I don't think color coding was their big mistake. You got it wrong, by
the way. Red is their LHS, where the S stands for 'synthetic'.
In my eyes, the big mistakes with the DS' introduction were non
available training and information to the dealerships and a hydraulic
fluid that ate its gaskets.
After all a DS is quite straight forward to maintain, it's just
different than other cars. Had the dealers and their mechanics
understood the difference, it would've been quite a bit easier...
On Jul 9, 1:10 am, firstname.lastname@example.org (Marc Gerges) wrote:
LHS is vegetable base. The French were big on veg fluids and
greases:Peugeots used a veg based heavy oil in their rear ends for a
long time. They colored it red for, well, no good reason. The problem
is there was already the existing standard, which designated vegetable
LHM they therefore dyed green to differentiate it. I guess that's
better than blue or purple.
LHM is used in other cars and in some ag equipment: IH Case dealers
carry it. However, 5606 works fine as a substitute. So does Dexron as
long as it is changed out regularly and the car not operated in very
cold weather. Everyone panics because "it has friction modifiers". It
does, but they don't affect rubber on polished steel: they affect
clutch surfaces. Dexron works fine in unpowered aircraft brake
cylinders too, (they are mineral base) unless they get extremely cold,
then they are sluggish.
At least most D's sold here were non-Citromatic!
Oh, it might well be "synthetic" in the lexicon, but none the less
Cit red fluid is alcohol-plant oil. Since regular DOT brake fluid is a
semiacceptable sunstitute probably castor bean oil.
No. That was originally a RAF standard adoped by aviation worldwide
and then by most of the hydraulic business. Exceptions are ag and
specialized applications like food grade and high dielectric-powerline
Because....the rest of the world does it that way and it makes
Yes, although a larger percentage of cars are slushbox because of the
high amount of traffic jam commuting, which is tough on clutches. And
leg muscles. All my toys have been manual shift: most of my daily
drivers automatic because they were cheap when I got them.
And for french cars. Which in 1950s US certainly qualified as
specialized application :-)
Nobody in the rest of the world put hydraulic fluid in their car's
suspensions. One would think that, if you are the first to do something,
that it doesn't need to make sense to anybody else.
Well, if cars were the major user of active hydraulics then they
could set the standard. One may as well say having green wires on
positive and red on negative wouild be OK.
You are a religious defender of Citroen, not a rational thinker.
Course I like my DS a lot, it's in my view one of the best and
prettiest cars in the world. If one insists on driving a forty year old
car, one doesn't qualify as rational.
I still fail to see the tragic in coloring fluid in another way than
aircraft hydraulics has it as standard. Standardize where it makes sense
(it does make a bunch of sense in airplanes), but if you don't expect
your average Boeing mechanic to drain or top off your car, where's the
It says in big fat letters on the reservoir and in the owner's manual
what goes in there. Your CitroŽn dealer and roadside assistance know
what to do. So what?
( email@example.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were
In what way?
6v/12v? Positive earth, negative earth? Certainly no commonality in
Probably because it was technically very, very different to every other
car in production at the time. You really think that the fact the
hydraulic fluid was a different colour was the biggest difference
between the D and a Ford?
You don't think the fact that it was the first production car with disk
brakes might have not helped, even before the very presence of
hydraulics running at a pressure unseen in any other automotive
application until the recent advent of common rail diesels?
In what way?
Why is one needed in a closed system?
Cobblers. Drop it flat, remove and empty the tank. The system's self
bleeding, apart from the brakes which are easier to bleed than a normal
Don't be so ridiculous. We're about to do 3,000 miles round Scandinavia
in a 2cv. A few years ago, we did 3,500 miles across the US from Boston
to Sacramento in a 2cv that'd just done Sacramento to Boston. Not one
problem on that trip, and I don't expect any on this trip.
Actually compared to boats....they were commonly 6, 12, 18, 24 or 32,
and not rarely 110v DC. You can still get custom alternators for those
and more odd voltages.
No. Believe it or not in the 50s the biggest difference is that you
never heard of a wheel coming off a Ford at 60-80 mph. Cits lost
wheels until some change was made, around '60 or so. I don't remember
the exact fix but I remember a car in the shop that lost a wheel and
did a fair amount of sheet metal damage. The owner was a woman and she
would never drive it again. We sold it for her to a male hairdresser
who was the first really blatantly swish guy I had ever met in my
young life. I must have been five or six.
The hydraulic fluid colors were not by any means the #1 problem. The
car was very hard to work on in the sense of access until you learned
you could get the front fenders off. Cit hobbyists think it's all in
fun but in a working shop things like stovebolt heads are a real
There was also the little matter that small hydraulic leaks could
kill you. The smaller the leak the more dangerous. That's true of
diesel injection systems too. Most US diesels had the HP sections
internal to the engine. The long Bosch pumps had long steel lines and
they could leak a high pressure jet that would inject you with diesel
fuel (bad) or air (worse).
