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Thread: Diaphragm Fun

  1. #1
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Icon5 Diaphragm Fun

    Y'see, it all started when Harriet didn't want to rise up one morning earlier this week and I had to free her up with the trusty 12mm spanner I keep in the glovebox at all times. Once I released pressure and began to slowly tighten it all back up again, she rose gracefully but the front left sphere started to firm up. There was still a touch of bounce, but not to the extent I appreciate.

    As you can see in the photos, the diaphragm didn't rupture or break up into a million pieces, but it sure did expand, go from clear to the colour of brake fluid (and castor) and warp!

    So where should I be looking for brake fluid compatible diaphragms that won't end up doing this?

    ...this one lasted in the sphere for about eight months.

    Lance Collins at DS Motors said, "get on the interpol and find out for me." So that's what I'm doing.

    Any leads appreciated - just trying to keep an old girl on the road where she belongs.

    - Donat

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    1972 SM
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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger
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    Perhaps call Ansell? They may have some thing to suit!

    There was mention of this a couple of weeks ago, so you could search the forum, perhaps on 'desmopan', until you get a clear reply here.

  3. #3
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    go green
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    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

  4. #4
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Like Richo said,

    Re LHS: "Houston we have a problem".
    No, I'm not going green!
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  5. #5
    UFO
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    Convert to LHM and resolve lots of problems.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  6. #6
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Talk to Richo......... Fingers crossed he has some usable diaphrams down there.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  7. #7
    VIP Sponsor richo's Avatar
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    The last ones I had are holding up an Aussie ID in the ACT.
    That was a month or so back.

    So who fitted the Desmopan diaphragms donat?
    It is an accepted fact they are not intended for LHS cars.

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! Mort Subite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    Convert to LHM and resolve lots of problems.
    where is the 'like' button.
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  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Are the diaphrams really that hard to come by

    It looks like running out of diaphrams is going to be the drive to convert remaining old cars to LHM in the future. Not what you would call a "minor" job on a DS19.

    I'd be more interested in hearing how on earth a Desmopan diaphram ended up in a brake fluid car I hope they don't do desmopan accumulator diaphrams yet as putting the wrong diaphram into a brake fluid accumulator could easily leave you with no brakes when it fails

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

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  10. #10
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Desmopan was the only option at the time as I needed to get the fronts redone. As I don't currently possess a spare set of front spheres (I'm waiting for Tim's visit to QLD), I haven't been able (as yet) to get a pair of fronts done properly. It was purely done as a stop gap and it certainly lasted a fair while.

    So now it's back to the drawing board.

    Converting does has its advantages and I've noticed a fair few have done it successfully over the years, but I don't think Harriet's previous custodian would be all to happy.

    I'm surprised that maintaining a car's original make-up in the LHS department is starting to become frowned upon. It's lasted 50 years - why change now? Mine's not the only D in the world using brake fluid and castor instead of LHM.

    Sylvain on ebay sells the black diaphragms, but given his feedback, I feel reluctant to try him. If anyone here's bought these off him and have them in their cars, I'd like to hear from you.

    Again, everyone's pointers and advice have been valued as always.

    Cheers!
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    Are the diaphrams really that hard to come by

    It looks like running out of diaphrams is going to be the drive to convert remaining old cars to LHM in the future. Not what you would call a "minor" job on a DS19.

    I'd be more interested in hearing how on earth a Desmopan diaphram ended up in a brake fluid car I hope they don't do desmopan accumulator diaphrams yet as putting the wrong diaphram into a brake fluid accumulator could easily leave you with no brakes when it fails

    seeya,
    Shane L.

    Hi Shane,

    Getting good quality LHS/Brake Fluid compatible ones is. It is a real problem for all of us in the sphere rebuilding business - and unless one has the means and ability to get them molded (as Pleiades does, I think) it is not something that is going to solve itself soon.

    In speaking with Andre Pol (and some others in Europe) the current rubber LHS compatible diaphragms being offered in Europe are not highly regarded. In fact Andre was going to experiment with Desmopan until I pointed out to him that being a polyurethane based thermoplastic it was not going to play nicely with glycol based fluids.

    Steve

  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hmmm,

    no go for brake fluid diaphrams for now then. I'm sure someone will re-manufacture them when it gets urgent ( so sales are guaranteed).

    Donat, you realise they don't need to be fronts right ***any** suspension sphere will do, you just valve it for the front. In the short term you wouldn't worry about pressure until you get them regassed.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '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:
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  13. #13
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    If it came to batching something reliable (eg; special run per one of the trusted suppliers), I would put up $300-odd for five LHS diaphragms without further question.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    If it came to batching something reliable (eg; special run per one of the trusted suppliers), I would put up $300-odd for five LHS diaphragms without further question.
    They'll cost that anyway, batching or not.

    The tooling cost alone is in the region of $4-5k UPFRONT, plus manufacturing of the buttons, then the cost of small run production. That cost alone would be probably be about $25-$30 per unit ,buttons, say $8 each, per unit.
    Then you need to amortise the cost of the tooling into the total production.
    Consider a run of minimum 300 units.

    Let's see.... That's 11,400 + $5k tooling.

    Wonderful, at $50 each you're about to go out the door backwards to the tune of $5 per unit.

    This is provided the rubber compound supplied is chemically correct, with the specific balance of elastomer, plasticiser and other compounds. You need a rubber engineer and a compound producer prepared to make up such a small batch.

    Add to that, who, of "the trusted suppliers" has the expertise, time and inclination to stump up $15k to lose $1500?
    Sorry mate, doesn't add up.
    And for the naysayers, I do have first hand experience in precisely this field. Been there, done that.

