Paul's polishin' blog

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
Defender110
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Post by Defender110 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:44 am

Lovely looking car Paul, it's the same as my second BX aprt from mine had the grey tweed. The silver paint on these later cars always seemed a better finish than previous cars to me.
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Paul296
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Post by Paul296 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:22 pm

Defender110 wrote: The silver paint on these later cars always seemed a better finish than previous cars to me.
Thanks Kevan. The paint on that car is remarkably good for the mileage; hardly any chips or scratches at all. I was going to replace the bonnet as the inner skin is rusted, but if I can grind it all off and treat it I might just go with that. The upper surface is just about spotless even on the nose, where you'd expect a few chips after 20 years!

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Post by BX Meteor » Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:19 am

Paul296 wrote:Another woe to sort out on the TGD I'm afraid; a suspension pipe suddenly decided to shoot its bolt at the weekend :( . I'd put the car in high to give it a clean and assume the extra pressure required was a bit too much for the old girl. Initially (after a couple of frenzied phone calls to 'BXperts' - you know who you are!), I assumed it was probably air in the system and spent half a day pouring fresh LHM down the pipe to the pump with the accumulator bleed screw opened up a bit in the hope that that would sort it - it didn't though. Then I spotted the leak. . .

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's Shaun! Coming over to sort it out next week I hope. =D>
Here you also said "It's just forward of the B pillar on the near side so pretty accessible by the looks of it"

Because you say above "Then I spotted the leak. . ." I suspect it's the feed from brake master cylinder to reat brakes. It really depends on the size of the leak as to which of the 4 front-to-rear pipes it is.

The pipes are:
1. main pressure supply going to the rear Height Corrector. If it was this that has sprung a leak, then you would have had a huge lake of LHM under the car, and you would have seen it straight away.
2. main return from the HC back to the reservoir (joins into the Octopus system on the front subframe). In high position, if is was this that has sprung a leak, then you would have had a smaller lake of LHM, but still would have spotted it fairly quickly.
3. pressure feed from the HC back to the brake master cylinder to power the back brakes. Lake size as 2.
4. pressure feed from the brake master cylinder back to the rear brakes. If the LHM lake was very small, then it's this pipe that has sprung a leak. If you had put your foot on the brakes, then lake size would be as 2 and 3.

I'll leave it to Shaun to fix, if he brings a short section of pipe and a flare tool and fixings then he might be able to cut out the offending area and replace with a short section.


However, and here is my point to everyone: the pipes on these cars are getting old, and this will happen more and more frequently, see the two leaks I have had in the rear section in the last 3 years

the latest is here
Image


and here is the previous section that I replaced 3 years ago (the feed from brake master cylinder to the rear brakes T-piece )

Image

The problem is the unions which can clearly be seen in the above pictures. They are extremely rusty and I cannot undo them now. If your leak occurs close to a union then everything in the rear section would need to be removed and all the pipework replaced. I am not prepared to do this on my car, it will probably go to the crusher.

If your leak occurs in a straight section then you can replace a part of that section. But eventually your pipework will end up a patchwork unless you replace all of it. Just because the pipework is plastic coated, remember that if the plastic coating cracks a tiny bit, then moisture gets in and starts to eat away at the pipe underneath the plastic coating.

If I get time, I will do a "circuit diagram" of the LHM system, along with photos of the locations of T-pieces and connections. This is going to happen to BX's on here more and more frequently, unless the pipe network rearward of the front subframe is replaced. Remember, it is the unions on the HC and T-pieces etc that rust, and it has probably reached the stage on a lot of cars (including mine) where if one union has to be undone but cannot be undone, then the whole lot will beed to be replaced. This is because, if you cannot undo a union on the HC or a T-piece, then the HC or the T-piece needs to be removed to get better access. But you cannot remove the HC or the T-piece without removing all unions, none of which come undone. So you have to cut out the HC and all the T-pieces, get out all the unions, then replace the whole network of pipes. This complete set of pipes is not available, and even if they were, we'd be talking over £100. And if you cannot do it yourself, then we're talking a lot of money for labour. Although I can do it myself, IMO it's not viable because to me the BX is a car (not a dog or a cat), and I have other cars needing far less maintenance work.

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Paul296
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Post by Paul296 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:18 am

BX Meteor wrote:[However, and here is my point to everyone: the pipes on these cars are getting old, and this will happen more and more frequently.
Image

With all due respect Brian, I can't really see that coming as a blinding revelation to most folks on this site; 'Wot? My 20 year old, 100 odd thousand mile, old French car is in imminent danger of breaking down? Yer kiddin' me!!?' :shock:

What follows is a vigourous defence of choosing to drive an old French car that is hell bent on returning itself to the dust from whence it came (!!) . . .

