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 - FOR SALE!

Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:44 pm

Sorry, no warranty! But may respond to a clean if you're so inclined.
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vulgalour
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - FOR SALE!

Post by vulgalour » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:08 pm

Happy news! The 'probably definite' offer of storage I had been given turned into a 'flat refusal' but an alternative solution has presented itself so the BX can stay and be fixed. What a fuss this has been, but at least I'll have a house moving/house alternative vehicle at my disposal when required. My neighbour is going to LOVE me for the solution, but hey there's space on the drive that isn't being used, I don't see what the problem is beyond a little inconvenience for him.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - NOT FOR SALE - Storage Solv

Post by vulgalour » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:06 pm

Yesterday, I was encouraged to contact the local Police after a rather scary incident. I had to run a short errand to collect some bits for the Princess and on the way I started getting a very odd banging noise accompanied by a thumping throughout the car. I stopped twice on my trip to try and find the fault but all I could work out was that it got less severe when I put my foot down and much more severe at anything over 40mph. I really was concerned I'd destroyed a drive shaft or similar so I got a second opinion when I arrived home. My brother drove the car a few yards and suspected a collapsed wheel bearing, but the noise was just getting worse so we determined to remove the wheels and inspect on the drive.

Scarily, someone had got there before me. Three of my wheels had wheel nuts loosened off, a total of 12 wheel nuts all of which were finger tight and some of which were nearly out of the hub. Once we worked this out, we wound one nut in on the front to take a picture for future reference - proved useful for the Police officer that visited - and this wasn't even the worst one of the bunch.

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I do wonder if the wheel trim I threw recently was the result of tampering, because of it I put the trims on my brother's Astra where they look much better so I'll obviously be on the lookout for some proper BX trims eventually again now.
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In the meantime, the car no longer lives on the street, not even for short periods of time, because I don't know that I can trust keeping it there. What with the wheel nut incident and the suspected party encouraging their children to ride their bicycles at the BX, the snide remarks, the insults and the abuse... it's not worth the risk. I've never lived anywhere quite so poisonous as this, I'll be happy to leave it all behind.

In other, more positive news, I adjusted the clutch so I can actually select gears easier. I think I need a new cable rather than a new clutch, I'll investigate fully when the car is off the road at the end of next month, I don't have much driving planned between now and then so there shouldn't be a problem. This job wasn't actually that bad, just a bit fiddly rather than trying to make my hands be a different shape.
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The gale force winds are preventing me from doing anything meaningful on either car, but the next project is a bit of modifying to the driveway so that I have off-road work space that's more sheltered and much more secure and will avoid any terminal drama with the drive sharing that is something of a joke. Nothing is ever easy.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - FOR SALE!

Post by Caffiend » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:56 pm

vulgalour wrote:My neighbour is going to LOVE me for the solution, but hey there's space on the drive that isn't being used, I don't see what the problem is beyond a little inconvenience for him.
Yeah, but ... I have to say that if I had to FREQUENTLY ask someone to move their car so I could get into or out of a shared space then I'd get pissed off quite quickly.
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 18/04 - Lefty Loosey

Post by Dollywobbler » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:59 pm

Ditto. Our driveway provides access to next door's driveway, so I'm always at great pains to ensure I don't block the access with knackered shite. Generally with sucess! Having to wait for a neighbour to move a car, which needs a good long slog of glow plug, then needs to drag itself into the air before moving is going to be VERY annoying. I know that's not a solution, but I really don't think your neighbour is being grumpy in getting the hump about it.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 18/04 - Lefty Loosey

Post by vulgalour » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:08 pm

Yeah... but they don't have to frequently ask. I drive maybe once every three days lately and I'm usually right at the bottom of the drive behind everyone else. When I do go out, it's usually when he's not even in. This is why it makes no sense for him to be upset about it, I'm the one that's blocked in, not him. Fact is, he's grumpy about me having a car on the drive much more than any sort of blocking in that might happen. I've even been told by him that my having two cars is an extravagance, I bite my tongue about the extravagance of his alcoholism which costs him more per week than my two cars cost me.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 18/04 - Lefty Loosey

Post by mat_fenwick » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:11 pm

Could you give them a copy of the key (assuming you trust them!) so they can shift it if needs be? For example if they run out of booze and you're not in :lol:
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 18/04 - Lefty Loosey

