Xantia rear suspension / timing belt

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as subject, everything about the car is spot on except the rear suspension seems a little hard. the spheres are less than a year old and I've just had the LHM fluid replaced.
there's plenty of waft up front but the rear seems a little stiff, there's less floatyness if you know what I mean and there's less give over bumps. the spheres are the correct 35psi ones and not 45psi.
any ideas where to begin ?
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. (-@-.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Rear arm bearings starting to break up?
If you drop the car to flat, then raise it to full high, does it go up cleanly, with no creaking or jerkiness? Is the rear tyre wear even side-to- side?
Front struts get sticky, too - again, jerkiness in rising is a visible symptom.
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Adrian wrote:

it does go up/down cleanly and smoothly but not as quick as the front. the front goes up first, quickly and even quicker now that the LHM has been replaced, then the back slowly follows. when I depressurise the system the front drops first and fast (engine weight) and the back eventually bottoms out after 10 to 20 seconds.

it was, I put new tyres on all round last june and I did the weekly check today & they look fine. hardly any wear at all.

the front /does/ creak somewhat on the way up and the front rises in two or three jerks rather than a clean glide. I was going to grease the struts to see if that smoothed things out a bit but it's the rear that's niggling me.
it's not quite right. I haven't checked the height for a while but when it was last at the main dealers for the service & spheres scam they did adjust and lube the rear height adjuster so I'm assuming it's within tolerance.
the rear end floatiness gets much better with a full tank as if the spheres are working better with something to work against if that makes sense ?
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. (-@-.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Why ON EARTH are you letting a DEALER near it?

Makes plenty of sense.
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Adrian wrote:

because when I bought it I noticed that all 4 spheres were under main dealer warranty so when I took it in for it's next service (to keep up with the full main dealer service stamps) and they pointed out that the spheres were in need of replacement I produced the warranty.
their faces were a picture, I got them all replaced F.O.C and they're under warranty until may next year so: me 1 - main dealer -4 spheres. plus, I got a C5 (cool) for the day as a courtesy car, then a C2 (crap) when I had to take it back and after that a something picasso people carrier (rubbish) when I had to go back for the third time. that was the only time I've ever been near a main dealer and the last.

so it should, any solution to the rear end stiffness / lack of floatiness tho ?
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. (-@-.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Ah, furry muff.

(Assuming correct spheres) Is the rear height correct?
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Adrian wrote:

I'm not stupid ;-)

the numbers on the rear spheres were checked by local independent citroen specialist and were the right poundage but for some reason, whoever he checked the numbers with "couldn't find them on the system" the cit specialist said that was unusual but couldn't elaborate. I'm dead suss and worried that the main dealer has put some dodgy spheres on, but I'm suspicious of almost everything.
I had another cit specialist say 'they all ride differently' which made me wonder if he really was a specialist as they are all /engineered/ to ride the same, no ?

again, the main dealers lubed & set the rear height adjuster last year so I'm guessing it's within tolerance. I /do/ think it may be riding slightly high but that's only by eye and comparing mine to other xantias as they go by.
they /look/ like they are riding slightly lower than mine, maybe.
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. (-@-.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

<opens mouth> <closes mouth>

There's much more to it that merely pressure - far more important is the damping.

Heh. It's a hydraulic Cit. If the friggin' thing rides the same from one DAY to the next, it's a miracle. They're human, I swear it. My XM definitely has good and bad moods... In fact, I'm convinced it's female.

Considering a large proportion of Xants round here seem to be on stilts half the time...
Get that tape measure out!
The other possible is that the rear height corrector's a bit gunked internally. I very much doubt they stripped/reconditioned it. A quick squirt outside with brake cleaner and a blow over won't do it. You say it's been flushed through? How bad was the old LHM? How long was the flush left in for?
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Adrian wrote:

good lad, keep it tidy.

can you elaborate ?

mine too. 'she' rides much better after a long run, of which I do many, but the xantia /was/ engineered to be a certain way and any drift away fom that ideal means a certain subset of faults need to be eliminated.

I've no idea what they actually did as you're not allowed in the bay and if I was it wouldn't have mattered as I was 300 miles away in teh C5

no. just LHM replaced & return filter air blasted for 25 + vat but as a bonus, the guy actually managed to open the rear OS door which had been stuck shut for months and he lubed all the doors to be on the safe side and he did an oil/filter change for a fiver (labour) on a snowy wet day which saved me the hassle.
he also confirmed slims 'take the inner panel off and smash the assembly off with a screwdriver' as being the only viable option. 45 for the lock thingy and an hour / hour and a half to do.

that's the last resort, flush and re LHM but I'm suspect of the spheres. I might even spank 50 on some of those recon jobs, see if that does it.
as far as I'm aware, the LHM is the 'original' but the spheres have been replaced three times so some replacement has gone on if only through squirtage when changing the spheres.
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. (-@-.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Normal car :-
Springing is metal coil springs. Damping is "shock absorbers".
Hydraulic cit :-
Springing is pressurised nitrogen behind a rubber diaphragm in a metal sphere. Damping is a calibrated hole in a metal disk in the entrance to the sphere.
Have a look at www.citroencarclub.org.uk/ds for the basic concepts - the vast majority of pump/suspension concepts are identical on a D to your Xant.