Everyone knows what a liability the pipework is now likely to be on a twenty year old car, not to mention other major components such as hydraulic pumps and suspension struts. Most of the cars on here probably reached the end of the manufacturers realistic 'life expectancy' ten or so years ago, so there's a sense in which they're all living on borrowed time. From a sensible and practical point of view there's a strong argument to suggest that they don't make any practical sense whatsoever.

The majority of motorists probably opt to drive a car where their overiding concern is that it will meet their practical needs. Consequently, they'll make a purchase in much the same way as they'd acquire any other modern consumer durable; it will be eminently reliable and (hopefully) will give the neighbours the impression that they're 'doin' awright'. Once it fails to do either of those things, they'll dump it and get another. The 'enthusiast' on the other hand will take a rather different view.

I didn't purchase either of my cars thinking I was on the royal road to years of cheap, trouble free motoring; I bought 'em because I love 'em, and confidently expected that keeping an old Citroen (or two) in good nick would be a right ballache (I've owned Xantias remember! :D ). As it happens - with the help and support of folks in this club and the CCC - it hasn't been anything like the ballache I imagined. Indeed the opportunity and privelege of sharing my passion with like minded folks - who I certainly wouldn't have met if it hadn't been for my cars - has been more than a bonus.*

I suppose I could have bought a 'sensible' car; a one owner, FSH, low mileage, charismatically challenged baked bean tin - but where's the fun in that? Personally, I've never really done 'sensible' and I'm not about to start now :D. I know that sooner or later there's going to be tears before bedtime where both of my cars are concerned, and I've no doubt that at some point, the aged pipework will cause the drive were I park them to look like the site of Fungus the Bogeymans w***ing Olympics ( :D ). All very impractical I know, but if you engage any Citroeniste in talking about their motor car/s - something I've noticed they love to do - the word, 'practical' barely gets a mention.

^^ ^^ ^^bx>


* The time I waste on this bloody forum probably does need addressing though. :shock:

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Post by BX Meteor » Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:43 am

You're wrong Paul.

The problem is that I've had virtually the whole of this forum swearing blind that the pipes on these cars are not a problem, arguing with me for daring to say such things, saying that the cars can be driven with LHM pissing out, that the cars can be relied upon as a daily transport even with this pipe issue. Yet a lot of the forum rely on other people to come and fix the problems for them, and/or rely on other means of transport while waiting for the car to be fixed. I have the capability to fix any problem on my BX, but I've had enough of it, I've owned one since 1988 and this is the end of BX ownership, reality check has arrived.

Analysts of English please note that the above paragraph is a complete paragraph and words or abstracts are out of context of the complete paragraph.



Anyway, back to your own problem:
It is possible (though I doubt it) that the pipes were hit by a stone, so you need to check them all in the area where the leak is.

Top pipe is the feed from brake master cylinder to the rear brakes (number 4 in the list before the pics)
Next pipe down is the feed from HC to master cylinder (number 3 in the list before the pics)
Next pipe down is main pressure feed to HC (number 1 in the list before the pics)
Bottom pipe is return from HC to reservoir (number 2 in the list before the pics)

If one can't be bothered to at least take a look at the pipes (I'm not sying you can't, just a general figure of speech), then I guess I'd also be wasting my time constructing a "circuit diagram" of the pressure system with pics of locations etc. It's in Haynes, but I could do much better.

btw I'm the painter in the following .....

Image

^^ ^^ owner = blind to the similarity of modern Citroens with other marques
^^bx> owner = too poor to own better Citroens
!!!---)))

PS apologies Paul for raising the issue of the Emperor's new clothes in your blog, I hope that your blog won't be further spoiled by a big argument. If anyone wants a big argument with me, then start a new thread eleswhere please, although all I will do is copy and paste my opening paragraph above.

PPS admin, you might want to move this and the previous 2 posts to a new thread elsewhere, though if you do, in an introduction please make it clear that the issue is really for technical debate, debate being the operative word. I won't get involved so I doubt if the debate would go anywhere, it would just end up "this is not a problem"

A good diagram and explanation of the pressure system (better than is in Haynes) would be useful for many people I think, and I have thought how to do it, the pictures required etc, etc. But I have a lot of other things to do.

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Post by Tim Leech » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:53 am

Ah well Paul, the old pipes have lasted 20 years so I imagine the next ones will last you or the car out!, once they are replaced its one less to worry about.

I'm fortunate that most of my fleet seem to either have had them replaced OR have been coated or cossetted enough not to need them doing, but soon enough one will let go, but that is to be expected!.

Still cheaper and more fun that a modern car, (and yes I do sell new cars for a living!)
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
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Post by Willy » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:19 am

It was what, November, when Paul Jackson had to scrap his beeyex due to sudden epic pipe explosion and resultant several hundred pound repair bill.
ImageImageImageImageImage

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Post by Dollywobbler » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:43 am

Willy wrote:It was what, November, when Paul Jackson had to scrap his beeyex due to sudden epic pipe explosion and resultant several hundred pound repair bill.
Which rather highlights the point that while BXs are cheap to buy, to keep them going, you have to be prepared to spend money doing so. My last BX cost me £266 to buy (with 6 months MOT!) and I then spent probably three times that over the next year doing little jobs such as arm bearings, alternator replacement, hydraflushing, basic servicing etc.

How does this make the BX different from any other car? I bought a £500 Ford Maverick and ended up having to rebuild the front brakes immediately. My 2CV needed the entire brake pipe system replacing in 2002 (during a chassis change, so not much bother, apart from the fact that here I was spending thousands of pounds to change the chassis - not had to do that on a BX!).

I don't see the BX's hydraulics as a weakness. Yes, catastrophic failure is possible, but that's also true of any other cars complex electronics or engine or even regular suspension (a lot of cars snap springs these days). You may keep harping on about what an imminent catastrophe these cars are Brian, but the truth is, we KNOW what the potential issues are and the general consensus seems to be that failure is still so rare and unusual that it's not worth worrying about. (My Mk1 has been re-piped already, which I'm obviously very grateful for.)

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Post by Mickey taker » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:56 am

I suppose the fact is the hydraulic suspension is something you dont have to worry about on an astra,golf or escort of a similar age but the otherside of the coin is BX's on the whole dont rust as badly as some mainstream makes, owning a BX do's take a certain mentality and I can imagine it can get you down especially when you have optuons available like Brian do's with the alto.
My bx is my daily but I would seriously consider scrapping it if anything major went wrong, theres nothing worse than having a car that ends up being a money pit.
The car has cost me about £550 so far and has 8months mot and 3 months tax left
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Tim Leech
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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
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Post by Tim Leech » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:12 am

Its the hydraulics of the BX that wowed me as boy, which 27 years later still "do it" for me, I doubt very much if they had "normal suspension" and normal interior (it was a Mk1) I would be typing this now.

Repiping a BX isnt that hard, ok its not cheap but any 20 year old car will need money spending on it, fact.
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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Post by Mickey taker » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:44 am

there are lots of factors to consider,
If you have the skill, garage facilities(or a tame mechanic) the time and money to do the work thats fine, but if you have none of the above its a whole different ball game.

Which is exactly the position Jacksun found himself in.

I am learning as I go and am happy to swap bits and do a basic service but I think a repipe would be beyond me.
1991 BX Meteor 1.6

light travels faster than sound, thats why you look intelligent and then you spoil it all by opening your mouth !!!!!

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Post by Dollywobbler » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:46 pm

Mickey taker wrote:there are lots of factors to consider,
If you have the skill, garage facilities(or a tame mechanic) the time and money to do the work thats fine, but if you have none of the above its a whole different ball game.

Which is exactly the position Jacksun found himself in.

I am learning as I go and am happy to swap bits and do a basic service but I think a repipe would be beyond me.
Similar boat here, though as I've got more tinkering time these days, I'm having a go at more and more stuff (and roping Mat in when I get stuck!). With my previous BX though, I had more disposable cash, so I'd farm out most jobs. Cars cost money, whatever their age.

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Post by Caffiend » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:35 pm

According to DrivenData, the average brand new car costs £29,000.

Finding an average for a 3-5 year old car - which is the normal trade in time period for many who can actually afford to buy a brand new car (mainly leasing companies?) is a bit tougher, but Google reckons it's anything between £9-12K (various sources).

Just because it makes the maths easy, let's say you keep your £29K car for 5 years and because you look after it, you manage to sell it for £14K at 5 years old. That's still £3K a year in depreciation alone, before you take into account any servicing or maintenance it's needed in the 5 years you've had it.

