125. It’s my opinion it is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident caused by Citroen Hydraulics failing. The reason- we in South Australia have a few “unqualified repairers” working with Citroen Hydraulics. I had an enthusiastic amateur approach me recently who just wanted to know how to work on Citroen Spheres. These units not only handle the Suspension but also the Brakes. The responsibility for safety is the owner. Remember a Cheap job can end up an expensive one.
124, Three or 4 years ago a DS SAFARI HYDRAULIQUE was exported from Adelaide Australia to New Zealand. I would appreciate the Owner getting in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org..
123. If your HP Pump is cutting in regularly chances are it is a flat Main Accumulator. You can make a useful test by first putting the car into high position- this effectively closes off the Height Corrector to return leakage. Has this improved the pump cutting out time? Put your foot on the brake -that also reduces leakage from the Brake Pedal. Last one is holding PS in a turning position- this also cuts off most of the PS internal leakage.
122.If anybody knows the where-abouts of a Tim Christensen in the Coffs Harbour district, please tell him he owes me $378 for a DS Starter Motor
121.Loose Green LHM in stock, 10 per Litre. Bring your own container.
120. Further to the last entry, there is now further information about the DS 7 Piston Pump that you may find useful. When one overhauls the Pump to find it is leaking on the Shaft, the question is what “modification” do you employ to get a longer life out of the seal arrangement? The best one is Chalmers Watt modification that puts an ear on each end of the spring that go into made “arrester holes” in the brass seal carrier and the body. This stops the Seal Carrier spinning when the friction in the O ring becomes too weak. So what type of seal do you use? First one has to choose a type of elastomer such as NBR ( mineral oil) or SBR ( for brake fluid in cars).
Then there are more expensive materials like Viton. Further is the choice of Hardness- in what condition do you use a specified hardness?
119. Further to the previous news, I have one of the enlarged “hole” in Housing for a larger bearing in the H.P.Pump in stock.
118. The front bearing in the DS 7 piston hydraulic pump is no longer in production. Worse still there are very few spare ones to be had because the front bearing is scarce. So the European repairers are modifying the front housing by enlarging the “hole” a couple of millimetres and using a larger bearing. So this raises the issue” When is a bearing worn out?”. The only bearings I have rejected over the years are corroded ones due to engine cleaning with steam. If you need a Bearing outer race I have them in stock.
117. I have a queue of PS Racks waiting to be done and I am now up to the one marked Andrew Davies. I have just contacted Andrew and his reply was ” But you did mine 2 years ago”. So whose is it?
116. There is an interesting plastic sleeve on one of the 4 power steering pipes that goes into the collar on the steering pinion. It is the pipe fluid return to reservoir and as it goes into a rubber pipe it has a restrictor inside the metal pipe. This stops a large volume of LHM blowing up the rubber pipe.
115. Reconditioned Citrotec Hydraulic Units now available from my stock.
114. At the end of last year one of the club members Philip Ogg asked me if I would show him how to recondition a Suspension Sphere so he could do it. As he apparently has no background in physics I suggested he do what I did- go to TAFE and do the course in Fluid Power. He said he wasn’t interested in all that- just how to do Spheres. So I gave in and spent a few hours showing him what to do.
Quite separately I discontinued doing Hydraulics and Parts business with Aldgate Exhaust because the owner Leith Hughes refuses to pay Invoices totalling $1200 he still owes me. His excuse is – payment came with all the work he put my way.
113. My original Business was started in 1998 -Oleopneumatics. In other words Citroen Hydraulics. That was with a Dutch guy who worked on the cars in the city. He was a delight to work with because he knew his engines and hydraulics intimately. Around 2010 he retired and the Welsh guy took over. The new guy wanted to redo cars and that put a larger demand on my business. Over the last few years, those demands to supply DS parts have grown out of all proportion to my business size. Worse still it is difficult working with someone on a DS when they don’t know their hydraulics. So along with the financial problems, I have recently decided to sevre links with Aldgate Exhaust.
112. I now have in stock sets and singles of the Middle Door Dress SS Rubber Strips.
111. In my opinion, one of the most misunderstood techniques in DS maintenance is bleeding a brake system or in the DS case- an hydraulic system. I had a case yesterday where the owner put topup LHM into the Reservoir too late, Result- Air in the brakes. Then if you try bleeding the brakes, particularly the rear brakes with a short tube and a container, it is unlikely you will get ALL the air out. The rear pipe/pipes from the front of the vehicle contain a considerable amount of oil that could be replaced with air. The local Citroen Garage- H.A.S. Auto Repairs Lonsdale was working on the car and invited me to check the car.
To do the bleeding I had a complete roll of plastic transparent tubing that cost $17 and had about 20 metres on it. First I cut 2 lengths about 6 metres long and attached each to the open rear brake nipples. Then with the tubes going up over the roof of the car or open doors if you prefer and into the Reservoir in the engine bay. The air will rise naturally and be replaced by oil descending. Do similarly with the front brakes although they usually only have one nipple being in sequence. Open the bleed screws and have the bleed screw on the Hydraulic Regulator only open about a quarter of a turn to achieve FLOW rather than significant flow that my create pressure. Remember- Pressure is Resistance to Flow.
