C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
Warren Nel
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Warren Nel » Sat May 04, 2019 9:21 pm

Love the video.

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Sun May 05, 2019 6:55 pm

All of the outside of the car is now clayed, polished, and waxed and all of the exterior plastics have been scrubbed and given a coat of vinyl care. The car is smoother than a smooth thing that's been through a smoothening machine now.
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There was a lot of tar spots on the lower portion of the doors, all of which came off pretty easily, and quite a bit of dirt lurking in the bump strip. I had a good go at the adhesive under the door handles where there used to be scratch protectors fitted, whatever the glue/tape was that had been used to fix them would only budge with careful application of a razor blade and even now there's still remnants clinging on that are going to take some time to completely shift. When I did the bumpers I'd forgotten to do the rear arch trims, mostly because on my estate these were painted and I'd assumed they were on this car too so didn't even think to look. Specification clearly too low to warrant painting the trims. Scrubbed up pretty well, all the same.
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Now that the outside is properly clean it allows me to get familair with what work needs doing to the paint to make it tip top. I could honestly leave it exactly as it is and not worry about it because it really does look exceptional as it stands. I'd like to make it just a little bit better all the same, so here's the minor blemishes I need to attend to somehow. The most glaring one is the scuff on the bonnet, right in the middle. It looks almost like someone has polished or sanded this back too far at some point and given the wear through in a few other places, it could be that someone has just been over enthusiastic with a polishing machine.
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Front passenger wing has been repainted in the past. Before I cleaned this I thought maybe it had been damaged by tape being stuck on and pulled off, after cleaning it's clear that it's basically fisheyed as you'd get if there was contaminant on the panel and/or you put the paint on too heavy in one go. The wing is easy enough to repaint at home, so I'll do that.
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Another bit of damage on this side is, I think, new. When it threw the wheeltrim off it looks like it skidded across the body and took some paint off the edge of the arch and a little bit on the door just on the panel crease below the bumpstrip. That's a bit annoying.
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There's some over enthusiatic polishing under the passenger side door handle. Hopefully I can get a little bit of fresh paint on here without it looking too obvious.
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The front driver's side door has had some paintwork and a really ugly reglue of the bump strip. Since both small sections of bumpstrip on the front wings are slightly banana'd, I'm considering pulling them all off, cleaning everything up, and reglueing them to resolve this. The paint on the driver's door near the yellow glue is very thick and has runs in it too, though it only seems to be the bottom half of the one door.
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The rear wing on the driver's side has some spiderwebs in the paint. I knew about this bit when I got the car. I'm pretty sure when I clean this back it's going to need some welding. I'm used to seeing this sort of damage on the exhaust side of a BX, this is the non-exhaust side.
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The lower portion of the same wing has had a respray like the front door this side. Again, it's quite thick paint with runs. Hopefully it's not hiding anything, the wing itself feels and looks like fairly normal metal rather than filler so I'm hoping it's just a clumsy respray to hide some rust staining.
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The last bit of paintwork of note that I remembered to photograph was the polish-through on the top of the tailgate. Shouldn't be too tricky to rectify and, since the tailgate is composite plastic, I can just leave it as is since there's no fear of rust. There's a few rust blemishes on the sills, a couple on the bottom of the driver's front door, and a bit on the passenger rear arch, nothing serious.
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Inside I gave the dashboard another scrub, this time with the Cif bathroom cream cleaner. Only did the passenger half for now and after giving it some Autoglym Vinyl & Rubber Care it's actually looking pretty good now, I've even managed to bring the original colour out and eliminate the brown burnt look it had.
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I didn't notice until today that the control dials aren't all the same colour. I assume they're all supposed to be grey. I've got two black, one grey fitted, and one grey spare.
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Cleaning up the connectors really does seem to have sorted out the warning lights. Only the ones that should illuminate do now, and they extinguish when they should too.
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I'm on the lookout for a replacement set of door drop glass in the same tint, I'm just not sure if the tint on this glass is smoke or blue. Reason for replacement is welder splatter and grinder spark damage from work that was done before Dean had the car. Perhaps this stamp can help identify what's fitted somehow? The quarter lights have escaped damage and while there is a little damage on the rear screen it's not noticeable enough to be a problem.
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Finally, I'm going to remove this old sticker from the rear screen but I'm curious as to what it might have originally looked like as I would be open to fitting a reproduction version, it looks like it was a nice design originally.
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panky
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by panky » Sun May 05, 2019 7:53 pm

Well worth the effort, looks brilliant 8)
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Warren Nel
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Warren Nel » Sun May 05, 2019 8:38 pm

Could well have been the dealership sticker. Definitely very interesting.

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Sun May 05, 2019 9:06 pm

Looks like Meter Rat identified it over on another forum as an old Citroen Car Club sticker.

