels like it’s almost on the bump stops. According to the Haynes manual there is no simple adjustments you can do

  33. “Is there any way of putting some life back into the rear suspension without swapping the complete subframe complete with torsion bars etc. for a known good set. With 3 adults in the back it feels like it’s almost on the bump stops. According to the Haynes manual there is no simple adjustments you can do”
    It’s a bonded in torsion bar, so no, not really. Not a massive job to swap the back axle though, and there are usually plenty of good second hand ones about. Stick the car on stands at the back, Disconnect the Brake lines, handbrake Cables and (abs wiring if it has it) then pretty much unbolt the axle and drop it down with a jack. Then just slide the new one under there then jack it in to place etc etc. It’s a good compact suspension system, only real drawback is you can’t replace springs like you can with Coil’s, but then with coils you get massive boot encroachment like the C-Class mercs.

    Even the newest ones are about 15 years old by now though.

    Out of interest, what suspension do those RWD Iranian built ones have? Leaf springs?

  34. Rather ironic that advert as the carb engined models had a canny party trick of bursting into flames.

    That said, a superb journey shrinker…. as was the 406. The latter of which I’ve owned 3.

  35. Very visible leaf springs at the back…

    Rear : Live axel on longitudinally mounted asymmetric semi elliptic leaf spring.

    Bear in mind they also have FWD 405s – the RD is the RWD one, the Pars (facelifted) and 405 are FWD

    The Paykan Hunter still exists as a pickup version

  36. Dennis you are the fount of all knowledge ! I take your point about the newest being 15 years old. If I got one from a scrapyard I might not get one any better( perhaps I need to take 3 other people with me so they can sit in the back assuming the car is on the ground with it’s wheels on and it hasn’t got another car stacked on top of it)I did look at a possible reconditioned rear subframe but this was twice the price I paid for the whole car or maybe spring assisters which cost the same as I paid for the whole car so in the spirit of Bangernomics I might live with it !

  37. Not sure. It had a BX platform and Paninfarina design.
    Would be surprised if there wasn’t at least some UK input though.

    Iranian variants, the Peugeot Pars is a facelifted version, while the Peugeot ROA is a 405 bodyshell on a RWD Hillman Hunter-based chassis.
    Would be interesting if captive-imported badged as ‘Talbot’s

  38. I understand the hollow rear axle can be drilled, tapped, have a grease-nipple fited and be filled with high pressure grease from agricultural type places. Good for the needle roller bearings in there, and might squeeze another few years out of it.

  39. As the Pars/405 are torsion, FWD platforms, maybe the rear subframes/suspension parts are still available.

    The grease nipple mod is common on CXs and the like.

  40. “I understand the hollow rear axle can be drilled, tapped, have a grease-nipple fited and be filled with high pressure grease from agricultural type places. Good for the needle roller bearings in there, and might squeeze another few years out of it.”

    Works ok on HP Citroens where there rear axle carries trailing arms. However the 405 uses Torsion bar suspension, filling the axle with grease would only make the bonded rubber material fail more quickly.

  41. Merve – “It had some very annoying design features.For example to change a bulb in the clock you have to dismantle half the dashboard which also entails removing the centre console which you means you have to disconnect the handbrake cable ”
    My Citroen ZX was similar, I ignored the bulbs as they slowly failed until I had to finally change them after my speedo became invisible in the dark!

    Will – “Iranian variants, the Peugeot Pars is a facelifted version, while the Peugeot ROA is a 405 bodyshell on a RWD Hillman Hunter-based chassis.”
    That ROA is fascinating, taking the chassis of a 40 year old RWD car and plonking the body of a 20 year old FWD car on top! What a bizarre concept, especially as the finished product looks identical to a 405 (imagine a Vectra body on a Victor chassis, or a Montego body on a Farina Cambridge chassis!)

  42. “That ROA is fascinating, taking the chassis of a 40 year old RWD car and plonking the body of a 20 year old FWD car on top! What a bizarre concept, especially as the finished product looks identical to a 405 (imagine a Vectra body on a Victor chassis, or a Montego body on a Farina Cambridge chassis!)”

    Well you have to look at them in context. Out in the wilds a conventional RWD car is generally easier to maintain and more robust than a FWD car. Replacing a leaf spring can be done with a couple of jacks, or long bits of wood or a couple of strong blokes. a Coil spring needs a spring compressor tool. Changing a diff in a FWD car is a couple of days work, the same job on an old solid rear axle is a couple of hours.
    I think they still build 504’s in Africa?

    As for putting a Montego body on a Cambridge chassis. Didn’t BL do something similar? they put a brand new body shell on top of a Morris minor chassis and called it the Marina?

