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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! lucin's Avatar
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    Default my new GS

    it feels wierd, this is my first thread on the Cit forum, but i am glad to say that i drove home today the proud owner of a green 1974 GS 1220 club. The body is in fairly good nick - just some rust on the two front doors.

    And now the questions.

    The brakes feel very funny. They certainly stop the car, and can lock up the front wheels with ease, but they seem to have very little travel. Is that normal?

    Anyway, the car unregistered, so i'll have to take it to a mechanic sometime this week to give it a good goin over.

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    Then - 2001 206 Gti
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    1000+ Posts TroyO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucin
    The brakes feel very funny. They certainly stop the car, and can lock up the front wheels with ease, but they seem to have very little travel. Is that normal?
    As far as I know that is normal, it's a trait of the Cit's that have their brakes powered by the hydropneumatic system. The BX 16V I once drove was the same. You don't push the pedal further, you just push it harder. It's a bit wierd at first but you get used to it quickly enough.

    The Citroen "experts" could give a technical explanation of why it works this way.

    Troy.

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    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Ha awesome, another GS owner. Congrats. They are quite an under-rated car.

    Yes, the brakes are meant to be like that.

    Our GS is stacks more fun to drive than the BX 16v I had. Buzzy little engine, sharp brakes, precise steering and great dynamics for a 30yo+ car. It even sounds awesome. At the moment I have to hand crank ours as the starter motor has packed it in, which is heaps of fun on a cold motor....heh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucin
    ...i'll have to take it to a mechanic sometime this week to give it a good goin over.
    Watchout the bill can be frightful if you simply let a mechanic loose on it. Be very specific about the actual work you want done on it.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! lucin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66
    Watchout the bill can be frightful if you simply let a mechanic loose on it. Be very specific about the actual work you want done on it.
    The hydraulics on the car are good. The engine needs a good tune, and reading earlier threads perhaps the cambelt needs changing as well
    Then - 2001 206 Gti
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    Now - 1974 GS 1220 Club

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucin
    The hydraulics on the car are good. The engine needs a good tune, and reading earlier threads perhaps the cambelt needs changing as well
    CambeltS (It is a flat 4 after all)

    Changing the cambelts involves stripping off all the front middle of the car (bumper and engine under tray, headlights etc) and the front air covers of the engine, and while relatively straightforward, is a little bit time consuming, so if you're paying someone else to do this the labour charge may be higher than you imagine.

    As far as the engine tuning goes, the first thing I would check (apart from the usual things like points, timing, and spark plugs) is the "hotbox" under the carburetor.

    The two skinny pipes going into the middle carry exhaust gas to heat the bottom of the box, and the bottom of the box gets completely eaten through by the exhaust gasses with age.

    When this happens you have a noisy exhaust leak under the bonnet and people who dont know better invariably try to get out on the cheap by blocking those two pipes off where the junctions are with some kind of plug. (If you undo those clamps and find a metal disc there you know this has been done)

    The result of this is poor performance, a slightly funny sounding exhaust beat, and poor cold running.

    On my GS the bottom of the box had been completely eaten away with almost nothing left, however we were able to get a nice plate aluminium welded onto the bottom by a professional, and after filing up the edges of the flanges on the sides, it was as good as new, in fact probably much better than new as it was a lot thicker than original.

    The exhaust system on the GS is very complicated compared to modern cars, and is what gives it its unique sound, and good performance, but there is also the temptation for some people to take shortcuts when repairing it...

    Regards,
    Simon
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! lucin's Avatar
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    With basic motor work, I should be able to take it to just my normal mechanic, shouldn't i?

    With the exhaust, it rattles a bit where it touches the underbody of the car at it's halfway point. Need to get that fixed.

    And the steering wheel - the bit that joins the hub, should that be vertical? 'cos mine is at the 4 o'clock mark or so.
    Then - 2001 206 Gti
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  8. #8
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi Lucin,

    4:00 for the steering wheel is right. This sounds like the ideal car for you to tinker with yourself.

    The back of the car should be *VERY* soft, you should almost be able to push the car all the way to it's bump stops with one hand. The front should be soft, but nowhere near as soft as the rear.

    Get in contanct with either Dave Cavanagh or Kirk Kirkadly and look into getting the spheres tested and regassed. From Kirk get some club stock LHM and change this at the same time you do the spheres.

    Changing the cambelts is a necessity. If you buy yourself a cheap tool set this would be a good (if long winded) job to try yourself. The hardest part will be trying to undoing the big fan nut. Think of the GS motor as a 4cylinder flat four motorbike engine (if that makes it easier).