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So I'll clean it off and if/when I join the CCC, I'll pop a new one in.

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Tue May 07, 2019 4:25 pm

Today the new boots arrived. The old Michelin deathrings are now in the bin, where they belong.
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Uniroyal Rain Expert 3, which aren't cheap but are very good. They have not disappointed today, the car felt much more planted and predictable. I wanted better grip and predictability more than shiny wheels so that's why the steels still look scabby. Very welcome to be driving around on these today, especially given what the weather's been like.
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It's a super thing to waft about in, got compliments on it from the tyre fitting place and the chap that delivered the tyres today. I'm also liking the anonymity it affords because some days the Princess attracts more attention than I really want. I've also ordered some proper diffused glass festoon bulbs for the interior since one has blown, they're a bit of a nuisance to get. I have tried clear festoon bulbs in the interior lights and they're just a bit too direct and bright, the diffused ones are much nicer because of where the interior lights are located in the BX.

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Wed May 08, 2019 11:24 pm

Got myself a keyring for the BX since it felt a bit weird not having one. I almost bought one of those generic 'enamelled' square ones until I spotted this white plastic clippy keyring with Citroen branding. It just looked right for the BX. The Citroen logo is sort of printed on to the plastic rather than being a sticker, it has the look and feel of being OEM rather than aftermarket.
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It's the little things.

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Fri May 10, 2019 12:17 am

The diffused glass festoon bulbs I ordered turned out to be non-diffused. After some back and forth with the supplier, it turns out that while they list diffused glass ones, they're all actually clear. Parts shop was apologetic, and a little bit annoyed about it, so I'll be ordering those from somewhere else. I'm being picky about these bulbs, I know, but it really does make a difference to me when the interior lights have diffused glass bulbs rather than the plain ones and I've no intention of fitting LED ones since the light from those isn't right. While I was at the motorfactors, I picked up an oil filter since he had some gathering dust, and ordered a new rocker cover gasket which is cheaper now than it was many years ago when I had the estate, so that was something. I'm not going to grumble at £15 for a filter and a gasket. Today, one of the headlight bulbs went out, it did the same thing at the MoT but a wiggle of the connector woke it up again, this time the bulb was dead. Fortunately, Dean had left a spare good pair in the glovebox so I could just pop those in, just means I'm on ordinary bulbs now rather than the very bright yellow ones it did have, I'll likely get some yellow bulbs fitted in the future because I like yellow headlights on a Citroen.

Other news was improvement of the horn. On the original wiring, the horn was working but it was a bit weedy on the first push of the button, not ideal considering the situation you tend to use a horn in. Mike wired in a new relay and we shortened the air feed pipe to the horns by about 6" since we found a better route for it and now the horns are instant and loud which is what I wanted.
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Made a small improvement to the front end alignment too. One of the headlight adjusters was a bit dicky at MoT, not enough to be a problem, but enough that it annoyed me. I had a fiddle with it and found that it could be reassembled and the adjustable part hasn't seized which was a pleasant surprise. It's still nowhere near perfect, the indicator side adjuster is all sorts of wrong and pulls the headlight skewed, I did what I could with my limited time today to try and bend things into the correct location which improved things marginally. I'll have another fiddle with it when I have a free day to play properly. Image

To improve the fitment of the bonnet/wing relation to one another, I slotted a couple of washers between the wing and the wing rail on the front bolt on both sides. This has improved the overall look in person and while the bonnet is still sat a little high (it is as low as it will physically go) and the driver's side headlight is still wonky, the overall appearance is an improvement. I also found that the driver's side indicator bracket was bent a little out of alignment, and correcting that has improved the fit of it, and the its relation to the headlight.
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As for the root cause of the alignment issue, I'm pretty sure I know what the problem is. The main problem is the bonnet itself, which isn't straight, it has a very slight bow across its width which increases and decreases depending on how warm the engine is. In time it might sort itself out, or get worse. I'm putting this down to an idiosyncracy of the plastic it's made of, there's not a great deal I can do about that. The other main area of alignment issue is the driver's side headlight, namely the lower outer holder which is pointing the wrong way and pulling the corner of the headlight down, I can resolve this with some time and careful re-bending of the holder and/or the bracket it goes into. Another area that was causing problems is the metal bracket that holds the indicator on the driver's side, I've improved this but until I get the headlight aligned correctly, I cannot improve it further. 

