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1987 Citroen BX

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#121 OFFLINE   dean36014

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 08:07 PM

That area by the washer bottle is annoying as a previous owner paid a small fortune for that all to be repaired a few years ago. Cracking work though

1991 Citroen BX, Shonky

1991 Citroen BX St Tropez

1996 Citroen XM 2.0ct estate

2006 Citroen C4 hdi


#122 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 08:22 PM

The problem seems to just be a lack of protection on the repaired areas.  The bit under the washer bottle looks to have been welded, then sealed, then sprayed with black goop.  Perhaps because it's an unseen area it wasn't considered necessary to do more work to it.  The bit I did on the front closing panel was similarly solidly repaired, just with almost no protection applied to keep it sound, and that seems to be the root cause of the damage around the repairs.

 

I'm not doing this to professional restoration standard by any means, so my repairs aren't something I'm proud to show off.  Even so, I am taking care to add protection as much as I can and to try and eliminate as much rust as possible before the repairs are done.  I just don't think that's always been the case.

 

Also, I think this corner has had light parking damage at some point.  The wing on this side has bad paint on the top, there's a weird sort of reaction on one spot as though it wasn't keyed properly and the paint didn't level.  The inner wing has lots of little dents like someone has tried straightening it out and there's a few spots of welding on seams that doesn't look factory, or like patches have been let in, more like someone has stitched panels back together.  I don't believe it's serious damage, it's more like someone reversed into the wing in a 4x4 or something like that.  I do think it could explain why the rust is so much worse on this particular part of the car compared to the rest.  By the looks of it, the damage must have happened a long time ago, just from the build up of dirt if nothing else, and it's not a concern, just a curiosity.


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#123 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 10:28 PM

I am taking care to add protection as much as I can


Again referencing the "Trevor the shed" thread, I absolutely recommend using Zinga/Davids 182/Galvafroid or some other high-percentage Zinc paint as an undercoat.

I'd never seen how long it can hold up before (although Mat_the_cat is doing a long-term test on his woodcollector Disco V8) but by utter chance, a repair that I did 11 years ago, with an undercoat of Zinc-based and then a topcoat of Bitumen-based paint has come to light again, and it looks like it was done last week.

Genuinely stunned. And pleased too.
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#124 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 10:40 PM

I started using zinc-rich primer on the Princess when I ran out of primer and found out quite by accident how good it is at holding the rust at bay, especially on freshly welded bits.  I now do it by rote and have been doing it on all the BX's repairs.  Stonechip paint is used on high impact bits before I put top coat and lacquer on and anywhere I can get away with it, I put underseal afterwards to keep it all as healthy as possible.  The repairs on Trevor don't look like old repairs, if it weren't for photographic evidence you'd think they were done much more recently than they were.


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#125 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 04:47 PM

I had some free time today to get in and do some work on the BX.  Just as well really, as I was finishing up I was starting to feel decidedly run down and now I seem to have some sort of Generic Illness, which is a bit annoying.  Anyway, what did I get up to?  Did the easy stuff first and refitted the relays and tidied the wiring in the front corner.  There was a loose relay kicking about that doesn't go anywhere and rattles so I suspect that was a broken one that got replaced and forgotten about since it matches the other relays fitted to the inner wing.

201901-105.jpg

 

Got the whole of the inner wing undersealed.  I made a small mistake by forgetting the wing rail portion of this is visible when the outer wing is fitted, so I'll have to do a little cleaning up of that later.  I was just going to go over the bits that I'd worked on and ended up doing the whole inner wing instead just because it looks smarter all in one finish.  Paid special attention to the bit under the nose since that area seems particularly prone to rust and did the shelf that I'd repaired to mirror the other side that's still solid.

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In a belt and braces approach I did the inside of the outer wing as well after I'd sorted out the rust blemishes on the edges.  BXs don't seem to suffer from rotten front wings from what I've seen so this probably wasn't necessary.

