C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

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DHallworth
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C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by DHallworth »

I’ve finally got around to looking at the 3.0 HDI C5 I recently purchased.

It’s the return pipe that’s leaking where it enters the pinion. It looks to leaking from the aluminium pipe where it goes under the bracket that bolts the pipe to the pinion.
15C1A943-878D-4B74-9216-604816557D1B.jpeg
Unfortunately the garage that were working on the car for Stu have decimated the head on the bolt that holds these pipes to the pinion. I’ve ordered some stud Irwin stud extractors to hopefully deal with that. However, I’ve been thinking about a post Jay made earlier about using a 1/4” NPT to 3/8 barb on the return. Does anybody know if I cut the bracket on the high pressure pipe like show below, will there be enough room for the hex on a fitting to screw into the rack to create a seal?
10A0CF6D-EE92-4FE6-BD26-06CFE812F2E5.jpeg
I’d like to cut that bracket whilst leaving the high pressure feed well alone as it’s not leaking at the moment.

If not, I wondered about using a fitting something like this:
2F728479-4227-4B53-BAE1-F9C819916EC2.jpeg
In theory that should be narrower as it doesn’t have the hex where most fittings do.

Has anybody given any thought to how the 1/4” NPT fitting could be sealed to the pinion? I’m thinking a decent thread seal might do the trick instead of using an o-ring like the original pipe.

Look forward to others thoughts.

David.
Last edited by DHallworth on 09 May 2023, 12:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Sloppysod
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Re: Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by Sloppysod »

Personally, I would try to get the old bolt out.
Once off, Clean an use two new seals, I got mine from.'Simply bearings' and buy a new torqs bolt rather than 'try' other unproven methods.
My pipes have been on and off about 4 times, new seals each time, and still holding up to the pressure👉🪵.
Good luck.
Stu 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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DHallworth
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Re: Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by DHallworth »

Problem is I believe it’s the pipe that’s leaking rather then the o-ring and they’re no longer available from Citroen. :(
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by DHallworth »

I got this bolt out this evening.

The Irwin extractors were too thick to go between the 2 pipes on the pinion so they were a non starter.

I then tried to use a chisel. The only way I could get a chisel to reach was to use a 16mm socket on a long 1/2” extension but despite a beating with a lump hammer it just wouldn’t budge. I then got the air chisel out of the toolbox and had to change the fitting on the bottom of it so I could get it to fit and even after a few rounds with that it wouldn’t budge.

I used the air chisel to put a groove in the bolt and then tried with a big flat blade screw driver bit in the impact driver but that wouldn’t shift it either.
BE462E2B-9A02-40F9-BE4E-0144F44AD402.jpeg
I then remembered we had a long drill extension so I drilled the head off the bolt. To get it square on I had to hold the drill behind where the front mudflap would sit and run the extension up behind the corner of the arch liner. Despite the bolt being knackered I managed to get it central which was a relief.
78CCA6B3-885A-4A15-82C3-36CD9B3AF216.jpeg
E34A38E6-0FC3-4687-80A9-565D9DAF645D.jpeg
After quite a lot of effort, I then managed to get the bracket that acts as a clamp to slide down the steel pipe and I was then able to remove the low pressure aluminium return pipe from the pinion.
CADDFFDA-A904-4AEB-B4D8-1ACB6A5CCE33.jpeg
You can clearly see in the pictures that the aluminium pipe has corroded and is wafer thing underneath where the steel clamp secured the pipe to the pinion.
0C886748-3034-468C-B08B-0650238B4AD4.jpeg
After I’d done this there was enough room to use the Irwin extractor to remove the rest of the stud from the pinion.
BBD569E5-C32E-45DA-8779-81E8315602AA.jpeg
Now all I need to do is decide how I’m going to repair it.

David.
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by myglaren »

All that activity may hopefully have loosened the threads a bit, enough to get it moving if you can get a purchase on the remains.
Or drilling with increasingly larger bits until it is too flimsy to retain a hold.

Worst bit over though.
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by DHallworth »

The stud came out this evening with the Irwin extractors thankfully.

It’s all dismantled now so it’s just to decide if I’m going to use a proper pipe end of tap the pinion to take a union now.

David.
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by KennyW »

David,

If I remember correctly the return pipe can be split at one of the joints where the rubber hose meets metal.

Once dismantled take it to Hydraulic hose company who maybe able to make something out of there parts.

I was going to do this for the HP pipe but fortunately not needed to.

