HI new member! What BX model would give me least hassle?

Anything about BXs
tom
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Post by tom » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:08 am

I don't think that the BX is a suitable car for you. They are old, maintainance intensive and complicated to put right.
Gaining the understanding necessary to run one will take some time and the learning curve is steep.
That is all true. For most of us they are a hobby, not a specialist work tool. Don't do it.
Much the same is true of a Xantia. If it is for work and must have HP suspension, consider a C5.

reanimation
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Post by reanimation » Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:42 pm

More wise advice for me there Tom. You are in many ways right, i do have enough projects and this is taking time of the actual video job in hand. maybe once the sapph is done i'll roll with that for a bit cos its been great. I lack the budget for a C5 but will keep all these options open. i will have to try some citroens out for size and in the meantime, i might be keen on recruiting Citroen drivers to help out just an idea... :?
The O/H is sick of hearing about BX's! :( And aparently Xantias are 'Didsbury cars' LOLZ

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Post by adamskibx » Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:51 pm

Hi reanimation.


I can see what others are saying in that the BX is an old car and not suited to work, but no car under a grand is going to last forever with minimum maintainance, so within the budget you have specified, I think a BX is a fair bet:

A BX is despite having ageing suspention parts, possibly the most comfortable car available in terms of suspention and space verses running costs and purchase price. I was wondering, is this filming going to be done from normal roads are are we talking about fields etc? If performance really wasnt an issue, a 2cv would be ideal as no matter how old they are, they can cross fields and dirt tracks extremely fast and the only thing you'll have to replace every few years is the kingpins in terms of suspention. I once got chased round my hometown by a VW Polo full of thugs (dont ask lol) so I used the suspention ability of my Dyane (type of 2cv) to outrun them by going down an off road track at high speed. Needless to say they started bobbing up and down and gave up in a cloud of dust :D

A knackered CX will still be super smooth no matter what but you'll pay dearly at MOT time when they tell you it'll cost a fortune to put right. To be honest, if you can track down a BX with good rear arm bearings, smooth front struts, and then you fit the most comfortable spheres available, you cant go far wrong. Even if it only lasts you a year, thats a year of super smooth filming for a small initial outlay. For smoothnes you'll want to fit spheres with the highest pressure and largest damping hole. You can get the list of spheres from the downloads section of the site, and they're not that expensive either. Other cars in the price range can feel as smooth, but nothing will be as level over a distance as a BX.
Good luck with whatever you decide to go with, but for what you need, a well sorted diesel either Turbo or non will saffice.

reanimation
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Post by reanimation » Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:38 pm

Adamski, thanks for that!

I realise due to them being older and 'cheap' they won't last give daily duties thrown at them! and maybe i was a little hasty in last post. After all non of the cars on my CV cost over 1k! :lol: Edit: not true the 3 door cost loads more, (its got new bits and a V8 )

I'm glad i have had mixed feedback from you all here, at least i know what i'm up against, be boring if you all said buy one just because they are the best - it does happen in other scenes! So thanks.

If i can find a neatie TD in the near future that has had an easy life i'd consider it, if i can afford it i plan to run two cars so i'm not solely reliant on 1 all the time plus i cycle to my day job - lazyness/weather permitting! :lol:


Filming will be largly on road, specially for starters.

I am serious If anyone fancies helping out driving on shoots this summer/autumn, I'd be very happy to have you on the small team. (Maybe i might start a seperate thread on this.)
I'd replenish fuel costs encountered on the day and sort out scooby snacks and drinks. At least this way i could compare how smooth the BX ride is. Filming is all over but i'm keen to do one in Lincoln, then Southend on Sea first.

Again, you all seem like a great bunch, i'll be sticking around if thats ok! 8) ~ale~
Last edited by reanimation on Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The O/H is sick of hearing about BX's! :( And aparently Xantias are 'Didsbury cars' LOLZ

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Post by cavmad » Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:10 pm

You`re always welcome here mate and the offer still stands to test drive the n/a diesel estate I use as a daily runner.
Vauxhall apologist.

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Post by Barnsley BXer » Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:22 pm

Again, you all seem like a great bunch, i'll be sticking around if thats ok
Yo're right,they are a great bunch on here.I joined about a year ago and have loved every minute.Welcome to the fold and I hope you get as much enjoyment as I have had
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Post by Kitch » Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:34 pm

I think its unfair to say a BX is a difficult car to own. My 16v only gives me hassle because to be fair it has a very hard-driven life!
I'd still recommend one if you have good will power, to resist booting it everywhere!

