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'91 BX Estate - 06/07 - End of the Road


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#1 ONLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:10 AM

o/~It's finally happened (happened). it's finally happened (oh yes). it's finally happened! I'm slightly mad! o/~

I could regail you with the epic tale of how Watanabe spent his entire Wednesday (and some of his Thursday) collecting a car I hadn't seen outside of photographs. I could tell you how he travelled into deepest darkest Wales and met a strange man known only as Dollywobbler to complete this stupendous feat and how, beset with difficulty, he had to work through the riddle of the RAC monster, but I feel it is not my story to tell. Instead, here are three photographs taken at 2am in the rain-sleet of a car well known in certain circles.

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After the sun has risen I shall provide you with more information, but for now this shall have to suffice.



#2 OFFLINE   Ben_L

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:14 AM

When the sun has risen, I shall be asleep.

But your madness knows no boundary.

I thought I was the mutts knuts of shite having a Fiesta mk4 with Blue LED's and WigWag headlights...

You sir have beaten me by a hectare.

8)
You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time... But you can't please the lot of 'em permanantly!!!

#3 ONLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:30 AM

It's going to be my daily once I've fixed the bit that broke.

#4 OFFLINE   Ben_L

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:43 AM

It's going to be my daily once I've fixed the bit that broke.


Don't know if it's of any use...

But make sure that the radiator fans work. My old Xantia used to create hell and all fecking noise because they put the relays just behind the grille, in a place where they get attacked by rain water and road salt

Otherwise, enjoy a magic carpet ride :D
You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time... But you can't please the lot of 'em permanantly!!!

#5 ONLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:19 AM

Love that last shot. Urban camouflage. Your neighbours are going to love you.

Rad fan should be ok. It's nigh on impossible to check though as NA diesels don't generate a lot of heat. A motorway jam in summer is about the only time they kick in. This is where the lack of a coolant gauge is very annoying.

I shall watch for progress with interest.

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#6 ONLINE   beko1987

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:38 AM

Another journey begins! Look forward to reading this one!

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#7 ONLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:56 PM

Daylight beckoned, I ignored it for a while because my bed was more comfortable, but I did finally haul myself out of my cave to get to work on the BX. I wasn't exactly nervous about looking at the car in daylight and I was sure I'd like it but there was a little bit of doubt as to whether or not I'd done the right thing in replacing the trusty old uncomfortable Maestro for this tatty Citroen. As it happens, I think I have made the right choice. The car is far bigger than I remember BXs being, but no less comfortable. It's all thanks to those superb tweed covered seats really.

The driver's seat, as is normal, has seen better days. It's still comfortable and works, but the plastic trim and head restraint are broken, I need to look into how to fix them. This is just how the car was before I got cleaning and really, apart from storage mould and a bit of tree scaff, it's not that bad and should clean up very easily.
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This is the only bit of extra rust I've found on the car and it looks far worse than it is thanks to it being wet and on white paint.
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The luggage area is vast, and full of bits of tree...
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... or it was, at any rate. Took only a few minutes to vacuum it out. I removed the improvised covers from the sides too, it all looks very tidy and should just need a quick scrub to freshen up.
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After I'd had a bit of a poke about I got on with destriping. The stripes are making a reappearance in the future, but I'm keeping just how I'm doing that under my hat for now. I moved the extended life sticker from the window to the rear pillar, looked tidier and I like it as a sticker. Completely decluttered the rear window too.
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Made a start cleaning up the rear end too, mostly just a declutter of the glass. I've kept one or two stickers like the witch on a broom and the Vehicle Watch sticker, but the rest will go.
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I was, of course, putting off the inevitable which is to investigate that rear corner, the worst spot on the car. Not as bad as feared, actually, there's still enough metal for the bumper to hang on. It also looks far worse because of the colour and the vinyl.
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The rest of the spat is fairly solid too, just needs a tickle with a flapwheel and some fresh paint.
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It's hard work removing the stripes, mainly because they were put on quite well, so I haven't removed everything. I did get enough stripes off to get on with tidying up that crusty rear arch.
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After a clean, I tried just using a clay bar to get the paint uniform and remove the shiny-matt finish from the stripes being on for so long.
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Instead, I got the Farecla G3 cutting compound out and tackled the panel with that. Much of the rust staining disappeared, as did the ghost of the stripes.
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Another attack with the clay bar after this gave me much better results.
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A final go over with the Farecla G3 to bring up a bit of shine revealed a panel that isn't anywhere near as bad as it initially looked.
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I'm optimistic about how this is going to turn out. There's some tar spots and some localised surface rust but nothing really serious save that back corner which isn't as bad as it first appeared. The only serious problems to resolve at the moment are the broken pedal box and trying to stop my electricity escaping.

