GT mediated Awesomeness

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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saintjamesy89
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:08 pm

Time for a little update, most of the work has been done. Exhaust manifold done, water pump done, cambelt tensioner doing today. Chap ran out of hydraulic pipe, two out of four front to rears done, but there are a couple around the rear sub-frame that also need doing, apparently it's quite difficult to get hold of the smaller diameter pipe these days, even Pleiades had to order some more in for him!

He is a busy chap, just him running the garage hence the pace... Almost a month since it was dropped off, I am such an impatient person! But should be done and MOT'd next week sometime depending on how long it takes for the pipes to be delivered.
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saintjamesy89
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:12 pm

In other news, since the GT is almost on the road I have economised my daily car, the Rio is for sale and has been replaced with a Citroen C1 1.0 Vibe, so base spec unfortunately, but it has been converted to run on LPG, first tank worked out at 87mpg (as LPG is so cheap at 54p/L), hopefully this'll get better as I get used to driving it.
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Philip Chidlow
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Philip Chidlow » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:19 pm

The C1 converted to LPG? Why the heck do that? ;)
OK 87mpg at 54p a litre is good, sure. But a normal C1 does around the 60mpg mark.

But then I thought about it: that saves £46 or so per 1000 miles. I'd never thought fitting LPG to a small car was a good idea (what's happened to the luggage space/spare wheel?) but maybe it is. Hang on. How much more did you pay to get an LPG converted car compared to a standard one? If nothing that's great. But if £500 more then it'll need to do 10,000 miles to start paying for itself.

mmm. Interesting but still not convinced. Go on, tell me why it's great :)
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saintjamesy89
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:10 pm

In real world driving Phil, as we all know, the factory MPG figures are not achievable. The book figure for this C1 is 61 combined, and I know that you need to take roughly 20% off the mpg as LPG has a lower calorific value than petrol. So the actual MPG done on gas, in my first tank, was 42mpg. However it's not running quite right, perhaps a small misfire, and I don't think the LPG system has been serviced since 2010, also I've only just bought it so it'll take time for me to learn how to drive it more economically. Once all is spot on and i've had it for a while I had hoped to get it upto 100mpg cost equivalent (so gas mpg of around 50-55). I have already more or less halved my monthly fuel cost from £130 a month for my 50odd mpg £1.03p/l diesel Rio to £66 a month with the LPG 54p/l C1, soa ny further saving is great! That isn't counting the dramatic difference in insurance, and cheaper road tax. It was on the upper end of the price range for this year of C1, but there were some that were more expensive. This was the only 50/60mpg small car (apart from Hyundia i10/corsa 1.2) thaqt was within travelling distance.

All of this spare money can go towards running and perfecting my GT :)
I'm not a Saint, or a James, but a Tom Saint-James!

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saintjamesy89
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:34 pm

Oh, and also LPG converted cars pay no London congestion charge. That was the reason this one was converted back in 2008.
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Philip Chidlow » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:13 am

I see. A neat car, the C1.... And with the factors you mention (not least congestion charge) a converted one starts to make a lot of sense.
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Tinkley » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:42 am

saintjamesy89 wrote:Oh, and also LPG converted cars pay no London congestion charge. That was the reason this one was converted back in 2008.
My father used to drive LPG powered Bristols' back in the 1980s', so I suppose they would be exempt too............ :wink:
Mind you even in the 70s' he commuted with a Zele electric car, so now the world is catching up with the milk float :lol:

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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:34 pm

C1 is trucking on, last tank cost the equivalent of 85mpg.

Small update with the GT, all the jobs are done, except some of the rear pipes. The chap is still waiting for the new rolls of pipe, but the bank holiday weekend certainly wouldn't have sped up the delivery. Hoping to have by the weekend as I off to Bournemouth to see some family, and want to show her off!
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by mat_fenwick » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:52 am

saintjamesy89 wrote:However it's not running quite right, perhaps a small misfire, and I don't think the LPG system has been serviced since 2010
I'd get that looked at, as there should be absolutely no difference running on LPG. But there are plenty of people who tolerate poor performing systems (possibly causing engine damage if they're running too lean...) which gives LPG a bad name. Do you know the make of the system? Some are DIY friendly regarding the software, so you can at least check things.
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:54 pm

It's booked in next week Matt for a LPG check up, I looked properly at it's history and it seems to have had a LPG service in 2013. Regarding it's running, it may just be that it's a three cylinder and has a slightly unbalanced idle, and the fact that it has never had a valve lube system so when it's cold the valves are a little noisy - when it's warmed up it all settles down. For those who haven't had dealings with LPG, as it's a gas it doesn't have the lubrication properties of petrol, and is often called a dry fuel, so to protect the valves and stop microwelding/burning out of the valves it's common to install a valve lube system. My 96 LPG converted XJ6 jag was fine, as it had hardened valves and seats as standard, this C1 however is a budget motor, so wil have quite soft valves and seats.

Dropped some of the old HP pipe clips and fittings down to the garage today, the pipe has arrived, and he's made a few up. The GT is booked in for a MOT mid-week. Started her up, so much quieter without the exhaust manifold blowing! Not sure if i've already mentioned it, but he's had three customers offering to buy it and reckons it's worth around 3k. Pretty sure it's here to stay, but can't hurt to have some fallback plans.
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Tinkley » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:09 am

If it (C1) has the Toyota engine it WILL have hardened seats etc. The Japs fitted stuff for unleaded years before Europe, partly because of Californian emission targets, ie unleaded petrol. There may be a slight difference in the oil way lubrication, but the engine should at least be spraying a light oil mist onto the valve gear. My old Morini blew oil mist up the pushrod tunnels, and that did not suffer any premature valve or guide wear. Used to drive LPG forklifts on Propane, (converted Ford engine), main difference is a fully sealed inlet manifold, so check for any leaks there if it runs rough.

New exhaust gasket makes a real difference, almost makes the car seem civilised....had to change it on the auto. Guess they just get too hard and with light engine movement it blows past eventually. Good luck with the MOT.

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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by mat_fenwick » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:08 pm

Tinkley wrote:If it (C1) has the Toyota engine it WILL have hardened seats etc.
It's not quite as simple as that though :( Just because it has valve seats fitted which are suitable for unleaded, does not mean they are hard enough for running on LPG. It seems common on Japanese cars especially to be designed quite precisely for a particular lifespan, so valve seat material may be 'just' hard enough to prevent unacceptable wear over a normal life, but not if you change the running parameters...

This list is a useful guide:
http://amrautos.co.uk/database_problem_cars.pdf
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:58 pm

Yes, what Mat said (also from previous post, it's a BRC system, so should be pretty good, second best to Prins in the LPG world IIRC). This engine is in fact on the LPG register list of 'problem' engines with regards to valves. There are reports of valves burning out after 30-50,000 miles on LPG even with valve lubrication systems. So i think mine must be lucky/well maintained as it's done 70000 miles, 40000 of which have been LPG miles. You should hear it when it's cold though, almost tappety sound, but it does makes the little 3cyl sound like a V6/V8 :D I am very gentle with it when it's cold though because i'm worried about the valves. It's booked in for a compression test when it goes in for a LPG service, so that'll hopefully give an idea of how healthy the valves are. It has a regular service by the garage I bought it from, they were quite unwilling to haggle with the price, so I tried to get as much stuff 'included' as I could to offset this. It's a surprisingly fun little car though. The biggest bug bear is the super hard suspension, it's like a little go-kart handling wise which is fun (as long as you rememeber the tyres are only 155/65/14 skinnies) but doesn't compare well to a BX or Jag for comfort - but then I have been spoilt in that regard in the past!

So very much looking forward to getting the into the GT and doing some miles! New speedo cable ordered, front comfort spheres too, the ones that came with it are a little hard, perhaps the wrong types (TD/16v or just old).
I'm not a Saint, or a James, but a Tom Saint-James!

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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:22 pm

GT is ready! Collecting tomorrow morning. Got some new front spheres ready (the ones fitted are too hard for my liking, but didn't fail the MOT) and a new speedo cable that I'll aim to fit sometime tomorrow. Very excited! It's felt like I've had this car a long time and not been able to use it.
Pictures and update tomorrow.
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Tim Leech » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:39 pm

Awesome Tom! You've been very patient!
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