Blocked height corrector
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! CorneSoutAfrica's Avatar
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    Default Blocked height corrector

    Hi everyone

    I had quite an experience with my pallas this past 2 weeks, my car's front end became progressively harder and she didn't want to keep her height, every time after a drive she will sit higher and higher but eventually after a while she would go back to normal height, but still the ride was firm, everything would be shaking inside, the ride was very un D like, I thought my spheres must be down on pressure....

    If you press on the front of the car she wouldn't be bouncy, I'd press the car down quicly and release but she keeps standing still at the spot I pressed the car down to, I can almost say the car had no recoil.

    Changed my front spheres out of my other pallas, raised my car put in the blocks under the car and lower her, nope the car kept firm at max height, I even took the wing and height corrector cover plate off. I manually tried to lower the car, nope, I had to crack open the pressure lines, finally she dropped.

    I took out the corrector inspected it... The center shaft felt firm to the pressure release side, so I took it apart... The bloody pipe seal was the problem!!!! A small piece of rubber broke off and lodged itself in pressure release hole in the height corrector itself!!! Kind of a first for me!!

    I had a look at the bar connecting the height corrector shaft and the anti roll bar, now there is a little space the height corrector shaft "ball" fits into, that gap looked quite excessive (I could fit a large flat screwdriver between the "ball" and the wall of the "space") So I took it out and bent it smaller so that just the "ball" can fit snugly inside.

    Started the car, reset the heights and WOW she is softer and much more floatier, D like. She rises and lowers perfectly and reaction time to correct height is quicker.

    This morning I started her up and she rose to normal height, she seemed a bit higher and as I pressed the front she was as firm as ever, I lifted the car and pushed her down hard! lifted my hands off and she recoiled quickly pressed again and she was soft and spungy

    I am clueless now I will take her for a drive this afternoon and see what she does I did take the car for a drive just after the repairs and come to think of it when I climbed out and pressed her on the front bumper she was just as firm but after a hard push down she became all floaty and nice again, she never sagged under my puny weight but now she does and is soft but she is a bit hard after she sagged and you restart then she is firm, very firm and first push she is all floaty again...

    Do you guys maby have a clue? the gap for the height corrector shaft "ball" maby too tight?

    Thanks
    Corne

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    1968 ID21 break
    1971 DS21 IE BVH Rouge de grenade (Madamoiselle Rouge)
    1974 DS Pallas Sable metalisse My first restoration (Edith) Now BVH
    1973 DS pallas Metallic red. "Rusty"

    1947 Traction Avant

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Hey Corne,
    there is no connection between "goes up and down normally" and "rides just like a D should".
    These are two totally separate things. The height corrector has no effect on ride quality unless you were driving fully up, or fully down. In both cases you get ZERO soft ride.
    Even though you changed the spheres for some from a different car this is no guarantee that they were any better than the other ones.

    The only thing that can give you a better ride is a properly pressurised sphere. Checking the correctors and fixing any problems is a good thing, but, if you want the ride you need the sphere to be properly pressurised with nitrogen. There's no way around this.

    Cheers....George 1/8th.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! CorneSoutAfrica's Avatar
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    Sorry

    Forgot so say these on the car now is newly overhauled ones. I know it's two different subjects but I want to cover them in one go LOL The spheres are 59 bar exactly.

    At least the height corrector is not acting up again yet...

    As for the spheres, the "old" ones had the fixed type damper and the "new ones" have the removable damper.

    Can it be possible that the fixed damper could be out of spec/ broken or dirty through years of usage causing it to act like an ordinary telescopic shock which seized? I know of no person/ garage here who recondition the shocks themselves. Someone here in SA had a problem with the Fixed damper spheres on his car, his DS acted like a car with worn out shocks, the car bounced dangerously when at speed and going over slight bumps on the tarmac, so why can a "seized" damper not be possible?

    Sorry for talking about the height corrector and ride softness (spheres) in one writeup, but in the end they don't work without each other.

    I will check the pressures again maby when the car was on high for an extended perion of time they might have lost pressure afterall, causing this strange behaviour I'll have a check and make sure.

    I am just asking if someone ever had the same behaviour, I know if a sphere is down on pressure it starts this less recoil behaviour but the fact it goes soft once pushed hard on the bumper

    Thanks
    Corne
    1968 ID21 break
    1971 DS21 IE BVH Rouge de grenade (Madamoiselle Rouge)
    1974 DS Pallas Sable metalisse My first restoration (Edith) Now BVH
    1973 DS pallas Metallic red. "Rusty"

    1947 Traction Avant

    Modern

    2006 C4 VTS 180 Coupe

    What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
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  4. #4
    1000+ Posts daffyduck's Avatar
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    Lower the car to the ground.
    Check to see if you can rock the suspension cylinders in their mounts.
    The cylinder has to be able to move a little, otherwise the suspension rod can stick in the bore during articulation and that will cause the car to do all kinds of wonky things in respect to height.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! CorneSoutAfrica's Avatar
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    Thanks Daffyduck,

    I'll check it, I do think one is not moving that little bit it should... I'll check it tomorrow afternoon.

