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vulgalour

1987 Citroen BX

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The previous owner to be had them up for sale on the Facebook group. I did message him but no response. I'll imagine they were snapped up quickly. It's a shame it was stripped of its accessories as it had them from new from what I could garner.

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Well, we'll just have to work on fixing that.

The combination of low trim and all these accessories is pretty strange for a Citroen.  It's the sort of thing giffers do with Acclaims that they then keep for forty years, touching up stone chips with a 2" brush as they go.  It's such a weird thing to see done to a BX, and part of why I love it.

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Last night, I put the epoxy required on the outside of the panel with masking tape dams to prevent the epoxy running where I didn't want to.  Once the epoxy was touch dry, but before it was fully hardened, I peeled the masking tape off so it didn't get trapped.

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Today, with the epoxy fully hardened, I set to with small files first to take down the bulk of the material and then very fine wet and dry sand paper to remove any file marks and smooth out the joins as much as possible.  Rather like body filler, you do seem to end up taking off about 90% of what you applied.  The end result should be a strong and visually diminished repair, if not an invisible one.  To remove the really fine scratches in the plastic I went over the whole thing with T-cut which also helped remove fine historic scratches and improve the general appearance of the piece.

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After T-cut I blobbed some Citadel clear red paint on anywhere on the back of the panel light shone through, and then a splash of Halfords' wheel silver paint which is just about a perfect match for the silver paint on the back of the panel.  Once dry, it was a case of finding out which holes lined up before fitting to the car.  2 holes on the tailblazer lined up with those on my number plate and none of them lined up with the four holes drilled into the tailgate so I had to drill two more in the tailgate to screw this all together.  The little aluminium France badge and the Autoshite sticker didn't have to be removed as they didn't stop the tailblazer from fitting.  Overall, I'd say this job was a reasonable success.  Don't worry, that's not a B****t P***y sticker on the back window... well it is, but not in support of it. Trollolololol.

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How right does that number plate look now too?  Fantastic.

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I've had at least one BX with the door handle protectors, I don't think they're mega rare but, like trailblazers, they actually look a bit shit when they're fitted so I guess most have been binned by now. I'd work out what they're called in French and have a look on LBC if you're desperate, there are thousands of BX bits for sale there mostly at decent prices. I've never managed to find a set of headlamp deflectors, even my super-accessoried TZD didn't have them, so I reckon you might struggle there. Even Xantia deflectors are pretty rare these days but, again, they actually look quite shit beyond the 'novelty giffer trinkets' factor

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I don't disagree, it's all plastic tat really, I'm only wanting to put it all back because that's what it had for so many years, and the headlight protectors are good at hiding how wobbly that bonnet is.  I don't know how anyone finds anything on LBC, I find it very counter intuitive and my extremely limited grasp of the language is probably not helping.

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Exactly the same as ebay innit, search for 'BX' in the car parts section. Admittedly the mobile site is quite naff but the desktop is actually easier to use than ebay I reckon. I did have a 0.6sec look just now but couldn't find anything. Lots of lovely hubcaps though. 

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Those are the ones. Wow they're expensive though, I really hope that's not the actual going rate.  I found out why I was having problems now, I was trying to figure out the map of France that it pops up when there's no need to do that at all.  I R TEH DURR.  Much easier.  I'm going to end up wasting so much time now, I hope you're both happy.

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1 minute ago, vulgalour said:

There's no point, it'll be in a different place tomorrow.  Seems to move about a bit.

The curve on the tip doesn't look right either...have to assume generic replacement fitted at some point which doesn't fit as well as it should.

Would be high on my to do list as the flattened curve of the tailpipe is part of the look of the back of a BX (and I like that Citroen carried it over somewhat to the Xantia)...but I understand that the proper ones are probably a pig to find these days...plus it's your car so my OCD means nothing!

My Lada having the wrong tailpipe fitted really bugs me...

