Citroën DS23ie on wedding duty
I was driving the Citroën DS23ie down to the Dordogne to provide our wedding car service at a most beautiful event when to my horror the oil pressure warning light came on some 40km into a round trip of 500km when slowing for a roundabout. It went out when the revs rose above 1400rpm and I had no alternative but to press on, as it was out of the question to abandon the trip and leave the bride and groom without the car. Thanks to robust Gallic engineering the DS got the bride and groom to the church on time, in style and in comfort.
An oil and filter change using 20/50 oil – a more viscous oil preferred by older engines – didn’t resolve the problem. I see the oil pressure on the Jaguar MK2 fall as the oil gets hot but with no oil pressure gauge on the Citroën DS it was impossible to see how bad the problem was. Removing the banjo bolt that leads oil into the cylinder head confirmed that oil was getting up there OK, but at what pressure? My efforts to get an external gauge connected to the oil sender housing were in vain – there’s just not enough room to get my fat fingers into the thread. A ‘phone call to the previous owner revealed that the oil pump was not replaced when the engine was rebuilt about 8oookm ago. I decided that a replacement oil pump was most likely to resolve the problem. I collected this from Darrin Brownhill at Citroën Classics in Staines on a return trip to the UK.
The DS was laid up in the barn over winter, awaiting the renovation of the barn into the fully fitted garage/workshop that it now is. Work therefore didn’t start until August this year.
As the sump sits on top of a chassis cross member it’s necessary to remove the engine to get at the oil pump. This is not so easy, especially since the DS is fuel injected, so that there are more electrical connectors to remove and keep track of.
The oil pump was found to have extensive wear, so much so that the oil pressure warning light probably indicated that oil pressure was almost non-existant.
With the engine now refitted and running, all oil pressure problems have been resolved ….. I’d forgotten just what a luxurious, comfortable car this DS23ie is and I’ve spent many a happy hour just driving it around in the sunshine.
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