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Thread: DS Headlight Damper

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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Icon3 DS Headlight Damper

    Thought this opportune to post at this time. David S has made mention of a much neglected component on a D, the headlight damper (D Special headlight assembly). I'm just in the process of bringing mine back to life and was intrigued to learn that the damper is hydraulic and should contain LHM, the only hydraulic component that is not connected to the main system.

    Having never had one apart I'd always assumed it to have a solid rubber, when actually it is a very clever device with a moving piston and an orifice between two cavities for the LHM to pass from one side to the other. The hole /orifice is larger on one side than the other which I guess is designed to assist with damping as the LHM is forced through and returns?

    From what I understand there are two variations an 'H' as is mine and a 'V'. I've also been told that some were plastic, mine is alloy.

    Quote Originally Posted by David S
    If the damping device is untouched original, it may need repair, which involves cleaning and replacing two rubber diaphragms, same as used in a height corrector.
    This is the unit removed from the car after pulling it apart and cleaning, the two rubber diaphragms are completely shot and have probably been that way since I've owned the car. The build up of muck meant the piston possibly hadn't moved in 20 years.

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    The components after dis-assembly, the outer rings just push off, undo the nuts, release the diaphragms and withdraw the piston.



    The centre hole is where the piston fits, as mentioned one side has a large hole between cavities, the other a small.





    I didn't take note when pulling things apart but I presume the large hole will face to the front of the car where the connecting rod will attach - anyone confirm?



    I've ordered replacement diaphragms and note that these are the same as used on height correctors.

    Truly amazing cars, another learning curve for me

    Cheers
    Chris
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DS Headlight Damper-1rims-removed.jpg   DS Headlight Damper-2perished-rubber.jpg   DS Headlight Damper-3components.jpg   DS Headlight Damper-4large-hole.jpg   DS Headlight Damper-5small-hole.jpg   DS Headlight Damper-6piston-longer-thread-big-hole.jpg  

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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Not so much a piston Chris, just a connecting shaft between the two bellows like diaphragms. Nice isn't it, they utilised the 1955 tooling for the rubber parts. The same part also fits my BX height correctors, maybe the Xantia too? Those parts were probably in production for over five decades!
    Michael
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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelr View Post
    Not so much a piston Chris, just a connecting shaft between the two bellows like diaphragms. Nice isn't it, they utilised the 1955 tooling for the rubber parts. The same part also fits my BX height correctors, maybe the Xantia too? Those parts were probably in production for over five decades!
    Very nice Michael, I've searched to no avail to find any information on the damper. Nothing in any of the manuals, well nothing anywhere I've looked. Lance at DS Motors gave me a bit of a run down and informed me that these are topped up with LHM when fitting the second diaphragm, what a neat bit of kit, hydraulic headlight dampers

    I had disabled the lights from moving as I found them annoyingly jerky on my car, I understand why now, and look forward to getting that side of things working as intended.

    Cheers
    Chris
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    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

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

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    Chris, you may find the jerky movement is due to stiffness or corrosion within the tubes that carry the self levelling wires. These are piano wire ( ie single wires ) and are subject to corrosion within the tubes. With your well documented attention to detail you may have already removed and cleaned out the pipes. The rear one is subject to easy crushing too. The front cable being shorter and in a more oily and more protected area is less likely to be a problem.

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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritzelhund View Post
    Chris, you may find the jerky movement is due to stiffness or corrosion within the tubes that carry the self levelling wires. These are piano wire ( ie single wires ) and are subject to corrosion within the tubes. With your well documented attention to detail you may have already removed and cleaned out the pipes. The rear one is subject to easy crushing too. The front cable being shorter and in a more oily and more protected area is less likely to be a problem.
    Thanks fritzelhund,
    I've yet to investigate the tubes, but I do suspect the rear will be unservicable, pulling on the cable at the front shows no give at all.

    Again, most of the parts can be bought new including the cable with rear attachment. I'm determined now to get it all working properly again.

    Cheers
    Chris
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    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

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

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    Cool!

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    God is in the detail, thank you Chris. I'm chasing you, in this department.

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    I've just removed this one off 74DSpecial, plastic version with single rubber on back going to see about bits for replacing rubbers.DS Headlight Damper-imageuploadedbyaussiefrogs1394954652.553581.jpgDS Headlight Damper-imageuploadedbyaussiefrogs1394954684.668962.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    I've just removed this one off 74DSpecial, plastic version with single rubber on back going to see about bits for replacing rubbers.Click image for larger version. 

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    Interesting. Mine is a 74 D Special too yet with a metal damper like Greenbloods.

    SF

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotFrog View Post
    Interesting. Mine is a 74 D Special too yet with a metal damper like Greenbloods.

    SF
    Fair chance it's had the front guard swapped from something older perhaps? Most old D series will have mix and match panels by now, some of them having served on several cars.

  11. #11
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    The unit in my car has a considerably different set up, front has same set up but only single orifice and no sleeve on rear/different rubber, got me wondering as franzose has plastic units but same set up (assumed) as metal version.
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    The unit in my car has a considerably different set up, front has same set up but only single orifice and no sleeve on rear/different rubber, got me wondering as franzose has plastic units but same set up (assumed) as metal version.
    Steve,
    Citroworld carry both types 'V' and 'H' complete at 33Euro each, but it looks like you get a 25Euro refund if you supply your old unit? Geert also has the rebuild kits at 16.70Euro - only one kit version so I guess the kit is suitable for both types?

    I've purchased a kit and it comprises two outer rubber cups and two outer rings.

    Citroworld | Dé webshop voor al uw Citroën auto-onderdelen (Citroën DS, H, HY, HZ en 2CV) en speciale gereedschap

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

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

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    Is this the same as the SM turning headlight mechanism?