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Sun May 12, 2019 1:34 am

10th May 2019

Slight improvement on the front panel gaps today after spending some time faffing about, wiggling the headlight, loosening and tightening bolts, and all that tiresome jazz. Before and after for comparison taken from as similar an angle as I could manage.
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Driver's side headlight looks much better now. Passenger side wing-to-bonnet alignment is much better too.
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The bigger issue is the bonnet itself, now that I've got the lights straightened out, the bonnet is all kinds of the wrong shape and is definitely deformed so I'll never get a very good fit on the front end without replacing it, especially given its habit of changing shape depending on how warm or cold the engine and the day is. I need to get the bonnet to move over more to the driver's side ideally, but there simply isn't more adjustment available to get it over any further than it is. Instead, I'll tighten the gap between the driver's side wing and the bonnet by loosening the bolts and getting a helper to push on the wing to align it better while I tighten all the bolts up. This is as good as it can get working on my own on this.
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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Sun May 12, 2019 1:35 am

11th May 2019

I decided to tackle a job I could do before work today which was the rocker cover gasket. The car only seems to have one oil leak and it was on the timing belt side somewhere. At the MoT the rocker cover gasket looked the suspect for it. The leak is minor enough that it didn't even warrant an advisory, and I wanted to keep it that way, and with a new gasket being a mere £9 it seemed daft not to replace it.

Three bolts hold the rocker cover on and while I would have liked to remove the black hose that runs over the top of it, I couldn't get it to come off the manifold, so just moved it aside as I was doing the replacement. The old gasket was leaking mostly on the timing belt side and a little in various other places too.
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I cleaned up the rocker cover, resisted the urge to polish it - they polish really easily and look nice when done, maybe I'll do it in the future - and fitted the new seal. I also cleaned up the mating surface on the engine.
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I let the car idle for a bit on the drive to see if it would leak.
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All seemed okay so I went for a drive to warm things up and see if the oil could be persuaded to leak out. Gave things a bit of a dust off too, I really need to get this engine bay cleaned up properly. Happy to report that the leak seems solved now.
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By way of celebration, I cleaned off the remnants of the old Citroen Car Club sticker and fitted the new Hubnut.org sticker that arrived today. This weekend I'm hoping the weather holds so I can get the door shuts cleaned and give the interior plastics a proper scrub because next weekend I'm hoping to head over the CCC meet at Wetherby Racecourse providing my schedule remains clear.
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panky
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by panky » Sun May 12, 2019 10:36 am

I like the fettling stage and getting all those little annoying bits done :)
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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

It is very satisfying. It is a lovely day here and what better opportunity for more fettling? Door shuts today, since they're always neglected, and this one was no different. Didn't look too bad overall. Here's before and after on the doors, though being white it means there doesn't appear to be a lot of difference.
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I can assure you, as this bucket shot is testament, these door shuts were quite dirty.
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After that, I gave the car its second wash in my ownership because... well... I don't know why really, it's just nice to keep a white car spotless I suppose. I also gave the Princess a wash since it hadn't had one for a while and birds had done their thing. Went for a trundle in both cars afterwards, because I could, spotted quite a few other classic cars and bikes while out, and thought that one thing that was odd between the two cars was how high I sat in the BX. It made me wonder if there was a height adjustment on the BX seat. Then I remembered a post Dean made about fitting an extra foam pad under the driver's seat foam base for comfort. I removed the pad and the seating position feels more normal and there's better knee support for me, arm rest on the door feels in a better place, and the view through the rear screen feels more normal too. It's suprising how much difference such a small depth of foam made.

Driving Princess and BX back-to-back was interesting for other reasons too (now there's a Hubnut video idea) since it was the first time I'd really done it. The ride in the Princess compares surprisingly favourably to the BX. The Princess is somewhat firmer ride and the steering and brakes certainly heavier, though both handle particularly well, in large part probably due to the tyres. The BX is certainly the quicker of the two cars, and acceleration is helped by the BX having a better gear change. Princess has slightly better visibility than the BX, and the seating position is more upright, you do have a slightly more commanding view of the road in the Princess than in the BX. In the BX you tend to lounge a bit, it encourages a sort of smooth, relaxed approach to driving, while the Princess feels more formal. One very odd thing is that when you get in one after the other, the BX feels very much like a French stereotype of being relaxed and comfortable and just content to do its own thing, while the Princess feels like a British stereotype of pinstripe suits, boler hats, understanding which rules to follow and which to bend, and generally being no-nonsense about the whole act of driving with the occasional harrumphing when you don't quite do something exactly in the right way. Neither of them feel generic in any way, they both have their own character.

The most satisfying thing about both cars is just how well they compliment one another. What one lacks, the other has. While I could live with either as my only car, I'm glad I don't have to.

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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Tue May 14, 2019 4:53 pm

So the car doesn't look too scruffy while I'm restoring the original trims, I popped the full disc chrome trims I bought for the Princess on the BX. They look okay.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by jamescarruthers » Tue May 14, 2019 8:07 pm

Very very cool looking!
1987 Volvo 480 ES
1992 Renault Master Mk. 1. Machzone Chateau camper. 2.0 LPG

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Warren Nel
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Posts: 36
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 » Tue May 14, 2019 8:08 pm

They sure do!