DS with Diravi steering
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Thread: DS with Diravi steering

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! marc61's Avatar
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    Default DS with Diravi steering

    This won't appeal to purists, but you see I've had a spare SM steering rack sitting around for years and now that I've got a LHD DS I thought rather than let it just sit there, why not fit it to the D. So for the last couple of months we've been driving a DS with self centring Diravi and 2 turns lock to lock. All good fun, so I thought I'd post a few photos and a brief description.

    There were a few issues along the way....... The SM rack is shorter than the DS one and won't sit centrally, but it mounts and clamps in the same way. The two tracking adjusters need a lot of adjustment and the battery has to come out to get to the left hand one, or to the straight ahead adjuster. I took it for wheel alignment as soon as it was on the road and got a grin when I said just let me take the battery out so you can adjust it

    The angle of the pinion and the spline are different compared with the DS steering column, so I figured it'd take some major surgery to reuse the steering wheel from the D. As far as I could see the pinion tower assembly on the SM rack would need to be removed, turned about 10 degrees anti-clockwise on the rack and welded back on! There's a video on YouTube with an SM rack fitted to a D with a D steering column, so I guess that's what the guy must have done there.

    I abandoned thoughts of reusing the D steering wheel and set about finding an SM steering wheel, cardan shaft and upper column/support. I modified the latter, which is an aluminium casting, to remove the wings that support the SM indicator and light stalks, and trimmed it down so that it would sit underneath the cover that goes over the indicator and light switches on the D. Then it was just a case of fitting the SM components. This was surprisingly straightforward, gained quite a bit of space in the area below the suspension sphere where the D steering column and centering cam sits. I did have to make a nylon bush for fitting into the DS column support bracket where it enters the engine bay in order to support the SM steering shaft. The only downside is the steering wheel is about 30mm closer to the driver, which isn't a problem for me as I'm tall, but to make it a bit neater aesthetically I'll shorten the steering shaft when I next take it apart.

    In terms of getting the required speed related pressure for the Diravi the easiest option was to fit a CX steering governor to the speedo drive in the gearbox. I think someone out there has fitted an SM steering governor to the front of a DS gearbox which would be a neater option. I had a spare CX governor and the little 2-into-1 plastic gearbox that takes the steering and speedo cables and sits in the CX differential. Well it took some fitting and fettling but it worked out fine - I can explain further if anyone's interested. Then it was just a case of finding a home for the governor where the cables would fit without being stressed (I moved the horn compressor and located it there). Finally it just needed the required hydraulic pipes and LP return hoses plumbed in sensibly.

    All turned out very well indeed The car now has Diravi steering, tracks dead straight, needs less concentration and I can get my knees under the wheel easier. I find myself readily doing U turns and 3-point turns in all sorts of situations because of the extra confidence and speed it gives . Of course you have to remind yourself that it's a D with DS suspension geometry and not an SM or a modern car which will hang on in fast corners.

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    No doubt Citroen trialled this on the DS in the 1960s and then opted to save such a great steering system for the SM. I can't help thinking it would have been a nice option for a late model D.

    DS with Diravi steering-img_1438.jpg


    DS with Diravi steering-img_1449.jpg

    DS with Diravi steering-img_1445.jpgDS with Diravi steering-img_1437.jpg
    DS with Diravi steering-img_1435.jpgDS with Diravi steering-img_1433.jpg
    Cheers, Marc.

    1987 CX GTi T2 Maikonics
    1972 SM 2.7 carb
    1972 DS21 EFI

  2. #2
    Tadpole birks's Avatar
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    Hi, fantastic job, but is this not the same steering used on the CX series?

    Sent from my SM-N915G using Tapatalk

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    THAT is very cool. The steering wheel looks like it belongs in there too! Oddly enough. Very impressive and funny to think you are driving along and randomly doing abrupt turns at a whim to enjoy feeling the steering unit perform little miracles.

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    Bravo!
    Cheers,
    John T.

    61DS19 LHM BVH (son's); 67DS21 BVH; 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM EFI (Megasquirt); 73SM 3.0 (other son's)

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! marc61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birks View Post
    Hi, fantastic job, but is this not the same steering used on the CX series?

    Sent from my SM-N915G using Tapatalk
    Yes same principle, but the Diravi gubbins is on the SM rack whereas on the CX it's in a separate unit that sits underneath the steering wheel. Think they did it that way so that making LHD and RHD CX's was dead easy. CX steering isn't quite as direct at 2.5 turns lock to lock.

