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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Default GS rear subframe

    Next Challenge. Seems like a regular occurrence in GS ownership!

    First the background. When I put GiSelle on the road, she drove straight, had no nasty noises, particularly from her rear end (Oo-er Matron!) and was generally well behaved.

    Since driving her for several hundred kilometres, things seem to be freeing up, or possibly deteriorating, to the extent that she now produces rather unladylike creaks and groans from the rear end as the suspension does its up and down thing. Still drives straight, though.

    While lowering the rear after a routine jacking operation (to re-lubricate the suspension pivots, just in case they were the noise source) my eye was caught by what seemed to be a lateral movement of the left hand rear wheel as the car lowered.

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    Subsequent investigation yesterday revealed that the LH arm has noticeable (1-2mm) sideways play when moved around. It appears to be the arm moving relative to the sub-frame, which implies, to me, that one or both of the arm bearings is cactus. Looking at the process of replacing these it seems a little daunting, even with the special tools.

    My question to those of you who are way further down the GS path of enlightenment than this humble tinkerer, is, how hard is it to replace the sub-frame as a whole unit?

    The 810-2 Manual details the process as Operation G424-1. This shows the removal of the frame complete with the fuel tank attached. I've printed this out and am studying it assiduously. (A nice bit of bedtime reading! )

    One thing that occurred to me, is it possible that prior removal of the fuel tank may facilitate the access to the feed pipes that need to be disconnected? Since it has to be disconnected anyway, reefing it out for a good clean is possibly wise?

    Incidentally, just what were they thinking when attaching the tank? Some 16 odd bolts needed? How heavy do they reckon petrol is?

    I happen to have a good used sub-frame in the Stash and after cleaning, and possibly painting, I plan to install this one in GiSelle.

    So before I bite the bullet, I would love to hear some opinions from those in the know, and any tips and hints to make the job that little bit easier would also not go astray.

    Cheers, Pottsy.
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  2. #2
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I don't think I ever did GS rear arms .... don't rush out and buy the part though! They are different to the CX/BX/Xantia/XM bearings from memory I'm sure you have done CX/BX/Xantia arms in the past, so it shouldn't be much of a drama

    seeya,
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    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Hi Shane.

    I've never had to (or been keen to try to) do rear arms on any Citroen before. This is one of those new depths I'm exploring as part of GS ownership.

    The spare sub-frame I have seems all good, so I may still not need to steel myself to doing the arms for a while, just the frame changeover.

    Distinct lack of input from the Gurus guys. Am I the only one going down this path?

    Cheers, Pottsy.
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  4. #4
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Its just a simple little bolt .... what are you worried about .....

    all you do in remove nut, withdraw bolt, throw new bearings in ... re-assemble.... What could be easier
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    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    Finally got back to my tech, so a late reply.
    Iím point and pay, so canít say how hard the job is other than comment that my mechanic was cursing how difficult one side had been to undo on mine when bearing replacement was last done as few years ago. At the same time, DS Motors were amazed that I was trying to buy bearings, saying they had only replaced the whole subframes for years.

    Feed pipes to the tank can be a pain to disconnect at this age. Only time Iíve removed a subframe I wanted the tank out anyway, so I removed it first.
    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
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    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Thanks Bruce.

    It sort of looks to me that removing the tank first is the way to go, mainly to improve access to all the fiddly bits.

    I certainly plan to replace the whole assembly in one. Given the amount of movement in the LH arm I suspect the rollers must be powder by now so the bearing itself would probably be a mongrel to remove anyway.

    I can investigate that at my leisure once the rear end is changed over and driving.

    Cheers, Pottsy.
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    Fellow Frogger! Bruce Llewellyn's Avatar
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    I've got a good one here - complete, wheel to wheel with fuel tank. (sigh...)

  8. #8
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    Pottsy,

    I've just removed this (see attachment) rear subframe assembly from a fairly sad GS Break I bought recently. I undid the vascular system retainers (about 6 x 8 mm head bolts - residing on top of the 'tunnel') from inside the cabin prior to lowering the subframe. (I suspect the sedan has a similar setup.)

    After a quick powerwash, it was then a matter of undoing a few parts of said vascular system to end up with subframe assembly and vascular system in separate sections.

    Is this an option for you?

    Chris
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    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    That's pretty much what I have sitting on a stand in the workshop at present. Yet to remove the one from the car.

    Having organised to borrow the special tools from the CCCV I decided that it was prudent to first remove the dodgy arm from the car in situ just in case I could then simply replace it with a good, well bearinged, arm and save myself some grief.

    Well the theory was sound, but reality has caught up.