Start the engine and hold the foot on the brake pedal or button and keep it there for 5 minutes if necessary. There will be a point where there is only oil going up the tube-no air. (Remember the suspension bleeds itself naturally.)
The principle is it is hard to force air downwards.
109. Good SH DS Late Bonnet in stock $1500.
108. Still waiting for Leith Hughes of Aldgate Exhaust to pay the $1200 he owes me for the 200 Litres of LHM he has sold to his clients. He sells it for $20 per Litre making a tidy profit of $4,000.
107. Another engine bonnet for a DS required because the one on the Citroen wasn’t fastened down. It is an expensive exercise and we are running out. This is my last “good” one. In my opinion the safety catch for the bonnet is unreliable. That is a secondary form of holding the bonnet down. I think a rope as well is the answer.
106. Over the last 20 years I have had Citroen Hydraulic Seals made in Adelaide by Mark Witzmann, and his Father Herman before that, up to now has saved thousands of Dollars from going over seas. Are you listening Jason Hantos?
105. Lots of Reconditioned hydraulic parts coming into stock such as Clutch Reengagement Controls and Clutch Centrifugal Regulators at affordable prices. Exchange not required.
104. Future of Club Citroen SA looking a bit shaky, only 9 members turned up to a meeting.
103. Now in stock New GS Spheres for Suspension $90 each.
102. A Customer rang me from Melbourne today asking if I had any Triax Drive Shaft Units. I replied 2 kits at $325 each, old original stock unused. I warned him that there are new units for sale in the UK that are half the price and that won’t last very long. What I did not know is that there is now a Polish Triax product that is looking good, but that will be about $390 in Oz.
101.I currently have in stock 3 car”s worth of recon 2 piece suspension spheres with rivetted valves and Poly diaphragms. And one car’s worth of “screw in valves” type. All $150 each exchange. An extra may be charged if damaged ones are returned.
100. If you have the 7 Piston High Pressure Pump on the DS, SM or CX, and the front shaft bearing is shot, then unfortunately you won’t be able to buy a new one. Out of production. However I do have a few that have been rescued. The European bearing replacement is a larger bearing that requires the body of the pump to hold the old bearing in an enlarged hole.
99. A set of exchange 2 piece Suspension Spheres for a DS- renovated with Polyurethane diaphragms and ready to go. $600.
98. As Oscar Wilde famously said: “There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that’s not being talked about”, so what’s David Gilbert doing these days? Gilbert was the president of CCSA and responsible for humiliating a number of members and firing a few others. It appears that CCSA doesn’t want him as president because he stood this year and lost.
97. Because I am old enough to go underground and push up daisies, there are a number of so called mechanics asking me for the secrets of Citroen Hydraulics. The problem is most of them don’t know the difference between Air and Nitrogen or Steel and Iron. And they never will because they want the short-cut version to master Hydraulics.
At school I did physics at A level. Then some 40 years later in the 1990’s I went to Tafe part time for a year and did parts of their courses in Fluid Power, Material Sciences and other related subjects. The sort of information you can acquire is the connection between why 3 Comet Aeroplanes crashed out of the sky in the 50’s and why you should know about the design of a Citroen suspension sphere. Or is a fine screw thread stronger than a course thread? This is important information.
96. N.S.W. CITROEN repairer Jason Hantos orders from Oleo a Reconditioned 7 Piston HP Pump with Steel Body and High temperature Seals.
95. One of my customers reports:”The rack is living up to and beyond expectations. I thought something was wrong when first fired up because the pump didn’t cycle for a minute or so! All works well and rear suspension is holding up for hours. ( D-special so the rack and rear suspension share a feed.)”
Then there is this in part of an email from a customer POTTSY52 whos’s PS Rack I recently overhauled including new valves.
“The car is going very well. David Gries (who you may know) helped me do the final adjustments to the steering and turning circle etc, as well as the clutch and gear change mechanisms etc. The steering feels firmer, smoother and more direct. The biggest difference, encouragingly, is in the HP pump cycle time. It has gone from every four seconds or so to much longer. Obviously when the steering and brakes etc are working the cycle time lessens, but at idle or when just cruising the cycle time is now as long as 90 seconds. The car takes much longer to settle after switching the engine off, which I take as a good sign (in working on the front end, I also took the time to rebuild the front suspension cylinders with new seals and boots etc).
Interestingly, it is also much faster to rise when starting the car. I am less sure whether this is a good thing, and am not sure of the reason. I am assuming it is because the system is quicker to pressurise for the same reason as it is slower to de-pressurise i.e. the seals and valves are doing their job more efficiently.”
From Alistair Maclean in Victoria.
94. I have returned and open for business.
93. 2CV RAID. In the N.T. a couple of days ago, a driver from overseas crashed into a tree and died.
92. Just to remind you of a fact that tends to be forgotten- your Goddess is over 40 years old and more likely 50. If you get your Power steering overhauled every 10 years it is in its 4th now. So any work on your ps from now on may need to be more than just renewing seals. The metal work on the piston rod may need renewing as may the rod itself. But new rods are not available but the repairer can consider a re-chrome of the rod. Also through my network, recon power steerings are available with new valves.
