Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by GiveMeABreak » 12 Jan 2018, 21:18

I had that mod on my MKI but as far as I was aware it was a bit of foam or packing shoved under the rear bench seat to stop if flapping about against the metal and making a banging noise every time you went over a bump! Was a while ago now so can’t remember exactly.
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by civvie » 12 Jan 2018, 22:57

spiff wrote:
12 Jan 2018, 17:08

Steve did you take the sphere off or is that only necessary if doing the job on the bench.

I have the sphere removal tool from my Xantia days.



From memory I did the nearside first, I actually took it fully off and disassembled it and replaced the seals in the workshop,It was a bit of a pain taking the ram off. Think there are a couple of bolts at the back of the unit that have to be removed. Yes the sphere has to be unscrewed to enable removal. ( had to put it all back and repressurise to break the seal) then took the whole unit out. So just break the seal before starting.
The off side I did it with the ram still on the car so didn't have to unscrew the sphere as by then I knew what had to be done.
Saying all this I wasn't in a rush and it was summer.
It can be done without removing the ram, depends what facilities you are working under, you will have to be crawling around on the floor for a while.
Good luck with it,
Yes I preferred to use ramps, thought they were safer if I had to do any pulling and pushing to get the thing off. Maybe stands would be better but thats the way I decided to do it, and managed it.
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by spiff » 12 Jan 2018, 23:22

Thank you Steve and everyone else, I shall attempt to do the job with ramps and to replace the seals with the ram still on the car.

Its in the garage so no worries about the weather and it does not mater how long it takes, we do not need to use it, both retired, well sort of we work online.

If the cylinder is scored and the seals and boot do not work, the car is worth a new cylinder.

I was just looking on eBay at BMWs and an Xterra ?, lots of rust and rot, this C5 though 2003 has no rust I can see, they must have made them better.

God Bless Spiff
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by civvie » 13 Jan 2018, 10:44

There shouldn't be any scoring on the barrel. after all its only rubber/plastic seals that touch the barrel. Just be VERY carefull removing and replacing the seals. You would also be advised to unscrew the pipe that feeds fluid to the ram, although the seals may be weak they generate a good suction, you will never get the piston out otherwise. Also the fluid is very slippery.
Be aware there are two grooves in the barrel, one of those grooves has 2 seals inside, be very careful picking them out, you don't want to score the barrel. Don't know why Citroen didn't put the grooves in the plunger, would have made things easier.
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by spiff » 13 Jan 2018, 15:31

Good afternoon Steve from a very wet Mullion Cove Cornwall.

Thank you for taking the trouble with that extra piece of advice.

I would have left the high pressure pipe attached : )

Marc said that "The rear bleed nipple should just depressurise the rear, not the front.

Did you disconnect the battery just in case the pump decided to run ?

One last question, how long did the pump take to lift the car afterwards ?

Did you run the engine at the same time ?

I see that you also had an auto, this is my first at 72, its great : )

God Bless Spiff
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by wurlycorner » 13 Jan 2018, 16:15

If 13 is metal, I would say it's fine to use - it will just be acting up against 2 in exactly the same way that the load is transferred from the rear subframe, IMO.

Spiff, I've always thought it's a good idea to start the engine when wanting to pump up the suspension, because it draws so much electrical power.
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by civvie » 13 Jan 2018, 16:34

Marc is correct ( he usually is) only the back needs to be done. You need not worry about the front. Can't remember if the front dropped a bit after relieving the pressure in the suspension, but nothing to worry about.
Yes I disconnected the battery safety concerns alone.
After it was all fitted back I reconnected the battery, started the engine let it idle for a couple on minutes and raised and lowered the suspension a few times to clear any air from the system. Make sure you put the suspension on low before starting work.
Sorry the thread from me is a bit of a ramble I did this about 12 odd years ago and new things keep popping into my head. I am only a coiuple of years younger then you!!!
If you take the rear height sensor off to clean it make a good note how the linkage goes back.

Yes I liked the C5 never had any real problems with it only real problem was the fuel consumption automatic 2.2HDI's were never known to be good . It was a bloody good mile eater though.

PS its not raining in West London
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by spiff » 13 Jan 2018, 21:20

Born in North West London Ruislip, bit warmer in Cornwall in the Winter, but it sure blows a lot : )

There is an intermittent problem with the pump running and even lowering the car which I hear does not require the pump to run.

If I cannot lower it I assume I will just loose more fluid when I depressurise it ?

