change a set of spheres

This is the Forum for all your Citroen Technical Questions, Problems or Advice.

Moderator: RichardW

phoneblower
Posts: 10
Joined: 19 Sep 2012, 15:37

change a set of spheres

Post by phoneblower »

Hi does anybody know anybody in the South Essex area that knows how to change a set of spheres on a Xantia with anti sink? I want to fit comfort ones from Westroen but do not think that my spine would like to drive to Manchester with the way the rear end has started bouncing over the last 2 weeks.

User avatar
Mothman
Posts: 68
Joined: 17 Sep 2012, 17:14
x 4

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by Mothman »

Dont know if its the same for a Xant as it is for a BX but i have found that the BX really bounces when either the height control lever is not at normal or the green blood supply is very low. When the sphere's fail they just get very hard and dont bounce at all.
BX sphere change is easy, but you really do need the proper tool, used to be plenty on feebay.

Andy

User avatar
Old-Guy
Posts: 1799
Joined: 11 Sep 2008, 12:08
x 15

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by Old-Guy »

Before you change spheres, check that the ride height is sensible (you should just about be able to get one finger between the top of the rear tyres and the rear wheel arches, 3 finger widths for the front.

With the car parked with the doors closed, the front wheels straight and the engine running, move the height control lever (between the front seats) between all 4 positions, pausing at each one for the suspension height to settle. The car should rise and fall smoothly, if it's a bit sticky, repeat several times.

Bounce each corner - should be lots of travel on the suspension, front firmer than the front because of the weight of the engine/transmission.

Then do the sit-on test (with the engine off). Sit on/in the boot, the suspension should sink and then rise again within 30 seconds. Repeat by sitting (carefully) on the slam-panel.

Tell us what happens!

Changing rear spheres (they are usually the first to go for some reason) is not a difficult or long job. If you search the forum, there are several threads giving comprehensive instructions, or you can download my guide from my Xantia webpage.

User avatar
DickieG
Monaco's youngest playboy
Posts: 4896
Joined: 25 Nov 2006, 10:15
x 14

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by DickieG »

If you don't get any closer offers I can do them, I'm located just to the west of the M25 near M40 J1.

phoneblower
Posts: 10
Joined: 19 Sep 2012, 15:37

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by phoneblower »

I have checked the gaps and on the rear there is less than a finger and on the front I can squeeze 4 in that is about 67mm. The front end has lots of movement but the front spheres were changed 8 weeks ago for the MOT. The rear has about an inch of movement.
Years ago I would have changed them myself but due to spinal problems I just can't do it any more. I want comfort spheres fitted as with the new front ones the ride is nowhere near as good as my old CX Athena was

User avatar
Old-Guy
Posts: 1799
Joined: 11 Sep 2008, 12:08
x 15

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by Old-Guy »

That inch of 'suspension' travel is probably mostly the tyres! Best of luck with finding someone to do it for you.

phoneblower
Posts: 10
Joined: 19 Sep 2012, 15:37

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by phoneblower »

Hi thanks for the reply's, but I may have to rethink what happens now as the front windows are playing up and worst of all third gear has started getting hard to select on occasions. My xantia seems to be falling apart.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 41564
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1055

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by CitroJim »

phoneblower wrote:third gear has started getting hard to select on occasions. My xantia seems to be falling apart.
What model is this Xantia and what engine?

phoneblower
Posts: 10
Joined: 19 Sep 2012, 15:37

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by phoneblower »

Hi Jim it is a 1999 Xantia 2.0 HDI 90BHP Estate

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 41564
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1055

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by CitroJim »

phoneblower wrote:Hi Jim it is a 1999 Xantia 2.0 HDI 90BHP Estate
Right, OK. It has the BE3 gearbox and sadly, if the 'box crunches going into third then the third/fourth synchro hub is worn. It's a very common problem and stems from the very old design of the synchro hubs; they use slightly delicate cone clutches rather than the more usual baulk-rings. The cones are made of light alloy and are prone to wear especially if the clutch has been dragging or the oil has been neglected or refilled with the wrong grade. These 'boxes are very sensitive to oil and must only be filled with 75W/80 oil specifically recommended for certain Peugeot and Citroen gearboxes. Total BV is the choice but Comma and Valvoline both make a good one.

It's worth doing a change of gearbox oil to see if it helps. It might well. Don't be tempted to use any additives in the gearbox. They don't like 'em...

The 'box is not about to fail and will soldier on for ever with this fault. Bar the synchros they're built like a brick outhouse. Double-declutching is a cheap and effective remedy too...

It's worth checking your clutch adjustment; the bite-point should be about half-way up the pedal travel and the total travel should be around six inches...

phoneblower
Posts: 10
Joined: 19 Sep 2012, 15:37

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by phoneblower »

Thanks for all the info Jim I will get the oil changed and check the rest out

phoneblower
Posts: 10
Joined: 19 Sep 2012, 15:37

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by phoneblower »

Well the oil has been changed and the oil was the correct grade but there were some bits attached to the magnet. Spheres have been changed as well as I found somebody within 10 miles of where I live.

phoneblower
Posts: 10
Joined: 19 Sep 2012, 15:37

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by phoneblower »

:oops:
phoneblower wrote:Hi Jim it is a 1999 Xantia 2.0 HDI 90BHP Estate
when I had the oil changed the mechanic told me that I have a 110bhp engine as it has an inter-cooler fitted :oops:

Hell Razor5543
NOT Alistair or Simon
Posts: 9966
Joined: 01 Apr 2012, 09:47
x 810

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

That would suggest you have the ML5T gearbox. I don't know about the internals, but a fairly simple way to check what type of gearbox you have is to pop the air filter box off and look at the reverse switch. If it is vertical, with lots of room around it then it is the ML5T, but if it is canted towards the front and no room to get an adjustable spanner on it, it is a BE3 box.

I am basing this on my experience of my two Xantias. I had been advised that the easiest way to fill up the gearbox was through the reverse switch hole. The first had the ML5T, and when I changed the oil I could get an adjustable spanner onto it, but with my current Xantia (Gracie) I had to buy a ring spanner, as there was no other way to remove the reverse switch.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 41564
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1055

Re: change a set of spheres

Post by CitroJim »

Hell Razor, that's absolutely spot on :-D I use a deep 22mm socket on the reverse light switch and it works a treat. Then a funnel with an extension tube on the end and away you go.

Same oil as the BE3 and fill 1.8 litres...