C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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vulgalour
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1987 Citroen BX 17RD
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:33 pm

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That's better! Culprit was the small green connector on the passenger side cluster had come unplugged. I readjusted the joining ribbon so there was a bit more slack on the passenger side so it hopefully won't do this again. Also replaced the blown brake bulb on the driver's side.
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Up front, the inoperative side repeater was just a poor contact between bulb and holder, that now works. The sidelights were both poor contacts and one blown bulb on the passenger side.
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With that done all the lights are now working as they ought to. I did buy some sidelights but couldn't get back to the unit since I was at the mercy of Mike's schedule since he's been shuttling me about today, so I'll fit the replacements when I'm at the unit again. Next was to try and get something done on the bonnet and have a look at all of the adjustment. I found out part of the reason for the misaligned headlight is a bent locator/adjuster. I did what I could with it to improve the alignment but realistically, I need more than the hour and a half I had today to adjust and tweak all the various parts to improve this.
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After spending a considerable amount of time faffing with what little adjustment there is on the bonnet and lights, Mike and I go things to the point that the next round of adjustment is in the wings, which need moving a small amount in and out to correct the panel gaps to the bonnet. There was a balance to be struck on adjustment, since there really isn't much of anything to be had. The bonnet was got as straight as possible so that it still functioned with the latch, this then corrected the lift on the driver's side a bit and created a similar lift on the passenger side. The slam panel does appear to be deformed slightly, possibly pushed down, this was more obvious when looking for witness marks on the bonnet and comparing one side to the other. Some of the deformation was addressed with careful application of wood and hammer above the driver's side headlight though I suspect ideally the whole slam panel needs pull up and forwards a millimeter or two. It's possible the car has had a minor bump at the front at some point in its life, there's a witness mark on the leading edge of the bonnet and the front plate doesn't match the rear, that combined with the minor deformation found today all points to a minor incident which is easy to rectify once you can find exactly which bit is slightly off. I could do with another undamaged BX to compare it to side by side.
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I'm not overly concerned about it at any rate. Most of the time the angle you view the car from means you can't even see the alignment issue, it's only a nuisance because I know about it.
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The last job for today was to reglue the windscreen seal in place and tape it down so it stands the best chance of fitting well and staying put. We've used Tigerseal, which is probably a bit overkill. Eventually I'll probably get a new screen fitted with a new seal, just not yet. Pre-MoT jobs are now down to the small bit of welding on one sill step and, ideally, the fluids and timing belt change. It could go before those are done, but I'd rather I get everything as sorted as possible before it goes on the road to reduce the risk of FtP.

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Tim Leech
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Tim Leech » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:51 am

Have you adjusted the bonnet catch on the slam panel?
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL
1979 Rover SD1 V8-S
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL
2002 Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE AUTO Nav
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirit S Special
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR
1963 VW BEETLE 1200

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:09 am

Several times, with varied results. If I adjust it further, the bonnet either doesn't latch, or tries very hard not to release, so it's sat in the best compromise at the moment.

I think I need to spend a day faffing to get things closer to right. I'm pretty sure something is off somewhere by about 1mm and it's throwing everything else out.

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:45 pm

Let's have a little BX update. First thing to report is that even though the BX has been sat outside in lots of rain, the passenger footwell is bone dry. I consider the windscreen reseal a success on that one. Next up was to have a fettle with the parts I'd acquired recently to improve a few things. First, let's do the parcel shelf. My original one has really good blinds and loads of sun fade, the new one has really poor blinds and virtually no sunfade at all. Let's see if we can make one good one out of the two of them. First up, I removed the blinds which is five screws on the back of the parcel shelf, it then slides out of the slots that hold it in place easily enough. You can see here just how faded my original one had become.
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With the plastic piece out that holds the blind you can then inspect what you've got. There's no fixings in here holding the blinds in, they just sit in shaped slots.
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To remove, you simply lift them out. To get the pull tabs out you can flex the plastic slot just enough to get them through without breaking anything. It's then a simple, if slightly fiddly, affair of popping the relevant blinds and holder together before screwing the unit back onto the parcel shelf.
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Another thing I noticed on the replacement shelf is that one of the clips for the strings was broken. I simply swapped one from the old parcel shelf. I also salvaged the other good parcel string as a spare for future use, just in case. To remove these, use a small flat blade screwdriver to push the tang in as you apply pressure to the fixing to pop it free. Be sure to keep hold of the little plastic washer this goes through to lock it all together too. Installation was very straight forward. I'm still on the look out for a replacement shelf clip that goes on the back seat to replace the one that shattered. Only problem now is the new parcel shelf highlights just how bad the sun fade is on surrounding parts.
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Next job was to replace this passenger seat base with the one I acquired. This is a phenominally easy job. There's two not-tight spring clips at the front just behind the front-back adjustment bar, and two rubber bands at the back that hook into the seat base to keep the seat back trim in place. Undo all of these items and the base simply lifts out.
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I got a little scare when I saw the bright blue version of the fabric in the car because I thought that was what the interior used to be like. Honestly, I've never seen a BX with that blue cloth for the interior and that's a shame, it looks fabulous. Mine does seem to just be the usual grey, even though the front grab handles/arm rests are blue and there's a blue tint to the interior fabrics and carpet. I digress.
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Side-by-side you can see the wear on the original darker grey base, and how nice the replacement lighter grey base is. Wait... oh bother. Same fabric, different greys.
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Oh well, it'll have to do.
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I also got a replacement fan blower dial. The one on the car (on the right here) is cracked where the replacement isn't. And yes, both have managed to lose the metal spring clip so if anyone has any of those or can point me to where to get them, I'd appreciate that. It's worth noting that the blower fan only works on max speed too, I believe this is a regulator issue and something that's common and easily fixed so it's on my list.
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Finally, I had a bit of an experiment with the dashboard. It has a big brown sunburnt looking patch on it, which is plausible given it's life in the sun, and it felt chalky. I know usually once vinyl burns like this you can't rescue it. Nothing ventured nothing gained, I decided to see if I could scrub any kind of 'oxidisation' off, like you would T-Cutting paint, using a variety of potions. The best results came from the Autoglym Insect Remover, weirdly, and a lot of the burn is much less obvious now. I'll keep plugging away at it and give it a protective coat of Autoglym Vinyl to see if it brings it back. The dashboard was easily the worst bit of the interior because you see it all the time and it now looks much better, so I'm happy with that. Surprised too, since it didn't really seem to bring any dirt off on the cloth.
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The same process is unlikely to save the door bins which have started to crumble in places where they're nearly white. This also shows how blue the grey fabric is in the BX, I'd assumed this interior was the normal grey tweed and vinyl one but perhaps there was more than one grey offered at this trim level. Perhaps it's just the effects of too much sunshine.
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Warren Nel
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Warren Nel » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:06 pm

