Remounting the ADS-valve

Reverse everything when putting it back in the car, in place and with tightened screws:

Leave the covers off, since you should check for leaks first.

Put the car back on the ground, it will be a lowrider:

Then we need to fill up the hydraulic fluid, but first, there is a filter to clean. Remove the return line on the filler cap an then the cap itself on the reservoir, next to the washer reservoir:

The filter itself is quite fragile, not very expensive to buy, I have even repaired a tear with glue once. The filter is made to overflow anyway, so doesn’t matter. Remove the filter from the cap, there is also a magnet inside to collect metal debris. I basically wash everything and let it dry.

Now we hove come to putting the hydraulic fluid back, I let it pass through a coffefilter, you can of course do this to another container first, since it takes some time, strongly recommended. You will probably also need more fluid, so you should have bought a litre:

Fill up the reservoir completely, since the spheres and the valve is empty, it will take some just to fill the system. I usually do like this, put a small hose on the return line down into the reservoir. This is because you will have to top off the level to get it accurate, the level of the reservoir should be half. This way you can also see easy when there is a steady flow from the return line and no air:

You will see the fluid has strange colour, this is because of small air bubbles, they will go away eventually. Now the trick, everyone usually gets frightened when the car doesn’t rise from low rider mode, this is because the pump hasn’t built pressure, you will have to keep the engine at 2000 rpm for a few minutes for the pump to build pressure, during this the level in the reservoir will decrease, remember to top the fluid. Very important not to let the reservoir get empty, this might result in damaged pump when it sucks air.

When the car has the correct level, the level in the reservoir does not drop and there is no air from the return line, remove the small hose and put the filter and lid back on the reservoir. Then go for a ride, check the level and for the coming week, check the level now and then since there might still be air in the system that will be transported to the reservoir when in use.

Taking the ADS-valve apart

There are two large plugs with seals that start to leak, here is one of them and also the two allen screws that keep the valve together, remove them:

Take the two halves apart and you will see the other plug on the opposite side, here is the connection surface taped up:

Other half, also taped up for a Little more cleaning, no work to be done on this one:

Now we need to make tool for removing the plugs, I use a piece of flat iron, drill two holes in it and two trill bits with the correct diameter. Initially I was going to weld them in place and cut them, but it did not turn out so exact as I wanted it, will do that next time. Heat up the plug Before, it is glued or has lock thread, i use a small blow torch or a heat gun. There are no spare parts available for this, so don’t brake anything, a new valve is last time I checked 30 000 SEK:

Here you get the point, the seals I have seen are green, but here it is replaced with a ordinary O-ring for hydraulics:

Assembled again and ready for the car:


The hydrospheres are a thing that seems to last roughly 100 000 km or 10-15 years, you usually replace them when there is something wrong with them.

BUT, these cars has a valve that controls the suspension, depending on market and model also the extra height for going over curbs. Usually when you have a faulty (leaking) suspension it is two seals in theis valve that needs to be replaced.

So, first, all wheels in the air, since I replaced the spheres, there is no pressure in the system, but if you have not replaced the spheres there is a bleed screw on top of the valve to be used for releasing the pressure.

The valve is located on the passenger side:

Behind this cover:

Here it is, this is the european version with the extra height option, I have an american car which don’t have this and is missing one solenoind and a little bit easier to work with:

This valve has two solenoids, one with double functions (the bottom left one), has 3 wires and both pulling and pushing functionality, this is for the extra height control. The one to the right is for maintaining height when engine is off and no pressure in the system, 2 wires and single functionality, without this it would have thee “Citroen symptom” and be a lowrider with engine off.

There is some plumbing, two pipes you see crossing the valve, they have a clamp that has to be removed so it is a bit more flexible, be careful with this screw, they break easily.

Remove the connectors and the front solenoid, it has a clip:

Now, here is the trick to do this, the bottom solenoid, the one with 3 wires can be turned, the way it is located now , there is no way of getting it out without taking more then necessary apart. Unfortunately no picture of this, but you turn the solenoid awayy from the engine so the connector points almost upwards. This way you will be able to just remove 4 Allen screws and get it out. First time I did this I removeed Everything, couplings, pipes, Everything, took me 2 days to get everything back. This way I can probably remove a valve in 1 hour from the car being on the ground and put it back in 30 min.

So, now to have a look on the other side, here is the 4 Allen screws, remove them:

There will be some oilspill, I collect it, filter it and reuse it as much as I can, hydraulic fluid does not “”wear”:

When no more fluid coming out, just remove the valve, a little bit tricky, but it works, also, be careful, there are some O-rings between the valve and the connection housing that will be left in the car. These can be replaced, but they are small and you might need to go to a shop dealing with hydraulics.

