Xantia inner track rod joint (NS)

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Xantia inner track rod joint (NS)

Post by RichardW »

Looking at the Xantia this afternoon, and there is a fair amount of play in the inner joint on the NS track rod. That will explain some of the knocking, wander, and tyre wear then! I guess replacement is a case of peel the boot back (or as this is NS does the boot need to come back over the ram stud?), unscrew the old rod, screw in the new one, away we go. But I recall that a) the rod is tight b) there's nothing to get hold of c) it's loctited in. Sounds like a whole heap of joy then :roll: Do the dealers have a special spanner, or do they just use stilsons like the rest of us?

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Re: Xantia inner track rod joint (NS)

Post by CitroJim »

RichardW wrote: Sounds like a whole heap of joy then :roll:
That sums it up nicely Richard :twisted:

yes, I guess there is a special tool as the back of the balljoint has castellations on it to accept a tool of unknown pattern. I would imagine something like a "C" spanner.

Stilsons should do the job a treat and in the past, on an experimental rack off the vehicle, I've managed with a very good pair of locking pliers (Bahco ones).

I'd be tempted to Stillson off the old joint and then use it as a patter to make up a "C" spanner to tighten the new one as you really don't want to grip the new balljoint with anything that might distort it. On the old one it does not matter so much.

For the life of me I can't recall if the PAS ram peg will need to come out of the way now. For sure the ram will need to be moved out of the way though.

I can check over the weekend on my practice ram if you want to be sure...

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Post by RichardW »

Cheers Jim - I am struggling to visualise the arrangement, but having looked at service.citroen and a few (poor!) rack pictures on ebay i don't think the gaiter or ram will need to be disturbed. The rods are not handed, so it must screw into a chunk of the rack to which the ram stud is fixed, then the gaiter is beyond that. It looks from the end like there is a gaiter over it, but I think this may just be the joint. A close up pic or two from a spare rack would help if you get a chance! New rod is only £20 from GSF so it's not the end of the world - I may just take it along for an MOT and get them to suffer the pain whilst they do it - they changed a front wheel bearing on the Picasso last week, and only charged 1.5 hours labour, and that included changing the ABS sensor that threw in the towel in the process!

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Post by CitroJim »

Richard, it's not such a bad job :D

Do all the usual and then put on full lock. You don't need to remove the steering ram but it will suffer a little torsional rotation during this process so a loosen of the ram nut and T55 Torx might not be a bad idea. Else, prop up the ram spigot under the ram eye so that it cannot rotate and gives a firm reaction to work against when undoing the balljoint.

First job is to peel back the balljoint rubber cap. It's a tight fit over the balljoint itself and needs to be carefully levered off all around it's lip as shown in the picture below. With care it can be reused.

Image

With the balljoint exposed, use a good quality pair of grips or small Stillsons and unscrew. It's tight and the tool you use will need thin jaws. the BAHCO ratchet grips I use do the job a treat as they can be made to grip very hard.

Image

Unscrew and replace. Reassembly as a reversal etc. etc. I would recommend gently dressing any marks left by the grips after fully tightening the new joint.

Note that there are castellations on the end of the joint but there's no way to gain access to them!

Image

One thing I noted on this rack was that the joint was very dry of grease. I'd suggest filling it with Moly grease before slipping the gaiter back on.

Hope that's a help...

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Post by davewithington »

A handy posting - I'll be changing the RH one next weekend!

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Post by CitroJim »

The technique for the RH (Driver's side) is much the same Dave, the only major difference is there's less space and the whole gaiter has to come off.

Usually the RH gaiter will be found to be fragile and is best replaced. By far the most difficult job is getting the new gaiter back on...

Space is at a premium and it's a bit like trying to wrestle an oily eel :twisted: :lol:

Use some of Malcolm's PERCYWHATSIT and it'll pop on eventually!

