Xantia - Hard Ride
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Xantia - Hard Ride

    Folks,


    '95 non-hydractive.
    -

    I have just changed 4 x corner spheres, as ride was becoming harder.
    Accu one last changed 2005, and anti-sink 2009.
    -
    Despite this, I can really still feel every bump in the road.
    -
    There is a stark difference between how it's been in the past having changed the spheres (superb ride), and now.
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    Have exercised up/down to full extent a few times....LHM level is at top mark at highest position.
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    Did full filter/reservoir clean/Hydraflushing system 2009, and has recond pump fitted last year.
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    If anyone has ANY ideas as to what I can try, I would really appreciate it.
    -
    Many Tks, Steve

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! XM Mechanic's Avatar
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    What about the centre spheres? I suppose you are going to say that a non-hyperactive doesn't have them?
    Regards,

    Garth.


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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    Hi Steve

    If it is not a VSX you have done all the spheres that need it. Have you actually checked the sphere pressures. Should be 55 bar front and 30 bar rear. You should check the accumulator while you are at it as it is important it has the correct amount of gas.

    How about the rear swing arm bearings. On my first CX there was no outward noise but it was riding a bit funny. The bearings were dry and totally stuffed. Marked improvement when done. Xantias have the same system, not that hard to do although you do need an expanding mandrel to get the outer shell out.

    If it was a BX I would ask about the front struts, but on Xantias they got the struts right I think

    That's all I can think of


    Greg
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger
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    Are you sure you were sold the correct spheres? If you got VSX sphere's, they'll give you a hard ride. You could try swapping the front spheres with another identical car that rides well as is and see how your new spheres affect it.

    Have you checked the front strut top rubbers? They do become hard with age, even if they are not about to let go.

  5. #5
    JBN
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    You haven't had new tyres put on recently, have you. I got two new front tyres from Bob Jane TMarts last week. Naturally, the "tyre technician" didn't bother to read the correct tyre pressures from the label on the A pillar. Figured that 42 psi in the right front and 40 psi in the left front wheels would be about right. Sure gave a hard ride. The correct front pressures for that model is stated as 34psi.

    I agree with the other comments, get the sphere pressures checked.

    John

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Steve, thanks for your query, as it has prompted responses to an issue I raised recently regarding the comparison between a Xantia SX I have just driven at a local dealership and mine (1994 SX auto). The 'sale' Xantia appears to have been fitted with new Citroen-branded front spheres and the accumulator sphere shows evidence of recent work (fresh score marks on the gas filler stopper - sorry, I'm not sure of it's proper name) and that car rides far more smoothly than mine ever has since fitting 6 new (GSF Parts) spheres about a year (10,000km) ago.

    I've often wondered about gas pressures - especially whether each was correct when supplied - despite the spheres apparently being the correct ones for each position. Presumably the process (and cost) for checking the pressure is typically the same as for re-gassing. Could someone please advise if that's correct.

    I recently fitted new Michelin tyres all round and I maintain pressures at 34 psi front and 32 psi rear. Dropping them 2-3psi doesn't seem to make any discernable difference to the ride.

    I am contemplating changing the front sphere mounts / strut tops soon. Maybe the rubber in them has lost some resilience over the years. Perhaps others who have made this change could comment on whether they've noticed any difference in ride / harshness.

    In my report on the 'sale' Xantia a couple of days ago, I queried whether Series 2 cars differed structurally from the earlier ones. This won't be relevant to your case, Steve, as the car is not a variable.

    Clearly, 'smoothness', 'harshness', etc are subjective characteristics, but they're important to those of us who appreciate Citroens for their superior ride quality.

    I appreciate the responses provided in this thread.

