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CITROËN BX 14 E Leader


rob88h

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interior plastics on 80’s French are renowned as a weakness in every sense of the word. The Leader’s interior is mint to be fair (to my standards) other than the one missing c-pillar trim.

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@Rust Collector provided me with the parts and I spent several months doing nothing about it. 

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After some practice line ups Superglue was applied. 

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I sanded the back and contemplated the baking soda and Superglue cement approach, but I tried it on a broom handle first and it was a right mess! So, I stuck with fibreglass and Araldite as reinforcement. 

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All back in and secure, being very careful not to shatter any more of it!

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The main satisfaction is that it’s no longer getting  in the way in the dining room, because as driver you rarely see this part of the car** so it hadn’t been bothering me.


**Blindspot Schmlindspot.

 

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I think the accumulator is dying on the Leader, so I’ve ordered a new one. It’s always been a “ticker” (pressure relief valve?), every 15 seconds or so at normal height at idle. Now I get the STOP light for several minutes on first start of the day. Subsequent starts the light clears very quickly. The LHM level is correct.

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7 hours ago, rob88h said:

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I think the accumulator is dying on the Leader, so I’ve ordered a new one. It’s always been a “ticker” (pressure relief valve?), every 15 seconds or so at normal height at idle. Now I get the STOP light for several minutes on first start of the day. Subsequent starts the light clears very quickly. The LHM level is correct.

Rapid ticking is because the accumulator is flat, probably the cause of the long stop lights too.

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1 hour ago, richardmorris said:

probably the cause of the long stop lights

My thinking is that the flat accumulator means when I start it up in the morning it’s taking more time to charge (for want of a better word) the accumulator and get the system to the right pressure. Also, without the accumulator to balance demands on the system, the pump is cutting in more frequently to top the pressure up until the PRV ticks back off. 
My basic theories anyway, this is my first hydropneumatic Citroen…

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21 minutes ago, rob88h said:

My thinking is that the flat accumulator means when I start it up in the morning it’s taking more time to charge (for want of a better word) the accumulator and get the system to the right pressure. Also, without the accumulator to balance demands on the system, the pump is cutting in more frequently to top the pressure up until the PRV ticks back off. 
My basic theories anyway, this is my first hydropneumatic Citroen…

That’s about right, it’s basically a reservoir of pressure that needs charging. With less nitrogen on the one side of the membrane the volume to charge up is higher and takes longer.  Remember that nitrogen is compressed and the liquid LHM is not.
I think they also have a brake sphere too ( my CXs did) and if this is flat that also affects the red light as every time you brake ( and in CXs steer) you’re taking what reserves the accumulator sphere has.

my second CXs brake sphere was totally flat and navigating roundabouts or parallel parking caused a complete loss of assistance to the diravi steering. 

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14 hours ago, richardmorris said:

That’s about right, it’s basically a reservoir of pressure that needs charging. With less nitrogen on the one side of the membrane the volume to charge up is higher and takes longer.  Remember that nitrogen is compressed and the liquid LHM is not.
I think they also have a brake sphere too ( my CXs did) and if this is flat that also affects the red light as every time you brake ( and in CXs steer) you’re taking what reserves the accumulator sphere has.

my second CXs brake sphere was totally flat and navigating roundabouts or parallel parking caused a complete loss of assistance to the diravi steering. 

There was no brake sphere on BXs. The safety valve on the subframe made sure that the brakes were prioritised before any other systems. As it's a 1.4 it will have the simplest of any Citroen LHM hydraulics, with no power steering, just suspension and brakes. 

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What lovely weather we’d been having in October - now that I’d got a chance to work on the car for a couple of hours today it’s been pissing it down. 
To recap, The Leader has always been a ticker. Ticks when it rises up, ticks when it’s idling in traffic, ticks when you dab the brake. The accumulator, then, is clearly not accumulatoring. 
More recently I’ve been getting lengthy spells of STOP light on first start up after it’s been sat a few hours. As this is my only car at the moment it’s been getting tiresome setting off early and arriving late all the time while I wait for the STOP light to clear. 

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I found it weirdly stressful jacking this car on to stands with all the “can crush you” stories, but really it’s not to be scared of. I put it in high, rolled the Jack under, jacked it up a smidge, put some stands under, lowered the Jack then set the car to low. No drama. 
The depressurisation bleed screw was duly turned enough (but not too much) and the old accumulator simply unscrewed, thanks to the tool provided by @wesacosa

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It couldn’t be easier on a 14E BX, in fact you might be able to get away with doing this at ground level on low. 

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New and old. Is there somewhere I should send my old one for refurb? Seems a bit wasteful to simple bin it if it can be repaired and help out another Citroen. 
I cleaned up the mating face but didn’t realise the seal is internal to the PRV thinking it was a face seal, so attempt one saw this reassembled with the old seal and new seal in place... It soon let me know with an LHM based dirty protest. Attempt two and we were leak free. (Insight now gained into the more urgent need for an LHM change due the the fact it has gone a urine shade of yellow, the dehydrated kind)

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Loads of bleed nipple bleeding then occurred. Maybe too much. But I came to the conclusion I’m not expecting to ever get liquid out of the bleed screw so took it from the stands safely and did some slow-mo low rider bouncing (Citrobatics). 
 

Annoyingly the STOP light was staying on for several minutes still, so after checking the internet and some more help from @wesacosa I discovered I had wrongly assumed the STOP light was for the hydraulics only. I also found out that what now turns out to be a Low Coolant light is in fact not an LHM system fault light! I feel like a right idiot.

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In summary it only needed a splash of coolant.., but got an accumulator change in the rain as well. 
(The accumulator was kippered though, so glad I got it done before I ran the pump into the ground or something)

 

 

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good work.

If the sphere diaphragm is in tact it probably can be repressurised and used again, if it was full of LHM the diaphragm is gone and its  Donald ducked so not sure it would be too much use, although someone from the club took all my knackered speheres for some reason

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