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Thread: DS problems

  1. #1
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    Icon5 DS problems

    Hello again, after taking the 21 out for a short test on friday, to see if it was still overheating, it went OK.

    So I wanted to go a bit further yesterday. On starting up it was running roughly, as if it was missing on one cylinder. Disconnecting each cylinder plug lead in turn did not show any difference between cylinders. It sounded like it was 'hunting', as in too rich a mixture, but there was no black smoke from the exhaust.

    I suspect the distributor cap but Roger Parker does not have the a suitable SEV Marchal one - with the flat top and leads coming out the side.

    Does anyone know a local source I could try?

    Another problem just noted is that the tacho reads very low, never showing more than 2000rpm. Any ideas please?

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    thanks, Don

    PS - does anyone know what the normal running engine temperature should be? (aftermarket temp gauge fitted from the rear of the cyl head)
    Citroen DS21 Pallas 1970 Renault 16TS 1976 Renault 5TS 1981

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    Quote Originally Posted by tresbon2 View Post
    Hello again, after taking the 21 out for a short test on friday, to see if it was still overheating, it went OK.

    So I wanted to go a bit further yesterday. On starting up it was running roughly, as if it was missing on one cylinder. Disconnecting each cylinder plug lead in turn did not show any difference between cylinders. It sounded like it was 'hunting', as in too rich a mixture, but there was no black smoke from the exhaust.

    I suspect the distributor cap but Roger Parker does not have the a suitable SEV Marchal one - with the flat top and leads coming out the side.

    Does anyone know a local source I could try?

    Another problem just noted is that the tacho reads very low, never showing more than 2000rpm. Any ideas please?

    thanks, Don

    PS - does anyone know what the normal running engine temperature should be? (aftermarket temp gauge fitted from the rear of the cyl head)

    Don,

    Under normal conditions the engine should be in the 85-90 C range. If outside air is quite cold then it will drop to thermostat value.

    'Hunting or missing' - the problem could be related to a lean mixture. Does the problem happen at all speeds and power levels, or is it more pronounced within a certain engine speed? An easy way to tell is to just pull the coke out a bit - if the problem goes away it is lean mixture related. Check the plugs for color on the insulator tip. After running at normal speeds for a bit, shut off the engine and coast to a stop. Pull a plug and look at it. The insulator tip should be a grayish tan color. Typically dark denotes being to rich, white denotes too lean. However there are other factors that influence plug tip color - so it is not a sure fire test of what is going on but will give you a general idea.

    As to ignition. If you have an externally ballasted coil, check voltage at the positive terminal. Should be somewhere in the 8 to 10 volt range. If much lower than that this could be the source of the problem and would point to the ballast resistor breaking down.

    Check the condition of the spark going to the plugs by removing one of the HT leads and seeing how much of a gap will still let the spark jump from the end of the HT lead to a ground. Should be at least 12mm or so. If not removed the distributor cap and check carefully for carbon tracks and/or pitting on the rotor end, inside the cap and the condition of the carbon brush in the cap. If all looks good, then check the resistance across the point when closed. Should be under 1 ohm. If not clean with a points file or replace.

    Tachometer needs servicing and/or replacement. Most of the ones I have seen in the US are either fairly accurate or tend to read on the high side.

    Steve
    Last edited by Citroenfan; 4th December 2011 at 07:34 PM. Reason: wrong info

  3. #3
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    Default DS Dissy

    Hi tresbon
    I have such a dissy cap that you may try if you wish .However I suspect most people prefer the Ducellier Dissy,the parts are more readily available and it is a better design.
    Woody
    Last edited by brian woodcock; 5th December 2011 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Clarify

  4. #4
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    Default DS problems

    Hi Steve, thanks for the prompt response.

    On a fairly short run my temp gauge got up to around 85-90c so it may be OK now. I need to go for a longer test run now but only after I've got the engine running properly. It is all quite steep and narrow roads around here so to get to the freeway is going to be a big test of the cooling system and I don't want to get stuck on one of the many places where there is no way to pull off the road.

    I have today replaced the plug leads and cleaned the points, with no change to the rough running. Do you know what the dwell angle should be? It is reading 56 degrees at the moment. I'm hoping to get a distribr cap from another Aussiefrogger.

