C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 48

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:33 pm

Image

That's better! Culprit was the small green connector on the passenger side cluster had come unplugged. I readjusted the joining ribbon so there was a bit more slack on the passenger side so it hopefully won't do this again. Also replaced the blown brake bulb on the driver's side.
Image

Up front, the inoperative side repeater was just a poor contact between bulb and holder, that now works. The sidelights were both poor contacts and one blown bulb on the passenger side.
Image

With that done all the lights are now working as they ought to. I did buy some sidelights but couldn't get back to the unit since I was at the mercy of Mike's schedule since he's been shuttling me about today, so I'll fit the replacements when I'm at the unit again. Next was to try and get something done on the bonnet and have a look at all of the adjustment. I found out part of the reason for the misaligned headlight is a bent locator/adjuster. I did what I could with it to improve the alignment but realistically, I need more than the hour and a half I had today to adjust and tweak all the various parts to improve this.
Image

After spending a considerable amount of time faffing with what little adjustment there is on the bonnet and lights, Mike and I go things to the point that the next round of adjustment is in the wings, which need moving a small amount in and out to correct the panel gaps to the bonnet. There was a balance to be struck on adjustment, since there really isn't much of anything to be had. The bonnet was got as straight as possible so that it still functioned with the latch, this then corrected the lift on the driver's side a bit and created a similar lift on the passenger side. The slam panel does appear to be deformed slightly, possibly pushed down, this was more obvious when looking for witness marks on the bonnet and comparing one side to the other. Some of the deformation was addressed with careful application of wood and hammer above the driver's side headlight though I suspect ideally the whole slam panel needs pull up and forwards a millimeter or two. It's possible the car has had a minor bump at the front at some point in its life, there's a witness mark on the leading edge of the bonnet and the front plate doesn't match the rear, that combined with the minor deformation found today all points to a minor incident which is easy to rectify once you can find exactly which bit is slightly off. I could do with another undamaged BX to compare it to side by side.
Image

I'm not overly concerned about it at any rate. Most of the time the angle you view the car from means you can't even see the alignment issue, it's only a nuisance because I know about it.
Image

The last job for today was to reglue the windscreen seal in place and tape it down so it stands the best chance of fitting well and staying put. We've used Tigerseal, which is probably a bit overkill. Eventually I'll probably get a new screen fitted with a new seal, just not yet. Pre-MoT jobs are now down to the small bit of welding on one sill step and, ideally, the fluids and timing belt change. It could go before those are done, but I'd rather I get everything as sorted as possible before it goes on the road to reduce the risk of FtP.

User avatar
Tim Leech
Over 2k
Posts: 15156
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Burton on Trent
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
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
x 60

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Tim Leech » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:51 am

Have you adjusted the bonnet catch on the slam panel?
1963 VW BEETLE 1200
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
2002 Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE AUTO Nav
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 48

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:09 am

Several times, with varied results. If I adjust it further, the bonnet either doesn't latch, or tries very hard not to release, so it's sat in the best compromise at the moment.

I think I need to spend a day faffing to get things closer to right. I'm pretty sure something is off somewhere by about 1mm and it's throwing everything else out.

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 48

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:45 pm

Let's have a little BX update. First thing to report is that even though the BX has been sat outside in lots of rain, the passenger footwell is bone dry. I consider the windscreen reseal a success on that one. Next up was to have a fettle with the parts I'd acquired recently to improve a few things. First, let's do the parcel shelf. My original one has really good blinds and loads of sun fade, the new one has really poor blinds and virtually no sunfade at all. Let's see if we can make one good one out of the two of them. First up, I removed the blinds which is five screws on the back of the parcel shelf, it then slides out of the slots that hold it in place easily enough. You can see here just how faded my original one had become.
Image

With the plastic piece out that holds the blind you can then inspect what you've got. There's no fixings in here holding the blinds in, they just sit in shaped slots.
Image

To remove, you simply lift them out. To get the pull tabs out you can flex the plastic slot just enough to get them through without breaking anything. It's then a simple, if slightly fiddly, affair of popping the relevant blinds and holder together before screwing the unit back onto the parcel shelf.
Image

