Xantia Harsh Ride
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Thread: Xantia Harsh Ride

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! sparkey's Avatar
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    Default Xantia Harsh Ride

    My series II Xantia SX, which is the poverty pack and does not include the Activa-style multi sphere conglomeration, is travelling slightly hard, probably more so up the back.

    When placed on next step up from normal drive height its really harsh (like on the highest setting).

    Replaced rear spheres with couple of serviceable spares I had in the shed but still harsh.

    Have lubricated all height control links still no difference.

    Bit of research suggests one of the springs in the electrovalve gets tired and requires stretching or replacing.(some people possibly refer to this as diodes). Contacted Euro Auto Imports and they have never heard of such part.

    Have looked high and low and cannot find the supposed electrovalve. Its not attached to the regulator, nor is there one at the back suspension system.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?

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    1000+ Posts forumnoreason's Avatar
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    Is the pump cycling like crazy? Could be accumulator sphere, tried bleeding the regulator?

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    There are no electrovalves, it is not a Hydractive model.

    I have some suggestions, however, remember I am not a "guru".

    1. Your serviceable spheres are low on pressure. Test them and report back.
    2. Those serviceable spheres may be the wrong type. Positively identify them yourself and cross-check. Be sceptical of anything a seller or giver, told you about them.
    3. The "intermediate" setting is too high and your car is actually hydraulically locked at almost maximum ram travel. This is a fiddly bugger to adjust.
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    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Both my Xantias rest against the bump stops on medium height which makes the ride quite bouncy. You can really only judge sphere condition on normal height. Unless your serviceable spare spheres are Xantia SX rear spheres and have 30 bar in them, then ride will be firm. Xantias are not very tolerant of flat back spheres.

    Cheers, Ken

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    Fellow Frogger! sparkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    There are no electrovalves, it is not a Hydractive model.

    I have some suggestions, however, remember I am not a "guru".

    1. Your serviceable spheres are low on pressure. Test them and report back.
    2. Those serviceable spheres may be the wrong type. Positively identify them yourself and cross-check. Be sceptical of anything a seller or giver, told you about them.
    3. The "intermediate" setting is too high and your car is actually hydraulically locked at almost maximum ram travel. This is a fiddly bugger to adjust.
    Thanks for the electrovalve info. No wonder I couldn't locate them. My experience doing research on Xantias is that people generally don't identify as series I/II or Activa

    1 & 2 - The serviceable spheres are the grey saucer style (reputably good for many years) They were on the car for 5 years and have since been in storage and were working well when last used.

    3. The 3rd setting (intermediate) really feels like its on maximum. May need to explore further

    Off to wreckers tomorrow to stock up on spheres. Will see how it all goes
    '73 & '74 GS Break
    '00 Xantia Break
    '78 504 GL - gone to good home
    '69 ID19B - if wasn't for mortgage would still have, '74 DS23 Pallas
    '74 Renault TS , '69 Renault TS - last seen forlorn at Taminda wreckers

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    Fellow Frogger! sparkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    Is the pump cycling like crazy? Could be accumulator sphere, tried bleeding the regulator?
    Pump is fine. Sort of bled the regulator when I changed the rear spheres (released the system)
    '73 & '74 GS Break
    '00 Xantia Break
    '78 504 GL - gone to good home
    '69 ID19B - if wasn't for mortgage would still have, '74 DS23 Pallas
    '74 Renault TS , '69 Renault TS - last seen forlorn at Taminda wreckers

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    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    Thanks for the electrovalve info. No wonder I couldn't locate them. My experience doing research on Xantias is that people generally don't identify as series I/II or Activa

    1 & 2 - The serviceable spheres are the grey saucer style (reputably good for many years) They were on the car for 5 years and have since been in storage and were working well when last used.

