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vulgalour

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

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Car looking good mate. I'm wondering what the deflectors would like like on a reliant robin!

 

Chuck me a tenner and you can find out. PM if interested. I can't see it costing more than that to post the deflectors and it'll put a few pennies in the BX fund.

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Not to worry, you don't know if you don't ask :D.

 

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Great success! Yesterday, my pedal box returned all lovely and repaired. The accelerator pedal moves a lot more freely, probably because it's not trying to move parts of the pedal box with it. As Mr Cobblers put it "It's no Boyd Coddington, but it is solid." and he's quite correct. Many thanks to Mr Cobblers for stepping in and being a gent with the welding to get me mobile again.

 

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It was a bit of a battle to get the clutch cable connected properly, that's a job I hope I don't have to do again, there was a strong risk of me hurling it across the fields when it played the game of one part clipping off just as the other part clipped on, repeatedly. Happily, I had support in the form of people that hadn't being squished into the footwell in the cold trying to make it all fit properly and we got it loosely fitted. Today, I got everything tightened up and we reconnected the clutch cable in the engine bay which my Dad had disconnected to try and give me more play in the cable, which didn't work. Also plugged the throttle cable back in and it seems to be fine, it didn't break, but I suspect I'll have to replace it anyway.

 

The last time I drove a diesel was about 6 years ago, one of those Meganes-with-an-arse (which I still like the look of) and I'd forgotten about the way na diesels are when you put the pedal down to go; sort of nothing, and then everything all at once, very unlike a petrol. I do find that the throttle pedal feels very stiff when first pressed, you have to use a bit of effort to get it past that point. I can't see anything amiss and I can't see where that skinny metal bracket I found in the soundproofing goes to see if that was connected to anything. Maybe there's something wrong or not fitted that I've missed, but it feels okay, if a little strange and I can't see where anything might connect.

 

Of course, this meant I could finally go for a drive. I didn't go far, just far enough to get a feel for the car. Intermittent power steering is a little strange as a driving experience, but didn't feel particularly dangerous or alarming. The brakes are sharp, certainly sharper than those on the Princess. The car felt very perky too, once you get moving, and happy to be thrown around a bit though I didn't try and find the limits as I've still got to learn the car. Seating position is blissfully ergonomic, my only issue being that the wiper stalk feels slightly counter intuitive. Gears are taking me ages to get used to, again because of the nature of the engine more than anything else. The clutch, for all I'd been told it felt like it was worn, feels brand new with the bite very near the bottom of the pedal travel unlike most of the stuff I drive which has the bite half way up or near the top of the pedal travel.

 

Overall, the car feels right, it feels well suited to me and the acres of tinted glass gives unparalleled visibility. I felt very much like I belonged in the BX in a way I never did in the Maestro or even the Polo. I still prefer my Princess, but only because that car has a certain je ne sais quoi that the BX doesn't, but it's a very close run thing between the two of them.

 

These, I like a lot. I don't know if I'll ever use them, but I like that they're there.

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I gave the glass a good clean inside and out and did the wiper blades too, it really improved things. I hope the snow isn't here long term, I want to get the shabby side cut and polished properly in time for Brooklands on the 10th of March where the BX will be earning its keep collecting parts for the Princess. In the meantime, here's some pictures, because I like pictures and I think the BX is very photogenic.

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Another problem I found is that the front washer bottle appears to be leaking. I'll take it out and investigate properly later. The rust holes on the inner wings are both caused by the washer bottles so they have to come out anyway, I'll perform a derust at the same time, looks like a straightforward patch repair with reasonable access at least.

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Good to read that it's now out & about. Pedal box repair looks sound. Does not need to be Coddington special as no one will see it, just strong.

The hole below washer bottles is fairly common. The o/s one on mine went about 8 years ago & was easy enough to sort. Just a wee plate placed on top & welded in. Funnily enough, the near side is OK.

 

I must say, it's looking really spiffing now. Enjoy the BX ing.

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BX rewarded my efforts by snapping the other tine off the throttle cable. At least it's cheap to replace, I'm hoping to pick one up tomorrow and get it fitted. Rerouting a new cable might resolve the issue of the stiff pedal too. So now I can't drive it again, lols.

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BX rewarded my efforts by snapping the other tine off the throttle cable. At least it's cheap to replace, I'm hoping to pick one up tomorrow and get it fitted. Rerouting a new cable might resolve the issue of the stiff pedal too. So now I can't drive it again, lols.