Ah. Get it flushed. Get the old LHM out, clean reservoir and filters, put clean flush in, bleed the brakes through - leave it in for a thousand miles or so - then change back to LHM, again cleaning and bleeding.

That's the FIRST port of call. Any hydraulic Cit I buy gets flushed immediately.

Not until you KNOW it's clean internally.

EEEEEK! DEFINITELY flush it properly, then.
How many miles/what age?
I change the LHM annually, but the XM's only recently onto the third set of spheres - at 120k/10yrs.
<thinks> What spec's your Xant? Does it have Hippo? If so, could be a rear electrovalve issue.
Does it have anti-sink? Did the anti-sink sphere get replaced?
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Adrian wrote:

knew that.

knew that.

callibrated ? ok, I knew there must be some regulator there.

ok.
my xantia had it's third set of spheres at 78k

1.9TDi LX late '97 R (mechanically 100% and I had the trade over who was selling it by dumping an auction bought car on him and getting a three month warranty)

yes.
no.
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. (-@-.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Bit bigger than a gnat's, bit smaller than a tidge. As Slim's pointed out - it's not a great idea unless you know what you're doing. You can buy "comfort" spheres, which are pretty much exactly that - spheres with bigger damper holes in.
But, now that we know the LHM story on your car, anything other than flushing it through properly is a waste of time.

Spheres last plenty much longer than LHM.
LHM is quick and simple to replace, and is good preventative for the rest of the system.
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Adrian wrote:

really ? any particular suppliers ? I'm all for having comfortable spheres !

ok, but I've ony had the car x time and the spheres were replaced F.O.C so the priorities aren't mine to have the 'wrong way round' are they ? this is the first xantia I've owned having first driven one as a hire car when they first came out.
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Hi Sorry to but in again!!
In my humble experience, and I have fitted loads and loads of spheres, from DS to C5 Comfort spheres are a placebo!!
When a Citroen has knackered spheres on it you must agree that nothing is worse, so when the chap goes to get some more and the spotty teenager in the parts suppliers says "we can do you some comfort spheres for this" the owner thinks to himself, "well the bloody thing is so awfull that must be what I need" So he purchases the comfort spheres.
When the spheres have been fitted, he goes out on a test drive and smiles to himself when he realises that the comfort spheres have sorted out all his troubles, the reccomends to his pals to ditch the spheres and fit comfort spheres.
Little did he know that if he had fitted the correct spheres for the car, he would still have found it a marvelous difference and just as good a ride, but he would have kept the correct handling charcteristics of his car.
Well thats my opinion and experience, cos I've tried both!! Some will disagree no doubt.
Regards to all and have a good weekend. Slim.
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Slim ( snipped-for-privacy@tesco.net) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Not a placebo - they're masking a problem elsewhere. I've come across 'em most frequently on XMs with recalcitrant Hippo, so they're stuck in firm.

Especially if the LHM's filthy...
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I agree Yes the comfort spheres are used to mask a problem, but more often simply to avoid changing the 2 x suspension accumulators (XM & Xantia VSX)
Also some people just cant get it that the LHM needs to be changed, would they leave the engine oil in for 8 years and 100k, Probabally not.
The LHM is the most impotant bit in the system, keeping it clean will avoid all sorts of costly repairs.
Cheers Slim.
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Slim ( snipped-for-privacy@tesco.net) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

"Suspension accumulators"? There's still only one acc on a car with Hippo. (unless it's a LHD v6 XM with Diravi, which has a separate brake acc like SMs and CXs.)
What there are is two centre spheres - one front, one rear, but they're not "accumulators". They're springing - they're the ones that get chopped out of circuit by the electrovalve for firm ride. It's usually a problem with the Hippo electronics that will stick it in PermaFirm.

I think we have a consensus on this one, don't we? The question is, will Dot listen? Or will he keep wibbling about his spheres?
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All spheres are accumulators. this does not matter if they are to spring a Citroen, or to keep the cutting table level on a combine harvester.
The two suspension accumulators I refer to are one by the steering rack and one at the back end in the middle, Citroen manuals refer to these as the suspension accumulator, or sometimes simply the extra sphere. I dont think that they knew what to call it.
Wibble wibble wibble.
Regards Slim
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Slim ( snipped-for-privacy@tesco.net) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Yeh, they're the ones. The Hippo centre spheres.

Surely not...?

<g>
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Adrian wrote:

apparently, yes. and most informative it is too.

only in your mind

I'm all ears where good advice is freely given.

there you go again.
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