Another "speared" Xantia strut top...Check YOURS!

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LeeDJC
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Postby LeeDJC » 08 Jul 2006, 22:23

OK, after some googling I found it:

Originally posted by Citrojim

This is exactly the same way I did it, but I left the strut in situ. I found that you could "pump" the ram in the strut to remove any lhm in there once removed from the strut top. Also mounted the strut top, and then jacked the strut back up into place.

I did the job today and put two new strut tops on the Xantia.

No problem at all. It's a straightforward job in all respects as you said it would be Malcolm (Citronut)! 2 spanners in BOL Speak, nooo. 1 I reckon.

I took a picture of the worst of the two. It looks bad but is in fact still very sound. It was a long way off failure I think. No cracks, no distortion, just rust but I was not going to take a chance...

Image


These tips may be useful for anyone else doing the job...

Before you start, make sure you have two 3.5mm hydraulic pipe seals, Sphere seals and some LHM. I also recommed a new set of drop links be on hand too in case they won't play ball when disconnecting them from the strut.

Set suspension on high and firmly support the front of the car on axle stands. Don't take chances, they don't take prisoners, these hydraulic Cits.

Set suspension on low and depressurise.

Disconnect the drop link at the strut, remove the hub pinch bolt that clamps the bottom of the strut to the hub. Loosen slightly (but do not remove) the sphere, hydraulic pipe and strut top nut.

Ease the strut bottom clamp apart using an 8mm Allen key.

Manually pump the strut up to minimum height (full compression) to get rid of as much trapped LHM as possible. leaving the hydraulic pipes and sphere in place but slightly loose will prevent a spray of LHM across the engine bay. Hold the strut at this point with a trolley jack under the bottom balljoint.

Remove the sphere and hydraulic feed pipe, carefully disconnect the strut LHM return pipe at the pipe attached to the wheelarch. Pull gently on the rubber pipe.

Let the jack down a long way now to allow the strut to grow in length and carefully separate the strut from the hub.

Loosen the four 13mm bolts holding the strut top to the wing. Remove three but leave one loose. Grasp the strut and remove the last bolt. Remove strut complete with the top. Pull the gaiter off the strut top.

On the floor, on top of newspaper to absorb any LHM, can be a lot, you'd be surprised. Lay the strut and top and undo the top nut until it is just proud of the top of the threads. Carefully give the nut a good firm wallop with a large hammer to separate the strut from the top. Immediately wrap the tapered part of the strut piston in clean rag to prevent dirt ingress. It will need a good controlled heavy whack to separate the two but be careful not to do damage.

Lubricate the topmost part of the bore in the new top with a bit of LHM (around the two green "O" rings) and reassemble the strut into the new top.

Reassembly is a reverse of the disassembly (in the finest tradition of the BOL). Lubricate the new hydraulic seals with LHM during fitting and do a few Citarobics whilst looking for leaks. Job done.

Sorry for the long post, hope it's useful.

The most difficult job was getting the gaiter back on!
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LeeDJC
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Postby LeeDJC » 08 Jul 2006, 22:31

andmcit wrote:
LeeDJC wrote:I think I can see the design fault with these. Basically the part which you can see from under the car when it's fitted is covered in rubber, hiding any rusting which is forming.

The reason it's rusting though, is because the top of the plate, which is up against the inner wing only has minimal rust protection. Also I should imagine any water, mud, general crap etc will sit up in there quite nicely and corrode the plate.

Only when it starts getting really bad is when you'll notice it, due to the rubber covering.

I think the best way to prevent this from happening again is to remove and throw away the old ones, and prior to fitting the new ones, make sure the inner wing where the plate will go up against is perfectly clean. Then apply liberal amount of waxoyl to the top of the mounting plate and to the inner wing.

Then precautionary measures should be taken every 12 months or so. By removing sphere, and hydraulic pipe then undoing the four mounting bolts. This will then allow you to drop the strut top through the inner wing enough to inspect, clean and re waxoyl the mounting plate.

I think this is the *only* way to stop this from happening again in the future. I also think this will be essential if/when citroen decide to stop producing the strut top.

This is certainly what I will be doing, as I intend to keep my Xantia for some time.


Lee, I'd concur with everything you've said - you've had to get your hands dirty tackling this issue, but now may just find a sharpening of your handling/steering as a result - how do you feel the car drives now after the new strut tops!?

I worry about the parts guy saying 'sorry mate, it's been discontinued or on "back order"', any day soon...