201901-109.jpg

 

I'm glad I spent the time remaking the arch return lip and the little tab as both of these are needed to fix the arch liner in place.  The liner clips onto the arch lip and a bolt goes through the wing and liner into the tab.  The fixings for the lower portion of the arch liner had disappeared (perhaps they weren't there when I removed the liner?) so I drilled some holes to accept some button-head screws that I've used for this sort job before with good effect.

201901-110.jpg

 

Washer bottle on this side was also reinstated, which was very easy to do.

201901-111.jpg

 

I didn't have to modify the wheel brace to get it in the cubby, I just had to figure out the specific way that you put it in the space, so that saved me a job and it's nice to see it in its proper place.

201901-112.jpg

 

Finally, the outer wing, headlight, and indicator was fitted.  I spent a bit of time fiddling with alignment to get things where they should be.  Everything is very easy to assemble and the car is now looking much more like a car again.

201901-113.jpg


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#126 OFFLINE   dean36014

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 06:58 PM

Looking good! Glad that the rust wasn't too major. You need to delve into those pipes now.
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1991 Citroen BX, Shonky

1991 Citroen BX St Tropez

1996 Citroen XM 2.0ct estate

2006 Citroen C4 hdi


#127 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 07:02 PM

I'm holding off on the pipes until I've done the welding.  I don't want to start more than one job at once.  Also, there's no cash until invoices are paid so I've got to do all the free jobs I can in the meantime.


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#128 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:35 PM

I have had a productive day off, even with a lazy start to my day.  Didn't start fantastically well when I managed to nick a plastic LHM pipe, I assume this is low pressure so I can probably put a splice or joiner in it with no ill effect.  My own fault this one, I thought I'd moved everything out of the way and hadn't.  I put some blue tape on it to remind me that it needs sorting as this is the sort of thing I'm likely to forget about otherwise and be a nuisance to find when the car is running.

201801-114.jpg

 

I nicked the pipe when cutting out the inner-inner wing.  Although the rust was much worse on the other side, a much larger patch was required to this area on this side.  The welding went really nicely too, some of the best I've ever done, and I wasn't overlap welding this since the steel is a good bit thicker than that used on the outer panels.

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With that in and doused in relevant potions, I could get the outer panel on.  Originally I was going to keep the original arch curve and put a patch in the middle until I cleaned up the piece I chopped off and decided it was too much work to repair.  So a big patch again it was to be.  The marker pen spots are for where to drill the spotweld holes, a job I didn't get around to doing today.

201801-118.jpg

 

After welding in the big patch I moved on to the next most difficult area to repair while the big patch cooled down.  The strengthening leg that runs from the A pillar and across the inner wing had holed in the bottom edge, and had quite a few pinholes.  I cleaned it back, poked out where the metal was thing, and worked out how much I needed to chop out.  It ended up needing a much larger repair than I'd anticipated.

201801-119.jpg

 

It was also a slightly peculiar shape so I employed my tried-and-tested masking tape solution to making awkward repair panels.  You start by putting a border of tape around the edge of the piece, and then filling in the gap in one direction with tape.  Once it's filled, run a few strips of tape in the opposing direction to tie it all together.  Make a note, mental or otherwise, of which piece of tape you laid first as this will help you remove the template afterwards.

201801-120.jpg

 

Using an old fashioned pencil, use the edge of the graphite to rub along the edges of the cut hole.  A softer pencil like a 2B is better for this rather than the HB I had to hand, it's also less inclined to poke through the masking tape.

201801-121.jpg

 

Once you've marked all the edges, simply peel the template away starting at your first piece of tape.  Don't try and flatten the template out straight away and try not to handle it too much.  Offer the template up to your piece of metal, if it lays flat then you can simply stick it down (providing you haven't handled it too much) and use it as a cutting template.  If the template doesn't lay flat you can simply cut into it wherever it curves to help it to do so, which is particularly useful for even more complicated panels.  If the tape won't stick, simply use a little more around the edges or double a piece of tape back on itself and stick that to the back of your template.  Once you've done all this (it's much quicker in practice than this makes it out to be), simply cut out your metal as usual and then peel the template off.

