Citroen Virgin's questions on Xantia suspension.

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reffro
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Citroen Virgin's questions on Xantia suspension.

Postby reffro » Mon Jul 01, 2002 3:36 pm

I've just bought a Xantia 2.0i VSX auto 1994 L-reg. It's in lovely nick but I feel I may have made a cardinal mistake. The suspension gets very stiff over rutted roads and paritcularly over sharp bumps (sleeping policemen etc). Also the braking feeels a bit variable. Now from the little I have just read in this forum am I looking at a common problem and what is the fix? Also how much do you reckon it would cost?
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D.Slatford
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Postby D.Slatford » Mon Jul 01, 2002 4:06 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
I've just bought a Xantia 2.0i VSX auto 1994 L-reg. It's in lovely nick but I feel I may have made a cardinal mistake. The suspension gets very stiff over rutted roads and paritcularly over sharp bumps (sleeping policemen etc). Also the braking feeels a bit variable. Now from the little I have just read in this forum am I looking at a common problem and what is the fix? Also how much do you reckon it would cost?
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I bought my M reg 2.0i sx in about the same condition. Drove it from lancashire into leeds right away and felt sea sick by the time I arrived. Advise replacing *all* the spheres on a car that age, front and back. Individually they cost around 20 quid each from andyspares, quite easy to fit yourself although the back ones obviously you'll need to get good access to, but you may end up paying quite a bit more at a citroen garage, maybe 50 quid each (I dont know if regular garages touch citroen suspension, personally I wouldn't trust them). It's worth looking at the colour of the LHM too - it should be really bright green, check it isn't a yellowish muddy brown colour as mine was by the time it was that old... if it is, it'll DEFINATELY need flushing out and filling with new LHM. That's also quite easy to do yourself, but determine if it really needs to be done first.
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dan
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MW
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Postby MW » Mon Jul 01, 2002 8:00 pm

I'm concerned on your behalf about the strange braking. The brakes share the same reservoir as the suspension, and when summat goes wrong with one it can affect the other. We're talking safety here.
I had my spheres replaced a couple of years ago, but last summer I also had a failure of the distribution valve that decides how much fluid goes to the front and the back spheres. The first symptom was that the back suspension wasn't lifting quite as high as it should, and it wouldn't go into high (wheel-changing) mode at all. The second symptom was that the braking suddenly went peculiar - the car would brake very late but very hard (a great way to get people's attention, as you leave a lot of rubber behind you). The third stage was that the back spheres suddenly locked up completely - in my case it was with the suspension fully down, but apparently it's more dangerous if it locks in the fully up position. And I really didn't have very much brakes at all. Most unpleasant.
I confess that I didn't do this job myself - instead, I crawled the car to my nearest main dealer, where the damage was about £160. I didn't mind, as I'd rather be poor and alive than rich and extinct. Either way, if you recognise the late-braking symptoms I've described don't hang about. Get it seen to before they give out on you like they did on me.
Mike
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reffro
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Postby reffro » Mon Jul 01, 2002 9:01 pm

At the moment the suspension will fully adjust up and down, the problems are only confined to bumps and ruts causing it to stiffen the suspension, plus variable pressure at the brakes. I think I'll have a local dealer give it the once over, unless someone else has any suggestions. Should it be the spheres does anyone know any good and cheap Citroen specialists in or around North London/Hertfordshire to do the repair work. I'd attempt it myself but not having tackled anything like this before I'll probably leave it to the pro's.
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reffro
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Postby reffro » Tue Jul 02, 2002 7:16 pm

I've arranged a garage to change all seven spheres and drain and refill LHM for £263+vat (£310) on my Xantia. From what little I've learnt so far that's not a bad price is it, though as you will guess its using pattern spheres rather than Citroen originals, but sounded a good price to me.
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D.Slatford
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Postby D.Slatford » Tue Jul 02, 2002 8:41 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
I've arranged a garage to change all seven spheres and drain and refill LHM for £263+vat (£310) on my Xantia.
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Are they flushing out the LHM too? It's reccomended and from what I can tell generally usual practice to run the car with 'Hydraflush' in the system for several hundred miles, before filling it back up with actual LHM. Some people claim this isn't really necessary, but I do wonder.
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dan
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reffro
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Postby reffro » Wed Jul 03, 2002 6:51 pm

I don't know about a flush, it wasn't mentioned so I guess not. The colour of the LHM is a healhty green, so I only asked them to replace it all as they are doing the spheres at the same time, and it saves having the job done at a later date.
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jonnyboy
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Postby jonnyboy » Sat Jul 06, 2002 3:11 am

Check condition of the two LHM filters in the tank, although mine looked clean, & after cleaning in petrol several times, fitting 2 new ones (£20ish) did the trick, Brakes & Ride spot on now. This was after changing all spheres & rear ride height adjuster failed to improve the ride.
Age old! CHEAPEST FIX FIRST adage.
The filters will need replacing eventually so no time like the present.
Jon
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reffro
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Postby reffro » Sun Jul 07, 2002 7:27 pm

Just to finish off this topic, the spheres have been replaced and everything is working as it should again. The ride is smooth and relaxing, and the brakes are progressive. An expensive fix but not as bad as it could have been it was less than the 300 pounds for the repairs. As for the garage I used I would recommend them, friendly and helpful in equal amounts, Citronics of Harpenden. And good value compared to other quotes I had. Thank you all for your suggestions.
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