#8 ONLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:04 PM

I say. It's looking quite smart in its lesser-stripe pattern! Remove that red one on the top of the tailgate as soon as you can. I got given it late last year but they don't appear to be at all weather proof.

The improvised covers (fitted by the previous owner to myself) - one of those contains a spare rear number plate.

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#9 ONLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:06 PM

I've not investigate the contents yet... what is the oily thing that's in the carrier bag that was in the back footwell? I haven't dared investigate that either yet.

#10 ONLINE   Lacquer Peel

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:18 PM

If it needs an alternator I have a Xantia 1.9 N/A diesel one going spare, which should fit I think, you can have it for £postage.

#11 ONLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:20 PM

I've not investigate the contents yet... what is the oily thing that's in the carrier bag that was in the back footwell? I haven't dared investigate that either yet.


That's an offside front caliper. The one fitted has torn boots for the caliper sliders. I lubed them up as much as possible when I refitted the caliper, but it is only a matter of time before that'll need replacing. The caliper is a freebie courtesy of the ever-so-nice catsinthewelder of this very parish.

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#12 ONLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:23 PM

@LP: if it proves to be the solution, I will take you up on that. I need to investigate further.

@DW: well, freebies are always welcome ;) hooray, more oily work.

We had to jump the car again, it had completely flattened the battery, and a multi-meter test shows that the alternator appears to be putting out no charge to the battery. The dash lights are permanently on too, until you turn the ignition off, I've not come across a car that does that as normal.

Oh, and the tailgate won't lock.

#13 ONLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:32 PM

Permo dash lights is shared with other cars. Think the Mk3 Cav does that too. There is a little switch inside the tailgate to lock it (there's a hole) but be aware that you might not then be able to unlock it again. The central locking tends to operate more from the passenger door. I suspect the central locking unit in the driver's door is duff.

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#14 OFFLINE   DSdriver

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:07 PM

...I've not come across a car that does that as normal.


Your first Citroen? You will find many things that are not normal on other cars. Probably the one you will spend most time getting to grips with is the indicator switch - no automatic cancelling. Once you are in the habit of cancelling when it suits you, not when the car feels like it, you should grow to realise that it is quite sensible really.

Good luck with combating the rust, I always follow your write ups with great interest.
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But I just love the fact that they exist."

#15 ONLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:08 PM

This one DOES have self-cancelling. In fact, I refitted the self-cancelling trigger shortly before it got collected yesterday. I removed it on my TXD as I hate the sodding things. Mk1 BX didn't have self-cancelling, Mk2 does.

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#16 OFFLINE   DSdriver

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:21 PM

Ah, I didn't know that. Has it a rustable tale gate as well, unlike the Mk1 saloon which was grp? Only drove one once, and that was to Paris and back. What better place is there (apart from Rome) to drive a car you are not familiar with? :)
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But I just love the fact that they exist."

#17 ONLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

It has a plastic/fibreglass tailgate. Just as well too because it's freakishly heavy. Quite like the fact it's also equipped with a full non-metal roof.

#18 OFFLINE   DSdriver

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

Jolly good, the more bits that don't rust the better.
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But I just love the fact that they exist."

#19 ONLINE   bub2006

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:48 PM

I would always love to re aquaint myself with a bx. I had a brief fling with a k plate tzd turbo diesel with leather seats. I bought it for 80 quid with tax and Mot in 2004. Got 4 mile from sellers house. Performed an emergency stop,locked up hit the curb and broke lots of things on front end. Always been nervous about them since due to the ferociousness of the brakes. Or was that just the one I bought?! Well done volks and all the best with it mate

#20 ONLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:50 PM

Compared to rivals at the time, the brakes are ferocious, especially on the Mk1. They modified them to be a bit more crap on the Mk2, but I still managed a four-wheel lock-up in my first one.

By the way, anyone heard from Wat?!

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#21 ONLINE   bub2006

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:02 PM

I have never seen one with leather either. This one had black interior but was automatic too. Think it took wishbone,drive shaft,wheel,disc was also broken!!

#22 OFFLINE   catsinthewelder

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:52 PM

I've got a load of BX drivers door innards cluttering up the shed at the moment. If I can work out which bit of it is the central locking do-dar then VA is welcome to it, it should be a lot cleaner than that grim caliper :twisted:

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#23 ONLINE   trigger

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:01 PM

By the way, anyone heard from Wat?!


