CX2400 steering/diravi?
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Thread: CX2400 steering/diravi?

  1. #1
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    Default CX2400 steering/diravi?

    It's for an off line mate in Metcalfe.
    His '84 CX had a tendency to pull slightly left. Recently, he hit a few potholes and since then the steering problem (not just pulling to left) got worse.
    Going straight ahead, he can't let the steering wheel go. If he does the steering goes unpredictably left or right. There is a clicking from under the dash which he thinks is the diravi (he pulled the dash out to have a close look and listen). The clicking and steering wheel moving also happens stationary with the engine idling.

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    He'd very much appreciate if anybody could sell him a second hand diravi, know how to fix it and where to get the parts or any other ideas. He (Alan Barta) is very good repairing mechanical problems but doesn't want to open the diravi without having data.

    The car is practically un drive-able because of the steering danger.
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Found this on Google Images. It gives a rough and ready pictorial on how DIRAVI actually works. Your mechanic friend may well be hearing alarming noises, but it isn't part of the rack itself. The DIRAVI unit has a speed governor not completely unlike the old cruise control units, driven by the speedometer through a splitter and on into the steering, That ball looking thingy- the one that looks a little like a sphere- is the speed governor. That's what controls the hydraulic pressure to the wheel, and gives it the ability to self-center.

    Imma bet the rent your friend's steering problems, unless the potholes were so violent as to strip and damage the DIRAVI unit, are pretty much all up front in the knuckles and joints themselves.
    The measure of your character isn't what you do when people are watching- it's what you do when they aren't watching.

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    CX Basis often have S/H bits and pieces for Diravi gear etc.

    The initial directional instability could also be caused by a crack in the rack mount itself. They do crack.

    The previous owner of our CX did rebuild a Diravi control unit with his father and they did it by the book (a smart pair). I recall him needing a very long pin to lock various bits in the right place and deciding he never wanted to do it again!

    In ten years, the only noise I've ever heard from the unit itself is a gentle "swoosh".

    I'd be checking every joint, the governor and the rack mounts very carefully before going near the Diravi control unit.

    Hope it goes well and a non-hydraulic solution is found!
    JohnW

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    Hi, is he certain real trail arm bearings are not bad? Even if it does not yet show that they are gone it will cause the car to veer in one direction or the other - i.e it will not run straight. Adjusting the steering will just put it off for when the bearings are replaced.
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    Don't overlook the simple things first.
    Hit a pothole, I would be checking for bent rims and/or damaged tyre/s.
    Had a CX years ago and started to get some funny wobbling at city speeds (this was in Canberra during a cold winter). Problem was with a tyre that had started to fail. The steel belt somehow cracked inside with no obvious sign on the outside at rest, but when driving it made its presence felt. Slight bulging on the very inside wall down low gave it away when the wheel was removed. Found out the other driver had clipped the kerb or hit a rock when it was snowing and did not mention it as it "looked alright". Swapped tyre over and problem went away. Yours is probably more than that, but worth a look by swapping tyres and rims around. HTH
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    The tracking of the car can be adjusted via the eccentric adjuster on the rack coupling. However, that will not help you if the rack and control unit are fundamentally misaligned. You always need to centre the rack and the control unit separately before coupling them together. The actually alignment if the wheels should be straight ahead when the rack is in the centre. if you don't get this right, you will always fight against the control unit as it tries to centre the steering gear. You have to think of wheel alignment and steering gear tracking as totally separate adjustments.

    Check everything else before suspecting the steering control unit. A severe pothole could bend something or crack the rack mount or possible break the cast iron damper piston under the pinion (remove cover to check). The clicking could also be something loose catching on the lower column. If it's an internal fault with the control unit, there would have been problems like a heavy left and random wandering for a long time. It's likely that the four little balls that move the valve inside the control unit are worn and if extremely worn, then you might get a click from that mechanism as it operates.

    The governor only controls the internal ram that creates the false 'feel' as speed rises and forces it to the straight ahead position. You could drive it without a governor, but it would be overly light and would not self-centre. There is always meant to be a few degrees play between the input and output shafts of the control unit as this is what allows the valve to be moved one way or the other as it attempts to shift the steering rack ram either way to follow the lead of the steering wheel. If the control unit is suspect, then you might ask Roger Parker about overhauling it. If you DIY, you would want to replace the four little plastic balls for the valve, a couple of seals and then correctly shim the valve body so it's in a neutral position when the unit is straight ahead.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    is it an automatic ? or 5spd ? I'm guessing the splitter unit has died and you have 100% assistance at all time. There can be many causes for wandering. I'm guessing the lower arm bushes are flogged out... the steering subframe can be cracked (or steering rack loose)... the tie rod joints can be flogged out...

