Xantia hydraulic leak @ F hydractive sphere
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  1. #1
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    Default Xantia hydraulic leak @ F hydractive sphere

    I returned home today to sound of the warning buzzer & a pool of life blood spreading out from under the front of my '96 Xantia VSX. Lifting the bonnett with the engine still idling revealed fluid pumping from the cracked rubber return line off the actuating valve on the side of the front Hydractive sphere. Snipping off 15mm & refitting the pipe has temporarily solved the problem.
    My question to those in the know is, should fluid have been PUMPING out of this split pipe in time with the pump ? It was really pulsing, & was of a far greater volume than I expected. Does this volume indicate excessive internal leakage from the Hydractive valve ?

    Cheers, Richard

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  2. #2
    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by citroenut View Post
    I returned home today to sound of the warning buzzer & a pool of life blood spreading out from under the front of my '96 Xantia VSX. Lifting the bonnett with the engine still idling revealed fluid pumping from the cracked rubber return line off the actuating valve on the side of the front Hydractive sphere. Snipping off 15mm & refitting the pipe has temporarily solved the problem.
    My question to those in the know is, should fluid have been PUMPING out of this split pipe in time with the pump ? It was really pulsing, & was of a far greater volume than I expected. Does this volume indicate excessive internal leakage from the Hydractive valve ?

    Cheers, Richard
    Can't answer any of your questions, but I had the same problem and did the same solution. I also attached a small hose clamp to keep it in place.

    Actually, thinking about it, that return comes from the solenoid that operates the hydractive sphere (located near the bottom of the radiator). In normal "soft" mode, the solenoid is activated, pulling up a piston against a spring. This allows the third (hydractive) sphere to come into play on the front suspension, increasing the total volume and softening the ride. If the hydractive CPU decides to change the setting to "hard", it just cuts power to the solenoid, the piston is pushed back by a spring and the flow of LHM to/from the third hydractive sphere is stopped. Only the two suspension spheres are now in play.

    Because of the LHM leaking from the return in concert with the HP pump, you have a visual confirmation that that solenoid is working. The ride of the car prior to this as well as the "hum" when you open the door are further (and gentler) indications that all is well.

    Had the suspension setting switch near the gearshift actually operated as a switch to switch in/out the hydractive spheres, then switching it to the hard setting would have stopped the flow without doing anything else.

    However, the suspension setting switch doesn't work like that. All it does it to tell the suspension CPU to narrow the limits for the differnt sensors so that the suspension changes to the "hard" setting sooner when one or more of the parameters is broached.

    I think on Hydractive 1 (early XM) the suspension setting switch did work as an on/off switch, but the Xantia VSX has Hydractive II.

    John

  3. #3
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    Thanks John for your reply. Had I thought a little more, I could have verified this myself, by removing the plug & thus closing the valve. I will experiment today to confirm the theory & hopefully not waste too much precious fluid.

    Cheers, Richard

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