PEUGEOT BOXER 1.9Ltr Diesel Engine Page 6


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1.  Engine Checking, Glow Plugs. 2. Removing the Glow Plug  3.  High Level Stop Light. 4. Rear Light Assembly Faults 5. Double Horn Modification  6. Horn Location.

Glow Plugs.

        Servicing a diesel engine can be a daunting task, and is usually best left to skilled technicians at the Peugeot garage.

       If you are having starting problems, also large amounts of Black smoke when starting.  Then it's possible you have Glow Plug problems. How do you know? and how are you able to check them.

       Diesel engines rely on the heat produced by the cylinder compression of the air intake. Diesel engines need glow plugs to enable easy starting of the engine and the heat produced by them. 
       The glow plug is fitted in the cylinder head and protrudes into the combustion chamber. When activated it sometimes produces temperatures in excess of 700C.  In the newer engines the glow plug is allowed to continue heating up after the engine starts to reduce the startup smoke.

      It is important to fit the correct type as they protrude into the combustion chamber. A short one could hinder starting and a long one could damage the cylinder head.        

     The glow plug is a miniature electric heater. While monitoring and waiting for the dashboard yellow light to go out, prior to starting, you are heating up the cylinder. Which in turn allows the diesel to burn more easily, when introduced into the cylinder by the starter motor.

     It is possible to check these 12Volt operated heaters very easily.

     First get someone to operate the ignition key and check the voltage is present at the nut heads of the glow plug, and it turns off automatically.

        Take off the nuts which secure the electric cables at the tips of the glow plugs. If like mine after 5 years of not having had any attention, the screw threads were rusty. Soak the nuts with easing oil a couple of days before. Remove the glow plug cable.  While the space is confined, it is quite easy to carry out this work. Glow plug number 3 has an extra cable to it. This is the supply from the activating relay, which turns on when the yellow light can be seen at dash panel.

See photos below.

Glow Plugs 1&2
Glow Plugs 1 & 2

Glow Plugs 1,2 &3
Glow Plugs 1,2,&3

        Ensure the screw top of the glow plug is clear of the removed cable, place a 12 Volt lamp device on the screw top and the other end to the battery positive.  If the lamp alights, then it's OK. No lamp lit then it is possibly faulty. This test will indicate that the glow plug is drawing current.

       If you have to replace any glow plugs it is better to change the set, as if one has become faulty then the others are not far behind.

       Before replacing the cables, check the resistance of each glow plug, a value of 5 ohms or less usually indicates a good glow plug.

        Having done the above test, replace the cables back on the glow plugs. Ensure the cable spades and connectors are clean to give maximum current to the plug. Place the crocodile clip on an earth point of the engine and the test tip on the glow plug tops. Get someone to turn on the ignition and to the glow plug start position. Check whether the plug tester lights. This test will indicate that the relay supply is OK and you have volts going to the glow plugs.

        See my drawing below for the test lamp which I use.  This can be purchased from many Motor Factors.  It is basically a tubular lamp inside a see through screwdriver handle.  This lamp can be used over the range of 3 to 24 volts.  A useful device which can be used for fault finding electrics in a vehicle. This must not be confused with the Mains Electric tester.

        Simple Glow plug tester

     A suitable glow plug tester can be purchased for £5.95 [Mar 03]    

     Note: The glow plug tester I used, is very basic and should not be considered a comprehensive tester,  just a tester which indicates the glow plug has volts and is drawing current.

     If after the above tests and you still have problems then a change of glow plugs might be necessary. After removal check the plugs, any burnt or damaged ones will confirm your decision to remove them, but will also give a clue to the problems.     


Possible Cause

Check and ensure the Glow Plugs are the correct type for the vehicle.

Replaced with WELLMAN W631.

Tel:- 0121 553 4418

Damaged heater tube

Could be injector problem. Irregular spray of the injector. Have them checked and cleaned or replaced.

Carbon on tube

Excessive oil in the combustion chamber. Could be due to wear allowing to much oil into the combustion chamber.

Broken insulator

Take care inserting and removing plug. Do not over tighten. Use copper grease on the thread for easier removal.

Tube corroded or different colour to the rest

Coolant leak in combustion chamber. Check for head gasket fault.

Tube has a swollen up

Could be caused by storage problems giving  a damp cylinder.

 Difficulty in starting, even after a glow plug change.

 Turn on the ignition and check there is voltage at the cables feeding the glow plugs. If none then the relay supplying the glow plug voltage is faulty.

Melted Heater tube.

Excessive alternator voltage. Alternator not stabilising the charging voltage.

Injection Timing out of sync. check injection system

Worn piston rings causing excessive oil burning. 

Check control relay.



The changing of the glow plugs can be an easy job for the competant DIY man, and also, if you have the correct tools. I used a 12mm offset ring spanner to start the unscrew. Then used a 12mm Ratchet ring spanner to complete the unscrewing. The 180Degree flexhead ratchet ring spanner will allow a small unscrewing movement which is required in the small  working space. [See the pictures above] These tools can be obtained from Halfords in the UK.

The offset ring spanner is required as the start of unscrewing is tough. You might find, as I did, that a tube will be needed to go over the ring spanner to give extra leaverage for the start.

