Think I've blown a sphere...
  • Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 Last
Results 1 to 25 of 34
  1. #1
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default Think I've blown a sphere...

    but which one?

    The vehicle is a Xantia VSX, and the symptom is very firm, choppy ride. Also I have just found that the LHM reservoir needed topping up - took close to half a litre.

    I have "bounced" all corners and can't pick one that's obviously too hard - both fronts are the same as each other, and the rears both feel the same too.

    Cheers

    Alec

    PS Seals are all OK

    '97 Xantia VSX Turbo CT

    Advertisement
    Last edited by Armidillo; 6th July 2012 at 02:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Ballarat,Vic,Aust.
    Posts
    16,322

    Default

    hydractive spheres on one or both ends have gone? If it was a wheel sphere, you **would** be able to pick which corner it was Do the soleniods still buzz when you open a door

    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


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    That was quick!

    Yes, I can hear solenoid buzz when I open the door - just went and double checked - both are still singing happily.

    Cheers

    Alec

    '97 Xantia VSX Turbo CT
    Last edited by Armidillo; 6th July 2012 at 02:33 PM.

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    OK - a bit more info.

    With engine running and door open, I can depress both front corners and both back corners, although I certainly can't push the rear down to the bump stops, and it's slow to rebound.

    If I turn the engine off and wait for the elctrovalves to close (? is that what they do when the 'singing' stops?) the front firms up dramatically - can hardly push either corner down at all, while the rear stays much the same.

    Does this point to rear Hydractive sphere? Any other options?

    Cheers

    Alec

    '97 Xantia VSX Turbo CT

  5. #5
    UFO
    UFO is offline
    CitroŽn Tragic UFO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Gerringong, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    9,666

    Default

    I know of one XM in Sydney that is using the e-crofting method to repair the blown diodes or whatever in the hydractive block.

    http://www.e-crofting.com/

    YES, you could whip down to jaycar and spend 97 cents on a couple of bits and maybe get it right and hope you don't blow up other bits, or you could buy and install this simple kit and install according to instructions.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    Same as this one?
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CITROEN-XA...-/200345139910

    It's on my to-do list. In the mean time, I believe I really do have a blown sphere, because the LHM reservoir level went down nearly half a litre quite suddenly (& my system now has no significant leaks - unlike when I bought it ). Also the problem was noticed immediately after I had been "paddock bashing" - some of the time with the suspension up a notch (to get over stumps, rocks etc - who needs a 4WD ) - suspect the extra stress ruptured the sphere membrane.

    Am ordering new rear spheres first, then will get this kit....

    Cheers

    Alec

  7. #7
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Perth, WA, Australia
    Posts
    10,705

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Armidillo View Post
    Same as this one?
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CITROEN-XA...-/200345139910

    It's on my to-do list. In the mean time, I believe I really do have a blown sphere, because the LHM reservoir level went down nearly half a litre quite suddenly (& my system now has no significant leaks - unlike when I bought it ). Also the problem was noticed immediately after I had been "paddock bashing" - some of the time with the suspension up a notch (to get over stumps, rocks etc - who needs a 4WD ) - suspect the extra stress ruptured the sphere membrane.

    Am ordering new rear spheres first, then will get this kit....

    Cheers

    Alec
    You can tell which sphere has blown, if one has, by weighing them all. The blown one will be about half a kilogram heavier.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    Yeah I know I can tell which one has blown once I take them off - previous experience has been that not only are they heavier, but the LHM doesn't stay in them, and tends to squirt & dribble and make a horrible mess .

    I'm just trying to order the right parts without pulling spheres off first - vehicle is still usuable (just not as comfy as it should be ) and I don't want to risk causing problems/leaks by disturbing things until I have sphere(s), seals etc. ready to go.

    Cheers

    Alec

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    North Brisbane
    Posts
    1,892

    Default

    Alec,

    Do you have any spare accumulator spheres that are gassed up?

