CX Hydraulic leak fixed
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Andy N's Avatar
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    Default CX Hydraulic leak fixed

    Hey everyone
    I did a bit of work on the CX today, starting with readjusting the points and spark-plug gaps. A major concern was the amount of LHM I have been going through and it had got to the stage where I have used 2 litres in the last week!
    It had to be fixed today and I found that a plastic line had come away from a rubber T-section (The one adjoined to the steering rack and high pressure line). I thought of just putting the line back in the 3-way section but this section has split slightly so as a short term measure I have put a hose clamp on it.
    I am not sure why but the last couple of weeks the ride has been way too high...faulty height corrector?....bad fluid? It has been difficult to get a measurement because the range was all over the place but overall too high and harsh riding especially over small sharp bumps.
    Re-attaching this line (overflow return?) has fixed the height problem!! I have no idea why and the reason I hadn't adjusted the height corrector linkage already was that I was waiting to borrow some ramps to do it safely (Spent hours finding out how to do it so good for future reference I suppose).
    I took it for a drive and it rides very well and at the correct height without any harshness! There has to be a reason!?
    Could anyone suggest how a loose overflow return line coming from the steering rack could affect ride height?
    Cheers, Andy

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! Andy N's Avatar
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    Default Well... not really fixed at all

    Hey, guess what!
    I thought I had fixed the leak for good but it is still dumping LHM and with only 1 litre left at this rate will be used before the week is over.
    I will replace the T-piece that has split with something from the local spares dealer but I have a feeling it is also leaking under the T-piece at various junctions that are possibly high pressure unions. I will post some photos soon.
    There are so many tiny metal lines and linkages and I cannot seem to get my head around the hydraulic diagrams not that that would tell me where the leak is anyway.
    I have yet to have a full week of troublefree motoring with this CX but I will keep pushing on with it in the hope that I can get any kind of reliability out of it.
    I wonder if it would be worth a visit up to Gayndah to have it assessed by Pleiades? I will call them if I can find out what parts I need and I think they have repair kits that could be useful. Could the sealing rubbers be perished in the hydraulic pipe joints?
    Any thoughts about this would be very appreciated
    Thanks, Andy

  3. #3
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    FYI, Pleiades repair hydraulic components they do not do hydraulic repairs pre se. I once asked if I could take my car there so theyt could see for themselves how the hydraulics were performing and was told they would look at components once out of the car but don't have the expertise, space or equipment to be involved in general service work.
    To me it sounds like you've stuffed an octopus and if my memory serves me correctly, Craig Keller had at least one of those for sale, brand new at a good price, and in reality, the surest way of sorting that leak is beginning to sound like a complete octopus change.
    Changing an octopus isn't for the faint hearted and has to be done on a one in/one out system. Major leaks on the high pressure side are just that; major. They'll empty the tank in a minute if that side leaks, so your problems sound all operational returns.


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

  4. #4
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi Andy,

    you don't have a choice, you need to clean the area and find the leak.... If the leaks up high it'll saturate all the hydraulic lines and follow pipe on the way down etc.... ie: it'll be VERY hard to find until it's clean.

    Most likely it'll be a simple fix, possibly the common problem of handbrake cables rubbing through the daravi return lines (they will then only leak when you turn the steering wheel..... ie: hard to find).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/citro%EBn-forum/90325-best-project-car-you-have-ever-seen.html
    '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

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! Andy N's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks guys
    You're right about the LHM running all over the place,Shane. It may be difficult to find the leak but I will endeavor to look for it. I think the octopus joint is o.k. but I can understand why you think it is that Alan, as it is the first thing that Gus Robinson looked at when I bought 2 litres of LHM off him a couple of weeks ago.
    He showed me the area to look for around what he called the spider joint. It looked perfectly clean and dry but I will have another look to be sure. I will also post photos of the area behind the steering rack on the passenger side once I get hold of a digital camera. That is where the leaks are coming from and I will be going down town now to source the right T-piece to fix what I had clamped the other day. It may just be that I didn't do a good enough job of it.
    Wish me luck!