201801-122.jpg


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#129 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:42 PM

It saves so much time!  Now you can fine tune the edges and add any folds required and get a much nicer finish to the job.  It certainly made my life easier.  For the lower bend on this panel I used a socket extension clamped in the vice with the repair panel to get a softer radiused curve while the upper bend was just done in the vice with a hammer and no former, the old fashioned way.  This meant the panel matched the shapes of the original panel much better and made welding it in much easier too.

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That's the last really big bit of welding done on the car (I hope).  The only nuisance was when I was starting to clean up my ugly welds I noticed a couple of pinholes and went to just blob them up.  Instantly blew big holes.  So I'll have to let another small piece in to repair that.  Underneath the strengthener where it meets the A pillar is another selection of ugly welds as I couldn't get any of the tools available into the very tight space.  I'll do my best to clean it up with the tools I do have and the sealant and paint and underseal will hide the cosmetic sins afterwards.

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I didn't have time to do more, unfortunately, so it was just a case of assessing what's left on this side to do and it's really not a great deal.  The aforementioned bit of thin metal to cut out and replace, a small piece below the strengthener, and a larger piece that I'll either do as three small patches, or one large piece, depending on how it looks once cleaned up.

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I did notice there's no drain hole under the driver's side washer bottle so I'll have to add a hole once I've finished filling up all the other holes that shouldn't be there.


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#130 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:35 PM

Underneath the strengthener where it meets the A pillar is another selection of ugly welds as I couldn't get any of the tools available into the very tight space.  I'll do my best to clean it up with the tools I do have and the sealant and paint and underseal will hide the cosmetic sins afterwards.


For cleaning up welds in inaccessable places, I recommend using a welshman.

Dai Grinder.

The surprisingly-cheap air DieGrinder I picked up at a car show about 15 years ago has been utterly invaluable for getting at hard-to-access areas. Slower than an angle-grinder, but much easier to get to stuff. Also a lovely cool breeze on a summers day when you've just cooked yourself by welding.
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#131 OFFLINE   artdjones

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:45 PM

For cleaning up welds in inaccessable places, I recommend using a welshman.

Dai Grinder.

The surprisingly-cheap air DieGrinder I picked up at a car show about 15 years ago has been utterly invaluable for getting at hard-to-access areas. Slower than an angle-grinder, but much easier to get to stuff. Also a lovely cool breeze on a summers day when you've just cooked yourself by welding.


Thanks for the masking tape technique.

#132 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:55 PM

Another enjoyable thread and the car is in Heather Mills' leg beige too


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#133 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:58 PM

It's not beige, it's dirty. It's actually white.



#134 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 08:05 PM

OOps my bad. Nice save, you just don't see BXs about any more, there is a local one with serious laquer peel around here that has moon miles and I think it belongs to someone who works at the local supermarket, it's a bit of a 'celeb' due to the miles on it and how shonky it looks


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#135 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 10:50 PM

I reckon BXs are in that funny spot between weird old car and proper classic.  They're pretty easy to work on, even with all the hydropneumatic stuff, and parts availability is surprisingly good, it's rust that's really the killer on them.


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#136 ONLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 10:57 AM

I reckon BXs are in that funny spot between weird old car and proper classic.  They're pretty easy to work on, even with all the hydropneumatic stuff, and parts availability is surprisingly good, it's rust that's really the killer on them.

 

Yes, rust is what has stopped them being viable as cheap runners really. Certainly why I moved away from them. I don't have the skills to deal with rot. 


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#137 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:02 PM

Had a good long day on the BX today.  First off was to attack the pinholes on the A pillar strengthener arm thing, which turned into rather a large hole to cut out because of the way the pinholes were spread out.