    Ken W

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    No Ken - the only spare I'd have would be a dual-membrane front (replaced both when one went). Probably a sign of how generally reliable the Xantia has been .

    Not to worry - my plan is actually to replace both rear suspension spheres (which I've been meaning to do for a while - preventative maintenance) and the rear hydractive. Hopefully that covers it!

    Cheers

    Alec

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    North Brisbane
    Posts
    1,892

    Default

    Alec,

    My Activa has a lazy rear hydractive solenoid. I start the car wait for it to pump up, back it out then drive up the drive, then the back drops suddenly as the solenoid finally opens. I bought 2 rear spheres two years ago and the hydractive sphere still had 42 bar then. But it has been getting progressively hard recently so I have fitted the original spheres that have now been regassed with a accumulator sphere which reads the 55 bar as the hydractive sphere. It seems to feel a lot better with the bounce test and once I have changed the dud engine mount I will have it back on the road to really try it out - tomorrow hopefully.

    Cheers,

    Ken W

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    Hi Ken

    I think you may have answered a question that has puzzled me for a while!

    In the thread about 'comfort spheres' (lost in the GoDaddy catastrophe I believe) the discussion always seemed to be about replacing suspension spheres. To get a softer ride without sacrificing handling etc. wouldn't it be better to change to a 'softer' hydractive sphere?

    To get a 'real Citroen ride' would the hydractive sphere need more pressure or a bigger nozzle - or both?

    Cheers

    Alec

  13. #13
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Don't remind me!
    Posts
    16,609

    Default

    The FCF mob have concluded the best Xantia compromise is regular (non-Hydractive) corner spheres, with a Hydractive system. The idea being, this gives extra softness under gentle driving but when the centre sphere clicks out you still have slightly more compliance than with Hydractive corners.

    One of the XM Forum guys also put forward a simple theory about sphere pressure and volume, expressing the potential in bar litres (volume multiplied by pressure). If you crunch the numbers that way, it shows the Oz spec non-Hydractive corner spheres are slightly better at storing energy (as in, absorbing a shock).

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    The FCF mob have concluded the best Xantia compromise is regular (non-Hydractive) corner spheres, with a Hydractive system. The idea being, this gives extra softness under gentle driving but when the centre sphere clicks out you still have slightly more compliance than with Hydractive corners.
    Doh!

    Carlo sent me what I assume were Xantia SX rear spheres, and I returned them because they were not correct VSX spheres - they were 40 bar instead of 30!

    In fact from this table http://cx.podolsk.ru/xm/docum/citroen_kule.pdf
    it appears that the 40 bar spheres were rear spheres either for a Xantia Estate, for smaller-engined Xantias (not sold in Oz?), or for a BX. I didn't record the damper hole size, so can't be any more precise.

    I was going to ask which non-hydractive rear Xantia spheres were recommended on FCF - 30 or 40 bar - but had a look and found both options recommended in different posts in the one thread!. Think I would try the ones specified for 2lt SX - same pressure (30 bar) with bigger damper hole.

    Cheers

    Alec

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    North Brisbane
    Posts
    1,892

    Default

    Alec and Addo,

    I think the flow restrictors for the centre hydractive spheres are actually built into the switching unit. As well as restricting the flow to the centre sphere, they also restrict the flow from side to side when in comfort mode. The centre spheres seem to be identical to accumulator spheres but set to a different pressure.

    Cheers,

    Ken W

  16. #16
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Don't remind me!
    Posts
    16,609

    Default

    I'm not disputing that; my references were to the corner spheres.

    From memory, even aftermarket ones (which I have come to form a fairly dim view of*) carry the gauging numbers spanning their centre orifice. Unfortunately I don't at present have any rears floating loose to check the etched numbers but for fronts it's 35 Hydractive, 44 standard.

