Leak at rear

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Highhillphil
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Leak at rear

Post by Highhillphil » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:12 am

Ive been a long-time citroen owner but have had very few hydraulic related problems so advice needed.
Car: BX TZD Hatch.
Fault: Heavy fluid leak from n/s rear sphere/cylinder area.
The car will rise as it should, can be left ticking over with no leak, then when the car is switched off fluid pours out,accompanied by a lot of hissing.
I suspect that the cylinder is corroded or damaged in some way but dont want to strip it if it could be something silly like a blockage or sticking valve.(??)
The pipes are intact.
The car has stood idle for about 2 months.
Any help appreciated.
Thanks.

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sleepy0905
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Post by sleepy0905 » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:12 pm

Sounds awfully like your cylinder has corroded it happened to me its quite common i would certainly have a good look at the cylinder the lower half of the cylinder sits in all the grit and muck that collects in the subframe which causes them to corrode :)
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Stewart (oily!)
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Post by Stewart (oily!) » Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:22 pm

I have seen a chunk of alloy blown out of the side of the cylinder, that leaked continually until the car was "down" check the pushrod for damage I have seen these with the end broken off allowing the piston to come out too far, that car didnt leak until the rear wheel was jacked off the ground! then examine the rubber gaiter for damage.
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Ian_Fearn
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Post by Ian_Fearn » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:43 pm

I replaced my rear cylinder last week.

It looked like a shotgun hole in the side of it.

Exactly the same symptoms.
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Post by AndersDK » Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:35 pm

Ian_Fearn wrote:It looked like a shotgun hole in the side of it.
Exactly :roll:
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Post by Highhillphil » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:58 pm

Ive just got round to stripping the cylinder and have hit some snags/puzzles.
Ive managed to remove the sphere and slide the rubber gaiter back from the cylinder.
The two pipes that are attached to this gaiter,do they remain on the gaiter and the cylinder and ram comes out from the gaiter or should they be removed and if so how?
The clip at the bottom, does this just pull out? Mine carries the two aforementioned pipes through one of its 'rings'.
The union/pipe that comes into the top of the cylinder(inside the shroud) (8mm spanner size I think) is now rounded off! any tips for releasing it without resorting to mole grips.
Hope you can understand my description of things.
Thanks.

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sleepy0905
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Post by sleepy0905 » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:08 pm

Firstly the two pipes just pull out of the gaitor, the clip at the bottom does just pull out but give it a good soaking with WD and have a thin drift or drill bit handy as they can snap, and finaly the pipe union mine did this but I used some small stilsons not mole grips and it came loose but make sure you use lots of WD :roll:
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Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:27 pm

I am just experiencing exactly the same problems - I replaced the N/S one on Friday, and had the O/S one on order (I thought it must be in a similar mouldy state).

Came to put my tools away Friday evening, feeling all smug that there were no leaks, ready for a weekend away, when the O/S one suddenly started bleeding green blood all over the place. My advice would be to at least check the other one out as they can fail at any time...

It might be easier to replace the short strut to union pipes as I couln't get mine off either. The ones on the union came off very easily and new pipes are only a fiver or so from GSF. Apparently the N/S pipe is easier than the O/S (my job for tonight).

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Post by Highhillphil » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:32 pm

Thanks to you both.
The main worry for me is that I have sold the car to a really nice sounding bloke and Im keen for everything to be ok,
This problem reared its ugly head after we had done the deal (typical)
Ive packed in for the night and had a bath.The water turned green, not from Radox!!
Thing sometimes start to improve after a rest.

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Post by Stewart (oily!) » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:03 pm

Replaced the rubber gaiter on Gareths last week, you are better off getting a new pipe, they are not expensive and will allow you to go down the mole grips/stillies route, I ended up snapping the pipe off and using a six sided socket on the little brute, if the ram is knackered you are quite safe to use a dremel or something to chop the gland nut off reasonably flush in order to get the ram out.
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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:42 pm

I've had an idea which may extend the life of the struts:

It looked like the shrouds were actually speeding up the corrosion process as mine were full of crud. I guess this will set up an electrolytic cell every time it gets wet, corroding the ally strut rather than the steel. I have drilled a hole in the shroud which should let the water out.

