The Tale Of The Freebie GS
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default The Tale Of The Freebie GS

    I retrieved the Freebie GS yesterday and today and yesterday from the wilds of Swan Reach,loaded it on to a twin cab Dyna and returned to Mandurama.I think I kicked a goal.I as yet have found no rust,I am told and it seems likely that it has done 106000 miles,the rear wheels appear to stand up straight,it seems to have green oil in the hydraulics,the paint is shabby and panels have a few minor dings,the front of the bonnet looks a bit cooked but the engine seems to have compression when turned over with the crank,It needs a windscreen,Anyone??? The owner says it needs an accumulator but I will need to research this to check what is wrong and how to fix it.Inside it is pretty good and original so I am really chuffed with the whole deal.
    I was going to get a 404 or something but I had them from 203 403 404 504 505 205 203 ute and currently 307HDI so the GS is quite exciting.I had a D Super between the 404 and 504 and really liked it but at the time the Pugs were a bit more user friendly for my wage bracket.
    Any leads on a windscreen or the possible problem with the accumulator would be appreciated as well as a source of supply for cam belts would be appreciated.
    Regards to all Dennis Alderton

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  2. #2
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    Congratulations on the car, hope it works out. I may have a windscreen if you need one, however it is in Hobart and I have never actually tried to arrange freight on one of these. No doubt it can be done (after all the trade must get theirs somehow) but by whom or for how much I do not know. Also I would have to pull it out of storage; it's definitely not cracked, but may have couple of scratches, I'd have to have look. I assume the original screen is either missing or cracked? You may find it easier (and cheaper) to source one closer to home, but get back to me if you need to.

    I also know that Roger Parker (see sticky note at top of forum) has some contacts for replacement rubber parts from OS, but not sure if this is only for Ds or for other cits too. Nice not to have leaks into the car when you put a new screen in, as if your GS isn't rusty yet a leaky screen seal will fix that. You could also ask him regards the accumulator sphere. A GS accumulator should have 62 bar pressure but not sure about the volume; quite possibly they're interchangeable with another model cit (?) If the old accumulator isn't completely flat you may be able to get it recharged anyway, I have had good results with recharged GS accumulators in the past and have been using one for a couple of years.

    Dave at French Connection is chasing up some GS bits for me at the moment so you could try him for cambelts, or Mel Carey at Citro Motors could probably help, amongst others. When I last bought a pair (last year) they were only $40 odd dollars, so it's really not worth taking a risk with the old ones. I'm assuming your car has a 1220 engine; this is important as some engines eg 1015 had different belt lengths, so be sure to order the correct ones. Also, you've got to pull half of the front off the car in order to get to the cambelts, so have a quick look at the valve clearances and exhaust manifolds/headers while you're in there; they're a bit easier to get to that way.

    There are plenty of members at this site with far more experience than myself who can give you advice regarding the hydraulics, but briefly, you need to determine whether the hydraulic pressure regulator is in fact cutting in and out to regulate the supply of LHM from the pump (makes a clicking sound, you can feel the (rubber) return line from the regulator to the reservoir "pulse" when this occurs. Ideally this should take at least 30 seconds to cycle between cutting in and cutting out. Any longer than this is better (one of my cars goes around 3 minutes presently which is very good) any less you may need to get the sphere regassed. Alternatively the sphere may be flat, in which case the pump is constantly pumping under load, which does no good to the pump or the hydraulic system as a whole.

    One thing you *MUST* be aware of; portions of a GS hydro-pneumatic system (and some other hydraulic cits for that matter) operate at system pressures of up to 2500 psi. Before you attempt any work on spheres, HP pipes etc. you MUST open the pressure regulator bleed screw a couple of turns (no need to take it right out) and ensure that the suspension units have depressurised (car sitting on bump stops). Otherwise you may get seriously hurt! (Don't forget to nip it up again when you're finished either, or you'll have no brakes!!!)

    On the positive side, the hydraulics on a GS aren't that complicated if you take the time to get a handle on the basic principles of operation. I'd never had anything to do with hydro-pneumatics until I got my first GS a couple of years ago, but have had no trouble tackling repairs (and I can't think of any major component of one of my cars that I haven't had to replace/fix at some stage!)

    Send me a personal message if you need my contact details, Dennis re: the windscreen or just some further information.

