DS repro pieces. Beware
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    Fellow Frogger! mberry's Avatar
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    Default DS repro pieces. Beware

    I am always encouraged when I discover that yet another rare piece for the DS has been reproduced. The frustrating thing is, often they've managed to go to the trouble of having molds made but have no idea what the original spec of the rubber compound was.

    I replaced spark plug tube seals less than a year ago, now the ridiculous "reproduction" part has hardened to almost bakerlite hardness, which has resulted in complete failure. It is always an issue with rubber reproduction parts, so many pieces are simply not fit for purpose, and in many instances, the original worn part is far superior to the repro part.

    My advice is never discard the old rubber part unless there is no way of re-using it, the rubber is likely going to be useful, even for making another part.

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    Unfortunately trying to explain something like this to the supplier is a complete waste of time.
    .................... anyway, I feel better now.
    M.BERRY
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    I'll second that, the repro rubber is absolute garbage and should entail a class action against the vendours. And as Michael says don't chuck the original pieces if they can be still used. Vastly superior to the shit being flogged online. I've posted this anecdote before but recount it again in case anyone missed it, a friend who worked for a Malaysian rubber producer in the seventies recalled hiw Citroen reps would visit badgering them for their recipes as they wanted the best materials possible, they wouldn't hand them out but still Citroen managed to get pieces that have stood up for 40 years plus. Have you given the sellers a spray Michael? Maybe they are due some curry? I'm inclined to give it a shot. They will only alter their ways if people start barking. I have wondered if the European conditions might be less destructive with lower temperatures and humidity but then again. Maybe after this Euro summer there will ne some cranky vintage Citroen owners saying WTF?
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    Fellow Frogger! mberry's Avatar
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    I did try pointing out that Der Franzose had listed a piece incorrectly a one point, that resulted in more emails than I care to remember. I soon realised it was some type of sheltered workshop for the mentally impaired, it didn't end well.
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    M.BERRY
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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Yes, sadly repro rubber is a waste of money and in some cases a critical failure. . .

    Recent example on the forum being the short hose from the waterpump splitting (common with this repro part) resulting in rapid loss of coolant - could have been very costly had the owner not being on the ball. That hose as original probably lasted 20 -30 years. Not an 5 minute job to replace on the side of the road.

    Better to find used OEM. . .

    BTW, nice new avatar Michael

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

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    I have been going through some of the rubbers on my DSpecial and am amazed that some of them appear to be original and still in good serviceable condition, I agree that the original rubber is excellent quality.

    To clean up some of the rubber pieces up the following is a process I have been using, I am keen to keep as much of the original rubber after reading multiple stories on poor quality reproductions. I cant keep it all but will keep what I can.

    -Clean/ scrub with scourer with dish washing detergent & warm water.
    -If rubber is pliable and in good condition use glycerine to condition / lubricate the rubber.
    -If rubber is deformed or hard use white spirit to soften rubber this I understand is a damaging process to the rubber but if it can resurrect an OEM seal it is probably better than a repro item. After white spirit has evaporated off lubricate with glycerine.

    Anyway this is what I am using keen to know how others deal with this issue, a lot of magic products appear as snake oil to refurbish rubber.

    Alex
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    Hello
    Restoring Rubber Components
    I have found that some rubber components ehich have gone well respond well to linseed oil. It is vegetable based and not too aggressive. Also has a nice smell
    Ian Downie
    Blueduck (aka Ian Downie)
    1974 Citroen D Special with DS21i.e. engine and 5 speed gearbox
    MGB GT V8 B.... bullet--proof and great fun
    Jaguar e-type roadster ... on the way from US of A

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    Wurth rubber care is an excellent product for rejuventating old rubber pieces
    1963 Norton 650SS
    1963 Morris Cooper 997
    1969 Austin 1800
    1969 Lancia Fulvia Rallye 1,3S

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    This concern applies to some other repro pieces as well

    I fitted a new tie rod end from Der Franzose in 2015 to the 404. It was replaced recently as was completely flogged out after only 15000 miles. Was not happy

    A lot of the other stuff I've had from DF has been good and, to be fair to them, they do provide a ranking of quality ( 1 being OEM , 4 being "you'd rather not know " )

    Tips on rejuvenation of rubber very useful. Many thanks for posting

    Andrew

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    Member Sturla's Avatar
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    There is plenty concern of this in europe too, I have bought rubber gaiters that did not even last a year sitting still (from above mentioned webshop). Bought used ones second hand later, they are good.. I can not see how selling crap quality to a niche market can be a good business idea.
    Sturla
    -74 DS23 bvh, -78 CXgti, -85 CXgtiT1

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    Fellow Frogger! Don B. Cilly's Avatar
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    This is something that is so puzzling as to defy reason itself.
    Consider the costs of designing, making a mould, testing, marketing, etc.
    Consider the relative cost of using a good quality material to go with all the above.
    We've already worked out that it can never be above 0.1% of the production cost (let alone selling, distribution, etc.)
    Materials availability and information is a breeze nowadays.
    Even using natural rubber is reasonably cheap and easy.

