1974 DS23 auto - valve clearance adjustment
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Thread: 1974 DS23 auto - valve clearance adjustment

  1. #1
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    Default 1974 DS23 auto - valve clearance adjustment

    I'd welcome ideas on the best way to turn the motor over on my '74 DS automatic to adjust valve clearances.

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    Last time I did it, I had the assistance of a son who (lying under the car) used a screw driver on the ring gear to turn the motor over (spark plugs removed), but these days I have no assistant.

    Autobooks' method is to use the starter with a 6 volt battery, but 6 volt car batteries are fairly rare and expensive these days and I don't have any other use for such a battery were I to buy one.

    I wondered about welding an old bicycle frame (part of) to a heavy base and fitting a hard rubber (narrow) wheel to drive against the ring gear, which is (just) accessible under the car (see attached photo).

    Any suggestions?

    Chris
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1974 DS23 auto - valve clearance adjustment-1974-ds23-auto-flywheel.jpg  

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    https://citroenclassics.wordpress.co...oen-ds-and-id/
    Doesn't help with turning over the engine in an auto though. Wherever you can get at the ring gear I guess.
    I think if you used a 6V battery, the starter might just click away at you and not turn over.
    The Autobooks manual shows its DS19 roots as some parts, other than the title, were not updated for DS21/23.

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    Fellow Frogger! Don B. Cilly's Avatar
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    Lift the front wheels on stands, second or third gear, turn front wheel. Release parking brake
    Or, if you're in a hurry...

    [Oops. Sorry. Missed the automatic bit]
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    remove spark plugs and turn the engine by the fan blades or spanner on alternator pulley, if the belt slips its too loose so tighten that at the same time, remember to fit new spark plug tube seals to avoid problems later
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    The fan blades will be brittle, so perhaps not the best idea to heave on them. Heave on the cam pulley, maybe.

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    The fan blades will be brittle, so perhaps not the best idea to heave on them. Heave on the cam pulley, maybe.

    Roger
    And when you break a tip off a blade the blade weakens and has the tendency be become a milling cutter on the radiator surface. When the fan spins up to speed.

    Something I discovered on my 404 about 35 years ago. I also learnt about fin straightening and soldering up leaks in radiator tubes at the same time.
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    Rob, I am not sure whether you are aware of this but the radiator fan in a DS is made from nylon. It is in the Society of Plastics Engineers Hall of Fame as the first plastic radiator fan in the world.

    Roger

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    How about just a blip of the starter? Better use the 'cold' settings, it will all take too long to use the hot settings.

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    Hello,
    I don't have an automatic but a 5-speed gearbox. Yes, for my car you can jack it up and turn the tyre.
    But before I learnt that, I removed the plugs and turned the above-mentioned pulley very carefully and slowly. It turned very easily. I know it is "verbotten" but no damage was inflicted (as far as I know)
    Cheers
    Ian
    Blueduck (aka Ian Downie)
    1974 Citroen D Special with DS21i.e. engine and 5 speed gearbox
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    Rob, I am not sure whether you are aware of this but the radiator fan in a DS is made from nylon. It is in the Society of Plastics Engineers Hall of Fame as the first plastic radiator fan in the world.

    Roger
    So is 404 fan from 67 onward and are the engine fans of the 504 and 505 made of nylon/ "plastic".

    Hall of fame or not, plastic fans have destroyed more than a few radiators.

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    I remember asking this very same question some time ago - not too long ago as I can still remember it.

    As everything was operating OK, I decided to leave them (the tappets that is) as is for the time being.

    Nevertheless, when the time comes, I now believe 6 V is the way to go and thinking about it, 6 V is somewhere between zero and 12 V on the current battery. What I propose to do - have not done it as yet, but will do so in due course, is to drill and tap a self tapping screw into the 6 V terminal of the 12 V battery. The old batteries had the connecting 2V terminal clearly (visible) exposed on top of the battery - I'm sure they have to be somewhere under the new enclosed battery

    Upon doing so I'll be using the method recommend by Citroen.

    Has anybody tried this approach?