    Removal was pretty straightforward and I was greeted with a pile of bits in place of the inner bearing, and, as a bonus (?) a seriously gouged and scored pivot shaft.

    No point in putting an arm with good bearings on that, the inner would just chop out soon.

    Back to the drawing board It's now time to lie face down in the boot and start unbolting stuff!

    The pictures tell the story. More anon

    Cheers, Pottsy.
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    We progress.

    After a bit of sweat and swearing, the tank has now been drained and removed.

    Seriously, why does a fuel tank need 13, yes 13, M7 bolts to hold it up? Was it made for heavy water instead of petrol? Was this some sort of nuclear prototype we knew nothing about?

    From the amount of dirt on top of it I strongly suspect this, and presumably the frame, has not been disturbed since rolling out of the factory.

    I'll move on to the rest of the job soonish, but going away for the weekend in the Mini so probably should make sure that's OK before I do!

    Cheers, Pottsy.
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    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    Your dust photo reminds me of the red dust I found on top of the rear arches when I removed the taillights from my wagon decades ago. I was surprised, given how clean the rest of the car was.
    Recently I decided to search the satellite photos to see if I could find where my wagon first lived. Obviously Jo’burg has grown a lot since the mid-seventies and what I just have as a “plot” address is now a densely settled suburb, but I could clearly see the red dirt in fields nearby. The steam-cleaning demanded by customs and quarantine never seems to reach everywhere.
    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
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    I swapped out the tank on my GS, rust was forming badly on bottom of tank and dustbowl on top. Yes those bolts are a pita, luckily I had car on hoist to get at them, bit over engineered in that dept.

    When I received the car put some juice in it, no I didn't because the plastic fuel filler neck was broken, mate at the club who was watching had petrol bubbling all over his shoes, wasn't impressed, then there was a crack in the rubber pipe at the bottom so I shoved a hose down as far as I could to fill it then when I did the juice in tank wept from corrosion! Bought a replacement rubber pipe on ebay and discovered it was only half the pipe! Told the guy in France who was actually very understanding, refunded me, someone had cut it in half once upon a time! Glued up the plastic filler pipe. KBSed the tank. Those bearings are a shocker, Hope I don't have that issue but I think its across the board on any cit, my D had knackered outer races in the bar ends. They all must!


    I just found a plug thread going in number 2 so helicoil time.
    Last edited by forumnoreason; 19th March 2020 at 09:19 AM.

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    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Pottsy,

    If you don't want the rear arm on your other subframe to end you in the same condition, I would be suggesting that you take the arms off the sub-frame and re-lube/grease the trailing arm bearing in those arms before you put them on the car. Chances are those bearings are already running on dry grease.

    Cheers, Ken

    PS and stick some bearing grease in the rear wheel bearings as well. - I traded in a GS many years ago because of a rear wheel bearing rumble that looked too hard for a home mechanic to tackle.

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    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Ken. Yes, a strip and grease of the arm and wheel bearings is on the agenda before I install the replacement. Griesy has also given me the drum where to fit a couple of grease nipples as well.

    The wheel bearings are removed and cleaned already. Just need to re-grease them and re-install. Incidentally, my local bearing supplier was a little scathing about me re-using angled contact bearings. Reckons the pre-load is all screwed up if re-used. Not something I've heard before.

    I don't profess to be an expert, or even an Engineer, but I don't see it as a problem. I've very carefully kept the inners and outers together to avoid any issues, so I'll give them a crack anyway. These, of course, can always be changed on the car fairly easily. Happy to be corrected by someone with more knowledge of these matters than I.

    I must admit to not having pursued replacements yet. I'd like to think that the SKF ones (444296A ?) would be available in Australia, but I guess they may still need to be imported.

    The plan is to have the old frame and the new one on adjacent tables so I can prepare the replacement systematically.

    Just need to psyche myself up to tackling it all.

    Cheers, Pottsy
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

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    I wish you hadn't posted the bearings issue Ray as it seems highly probable my 75 Club will have exactly the same problem.

    I seem to be chasing your GS efforts as I sort this little beastie out and I looked at the drive shaft boots, which I've ordered and just couldn't be asked to have a go at today because its too darn hot and I didn't want to hang out in the shed and unwittingly transmit an illness I may or may not have or indeed catch.

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Default It's Out!

    Well I finally had a small window of opportunity to remove the subframe from the car.

    Not my favourite job, but if I prepare everything properly I may never have to do it again!

    The only complication was working out which pipes I needed to disconnect, and which ones could stay.

    Before it all goes back I'll document them, and colour code them on the car as well!

    Now I have the garage full of subframes! (And yes, I know it's untidy! )

    More news as it comes to hand.

    Cheers, Pottsy


    Will the besieged garrison manage to stave off the invading hordes or will they succumb to the Toyota virus?

    Can self isolation and social distancing work inside a beleaguered garrison?

    These are all questions!
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  17. #17
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    Seriously, why does a fuel tank need 13, yes 13, M7 bolts to hold it up? Was it made for heavy water instead of petrol? Was this some sort of nuclear prototype we knew nothing about?

    Well, it was designed for LEADed petrol after all!!

    Cheers, Robin

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Funny!

    Sadly, I'm not laughing this morning. I just discovered that when I hoisted GiSelle up yesterday I'd left the boot open. Yes, it's bent itself up against the roof of the carport and is now a new, unique, shape that no longer fits!

    I'm an idiot!

    Fortunately, a call to the recipient of the Smurf has put my name on a replacement, but it's bloody annoying, nonetheless because I can only blame myself!

    Hope you're keeping safe and well up in the wilds of Queensland.

    Cheers, Pottsy
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2018 C3 Shine ("Oscar" Mrs P's) Grandma's Taxi
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    2015 C4 Grand Picasso ("Pablo") Workhorse & Grandpa's Taxi
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
    1975 GS Pallas ("GiSelle") Bonsai CX
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  19. #19
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pottsy View Post
    Funny!

    Sadly, I'm not laughing this morning. I just discovered that when I hoisted GiSelle up yesterday I'd left the boot open. Yes, it's bent itself up against the roof of the carport and is now a new, unique, shape that no longer fits!

    I'm an idiot!

    Fortunately, a call to the recipient of the Smurf has put my name on a replacement, but it's bloody annoying, nonetheless because I can only blame myself!

    Hope you're keeping safe and well up in the wilds of Queensland.

    Cheers, Pottsy
    I thought that was what one was supposed to do with the bonnet ... it's much more fragile after all. A rust free bootlid will be very hard to find.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Last edited by DoubleChevron; 26th March 2020 at 05:56 PM.
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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  20. #20
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Shane, yes, I've always been paranoid about putting the bonnet down before raising the hoist, but this time I must have had a brainfade. Didn't even hear the crumple and crunch!

    Be assured that by the time I finish with it, the replacement boot lid should be rust free, and white.

    Anyway, to continue the saga. Something mysterious.

    I cleaned up the tank with the pressure washer yesterday and this came to light, along with a sad little bit of masking tape bearing what looks like the same message.

    I assume that it was signed by the assembler. I don't reckon this has ever been removed, but I could be wrong.

    Cheers, Pottsy
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    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick") Weekend Warrior
    2015 C4 Grand Picasso ("Pablo") Workhorse & Grandpa's Taxi
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
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  21. #21
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    Following Pottsy is so much fun. I have just re-registered Gaston, a GS I bought sight unseen from Perth and have spent the last 15 months going through many of Pottsy's issues. He is much more of a scientist than I am. With the now imposed social limitations, I will sit down and document my travails with Gaston so that Pottsy can get the odd Shadenfreud moment , Ian

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    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Hi Ian. Never been called a scientist before!

    Can't wait to read of your adventures.

    Cheers, Pottsy
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2018 C3 Shine ("Oscar" Mrs P's) Grandma's Taxi
    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick") Weekend Warrior
    2015 C4 Grand Picasso ("Pablo") Workhorse & Grandpa's Taxi
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
    1975 GS Pallas ("GiSelle") Bonsai CX
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pottsy View Post
    Hi Ian. Never been called a scientist before!

    Can't wait to read of your adventures.

    Cheers, Pottsy
    M.Pottsy,

    You are indeed articulate, a wordsmith, an entertainer ..... and glutton for punishment.
    I have long admired your literary style.

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Thanks Fritz. I'm blushing all over the keyboard!
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

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    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick") Weekend Warrior
    2015 C4 Grand Picasso ("Pablo") Workhorse & Grandpa's Taxi
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
    1975 GS Pallas ("GiSelle") Bonsai CX
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

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    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Default Horror Pictures

    Don't look if you're uneasy in the stomach.

    I feel really bad having done this to my lovely GiSelle.

    But on the up side, I've sorted one side of the replacement sub frame with a grease nipple and a ton of nice brand new blue Castrol grease.

    Cheers, Pottsy
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    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2018 C3 Shine ("Oscar" Mrs P's) Grandma's Taxi
    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick") Weekend Warrior
    2015 C4 Grand Picasso ("Pablo") Workhorse & Grandpa's Taxi
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
    1975 GS Pallas ("GiSelle") Bonsai CX
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

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