    Chris

  7. #7
    Tadpole
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    Default

    Thanks for all your replies/interest.
    -
    Harshness seems to be really from the rear of the car.
    -
    The 4 x new are from GSF...verified correct betwen front/back with them....I do not know how to chk pressures (I would be scared of losing nitrogen in the process anyhow).
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    Tyre pressures....33psi front, 30 rear.
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    Nil apparent swing arm bearing slop.
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    Have been struggling to chk ride height, as I understand that if this is even slightly out, it can have an affect on the ride (hard if too high??)
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    Squirted load of lithium aerosol grease round all linkages/springs at correctors.
    -
    Ride height.....
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    The text states...."between ground and the part of the vehicle underside above the rear rubber mounting"

    The two pics in Haynes show how rear measurement taken (see pics).
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    From 1st pic, it is unclear what I measure up to, as I don't have this seemingly protruding part of the underside.
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    The 2nd pic shows measurement up to the bottom of the "cup" holding the rubber mounting.
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    Depending how this is taken, I am in spec or not!!!
    -
    Rgds, Steve
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Xantia  - Hard Ride-xantia-rear-height-chk-001.jpg   Xantia  - Hard Ride-xantia-rear-height-chk-002.jpg  
    Last edited by SteveM; 17th February 2011 at 04:22 AM. Reason: accuracy info

  8. #8
    Tadpole
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    Default Height

    This is how it looks at normal height position.....
    (185/65 R14 tyres)
    -
    Look OK??
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Xantia  - Hard Ride-xantia-side-normal-position.jpg  

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    That looks OK, if the harshness is coming from the rear I would look at the swing arm bearings
    Greg
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  10. #10
    JBN
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    Sphere pressure testing equipment doesn't remove any gas. The sphere is removed from the vehicle and screwed into a gadget, probably made from an old pressure regulator. This is in turn connected to a pipe with a pressure guage attached, a hand pump and a LHM container. The pressure of the LHM is increased, using the pump, to equal the pressure of the gas in the sphere and the result read off the guage. The CCC of NSW has such a gadget which is in great demand at technical days.

    Failing having access to such a device, having the spheres regassed would bring them to the correct pressures. I have had no problems with brand new spheres not being at or very close to their marked pressures.

    The rear suspension of any hydraulic Citroen is the key to a nice ride. Mine always feels way better after the petrol tank has been filled. Sadly the thrill only lasts as long as the fuel and I normally refill when down to half a tank. Since the top half costs as much as they bottom half of petrol, I prefer to keep it filled to keep the ride. I tend to keep the rear tyre pressures at or sometimes 2 PSI below the recommend pressures on all Citroens (including 2CVs). This not only gives a slightly better ride but gives more neutral handling.

    The front suspension can suffer wear in the components which grease will do nothing to alleviate (except noise). Tightness in the mechanical fit of front suspension (as well as rear trailing arms) means that ALL the suspension movement is taken up through the spheres. On CXs, worn (loose) front lower arm bushes buggered the ride by having a harsh mechanical takeup before transferring the movement to the sphere. When I was able to source the inner bushes from France by the bagfull, I changed them every 6 months and was rewaqrded with very precise steering and a better ride.

    On the BX, I fitted the larger "comfort" sphere on the front and that gave a much better ride. Same principle as the VSX - increase the volume/surface area of the gas to give a softer ride (though it didn't harden like the VSX in emergency situations).

    At the end of the day, science aside, some cars just ride better than others even though they are supposedly identical.

    John

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Looks high to me Steve. Too high will definitely harden the ride. A simple way to establish the correct height is to set it 1/2 way between fully up & fully down. This theoretically should set the standard ride height at mid way between the bump stops. Another quick check up front is to see if the drive shafts are horizontal in the normal setting.
    Hope this helps.