20190205-01.jpg

 

Unsurprisingly, the inner wing need a large piece chopped out which turned out to be easier to repair than three separate patches.

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I also chopped out the bit below the washer bottle and drilled out the drain hole under the washer bottle that had been filled with body filler for reasons unknown.

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With all the pieces made up I could clean, shape, and prepare them before welding them in.  The repairs went fairly smoothly for the most part and very soon I had it all seam sealed, primed, painted, and ready for underseal.  I also welded in a captive nut for the washer bottle bracket since the original was missing.

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Mike helped with doing some jobs in tandem, like undersealing the back of the outer wing, which meant I could get a little bit more done in the time available.  I did have the fixings for the arch liner this side so that went in much easier than the other side.

20190205-07.jpg

 

On cleaning back the crossmember I found much of what looked like it would need welding didn't, it was just rust-stained paint for the most part.  The only exception was the passenger side strengthener which I trimmed back and added a new piece of metal to.  Very much a functional repair rather than an attractive one, especially so since this is all hidden by the bumper.

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With everything that needed to be in paint and underseal, Mike helped me refit the wing after I'd refitted the LHM reservoir.  The lights went in very easily, as they always do.

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The wheel and a trim was refitted to draw a line under this corner being completed, and the bonnet was refitted with Mike's help.  Happily, the car looks much more like a car again and all that work I've done you'd never know about if I hadn't reported it here.  The only job I didn't get as far as doing was rivetting the identity plate back on the inner wing, an item I had to remove because the rust had just got underneath it.

20190205-10.jpg

 

My MoT list is currently:

Weld towing eye back on

Weld small square on rear passenger sill top edge

Clean, rust treat, repaint, and underseal front crossmember

Refit bumper

Replace steel suspension pipes

New LHM (because of the above)

Fit new timing belt, water pump and tensioner

New coolant (because of the above)

 

 


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#138 ONLINE   captain_70s

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:43 PM

Excellent, speedy progress on this!


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#139 OFFLINE   colc

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:45 PM

Great work....


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#140 OFFLINE   dozeydustman

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 09:04 PM

You've really powered through this Mr Vulgalour! Good work, chap.


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#141 ONLINE   Broadsword

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 09:41 PM

Tremendous work! Are those front brake discs non-ventilated? I'm a bit surprised in a way since these things are famed for their very fierce brakes!



#142 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 11:03 PM

Thank you for all the nice comments.  They are indeed just solid discs and I expect will be quite fierce since it's the same set up as my old estate which had perhaps the best brakes of any car I've driven.



#143 OFFLINE   Exiled_Tat_Gatherer

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 10:55 AM

Top work Vulg-sir..... the rate you're ploughing through this shames me. I do love a BX - estate for me when you're ready to get one done for me - thanks  :-D



#144 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 06:15 PM

If I got an estate I'd end up keeping it so...

 

---

 

Cracked on and got the towing eye surrounding metal replaced and then the towing eye itself welded back in.  I cleaned the whole crossmember back, which was difficult because whatever it was painted in was seriously tough stuff.  After that, doused it all with rust treatment, then paint.  Looked loads better after that too.

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While the paint was drying I had a look at the front-to-back pipes.  Removing them without taking off the rear subframe is possible and since I wasn't keeping these, I just snipped through them where it was difficult to get them out.  This made removing them annoying, but possible.  I also checked around the rear axle mounting points as much as I could and there was nothing particularly terrifying to see, it all looked pretty reasonable.  Then the first casualty when trying to remove the pipe that goes into the hardline connector, somehow I managed to snap the pipe and the stub of it is left in the union.  This is very annoying and I don't know how to fix it.

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Then the next annoying problem was the union at the back, which decided to round off.  Access to this particular union is terrible and I can see me having to dismantle quite a lot of stuff that has nothing wrong with it, just to get in with a tool big enough to undo this union.  The union in question is the top right one on the four-way block.

