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Sunny Jim

Sunny Jim's BX 16 RS Estate: Speedo Cable & MOT

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After using it for my daily 20 mile commute this past week I'm starting to compile a list of what requires attention.

1) Choke - the car has a manual choke but the cable has been disconnected from the carb. Today was my first chance to look at it so of course it's pissed it down nearly all day. When it finally stopped I took the plastic cover off the side of the carb and discovered that at some stage someone has taken it upon themselves to jam the choke flap in the pull down position by means of an artfully placed M13 nylock nut!

IMG_20200718_185239.thumb.jpg.e68115c3f31538e6fc18a8820ccc0e03.jpg

Not sure why this has been done or how I'm going to reconnect the cable - perhaps some of these bits that I found on top of the battery might help?

IMG_20200718_185209.thumb.jpg.592d2a6a72ed699b6451dd2890378135.jpg

By this stage I was getting hungry and I learnt a long time ago not to work on vehicles when I'm hungry. I'll come back to this tomorrow.

2) Speedometer not working. A conversation with a previous owner revealed the plastic fitting on the end of the cable where it fits into the speedo is broken. I've read an account on the BX forum of someone successfully repairing one with superglue and araldite but have bitten the bullet and ordered a new cable from Chevronics. This became more of a priority when I received my first ever NIP in the post today - I was caught doing 35mph in a 30 on the A5 in Llangollen on my way home from Norfolk last weekend - hopefully I'll just get a Speed Awareness Course.

IMG_20200718_232652.thumb.jpg.d153fef8b2f878a78e579da82dce89bd.jpg

3) Heater control stuck on hot. I'm hoping this is just a case of a cable having come adrift, I'll dismantle the centre console and have a look.

4) There was an advisory on the last MOT for a fluid leak from the NSR. On the advice of @dollywobbler I've been in touch with @mat_the_cat and will be making arrangements for him to take a look. This is my first hydropneumatic and I'm going to have to get my head round it but for now I want someone who knows what they're doing to have a look.

5) While not filthy the oil looks like it could do with a change so a new filter is also on order. In any case unless it's obviously just been done I like to service a car I've just bought.

6) There doesn't seem to be much in the way of antifreeze in the coolant so a flush and replenish is also on the cards.

7) While it appears generally solid there is some surface rust which will need attention before it gets worse. At some stage the car has been stored under an ill-fitting cover. On the plus side the usual places BXs go such as the inner wings and the bulkhead behind the washer bottles are all sound but unfortunately it's rubbed through the paint on the wheel arches and the window surrounds. @BertiePuntoCabrio was very upfront about this before I bought the car so I knew what I was getting into. 

IMG_20200719_085230.thumb.jpg.9eac361e47ad4e24b6750068f9e8a90d.jpg

The MOT is next month so hopefully it won't throw up too many surprises. For now I hope we have some good weather for the next few weekends while I work my way through this lot.

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Good progress already! 

Yes, I made sure any little piles of bits - like on the battery - where kept with the car just in case!

As for the upcoming mot, my favourite garage (see other thread) were confident and complimentary of the state of this underneath so fingers crossed for you! 

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Not a very successful day. Further investigation has revealed that the moving parts of the auto choke are seized and I'm not sure they're repairable. I'm therefore now hunting for new parts to repair the auto choke or a kit to properly convert it to a manual choke - I'm not sure that the cable that's been routed from the cabin was ever connected to the choke. So far I'm drawing blanks on either option so I might have to go down the route of sourcing a new carb. Ah, bugger.

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Those carbs are pretty crap anyway, so I'd personally be thinking about a Weber conversion. Some friends did this on a 1.9 with good success. 

Heater is almost certainly a stuck tap. If you jam your hand up behind the dashboard near the clutch pedal, you should be able to get your hand on it. Horrible job (on RHD) to get the matrix out to fix, but turning the heater fan to fully off should stop airflow I think. Been a while since I owned a BX.

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On 7/18/2020 at 11:08 PM, Sunny Jim said:

3) Heater control stuck on hot. I'm hoping this is just a case of a cable having come adrift, I'll dismantle the centre console and have a look.

I had to have my stuck value stripped and cleaned last year, horrid job so I had it done at Chevronics who have experience, but it cost £260 in just labour.

Mine also had the dash rotary control broken by being forced which was extra.

 

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On 7/18/2020 at 11:08 PM, Sunny Jim said:

After using it for my daily 20 mile commute this past week I'm starting to compile a list of what requires attention.

1) Choke - the car has a manual choke but the cable has been disconnected from the carb. Today was my first chance to look at it so of course it's pissed it down nearly all day. When it finally stopped I took the plastic cover off the side of the carb and discovered that at some stage someone has taken it upon themselves to jam the choke flap in the pull down position by means of an artfully placed M13 nylock nut!