    I notice that the car does not want any choke, even when cold. I may have to pluck up the courage to check/adjust the carby tune. (it is a BVH and the W/Shop manual makes it sound a bit daunting)

    I'm feeling embarrassed because the engine of a D is one of the more conventional parts of the car and I should know how to fix/tune it!

    cheers, Don
    Citroen DS21 Pallas 1970 Renault 16TS 1976 Renault 5TS 1981

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    Sorry if this was said before

    But are you sure your carby doesn't have a blocked jet? Those orifaces are so small so it is so easy for something to block it, I had a rough running engine on a few occasions and I resolved the problem by putting my hand on the throat of the carby and rev the engine, my hand acting as a choke, it helped a few times, just a thought

    Cheers and good luck!!

    Corne
    Last edited by CorneSoutAfrica; 5th December 2011 at 07:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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    I'm not good on carbies and the like, but if you can start a DS cold with no choke then it has to be running rich. IMHO
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

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    Quote Originally Posted by tresbon2 View Post
    Hi Steve, thanks for the prompt response.

    On a fairly short run my temp gauge got up to around 85-90c so it may be OK now. I need to go for a longer test run now but only after I've got the engine running properly. It is all quite steep and narrow roads around here so to get to the freeway is going to be a big test of the cooling system and I don't want to get stuck on one of the many places where there is no way to pull off the road.

    I have today replaced the plug leads and cleaned the points, with no change to the rough running. Do you know what the dwell angle should be? It is reading 56 degrees at the moment. I'm hoping to get a distribr cap from another Aussiefrogger.

    I notice that the car does not want any choke, even when cold. I may have to pluck up the courage to check/adjust the carby tune. (it is a BVH and the W/Shop manual makes it sound a bit daunting)

    I'm feeling embarrassed because the engine of a D is one of the more conventional parts of the car and I should know how to fix/tune it!

    cheers, Don

    Don,

    A dwell of 56 degrees is in the normal range for a 4 cylinder engine.

    Some questions:

    Is the idle speed stable or does it 'hunt'?

    When driving does the car have normal power or does it feel like it wants to 'bog down' when you a) come off idle; b)accelerate hard; c) run at a steady state?

    Is engine advance correct? What is the condition of the spark plugs and insulators tubes? Is there oil on the base of the insulators?

    What is the position of the idle mixture screw from seated? Should be 2 to 3 turns.

    Does the accelerated idle setting work?

    Steve

  8. #8
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    Default DS problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Citroenfan View Post
    Don,

    A dwell of 56 degrees is in the normal range for a 4 cylinder engine.

    Some questions:

    Is the idle speed stable or does it 'hunt'?

    When driving does the car have normal power or does it feel like it wants to 'bog down' when you a) come off idle; b)accelerate hard; c) run at a steady state?

    Is engine advance correct? What is the condition of the spark plugs and insulators tubes? Is there oil on the base of the insulators?

    What is the position of the idle mixture screw from seated? Should be 2 to 3 turns.

    Does the accelerated idle setting work?

    Steve
    Steve, some answers -

    Idle speed tends to vary

    Car does seem very sluggish, even just accelerating from idle whilst stationary.

    New spark plugs; some insulator tubes appear to have been overheated; no oil evident

    Idle mixture screw position - will check tomorrow

    I have adjusted the accelerated idle as per the manual and it appears to work as it should.

    thanks for your interest and suggestions

    Don
    Citroen DS21 Pallas 1970 Renault 16TS 1976 Renault 5TS 1981

  9. #9
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    You probably have a vacuum leak. Spray some carb cleaner around the carb while the motor is running. If the idle smoothes out, you have found your problem.

    If not a vaucum leak, there is a plugged passage in the carb and it is burping itself (for lack of a better description) to get air or fuel into the idle circuit. A fully seated mixture screw will cause it, as will a piece of crud lodged in the needle seat.

    Now before you go horsing around with the carb, run the motor on a dark night with the bonnet open and see if you notice any errant sparks jumping around the plug wires.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tresbon2 View Post
    Steve, some answers -

    Idle speed tends to vary

    Car does seem very sluggish, even just accelerating from idle whilst stationary.