    Regards,

    John

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    keep it simple, just turn the engine by hand via the pully or gently on the fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balki View Post
    keep it simple, just turn the engine by hand via the pully or gently on the fan
    As he says but remove the spark plugs first, and only turn the engine slowly in the direction that will tighten the camshaft/fan pulley nut!!!
    Last edited by gerrypro; 17th October 2017 at 08:56 AM.
    Cheers Gerry

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    And don't forget the Golden Rule for Hydraulic Citroens - Do not get under the car without it being up on stands, blocks, jack etc. They can "go down" without warning..
    Cheers, Peter J
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    Why would you want to be under it to adjust the valve clearances? That operation must be done with the engine cold!
    Cheers Gerry

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    In a youtube video by RLBachelor on setting valve clearances and tensioning timing chains on the SM engine, he used what he called a flywheel claw to finely adjust the crankshaft position. You might be able to make one of these and guide piece to keep it in the region of the starter ring on the flywheel to help rotate the engine.

    Cheers, Ken

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    There seems to be reasonable consensus that having removed all spark plugs and with the trans. in N, one can – with care – turn the motor over with the alternator (or camshaft) nut (Balki, blueduck, gerrypro). Roger Wilkinson and robmac caution on turning the motor with the fan.

    Badabec suggests ‘blipping’ the starter (which RL Bachelor seems to do: SM valve clearance adjustment) and which is easily done with a remote starter button. However, it lacks the control of turning the engine slowly by hand.

    David S and JAJEA seem to have differing views on the use of a 6 volt battery. In any event, the result, I assume, will be similar to ‘blipping’ the starter with a 12 volt battery, although the 6 volt battery (if it works), should allow a bit more control.

    A timely warning, CXVingtCinq, about working under hydraulic Citroens. I use the car’s hydraulics – and then jacks – to elevate it (on a concrete floor), then support it with solid concrete blocks and sturdy pieces of wood, plus jack stands (and the jacks, for good measure): braces, braces and belt! As far as I am aware, (apart from the starter motor location), the only access to the ring gear on a DS23 auto is from under the vehicle.

    Ken W referred to RL Bachelor’s use of a “flywheel claw”, which sounds interesting; however, I haven’t been able to find the youtube video Ken refers to.

    Finally, I have another thought: with the same pre-conditions as those for turning the motor with the alternator (or camshaft) nut; place suitable lengths of say 10 mm plastic rod in each cylinder (resting on the top of the piston) and noting as each cylinder passes TDC, via a compression tester tube, ‘blip’ the engine with a short burst of compressed air. I concede, this has a similar shortcoming (lack of control) to ‘blipping’ with the starter.

    Thank you, everyone, for your input to this topic. If someone has the link to RL Bachelor’s “flywheel claw” video, I’d be interested to see it.

    Chris
    Last edited by Citquery; 19th October 2017 at 10:33 AM. Reason: tidy up formatting

  18. #18
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    Chris,

    Turning the motor over via the "fan belt" is certainly applicable to a "conventional motor" where the fan belt is driven by the crankshaft pulley". This does not apply to the D motor - so I would not do it. And I believe Citroen's recommendation is to crank the motor with 6 volts.

    As for adjusting the tappets. For the firing order of 1342 4 cylinder motor:

    1. Adjust clearance to No. 1 when valves in No.4 are balancing; that is, both valves are open and this occurs when the exhaust valve closes after the inlet valve opens ready to receive the next dose of fuel mixture. There is some overlap. Have a look at the valve timing diagram. Cylinder No. 1 is thus at the end of the compression stroke with both valves fully closed being the time to adjust clearances.

    2. Adjust clearances to No. 4 when No. 1 valves are balancing.

    3. Adjust clearances in No. 3 when No. 2 valves are balancing.

    4. Adjust clearances in No. 2 when No. 3 valves are balancing.

    To eliminate unnecessary turning / cranking of motor note that 2 turns of the motor equates to one turn of the distributor and hence keep an eye on the rotor as it "points" to which cylinder gets the next spark. And as the firing order is 1, 3, 4,2 you may adjust in that sequence.