For cars in that sort of price band, they're going to need TLC from time to time. Only non-regular feature on a BX is of course the suspension, which is reliable provided its been maintained well. The most important thing is to take someone who knows what they're doing to view a car before commiting.

The diesel estate I once owned had NEVER broken down. I was the second owner, having got the car for free in 2004 with the previous owner buying it new in 1989. It was only a 19RD but it never failed to get the job done and is still in regular use now having clocked up 200k miles.

Same of the Xantia, although with the current prices of a good on freeze, I'd say a Xantia represents better value for money, although the 1.9TD is a gutless wonder in the Xantia (and not especially economical either) so don't expect speed :lol:

reanimation
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Post by reanimation » Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:46 pm

I will take up cavmads offer once the Mr 2 is up and running again, cheers and would welcome others. Might still consider that gti/16v too kitch so i'll try keep an eye on it if it coes up for sale affordable like! I think i will start that wanted ad for get away drivers too soon, see if anyone is interested... Thanks again
The O/H is sick of hearing about BX's! :( And aparently Xantias are 'Didsbury cars' LOLZ

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mnde
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Post by mnde » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:49 pm

Kitch wrote:I think its unfair to say a BX is a difficult car to own. My 16v only gives me hassle because to be fair it has a very hard-driven life!
I'd still recommend one if you have good will power, to resist booting it everywhere!

For cars in that sort of price band, they're going to need TLC from time to time. Only non-regular feature on a BX is of course the suspension, which is reliable provided its been maintained well. The most important thing is to take someone who knows what they're doing to view a car before commiting.

The diesel estate I once owned had NEVER broken down. I was the second owner, having got the car for free in 2004 with the previous owner buying it new in 1989. It was only a 19RD but it never failed to get the job done and is still in regular use now having clocked up 200k miles.

Same of the Xantia, although with the current prices of a good on freeze, I'd say a Xantia represents better value for money, although the 1.9TD is a gutless wonder in the Xantia (and not especially economical either) so don't expect speed :lol:
Hear, hear. I don't think there's anything mystical about a BX that can only be understood by an elite band of devoted Citroenistes. These cars like the Xantia and the GS/GSA were cars for the masses after all, sold all over the land to Joe Public and his wife and 2.5 children...

The difference being that back then, Mr and Mrs Public could (hopefully) rely on the Citroen Service network to put their car's niggles right.

10-20 years later all these cars have outlived their projected "useful lives" and have either been maintained religiously, or "neglected" to varying degrees - and we inherit cars with tired components: knackered rear arm bearings, sticking rear brakes, creaking struts, frayed handbrake cable outers, leaky strut return pipes etc. Unfortunately, only a few Citroen main dealers retain the knowledge to work on these cars, so either you have to learn to do things yourself, or you need the services of a good independent Citroen specialist (see the BX Specialist page on this site).

I bought a low-mileage BX petrol off eBay for £100 and this is what's been done so far:

New sparkplugs, dizzy cap, rotor arm
New front spheres
New rear arm bearings
New h/brake cables, lubricate brake pistons/runners
New power steering coupling disc (MOT)
New windscreen (MOT)
2 x strut return pipes
1 x brake flexi (MOT)
New cross-box and exhaust "hockey stick" pipe
Repair to rear exhaust hanger

I'm now having starting trouble and one of the reservoir hoses has just split... but before that I've had over 6 months of trouble free motoring on the daily 50mile hack to/from work on the M25.

The GS/GSA is similarly cast as a specialist car with all kinds of scare stories about inaccessibility and difficulty working on it etc. It didn't stop me buying one and running it as my only car for several years of generally trouble-free motoring. It was the first car I bought, and the first Citroen! I'm not saying that using it daily, though winters as well, didn't take its toll - and I've paid the price, having to have the underneath of the car basically rebuilt and most of the panels replaced. But the hydraulics have been very reliable - aside from a spectacular rear cylinder failure and a weeping HP pump seal. And the engine's been faultless in over 40,000 miles of motoring, only being let down by carby maladies (now exorcised!) and crumbling exhaust pipes (all new now) creating misfire flatspots.