Andrew


When I mounted the tops today, I sprayed both the top of the mounting plate and the underside of the inner wing with plenty of waxoyl, so hopefully that should prevent any fast deterioration.

The new tops that I had were stamped with (can't remember exactly when now) a date towards the end of 2005. So these are (or were recently) still in production. Hopefully they'll still be available in ten years or so time when the second wave of strut top faliures will ocurr.

As for the handling, I've only taken the car out for a quick test run, and the steering is most definitley smoother. Feels very nice now! Not sure about handling yet....it's very wet down here tonight!
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Postby DaveW » 08 Jul 2006, 22:32

Thanks for that, LeeDJC.

Dave.
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LeeDJC
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Postby LeeDJC » 08 Jul 2006, 22:33

DaveW wrote:Thanks for that, LeeDJC.

Dave.


No probs :)
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andmcit
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Postby andmcit » 08 Jul 2006, 22:35

I don't honestly believe it needs the hub messing around with - you can if you like but I don't see the point and I've done 4/5 cars or so now without taking one wheel off!!

Undo the BIG nut and drop the inner piston downwards through the strut with the rogue rusty top still in situ on the wheelarch, let everything then hang down with gravity helping you and then drop the strut top down, over and out off the lowered main strut body.

I've literally done this in well under an hour from dragging the trolley jack to getting the Manista hand cleaner out...

Andrew
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LeeDJC
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Postby LeeDJC » 08 Jul 2006, 22:38

andmcit wrote:I don't honestly believe it needs the hub messing around with - you can if you like but I don't see the point and I've done 4/5 cars or so now without taking one wheel off!!

Undo the BIG nut and drop the inner piston downwards through the strut with the rogue rusty top still in situ on the wheelarch, let everything then hang down with gravity helping you and then drop the strut top down, over and out off the lowered main strut body.

I've literally done this in well under an hour from dragging the trolley jack to getting the Manista hand cleaner out...

Andrew


This is the way I did it. Just one thing to bear in mind tho....

If doing the n/s one make sure the driveshaft stays in the gearbox!

Mine came out while I was nosing around looking for some of my tools. Next thing I knew...nice puddle of gearbox oil on the floor! I was considering changing the box oil anyway, so just drained the rest off and refilled it ;)
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andmcit
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Postby andmcit » 08 Jul 2006, 22:42

LeeDJC wrote:
andmcit wrote:
LeeDJC wrote:I think I can see the design fault with these. Basically the part which you can see from under the car when it's fitted is covered in rubber, hiding any rusting which is forming.

The reason it's rusting though, is because the top of the plate, which is up against the inner wing only has minimal rust protection. Also I should imagine any water, mud, general crap etc will sit up in there quite nicely and corrode the plate.

Only when it starts getting really bad is when you'll notice it, due to the rubber covering.

I think the best way to prevent this from happening again is to remove and throw away the old ones, and prior to fitting the new ones, make sure the inner wing where the plate will go up against is perfectly clean. Then apply liberal amount of waxoyl to the top of the mounting plate and to the inner wing.

Then precautionary measures should be taken every 12 months or so. By removing sphere, and hydraulic pipe then undoing the four mounting bolts. This will then allow you to drop the strut top through the inner wing enough to inspect, clean and re waxoyl the mounting plate.

I think this is the *only* way to stop this from happening again in the future. I also think this will be essential if/when citroen decide to stop producing the strut top.

This is certainly what I will be doing, as I intend to keep my Xantia for some time.


Lee, I'd concur with everything you've said - you've had to get your hands dirty tackling this issue, but now may just find a sharpening of your handling/steering as a result - how do you feel the car drives now after the new strut tops!?

I worry about the parts guy saying 'sorry mate, it's been discontinued or on "back order"', any day soon...

Andrew


When I mounted the tops today, I sprayed both the top of the mounting plate and the underside of the inner wing with plenty of waxoyl, so hopefully that should prevent any fast deterioration.

The new tops that I had were stamped with (can't remember exactly when now) a date towards the end of 2005. So these are (or were recently) still in production. Hopefully they'll still be available in ten years or so time when the second wave of strut top faliures will ocurr.

As for the handling, I've only taken the car out for a quick test run, and the steering is most definitley smoother. Feels very nice now! Not sure about handling yet....it's very wet down here tonight!


