Buying a GSA - any tips?

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harvestmouse
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Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by harvestmouse »

Hello all

There is a GSA for sale and I'm tempted.

The thing is, although I have had a lot of cars, including a number of Citroens (am familiar with flat air-cooled engines, such as that in the GSA) I'm not at all familiar with the rest of the vehicle.

The only hydraulic-suspension Citroen I have even had was a 1985 BX. Horrid car. Wanted to shoot it. Apologies to the amateurs, but it really was unpleasant.

So... apart from LHM squirting out and obvious things like that, could anyone please give me some inspection tips before I even go and look at the car?

Thanks in advance. Much appreciated. I don't mind working on cars but would prefer not to have too much to do.

ps I did look to see if there was a buyer's guide on here before posting, but couldn't see one.

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myglaren
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by myglaren »

Definitely check the condition of all the hydraulic piping. When I bought my GS - and frankly I had no idea what I was buying - the rear brake disc sheared off on our first journey. No-one would take it on so I had to roll my sleeves up and get on with it.

Disc was no big problem buy the brake pipe disintegrated while removing the caliper - then the next one while replacing that and so on until I had replaced virtually every pipe on the car. An exercise that cost as much as I had paid for the car.

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harvestmouse
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by harvestmouse »

Thanks for that, Myglaren. Am familiar with the situation of a job that should just be removing one brake nipple from a rear drum, then it shears in the wheel cylinder so you change that, then the brake pipe and before you know it, you're up to the fluid reservoir under the bonnet....

Does the brake pipe (independent my original question but am curious nonetheless) for LHM have to be steel, or can I use Cunifer? Maybe it depends on use; in a 2CV braking system the pressure is comparatively low, but in a hydraulic (this is technically the wrong word, the system is oleopneumatic and devoid of water) suspension system the pressure is a lot higher, so maybe steel is needed.

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myglaren
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by myglaren »

Couldn't say with any certainty but the replacements I used were all from the dealer and impressed the hell out of me, all preformed with plastic endcaps and sealed in a polythene bag.
And the commensurate eye-watering price to be paid, cheapest was £17. In 1985!

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harvestmouse
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by harvestmouse »

Could be worse, could be a CX. You probably have to take the engine out to top up the brake fluid in one of those.

Will keep you posted. Any other info apart from the hydraulics? If not, that's fairly much what I thought, the rest of the car is almost normal. I did read that the clutch takes ages to change (ref. CX) so would pay extra attention to that.

Thanks again. I do hope to be of some use to somebody else on here one day.

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myglaren
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by myglaren »

harvestmouse wrote:Could be worse, could be a CX. You probably have to take the engine out to top up the brake fluid in one of those.
Brake fluid - on a CX?
harvestmouse wrote: Will keep you posted. Any other info apart from the hydraulics? If not, that's fairly much what I thought, the rest of the car is almost normal. I did read that the clutch takes ages to change (ref. CX) so would pay extra attention to that.

Thanks again. I do hope to be of some use to somebody else on here one day.
I did have a problem with a camshaft clatter. Kids called the car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Adjustments didn't help, was a scored cam lobe.
Stuck a new engine in and it was just the same.

Otherwise it was rust that was the main problem.

citronut
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by citronut »

nout wrong with BX's

and most of the hydraulic circuit is much the same as the GS/A's

give the rear sub frame a close look for any tin worm,

a clutch job is not so bad, the worst bit is lining the front exhaust pipes back up and getting them leak free,

no prob once you've done a few,

oil leaks on the engine will require the heads to be removed, if its the cylinder head oil return tube seal require replacing, as when they age they almost turn tho plastic and break up,

i think all the G series are great cars,

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harvestmouse
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by harvestmouse »

Thanks for the tip Citronut.

Have been dismantling a 1994 Twingo today. Acquired it with the intention of repairing, as the previous owner was going to scrap it. Drove it home and changed my mind to agree with them. It's going to be scrapped. Engine and box are fine, electrics, brake bits etc. Problem is, I'm in France. Am due to be in the UK in the next 2/3 weeks, so could bring light stuff and post it from there. Do you think it's worth putting an advert on the forum or do either of you know someone who needs Twingo bits?

Ref BXs. Perhaps I just had a bad one. Admittedly, I did get a ride in one that was running 100% and it was like a flying carpet. Really smooth. Just avoid driving through large puddles fast, as the engine tends to ingest them.

citronut
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by citronut »

i would contact Lighty on here as i believe he owns a Twango

Raul
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by Raul »

Hi

What would be your choice - a c-matic or regular gsa?

macplaxton
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by macplaxton »

Whatever has less rust. :)

Raul
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by Raul »

Yes, unfortunately rust is the biggest problem with them. I have read that gs has a thicker metal . Is it true? The c-matic version is interesting altough I do not even know how does it operate. Unfortunately in my country there are problably no gs(a)-s left, so I have not seen them for sale. I have to import from germany or france and it is going to be a blind buy.
For example , this looks good:http://www.leboncoin.fr/voitures/851627179.htm?ca=12_s

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Stonehopper
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by Stonehopper »

Seems to keep it in the Dordogne, garaged at that. Could be very good. Anything from the Southern part of France will suffer far less rust than the North.

A translation (rough, but ready):

Sell Citroën GS C-matic 1978 in very good mechanical condition and body. Nothing to do on the car, from all distances. Still parked dry in closed box. Car fun to drive, very comfortable (a real Citroën). A car whose popularity can only grow in the medium term. I bought there a little over two years and separate myself reluctantly to finance work in my house. The car is currently parked in my house in Dordogne near Sarlat but I can go back in 78 if necessary. Give with two long-range lights to attach to the bumper. The TC will be made for the sale, a priori any problems.

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Stonehopper
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Re: Buying a GSA - any tips?

Post by Stonehopper »