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Since the rear number plate was pointed out as being slightly wonky, it's been bugging me a lot.  Using the little squares that form the reflective pattern of the back panel I realigned the number plate.  It required very, very minimal filing of the number plate holes, about .25mm to the top of one and the bottom of the other, and it's now straight again.  This was then undone by the fact that the plate is slightly warped on the driver's side and casts a bit more shadow at the corner, making it look wonky again.

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The exhaust either needs rotating or the hanger bending slightly to get the alignment improved on that, neither of which are jobs I wanted to do today.  I can't remember whether or not the exhaust was wonky when I got the car, but since I've had it off and back on again it's entirely possible it wasn't and I've just refitted it slightly off.  It's not difficult to sort, I imagine.  The rear hanger can be got to even with the car on low, just fiddly.
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I have been waiting for something, anything, to happen to report.  Honestly, it's as boringly reliable as the car it replaced.  There's cosmetic jobs I haven't done because I simply haven't had time to get into them.  The Princess has been a little demanding of late and that's been nibbling into the savings and the free time so the BX has mostly just been getting driven and washed and nothing else.

I only have one minor grumble which is an occasional reluctance to start when I've not used the car for a couple of days.  It always does start, but it's like the glowplugs aren't quite doing their job so you need to crank a little longer than usual, and sometimes you'll get a puff of grey-ish smoke out the exhaust.  After this one reluctant start, it goes back to starting perfectly normally with no smoke, and if you use the car every day it doesn't do it at all.  I've been doing a lot of short runs as well, which isn't ideal for a diesel, so I'll get it down the A19 or something and blow the cobwebs out a bit, that should help.

I am after a lower steering column shroud panel, after having mine apart and back together a few times, it's starting getting quite creaky which isn't helped by the historic crack it has from someone overtightening it in the past.

Oh, there was one more thing!  The blowers are crap.  Even set to max power, the air they push out barely reaches the steering wheel.  This is something I learned in the recent very hot weather.  The blowers are fine for clearing the windscreen etc. they're just appalling for providing any amount of actual ventilation to the people in the car.

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Regarding the awkward start and grey smoke. Check that the lines aren't draining of fuel while stood, check condition of fuel filter (because with it been stood a while it could have crap in it) and check the leak off pipes for splits, cracks and leaks.

I would go for the leak off pipes first as that has caused me many issues including exactly what you describe.

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Glad to hear it's doing you sterling service. I can't remember if it was this one or shonky I replaced the leak of pipes on. If it's got the metal fuel filter by the engine mount with the button on top these are really prone to air leaks. Can relate to the crap fresh air system on the bx, the c15 van I'm driving is even worse. Also check the back of the steering wheel isn't rubbing the steering surrounds, this causes a horrible creaking noise. Solution is easy though, release the column where it bolts into the uj by the pedals and pull it out a smidgen. I always got into the habit of listening for the glow plug relay click when turning on the ignition as I've lost count how many times I tried to clean up the connections on that. 

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I shall check the leak off pipes, etc.  I haven't noticed any fuel leaking out anywhere, and there's never a diesel smell, so at the moment I'm still thinking it's more likely to be old glow plugs.  Doesn't cost anything to look at other potential issues, all the same, so I'll do just that. The glowplug relay light now seems to be reliable, it looks like one of the pins in the wiring loom side of the connector plug is slightly loose in the holder, after much experimentation, it was wiggling one of these wires that always sorted the connection out.  The relay itself and even the connection is okay now and thoroughly cleaned from the number of times I was trying to find the root cause. The low coolant light is a similar issue, the weight of the loom beneath the spur the connector is on seems to be pulling the connection slightly loose through general engine vibration, a slightly longer spur would probably mitigate this completely, or some sort of locking system on the connector plug. That light hasn't come on for quite some time when it shouldn't so I'm considering that one fixed too.

On the steering column shroud it's definitely the shroud and not the wheel rubbing on it, the ignition side of the panel is slightly warped so it sometimes pops the wrong side of the upper panel when it's got hot in the cabin and that's what is creaking.  I'm pretty sure a new lower panel would solve it, the one on the car doesn't want to sit flat when removed and I can't persuade it to go back to the original shape to do a glue repair on it, which is a shame.

