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Identifying Correct front Damper/Shock Absorber


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Hello, I own a 2006 C3 1.6SX Auto  vin - VF7FCNFUF 28619249.

I need front dampers but have been having trouble finding a supplier and have been given incorrect dampers 4 times now. The ones supplied have stepped down diameter in the lower section that is too small for the stub axle mating. The ones on the car are parallel at the base i.e. the same diameter. Parts suppliers have either told me they do not know why the ones supplied are wrong or they say they cannot supply the correct part. I've been told the correct part numbers are - 

Citroen  5202VP  right and 5202VN left

Monroe G8147 right and G8148 left

So has anyone had the same problem and does anyone know a supplier who can supply the correct part.

Or if the part numbers are wrong anyone know the correct numbers please.

Thanks in anticipation of any help.

Tim

 

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Thanks for the reply. No I haven't tried Citron direct, I imagine they would come at a high price and I do not see why Factors cannot supply, there are plenty C3's on the road, can't be the first to need dampers. But nothing to lose by trying I suppose. Ta. Tim

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I had a look at some parts diagrams and for the C3 II model, 1.6 hdi or petrol AL4 auto the front strut part numbers changed on car RPO 10800 which is equivalent to manufacturing date 4/6/2006.  There are quite a few different part numbers for the various models/engines but oddly they use a common part if 2 are bought together with part number E270601 which suggests all the various ones are the same externally. I tried your VIN in the parts diagrams I have but it could not be found, I have this problem sometimes so maybe you would need to check at a Citroen dealer for any part numbers.

The part numbers I found were, before RPO 10800, front left is 5202VN then from RPO 10801 is 5202YH. Front right 5202VP then becomes 5202YJ. 16 inch tyres are different numbers. Looking at pictures of these in a search and they all look to be the same at the bottom with a narrower section.

Citroen parts are not always too expensive, I had to replace the front struts on a 2015 C4 and from the Citroen dealer they were no more expensive than pattern parts. In 2019 they cost £136 for 2 at the dealer.

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Thanks. I bought the car from new before 4/6/2006, April 2006 I think, so safe to assume it was made before that date. This also means that the before part numbers are the same as the ones I have been given.  It does have 16" alloys so does this mean a different damper part number because of that?

All the ones supplied have had smaller diameter bottoms that are much too small for the stub axle. Even suppliers who came up with the same part numbers couldn't explain this. They have all said their data says they are the correct part. GSF a big Factors just said they couldn't get the part.

I will now go find a Citroen Parts Dept and see where that takes me.

If anyone has changed front dampers on a like model please let me know if they had a problem or noticed the bottom diameter reduction or parallel feature.

Thanks. Tim

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I had another look at the parts diagrams. For 16 inch wheels the front struts come back as 5202TW for left and 5202TX for right if it is a MA pilot auto up to RPO 10800. For the 1.6 AL4 auto up to RPO 10800 the swivel has a different part number to all the other models but I do not know what is different. In the suspension description the 1.6 and the AL4 strut has less travel than others and the pivot has a larger diameter but I am not sure where this dimension is measured. Hopefully a Citroen parts dept. will be able to sort it using your VIN since it is not straight forward for your car as you have found.

If you do not know your RPO, this can be found on the door pillar tyre pressure sticker and should be noted on the Maintenance and Warranty book.

Having previously bought pattern parts that do not fit I usually get them from a Citroen dealer, accepting they may cost more but will be the correct part. Something like a timing belt I would not go anywhere else since the Citroen replacement is 10 years or a mileage but a pattern part may well be different. I've had brake pads that did not stop as well, an exhaust that was noisy, rear lights that did not fit. I have found that places like eurocarparts seem to price their pattern parts a bit below Citroen but the quality may not be the same. The C3 lights were a good example - they did not fit, cost the same as ones from Citroen which I then had to get and the Citroen ones included the bulb holder. The pattern exhaust was a third of the dealer price but it resonated at the normal driving rpm spoiling the car.

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I've ordered some today from my nearest Citroen Dealership. They used the registration number to identify them and came up with the same part nos I had already. I was told the Citroen originals are not longer available but they supply a pattern part that has Citroen blessing.  They said they have to come from France so 7 - 10 days wait, not a problem and no need to pay in advance either. That's good because if they are not correct then I can just say try again. Decent price at £66 inc VAT. each.

What you say about 16" wheels and pivot having different numbers is interesting because the car has a terrible turning circle so maybe this model has different geometry. Maybe to stop the wider tyres fouling onto something when wheels turned.