    CX's drive so well with heavily worn components, I'd suggest there is something very obviously wrong with the car that should be readily found if it's driving so poorly

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    Everybody is right. Check the ball joints etc first. If after that you would still like to overhaul the Steering Control Unit, I would get it professionally overhauled. Pleiades did mine a few months ago. You will have more than enough fun swapping the SCU, while making sure the wheel assemblies are perfect and at the straight ahead position. There is no point trying to align a new SCU if there is any play in the front end


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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    is it an automatic ? or 5spd ? I'm guessing the splitter unit has died and you have 100% assistance at all time. There can be many causes for wandering. I'm guessing the lower arm bushes are flogged out... the steering subframe can be cracked (or steering rack loose)... the tie rod joints can be flogged out...

    CX's drive so well with heavily worn components, I'd suggest there is something very obviously wrong with the car that should be readily found if it's driving so poorly

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Automatic.
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    Thank you everybody for your tips and suggestions. I've passed it all on to Alan. He checked all the joints for play and cracks on frames as well as the rack and definitely thinks it is the Diravi and just wants to buy a second hand unit as a replacement. With proper instructions (manuals) and certainty of spares, he'd repair it.
    He doesn't want to spend 1010 Euros an a reconditioned unit from CXBasics (possibly more than the car is worth?)
    I'll report back when and if he fixes it.

    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoBo View Post
    He doesn't want to spend 1010 Euros an a reconditioned unit from CXBasics (possibly more than the car is worth?)


    How about a rebuilt unit from Pleiades?
    In my experience a factor that is often over looked and that initially caused me some trouble is the activation of the slide valve within the Steering Control Unit. There are four plastic balls that are there to connect the steering column to the slide valve and either withdraw or extend the slides position there by applying hydraulic pressure to one side of the rack or the other as needed. These balls wear and can get to the stage where they almost disengage with their cups. This produces some very strange pressure distribution effects.
    I found some from another Control Unit that were in good order and swapped them over. Problem Solved!
    Cheers Gerry

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    It's not a complicated unit, is easily dismantled and the wearing parts are essentially the four nylon (likely Delrin) balls that control the valve motion. I'd thought they were available as a repair kit, but could be wrong on that point. Shimming the valve body correctly is the most likely problem to be encountered. If in any doubt, limit the work to R&R and send the control unit out for a proper overhaul. At 30+years old now, the odds are that a random used control unit will have wear in the little balls and it will then tend to wander around straight ahead and need an overhaul regardless.
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    Member Mitchell's Avatar
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    25 (or so) years ago, I bought a ’80 CX 2400 Pallas that I soon discovered had a steering fault.

    The diagnosis had been the steering rack was loose on its mount. Nothing I did resulted in a lasting solution though. It became evident after accidently meeting the previous owner that this fault had plagued the car from almost new – with every mechanic proclaiming they had cured it….only for it to resurface months later.

    The solution (for me) was to strip the rack, drill out and replace mounting threads with keen-serts, rebuild the rack, replace the rack mounting member, and replace all fasters for new.

    The car stayed fixed……in regards to the steering anyway.
    Perhaps unrelated to the fault posted, but I see some similarities with the symptoms mentioned.