91.I have finally decided to discontinue supplying Leith Hughes of Aldgate Exhaust with new DS parts, recon parts, and repaired parts. I am uncomfortable about some of the fitting work that he has undertaken with the parts I have supplied. Furthermore my customers are talking dissatisfaction. There is also a matter of a financial debt. Selling my LHM stored in his garage and pocketing the money. What I am learning about Australia is that corruption is the norm-not the exception.
I have now redirected my supply and expertise to the two Repair shops mentioned in 85, and 86.
90. I was challenged the other day regarding the justification for using a round cross section O ring in place of the square cross section O ring in a square cross section groove. There are a number of square c/s seals in the DS and I must confess to making the substitution to round. I suspect economics is the largest driver for the substitution. But there are many original square cross section grooves that have a round c/s O ring in them as an original part. Just look in the manual. I am not a heavily qualified Physicist, but I think the answer is in the laws of Pressure and Force. The words are used interchangeably, but the difference is important and significant. Force is directional whereas pressure can be omni-directional. You will have to think about it from thereon.
89. When you need to get the spheres on your DS attended to, ask the repairer if he/she uses polyurethane diaphragms. I use Polyurethane. There are two main factors here. The first is the original black NBR( Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) are half the price of Poly and they last half the time. Further when the NBR gives up it turns into a goo that is worse than the stuff on nappies. Some repairers still use the NBR which is why they can undercut me. Breyer the Liar is an example. I charge $150 for a sphere recon because I use Poly diaphragms and a Marine lathe to separate the two halves of the sphere. This inflicts the least damage to the Sphere. I have received over three hundred spheres in the last 30 years and to see the damage done to many of them is a worry.
88. The original diaphragms in the DS hydraulic spheres were 2 piece. A Nitrile rubber with a metal button in the centre. About 12 years ago a new design came in that was a single piece material- polyurathane. None have failed so far in my circle because the design is longer lasting. The old NBR diaphragm is still in use, so when you get your Spheres reconned, ask if the new diaphragm will be poly.
87.See Cars for sale.
86. Citroen Society welcomes to the club resources a fully fledged expert, ALAN AUSTIN. Was he named after the cars he works on-No, he does Tractions and Ds, and a few Austins. His garage is in Unley, 49 George St. Contact detail 8272 2260. He also has full facilities for Sphere blow up or recon. Its worth mentioning that he is in the same building as SIMAX engineering who beautifully opens suspension spheres without damaging them.
85. Helbers is back. Remember Bart Helbers? Now his sons are working the business: 80, Avers Avenue. Daw Park. Tel.82779464
84. When I was a kid in the UK back in the 50’s, every afternoon the BBC showed films from the U.S. of Cowboys and Indians. Hopalong Cassidy, Tex Ritter, Gun Law et al. The main theme was Cowboys shooting Indians. All that’s changed is the names, and cars instead of horses, and Americans instead of Red Indians.
83. In response to Item 82, I have been given the names Don Stacy and Colin Couter as past members of the Builders Labourers Federation. That was the organisation whose secretary went to prison for corruption. Perhaps they would like to confirm or deny.
82. If you buy a recon 7 Piston Pump from Europe chances are the front bearing (that is no longer available) will be replaced by a larger bearing. This requires the body of the pump to be enlarged to take it.
81. I am told there are two ex-Builders Labourers Federation members in the world of Citroens. Can somebody confirm who they are please?
80. Total LHM at $10 per Litre. I buy it at $6 per Litre, so why would I sell it for $20 per Litre.
79. Fully tested New Diaphragm Clutch Kit $490 ( Diaphragm, plate and bearing).
78. AUSSIE FROGS has an ex Builders Labourers Federation Official in their midst. In case you are too young to know or remember, that organisation was responsible for a lot of criminal behaviour in the industry back in the 80’s. Aussie Frogs management (if it has one), you should be more careful who you get in your midst.
77. If your 7 Piston Pump fails on your DS, CX or SM you now have a number of choices on a recon pump. You can have either a steel or aluminium body. The steel body although more expensive will last longer. In addition, a choice for extended life by anchoring the ‘shaft to body’ seal.
76. CSSA Meeting 14th June. What a Citroen Cinema lineup tonight June 14th for Citroen Society at Burnside. Highlight is a Goodess and SM in fierce competition over impossible ground and water. Also footage from the early twenties including the half track.
75. On the DS, there is a Power Steering installation instruction that is mostly ignored. It is the tension on the L shaped spring that goes on after the arms. The manual states you need to put a spacer under the spring when tightening the nut to stop over tension. Over tension will cause excessive wear in the metals.
74. I am a product of London in the early 1960’s. What was special about that- Beatles and Rolling Stone´s Mania. And I was working for Decca. EMI had the Beatles and Decca had The Stones. But if you were in Australia at the time, the significance of EMI and Decca was a little confusing. In the UK, EMI and Decca were competitors, but there was a special arrangement in Australia in those early days of the Gramophone Record Industry that is not generally known. It was the Quid pro quo. EMI looked after Decca marketing in Australia whilst Decca looked after EMI in South Africa.
But that was only in gramophone record sales, back in London the two companies were fierce competitors in recording. Australian Barry Tuckwell would remember those days as Chairman of the LSO and the leading horn player in every sense of the word. And I was there. Coincidentally, my mate Mike Fitzhenry, who worked for EMI in those days, also lives in Adelaide.
