St Tropez restoration blog

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:32 pm

vulgalour wrote:Get a clear perspex bonnet made up for giggles, then you can see the shiny stuff and avoid it getting rained on.
I'd laugh because that's such a ridiculous idea, only I have a strong suspicion that someone somewhere has already done it!
vulgalour wrote:I'm actually surprised at how much yours has had to have replaced, it really didn't look that bad to start with.
YOU'RE SURPRISED!!!! The nasty tinworm monster buried his eggs very carefully in my car. Your estate looks like a simple job in comparison, but I wouldn't have thought so a few weeks ago. Then I thought it was a case of welding on the two new wings and a couple of patches, fixing the inner sills and replacing the front subframe. Now the St Tropez resto is turning into the BX equivalent of the 'Six Million Dollar Man'.
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 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:59 am

Yep, make my work on Timex look simple (so far). I do have to drop the subframe at some point though as I had to do some work round one of the subframe mounts last year.
Mike Sims
BX 19RD Estate Mk1 - Timex!
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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Wed May 15, 2013 11:26 am

I've been a bit slack at updating the restoration project, so here is the latest. It's been steady progress, with the rear subframe being rebuilt, ready for fitting and the ongoing surgery to replace the corroded structural tinwork. The NOS rear quarter panels have been welded in and the new metal is primed. The latest work completed is welding in the new rear panel. Anyway, a picture paints a thousand words, so here's the photos...

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NSR wheel arch with new rear quarter panel

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Rear subframe assembly rebuilt

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OSR wheel arch and box section

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OSR inner wing

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OSR sill welded

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OSR quarter panel fitted and rear panel ready for welding

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Welding in the new rear panel 1

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Welding in the new rear panel 2

It's interesting :shock: to see Jaba's thread on his rear subframe woes. I'd be inclined to agree with those who warn about the danger of further rot. Even though I had a good look underneath my car, there was so much corrosion hidden from view. At least my subframe will slot back into the boltholes, but if the shell is so rotten it need complete reconstruction, with all the attendant jigging issues, it needs to be given very serious thought. I was worried that my front subframe was in danger of failing and if that had happened, I rather think it would have been the end of the road for the St Tropez.
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 » Wed May 15, 2013 11:41 am

Thats come along well in a week since I was there.
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MULLEY
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by MULLEY » Thu May 16, 2013 12:24 am

Amazing work, i'm just shuddering at how much all of this is going to cost :( i know its your car for keepers so the expense is less relevant, but even so....
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
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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Thu May 16, 2013 9:22 am

MULLEY wrote:Amazing work, i'm just shuddering at how much all of this is going to cost :( i know its your car for keepers so the expense is less relevant, but even so....
TBH, I didn't anticipate the rot was this extensive, but even so, the restoration work was always going to produce a big bottom line and I went into it with eyes open (although watering slightly). The way I look at it, I'm going to end up with a nearly-new BX14, and there aren't too many of those around.

With the benefit of a crystal ball, I should have avoided buying this one and spent a bit more on the mint St Tropez examples that have popped up in the last three years. I certainly won't ever recoup what I'm spending on it, but then again, not many of us are turning a profit after selling on a BX. Those that are still on the road in 10 years' time will probably command better prices simply because of scarcity, inflation and growing interest from collectors, but I'm not kidding myself that DS-style price tags are ever going to be tied on to a BX.
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
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Jaba
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Jaba » Thu May 16, 2013 11:46 pm

Des Smith wrote:
It's interesting :shock: to see Jaba's thread on his rear subframe woes. I'd be inclined to agree with those who warn about the danger of further rot. Even though I had a good look underneath my car, there was so much corrosion hidden from view. At least my subframe will slot back into the boltholes, but if the shell is so rotten it need complete reconstruction, with all the attendant jigging issues, it needs to be given very serious thought. I was worried that my front subframe was in danger of failing and if that had happened, I rather think it would have been the end of the road for the St Tropez.
Thanks for the plug Des. The decision has been made for my estate. It is too far gone. Its an ex BX. But I have two others to keep going so will concentrate my efforts on these.
You will certainly have a top notch restored model after all that work and expense.
The Joy of BX with just one Citroën to my name now. Will I sing Bye Bye to my GTI or will it be Till death us do part.

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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Caffiend » Fri May 17, 2013 7:35 am

I have a couple of pix on my phone from Tues, but have just been so INSANELY busy that I haven't had time to go through the Photobucket rigmarole - Des, if you want to let me have an e-mail address I'll send 'em over :)
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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Fri May 17, 2013 12:16 pm

Today, work has started on the NS front of the car. Usual health warning, scenes of a distressing nature etc. FWIW, I thought this area was reasonably solid, having already been welded. No such luck. Apologies for any impending offence if anyone reading this was responsible for this 'work', but the word 'shoddy' barely scratches the surface. I think anyone who welds in a bit of metal and apparently fails to finish off with a proper anti-corrosion treatment should be emasculated with a pair of rusty gardening shears, preferably blunt.

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General view of NSF wheel arch

The patch went in on the inside of the inner wing but the view from inside the wheel arch shows the extent of the rust and clearly there was no treatment or protection for the very part of the inner wing that cops the worst of conditions. Doubtless a goodly application of water, grit and salt has not done the metal any favours, but it might have had a fighting chance with a some treatment?

Here's a close-up on the suspension turret. There's quite a bit of rust, but I'm hoping it's more surface than deep. [-o< I wonder how close I was to hitting a pothole and launching the strut into the bonnet?

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NSF suspension turret

This is the front view of the NS sill. Remarkably the inside of the sill looks quite clean and the second picture suggests that it's been waxoyled.

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NSF sill

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Inside the NS sill

Given the state of the NSF wheel arch, I'm not looking forward to what will be revealed when the OSF wing comes off. I know there is quite a bit of corrosion, so stand by for some more shockers. Rob assures me there will be something left of the original car, but even I am amazed at the extent of the corrosion that is coming to light. At least I'll know that all the new metal welded in will be properly finished off and treated.
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 » Fri May 17, 2013 8:13 pm

This will teach me not to upset caravan-lovers. Rob sent me this picture of some 'little darlings' he found in the gearbox. It's not immediately clear where they should be, but I suspect they're no longer doing what they're supposed to. It could account for the stiff gear selection, although I've always assumed this was down to a dodgy clutch and French precision engineering. Anyway, the gearbox is going off to get a rebuild and hopefully there won't be anymore nasty surprises popping up.

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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 » Fri May 17, 2013 8:50 pm

Sandre very kindly took some snaps when she was at Chevronics earlier this week. You can see the rear cross-member is back on and everything is more or less complete and primed at the back end.

Image

Image

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

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MULLEY
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by MULLEY » Fri May 17, 2013 9:19 pm

Would it not be chaper just to find a 2nd hand gearbox rather than getting a rebuild?
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

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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by barry badger » Fri May 17, 2013 10:23 pm

I think when Des gets the final bill, the cost of reconditioning the gearbox is not even going to be noticed!
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by MULLEY » Fri May 17, 2013 10:38 pm

Are you going to get the car fully re-piped with cupronickel pipes whilst you're at it? That will mean the should never ever need doing again :)
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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Des Smith
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Re: St Tropez restoration blog

Post by Des Smith » Sat May 18, 2013 11:22 am

MULLEY wrote:Would it not be cheaper just to find a 2nd hand gearbox rather than getting a rebuild?
Yes, I wondered that. I'm looking at around £350 plus VAT for the work, which Rob subs out. As ever, its about supply and demand and getting a second-hand box with known provenance may be tricky. I don't want to be putting another box on, only to have problems again. The labour is already factored in - I am already having a new clutch and as the subframe is being swapped, there is no additional spannering to do. I haven't been very lucky with Citroen gearboxes - Back in the 90's my BX14 Flight seized solid while I was on holiday in Hereford. The AA recovered me to a BX specialist garage in the town, who did a complete new box - £600 as I recall, which even then was a bit of a 'bargain'. Then I had a gearbox fail in my Xantia - lots of horrible crunching noises followed by a bill of over £1100. I'm beginning to think I'm jinxed. Anyway, I'll keep my fingers crossed that there's no other nasty surprises. [-o< [-o< [-o<
barry badger wrote:I think when Des gets the final bill, the cost of reconditioning the gearbox is not even going to be noticed!
That! I'm already paying Rob in instalments, so it's a long-drawn out ache rather than a sharp pain.

As for re-piping, stop putting ideas into my head!
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
Kawasaki GPz550A4 1987