"Optimal" Spheres

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"Optimal" Spheres

Post by DLM »

Saw a new name on the list of aftermarket manufacturers when when looking up a BX sphere part number - OPTIMAL

Don't think I'll be buying but does anyone know anything about them other than that they are a German autoparts company?

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Re: "Optimal" Spheres

Post by Kitch »

Optimal made some OEM parts, IIRC (or at least are now part of Rueville (sp), who did).

Generally quite good parts, but I suspect it'll be badge-engineering when it comes to spheres. Monroe, for example, list them too.

With spheres, only brand thing I've learned so far is avoid Lizarte. With everything else and the current availability, it's a case of just taking your chances.
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Re: "Optimal" Spheres

Post by DLM »

Kitch wrote:
Wed Mar 30, 2022 11:10 am
Optimal made some OEM parts, IIRC (or at least are now part of Rueville (sp), who did).

Generally quite good parts, but I suspect it'll be badge-engineering when it comes to spheres. Monroe, for example, list them too.

With spheres, only brand thing I've learned so far is avoid Lizarte. With everything else and the current availability, it's a case of just taking your chances.
Thanks for the info - I traced the name back to Germany, then saw another party involved. I'm tempted to go a Pleiades reconditioned route when I have cash to hand. As ever, each BX owner seems to have their own opinions, though it's certainly a very different world in terms of sphere supply since I last owned BXs.

Used to put on GSF's Amtex on a "use and discard" basis and didn't have any horror stories with them, but any odds and ends GSF still have in stock will now have a pretty long date on them.

What was your bad experience with Lizarte? There seem to be some kicking around on some supplier's shelves still.

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Re: "Optimal" Spheres

Post by rutter123 »

I've done the same with the Amtec from GSF seems s shame just to bin the old ones tho.
I'd certainly go with a renound supplier such as Plaeides now as there is a lot of rubbish out there that's prob been sitting around for a long time and lost some-if not all of its original pressure.
Think AEP in Glasgow can still supply.
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Re: "Optimal" Spheres

Post by Jaba »

Talking to Westroen a while back they said that a charged sphere on the shelf does not lose pressure because it is using them that forces the nitrogen charge to diminish. New spheres are therefore OK to use with confidence even if they are quite a few years past their manufacture date.
I have never really tested this but it sounds reasonable to me.
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Re: "Optimal" Spheres

Post by xantia_v6 »

I fitted a pair of NOS Citroen spheres (which were at least 10 years old when I got them). The pressure was only a couple of bar down from spec, but within a few months both had ruptured their diaphragms.

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Re: "Optimal" Spheres

Post by DLM »

Thanks for all comments.

I did come across a post going back a way on the French Car Forum. It was essentially from a Pleiades man, and gave views on sphere life and their suitability for recharge.

It suggested that all spheres do lose pressure even on the shelf (though at a considerably reduced rate). There was a discussion of aftermarket sphere, though the only brand I can recall mentioned by name was Amtex - which were said to lose pressure more rapidly.

The suggestion was that Citroen-branded spheres maintained pressure best - in part due to materials used (including thickness of diaphragm) and also in part due to a superior design (e.g. elimination of features that could "spike" a diaphragm as the gas pressure reduced).