Should a C5 float?
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Thread: Should a C5 float?

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    Default Should a C5 float?

    Had my first ride in a C5 on Monday and as nice a car it might be internally(top of range) I was disappointed in its ride quality. Now my only experience with Citroen's was my GS Club many years ago so I thought that the C5 would be equal to or better than that. Unfortunately I found it to be as harsh as most modern, small cars. Firmer even than my 05 Falcon. Was I wrong to expect that Citroen 'Float' or have their standards gone that far down hill since being taken over by P******(swear word)

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    What year was it Apparently the X7 series are much better (I'm yet to drive one). Having owned a *real* Citroen (GS) you can really only be very disappointing int he poogoe offerings. My CX is the roughest CX ever made with ancient concrette low profile tires on it ......... And it rides and handles far better than any modern Citroen that I've ever driven.

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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deskpilot View Post
    Had my first ride in a C5 on Monday and as nice a car it might be internally(top of range) I was disappointed in its ride quality. Now my only experience with Citroen's was my GS Club many years ago so I thought that the C5 would be equal to or better than that. Unfortunately I found it to be as harsh as most modern, small cars. Firmer even than my 05 Falcon. Was I wrong to expect that Citroen 'Float' or have their standards gone that far down hill since being taken over by P******(swear word)
    There are C5s out there with conventional suspensions, these will not float unless dropped in a river

    My experience is with a now quite old 2002 C5HDi we've owned since new, it has a very deceptive ride, compared to earlier Hydraulic Citroens you would have to say no where near the float sensation. Compared to most modern cars it certainly does float.

    I had the misfortune to be a rear seat passenger in a fairly late up-spec Mercedes crossing our Storey Bridge a while back, I could not believe how bad it and the bridge surface was. The bridge now quite old has been re-surfaced countless times and has rises from each of the expansion joints, the Merc became quite unsettled and as a rear seat passenger I experienced the worst of it's ride - it was comical. In the C5 you would barely know the bridge had these rises, a beautiful float from peak to peak.

    As an aside, we have not had to touch the suspension on the C5 in 11 years of ownership, spheres carry their original gas. We can't fault ours and despair that at a point where Citroen all but perfected this superb suspension they have abandoned it for conventional

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    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

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    My 2006 C5 Ex MK II floats and wallows as one would expect. I certainly notice the bumps significantly more when I drive the other family vehicles. Whether it reflects the pinnacle of Citroen suspension engineering I couldn't say; but the ride is certainly better than most other cars of a similar class and age.

    That being said you still know when you drop a tyre into a pot hole...

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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C5V6Kamikaze View Post
    Whether it reflects the pinnacle of Citroen suspension engineering I couldn't say; but the ride is certainly better than most other cars of a similar class and age.
    My point more reflects the reliability of the system used in the C5, Citroen had been dogged with hydraulic reliability issues since the system was introduced in the 50's (mostly unfounded in my opinion). Our C5 as mentioned earlier has had no such issues and should have been the perfect platform to convert the great unwashed. I wasn't to be, in the UK fleet customers preferred the more familiar cart springs offered in C5 variants there, and now here in Aus. As things stand the C5 and C6 may well be the end of Citroen's dalliance with hydraulic suspension!

    As to ultimate ride and comfort, there will always be a compromise, The much touted magic carpet ride of the D series (I mean the original D series) can become quite unsettled by deep hollows or short hump back rises. The C5 copes much better in those situations. For most 'normal' situations however, it still would be hard to better a good well sorted D for ride comfort.



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    "Dťesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

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    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

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    I too am wondering if the car mentioned at the top of the page was actually a hydractive car. My 2006 H3+ C5 is an enigma in that is is soft but feels to be without the extreme suspension travel that old hydropneumatic cars are famed for.... or the weight transfer or braking nose dive either. It is also without the "over corrections", and time delays that the old mechanical height correctors give. It is a far more stable platform, but a sympathetic driver ( me not SWMBO ) can pick the difference when it is riding on 4 spheres ( in sport mode ) instead of 6. When it does the switch itself I am none the wiser as other forces are at play to occupy my mind. M. Greenblood refers to our Storey bridge. It makes my C5 think it is on a bumpy road and so it does a series of nose lifts and nose lowerings as we progress across. None of the dramatic wheezes as it lowers after passengers get out either .. those speedy electronic height correctors again....or the roll that made some passengers uncomfortable.

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    My hydro suspension C5 doesn't float exactly like the earlier citroens like the D series (is it, the classic 60s one) or the xantia. My suspension is much harder by comparison with either. It is running Goodyears which probably accounts for some of that harshness, but overall I find it a far better handler all 'round than the other previous ones I mentioned. This is more than likely due to the ESP control which you turn off briefly if you like the body roll. Personally I prefer the Sports mode but haven't yet found out how to leave in on permanently. I'm sure it would float in water. It is very well sealed if a bit heavy.

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    UFO
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    From the first day we owned our C5 we agreed that it was a better ride than the XM that it replaced and sort of sometimes bordering on CX like ride. We had a CX at the time. However when the going gets serious the suspension really does its stuff. I had a blast up Brown Mt on Sunday morning and down Macquarie Pass on Sunday night and all the while the car was sure footed. Out on the freeways/highways there is little that you notice in the way of bumps and lumps.

    Sports mode when activated does make a difference. I use it every time I do Kiama bends.

    I noted this afternoon a Commode Ute with customary lowered @rse end and EVERY join in the road it went across it seemed the rear kicked up a little. Zero spring travel perhaps? Ah well, my spine doesn't need to soak up the bumps - the car does that for me!
    Craig K
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    In general, you'll find the C5 (current X7 series) from 2008 is a bit more of a floater than the model it replaced. Some of the early cars had an odd side-to-side rolling motion too, which I found odd. The older C5's were not as soft as the Xantia, but the non-Hydractive versions with only one sphere at each corner generally seemed to have a slightly softer ride than the true Hydractive cars. I think I prefer the Xantia/XM ride, but Hydractive gives a horrible ride in firm mode and my XM has decided that's all it wants at the moment. That and turning the radio off when pressing on the brake pedal or using the indicator - time to look at the wiring diagram ... and drive the SAAB until it's fixed.

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    Thanks for your replies guys. I'll be seeing the owner of the car in question and will ask a few relevant questions. FWIW the ride was so harsh I doubt it's suspension is working or he has it permanently in Sports mode.....not nice.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    In general, you'll find the C5 (current X7 series) from 2008 is a bit more of a floater than the model it replaced. Some of the early cars had an odd side-to-side rolling motion too, which I found odd. The older C5's were not as soft as the Xantia, but the non-Hydractive versions with only one sphere at each corner generally seemed to have a slightly softer ride than the true Hydractive cars. I think I prefer the Xantia/XM ride, but Hydractive gives a horrible ride in firm mode and my XM has decided that's all it wants at the moment. That and turning the radio off when pressing on the brake pedal or using the indicator - time to look at the wiring diagram ... and drive the SAAB until it's fixed.
    Does your XM have a bunch of earth points underneath the battery where they can get covered in acid Xm's ride quite well if stuck in hard mode with CX spheres on them That "sort of" defeats the idea of having hyperactive suspension though.

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    I have to say I think the C5 X7 with 19" wheels ride a little rougher than the ones with 18" wheels. Still not a CX like ride though.

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    Should add that my C5 has 18" wheels. One thing that I should have insisted was to downgrade to 17" wheels and tyres. That little extra rubber would make all the difference in shock absorbtion.
    Craig K
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    Does your XM have a bunch of earth points underneath the battery where they can get covered in acid Xm's ride quite well if stuck in hard mode with CX spheres on them That "sort of" defeats the idea of having hyperactive suspension though.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    It will probably turn out to be some electrical issue. Fitting CX spheres might give a softer ride, yes, but it also changes the damping in a way that may not be desirable. It's always going to be a compromise between a soft ride and adequate damping to make the car handle safely. Hydractive was meant to solve this problem by witching between two modes. The C6 took it further with 16 different damping levels at each corner, a feature not shared with the current C5 that shares it's suspension layout.

    A few words of warning for owners of temperamental old Hydractive cars. My current XM issue is one where the car doesn't ever switch out of firm mode when the car is running and has pumped up. However, it will open the valve to the third sphere at the moment the car is switched off and that can make it drop to the ground as the third sphere that had no load on it is suddenly filled with fluid. So, beware a sudden suspension drop on a Hydractive car and never get under it. I've also had this experience on an early XM, when simply opening the rear door after caused the back end to drop in the same way.
    Last edited by David S; 20th June 2013 at 02:56 PM.

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    JBN
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    I find with a hyperactive Xantia, The initial ride of the day feels a bit hard. As soon as the engine is switched off and then back on, the ride is as it should be. I can always tell when the petrol tank is below half, as the ride gets harsher, but filling the tank up and it rides at its best. I make a habit of listening to the hum of the hyperactive solenoids. If they are not humming, your ride will be in hard mode. Normally, the solenoids are activated by a door or the hatch opening, and the solenoid piston is retracted to open the middle sphere.

    If you never hear the humming (you may be partially deaf to that frequency) or there is no difference between switching the button from soft to hard mode, then you may need to add 2 diodes to the Suspension PC board, or in the worst case add a solid state thingo with 5 prongs. If anyone needs photos on this, there was a thread on AF or a PM with your email address will get them sent to you that way.

    John

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    1000+ Posts Richard W's Avatar
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    And you guys wonder why some of us stick to cart springs....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
    And you guys wonder why some of us stick to cart springs....
    The majority of motorists prefer their carts and the more horses the better.

    Citroen made sophisticated carts at the expense of the horses.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    I noted this afternoon a Commode Ute with customary lowered @rse end and EVERY join in the road it went across it seemed the rear kicked up a little. Zero spring travel perhaps? Ah well, my spine doesn't need to soak up the bumps - the car does that for me!
    Hope it didn't have the customary slab in the back :-p
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    My C5 floated beautifully fell in love with the ride
    I also ran 215 50 17 tyres drove it round Australia on some of the most appaling roads didnt even slow down am looking at buying another one just waitiong for the prices to drop again

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    Quote Originally Posted by laurie_lewis View Post
    I have to say I think the C5 X7 with 19" wheels ride a little rougher than the ones with 18" wheels. Still not a CX like ride though.
    Not surprising Laurie. You're almost on solid rubber with that profile.
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    Fellow Frogger! laurie_lewis's Avatar
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    They look good though, John.


    All the best,

    Laurie

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    You're quite right Laurie. The C5 is quite a classy car.

    I haven't driven a C5 of any type yet. Waiting for the Xantia to get a few kilometres up. At speed with windy bumps the Xantia definitely is better controlled and more controllable than the CX, which is interesting. I'll have to try a C5 sometime though.

    Quote Originally Posted by laurie_lewis View Post
    They look good though, John.


    All the best,

    Laurie

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    JohnW

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