73. In Item 71 I have raised the issue of descriptions in repair work. I am now thinking of the DS power steering. What does Overhaul get you against Recondition?
This is in my mind at the moment because I am preparing a number of PS Pinion units for Recondition. They will have new valves in them that means there will be no internal leakage in the Pinion. But what about the brass bushes and the piston rods?
Well the brass bushes have been remade for me and the piston rods are old stock that have never been on a car. I was lucky enough to get then 20 years ago. So a recon PS Rack will have all new soft parts and new and close to new metal work.
The big problem with the design of the DS rack held against the later CX and SM is the connecting of the piston rod to the rack. In the DS it is a pin through the piston rod and rack extension. This has the potential to deform the rod into an oval cross section. If this happens it will damage the bushes in each end of the cylinder when dismantling and assembling.
72. Brian Woodcock gave me this one the other day. If you heat a steel washer- what happens to the outer and inside diameters?
71. Overhauling/Reconditioning/Fixing a Seven Piston Hydraulic Pump has a number of possibilities. If it is just leaking, it could be the front seal and that can be fixed without totally dismantling the pump. This can be done for a couple of hundred dollars. Therefore at a basic cost. But a broken body would have it’s own symptoms and additional costs. Then do you replace the body with a new aluminium or a steel one that is much tougher, but more expensive?
70. Front Brake Callipers. Just had a customer with a couple of brake callipers under his arms asking about seals. These parts are in a hostile environment, probably too hostile to be comfortable. The main enemy being road water. The design of the calliper itself is a piston in a cylinder with two grooves. The outer groove has a felt in it and the inner groove the O ring. The idea of the felt as I understand it is to lubricate the piston past the seal. When the brake pads wear the piston is more exposed to the outside world rather than the comfort of the cylinder. If the discs are wearing thin then again the pistons will extend further than they would like to. Disc and brake pads are much cheaper than rebuilding the calliper.
69. Another batch of DS Power steering new valved pinions coming to go into cars that have pumps going off every few seconds.
68. SPECIAL. Overstocked with Cross flow radiator tunnels. Steel frame with grey cloth.$100 each.
67. Couple of weeks ago, a Citroen enthusiast rang me about an EFI decelerator vacuum control device. It is now in stock.
66.Its now 20 years since Breyer the Liar did his first sacking in CCSA. Bob Koster was the victim. As far as I know this was the first move by Breyer in his ambition to be become MR CITROEN. The allegation was that Koster had been fiddling the books with the Clubs Spare Parts Scheme. But Koster never knew then why he was stood down. He never had the chance to answer his accuser. That’s Breyer’s style “I know nothing”.
65. Paul Parry rang me yesterday concerning black oil around the top of the hydraulic regulator. After a series of questions it is almost certainly a regulator that has been repaired using a too soft rubber O ring. The regulator in use is cyclicly compressing and decompressing this O ring to the point where it is extruding. Then the oil starts leaking through taking the black specs of the O ring with it. This makes the green oil look black.
64. After the sadness of the last two entries- some good news. I am delighted to tell you that the most read page on my Website is the TIME BOMBS IN D’S. On Tuesday night,
10th May, the next meeting of CITROEN SOCIETY SA there will be a complete POST MORTEM with pictures on these BIG and LITTLE time clocks.
63. ANOTHER TRAGIC LOSS TO THE CITROEN MEMBERSHIP- MARTIN DE JONG WAS KILLED IN A LORRY/CAR ACCIDENT RECENTLY. WE OCCASIONALLY DID BUSINESS AND I WILL MISS HIM.
62. A GREAT SHOCK FOR MANY MEMBERS IN THE AUSTRALIAN CITROEN FRATERNITY LAST MONTH- WELL KNOWN, LIKED AND RESPECTED ROGER BRUNDLE PASSED AWAY AFTER A SHORT ILLNESS. WE’LL MISS HIM.
61. Tom Gruzca asked me about squealing front brakes and we went through the usual possibilities.( See 59 ) Finally he decided to take the pads out and have a look. By way of preparation he cleaned up the brake units with degreaser and low pressure water. Magically the squealing has gone without doing any more
60. I was talking to Michael Berry the other day about cost of suspension seals and how the price varies so much depending on what and where you are buying. A set of four for a car varies from $40 to $200 on the international market. So how do you make a choice?
59. I have just been asked about squealing brakes. There could be a number of different causes, but a good braking stop should help to clean up the disc and pad faces. But more importantly is the shuddering brakes caused by the thick thin effect. This is created by installing the discs unevenly. In the brake off mode, the brake pads that are stationery scrape the disc at 12 o’clock on one side and six o’clock on the other.
Hence after awhile the disc is thinner at 12 and 6 o’clock. The rest you can work out.
58. Back in the Eighties, Margaret Thatcher decreed that Publicity is the oxygen of Terrorists. From then on it was an offence to report an IRA attack. Immediately the terrorism ceased. You ignore your history at your peril.
57. I am currently overstocked with cross flow radiator frame and vinyl units. Sale price $100 each.
56. Interesting development on 3 Pulley Water Pumps for D’s with Air Con.. They now have 2 large ball bearings rather than just the original small and large.