Another thing I noticed on the replacement shelf is that one of the clips for the strings was broken. I simply swapped one from the old parcel shelf. I also salvaged the other good parcel string as a spare for future use, just in case. To remove these, use a small flat blade screwdriver to push the tang in as you apply pressure to the fixing to pop it free. Be sure to keep hold of the little plastic washer this goes through to lock it all together too. Installation was very straight forward. I'm still on the look out for a replacement shelf clip that goes on the back seat to replace the one that shattered. Only problem now is the new parcel shelf highlights just how bad the sun fade is on surrounding parts.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Next job was to replace this passenger seat base with the one I acquired. This is a phenominally easy job. There's two not-tight spring clips at the front just behind the front-back adjustment bar, and two rubber bands at the back that hook into the seat base to keep the seat back trim in place. Undo all of these items and the base simply lifts out.
Image

Image

I got a little scare when I saw the bright blue version of the fabric in the car because I thought that was what the interior used to be like. Honestly, I've never seen a BX with that blue cloth for the interior and that's a shame, it looks fabulous. Mine does seem to just be the usual grey, even though the front grab handles/arm rests are blue and there's a blue tint to the interior fabrics and carpet. I digress.
Image

Side-by-side you can see the wear on the original darker grey base, and how nice the replacement lighter grey base is. Wait... oh bother. Same fabric, different greys.
Image

Oh well, it'll have to do.
Image

I also got a replacement fan blower dial. The one on the car (on the right here) is cracked where the replacement isn't. And yes, both have managed to lose the metal spring clip so if anyone has any of those or can point me to where to get them, I'd appreciate that. It's worth noting that the blower fan only works on max speed too, I believe this is a regulator issue and something that's common and easily fixed so it's on my list.
Image

Finally, I had a bit of an experiment with the dashboard. It has a big brown sunburnt looking patch on it, which is plausible given it's life in the sun, and it felt chalky. I know usually once vinyl burns like this you can't rescue it. Nothing ventured nothing gained, I decided to see if I could scrub any kind of 'oxidisation' off, like you would T-Cutting paint, using a variety of potions. The best results came from the Autoglym Insect Remover, weirdly, and a lot of the burn is much less obvious now. I'll keep plugging away at it and give it a protective coat of Autoglym Vinyl to see if it brings it back. The dashboard was easily the worst bit of the interior because you see it all the time and it now looks much better, so I'm happy with that. Surprised too, since it didn't really seem to bring any dirt off on the cloth.
Image

Image

The same process is unlikely to save the door bins which have started to crumble in places where they're nearly white. This also shows how blue the grey fabric is in the BX, I'd assumed this interior was the normal grey tweed and vinyl one but perhaps there was more than one grey offered at this trim level. Perhaps it's just the effects of too much sunshine.
Image

Warren Nel
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:17 pm
Location: Tonbridge
My Cars: Citroën C4 Grand Picasso

Previous cars
Peugeot 806 TD
Peugeot 309 TD
Ford Fiesta 1.1
Mazda 323 mk1
Nissan Micra mk1
x 4

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Warren Nel » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:06 pm

Nice updates!

panky
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:44 pm
Location: Widnes
My Cars: 1991 Mini Cooper, 1971 Morris Minor Traveller, 1971 Commer Auto-Sleeper, 1969 Commer Jennings Roadranger.
'88 BX GTi (a long time ago)
x 5

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by panky » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:16 pm

Really appreciate you taking the time to record all these details, even the small ones that could be useful to others.
Image

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 48

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:34 am

I do hope that it's a useful record for folks in the future, I find it useful just for myself sometimes when I'm trying to remember a job solution. Picked up a new front wiper blade for it today, and now all the parts for the Princess have arrived, I can start setting cash aside for the BX again. Really, it should be on the road by now, I just didn't expect to have to completely redo the front brakes on the Princess so soon after the MoT and Princess discs are really expensive!

