Xantia rear suspension HARD

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Smokin
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Xantia rear suspension HARD

Postby Smokin » Tue Aug 27, 2002 9:40 pm

Hi.
Today I bought a used Xantia. LX 1.9 TD 5 door hatch 1996 (P).I believe the following problems are related, and I hope someone here can give me advice.
The rear suspension on both wheels is really very hard. There is very little give when load is added and the right is bad enough to bring about spinal damage. :)
The second point is : the suspension drops when the engine is off. both front and back. This car I believe has the "anti sink" suspension, and there is definately a sphere cenrtally mounted at the rear.
There is no problem with the suspension rising when the engine is started.
I live in Scotland and have enquired locally and the spheres can be had for £17 + VAT, but when I asked why they didn't need to know what type of spheres I needed, they told me they were all the same. I have always thought there were different spheres for different models and suspension types, and after discovering "Andys spares" it seems I was right. Now, off to the "online shop" I went, had a look at the spheres listed, and decided I was unsure as to which kind I should order. I want to buy 3 spheres for the rear (to start with).
I think I need 2 N45366 REAR SPHERE-NEW XANTIA 1.9TD/2L NON HYD Hatchback , but the third 1 is confusing me.
Do I need..N45372 REAR SPHERE-NEW XANTIA ANTI SINK (EXC ACTIVA)
or is it a.N45354 REAR SPHERE-NEW XANTIA CENTRE REAR .
Really want to get this seen to ASAP and get rid of my Ford Mondeo GLX TD Estate, been missing the Citroen ride for too long.
Any advice will be appreciated.
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Jon
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Postby Jon » Tue Aug 27, 2002 10:00 pm

OK,
You do need 2 N45366 REAR SPHERE-NEW XANTIA 1.9TD/2L NON HYD Hatchback, thats the easy bit.
People get confused by the other one at the back.
Heres how to make it easy.
1 )A "Centre Rear Sphere" (N45354) is only fitted to Xantia's with Hydractive suspension (commonly VSX models)and they have a switch inside the car to switch into Sports mode etc. If you don't have that switch, you don't have Hydractive, so you don't have a centre rear sphere!!!
2) The other sphere near the middle at the back is the Anti Sink sphere, which is what you need here. They're easy to identify as they have a metal pipe with an 8mm headed nut screwed into the bottom of the sphere.
As you have discovered, spheres are not "all the same" as you have been told. They have different volumes, pressures and damper sizes, just for starters. So you should always replace a sphere with the like for like replacement unless you really know what you are doing!
Finally, with regards to the car rapidly sinking at both ends when its turned off, thats usually a sign that the Accumulator sphere needs replacing. Thats the one under the bonnet behind the radiator.
Jon Wood
IT Supervisor
GSF t/as Andyspares
Edited by - Jon on 27 Aug 2002 17:03:35
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Smokin
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Postby Smokin » Tue Aug 27, 2002 10:34 pm

Thanx Jon, for the prompt reply and valued information.
I will deal with the rear end first, hopefully get the "ride" back to normal, then I will look at the front end. Seems it may be an idea to renew all 3 front spheres next time.
I'll pop over to the online shop and get the back end stuff ordered.
Thanx again for the help, and I am over the moon to have stumbled acroos this site. :)
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hswift
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Postby hswift » Wed Aug 28, 2002 1:00 am

Is removing the anti-sink sphere any different from the others, e.g. do you first have to loosen the nut you mention?
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Dave Burns
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Postby Dave Burns » Wed Aug 28, 2002 3:52 am

Yes removing the anti sink sphere is slightly different from the others, there is a 9mm (Jon says 8mm but it was 9mm on my car) flare nut securing the pipe into the sphere and the sphere is screwed on to the bracket via the thread on the sphere's neck.
Because access is limited for spannering inside the bracket, I found it best to loosen the nut, hold the spanner still and turn the sphere, both the nut and sphere are then unscrewed at the same time.
Don't turn the sphere without loosening the nut or the pipe may be damaged.
Before you remove it make sure you have the correct seal, which basically is a short piece of tube, if your sphere comes with the normal square section "o" ring as mine did, then this is wrong and totally useless for the anti sink fitting.
Dave
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Smokin
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Postby Smokin » Thu Aug 29, 2002 11:12 pm