  15. #15
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Duh! I didn't think of that, Shane!

    Harriet's running around on a borrowed sphere and the desmopanned RHS sphere is still holding in. I figure the sphere on the front LHS would get the most heat and hence the diaphragm warping the way it did. It's only a matter of time before the right resembles the left.

    It seems with desmopan, they do soak up the various fluid colours of red, green and in my case, yellow.

    In one of the photos, you can see the hint of a diaphragm that had ATF in it.
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  16. #16
    VIP Sponsor richo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donat View Post
    Duh! I didn't think of that, Shane!

    It seems with desmopan, they do soak up the various fluid colours of red, green and in my case, yellow.

    In one of the photos, you can see the hint of a diaphragm that had ATF in it.
    Correct donat, I have a green Desmopan diaphragm here, a beautiful translucent thing.

  17. #17
    Fellow Frogger! Bruce Llewellyn's Avatar
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    Default To Green or not to green...

    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    Convert to LHM and resolve lots of problems.
    I'd not make Harriet green, simply because she's been kept running as a red fluid car. For one that has been sitting around and gunged up, or is like mine, with lumps of rust instead of hydraulic bits, yes, but Harriet is worth keeping original.

    I seem to recall that the white plastic diaphrams are compatible with both types of fluid (elasticised PTFE?). Have had two recently fitted to my D Special, but it's a late car so was made with green fluid.

    One dead diaphram in how many years isn't 'lots of problems' four to go since Harriet doesn't have a brake accumulator???

    Bruce.

  18. #18
    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Llewellyn View Post
    I'd not make Harriet green, simply because she's been kept running as a red fluid car. For one that has been sitting around and gunged up, or is like mine, with lumps of rust instead of hydraulic bits, yes, but Harriet is worth keeping original.

    I seem to recall that the white plastic diaphrams are compatible with both types of fluid (elasticised PTFE?). Have had two recently fitted to my D Special, but it's a late car so was made with green fluid.

    One dead diaphram in how many years isn't 'lots of problems' four to go since Harriet doesn't have a brake accumulator???

    Bruce.
    The way I understand it, desmopan is a great "get you home" solution in a brake fluid car, but not much else. I talked to Citroenfan about this yesterday, and he was saying that the plastic breaks down from a combination of heat and brake fluid. Which explains why 3 of Harriet's spheres (engine compartment and left rear) are toast now, and the right rear is threatening. Solvent action will eventually break down the right rear enough to allow nitrogen to escape into the system. Leave them in the system long enough, and the desmopan will eventually dissolve, although the spheres will need rebuilding long before that. At least they don't turn into a destructive gelatinous goo within 10 miles, like standard LHM spheres would.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotrodelectric View Post
    At least they don't turn into a destructive gelatinous goo within 10 miles, like standard LHM spheres would.
    Sorry Rod, that sentence is totally untrue, unfounded and misinformation.

    It takes time, a considerable time, for the original rubber compound for LHM to turn into goo. They fail many miles before the licorice mass is formed.

  20. #20
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    The fronts both have desmopan, the rears are unknown (to me). They were regassed almost year ago by Mel Carey and are as soft as ever.

    Lance gratefully found a black sphere still with gas, topped it up and everything's fine for now.

    Harriet now stays up longer and the car pumps up quicker.
    1972 SM
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  21. #21
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    I'm glad you're back on the road.

    As you said, yours isn't the only one running on Brake fluid so a solution should come.

    Michael and I spent some time going through our spheres and found just enough for the 2 ID's he is working on at the moment.
    Some of us have different opinions about changing from one to the other but it is obvious that we are all passionate about these cars and glad to see every ID come back to life - - in whatever shape or form.

    Your car is in good hands, John Paas.
    Last edited by gilberthenry; 3rd August 2012 at 10:19 AM. Reason: spelling

  22. #22
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I gave this situation some thought.

    Without the smell of LHS, and the black parts - it would be too much a different car. So a solution will have to be found, even if it involves slightly dodgy diaphragms.

  23. #23
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    I gave this situation some thought.

    Without the smell of LHS, and the black parts - it would be too much a different car. So a solution will have to be found, even if it involves slightly dodgy diaphragms.
    Just paint the bits black...... As for smell... YOu should never be able to smell it unless there is a *big* leak, wih on an LHS system will strip all the paint and rust the hell out of the car With LHM it's a perfect rust preventative

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '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:
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  24. #24
    DS
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    Without the smell of LHS, and the black parts - it would be too much a different car.
    Mine has been running on LHM for many years now and it still smells like a dirty old ID19.

    Ouch on that sort of component failure though. I'm soon going through some boxes that I think there are some LHS spheres in. No much use to me.
    Citroen Car Club of New South Wales member.

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  25. #25
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    As I said, some of us have different opinions. If we were building up a car that has been pulled apart one might go to LHM but if a car is running along happily one is loathe to rock the boat.

    Obviously one is careful about handling brake fluid and maybe some like the challenge of operating a car in the same way it was meant - - just like me not adding a switch to the wiper system of the Big 15 and coping with that confounded English knob system that could be looked at as the worst feature on too many English cars.

    But then when trying to cope with turning the wipers to activate them I know how umpteen people felt - - back in de old days.

    For some people hopping into a "confounded car" brings them back to an earlier time - - when all things weren't done how we would do them now.

    So some of us will curse and swear and in the end, drive away with some sense of satisfaction that we - - - managed. - - - Doesn't she purr beautifully

    John Paas.
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    Last edited by gilberthenry; 3rd August 2012 at 06:41 PM.

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