For the blower motors, BX club suggested it was the tracks possibly at fault, so I guess I'll be pulling the centre console apart to investigate that in the near future.

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15 hours ago, vulgalour said:

..... The blowers are crap.  Even set to max power, the air they push out barely reaches the steering wheel.  This is something I learned in the recent very hot weather.  The blowers are fine for clearing the windscreen etc. they're just appalling for providing any amount of actual ventilation to the people in the car.

Because Citroen. Do have a sit in a CX and try the ventilation in that - I can assure you it's even worse, assuming that the blower resistor hasn't fried itself. Footwells somehow stay warm in both winter....and summer.

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Puff of smoke problem eliminated.  There was nothing obviously physically amiss, such as leak off pipes weeping, but I had a suggestion from the BX club to wait 5 seconds after the glowplug light goes out on the first start.  Amazingly, that worked, car starts without the smoke or any reluctance, problem solved.

Blower fan problem is most likely the dirty tracks as suggested by pretty much everyone because the other day, without the blower on max, the air actually reached my face.  Then it didn't, then it nearly did, then it didn't.  The closest I can get to explaining what it's like is a lightbulb that's flickering due to a poor connection.  At some point I'll dismantle the centre console and have a fettle.  Thing is, I'm driving around the problem since the blowers defog perfectly well and if I want fresh air I can crack the window open and it's actually really pleasant, negating the need for the blowers.  Because of the wind deflectors you can even open the windows when it's raining and not get wet while still getting fresh air.  So it's seriously low priority for me since it doesn't make driving the car unpleasant and it's not likely to be a danger to anything as it is.

Still not got used to how infrequently I'm having to fuel up.

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Ah  bugger, forgot to say about the extra time on glowplugs trick, i just do it automatically these days. It's fantastic on fuel for an old tech diesel engine. It does make you wonder why new diesels haven't cracked 100mpg yet with all the technological advances these days. You can keep your common rail, dual mass flywheel, dpf modern engines, I love an old school engine with a nice diesel sound.

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Today, decided to tackle the blower fan control on the BX.  It's a bit of a palaver getting the centre console dismantled, quite a few screws and whatnot.  Eventually, I got to the little circuit board I needed to access to see if it was the suspected dirty contact tracks that might be causing the issue and do you know what, it could just be.

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As a little bonus, I found three loose dial spring clips in the centre console so that saves me trying to source replacements for when I put the dials back on, I'm missing one, except now of course I have two surplus.
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After cleaning up the contacts and the track I also replaced the two blown bulbs with new spares I had from doing the instrument cluster since I might as well while everything's apart.  Tested the bulbs and they work just fine.  The tracks I couldn't test because try as I might I could not find a single shop stocking suitable grease so I'm going to have to place an online order and wait for some to arrive.  I can probably reassemble the control without grease but since there was some on there and it seems like normal practice for this sort of controller, I feel it's sensible to apply fresh before reassembly.  Especially so given how annoying assembly and disassembly of this whole section is.
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The other thing that was sorted was the radio wiring.  There was nothing especially dangerous in there, just some extra bits that didn't need to be there.  Mike kindly stripped out the extraneous plug and the choc-block connector in favour of soldered and wrapped connections, it's a low stress area as far as movement is concerned so we shouldn't need to worry about cracked solder joints here and it just tidies things up.
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That's as far as we got.  I'll clean up the various plastics since I can get in at all the awkward bits with it all apart, and then reassemble once the contact grease arrives.
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On 8/3/2019 at 4:19 PM, dean36014 said:

Ah  bugger, forgot to say about the extra time on glowplugs trick, i just do it automatically these days. It's fantastic on fuel for an old tech diesel engine. It does make you wonder why new diesels haven't cracked 100mpg yet with all the technological advances these days. You can keep your common rail, dual mass flywheel, dpf modern engines, I love an old school engine with a nice diesel sound.

They would if it wasn't a continuous battle to meet tightening emissions regulations and demand for refinement. But I'd rather that and diesels using more fuel than chucking dirty shit out in cities and towns from the exhaust which happens to be at the height of small children. I.e. those affected the most. 

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While we wait for the contact grease to arrive from Lithuania it's a good opportunity to get the broken console fixing peg reattached.  First up was trying to find out where it went, which meant even more dashboard dismantling.

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To the right, in the middle of the hole you can see a metal bracket.  There should be another to the left side of the hold, where the thicker part of the wiring loom is.  I'm not exactly sure how someone has broken that bit in the past, it's not exactly easy to get to, nor is it really in the line of fire of anything.  Fortunately, the break was fairly clean and I could get to everything without too much trouble.

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Plenty of surfaces to glue to which should make for a good strong repair.  I'm using the same epoxy glue I used for the sunvisor clip since that did an excellent job and is probably higher stress than this area.  A bit of duct tape was used just to keep the part in place while the glue dried because I didn't want to be sat holding it for half an hour and there's no way to get clamps or similar on there to keep it in place.

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While that was drying I could clean up the black panel that all the various little bits and pieces slot into, like the ashtray, under which was the usual grime that's pretty much impossible to clean up with it attached to the car.

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Lovely.  With that cleaned out and all the various bits and pieces cleaned, I reassembled as much as I could.  Someone has put two large self-tapping screws through the sides of the centre console, what I think of as the 'wings' of the dashboard panel. At first I thought this was to hold everything together because of that broken fixing peg, it turns out it's because the dashboard is warped slightly and that's the only way to get the wings to pull snug to the centre console nicely.

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That's also why there's a bigger gap one side than the other.  Ideally, I could do with a new dashboard shell, this will have to do for now.  I plopped the top trim panel in place but didn't screw it down yet as I can't rebuild the heater controls until the grease arrives and, since this top section is quite awkward to remove, it makes sense to not actually fit it just yet.  After fixing that peg, there's a lot less movement in this console now, unsurprisingly, which makes it feel just a little bit better built than it did before.  It was also nice to get a couple of decades of grime out of all the inaccessible bits, like the blower fan ducting, and just make the whole thing look a feel that little bit nicer in a way regular cleaning doesn't allow.

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Decided to see if I could do something about those badly sun faded door bins on the BX today.  The before shot is of the driver's side, because I forgot to take one of the passenger side.  Very straightforward door panel to remove, thankfully, and everything was in pretty good order.  I suspect the speakers have been upgraded a long time ago since the wiring to the paper cone Pioneer in the passenger door had been tampered with.  Just an observation, no causes for concern.  Disconnecting the electric window switch was nice and easy too, in fact dismantling the whole door card was one of the easier ones of its type I've done.

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I have several different greys, none were a match for what I wanted, so I went out and bought several more greys and none of those were a match either!  So, I did the best I could with multiple passes of two greys that were either side of the shade I wanted.  It's not the end result I wanted, though I am happy that it's visually improved the door bin and it doesn't jump out anything like it used to now so it's good enough.  Certainly saves me trying to track down a correct replacement in better condition.  I used a combination of plastic primer, Rustoleum enamel, and Humbrol satin varnish to get it to look something like close to what I wanted.

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I do intend eventually to get some matching seat cloth to redo the seats, as it happens, a link to a supplier was provided earlier in the thread, handily.  Not for the door bins though, they should be plain grey plastic.  Trying my best to keep this one original and not even modify things a little bit unless it's a necessity for functionality.

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On 6/22/2019 at 1:55 AM, Tadhg Tiogar said:

Not looking forward to dismantling CX instrument lunule when it's time to go the LED route. The 'door open' indicators don't work for the front doors, and neither does the "fasten seat belt" pictogram.

Not possible to dim the LEDs using the Citroën rhéostat wheel; need a PWM circuit for that.

I don’t think I had to do much with my s2, the Pallas though had a couple of blown bulbs on the rotating dials which wasn’t too bad, but necessitated removing the radio pod to be able to get a screwdriver vertically under the left hand satellite module. 

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