If you do this with the struts in place I think you have about 1/2" clearance if you drill at the lowest point.

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Post by Highhillphil » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:48 am

More questions Im afraid!
Does the round 'cup' shaped part that the ball end of the ram goes into on the swinging arm have to come off, if so how?
I now have everything disconnected ok apart from the front end of the ram,which I presume needs to be released as I cant get the alloy cylinder far enough forward to come out.
This job has brought me close to tears several times!!!!!!!
Thanks.

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Post by DLM » Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:24 pm

It looked like the shrouds were actually speeding up the corrosion process as mine were full of crud. I guess this will set up an electrolytic cell every time it gets wet, corroding the ally strut rather than the steel. I have drilled a hole in the shroud which should let the water out.

If you do this with the struts in place I think you have about 1/2" clearance if you drill at the lowest point.
Do you mean the bell-shaped section on either of the rear subframe that the struts pass through? I know they act to some extent as crud collectors, and can catch out the unwary mechanic if they get fill with lhm from a leak.

However, knowing the design, I'm surprised to hear that water can pass backwards and upwards into them, unless you're in the habit of fording streams!
Relying on two wheels and musclepower since the last BX (or any car) had to go.

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Post by DLM » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:00 pm

Does the round 'cup' shaped part that the ball end of the ram goes into on the swinging arm have to come off, if so how?
This is held in place by a horizontal G-pin, which starts life as a fairly substantial clip but may corrode over time. A pair of pliers are usually man enough to grip it and pull it out and sideways CAREFULLY. Loosening juice will help. I haven't broken one yet, unlike other members of this forum!

Once the pin is removed, and the rear arm positioned so the the piston/rod inside the boot is at maximum travel, you should be able to gently pull the slim end of the boot free from its tacky embrace with the rear arm. As well as the stickiness of the rubber-metal contact, there is also the possibility of rust on the exposed metal surfaces of the piston/rod and rear arm, which makes them reluctant to part company as you pull the rod towards the rear of the car.
I now have everything disconnected ok apart from the front end of the ram,which I presume needs to be released as I cant get the alloy cylinder far enough forward to come out.
The wire clip on the boot doesn't need to come off until the cylinder's off the car, The wire clip has a joint screw/bolt head, and even with lots of cleaning and loosening juice, can't be relied on to undo without self-destructing. It's much better dealt with off-car.

HOWEVER. the sphere does need to be off the cylinder , if it's not off already. Once the sphere is off, then the complete cylinder assembly, including boot, can be withdrawn towards the front of the car. There is a lip on the cylinder which holds it in position, pressing hard against on the narrow end of the bell-shaped "shroud". As the rod/piston is exerting opposite pressure against the rear arm, that's what holds the cylinder in place.

This job has brought me close to tears several times!!!!!!!
Rear suspension sphere and cylinder problems have a habit of doing this to the best of us! Most of the time it's a question of using the right tools and methods. Half-measures don't work, in general.

After dismantling a couple of rear subframes and removing rear cylinders from a couple of cars, I know it's not the most obvious of jobs when you come to do it. If the sphere hasn't come off yet, then proper tools are called for: stilsons to grasp the cylinder, and a sphere tool for the sphere. Consider taking the sphere off BEFORE unseating the rod/piston as once it's out you lose the bracing effect.
Relying on two wheels and musclepower since the last BX (or any car) had to go.

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Post by Highhillphil » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:10 pm

The only part causing problems is the cup where the ram seats onto the swinging arm.The clip is out ok,the cup will turn very freely, even by hand.It just wont come out of the swinging arm.
Everything else is disconnected.. Pipes,sphere,clips,gaiter. All parts are swinging about nicely but I cant get the cylinder far enough forward to remove it from the shroud whilst the ram is still in its cup!!!
Must be doing something wrong but I cant fathom out what.
Very little hair left to pull out!!!