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vulgalour

1987 Citroen BX

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Further to the above, I had a few minutes spare so decided to try out the new plan for the rear badges since all the materials were to hand.  Total time from grabbing materials to removing masking tape was 20 minutes, so this is a quick one.

Tools for this job:

Isopropyl alcohol and cotton buds or similar for cleaning the badges before paint

Some paper and good masking tape

Molotow liquid chrome pen

Humbrol acrylic varnish in Satin (not matt or gloss, this is important)

A steady hand

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It's really straightforward.  Before you start, clean off the surface of the badge with the alcohol based product to remove any dirt and polish residue and prep your surface.  Then simply colour the surface of the letters on the badge with the Molotow pen.  If you go slowly with the pen you will reduce the streaking you sometimes get and stubborn streaks can be carefully removed by dotting the pen on them and letting the paint/ink in the pen flow out and smooth.  With all the letters coloured, let the chrome flash off, no need to wait for it to fully dry, which will take a while with these pens, and it might even be favourable not to given what happens next.  If you get the chrome anywhere you don't want to, a dab with purple methylated spirit will remove it in most instances.

Once you've done the chrome, mask off around each badge (I find it easier to do now, you might find it easier to do this first before the chroming).  I stuck some tape to the paper first and then slid the edge of the tape under the edge of the badge, this gives a nice clean finish and while it's a bit fiddly to slide the tape under sometimes, it is worth the effort.  After that, give everything 2-4 light coats of the satin varnish.  The chrome paint didn't react with the satin in my case, and hasn't any other time I've done this, but I offer no guarantees since we're mixing brands here.  The chrome paint should start to flow a little under the varnish and will sparkle a bit as it resettles, this is not a problem for the finish we're going for on this.

When the varnish is touch dry, pull off the masking et voila!  Badges redone.  It's not exactly the factory finish, I suspect they're tampo or pad printed from new rather than painted like this.  The satin dulls down the chrome enough to make it look more like the bright silver of factory and looks less spray-painted than if you use something like wheel silver.  The varnish also helps seal and protect the black plastic of the badge, preventing fading, and providing everything has gone as it should you shouldn't have issues with the varnish peeling off later since it is designed for use on plastics.

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Another small detail that really helps the car look fresher and less tired.

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2 hours ago, barrett said:

Cracking effort on that. Every one I've had had faded door surrounds, and every one I thought to myself 'I'll just give that a quick rattle can blowover' and every one I never did. Maybe you could make a bit of money on the side selling making templates?

 

I have to say I did this on mine last summer, but I was so underwhelmed by the end result (probably because my BX is tatty) that I didn't bother writing it up in the thread. I think my initial reasoning was correct, as it has a far more noticeable effect on a much tidier car such as this one!

 

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I parked my new Range Rover L322 on the drive when vulg came back from the shops in the BX.

Everyone else has been lovely with comments about how nice the 322 is, but what was the first thing vulg said to me?

"Get that MONSTROSITY out of the way so I can park my BX."

Me:🥺

But I moved. Because BX.

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Another small cosmetic update, this time eliminating some rust spiders.  First up was to sand back the problem area to see what I was dealing with, I was surprised to find a lack of holes and the rust was easily removed, the surface given some rust treatment, and we were ready for paint fairly quickly on this one.

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I masked off on the lines of the car that would make a hard edge least visible, except the trailing edge which in hindsight I should have left open all the way back to the rear light.  Never mind, this can be sorted later.  With some primer, top coat, and lacquer the rust spiders were gone.  It's not a bad finish for an outdoor rattle can job and in a few days when it's hardened a bit I'll be able to give it a polish to improve things further.  I've a bit of hard line to deal with near the filler flap, and a bit of overspray to remove from the rubber trim strip where the tape failed, other than that I'm pretty happy with the end result and the defects can be dealt with when I polish, I'm not stressing about it.

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That looks much better. I checked those bubbles out when I bought it and it did seem solid. I thought at first it was from dirt building up by the fuel tank inlet pipe was causing it but it definitely from the outside in. Glad there were no holes there, just a mystery how it developed in the first place. 