55. TO THOSE WHO KNEW MALCOLM FOX- A GREAT WAGNERIAN.
Malcolm Fox, a good friend of mine, died nearly 20 years ago. Whilst the Death Certificate describes the cause of death as drowning, loss of blood would also have been a factor. The reason I am raising this now is because events since have given me a clue as to “Why” he committed suicide. It’s called Modus Operandi.
It was in November 1997, I received a phone call from a Pauline Fox, Malcolm’s ex. Until this moment I only knew of her as Malcolm’s ex. She explained that she needed help with Malcolm’s funeral, and could I help? I agreed to a meeting to see what we could achieve. Over the next few days we had a number of meetings.
After the funeral she invited me to her house for dinner, and asked me (in behaviour) if we could have a relationship. I was unattached at the time so it seemed like a good idea. In the event it was an affair that lasted 10 years and it was not a good idea. During that 10 years she gave me an insight into how she was a significant factor in the cause of Malcolm’s suicide. In the last 10 years, I have gained an even greater insight. He simply would not have been able to recover from the “ bad press” he was given by his ex..
54. This is definitely destined for TIME BOMBS IN D’S. A while ago a DS came in and when I opened the boot it was full of water. About 10cm in depth. So how did it get there and it took awhile to find the cause? With the boot lid open and about 4cms below the rear windscreen is a plastic seal that spans the width of the boot. The metal seal holder had corroded into a hole for a centimetre or so and was hidden below the black plastic.
So when it rains, the water from the roof and rear windscreen is actually channelled into this hole.
53. One of the many policies I have had over the years is to get parts for Citroen DS where possible made in Australia. Apart from standard O rings, all the seals are made in Adelaide by Mark Whitzman. The advantage of a machined seal is you get a better quality material and a better edge. This gives the seal better durability. European Auto Car Care have clutch cables and pivots made in Sydney. These also have proved very reliable.
52. Those of you who enjoy classical music may remember John Stafford who presented just that on ABC Classic FM. On April 5th, a couple of days ago, he passed away in his sleep. He was born in England and an architect by training and a lover of Citroens. But he couldn’t keep away from the music.
51. I made a stupid mistake recently, and it was about process and probably common sense. It was an Hydraulique that had air in the gear changing mechanism somewhere. Finding the right bleed hole to bleed the air out proved frustrating. On the Centrifugal Regulator there are two bleed nipples 8mm or 9mm very close together. I used a small spanner to open the bleed screws and bleed that part. Tightened it until it felt OK, removed the plastic tubes and closed the bonnet.
Got in the car and started the engine and went for a drive. Came back and no oil in the hydraulic system. Lesson to be learnt. Don’t close the bonnet until you have tested the hydraulic system first. The bleed screw only felt tight- but wasn’t. The spanner was being fouled by the nipple next to it.
50. LHS2 in One Litre bottles. German Pentosin. $35 per LTR.
49. About 10 years ago I bought a New LHS2 Power steering pinion for a DS from old stock.I cleaned it up and converted the rubbers in it to LHM. It worked beautifully.
So I bought up the rest of the stock and used them up in a few months to replace valves that were completely worn out. If you have one in your car, you can identify it because
the teeth in the rack slant in the opposite direction, that is one o’clock to seven o’clock. I now have LHM renewed steering pinions.
47. We (you) should never forget- this is the land of Lindy Chamberlain. A justice system that includes gossip and newspaper reports.
46. Original parts for DS. Obviously the Citroen company that designed and made the Goddess no longer exists. But a lot of original parts for the Goddess can still be found.There are many garages in the world that are storing O.E. and I am one of them.
But we need to thank Valeo for the consistent availability of Starter Motors and Water Pumps.
44. This a common problem with a difference. An SM with air in the brakes. Probably the oil in the reservoir got low and eventually when the car came up to drive position, it sucked air in the reservoir. OK nothing in that- just bleed the brakes. Put a clear hose on bleed nipple and bleed. And nothing comes out. This may be because there can be an O ring on the bleed screw and it might distort and foul the bleed hole. Clean out the rubber and all is well.
43. The perennial problem on the DS is the pump cycle. A quick test for leakage is to first test for quiescence. What is the pump cycle with the car just idling. 5 seconds,10,15,20 and if your car is well serviced -one minute, two minutes and so on. Then put the car in low position and have the engine running. That may improve the cycle. Back to normal drive position. Next test. Turn the wheels onto full lock and hold the steering wheel as though you are trying to get full lock. Then measure the pump cycle. This could easily improve a pump cycle from 30 seconds to 2 or 3 minutes if the valves are leaking INTERNALLY.
42. An arrangement that is growing in popularity is exchange spheres. Fairly obviously it can only survive if the quality of spheres being exchanged is maintained. So far that has been the case. In any event you probably have nothing to lose if you get rejected because of below standard. But on standard-$150 a sphere.
41. New delivery of air tubes in guards, and a welcome first timer- new stock of black steering wheel tape. $30 a roll for one car.
40. Just been reconditioning suspension spheres from a DS and the screw-in valves have been assembled incorrectly. Probably not life threatening, but of concern. I know at least one Citroen mechanic, no I will rephrase that, works on Citroens who can’t read or wright ( whoops), right, ( try again) write. The reason the English government, around 1880’s, made it mandatory for kids to go to school was so they could read warning signs. Reading manuals is important too. Poor guy in Victoria who was underneath a CX doing repairs when it dropped on him.
