306 Cabriolet

Collection of articles including fixit guides

Since 2003, a series of articles were freely published on the Peugeot Cabriolet Owners Club website providing technical guidance and other useful information.

These articles are then illegally reproduced and sold on eBay as a PDF guide. So, to help owners of 306 Cabriolets all over the world live with their chosen ride, this PDF is now published for free here - exactly how the original authors/contributors intended!

Thanks to all those who produced the original material for these articles (see www.pcoclub.org/articles for full details and additcional articles).

Enjoy!

Please note that neither the author nor the Peugeot Cabriolet Owners Club can guarantee the accuracy or consequences of any article published within this document. Use of any information published in these pages is entirely at your own risk.

Contents

Replacing 306 Cabriolet roof hydraulic hoses

Introduction

We are going to tackle a subject that will concern all 306 Cabriolet owners at some time. It's a problem recognized by Peugeot but for which the manufacturer provides no solution apart from selling you a kit of hoses (as a set of 8) at an exorbitant price and with only intermittent availability.

The problem

During lowering or raising of the hood, you hear a loud noise sounding like air escaping from a compressor, then a sort of cloud appears looking like water vapor and the hood falls back or refuses to move. What has happened is that you have just burst a hose and the noise and smoke are the hydraulic fluid being propelled at high pressure out of the hydraulic system. This could have been cause by the a hose being caught in the system (rare) or through the natural deterioration of the poor quality hoses.

Immediate Action
Under no circumstances operate the electric hood.
Small ram on r/h side

Note: You can move the roof frame and hood cover manually if your roof has just failed, but this has to be done very carefully and slowly if the hydraulics has only just failed as you will be forcing oil around the system against its will. If possible, first disconnect the hydraulics or mechanics (see next section) before further movement.

The solution

If you do not want to undertake an immediate repair but still want to be able to raise and lower the hood, I advise you to uncouple the rams of the hood mechanism by removing their connecting pins. This will make manual operation easier and will prevent more fluid being forced out by further movement of the rams, even if it is manual.

Another method is to keep the hydraulic rams connected but disconnect the 8 hose attachment plate on the hydraulic motor in the boot. Hydraulic oil will leak out of the hoses for a good number of manual operations, so it is advised that you catch any bleeding with a small, sealed plastic bag wrapped around the hoses and plate. Also ensure that no dirt enters the hydraulic motor by thoroughly sealing the face where the plate you just removed sat. DO NOT OPERATE THE HYDRAULIC MOTOR VIA THE ROOF BUTTON ON THE CENTRE CONSOLE WHILE DISENGAGED!

Your only courses of action are either to go to Peugeot and buy their kit of eight hoses for €470, or to find a firm specializing in hydraulics who will make you up some replacements.

Note: there are two sorts of hoses, depending on the year of the car and that of the hydraulic system.

Advice: Replace the hoses in pairs even if only one is worn through, since the longest part of the job is stripping and reassembly of the small ram. It is better not to have to do this a second time for the same type of breakdown, bearing in mind all the problems that can be caused by leaking hydraulic fluid.

Replacement of the hoses on the right-hand small ram, step by step

First of all you need to remove the small ram, so you have to put up the hood and keep the rear part up.

Next, remove the linking pin between the small ram after having removed its holding clip.

Small ram removed with hoses

Afterwards, either remove the rear interior trim to gain access from inside the car to the screw holding the ram, or make yourself a tool with a shortened 17mm socket fixed to the end of a hexagonal spanner that has also been shortened.

Note: You can also find a special spanner type attachment called a "crows foot" (left) which attaches to a ratchet set. This small purchase from good/specialist hardware stores can save a lot a scarping of knuckles!


You also need to remove the pins of the large ram to gain more space for access. Afterwards it is just a question of patience and dexterity.

Special tool

 

Ram moved to one side.

Use cloths to protect the bodywork of your car. Once the small ram has been removed and put to one side in the hood compartment, it is necessary to remove the black plastic cover through which the hoses pass to go to the hydraulic system. To remove the little rivets, you need to press in the little plastic tag with a small screwdriver and then use a craft knife to cut the waterproofing Mastic/sealant (beware paintwork and fingers!).

Next remove the black insulation tape (watch fingers again) and release the two hoses in question.

Unscrew the three electric wires in the ram movement sensors, not forgetting to note the colours for reassembly (another use for insulation tape).

Now comes the stage where you remove the two hoses attached to the hydraulic motor, noting the letter printed on the ends.

On motor of the latter models, remove two Torx screws and pull on the hoses in question. Watch out for fluid that will leak out. Be prepared with plenty of absorbent cloths.

Later motor/pump type Early motor/pump type

That's it. You can unscrew the hoses attached to the ram with a flat spanner, while holding it in a vice. Make sure to secure the base of the ram, that is to say the part the screw attaches to and not the body, otherwise excessive pressure may destroy it.

Suggestion of vice/clamp location

Great! Removal is complete. Now it only remains to source the correct hoses according to the two possible choices shown below.

Standard hose fittings for the ram ends.

 

Proprietary hose fitting at the motor. end

Note: What is not mentioned, and what could be a difference of supply between France and the UK, is that the hose fittings on the motor end are proprietary Peugeot items. A hydraulic hose specialist is yet to be found in the UK which can source these end connector types. If you are lucky, a friendly specialist will reuse the existing end-connectors, although understandably, several companies don't want to get involved due to liability and added hassle.

Reassembly of the system

Note: What is not mentioned, and what could be a difference of supply between France and the UK, is that the hose fittings on the motor end are proprietary Peugeot items. A hydraulic hose specialist is yet to be found in the UK which can source these end connector types. If you are lucky, a friendly specialist will reuse the existing end-connectors, although understandably, several companies don't want to get involved due to liability and added hassle.

Later type oil resevoir filling screw end

Have a trial powered lowering, then raising of the hood. Top up the oil resevoir again, check that everything is working and then do several lowerings and raisings to eliminate any air bubbles from the circuit. Carefully check the fluid level after this.

Congratulations. You have succeeded and are well placed to enjoy the delights of summer.

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