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Andy N's Avatar
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    I just got off the phone to Peter at Pleiades about getting a rubber T-piece. Man this guy really knows his stuff! He doesn't stock that particular piece anymore but suggests totally degreasing the piece and supergluing the split which is what I had originally planned on doing. After that I will clamp it down again and thoroughly degrease the area to find the source of the other leak.
    After talking to Peter about the height issue he suggested the dampers in the height corrector may need to be replaced and he does this for under $100 so it never happens again (the original setup was not so good). The test is to push down on the front/back at normal running height and time the speed of height recovery (should be about 10 seconds).
    Taking the weight off so the car rises, it should settle down to the proper height in 10seconds.
    Well the CX isn't doing the second part and just stays up in the air. I thought I had fixed it the other day but what I fixed really had nothing to do with it and was just coincidence!
    O.K. now to ditch the brass T-piece I just bought (wrong size anyway)
    I wonder if I should edit the title and first post of this thread now!

  7. #7
    UFO
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    CitroŽn Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    You can get some nylon fuel line pieces that will be oil proof. These can be useful for repairing LHM return line pieces.

    So, you visited Dr Gus's Citroen Surgery on your way back from the snow eh? I expect he made the usual sounds re CXs or any Cit in general
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  8. #8
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi Andy,

    Sounds like you just need to clean the height correc or internally to me... I've never (ever) heard of a height corrector needing a rebuild.... Just disassemble, clean in petrol and refit. It could also be a return line blocked. Certainly I'd save the $100bux on the height corrector. I have stacks of them here ... I'll dismantle one, clean and send it upto to you for $100bux if you like

    It's fun trying to fixing dodgy return lines isn't 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

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! doggiedog's Avatar
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    "I have yet to have a full week of troublefree motoring with this CX but I will keep pushing on with it in the hope that I can get any kind of reliability out of it."


    Hang in there Andy, I thought the same thing, when will all this c**p stop, but it will eventually peter out.
    Mine is now reliable enough that I don't bother taking the mobile ( I hate them) with me when I drive it,(which is all the time), but I still havent brought myself to take the tool box or trolley jack out of the boot!!.
    I've done 8,000kms since I got it, and in the last 2,000kms, all I've had to do is the usual fluid checks, fill with petrol, top up washer bottle (for the second time ever).
    I'm now waiting for all hell to break loose!!!!
    Terry


    1980 CX C-Matic Bleu Regate

  10. #10
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Guys,

    your problem is they are 30year old cars. Much like any car of it's age you'll expect to have many minor problems over the first few months.... Once there sorted you'll find the CX is a VERY tough car, sure being 30years old there will probably always be something minor/niggly requiring attention but you should never have really major problems.

    Put it this way, I've been driving them since I was 17years old, never has the car failed to get home under it's own power in all of that time.

    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

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    Guys,

    your problem is they are 30year old cars. Much like any car of it's age you'll expect to have many minor problems over the first few months.... Once there sorted you'll find the CX is a VERY tough car, sure being 30years old there will probably always be something minor/niggly requiring attention but you should never have really major problems.

    Put it this way, I've been driving them since I was 17years old, never has the car failed to get home under it's own power in all of that time.

    ps I am 21 now

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Andy you have just got to stop dribbling that green gold everywhere you go, you'll be easier to track than a wombat through snow.

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! andrewj's Avatar
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    Shane/Terry,
    you are risking the anger of the Citroen Gods.

    My GS went for twelve months without any maintence at all. I mentioned this to a friend and BANG! a week later the alternator brushes went.

    Coincidence or something else ??

    Driving - '90 XM, '85 CX IE Auto, 406 Coupe, 405 srdt wagon, '78 dyane, Resting (or Rusting): '73 Birotor '82 CX Presitige, '81 CX Break IE, GS X2, GS1015 Wagon, GS 1300 5sp Wagon, '76 GS 1220 Wagon, '75 GS Wagon, '58 2CV, '58 Vauxhall Velox

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger! doggiedog's Avatar
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    If there are indeed Citroen Gods, then I broke the First Commandment today.

    Silly me, I thought I would check the Hydraulic level, so not trusting the level indicator, pulled the hose block out of the reservoir. Then thought, I havent tested that low level alarm, so proceed to short out the wires with a bit of wire.

    Turned the ignition on, thought to myself in a fit of brilliance, OH, I need to start the engine to clear all the other alarms, to see if the low tank level still brought the alarm up.
    Yep, the alarm still blared, then proceed to disconnect the wire, and yes the alarm cleared, then conneccted the wire again, and the alarm came up, ripper I thought, the alarm works.
    Then a deep, dark cloud descended upon my brow, as I made the fateful re-alisation, that Oh ***k, the suction block is still out of the reservoir, and the motor is still running.
    Quickly, I plunged the suction back in the Tank, stopped the engine, and looked over my shoulder to see if anyone saw (no not really, but you know the feeling).