What has been invaluable, nay indispensible for my GSA/BX ownership, have been a) my membership of the CCC and b) membership of forums such as this one :)

Owning an old Citroen does require willpower, and you will experience outbursts of swearing and grazed knuckles if you choose to work on them yourself. But I think most people will agree that the rewards are plentiful :)

Mark.

**EDIT: There is also an element of luck involved. I would consider myself to have been fairly lucky with my Citroen-owning experience so far. Other members of this forum will have suffered large and complicated BX failures (e.g. exploding power steering ram) or will have stories of Citroen lemons they have had the misfortune of buying...
1982 Citroen GSA Spécial Estate
1997 Renault Mégane RT 1.4e
1991 Citroen BX16 TGS Meteor - gone to Scotland

reanimation
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Post by reanimation » Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:34 pm

You are right mnde, sounds like a stack of work there on yours only same with my Sapph, sailed through last MOT, 450 on one before, so inevitably i now need new shocks, panels etc etc :cry: pretty good cheap reliable motoring.

I see Toms point too,If I get to a point where i can make a full time go of this I will either buy a new C5 or get someone to fix up a BX etc to the highest standards. In the mean time i'm Jack of all trades....

If I feature anything like this i should think about a GTI defo!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP7njFa3e2w
The O/H is sick of hearing about BX's! :( And aparently Xantias are 'Didsbury cars' LOLZ

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Post by jeremy » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:31 pm

All cars cost money to run. The cheapest motoring - and I say motoring deliberately - is to but something like a Mundaneo or 406 in good condition - and drive it until something costly goes wrong and dump it. - You may be lucky and get 2 or 3 years from it by which time you're bored with it anyway.

The next cheapest in my experience is to buy a ZX - and after 3 1/2 years of very low expenditure its still going better than it was when purchased - but that cost £1300 and £250 with me doing most of the work to sort out.

If you are running a Mk 1 BX then by definition the thing must be 19 years old. How many other things do you own that are that age and still working. I don't count antiques - as generally you can buy a very nice car for what they cost and they have few moving parts - but what I'm getting at is that 15 years or more is a long time for any bit of machinery - let alone a complicated and rather cheap car.

Don't worry about dealers loosing the ability to deal with these things - they probably never had it. Replacing whole components or systems is easy - and what they are trained to do. - Isolating one cheap and simple bit and making it work properly is what its all about really and what takes skill. ( See Frenchcarforum - where the apparent answer at the moment for a siezed height control linkage is to replace the controller itself - and you'll see what I mean.)

Running classic cars has never been something for the faint hearted, unskilled or unwealthy. Few of us are out of the 'Unwealthy' categore - most don't like to think we are faint hearted - and so must be skilled! - Seriously any bit of machinery 15 years old is bound to need some restoration -

You may be interested in the story of the Waverley paddle steamer - a large and fast paddle ship built in 1947 - and sold to enthusiasts in 1973 or so. Its life in the hands of the enthusiasts was anything but relaxed and for the last 23 years or so whenever possible we have enjoyed a trip round the Isle of Wight or along the coast on her.

What's the relevance - well we always hoped and thought it was sound and in good condition - but it cost more than £5 million to restore!

Seriously its lovely now - and a really good day out - and the beer is about pub prices!

http://www.btinternet.com/~Paddlers/PSWaverley/

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mnde
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Post by mnde » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:05 am

Don't worry about dealers loosing the ability to deal with these things - they probably never had it. Replacing whole components or systems is easy - and what they are trained to do. - Isolating one cheap and simple bit and making it work properly is what its all about really and what takes skill. ( See Frenchcarforum - where the apparent answer at the moment for a siezed height control linkage is to replace the controller itself - and you'll see what I mean.)
:lol: Yes, that's what I meant by the word "hopefully"... My girlfriend's father told me he could remember a time when every time he passed a Citroen garage there was always a couple of GSes out the back that they seemingly couldn't fix!

For too long there's been the mechanic's attitude of "If it ain't broke don't fix it; if it's broke, bin it and fit a new one."

Now the cars are in the hands of skilled enthusiasts the members of this forum (and car clubs like the CCC) can benefit from the time and energy they spend e.g. taking components apart, finding out exactly why they fail, photographing them, posting their findings etc.

So yes, it's invaluable for any BX/Xantia first time buyer to be armed with nuggets of knowledge passed down by those who've been there, done that, but I still don't think these cars should be marginalised as hobby-only cars just yet. SM, yes! A friend of mine has proved to me that even a DS can still be an everyday car.

