Xantia leaking LHM...
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Default Xantia leaking LHM...

    Hi Guys,
    I'm back again. I've had a good run, I have to admit. The Xantia has run flawlessly for about 2 years now. Today I found a pool of LHM below the car...darn...
    I put it up on ramps, it's the power steering pinion again. OK, so last time this happened I grabbed a pinion from the wreckers, and swapped the part over, problem solved. Well. for a couple of years anyway.
    So which way to go this time, source another from a wrecker or replace the seals?
    I might visit a bearing place today to see if I can get generic seals....

    cheers...George 1/8th.

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Back again,
    remember the story of how Thomas Edison discovered hundreds of ways that you cannot make a lightglobe before he found out how it was done. Well, today I found out how talking to the wrong people just makes you get annoyed with wasting time and being looked at like you just got off a spaceship from Mars.
    I should have known better.
    At least now I'm getting closer to the correct solution, and I've dismantled the pinion so I know fully what I'm working with. If I can locate a seal kit somewhere I'll soon be swapping over the pinion.... it's just that the swaping over is a bugger of a job.

    Cheers ... George 1/8th

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger
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    In your shoes, I'd get a Citroen pinion kit so you get all the right bits. The kit is not that expensive and you presumably have a spare, but leaking, pinion to rekit.

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    In your shoes, I'd get a Citroen pinion kit so you get all the right bits. The kit is not that expensive and you presumably have a spare, but leaking, pinion to rekit.
    Hi David,
    you are right, I kept the old pinion from last time ( I'm not completely silly) but I thought a re-seal kit would be fairly easy to obtain...I was wrong.
    I contacted a couple of my usual Citroen suppliers and they told me there are less parts available now for those OLD cars, like Xantias.
    Xantias are now being treated the same way that the CX was when I had one. The mainstream guys pretend that they don't remember them, and no longer have parts. The better blokes that I normally order parts from could not find the kit in their catalogue.
    I tried ebay Aust and ebay UK and found little joy.
    I went to a local POWER STEERING place in Seaford, called "Bayside Power Steering" and saw Neil, who helped me out when I broke a bearing in a power steering Pinion last year when helping a workmate fix his leaking commodore pinion. That bearing was no longer available from GMH dealers, but Neil had one and only charged us $5.00. for the part.
    He didn't have the seal but could order in a kit , which he said would probably cost about $100.00.
    OR...I could go to "RENSEAL" in Fortescue cres Dandenong. They are high pressure Hydraulic specialists who can even manufacture any seal to YOUR specifications. Fantastic.
    I went there, took in the old seal,they had them for $10.00. It's not just an oil seal in the pinion, it's a pressure seal, it needs to be able to hold a fait bit of pressure. The size is 20-30 5/5.5 20mm is the inside measurement, 30mm the outside , and 5 to 5.5 is the thickness.
    I bought 2 seals while there, so I can re-seal the one thats soon to come off the car, to keep it as a spare. My old one is ready to go now with the new seal...I just need the next day off work to come around and it's going on.
    Cheers...George 1/8th

  5. #5
    UFO
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    George

    For others who may face the same challenges, make sure you take and post photos please.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  6. #6
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    Yeah - like me! Have had my Xantia for almost 7 years now - to my knowledge the PS system hasn't been touched!!

    Cheers

    Alec

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,
    the saga is not over, not by a long shot. It really is a difficult bugger of a job to crawl under and replace the pinion.
    Firstly, I drove the car up on wheelramps. This is for clearance, and safety. I let the car raise up to full height, Then, I placed axle stands under the body as well. This is for no other reason than if I let it stand overnight, even with anti sink the car is going to settle, and lower itself a bit. I need the space.
    OK, I swapped over the pinion, refitted the pipes. This takes about 3 hours, because it's so difficult to reach everything, and to losen up the pipe nuts etc. Of course I didn't have a 12mm flare nut spanner , so off to repco.
    LHM drips on you and in your face.
    Now, job finished, all working ok, and no leaks. I drove to work yesterday, all good.
    But today...WTF...no leaks, but NO power steering either.
    It's like steering a bus, you really have to heave on the wheel to get around a corner. Just suddenly, no power in the steering.

    So, what happened. I did overlook something. When I dismantled the pinion, in order to find out which seal I needed, I noticed three plastic rings, kind of control rings, and a slot for a fourth, but no ring there. The ring on the end was a bit loose, and was actually cut right through when I attempted to re-assemble the unit. Once I noticed this, I dismantled it again. I took out the broken ring.
    Instead of replacing it with the right part, I replaced it with a rubber o ring. I thought it would suffice.
    Obviously not.
    It's difficult to imagine how one rubber o ring could completely stop the power steering from working.
    Anyway, lucky me, I'm looking at very carefully replacing the leaking seal and refitting the pinion without fully dismantling it.
    I really must be crazy.
    Cheers...George 1/8th.

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger
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    Maybe look for an air leak at the pump suction hose first?