The last i heard Wat was laying in the fecal position in a darken room whilst surrounded by 83 cameras.
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#24 OFFLINE   skattrd

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:08 PM

VA - how was Wat when you last saw him?

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#25 OFFLINE   triumph1300

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:14 PM

By the way, anyone heard from Wat?!


The last i heard Wat was laying in the fecal position in a darken room whilst surrounded by 83 cameras.


Fecal position? Wouldn't that be squatting over a bog? :D

#26 ONLINE   trigger

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:18 PM

I know what i mean! :oops:
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#27 ONLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:19 PM

I think Wat was very, very tired. He was surprisingly non-grumpy, all things considered. If I were him, I'd not want to hear the words Wales, Citroen and RAC for a good long while.

#28 ONLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:20 PM

Right, I've been having trouble with the electrics which, for some reason, seemed content to run away. First thing to do was get to the scrap yard and find a car with the same bulbs, taking a multimeter to ensure they were useful. Found a Peugeot 205 GTi that looked like it was probably a very nice car before the driver's seat caught fire somehow and wrecked it, the car even had an exterior sliding glass roof and what looked like factory red carpets, I was impressed. One whole pound got me a fistful of useful light bulbs.
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Then it was simply a case of removing the binnacle and changing the bulb, yes? Well no. I'd already had this apart before going to the scrapyard and tested the bulbs to find that the battery telltale bulb had blown so was likely going to need replacing. As it happens, the replacement good bulb - I've swapped with other good bulbs too, for good measure - doesn't illuminate either so I don't know what's going off here. Anyway, this is how you change a dash light on a BX, hope you never have to do it.

First, remove the two tiny torx screws holding the trim at the bottom of the binnacle which hides the two larger torx screws holding the binnacle down.
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Then, remove the two torx screws from the clock dash tray so you can remove that.
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This allows you to get your hand in to find the plastic wingnut that you can't see to release one side of the binnacle.
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Then, you have to pop this trim/switch plate off to get your hand up into the dashboard and undo the other wingnut that my hands are just a tiny bit too large to reach.
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That allows you to move the binnacle forwards a bit so you can get behind and release the lightbulbs, but you can't see what you're doing without disconnecting everything (not about to do that!).
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I'm not looking forward to the refitting of all this after that. I think it's probably the worst, most convoluted job I've ever had to do on a car. After all that, replacing the bulb made not a jot of difference either! That's because the problem, as it turns out, was with the earth. The earth plug (on the green wire) was not connected to the alternator and now that it is, the car charges and starts perfectly normally. Tick time is vastly improved too, up at around 15-20 seconds rather than the 8-11 when the car got here.
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Finally managed to get a picture of how the pedal box is broken. Looks like it's split both above and below the pedal which is now impossible to operate with your foot and the car has to be driven very slowly on the clutch only.
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I am pleased we reinstated the interior lights in the car, they're one of my favourite features.
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In other, less frustrating news, I managed to completely desticker the flanks of the car. It's looking very clean and tidy with just a few small areas to address.
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The bonnet is going to be cleaned, but I'm leaving it as it is. I plan to fit a long nose (no grille) bonnet instead as this one is broken. The tailgate was the only other thing that didn't get destickered as the feel of finger nails on painted plastic was too much for me to carry on, horrible sensation!
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Removed the rubber bump strips from the bumpers, they were very tatty and held on with an assortment of screws. Gave the bumpers a clean before hand but I need a different cleaner (got some notions) to really get the ingrained dirt and diesel out of the plastic. That's why there's a bit of a tidemark on them. The recess that the bump strips were in will likely get red reflective tape on the back and white on the front for that proper old man spec look.
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Got the front driver's side wing and the top half of the front door on the same side G3'd but not claybarred. It came up pretty good, the more I do on this car the more confident I feel that it'll tidy up very nicely.
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#29 OFFLINE   Cheggers

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:29 PM

Looking good Volksy...I quite like the stripes left on the bonnet & tailgate.
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#30 ONLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:31 PM

Great stuff. Glad the charging issue was a simple fix. Getting the binnacle out isn't too bad second time. I know this because I ballsed up refitting the speedo cable on my BX TXD so became quite practiced at it!

Alloy wheel cleaner has been suggested by another BX to get the bumpers clean. It's quite odd seeing it de-striped again but nice in a way too. It's had its stripey phase. Now it's on to something new!

1986 Citroen 2CV Dolly (In fewer bits) 1997 Vauxhall Omega 2.5TD (smoother)

1997 Honda S-MX (JDM YO!) 1999 Perodua Nippa EX (Tiny)

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