Xantia Suspension + Steering

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D.Slatford
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Xantia Suspension + Steering

Postby D.Slatford » 13 Nov 2001, 07:26

Two questions, firstly the power steering on my 2.0 8v '95 Xantia doesn't seem as powered as it used to, infact it's pretty darn stiff. I can hear what I presume to be the rushing of fluid when turned as it's always done, but I swear it was much less stiff than it is now - what could be causing this?
Everything else seems to be normal except for the bouncy ride, which a citroen garage confirmed as being the front spheres at fault. I was quoted almost £300 to replace all three, so understandably I'm more keen to try this myself seeing as Andyspares sell them for a mere 18 quid each.. Is this easy to do? Does the LHM fluid need to be drained out completely, or the system just depressurised and merely unscrew old and screw on the new spheres, and off you go?
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pwatson
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Postby pwatson » 14 Nov 2001, 02:38

I'm no expert on this but I would suggest two things
1. The power steering will probably be back to normal when you have replaced the accumulator sphere-I think (unless the HP pump is U/S)
2. The front spheres are easy to replace. Yes, depressurise the system - lever down to minimum, and unscrew the 12mm bolt on the accumulator unit (just behind the radiator, to right of centre of car as you face it) BUT ONLY BY ABOUT ONE TURN - you will hear the fizz of fluid. To remove the spheres use a good filter wrench. There will be a little leakage of LHM so use a rag under the sphere.Replace with new sphere and put the rubber seal in the sphere holder first then the sphere. Tighten to hand tight like an oil filter. Accumulator sphere may be more difficult to remove - be careful not to damage radiator - but a big jubilee clip tight and a few wallops on the screw bit should shift it. Tighten the screw on accumulator unit then start engine and put lever to normal height and that should do it. No need to bleed system I don't think but do some Cit aerobics - raise and lower suspension half a dozen times. Check LHM level and (Ihope) all should be well. One final point, £300 is a hell of a lot of money - I would have thought that and independent Citroenist would charge you about half that even using Citroen spheres at £30 each.
If I've got anything wrong be sure others will correct me!
Good luck!
PhilW
Phil
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pwatson
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Postby pwatson » 14 Nov 2001, 02:54

P.S.
For more detail go to:-
http://www.geocities.com/citroen_bx/FAQ ... s_011.html
or:-
http://www.tramontana.co.hu/citroen/sus ... spens.html
They are BX sites but the principle is the same - and suspension is virtually the same
PhilW
Phil
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D.Slatford
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Postby D.Slatford » 14 Nov 2001, 03:35

Thanks for your reply - this is pretty much what I was expecting (and hoping!) to hear. After spending some time poking around the web the conclusion I was coming to is that the accumulator sphere is probably defective. I'll be changing all three, I doubt they've been replaced before, and the rear spheres were done in the spring.
One question, I read the seals should be replaced as well (which is only good practice) - are they supplied with the spheres, available off the shelf anywhere or do Andyspares sell them seperate (can't find them though)?
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Dave Burns
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Postby Dave Burns » 14 Nov 2001, 04:19

I have a 97 td Xantia and the hydraulic pump on it has two seperate high pressure outputs, one for the brakes and supsension system controlled by the regulator and accumulator, the other for the power steering, apart from using the same fluid they are completely seperate circuits, if yours is the same then swaping the accumulator sphere wont affect the steering, when you turn the wheel you get a hissing noise as I do with mine, so the valve would seem to be ok, there is not much to go wrong with them they work by aligning a series of ports to direct the oil either to one side of the ram or the other and at rest back to the reservoir, they do have rubber seals in them to prevent oil escaping to the outside world and to isolate the four ways of the valve, a failure of one of these internal seals may reduce the effectiveness of the system, usually though they only requiring replacement if they start to leak oil out, a more likely cause may be partial failure of the ram seals or piston head assembly allowing oil to enter the ram via one of the ports getting past the piston/seal and out of the other port, I have experience of such a failure on a ZX Aura td a few years ago, this also produced a dangerous situation where the steering would momentarily lock in one direction and would only turn in the opposite direction, removing the ram and testing by simply forcing the piston in and out by hand with both ports blocked off revealed it's condition.
Good luck
Dave
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pwatson
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Postby pwatson » 14 Nov 2001, 06:10

Yes the new seals are supplied with the spheres but I made the mistake once of putting the seal on the sphere rather than in the mount and when screwing in the sphere it knackered it.
With regard to Dave's reply - have they changed the system 'cos I don't recall it on my wife's Xantia (93 TD) but then I haven't looked closely recently and may be confusing it with my BX which doesn't have the "dual system"
Regards
PhilW
Phil
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D.Slatford
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Postby D.Slatford » 14 Nov 2001, 23:07

