The Lazy Mans Hydraulic Ride Improvement
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    JBN
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    Default The Lazy Mans Hydraulic Ride Improvement

    The hydraulics on my 1995 Xantia VSX are in a bad state. The ride goes hard at times, the rear jumps up suddenly after starting the car for the first time for the day. I did replace the rear height corrector with another (which was just as good/bad). Today I bit the bullet.

    I emptied out the old LHM. Cleaned the filters. In the process of removing the LHM tank, I broke one of the 20 year old rubber return lines. Fortunately, I had the solution on hand. To add a few inches of new rubber tubing to the old hard rubber tubing, I used a Pirtek P7R 1/4" to 3/16" brass reducer.


    The Lazy Mans Hydraulic Ride Improvement-pirtek-p7r.jpg The Lazy Mans Hydraulic Ride Improvement-xantia-return-hose-2.jpg
    This is a great lifesaver. The old rubber is rock solid, but the smaller barb penetrates it without splitting the rubber. It is then clamped. The larger barb slips easily into the new rubber and is also clamped.

    After 2 CXs and 2 BXs, I am continually amazed how badly designed the Xantia LHM container is to remove, empty and clean.

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    Rant over. After speaking to Father Goose, he recommended a refill of 3 litres of diesel and the remainder as ATF. Both are high detergent and over the next month they should clean the height correctors and any other contaminated/sluggish slide valves. When the ride and operation returns to normal, empty, clean and refill the LHM container with LHM.

    I will keep you posted on how this turns out. If there is no word from me, have a look if I am posting under the Peugeot or Renault forums.

    John

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    Fellow Frogger! XM Mechanic's Avatar
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    Hi John,

    It wouldn't be the diodes in the centre sphere actuator dying?

    I seem to remember that you have rectified this in the suspension computer once before? Was that a different car?
    Regards,

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    That behaviour is what can happen in a Hydractive Xantia when the valve for the centre sphere is a bit suspect. You get the same behaviour with an XM. When the rear Hydractive stiffness regulator valve opens and brings the centre (stiffness regulator) sphere into action, the back can sometimes rise or fall suddenly, depending on whether the centre sphere is or is not fully pressurized. The problem may be electrical / electronic rather than purely hydraulic. If it's too hard to fix, then once way out is to convert it to a non-Hydractive by changing the spheres and disabling the centre spheres. Height control would still work as there is a bypass for this purpose.

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    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Hi David,
    if you had a VSX why would you want to disable the centre sphere? It makes the ride so much better.

    If you really wanted to , you could replace it with a dead sphere.. but there would be no point.

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    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    The hydraulics on my 1995 Xantia VSX are in a bad state. The ride goes hard at times, the rear jumps up suddenly after starting the car for the first time for the day. I did replace the rear height corrector with another (which was just as good/bad). Today I bit the bullet.

    I emptied out the old LHM. Cleaned the filters. In the process of removing the LHM tank, I broke one of the 20 year old rubber return lines. Fortunately, I had the solution on hand. To add a few inches of new rubber tubing to the old hard rubber tubing, I used a Pirtek P7R 1/4" to 3/16" brass reducer.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a great lifesaver. The old rubber is rock solid, but the smaller barb penetrates it without splitting the rubber. It is then clamped. The larger barb slips easily into the new rubber and is also clamped.

    After 2 CXs and 2 BXs, I am continually amazed how badly designed the Xantia LHM container is to remove, empty and clean.

    Rant over. After speaking to Father Goose, he recommended a refill of 3 litres of diesel and the remainder as ATF. Both are high detergent and over the next month they should clean the height correctors and any other contaminated/sluggish slide valves. When the ride and operation returns to normal, empty, clean and refill the LHM container with LHM.

    I will keep you posted on how this turns out. If there is no word from me, have a look if I am posting under the Peugeot or Renault forums.

    John
    Hi John, when my VSX Xantia had that strange up and down behavior when waiting at the lights, I adjusted the overall positioning of the height control arm, just at the rear.
    before I did this, when I drove the car, if I set the height to NORMAL ride height, the ride was just ok, but if I set it to the max ride height it would jump up to max height...with no suspension. Once I adjusted it, it could be driven on either of the normal ride height positions, and it stopped doing the up and down thing at the lights too.

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    WRB
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    Hi George,
    Can you explain exactly what you did to adjust the height lever.
    the rear of my XM does the up/down thing at lights and I would really like to fix it.

    thanks

    Warren

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    Try using the handbrake while waiting at lights & see if it still goes up & down. If not , then it is just the trailing arm suspension geometry working normally trying to level the rear against the brakes.