I will look for the PRO number and put on here out of interest. I am not totally sure which gearbox is fitted because in the past I have found the drain level plug is different to any data I can find. Instead of the two piece drain/level plug mine has just a straightforward drain plug. This makes it difficult to know if the correct amount of ATF has gone in after draining. I have a small ATF leak from the n/s drive shaft to final drive seal, which I have not been able to cure even with seal changes. (pig of a job as you cannot see what you are doing as the seal is recessed in the housing and your hand covers any view). I am intending to do it again and have made a seal dolly out of relevant size plastic pipes and was going to combine doing the dampers at the same time.

All good fun and I expect I will be posting back on this again. 

Having owned the car from new, it is still on it's original exhaust system, first set of pads all round did 50K, tyres 50K also, so a good gauge of Citroen original parts quality.

Thanks. Tim

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In my family we've had/have 9 Citroens all with a manual gearbox and none of them had a gearbox oil level plug. If oil is lost you have to drain it all out and then add the correct amount. The oil level service check is simply a look for any leaks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Latest twist. Having not heard from Citroen Dealership, they said they would phone, I called them to see what is happening. I'm told they only have one damper delivered from France  and do not know when the other might arrive. It is still on order and promised just don't know when. I said I would go to see the one that arrived to see if it is the correct part. Will do that when time allows, not confident.

So am I the first owner who has had a need for front dampers on my model C3, I think not, so has anyone out there successfully found a supplier for the correct front dampers?

I'll be posting on this again no doubt.

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Occasionally parts from Citroen are on back order so have to come from France, I've had this a few times but not had to wait more than about 1 week. Definitely have a look at the damper already sourced by the dealer, just in case it turns out wrong again.

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Went to the dealership today. The damper that has arrived is not correct, same tapered lower profile and they do not know when the other might arrive, none shown here or in France. Mad. Their only suggestion was to wait for the other to see if it was correct, unlikely.

So have I got a rogue C3 with one off suspension, very unlikely. I will phone the guy in Hayes who was in the central parts depot but not holding my breath.

Has no one on here never heard of this before?

MOT due soon so I'm going to have to go and blag them into recording it as a advise fault, again, same as last year, good job I have a good relationship with them.

Happy to hear from anyone who knows how to find the correct dampers and I'll post again on this no doubt.

 

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This all seems rather odd. I had a look in the Haynes manual for the C3 and whilst it does not show the end of the strut it says when refitting to push it into the hub carrier to the end of the strut shoulder. I also have the French Review Technique manual for the C3 and the drawings of the end of the strut show a shoulder. 

I do not know if you have removed a strut yet but the procedure in the Haynes manual says to remove far more than is needed. I had to remove one on our 2003 C3 around 13 years ago and managed by compressing the spring and forcing the strut out of the hub carrier without having to disconnect the carrier/any ball joints/the drive shaft/removing the brake caliper/etc as required by Haynes. Parts fastened to the strut needed removing and at the time I made the following notes:

Strut removal:

- Compress coil spring, use WD40 in the strut base

- use a chisel to try to open the slot in the hub carrier part that grips the base of the strut

- use a trolley jack and lever under the strut and hammer the hub carrier to free it off the strut

- use a 2 leg puller to push the strut out of the hub carrier

- Refit the greased strut back in the hub carrier before fitting the top nut so it can waggle about in the top hole.

- I used a spark plug socket with a ring spanner on the outside of the socket to undo/tighten the top nut and with a 7 mm allen key in the end of the strut.

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Hi Paul,

Yes I have had the strut off twice to try and fit a replacement damper. First time, a while ago was when I bought the replacement then found the size difference problem, put the original back on because I did not have time to wait for the Factors to find a replacement part. I've used the car with the dampers weeping for a few years pressure washing to get through MOT. Yes I know that's naughty.

Recently with the drive shaft ATF leak I decided to get a pair of dampers and do all the jobs. That started me buying dampers and finding no supplier could find the right part. All found the same part number but when delivered wrong bottom diameter. I did take one strut off to try fitting one of the replacements in case it was me doing something wrong. Not the case. The stub axle hole is too large for the reduced dia of the replacements. The strut has a locating 'wedge' that slots into the back of the stub axle to ensure it is in the right place and depth, but there is no way the stub will grip the smaller dia damper. it's like a 'dick in a top hat'.

The problem is, for some reason, the dampers on my car have a larger dia than those being supplied against the part number and now Citroen have no answers. But I will phone the guy from their Hayes central parts depot.

Watch this space.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got a message that the ordered dampers were ready for collection from my nearest dealership. I phoned the guy who originally ordered them and told him that I has seen one and it has the same problem, so no point my going to collect them. He told me he is at the Citroen parts warehouse in Hayes not the dealership so I cannot go there to see any dampers.

So he looked again on his database and after a bit of going round in circles and finding the same part numbers again, he said he would take the filter off?? he then found a different part number that he said was for a later model of my series C3. So I said order them and we will see if they are correct, he said he has ordered so waiting now.

Part numbers of repeated wrong dampers - 5202VP right, 5202VN left.

