Rob's phase 1 16v track car - BIG PICS

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Rob's phase 1 16v track car - BIG PICS

Post by djoptix » Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:18 am

Righty ho chaps, time I jumped on this particular blog bandwagon and put my 16v up for all to see. Well, see when I can find the data cable for my camera - so no pics as yet.

The story so far; bought car about two years ago. I'd been looking for a 16v for a while, and eventually G66 SNM was mine for the princely sum of £400 - woo! I didn't even have to haggle, either. The guy I bought it from was very sorry to see it go, but back to Manchester with me it went.

It was my daily driver for about 18 months, until second MOT time came around. It had gone through its first with me at a cost of about £100 - bargain! The second time... er... not so much. Here's the list of what needed (and still needs) doing...

* all the front-rear hydraulic pipes
* rear arm bearings
* new rad
* two new tyres
* rocker cover gasket
* I think it needs a rear wheel bearing too

so all of that, at garage prices, would have caused serious pain. I did the sensible thing - bought an AX :D

Off went the 16v to live at my parents' place (off the road). While it was there I got to thinking... I really love the 16v and had always meant to restore it properly, but there would be loads of cosmetic stuff to do on it as well. A bint in a Vectra ran into the back of me and destroyed the bumper and exhaust. We agreed to go "off insurance". Surprisingly, she never came up with a bumper. Cow! Still, all things considered I'd rather have my clean record, and I have a bumper to go on it now (thanks Robin!)

Besides, what I like about the 16v is the performance and Q-car-ness. Being lent a Caterham made me think "I really need to do something with the BX, for the AX, though thrifty, does four miles a fortnight". And so was born

the "lightweight bendy French piece of plastic tat" track day car plan

sole intention; to surprise golfing types in BMWs and Boxsters.

Seriously though - everyone knows the 309 handles better than the 205. I think the BX can be better still, and what's more, the Mi16 belongs in it. So the plan is;

* do all the stuff above (I'll do the pipes, but will probably have to shell out for the bearings at £100+VAT/side - ouch)
* new discs and pads on the front - might keep an eye out for some of those spanky vented and cross-drilled ones
* wheels; got some 205 1.9GTi wheels to go on. They'll be stripped, painted white, and get some Yoko A539s (or Toyo Proxes possibly).
* interior to become exterior (ie I'm taking it out)
* some exciting seats to go in - pictures soon!
* Ripspeed race pedals - bling!
* car to be lowered about 100mm on height correctors
* spheres replaced - fronts to be replaced with standard 16v rears, rears replaced with XM fronts regassed to 35 bar, which should stiffen everything up nicely.
* K&N or similar filter, with a bonnet scoop! Only a small one, in the corner, I hasten to add.
* I'm considering perspex windows...

So that's the plan. Hoping to be done for next summer. Although I have a wedding to pay for next year too... hmm. Watch for updates!
Last edited by djoptix on Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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M

Post by M » Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:50 am

Superb, we really do need photos though DJ!

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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:51 pm

I think this sounds like an excellent plan.

A couple of things to consider are:

Will you trailer it there and back to the tracks? If not MOT/road legality issues need to be considered.

With a view to that, a track set up will compromise ability on the road for normal driving so what adjustability will you build in? I am, in particular thinking of ride-height and stiffness. 100 mm sounds too much IMHO. You probably need to experiment and use a 're-notched' height control lever to give you the ability to introduce 'road' and 'track' heights. There is also the issue of brakes. If you use competition pads they won't be much good on the road too...

Many tracks have noise restrictions so you'll need to bear that in mind.

You need to wear a helmet and the roofline being low as it is in a BX, you might want to consider doing something with the sunroof if you are over 5'6"...

Would you consider a roll cage (or half cage?).

What a wonderful idea for a BX project.

Good luck!
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• COMING SOON... 1998 Citroen Xantia 2.0 16v auto Exclusive

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Post by djoptix » Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:19 pm

Hmm! Some things I forgot to post, and some I hadn't though of. From the top...

* no trailering, so it will stay road legal, which is why I'm not removing the dash.

* it won't be in daily use, so I'm not too bothered about the feel on the road - it's going to be fairly uncomfortable with no door cards, interior, carpet etc. But regarding ride height; I'm going to lower it on the height correctors under the car, rather than the lever. So, I guess I could get the ride height perfect for the track when it's in the normal notch, and then re-cut a higher one for a "road" setting. 100mm might be too much, you're right. I think the 16v handles well, and corners flat, as it is - I'm just looking for a bit more stiffness, especially as I'm taking weight out.

* won't bother with competition pads - I think the standard ones do OK! Obviously, if it turns out they aren't up to the job, I'll look at higher spec ones. I've never even done a track day before, so I'm not chasing massive spec really - lightening is the order of the day.

* I did wonder about noise. Someone had a custom Powerflow stainless system done for £250 with VAT and fitting, and I was going to go for that. Not because I think it'll gain much power - a few bhp at the very most, since the std one is so good and I'm keeping the downpipe anyway - just because it will be maintenance-free and sound a bit better too! Not sure what the noise level will be from it, but apparently it passes the MOT so it can't be too outrageous.

* piss, I've just lost the auction for Tim's steering wheel. So gutted...

* the helmet question. If it doesn't affect the legality of the car, I'll probably remove the sunroof and replace it with a perspex panel. The sunroof weighs a ton. This should give helmet height, and lower the centre of gravity a bit (with perspex door windows too). Plus, since I'm welding the new seats back onto the right BX subframes, I'll probably sit them a bit lower than usual. I'm 6'2" and I always felt I sat a bit high in the BX.

* I really don't want to do the roll cage thing. I'm confident the car will protect me in a crash, if it were to happen, and I've been put off by tales of how much the insurance goes up. Plus it seems a bit crazy to strip it out in the interest of lightness and then bung a cage back in. If I were to do it, it would be because the car was flexing too much. So, we'll see, but I'd like to avoid it if possible.

Pics to follow as soon as humanly possible! :D
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:09 pm

I had a 1982 BMW 323i ( a TWR 'Alpina' look-a-like 'special') which was good on the road, fast and, in the dry (only!) - sure-footed. But on the track after five laps the brakes weren't working anymore. Had to bring it in all the time to let the brakes cool off!
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Post by DavidRutherford » Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:29 pm

djoptix wrote: I'm going to lower it on the height correctors under the car, rather than the lever. So, I guess I could get the ride height perfect for the track when it's in the normal notch, and then re-cut a higher one for a "road" setting. 100mm might be too much, you're right. I think the 16v handles well, and corners flat, as it is - I'm just looking for a bit more stiffness.
Lowering the car won't give you any more stiffness. Removing weight will make the suspension softer. If you want stiffer suspension you will need to change spheres. You may find that with the car that low it will bottom out all the time.

Your plan to have one setting for road and one setting for track seems fraught with problems. When the car is in it's "normal" setting, the height lever doesn't actually touch the height corrector mechanism, and hence the height corrector can do it's job. In any other position (like intermediate for instance) the height lever presses on the height corrector mechanism, and effectively prevents the height correctors from reading the suspension height properly. Because of that, the car won't ride properly, and you may end up with either the front or the rear unable to adjust itself properly. Effectively the "closed loop feedback" of the system is being interfered with, and so doesn't work properly.

As Citroen say.. the car should only be driven in the normal height position at anything other than slow speeds.

I like the idea of having two settings that can be used for different applications, but I think you may have to do something somewhat more sophisticated than use the existing height lever mechanism. What's really needed is a mechanical comparitor system that measures the difference between the requested ride height and the actual ride height, and adjusts the height corrector accordinly.
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Post by djoptix » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:17 pm

Can't be bothered. I'll just keep it standard :lol:
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:34 pm

I tend to agree!

Just make sure you have excellent 195 profile tyres on decent rims (are Speedlines too heavy? I don't know...) and find the optimum pressures for track use 8)
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Post by djoptix » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:45 pm

Not sure about Speedlines, they're OK. They look great, and they're probably not much heavier than the 16v alloys. I'll keep tyres slim, so the rolling radius won't be bigger than standard. I'm just aiming for a bit less give in the tyre. A539s are meant to be 18psi for track I think - I was recommended them. They grip like mad on a Caterham, anyway :D

Don't know if the 16v calipers will go under the 106 Rallye steels, otherwise I'd go for them instead - they're quite a bit lighter. I still might, but I've got the 205 wheels so...

Maybe it is worth getting some good pads then :D
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:56 pm

Well there's one thing for sure matey there's no shortage of knowledge (except me!) and help on this forum and who knows you might assemble a unique pit crew for your track days! :lol:
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Post by BX Bandit » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:30 am

Interesting stuff on the suspension! Just a note DJ...I have Toyo Proxes CF1s on my 16v on the front...not my choice as they are what came with the car when I bought it. In the dry, they are pretty good but they are truly awful in the wet...really really bad. They aquaplane easily too. I can't wait to wear them out and put summat else on. As for the Yokos, they are meant to be a nice sticky tyre, the boys in the Catheram circles liked them alot as an all round track day and road tyre. Can't say how they'd be in the wet tho'

Good blog tho mate :wink:
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Post by MULLEY » Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:10 pm

I got some vredstien's, fantastic in the dry & the wet, if u r going to do track days i would suggest having a spare set of boots, & dont forget it could be raining on your track day :cry:

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Vroom vroom! With pics...

Post by djoptix » Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:37 pm

Well, I visited the BX (oh, and my parents) at the weekend. I really need to start work on this ASAP - I get the feeling that standing around isn't doing it any good at all. Damp is creeping in and condensation is showing on the engine.

Still, I did get the chance to take some pictures, and seeing the car got my enthusiasm up again.

So here it is, with a big pile of bits on the right...

Image

Bonus geek point for identifying the car on the right (pretty easy really).

So here's the back without much in it - rust free, bonus!

Image

Bling pedals, courtesy of Jez:

Image

And here's the interior with the current steering wheel on - a ZX 16v one. It's actually really good, has loads of dish and is nice and chunky - and leather. It could just do with being a bit smaller!

I've got a genuine Momo BX boss on the way so I just need a really good wheel to go on it. For anyone wanting a gearknob like that one - I can put you in touch with a guy who will custom make you one, PM me for details (fitting isn't perfect though).

Image

So onto my main source of excitement, which required a lovely drive to Glasgow to pick up (picture taken through the windscreen of the rollerskate - I mean AX)...

Image

...here they are:

Image

Proper 16v seats, which were Monza originally, but retrimmed in leather with white piping. I've never seen another pair like this - the factory-option ones on the 16v are actually GTI seats retrimmed, which means smaller bolsters and no lumbar adjustment, so they're not really as supportive. These ones are arse-hugging and look great :) :) :) :) :)

So that's where I'm up to at the moment...
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Post by stuart_hedges » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:01 pm

Yeah, the steering wheel is one of the best things about a ZX!

Is your mystery car a Renault 4?

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Post by djoptix » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:04 pm

Stuart goes to the top of the class! It was my first car - 1972, poo brown, 850cc. Drums all round, attached to the brake pedal with silly string... those were the days...
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