Citroen DS rebuilt rear spheres

Earlier this year, I had the suspension spheres on my 1970 Citroen DS checked for pressure. The ride had become pretty terrible, so it was obvious there was a problem. We were able to successfully regas the fronts, but one of the rears was completely dead. It was time for some rebuilt rear spheres.

My mechanic sent them away to Pleiadies in Queensland. They were able to fully rebuild my rear spheres including new diaphragms, and repaint them to the factory colour and pattern. When they arrived back they looked almost too good to put on the car!

A bit […]

Citroen DS sphere regassing

The Citroen DS is known for the quality of its ride. The books use epithets such as ‘Magic carpet ride’. There is a bit of puffery in that statement, but the sentiment is right – the ride is normally very good. Recently my DS has become the worst riding car that I own. Something was clearly wrong.

The biggest impact on ride quality is the state of the suspension spheres. There are four suspension spheres, one for each wheel. In addition to the suspension spheres, a D will have at least one accumulator sphere. These store pressure for various reasons, […]

Citroen DS air cleaner bracket

A couple of weeks ago, while a friend of mine was over helping me install a rebuilt hydraulic pump, we noticed the rattle from my engine was coming from the air cleaner. On further inspection, I found the bracket was broken. I was luckily able to get a good used one. A friend had one on hand. It had some rubber grommets that were obviously missing from my previous bracket. it also looks very slightly different, so I guess the Citroen DS air cleaner bracket was changed during production.

The ‘new’ one on the left looks a bit sturdier […]

Citroen DS Hydraulic Pump

The Citroen DS hydraulic pump is integral to many key systems on the car. Suspension, brakes, steering, gearchange to name a few. All of these system rely on hydraulic pressure to do their job. Other than early ID models, the DS uses a seven plunger pump and then a pressure regulator to ensure the right hydraulic pressures are maintained.

The pump on my car had been leaking more and more over the last year or so. This is not ideal not just from a mess point of view, but can cause a safety issue. The DS has inboard front brakes, […]

Citroen DS Battery

I’ve known the battery was going out on my Citroen DS for a while. I had to start it on the jump pack after only a few weeks of inactivity, and my Ctek charger started to indicate it could not hold a charge. The existing Citroen DS battery had served me well for about 6 years. I like to get the biggest battery I can possibly fit in the space allocated. They last longer, and work better especially on a car like the DS which can be a slow starter with its mechanical fuel pump. The current battery didn’t take […]

Citroen DS Instrument cluster repair

Earlier in the week I had identified the lack of instrument cluster lighting was due to a crack in the instrument cluster circuit board. The crack was causing an intermittent broken circuit. I wasn’t able to find much on the internet about Citroen DS Instrument cluster repair. Looking at the board it looked like a very simple design. That gave me the confidence to come up with my own solution.

The easiest course of action would have been to solder a wire in place. I didn’t go with that approach as there is no soldering used on this circuit board […]

Citroen DS Instrument Cluster Lighting

Recently during a night drive I discovered my Citroen DS instrument cluster lighting had failed. In Sydney, where I live, this is a huge problem as the city is bristling with speed cameras. So many that I could lose my entire licence in about 10 minutes driving near my house doing only 10 km/h over the speed limit. I regularly drive at night, so I needed to find a solution.

My first assumption was the rheostat had failed. The rheostat is the dimmer that lets the driver control the brightness of the instrument cluster lights. Over time, these can develop […]

Citroen DS sphere pressure check

Today I attended a Citroen Car club tech day. Since most Citroens are equipped with hydropneumatic suspension, the club has equipment to pressure test spheres. It has been five years since I tested my spheres, so they were well overdue. The sphere pressure check equipment consists of a hand pump and pressure gauge. The club is also equipped with re-gassing facilities, although those were not available today for the rebuildable spheres in my DS21.

The tech day did have a hoist available, but my preference is to remove the spheres at home first. As with last time I removed them, […]

Citroen DS electric cooling fan

The Citroen DS cooling system is somewhat unique in that it relies almost exclusively on pulling air through ducting to cool the radiator. Most cars have a grille where the faster the car moves, the more air is pushed over the radiator. On modern cars this is the grille below the bumper. It is only at idle they only rely on pulling air through the radiator. The Citroen DS has a large plastic fan attached to the camshaft pulley. That fan sits behind the radiator and then pulls air through based on engine speed. The DS21ie and all DS 23 […]

Citroen DS Window rubbers and felts

After my Citroen DS was painted, there were a couple of cosmetic things wrong with the car that were far more noticeable. One of them was the DS window rubbers and felts. The previous owner had used generic units, and they didn’t fit all that well. Proper reproduction units are available, which are the right size and use the standard mounting points.

I didn’t get a chance to take before and and after photos, but the new DS window rubbers and felts look much better.

As well as the proper window rubbers and felts, the correct mounting hardware is […]