The valve is out:

First I remove the O-rings and tape it up so I can give it a good rinse:

A little bit better:

Next time we will take it apart…


Replacing the front hydrospheres

First remove the plastic cover at the front wheels:

Behind it you will have this, here is the hydrosphere already removed, unfortunately no picture before. The Sphere is mounted on a metal bracket which is held in place by three screws with nuts, the screws are welded into the frame of the car. Be very careful when loosing these nuts, oil them i advance, spray them, loosen them a bit, tighten them again, loosen Moore and so on. I have previously broken one or two of these and you basically have to weld new ones in place. Now I took my time and did as above and did not break any, also replaced them with stailess locking nuts and a washer:

New sphere in place, here you can see the nuts mentioned above, I have put some aluminum paste on them:

Usually the couplings are a lot easier on these since they have been behind a protective cover, might help to heat the connectors a little. Then just put the cover back.

Replacing the rear hydrospheres

First, all 4 wheels need to be off the ground, when the hydraulic pressure is lost, the car drops to the ground. First of all this is for safety, but second also because there will be a lot of fluid, if all wheels are off the ground most of the fluid are in the “shocks” and you will not have as much to get into a bucket.

The rear ones a located in the spare wheel compartment, but all connectors are under the car. Start with spraying all the bolts and nuts with some oil or whatever lubricant/rust desolver you have. We will start with the rear ones, passenger side (right) is easy:

Usually you will damage the pipe connectors very much since they are soft, I try first to loosen them, if not easy I make a cut with a Dremel over the thread of the sphere to make the thread “larger”. The spheres are never going to be used anyway. Trust me, you will otherwise damage the pipes.

Then there is the bleeding, while you wait for it to stop, losen the Three nuts that holds the sphere in place. Then you can start removing the rear silencer, getting access to the rear drivers side (left) without doing this is possible, but I wouldn’t do it.

Here is the left one with the cut I made to be able to remove the connector without causing to much damage:

Once all the nuts are gone, get the spare wheel out and you can easily remove the spheres:

New spheres in place:

And everything mounted, I sprayed it with some bodyspray just to make the connector easy to remove next time:

Final touches…

It is time for the car to return to it’s owner, at least for the summer. Had some final things to do:

Removed all the crap that was on the rear:

I like it clean, sleeper style:

Cleaning and washing:

Just as I finished there was a halestorm:

Time to go, I will drive it to Stockholm, 500 km:

ADS and Spheres

There are 4 hydrogen spheres that is the actual suspension. Basically the suspension consists of 4 spheres, 4 hydraulic cylinders, some valves and some solenoids.

The Spheres seem to have a lifespan of roughly 100 000 km, they are not fixable, you replace them. It is a sphere with a membrane in, on one side hydraulic fluid, on the other hydrogen, this is the shock absorber. When it fails, the membrane is broken, the sphere fills with hydraulic fluid and the suspension is not stiff, it is rock hard.

If fluidlevel drops in the reservoir (next to the washer reservoir) there is either a leak in the system och one or more spheres gone bad:

If the reservoir is empty, do not turn the engine on, this might damage the hydraulic pump as it will get air sucked into it and not fluid.

There is absolutely no danger of running a car with broken spheres as long as there is enough fluid in the system, although, the car is almost not drivable, it will bounce horribly.

Some new and old spheres:

I bought these:


Before the owner gets it back it needs a full service:

This is what I will use for the service:

New and old filter for the inside air:

Filter in place:

Replacing the oil in the rear axle, one allen plug on each side, one for draining and one for filling:

1,5 litre new oil:

Changing the oil and filter for the transmission, dad getting the oil out:

The oil also need to be drained from the torque converter, there is a plug reachable from this hole:

But first you need to turn it so it will be visible, large screwdriver and start turning:

Remove the oilpan and there is the filter:

Replace the filter, check to see if the gasket is ok, it usually is since it is quite a large rubber one, then put the oilpan back, the plugs with new copper O-rings and start pouring 7,7 litre of oil through a small funnel:

You need to start the car now and then to get the oil in all “gears” for the transmission, I usually try to get 7 litres in it, drive it a Little, check the level and top it off to the correct amount.

New fuelfilter in place, located in from of right rear Wheel under a large plastic cover:

New oil and filter for the engine, remove the plug and empty the engine:

In this case we are removing the oilpan to replace the gasket since there is a small leak, there is a small strainer that I usually check if the oilpan is off:

The oilfilter is located under the left airfilterbox:

Replace the filter, new gasked on the oilpan, put it back and the oilplug with new copper O-ring, start pouring about 10l of oil into the Engine. I also replaced the O-ring for the dipstick, these tend to get very hard over the years and the dipstick will not seal so well:

Topped the steering fluid:

Replace the airfilters:

Replaced the stering damper, these usually have nothing left in them:


Everything worked as it should, unfortunately the first top down drive also resulted in this years first carwash:

Hot water pressure washer later:

And back inside for a last check to see if there are any oil leaks: