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vulgalour

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

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When I got the car back last May, the strut return that side was borked, so every time the car sank down, it sprayed LHM everywhere - including all over the inner edge of the tyre. I didn't clean that off, so it might be the same. It's possible I fitted the new strut return slightly too high on the strut - I mention that because we discovered last week that I'd managed to do that on my current BX. You may be able to push it down on the strut a bit. IIRC, the metal clip broke so I used a cable tie (which is fine as long as you use the metal plate part of the clip, which I did).

 

The Sava Perfectas were fitted in late 2010/early 2011.

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(Safely) jack up the suspect corner of the car, grab the bottom of the tyre, and see if you can wobble the wheel in and out sideways. If you're not sure if there's movement, get your helper to do it, while you put your hand / fingers around the ball joint. You'll feel the slackness if there is any.

If your ball joint wants doing, that'll be the cause of your tyre wear on the inside - my BX soon scrubbed through a front pair that way.

 

In the absence of new LHM return pipes, I did a successful bodge repair* using bits of fuel line, washer pipes, and an old Biro. Worked a treat. I, too failed to re-use the old retaining clip. But I couldn't be sure the plate part of the the clip would stay put, so instead I made a new one from the plastic carry handle from a Morrisons Value box of 'wine', and held it on with a second hand giant zip-tie I found once in a lay-by.

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Instead of doing productive fixy type jobs, I started the day with the best of intentions and bought a length of replacement fuel hose and priced up some spares for general maintenance, got home and promptly got the polish out instead because the weather has been so beautiful today. There's still more to do on the cleaning front, though you have to be pretty close to the car to see it now. I'll work through it eventually, but I'm in no mood to be removing bits of trim to clean awkward areas or to keep scrubbing at sticker residue just at the moment. I just wanted the car to look as good as it possibly could before any work was done on it proper and I'm pleased with how it's come up.

 

This roof, which was covered in tiny little black tar spots, is now almost completely free of marks. There's some paint damage which I'll need to correct and some larger tree sap blobs that I need a different cleaner to remove but at least it polishes up rather than looking like chalk now.

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I spent some time with the clay bar and the G3 to get everything all nice and shiny. I can see on the rusty side where there's still some ghosting from when I was working in the snow so I'll have to go back over that at some point to eliminate it completely, but it's certainly looking rather a lot better now. Might seem a bit odd, but after getting the car shiny with the G3, I washed it to remove all the polish and, because a clay bar session wasn't required at this juncture, I dried everything off and went over all the paint with some Autoglym super resin polish which smells fantastic and is very easy to use.

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Even the road rash and the crack on the bonnet aren't too obvious. This might repair after all now that I can see how well it's cleaned up.

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Pleased with myself and seeing a good opportunity to make use of some interesting light as the sun was setting, I headed off to see if I could find some suitable locations. Didn't do too badly in the end. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bask in the fruits of my labour thus far, all 20 hours of them.

 

First location is what used to be the local Drop In centre when I was a kid. Before that it was a school or a chapel or both, I'm not sure. I wish I had the funds to buy it to live in, it's absolutely ideal for what I want.

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Then just drove around until I found somewhere else fun.

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One thing I've learned about the BX is that it's a big pile of fun to drive! The last time I enjoyed driving a car this much was my old modified Polo which was an absolute hoot on the wiggly roads. Okay, so the Polo could be pushed a lot further before it tried to kill you, but that just adds to the appeal of hooning (safely, occifer) about in an estate car. This BX returns plenty of smiles per gallon and appears to run entirely on fresh air!

 

The other thing I learned is that it's feels very unlikely that the ball joint has failed, I'm going to get the tracking done instead because it might just be that which is wearing that tyre (I'll double check as per Krujoe's suggestion first). No knocks, squeaks or rattles to suggest anything on that corner (or any other corner) is seriously amiss mechanically and I do think it's often best to let sleeping dogs lie.

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The other thing I learned is that it's feels very unlikely that the ball joint has failed, I'm going to get the tracking done instead because it might just be that which is wearing that tyre (I'll double check as per Krujoe's suggestion first). No knocks, squeaks or rattles to suggest anything on that corner (or any other corner) is seriously amiss mechanically and I do think it's often best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Vera's ball joints were buggered but you wouldnt know by driving her, only with the wheels off the ground was the play evident.

 

8398003344_b795979fd6.jpg

1991 Citroen BX 1.7 TZD Turbo - H423 GBU by Micrashed, on Flickr

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Great stuff. So nice to see how far this car has come in terms of looks. Good luck with the other stuff it needs, but I'd imagine it just being clean will stop an MOT tester preparing his fail sheet before starting the job.

 

The BX is a fine handling car. I love the steering. Few PAS cars offer so much feedback and the gearing is perfect. Drove mine with several hundred kg of wood in the back today. No problem!