Post by vulgalour » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:03 am

I meant to update on the grounded BX situation, so now I am. I've known about a leaking return pipe for a while and it was on my planned maintenance list but I thought it would at least hold out for another couple of weeks until I can take the BX off the road and work through all the issues properly to get it ready for a fresh MoT. Recently, my brother's Astra broke down in Mansfield and it was arranged that it was easiest to use the BX to go and bring people home that needed to. I was cool with this so off we set only to find that my power steering went all uncharacteristically intermittent and then the STOP and ! lights started flickering on the dash but not staying on. Another mile or two and the brakes started to feel a bit odd, but sometimes the lights would go off, all would be well and I could carry on. Then the suspension felt distinctly wrong and I pulled up. Had a good poke around and couldn't find anything amiss until we saw that the LHM indicator was right at the bottom, a look underneath confirmed that the BX was leaking out LHM. Gingerly I got back in and we limped home with the back end getting saggier and lower all the way and my brakes feeling decidedly more like a normal car rather than the on-off that I'd grown used to in the Citroen. I was close enough to home to risk it and thankfully I know the car well enough to know when something is wrong now, regardless of what the dash lights tell me.

I was pretty sure it was a burst pipe, and I was pretty sure I knew which one, but I was worried when it was suggested the car might have been vandalised again even though it was kept well out of the way and my wheel nuts have not since been tampered with (I know, I've checked them regularly). Only one thing for it, which was to get it jacked up and get the wheel off.

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So the back of the wheel, the back of the tyre, the brake disc, all of the inner arch, any mechanical components that are in this area, the suspension and the floor are sticky and green. That LHM return pipe has a split, it's okay for crawling along the drive and the BX will haul itself up off the floor when I need it to, but driving along the road it just has a big green wee, so we're off the road for now. Thankfully, I can borrow my Dad's car if I get really properly stuck, but with the job search going the way it is I'm not hopeful that anything is going to come my way before the Princess is fully road legal in a few weeks time.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 22/04 - Grounded

Post by Dollywobbler » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:20 am

Hmmm. A split return pipe shouldn't be pumping out that much fluid. Some certainly - and I've often had it enough to coat the inner edge of the tyre - but that does seem a bit excessive. I hope the strut isn't in need of replacement. It has had a driver's side strut during my first ownership spell.

Don't forget that the handbrake works on the front wheels - possibly handy in case of complete hydraulic failure!

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 22/04 - Grounded

Post by MULLEY » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:36 pm

If you get a leak in the BX whilst driving, try not to use the brake pedal, that creates pressure & then pisses out lhm really quickly. I drove down the M1 just using the handbrake for most of the way (& using my fog lights as a braking indicator), only using the footbrake when i really had to, it was surprisingly effective using just the handbrake, but don't rely on it to slow you down really quickly, it scrubs a fair bit of speed off but won't stop you from smashing into something.
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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 22/04 - Grounded

Post by vulgalour » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:31 pm

Since most of my return journey was downhill, facilitating use of the brakes, I reckon that's why there's so much LHM everywhere then. I didn't think to use the handbrake and if I had, I'd likely not wanted to risk it anyway. I got home okay, that's the important thing. The car hasn't leaked out much LHM since being parked up, happily, so I could move it today but we're now officially off the road and I'll be cashing the remaining tax in. Full update coming shortly, I'm just uploading photos.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 22/04 - Grounded

Post by vulgalour » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:49 pm

Ever more complaining about my car taking up dead space on the drive and not blocking anyone in resulted in me having to move the BX off road onto the most unsuitable bit of ground available. I'm not thrilled about this situation, but it's either this or scrap the car and that's something I really don't want to have to do. I'm supposed to be minimising stress in my life to help my mental health improve, so having people constantly nagging me whenever I try and work on my car or whenever I try and use the shared off road space is something I cannot deal with. Never mind, at least a solution has been got.