    Regards,
    Brett

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! Paul Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett R
    One thing you *MUST* be aware of; portions of a GS hydro-pneumatic system (and some other hydraulic cits for that matter) operate at system pressures of up to 2500 psi. Before you attempt any work on spheres, HP pipes etc. you MUST open the pressure regulator bleed screw a couple of turns (no need to take it right out) and ensure that the suspension units have depressurised (car sitting on bump stops). Otherwise you may get seriously hurt! (Don't forget to nip it up again when you're finished either, or you'll have no brakes!!!)

    On the positive side, the hydraulics on a GS aren't that complicated if you take the time to get a handle on the basic principles of operation. I'd never had anything to do with hydro-pneumatics until I got my first GS a couple of years ago, but have had no trouble tackling repairs (and I can't think of any major component of one of my cars that I haven't had to replace/fix at some stage!)
    AND NEVERget under a hydraulic Citroen unless it is properly supported - people have been killed by cars coming down unexpectedly.

    Paul
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    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    re cambelts, you'll want to change to tensioners too. There's an SKF kit that has the belts and two tensioners -- I'll post the part number tomorrow. Genuine Citroen tensioners will set you back $100-odd each but the kit was about $130 all up.

    Chris
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

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    Guys, I could be totally wrong here but, is it really necessary to change cam belts on a GS? I've never heard of them ever failing (in my short experience that is)

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66
    Guys, I could be totally wrong here but, is it really necessary to change cam belts on a GS? I've never heard of them ever failing (in my short experience that is)
    I've only ever looked like buying a GS once in my life and the cambelt snapped as I turned the key to start it!! So I'd say, yes, there is a need to do them. They really are a $#!+ of an idea though; never had these problems with chains.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

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    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    Alan, didn't the early overhead cam motorbike engines have plenty of trouble with their timing chains?

    Graham, if you don't believe that the belts AND TENSIONERS need changing I'll send you up one of my old tensioners -- the one that you could hear from outside the car when it was running... if a tensioner jams or collapses you'll walk home

    Regards,
    Chris
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

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    (Sorry to hijack this thread), but any idea of the labour involved to get the belts and tensioners done? Is it like an all day job?

  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66
    (Sorry to hijack this thread), but any idea of the labour involved to get the belts and tensioners done? Is it like an all day job?
    Hardest bit is the fan nut. You'll need a 42 ???? (someone help) socket. Other than that you just unbolt most of the front from the car. It will take a few hours as by the time you unbolt everything. Shouldn't be difficult, just follow the haynes manual and you'll be right.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    You'll need a 42 ???? (someone help) socket.
    Yep. And about 6 feet of pipe to lever it with, a big screwdriver and a friend to lock the flywheel, and a fervent prayer that whoever did the job last followed the instructions to grease the starter dog on re-assembly.

    Other than that you just unbolt most of the front from the car. It will take a few hours as by the time you unbolt everything. Shouldn't be difficult, just follow the haynes manual and you'll be right.
    Hahahaha. For one thing, DON'T follow the Haynes sequence of fit-->check rocker clearances-->tension, or the belt can hop on the pulleys while you're spinning the engine to do the clearances. Fit, tension and THEN fiddle with the rockers.

    Don't try and do it in one day, 'tis not a job to rush (plus the engine is really easy to get at with the front shroud off, time to check for oil leaks etc). I imagine a workshop would charge for about 8 hours labour.

    I'll try and post that kit number in the Archive thread tomorrow. I got it via New Zealand but the price of the Citroen bits here will honestly make you spill your beer

    Chris
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

  11. #11
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    I have an engine in my shed, which I inherited from elsewhere, that is in good condition, apart from a bent exhaust valve on number 2 cylinder, courtesy of a snapped nearside cam belt.

    I also have several sets of old cam belts I keep simply for reference when ordering replacements. It's interesting to note that with many of these belts they are noticeably less pliable than new replacements. They also exhibit a tendency to develop minute cracks. I suspect this is more related to age and the hot environment of a GS engine compartment than the distance travelled. I'm fortunate enough to have Autobooks, Haynes and factory manuals for the GS. Haynes and Citroen both advise belt replacement at 24,000m/40,000km intervals; Autobooks much more conservatively advise 20,000km! Also seem to recall reading on the Yahoo GS-GSA list that the factory extended their recommended replacement interval for late GS/GSA as they gained confidence in the system.

    I'd be prepared to take a little liberty with the distance recommendation for belt replacement, but wouldn't contemplate returning an engine to service after years of down time without changing belts, regardless of how little distance the existing belts have travelled.