 

The French are experts at making heavy controls when converting to RHD, so I wouldn't expect a super-light pedal. Hopefully the new cable will make a difference though. Hope you get to drive it some more soon!

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Nice to see this working [sort of] properly.

 

If I get a chance I'll do my write up on it - but have had FATHA_WAT, Uni and a stomach upset getting in the way.

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I solved the issues you were facing trying to drive it, Wat. I reckon a very stiff old cable combined with a weak pedal box made for a bad time. Hope that if you're not yet, you get well soon.

 

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Went out and got a new throttle cable today, the pedal moves without stiffness and driving the car feels completely different to with the old cable. I'd say that's a good thing. I don't understand why they had to change from the simple old design as below...

20130223-03_zpsef488054.jpg

 

...to this new design which came with no instructions and made a five minute job into a half hour job whilst Dad and I figured out how it should work.

20130223-02_zpsaa7093ca.jpg

 

You have to line up the tabs, compressing the spring to do so, push it through the hole in the bulkhead and then twist it to lock it in place. I'm not looking forward to ever having to remove it. Other than that, it was a very easy thing to fit really.

20130223-01_zpsa29ae667.jpg

 

I think I may have disturbed something in the engine bay too, and I need to find out how to sort it. The oil pressure gauge used to shoot all the way to the right before settling back down to wherever it fancied sitting when you turned the ignition on. Now, it just sits at the left hand side with the warning light dimly lit. I don't get any other warning lights come on and the car isn't making any noises or doing anything untoward that would make me think there's a problem. There's plenty of oil in the car and no oil underneath the car so I'm hoping I've dislodged a sensor or similar, ideas welcome on this one.

 

The other thing I've noticed is the abnormal wear on the front drivers tyre, being more worn on the inside edge than anywhere else. Coupled with a vagueness around the middle of the steering and the intermittent fault I'm wondering if the pump might be at fault or the steering rack itself. The car doesn't pull left or right when driving or stopping so I don't think it's a tracking issue as first suspected.

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The other thing I've noticed is the abnormal wear on the front drivers tyre, being more worn on the inside edge than anywhere else. Coupled with a vagueness around the middle of the steering and the intermittent fault I'm wondering if the pump might be at fault or the steering rack itself. The car doesn't pull left or right when driving or stopping so I don't think it's a tracking issue as first suspected.

Bottom ball joint - they screw in (mwahahahaahahahahahr!) :evil:

Good luck with that one - they are a twat and a half to remove.

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I was thinking the same as Mr Boll, and was going to go with LP's solution combined with some heat. Handy to know there's a tool for the job. Worth doing both sides at the same time, do we think? The part seems quite cheap.

 

@ruff: quote away! Did you get my PM regarding the bits I want off the red estate?

 

The affordability of parts is great, it's the access to said parts on the car that's the nuisance. Found out I have to drop/lift the engine out of the car partially to do the timing belt and water pump, what fun that shall be!

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Thanks Krujoe, that's quite informative. Sounds like it's going to be a pig of a job, unless I'm very lucky and it all comes apart easy peasy which, knowing my luck, won't happen. From what I'm reading, it sounds precisely like the ball joint has started to go, but isn't too bad and I should be okay for a few miles yet.

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Yep, mine was rattling like hell for a good year before I did it! This is how I got on:

(Never did write it up back then.)

 

I thought I'd give it a go with the hub on the car.

 

I made a special attachment for the pry-bar (old engine lifting loops) to pop the joint out of the lower arm:

 

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A jack under the threaded part helps.

 

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The special tool arrived double-quick, but the deep 32mm socket did not. I gave up waiting, and had a rummage in the old spanners. The biggest tool I had was a one-and-three-eighths girth King Dick.

 

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Scraped the crap from the notches, located the special socket, and held in place with the nut. This is why you ideally need the special deep 32mm socket.

 

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A bit of heaving and swearing...

 

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The months of soaking in LHM must have helped :oops: There was about half-an-inch of free play in that baby!

 

A bit of faffing getting the fine thread lined up, and the new one went in:

 

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Oops, forgot the heat shield...

 

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All back together. Jobs a good 'un!

 

As I said back then, I've kept the tools 'til some other Autoshiter needed them - so, do you want these two sockets? You can have 'em for nowt if you pm me your address. It might be a week or so before I'm near a functioning post office, but hey...

 

 

PS: If anyone was interested on how I got on with the 'brass penis', Araldite did the trick. Pics on request.

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That does look like fun* I shan't say no to indefinite tool loan, though I would feel happier at least putting some cash towards postage once I've got the parts to fit on the car. I'm not getting any rattling or even a lot of wear on the tyre yet so I should be good for a while. Autoshite PSA Tool Co-operative ftw.

___

 

It snowed again, it's really putting a crimp in getting work done because when it snows not only is there snow to contend with, but it's too cold for things like polish and claybars to work properly. That said, I did get some work done on the BX cosmetics. I had even more of a poke around things and found what looks to be a loose door pin. This door creaks but seems not to have dropped, the metal around the hinges is nice and sound so, do I leave this pin alone or do I try and knock it back in?

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Had a look in the wool store and found some wool that was the closest match I could find to the seats, it's a bit brighter but will dull with use and the seats will be slightly brighter when shampooed (that job got snowed off). A pair of embroidery scissors and a tapestry needle were my other weapons of choice.

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After only a few minutes I'd repaired the holes in the fabric. It's not perfect, I'm hardly going to be snapped up by the British Museum's textile conservators, but it's better than having a hole with foam on show and should prevent said holes getting any worse. Before on the left, after on the right. Eventually, this seat will likely be replaced.

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Then it was a case of yet more paint rectification. The bonnet and roof are covered in these stubborn little spots. They do come off with clay bar and cutting compound, but it takes a while.

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The bonnet actually came up surprisingly well. Yes, the front of the bonnet has a crack and lots of road rash, but the finish came up remarkably shiny given the condition of the weather today. The amount of brown tar sludge that came off was surprising too, I thought this panel was actually quite clean before I started and that it was the paint at fault.

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Repair or replace? This door has been quite badly bashed, looks like it's been opened into a lamp post or something. Two dents on the windowsill bit and a large shallow vertical dent finishing in a bit of a crater below the bumpstrip. I might have a go at beating this back into shape one day, it can stay as it is for now.

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Got all of this side, the bonnet and the roof in front of the hump all cleaned up. I'm quite pleased with the end result. I also managed to get the tailgate clayed, but I need a warmer day to get the vinyl off. Our neighbour seems puzzled as to why it's a) taking me so long to clean a car and b)I'm bothering.

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I was momentarily tempted to remove the bumper and discovered that actually it's rotted out in a very specific way. While the metal is a bit fragile, it's only rotted the top half of the wing behind the bumper, the lower half looks like there's enough to stitch a patch in and it's all flat pieces that are required. I'm still not removing the bumper, but now that I've been able to clean up the back end and properly inspect everything it looks less severe than the pictures make out. It's still bad, I know that much, but it's not as bad as I expected, there's more metal behind that bumper than expected, allbeit frilly metal.

 

I still have to scrub the bumpers, demoss the indicators, clean the lights, reblack the satin door frames, finish cleaning off the roof and shampoo the seats. I probably spent another 4 hours cleaning today which brings my total time spent up to about 16 hours including vinyl removal. Would have taken less time had the weather not been so cold!

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@Ruff: quote me for it when you get the price on the other stuff, that may be a convenient* option yet.

 

I realised today that the clean I'm doing at the moment isn't the proper deep clean, this is just the clean to allow me to inspect the car properly. The deep clean will happen later when I get in with a paintbrush and broggle the vents and all that jazz. I've not even dismantled the interior properly to clean where you can't reach but can see yet!

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I farmed the job out when my current BX needed a bottom balljoint. Cost me about £10 IIRC. Painful to watch once the hammer and chisels came out, and it did require heat and two strong lads. If you want the good news, like KruJoe's BX, it was worn enough to clatter quite alarmingly, so imminent failure is unlikely. Have you checked what make that tyre is yet? I can confirm the history of the tyre then.

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I had entirely forgotten to check the tyre, just done it now and it's a Perfecta Sava. The wear isn't as bad as perhaps I'm making it out.

 

Shown are both front tyres, driver's side on the left, passenger on the right. The passenger side tyre has nice even wear all the way across the tread. Highlighted is the wear area on the driver's side. It's more apparent in the dry, but I'm definitely wearing more on this side of the tyre. It might just need a weight putting back on (Wat mentioned some wobble at speed) and it might just be the tracking that's off but my gut instinct is that the ball joint is only just on its way out, particularly with the vagueness in the steering.

20130225_zps05bc4b7a.jpg

 

That corner has other niggles too, like the LHM weep and it seems to be much oilier than the other side for some reason.

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