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CITROËN BX 14 E Leader


rob88h

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More accurately -

47 minutes ago, rob88h said:

The Leader is [has] not a [very healthy] fan.

I was hoping for an easy fix; a bit of Brittle-BX-plastic ™️ whipping around in the fan drum, so I took it all apart. 
Finally a genuine use for my crazy long screwdriver that I found under a boot carpet in one of the cars I purchased in the past!

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I was expecting it to be a rot trap in here, but the Leader is SOLID (both sides).

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I took the snail blower housing apart and there was no obvious foreign body or witness marks in there… there was a lot of play in the motor though. The whole fan blade drum thing can bounce up and down quite a bit as seen in the last clip of the Magic iMovie Maker above (had way too much fun with that!) It’s a cantilever axle and the bit inside the motor seems too loose I think.

I couldn’t really disassemble much further so I put it back together so that I have emergency fanage, albeit quite* noisy.

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In the process of connecting the motor fly lead the housing that holds the spade connector for one of the brushes disintegrated because of it being Brittle-BX-plastic. Superglue to the rescue.  

These blower units or motors don’t seem readily available. Is anyone hiding one away I can buy? The Leader takes a single fan, made by [to be edited], the none Valeo one. 

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I pinched this out of a Focus I had earlier in the year that I fixed the heater for. 

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Shitters Choice accessory Award winner: It’s pants and only exists for those who can’t fix their car.
I was worried I’d set the Leader on fire using this, but I think I generate the same heat as this thing just yawning on my way to work in the mornings. 

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1 hour ago, 500tops said:

Is this the one?

Thanks. I have a SoFico one and not a Valeo one, but it's probable they're interchangeable(?), hopefully. Annoyingly the Chevronics link is not a stocked listing, but I'd already inquired to see if they have any. I've tried a lot of FaceBook dismantlers too, but no dice so far.

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2 hours ago, mat_the_cat said:

If you want I'll try and bit of oil on it to see if it frees off

That’s very kind, hold that thought.
@wesacosa found a Citroen dismantlers  just up the road from me and the guy there has a BX and blower motor assembly. I’m just arranging to pick that one up, but if it’s buggered too I may need your help. I’ll let you know. 

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As a noob here, casually browsing the thread titles this one sprung out at me. For some reason as soon as I saw the words 'BX' and 'Leader' I had an exact vision of the white over grey, despite probably not having seen one in 25 years! Really warms my cockles to see folks keeping these bread and butter retro cars on the road.

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  • 2 weeks later...

…Some like it trés chaude!

Thanks for the help offer @mat_the_cat, but I now have this sorted. @wesacosa put me on to a Citroen guy in Billericay, near me. 🎵 He’s doing very well (out of me).

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I’m now well stocked for blowers! I got the impression it was an older operation and the guy is winding it up. The common failures from in period, like the rheostats, are all gone from his stock and he pushed the second blower assembly on me for free. I did end up giving a token sum for it because I’m a sucker for blowers. 

He had a Valeo one too and that felt much better, more quality, but the connectors were all different to the Sofico one I have and that the car is loomed for. Also both Sofico ones I was given had the motor bolting in differently to the one on my car, so there at least three types, haha.
I used the back clamshell of one of the new ones (that houses the motor) and the front of my old one (that houses the rheostat) to make a good one. A dob of electrolube on the bearings I could get to and it all moved nice and freely. I’ve reserved the third motor as a spare. 
It’s not a very exciting procedure, screws clips and a foam seal, but the sort of December job you can take indoors at least.

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With the fan on full and it’s whisper quiet - and not just because it’s a photo!

I also got to risk service mode bonnet when refitting all the gubbins back in their homes.

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I can now demist rather than just squinting and hoping other road users have their fog lights on for my benefit. 

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One crumbling casualty from the heater motor swap; The barb for the screen wash hose out of the wiper arm disintegrated. The centre pipe survives and is quite solid, but is way too small to simply pop on some new hose. 

