Xantia rear suspension struts and more

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RichardW
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Xantia rear suspension struts and more

Post by RichardW » 16 Apr 2013, 21:29

Both Chris Morewood and I have had to do battle with the Xantia rear suspension recently, and have picked up plenty of info and knowledge along the way. Both problems started with corrosion on the rear cylinder causing a leak - In Chris's case spontaneously, in my case as a result of a sphere change. As Xantias age, this is likely to become a more common problem, so this thread is to collate information on the rear suspension.

Threads here:
Chris's trials good pics!
Richard's trials

There are some good references to earlier threads by Newcastle Falcon in Chris's threads, with more (scary!) pictures.

Struts / pipes

Chris's car surprised us by finding that during the period RP 8209 - 8518 on non-hydractive cars struts with different pipe fittings were used. These struts are NFP, as are the pipes. Solution to this if you can't get a replacement, is probably to change the pipes - they come from the anti sink valve and there was no change to the valve in the same time, so should be standard on the other end. Hydractive cars also had a different strut from RP 8057 - no idea what that change is. New struts where available are priced from £90 - £160 and do not appear available aftermarket. Estate and hatch struts are different - estate are larger bore to cope with the higher potential load level.

Rear arm bearings

Xantias seem pretty immune to rear arm bearing failure. Kits are available for the hatch, but not the estate - however, only the seals and bearings are different on the estate, and these can be found at bearing suppliers - Addo posted the number for the bearing in this post. I've not actually done this, but it's pretty standard fare, and covered in Haynes, and elsewhere on the forum no doubt. First, you have to get it apart, and that is where the fun starts!

Getting it apart / the blasted pin!!

The front end of the strut is held onto the trailing arm with a small spring pin / clip. Haynes says "withdraw the pin" ha ha - maybe when it was new, but at >10 years old it is likely to be reluctant to removed from its resting place. There is a hole in the outboard end of the arm which looks tempting to drive the pin out - however, this is unlikely to be successful if the pin is very tight, for 2 reasons:
1. the end of the pin is chamfered, so any attempt to drive it out just results in driving off to the side into the hole
2. access is poor - the arm has a big lug on it, and this obscures direct access to the hole, requires a long thin drift (which just bends), and is further compounded by the subframe restricting access in the other plane.
By all means try with a pin punch, but don't work at it for hours - it will fail (wish I had know that to start with!).
There is limited access to the inboard end of the pin, but it might be possible to make a puller out of an eye bolt hooked into the eye in the pin, and a bar across the subframe to see if it will pull out - you would need to counter hold the bolt to stop it rotating and shearing the pin off - double nuts, mole grips, nut welded on the end etc.

Alternatively, you might be able to cut the end of the pin off, and then drive it out from the inboard end, but access is poor under the floor.

I wouldn't try for more than hour to get the pin out - if it won't come, 'just' remove the arm. This can be done with the push rod still attached, without breaking anything - just. The procedure is detailed in Haynes, but there are some additional thoughts in my thread (as detailed above). You need a 24mm socket and decent breaker bar, and 24mm ring spanner to get the pivot bolt out - once you have undone the brake pipe clamps, there is plenty of room to get the spanner on the nut and it will hold itself against the subframe as you undo the bolt. Rust on the threads makes it arduous - if you've got a windy gun go for that! T55 bit needed for the anti roll bar bolts. You need to undo the bellows clip to free the bellows from the ram, and also push it back off the end of the pushrod so it's floating free, also undo the two clamps on the brake pipe to give more freedom on the pipe. You can then just wiggle the arm enough to free the pushrod from the ram and allow the arm to be removed from the car. Watch out for the brake pipe - it gets in the way and may get damaged in the process.

With the arm out, you will probably then find drifting out the pin from the inboard end is easy(ish). You've still got to remove the pushrod from the arm as well - hammer round it with a cold chisel, and then wiggle it and it will eventually come out - it's only held in by a bit of rust once the pin is out.

Getting the strut back in is not as easy as you think it ought to be - getting the vent pipes back in is a hellish job - small hands and (very) long nosed pliers (might) help. Getting the blasted pin back in is a challenge too - getting the angle and alignment right is tough - best to put something in from the outboard end to hold the pushrod in place.

Jim is working on a repair for the cylinder - more here if he works it out.

c.morewood
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Re: Xantia rear suspension struts and more

Post by c.morewood » 07 Nov 2013, 09:49

Quick update: The Xantia with the non standard cylinders have unions that are standard on the C5, so pipes can easily be made up using the C5 unions. Should you have a corroded rear cylinder follow the procedure in the Dowty Seals Work thread http://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/v ... =3&t=46231" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and they can be repaired for about £12 each cylinder.