First job of the day was to knock a panel of the fence out so that the car could be moved onto my parents' back garden. Yes, I'm putting a rusty BX on grass, go me. We needed a ramp due to the unique way in which the driveway is constructed and while we had bricks and wood to build something approximating a ramp, it wasn't ideal. Hauled the old Princess bonnet out, checked it for strength, and used that on top of our lumpier ramp. Turns it was ideal for purpose.
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Some shuffling back and forth had to be done, this wasn't a straight forward procedure and I had two spotters so we could navigate the uneven garden surface, the fence edges, the bonnet ramp, the unmovable stump and the drain cover that probably won't support the weight of a car. Fun times.
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Eventually, we got lined up so that I could leave the comfort of the concrete driveway.
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Some more shuffling, and we're in the final resting place. Usefully, the wheels sit higher than the sills on this bit of ground so even when the car sinks to the bottom of the suspension it won't be resting fully on the floor. In time, some paving slabs will find their way underneath to prevent the damp ground being a problem and hopefully the car will only be here for a few months. The fence panel was put back in and the car is now as secure as it'll ever be.
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I even have a guard dog, he was having loads of fun running around the garden and generally being a nutjob.
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The next stage, obviously, was to start working on the car which I shall tell you about in the next post.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 22/04 - Grounded

Post by vulgalour » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:19 pm

Moment of truth time. I'd already had a good luck underneath the car to assess the rust and while it looked fairly extensive it didn't look as extensive as some BXs I'd seen so I was comfortable that it could be repaired. My brother is quite skilled at panel repair having done so for many years on a wide variety of cars and he has much more experience than I with this side of things. The decision was made after getting the BX into it's new resting place and having a cuppa, that we should start stripping the rear end down to properly assess the damage.

First job, remove that rear bumper. This went surprisingly smoothly with a lack of cornflakey drama. All the metal that's missing is part of the same single flat sheet and will be remarkably easy to replicate and repair. This was actually a very pleasant surprise as I was expecting far less metal to be left here.
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I had noticed some rust underneath the damaged plastic arch spats so I decided to remove them. They can be repaired and reused, but I shan't be reinstating them as I don't like what they've caused. Thanks to DW's diligence in the past the hole in the arch is limited in size and the rust is not too advanced here.
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This is the worst bit on the entire car. I didn't realise this, but apparently diesel fumes can accelerate rust and with this being a spray and dirt trap and having had a bit of fibreglass 'repair' work before it was never going to be pretty. However, again it's nowhere near as bad as anticipated.
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After some prodding, a hole did appear where the fibreglass repair had been done. This would explain where some of the water was getting into the boot.
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The real surprise was waiting for me on the other side. This panel is very nearly perfect with only some extremely minor surface corrosion that just needs a bit of fresh paint to resolve. This will also serve as an ideal pattern to reverse for the other side of the car. I'm delighted about how solid this is.
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It's not perfect on this side of the car though, the arch where it meets the sill is worse than the passenger side. Dirt and water had been trapped under the damaged plastic spat and I think that's what's caused the damage here more than anything.
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With the interior trim and (quite damp) floor mat removed from the boot we could clean it up and really assess this area properly. This is the worst part of the entire car and would make or break it. I'm comfortable that this is all entirely repairable and certainly no worse than many cars that have been restored that are nowhere near as capable, distinctive or worthy as the BX.
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It isn't perfect, there's a rot hole in a similar location to the passenger side on this side, focusing on the seam where the hatchback tub ends and the extended estate tub begins. We marked out where the rust was suspected to be to cut it out fully. One big advantage to the BX (and possibly with it being white) is that where you see rust on the paint you know the metal is rusty underneath, but where you don't see rust there doesn't seem to be anything hiding. It makes finding the areas that need repair much easier.
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Grindy action.
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Back to clean metal. You can see we've marked and started removing areas of the floor pan too. There's actually a lot of really solid metal in this area, far more than I'd expected.
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At the end of play, this little lot had been removed.
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We then tidied up the work area ready for another day when we'll continue cutting out rot ready for welding in fresh metal. We have various welding solutions available to us at the moment but my brother is of the opinion that much of what needs replacing is going to be easier to weld in that it has been to cut out.
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The plan of attack is to continue removing the rust and welding in fresh clean metal in this area before moving on to the next zone. This is going to be a practical restoration rather than a show winner because I want to use this car every day. Repairs will be strong and as much rust as is sensible will be removed but I'm not going to the extent of a nut and bolt rebuild because this is never going to be a show car, rather a tidy daily driver. For me, this car is well worth the effort and to find that the back end isn't as rusty as feared is just an added bonus.

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 22/04 - Update

Post by MULLEY » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:35 pm

Looking good :)
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
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1992 TXD - Scrapped in March 2014

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Re: The Stripey Saga Continues - 22/04 - Update

Post by saintjamesy89 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:11 am

..that_ Good job that man! I think, by the sound of things, you're due a nice surprise or two.
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