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    Maybe look for an air leak at the pump suction hose first?
    Hi David, I haven't checked there yet. You see, it all worked ok yesterday. All I can think of is the broken plastic/teflon ring has something to do with it.
    I was thinking along similar lines, looking for leaking pipes, LHM levels etc. I thought there could be air in the system, so I bled and bled the regulator, no luck there. There is seriously no hoses off, the suspension all works as per usual.
    Cheers.....George 1/8th.

  10. #10
    JBN
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    Just hang in there George, trying whatever comes to mind and posting your findings here. Sooner or later it will happen to the rest of us and your pioneering work will be useful in diagnosis and repair.

    John

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    George

    For others who may face the same challenges, make sure you take and post photos please.
    Hi Craig, no worries mate. I am very fortunate that this has happened right at the beginning of my annual leave! Yay, so instead of having a 'normal' break I can spend much of mine back underneath the car with LHM dripping on me. I guess it's all character building work , as deemed necessary by the 'Citroen Gods'. It must be my turn to struggle.
    I will take photos and attempt to upload some of them.
    Cheers...George 1/8th.

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    Just hang in there George, trying whatever comes to mind and posting your findings here. Sooner or later it will happen to the rest of us and your pioneering work will be useful in diagnosis and repair.

    John
    Hi John, thanks for the encouragement, I kind of need it right now. It's a real hassle taking out the pinion underneath the car. It's almost worth it to take off both front wheels , undo the tie rods from the hubs, undo just 2 hoses, and the column, then two bolts, and then struggle for about an hour to wriggle the entire steering unit out the RHS of the car. I have done that before as well, I think I'll just shut up and change over the pinion again. This time I'm going to wear a face shield ( the one I have for when I use the whipper snipper) so that the LHM can't get me again. I think I know what has gone wrong, and how to fix it. I hope this works.
    Cheers...George 1/8th

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    All good now, thank Heavens. This time I carefully avoided completely dismantling the pinion unit. They must have some type of special tool or method to reassemble the pinion in the factory, so that the inner chamber seals don't get damaged.

    Ok, so my next thread will be instructions and photos on how to replace a power steering pinion seal without destroying the pinion in the process, as I did the first time around.

    Of course, the first step is the hardest, to remove the leaking power steering pinion. You will need a proper 12mm flare nut spanner, because these unions are very tight, and you do not want to damage the flare nuts. I drove the car up wheel ramps, for clearance and safety. I also raised the car to full height, for service mode convenience. Interestingly, I ran the engine at idle with the accumulator purge valve open for about 5 minutes. The car system was depressurised, yet the car remained raised. I placed axle stands under the sub-frame just to be sure it would stay up. It did. After 4 hours it was still up hard. Still, I'd rather be safe.

    Here is a brief summary of the removal process. 1. Remove the carpet near the brake pedal, the carpet that hangs down above the pedals, ( 5 plastic fasteners) then undo and remove the 13mm bolt/screw completely from the steering shaft coupling inside the car.
    I used an old large piece of cardboard to lie on instead of the concrete driveway. You will want to use overalls and a face shield for this job.
    2. Unclip and completely remove the heat shield from on top of the steering rack. It just pulls off. It is clipped over a lip on the front side, so unclip that first, then the entire shield can be unclipped upwards.
    3. Get out your metric allen key set and undo and completely remove the screw from the steering shaft coupling just above the pinion. Now push the coupling upwards, and it will release from the pinion. Remove the plastic dirt shield.
    4. Get your 17mm open ender and undo the large pipe connecting to the front of the pinion body. Whatever is in this pipe is going to flow out, cap it off if you have a suitable 17mm plastic cap.
    5. Using a 12 mm open ender undo the smaller pipe on the same side. This pipe has a rubber union seal, just like on the old citroens. It can be left in the socket.
    6. Now, you will need a small powerful torch to see what you are doing next. Put on your face shield, and position yourself right under the pinion. It's also a good time to cover yourself with some plastic sheeting unless you enjoy having an LHM shower. Grab your 12mm Flare nut spanner and undo the two pipes connected to the rear side of the pinion body. Do not hurry. This is a slow and painful process. Begin to enjoy the sensation of oil dripping onto your faceshield and overalls. Once completely loosened you will need both hands to carefully pull out the two pipes from the pinion body.
    7. Undo the two allen screws holding the pinion body to the Rack.
    8. Loosen off the two 12mm screws holding the spring loaded plate against the rack. This plate is facing you while undoing those last two pipes. Don't remove the screws and plate completely, just loosen them off about 4 turns each, to reduce the pressure on the rack. This lets the pinion gear come out without being under tension, and makes it possible to fit the replacement.
    9. Pushing upwards remove the pinion unit from the rack.

    Now, wasn't that fun?

    Now fit the replacement pinion with it's new seal, put all the four pipes back in reverse order and do them up tight, refit the pinion mounting screws, refit the dirt cover, refit the steering coupling and bolt, then refit the heat shield. Get inside the car and replace the 13mm bolt onto the steering shaft coupling, tighten it. Clip the carpet back into position with the 5 plastic fasteners. Now hope you did it all right.


    Cheers..George 1/8th

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