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I need some sort of collar to make the outer diameter up to that of the inner diameter of the hose. Hmm. 
 

edit: if I’m doing over 50mph, the wind does a good job of getting the screen wash on the screen, haha. 

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20 hours ago, rob88h said:

The common failures from in period, like the rheostats, are all gone from his stock

By rheostat do you mean the control dial on the dashboard, or the transistor module (often incorrectly referred to on the BX as heater resistor) in the blower housing? Both can give trouble.

I wonder whether to offer a service for reconditioning the latter, as I've done a few now.

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1 hour ago, mat_the_cat said:

By rheostat do you mean the control dial on the dashboard, or the transistor module (often incorrectly referred to on the BX as heater resistor) in the blower housing? Both can give trouble.

The latter. It’s the electrical gubbins screwed on the blower motor housing in the scuttle area. To be honest I’m not sure what it is exactly, but bloke-face from the Citroen breakers was telling me he pretty much sold out of them in the 90’s. Mine seems to work (or I’ve not noticed it’s broken). 
I did read on various Citroen fora that bridging some terminals fixes some problem. 

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I vaguely remember What Car? magazine conducted a group road test including a BX Leader. This might have been 1989. Rather than test it against equivalent sized cars What Car? decided to pitch the base model BX against alternatives that you could buy new for the same money (£8.5k or thereabouts). 

As well as pitching it against a Ford Escort mark 4 and Peugeot 309 GL, What Car? also included a couple of superminis with a decent specification: a Metro 1.3 GTa and a Renault 5 GTX iirc. The verdict was that the bigger BX was the best car.

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34 minutes ago, ProgRocker said:

I vaguely remember What Car? magazine conducted a group road test including a BX Leader. This might have been 1989. Rather than test it against equivalent sized cars What Car? decided to pitch the base model BX against alternatives that you could buy new for the same money (£8.5k or thereabouts). 

As well as pitching it against a Ford Escort mark 4 and Peugeot 309 GL, What Car? also included a couple of superminis with a decent specification: a Metro 1.3 GTa and a Renault 5 GTX iirc. The verdict was that the bigger BX was the best car.

BXs are great. My dad had four new - all diesels from a Creg 19rd to a K reg 19TXD. Blue, red, white and grey. 

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6 hours ago, rob88h said:

I did read on various Citroen fora that bridging some terminals fixes some problem. 

There's a couple of common failure modes - a common one is losing the motor earth from the control panel (pin 3). You can link it to the lighting earth, although I can't remember which that is off hand.

The other is corrosion between the transistor in the blower housing, and its contacts, as it earths through the case. I wrote a guide some years back on the BXC forum.

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8 hours ago, Dick Longbridge said:

Spotted! Suspension playing silly buggers? 

 

Haha! Yes, it most definitely is!
More news on that later, I’m away for the Christmas break. I pulled off at the next junction and got it to settle back on normal doing some carpark Citrobatics. What are the chances of being papped during a breakdown?! (Rhetorical, this is a Citroen). 

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30 minutes ago, rob88h said:

Haha! Yes, it most definitely is!
More news on that later, I’m away for the Christmas break. I pulled off at the next junction and got it to settle back on normal doing some carpark Citrobatics. What are the chances of being papped during a breakdown?! (Rhetorical, this is a Citroen). 

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At least it looks elegant whilst insolently sticking its derrière into the air! 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I never updated here. I think it was probably a sticking ride height corrector that put the rear into service height on the move. That or something to do with being packed up with luggage for Christmas with a full tank of fuel combined with the ride height levelling. It did it twice while I was away, but it was always corrected by cycling modes.

I was then using it daily for a bit (and I took it on a longer trip to a LR trialling day hence it being parked in a field in the above photo – great fun, I was borrowing a friends Series LandRover and even managed a clear stage!)

Since then, my Volvo has come back from the body shop and I’ve been using The Leader a lot less which is sad. I’m doing some servicing then hoping to take it to Rustival in a few weeks.

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