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1987 Citroen BX

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Now back on the original trims, which are all nicely restored, after a quick and dirty clean up of the steel rims.  Wheel trims are put on before the bolts now too, so they can't get flung off.  The design of the trims means they don't stop the wheel nuts meeting the face of the wheels properly and the design of the collar on the wheel nuts prevents the trims from being able to be pulled off.


I do like how the chrome trims looked but they weren't as secure on the BX wheels as they were on the Princess wheels and I was concerned I might lose one.  Additionally, I'm embracing the challenge of keeping the BX factory, especially given the rarity of low trim models now.

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Today my wallet had a crash diet so I could order all the fluids and parts needed for the one big job outstanding on this car:  Timing belt.  I've decided to do coolant, water pump, timing belt, tensioner, oil, and oil filter, all at the same time.  It gives me a good service starting point that way and gives the car the best chance of staying as nice as it currently is.

One of the things that had been bugging me is the little LHM leak at the front.  I was waiting to get the car on the lift to see if it really was one of the unions on the brake master cylinder when I realised today that there's a return hose on the top.  While the car was running, I gave the hose a wiggle and sure enough, LHM came out.  Stop wiggling it while the car is running, no LHM comes out.  Turn the car off, LHM comes out.  In the following picture, the black hose to the left that goes to the rusty thing (that's the master cylinder) is what's generating that little green puddle and making everything wet.  I've unplugged a connector that sits right on top of this both so you can see it, and for access.


The return line simply pulls off, and access is fiddly but not as terrible as it might be.  You can see the little rubber hose that connects the plastic line to the metal stub on the cylinder has split in a few places and this is what was leaking.


I'm guessing it's just a very old pipe which is why it's split like that.  To replace it, Mike had a rummage and found some suitable diameter hose.  Since this is only a return line, it doesn't need any clamps, it literally just pushes into place.


A bit of bumbling about after everything was cleaned off and it seems to have solved the leak.  Also, looking down the back of the engine as much as I could, it looks like the tiny spot of black oil under the car has actually been from the LHM leaking here and running down things, washing off old oil from the rocker cover gasket leak - fixed recently - and dirt from the engine and dumping it on the floor.  Hopefully I won't have any oil drops under the car now.


I'm still trying to figure out what exactly is leaking on the back corner of the car, I suspect it's going to be a similar split old return hose issue since it manifests in much the same way.  I just can't see where the leak is exactly, I suspect it's hidden up above the suspension stuff at the back, out of sight, so could be a nuisance to locate without exploratory dismantling.

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It deserves the attention, it's a very good car.  Probably my best purchase ever, in fact.  Picked up the rest of the timing belt kit today since it had arrived and took the opportunity to fuel up which has delivered a mind bogglingly frugal 47mpg for urban-only.

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Yep it's fantastic on fuel, great to see you enjoying it now. It was a faithful servant to me other than the pipe bursting.  The only downside I felt that car had was the drone from the air intake pipe. I eventually found an new old stock replacement but never got to drive it with it fitted, is it more acceptable noise levels now?

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I'll be sure to check the timing side of things when I do the belt, though I think it's just that the 1.7 version of this engine is quiet for an old diesel of its sort.  A modern diesel is certainly quieter, and this one still has that characteristic clatter that makes them so appealing, it's just a happy engine so far as I can tell.  Glad you're enjoying the updates, it's a joy to own so far.

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Was going to have a look at this timing belt job and then discovered I've misplaced my diesel manual.  £5 later I've ordered the relevant tome so perhaps that'll be a job for this weekend.  Found and cured another LHM leak that was leaving a small dot on the floor at the front, this time it was a union going into what I assume is the main LHM pump, a unit to the passenger side of the engine.  Half a turn of the union, a clean of all surfaces I could get to, and that dot has stopped appearing.  The only leak at the front now that I can see (parked over cardboard today to see what it dropped) is the black engine oil spot on the timing belt side.  There is old oil deposits all down the back of the engine on this side but no obvious source and after cleaning the bottom of the engine as far as I could reach, no fresh oil is appearing.  I'm hoping that it's just old oil deposits from the LHM return line leak and the cam cover leak that are now resolved and it's just the hot cycles of the engine melting the remaining oil off the engine and dropping it on the floor.  If I can get the BX up on the workshop lift I'll hit the whole area with some degreaser, it's a pretty awkward thing to clean with the car on axle stands at home.

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