    For the SM that were converted to RHD in Australia it would be interesting to understand what mods were done to the SM rack. Does anyone know about that?
    Cheers, Marc.

    1987 CX GTi T2 Maikonics
    1972 SM 2.7 carb
    1972 DS21 EFI

  6. #6
    Tadpole birks's Avatar
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    Sorry, can't help you, but thanks for the info, cheers.

    Sent from my SM-N915G using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by citroenthusiast View Post
    Bravo!
    Bravo from me too! What's the right word? "Adventurous" perhaps...

    How is it doing u-turns and full lock reverse parking? Is there enough pump volume or does it lock up a bit? No further CX tappet problem at my end by the way.

    Cheers
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Peugeot 306 XT 1995 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! marc61's Avatar
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    Yes can confirm it's fine re pump volume thanks. Am finding it very quick and easy re reverse parking, easier than I expected having driven a CX and SM for years, probably due to the D having an ample glasshouse on the sides.

    In fact the steering feels a bit lighter than the SM, I guess because of the relatively narrow tyres or maybe because the rack I've fitted is is in good condition. I can get nearly 3 full turns lock to lock after switching off until the hydraulic pressure runs out, which surprised me as I can't do that in the SM. The other nice thing is I can rest my elbow on the centre armrest and use my right arm to steer, whereas I always feel my right arm is a bit redundant in the SM!
    JohnW likes this.
    Cheers, Marc.

    1987 CX GTi T2 Maikonics
    1972 SM 2.7 carb
    1972 DS21 EFI

  9. #9
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc61 View Post
    Yes same principle, but the Diravi gubbins is on the SM rack whereas on the CX it's in a separate unit that sits underneath the steering wheel. Think they did it that way so that making LHD and RHD CX's was dead easy. CX steering isn't quite as direct at 2.5 turns lock to lock.

    For the SM that were converted to RHD in Australia it would be interesting to understand what mods were done to the SM rack. Does anyone know about that?
    I was at Peter McLeod's workshop one day and he was showing me an SM undergoing conversion therapy (!). He told me that they simply flipped the rack over. Maybe a bit more to it than that, but that's what he said.

  10. #10
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    thats interesting because if it's true that was what dumbo me was thinking would be an obvious solution!
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  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! marc61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    I was at Peter McLeod's workshop one day and he was showing me an SM undergoing conversion therapy (!). He told me that they simply flipped the rack over. Maybe a bit more to it than that, but that's what he said.
    That's interesting. If they flipped it over turning the steering wheel clockwise would turn the wheels left. I'm guessing they must have cut the Diravi unit off the rack, flipped the rack around then welded it back on, or failing that fitted something externally to reverse the motion.

    Anyone with a RHD SM who could clarify? Ken maybe?
    UFO likes this.
    Cheers, Marc.

    1987 CX GTi T2 Maikonics
    1972 SM 2.7 carb
    1972 DS21 EFI

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc61 View Post
    That's interesting. If they flipped it over turning the steering wheel clockwise would turn the wheels left. I'm guessing they must have cut the Diravi unit off the rack, flipped the rack around then welded it back on, or failing that fitted something externally to reverse the motion.

    Anyone with a RHD SM who could clarify? Ken maybe?
    Not SM info but possibly relevant. In the seventies I inherited an ID20 which had been LHD and someone who cannot be named had started the conversion. The RHD dashboard was from a Slough (I think) DS21. It was a walnut dash with Jaeger instruments. The wiring harness had been cut where it came through the bulkhead, presumably out of frustration and it was a devil of a job to make all gauges and switches work.
    The steering rack looked like it had been reconditioned and I fitted it per normal RHD but (from memory) the pinion sat on top of the rack . I only found out about 'turn right but go left' when reversing the car out of the workshop, down a fairly steep slope onto a set of ramps built into the hillside. I can confirm that taking an LHD rack and flipping it does not work and plays with your head something awful.

    I did complete the project (with a proper RHD rack) and it eventually turned out to be a very good daily driver.

    SF
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  13. #13
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    how about swapping the feed pipes over?
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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Folks,

    Here is a website that shows the Peter Mcleod SM RHD conversion process. I have got some knowledge of how the steering rack was handled that I will add later. In the meantime, enjoy this show.

    RHD Conversions | Citroen SM Australia

    Cheers Ken
    JohnW and marc61 like this.

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