Info needed please for '96 Xantia
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Info needed please for '96 Xantia

    I have recently been based in Christchurch NZ and bought a 1996 Xantia 1.6l manual for $3000nz (my first Citroen). It has 178k but is in very good condition inside and out but has a very bouncy ride and seems to skip over pot holes and speed humps rather than absorb them.

    I corrected the fluid level which was high and it appears to have a small leak around the firewall area. It seems to rise and fall OK with the height selector lever but when returned to normal position the front end seems to be a little high after max position and low after min height selected which corrects after a short drive. Occasionaly the red "STOP" warning light will flicker but does not stay on.

    Is this a common problem with xantias or other cits which can be fixed by someone handy with a spanner or is it a major drama which will cost me as much as I paid for the car?

    Any information would be great.

    Cheers

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  2. #2
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    This is an easy one ...

    You need to replace all of it's spheres, including the accumulator.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    Thanks for the quick responce. Is replacing all the spheres a job which can be done at home or is it a specialist job? How much does a sphere cost?

  4. #4
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullfrog
    Thanks for the quick responce. Is replacing all the spheres a job which can be done at home or is it a specialist job? How much does a sphere cost?
    Please do a search of this forum on "Sphere Replacement" You may even include Xantia.

    READ LOTS before you even attempt it, and (everyone all together) NEVER EVER EVER get under a hydraulic Citroen without secure safety stands in place etc or use a pit or good hoist. People have been killed when the pressure and/or height suddenly changes because of something they did while under the car.

    You may do well to source a Haynes manual on a Xantia. May not be the greatest manuals in the world but they do answer an amazing amount of questions.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  5. #5
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    This should give you an idea of what's involved. It is a quite easy DIY task. However as Craig notes NEVER GET UNDER A HYDRAULIC CITROEN WITHOUT MECHANICAL SUPPORTS ... ie: jackstands, ramps, hoists etc....

    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/shane/xan...tiaspheres.htm

    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

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    And the leak near the firewall?
    John

    2005 Renaultsport Clio 182 Cup - French Racing Blue
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  7. #7
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Go and see Iain McConnell at Mecano Automotive, Unit 8, 7 Nga Mahi Road, Sockburn. Phone 348 0348. He is the local Citroen specialist. He was employed by Gary Rhodes Motors and took over the business from Gary after the fire. It will cost you a few hundred dollars for the new spheres. There are 5 spheres and they might cost about a hundred each. Fitting would be less than a hundred I would think. Iain can test the sphere pressures for you and regas the existing ones if their pressures are not too low (running them with low or no pressure damages the diaphragms and makes them leaky). This might cost two hundred. You will be amazed at the difference. Iain will probably have a quick look at your car and point out other potential problems.

    If you know what you are doing you can change them yourself. Most of us on this forum do. If the spheres are in fairly good condition you can get them regassed cheaply by Ian Bywater, 118g Panorama Road, Clifton. Phone 326 5758. I suspect Ian and Iain are the only people in Christchurch who can regas spheres, unless Archibalds the dealers can (which I doubt, as they would probably just replace with new ones). A warning, Ian Bywater is an enthusiast, not a mechanic. He charges very little but is not running a business, you would have to remove the spheres yourself and take them to him. If you do see him, say hello from me.

    However, because you are not experienced with Citroens I recommend you see Iain McConnell this time.

    I used to live in Christchurch, that's how I know this.

    Roger

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullfrog
    I have recently been based in Christchurch NZ and bought a 1996 Xantia 1.6l manual for $3000nz (my first Citroen). It has 178k but is in very good condition inside and out but has a very bouncy ride and seems to skip over pot holes and speed humps rather than absorb them.
    As Shane says the spheres probably need doing, but just replacing them all might be a bit drastic (and expensive in Aus and NZ, compared to the cheap prices they get in the UK) so it probably pays to narrow down whether it is just the front or back that need doing or both.

    Is it a Hydractive 2 model ? You can confirm this from a number of facts:

    Hydractive 2 model:

    * A push button immediately in front of the height selector lever
    * 10mm steel hydraulic pipes attached to the front suspension strut tops which then join on to large tractor type hydraulic hose
    * A sphere mounted on a block with various piping at the bottom left corner of the radiator. (Not to be confused with the one mounted nearby on the gearbox housing, which all models have)

    Hydropneumatic model:

    * No push button
    * 2.6mm steel pipes connecting to the strut tops
    * No additional unit mounted on the radiator.

    A hydropneumatic model has 4 suspension spheres, whereas Hydractive 2 have 6. Shanes link with pictures is a Hydractive 2 model.

    If you open the bonnet and tailgate and let the motor idle, try first sitting on the boot and then on the front of the car, and see how far your weight compresses it.

    If the spheres are in good order the weight of a typical 80Kg person should be able to fully compress the rear suspension to the bump stops, and the front suspension should go down approx 5cm.

    After a few seconds it should correct the height change. If you try bouncing the car up and down by hand it should seem relatively soft. (Much softer than any metal sprung car)

    If either end of the car seems very stiff, the suspension spheres at that end probably need replacing. 2 per end for Hydropneumatic, 3 for Hydractive 2.

    I corrected the fluid level which was high and it appears to have a small leak around the firewall area.
    Are you sure its high ? Make sure you check the level with the car on level ground, with the suspension height lever set to maximum and the engine idling. Check the level after the height has stabalized for a minute. The orange disc (not the copper washer) should be between the two lines)
    It seems to rise and fall OK with the height selector lever but when returned to normal position the front end seems to be a little high after max position and low after min height selected which corrects after a short drive.
    When it adjusts the height, does it move smoothly, or in a series of jerks ? If it moves in jerks, its likely that the front suspension struts need greasing/lubricating.

    Sticky struts tends to cause overshoot though - eg going from maximum to normal would make it go too low, and from minimum to normal would make it go too high.

    If it's undershooting then it could be wear in the balljoint cups in the plastic link which connects from the rollbar to the height corrector - I recently replaced mine for this reason.

    If the difference in height is less than 15mm then its nothing to be concerned with, but 20mm or more suggests a problem.

    The ride height is measured from a specific place on the underbody to the ground but because its awkward to measure and depends on tyre size/profile etc, a quick and rough measurement of the front height if your car has the 15" alloy rims is to hook the measuring tape on the bottom edge of the wheel rim and measure straight up to the guard - it should be 575mm +/- 10mm.

    Occasionaly the red "STOP" warning light will flicker but does not stay on.
    Under what circumstances ? While you're driving ?

    The STOP light is just a general warning light, you have to see what other light is lit up with it to know what the actual problem is. The hydraulic warning light is the exclamation mark with the circle around it to the left of the stop light.

    There could be something else wrong such as an engine management fault, or temperature sensor fault which would also cause the STOP light to flicker on.

    If it is the hydraulic light flickering on while you're driving that would usually be due to the level sensor on the tank detecting the level is too low while driving. (The oil sloshes around in the tank when you corner and brake etc, so if the level is low it can intermitantly trigger the low level warning)

    If you misunderstood the need to have the suspension at maximum height when checking the level you may have actually drained too much oil out.
    Is this a common problem with xantias or other cits which can be fixed by someone handy with a spanner or is it a major drama which will cost me as much as I paid for the car?
    Which fault were you refering to ?

    Regards,
    Simon
    Last edited by Mandrake; 4th February 2006 at 02:04 PM.
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    To all those that replied to my post, thankyou. I will be back in NZ on Monday and will be able to follow up on all your leads and hints.

    Thanks again,

    Bullfrog

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