User avatar
Tim Leech
Over 2k
Posts: 15156
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Burton on Trent
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
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
x 60

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Tim Leech » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:30 am

They do fade to a bluey grey over time, the 16v seats which are black do quite considerably.

amazing how a clean looking dash can come up with some scrubbing

You can also get grey trim paint for the door bins.
1963 VW BEETLE 1200
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
2002 Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE AUTO Nav
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 48

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:12 pm

I intend to get some grey dye to do the worst of the hard plastics, it's probably cheaper and easier than trying to source better matching items. The seats I'm not sure what to do with, I want to keep them in the original grey cloth so really, I need to find another set that aren't so faded if I want to improve matters and that's not going to be easy. Nobody wants the basic cloth interiors so I'm pretty sure they always get binned in favour of the sportier seats.

Had another setback today with BX progress thanks to having to spend yet more money on the Princess, tools I didn't have this time, so that's a bit frustrating. The BX works perfectly fine, starts reliably regardless, brakes don't stick on, etc. so it's not sat about doing nothing at all and I keep it lightly exercised in readiness for the MoT later this year. I'm not too cross at the Princess though, it rarely needs any money spending on it and the stuff I'm spending on at the moment is simply worn out nearly forty year old components, so I think that's forgivable since it is my daily car.

Image

Kaapelimies
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:01 am
Location: Hollola, Finland
x 8

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Kaapelimies » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:31 pm

For cleaning hard plastics, I use CRC Bräkleen that's meant for cleaning brake parts from oil residue, or electronics cleaner PRF 5-56 and 5-55. Some plastics get a white tint after cleaning, but color will come back after plastic treatment (silicone or glycerine inhabitants, I guess) or hot-air gun. Test to a non-visible area first as different solvents react differently, some will attack plastic so hard that it will never be the same (and even crack) so be careful.
BX 4x4 estate, several BX Van's and some more normal estates in Finland.

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 48

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:50 pm

I've had better results on hard plastics with brake fluid than I have with brake cleaner, I've found brake cleaner quite good on some vinyls but, as you warn, it can leave a white residue. Brake fluid is a bit messier to work with and you have to keep the part dry afterwards for about 24 hours unlike the brake cleaner, so it's not quite as practical. Boiled linseed oil seems to be the favourite with other folks, I've not got around to trying that one, so perhaps now is the time to give that a go.

In other news, the Princess has decided it needs a new alternator, so the BX is knocked back a little bit further again. I did at least fit the new front wiper blade to the BX that I'd bought recently, so it's had a tiny bit of love.

User avatar
TizzyD
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 514
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:36 pm
Location: Bedfordshire
x 9

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by TizzyD » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 am

I really do enjoy reading your posts, so good to see someone putting in the effort to keep two old cars going! But it does make me jealous of your work space, all I've got is a driveway that's taken up by my Dad's Xantia and my Mum's BX, meaning I've got to move one of them just so I can work on my own BX.
'02 Clio Dynamique 1.2 16v - 92K - Sold
'09 Yamaha YBR 125 - 1100 miles
'93 Bx 17 TZD Turbo - 240K - The Aubergine

Image

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 48

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:47 pm

I doubt I could do half the stuff I've done without the work space I have access to, I'm constantly aware of how fortunate I am to have it after many years of driveway fettling and no garage. All that will change when I eventually move house, of course, and I'll likely be back to driveway fettling again so I'm making the best use of it while I've got it.

Good news to impart today which is that the BX is now insured in readiness for the MoT next week. Hoping that it goes smoothly, I'm not really aware of anything amiss that I myself can check so we'll have to see what the MoT man says. I'm expecting potential advisories on oil leaks since there is one from somewhere, and perhaps a tyre since they're quite old.

Once I've got an MoT and the BX is taxed, I can then look at doing the timing belt and giving the Princess a bit of a break since that's wanting some attention after nearly six months of only-car duties. It's surprising both how reliable its been and what items have worn out, she deserves some cosmetic attention now and I can't really do that properly without having another car to use since most of the jobs require bits of the Princess to be apart for a few days so that I can do a nice job.

