CX suspension problems
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Thread: CX suspension problems

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default CX suspension problems

    I have a 1981 CX Pallas diesel. The car had been sitting for about a year. I started it up and the suspension lifted up but was solid in all positions. I thought spheres had gone bad so I replaced all four corners and the accumulator sphere- suspension still solid. Removed rear height corrector and cleaned no change.Thoroughly bled system of air. I have also noticed that I don't hear the pump clicking or cycle. I am thinking this could be a pressure regulator problem? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    The suspension issue is not caused by the pressure regulator if the car lifts up. Fluid is metered into the suspension by the height corrector valves independent of the source pressure (within limits). Are you able to move the suspension up and down using the manual height control lever?
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  3. #3
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    The new spheres are no good... or the car is on "high". The regulator only sets the system pressure. If there was regulator presssure applied to the suspension, the car would be stuck in the highests position.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  4. #4
    Tadpole
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    The suspension moves up and down with the manual lever but is hard in all positions. If you stand on the bumper car does not move and you cannot bounce the car the suspension is that hard.
    Regards
    Rod

  5. #5
    Tadpole
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    Do spheres have a shelf life ? The ones I used were new in the box Citroen ones that I got with the car but I would guess they were at least 8 years old.

    Regards
    Rod

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    The spheres are probably bad. Come visit me in Phoenix and I can test them and even recharge them if the diaphragms are not destroyed.
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  7. #7
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Does sound like dead spheres. And, as you know, and it is so easy to be wise, these cars are best used pretty regularly to keep everything moving and to detect problems as they occur from time to time, so you can deal with them one at once. Easy to be wise.

    The I.F.H.S. spheres seem pretty good, but you've a much better advisor in Phoenix than any of us in Oz for US procurement!! See Buy new sphere Citroen Xantia, C5, C6, CX, IFHS, SM, XM, Bx, Peugeot, Rolls Royce, Bentley for their range. I'm running their new Confort spheres on the CX and had them on the Xantia too with great success.

    Hope it sorts itself easily.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  8. #8
    Tadpole
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    Thanks all. Will get together with John T. and check spheres out.

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    One thing you can do yourself, without a sphere pressure checking tool is remove the spheres from the car and shake them vigorously. If you hear fluid sloshing around on the inside, the sphere is beyond hope and will need to be rebuilt (or in the case of welded spheres, replaced). You can confirm this diagnosis by unscrewing the fill port "button" at the top of the sphere (use vise grips). If little or no gas escapes, and fluid pours out of the hole when the sphere is inverted, that is a sure sign of a punctured diaphragm.
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  10. #10
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    If a failed sphere is full of fluid - or in this case 4 of them, wouldn't (a) the spheres each be about 400 g heavier than if charged (of course you need a known, gassed-up one for reference weight) and (b) wouldn't the reservoir have lost, in this case, perhaps a litre or more of LHM?

    So, weigh them and check the weight of the new ones when they come. Or that would be my suggestion.

    I've used the weight difference before to confirm death of spheres, just can't lay my hands on the numbers right now.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    Yes to both questions.
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    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    Closing the loop here. 7 out of 8 spheres were full of fluid. The remaining sphere (front) tested at 1100 psi, so it didn't even need a charge.
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Now that begs the question ... Why ... That is a huge failure rate yet one was still good. Was the good one a later fitment ? Was the fluid used the correct type ?

  14. #14
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citroenthusiast View Post
    Closing the loop here. 7 out of 8 spheres were full of fluid. The remaining sphere (front) tested at 1100 psi, so it didn't even need a charge.
    Phew. That's nearly 3 litres of LHM removed from the system. Must have been pretty old?

    I was wondering... Thanks for posting.

    Cheers
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    Hopefully Rod will post the history, but as I understand it the spheres were all in OEM Citroen boxes and they were very clean so he presumed that they were new. It is, of course, possible that they were flat and then when he put them on the car and worked the suspension, the bladders were punctured by the infamous nut-retainer at the top of the sphere.

    No clue why one was perfect...... No sign (or smell) indicative of fluid contamination.
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  16. #16
    Tadpole
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    Sorry for slow response. The one good sphere was a front one I removed from the car the other three were flat. The four, flat, new? oem spheres where in Citroen boxes had new unused square o-rings and had metal dust end caps. They came with the car when I purchased it. I was told they were new. They have been sitting around for 8 or more years and must have gone flat. The car has always had LHM and yes I added a lot when I was trying to figure out the problem.The good news is I finally got a new set of spheres installed and my CX rides and suspension acts like it should on a Citroen. Thank you all for your help and a special thank you to John T.
    Regards
    Rod K.
    JohnW and Jinandfonic like this.

  17. #17
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Lovely to hear. If the car has been quiet for so long and you are now using it a bit, I'd keep a very close eye under it for drips, e.g. from hardened and perished return lines, suspension cylinder boots etc.

    I guess you added at least 1.5 litres of LHM? You now know the symptoms - I had a low level beep the other month and the suspension firmed up at one corner. You guessed, I added half a litre, changed one front suspension sphere and all remains sweet.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Spheres loosing pressure

    Quote Originally Posted by karparts View Post
    Sorry for slow response. The one good sphere was a front one I removed from the car the other three were flat. The four, flat, new? oem spheres where in Citroen boxes had new unused square o-rings and had metal dust end caps. They came with the car when I purchased it. I was told they were new. They have been sitting around for 8 or more years and must have gone flat. The car has always had LHM and yes I added a lot when I was trying to figure out the problem.The good news is I finally got a new set of spheres installed and my CX rides and suspension acts like it should on a Citroen. Thank you all for your help and a special thank you to John T.
    Regards
    Rod K.
    Rod - the problem you encountered was/is, unfortunately common for with both OEM and after market units. Over time the N2 diffuses out of the spheres via the membrane. While this diffusing or "outgasing" problem was slower with the original rubber membranes than with the Desmopan plastic ones in current use - I really would not expect any sphere sitting on a shelf or in the car to keep its original charge for 8+ years. And it was a problem that the factory tried hard to address with the introduction of the C5 with its 'multi-layer' diaphragm technology and revised LHM fluid.

    Best to check sphere pressures every 24 to 36 months (maximum) and top off it needed. In the USA there are more than a few places that can do it. John T is one, I am another in the LA area. Dave Burnham in NY and I believe Lon Price in Los Gatos. I am sure there are others in the US, just not aware of them.

    In Australia (well Tasmania really) there was Richard Kennedy - I know as I built a charger for him and tooling to rebuild the older 2 part spheres - but have not heard from him in a long, long time. Maybe one of the Aussie Frog folks can update me .

    Regards,

    Steve
    Last edited by Citroenfan; 28th April 2018 at 12:48 PM.

  19. #19
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Some Xantia spheres had the multi-layer diaphragm too. I've found the spheres last much longer if the car isn't used much and left 'down' after trips, I think because the surface area for diffusion is very small if the diaphragm is pushed against the sphere body. But yes, 8 years is a big ask!

    Cheers
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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