IMG_20200718_185239.thumb.jpg.e68115c3f31538e6fc18a8820ccc0e03.jpg

Not sure why this has been done or how I'm going to reconnect the cable - perhaps some of these bits that I found on top of the battery might help?

IMG_20200718_185209.thumb.jpg.592d2a6a72ed699b6451dd2890378135.jpg

By this stage I was getting hungry and I learnt a long time ago not to work on vehicles when I'm hungry. I'll come back to this tomorrow.

2) Speedometer not working. A conversation with a previous owner revealed the plastic fitting on the end of the cable where it fits into the speedo is broken. I've read an account on the BX forum of someone successfully repairing one with superglue and araldite but have bitten the bullet and ordered a new cable from Chevronics. This became more of a priority when I received my first ever NIP in the post today - I was caught doing 35mph in a 30 on the A5 in Llangollen on my way home from Norfolk last weekend - hopefully I'll just get a Speed Awareness Course.

IMG_20200718_232652.thumb.jpg.d153fef8b2f878a78e579da82dce89bd.jpg

3) Heater control stuck on hot. I'm hoping this is just a case of a cable having come adrift, I'll dismantle the centre console and have a look.

4) There was an advisory on the last MOT for a fluid leak from the NSR. On the advice of @dollywobbler I've been in touch with @mat_the_cat and will be making arrangements for him to take a look. This is my first hydropneumatic and I'm going to have to get my head round it but for now I want someone who knows what they're doing to have a look.

5) While not filthy the oil looks like it could do with a change so a new filter is also on order. In any case unless it's obviously just been done I like to service a car I've just bought.

6) There doesn't seem to be much in the way of antifreeze in the coolant so a flush and replenish is also on the cards.

7) While it appears generally solid there is some surface rust which will need attention before it gets worse. At some stage the car has been stored under an ill-fitting cover. On the plus side the usual places BXs go such as the inner wings and the bulkhead behind the washer bottles are all sound but unfortunately it's rubbed through the paint on the wheel arches and the window surrounds. @BertiePuntoCabrio was very upfront about this before I bought the car so I knew what I was getting into. 

IMG_20200719_085230.thumb.jpg.9eac361e47ad4e24b6750068f9e8a90d.jpg

The MOT is next month so hopefully it won't throw up too many surprises. For now I hope we have some good weather for the next few weekends while I work my way through this lot.

35 in a 30. Sorry to see. Without turning this thread into a speeding rant here in London we have 20 and 30 MPH zones. Hardly anybody complies except me and my little Citroen AX (yes there is Citroen content here) gets a fair amount of abuse for sticking to the limit. A crazy old world.

Nice car nice posts 👏- the carb is a lovely old bodge 🖼. I will be in France this summer I hope - if you are stuck for a carb let me know - gives me an excuse to hang about French scrap yards. 😁

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1 hour ago, Six-cylinder said:

I had to have my stuck value stripped and cleaned last year, horrid job so I had it done at Chevronics who have experience, but it cost £260 in just labour.

Mine also had the dash rotary control broken by being forced which was extra.

 

Agreed that it's a horrible job, especially on a RHD car as the steering column gets in the way rather! Be gentle with the valve too, as the sliding part is brittle so can break easily. If it is jammed then removal and stripping is likely the only option.

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Extensive googling and use of my schoolboy French has led me to track down a NOS Solex on a French website at a price I'm willing* to pay. If the vendor will accept PayPal will I get some sort of protection? He appears to be straight down the line but it's hard to tell in another language.

Hopefully I'm negotiating to buy a carburettor and not one of these!

solexindexthumb.jpg.d2918f00149225d3e4f3f6f5406d8d07.jpg

 

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Last Saturday I went over the mountain to @mat_the_cat who kindly had a look at the BX's suspension. The car had had an advisory for a fluid leak from the NSR at the last MOT but after removing the gaiter and cleaning it mat could find no trace of it so I'll put that down as solved. Mat also showed me how to lubricate the front struts. All in all a productive visit, I'm much indebted to mat for generously sharing his knowledge.

The rest of the week has been spent trying to track down a carburettor. After chasing up possible leads in France and the Netherlands one turned up in Leeds so on the hottest day of the year I did a six hour round trip to go and get it.

IMG_20200801_134422.thumb.jpg.6f6b2355740a876ac7108450414fe503.jpg

Getting the old one out was relatively straightforward but it was only when I had them side by side that I started to notice a few differences in spite of them having the same model number.

IMG_20200801_140759.thumb.jpg.de610acacb58fb1fa6547276a117608c.jpg

The bracket for the throttle cable was bent on the new one and not having a decent vice to hand I decided to just transfer the one from the old carb to the new.