    After my last little episode with the steering, and the numerous bleedings etc, I was feeling a little bit silly.
    Anyway I started her, the alarm cleared, and I'm thinking to myself, Shane did say everything does self bleed.
    I backed out the driveway, the alarm came on, for about 10 secs, then cleared, then came on again for a bit, then cleared, so I took it for a bit of a drive, and its good as gold, so Shane was right, and I'm an idiot.

    So I propose the first Commandment to be:
    1. Thou Shall not remove hydraulic suction out of Tank Whilst Engine is Running.

    Any others people can think of?
    Like Thou Shalt Covert Thy Neighbours LHM

    Terry


    1980 CX C-Matic Bleu Regate

  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! Andy N's Avatar
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    Hey guys
    Rather than superglue the split in the dodgy rubber T-section I managed to use a brass piece that I got from the local ENZED place for $3.50. I'm happy that I was compelled to use it as it is a tighter fit using pieces of fuel line and screw clamps...a very satisfactory fit I thought.
    I have worked out the hydraulic diagram after forcing myself to realise it can't be too difficult to read. It was suggested to me that I could find all the return lines and make sure they are clear by adding pressure at one end and seeing what comes out at the reservoir end..makes sense to me.
    Before I do this I will clean up the hydraulic lines and joints thoroughly with a sodium hydroxide solution called 'shift it'. Very good I am told and less harsh on the environment than degreaser or kero.
    I have a lot to do including cleaning out the height correctors.
    Last night I did a push and lift test and the front is unusually firm and will not fall from very close to the top bumpstops and very hard to push down, but if I place the lever on the lowest setting it drops quite suddenly!? I wonder if it is the return lines or some gunk in another part of the system? I had thought that the damper holes in the spheres could be very susceptible to grit seeing how unbelievably small they are.
    The rear isn't falling on the push test either and a quick bounce has the rear bumping up the the stops.
    I am fairly sure that I have fixed the main leak as the only fluid on the garage floor is a little Castrol TQF from the gearbox. That's another thing to fix but I have to say that replacing the Dextron that had been put in the c-matic was one of the best things I have done. It took a while to cure the sluggish gear selection and I think the filter must be filthy as I didn't manage to get at it to clean it. I will be flushing the hydraulics with dextron and may even run it on dexron for a while to see how it goes...it isn't for the purists but I just want this car to run even though it may be harder to know whether it is the hydraulics or the trasmission leaking using similar fluids. If I had lots of money I would buy up on the LHM but according to a Citroen hydraulic expert the dextron has equal if not better properties.
    I also had a go of tuning the car to run on regular unleaded and failed! I ran it out to empty and immediately noticed the increase in power on returning to 98 octane. The car ran very rich on the 91 octane, had no power, ran on after ignition was turned off, and used the fuel up much quicker! So I will continue to use pulp in the knowledge that I won't really save any more money on the cheaper fuel.
    Vive la difference! Andy

  15. #15
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Andy,

    Check this out also. It relates to a strap that is under the bonnet on the CX that Shane referred to previously that can cause a high pressure line to bust due to the handbrake cable rubbing it through and an easy fix for it.
    Apologies for the crappy pics as it was taken with a dodgy early type digi camera but if you scratch around in this area, you should be able to track it all down.

    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/snippets/hydraulic_tip.htm


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

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! Andy N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Andy,

    Check this out also. It relates to a strap that is under the bonnet on the CX that Shane referred to previously that can cause a high pressure line to bust due to the handbrake cable rubbing it through and an easy fix for it.
    Apologies for the crappy pics as it was taken with a dodgy early type digi camera but if you scratch around in this area, you should be able to track it all down.

    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/snippets/hydraulic_tip.htm


    Alan S
    Yep I had a look at that area yesterday and was stoked to find that someone has already rigged up a length of seatbelt and it is doing its job from what I can tell. I traced the handbrake cable and it doesn't seem to be causing any problems with the hydraulic lines except that it has gone way out of adjustment in the last 6 months and I will be resetting the eccentrics once I can tell how worn the pads are. Interesting to read about Cooch's CX having similar problems and there will be some helpful information being thrown about by the end of the week as both cars are getting fixed.

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