    3. The 3rd setting (intermediate) really feels like its on maximum. May need to explore further

    Off to wreckers tomorrow to stock up on spheres. Will see how it all goes
    Sounds like those spheres are from a C5. Xantia spheres are all round, like a ball. Paint is generally green, but may be grey. When looking at spheres, take a note of the number punched into them. This is the pressure they should be gassed to in BAR. The rears are about 30 BAR.

    John

    John

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    What about comfort spears? They can be those flat uns I tort!
    like any cit your accumulator sphere will be first to go and worth thinking about replacing, I had shagged spheres all round and first to arrive for replacement was accumulator, whacked that on and noticed some real improvement, it was as stiff as a board before. This is on a hydractive.

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    There is also a centre sphere at the back, no? Difficult to see and with a metal hydraulic line screwed into it at the front.
    Regards,

    Simon

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    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    I would not go sourcing spheres from the wreckers unless you have some way of testing their pressure BEFORE you buy them. A flat sphere is no good to you, on or off the car.
    If you have a harsh ride in a Xantia you have flat spheres, period. Get a set of new ones, or get the old ones re-gassed. It can be done, even the dimpled ones ( double membraned).
    Check with your local Citroen Car Club experts.
    Good luck, Cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    There are no electrovalves, it is not a Hydractive model...
    Spot on. I did however see one of these culprits today on the '00 Xantia Exclusive wreck. It was located at the near side base of the radiator. The bit the chevrons and 31 are pointing at:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Xantia Harsh Ride-img_2160.jpg  
    '73 & '74 GS Break
    '00 Xantia Break
    '78 504 GL - gone to good home
    '69 ID19B - if wasn't for mortgage would still have, '74 DS23 Pallas
    '74 Renault TS , '69 Renault TS - last seen forlorn at Taminda wreckers

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Yes, I knew I was correct. There is also one on the rear subframe, slightly off-centre. Plus an additional wiring harness and control unit (subject of the much cited "diode mod") inside the ECU box under the bonnet.

    If I were you and had a late S2 "wreck" I would put the system in, in entirety. Then I'd run non-Hydractive corner spheres for maximum compliance in "comfort" mode. This all requires quite some work, including modification to the rear suspension cylinder feed points.

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    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Your saucer rear spheres should be OK if they are the right part number for your car. Have you got binding bearings in the rear trailing arms? Xantias rear arm bearings seem to last better than GSs and BXs but I'm sure they give up eventually.

    Cheers, Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    Spot on. I did however see one of these culprits today on the '00 Xantia Exclusive wreck. It was located at the near side base of the radiator. The bit the chevrons and 31 are pointing at:
    thats an smac unit is it not? keeps system pressurised when not running. Or is a regulator! I'd go down and get the torch out but waiting for she who must be ignored to turn up so I can hook into the thai takeaway..,

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    All good information.

    Our Xantia was always too high at the back on that intermediate high setting, so rode really badly in that position, but I never bothered to fiddle as I couldn't see any reason for using that setting except for wading, and then you want full height and low speed anyway.

    Certainly the ride difference between low pressure and correct pressure rear spheres is quite noticeable.

    So, if the accumulator and rear brake accumulator (centre sphere, known as "anti-sink") are OK, and you know that from testing them, like others have suggested, I'd make sure the rear spheres have the right pressure. They should be super soft at the rear if all is right. it's just possible that the grey ones are not the correct ones for the Xantia (are you sure?) and that the replacements were too low in pressure.

    Good luck!
    JohnW

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    The item pictured is a Hydractive stiffness regulator. There's another on the rear beam. SMAC is the anti-sink system. Different items again and you find them on both Hydractive and non-Hydractive cars after about 1997. S2 Xantia arrived in 1998. That stiffness regulator should be common to XM and there is always the possibly dodgy diode issue with the electrovalves that control them. It, the strut tops, piping and spheres are useless to anyone with a non-Hydractive system, but the sphere could be a substitute accumulator as it has no damper and the static pressure is within the acceptable range of a 62Bar accumulator. If the valve block and electrovalve are up for grabs cheaply, I wouldn't mind it as a spare.