    I have no data on the setup of spring "washers" that dampen the bulk of fluid flow into and out of a corner sphere, so I can't be sure that the centre bleed hole is the only difference. I'm totally unconvinced by people who reckon that mega changes can be had by reaming out or closing up the centre bleed hole on corner spheres, as I reckon this hole has more to do with phase cancellation. You also need a good drive to bleed out all the air entrained during inital operation of a new sphere. (How many people wax lyrical about that floaty ride, immediately after the installation of new or regassed spheres?)


    * Price seems to reflect lifespan in my experiences, and I also refuse to believe any sphere brand is consistently delivered at the correct pressure - pressure checking is simple and can eliminate guessing.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken W View Post
    Alec and Addo,

    I think the flow restrictors for the centre hydractive spheres are actually built into the switching unit. As well as restricting the flow to the centre sphere, they also restrict the flow from side to side when in comfort mode. The centre spheres seem to be identical to accumulator spheres but set to a different pressure.

    Cheers,

    Ken W
    Hi Ken
    i see from your earlier post that your temporary(?) replacement hydractive sphere has 5 bar more pressure than the standard unit. Do you think this is enough difference to be noticeable? Have you got your engine mount changed yet?

    Cheers

    Alec

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    The FCF mob have concluded the best Xantia compromise is regular (non-Hydractive) corner spheres, with a Hydractive system. The idea being, this gives extra softness under gentle driving but when the centre sphere clicks out you still have slightly more compliance than with Hydractive corners.
    ...
    Not everyone one FCF agrees! The following is from a thread which you contributed to Addo!
    http://fcf.shalish.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=241875

    "Incidentally the Xantia has 'fresh' spheres all round with 'comfort' or non hydractive spheres on the corners and I shan't make that mistake again... a bit like sailing a ship! "

    Cheers
    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 9th July 2012 at 01:12 AM.

  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! Andy N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    816

    Default

    Alec, just wondering how the ride is now....firmer? As you probably know when a sphere diaphragm bursts, the space usually filled with nitrogen is replaced by LHM. But what happens to the nitrogen??

    Experience with a DS that burst a front sphere was that the nitrogen was held in the strut for some time as there was compliance..... but the sphere was difficult to remove.

    Basically, could the nitrogen still be caught up somewhere producing some springing? You could try opening up the bleed screw on the regulator, however I found the only way out for the nitrogen was through the height corrector.

    I've since discovered you can force out maximum fluid from the front circuit by placing the height lever on low and then jacking up one side of the front with a trolley jack. At some point you hear the height corrector release. This is how I change front spheres now. I don't release the bleed screw until the new spheres are on to release any air introduced in the procedure.... and then I don't know if that is necessary.

    After some time, if it is a corner sphere then you will inevitably find out as it will show up once the nitrogen works its way out. If it is a centre sphere then you won't find out untill you unscrew them and then get a green shower.

    So how about you just get underneath (well supported car) and undo the centre spheres. Start with the rear one as it is easier to get to. Spheres are really so fast and easy to remove with practice and it saves all the speculation. I use a seatbelt type flexible oil filter remover. Great for GS/CX rears without needing to remove whole strut (in many cases).

    Good luck!

    Andy

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    Certainly the ride is firmer - being a VSX it feels like the rear electrovalve has shut the hydractive sphere out of the circuit. The car is quite usable (did the round trip from Armidale to the Blue Mts and back last weekend), but there is a lot more road shock transmitted to the cabin (& occupants). On the other hand, over larger undulations (esp. drops) you could feel the suspension compress, then slowly return.

    I understood that the hydractive spheres get locked out at speed anyway, so for most of our trip there probably wasn't much difference to "normal"

    Re. gas still being in system - wouldn't that make the ride more springy and bouncy? It is in fact well damped. I had assumed that the nitrogen would have made it's way out through the reservoir (I didn't stop when I first noticed the firmer ride - only later discovered the "loss" of LHM from the reservoir). I can't say I observed gas escaping from the reservoir, so I suppose it''s possible some is trapped in the plumbing.