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bobins
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by bobins »

Yep, I think the split point is just fore of the passenger wheel arch, it's a simple compression clip that secures the rubber pipe onto its barb.
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by Lenny »

The pipe ends where they go into the pinion housing are not specific to the C5. They are used on quite a few PSA vehicles.
Why can't the ends be simply cut off and then a new end fitted in place? Surely it's possible to sleeve and weld the joint?

At a massive 17 quid the end of this may well be useable...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/204109250162 ... R-jA4fKAYg

(...admittedly it's hard to be sure with the yellow plastic cap on it)
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by MattBLancs »

KennyW wrote: 10 May 2023, 17:13 Once dismantled take it to Hydraulic hose company who maybe able to make something out of there parts.
If you go down this route, could you ask for a price for more than one of those? Unless it's a million billion pounds I'd be interested in buying one to keep just in case, (n the assumption this bit of pipe is common shape to four cylinder engines as well as the V6 models?)

Preference from my perspective is for a replacement that doesn't need the rack to be tapped (as would therefore permit replacement of a knackered pipe alone if rack found to be not (yet!) Leaking. I'd be worried about tapping that housing without rack disassembly risking swarf entering the pinion housing basically.
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by bobins »

If a new pipe was made that goes from the split point (by the front wheel arch) to the pinion housing.... then make it in steel so any future problems go away. .....and PSA's / Stellantis' planned obsolescence gets negated :-D
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DHallworth
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by DHallworth »

bobins wrote: 10 May 2023, 22:06 If a new pipe was made that goes from the split point (by the front wheel arch) to the pinion housing.... then make it in steel so any future problems go away. .....and PSA's / Stellantis' planned obsolescence gets negated :-D
Isn't the pinion on the steering rack aluminium? You'd just have the pinion corroding around the pipe then I guess.
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by DHallworth »

I decided against the idea of tapping as well for a couple of reasons... I don't want to do it on the car and risk the swarf entering the system like Matt, the other reason was that if for any reason the tapped nipple wouldn't seal you'd have written off a perfectly good rack.

I've bought 2 pipes from eBay to try and make a repair.

Pipe 1 is from a 2006 2.0 Petrol Citroen C4.
s-l1600.jpg
s-l1600-1.jpg
s-l1600-2.jpg
This pipe has the same low pressure return connector that goes onto the rack as the original. It looks as though it could be a touch pitted around where the clamp sits on the aluminium pipe too. However, it was £16.16 so I decided it was worth a go.

Pipe 2 is from a 2006 1.6 Petrol Citroen C4.
s-l1600.jpg
s-l1600-1.jpg
s-l1600-3.jpg
Again, this pipe appears to have the same connector that goes onto the rack. The only difference is the pipe looks brand new. This one was only £15.71.

My plan is to cut the bad section out of the pipe on the car but to take it back far enough to where I can get it on a straight piece of pipe. I'll then see which end of these pipes is closest shape wise to the original and fit that to the rack. As this is only a low pressure return, I'll then slide a rubber section of pipe between the two aluminium sections and tighten a jubilee clip around both ends of it.

I believe this should get me a solid enough repair to be fluid tight and not cause any problems.

Today, I've also ordered a packet of 9mm ID, 2mm cross section VITON o-rings and 2 new bolts to hold the pipes to the rack. I figured I might as well have a spare one. Once I've measured both the pipe on the car and the new eBay ones I'll make sure I can order some LDS proof rubber pipe that'll be a tight fit on each end and with a bit of luck this car will be back on the road. :)

David.
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by bobins »

DHallworth wrote: 10 May 2023, 23:06
bobins wrote: 10 May 2023, 22:06 If a new pipe was made that goes from the split point (by the front wheel arch) to the pinion housing.... then make it in steel so any future problems go away. .....and PSA's / Stellantis' planned obsolescence gets negated :-D
Isn't the pinion on the steering rack aluminium? You'd just have the pinion corroding around the pipe then I guess.
The pinion housing is aluminium, the pinion shaft is steel, the HP pipe is steel, the LP pipe ally. The LP pipe clamp is steel and is fixed to the HP pipe so this is where one area of corrosion kicks off, and the other area is the interaction between the pinion housing and the pinion shaft. PSA were very clever in designing in two areas of failure :twisted:
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Re: C5 X7 Steering Rack Return Pipe Leak

Post by MattBLancs »

Sounds like a good plan. I'd be tempted to try and create something to help the Jubilee grip - maybe a blob of solder and rubber hose pass beyond the bump. Would give the jubilee clip something to ride up against.

Blob of solder on the end under the car quite a bit more difficult to do though!