A non-sinking feeling...

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northernchap
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by northernchap » Wed May 11, 2016 5:55 pm

The fluid definitely smells bad, sort of fishy and sort of burned. Definitely not right. In case anyone thinks I'm insane, here's photographic evidence! :)

Image

And here is the aforementioned dubious pipework which leaks everywhere:

Image

It's unlikely that Malcolm filled up the car with anything other than the proper stuff, so I guess the trader or his mechanic stuck something in there that they had lying around perhaps - I do wonder if it might have been old hydraulic fluid because I think that had a fishy smell. Whatever it is, it needs to come out! I've booked it in with Ray at C&C in Bradford but he can't take it for two weeks as he's booked up. Of course, this would happen at the time when I have no other usable vehicles... sigh. You'd think owning four would be enough but no!
1992 BX17 TZD Turbo Diesel Estate [Red]
1988 Fiat Panda 4x4 [NATO green]
1991 Peugeot 309 GLD [Champagne beige]
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Tinkley
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by Tinkley » Wed May 11, 2016 7:56 pm

Real Salad Cream..... :wink:

Never ever seen that in the LHM reservoir. Mixed water and engine oil, ie breather, rocker cover etc etc yes. Some idiot has put water in that system, probably thinking it is a header tank for the cooling system. Nothing a complete flush and clean can't sort but what a pain. It's in the brake system, suspension, PAS all of which will need bleeding/flushing. In fact it will probbaly take a couple of flushes to get it clean, but I've not had to deal with this particular problem before. Normally the old LHM goes a piss yellow colour with age and use but never mayonnaise.. :wink:

Maybe it might make a 70s' classic prawn cocktail....

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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by rutter123 » Thu May 12, 2016 10:45 am

As /\ says looks like a water mix to me, that would certainly give a fishy odour. Would Hydraflush expel all traces of water ? Looks like you have quite a big job on your hands maybe so much as stripping off certain components to eradicate any traces of non welcome fluids. Hopefully a system flush or two will do the job, i would certainly recommend stripping down brake calipers and giving them a thorough clean/service as a system flush wont get down this far and access to an airline would be beneficial. Certainly looks as tho this is the cause of your problems, all the best with that lot. Hopefully it hasn't caused any internal damage to any of the hydraulic system-i wouldn't have thought so IF it is water. It may be a case of flushing the system through whilst its under pressure with the bleed valves open to get a constant flow of fresh lhm pushing through.
Would be interesting to see the old fluid to see if it does separate after being stood for some time.
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by Defender110 » Thu May 12, 2016 11:29 am

northernchap wrote:And here is the aforementioned dubious pipework which leaks everywhere:

Image

!
As Tinkerley has said I would say that LHM has definitely curdled with water, in reference to the pipework that will never work as the return isn't getting chance to flow into the tank it is skipping straight across the 'T' which is why it is normally a 'Y' section and not a 'T'. I would just slice of the nipple on the cap and push the small return straight into the cap/tank. They work fine this way without the other part of the pipe which just goes into the wing as a breather. i.e chuck the 'T' piece and thick black pipe in the bin.
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by Way2go » Thu May 12, 2016 12:34 pm

It's a bit drastic to cut the nipple off the cap, just connect the plastic hose using a stub of fuel hose . The caps are usually loose enough to allow breathing by themselves.
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by Way2go » Thu May 12, 2016 12:45 pm

Apart from the incorrect use of that T , the use of larger than standard bore pipe on the other side of the T guarantees a path of least resistance to the leak-off flow into the wing.
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by Defender110 » Thu May 12, 2016 1:07 pm

Way2go wrote:Apart from the incorrect use of that T , the use of larger than standard bore pipe on the other side of the T guarantees a path of least resistance to the leak-off flow into the wing.
Not at all, the ID is no different just thicker side wall.
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by Defender110 » Thu May 12, 2016 1:13 pm

Way2go wrote:It's a bit drastic to cut the nipple off the cap, just connect the plastic hose using a stub of fuel hose . The caps are usually loose enough to allow breathing by themselves.
The nipples tend to snap off so slicing them off eliminates this problem and connecting with a stub of hose just creates another possible leaking point, but you are quite right the tanks breath easily enough through the cap without the need for a separate breather in the wing.
Kevan
1987 Citroen BX MK1 diesel estate.(Currently in dry storage)
1997 Mercedes C230 W202 - daily driver.
2010 BMW X1 SE 2.0D Auto - Her indoors daily driver.
2003 Land Rover Discovery Series 2 Facelift TD5 - Daily driver / hobby days and camping.
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by Tinkley » Thu May 12, 2016 5:35 pm

One thought just struck me, and it's not a welcome one. Has anyone ever mixed LHM with Dot 4 Brake Fluid? Does that 'cream'? I hope to hell it does not and the OP simply has water which is my best guess. However it suddenly crossed my mind that someone who could add water to the system could also add another type of fluid as well. I don't mean water and Dot 4, but if they are daft enough to not know the absolute basics of a hydropneumatic Citroen - who knows.... :wink: Trouble is Dot 4 is not far off the colour of LHM.... :wink: especially old LHM!, and of course it's hygroscopic.

If it is Dot 4 then ALL seals and every joint seal would require replacement, I suspect. Hope it is just water/lhm mix. I think I'd echo rutter on ensuring the brake calipers are semi stripped and cleaned. Most of the rest should flush, if done twice, and the replacement clean LHM changed somewhat early say 5k instead of 36k miles.