Included with the new carb was a little bag containing the all important wax stat and associated bits for the automatic choke which is what was FUBARed on the old one. I admit to spending too long trying to figure out where the extra threaded pipe was supposed to go.

IMG_20200801_141746.thumb.jpg.18d9ef6a4f2344213555c9e5bf65ce99.jpg

After awhile (and feeling rather foolish) I finally twigged that it was nothing to do with the auto choke but in fact was an alternative smaller diameter fitting for the fuel inlet pipe! Some models had larger diameter fuel pipes I recall reading somewhere.

IMG_20200801_142807.thumb.jpg.21f3300316ed36e2aad4e41697e37f89.jpg

This left me with one more problem to solve. My old carb had no fuel return but the new one did. HBOL and google weren't providing any answers, just some pictures of carbs with and without fuel returns but no mention of how the fuel return should be plumbed in. I decided the best thing to do was see if the car had a return fuel pipe and where it ran. After tracing it under the car and into the engine bay I discovered that for some reason the fuel return on my car was plumbed into a T-piece on the fuel inlet to the carb.

IMG_20200801_164907_LI.thumb.jpg.848a9d086e345a8e11fd6b06c4ebf9c0.jpg

That piece of pipe looked past its best in any case so I replaced it with a new run straight onto the carb. Fortunately the return was long enough to reach onto the carb so I treated it to a proper clip dispensing with the old jubilee clip. I'm just assuming I've done the right thing here - all this is new to me - so please feel free to put me right if I've made a mistake.

I was much relieved when it started first time with no throttle!

I think it's idling too fast, tomorrow I'm going to check I haven't got too much tension in throttle cable holding it open a little. If that's not the case I'll let it warm up fully and try tweaking the idle speed screw to see what I can achieve.

All in all a satisfactory afternoon's work. I heard back from North Wales Police this week with the offer of an online speed awareness course. £88 for a Zoom meeting! Therefore next on the list is the speedo cable.

 

 

 

 

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I had a crack at the speedo cable last weekend. It was fairly easy to get the instrument binnacle removed as a significant quantity of the fixings were missing - someone had been there before but not put it back together properly. It was obvious what was wrong.

IMG_20200809_123218.thumb.jpg.97c95fb31a0ecffe5ff6a386b1fc6681.jpg

I taped the bottom of the new cable to the top of the old and started to pull it through. After about a metre it was refusing to budge and I really didn't want it to damage the part of the loom that runs through the same area. I carefully pulled it back out and gave it a liberal dousing of liquid soap. The lubrication did the trick and it pulled through easily.

IMG_20200809_131310.thumb.jpg.66bf79f247bf4cfeb0a12775b18e74e5.jpg

I put everything back together and went for a test drive. Still no speedo, bugger! Fortunately I had the right size square drive in a box of screwdriver bits to fit into the bottom of the cable so I put that on the end of my cordless drill and was able to prove that the new cable I'd just installed worked.

The BX speedo cable is in two parts with a joint on the engine bay side of the bulkhead. I jacked the front of the car up, switched on and put it in gear so that I could check the bottom cable which comes up from the gearbox. I could see the square drive turning so it appeared* that the bottom cable was ok too. I attached the two parts of the cable and tested it again but the speedo was still inop. At this stage my poor little brain was starting to hurt. I knew the top cable was ok because I'd tested it with the drill and I could see the bottom cable rotating and just couldn't figure out why the speedo wouldn't work when the two cables were connected.

At this stage I retired for a cup of tea and a think. Logically the problem was more likely to be with the old, lower cable than the brand new upper one. Feeling a bit bolder I turned the car on again and put it in gear. I gently held the square drive end of the lower cable between my thumb and forefinger while it rotated however even a light squeeze was enough to stop the cable turning. So I now knew the problem was with either the lower cable or the drive on the gearbox. I had a few days wait for the new lower cable to arrive and although it was a bit of an arse getting the rubber retaining pin out of the old one the new cable did the trick and I now have a functioning speedo cable (and no excuses for not obeying the limit!).

Yesterday I put it in for its MOT. Ostensibly I was at work but I might have spent a lot of the morning refreshing the DVLA MOT checker page on my phone until I saw this:

1276824960_Screenshot_20200814-1547391.thumb.jpg.6ccd2d33ba8c17a2ed7517156b955b84.jpg

MOT passed with no advisories! I is a very happy lad. When I went to pick the car up the receptionist told me that when the tester had seen the booking he'd commented that a BX was a proper eighties car and that he'd look forward to doing it. I guess I should add Ffrydlas Garage, Bethesda to the recommended garages thread. There's still the stuck heater control and other jobs but for this weekend I going to try and find some roads which aren't jammed with tourists and enjoy a drive.

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