    Rechecked my sphere pressures, still 59 bars

    Corne
    1968 ID21 break
    1971 DS21 IE BVH Rouge de grenade (Madamoiselle Rouge)
    1974 DS Pallas Sable metalisse My first restoration (Edith) Now BVH
    1973 DS pallas Metallic red. "Rusty"

    1947 Traction Avant

    Modern

    2006 C4 VTS 180 Coupe

    What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
    - Vincent van Gogh

  6. #6
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Corne, don't make the slot for the ball too tight. If you look at the manual there needs to be clearance in all sorts of places in the height corrector linkage. You need about 1mm of side clearance for the ball, which you achieve by sliding the control rod clamp along the anti-roll bar.

    Roger

  7. #7
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    It sounds like "The usual" to me. I have no doubts whipping the height corrector off, cleaning the sludge out of it and checking the linkages down to the front height corrector will fix the problems. You see the linkages can't handle the height corrector being "seized". When full of sludge the rod through the center of the height corrector is really hard to move. Once clean it slides effortlessly (only the tiny internal spring and the hydraulic pressure itself causing any real restriction to it's movement). This the height corrector linkages can handle.

    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


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  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! CorneSoutAfrica's Avatar
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    Roger

    Thanks I thought that it could maby be the problem, that slot was far too big I had almost about 4mm play. I didn't check the manual. Fortunately you can make the slot bigger way easier than making the slot tighter.

    Shane, I cleaned the height corrector already so it is quite easy to move the shaft, but I'll check the linkages carefully.

    I took the car for a long drive and it's definitely better and more floaty. But the initial stiffnes is still there until you push hard on the bumper then it softens

    First thing I'll do is make the heightcorrector ball slot bigger to have a little bit more play

    Cheers
    Corne
    1968 ID21 break
    1971 DS21 IE BVH Rouge de grenade (Madamoiselle Rouge)
    1974 DS Pallas Sable metalisse My first restoration (Edith) Now BVH
    1973 DS pallas Metallic red. "Rusty"

    1947 Traction Avant

    Modern

    2006 C4 VTS 180 Coupe

    What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
    - Vincent van Gogh

  9. #9
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    Could be the height corrector dashpot.

    With the end cap rubbers removed from the height corrector you will see a plug with squared-off shoulders offset from the centre spindle. You can make a tool to unscrew the plug from a 1/4 inch bolt cross cut with a hacksaw blade.

    After unscrewing the plug, you can remove a series of shims and spacers. The shims have a very fine hole in the centre, and as I understand it, the function of the dashpot is to control the rate of the suspension movement, so that you don't get instant response to any suspension height variation (think about it!). Any intererence or contamination in the dashpot is going to produce significant degradation of the ride.

    Remove the shims/spacers, the centre spacer is much wider than the others and has a fluid diversion hole drilled in the perimeter. Clean all the dashpont elements and reassemble. A significant improvement in ride quality usually follows.

    My experience usually has been that old/degraded/oxidised hydraulic fluid attaches to those fine shims and degrades the operation of the height corrector. when dissasembled the elements of the corrector appear to coated with a dark discoloration.


    Cheers
    Richard

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! CorneSoutAfrica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R Procter View Post
    Could be the height corrector dashpot.

    With the end cap rubbers removed from the height corrector you will see a plug with squared-off shoulders offset from the centre spindle. You can make a tool to unscrew the plug from a 1/4 inch bolt cross cut with a hacksaw blade.

    After unscrewing the plug, you can remove a series of shims and spacers. The shims have a very fine hole in the centre, and as I understand it, the function of the dashpot is to control the rate of the suspension movement, so that you don't get instant response to any suspension height variation (think about it!). Any intererence or contamination in the dashpot is going to produce significant degradation of the ride.

    Remove the shims/spacers, the centre spacer is much wider than the others and has a fluid diversion hole drilled in the perimeter. Clean all the dashpont elements and reassemble. A significant improvement in ride quality usually follows.

    My experience usually has been that old/degraded/oxidised hydraulic fluid attaches to those fine shims and degrades the operation of the height corrector. when dissasembled the elements of the corrector appear to coated with a dark discoloration.


    Cheers
    Richard

    Richard

    Are you talking about that Copper off centre screw? Didn't know they had spacers and shims in it That spacers will be very small LOL. I will take it apart and have a look, I cleaned the whole unit but not there.

    Thanks for the info!!!! I appreciate it

    Cheers
    Corne
    1968 ID21 break
    1971 DS21 IE BVH Rouge de grenade (Madamoiselle Rouge)
    1974 DS Pallas Sable metalisse My first restoration (Edith) Now BVH
    1973 DS pallas Metallic red. "Rusty"

    1947 Traction Avant

    Modern

    2006 C4 VTS 180 Coupe

    What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
    - Vincent van Gogh

  11. #11
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    Corne,

    Gudday!