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I'm guessing a stone chip caused it, the rust wasn't very deep at all, it was only just underneath the paint so came off really easily.  Looked much worse than it was, which is unusual for rust.  Makes me feel optimistic for the other little bits I need to address which don't look anywhere near as bad as this bit did.

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Here's an easy one; front bumper trim inserts.  Mine was missing almost all the original coating and was dented on the corners, both sides.

 

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It was the one bit of black trim on the car that looked bad and I'd put off doing it for no particular reason.  Thankfully, a tip off on the BX forum demonstrated that it was a simple matter to remove the trims by putting a screwdriver behind the insert and gently popping it free of the bumper.  All 6 clips both sides came out no bother and I soon had both trims cleaned and stripped of the last shreds of factory coating.  Normally I'd use generic satin black paint for this but since that wasn't at home, I used the black stonechip I had instead which turned out to generate a moderately close finish to the original and has the benefit of being well suited to a high impact part like this.  All 12 clips cleaned up well and none had any damage.  Here's one side after painting.

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The easiest way I found to reinstall the trim was to click the clips into the trim, three on each half, and then slide the clips along the trim until they line up with the bumper holes.  Then gently push the clips in at one end and pop them all home and the trim will pull snug to the bumper.  I also spent a bit of time straightening the dents and bends in the aluminium trims before painting so they sit a little nicer now.  Here's one trim fitted, you can see the holes in the bumper on the other side which is where the plastic clips click in.

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It's another of those small jobs that adds up with all the other small jobs to make a general improvement to the look of the car. Here it is with both fitted.  It has unfortunately highlighted that I need the little trims that go on the end of the bumper where it flares out to meet the wheel arch, a part that tends to be a bit on the pricey side when you do find it.  As a stop-gap, I could just paint that part of the bumper, I'd just rather do it right with the proper trim and a bit of adhesive to stop it escaping.

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Just a heads up with using black stonechip on parts exposed to the Sun, it tends to fade to grey and then white in a fairly short time.  I did a pair of wiper arms in it as it was all i had to hand and they went grey in a few weeks.

Hopefully yours will be fine and it was just the particular brand I used.

I do agree that they make a huge difference though and the car really is looking much fresher.

Cheers Ben 

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New numberplates arrived today. Entirely by chance, I found that A1 Showplates are still a thing (I'd not been able to find them when actually looking recently) and they have an exact Serck font available.  Thanks to  https://www.flickr.com/groups/serck/ for the link on their page and plenty of lovely Serck-y goodness.  The original plate had started delaminating which not only looked scruffy, but might have caused problems at future MoTs, so it's best to sort this now.  The only thing that had stopped me doing the plates sooner is that I couldn't find a supplier until very recently.  Here you can see the differences, and similarities, between the two plates.  If I'm being super picky, I did select the wrong font for the dealership details but we're not going for concours here so it doesn't actually matter, what matters is they look the part and are a very good replica of the original plate, which was the goal.

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It just makes me happy to see the car on proper plates rather than mismatched ones.  The fixing screws were moved to be through the letters, front and rear, so that black caps could be used for a smarter finish.  It's the little things.

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5 minutes ago, vulgalour said:

..... plenty of lovely Serck-y goodness.  The original plate had started delaminating which not only looked scruffy, but might have caused problems at future MoTs, so it's best to sort this now.  The only thing that had stopped me doing the plates sooner is that I couldn't find a supplier until very recently.  Here you can see the differences, and similarities, between the two plates.  If I'm being super picky, I did select the wrong font for the dealership details but we're not going for concours here so it doesn't actually matter, .....

Super-picky means getting the Serck font embossed in pressed aluminium, and nobody does that anymore. Or do they.....?

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Actually, pressed aluminium would have been incorrect in this instance.  The pressed aluminium plates were an earlier option (with some overlap, chronologically speaking) and while I do have a pair off a dead Princess, it seems the aluminium plate stopped being used just before the BX was released to the UK market, so it's very unlikely you'd see those.  Also, since my original dealer plate is an acrylic Serck, that's what I got made, because that's the super-picky thing to do.  I believe Tippers or Framptons do a pressed Serck plate, not cheap obviously.

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