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  1. #1
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    Default Spherical conundrums

    1. Have been removing spheres from my Xantia SX wagon. Can someone please explain the following?

    > Both front spheres frothed when unscrewed (I did hit both with a hammer to make them let go). I'm sure they hadn't just ruptured membranes - there was no fizzing in the reservoir.

    > LH rear sphere produced a far reaching (and long lasting) jet of LHM when removed (but no froth)

    > From memory the RH rear sphere - despite suspension sitting on bump stops, pressure released, and LH rear sphere removed first - leaked a surprising amount of LHM.

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    2. I still need to remove the rear anti-sink sphere.

    > Am I correct that the flare nut at the back of the sphere is 9mm (the one size I don't have )? Others nearby are 8mm, but I can't get the 8mm spanner to fit (& that nut does seem a bit bigger).

    > My strap wrench is too stretchy - I'd like to invest in a chain wrench. The $10 one I just bought from Repco broke on first use . Recommendations for a suitable one gratefully received (I've still got a whole XM to do, then one day there might be a Xantia Activa to do too). Does this one look any good? https://au.rs-online.com/web/p/produ...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Cheers

    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 27th March 2019 at 08:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Alec, if this is an anti-sink Xantia, then the usual method of undoing the 12mm bolt on the pressure regulator won't release the pressure in the suspension circuit. What you need to do with those later cars is run the engine, set the suspension to low, let it sink, stop the engine and slacken the 12mm bolt. This may explain why you had a green shower and applies to Hydractive and non-Hydractive cars. A ruptured sphere will continue to dribble LHM for hours after it has been removed.

    You could try "Draper Expert 30825" at eBay, which returns a strong chain/strap wrench that can be operated via a socket wrench. A good quality oil filter strap wrench that tightens with a socket is also a good choice. Or there is the factory tool for the welded spheres 4129-T, listed as part# OUT204129T. The item you linked to would likely do the job, but the type that you can use a socket with is almost essential in some tight spaces.

    p.s. Spheres are not intended to be a very tight fitting. You fit them be hand, rather like an oil filter. So, they should come off easily and significant resistance beyond 'cracking' them almost always means there is fluid pressure remaining. You may need to slacken a pipe fitting to release any remaining pressure.
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    Thanks David - the only Citroens I've owned have all had anti-sink, so have never known any other way of depressurising .

    I imagined the spheres that produced froth had probably ruptured some time ago (no recent loss of LHM from the tank) but am still quite intrigued by the "squirter". The rear suspension cylinders were quite loose and relaxed, so I would have expected fluid to have found it's way back to the reservoir .

    I like the look of the Draper Expert - double row of chain! - so I'll give that a go.

    Once I get a 9mm flare nut spanner and the Draper Expert I'll have another go at the anti-sink sphere. Any tips - it seems very tight .

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Someone should confirm ... from memory, the anti-sink sphere (one per vehicle) isn't like a regular sphere as it has a pipe that screws into the front of it. If you try to turn it off like a normal sphere, you will damage that pipe. The M36 thread just holds it into a bracket.

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    Yep - that's why I need the 9mm pipe spanner - just don't know why it has to be that bit bigger than all the 8mm ones nearby!

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    Alec,

    Have you been driving this Xantia SX wagon recently? All the spheres seem to be in a bad way. Both multi membrane fronts leaking and one rear one expelling LHM from the wrong side of the diaphragm using a little residual pressure to push it out.

    Did you manage to run the engine, then put the car on low until the rear suspension units got wobbly and then stop the engine and undo the regulator bleed screw? It would seem there was still pressure in the rear suspension probably because the anti-sink valve was doing its job.

    I think the pipe going into the anti-sink has a bigger pipe than the braking system which is why it has a bigger nut. Have a look at the nut size on the suspension units in the Activa - huge.

    Cheers, Ken

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    Yes, it's been in use (mostly short trips), and the ride has been rather firm for a while - which is why I decided that the time had come for a fresh start - new spheres all round! Also the ant-sink has never worked properly at the rear (good at the front) - so it's not going to hide and avoid attention this time (as I suspect may have happened in the past)! If a new sphere doesn't fix it, then will have to look at the rear anti-sink unit.

    Yes I did it pretty much as you said - but the rear suspension units don't seem to get wobbly for me until I've depressurised the regulator. Anyway, they were loose. It's because everything was so loose that I was surprised by the squirter!

    Cheers

    Alec

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    JBN
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    Might be a good time to buy a complete set of new spheres. I fitted new "comfort" spheres to my VSX Xantia. Loved the difference and they should last a few years. When replacing a sphere, clean the aluminium lip of the piston tube and coat the 'O' rings with some LHM and tighten hand tight. O-rings are self sealing. The more you tighten them, the more you damage the O-ring.

    John
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    Might be a good time to buy a complete set of new spheres. I fitted new "comfort" spheres to my VSX Xantia. Loved the difference and they should last a few years. When replacing a sphere, clean the aluminium lip of the piston tube and coat the 'O' rings with some LHM and tighten hand tight. O-rings are self sealing. The more you tighten them, the more you damage the O-ring.

    John
    Done! Complete set of spheres has arrived from IFHS - old ones were shot, 5 out of six already installed. I don't use O-rings (with a round cross-section), but the proper sphere seals (which are square in cross-section). Have a Xantia hatch (not registered ATM) where previous owner used O-rings, and it has made removing sphere a real chore.

    Cheers

    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 28th March 2019 at 12:56 AM.

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    The good news is that next time, they'll almost come off by hand. Good grief - O-rings? Never expect anything but the worst from some earlier owners...….
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armidillo View Post
    Done! Complete set of spheres has arrived from IFHS - old ones were shot, 5 out of six already installed. I don't use O-rings (with a round cross-section), but the proper sphere seals (which are square in cross-section). Have a Xantia hatch (not registered ATM) where previous owner used O-rings, and it has made removing sphere a real chore.

    Cheers

    Alec
    i KNOW i'M OFTEN IN THE DARK BUT WHAT IS IFHS - - - GOOGLE tells me all sorts of things - - - Idaho Falls High School ???

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilberthenry View Post
    i KNOW i'M OFTEN IN THE DARK BUT WHAT IS IFHS - - - GOOGLE tells me all sorts of things - - - Idaho Falls High School ???

    John
    https://www.sphere-shop.co.uk/

    And I didn't even mangle the 4 letters - IFHS is correct . Their spheres are delivered promptly, and arrive fresh out of the oven . Several of mine are datestamped in February this year - one even 1/03/19 - and the oldest are 10/10/18 (I've ordered a batch for the XM as well as the Xantia SX).

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Later models use a square section ring, but DS/ID to about 1970 in fact originally used an o-ring.
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    Thanks for the info David - from experience I prefer the square section rings (but I've no experience with DS/IDs)!

    While on the subject of o-rings - can someone suggest a good source of hydraulic pump o-rings? Weeping turns to drips and drips in turn write off your alternator (the sort of life-lesson I try not to forget...).

    I have established that EAI don't stock them.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Find out exactly where it is leaking from. Check the accumulator first as a flat accumulator will create a very high transient pressure at the pump outlet and possibly see it weeping where the outlet pipe screws in. It is in fact a metal on metal joint, so there is no rubber seal for the pipe. Mine was leaking there and I thought the seal had been left out and/or that the o-ring under the fitting had failed. A new accumulator, replacing just the one o-ring (probably not required) and nipping it up a fraction more cured it. If it continues, the alternator will indeed drown ... which is a very expensive 24V specific unit, although you can actually replace it with a sightly lower output unit from a C5.

    The o-rings are listed by and still available from Citroen, but I don't think they list the front seal if the pump is leaking there. I have a lifetime supply of the large body end o-ring. The Turkish website DrXantia, pointed out very recently, does list a 6+2 pump seal kit.

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    Words of wisdom - thank you David! I will do as you recommend - it does indeed appear to be the top outlet pipe connection that is the main culprit.

    Less than 2 weeks, and I had already forgotten about DrXantia - and I even commented that we should support them! I am assuming that the pump is the same for a late-model Xantia or late-model XM (you are right in guessing that it is the XM that has the weeping pump syndrome). New spheres for it have arrived as well, so hopefully next week they will start to be installed.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armidillo View Post
    https://www.sphere-shop.co.uk/

    And I didn't even mangle the 4 letters - IFHS is correct . Their spheres are delivered promptly, and arrive fresh out of the oven . Several of mine are datestamped in February this year - one even 1/03/19 - and the oldest are 10/10/18 (I've ordered a batch for the XM as well as the Xantia SX).



    Cheers

    Alec
    Thanks, its good to know these companies exist to keep the cars on the road. For our D's we'll stick to the old spheres while we can.

    John

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    They are very good in my experience.
    JohnW

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    How quickly do sphere shop spheres arrive? Tried emailing them but it failed to send.
    Bruce H

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    Before: AX Gti; BX 19TRi Estate; CX 2200 Super & Pallas; CX2400 Pallas; CX 2400ie Prestige auto; DS3 DStyle; GS Pallas; GSA Club; Xantia Image Estate; Xantia Exclusive; Xsara VTR R4; 1.4 Special Estate; Virage; R16TS

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    My orders went in on 7/03/19, and both were waiting for me at the (regional town) Post office by Tuesday 26/03/19. So nearly 3 weeks from order to collection.

    I just ordered from the sphereshop website - clicked on my model, and went from there. I received several emails to let me know that the order was proceeding.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Thanks, looks like I've left it too late to order then. Thought my mechanic here in Brisbane had got them in a week, and I need this latest lot in Hobart in a fortnight at the most.
    Bruce H

    Now 99 Xantia SX x2; 96 Xantia SX; 76 GS Club Estate x2; 76 GS Club; 74 GS Club; 88 VW T3 Reimo
    Before: AX Gti; BX 19TRi Estate; CX 2200 Super & Pallas; CX2400 Pallas; CX 2400ie Prestige auto; DS3 DStyle; GS Pallas; GSA Club; Xantia Image Estate; Xantia Exclusive; Xsara VTR R4; 1.4 Special Estate; Virage; R16TS

    Contact for the Australian Citroen GS GSA and Birotor Register http://australiancitroengsgsaandbiro...com/index.html

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    Looks like processing the order took a week. I got an email with the tracking number on the 14th. What I can't remember is whether I paid for the fastest delivery or not.

    Just had a closer look at tracking emails etc. In fact Australia Post emailed to say my parcel was ready to collect on 21/03. I was away, which is why I didn't collect the parcel until the 26th.

    So total time from order to arrival at Armidale Post Office was 14 days. I would imagine that it took at least 1 day to get from Sydney to Armidale - delivery to Hobart might be a day quicker? So if you order now, should get them in the fortnight.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Xantia pre-95 rear comfort spheres ordered late on 28/3/19, posted 3/4/2019, arrived Hobart 9/4/2019. Spheres stamped as December 2018, now fitted much to driver and passenger's joy. (On closer inspection my 1996 compliance plated SX was built in November 1994).
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    Bruce H

    Now 99 Xantia SX x2; 96 Xantia SX; 76 GS Club Estate x2; 76 GS Club; 74 GS Club; 88 VW T3 Reimo
    Before: AX Gti; BX 19TRi Estate; CX 2200 Super & Pallas; CX2400 Pallas; CX 2400ie Prestige auto; DS3 DStyle; GS Pallas; GSA Club; Xantia Image Estate; Xantia Exclusive; Xsara VTR R4; 1.4 Special Estate; Virage; R16TS

    Contact for the Australian Citroen GS GSA and Birotor Register http://australiancitroengsgsaandbiro...com/index.html

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    You'd be lucky to get them from Melbourne to Perth in that time.....
    JohnW

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  25. #25
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    Gee wiz Bruce,

    Getting those spheres has been a saga. I would definitely recommend comfort spheres for the rear of an SX Xantia.

    Cheers, Ken (from Ceduna)

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