    On the Yahoo list recently, a member suggested that it is necessary to drop the front underbody tray in order to do a cam belt replacement on a GS. Although you do have to remove the grill, headlights/blinkers and fan cowling to get to the plenum chamber, I can encourage anyone thinking of having a go at their own belt replacement that it is not necessary to drop the tray to get the plenum chamber off. By unbolting the "nozzle" from the plenum chamber, it is (just) possible to wiggle the chamber out from between the engine and the tray.

    Alan, I agree that camchains don't generally give much trouble in most automotive applications, however GS engines like to rev. As do bikes, and every Jap bike I've owned (30 plus) has had a camchain system for its OHC, but it's nearly always the tensioning system that's the weak link, not the chain itself.

    I've also got a Ducati Pantah 500 out in the shed (not mine, babysitting it for a mate) which revs over 9,000rpm on a set of cam belts which, provided they're changed as required, are a paragon of reliability. Even the factory 996/998 superbikes revving way over 12,000 rpm manage to get by (although the factory admit that the timing does get affected a bit by belt stretch at race rpm). But this is double GS max rpms. And belts are nice and quiet, not so important in the '70s perhaps, but an advantage these days for sure with current db limits. That, and cost, is why Ducati discontinued the gear system, which is more accurate and long-lived than either of the above. But that's another story for another forum.

    Getting back to that engine with the bent valve. It was the first Citroen engine I'd ever looked at, shortly before I bought a GS. I remember being worried about the engines condition, as the nearside cam belt also drives the oil pump. I had concerns that when it broke, the driver, if a mechanical ignoramus, may have driven the car for a bit on the remaining cylinders, thus destroying the whole motor from lack of lubrication. Much later, out in the shed one arvo, I noticed that the nearside camshaft is the one driving the distributor, so the engine would have ceased to run instantly. Citroen could have driven the dizzy off either camshaft, but they chose that one. Someone was thinking when it was designed...

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett R
    On the Yahoo list recently, a member suggested that it is necessary to drop the front underbody tray in order to do a cam belt replacement on a GS. Although you do have to remove the grill, headlights/blinkers and fan cowling to get to the plenum chamber, I can encourage anyone thinking of having a go at their own belt replacement that it is not necessary to drop the tray to get the plenum chamber off. By unbolting the "nozzle" from the plenum chamber, it is (just) possible to wiggle the chamber out from between the engine and the tray.
    I'm pretty sure you'd spend less time taking off the undertray than you would swearing and skinning your knuckles if you didn't...

    Chris
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

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    It's not so bad. You do have to remember to unclip the supply hose to the hydraulic pump (there should be a clip on the underneath of the plenum chamber that keeps the hose away from the offside exhaust manifold) but otherwise you just jiggle the chamber around gently to ease it past the cylinder ducting. Admittedly this is a little easier to do with a 1015 than a 1220 (shorter engine- more room-different plenum chamber) but even with the 1220 there's space. If you tried to remove the plenum chamber without unbolting the nozzle first, then you would probably conclude that it WON'T fit. It's a bit like changing a GS alternator. It looks like it can't be done without removing the front of the car, and the first time takes you ages. But, once you've done it a few times, you can do it in 20 minutes.

    Brett

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    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    Posted the details of the cambelt kit to the Archive thread, I guess it has to get approved by an admin before it shows up.

    Chris
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

  15. #15
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi Chris,

    if you post the cambelt details here, I'll move it to the archive area. I seem to recall that only moderators can post in that section (to keep it clean of general chatter and talk).

    If you ever want something shifted there, just yell out and one of the moderators will move it there for you.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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  16. #16
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Thanks Chris,

    I've moved your post to the archive forum.

    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

  17. #17
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    Default Cam Belts.

    I removed the fan and cowl today (after removing the undertray) and found that the left hand belt teeth are about 1/2 the width that they should be and the belt looks very stiff.The right one looks to have been replaced and seems in reasonable condition(please dont tell me that they should be replaced as a pair,I will do that).The ex owner says that he had the car from 76000 miles to the present 106000 miles and has not put belts in it so one wonders who would replace one without the other.He also says that it starts well with aerostart so I am forced to wonder why this was necessary.Cassette points in the SEV dissy dont thrill me but time will tell.I checked with the local SKF branch (Bathurst) and they say that GS belt and tensioner kits are listed in Europe but not stocked here?
    The more of the body I see the better it gets.it seems to be completely rust free!!I will attempt to fire it up when I get some belts and see what happens,I t seems that the harsh ride that the owner spoke of will be spheres not accumulator.
    I will keep you all posted and thank you for all the info and advice.I have fallen in love with the little thing and I havent driven one yet.
    Regards Dennis

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