I believe it's equivalent to a dud top ball joint on a double wishbone'd car so when you're sharpening up the movement there will be a real improvement made in the whole feel of the front end [god that sounds like some kinda sad sex doctor, doesn't it!!], but you'll know what I mean, when you 'give it some' tororrow IF it's not wet!! :oops: :wink: :lol:

Andrew
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andmcit
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Postby andmcit » 08 Jul 2006, 22:45

LeeDJC wrote:
andmcit wrote:I don't honestly believe it needs the hub messing around with - you can if you like but I don't see the point and I've done 4/5 cars or so now without taking one wheel off!!

Undo the BIG nut and drop the inner piston downwards through the strut with the rogue rusty top still in situ on the wheelarch, let everything then hang down with gravity helping you and then drop the strut top down, over and out off the lowered main strut body.

I've literally done this in well under an hour from dragging the trolley jack to getting the Manista hand cleaner out...

Andrew


This is the way I did it. Just one thing to bear in mind tho....

If doing the n/s one make sure the driveshaft stays in the gearbox!

Mine came out while I was nosing around looking for some of my tools. Next thing I knew...nice puddle of gearbox oil on the floor! I was considering changing the box oil anyway, so just drained the rest off and refilled it ;)


Don't get me started on the 'wet' gearboxes these use nowadays - the GS/CX could have driveshafts off/on all day long with a dry joint so no extra hassles with oil nobody has EVER heard of, funnels and ET fingers with Heman strength... :roll:

Andrew
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Postby davethewheel » 09 Jul 2006, 00:17

i had no probs on mine using the same method as andmcit didn't even bother taking of the wheel, did manage to squirt myself in the face with lhm when compressing the strut tho, good job it tastes nice :lol: , i did notice that there was a lot of strain on the drive shaft when everything was hanging down so i'm going to be careful tomorrow when i do the nearside one :)
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Postby andmcit » 09 Jul 2006, 15:20

Whilst I accept the hub will be a lot lighter if the wheel is removed and the main weight to pull against the driveshaft's sealing on the gearbox will be the wheel, it depends how far it's all allowed to drop and how high the car is raised off the floor.

I used my trolley jack, that was handy once the car was propped onto stands, to support the road wheel and push the hub up to raise the central piston that I had protruding out as far as I could possibly make it from the main strut body to get a start on the strut top nut's thread.

I've found it's a lot more of a thrash undoing the pinched shoulder of the hub onto the main strut to get it all into the correct position again once you're done.

Andrew
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mezuk04
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Postby mezuk04 » 10 Jul 2006, 10:23

Well i dont think the Xantias will be that bad going on the chap who lives in Manchester and mileage but you can never be sure, I havent had a look yet and to be honest Im not going to as my BIL took the Xantia for its MOT (month-ish early to be careful).

It failed on:

Power Steering Pump leaking gasses ???????
Rear subframe bush perished
A front tyre nearly illegal limit (may swap the spare over as I think that may be a new one which i did when i bought the car).
Brakes illegal ??? which is expected, I never checked them when i got the car nearly a year ago although it wasnt long passing its MOT before i bought her.
And the front washer jets going over the car (damn those xsara sprays)
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Postby mezuk04 » 10 Jul 2006, 10:26

The cost is looking at being around £400 but my BIL is taking it to the specalist that we have used a good few times, he has bought the parts just incase they are required but has said he will check the things it failed on and sort out.

Apparently the pump is £200, but leaking gasses? I didnt think there were any gasses TOO leak
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Postby KP » 10 Jul 2006, 17:50

I would personally also say if anyone is replacing these and keeps their car long term to paint up the new mounting plates as to make them live just that little longer as the paint if done reight, should help keep the water away from the metal for a bit longer as not many xantias have non rusty ones... mainly this countries weather...

Good write up there though on how to replace them :)
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LeeDJC
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Postby LeeDJC » 10 Jul 2006, 18:33

KP wrote:I would personally also say if anyone is replacing these and keeps their car long term to paint up the new mounting plates as to make them live just that little longer as the paint if done reight, should help keep the water away from the metal for a bit longer as not many xantias have non rusty ones... mainly this countries weather...

Good write up there though on how to replace them :)


Or use lots of waxoyl, like I have :)
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davethewheel
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Postby davethewheel » 17 Jul 2006, 12:28

finally got round to changing the n/s strut top today and as i had managed to leave off the bump stop on the drivers side i thought i would get that sorted first, straight forward enough job apart from the fact that some how when i dropped the ram through the strut top the top seal was split in half, know idea how this happened , anyway i had to use one of the seals from the old top and that was that sorted, other side was straight forward done in about 20 mins :)
the one that came off the n/s didn't look as bad from underneath but was worse on the top :)


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