    Richard

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    I agree that the problem could be the diodes. I bought half a dozen of them and will replace them. I had replaced the anti-sink and rear hydractive spheres in the hope that this would help. I also replaced the rear height corrector. I also replaced one of the rear arms as the wheel bearing was stuffed, with a second hand arm with a good wheel bearing. Much easier to replace the whole arm rather than change the actual wheel bearing. When Jason replaced the arm, he commented that the rear trailing arm bearings were good. He had renewed them a few years ago, maybe 30-40K ago.

    I decided to do the diesel purge as it is time to replace the LHM anyhow. When I first obtained this car, I did the same and then replaced all the spheres. I should have time to replace the diodes at the end of the coming week.

    One thing I am glad of is that I have a supply of the Pirtek reducers and the small clamps plus the small diameter hose. The old hardened hose is so brittle that it breaks off very cleanly. You don't need to trim the end with a knife it is so cleanly broken. Holding the old tube with pliers as you insert the barb and you get a nice tight fit. The clamp is to stabilise the old rubber so it doesn't split.
    If I died and went to heaven and had a lot of time on my hands, I might replace all the rubber, but the thought of that keeps me here and healthy with no desire to move on.

    John

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    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WRB View Post
    Hi George,
    Can you explain exactly what you did to adjust the height lever.
    the rear of my XM does the up/down thing at lights and I would really like to fix it.

    thanks

    Warren
    Hi Warren, it was a few year ago.... the adjustment was directly under the console( under the car). The point where the positioning lever joins the actuating rod, there is a small 10mm adjustment screw/nut. I never adjusted where the clamp goes on the anti-sway bar, where it can be loosened and turned. I didn't want to change everything in general.
    Because the fault was one where the max drivable position was giving me FULL Height...= undrivable. SO I reasoned that I should re-set the lever so that the lever should reflect what the car was doing. I set the car on max driveable height ( which made the car go up to total height with no suspension.) and then I loosened the adjustment screw on the shaft ...then carefully re-set the lever inside the car to the full height (service ) position...then locked the rod in that spot. This fixed everything. Good luck Warren...

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    Very neat approach George. I'll remember that.
    JohnW

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    Thanks for this George. I will have a look on the weekend but, the settings on my car seem okay. Might just need a tweak

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    JBN
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    The suspension is getting a bit better on the Xantia. Had a quick trip to Phillip Island and then Melbourne and back from Melbourne to Sydney today. There is still a bit of a diesel smell to the car, but I think I overfilled the container. The C420 down to San Remo was a bit bumpy and kept the suspension working.

    I will await to see what the mail brings in relation to how quick the trip was. I generally spot the standing speed cameras in time in Victoria, but have not gotten into the habit of checking them on overhead bridges. I am also ignorant in how the Average Time cameras work along the Hume Highway in NSW. I don't help things by constantly changing lanes to always be on the inside of corners, thus reducing the actual distance travelled which may make the time taken even shorter.

    Still, I expect my contributions to state revenue will be appreciated, and I haven't made any serious withdrawals on my demerit points for a while.

    John

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    I have my GPS stuck inside the instrument bezal in front of the speedo because it is more accurate - I checked this against one of the overhead speed readers

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    I am also ignorant in how the Average Time cameras work along the Hume Highway in NSW. I don't help things by constantly changing lanes to always be on the inside of corners, thus reducing the actual distance travelled which may make the time taken even shorter.
    Officially, point to point or average speed cameras in NSW are for regulating Heavy Vehicles only.

    The signage is, I'm sure, deliberately ambiguous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLC206 View Post
    Officially, point to point or average speed cameras in NSW are for regulating Heavy Vehicles only.

    The signage is, I'm sure, deliberately ambiguous.

    Thanks for this. I knew that the Safe-T-Cams (eg. on New England Highway at Dundee, where there is little or no signage) were only checking heavy vehicles, but the Point-to-Point Speed cameras (such as at Victoria Pass on the West side of the Blue Mountains) with their totally ambiguous signage, had me fooled.

    The Blue Mts Gazette confirms you are right (as does the RMS website of course).
    Heavy vehicle speed cameras near completion at Victoria Pass | Blue Mountains Gazette
    Point-to-point speed cameras - Speeding & camera enforcement - Safety & compliance - Heavy vehicles - Business & Industry - Roads and Maritime Services

    Cheers

    Alec

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    JBN
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    That's a relief. I saw very few HWP cars, both in NSW and Victoria along the Hume. Being midweek, both down and back, I guess there is little for them to do. Very little traffic. Most traffic will be on cruise control, thumb in bum, mind in neutral. The road is very good now.

