Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

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

Moderator: RichardW

detheridge
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Nov 2013, 13:13
x 3

Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

Hi folks,
This may seem like a daft question.
On my former C5 the front spheres went solid, so I replaced them with a new set. The ride was perfect for a few days and then they went quite stiff - not solid, but certainly not up to Cit standards.
The car was an H3+, so should I have replaced the centre sphere at the same time? The rear ones were perfect. Would comfort spheres have been a better idea?
This is in case I come across this again in the future...

Thanks in advance folks,

David.
User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 29049
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 3614

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Don’t bother with comfort spheres, they are not designed for H3+ systems and will negate the advantages of the system (you will loose sport mode).

When you replaced the spheres did you bleed the hydraulic system properly following the formal procedure?

This is more likely to be an air lock or poor quality spheres if not originals.
detheridge
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Nov 2013, 13:13
x 3

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

Hi Marc - many thanks. My garage did the spheres as (in the words of Clint Eastwood) ' a good man always knows his limitations' - and I know mine!
Isn't the system self bleeding via a few moves up and down of the ride height, or am I completely wrong on this? Does the system need complete flushing out, for instance?
User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 29049
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 3614

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

It just sounds like an air lock - the bleeding of the system is simple to do and will eliminate that as a cause in case it has air into the system at some point previously and if the system has been depressurised for sphere changing.
  • Start the engine.
  • Wait for the vehicle height to stabilise.
  • Put the vehicle in the "high" position.
  • Lower the vehicle to the low position.
  • Undo the LDS cap
  • Turn the steering slowly from lock to lock in each direction about 8-10 times slowly.
  • Stop the engine.
  • Check the LDS fluid level.
On Hydractive 3+ systems, the LDS fluid level should be checked on the lowest suspension height setting and the maximum LDS level should be at the HYD marking on the tank:
H3+ MK I C5.PNG
H3+ MK I C5.PNG (25.3 KiB) Viewed 363 times
detheridge
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Nov 2013, 13:13
x 3

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

Hi again Marc,
Many thanks for this - it's helped with my latest C5 which was starting to feel heavy in the steering. I followed your instructions to the letter, and found that I needed nearly 2litres of LDS! All is now soft and easy.
Best wishes,
David.
User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 29049
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 3614

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Good news David, glad it seems sorted for you - I don't know what they thought they were doing at the garage you used....
detheridge
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Nov 2013, 13:13
x 3

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

Well, it's happened again. Brand new spheres on the front including the centre one, and the front ride has gone hard again. The replacement spheres came from EAP in Scotland after seeing a recommendation here, so I don't believe they could be substandard, and I checked that they were the right ones of a 2003 H3+.
I've tried the steering solution you suggested twice and the same problem persists. It's almost riding as bad as a Ford! Might there still be an air lock in the system? By comparison, the back is nice and bouncy. My local garage when replacing the spheres used a Snap-on tools diagbox, so do I need to get it all done properly on a Lexia?
One thing I notice is that with a full tank of fuel the ride gets a little better. I found a similar (but not as bad) symptom in the past with CXs and XMs - when the fuel tank got low, the ride stiffened up a bit - fill up and all is fine.

Thanks in advance for any insight on this.

David.
User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 29049
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 3614

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

If the fronts have gone rock hard again then suspect air in the system, knackered / ruptured spheres, low LDS level, BHI (valve block possibly). Does the car raise and lower on command through all the height settings? Or is the right just a little firmer than normal - there's a big difference. If the height is raising and lowering, then the valves in the hydraulic block would appear to operating correctly. If this is so, that would still point to air in the system most likely or ruptured / incorrect spheres.

Were these sphere replacements for your MK II C5? and if so what pressures / volume of spheres did you get?

Follow the bleeding procedure again - make sure it is on the low setting when bleeding as per the instructions and make sure the wheel is turned very slowly lock to lock as specified.

For your MK II 2.2 C5 the LDs levels should be between 'a' & 'b' marks
C5 MK II LDS.PNG
Peter.N.
Donor 2022
Posts: 11061
Joined: 02 Apr 2005, 16:11
x 643

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by Peter.N. »

As Marc says, failed sphere, if one goes it will make that end of the car ride hard, try bouncing the suspension on each corner, it will soon become evident if one corner doesn't move.

Peter
detheridge
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Nov 2013, 13:13
x 3

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

Thanks for the info folks. Marc - the Mk II I got rid of as the autobox was on the way out. This is my 03 mk.I 2.2 Exclusive that I bought a few months ago with only 83k from new.
It's not that the spheres have gone rock hard, they do move, but only a little. The car raises and lowers quite happily through all the settings, although the front raises/lowers faster than the back.
Mind you, in the past with C5s, it's been the front that's been slower than the back when the front spheres were hard or knackered.
I can't remember the values for the spheres from EAP but they were spec'd as the correct ones for an 03 C5 with H3+ suspension. I believe the pressure was quoted as 62 bar?
Marc - can the BHI be reset?
User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 29049
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 3614

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Ok, it helps to know which car we are talking about so thanks for clarifying.

No the BHI cannot be reset as such, only shut down and restarted as part of the BSI reset process:

BSI Rest / Battery Disconnect / Reconnect Procedure

I asked about the spheres as not all spheres are of the same quality and vary between 'aftermarket suppliers'. The slimline spheres are not supposed to be re-gassed unlike the older green Hydropneumatic LHM mushroom spheres. Do you mean AEP spheres???
User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 29049
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 3614

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

detheridge wrote:
30 Aug 2019, 13:45
I can't remember the values for the spheres from EAP but they were spec'd as the correct ones for an 03 C5 with H3+ suspension. I believe the pressure was quoted as 62 bar?
If we are talking about the front corner spheres for your 2.2 MK I C5 (H3+), then they should be 385CM3 - 52 BARS - not 62! If these are that high it is no wonder they are harder....
detheridge
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Nov 2013, 13:13
x 3

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

Ouch! thanks Marc.
detheridge
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Nov 2013, 13:13
x 3

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

Just to be sure on this, my VIN is VF7**************[VIN obfuscated, can be read by forum staff]. What spheres would you recommend, as looking through online catalogues there seem to be several different bar values ostensibly for the same car?
Could it be that my garage mixed up the spheres and put the centre one on the corner? Sorry if this seems like a stupid question!
User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 29049
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 3614

Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Confirmed this is the correct VIN David. Citroen parts confirm the volumes and pressure for the corner spheres for your C5.

You have an Estate and the DW12ATED4 engine with H3+.
Your Front corner spheres should be 385cc and 52 Bar.
Your rear corner spheres should be 385cc Volume and 31 Bar.
It is the Front Regulator Accumulator sphere that is 385 cc and 62 Bar.
The Rear Regulator Accumulator sphere is 385cc and 45 Bar.

So it is possible that 62 Bar rigidity spheres have been wrongly fitted to the front corners.....Boing said Zeberdee!