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Post by RichardW »

Jim you are a gent! I was under the Picasso today chasing an exhaust leak - he rack looks very similar, and I figured out there was an additional gaiter - I couldn't see it on service.citroen originally, but it's there as 'steering protector' at <£7 so not that bad if it is goosed. Best get the joint ordered up then....! Oh and some decent adjustable pliers - mine are old and cheap! I have a pair of 12" stilons, but don't know if I will get them in.

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Post by davewithington »

Had the car on the lift last week to have a look at the "clonk" I'd got, and it didn't look too bad a job (I cut my teeth on front drive BMC cars)

See how we go, I'll be doing it on a lift anyhow. Good to have friends who have high places!

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Post by RichardW »

I've just thought of a Haynes tag line for Jim's pictures...."Car removed for clarity" :lol:

Probably have a try later and see if I can slacken the joint - otherwise need to invest in a pair of pliers like Jim's - they look good!!

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Post by CitroJim »

RichardW wrote:I've just thought of a Haynes tag line for Jim's pictures...."Car removed for clarity" :lol:
:lol: :lol:

The tool is a BAHCO 8224

They're not cheap at nearly £25 but good valve all the same. I'd be lost without mine.

I got mine from Bodge & Quit (B&Q), a mob not normally noted for the extreme quality of their hand tools. This was an exception though and I've consistently abused mine - always a good test of a tool!

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Post by RichardW »

I had a look this afternoon - only on the floor with the steering on lock. The position of the joint is more or less above the subframe so access is pretty limited - looks like it needs a cranked pair of grips to get on it! If the joint gives more than a bit of resistance, then I think the wishbone will need to come out to get a better run at the joint :roll: Only other option is that it is possible to get it with the steering on the other lock - but I am not hopeful about that. Hmmm. Wishbone bushes are pretty shot anyway! I rather suspect it may be one of those jobs where you can fight it for an hour with the wishbone in, or spend half hour dropping the wishbone out and make life easy!

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Post by RichardW »

Hmm had a go at it today. Couldn't even get near getting the boot off with the wishbone in, let alone getting on the joint. Neither I nor my Dad (who's house I am at) had an 18mm socket to hand, and after about half an hour fighting with the front wishbone bolt, I gave up and put it all back together :cry: Might have another go next weekend - think I have an 18 lying about somewhere, but what's the trick to getting the wishbone out? Many cars have come back from having new wishbones with the front height screwed up which suggests that the ARB is in the way, and gets levered out of the way, resulting in broken height corrector....

On the plus side, I did split the bottom ball joint, and that is OK :wink:

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Post by RichardW »

I want one of these!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAmv1vHoi4s

Still think the wishbone will have to come out to get access to the gaiter to get it off - I was unable to get a run at it with the arm in to get enough leverage to pop it off. Maybe there's 'more' room underneath with it on the other lock to the get the gaiter off.

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Post by rory_perrett »

I suspect I will have to do one or both of mine in the very near future. Last time (on a previous Xantia) I have to confess (to my shame) that I just couldn't grip and shift the nearside joint with the tools I had available (mole grips etc) and ended up taking it to the garage. They only charged £40 labour including redoing the tracking which seemed reasonable. As I suspect I possibly have 2 to do that will probably be nearer £80 I'm wondering if one of these will do the trick? http://lasertools.info/item.aspx?cat=778&item=1107

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Post by RichardW »

Edit: Dur....I was thinking of a different Laser tool! :roll: I measured the new joint this morning - it's about 32-35mm so within the stated range of that tool. Now, whether there's room to get the tool in is another matter!

I don't think that Laser tool will do for a Xantia - the tools rely on a plate slipped over the back of the joint to engage in a hex, which is then engaged in lugs in the end of the tube. Unfortunately the Xantia one has castellations (see Jim's third pic) and they are hidden in the ram bush so you can't get to them :x The tool in the video I posted would do it - but I think on the near side, you would still have to remove the wishbone just to get the gaiter off :roll: