GS owners advice wanted
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Icon7 GS owners advice wanted

    I am thinking of buying a manual GS 1220 for weekend use.
    I would like to hear any frank opinions/impressions of GS owners or past owners.
    In particular;
    - Assuming your car is in good condition, what sort of problems have you experienced?
    - How well does your GS cruise on motorways?
    - If you were buying a GS again, what advice would you give?
    Regards
    JASE

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    A GS is good condition doesn't give trouble

    Seriously though, a GS in good condition will go and go and go. They're a very simple car and given regular oil changes with decent oil the engines are almost immortal. Highway cruising? I've done 1000km in one day at 110km/h (Sydney to Balranald) with no problems apart from a bit of sweat. Get used to seeing 4000+ rpm on the revcounter and you'll be off.

    Search the forum for a thread called "Buying a GS" and you should find plenty of advice on what to look for when shopping. Rust is the biggest baddy, most of these cars are about 30 years old now and the factory rustproofing was crap. Look at the bottoms of the doors, along under the rear windows, at the top of the boot-lid and around the vent-box/base of the windscreen. Good 4-speed gearboxes are rare, and even the good ones tend to whine a bit. Most engines will blow a cloud of smoke from a cold start (they did that from new), be suspicious of one that smokes on a hot start or any other time. Most of them leak oil, a cleanish engine bay is a good sign.

    Steer clear of a car with collapsed rear swing-arm bearings, if they're bad enough the support tube will be scored and that's an utter prick of a job. If the back wheels don't look vertical or run straight, jack the car up and check for play.

    The Pallas models are slightly more prone to rust but are still worth getting, they have a nicer interior and more sound-proofing.

    That "Buying a GS" thread ran to about 3 pages so you'll find more there...

    Chris
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    Default Thanks.

    Thanks for the advice Chris. Got the "Buying a GS" thread.
    Very helpful.
    JASE

  4. #4
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    The hardest bit by far is "finding a good GS". They have been worth so little for so long, most of them have been driven into the ground. It'll be a long painful search, but I'm sure if you look hard enough you'll find a good one somewhere...

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

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  5. #5
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    There was one for sale on here before. Im sure its still for sale.
    The guys name is Darren. Immaculate condition GS.....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    There was one for sale on here before. Im sure its still for sale.
    The guys name is Darren. Immaculate condition GS.....

    I think this may be the one you mean?

    http://www.carsales.com.au/pls/carsales/!cs_content.private_results?category_id=3&selected _model=6&selected_region=&search_type=20&price_min =&price_max=&make_id=53&model_id=2806&keyword=&sta te_id=-1&search_postcode=&search_distance=25

  7. #7
    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris
    Steer clear of a car with collapsed rear swing-arm bearings, if they're bad enough the support tube will be scored and that's an utter prick of a job. If the back wheels don't look vertical or run straight, jack the car up and check for play.Chris
    Listen near the rear wheels while the suspension is being raised and lowered. You can sometimes hear the little clicking noises as the broken needle rollers catch. The movement is also sometimes not smooth. Watch to see if the rear end seems to "catch" briefly on the way up or down.

    The good aerodynamics means it has less difficulty maintaining highway speeds than many of its contemporaries with engines of a similar size.

    Most had a Solex carby but some had a Weber (looks similar). The Webers seemed to have more power, but I could never get mine to idle smoothly. Changing to a Solex fixed the idling but power went down.
    Last edited by WLB; 20th July 2005 at 03:28 PM.

  8. #8
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLB
    Listen near the rear wheels while the suspension is being raised and lowered. You can sometimes hear the little clicking noises as the broken needle rollers catch. The movement is also sometimes not smooth. Watch to see if the rear end seems to "catch" briefly on the way up or down.

    The good aerodynamics means it has less difficulty maintaining highway speeds than many of its contemporaries with engines of a similar similar size.

    Most had a Solex carby but some had a Weber (looks similar). The Webers seemed to have more power, but I could never get mine to idle smoothly. Changing to a Solex fixed the idling but power went down.
    The webers have an idle cutoff valve. If you remove the guts from this valve it will idle properly (I've never seen one of these idle cutoff valves that work ... and that's on *any* car, not just a Citroen).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  9. #9
    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    The webers have an idle cutoff valve. If you remove the guts from this valve it will idle properly (I've never seen one of these idle cutoff valves that work ... and that's on *any* car, not just a Citroen).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    It was something else in my case. It just ran lumpy occasionally. Even Marcel at New Deal couldn't find the problem. It didn't really affect anything. It was just annoying, so I put up with it as the car was much better above idle. (I dragged off a Datsun 120Y once!)