    Very late Xantia spheres could have been painted grey, which denoted the improved late membrane. However, if you are moving them to another car, then you have to look at the size of the damper hole. Hydractive cars with the 10mm tube piping use spheres with a hole that is usually about 0.8mm, while a non-Hydractive cars (very thin piping) use spheres with a hole typically 1.2mm. It makes a big difference to the ride quality if you mistakenly fit Hydractive spheres to a non-Hydractive car even if the static pressures seem about the same. Rather like a Hydractive car stuck in firm mode with the third sphere isolated because the electrovalve is suspect. Beware as they can drop very suddenly if a dodgy electrovalve decides to work unexpectedly! Not so bad the other way around fitting non-Hydractive spheres to a Hydractive car, but maybe not ideal if handling becomes important. The grey 'saucer' spheres were used on some very late Xantia models and intended for C5/C6.
    Last edited by David S; 19th May 2016 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Correction

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    1000+ Posts forumnoreason's Avatar
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    Hey John pretty sure the owners manual declares NOT to drive at all on highEST setting! purely for tyre swaps.
    Last edited by forumnoreason; 19th May 2016 at 10:42 AM.

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    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Hi David,

    At the end of the Xantia Series II run, Citroen did fit saucer spheres. Check service citroen series 2 Xantia suspension diagrams for part numbers. You can even get a saucer accumulator sphere.

    Cheers, Ken

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    Ken, you are of course correct, the parts diagrams do show the 'saucer' spheres as possible items for the rear and the accumulator, but not at the front. Some are listed as no longer supplied, so those types may never have been very common. Also, there is no mention of a specific point at which a change was made.

    p.s. The stiffness regulator spheres on a C5 with H3+ appear to be 62(F) and 44(R) Bar units, so a salvaged unit may suit as a Xantia accumulator.
    Last edited by David S; 19th May 2016 at 01:00 PM.

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    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    I'll lay bets on it being the swing arm bearings. We changed ours a few months ago, and while they were not destroyed all grease had dried up.The difference after amazing. Ours is also a S2 SX.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    ...If the valve block and electrovalve are up for grabs cheaply, I wouldn't mind it as a spare...
    David -went back to wreckers a week ago to collect couple of alloys plus the bit you wanted above but they sent the Exclusive to the crusher
    '73 & '74 GS Break
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    '78 504 GL - gone to good home
    '69 ID19B - if wasn't for mortgage would still have, '74 DS23 Pallas
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    Does anyone know how to test if the diodes are working that switch the centre spheres in and out of circuit? They can't be very expensive to replace although unsure of the difficulty level.

    My limited experience is with a Xantia VSX which had 9 spheres. I had all spheres regassed and the ride was still very firm. Kimmo bought the car and ended up replacing the infamous diodes and afterwards you could push the rear to the bumpstops with one hand, it was super soft.

    As with everything diagnostic I suppose you do the easy/obvious things first and work down. From reading above posts it could be suspension spheres, accumulator spheres, stiffness regulator (diodes), rear arm bearings, height corrector, etc. Check in that order or similar and you should nail it....all the best of luck Sparkey!

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    The diodes are not the core problem, it's the pair of solid state drivers that provide a square wave pulse to energise the electrovalves.

    You should be able to look at the driving signals on a scope to check them. If they're good, you fit diodes to preserve them. If they're bad, you renew these driver transistors again, check your waveform and when OK fit the diodes.
    Andy N likes this.

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    I thought those electro valves were only for the hyperactive suspension?

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    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    Our S2 Xantia is a 2000 model and it has green spheres from new and still has them. To fix the harsh ride, do the rear swing arm bearings and make sure the spheres on your car are correct for an S2 SX and at the correct pressure. The other spheres you will have are the accumulator sphere on the regulator and the anti sink sphere on the rear subframe with the hydraulic line screwed into the front. Both of these have no effect on ride quality
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