    (By the way, I will get around to getting 6 volts out of a 12 volt battery in due course.)

    Regards,

    John

    Quote Originally Posted by Citquery View Post
    There seems to be reasonable consensus that having removed all spark plugs and with the trans. in N, one can – with care – turn the motor over with the alternator (or camshaft) nut (Balki, blueduck, gerrypro). Roger Wilkinson and robmac caution on turning the motor with the fan.


    Badabec suggests ‘blipping’ the starter (which RL Bachelor seems to do: SM valve clearance adjustment) and which is easily done with a remote starter button. However, it lacks the control of turning the engine slowly by hand.


    David S and JAJEA seem to have differing views on the use of a 6 volt battery. In any event, the result, I assume, will be similar to ‘blipping’ the starter with a 12 volt battery, although the 6 volt battery (if it works), should allow a bit more control.


    A timely warning, CXVingtCinq, about working under hydraulic Citroens. I use the car’s hydraulics – and then jacks – to elevate it (on a concrete floor), then support it with solid concrete blocks and sturdy pieces of wood, plus jack stands (and the jacks, for good measure): braces, braces and belt! As far as I am aware, (apart from the starter motor location), the only access to the ring gear on a DS23 auto is from under the vehicle.


    Ken W referred to RL Bachelor’s use of a “flywheel claw”, which sounds interesting; however, I haven’t been able to find the youtube video Ken refers to.


    Finally, I have another thought: with the same pre-conditions as those for turning the motor with the alternator (or camshaft) nut; place suitable lengths of say 10 mm plastic rod in each cylinder (resting on the top of the piston) and noting as each cylinder passes TDC, via a compression tester tube, ‘blip’ the engine with a short burst of compressed air. I concede, this has a similar shortcoming (lack of control) to ‘blipping’ with the starter.


    Thank you, everyone, for your input to this topic. If someone has the link to RL Bachelor’s “flywheel claw” video, I’d be interested to see it.


    Chris

  19. #19
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    There is a good reason that Citroen recommends the 6 volt cranking method. The crank shaft normally drives the cam shaft. To put the force on the cam shaft reverses the strains onto the wrong side of the timing chain and introduces a danger of damaging the chain tensioner. But who has the availability of a 6 volt battery or a transformer to reduce 12 to 6 volts? There fore need over rides the Citroen recommendation, and hence the absolute necessity of removing the spark plugs first! This relieves the load but came and gentleness are still required.
    Another thought is to use the remote starter button to blip the engine to the point where the required valve is in position and fine tune the position with the fan pulley.
    Cheers Gerry

  20. #20
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    with this massive discussion you could have gone outside and done it by now
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    Hey Balki,

    Remember these threads are not only for the benefit of the person who initially asked the question. Lots of people search our threads for information, often many years after they were created. We see it occasionally when someone digs up a really old thread! When I post in threads like this I do so with one eye on the people who might be reading it but not part of the discussion, whether they are reading it now or well into the future.

    A massive discussion of turning over an automatic-transmission DS23 engine to check and adjust the valve clearance is a good thing to have sitting in our archives.

    Cheers,
    Roger
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  22. #22
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    It was probably easy for Citroen to recommend using a 6V battery as workshops in those days "may" have been likely to have 6V batteries around. You know for the oldies - TAs and early 2CVs.
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  23. #23
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Chris,

    RLBachelor mentions a 'flywheel hook' in his video about checking the valve clearances on the C114 Maserati engine at 3mins 38 seconds into the video. He has the camera fixed in place for the video which is annoying because you don't actually get to see the much of what he is talking about - you have to use your imagination.

    Cheers, Ken

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    Thanks, Ken. I've just referred to this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=362luW_vX5Y (which is the one you refer to, I think) and certainly he mentions the 'flywheel hook'. I assume it's a piece of steel bent to follow the outer curvature of the ring gear and has one or more 'teeth' welded onto it to engage with the ring gear and turn the motor a small part of a revolution.

    Food for thought. I'll contemplate how I might make such a tool which works with the engine / trans in situ.

    Thanks again, Ken. Chris

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