A few problems! (rad / suspension / water in fuel)

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A few problems! (rad / suspension / water in fuel)

Post by cjbilly » 01 Oct 2002, 16:36

Ok - to say that I haven't got a 'danny larue' about cars in general would be an understatement - so please bear with me whilst I try to explain what is wrong.
Also, I really want to try to do any repairs myself...
- Car is Xantia 1.9TD SX/LX 1996 (130000 Miles)
- All spheres were replaced last year (beginning) so solve stiff suspension.
1st Problem
Suspension has gotten hard again on the front to the point where I'm going round a corner and hit a small bump in the road and the front of the car bounces off the road (obviously quite dangerous). Basically, it's rock solid. Now I'm guessing that it can't be the spheres again as I've only done 3-5000Miles since they were changed - so I'm thinking it must be something to do with the fluid? The back seems to be normal. Could anyone suggest some tests so I can check it when I get back home tonight?
2nd Problem
Radiator is leaking (relatively slowly) but I have to fill up the system every two days or so (probably because I didn't put any antifreeze in it last year). It looks like some damage on the back of the radiator and probably needs replacing - can anyone give me ideas on how expensive these are and how difficult they are to replace? Also, I'm using tap water to fill it up - is there any way I can clean the system out from limescale etc etc?)
3rd Problem (!)
The 'water in diesel' warning light keeps on flashing on and off - I've done what it says in the manual and unscrewed the little fuel screw and pumped the primer a few times - but it keeps flashing on and off - is there anyhing else I can try.
Sorry for the length of the post - it's just all these problems have occured at the same time, but apart from that I've had only a few issues over the last few years.
Many thanks for anyone who takes the time to reply.

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Post by NiSk » 01 Oct 2002, 19:37

1)Sorry to be a pessimist, but it sounds like your front spheres need regassing (or replacing) (again). If you can't bounce the front of the car up and down at least six inches then there's something wrong. Can you raise and lower the car without any trouble? (indicates that the front struts arn't sticking).
Check the hydraulic oil level - has it dropped drastically recently? (indicates a ruptured sphere membrane).
2)Can't help you with the rad price, but if you use a proper cooling system inhibitor/antifreeze you shouldn't have any trouble with limescale.
3) Have checked if there is any water in the diesel? Collect a little of the liquid that comes out of the fuel screw in a cup - if there's any water in the diesel you can easily see the water rolling about in the bottom of the cup (its heavier than diesel). Otherwise I would suspect a duff detector/connector on the filter.
Best of luck

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Post by cjbilly » 01 Oct 2002, 21:23

Ok, thanks for the info. I'll check the hydraulic level tonight and see if the front raises and lowers correctly. I'll post any info here tomorrow morning.
Thx. Chris.

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Post by cjbilly » 02 Oct 2002, 22:24

OK checked last night.
The car still raises and lowers as expected. I can push the back of the car down 4-5 inches but the front is (as before) unmovable. Checked under the bonnet and had a look at the little 'nodule' with orange floating thing in it - it looks to be between the two dark rubber lines (I'm assuming this means it's ok on the fluid side). Therefore, it's the spheres is it?
If it is - how is it that these mess up after 1 yr / 5000 miles driving and how do they both go at the same time?
Has anyone else got any info on the Radiator cost and how easy it is to fit it?
Many thanks for any help,

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Post by shaunthesheep » 02 Oct 2002, 23:14

thats what it looks like m8, not a hard job, replacment spheres are from http://www.andyspares.com price at £19.25 + vat, sphere removal tool from http://www.pleiades.uk.compriced at around £30.00 + vat + deliver charge, the sphere tool pays for itself after you've replaced a couple of spheres. very handy tool to have<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>.
the job it self will take about 30min to do.
it's that easy.
have fun

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Post by hardmanm » 03 Oct 2002, 02:29

Yeah the good news is that the front ones are dead easy to change.
Is it possible that whoever changed the spheres did not do the accumulator? (the one attached to the front of the engine)
This has two functions :
1) To store some pressure for brakes etc. if the pump fails
2) To absorb the pulses from the pump which could otherwise damage the rest of the system.
It's a remote possibility that the accumulator is nackered and the pressure pulses are what have done for your front spheres
Make sure you check or change the accumulator as well as the fronts

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Post by NiSk » 03 Oct 2002, 13:03

If the front suspension really is as hard as you say, then it's not a good idea to drive the car, there's a real risk that you'll damage the suspension mountings and front struts (expensive).
It's very easy to remove the front spheres and take them to someone who can check the pressure (if any) in them. In fact, if you follow the normal procedure for removal (lower suspension, release pressure bleed screw, undo sphere) you might very well find that on removal of a sphere, considerable volumes of oil run out of it. This is a dead givaway that the rubber diaphragm is ruptured.
Not an expensive fault to correct, fortunately.