39. All welcome this Tuesday evening, 8th March. A film show of The Solar Challenge, the car race from Darwin to Adelaide. Don Oswald is the camera man and host. 8.00pm at Burnside Council Room.
38. This is the Land of Lindy Chamberlain. Little has changed since those days in the 80’s before and after. It’s my opinion that this is the result of a convict past- Australia just can’t shake it off. Australia is still a gigantic prison with the prisoners on one side and the Warders on the other. The only thing that is missing is the bars. The extraordinary level of corruption “everywhere” confirms this.
37. It has just occurred to me that we are now entering a new era with the DS Citroen otherwise known as the Goddess. Not one of these cars is less than 40 years old and more likely 45 or 50. During that period the engine has probably been given attention and so on. Now there are two little square cross section O rings in the P.S. Valves block that direct oil to the left or right turning. These seals are not at the top of the valve but in Dash pots at the bottom. When I started doing P.S. racks over 30 years ago I used to change them and even now my kit includes new ones. But when you undo the Dash pot they look so comfortable you wonder why you are bothering. A P.S. rack I did a few weeks ago has just bounced back to me because there is oil pouring out of the rectangular boot. It is the usual story “For the want of a Battle a Nail was lost”.
36. One of the great Oxymorons: “The Failsafe system failed”.
35. A couple of years ago, a DS23 Hydraulique Wagon was exported to New Zealand from Adelaide. Leith Hughes in Adelaide had spent his time sparing no effort in renovating-no resurrecting is a better word- this car. I was lucky enough to be doing the hydraulics and gave it my best.
So maybe there is a lesson here. Would you really put low quality parts in this car?
The 7 Piston Pump was rebuilt around a new steel body and putting that in it, it will never fail. It also included the Chalmers Watt ‘seal holder lock’ to stop it spinning when it ages slightly. Finally a new needle bearing and new balls in the front bearing. But this overhaul for a pump is worth $400. A standard pump is only $300. You get what you pay for.
34. I have in stock a very rare item- STAINLESS STEEL Head Light Surrounds for the DS. What am I bid? How about $200?
33. As Oscar Wilde famously said ” There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is Not being talked about.” Thank you for your interest.
32. More on the 7 Piston High Pressure Pump used in the DS, CX and SM. Pump came in today because it was pumping but not working. In the 30 years I have been doing these I have only struck this once before. It would have been frustrating for the mechanic working on the car because the pump would give the symptoms of pumping. Oil was leaving the reservoir and the oil was also returning back to the reservoir. But it wasn’t lifting the car. This would usually signify a cracked pump body. No, it turned out to be a flapper valve not seating properly because of a foreign particle. Cheap solution. Frustrating problem.
31. VALEO DS STARTER MOTORS. Over the years I have been supplied with Valeo Starter Motors for the DS. My last order gave me Starter Motors with no markings. I questioned this from the supplier and was informed it is the same unit out of the same factory in Poland as the Valeo.
30. 7 PISTON HP PUMPS. Over the 30 years I must have reconditioned hundreds of pumps and only 2 have come back to me for re-doing. The great advance in reliability is the CHALMERS WATT brass seal holder lock. This at least doubles the life of this part of the pump. It stops the brass seal carrier turning with the shaft when the seal loses it’s elastic friction. This friction holds the seal carrier from turning with the bearing on the shaft. But it does take another hour to overhaul the pump.
Now obviously I am not naive enough to think that just because only 2 came back, only 2 failed. But if customers choose not to use the warranty (and that seems to be a big weakness in this country), then you let the repairer ” off the hook”.
29. ‘Breyer The Liar’ and now we have ‘Beswick The Basher’. He is also a member of Club Citroen S.A.. Apart from assaulting a female member of the club by walking up behind her and pulling her hat down over her eyes, Beswick also told her that “Someone like you should be taken down to the bushes and given a damn good thrashing”. Whilst this sort of behaviour is out of place and frightening, it is true that the assault or the language were not sufficient to involve the Police.
28. NEW VALVES FOR POWER STEERING. If the valves in your ps are shot, then you may think about getting a recon unit with new valves. If you get one from the overseas Citrotec, it could cost you “all up” over $3,000. You will have to send the old rack to Holland and you may pay tax on getting it into Holland and more tax when it returns. Why not get one of my PS Racks with the same valves for $1500.
27. POWER STEERING. I was recently reading the section in the DS21 Workshop Manual on Power Steering titled ‘Adjustment of the Crossover Pressure’. “Para 21 Use Test Tool 2290. It goes on to describe how to remove the flicker or twitching.” What the paragraph does NOT tell you is: “Don’t waste your time with this tool and process because it will not work with worn valves”. Then the gauges will only show System Pressure i.e. 2600 psi. I have installed over 30 new power steering valves into Australian DS’s and a crossover pressure of around 600 psi can be achieved quite easily with the gauges. No twitching. And no cutting in of the regulator every few seconds.
26. Had a delightful chat today with an “old timer”- Andy Higgins. He is a Kiwi and still in good spirits and we had a good laugh. He is the inventor- no, that is not quite the right word- developer is better, of the Higgins Valve on the Spheres. He is now 86 ( bit older than I am) and we reflected on the rejection of his Higgins Valve by the CCCNSW.
