DS21 Driveshafts
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! ds21bvh's Avatar
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    Default DS21 Driveshafts

    Hi All,

    I spent the better part of a weekend sorting out some driveshafts for the DS21.

    Although the car has only done 84k miles there is a light knocking sound from at least one of the shafts around corners. I know it's not an issue mechanically as they last forever, but as I'm going to a lot of trouble to rebuild the car, I'd like to get rid of the noise and make it right.

    I tested them by putting them both up on the bench and by anchoring the flange, putting the shaft on an angle and trying to rotate the shaft - there is detectable play and clicking but nothing too concerning.

    So I went through my stash of second hand parts (about 10 sets) and to my surprise all have some play as well.

    The question is I'm sure my collection here is probably representative of those in service, however not many people seem to complain about clicking noise when turning in their D?

    I'm guessing either I'm too picky (do most people ignore any noise), or small amounts of play in the shafts on the bench does not automatically mean they will click in service. Does anyone know...?

    If that's the case then I'll pick shafts that seem to have the least play with the hope that they are quiet.

    I am considering the new replacements available overseas also however they are a significant investment, and my confidence in repro parts has been a bit battered of late so ideally I'd like to try and sort some original shafts for the car first if I can.

    Having said that - I'd prefer not to change out 3 or 4 sets of shafts to find a good pair either. It's a significant investment in time to clean, paint, reboot, grease and mount to find out it's a dud.

    If anyone has any better way of weeding out bad shafts off the car I'd love to know...

    Has as anyone used the kits they advertise to rebuild the outer end? If it's easy this may be a good option too - though IIRC there was something you could not replace in the assembly which can be a problem...? I'd like to know more.

    Lastly - is the knocking sound typically at the outer end...? The inners were in good shape apart from them being the shorter housing which I've now replaced. I've automatically assumed it's the outers that make the knocking noise round corners but happy to be wrong.

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    Any and all comments on the subject are most welcome....

    Many thanks for your help,

    Mark...
    Last edited by ds21bvh; 16th October 2017 at 01:04 PM.

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts forumnoreason's Avatar
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    Hey Mark hope there are some good responses on this, I put new boots on my left driveshaft, tarted it up, and on a little test drive discovered what I had forgotten, real click on turning. I have a massively overpriced spare from someone I won't declare (!) which I purchased ages ago to address the problem ( which I forgot about WHY I had bought it in the first place, DOOP) and about to swap it over hoping it is alright. Guess I'll find out. Some people have suggested it can be resolved with greasing but if they're knackered from neglect then what?

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    Hey Mark hope there are some good responses on this, I put new boots on my left driveshaft, tarted it up, and on a little test drive discovered what I had forgotten, real click on turning. I have a massively overpriced spare from someone I won't declare (!) which I purchased ages ago to address the problem ( which I forgot about WHY I had bought it in the first place, DOOP) and about to swap it over hoping it is alright. Guess I'll find out. Some people have suggested it can be resolved with greasing but if they're knackered from neglect then what?
    Mark, Are you talking wheel end or triaxe end ? I think there was some discussion about replacements being a more modern ( and less greasy mess inside the wheel, as they need CV joint boots ) CV type joints rather than the original "double universal" style, and some statement about the last of the SMs having CV type joints. There are two types of inner ( triaxe housings ) The original was an alloy housing with closed ends. These are subject to fatigue and cracking but the inner triaxe cannot slip out of the housing. The later housings are steel and open ended allowing the triaxe to just slip out under extreme travel or for disassembly... I can't remember which side ( the left IIRC ) is more prone to the inner joint actually coming out under extreme travel. Mrs Kebblewhite's 23 automatic did it once on a CCCQ " around the sticks " course....
    No doubt there will be more from the brains trust on the matter.
    I gather you must have been suffering from cabin fever over the weekend.

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! ds21bvh's Avatar
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    Many thanks for the replies gents....

    It's the outer end I'm talking about...

    I'm happy to go with new replacements (fully sealed) if consensus is they are the best thing since sliced bread and they last.... Citroen used these sporadically in late D's and were the replacement design from 76 onwards. I'd prefer the originals, but replacements which don't click and make the car drive as it should are more important to me. There is a lot of work mucking around finding good ones - as I said it's taken the best part of a weekend to get this far without a guaranteed result.

    Here is the link to the new style : http://shop.citroenclassics.co.uk/drive-shafts-53-c.asp

    The grease does not get to the needles and caps on the end that do the work - they are sealed. I think there is an articulated assembly in the middle of the joint which gets the grease and can be silenced for a short time by greasing.

    There are actually three types of inner joint.
    1. Alloy until the end of the 1970 model year.
    2. Short steel (50mm)
    3. Longer steel (65mm) introduced later (perhaps 73/74?) to stop the driveshaft falling out situation.

    My car still had the 50mm ones and there was evidence that the shaft had popped out on both sides at one time (damage to the driveshaft hole in the chassis - now repaired).

    Cabin fever indeed - I spent a few hours sorting out two sets of good triax balls to find the inner bushes were gone on some so had to start again...(:-/>

    Cheers,

    Mark...

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