Yes Marc is a very knowable and very helpful gentleman, he did say it should rather than it will, so I though I would just confirm it : )

God Bless Spiff
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by GiveMeABreak » 13 Jan 2018, 21:35

Jack of all - master of none :)

Anyway, Here are the diagrams for both MK I systems (Hydractive 3 & Hydractive 3+) for completeness - concerning the manual de-pressurisation:

Without Using Lexia / Diagbox:
  • Start the engine.
  • Set the height control to the "LOW" position.
  • Stop the engine.
Front (Hydractive 3)
Spiff A.PNG
Undo the detensioning screw (1) by one turn.
Wait for the pressure in the hydraulic circuit to fall fully.

Rear (Hydractive 3)
Spiff B.PNG
Rear suspension : Undo the detensioning screw (2) by one turn.
Wait for the pressure in the hydraulic circuit to fall fully.

Front (Hydractive 3+)
Spiff C.PNG
Front suspension : Undo the detensioning screw (3) by one turn.
Wait for the pressure in the hydraulic circuit to fall fully.

Rear (Hydractive 3+)
Spiff D.PNG
Rear suspension : Undo the detensioning screw (4) by one turn.
Wait for the pressure in the hydraulic circuit to fall fully.
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by spiff » 13 Jan 2018, 22:47

Thank you Marc,

The trouble is by the time I get round to fixing the clocks, bikes, washing machine, car, roof, TV, computer etc I forgot how I did it last time : )

The diagrams say it all thank you.

God Bless
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by spiff » 14 Jan 2018, 21:48

Good evening all : )

I had to jack the car up then jack the wheels via the trailing arms and slide the ramps underneath, it had lost pressure in the rear and was too low to drive on to the ramps.

The pump had decided not to run today so I could not lift it up.

Another picture of the round things which from posts and a good look at them, are I think ok to use as supports when necessary.

Steve attempting to do the job on ramps compresses the rubber boot, how did you manage to pull the piston out like that, that is after pulling the grenade pin of course ?

If not I can support just that side on the round item and also the sill, plus the centre rear jacking point which I have now located thanks to a posting, then let just that wheel drop : )

I also had a go at the two bolts that hold the ram on in case I cannot do it in situ, they would not move so I have left them soaked in WD40.

Gods Bless Spiff
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by wurlycorner » 15 Jan 2018, 14:45

As I said several posts ago, you can't get the push rod out the end of the cylinder (with the cylinder mounted in position on the car) unless the rear wheels are hanging free - it's a physical impossibility, for reasons you now can see.
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by civvie » 15 Jan 2018, 15:17

Can't remember fully what procedure I used, all I do know is the car was up on ramps when I did it. It may be that I used a jack to lift the side up to enable the push rod to be extracted, then dropped it back down on the ramps. The reason I fully remember it was on ramps was when I opened the bleed valve, the car dropped right down to its lowest, as I was under the car at the time it made my heart skip a beat. Sometimes you have to adjust mode of work depending on coircumstances. I used what I had available and felt comfortable with.
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Re: Citroen C5 2003 dripping fluid from passenger rear suspension ram boot

Post by spiff » Yesterday, 22:06

Inside housing.jpg
Good evening all from a very wet and windy Mullion Cove Cornwall : )

I found out at the start that both wheels have to be hanging free, as they are connected by I think the anti role bar.

It is therefore not possible to just let one side hang free, and not possible to get the piston out with out the wheels hanging.

I did the job in situ as my sphere removal tool was for a Xantia and will not open far enough for the C5 spheres.

Getting the old seals out was simple enough using two jewellers screw drivers.

Fitting the second one of the two that both go in the same slot is a little tricky.

The part of the piston that protrudes into the boot was rusty, but the part that goes into the seals was OK.

I have not dropped the car yet to try it as the bump stop is missing, it looks to have been gone for years as the dirt covering where it was is uniform.

They are a bit pricy on eBay, so have emailed Eurocarcare.

It will as other members commented be easier the next time : )

I spent a couple of days in making sure the car was safe on blocks and one day doing the job.

Once the bump stop arrives and is fitted we shall see if it all works.

The reason I do not want to try it without the bump stop is that without it the piston can go further in and the rusty part could hit the first seal ?

The pictured bump stop is the other side.

It may have been mentioned already, so apologies if I am repeating, the round item that was being discussed as a jacking point is named on eBay as a REAR SUSPENSION VIBRATION DAMPER WEIGHT 512251

Thank you all again : )

God Bless Spiff
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