For those of you who are not familiar with the device- it simply screws in place of the plug on the suspension sphere on Citroens. I still use the valve and you simply connect a pipe from a Nitrogen cylinder to the valves on the spheres and top them up. Unfortunately the CCCNSW tested them, back in the 80’s I think it was, and declared they were a waste of money -because they leaked.
Well if you connect the sphere valves on the car to a pipe, then to a N cylinder with a Gauge, and take a pressure measurement with the car in low position, of course it will show a lower reading than the original pressure. Yes- you have got it. Where did the gas in the pipe come from? Anyway that was the death of the valves. But they are alive and well here on my car in Adelaide.
25. At last we seem to have rear suspension boots for the DS that don’t split within a few weeks. They retail at $60 each and are in stock. But we are still waiting for the Safari unit (or the Break if you wish).
24. Happy New Year to you all. If you are going to have a 7 Piston HP Pump on a DS attended to for some reason you may be interested in the following. If a pump is leaking, then the pump can be taken to pieces as a whole or two parts. If the seal on the front of the shaft is worn, then the pump can be done for the cost of 3 seals plus the time. One hour plus 3 seals- No painting. About $50 plus the time to fit the pump on the car. That should allow the pump to work for another 5 to 10 years. In the mean time the aluminium pump body may break and then that is another cost to remove from the car and redo it. Now we are into a more comprehensive overhaul. A pump body means a complete dismantle. That’s at least a 3 hour job. Cleaning and painting and the Chalmers Watt seal lock even more time. Is a steel body rather than the aluminium a good investment? So now we are looking at round $400 to include a warranty. So you get what you pay for.
23. Further to item 18, there is more to the difficulties of overhauling a 7 piston pump. There are two different size springs in circulation that go in the pump and push the oil seal on to the front bearing. This stops the oil from the pump reservoir leaking out. I have just taken out a front bearing and the seal stayed in the housing, so obviously not doing its job. Actually it is the spring that pushes the seal that is not doing the job. On top of this some of the reservoirs have been stretched so they do not stay on the body of the pump. Fortunately i was able to pick up a supply from a Citroen Dealer who went out of D’s.
22. Clamping rubber or nitrile on to a metal or plastic pipe needs thinking about. If you leave an overhang of rubber from the clamp, what you are actually doing is squashing or pushing the rubber from under the clamp and causing it to flare. That in turn may encourage the flare to crack along the pipe. Then you get the hole in the dyke syndrome. It is my opinion that you will get a longer life out of the rubber if you line the clamp up with the end of the rubber so you are only squeezing the rubber in.
21. Good morning Liz Pike and John Henderson, what are you going to report on me today? Your reporting to the Club Citroen Car Club SA management (I use this word advisedly) on my latest complaints and observations must be very onerous. Every statement I have made is demonstrably true unlike those of Breyer the Liar. Why dont you deal with him?
20. Given the amount of comment I have received, its reasonable for me to believe TIME BOMBS is a popular part of my web site. I now have a new time bomb to add, rubber pipes. Most of us routinely change the rubber water pipes and probably, but less so, the petrol pipes. I have just acquired a DS23 that was a day to day car. Today I had an uncertain distance to go, so I filled up until the garage filler pipe automatically cut out. Went down the road in the car to have a chat to someone, came back to the car and it was in the centre of a circle of petrol. I assume the car has had a regular amount of petrol put in and not filled the filler pipe to the cap. I had, and the petrol was leaking out of the rubber pipe joiner to the tank.
19. A few months ago an SM came in with a fast cycling pump. All the usual tests and it turned out to be the power steering. No, not the valve, but the piston was leaking internally.$100 dollars worth of seals and done. A couple of weeks ago an interstate repairer sent me an SM rack because he had diagnosed the p.s. valve by undoing the return hose on the reservoir. The rack tested out ok so I asked to have a look at the Governor on the gearbox. The governor has a mains pressure pipe in and a gearbox speed valve control for a pipe out to the p.s. So this will be up for a new valve.
18. Maintenance on the DS continues to get more and more difficult. 7 Piston High Pressure Pumps that fail now have a number of options for repair. There are two parts that are most likely to fail- the pump body and the shaft seal. Broken aluminium bodies have two solutions- a new aluminium or steel body. The parts cost respectively $125 or $190. Another possible failure is the front bearing seal. If your pump has the Chalmers Watt seal life extender, it is straight-forward to repair. If you install the C.W.mod, you are more likely to get 20 years life rather than 10 years out of the seal. Flapper valves are getting thinner and thinner and will eventually be a problem. The pistons and cylinders just keep going and going but they do sit in oil, so it pays to keep the oil clean. If the front bearing needs replacement, at the moment there are enough good ones to keep going. However there is another option for replacement and that it to use a 62205 2RS that is larger in diameter. This means the front plate has to be turned out to allow fitting. This is a common practice in Europe.
17. Well this is the best news I have had in the Goddess world for a few years – decent rear suspension boots. And it gets better, they are reasonably priced at $40. They look good, feel good and last for years not just months. And you wont believe this- they are compatible with LHS2. The reason we know they are good quality is because a few dealers have had a number of different rear boots on test and this brand won hands down.