Job Done.
Today I recieved 3 new spheres (ordered from Andyspares late Tuesday afternoon).
Checked them out and all seemed fine apart from there being no "tube" type seal for the "anti sink" sphere, I assume this is the small bit that goes into the sphere infront of the 9mm flare nut?
Anyway I left the old 1 on and fitted the sphere without any problems, bit difficult starting the flare nut off but after resting my arms a few times, got it in and tightened.
The left and right spheres were changed in about 5 minutes flat.
Seemed too easy to be honest, was waiting for the disasters to occur.
Pressurised the system and up went the car, well the front end did, the rear just refused to move. Did all the height setting with the lever many times but the back end just wouldnt lift.
Before replacing the spheres, the car responded very quickly to height adjustment and putting a load on the rear would easily be compensated for so I guess the correctors are fine.
I put the trolly jack back under the rear with a little help from a friend (the back end of the Xantia was lower than a snakes belly) and jacked the car up a few inches. I then started the engine again and went through the lever positions a multitude of times and let the jack down.
The car sat at the height it was jacked to, and when pushed down by hand it was spongey but sprung back up. Working the lever a few times more, the front end rises almost instantly, but the back end takes a minute or so. It also seems to take an age to go down when the lever is selecting the lowest setting.
The ride, although a lot softer than it was yesterday, still seems a little firm, at least it is firmer than my last Xantia so maybe I still have a problem?
Is it normal for the suspension to refuse to move after the system has been opened up?
Is there something else I should have done?
I had planned to replace the front 3 spheres within the next week or so and I would like to know if there is any other procedure which I should follow to ensure proper functioning suspension.
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Dave Burns
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Postby Dave Burns » Fri Aug 30, 2002 1:21 am

The main reason people experience this kind of trouble is the age old problem of rusted pivots's on the corrector linkage.
Most people don't touch the suspension lever never mind get under with the grease, they end up frozen in the normal position.
Then when somebody does lower the suspension it results in a big upset, pivot's may be very stiff but still move and then lock in another position, things can get bent or even broken, such as the little arm with the ball connection on the roll bar clamp and the plastic ball link can get dislocated.
The worst case scenario is dirt ingress that ends up fouling the slide valve in the height corrector after the removal of sphere's.
These are just about the only reason's your car will be any different after changing the sphere's.
<font color=blue>"Before replacing the spheres, the car responded very quickly to height adjustment and putting a load on the rear would easily be compensated for so I guess the correctors are fine."</font id=blue>
As regards the above, do you mean via the height lever or simply by adding weight to the rear, if the latter, then this does not mean that all is well with the height corrector, it will appear to function normally by adding/removing weight even if the corrector is frozen in the normal position.
Dave
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Smokin
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Postby Smokin » Fri Aug 30, 2002 2:33 am

Hi Dave.
What I meant was the back end responding and raising when load was added at the boot area.
When I decided to buy the car, knowing that the rear suspension was mega hard, I had moved the lever to all positions many times, and each time the suspension reacted properly. The only fault I could see was the rear end was rigid no matter what height it was set at.
The problem now seems to be that since changing the spheres, the back end takes a minute or more to rise where as the front rises immediately. As if, in my opinion, having opened the system at the rear has allowed air to be trapped in the system slowing the response of the rear suspension.
I am new to working on Citroen suspension as I am sure you have worked out, but I try the logical approach, if in fixing the hard suspension at the rear I have caused it to perform improperly, then at this time, the only cause I can think of would be air in the system.
Maybe this system has a means of purging air in it's normal operation, in which case I am at a loss to explain what is wrong.
My point in asking these questions here is that I am willing to listen to advice and to learn. To understand the workings of this beast I now own, and to care for it better than it's previous keeper.
Thank you for you time and understanding.
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NiSk
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Postby NiSk » Fri Aug 30, 2002 1:08 pm

Hydraulic Cit's are normally self-bleeding (thats why they have a return pipe) but occasionally they need a little help. You may have trapped some air in the system somewhere. The first, and easiest method (although very monotonous) is to raise and lower the height setting lever a large number of times (the FULL range of travel, not just up to the normal ride height) do this 20 - 30 times. If this doesn't help, then lower the suspension to the lowest level and, with the engine running, open and close the pressure relief bolt on the front accumulator - leave it unscrewed (just one turn) a few minutes at a time. Then repeat the above.
If this doesn't fix things, then you've got a mechanical problem somewhere.
//NiSk
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Dave Burns
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Postby Dave Burns » Sat Aug 31, 2002 1:56 am

Simply unscrewing the sphere's and screwing new ones back on isn't going to let much air in, you would have to do something daft like jack the car up with the sphere's off.
Don't compare Xantia's for ride unless they are the same model and with fairly clos R/P numbers, specifications do get changed as time goes on.
I had a bog standard 94 Xantia 19D before my present 97 TD LX, the 19D was a much softer ride and I was a bit dissapointed with the TD in comparrison.
The car should rise slighlty faster at the rear as it is lighter and fall faster at the front because its heavier, if it doesn't do this there must be mechanical interferance.
Dave
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