Let's say that you buy a brand new car, but can't replace every 3-5 years, so you keep it for as long as possible - for the sake of argument, let's call that 20 years. That's still £1.5K a year in depreciation and increasing repair and maintenance costs as the car gets older.

Short of winning the lottery or meeting a really eccentric millionnaire, I can't see me ever being able to afford a brand new car. So, I'd rather have a car I love. OK, so I may well be in for £3K to catch up with everything that needs doing to it mechanically and cosmetically over the next year or two, maybe more. But I can't see it costing me £3K a year for every year I own it, especially as I am working towards being able to do more (or even any lol) stuff myself rather than having to pay the experts to do it. Modern cars have so much complexity that many units are sealed and it's impossible to "DIY".

The real issue is the the 'hassle factor' - but you're never going to remove that risk entirely, whatever you drive, so the 'risk appetite' has to be up to the individual. However, no-one will ever convince me that it's "stupid" purely mathematically speaking to be running round in an old banger, especially if its your hobby as well as your transport.

EDIT: just 'cos I read Paul296's post again and have to point out that he's described the "we do it for love" bit so eloquently. And that you can't assign a monetary value to. It was the Fungus the Bogeyman bit that was priceless. :rofl:
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Paul296
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Post by Paul296 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:31 pm

First off - I really hate internet forum spats. In real life most people conduct discussions such as this over a cup of tea and a slice of cake with the understanding that while it's interesting, it's not really THAT important.

Cyber space on the other hand seems to turn otherwise eminently reasonable men and women into pistol packin' vigilantes screaming 'make my day punk' into the virtual ether :shock: . Since (in general) I'm a 'cup of tea and slice of cake' kinda' guy, the following is written with that in mind.

The thing is, the sign on the door reads; 'BXClub.co.uk'. If you think BXs are simply not worth getting all luvvy duvvy about, and are in fact crappy old 'accident waiting to happen' money pits, were even sending them to the crusher would be a waste of the crushers precious time, and that further, BX owners are self deluding fools who should spend less time tilting at windmills and more time saving their pennies to buy a 'proper' car . . . well, ( call me old fashioned but) there's one question - that for me at least - hangs heavy in the air; wot yer doin' 'ere?

The folks that populate this site are grown ups (well, more or less!). Grown ups know that cars (as with so much else in life) are a risk; you make your choice, pay your money and try not to winge when it all blows up in your face - which to be fair, it probably will at some point. At one juncture I could have spent a few grand on a 'proper' car; something with a German badge on the bonnet, that enabled me to waft up and down the fast lane of motorways, tailgating and flashing my break lights with the best (or worst?) of 'em. Problem is, I don't like 'proper cars'. While the skills of real designers and real engineers are undoubtedly still involved, what inevitably hits the forecourt is the 'last word' of accountants, market research mandarins and the flaky demands of fashion. The modern consumer gets all the individuality, engineering excellence, true beauty and design flair that they demand from a modern car; i.e. none (to be fair there are exceptions but you really need a lottery win to grab a slice of that action).For me the modern motor car is the automotive equivalent of a James Blunt record; music for people who don't really care that much about music. Not only do I not like modern cars, I detest modern car culture; over engineered, built in obsolescence that is a profligate waste of precious natural resources. My old car actually affords me the opportunity of giving the finger to all of that shite.

I love my BXs. I think they're beautiful. In terms of Citroen motor cars in general they're probably the PSA compromised, half plastic bag end of a long and illustrious line. They're also the bag end of a beautiful idea; that maybe things could be done differently, maybe there are more beautiful, more elegant solutions to the humdrum queries of practicality if we use our imagination. The odd thing is the demise of that quixotic idealism that once characterized the Citroen car company closely maps the disappearance of any analogous idealism in the Western world in general. Maybe, my stubborn commitment to driving a crappy old car poised to spill its guts all over my mates hard standing, is my stubborn refusal to accept that in the end 'utilitarian' and 'practical' are your best options. Given the choice of a beautiful idea over a sensible one - well for me anyway - it's just a no brainer.

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Post by Mickey taker » Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:19 pm

I agree Paul ,
I am not keen on modern cars,
in fact I detest most things with a catalytic converter with a passion .
The BX is deffinately an enthusiasts car, mine is my sixth and I love it, but I can understand peoples enthusiasm waining if they have problems,
You either give up or roll your sleeves up :lol:
1991 BX Meteor 1.6

light travels faster than sound, thats why you look intelligent and then you spoil it all by opening your mouth !!!!!