Hydraulics were used in commercial vehicles, and all manner of
industrial and stationary apps at higher pressure than the Cit system,
which as I remember is 2000 or 3000 psi. Even in 1955 that was not
terribly adventurous pressurewise. The regular old Bosch diesel system
works at those pressures.
A mule is a hydraulic pump on a cart or stand you patch in so the
system can be thoroughly tested. Most also incorporate high level
filters as well.
Because....the metal and rubber parts wear and send the particles
through the system, causing more wear?
Drop it flat? That's the problem. There's no dump valve.
Well, you can't find them anywhere. In 1955, there were several
standard fitting lines available. Most of them still are.
In the Midwest, high winds could flip it over. And a modest collision
even in a VW Beetle, could be fatal.
I drove a Dafodil recently. It was fine. The problems were when the
belt drive wasn't set up right. I really liked the little buggers, of
course, they were underpowered.
Remember, I saw every oddball car to come through the US-and most all
European cars did before '67 or so when US emissions cert became a
bother, keeping marginal lines out- from about '57 or 58, when I was
old enough to know one from another, until the early 70s. When the
import car business became mostly Japanese we got out for several
reasons. Where we did well was on the oddball stuff. Japanese cars
were competitive enough you couldn't charge a premium over regular
cars anymore. The dealers back then would work on them cheaper than
the import shops.
( firstname.lastname@example.org) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were
That'll be the move from centre-fix wheels to five-stud, probably.
Never ever heard of a centre-fix coming off a D.
It's true of any high-pressure hydraulic system. And?
Hell, you lot don't even get common-rail diesels, which run at about
2,500 bar compared to Citroen's 70 bar...
So why not just spin the system pump up either with the engine or via a
belt to an external power source, like an electric drill?
...which is why there's an (often neglected) change interval -
especially on LHS cars, where the fluid's hygroscopic. Shame your DoT
actively banned LHM for two years after Citroen had switched the rest of
the world's Ds over.
Of course there is.
Just select full-flat, then crack the screw on the pressure regulator
open a turn or so. Bingo. RTFM.
Oh, ffs... They'd have been available through the importers and dealer
chain, and still are through Cit specialists.
Go and drive one, then come back when you have a clue.
Gene S. Park ( email@example.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like
they were saying :
Just remind me when it was that the US stopped insisting on sealed beam
lights and started accepting that maybe a *bulb* might actually work... A
perfectly normal, bog standard bulb just like the rest of the world had
been using almost exclusively for *decades*...
OTOH, it's not like the europeans used to have common sense in their
regulations - it's just that CitroŽns are built to european specs, so
it's not that noticeable.
Look at how american cars had to be butchered to comply with european
regulations. I remember that in the 94 or 95 the third brake light was a
no-no. In 98 or so it was a requirement.
Even CitroŽns had their trouble with regulations: the DS was built
without rear brakes, but the french 'inspection des mines' didn't
approve until brakes were added. Consequently the engineers added brakes
that would seize up in two years from not being used and everybody was
I remember having to throw a couple of bags of mortar mix into the trunk of
my DS every year to get it to exert enough braking force to pass my state
inspection's "drive it up here and step-on-'em" brake tester gizmo.
I think the sealed beam vs. bulb thing was more a matter of petrified
old-line thinking that failed to accept the improvement in quartz-iodine
lamp technology and bulb-alignment over the old tungsten filament bulbs
which would dim and corrode and get out of alignment since that is what the
sealed beams, though also tungsten filaments, had been developed and
legislated into a requirement to replace. AFAIK our government still doesn't
trust us to adjust our headlights for load leveling from inside the car -
from what I've seen with most drivers here in the states, that may well be a
good thing! What I wish they would do is arrange to require something that
would shut off fog lights when it's clear or daytime and would turn on
headlights when the wipers are on (there are a lot of idiots out there).
There is one very tiny benefit to sealed beams left - when the headlight
burns out, the replacement is an entire new unit - you never have to worry
about how to re-silver the reflectors.
It used to be fun to 'confuse' the various state inspection bubbas and their
testing devices after having switched various vehicles over to quartz-iodine
headlamps from the sealed beam units - despite head scratching, nobody ever
failed me for the lights being too bright or for the pattern being to well
defined either for that matter.
The last time I used a D for a regular driver was in the late '70's and
early to mid '80's in New York City - there was never a problem with
acceleration from lights or staying with traffic in the D - mostly due to
the fact that there was so much traffic and so little opportunity to
accelerate. I don't think I'd be all that happy about putting a D into the
cut and thrust "no, me first" type of urban commuting that I have to put up
with around Washington, DC - which more and more seems to require the quick
off the line foot to the floor get to the front of the pack before the next
guy and slip into the slot between and before the other guy can get there
type of driving that these rice-burner pocket racers seem to be suited for -
disposable cars for disposable people. I'd be happy to use the D daily in a
more relaxed smaller town, country driving or less 'strident' urban
envrionment - but not for the current commute - I wouldn't do it to the D.
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