    Richard is right - if the damper / dashpot is not cleaned and running free then the corrector will not correct correctly - -

    Proceedure is as Richard describes; there are 8 shims, 6 small spacers, 1 central spacer with side porting and 1 end nut to hold the lot in place. When stripping count them out to ensure you have the full complement. The ported spacer must align with the discharge pipe.

    The hole in the centre of the shims is small - and the shims delicate. The easiest way to clean is to place them on a CLEAN sheet of copy paper and lightly rub them over the surface of the paper until totally clean and the hole can be seen (may have to hold it up to the light to check). Any blockage that will not be removed by this method (haven't found any yet) would probably be best removed by a soft wooden toothpick with an extremely sharp point. By this stage you should have used several sheets of paper to ensure cleanliness. Any distortion in the shims means replacement.

    Completely clean the corrector body, and blow through with compressed air (I use low pressure nitrogen from the sphere kit to elininate entraped oil, water, etc) to ensure NO gritty granules remain. Reassembly proceedure is one shim, small spacer, for four shims and three spacer, the larger ported spacer, then shim / spacer to be finished off with the end nut. As each shim and spacer is replaced LOOK CAREFULLY that they are properly bedded, all laying flat against each adjoining surface. Use a clean wooden toothpick if necessary to properly bed the shims.

    It is important to make a very accurate tool to remove / replace the retaining nut. The slightest trace of brass shavings raised from tightening the nut WILL block the orifice in the shims.

    Best of luck,

    Fento

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! CorneSoutAfrica's Avatar
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    Fento

    Thanks alot.

    I have quite a few of them here, one with a buggered port, I will dismantle that one first to be fully aquainted with the spacers before tackling the one in my car

    Cheers
    Corne
    1968 ID21 break
    1971 DS21 IE BVH Rouge de grenade (Madamoiselle Rouge)
    1974 DS Pallas Sable metalisse My first restoration (Edith) Now BVH
    1973 DS pallas Metallic red. "Rusty"

    1947 Traction Avant

    Modern

    2006 C4 VTS 180 Coupe

    What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
    - Vincent van Gogh

  13. #13
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    Corne,

    Smart move - clean and save undamaged shims for next time.

    Regards,

    fento

  14. #14
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    Fento,

    Your description of the procedure for cleaning the dashpot should be added to the 'stickies'. It is such an important component for the DS 'ride'.

    Cheers
    Richard

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the thought, Richard, but a complete corrector strip / clean would probably be more appropriate. This would mean photos of each step, which is beyond my limited computer knowlege.

    Regards,

    Fento

  16. #16
    VIP Sponsor richo's Avatar
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    Here are some piccies of height corrector dash pots, the various parts and a close up of the height corrector spool.
    If your spool looks like this one under a 10x loupe, it won't pass the factory leak down rate test.

    A couple of different tools fpr removing the dash pot, one a bolt with a slot, then a machined piece from brass, so as not to damage the original and leave shards. Depth and diameter of the brass tool are precise.

    There's also an image showing the external and internal difference between a GS and a D height corrector.

    If performing this work, it should be done in a dust free environment on lint free paper, as used here.


    Hope this helps.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Blocked height corrector-height-corrector-small-001s.jpg   Blocked height corrector-height-corrector-small-002s.jpg   Blocked height corrector-height-corrector-small-003s.jpg   Blocked height corrector-height-corrector-small-004s.jpg   Blocked height corrector-height-corrector-small-005s.jpg   Blocked height corrector-height-corrector-small-006s.jpg  

    Blocked height corrector-citroen-d-series-hc-spool-008.jpg  
    Last edited by richo; 27th February 2011 at 02:26 AM. Reason: it's late.

  17. #17
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    Onya, Richo -

    One other point with the correctors is that the 'plate valves' at both ends of the spindle, the large shims, are also totally flat and seal well against the dual seat faces on the steel cylinder liner of the corrector.

    Again, thanks to Richo for the photos,

    Regards,

    Fento

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! CorneSoutAfrica's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info guys



    I didn't get much time for the height corrector today because my semi auto got fresh paint in the engine bay all hydraulic highpressure and low pressure pipes back, selector box oh and the boot area, the rust there wer cut out and new pieces welded in, aswell as the c-pillars..

    This week, height corrector time!! I can't wait!!!

    Cheers
    Corne
    Last edited by CorneSoutAfrica; 27th February 2011 at 05:16 AM.
    1968 ID21 break
    1971 DS21 IE BVH Rouge de grenade (Madamoiselle Rouge)
    1974 DS Pallas Sable metalisse My first restoration (Edith) Now BVH
    1973 DS pallas Metallic red. "Rusty"

    1947 Traction Avant

    Modern

    2006 C4 VTS 180 Coupe

    What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
    - Vincent van Gogh

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