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    The Solexes also have a cutoff solenoid, they also die That was probably your problem WLB (just for the record -- you can't just cut the end off the solenoid on a Weber, you need to pull the little cap off, cut the end off the internal plunger and put the cap back on to get the correct fuel flow).

    I found the Solex a complete PITA, fiddly mechanism and complex idle adjustment. The Webers aren't perfect but they're better.

    For reasons best known to Citroen they continued to fit the Pallas models with a Solex after the Clubs got a Weber.

    EDIT: Crosspost, so it wasn't your problem
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

  11. #11
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLB
    It was something else in my case. It just ran lumpy occasionally. Even Marcel at New Deal couldn't find the problem. It didn't really affect anything. It was just annoying, so I put up with it as the car was much better above idle. (I dragged off a Datsun 120Y once!)
    .... Intermitantly sticking idle cutoff/anti-deisel valve. Seriously they usually die which prevents the motor idling, so the idle gets screwed up by the first mechanic that looks at it so it'll idle again. Problem is it'll then only idle at higher revs, and run quite richly in doing so. I've no doubts that if you removed the guts from the idle cutoff valve the car would stop this intermitant behaviour.

    Every CX and Renault Fuego I've seen does a similar thing:

    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/shane/cmatic/carby.htm

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  12. #12
    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris
    you can't just cut the end off the solenoid on a Weber, you need to pull the little cap off, cut the end off the internal plunger and put the cap back on to get the correct fuel flow).
    No this was really weird.
    We didn't remove the valve as it was working okay. When the carby was fitted to a different car, it idled okay. It just didn't like my car. Very strange. In the end I just gave up and put up with it.

  13. #13
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLB
    No this was really weird.
    We didn't remove the valve as it was working okay. When the carby was fitted to a different car it, it idled okay. It just didn't like my car. Very strange. In the end I just gave up and put up with it.
    you have ruled out the idle cut off valve then... Now you just need to ensure you have consistant power to it. A dodgy connector or fuse connection will cause exactly the same symptoms as the soleniod itself being no good. You must have the only working soleniod in captivity on that carby, so look after it

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    That circuit is unfused on a GS, as I discovered to my chagrin.

    Those motors seem to show up problems at idle that don't affect the rest of the rev range, especially if they're a bit cold. Sad HT leads etc.

    Chris
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

  15. #15
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris
    That circuit is unfused on a GS, as I discovered to my chagrin.

    Those motors seem to show up problems at idle that don't affect the rest of the rev range, especially if they're a bit cold. Sad HT leads etc.

    Chris
    You have tired old wiring and a tired old alternator and you may find at idle sometimes there isn't enough voltage to get the cutoff soleniod working either

    Don't talk to me about citroen electricals ... I'm sick of the bloody things.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  16. #16
    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    you have ruled out the idle cut off valve then... Now you just need to ensure you have consistant power to it. A dodgy connector or fuse connection will cause exactly the same symptoms as the soleniod itself being no good. You must have the only working soleniod in captivity on that carby, so look after it

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    No this was nearly 30 years ago Shane. The car was only 4 years old. I don't recall thinking of a dodgy fuse connection.

    I did have the wire burn through and short on the exhaust riser pipe on another GS in the back streets of Singapore late one night with a girlfriend. It died and wouldn't go again and I didn't have a torch and hadn't the faintest idea what had gone wrong. I had the bonnet up fumbling around under a street light and noticed a group of bikies hanging around about 200m away. A couple of them walked up while I was thinking "Okay, what happens next". One of the guys said, "What's the problem? I'm a Citroen mechanic."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLB
    No this was nearly 30 years ago Shane. The car was only 4 years old. I don't recall thinking of a dodgy fuse connection.

    I did have the wire burn through and short on the exhaust riser pipe on another GS in the back streets of Singapore late one night with a girlfriend. It died and wouldn't go again and I didn't have a torch and hadn't the faintest idea what had gone wrong. I had the bonnet up fumbling around under a street light and noticed a group of bikies hanging around about 200m away. A couple of them walked up while I was thinking "Okay, what happens next". One of the guys said, "What's the problem? I'm a Citroen mechanic."
    Haveing installed 5 speed boxes in GS's would not hesitate to recommend looking for a good GSA, the 5 speed and the 1300cc engine makes a huge difference.