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If it weren't for my OCD, I probably wouldn't have cleaned so much, but it's been bothering me quite a bit of late and cleaning the car has always helped calm it down again. If the weather is as good tomorrow I've got a shortlist of jobs to go through, namely that front corner, why the washer bottle is leaking and possibly cleaning out the diesel filter thing with the black priming button on top now that I've got good hose to replace any bad. I'll work through the problems a bit at a time and keep an eye on the rot, much of the rust isn't that serious at the moment with the exception of that rear wing and I should at the very least be able to slow it down until I can get new metal let in. Just a shame that while I'm focusing funds and energy on the BX the Princess is being somewhat neglected while she waits her turn.

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My Photobucket bandwidth seems to be back again, so it's time for an update. I've been doing more technical fixing things on the car now that the cleaning is good enough (though still not finished) so that I could make sure everything was tip top mechanically.

 

I gave the driver's side wheel a wiggle with the car jacked up to find out if there's any play there, a sure sign of ball joint failure, and found absolutely no play whatsoever. Seems like the issue of tyre wear is more likely down to tracking then, everything else seems in good order on this side. I checked the other side too for good measure and that is just as healthy.

 

With the wheel off, I could look for that LHM leak and I think I've found it. The perished pipe, indicated, was replaced only in May of last year and looks more than ready for replacement again. New LHM return pipe is £25-30 posted so not a bank breaker but something that'll have to wait a week or two at the moment.

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What's probably the cause of the quiet knocking noise and the occasional judder is this engine mount. I can still get a replacement for this, but I'm not expecting it to be an easy job.

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Looks like a wheel has been chafing this handbrake cable too, but it doesn't look recent. No harm done really, but I'll keep an eye on it anyway.

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In a bid to improve the cold starting issues - I've been having to manually prime - I fixed the cold air intake for the air box with some gaffer because the pipe has disintegrated and won't seat properly. This also helped me eliminate a jingle I was hearing when driving which turned out to be the jubilee clip bouncing around on the pipe and jingling merrily on anything metal it found.

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Finally, I turned my attention to the fuel filter. I still don't have a manual but tbh, thanks to the forums and the knowledge I've gained over the past couple of years I surprised myself by just wading in and getting on with disconnecting the filter to clean it out. Two bolts hold it in place and once these are undone you just disconnect the fuel lines (wedging them upright so fuel doesn't go everywhere), and when you've got the filter unit over a suitable recepticle (kitchen sink in my case) undo the allen bolt on the underside of the filter housing and cover everything with whatever's left in the whole thing because it's full of various fuel oils and diesel and just like me you forgot that's what happens.

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Speaking of veg oils, one of the previous owners ran the car on what looks like unfiltered used veg oil with some animal fats, it had made a proper mess in the filter housing. This filter is fairly new too, having been replaced not long before I bought the car.

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I did purchase a new filter, but didn't manage to collect it until too late in the day to do anything about it. Instead, I cleaned off the worst of the slime and greb from the old filter and reinstated it. I will put the new filter in that I have, but probably only after the old one has had chance to catch any more slime and crud that's still in the system.

 

Happily, I no longer have cold start issues, though the car is a bit lazy to fire up, this could be down to any number of things but I'm guessing lazy glow plugs, a partially blocked fuel filter and sludge still in the system are the main culprits. The fuel hoses I planned to replace actually don't look or feel as bad as they did since I've been using the car so they're untouched for now.

 

Pocket money now has to go towards fuel so I can get to Brooklands for the Austin Morris day and pick up some stuff for my Princess - sad I can't go in the Princess :( - and after that I can start spending properly to get the BX tip top for the MoT in a few months time.

 

The list, as it stands:

> Welding, obviously £I-dread-to-think/FREE

> 1 LHM return pipe £30ish

> Timing belt & waterpump (doesn't show problems, but ought to be done and I have the parts to do this) FREE!

> 1 engine mount £10ish

> Tracking £15ish

> PAS fluid flush £?

> Glow plugs £20-40 for full set

 

Niggles:

> Acquire missing interior trim

> Acquire passenger door mirror

> Interior lights (works on passenger door switch, not on driver's)

> Central Locking (works after a fashion)

> Driver's side rear light cluster/lens

> Rear washer jet

> Tidier front washer jet/reinstate spray bar

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To make you feel better, here's what another BX diesel estate I used to own did today. Remember my old Mk1? It's covered many thousands of miles since I sold it, and has had vast amounts of work done. Today, it did this.

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I'm sure my mate won't mind me borrowing the pic. Camshaft seal failed in spectacular fashion.

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Knew I'd missed 'rocker cover gasket' off my niggle list, seeing all that oil was a timely reminder. What's the funny squeezy looking bit on the pipe coming off the left of the fuel filter? Expansion bubble or something?