Nice updates!

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panky
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by panky » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:16 pm

Really appreciate you taking the time to record all these details, even the small ones that could be useful to others.
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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:34 am

I do hope that it's a useful record for folks in the future, I find it useful just for myself sometimes when I'm trying to remember a job solution. Picked up a new front wiper blade for it today, and now all the parts for the Princess have arrived, I can start setting cash aside for the BX again. Really, it should be on the road by now, I just didn't expect to have to completely redo the front brakes on the Princess so soon after the MoT and Princess discs are really expensive!

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Tim Leech
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Posts: 15110
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Burton on Trent
My Cars: 1963 VW BEETLE 1200 KGJ413A
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL BFA720L
1979 Rover SD1 3.5 V8-S TSL 982
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL DBV468W
1985 CITROEN BX 19GT C1TBX
1991 CITROEN BX 19TZI AUTO A/C BXi 19
1994 CITROEN XANTIA 1.8 SXi M908HRY
2002 Rover 75 CDT Connossieur SE Nav Auto R40TSL
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirt S TAL 91S
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
x 52

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Tim Leech » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:30 am

They do fade to a bluey grey over time, the 16v seats which are black do quite considerably.

amazing how a clean looking dash can come up with some scrubbing

You can also get grey trim paint for the door bins.
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL
1979 Rover SD1 V8-S
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL
2002 Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE AUTO Nav
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirit S Special
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR
1963 VW BEETLE 1200

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:12 pm

I intend to get some grey dye to do the worst of the hard plastics, it's probably cheaper and easier than trying to source better matching items. The seats I'm not sure what to do with, I want to keep them in the original grey cloth so really, I need to find another set that aren't so faded if I want to improve matters and that's not going to be easy. Nobody wants the basic cloth interiors so I'm pretty sure they always get binned in favour of the sportier seats.

Had another setback today with BX progress thanks to having to spend yet more money on the Princess, tools I didn't have this time, so that's a bit frustrating. The BX works perfectly fine, starts reliably regardless, brakes don't stick on, etc. so it's not sat about doing nothing at all and I keep it lightly exercised in readiness for the MoT later this year. I'm not too cross at the Princess though, it rarely needs any money spending on it and the stuff I'm spending on at the moment is simply worn out nearly forty year old components, so I think that's forgivable since it is my daily car.

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Kaapelimies
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Kaapelimies » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:31 pm

For cleaning hard plastics, I use CRC Bräkleen that's meant for cleaning brake parts from oil residue, or electronics cleaner PRF 5-56 and 5-55. Some plastics get a white tint after cleaning, but color will come back after plastic treatment (silicone or glycerine inhabitants, I guess) or hot-air gun. Test to a non-visible area first as different solvents react differently, some will attack plastic so hard that it will never be the same (and even crack) so be careful.
BX 4x4 estate, several BX Van's and some more normal estates in Finland.

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vulgalour
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1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 21

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:50 pm

I've had better results on hard plastics with brake fluid than I have with brake cleaner, I've found brake cleaner quite good on some vinyls but, as you warn, it can leave a white residue. Brake fluid is a bit messier to work with and you have to keep the part dry afterwards for about 24 hours unlike the brake cleaner, so it's not quite as practical. Boiled linseed oil seems to be the favourite with other folks, I've not got around to trying that one, so perhaps now is the time to give that a go.

In other news, the Princess has decided it needs a new alternator, so the BX is knocked back a little bit further again. I did at least fit the new front wiper blade to the BX that I'd bought recently, so it's had a tiny bit of love.