Xantia VSX, Changing accumulator Sphere - Hugo {P}
Been told a little while ago by a citroen specialist that the accumulator sphere needs changing on my Xantia VSX, and I want to do it before I sell the car.

I assume this is the one that is supported off the engine block, not the one supported off the inside front engine bay.

Apparently, I have to undo a 12mm bolt to allow the sphere to drain into the resevior before I take it off.

However, after taking off all the air filter housing etc to get to it I find it is impossible to undo. I mean both hands on the "£$!¬$$ thing and twist with all my might (RH thread on the new part). Even this does not shift it!

How are you supposd to get these things off and is the method above correct?

MM - I guess you're the BR authority on this??

Xantia VSX, Changing accumulator Sphere - Hugo {P}
Been looking on the net for an answer to this.

A number of suggestions include a large chain wrench.

The thing is, am I attacking the right sphere? There is one attached to the front of the engine under the air filter housing and the other attached to the inside of the front of the engine bay near the radiator.

HELP PLEASE before I do something stupid.

BTW this site's a good source of info, they have a very good forum for technical issues. I don't know it it's on HJs useful website list or not.


Thanks in advance

Xantia VSX, Changing accumulator Sphere - M.M

I would be attacking this from underneath so undertray off and you should be looking for a sphere mounted to the front of the engine, at the top of the sump and towards the flywheel end. It is on the end of the regulator which is like a toilet roll middle...with lumps and pipes.

With the car properly supported put the suspension onto low then undo the 12mm bleed on the regulator. You should here a whoosh** after half-turn as the pressure bleeds away.

Next unscrew the sphere. The bad news is access is a bit minimal and it will be impossible to remove by hand, likely a strap oil filter wrench will slip or snap, the same is often true of an oil filter chain wrench.

The only 100% tool for this is the proper steel band wrench that clamps a solid band round the sphere. With a 300mm handle it will loosen the tightest sphere without slipping. These are available from various sources including Pleiades the sphere regassing folks (look at their website and the tool is shown).

Some folks use a chisel and lump hammer in desparation, I don't...you might have to!

Once moved a fraction of a turn the thing will unscrew easily. Prepare for some fluid spillage. Fit a new rubber very carefully to the recess in the regulator...not the sphere. Rub a little fluid onto the seal face and screw the new sphere on hand tight.

Start engine, close regulator bleed screw and listen to the pump note change as it all gets up to pressure. Then work suspension up and down a couple of times.

That should be it.

**If you didn't hear a whoosh as the bleed screw was released the bleed valve could be faulty.... prepare to get covered with fluid under pressure as you unscrew the sphere!!

Xantia VSX, Changing accumulator Sphere - Hugo {P}

Many thanks for your guidance.

As luck would have it, I have just done it before I logged on and read your post!

Apart from going in from above and having to remove the air filter housing and associated components to allow me to do this, I did the job pretty much as you described. The car is out on the road at the moment and I like to avoid going underneath as much as I can.

Although I went into Plymouth to get a "boa constrictor" this proved to be completely useless as there was no room to pull on the thing.

So, I used a chisel and hammer! A number of hard taps to push up a big burr on the largest OD, then came the decisive few, that did the job, again, working from above.

I think I lost a few 100 ml of fluid out of the sphere, though I had a litre of the stuff which went in after I finished the job.

The most difficult bit, once I'd actually unscrewed the sphere was getting it past the spagetti junction of fluid pipes! It was like one of those chinese puzzles, you know the thing comes out - but how?

After a few minutes fiddling about it came out to the left level with the thread on the regulator. Then there was the joy of getting the new one in, which took less time.

Removed the old seal and put the new one in place after smering with LHM fluid, I was going to do this whether I liked it or not, my hands were covered in the stuff!

Put new sphere on, hand tight and closed the bleed screw.

Started engine (after closing screw) and worked the suspension, pretty much as you suggested.

Stopped engine and refitted air filter and components.

Started engine and drove car for approx 1/2 mile to test brakes, suspension etc - Absolutely fine.

Just as a double check I pushed each corner of the car down to check the spheres. There was approx 2 to 3" give at each wheel, not including that provided by the tyre. Seemed fine to me.

Again, thanks for your advice MM


"Forever indebted to experience of others"
Xantia VSX, Changing accumulator Sphere - PhilW
Another couple of sites which are very good for Citroen advice, should you need any in the future are



And there is also David Woollard's site


which has an excellent Technical notepad section on sphere removal, air-con problems and ABS fault finding (which may also be useful for other cars though I don't know enough about it to be sure of that)
P.S. Is David Woollard M.M in disguise - they are both from East Anglia and experts on Cits??

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