The Final Chapter of the Stripey Saga - RIP supermachine

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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mat_fenwick
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by mat_fenwick » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:31 pm

Have the rear lights been tinted? They look a little darker than normal, or is that just my eyes?
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
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vulgalour
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by vulgalour » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:48 pm

I think they might just be mucky, I've not taken them apart. As far as I know they're not tinted, but the light output is a bit feeble.

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Tim Leech
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by Tim Leech » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:31 am

They do have a tendency to fade with age plus the black smoke from the diesel can spot them up.
1963 VW BEETLE 1200
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
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vulgalour
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by vulgalour » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:30 pm

Still plodding along. Since it was dry and sunny but cold, I thought I'd get out and see if I could sort out that stupidly stiff height selector. First thing is to get the car up in the air safely, axle jack under each safe point according to the manual and jack as a back up under the central jacking point. I did notice the rear axle stand location has a hole in the sill, so that's something else that needs doing before the MoT that I need to add to the list, even if I just bodge it with a view to proper replacement over the summer.

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Then, I wanted to see better what was happening inside the car and check that nothing had got wedged down the side of the selector rod. Removing the central console was easy enough, and it's the best way to clean it all up as you just can't with it in the car. Something to keep me occupied with later, I have no doubt, even though it's not really that mucky anyway.
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There was some detritus, namely a 5p coin and some cigarette filters, but nothing that would cause any sort of real problem.
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So that meant I needed to look under the car and try out the suggestion of a wire brush and some grease to free things up. The copper grease has disappeared, so I had to use WD40 instead as that's all I've got. I will go back and grease this properly when I have suitable grease though as I know WD40 isn't the most ideal thing for this application. However, it did let me see what was and wasn't moving.
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Underneath, the car is lovely and solid and the underseal still looks and feels nice and fresh. That was comforting, really, because I was worried about what I'd properly see under here. Couple of areas needing attention on the sills that I already knew about and the boot could do with a coat of underseal to keep things tidy, but mostly it's very presentable.

I learned that the front half of the height selector rods move nice and freely, helped in part by the lubrication from the chronic oil leak/s going on up front. However, the rear rod doesn't move freely and the main culprit appeared to be the pivot part at the back that, from what I can work out, helps with height selection by operating the hydraulic balancer thingy at the back. All the little notches that the book shows as being present on this part where the rods go in are not present and look to have not been present for a long time so I'm not sure that's the problem. I did get some movement in the pivot, but hardly any and the rods were still having a tough time of it.
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After much fettling, and reading and trying to figure out just what was wrong I had to admit defeat. There's something here I've missed I think, or that is broken or missing... I'm not sure. Fact is, I can't figure it out and have a BX that no longer goes up and down properly, which is pretty disappointing. What's more frustrating about this is that when I got the car it did go into all settings, allbeit grudgingly with high and low, and was getting much better until the recent cold spell at which point it just decided it didn't want to anymore. I've no idea what's going on.

So with that put to bed, I turned my attention to the rear lights which look dim and which I'd been told are very weak when you're following the car. This would give me a chance to look at the metal behind the clusters too, which is happily quite solid.
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Investigating the silvering on the backs reveals that not only is it quite dirty from accumulated road muck, soot and cobwebs but it has also started to lift off in places. Best fix here is to clean them up properly and repaint with a chrome enamel or similar to get some brightness back. I haven't the materials to do that now, so I've made do with a clean.
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Back on the car they look brighter as I've also cleaned the back of the lenses. They were about as mucky as I was expecting, it's one of those funny little design flaws with these sorts of composite light clusters.
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I'm trying to cheer myself on with this, the car has lots of niggles and no serious faults, it's all to be expected. Normally I'd be buoyed up by the challenge but lately I'm fed up of challenges.

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MULLEY
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by MULLEY » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:00 pm

Its the crappy cold weather, there's some jobs i need to do on my car, i haven't felt motivated tbh....
2002 C5 2.0 HDI Estate - Remapped - It goes better
2011 Mini Cooper D Clubman - it does over 60mpg
1992 TZD Turbo - SORN - slowly getting there
1991 Gti 16V - Blaze is back on the road since 2008
1990 Gti 8Valve SOLD - looks like it's been scrapped
2002 Mini Cooper S - SOLD - i miss this car
1992 TXD - Scrapped in March 2014

I'm not just a username, i'm also called Matthew.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by citsncycles » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:31 pm

If the sills are holed at the rear, check the closing panel inside the rear wheelarch. There should be a bung in a flanged hole in this closing panel, but they can go missing, letting all sorts of mud, spray and salt into the sill structure.

If these are missing try to get them plugged ASAP - there's also a foam block in the C post that will soak up all the moisture then rot the post from the inside out.
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vulgalour
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by vulgalour » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:27 pm

Looks like Stripey will soon be off the road again because I'm switching back to using the Princess as my daily for reasons of short term cost. Trust me, it makes sense really. What I'll do is get Stripey all welded and sorted while off the road, re-MoT and put back into daily use again later this year. Not the update I was expecting to make, but it is what it is.

I have no plans to scrap or break this car.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by Dollywobbler » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:07 pm

Your Princess is fab, so I for one can forgive you! I think your plan is probably sensible, then hopefully have the BX ready for the winter.

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vulgalour
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by vulgalour » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:55 pm

Off topic alert!

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Oyster metallic (it's pretty much a metallic version of the beige already on the car) bonnet arrived today and with some help I got it fitted... almost. Front end actually looks pretty straight, which I'm delighted about, just got to do a bit more tweaking here and there to get the bonnet to open and close properly. Turns out the slam panel is still pushed back a bit too far, which I suspected it might be.

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vulgalour
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues

Post by vulgalour » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:09 pm

I am putting this up for sale now. There are very sensible reasons for doing this, mainly that I need to be down to a single car again, which is going to be the Princess (who recently sailed through her MoT after replacing one single tyre).

Offers in the region of £180-200 invited (this is what the scrapyard offered me for the car as a runner) as the car still has tax and test on it. The car does have problems, most notably a leaking rocker cover and sump gasket and is in need of an LHM return pipe. All the bits you need to fix the car can be got for £50 delivered from AEP and there's another Autoshiter with a BX that has all the metal bits you need for the back end that could be got.

Personal health issues mean I'll be better off focusing on just the one car, and since the Princess is the one I'll always choose, the BX must go. If it hasn't sold by the end of June (when the tax expires) it will sadly have to be scrapped. The BX has done everything I needed during my ownership, I'm not selling due to any fault with the car (though it does have some faults), I just don't think I shall be able to do it justice and would rather offer the opportunity to sell it on for someone else to enjoy.

MoT expires beginning of June.
Tax expires end of June.
New waterpump and timing belt supplied, but not yet fitted.
New glowplugs fitted recently.
Rust progress halted on the rear wing, I didn't get as far as exacting the repairs. Contact ruffgeezer to discuss the possibility of obtaining spares from his breaker, it's what I planned to do.
Pedal box is strong and not in need of repair
A pillars solid with no hinge-area rot
Fully cleaned inside and out with the exception of the headlining and engine bay which I didn't get finished, and won't now.
Utterly reliable and runs on veg. Happiest on an 80% veg 20% diesel mix.

So yeah. I'll be sad to see it go, but if it isn't bought then I'll have to scrap it, which I don't want to do, but storage here is going to become an issue in addition to my health problems so needs must.

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vulgalour
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - FOR SALE!

Post by vulgalour » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:52 am

I may have obtained storage and I may be withdrawing Stripey from sale. Until I know for definite, the car remains available.

In other off-topic news, the Princess had an MoT sprung on her with five minutes warning by my brother. Off we went, and promptly failed... on a tyre. New tyre fitted, tracking done and we went back the next day to get a pass sheet. The advisory for weak rear brakes disappeared too, but since I've got the new rear shoes on order for that I think that's something of an unspoken gentleman's agreement between myself and the MoT garage. Daily driving duties beckon for the Princess, I must be mad.

All being well, storage will pan out, Stripey will get withdrawn from sale and the welding and whatnot it needs will be done while off the road ready for me to start using it again when the weather isn't so suitable for the Princess. I'll likely book Stripey in for an MoT before going for storage so that I have a proper list to work through.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - FOR SALE!

Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:14 am

Glad to hear you're considering keeping it :) It may be cheaper to just get a garage to run through an MOT checklist (or just the bits you can't do yourself) rather than an MOT test, as with the latter they have to take up the full time allotted by VOSA rather than the actual time a test may take. Apparently the computer system won't let them generate a certificate if they go too quickly!
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
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vulgalour
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - FOR SALE!

Post by vulgalour » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:44 pm

In all honesty, I don't want to part with the BX, I can't think of a single vehicle in or out of my budget that would do what it does so well much less one that I'd be happy to own. The possible storage is right next to a restoration business and a couple of bodywork and maintenance businesses so there's a very good chance some sort of deal can be struck whereby I throw money at them and they create a pristine BX for me. Such is my hope, at any rate

Gave Stripey a clean inside and out, fettled some trim and found the uppy-downy lever is working better now allowing me to select 3 height settings as opposed to just 2. When I feel up to it, I'll do some more fettling with the adjuster and get full movement back in it again. Also, I've reduced the oil leak by parking half on the curb (passenger side high). This does mean the fuel gauge doesn't always work for some reason, but I only get a very small bit of oil on the floor rather than a spill when I'm parked on the flat. Found this out after noticing how vulnerable the car can be when parked on the street on the corner outside the house, parking on the curb makes it much harder for people to accidentally drive into the car.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - FOR SALE!

Post by Dollywobbler » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:47 pm

IIRC, the fuel tank sender is one I got second-hand from Mat. When I got it back, the gauge wasn't working at all.

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vulgalour
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - FOR SALE!

Post by vulgalour » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:05 pm

most of the time the gauge works fine, but if I park other than on the flat it sometimes doesn't work until I've driven a few miles. It's not really a problem, it uses that little fuel I hardly need a gauge anyway.