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Knew I'd missed 'rocker cover gasket' off my niggle list, seeing all that oil was a timely reminder. What's the funny squeezy looking bit on the pipe coming off the left of the fuel filter? Expansion bubble or something?

 

 

Looks like a bulb for priming the fuel system, manually pumping it up from the tank. I've seen similar on outboard motors.

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One of the first jobs I did on my BX was the osf return pipe. I fitted a new one, but it shat its load within weeks.

 

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Quality=absent.

 

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Next MOT time, when I came to bodging it together properly*, I cut the new (but leaking) one in half:

 

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Ah, that can't be helping. Shocking.

 

Verdict: if you're buying, be sure it's a good one! You'd be better off with a good second hand one than that POS.

 

V&A, I thought you had a HBOL, but it seems not... as before, pm me your address if you want it, it's yours.

If you were closer, I'd have you pay me in kind by assuaging your OCD on Ronda, my 216. She'd love it!

 

 

PS, PAS equipped BXs' steering is all part of the LHM system, is it not? (My one had no PAS.)

So a fluid flush would mean a full LHM change. They have an LHM filter somewhere I believe, too.

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Yup. I did buy one of those cheap strut return pipes on Ebay. Just before the BX Club folk told me never to buy cheap strut return pipes on Ebay. AEP Direct still stock 'proper' ones. Well, I hope they do as I fitted two to my turbo diesel...

 

Hydraulic system is indeed all interlinked so there is no separate system for the steering. Changing the fluid and cleaning the filters is pretty easy, but fiddly and messy. You'll need a lot of rags. In short, unbolt the fuel filter (just to give more space), suspension in low, undo the pressure regulator (12mm bolt head sticking out of the front, near the accumulator), unclip reservoir, tilt it so you can remove the pipe gubbins at the top (all the pipes, filters are below). Remove the pipe gubbins in one unit. Remove reservoir. Dispose of oil (same as engine oil disposal). Clean reservoir inside (including removing the plastic disc and clearing all the crud out). Reservoir inner edge is very sharp so you may bleed to death. Remove filters (they variously clip into place). Clean with petrol and a brush (inside and out). Refit reservoir. Refit filters and pipe gubbins. Refill reservoir. OPTIONAL. Disconnect main pipe to pump and fill with LHM to prime the pump (I've never actually bothered with this). Refit pipe. Start engine. Do the pressure regulator back up. Suspension on high. Anxiously wait for several minutes to see if the car will actually rise. Wiggling the steering may help, but the amount of time this takes seems very variable. Ideally, you should now bleed the brakes to clear the lines of old LHM. This is where you discover that the bleed nipples are made of cheese. I don't always bother with this step for that very reason.

 

See? Easy.

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Hairymel: repliedified!

 

Krujoe: What the... why would anyone make pipes like that? Do you go by another name on the other forum? I get confused as to who's who, but someone has offered me a manual and it might be you, I don't know! I only don't have one because I've not got around to buying one yet. LAZY. I am willing trade skills/resources as required.

 

DW: I think I can put up with the PAS being intermittent for a bit longer yet. LAZY.

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Krujoe: What the... why would anyone make pipes like that?

I don't think it was intentional! Just really shit molds. And the shit rubber they used.

 

I use KruJoe on every forum, but I rarely post anywhere else. Barely have time to keep up with things on here these days!

I thought I read on here that you had a HBOL, so I didn't offer mine before, but you're more than welcome to it. *Awaits pm*

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With the wheel off, I could look for that LHM leak and I think I've found it. The perished pipe, indicated, was replaced only in May of last year and looks more than ready for replacement again. New LHM return pipe is £25-30 posted so not a bank breaker but something that'll have to wait a week or two at the moment.

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I've completely stopped using the rubber strut return pipes. I found the no-name ones from GSF and likes dont last more than a couple of years, and the genuine citroen ones are hugely over priced!

 

When looking through the workshop manual, i found that the original BXies had a rubber block strapped to the strut leg, but then two plastic barbed joiners and separate leak of pipes. I now have said barbed plastic joiners (normally used in aquariums) and some cheapo silicon hose of suitable diameter. So far, no problems, and no cracked rubber either. Might well be worth a try? If for no more reason than it only takes a stanley knife to fit them!

 

to give you an idea of what parts i used, something like this

barbed connector

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/STRAIGHT-PLAS ... 20c180a018

 

pipe

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Silicone-Vacu ... 43b1976930

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Vanny, I like that idea, I could put green LHM pipes on the car (but then how would you spot the LHM leaks, Angyl, you didn't think about that did you? Idiot).

 

----

 

Rather than tinkering with mechanical stuffs, I've gone back to some bodywork on Stripey. Finally got the rest of the stripes off the tailgate, this was made much easier by letting the sun warm the tailgate while I worked on the rear wing.

