BX: Thoughts on Hovering

Citroën drivers are a peculiar kind of people. They have the best suspension systems known to man, at least this side of S-class Mercedeses, Rolls Royces and such, and still they are never satisfied with the ride.

That’s not my observation, but something I read in the ACC forums. That doesn’t make it any less true. I do realize that compared to my former Golf GTI, the BX GTI is an extremely comfy car in every respect, including — and particularly — its suspension; still, it does not quite “hover” the way I’d like it to. Or indeed, the way that both my Dad’s former BX 14 RE did and Balsi’s BX 16 Top does. (And yes, of course Balsi isn’t satisfied with his BX’s ride either. Further proof for the observation in the first paragraph.)

Luckily, such problems are easily rectified with Citroëns.

The ride quality of a hydropneumatic suspension depends on many things, but the one that influences it most are the parameters of the suspension spheres. And fortunately, they are all interchangeable. Some radical folks on the ACC forums report of experiments with after-market so-called “comfort spheres”, CX spheres or even home-altered ones, but I’m not quite as brave; I’ll stick to original BX spheres.

They too come in a variety of flavours, generally becoming stiffer with increasing horsepower and more recent model year. And seeing that my ‘92 GTI is both quite powerful and quite recent as BXes go, I should see a significant change from a swap to spheres specified for an earlier and less powerful one. (More information on this than you’ll ever need, including a list of spheres used in the various BX models, is available on this site from Hungary.)

And, luckily (again), you can even get those in exchange for the GTI’s (from www.federkugel.de). Gonna cost me less than 130 Euros, plus installation. Sounds reasonable to me, especially considering what new shock absorbers for the Golf used to cost. Installation is easier, and hence cheaper, on the BX as well.

No, I haven’t ordered them yet (finances don’t allow such escapades at the moment, especially as the car has just revealed that it has a brake pad wear warning light; unfortunately by lighting it up, meaning I need to have the brake pads replaced first). But it’s definitely high on the agenda.

After all, if I can’t fly, at least I want to hover!