CX sphere removal for regassing
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Thread: CX sphere removal for regassing

  1. #1
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    Default CX sphere removal for regassing

    Hi all, back again with more silly questions ....

    I'm intending to get my spheres regassed on my 79 CX2400, as the suspension feels less 'floaty' than it should and the pump is cutting in every 25 seconds or so, where it was going every 35-40 seconds before. However, I need to remove the spheres first - I hear that it can be somewhat difficult to remove the rears.

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    Westroen spheres says on their website that the rears can be regassed in situ - is this true / practical ? And how about the main accumulator sphere ? A Swedish website says I can break the spheres loose 1/4 turn with the system fully pressurised, then depressurise the system to get it off completely. This is to avoid bending the pipes - but is it better to just remove the accumulator and sphere and take it off in the vice ?

    Basically, how do I go about removing the rear spheres and all three accumulator spheres ? All I can find is in languages I don't understand, and Google translate is not helping (got some pretty funny bad translations though)

    Thanks
    Max.
    79 cx2400 pallas c-matic

  2. #2
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    You could start by buying a manual. People are rude about Haynes' manuals, but I reckon the CX manual of theirs isn't bad at all for many things.

    Rear spheres are a bit interesting to remove, I grant. I'd try to find another person in your neck of the woods who has done it (there must be quite a few) and spend an hour with the rear jacked up and the system depressurised and you'll soon get the hang of it. If they haven't been over-tightened they come off quite easily once you have the cylinder out or, indeed, partly out.
    JohnW

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  3. #3
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    Hi Max,
    I am not aware of any method for regassing the spheres in situ, unless someone has already install Schrader (spelling??) valves on them.

    I have never tried to 'crack' them under pressure and have also never bent anything with it depressurised. Depressurise it first.

    The accumulator sphere should come off fine, without putting the whole assembly into a vice.

    The procedure is (from memory):
    - put the suspension up to high
    - put axle stands under the rears and the front (or put the front up on ramps so you can get to the accumulator sphere) and set the suspension back to low. The front will drop down and the rear wheels will come off the ground.
    - release the hydraulic pressure by releasing the bleed screw on the accumulator setup. You will hear it hiss as the pressure escapes. Now all spheres are ready to be undone.
    - start with the front wheels as they are easiest to get to and practice on. Either use a special vice grip set of pliers with an adjustable chain (can't remember exactly what it is called) to undo them. They may be able to be taken off with an oil filter strap if they aren't tight. The last trick is to take to them with a cold chisel and thump them hard with a hammer on the centre line (like the equator of the earth) in the direction you need them to go.
    - same for all the others, except you may get messy under the rears.
    - if any of the spheres are completely broken, they will come off with some fluid loss, so make sure you have some extra LHM to put back in.
    - to retighten them, male sure the rubber washer is in place and you can use an oil filter strap to make them tight.
    - tighten the bleed screw and start the engine and let it pressurise and then check each sphere joint for leaks. Shouldn't be any, but if so, let the pressure back off and retighten that one a bit further.

    It is a task worth getting set up for. Once you have done it once, you can impress all your Citroen friends by showing them how to do it. It only takes an hour to do the lot.

    Cheers, Erik

  4. #4
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Use an oil filter strap to tighten them?? Seriously, I wouldn't do that. Nipped up by hand has always been plenty tight enough in my experience. The sealing system is very good.

    The rears are not so easy - the rams have to come out partly or wholly to get access to the spheres with space to unscrew them.

    Good luck with it. I must do my rears too!
    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

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger
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    Treat spheres and accumulators as you would an oil filter: Smear the seal and mating surfaces with LHM, screw up until there is contact and then maybe another quarter or third turn by hand. If you have firm metal to metal contact, then it's too tight or the seal needs replacing. That's usually all that's needed to ensure they won't leak and it makes the next time you change them easier.

    You do need to support the back of the car to get at the rear spheres and the CX has them inside a cage that others like DS, Xantia and XM don't have. Front spheres do not require any jacking to change.

    On a CX c-matic there are three accumulators. The extra one on the LH wheelarch is obvious and dead easy to get at. However, you have to drop the undertray and a few other odds and ends to get at the main accumulator and also the brake accumulator in the left front corner. Replacing with new accumulators in those two spots is a good idea unless you have loads of free time to regularly go back in there again. The factory multi-membrane accumulators are a good choice here, if relatively costly, as they will last longer and save on repeat labour charges if paying someone.

    For in-car gassing, look towards the Tecnosir system. There is at least one comprehensive thread on this forum about that system.

    If you desire to own the factory sphere strap/removal tools, look at:
    4129-T part# OUT204129T for CX/XA etc. welded spheres
    8611-T part# 9972CH for C5/C6 slimline spheres

    p.s. You need to be sure you know what you are doing when trying to depressurise Hydractive and late cars with anti-sink systems. They won't necessarily fully depressurise just via the regulator bleed screw. If in doubt ask first.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    To regas rear spheres on a CX, I found that I had to take the whole rear suspension cylinder and sphere out of the car then take the sphere off the suspension sphere using a vice to hold the cylinder.

    Cheers, Ken

  7. #7
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    I had to make a metal strap with handle for a Xantia, welded on a nut & then a bolt to grip the sphere at its max dia. I put in a couple of posts on the strap in the past but good luck in finding them with the current query system! I am not familiar with the CX, can you slip a "loop" as above over the sphere?

    Regards

    agd123

  8. #8
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agd123 View Post
    I had to make a metal strap with handle for a Xantia, welded on a nut & then a bolt to grip the sphere at its max dia. I put in a couple of posts on the strap in the past but good luck in finding them with the current query system! I am not familiar with the CX, can you slip a "loop" as above over the sphere?

    Regards

    agd123
    A couple of seconds using the forum google search finds your post. . .

    "Comfort Spheres"

    Quote Originally Posted by agd123
    Changing the rear spheres is relatively easy, follow the rules re depressurisation etc & put the rear of the car on stands (not jacks for safety). My only problem was getting the old ones to unscrew (in place for too many years? done up too tight?) I had to fabricate a "spanner" to unscrew the spheres which was a bit of square tube with a 3mmx25mm steel strap welded on so that it fitted nicely over the largest part of the sphere. I then drilled a hole in the strap & welded on a nut about 6mm by memory so that a short bolt can be tightened onto the outside of the sphere, worked a treat! Having made the spanner the other spheres took only a few minutes each to change, well worth the work. Don't bother with strap wrenches etc, I found that they did not work in this instance

    Regards

    agd123
    Cheers
    Chris
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  9. #9
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    I found the same thread using the forum google search using the, logical ,search string was <agd123 sphere> (without the arrows)

    Try the google search function: you may even get to like it.
    GreenBlood likes this.

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