Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

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Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

Post by faddy » 01 Nov 2017, 19:14

I'd been thinking about swapping the spheres on my 2003 C5 HDI for comfort spheres, but I'm now wondering about instead trading up to a Hydractive 3+ equipped vehicle. I'd appreciate any opinions as to how Hydractive 3+ and Hydractive 3 compare, and how Hydractive 3+ compares with Hydractive 3 fitted with comfort spheres. My wife has problems with her spine which make a soft ride the priority.
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Re: Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 01 Nov 2017, 19:25

Basically - Hydractive 3 rides on 4 corner spheres in one comfort setting as it were.
Hydractive 3+ has an additional 2 accumulator spheres (1 front and 1 rear on pre 2008 models) and on 2008+ hydractive models 3 additional spheres - 1 front and 2 rear.

Hydractive 3+ differs in that the accumulator spheres incorporate stiffness regulators that can be switched on or off by the suspension computer according to the road conditions. When they are energised, the car is riding using all spheres. When the car is cornering a lot or road conditions / driving style dictate, the suspension computer switches off these accumulator spheres which stiffens the ride and improves handling / cornering considerably. All this is done automatically, but if the driver so chooses, the car can be set to go into 'Sport' mode more often than it would on 'normal' mode.

As for comfort spheres - they won't last as long as the original Citroen ones and I wouldn't bother personally. Certainly if you are going for a Hydractive 3+ system, then comfort spheres will very likely wipe out any benefit of the sport mode. Personally I would not bother replacing them on C5s onwards.

Have a look at this video showing the later C5:

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Re: Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

Post by faddy » 01 Nov 2017, 19:39

Does Hydractive 3+ in normal mode give a softer ride than Hydractive 3?
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Re: Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

Post by Stickyfinger » 01 Nov 2017, 19:45

Constant upgrades (stronger) to the anti roll bars have made the 3+ (x7) cars stiffer than mk1-2's.....I prefer this as the car has less "lean" and more road feedback. They handle VERY well in sport mode.

300+kg in the boot turns them into what they used to be :)
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Re: Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

Post by white exec » 01 Nov 2017, 19:53

Might be worth having the gas pressures on your four corner spheres checked. Although 'long life' saucer type, if they are original or very old, reduced gas pressure will result in a firmer and less comfortable ride. If they are old, and you can't get them tested, just replace all four. They are not re-gassable. Be sure to get exactly the correct spec spheres for the car.
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Re: Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 01 Nov 2017, 20:49

faddy wrote:
01 Nov 2017, 19:39
Does Hydractive 3+ in normal mode give a softer ride than Hydractive 3?
I would have to say a big yes, having having owned all 3 models - my MK I & 2 being H3 and the X7 (MK III) an H3+. I would also agree 100% with Sticky that Sport Mode is fantastic for country or spirited driving on the X7. The H3+ and the MK III is my preferred model out of all of them. I may not lug cast iron radiators about in the boot, but the weight of the weekly shop in the boot on a Saturday makes it even better!
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Re: Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

Post by lcwin » 13 Nov 2017, 06:41

Faddy, you can just change the centre front and back sphere to a higher pressure one. 15% to 20% will be fine. The front centre sphere have a damper in place which makes the car feel more stable but also makes it kind of rough on low quality surface. Removal or replaced with refilled back sphere will make it ride smoother. If you have acess to someone to refill spheres you can achieve the quality of ride and handling you loves irrespective of which version of C5 or xantia you have.
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Re: Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

Post by GiveMeABreak » 13 Nov 2017, 12:02

lcwin wrote:
13 Nov 2017, 06:41
Faddy, you can just change the centre front and back sphere to a higher pressure one. 15% to 20% will be fine. The front centre sphere have a damper in place which makes the car feel more stable but also makes it kind of rough on low quality surface. Removal or replaced with refilled back sphere will make it ride smoother. If you have acess to someone to refill spheres you can achieve the quality of ride and handling you loves irrespective of which version of C5 or xantia you have.


Please make sure you are being specific when you talk about this type of thing - It is NOT recommended to put 'comfort' spheres on an X7 at all - these have 7 spheres and could affect the handling of the vehicle significantly! IFS don't even supply these in a 'comfort' variation.

Even the MK I & II C5s that have these fitted look like they are say on a plate of jelly. No good for spirited or country driving.

Stick with what the originals and just ensure the system is maintained.
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Re: Comfort spheres or Hydractive 3+?

Post by lcwin » 13 Nov 2017, 13:28

Haahaha.. never mind if you think so. Its a suggestion and i have tried it on my C5 and xantia .
OK my subjective feel of different combination of spheres C5.
1) 40 bar front side and 20 bar back side sphere with std centre sphere - cars feels taut n secure at high speed, handling is beautiful n smooth but on rough roads n bumps it is bad.
2) As above with 40 bar FRONT Centre sphere replacing the standard Rear centre sphere - handling improves and car turns in better but feels rougher in bumps. High speed feels taut but a bit more edgy.
3) 58 bar front side and 28 bar rear sphere, 66 bar front centre sphere, 50 bar rear centre sphere - car feels smooth road bumps absorb well but not as good as my xantia. Car feels a bit less secure in high speed with slight amount of body movement compared with 1) , handling not as good as 1) but acceptable trade off for me as I rate comfort very important compare to handling. Handling can easily be improved by switching to Sport.
Original sphere is used in the above settings.
i refills the sphere to suit my needs.
I am sharing this info as there is too little info on effects of difference spheres on car handling and comforts. I tested it and giving you the results. Do Modification with your eyes open and take my advice with some salt and lastly enjoy your C5. A properly tuned C5 is a very good car way superior than the C class or a honda accord of the same age. Of course the Motoring media won't say so as there are hiddens agenda in their reporting.
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