    Regards,
    Rhys
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    25 (or so) years ago, I bought a ’80 CX 2400 Pallas that I soon discovered had a steering fault. The diagnosis had been the steering rack was loose on its mount. Nothing I did resulted in a lasting solution though. It became evident after accidently meeting the previous owner that this fault had plagued the car from almost new – with every mechanic proclaiming they had cured it….only for it to resurface months later. The solution (for me) was to strip the rack, drill out and replace mounting threads with keen-serts, rebuild the rack, replace the rack mounting member, and replace all fasters for new. The car stayed fixed……in regards to the steering anyway. Perhaps unrelated to the fault posted, but I see some similarities with the symptoms mentioned.
    Regards, Rhys
    I've been in that territory too. Both yours and mine were irregular/intermittent rack movement. Interesting that yours was from new and with multiple misdiagnoses!
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrypro View Post
    How about a rebuilt unit from Pleiades?
    In my experience a factor that is often over looked and that initially caused me some trouble is the activation of the slide valve within the Steering Control Unit. There are four plastic balls that are there to connect the steering column to the slide valve and either withdraw or extend the slides position there by applying hydraulic pressure to one side of the rack or the other as needed. These balls wear and can get to the stage where they almost disengage with their cups. This produces some very strange pressure distribution effects.
    I found some from another Control Unit that were in good order and swapped them over. Problem Solved!
    Which Pliades would that be? There are several ones when googled? Any info, please. Take it that a Pliades recon is a better price than the CX Basics of 1010 Euros?
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    It's not a complicated unit, is easily dismantled and the wearing parts are essentially the four nylon (likely Delrin) balls that control the valve motion. I'd thought they were available as a repair kit, but could be wrong on that point. Shimming the valve body correctly is the most likely problem to be encountered. If in any doubt, limit the work to R&R and send the control unit out for a proper overhaul. At 30+years old now, the odds are that a random used control unit will have wear in the little balls and it will then tend to wander around straight ahead and need an overhaul regardless.
    Most likely the case of a 30+ year old car. Alan will have a go at fixing it once he has a working second hand unit. There is a sealing repair kit available from CX Basics for about 110 Euros. Couldn't find the 4 little balls.
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    Pleiades Automotive Hydraulics (Australia) Pty Ltd


    Lot 3
    Gayndah, QLD 4625, Australia

    Phone: 741612512
    JohnW

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    There are seal kits for the rack, which is a different issue to the control unit.
    Scroll down here: Reconditioned and New Parts | The Citroen DS Specialist
    and you find: "CX PSCU overhaul kits with ptfe balls $120."

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    Thanks David, i passed it on.
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Pleiades Automotive Hydraulics (Australia) Pty Ltd


    Lot 3
    Gayndah, QLD 4625, Australia

    Phone: 741612512
    Thanks John, i passed it on.
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
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    It's all good now. Alan says that the car drives like a dream. On a straight dirt road he can let the steering go a and she tracks like an arrow. Previously, even prior to hitting the deep pot holes, the car pulled slightly to the left and going fast around bends the back felt like it wanted to overtake the front. Non of that any longer.

    He called all the places and non had a second hand diravi but the had repair kits ranging from a bit over $100 to over $200.

    So he had a go and dismantled the diravi and dropping a gear and shims in the process when he opened the unit. Consequently, it took him quite a few hours to work out how to put it together again after inspecting and cleaning (without a manual). All that he replaced are a few O-rings from his assortment box.
    He still doesn't know what the problem was not having a description of the workings of the diravi.
    He also found having the rod through the diravi and locking the steering rack (there seems to be a provision, a hole, on the left rod coming out of the rack for a pin to be inserted) it was easy to adjust the toe correctly.

    Thank you everybody for your kind inputs!
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    Yes, Haynes tells you to lock the control unit straight ahead with a long rod and there's a little rubber tab to pull out to reveal the hole for that. If the balls were worn and he rolled them around to an unworn area when refitting, it might work for a while, but the problems may reappear if they move. Did he find any wear or debris inside that might have affected the movement of the valve? It's also possible the big pothole simply upset the eccentric in the rack to control unit coupling more than before and that is why it would never run straight ahead, although it would always want to run one way, nit either way randomly. As already mentioned, the toe-in/out setting is not the same as adjusting the tracking, but setting everything up from scratch to straight ahead has obviously cured the observed fault. Good effort.

  23. #23
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    Excellent result. I hope it remains good, because one of the main attractions of a CX is the steering. Better than any other sedan ever built
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    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    I've never liked the power steering of any proper Citroen, not in the DS21, it worked but I didn't like it.
    Not in the CX, it worked, it was diravi, I still didn't like it.
    The Xantia was good, but not a strong enough power, steering was still heavy ish.

    The C5 is by far the best I've had in any Citroen. Ever.

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    Had a drive today. She goes straight and the steering self centers. However, there is a problem still: prior to start up there is a fair bit of play in the steering wheel and it takes 15/20 sec after start up for the hydraulic assistance to kick in (that is when the rear of the car has reached it's height).
    It's about a year since i last drove the car so i don't quite remember how the steering felt. Now, i noticed that there is not a lot of wheel movement relative to steering movement when going straight (wiggling the steering wheel) this might be normal? Could also be my being used to the MR2?
    Also noticed a noise that seems to come from the hydraulic pump pressure relief valve? Don't recall that hey are that noisy. Do they get louder with age?
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