Cheers,

Mark.
1982 Citroen GSA Spécial Estate
1997 Renault Mégane RT 1.4e
1991 Citroen BX16 TGS Meteor - gone to Scotland

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Reliable and fast BX

Post by abarthmark » Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:38 am

Hi there, just stumbled onto this club thanks to citroenian magazine. I've been a member of ciroen car club for a few years and had never heard of bxclub uk til now. I am BXless at the moment but own a ZX 1.9 D Aura ,and a Dispatch taxi 2.0 Hdi which is my work vehicle.
My experience of BX's is generally very good. I've had 2 TZD Turbo's, one an immaculate J reg purple one which I sold in a moment of madness and it now belongs to a local citroen specialist and is a courtesy car. Gutted! At least it gets looked after mechanically. It was a superb car to drive and went to France several times on holiday. It was extremely fast having seen at least 125 on more than one occasion. The fuel consumption was excellent, even when driven hard. My 1st bx was a 17RD E reg which I had for 5 years and sold in a moment of regret as well as that was a good car also.I also had a BX GTi but only kept it a month or so as the head cracked and it drank petrol like it was going out of fashion. It was awesomely quick but the brakes used to smoke if driven really hard.
My last BX was a K reg TZD turbo that I found in Autotrader, and bought on my way to newcastle one day when the engine fell out of my metro diesel on the M6. I limped to the garage where the BX was for sale and pleaded with the owner to take my metro in part ex , bought the BX and continued to newcastle. I kept it a year and did a lot of motorway trips with it including towing a race car and trailer from essex to Brands Hatch and back again and then thrashed it up the motorways to chester after dropping the trailer off. I've now got a fiat cinquecento abarth that I use for track days and running about to motorsport events all over the country. Its only 1100 cc but its a hoot to drive. 40+ MPG and goes like a motorised skate board.
My advice to anyone looking for a BX now is go for the last models made if you can find one, and look for a good TZD turbo. They are GTi spec trim with ABS, and so comfortable and reliable if looked after. 8) 8)

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Post by abarthmark » Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:54 am

tom wrote:I don't think that the BX is a suitable car for you. They are old, maintainance intensive and complicated to put right.
Gaining the understanding necessary to run one will take some time and the learning curve is steep.
That is all true. For most of us they are a hobby, not a specialist work tool. Don't do it.
Much the same is true of a Xantia. If it is for work and must have HP suspension, consider a C5.
I disagree, I've had 4 BX's,all of them were kept long term and used as daily runners. the GTi wasn't very good but all the other diesels have been run as commuter cars and with regular servicing which isnt expensive, they are better than most other cars on the road. The same goes for Xantias as well. Ok if you go to main dealers then it costs, but there are plenty of good specialists all over the country who really know their citroens and won't cost you an arm and a leg. I've got a ZX 1.9D that we've had 7 years, its got 83000 miles on it and its cost buttons to run it. I service it once a year, at a cost of under £100 its been to france several times, and has never broken down. Try doing that with a Sierra!
Its passed every MOT since new without any problems except a new bottom arm a couple of years ago. Its just done 1400 mlies through france in extemely hot weather , fully laden with 4 passengers and a roof box full and never missed a beat. We passed new cars breaking down in the heat regularly. Most of them expensive german ones! We brought back a boot full of cases of wine on the way back as well as luggage and it still drove well in all conditions. Try doing that in a new german car and see how far you get before it lets you down!

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Post by tom » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:30 am

With an old BX, it is simply a question of the time and effort you haqve to expend to keep it in good order. Maintaining a car in increasingly good condition, as I have done for the last two years and 36,000 miles takes a great deal of time. I'm beginning to think that I shall be doing something more productive with mine before long. In case you think I don't know what I'm talking about, just look back to my posting record. I know these cars inside out and there is no way I would wish one upon somebody who didn't understand the need to keep it in good order and the implications thereof. As for do that with a Sierra, Lots of people did and do. As for try that in a German car, Yes, any time you like. THere is a great deal if piffle spoken by people who are blind to the shortcomings of BXs. Few people wanted one as their dream car in the latest poll.
The BX is a complicated car, it is old and maintainance intensive. Unless you want a shed. Then it will break down and you'll wish you tried that in a German car, as so many people now do. As this topic was for a newbie who wanted to know which BX would give least hassle, it would not have been honest to champion a car that is not easy to evaluate as a used car without considerable experience.