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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by northernchap » Thu May 12, 2016 8:40 pm

Defender110 wrote: As Tinkerley has said I would say that LHM has definitely curdled with water, in reference to the pipework that will never work as the return isn't getting chance to flow into the tank it is skipping straight across the 'T' which is why it is normally a 'Y' section and not a 'T'. I would just slice of the nipple on the cap and push the small return straight into the cap/tank. They work fine this way without the other part of the pipe which just goes into the wing as a breather. i.e chuck the 'T' piece and thick black pipe in the bin.
Pretty sure the thick black pipe IS the return - it's the one that all the juice leaks out of when the engine is running, and it disappears off towards the top of the engine bay. It does look like a well looked after car has been bodged quite badly by someone in one fell swoop, but I guess I'll never know.

It's going in to a local specialist to look at, but he can't see it for two weeks and the next problem is that I'm not sure it's drivable at the moment - the front seems to have sunk entirely onto the stops and is rock hard, the back is still right up in the air. Sigh.
1992 BX17 TZD Turbo Diesel Estate [Red]
1988 Fiat Panda 4x4 [NATO green]
1991 Peugeot 309 GLD [Champagne beige]
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by Defender110 » Fri May 13, 2016 11:53 am

northernchap wrote: Pretty sure the thick black pipe IS the return - it's the one that all the juice leaks out of when the engine is running, and it disappears off towards the top of the engine bay.
[/quote]

The return normally comes from the front of the engine bay to the 'Y' piece and the other leg of the 'Y' goes towards the back of the engine bay just disappearing into thin air in the front wing? Where is the thin return coming from on your car?
Kevan
1987 Citroen BX MK1 diesel estate.(Currently in dry storage)
1997 Mercedes C230 W202 - daily driver.
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by rutter123 » Fri May 13, 2016 2:11 pm

I wouldn't drive it anywhere, your garage should be able to arrange recovery for a small fee, worth enquiring. Your systems may not work properly and ultimately brakes/steering could fail.
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ken newbold
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by ken newbold » Fri May 13, 2016 8:59 pm

What exactly is wrong with your car? I seem to have lost the thread here somewhere. I'm in Wakefield just off the A650 if you wanted to bring it over I'll cast an eye over it for free :)
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by northernchap » Sat May 14, 2016 2:15 pm

ken newbold wrote:What exactly is wrong with your car? I seem to have lost the thread here somewhere. I'm in Wakefield just off the A650 if you wanted to bring it over I'll cast an eye over it for free :)
That's very kind of you Ken, thanks! I can't drive it at the moment though. Current state of play is that no matter what the height lever is set to:

Front end is as low as it will go and rock hard.
Back end is right up in the air but has suspension movement.
If the car is run, fluid leaks everywhere from one of the pipes that connects the LHM reservoir cap. This apparently should have a Y piece but is a T.
The fluid in the car looks and smells awful.

So I'm about to go and have a look underneath and see what I can see, properly supported of course. Then I might see if I can empty out the reservoir and clean it up a bit with some petrol. I don't have any Hydraflush and the only place I can see any is on eBay so it might have to wait until in the week before I can top it up again and see if anything improves. I could get LHM locally but it'd be about 50 quid from Halfords etc. as a rush job and I'd probably end up having to ditch it anyway once it's been in a little while as it's currently so manky in there.
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Re: A non-sinking feeling...

Post by Way2go » Sat May 14, 2016 4:11 pm

northernchap wrote:Current state of play is that no matter what the height lever is set to:

Front end is as low as it will go and rock hard.
Back end is right up in the air but has suspension movement.
If the car is run, fluid leaks everywhere from one of the pipes that connects the LHM reservoir cap. This apparently should have a Y piece but is a T.
The fluid in the car looks and smells awful.

So I'm about to go and have a look underneath and see what I can see, properly supported of course. Then I might see if I can empty out the reservoir and clean it up a bit with some petrol. I don't have any Hydraflush and the only place I can see any is on eBay so it might have to wait until in the week before I can top it up again and see if anything improves. I could get LHM locally but it'd be about 50 quid from Halfords etc. as a rush job and I'd probably end up having to ditch it anyway once it's been in a little while as it's currently so manky in there.
Front end can be due to several things but often it is due to "sticky linkage" of the height corrector. Spray the linkage through the offside wheel-arch with 3in1 penetrating spray or similar.

Back end could be linkage but usually this would sink eventually if the car is not run. Could possibly be stuck valves in the HC due to congealed fluid, in which case a strip and rebuild may be necessary (but try the Hydraflush first). Your comment that you have suspension movement only indicates that the sphere diaphagms are good and you have pressurised nitrogen there.

If copious amounts of fluid is leaking from that T then something is very wrong as it should only pass a dribble of fluid every now and again as this is a leak-off return. Check the fluid outputs from the Pressure Regulator (Front of engine) and the Security Valve (low bulkhead, visible through back of n/s wheelarch). IIRC if the security valve has failed then that may be the culprit for peculiar operation of the suspension as its function is to retain braking capability in the event of loss of pressure in the overall hydraulic circuits.

As you describe that fluid is leaking from the black pipe (which shouldn't be as it should be a vent) I suspect your pipework has been bodged and possibly the leak-off from the security valve has been re-routed directly here to the vent side of the Y. Normally the leak-off from the security valve is combined with another leak-off via a T piece above the front sub-frame.
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