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Speaking of that rear wing, I attacked it with the flap wheel to eliminate as much rust as possible. I'd noticed that the flakes of paint were revealing more rust and although I didn't have perfectly matching paint (satin white, not ideal) I thought it best to arrest as much rust progress as possible. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, I was genuinely surprised at how honest the paint had been about the rust beneath.

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Some bits did fall off, but I was expecting this too. That's the top half that sits behind the bumper, the bottom half is still on the car, and the bracket that attaches the inner wing to the outer wing.

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That bracket was in a bad way. Looks like someone has bodged it to the car with fibreglass in the past, if it had been dealt with properly the rust probably wouldn't be so bad now.

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At least I don't have to go under the car to inspect what's what. Looks like I might need a little patch to the inner wing where the bracket sat.

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It also looks like there's a mud trap up in here that I missed cleaning out, so that needs dealing with sooner rather than later. I can get the hosepipe in a bit easier now at least.

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I gave the whole lot a coat of Kurust, and for the most part judging by the reaction colours, the metal is quite healthy except where the rust is obvious. It's a big repair, I have no illusion on that score, but it's not an impossible repair. After the Kurust had done it's stuff I roughly masked off what needed to be masked off and set to work with the paint. This is not my usual standard as it's only a preventative measure rather than a proper cure.

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Yes, it does bug me that the paint is a different colour and a different finish and it bugs me that I haven't tackled the inside of the arch, cut out the rot and welded in fresh metal... but I've done what I can and it at least looks marginally more presentable and less inclined to scatter bits of rust everywhere. It's a bodge at best, I make no excuse about it, but it should at least slow the rust down a bit while I save for the welder and serve as a marker for the likely areas to get welded up.

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For a really neat, non welded job on a flat surface [provided you can access both sides], try this. Cut out rot, offer up appropriate piece of metal up on the rear of the hole, clean rear of panel as well as you possibly can. Mark up on metal with pencil the exact size of hole to make template to fit hole exactly. After cutting template, Sikkoflex larger piece of steel [pref 1" overlap all round] on the back of template, then apply Sikkoflex to the overlapping bit, and stick on from the rear, leave to go off, and then a skim of filler. If you use the same gauge steel as the panel, and you're precise in your cutting of the panels, it's pretty much undectable [other adhesives also available, not suitable for load bearing structures, other caveats apply]

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Colc's right most franchise approved body shops now use adhesives to fit quarters, roofs etc rather than weld days so they're more than up to the job. I've seen a few patches using it pass mot's no bother as well. I wouldn't use it for anything structural but if you cut that rot out and joggled a replacement section and glued it in you'd have a pretty neat repair.

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And I would be taking you up on that offer, Mr Boll. Frustrating doesn't even begin to describe this job at the moment. I can get it fixed, but my hands are tied short term while I clear some work out of the way and earn some extra pennies.

 

After Brooklands on Sunday I'm risking removing the rear bumper because I can at least take the car off the road for a bit while I sort out what's left under there. In the meantime, it has to stay as it is, but it's only a week so I suppose I can live with it for now.

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Yes, I have, and we adjusted and now I can set off in big clouds of dieselly smoke and reach the heady heights of Motorway speeds! Pedal's a bit stiffer too, but in a reassuring way. I had forgotten to mention we had fettled that earlier today. The occasional stall and judder has gone too now because I can actually balance clutch and throttle properly.

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Would've been easier if Dad hadn't been all gung ho and lost the clip for the adjuster part. Sometimes, he gets a bit ahead of himself and before I know what's happening he's lost something or broken something. At least he managed to sort out a replacement clip, I think the original is somewhere in the oily gunge behind the alternator, I've fished around with a magnet but didn't manage to catch it and it hasn't gone on the floor or dropped in a hole in the car anywhere.

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Yeah... happily, it's not that stiff just normal car stiff as opposed to featherlight as it was before we adjusted it. Pedal feels right rather than about to break or something.

 

Just a tiny update today. A few moments ago a whole bunch of stuff arrived! It was like Wintereenmastide come early because every parcel revealed more BX goodies sent my way from the good folk of the internet. Thank you to all that sent me stuff at bargain prices, it is all useful. Set of (non BX) wheel trims, a fuel filter, big socket, ball joint removal tool, diesel engine HBOL, BX HBOL and a super special surprise gift that was hiding in the wheel trim box.

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That special suprise gift, amaze indeed. Handy too because it looks like one of my old clear bulbs (pictured below) was about to blow so I'd've needed to replace the sidelights soon anyway. Timely.

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Maybe wait till it's a bit darker to show them off better, they really are very yellow indeed...

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MUCH better now, so happy to not be looking at rusty steels anymore on this car. One step closer to three spoke alloys too.

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