    New spark plugs; some insulator tubes appear to have been overheated; no oil evident

    Idle mixture screw position - will check tomorrow

    I have adjusted the accelerated idle as per the manual and it appears to work as it should.

    thanks for your interest and suggestions

    Don
    Hi Don,

    Idle speed - as Daffy noted you could have an air leak either around the base of the carb or via a worn shaft. A bit of carb cleaner sprayed around the unit will pinpoint where the excessive air is getting in. If the engine speeds up while spraying around the base of the unit you may be able to solve the problem by removing the carb, cleaning off the base of the carb as well as the phenolic heat shield block underneath it. Then reseal the carb to the phenolic block with a good quality sealing compound. It can help if you make a paper gasket out of fairly thick gasket material to go between the phenolic block and the base of the carb - I have found Hylomar Blue to quite effective in the past. If the engine speeds up during this test then you spray carb cleaner around the shafts then you are going to have to remove the carb and have it serviced - or find a good used unit.

    Check engine advance. A retarded spark (timing wise - not intelligence wise) will make a 5 main D engine really sluggish. That said an engine with a lot of miles on it may need to be set with a bit more advance than called for. Reason is wear to the camshaft lobes.

    Checking the spark plug wires at night is a good way to see if plug wire insulation is breaking down. Have seen some so bad that the engine looked like a light show .

    The position of the idle mixture screw is a good indicator for the proper size of the idle jet. If it is less than 2 turns out or more than 3 it generally means the idle jet is either to large or small.
    The idle jet on the two barrel Webers used on the D's is located on the side of the carb just under the top cover and facing the LHS front fender. The jet controlling the low speed circuit for the main throttle (the one controlled by the accelerator) is located on the opposite side of the unit facing the valve cover.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citroenfan View Post
    Hi Don,

    Idle speed - as Daffy noted you could have an air leak either around the base of the carb or via a worn shaft. A bit of carb cleaner sprayed around the unit will pinpoint where the excessive air is getting in. If the engine speeds up while spraying around the base of the unit you may be able to solve the problem by removing the carb, cleaning off the base of the carb as well as the phenolic heat shield block underneath it. Then reseal the carb to the phenolic block with a good quality sealing compound. It can help if you make a paper gasket out of fairly thick gasket material to go between the phenolic block and the base of the carb - I have found Hylomar Blue to quite effective in the past. If the engine speeds up during this test then you spray carb cleaner around the shafts then you are going to have to remove the carb and have it serviced - or find a good used unit.

    Check engine advance. A retarded spark (timing wise - not intelligence wise) will make a 5 main D engine really sluggish. That said an engine with a lot of miles on it may need to be set with a bit more advance than called for. Reason is wear to the camshaft lobes.

    Checking the spark plug wires at night is a good way to see if plug wire insulation is breaking down. Have seen some so bad that the engine looked like a light show .

    The position of the idle mixture screw is a good indicator for the proper size of the idle jet. If it is less than 2 turns out or more than 3 it generally means the idle jet is either to large or small.
    The idle jet on the two barrel Webers used on the D's is located on the side of the carb just under the top cover and facing the LHS front fender. The jet controlling the low speed circuit for the main throttle (the one controlled by the accelerator) is located on the opposite side of the unit facing the valve cover.

    Steve
    in addition to all the suspects mentioned above, I'd like to add clogged fuel filter and fuel line feed integrity.

  12. #12
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    Icon8 Getting somewhere - slowly

    Hi guys, thanks for all the suggestions.

    I think that the ignition side is all OK now. It has new plugs,coil and plug leads and in the dark there are now no extraneous sparks around the dist. cap etc.

    I have checked the ignition timing (what a pain) and it seems to be spot on (of course no yellow mark on the pulley as the factory manual talks about!)

    So I am thinking carburation is the problem area. A few weeks ago I adjusted primary throttle stop, idle mixture and accelerated idling as per the manual and all adjustments reacted as expected and pressing the brake pedal dropped the revs with out it stalling.
    I decided to check these again on the weekend - and now only the idle mixture screw has any effect. With the throttle stop right out the revs will not drop below about 800 (should be 625)and adjusting the accelerated idling screw from right in to right out has almost no effect - that is the rpm won't go above 800.
    Screwing the idle mixture screw in makes the rough idle worse.
    And to cap it off, applying the brake pedal causes an immediate stall.

    Probably time to check for air leaks as suggested. I'm off to buy some carby cleaner!

    UPDATE - I've checked all the jets and the float level (all OK) and done the check with carby cleaner and it seems to have no effect. It is a bit hard to tell because the idle speed varies over a range of about 200rpm. Max. revs obtainable with the mixture screw is 1100 rpm and as before unscrewing the throttle stop screw makes no difference, as before.
    Something is screwy here - I've played around with french cars for decades and never had this type of problem. Accelerated idle apart it's just a normal Weber.

    At one stage today it seemed to be running too lean - backfiring in the exhaust system. My wife, who knows nothing about cars, asked if it had enough petrol. Adding a few litres fixed that problem!

    I'm now wondering if the fuel supply is inadequate, although it revs up OK. I believe there is some unusual filter unit in the fuel tank. The carby filter is clean.

    Another possibility - could there be a choked exhaust system and could it affect the idle? When the engine is cold the exhaust pipes through out an unusual mixture of water vapour and black soot. I have been assuming that the black came from the muffler and would get less with use but it still shows up each time.

    Don

    PS - nothing to do with the above problem but this is the first car I've had where there is no vacuum advance on the distributor. I assume this is a DS thing.
    Last edited by tresbon2; 14th December 2011 at 10:33 PM. Reason: More info
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  13. #13
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    Default DS dilemma

    Hi guys - new info added to my last entry - any clues gratefully received.

    Don
    Citroen DS21 Pallas 1970 Renault 16TS 1976 Renault 5TS 1981

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    Don,

    Which throttle plate set screw are you using to adjust idle speed? The progressive Weber used on the D's is not a 'normal Weber'. The inability to get the low idle set properly will be the result of either incorrect advance setting, excessive air in the intake stream, excessive fuel from a leaking needle valve. If you have touched the stop for the primary plate you are going to have to remove the carb from the intake manifold and reset it to the correct clearance.

    The factory wisely got rid of vacuum advance with the 5 main engines.

    A restricted exhaust will have little to no effect on the idle - neither will low gas vol delivery.

    Backfiring via the exhaust is can be the result of either a too lean or to rich a mixture, poor spark and/or advance. It is caused by unburnt gas/air mixture getting into the exhaust manifold.

    Steve

  15. #15
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    Don-

    Answering your query about the in-tank filter on a D:
    http://www.agua.nu/ds-files/tony-jac...k%20filter.pdf

    It's removed from the bottom of the tank, through an access hole in the floorpan. From everything else I've seen on this thread though, this is not what's causing you heartburn.

    Gotta run- I have to finish a harness for Citroenfan. His car is in desperate need...
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  16. #16
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    Default Is this the green DS21 bvh with brown interior?

    I think from reading your comments that you were using the manual. No problem, but I've always referred to the attached when setting up and adjusting the BVH. Easier to follow and no risk of damage to the manual. Dare I say the easy way to set up the car.
    You have new leads, plugs, insulators, rotor, coil, and I guess you have cleaned the carb and jets, set the float etc.
    I would have a cup of tea and start from scratch in the order outlined in the pdf. I say this because adjusting individual components out of sequence can make the process futile.

    I have never experienced the accelerated idle screw adjustment to have no effect, assuming everything else is set up correctly, I would suggest looking for a blockage.

    With regards to the tank filtre, which if it hasn't been cleaned will be pretty filthy, so it certainly won't hurt to clean it. I just removed and put in a glass of Coca Cola for a few days and it came out like new. If you are running an inline filtre between the pump and the carb, than you can leave the tank filtre soaking until it is perfect. See clean tank fitre in all it's glory below.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DS problems-tankfilter.jpg  
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    Last edited by mberry; 15th December 2011 at 12:53 PM. Reason: updated

  17. #17
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    How did it all end? Is it fixed?

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