16. When overhauling the DS power steering, the most time consuming part is the piston on the centre of the piston rod. Most of the repairers skip this bit because nine times out of ten it can go another round. That’s why my racks cost $600 and competitors cost around $500. But if the seal fails you no longer have power steering and every time you touch the steering, the pump has a heart attack.
15. This is the land of Lindy Chamberlain, numerous Royal Commissions into corruption and a corrupt car club- Club Citroen South Australia. Only when the club
takes me to court can we ask the court to make orders for the relevant minutes to be produced. I was dismissed from the club but the relevant evidence was not
tabled, only referred to. The main figure in this is Rolf Breyer.
14. A DS power steering I did in 1994 came in the other day because it was “leaking” around the distributor. It turned out I had also reconned the rack in 2012. Colloquilly it is a leak but in practice it is a weep around the distributor. The round bit between the rectangular rubber boot and the rack itself.
This distributor has 4 grooves inside it. The high pressure feed at front and low pressure return at rear. The two high pressure feeds to left and right are in the middle. The problem is the O ring separating the low pressure from the outside world is at low pressure and does not energise the seal.
13. Did a talk on Tuesday for the SA Citroen Car Club on the history of the DS suspension. In my research, I surprised myself by stumbling over a name I have not encountered before- Paul Mages. He worked for Citroen in the hydraulics department and is described as a whizz. He was born in 1908 and died in 2007.
12. Just arrived- stock of Valeo recon Starter Motors for DS $350 each.
11. Because of the annual Bay to Birdwood, Adelaide has been full of visitors including interstate.This led to some conversations with a WA customer about the schisms in Citroen Clubs in Australia. Three Citroen clubs have now split because of disagreements. Two of them over a similar issue- personal expenditure by committee members for the Citin. S.A. and W.A..
10. Interesting problem over the last few days- an HP Pump leaking somewhere from the front. That means the front shaft seal or a crack in the body and so on.
However I tested it I could not make it leak- except once when the 12 mm pipe nut was not tight enough. That was then the clue. More likely the original leak was a piece of foreign matter in the pipe seal. Moral- dont assume it is the usual.
9. I have done a number of SM steering racks recently and the simplicity of design is breath-takingly elegant (although I do question the drain pipe on the gaiter). This rack design was then hacked to pieces to produce the CX power steering. If you have ever seen a CX Power steering control unit in pieces, you will know what I mean. I get the seal overhaul kits made in Adelaide by Mark Witzman. Back in the 90 s, his Dad-Egon used to do the seal making. Egon drove a CX which is how we met. The quality of a lathe made seal against a cast seal is that the block of nitrile or ptfe can have sharper edges cut than the cast type.
8. Rob Belcourt ordered a roof seal for his Safari- $25. He has an interesting approach to put the recon roof back on the car. As the roof is an integral part of the structure of the car, the attitude of the car when the roof is strewed on is all important. Rob will have the middle of the car supported on jacks as well as the usual front jack points.
7. A Citroen owner from overseas rang me today regarding an unfortunate judgement in using a sledgehammer to free a steering tie rod from a relay on a DS. Now the car wanders in spite of there being no apparent damage. I have mislaid his telephone number so here is a message. Put the front of the car on stands under the supports below the front of the doors. This should take most of the weight off the front wheels. See if then there is any play in the front wheels.
6. LHM or is it H2O ? Just bought 200L of LHM and was surprised to find it looks like water. A possible scenario is Citroen C6 hydraulic oil re-branded as LHM.
5. About 35 years ago, Melbournian Citroen Expert Chalmers Watt was generous enough to give me the instructions for modifying the DS 7 piston pump. This allowed the pump to have an additional 10 years of operation before the front seal failed. If anybody would like the details for this modification, please contact me.
4. MR CITROEN AUSTRALIA. Alias Rolf Breyer The Liar. Dont waste your money on a back order on the name OLEOPNEUMATICS, I have arranged for it to be in perpetuity in the family name.
3. DS CLUTCHES. I remember about 30 years ago when I worked for the ABC in studio recording, we had a problem with magnetic tape used for recording. In those days, because of lack of good quality interstate lines, tape recordings were used. Scotch, BASF, and EMI use to tender for a very big contract. One year, we discovered the quality of the tape delivered was significantly below the standard tested in the tender process. Whether that was a genuine mistake or exploiting the weakness in a very large system we wont know, but there is a question mark. Now, I have just received a below quality DS clutch plate- obviously from overseas. It has no identification and is useless. Am I being cynical?
2. CITROEN SOCIETE SA. As I predicted a few months ago, the division of the Citroen Club in South Australia has come down to the old chestnut – TRACTION versus DS’s. The newals and renewals in Citroen Societe confirm it is the DS club in SA with all the administrative and technical support.
1. SM POWER STEERING. Had an SM in the other day for a pump on a 5 second cycle. New accumulator didn’t change anything. Whilst the car was idling I took off the ps return hose to the reservoir and it was running- not dripping. So I was all set for a new valve. Took the rack out and as it was leaking into the gaiters, I put a new set of seals in it. On the test bench then to check for leaking. Magically the ps oil return pipe was just a slow drip. Now the Car has a pump cycle of 25