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Post by cjbilly » 03 Oct 2002, 14:56

Aha - thanks for the insight. Ok - so now all I have to do is:
Leave engine running?
1. Put the car on ramps / struts
2. Lower the car to the bottom
3. Undo the pressure release value (where is it exactly? - I don't have a Haynes [might be a worthwhile investment])
4. Take off the two front spheres and the accumulator and take them to citroen dealer to check
5. if rubber seal is knackered then buy new spheres and accumulator.
6. Fit spheres
Now here is where I'm a touch stuck - do I need to buy some more pressure fluid stuff and some oil and how do I check that I got enough in the system to be safe?!?
TIA for all help.

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Post by RichardW » 03 Oct 2002, 15:28

Ramps are not essential for changing front spheres, but it does save your back, and on some cars access to the pressure release (bleed) screw is limited from above. The bleed screw is the only 12mm bolt sticking out of the pressure regulator (the thing the accumulator is screwed onto). Turn this screw ONLY 1 turn - any more and it may drop out and you will lose the ball bearing that is inside. If the car is fitted with antisink, then, yes, you need to do the depressuring with the engine running.
I'd be tempted just to fit new spheres - they're only £20 each from Andyspares. If they are only 1 yr old, then they were either re-con ones that have failed (ie repainted and regassed!) or old stock that had lost its pressure already. This probably also means you can get them off by hand without needing any persuasion.
When refitting, put the seal in the housing, not on the sphere, put a little grease on it, and do the spheres up hand tight only.
Tighten the bleed screw and restart the engine then put the car in high. Check for leaks around the spheres - tighten a bit more if necessary. Check the fluid level on high suspension setting - the indicator should be between the two lines. Top up with LHM ONLY, if necessary. If you've 'blown' a sphere, then you may have lost some fluid into the sphere, so the level may be low.
Check AndySpares's catalogue for a rad price - not cheap I suspect. Changing it should be relatively straight forward - drain the cooling system, take the pipes and wires off, remove the upper securing panel and lift it out. Refit in reverse. Purging the cooling system of air can be a trial - you may need to make a temporary header tank to get the level high enough. Or just start the engine and then open the bleed screws in turn has been suggested elsewhere.
The water in diesel light just comes on of its own accord on older cars - might be best just to disconnect it (you may have to short it out to make the light go out - depends on how it works) and check occasionally for water.

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Post by cjbilly » 03 Oct 2002, 15:57

Thanks alot Richard and everybody else for the help - I think I'm armed with enough info. to go ahead and try refitting the spheres this weekend! (depending when they are delivered)
Once again - thanks .. .and I'll let you know how I got on.

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Post by rory_perrett » 04 Oct 2002, 22:46

Radiator - did this on Xantia TD earlier this year took 40 mins cost 95 + vat from (if we are allowed to mention the opposition on this list) Euro Car Parts.
Water in Diesel Light - have the same problem and concluded it was is fault detector/sender. UK diesel is generally very good, never had any water in 150,000 miles in the BX so don't see why the light on the Xantia comes on every 2 months or so. Tried draining it the first couple of times now I just wait for it to go out on its own, which is always does.

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Post by akojic » 13 Oct 2002, 11:00

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
Thanks alot Richard and everybody else for the help - I think I'm armed with enough info. to go ahead and try refitting the spheres this weekend! (depending when they are delivered)
Once again - thanks .. .and I'll let you know how I got on.

<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>
Hi there!
I'd like to know if you managed to do all the things and did you have any problems? I have 1,8i from 1993 and changed all 5 spheres (in garage) last month. After couple of weeks rear end started to fall down fast (reach the bottom point in one or two hours) in parking (stopped) position. I started to investigate a lot on internet las couple of days (found this site/forum very, very usfull, thinking about buying Peter Russek manual, and thinking about fixing smaller foults/repair by myself in future.
I have also problem with squeeling brakes (investigate causes for that) on my Xantia.
Best regards from Croatia
Green tooth