    It will most likely blow a big cloud of smoke when you start it (this is normal, they did it from new). They aren't a great car to drive with a cold motor, the choke is a necessity until it's warmed up a little. Really they are a hell of a lot of fun, the way you can throw them around defies belief

    You may find niggly job like the windows don't work and drop into the door (they have tags that are just glued on), seats that slowly drop you to the floor (just a bit of hesion needs replacement). These are all quite simple jobs to get you into the 'tinkering' mood.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '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


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucin
    And the steering wheel - the bit that joins the hub, should that be vertical? 'cos mine is at the 4 o'clock mark or so.
    Like on a DS, the steering wheel arm should be a about 8 or 4 o'clock. The theory in this is that it prevents the arm stabbing you in the goolies in a prang. In RHD cars you generally find it is at 4 as this allows "cool" finger tip steering control with the right arm resting on window sill or arm rest. Works well in a PS D, maybe not so great in a non PS GS.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  10. #10
    Local Tyrant gibgib's Avatar
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    I think you should buy a workshop manual (Haynes) & do the mechanics yourself, especially if it's not your only drive car. There is plenty of support here if you get stuck too.
    There's a Hayne's one on ebay (with the wrong picture though).

    Good purchase
    Gs's are a very cool means of transport & ooze a lot of the stuff that most modern cars seem to lack.

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! lucin's Avatar
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    OK, perhaps i will try it myself. The guy i bought it off gave me the Haynes workshop manual and i got a toolset for my birthday last year which i'm just itching to use.
    Then - 2001 206 Gti
    Now - 2000 306 Gti6
    Now - 1974 GS 1220 Club

  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi Lucin,

    if your ever up Ballarat way I'm happy to help with things like sphere pressure testing ... tinkering etc...

    Trust me I can break anything, no matter how well built it is

    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

  13. #13
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    I would have bought one but they didnt come in automatic.

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    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    If you do the cambelts change the tensioners too. They don't last forever...

    Welcome to the fold, it's a goodie

    Chris

    PS: Daniel, what have you got against C-matics?
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

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    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    I would have bought one but they didnt come in automatic.
    No, they had the superior citromatic!!! john s
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    CambeltS (It is a flat 4 after all)

    Changing the cambelts involves stripping off all the front middle of the car (bumper and engine under tray, headlights etc) and the front air covers of the engine, and while relatively straightforward, is a little bit time consuming, so if you're paying someone else to do this the labour charge may be higher than you imagine.
    I think I've said this before? but...

    It is necessary to remove the headlights, grill, indicators, fan cowling and plenum chamber in order to change cambelts, but it is not necessary to touch the front undertray or front bumper (which in any event is attached to and comes off with the tray). It is true that there's not a lot of clearance between the plenum chamber and the inside of the front tray. Probably quite a few people have tried to wiggle the chamber through this gap and concluded that it won't fit. Actually it will, the trick is to remove the 'nozzle' fitted to the front of the plenum chamber first. The nozzle is the pressed steel circular ring that helps channel air into the chamber. It is attached to the plenum by four small bolts around its top circumference, and one clip at the 6 o clock position. It's only a couple of inches wide but this makes all the difference. The four bolts are easy to get to, after removing these you slide the nozzle up and, voila, the plenum will fit through the gap.

    The plenum itself is a fairly bulky assembly, so, having removed this, even with the undertray still in place, there's plenty of room to tackle cambelts (makes doing the tappets a little easier too, and inspect the hydraulic pump annulus while you're in there, as well as the front exhaust clamps). I've changed 3 or 4 belt sets this way, absolutely no dramas. When the nozzle goes back on, ensure it is concentric with the fan, the clearance is VERY tight. If it's not on correctly it will hit your fan blades and make an enormous din in the process.

    The hardest part of the operation is definitely the fan nut which must be done up tight, and requires a very large (42mm metric) socket. This is a bit of an odd size, so I get by with a close AF equivalent which isn't ideal but has always done the job.

    Make sure you order the correct belt sizes too. The GS was available with several different engines which didn't all share the same length belts.

    I mentioned the other day in a post regarding FIAT returning to Oz, that, as was mentioned a couple of months back, certain FIATS used the same belt tensioners as the GS. I live in hope that in a year or so I may be able to swan in to my local FIAT dealer and buy myself some cheap tensioners!
    Cheers,

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    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    To clarify on the belts: a kit for a 1300 engine will work for a 1220 engine, and I think on an 1130 engine (although they're rare). This is what you'll probably be sold as "GS cambelts".