Before removal, the electric cables attached to the plugs must be removed using a 8mm box spanner, or a ring spanner. Be carefull when removing the nuts from the plugs. They are easily lost and must be found to avoid these items getting into parts of the engine perimeter which can cause a costly repair. I dropped a plug and it took me an hour to find it! In my previous job a mechanic lost a spanner during a service. It was found a week later in the timing belt cover, after the timing belt had been stripped of its teeth.


Here can be seen the glow plug removed after 10 years use

Here can be seen the glow plug removed after 10 years use

New glow plugs replaced with Wellman W631

New glow plugs replaced with Wellman W631

High Level Rear Stop Light.

     One of my first modifications to the Motorhome was the High Level Rear Stop light. This is a requirement by law in new vehicles. While not retrospective, I did feel as the rear lights were low down this could be good safety feature.

     The light fixture was purchased from Halfords. The fitting had a narrow tubular structure, which made it an ideal fitting between the blinds and the rear window. It was screwed to the top of the window aperture. The cable was then fed behind the blind fittings and down the wall to the rear light assembly.

     The cable was fed through a hole in the Motorhome base, then to the rear light assembly point, which was fed inside and connected to the stop light.

     The High Level Rear Stop light is bright enough to be seen from behind the shaded type rear window of the Motorhome. See images below which illustrate the fitting of the light.

     I haven't shown the wiring diagram as it is just a case of taking the wire from the stop lamp to the rear cluster, getting someone to press the brake light and making a note of the lamp which turns on. Then connecting the wires to that lamp.

Addition, High Level Stop Light image

Addition, High Level Stop Light image

The High Level Rear Stop light

Addition, High Level Stop Light image

Addition, High Level Stop Light image

Addition, High Level Stop Light image

Rear Light Assembly Faults

---- Original Message ----- 

From: Chris Watts 

To: brian [ at ] 

Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2004 1:13 PM

Subject: Triffic Trafics


Hi Brian, 

I have been looking at your site with interest for the last six months, I realise you have now changed from Renault, but I wondered if you could help me I have just traded my very tatty and tired 1995 Renault trafic T1100 diy conversion I bought privately for an older one in brilliant condition from a dealer,  a 1990 Renault trafic T1100  Holdsworth Romance with the same 2068 litre diesel engine and  the mileage being only 49000 with the full service history.  I have only had it a fortnight and the brake lights have stopped working ( that's if they were working when I bought it!) I have checked every fuse in the fuse box, also the brake switch and there is power both sides when pedal is depressed. Both bulbs are ok and I am now completely stumped. With everything you done on your Renault, and realizing it was petrol I wondered if you ever worked on the brake lights? and am I missing something?          

                                          yours very frustrated Chris Watts.

Hi Chris, 

Many thanks for your email, it's always nice to hear from people who have been to my site. While I have sold my Trafic I still keep the site up to date!

The guy who built the Holdsworth now writes for the Motorhome Magazine, not MMM, and has been known to pass on information about dealers who are prepared to give advice or repairs to his old vehicles.

I wonder if you have come across the site[ Renault Trafic Motorhome Register.] This site is dedicated to all Renault van owners. The Technical genius is John on email

Regarding your problem. This is a classic and I have had a number of queries from others with the same fault. None have come back to me and confirmed my advice!

My advice was to check the black wires which form part of the earth returns of the cable harness on the rear light assembly. make sure these are clean on chassis, as these negative wires are as important as the live wires.

Check the negative wires inside the rear light assemblies to chassis with a resistive reading meter, should read a maximum of one ohm.

Take out the lamps and clean inside the retainers, make sure the white surface gunk is cleaned out. 

On my own vehicle, I made a separate cable return, from where the negative cables were strapped to the chassis, to the front of the vehicle and secured it to a good earth point. I then placed another cable from this point to the negative terminal of the battery.

I'm assuming of course that the brake foot switch is sending a 12volts to the brake light assembly at the rear of the vehicle.

Hope this helps. Let me know how you get on. 

By the way you will find further ideas and help in my other web site;  

Best Regards,


Double Horn Modification

     The horn on the Wanderer is rather feeble. So I have introduced this modification quite cheaply.

     The original horn switch on the steering wheel, places an earth on the return path of the horn. So at the horn you have voltages on each socket, if checked.

     A relay was placed in the horn position. The relay contacts will receive battery volts from an introduced fuse box, then feed the two new horns.

      The cables which fed the horn, and are now used for the relay, they are then placed higher up into the engine compartment to eliminate any water ingress to the relay.

     The old horn was discarded.

     The two horns were purchased from separate dealers to ensure each horn had a different sound. They are described as 'Trumpet' horns. It is possible to purchase horns with different tones! Tones are 410Hz &  510hz. [The Hz means 410 cycles per second.]

     The components purchased were:
Two 'Trumpet' horns, one relay, and some spade receiver connectors.

      When sounded, the horns now turn the heads of those who hear them!

 For those who don't want the extra sounding horn, then just use one. The circuit drawing will be the same, minus one.

Modified Horn Circuits
Horn Relay Circuits.

Physical location of modified horns
Physical images of modified horns

Location of the Horn

The horn, Ah!  Located on the passenger side of the vehicle, right underneath the headlamp, you will see the horn hidden under a chassis lip. The only way to see it is to lie down under the vehicle, immediately under the passenger side headlamp. Then look up at the headlamp. You will probably see the cable running to the horn before you see the horn.

A previous letter to a Motorhome magazine mentioned the contributor had had to remove the front bumper to do this work. I did not find it necessary.

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