New part numbers - 5202YJ right, 5202YH left.

Anyone seen these before?

So once again watch this space.

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I posted these part numbers earlier (copied below) so I would look at the RPO number on your door pillar sticker and hope when they arrive they will fit your car. The parts filter - when the parts diagrams are looked at if the car VIN (the filter) is not used then all parts are listed to cover all the cars, not just ones for your VIN.

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The part numbers I found were, before RPO 10800, front left is 5202VN then from RPO 10801 is 5202YH. Front right 5202VP then becomes 5202YJ. 16 inch tyres are different numbers. Looking at pictures of these in a search and they all look to be the same at the bottom with a narrower section.

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I will look for the RPO number, was going to do that before but forgot and Citroen didn't ask for it.

Thanks for persisting, are you saying 16" wheel numbers are different from YH and YJ? I have 16" wheels.

I got a random text message saying that part of my order has arrived but it did not say from Citroen and calling or texting the number gets no reply. I've also tried phoning the dealerships and the Hayes parts place but not got through yet. These days it seems everywhere uses Covid as an excuse to not give customer service. I wanted to speak to someone where the part has arrived to ask them to take it out the box and check to save me a wasted journey. 

Thanks again, I'll find the RPO and the saga continues.

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I wrote this about the 16 inch wheels:

I had another look at the parts diagrams. For 16 inch wheels the front struts come back as 5202TW for left and 5202TX for right if it is a MA pilot auto up to RPO 10800. For the 1.6 AL4 auto up to RPO 10800 the swivel has a different part number to all the other models but I do not know what is different. In the suspension description the 1.6 and the AL4 strut has less travel than others and the pivot has a larger diameter but I am not sure where this dimension is measured. 

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Hi Paul, thanks for this and yes looking back you have identified these numbers before. I'm not sure why the Citroen people I've been dealing with have not found the same. 

I am now told the L/H 5202YH has arrived but the R/H 5202YJ is not available. I've been trying to get hold of someone in the Hayes dealership, where I am told it has been sent, to open the box while I'm on the phone to see if it is correct. But getting through is a trial of anyone's patience. If it is incorrect I will go back to the original guy who ordered and pass your TW & TX numbers to him. Your description sounds like it matches to my car.

I found the sticker on the passenger A Post, the numbers on it, as best I can make them out are - 

10670 CA

10067

EXYB**

10250 (part erased)

Thanks again. Tim

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RPO 10670 comes back as production date 25th January 2006 http://www.citroen-ds-id.com/gen/Gen_Organr.html The registration date on your V5C document will be later than this. The CA in the number suggests the factory which from the code checker is Aulnay-sous-Bois, France where according to Wikipedia employs over 5000 making about 400k Peugeot Citroen cars a year.

I am not sure what the other numbers on your sticker mean but EXYB** is the paint code which from a search should be a black colour. If you get any touch up paints you can use this to get the correct colour.

A search on the TW ones to get a picture still suggests the bottom part is narrower but this Monroe picture is the best I could find. It also lists the other ones it is compatible with and lists YH but not the VN. Have a look, it might suggest the ones now being ordered will be right. https://www.autodoc.co.uk/monroe/7436708 

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Latest. The 5202YH arrived but was not correct, smaller bottom dia again. I spoke to a different guy at the main warehouse and asked him about the TW & TX numbers. He found them listed but said they are for 16" wheel manual transmission cars. We then got into a debate of whether the car was originally built with manual suspension then changed to Auto gearbox later. He thinks that sometimes cars were taken off the production line incomplete then finished later to an ordered spec. Sounds unlikely to me, but they are French.

I asked him to order a pair to see if they match my needs, got to come from France again so another wait.

 

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I'll wait and see what the TW & TX come like, I just don't understand why it has been such a problem.

I did think of a sleeve but wouldn't make one or fit one unless it was a manufacturers modification. It is just too critical an area and if the strut popped out of the stub axle the car would just be uncontrollable and if at speed, don't want to think about it.

I managed to talk the MOT tester into putting it as an advise so at the moment still using it with a bad leaking damper but otherwise secure.

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TW & TX arrived from France but have the same reduced lower diameter. I'm going to phone the main parts warehouse again but got no idea where that will go.

There is no way that my car is unique or it has one off suspension spec.  There are loads of the same model about. I've been in the motor industry since leaving school 48yrs ago and never encountered a parts identification problem like this.

I appreciate you efforts so far, any other suggestions.

Thanks. Tim

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Maybe ask your Citroen dealer service dept what they recommend, they may have come across this before. You could also ask the parts people to get a hub and see what size that is. Possibly get the service people to enquire with Citroen UK on what should be done.

There are other forums such as the French car forum that are more popular than this one and you could ask for others for their experience and to measure the diameter of the bottom of their struts for similar year cars.

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