    Re. your method of replacing front suspension spheres - will that also work for the rear? So the technique involves getting a wheel to hang down under it's own weight, thus trying to draw fluid into the suspension and reducing/eliminating the normal positive pressure holding the vehicle up? Will this work with the later Xantia's that have anti-sink valves? My own gut feeling is that it will - a couple of times I have neglected to make sure mechanics put the Xantia on high suspension setting before lifting with a hoist (eg. to change tyres). Ride afterwards was very springy, and needed a "citaerobics" workout to get it back to normal.

    My guess at what causes this is that air is somehow entering the system because of the vacuum created by the unsupported wheels - although how this could happen when there is no sign of LHM leaking out I can't explain...

    Cheers

    Alec
    Last edited by Armidillo; 10th July 2012 at 01:17 PM.

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    From memory, even aftermarket ones (which I have come to form a fairly dim view of*) carry the gauging numbers spanning their centre orifice.

    ...

    * Price seems to reflect lifespan in my experiences, and I also refuse to believe any sphere brand is consistently delivered at the correct pressure - pressure checking is simple and can eliminate guessing.
    So Addo, can you recommend a brand of sphere? QH, GmbH, Suplex etc.? Or do I just ring up Continental Motors?

    Cheers

    Alec

  22. #22
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Don't remind me!
    Posts
    16,609

    Default

    Genuine? At least you'll get one with a diaphragm rated for temperatures spanning Marble Bar in December, to Walcha in July.

    LCS Louth had a couple of the correct rear corners from memory, if you want to stay Hydractive - ask them for a quote on freight over. Otherwise if you have a little time on your side you could tag onto my order from Germany.

  23. #23
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Armidale
    Posts
    2,282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Genuine? At least you'll get one with a diaphragm rated for temperatures spanning Marble Bar in December, to Walcha in July.
    ...
    OK - I thought you might have known which factory supplies the genuine ones, but I suppose the point is that any factory can produce apparently identical parts with different quality - the good ones meet Citroen's specs and are sold as genuine parts, the others can be sold cheaply through other channels...

    Cheers

    Alec

  24. #24
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Don't remind me!
    Posts
    16,609

    Default

    You'd reasonably assume that the "pays chauds/grands froids" tolerance would be a marketing point for non-genuine suppliers.

    As they don't mention it, I feel it's safe to to say they are building European mild weather spec spheres only. (Which would suit the majority of their market.)

    From memory there is/was one repro brand which had the anti-gassing dimples, but cannot recall which.

  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger! Andy N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    816

    Default

    You seem to know quite a bit about Cit hydraulics already which is great as it is tricky to understand at first unless you are a plumber or engineer type!

    The forcing out of fluid via the front height corrector I believe is a case of mechanical manipulation. When you place the lever to the low position, force is applied to the HC slide valve but not maximum force. By lifting one side the anti-roll bar is twisted that bit further to nudge the HC into releasing more pressure.

    I discovered this on my GS as it doesn't have a low position on the lever and has an anti-return valve plus something in the bleed screw (a ball?) which shuts off after the screw is opened. Because the hydraulics were so good I would have to wait a couple of days before the front spheres were loose! The lifting trick works on the CX and BX so imagine it would work on the Xantia too.

    It doesn't seem to affect rear spheres as they seem to give up pressure more readily and loosen. You can tell if a sphere is under pressure because it is difficult to remove the whole way through and a burst sphere can feel pressurised as you probably know.

    The Xantia VSX I had was strange in that I had all (9?) spheres regassed but the ride was still really firm. It ended up being those little diodes had popped and Kimmo bought the car and was able to fix the problem. The ride was very good after that I think.

    As I said, remove the centre spheres and see if any have popped. If they are ok then maybe it is the diodes or something else. It may not explain the loss of fluid if the spheres are ok and no other leaks.....but sometimes stuff like that happens and it can completely throw you.

Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •