St Tropez restoration blog

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Tinkley
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Tinkley » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:06 pm

Des Smith wrote: Brings a new meaning to 'anti-submarining'!
And I thought you were referring to navigating the floodwaters of the Thames Valley as I have been doing for the last couple of months. Hosepipe bans in May?

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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:02 pm

So een grote dank je wel to Bobby, who transported a lovely pair of seats in Cannes/Deauville/St Tropez trim all the way over from the Netherlands to a pub car park in the Ashdown Forest where for a few beer tokens, said seats were transferred into the St Tropez.

We also had the chance to swap notes in the rapidly gathering gloom. Bobby felt compelled to take photos of my glove box because the dutch BX crowd won't believe that UK cars have a different layout and no lid on top. Meanwhile I took a picture of his lovely 1991 Athena 1.6 next to the St Tropez. Has to be done, doesn't it?

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Of course, the LHD passenger seat is nice and firm and will become my driver's seat. I'm hoping to pull the seats out this weekend and have a good clean-up around the floor mountings, which are about the only part of the car that hasn't been apart. I'll have to swap around some of the parts of the passenger's seat. The plastic seat back from Bobby will replace my cracked one while the original squab needs to be kept. From the bits I should be able to build up a nice seat.

The sad story about why Bobby has spare seats? Well, they came out of his BX Cannes, to be replaced by a complete red GTi interior he got from 50 euros. It all went pear-shaped when the gearbox went and he passed it on.

As a parting gift, Bobby gave me a spare 14TU air filter left over from a deceased BX. Cheers, and good luck with the Visa resto - apparently it's as rusty as the St Tropez. If that's true, it's definitely a labour of love!

:D :D :D
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
Kawasaki GPz550A4 1987

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Tim Leech
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Tim Leech » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:22 am

Good to hear, I think the BX fraternity should starts to spread its wings european wide as the numbers dwindle and parts get harder to find. My GT wears a set of Mk1 mudflaps purchased from the UK but with fitting from Leboncoin!
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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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:45 pm

The seats are all sorted out. I pulled the driver's seat out yesterday afternoon and had a fun time trying to access the security bolts. Not a lot of room to get in there, so I had to abandon the fancy tools and go back to basics. Once the seat was out, the layers of dust and accumulated crap underneath was quite impressive. Rounded the day off by cleaning everything up ready for the 'new' seat.

Image

The old seat had a ripped bolster that I'd stitched up to stop it getting worse. It wasn't a pretty job and periodically I've had to re-stitch it because the fabric was so weak it just unravelled. Add that to the saggy squab and it didn't do much to enhance the driving experience. The replacement seat probably needs a valet but it's complete and the squab is firm.

Image

The passenger's seat was a little more tricky. It was in decent condition but the plastic surround was cracked. There are four screws holding this on, but the wrinkle is the plastic sleeve for the headrest post that goes through the top of the surround and locks into the seat chassis. There's a plastic locking clip that releases the sleeve but you can only access it through the bottom of the seat back. This is achieved by removing the seat squab and wriggling your hand up to the headrest sleeve. There's some minor contortions and it requires a good sense of touch! Happily, I had the old seat disassembled, so I could see how the sleeve was locked in, otherwise it could have ended in tears.

Once the sleeve was out, the plastic surround could be swapped with the new one and the rest was plain sailing. While the seat squab was out, I cleaned up the detritus underneath and found, among other other artifacts, a rubber grommet. (I'll post some photos of it in the technical section.) Once the crap was cleaned up, the finishing up was straightforward. Everything fits back together really easily and with a quite brush down, it looks quite tidy.

Image

Probably the next step would be a good upholstery valet to get it looking a bit cleaner. In the meantime, the new driver's seat has eliminated that sinking feeling and immeasurably improved the driving experience. Hurrah!
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
Kawasaki GPz550A4 1987

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citsncycles
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by citsncycles » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:46 pm

Interesting info on how the seats come apart - thanks. The covers are alowly disintegrating on Timexks front seats, and I've not plucked up the courage to pull the after market covers off Fred's front seats yet, but I suspect I will be rebuilding them at some point in the future.
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mat_fenwick
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:53 pm

Des Smith wrote:I cleaned up the detritus underneath and found, among other other artifacts, a rubber grommet.
How much money? Every single car I've bought, I've found some loose change under the seat when giving it a proper clean!
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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:50 am

Not a sous! Honest! Although I had the carpets up in the Terrano and had to take the central console out. I found a rather discoloured pound coin, a multitude of orbit chewing gum wrappers and a shaeffer fountain pen. I have no idea how they any of that lot could have got under the console.
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
Kawasaki GPz550A4 1987

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Paul296
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Paul296 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:43 am

Lovely. It's been said before but bears repeating - that cars a real credit to you Des. I am slightly puzzled as to what happened to the obligatory 'my car in sexy low suspension setting' pics!? :D

As Tim mentioned, I've wondered if it might be worth trying to set up some kind of 'International Friends of the BX' type thing. For all its sins, Facebook has proved to be a very useful way of making that possible. Anyone else wonder if there's any mileage in that?

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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:48 pm

Thanks, Paul. Just for you, here is that photo in low...

Image

I tend to avoid it as a rule - my short term memory is getting worse and the idea of driving off without suspension travel makes me go quite cold.
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
Kawasaki GPz550A4 1987

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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:42 pm

A sign to those who are believers, left by some shadowy agent provocateur at the foot of the stairs at platform 9 on London Bridge station. I spotted it a couple of months previously, but never quite had the nerve to be seen taking a photo of the platform until one evening after a few sherbets. It's a fair cop, but Newton & Ridley are to blame.
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BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
Kawasaki GPz550A4 1987

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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:24 pm

MOT day yesterday. I never like to assume it's a done deal, so I gave all the obvious bits the once-over the evening before, which showed up one of the two numberplate lights had expired. Easy fix - new bulb fitted in a couple of minutes. I also decided the front windscreen wiper blade needed a clean-up, and in so doing, the rubber started to split. Bugger! Slight flap while I had a furkle around to find a replacement, which happily I had in the part-used bin. (Finally, vindication for 'hang-onto-it-in-case-it might-be-needed-in-an-emergency' policy)

Anyway, turned up bright and breezy for the appointment and as seems to be the tradition at my local garage, all the mechanics turned out to have a look under the bonnet. They never seem to tire of remarking how clean it looks. Of course, after all of their compliments, it's very hard for them to find a reason to fail the car, and happily it passed. 1728 miles driven since last year, new ticket, no advisories and the prospect of CCC2015 beckoning.

Can't get much better than that... :D :D :D
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
Kawasaki GPz550A4 1987

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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 TAL91S
1994 CITROEN XANTIA 1.8 SXi M908HRY
1998 Rover 75 V6 Connoisseur Auto S392DEH
2002 Rover 75 CDT Connossieur SE Nav R40TSL
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Tim Leech » Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:20 pm

A new wiper blade is about £3 Des! :wink:
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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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by mds141 » Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:24 pm

Congrats Des. :-) Look after the pennies and the pounds take care of themselves. Yes, I'm a tight arse. :)
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Mothman » Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:51 pm

Well done bud, a cracking motor.

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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:54 am

Thanks Andy!

I do stress I don't habitually fit used bits to my vehicles, but at 9pm the night before a 9am MOT appointment there aren't too many motor factors still open! A new replacement is on its way and when it arrives, the 'spare' will go back into the shed.

I've just updated my spreadsheet, which I've kept since I bought the St Tropez. It tells me that up to today, I've covered 10527 miles in her and excluding fuel, tax and insurance she's costing me £1.10 per mile. I need to do more miles to get that figure down, so CCC2015 will do that quite nicely!
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
Kawasaki GPz550A4 1987