Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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Kitch
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Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Kitch » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:32 pm

Took a trip to somewhere near Worcester today to purchase another BX:

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Matt H (who bought the car from Tim) had fallen out of love with it following a few ups and downs. The main down is that its an MOT failure with a bit of rust needing attention and practically no hydraulic pipes left. I do remember the pipes needing replacement at a CCC national a few years back - surprised it still hasn't been done! Anyway, they've now let go. Matt's tried to look after the car, but underneath it's not returning the favour.

So far the MOT failure sheet isn't huge, but there are some biggies to contend with:

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Basically, engine needs to come out and subframe needs to come off. The rot at the subframe mount is pretty bad - especially under the area where someone had sikkaflexed a piece of tin over the top of rot (reminded me of my own car and the chemical metal!)

two plans currently in early stages:

1 - (ideal plan) fix the car up, get it looking as good underneath as it does up top and then decide whether to sell it on or sell mine on. I'm pretty attached to mine, so it's unlikely that I'd keep it. I do have a mate who's been after a good one for ages, so providing I can turn it into a good one of course.

2 - Admit defeat before I sink lots of money in and break the car for spares. But BX breaking, not 205 breaking......in other words salvaging all the rare parts rather than angle-grinding the engine out. This isn't the ideal plan - but it all hinges on a good inspection underneath the car tomorrow (with luck).

One odd possibility I'm considering is that I could use all the grey panels on my car and get the roof and shut lines sprayed, and convert my car to grey! I hate cleaning/polishing cars, so the grey is ideal! It's also very tidy. But, the red kinda has more character and when it actually is all gleaming (and that's rare) it looks better IMO.

So tomorrow it's up onto the ramp when I get a spare few minutes and have a good poke! Wish me luck!

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citsncycles
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by citsncycles » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:41 pm

Good luck - it look's a major strip down job already but hopefully it's not too far gone [-o<
Mike Sims
BX 19RD Estate Mk1 - Timex!
BX 4X4 Estate - Oh god, I've done it again!
BX 17RD MK1 - it called to me!
BX14 TGE, - SOLD
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Tim Leech
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My Cars: 1963 VW BEETLE 1200 KGJ413A
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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
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2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Tim Leech » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:16 pm

I really dont want to see that car broken Kitch, so if it came to it I would find the money from somewhere and buy it back again and get it mended, I understand the engined quite tired now?
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
1998 Rover 75 2.0V6 Connoisseur Auto
2002 Rover 75 CDT Connossieur SE Nav
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirit S Special
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

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docchevron
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by docchevron » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:10 am

From when last I led under it, and that was a few years ago, I'd honestly say it would be easier to reshell it than repair whats left, especially at the back end. But given that the engine isn't that healthy anyway, is it really worth it?
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

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Kitch
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Kitch » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:40 am

Tim Leech wrote:I really dont want to see that car broken Kitch, so if it came to it I would find the money from somewhere and buy it back again and get it mended, I understand the engined quite tired now?
I don't want to see it broken either, but it might not be quite as straight-forward as "get it mended" if it's as bad as everyone says it is Tim. You could be writing a blank cheque. And if you loved the car so much you'd spend any amount to save it, you'd never have sold it in the first place. You must have known about the rot - you knew about the pipes but never had them sorted.
I need to get it on the ramp and have a look for myself and see what's involved. I'd prefer to fix it up myself, so if the opposite is the option I choose then it's because it really is beyond saving. We'll keep fingers crossed and see.
Last edited by Kitch on Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kitch
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Kitch » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:42 am

docchevron wrote:From when last I led under it, and that was a few years ago, I'd honestly say it would be easier to reshell it than repair whats left, especially at the back end. But given that the engine isn't that healthy anyway, is it really worth it?
I love your confidence-inspiring words mate :lol: Engine sounds a bit rattly, will perform some tests etc on it when time allows (compression testing, RR dyno etc) Might just need the tappets refurbing. The exhaust sounds a bit shonky, I know that for a fact, which always makes engines sound less healthy than they are.

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Tim Leech
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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
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Tim Leech » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:19 am

I never used it Kitch, and I was aware that it would need some welding on top of what was already done and the idea of that scares me as I didnt know anyone that could do welding, howevere now I do, and being honest a 16v is wasted on me as I never drove it the way they are meant to be.
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
1998 Rover 75 2.0V6 Connoisseur Auto
2002 Rover 75 CDT Connossieur SE Nav
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirit S Special
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

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Kitch
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Kitch » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:13 am

Tim Leech wrote:I never used it Kitch, and I was aware that it would need some welding on top of what was already done and the idea of that scares me as I didnt know anyone that could do welding, howevere now I do, and being honest a 16v is wasted on me as I never drove it the way they are meant to be.
Well I'll get it up on the ramp and see where it stands. You never know, it might be better than I'm expecting!

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Tim Leech
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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
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Tim Leech » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:03 am

The service history with that car is awesome, I spent a small fortune in the time I had it, clutch cable, genuine cambelt and tensioners, leads, plugs, driveshafts, tyres etc
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
1998 Rover 75 2.0V6 Connoisseur Auto
2002 Rover 75 CDT Connossieur SE Nav
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirit S Special
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

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Kitch
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Kitch » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:36 pm

Yeah it's got nearly as much as my red one! Well kept. Shame the underneath didn't receive the same TLC really, otherwise it'd be a minter.
If I can get it sorted underneath and ensure the engine is in good health/put the engine right, I think it'd be one of the best. That's a load, winding road though!

It's possibly going on the rolling road later - lets hope for good news.

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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Philip Chidlow » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:50 pm

Given how rare these are now, I'd suggest if possible, get it fixed up solidly - and it'll be an investment as well as a cracking car. Hats off to you Mr.K for at least considering taking the project on. :) Good luck with the 'feasibility study' you describe.
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
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Kitch
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Kitch » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:04 pm

Have had first 'feasibility' study (that's now the official name) of both engine/mechanicals and body.

Body: Better than I'd expected! I mean the front subframe mounts are absolutely shocking and there are one or two crusty areas, but truth be told at the moment I'm struggling to see what else is so bad. Sills are really good, rear chassis rails fine. Rear panel is a bit flimsy, under the bonnet is a bit untidy and basically the less said about the arches and the arseholery that's gone on in there sometime in the last 10 years the better.
Driver's door is hanging a bit, bit of tin worm coming through in some of the door shuts, but nothing I would class as excessive for a BX this age. It looks like it's been a daily driver for the last 10 years or so, not a garage queen! But exterior bodywork is as good as you'll find on a BX these days, even if the front bumper's paint job is a bit amateur. Got some rust bubbling up under the paint around the windscreen (BIG surprise!) but it's in it's infancy - you could catch it if you wanted to pay a bodyshop to do so.
Overall, for the age/mileage I'd say subframe mount aside it's actually about right. It's not exceptional but then it's not a mess either.

Engine/mechanicals Worse than expected. Rolling roaded it today at 114hp at the wheels, which is less than my Saxo VTS! Flywheel output is around 136bhp DIN, so it's lost a fair few ponies. It also sounds a bit weak, the mixture is very lean (to the point of dangerously so at around 3500rpm), it can't hold a steady idle (the HP pump cutting in cuts the engine out when it's hot) and half of the gauges either aren't working or there are serious issues. I suspect it's the gauges, although if the coolant gauge is not right then I'd guess someone's removed the thermostat, or it's jammed open.
Gearbox feels notchy, clutch cable is too loose (probably related). Front struts are sticking and it's pissing LHM out above the fuel tank, from the octopus, the brake lines to both wheels and the resevoir for some reason! The rear spheres feel too soft too - suspect they're not 16v ones. Hot/cold heater cable also seized and aircon system might as well never even be there.

Not all bad though - starts easily enough, very straight externally and pretty much complete. I think the car has potential still, but the issue it might have is the time & money to sink into it. It needs ALOT of work to get it ship shape. It's engine out, subframe out, welding to rails, octopus, fuel tank out and change the HP pipes, spheres, possible engine work......it goes on. So a decision is still a little way off, but I'm feeling more positive about the underside as I don't like welding old cars made of thin metal!


One thing I need to ask Matt H is how old the fuel is in it.....this could have massive effects on the power and AFR readings. Will update later with power graphs and pics.

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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by citsncycles » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:15 pm

If the bodywork is salvageable then that's 3/4's of the battle as far as I'm concerned, as replacing worn out running gear (even with 2nd hand) is generally easier than major body reconstruction - even if there's parts available for some areas.

As you said though, lots of time needed to devote to this one, although worth it if you have the time and skills - I hate to think of the cost if you paid a garage to do it :shock:
Mike Sims
BX 19RD Estate Mk1 - Timex!
BX 4X4 Estate - Oh god, I've done it again!
BX 17RD MK1 - it called to me!
BX14 TGE, - SOLD
XM Turbo SD,GS Club Estate,Visa 17D Leader,HY Pickup,Dyane Nomad,Dyane 6,2CV AZL,Falcon S,Trabant P50,3x Land Rovers (88" series 1,109" series 2a FFR,series 2a Marshall ambulance),DKW F7, Lambretta LD150 x 1.5,Mobylette SP93,Ural Cossack,Ural M63,CZ 250 Sport,Honda Varadero 125,lots of bicycles & tricycles including (but not only) Sunbeams,Higgins & Bates!

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Kitch
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Kitch » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:22 pm

Yeah that's right Mike, the body is the bulk of the work. There are a hell of a lot of other bits to do though, so it's more like 1/2 the battle :lol:

Anyway, today yielded results. First was a trip to the rolling road dyno:

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Results not so great:

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Compare it to the only other 16v I've put on there - mine, which is pretty much standard these days:

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(Don't read too much into the 98RON thing - it makes very little difference.)

This could be down to old fuel - I'm waiting to find out when it was last topped up and with what, as supermarket fuel seems to go off quicker than the branded stuff (could all be in my head - it all comes from the same place afterall!). Worringly, around 3500rpm the AFR monitor was reading 15.9 :shock: It basically means it's running very lean, which is the sort of behaviour that can melt things inside engines. So that will need addressing. Generally, the engine sounds ropey and isn't happy running. I'm pretty confident I could sort it out - compression test next will give me more info to hand, but I think the reason it sounds crap is probably the tappets needing a strip & refurb. If I fix it up engine will come out anyway and was going to do cambelt so it's no real hardship to whip the cams out and sort the tappets at the same time - it's just time consuming; redressing 16 hydraulic buckets takes days off your life!

Incidentally, anyone reading this with a 16v - I'll dyno it FOC if you bring it down; I'm keen to learn patterns on the rollers with different examples and specs.

I'd heard the car wasn't exactly a scorcher previously from more than one source, so although the results weren't a surprise I was still feeling a tad deflated. I was expecting the worst when I put it on the ramp:

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Initially, I went straight to the zone that many have already told me has written the car off....

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Followed by....

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Now that looks shocking (not just the attempted welding of the subframe) but......the main rail isn't the part that's massively affected. Although there is a bit that needs attention, the larger part that is unseaming itself from the rail is the closing panel that forms part of the inner wheel arch. That isn't as structural as the rail, although it will reinforce it. But this is good news from this respect. It's still an engine and subframe out job, so a pretty massive job, but it's not what I would class as enough to write a car with potential off. So I'd already decided that this rot is not the killer of the car, if I do decide that it's a no-go.

Happily the other side is better, though desperately needing treatment:

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The leak you can see is from the octopus - it's pissing out of one of the returns. The brake lines to the front calipers are also shot, so when you touch the brakes it gushes out. And when it's not gushing, it's still dripping all over BMW M3s:

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Luckily, sills look good. Certainly no worse than my red one, or most other BXs I look under:

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Haven't found anything horrific anywhere else either:

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CV boot *might* need attention though:

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The only thing I hate to say here (and it's no dig at Tim) but it's a prime example of a car being kept clean and polished and that being regarded as 'looking after your pride and joy' when underneath it wasn't receiving the attention it needed. It might be with a new car that you're fighting depreciation with, but as a car ages the body becomes less important and the underneath and mechanicals start to take centre stage. I'm not quite sure why or how or who, but the guts of the car just don't seem to have had that enthusiasts touch, even if the exterior clearly has.
It's no dig at Matt either, he hasn't owned the car long enough to really influence it. I know he had plans for the car and at one point favoured it to his ph1. I can almost guess the reason is because his ph1 will drive a lot better than this one, and that's without having driven his ph1.

Overall I would class it as a positive day. I'm still not 100% sold on what I'm doing with it - I need to go round the car and make a list of everything that needs doing. If I'm going to sort the car, I'll do it properly. No half-arsed jobs, properly or not at all.

[quote=citsncycles]As you said though, lots of time needed to devote to this one, although worth it if you have the time and skills - I hate to think of the cost if you paid a garage to do it [/quote]

That's the thing Mike - I would imagine for a garage to put this right (and this is speaking as someone who works at a garage) you're looking at around £2k minimum to carry out all the work. Luckily, between time with my young and seemingly ever-growing family, the Sierra I'm recomissioning for my father-in-law, the BX GT I'm restoring for my dad and the kit car I'm trying to build, I might have the odd spare 2 minutes to remove a wing bolt on this and slowly do it over time in the evenings :P

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Dollywobbler
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Re: Gone and done it again, but this one you'll know!

Post by Dollywobbler » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:25 pm

You could always drop an XUD in it while you refresh the engine. :D