    Chris.
    1964 Type 3 Squareback. 1974 L Bug.

  18. #18
    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Dunham
    Haveing installed 5 speed boxes in GS's would not hesitate to recommend looking for a good GSA, the 5 speed and the 1300cc engine makes a huge difference.

    Chris.
    Did many get sold here? They were released when I was in Singapore and I always fancied one. I've never actually seen one in the flesh.

  19. #19
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jase2042
    I am thinking of buying a manual GS 1220 for weekend use.
    I would like to hear any frank opinions/impressions of GS owners or past owners.
    In particular;
    - Assuming your car is in good condition, what sort of problems have you experienced?
    - How well does your GS cruise on motorways?
    - If you were buying a GS again, what advice would you give?
    Regards
    JASE
    I've personally had just about every thing go wrong, but mind you - it's been with different cars...

    indicator blinker device failure
    wiper mechanism failing to stop on request
    'tramlined' tyres
    manifold leaks
    regulator return hoses rupturing...

    the list goes on and on. But, in essence, a good GS is as good as what you're prepared to spend on it, I guess. For some unknown reason, previous GS owners have sold their cars in not so good condition and usually one must spend at least $1000 to get things sorted, whether it be control arms or brake pads - there's always something that needs to be done. I've yet to experience someone selling a GS that's in actual roadworthy condition!

    Of course, I am just speaking from experience. To me, a good body is more important than mechanicals.

    They love the highway - sitting on 4,000 rpm at 100km/h is like music to your ears, but that's just my musical taste coming into fray. The GS is the only Citroen (aside from the SM) that really likes to lurk shy of the red zone when changing gears.

    If I was buying a GS again, I'd look for one that's a 75 or 76 model, with the old tail-lights and with the gear leaver flat - 4 speed preferred. It would have to have good tyres (as Michelin tyres are expensive and require a little research to obtain and Nankang tyres are simply bogus), little if no rust on the floor, under the battery or around the windscreen; and the car must be complete and characteristic of its year model.

    There have been moments were a $300 GS was more mechanically sound than a $2000 one, as price doesn't seem to reflect upon it's under-bonnet condition all that much.

    GS's in Queensland (at least) are getting thinner on the ground as years go by, as more become collector's souvenirs or simply undesired and therefore dumped.

    Good luck with your GS buying.
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  20. #20
    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by donat
    GS's in Queensland (at least) are getting thinner on the ground as years go by, as more become collector's souvenirs or simply undesired and therefore dumped.
    Speaking of dumping.
    I've still got a complete LH rear arm and pivot shaft that was fitted with a big greasable bronze bush in the TAA engine overhaul workshop about 20 odd years ago. I still believe that needle roller bearings are inappropriate for something under heavy load that simply rocks back and forth randomly. They are better suited to spinning.

    Anyway, I never got around to installing it, and it, together with several dead and live spheres, will be destined for the tip one day when I run out of room. I doubt I'll ever have another GS and nobody seems to want the parts.

  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    If you want to hang onto them for a while longer I'll pick them up next time I go near you... might not be for a while though...

    Chris
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

  22. #22
    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris
    If you want to hang onto them for a while longer I'll pick them up next time I go near you... might not be for a while though...

    Chris
    I'll place another post when I need the space.

    Warwick.

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    I endorse Donat's comments - no need to spend outrageous money unless it's a minter. These things can be driven even when they've been thrashed to within an inch of their lives and in a shocking state of disrepair... (I should know, I've got 3 ex Donat GS's )

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    If you're doing long hours of highway driving I'd disagree with Donat re the four speed/ five speed issue. Many years ago I would regularly do an 1800k weekend round-trip at around 5000rpm in my 4 speed GS (Speeding, Officer? I'm sure this car wouldn't go that fast!). I call the sound "highly strung sewing machine" - after 4 or 5 hours it becomes wearying. At those times how I longed to have a five speed.

    And for those in the know - the front of the roof is still bare metal, might get some time this weekend to further cut the hole for the sunroof, then start painting!

  25. #25
    Tadpole
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    Default Thanks.

    Thanks again for all the advice.
    Much appreciated.


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