    Now why oh why would anyone dream - in his worst nightmares - to save less than 0.1% on production costs to make an unmarketable product which is bound to put you out of business in virtually no time...

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    possibly duped by the producer on quality?

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    Fellow Frogger! Don B. Cilly's Avatar
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    The producer of the material?
    Unlikely, and it would be go under testing.

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    Fellow Frogger! Don B. Cilly's Avatar
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    My point being, really, extremely good quality material is so dirt cheap compared to all the rest in a production run.

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    Thanks for the rubber rejuvenation tips.
    Running the old IDees has never been an expensive pastime for me. I still haven't used up my supply of Hydraulic Suspension Boots that I fit to my old ID Safari or the other two IDees. Some of these have been pulled out of wrecks that have been sitting out in paddocks for over 40 years.
    I had a DSpecial for a short time but I couldn't use my LHS parts. After a couple of weeks I'd already paid $800 for rubbers. I sold it quickly to a person that had the big $sss to keep it on the road.
    Even the door rubbers on my parts cars, just last forever.
    "Must have been some good sap coming out of those rubber trees years ago!"
    Michael

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    Its not only rubber for old cars either. I had major problems with non genuine suspension bushes for the Xantia. Whilst the originals lasted 10 or 12 years the replacements only about 3 or 4 weeks. The rear lower arm bushes actually factured the steel ring and complete failure. Lucky they broke at low speed! Its got genuine bushes now. Going fine.

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! Don B. Cilly's Avatar
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    No, it's not only rubber.
    Plain steel too.
    My rotary joints on the rear suspension of the '68 ID19 were leaky.
    So I bought me the conversion kit to flexible tubes. From a well-known German supplier.
    Result: the hole for the pin was so way off as do defy reason.



    Not only I had to file off quite a bit of the square bit, but I had to re-drill the hole right at the end of the pin (see black dot) after that.



    Now, mind-boggling as this may seem, it does not even get close to the mind-boggliness of using cheap rubber compounds in (however small) a production run for commercial purposes, when good quality compounds are dirt cheap for any production run.

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    I suppose the mindset is to get the lowest possible price at any cost by using poor materials and exploiting the workers. Most aftermarket bushes are ridiculously cheap.
    I would have been happy to get genuine initially, but there were none available in Australia. In the end I had to park the Xantia and wait 3 weeks for the Citroen parts to come from France. Too bad people especially those selling parts as well as buyers, don't know the old adage " if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't."
    I am getting a little wary of that german site.
    The places that specialize in one model "DS" do better.

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    Icon14 Pooling information, investing in a parts pool.

    This is where one make car clubs come into their own. There are so many modern rubberlike materials, it is possible to get superior seals and long lasting parts made to order. Makes a good club project. In this day and age we should take advantage of progress in durable materials and the conditions they operate under. Good to hear that the original Citroen materials stand up so well in service.

    I would suggest that substandard material wherever made, should be notified to the ACCC or consumer affairs in your state as a first step in getting the problem addressed and only fair to include a copy of that letter of complaint to the original supplier to see if they address their customer complaints and if done from an Australian Car Club, they know that other members are aware of the shoddy nature of the product.

    After all in Australia spare parts are often sold at quite a premium over other locations. I bought and sold mainly NOS remainder parts at the Bendigo Swap meet for many years and spoke with many club members about problems of obtaining modern replacements of durable quality and at a reasonable price. Clubs can do this by investing on behalf of their club members, and in the end solve the problem of substandard part suppliers.
    Just my

    Ken

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    I just had another repro piece of crap snap off this morning, the a rubber stay for the wheel/nut tool on the front frame. I feel like sending the stuff back and demanding my money back.

    In time I'll go source some rubber and make up the seals that are failing, rivet on the plates etc. Mainly the front wing seals and the seal under the front door. The business that sold thhese is going to get an earful eventually.

  20. #20
    Fellow Frogger! mberry's Avatar
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    Rubber rejuvenation.