201902-15.jpg

 

The pipes themselves are a bit scabby in places, so they definitely needed replacing.  However, I couldn't find where either of them had failed so I begin to wonder if it was one of these pipes that had burst.  Before putting LHM in I'll be dismantling the suspension on this side rear corner to see if I can find anything else that might have failed because while the pipes are actually quite dry, the displacer and surrounding area is still a bit wet with LHM that's leaking from above them somewhere.

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The only other thing of note was a slightly squashed section.  I couldn't figure out what had caused this, so I assume it was a manufacturing defect.

201902-18.jpg

 

I'll get some fresh pipes made up by Dean, if the offer still stands, now that I know what length these need to be.  With that done, I couldn't really do anything else on the suspension, I didn't want to get into dismantling the rear corner because I hadn't got enough time to be getting into that if it became an involved job.  Instead, I finished off the work at the front with lashings of underseal.

201902-20.jpg

 

That should keep things happy for some time to come.  Then I made an attempt to fit the bumper.  I'm pretty sure this is a two person job because I can't seem to get the side blocks on the bumper to go into their respective holes without another part of the bumper coming out of alignment somewhere.  I also have to think about a solution for fixings since the bumper was previously held on mostly with cableties, a perfectly adequate solution, just not really the way I want to put this back together.  I'll probably use bolts/screws and trim edge clips looking at how Citroen have put everything together.  The bumper is essentially decorative at any rate, so it doesn't need a lot to hold it in place since there's not really anything to it.

201902-22.jpg

 

I do have one bit of welding left to do.  I would have done it today if I hadn't chosen to do battle with the pipes, because to fix this little bit of rust I've got to remove quite a few trim pieces to access it properly.  There's also a little bit on the rear arch to sill join in the usual Citroen place that needs cleaning up and might need a little patch, depending if it's pinholed or not.  Flash makes these areas look far worse than they are.

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Another little job was putting the rear wiper back on straight.

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While not quite finished, it does at least look ilke a car again.

201902-21.jpg


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#145 OFFLINE   dean36014

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 06:30 PM

I have to confess that the tough to remove paint on the crossmember was done by me! It got an advisory for surface rust to the crossmember so I cleaned it all up and rust treated it. Then it all went wrong as I opened a fresh bottle of under body sealant and the air gun refused to play ball. Out of frustration I stippled it on with a paintbrush but judging by the odd rust breaking through I guess it wasn't a totally great idea! So anything white and rubbery, yeah sorry Angyl. Get some pipe and unions sent to me with some measurements and I'll flare them up and post it back to you.


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1991 Citroen BX, Shonky

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2006 Citroen C4 hdi


#146 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 06:33 PM

PM incoming  re: pipes.

 

That paint was doing the job mostly except for where it had cracked or chipped.  The metal underneath was perfectly fine, the paint being white just made things look loads worse than they really were.  Seriously tough stuff though, never come across anything like it!  The rubbery stuff is much easier to deal with and most of that I came across is perfectly sound and hasn't been disturbed.



#147 OFFLINE   Steve79

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:47 AM

I've got this lying around in a cupboard at home if you haven't got one vulg.

Any good to you?

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#148 OFFLINE   vulgalour

vulgalour

    Rank: Margot Leadbetter

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 12:23 PM

Yes please!  I've got no paraphenalia at all with this car.


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#149 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 12:30 PM

I've got this lying around in a cupboard at home if you haven't got one vulg.

Any good to you?

 

The one that came with the CX has a card which has the words "corrosion guarantee" on it. On asking an acquaintance about this (he used to drive GS/GSAs) he said that what it actually meant was that corrosion was guaranteed.


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F*ck your Honda Civic, I've a horse outside,
F*ck your Subaru, I have a horse outside.
And f*ck your Mitsubishi, I've a horse outside,
If you're lookin' for a ride, I've got a horse outside

#150 OFFLINE   oldcars

oldcars

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 02:16 PM

Great work again. Love reading about this, shame i cannot do welding. If i have the time and money i would learn.


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