C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

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tontonjon
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by tontonjon » 27 Oct 2017, 17:26

I'm relying on my mechanic who said that the gaiters have got a lot of fluid in them and that this is a sign of leaking. He also said that he wouldn't be able to tell for sure where the leak was coming from until he could look inside (which wasn't today) but was absolutely certain that it's the struts. I have to go on his say-so. He also said that the older systems in the BX etc were easier to fix!

Leaking or weeping, something isn't right. The difficulty is the lack of places I can get parts (and the very high prices compared with more recent models).

Jonathan
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by tontonjon » 27 Oct 2017, 17:35

Price currently £765.62 for both struts!
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by GiveMeABreak » 27 Oct 2017, 17:59

Have a look at this post first - it shows the LDS return pipes:
viewtopic.php?t=44423#p366975
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by tontonjon » 28 Oct 2017, 10:04

That post was for the rear suspension rams.

I've got in touch with Pleiades to see if they can help. In the meantime, I'm searching for a new car...
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by GiveMeABreak » 28 Oct 2017, 10:40

Yes, I appreciate it is the rear, I was just trying to indicate the leak back pipe as a possibility - here's a video of the front and a quick repair:
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by tontonjon » 29 Oct 2017, 08:08

Yes, I've seen this. But it's an "internal" leak - there's only a little coming down the strut, otherwise it is all contained.

I've had a horrible thought, though. The problems started just after I replaced the stereo. I had problems getting the wiring right and I wonder if I've inadvertently done some damage. The new stereo uses a different plug so the old one is just hanging in the space behind. I know that the multiplex wiring sometimes has bizarre connections and I wonder if this is one.

Please tell me that this is just a coincidence!
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by tontonjon » 29 Oct 2017, 10:27

Hopefully the final posting on this topic.

I think that I have solved the problem.

I put the old stereo back in. The suspension doesn't drop anymore. I have yet to wait a few hours to see if the struts are really leaking, but for the time being the sleepless nights are now over, I can stop running around the country trying to find people to fix it and I can stop wasting money on garages! And I can also keep my money in the bank.

If only I had thought of it sooner!
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by xantia_v6 » 29 Oct 2017, 10:48

This does not seem right to me. It might be possible that something connected to the wiring of the new stereo upset the suspension ECU, but I don't see any way that anything electrical could have caused, or cured a leaking strut.

By the definition that I know, any leak into the bellows at the top of the strut is an external leak, as there is no drain tube from there back to the tank. Internal leakage in the strut is carried back via the flexible hose connected to the side of the strut, but there is an oil seal between that chamber and the space inside the bellows. The inside of the bellows should be dry (it is primarily a dust cover).
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by GiveMeABreak » 29 Oct 2017, 10:50

That won’t have anything to do with a leak, but mucking about with multiplexed wiring is something I’ve covered many times. It may well have caused some interference to the pump operation though.

I’m glad you mentioned this as it has highlighted another example of what may happen when one doesn’t understand the consequences of playing with the wiring.

If any of the CAN data networks are spliced into or other non compatible equipment is connected it can have unexpected consequences and interfere with the communication between the car’s systems.

Depending on the head unit installled, this can act as an interface for various car systems and another reason why not to change it over without getting a proper harness or understand the implications and loss of functionality.

Keep an eye on it and thanks for posting the update.
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by tontonjon » 29 Oct 2017, 13:27

Xantia V6 - no, you're right: leaking struts are mechanical. I was more worried about the pump valves being duff as well. Struts are bad enough, but not holding pressure was another issue.

However, the story is not yet over.

Having hoped that everything was back to normal, I returned home after an hour and a half and the car is back down low. However, it pumps back up in a few seconds and maintains height after the pump has switched off, which it didn't do before. So I think that the valve or pump issue is as least partially solved. I bought a harness, but obviously this is just to ensure that the wires for the stereo line up and is nothing to do with the rest of the electronics. I wish I'd never fiddled!

The question is whether the leaking struts (if indeed they are leaking) would cause this pressure drop. In theory I suppose that this is possible: the pressure isn't being held under the seal so the weight of the car pushing down forces the oil out of the strut and the car sinks.

Help!
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by xantia_v6 » 29 Oct 2017, 14:03

My hypothesis for you car (and it is only a guess) is that the main seals in the struts are leaking, and that a fair bit of fluid is being returned to the tank via the leak-off hoses. This would not normally be noticeable, but while parked, such leakage will cause the suspension to drop. Whether it drops or not may depend on the angle or extension of the struts at the time it was parked.

If the above is correct, then while driving there will be a fair amount of fluid sloshing around between the main seal and the top seal of the strut, which normally does not need to do very much. A small amount of fluid probably gets forced past the top seal when you go over a bump, causing the apparent weepage that you have observed.

Not a good scenario for you, but you could probably ignore it for a while.
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by tontonjon » 29 Oct 2017, 16:57

That's what I think and what I am hoping. OK, so the struts are expensive and a pain to fit (or have fitted in my case, although I am starting to think that I ought to start pulling the C5 apart like I did the DS I owned...) but not a major issue per se. If the pump/ECU/other things were on their way out, that would be different. But at the moment that doesn't seem to be the case. It's also a nuisance not to have my USB music collection, but perhaps the radio will be good tonight.

It is very reassuring to know that my hypothesis is probably correct.
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by Stickyfinger » 30 Oct 2017, 11:36

You where looking at getting the codes cleared with a Lexia I understand......
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by tontonjon » 12 Nov 2017, 15:37

Yes, I am! I've been away from the forum for a couple of weeks trying to get someone close to where I am to do it when I am available, but no luck so far!
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Re: C5 Mk 1 front suspension issue

Post by GiveMeABreak » 12 Nov 2017, 15:54

I might help if you updated your profile to include a location (even approximate) so that anyone reading this with a kit may be inclined to offer some help - not everyone here with kits is on the list (by personal choice), but somebody could be near to you willing to help if they saw your location. We don't even know what country you are in at present.
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