Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

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EDC5
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Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by EDC5 »

For some time now my X7 has been suffering from an issue on the passenger side strut whereby the gaiter had come loose from the bottom section of the strut, and was stuck around half way up the 'ram' section. After trying nearly everything to pull the gaiter down back into the cup at the bottom of the strut, and not having any luck, I resigned myself to having to live with it... knowing that the strut was on its way out and would need changing soon.

Well 'soon' came last week when there was a huge fluid leak all over the drive and the strut was done for.

Here we can see the state of the strut just after the catastrophic failure:
IMG_4364.jpg
Here is the strut just after removal:
IMG_4373.jpg
I then took a blade to the gaiter to have a look at the failed seal:
IMG_4376.jpg
IMG_4377.jpg
from the looks of it, the main seal on the strut seems to have failed catastrophically and expanded somehow?

Also, during attempts to remove the sphere, the oil filter removal tool that I was using broke, necessitating the make shift version as shown below. A length of sheet metal strip was bent around the sphere and was used in place of the fabric strap that was used originally on the oil filter removal tool.
IMG_4369.jpg
IMG_4370.jpg
IMG_4371.jpg
For some reason this sphere took a huge amount of force to remove, I almost thought it would break something trying to get it off!
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Sloppysod
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by Sloppysod »

Ugh!!, what a mess, new (2nd Hand) strut or are you going to find a possible repair?
What's the mileage of your car...........or how long do I wait before this becomes my next major fault?
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EDC5
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by EDC5 »

Yeah, that's what i thought! The seal has properly failed. I've already done the replacement with a brand-new strut which has a revised part number; hopefully this one will last longer.

The car has done about 77,000 miles to date. I think I damaged the front struts some time ago by driving over a set of raised level crossings in France at speed after the suspension pump had failed, meaning the car was riding really low. The car virtually took off then slammed down with a massive bang from the front end. I had already replaced the other front strut before this incident but hopefully that one survived undamaged.
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by citroen since 1973 »

A very interesting topic and thanks for guide to replacing the front strut EDC5, back in 2017 (I think). I have a 2008 C5 2.2 Exclusive Tourer, with 122k miles on the clock. It's given me little trouble over the 10 years I've owned it and a use a local garage in Telford for servicing. They're helpful and do a reasonable job, at a fraction of the main dealer price, but they're not Citroen savvy! I've had the bush replaced recently on each front hub carrier pivot axle, because they were worn at MOT a couple of months ago and there was a knock coming from the front end of the car. The knock persisted after the bush change, so the garage had it in again last Friday and as they put it, gave the car a good shaking on the MOT rig. They found another bush that was worn, but also called me to tell me that the offside front supsension strut had a big leak and needed replacing - something that they did not feel competent to do. They showed me the problem when I collected the car, it didn't look too bad to me, but they advised me not to use it.

So, following the guides you have kindly posted, I know where to buy a new strut and I feel like I know how to replace it, but I lack the tools and the ability - I wouldn't even know how to how to drain the suspension fluid and remove the associated pipework. Therefore, question time - does anyone know of a Citroen savvy indy within 20 miles of the Telford region and if I drive the car and loose fluid slowly, is it okay to top up the system, as a temporary measure, via the LDS reservoir? My handbook says that a dealer has to top up the system. Thanks very much for your help, Paul.
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

You can add LDS fluid, but the suspension height MUST be set to the lowest setting before topping up and must be between the 'A' & 'B' marks shown below only.
LDS Level.PNG
To be honest, if you are going to take it to a garage, you really do need somebody with Hydractive 3 system knowledge - and to that end, I would recommend a dealer. You can purchase the strut yourself (make sure you get the correct one as they are NOT all the same - post up your VIN if you want the part number) and then ask Citroen for a fit only price. At least you will have some peace of mind that the job is being done correctly. I would also purchase at least 4 litres of LDS fluid (as the dealer will charge their prices that can be double). I did this on mine and they charged about £222 all in to fit, but I forgot the LDS - so there was about 3 litres of that included in that fitting price.
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by citroen since 1973 »

Thanks very much for your reply Marc and for the very useful guide. I've seen a detailed fitting guide from EDC5 for the strut, but is there also a guide for removing the hydraulic pipes and then bleeding and refilling the system? I take your point about using a main dealer to fit the part, I'm not sure whether our dealer would be prepared to do this. especially with a part from Poland, which they would say was not genuine Citroen.

The VIN for my car is VF7**************[VIN obfuscated, can be read by forum staff]. I think that the part no. is 5271L6, it's the front off side - right hand looking from the drivers seat.
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

The polish ones are genuine parts made for Citroen (there aren't made by anyone else from what I can see as they are very specific for C5 and C6 only. They are just cheaper to buy in Europe - even with shipping, as the current UK dealer price for the strut only is £367.44 inc. VAT and of course that excludes fitting (and VAT on the fitting).

So there's no issue there as the Citroen ones come from the same place. You just have to tell them you have already bought a genuine Citroen one and just need a quote to fit only. This saves their markup on parts.

Yes, 5271L6 is for the right and 5271L5 is for the left.

I got mine from these people:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GENUINE-Fron ... SwWOxbvfGF

£205 plus £12.00 shipping is still a £150 cheaper....

Prices fluctuate for these daily - but I would avoid the ones from EDM as they can't even get their description right and thing Renault is Citroen :roll:
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by citroen since 1973 »

Great stuff, thanks Mark. Yes, I have seen this strut on eBay from Poland, it's good to know that it is a genuine part and I'd also seen the mistake on the EDM site. I'll try the local dealer and see how I get on, Paul.
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by citroen since 1973 »

I've managed to get a local indy garage called French Diagnostic Services in Tweedale, Telford, to do the labour on my car and have now ordered the part from Poland for £217. Just the fluid to order now. Thanks very much, once again, for your help, Paul
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by citroen since 1973 »

Wow, the LDS fluid looks expensive. Any recommendations for the best place to buy this please?
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Try GSF, their prices are normally pretty good.

https://www.gsfcarparts.com/980aa0720
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

citroen since 1973 wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 15:29
Great stuff, thanks Mark. Yes, I have seen this strut on eBay from Poland, it's good to know that it is a genuine part and I'd also seen the mistake on the EDM site. I'll try the local dealer and see how I get on, Paul.
I contacted them and suggested that if they intend on selling any of these then they really should do their homework and understand the difference between Renault and Citroen - and that Renault have never had Hydractive suspension.

They apologised and thanked me and have now corrected their listings. Should of got a discount! :roll:
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by myglaren »

Have you looked on eBay?
The last lot I got was from there - IIRC it came from the ECP eBay shop. 5L for £35 delivered.

6L here, £52
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
04 Jul 2019, 14:53
Try GSF, their prices are normally pretty good.

https://www.gsfcarparts.com/980aa0720
You are having a laugh aren't you James? £20.......

Try £18 for 5Lt
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kerax-HyperD ... c14c2b63e6
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Re: Failed Hydraulic Strut: An Autopsy (+ backup sphere removal tool)

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

OK, maybe they are not so good (mind you, it could be worth VISITING them; I got some brake cleaner for £11 when the website said it was around £20!).