User avatar
TizzyD
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 514
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:36 pm
Location: Bedfordshire
x 9

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by TizzyD » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:49 am

Keep at it and I'll keep reading - good luck for the MoT, i'm sure it'll be fine. As for oil leaks it could be the rocker cover gasket as I'm sure that is what is leaking on mine and the car has marked her territory outside my house :lol:
'02 Clio Dynamique 1.2 16v - 92K - Sold
'09 Yamaha YBR 125 - 1100 miles
'93 Bx 17 TZD Turbo - 240K - The Aubergine

Image

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 48

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:25 pm

Time to do the pre-MoT stuff that might need to be done. I trundled over to the unit today and my main goals were to check all systems were functioning properly and do that last bit of welding on the sill step, specifically this little bit that was formerly covered with a little square of gaffer tape.
Image

To get to that I had to remove some interior pieces first. Fold the seat base forwards and undo the three 13mm nuts to allow you to lift it out of the car. Then it's a 17mm bolt for each seatbelt, and half a dozen screws for the plastic trims. I removed the trim that goes along the sill completely, but just propped the B pillar trim to one side since I didn't actually need to full remove it. I folded the carpet back out of the way of welding and grinding sparks, and moved the passenger seat as far forwards as it would go, to protect everything from damage as much as I could without dismantling the whole interior. This approach seems to have been successful.



With the trims removed I could see into the pocket that houses the bolt for, I assume, the rear subframe. There's a little bit of rust starting at the seam in there but I'm going to just ignore that right now and come back to it at a point when I can actually drop the whole rear subframe to access it properly. From the outside it's not really apparent there's anything other than some light surface corrosion, at least as far as I could tell, but I'm sure the MoT next week will decide either way.
Image

I chopped out the rotten bit of the sill, and then hit some filler so chopped out how much rust there really was. A nice easy shape to fabricate at least.
Image

Then employed some paper to mask off the surrounding areas. Since there's quite a bit of bodywork tidying I want to do on the sill-down area of the car, it made no sense to make this perfect today so perfect is not what I aimed for.
Image

After weld through primer, regular primer, seam sealer, top coat, and lacquer, it was ready to have the interior reassembled. I want to clean back the sills both sides fully to deal with the minor rust bubbles at the ends where the rear quarter overlaps, a common problem area, and I'll make this repair tidier and neater at that point since I'll likely have to repaint a good chunk of the sills at the same time and it makes more sense to do the area all in one go.
Image

Refitting the interior was very easy. I could do with the bottom B pillar trim since this one looks to have been hit with something in the past and it's got a lot of cracks in it. Other than that, everything went back together very easily and quickly and I could then go through all of the pre-MoT checks I'm able to do.
Image

Lights - all functioning normally
Brakes - they stop the car pretty well, handbrake works too, hopefully they're strong and balanced enough to pass the test
Tyres - old, but don't appear to be too old or too worn. They will be getting replaced as soon as I can afford to, probably with some Uniroyals as I've got on the Princess
Suspension - no leaks, goes up and down seems good.
Oil leaks - there is an oil leak, possibly two, on the driver's side. It looks like one is possibly the sump plug, but that could also be whatever the other leak is higher up simply running down the engine and dripping off the sump plug. I'm not sure what this could be, it's not a huge leak, oil isn't pouring out, but I would like to locate and sort it.
Wipers - new on the front, reasonable old one on the rear. Both washer jets are working. Single wiper on the front still entertains me more than it should.
Exhaust - doesn't appear to be leaking, no smoke out the back, doesn't appear to have any rust holes or perforations anywhere
Rust - I think I've dealt with it all now. I hope I have. I couldn't find anything that looked like it would be a problem for an MoT.
Seatbelts - all work, not frayed or anything like that
Warning lights - come on and go off like they should, not that there's very many of them on this car.


I'm cautiously optimistic. I'm not expecting a clean sheet, I know the car isn't perfect, but equally I'm not expecting a catastrophic fail. We shall have to see what happens next week.


TizzyD: I did think it might be the rocker cover gasket which leaks enough to just stain the cover but doesn't seem to be the root cause of this leak I've got, it seems to be something lower down the engine that's doing it. Definitely engine oil rather than LHM too. My old BX was just the same, as was the plethora of French diesels I've had any sort of interaction with, seems to be a rust prevention feature.