    The 1015 engines use different belts, but then again they have quite a few mechanical differences.

    Chris
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

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    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    No, they had the superior citromatic!!! john s
    I have heard if they break they are not easy to fix and parts of the gearbox are no longer available.

  19. #19
    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    I have heard if they break they are not easy to fix and parts of the gearbox are no longer available.
    It IS possible to find parts, or eben a complete box if you know where to look.
    You may have to order from england, but from what I hear, they are actually quite reliable!! john s
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

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    Fellow Frogger! lucin's Avatar
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    Here's a pic
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails my new GS-gs.jpg  
    Then - 2001 206 Gti
    Now - 2000 306 Gti6
    Now - 1974 GS 1220 Club

  21. #21
    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris
    To clarify on the belts: a kit for a 1300 engine will work for a 1220 engine, and I think on an 1130 engine (although they're rare). This is what you'll probably be sold as "GS cambelts".

    The 1015 engines use different belts, but then again they have quite a few mechanical differences.

    Chris
    www chevronics.co.uk gives a very simple idea of what part fits which engine. They are also a valuable source of new and used parts. john s
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

  22. #22
    Fellow Frogger! chris's Avatar
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    If you can get them to answer their bluddy email!
    GS 1220 break. Beige cars go faster

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett R
    I think I've said this before? but...

    It is necessary to remove the headlights, grill, indicators, fan cowling and plenum chamber in order to change cambelts, but it is not necessary to touch the front undertray or front bumper (which in any event is attached to and comes off with the tray).
    Hi Brett

    Thanks for the clarification, however while someone experienced in doing them can no doubt do it without removing the tray, for the sake of a few extra bolts (6 ? from memory) you can remove the tray and have complete access to the engine from all sides, which would make the job a lot easier for someone that hasn't done it before. (And in fact easier than just about any transverse engine)

    It also gives a lot better access to the lower tappit covers, the hydraulic pump, and makes aligning and centralizing the gap of the fan cowling much easier, not to mention being able to thoroughly inspect the engine of a just-aquired car.

    Regards,
    Simon
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    Hi Brett

    Thanks for the clarification, however while someone experienced in doing them can no doubt do it without removing the tray, for the sake of a few extra bolts (6 ? from memory) you can remove the tray and have complete access to the engine from all sides, which would make the job a lot easier for someone that hasn't done it before. (And in fact easier than just about any transverse engine)

    It also gives a lot better access to the lower tappit covers, the hydraulic pump, and makes aligning and centralizing the gap of the fan cowling much easier, not to mention being able to thoroughly inspect the engine of a just-aquired car.

    Regards,
    Simon
    Well it is a personal preference thing I guess however, notwithstanding the numerous good points the GS model has, they are not usually the most oil tight of motors and I have spent more than enough time lying under them getting covered in grime (exhaust y pieces, driveshafts, steering rack replacement etc. etc.). I prefer to work from above the car whenever I can these days...

    Don't forget though, that in order to get the tray off, the front bumper corners also have to be removed (the bumper itself is bolted to the tray). Whilst this is not a difficult job, a couple of the retaining bolts are a little fiddly to reach, can get rusted in or covered in road dirt etc. so generally it is a bit of a pain. Same goes for the tray retaining bolts. And access to the hydraulic pump is actually pretty good with the tray in place, it stares you in the face so to speak. Access to the exhaust valves is certainly better with the tray off, but then compared to setting them with the car in one piece, doing them with the fan cowling off is a doddle, so I suppose it all depends on your frame of reference. If you DO go to the trouble of dropping the front tray, it makes handbrake adjustment a bit easier though. I do mine from above the car (usually by prostrating myself on top of the front cowling) and I'm used to this now, but with all that gear off the front of the car you could skip the gymnastics.
    Cheers,

  25. #25
    Local Tyrant gibgib's Avatar
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    If the tray comes out to do the cam belts I'd be inclined to check all the tappet clearances while they're accessible.
    While the fan is off, you could check the alternator belt & give the alternator a spin to check bearings.

    I never had a cam belt actually break. One bank lost it's teeth at idle on Kable Ave in Tamworth once. It still bent a valve.
    Another time the front fan nut came lose on a trip to Gunnedah not long after purchase & a cam belt slid over the crank pulley, bending valves.
    Later model engines had a locking key-way to keep the pully on, even without the nut.

    You should be able to see & inspect the belts by looking & perhaps flexing the tin ware at the front a little without removing anything. A torch might help here. I never gave the belts much thought with my GS ownership. If they weren't worn/ perished looking they stayed. Up to you though.

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