XM Strut Failure
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  1. #1
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Default XM Strut Failure

    Picked up this pic on the XM-L yahoo forum.

    Graphic evidence of strut damage on a late model XM, Nasty question Keep an eye on those rubbers folks.

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    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  2. #2
    Local Tyrant gibgib's Avatar
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    Gee that's a bit scary eek!

    If it happens on late models it obviously must happen on the earlier ones too so all

    Is it just bad luck it happens or is it neglect? (or bad roads )

  3. #3
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    Chris and gibgib,

    It's all just bad maintenance... any mechanic should have a quick look at the rubbers wouldn't you think? It's very visible and easy to see - ours looked a bit tired so they were changed.

    Derek.

  4. #4
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Is it just bad luck it happens or is it neglect?
    Gibgib probably not a huge concern on later XMs as the strut mounts have been modified, the car in the pic is a '92 model with the modification and is more likely to be a result of neglect. It is well noted that this is a potential problem and all Citroen service agents will be on the look-out for it as cars come in for routine maintenance. Replacing strut mounts is a relatively straight forward job and looks like a requirement at about 160,000k would be the interval.

    I thought twice about posting, but I had been under the impression that the later cars were immune to this fault, Bruce Hoad put me wise and I guess anyone driving an XM should be made aware. The old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. wink

    It's an ugly sight but a very rare one from what I have read, I frequent XM-L Yahoo where this problem does come up in discussion, but this is the first post I have seen in 12 months where the potential has become a reality.

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  5. #5
    Local Tyrant gibgib's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I'm visualising the problem correctly...Why would the strut be supported with rubber, hence the whole one side front end?
    I am thinking that's the top of the strut & the sphere that's hit the bonnet.

    OK the above car needs some panel work obviously but what other major damage has occured here?

  6. #6
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Default

    Gibgib,

    Links to more pics of same car. Pics tell the story,















    I would imagine that on top of the obvious panel damage, the complete strut assembly would need replacing? Looking at some of the pics it looks like a bad case of neglect.

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  7. #7
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    As a known potential troublespot, I'm amazed that someone hasn't come up with a saddle of some sort to act as a "safety chain" which would at least slow down the strut before it "goosed" the bonnet. eek! Something along the lines of the aeriel bracket that I used on my c-matic; AFTER the electro-valve fell out

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

  8. #8
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Ugly stuff!

    Is my 1995 Xantia prone to this delight?

    I've once been told of a Xantia doing the same thing.

    What exactly would be the precursor symptoms?

    Thanks

    JohnW
    JohnW

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  9. #9
    1000+ Posts stuartb's Avatar
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    or is it just a bad case of lowering the front end for the street cruiser look?

  10. #10
    Member jvgavila's Avatar
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    Hello from Spain!

    I was the one who took the pictures... That XM is owned by my friend Martin and he lives also in Valencia (Spain). Well, he had changed the other front rubber piece but 'left that one for later change' . I think that was the big failure. I also own a 1992 XM and I am pretty sure it still has original rubber pieces... They don't seem cracked but, as soon as I have some money available (or in case there is the minimum sign of damage!), I will replace both of them. This will sure improve car's response, as old rubber should be, by now, really hardened.

    Well, I am glad the pictures couldl help you to be on the safe side about this trouble.

    Regards,

    JOSE
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  11. #11
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Suggest you XM owners, greenblood, Craig & Axgt? go have a look at this string on a UK forum. It won't last forever as this board has no archives. Take particular notice of messages which begin around Brij Dogras and go down to K from Denmark's "not seen yet" message.
    Some good clues coupled to scary stories and I won't spoil the news that K mentions but my guess is that you guys will be sucking green lemons to get rid of the smug looking cheshire cat grin. :p :p clown

    Alan S

    <a href="http://members4.boardhost.com/citroen_bx/msg/16833.html" target="_blank">http://members4.boardhost.com/citroen_bx/msg/16833.html</a>
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  12. #12
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Jose,
    Thank you for making pictures available, welcome to aussiefrogs, hope you continue to drop by from time to time.

    Alan,
    That is an interesting thread, might have to get the reliable D out of hibernation they new how to build Cits back then :p although from what I have read our XM should be good for another 160,000k before we do strut rubbers again wink

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  13. #13
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    I styill can't believe that you guys aren't crowing this posting from the rooftops

    "Well last night i dug through a german XM board...trying to find weakpoints on that model.
    I've been rather sleepless the last week.
    I saw nothing about struts, mostly common problems (flat spheres and so), and a few electrical.

    Actually some guy was very proud that his V6 engine, had done 2.2million km's eek! eek!

    -K

    The post that came after this I "pinched" and filed it away for future reference on Citroentech.
    Welcome to a copy if you want one gibgib.
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  14. #14
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Alan, I thought this was worth showing as a post.

    *************************************************
    Common problem? Well, if 1 in a 1000 (or more) is common, then yes, it's common.
    With pre-91 XMs strut mount failure was a serious possibility. It seems however that a few of the older type mounts 'got through' to newer cars without Citroen being aware of it.

    There is a whole series of pictures of that car with one particular one showing the bottom half-sphere (or what used to be it) after it came through the mount. See:

    (Link to Aussiefrogs was here)

    The mount is made out of three stamped parts that have a part-of-sphere profile. On the picture above, you can see the top part (under the suspension sphere) and the bottom part, or rather what is left of it - it should have approximately the same radius as the top one, yet it is crumpled. The middle part is the actual piece that bolts onto the body. There is a vulcanised rubber 'joint' between the bottom and the mid part, that extends slightly under the top spherical stamped part, which is thin and is more like a cover to prevent LHM from dripping into the joint when the sphere is taken off.

    The old type and the new type are slightly different, but it's nearly impossible to tell apart unless the whole thing is pulled out for comparison. The difference is in the size of the bottom stamped part and it's rim (od type has slightly smaller diameter and tninner rim). The rim was re-inforced to prevent the crumpling of the stamped part (notice the picture) and it comping throug the mid part if the rubber fails.

    This cannot happen without serious neglect but for people who are new to the car, and it came with the problem already in progress, the warning signs may be percieved as 'normal'. They are: noisy front end, imprecise steering - and, if you put the front on stands, you can grab the sphere and jiggle the whole top of the mount around by hand. All of that is towards the end of the mount life and cause for IMMEDIATE action. Previous to that, the rubber can be seen from below and it will either crack through, crack off either of the metal parts or crumble. If it does, you should change the part. I can vouch that the new type doesn't come through the bonnet, as one of mine had deteriorated to the point where there was almost 1/4" 'space' for the strut and the suspension sphere to move. The steering was very imprecise (with hysteresis) and the suspension was noisy over potholes. I admit that the imprecision of the steering might be much more difficult to notice on a DIRAVI equipped V6, though! On a regular DIRASS it was very obvious.

    As with most kinds of rubber, chemicals, temperature variations, etc, will eventually cause failure and it's a good idea to wach out for this problem, but it's far from being a COMMON one.
    Note in the picture that there is no rubber left on the bottom stamped part that came through - it has either cracked off it completely or crumbled away completely.

    Z
    **************************************************

    Cheers
    Chris

    <small>[ 11 May 2002, 10:13 AM: Message edited by: GreenBlood ]</small>
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  15. #15
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    THE SAGA CONTINUES approve evil tongue

    Here is the reply to the posting by greenblood above.
    The answer from "z" will no doubt be a swift and detailed one; I'll keep you posted (this is getting interesting )

    Alan S

    1 in a 1,000? You kid yourself. Come to Malaysia and I'll show you how common it really is. As for neglect, I doubt it, the Xantia I mentioned was less than 2 years old!
    Talking about neglect, how do you take care of a strut mounting? Is it listed in the service manual as a replacable item when you send in your car for regular servicing? How is an unsuspecting owner to know that something like this could happen especially when other cars with conventional suspensions do not suffer from this?
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  16. #16
    Tadpole
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    Hi All. I'm new to Aussiefrogs, but on the UK XM group for a while now.
    I phoned a Sydney Citroen garage chasing the rubber upper strut mounts last week. The guy said they'd just changed the mounts on one a week ago. When I asked if they'd changed to the newer spec. struts at the same time (as per VERY emphatic Citroen technical bulletin to sevice agents) there was a brief silence, then "Ummm ...No."
    I have a copy of the technical bulletin if anyone wants a pikkie.
    Cheers,
    PaulE

  17. #17
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Alan S and others,

    Thanks for this continuing and interesting correspondence. Sounds like the Xantia's in the loop so to speak.

    Seems there's a fundamental design issue here. I did hear of a Xantia in Australia that was reputedly written off by an accident caused by a sudden strut failure.

    I'd love to get hold of the relevant Citroen service instructions to dealers!

    It's not clear to me either how you pick this up in advance. Could be lurking under a normal looking strut top waiting for the right bump or the right temperature or something. It might be time dependent or "number of bumps dependent" or "number of big bumps dependent".

    Hmm. I'll be fascinated to follow this as it evolves.

    JohnW
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  18. #18
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    John,

    The last response I posted was from Brij Dogra in Malaysia.
    Brij is no mug & is a keen Citroen owner/enthusiast who seems to do a fair amount of research into what appear to be locally based problems. He also claims that in Malaysia, cam belts require changing at 40K klms intervals as opposed to 80K klms as recommended by Citroen. This he claims is due to the high humidity and wet conditions they constantly experience causing the rubber based belt materials to perish.
    Assuming that this theory is correct, then it would be fair to assume that the weather conditions couple to the high stress situations created by driving constantly over rough roads (they reckon their roads are worse than ours ) could put the struts in an environment whereby they experience in say 1000 klms what suburban & highway vehicles do in 100,000 klms in other more temperate countries with better quality roads.
    Just a theory; what do you reckon?

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

  19. #19
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Paul,

    Files emailed to me are now sitting in our files section wink

    These are pages from Citroen Technical Bulletin, relating to replacment struts, worth a look or download if you own an XM

    <a href="http://www.aussiefrogs.com/files/page1.jpg" target="_blank">Page 1</a>

    <a href="http://www.aussiefrogs.com/files/page2.jpg" target="_blank">Page 2</a>

    Thanks Paul

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  20. #20
    Member jvgavila's Avatar
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    Well, it seems this topic is getting really interesting !

    I think my car, with 212.000km on it (2.0 Turbo CT XM, ORGA 5791, September 1992), still has original rubber mounts. By the way, one of the first things Martin (the owner of the car in the pictures) told me (and this was before his car failed) was about the strut mounts. So we looked at my car and they seemed just fine (i.e. no cracks). But I think it is time to renew them... trouble is that I have spent too much lately on the car and it still needs the aircon to be fixed (it has a seized compressor ). But I will keep an eye on the mounts and if there is anything suspicious I will have them replaced.

    Regards from Spain!

    JOSE
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    La Canyada - Valencia (Spain)

    Citroen XM 2.0 CT Turbo (1992) http://jvgavila.com/xm.htm
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    Citroen ZX 1.9D (1997)
    Renault Espace 3.0 V6 24V (1999)
    Yamaha FJ1200 (1992) http://jvgavila.com/fj1200.htm

  21. #21
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Alan,

    I'm inclined to agree. It could be one of these things that is susceptible to failure if there are enough stressing impacts above some threshhold but goes a long time if not thumped. Given the nature of pothole impacts, repeated thumps might exceed the strength of something (a rubber to metal bond, for example) which then gradually gets worse until it suddenly lets go. I'd expect a metal loop over the top to catch it when it goes, mind you, like chains on large air hoses on drilling rigs.

    Looking at my Xantia, I'd not be surprised if there were few, if any, visible signs of trouble if the top mount were gradually coming apart internally!

    Then there's the issue of how people drive and treat their cars.... Just because you get a good ride over bumps shouldn't invite anyone to hammer the vehicle and expect no trouble. A suburban Citroen in Malaysia wouldn't get much harder treatment than Australia I'd have thought - but out of town it could be different. Some pretty bumpy roads here too.

    Related matter - I had my cambelt changed at 18,000 km when I bought the car - 5 years was enough for me!

    Cheers

    JohnW
    JohnW

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  22. #22
    UFO
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    There have been references to the Malaysian strut problem, which I think mostly occurred in the BXs there. IIRC, research showed that it was the hot and humid climate that was contributing to the rapid deterioation of the rubber mounts - apparently as it does to most rubber products (keep it clean boys) in tropical climates.

    Admittedly, there are identified probs in series 1 XMs, and it IS something we all need to be wary of, but perhaps not panic too much about.

    another 2 cents

    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  23. #23
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Admittedly, there are identified probs in series 1 XMs, and it IS something we all need to be wary of, but perhaps not panic too much about.
    All too true Craig, but this apparently is a series II car, I say apparently becauce it has been suggested that it may be series I with a nose job wink We have had an incidence of a Series II car here in Brisbane though. Sure the post was never intended to cause panic just to make us all graphically aware of the problem. Through posts on other boards a very good one by Z I am more aware of symtoms leading up to failure. The fact that this has happened to less than one in a thousand cars leaves me with little comfort, how many of the remainder have been diagnosed and fixed? It has also come to light that this is not a problem exclusive to the XM, I had never heard of failure on Xantias or BXs. So as I said in the opening post keep an eye on those rubbers.

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  24. #24
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    I often have contact with Brij Dogra and Amir Isa in Malaysia and they tell me that as well as struts, they also do cam belts over there so often that it is recommended that they change at 40K klms as opposed to 80K as suggseted by Citroen.
    Also whereas Zeljko claims strut failure as a rareity, Brij is adament that it is a common occurrence in Malaysia. Obviously weather plays a big part and it has to be heat as well as wet; after all, the weather in UK particularly in winter with snow can hardly be described as dry.
    It would appear to me that humidity - heat and moisture combined could be the greatest killer. Also you would have to wonder about the overall heat generated beneath the bonnet which is a combination of radiated heat from the road and generated heat from the engine in conjunction with roads which these guys tell me are pretty terrible. When placed in a moist or humid environment, this appears to be the fatal combination.
    I still can't see how a "safety bracket" can't be made to slow it's progress through the bonnet should a strut mount let go. You'd reckon it would have to give some peace of mind. wink

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

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts stuartb's Avatar
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    seems ironic as malaysia's economy was based on rubber ...

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