  43. 504s were built in Nigeria until 2005 or so.

    I didn’t need to disconnect the handbrake cable on my 405 to put new lights in the clock. All of the rest is true, but it’s not exactly a job you’ll be doing very often.

    405s have their flaws, mainly little niggles but they are so nice to drive and comfortable I can forgive them. Much nicer

    Regarding soggy rear suspension, try replacing the shock absorbers.

    Here’s a bit I wrote about mine: http://motoscat.freeforhosting.com/my-boring-1990s-diesel-saloon-t148.html

  44. Dennis – “As for putting a Montego body on a Cambridge chassis. Didn’t BL do something similar? they put a brand new body shell on top of a Morris minor chassis and called it the Marina?”
    The slight difference is that the Marina was a new rwd car, stuck on the ancient chassis of an old rwd, whereas my example would take the body as an existing fwd car and put it on the chassis of an even older rwd car!

    It’s as if MGR created the 75 V8 by sticking the existing 75 body onto an SD1 chassis. Now there’s an idea…

    • OK the Marina did use an old fashioned platform but “Josephine” the very old Marina bought as an austerity vehicle was brilliant. The old worn-out 1.8 engine had been replaced by the previous owner and the car now had a Morris Ital 1.3 engine (the A+) This was perfectly adequate considering that the UK has a 70 mph speed limit. No pesky cam-belt and no black boxes or CANBUS to go wrong but the car did have decent disc brakes.

      The adverts for the Marina used the slogan “When its your own money a Marina makes sense” (or words to that effect) Servicing was cheap and simple, no laptops required!

      As Honda discovered in the 1960s “Less is more!”

  45. I remember this ad, wasn’t there a furore (ie 3 people writing in to the The Daily Mail) to complain that the burning field in it would enncourage people to commit arson?

  46. I’ve now got a 405GLD MK1 estate bought cheaply as a stop-gap car for the same price that a scrappie offered. Its a horrible car although the miserly fuel consumption of the 1.9D engine does make up for a lot. The accelerator cable has already snapped because the shock absorbing widget that is meant to take up the excess tension at pedal-to-the-metal was caked-up with mud and rust. This happened at 2am on the motorway. Solution was to put the hazards on, coast onto the hard shoulder, increase the idle speed to over 1000 rpm and creep-off the motorway by driving down the hard shoulder. (this must be safer than having a tow-truck) The clutch cable is also suspect but a new one was bought for peanuts. Brakes are a problem as not only are they not up to the standard I expect (Citroen CX, Range Rover, Discovery, Granada and Rover 800 are hard acts to follow) sometimes they stick on, fade and make a burning smell. It looks like a rusted caliper.

    Any ideas on how to upgrade to bigger ventilated discs without breaking the bank? Unfortunately Peugeot 405s are now so old that most scrap-yards shred them straight away on the assumption that nobody will want any parts.

  47. i recently had a problem with a citroen zx with torsion bar rear suspension the suspension had become very hard i found that the trailing arm on the drivers side seem stiff so i drill a 5mm hole into the beam about halfway along the thickest part of the beam towards the end and fitted a grease nipple i pumped the grease in until it came out of the seal at the end the difference in the car is amazing i would do this mod to any 306/zx it is well worth doing and could save you fitting another beam

  48. The Peugeot 405GLD MK1 estate has done me well and as the Discovery is now getting the tin-worm the Pug may soon be making another comeback! A MK1 roof rack was obtained on that well known website and amazingly one CAN fit a roof rack to a MK1! (there are captive nuts hidden beneath the rubber door seals) With the bolts being covered by the door toe rags cannot unscrew the roof rack! Obtaining a tow-bar that would fit nicely was more difficult but eventually it was fourth time lucky. The MK1 bar attaches with SIX bolts whereas most tow-bars only use the four bumper bolts and maybe a steady-bar. (two pre-drilled holes are available in a MK1 rear crossbeam so it is a good idea to use them)

    One of the rear bump-stops has been well-hammered and pushed-up by maybe 8 mm. The MOT tester doesn’t like this even though IMHO it is just a nit-pick. I doubt whether it will be possible to remove the bump stop without destroying it so a new one is needed before starting work on the job. A reinforcing plate needs making although the real solution would be to fit a heavy duty axle beam.

    Towing performance is nowhere near as good as cars that have a 2.5 turbo-diesel engine, nevertheless the car will tow an Erde/Daxara 600 kilos max trailer just fine. Last year the car did Cornwall to Fort William and return without any problems even though it was towing.

    The all time economy record has to go to a Cornish-man however. He had an MG Maestro Clubman Diesel which used to go like a wild horse. Allegedly the car could do Cornwall to London and return for £7.50!

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