    Regards

    agd123

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    Mmmmm using Height corrector for that job. Good one!
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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agd123 View Post
    Is this the same as the SM turning headlight mechanism?

    Regards

    agd123
    I believe so, yes. I'll have to reference an SM parts book to be sure. You do mean just the damper units, right?

    Edit, oh do I have an edit: No. They appear to be different. The SM book lists them as 5 405 482p.

    The two later D books (from 1971->on) list them as DX 541 260a. The earlier books (1968-69) list an "H" style. The SM and later D is a "Y" style. Curiously, the early D book lists as components to build a damper. The later books list the complete unit.

    What the difference really is, I don't know. It could be as simple as finish, or the length of the external nut for the damper rod. It could also be the length of the internal 'piston'.
    Last edited by Hotrodelectric; 18th March 2014 at 03:15 PM. Reason: corrected information
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotrodelectric View Post
    I believe so, yes. I'll have to reference an SM parts book to be sure. You do mean just the damper units, right?

    Edit, oh do I have an edit: No. They appear to be different. The SM book lists them as 5 405 482p.

    The two later D books (from 1971->on) list them as DX 541 260a. The earlier books (1968-69) list an "H" style. The SM and later D is a "Y" style. Curiously, the early D book lists as components to build a damper. The later books list the complete unit.

    What the difference really is, I don't know. It could be as simple as finish, or the length of the external nut for the damper rod. It could also be the length of the internal 'piston'.

    The "V" (or Y) units do not have pistons per se as noted by Michaelr and photographed by Forumnoreason. This is the DX 541-260A Part # that could be deemed to be unserviceable which is not the case if the diaphragms are available.

    And as Greenblood got replacement diaphragms for his "H" unit, contact with Citroworld will confirm replacements diaphragms for the V units are also available. (Can't see the need for the retaining rings to be replaced though.)

    I'd reckon a bulk buy for Oz would not go astray.

    And the real reason for posting this reply is that the question arises as to what volume of oil goes in it on reassembly?

    John

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    It's not oil that goes in them, it's headlight fluid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    It's not oil that goes in them, it's headlight fluid.

    Say again!

    WTF is headlight fluid? Oils aren't oil!?

    However, nevertheless, how many millilitres? It is certainly not litres! I'd reckon it's quite important.

    Regards,

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAJEA View Post
    Say again!

    WTF is headlight fluid? Oils aren't oil!?

    However, nevertheless, how many millilitres? It is certainly not litres! I'd reckon it's quite important.

    Regards,

    John
    LHM John. . .
    Craig likes to enjoy his sense of humour

    Lance from DS Motors advice was to fit one rubber cup and fill the unit with LHM from the other side until the LHM is level or as full as possible, then fit the second rubber.

    Cheers
    Chris
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    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBlood View Post
    LHM John. . .
    Craig likes to enjoy his sense of humour

    Lance from DS Motors advice was to fit one rubber cup and fill the unit with LHM from the other side until the LHM is level or as full as possible, then fit the second rubber.

    Cheers
    Chris

    Thanks Chris,

    We would have to accept Lance's advice.

    John

    PS: Sorry Craig, caught hook line and sinker!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAJEA View Post
    (Can't see the need for the retaining rings to be replaced though.)

    John
    If your retaining rings are in good order, definitely no reason to replace other than for looks.



    Mine is now reassembled and filled with Liquide de Headlight Minéral (LHM)

    With the oil in place the movement of the connecting shaft and rubber cups is quite different, the shaft can move in either direction maybe a total of 10mm but always returns softly to centre. Very impressed

    Cheers
    Chris
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DS Headlight Damper-7rebuilt.jpg  
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    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

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

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    So now your eyes are Green when Bloodshot Chris?
    Brendan.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBlood View Post

    Mine is now reassembled and filled with Liquide de Headlight Minéral (LHM)


    Cheers
    Chris
    Touchè monsieur, touchè!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBlood View Post
    If your retaining rings are in good order, definitely no reason to replace other than for looks.



    Mine is now reassembled and filled with Liquide de Headlight Minéral (LHM)

    With the oil in place the movement of the connecting shaft and rubber cups is quite different, the shaft can move in either direction maybe a total of 10mm but always returns softly to centre. Very impressed

    Cheers
    Chris
    If anybody is interested.

    I'm in the process of ordering replacement diaphrams for mine. Attached is the reponse I received from Citroen Andre (which is also informative).

    "The parts to refurbish those dampers are the same as the parts to refurbish an height corrector.
    There is also no difference between the V shaped and the H shaped dampers.
    For the dampers we have available the two rubber diaphragms and the metal rings.
    Diaphragms are EUR 8,50 each and the rings EUR 5,- each
    We also have complete height corrector kits @ EUR 40,- but they include some pieces you do not need.
    We could compose a set for the dampers for you but you have to let me know if you also need the two metal plates.
    What we do not have is the plastic plug in one of the diaphragms. You have to reuse this from the old damper.
    Looking forward to hearing from you."

    I also received a response from Citroworld that confirmed the 16.70 Euro price for 2 diaphrams and 2 rings

    Citroworld | Dé webshop voor al uw Citroën auto-onderdelen (Citroën DS, H, HY, HZ en 2CV) en speciale gereedschap

    I have not discussed postage or confirmation that prices are inclusive of VAT. Nevertheless, 16.70 is not a bad price to restore the dampers.

    Does a 74 D also have the "height corrector"; if so where?

    So, if anybody is interested in one shipment coming into Australia and being distributed via AusPost within please advise.

    Regards,

    John

  25. #25
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    Does anyone know when the cast "H" shaped damper was phased out and replaced by the plastic "V" version? Or do I have that back to front?

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