    The only negative change is that most refuelling stops serve either Hungry Jacks or McDonalds, where years ago I could buy my favourite road food - scrambled eggs on toast (very hard to stuff up). The Bakery at Goulburn Shell on the southern side is the only stop I enjoy. Terrific pies, coffee, atmosphere and an open log fire. Tarcutta is now bypassed, which was the next best place.

    John

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    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    The Bakery at Goulburn Shell on the southern side is the only stop I enjoy. Terrific pies, coffee, atmosphere and an open log fire. Tarcutta is now bypassed, which was the next best place.

    John
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    OK John - how's the witches brew going? No new leaks? Do you think your height correctors etc. are working better yet?

    Did Father Goose make any suggestions about the type of ATF? I am aware that most have friction modifiers (which seems to mean friction increaser ), but that the specs for some Ford ATF "specifically excludes the addition of friction modifiers".

    My instinct is that abrasives in the LHM could be harmful. Or is that the point of the ATF; it's for the short term and the abrasives help with the cleaning?

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Friction modifiers are NOT friction increasers! That would result in the box lunching itself.

    I'm decrying the diesel treatment, most Xantiś I know of that had this done, suffered a number of failed hoses afterwards. Including mine!

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    I still have an occasional problem with the back dropping after the car has been standing for a number of hours.

    I have drained the diesel and ATF brew and replaced it with LHM and bled the brakes.

    I have used this treatment initially on this car and also on one of my BXs. The hoses shouldn't fail as they are all "fuel line" quality. I used a cheap ATF which in many respects is similar to LHM. Going back to CX days, the manual stated to use ATF in lieu of LHM if there was no LHM available. Many country CXs ran most of their lives on ATF as it was easier to procure than LHM.

    As a bonus and for no apparent reason, the central locking has returned. However, since the only lock that works is the boot (neither of the front doors work via the key) I am loath to lock the car, as it takes a while to break in via the boot and it does draw some funny looks from people watching. Given the cost of a new ignition lock & key and new front door locks and boot lock, I will live with the car unlocked.

    If I was really worried, I could knock up a nice official looking sign stating "This car is under police surveillance and has purposely been left unlocked" with a scanned NSW police emblem to give it a legitimate look.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Friction modifiers are NOT friction increasers! That would result in the box lunching itself.

    I'm decrying the diesel treatment, most Xantiś I know of that had this done, suffered a number of failed hoses afterwards. Including mine!
    I thought the issue was that if the ATF was too slippery the wet clutch(s) would slip (OK motor bikes have multiplate wet clutches bathed in straight engine oil, but they aren't as heavy).


    Re. the leaks - can't say I'm surprised - diesel is a pretty good solvent!

    What I am looking for is the cheapest fluid that I can use to temporarily fill up an old Xantia (which has leaks I can't be bothered fixing - which is why the stuff needs to be cheap!) so I can move it. Rabbits are living under it, and with the car down to it's bump stops the dogs can't follow them under it !!

    It would be preferable if the stuff does no harm as it's a VSX and packed full of useful stuff. OK - LHM's the best, but ATF is half the price and available in 4 litre containers anywhere! Diesel would be even cheaper, but the leaks are bad enough thanks! If Dex II is OK I'll use that - don't like the idea of having anything else around that might accidentally find it's way into a 605 auto trans!

    Cheers

    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 30th August 2015 at 11:23 PM.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Dex 2 is fine but why not put UHMW rods in the suspension cylinders?

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    You think I've got plastic rods just lying around? No idea where you find that sort of thing in Armidale...

    Just filling it up and getting the hydraulics to do the work should be far easier - will give the engine a run as well (keeping in mind Jo Proffi's advice about thoroughly heating up a car so as to drive out all moisture from mufflers etc...

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    I would go DEX II. I drove a CX from Brisbane to Sydney with that in it. Both DEX II and LHM are 10 grade oils. Probably a bit more detergent in DEX II as automatic gearboxes need spotless conditions and operate at higher temperature.

    Slippery isn't an issue with a Citroen suspension. Also, the VSX is not different to any other LHM suspended car as far as fluid goes. All LHM cars have spheres (which consist of metal and rubber). The only difference with a VSX/XM setup fluid wise is the solenoids, and all they consist of are pistons that are pulled out of the way upon starting the car. They may close off the centre sphere if the computer dictates that the suspension should go to hard mode, and will close off the centre sphere when the engine is switched off.

    John

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    Thanks John - useful info about the viscosity too!

    Alec

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