    Vaseline! I find works best, and kind of works on your skin after all the scrubbing clean.
    M.BERRY
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    I just had another repro piece of crap snap off this morning, the a rubber stay for the wheel/nut tool on the front frame. I feel like sending the stuff back and demanding my money back.

    In time I'll go source some rubber and make up the seals that are failing, rivet on the plates etc. Mainly the front wing seals and the seal under the front door. The business that sold thhese is going to get an earful eventually.
    Stick it back to the body with a dab of urethane. It should stay put then. Maybe an original issue rubber buffer stuck on instead would be OK?

    The chassis seal flaps do vary in quality. I bought one set that stank so much I had to leave them outside. The rear flaps for a DS I bought from CTA appears to be superior to others I had seen at the time a couple of years ago. It's also worth noting that you can scavenge the rubber from under a dead CX wheelarch and chop bits out of it as it appears to be very similar, if not the same as the original DS flap rubber.

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    if the stuff wasn't utter shite I wouldn't have to waste my time. I might get some nitrile rubber for the flaps. Branleur sheisser kopf online magazins!

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    Something all need to keep in mind . When the LHM cars came out the rear boots were always and will remain always a major source of problems. The reason? Simple. Nitrile (Buna-N) rubber which resists LHM (or any other mineral based fluid) does not play well with oxygen / sunlight / air. Any rubber bit that is going to be exposed to the 'elements' really needs to be either EPDM or at least Neoprene. FWIW, EPDM is what rubber roofing tiles are made of. However, EPDM does not pay well with LHM/mineral fluids. And that was the reason the early cars had so many problems as EPDM was not even invented until late 1961 and not put into commercial production by EI Dupont until early 1962. And that is the reason why ALL cars, up to then, had problem with leaking master cylinders and brake cylinders. So before blaming reproduction parts, kept that in mind. And don't get me started with rubber the factory used for sphere diaphragms in the early 70's .

    Steve

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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citroenfan View Post
    Something all need to keep in mind . When the LHM cars came out the rear boots were always and will remain always a major source of problems. The reason? Simple. Nitrile (Buna-N) rubber which resists LHM (or any other mineral based fluid) does not play well with oxygen / sunlight / air. Any rubber bit that is going to be exposed to the 'elements' really needs to be either EPDM or at least Neoprene. FWIW, EPDM is what rubber roofing tiles are made of. However, EPDM does not pay well with LHM/mineral fluids. And that was the reason the early cars had so many problems as EPDM was not even invented until late 1961 and not put into commercial production by EI Dupont until early 1962. And that is the reason why ALL cars, up to then, had problem with leaking master cylinders and brake cylinders. So before blaming reproduction parts, kept that in mind. And don't get me started with rubber the factory used for sphere diaphragms in the early 70's .

    Steve
    Sorry Steve but that is a real cop out, we're not living in the seventies - when a supplier is happy to sell a product proven to be unfit for purpose they need to be hung out and dried!!

    The part I mentioned earlier in this thread - short radiator hose from the water pump, sees no sunlight, has no direct contact with LHM/LHS and yet will split within weeks of fitting causing loss of coolant and possible destruction of an engine. This part has been shown to be unfit for purpose for several years now but is still available via the Euro suppliers.

    In this day and age there is no excuse, critical parts should be at least as serviceable as those available 40+ years ago - they certainly are not. I have repro rubber parts here that have never been fitted, hardly seen the light of day yet are now a crumbled mess!! As has been stated some of these parts require quite extensive tooling, why save a few cents on vital ingredients!

    Have a read through this thread. . .
    Help - split hose D Special

    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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    Chris - I bought an 85 2CV a few years back and the seller said that it came with 4 'brand' new Michelin tires. They were still in the factory plastic wrapping. However, being at least 4 years old, they were gone. Side walls cracked and coming apart. Honestly in all the years I have owned Cits (continuously since 1963) I have only run into two, maybe three, time where the repro parts were not up to factory standards. And have had more than a few 'factory' produced rubber parts that, in all honesty, were complete shit. That being said I have to add that other than suppliers here in the US I have only used three in Europe - Andre Pol in Holland, Citroen Classics in England (Darrin Brownhill) and Citroworld (Gert Buukums). With no problems at all.

    That said - any rubber component compatible with LHM needs to be 'fresh' - I routinely dump stuff that I have in stock if I have not used it within 18 months of its manufacture if it was taken out of its air tight packaging. Has to do with with the rubber itself - as I said Buna-N (Nitrile) rubber does not play well with air or sunlight. Period.

    Steve

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