    Cheers, Richard

  12. #12
    Tadpole
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    I will have some free time in a couple of weeks.
    -
    I can get to the rear clamp on the anti-roll bar easily, so will try that first.
    -
    Plan to take average of low/high wheel arch height, put car up on stands, douse clamp in penetrating oil, and try to shift it slightly, put car down + re-asses. (then repeat)
    -
    It's gonna be cumbersone, but the only way I can see to do it safely.
    -
    Tks, Steve

  13. #13
    JBN
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    Seriously, it is so much easier and safer to have the car on a hoist, the type you drive onto and it lifts the car supported on the wheels. Sometimes you need a length of wood that sits across the two ramps, and use that to take you measurements from.

    You will be working standing up and quite safe if you losen a height corrector too much and the car drops suddenly. If you don't have the equipment, get a quote from a Citroen workshop to have the heights checked and adjusted. There are times when the point and pay principle makes good sense.

    John

  14. #14
    Tadpole
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    John,

    Point taken, although I am trying to keep costs down, considering have thrown approx £1800 (GBP) at it over the past couple of years, despite car only being worth £300 if I were to sell it (can you tell I like it!!).
    -
    This includes my changing the pinion valve in situ in my driveway.....really fiddly total 8 hours under car with flare nut spanner, but all eventually OK with no leaks.
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    I really dont mind taking my time at home to do this.
    -
    Do you agree with setting normal as "average height between high and low", considering Haynes literature really not clear?
    -
    Rgds, Steve

  15. #15
    JBN
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    I think that the Haynes literature IS fairly clear. Keep reading it and looking under the car at the same time and you will find its easy to follow. Setting the height corrector between its maximum settings sounds simpler than it is. As an "eyeball" method to see if the height correctors are in the ballpark its OK, but I would follow the Haynes manual right down to the detail. Remember the slightest movement on the suspension can influence the height and at best you are working on an average of heights TAKEN ON BOTH SIDES to get as close to specs as you can.

    Only loosen and adjust the height corrector if you have to. The rear one only needs the slightest excuse to break. Take your time and see IF you have a problem in the first instance. Visually looking at the car at rest means absolutly nothing. If you hop into the car and start it and let in run for a while and the car lifts up a bit (either front or rear or both), then you can see the fallacy of looking at the car at rest from outside the vehicle to determine if the setting is correct.

    John

  16. #16
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Before you go any futher, you really need to check the spheres. I put two brand new front spheres on my Xantia then sold it not long after. Apparantly the spheres were completelly flat with ruptured membranes the following year..... ie: those spheres went from fully charged to dead flat in about 2years.

    Did you see the valve in the spheres before they were fited ?? VSX models have tiny, tiny, microscopically small center dampner holes. If you fitted the wrong VSX spheres it'll ride really poorly. This is a vsx sphere:



    Sphere *should* last quite a while, they were replaced on my CX for example about 6years ago. It's now getting the "see saw" motion in the tail end like they get when the spheres are getting way down in pressure.

    seeya
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  17. #17
    Tadpole
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    The 2 x Haynes illustrations (above) show some kind of protruding horizontal plate/shoe in the first (I don't have this either side), and in the second the measurement shows to some point of the "sandwich" of layers of the plate/rubber/housing etc.
    -
    My spheres....from memory, they had small holes similar to pic, not sure about microscopic though. (they were printed, dot-matrix on the green paint, with the correct GSF part number for the rears of my car, correlating with their website.
    -
    Thanks for your comments, Steve

  18. #18
    JBN
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    Try to swap the front spheres with those of another Xantia SX for comparison. If you depressuried both cars, you should be able to swap them without losing much LHM. Look at the holes in the bottom to check that they are the same (and not the single hole VSX ones). The car will initially feel really good until the air has been purged out from the LHM from the sphere swap. Do that before resorting to adjusting the height.

    If you are having difficulty determining where to measure from, perhaps the last point from Haynes may be appropriate:

    Adjustment

    10 If the ride height proves to be incorrect, and adjustment is required, the task should be referred to a Citroen dealer, as special setting guages and adjustment tools are required to complete the job successfully.

    At least get a quote, it may be cheaper than causing yourself grief.

    John

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