Thanks for the advice.
Well, today I examined it and the accumulator is indeed clicking once every 40 seconds or so. But I will have an additiontal task to do; the LHM is a rather frothy mucky yellow colour! Clearly the previous owner hasn't given this car the special need it deserves (or me come to that the past few months).
I know the system should be flushed out with Hydraflush for a few hundred miles before filling with new LHM, what I can't find /anywhere/ even in the Haynes manual (unless I'm just being blind) are details on exactly how to flush it out. Is there a way of draining the system out, or with the system depressurised the resevoir removed and emptied?
As you can guess I'm not that much of a mechanic, but having recently been made redundant I'm not too keen on paying the rip-off prices I've been quoted for what's really nothing complicated.
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pwatson
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Postby pwatson » 15 Nov 2001, 02:16

Not done this on a Xantia but presume from what others have said that it is the same as on a BX
1. remove the LHM reservoir (with ststem de-pressurised)
2. wash res and filters inside with petrol
3. dry with air hose (or leave for petrol remains to evaporate
3. replace res with filters
4. fill with hydraflush
5. bleed the brakes until clean(ish) hydroflush comes out
6. run for about 700 - 1000 miles
7. repeat process but fill with LHM
Hope I've not missed anything!
PhilW
Phil
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D.Slatford
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Postby D.Slatford » 15 Nov 2001, 03:07

Cool, pretty much as I imagined if that's all.
But how do I bleed the brakes? :)
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JohnD
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Postby JohnD » 16 Nov 2001, 01:29

To bleed the brakes hold down the brake pedal with a stick wedged between pedal and seat, start the engine and open each bleed nipple in turn. You'll be amazed at what comes out!! Let it run until you see clean stuff appear. Don't forget to keep the reservoir topped up. Since the rear brakes only work when load is applied, put some weight in the boot to bring them into use. Be careful with support whilst working under the body.
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D.Slatford
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Postby D.Slatford » 16 Nov 2001, 20:58

Well, I bought all new front spheres, lots of LHM+ and a bottle of Hydraflush from the branch of the German and Swedish right here in Feltham, which I never knew about all this time until yesterday!
But upon trying to remove old spheres, can I get them to budge? Can I hell :( No matter how hard I tug at the strap wrench, it feels (and looks) as though I'll just sheer the mounting clean off if I tug any harder. So I ponder changing the LHM, which is a dirty yellow colour, but I'm suddenly less confident (and pushed for time) removing each and every hose from the center section to remove it from the resevoir. Looks like I'll end up paying somebody to do it after all >: I'm pretty cheesed off at the citroen garage only topping up the LHM and not checking its condition too, ah well.
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pwatson
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Postby pwatson » 17 Nov 2001, 00:39

Again, I haven't done the reservoir removal on a Xantia but on a BX you don't have to diconnect all the pipes - the central section with all pipes attached lifts out. My Haynes Xantia manual gives me the impression that this is the case on a Xantia also. The spheres - usually not a problem to remove on the front and the mount can twist a bit. I have used a fairly hefty chain wrench to remove them without damaging the mount- more chance of damaging your strap wrench. Perhaps you should try it with the suspension on high to loosen them under pressure BUT ONLY LOOSEN THEM ABOUT A QUARTER TURN OR LESS before depressurising the system otherwise the LHM comes out at incredible (dangerous !) pressure. Don't give up - you can do this easily and cheaply! If I can do it any "mechanic" can!!
By the way - where are you located? - maybe someone nearby willing to give you a hand. Also buy either a Haynes or Peter Russek workshop guide?
Best of luck
PhilW
Phil
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D.Slatford
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Postby D.Slatford » 17 Nov 2001, 01:10

Hmm, the Haynes manual does indeed give the impression the central bit should lift out of the resevoir, but the tangle of tubes connected to it do not want to move anywhere near enough to do that I'm finding, but then I didn't have a lot of time to spend with it today in the end.
Spheres - I could try this with the system pressurised, but it does sound a bit scary! And that accumulator sphere.. mmm, that'll be nice and easy I don't think! I was going to give priority to the spheres but now I've seen what a mess the LHM is truely in I'm more eager to flush that out. I'm near Heathrow btw right now but during the course of the next three days moving up to Wakefield for a while.
--
Dan, going through the "why didn't I buy a normal car" phase
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JohnD
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Postby JohnD » 17 Nov 2001, 01:11

Hi - I've read on various lists that hydraulic pipework on a Zantia does not need to be removed from the top of the reservoir to take out the filters. However, on mine (a 2.1TD) it was just impossible to lift the cover higher enough to take out the filters. Each pipe had to marked, the crimped bands removed and eventually replaced with jubilee clips.
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pwatson
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Postby pwatson » 17 Nov 2001, 01:33

Oh b*gger! So much for my advice to D (Dave, Don, Deuteronomy??) Slatford. But then I bet there's somebody on this board (or on the BX board) who can recommend a good independent Cit specialist near Heathrow or Wakefield (£300 would buy a new house for us oopnorth!!) who can do the job for less than the £300 he was originally quoted - don't be put off Cits!! You wouldn't want to be seen driving a F**d or a car with "Cherry" written on its backside would you!??
PhilW
Phil
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