Mat's BX Blog

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:52 am

Round here it's 77p for LPG versus £1.33 unleaded (£1.38 for diesel). But there are places doing LPG much cheaper than filling stations; for example a few months ago we went to one while the forecourt price was 62p per litre, this was 55p per litre. Not an insignificant saving but with an 80 mile round trip too far to make a special journey for.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)

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electrokid
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Post by electrokid » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:20 pm

Ah - so my ball-park math was not that far out then !

So it still makes sense for smaller engined cars as well - I knew it made sense for your Disco and for Mikes 16v.

So yes- go for it Steve - get the 14 running properly and get some prices in for LPG conversion :-) plus the advantages of a cleaner burning fuel etc - should be good.

One of the ideas I had in mind when I bought my first BX was to run it on veggie or derivatives and I was thinking of putting an extra tank where the spare wheel normally sits and rusts away. I thought of trying to get the spare wheel onto the tailgate - with its own hinge arrangement of course because the tailgate is too flappy to hold any extra weight. Has anyone ever done that ?
1992 BX19 TGD estate 228K Rusty - SORNed
2002 C5 HDi SX estate

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Post by mat_fenwick » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:01 am

Continuing the recent LPG theme, been rather busy over the last few days (and nights!) fitting the kit.

Started off by discovering that where the previous kit was hacked into the lambda sensor wire (at the ECU end) they'd removed the shielding from both the signal cables - hence the entire length was 'shielded' by an unearthed braid. Rectified that and connected to both lambdas.

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What should have been an easy job of removing the old nozzles from the inlet manifold wasn't, when one of them decided to shear off rather than unscrew. Bugger.

Off with the inlet manifold then for drilling out and retapping. Unfortunately, taking off the inlet manifold is a fairly involved job on an injected Rover V8, but fortunately I had a gasket on the shelf and it kept me out of the pub I suppose!

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I was pleased to see that the engine looked in very good condition internally - Rover V8s are a bit of a 'dirty' engine in thta they are prone to sludging up if not looked after.

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Next was the underbonnet wiring. I wanted to avoid the messy looking plug in looms that take the signal from the petrol injectors, so I cut the injector signal wires and spliced in the wires to the gas ECU.

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(The blue tape is original - I always use heatshrink or self amalgamating tape to cover soldered joints as insulating tape tends to turn to a sticky mess over time).

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I mounted the vaporiser today, but in making up the bracket for it yesterday I had a little 'accident'. I was angle grinding next to a battery that I had inadvertently left on charge. Next thing I knew there was an almighty bang, a flash, and my face started to sting. This is what was left of the battery, and fortunately the stinging was only brief and minor...

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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)

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electrokid
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Post by electrokid » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:25 am

That all looks very interesting Mat - good pics :-)
they'd removed the shielding from both the signal cables
Funny stuff shielding :-) Needs to be there if it's part of the design. Sometimes needs to be connected at one end only, sometimes at both ends. If the sensor doesn't have any connection to chassis and is just a 2 wire connection then sometimes the best solution is a 'twisted pair' - 2 wires twisted together with a drill - that protects against magnetic interference where a screen usually only protects against electrostatic interference.
Rover V8s are a bit of a 'dirty' engine in thta they are prone to sludging up if not looked after.
The Granny Cologne engines are like that too - I had the NS bank of a Cologne engine fall apart - stripping down I found rust on a couple of the rocker shaft journals :shock: the oilways obviously so bunged up it hadn't seen oil in the top end for years. The top end of your V8 looks in very good nick - very good news :-)
This is what was left of the battery,
Angle grinders eh - what are they like :lol: Glad you got away with 'brief and minor'
a battery that I had inadvertently left on charge.
Many moons back - one weekend I was getting stuff ready to have a go at tidying the driveway - that meant moving a couple of 'spares' cars so the Sunday evening I put the charger under the bonnet of an Austin Maxi with the idea of checking it the following day...

...

...

Thursday late evening I had gone to bed and was drifting off to sleep when there was an enormous explosion at the front of the house :lol:

So I lay there thinking about it - remembered the battery I'd put on charge on the Sunday - calculated that the battery would now be 'open circuit' :lol: and therefore not taking any current... so I didn't need to get up and do anything about it :lol:

Following day I flipped the bonnet on the Maxi - I found the battery posts still connected to the wiring - and nothing else - a few bits of black battery casing in powder form - nothing bigger than a couple of millimetres :shock: All that lead - where the hell did it go :lol:
1992 BX19 TGD estate 228K Rusty - SORNed
2002 C5 HDi SX estate

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Post by mat_fenwick » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:27 pm

electrokid wrote:was drifting off to sleep when there was an enormous explosion at the front of the house......didn't need to get up and do anything about it
:lol: :lol: :lol: Had me in stitches, you make it sound like it's not an 'abnormal' experience!

That reminds me of a time when I was felling a few trees behing our house, and one of them snagged on the branches of a giant pine tree. Not to worry I thought, I'll fell another in its general direction and dislodge it. This too, got snagged. Surely another tree would dislodge them both. Nope. Maybe if I fell a big tree that will knock everything clear? Again that got stuck. Tried a few more, and ended up with about 5 or 6 trees all leaning against the mammoth one, which I had been putting off felling due to the sheer diameter of it. But, nothing for it but to stand under the snagged trees and give it a go. As soon as it started to go I ran like crazy, and the noise of all the trees hitting the ground was immense! So much so that several people came running to see what the hell had happened!

Almost finished the gas installation now, and it is back together enough to run it on petrol. I had a bit of a worrying moment when I first started it as it would run very roughly and low on power. I checked all the connectors I'd taken off but all were in place, so I started to think I'd made a mistake when cutting into the injector wiring. Funnily enough it ran a lot better once I'd re-connected 4 of the HT leads... :oops:
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)

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Mike E (uk)
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Post by Mike E (uk) » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:42 pm

A very lucky escape there with the battery Mat.

I expect you have learned from the experience.

I have stripped the LPG kit of the dead 406, it is all very simple.

I don't know why your system connects to the lambda sensor.

The only electrical connections between the car and the Egas kit are +12V, 0V, and 6 wires to the petrol injectors and 6 wires from the petrol injectors. The ecu works out the required gas duty cycle from there.

Hope to fit it all on the new car in the next few weeks.

I would certainly convert any other cars to gas myself now I have seen how it is done. The only scary parts are drilling manifolds and cutting the big hole for the filler nozzle in the rear wing.

I think I will practice on the wreck 1st.

Mike
la BX 16 soupapes: sachez apprecier avec moderation.



It might be clever now, but it won't be in the morning!

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Post by mat_fenwick » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:56 am

The lambda connection is optional, but I decided to connect it as it gives a very useful tool for checking the mixture, both on petrol or gas by using the display on the gas software. It doesn't actually use the signals to adjust the mixture as, like you say, that is done from the petrol injector timings.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)

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Post by electrokid » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:51 pm

As soon as it started to go I ran like crazy, and the noise of all the trees hitting the ground was immense! So much so that several people came running to see what the hell had happened!
:lol: :lol: Excellent :-) You've got some good neighbours there - no-one even mentioned the exploding Maxi the following day - maybe they thought 'oh it's only Brian messing about - it'll be ok' :-) I had a quite a chuckle myself looking under the bonnet trying to find any signs that a battery had been there :-)

Over the last few days I've been buying some material for some magnetics experiments - funny stuff Samarium - has an auto-ignition temp of just 150°C - glad I spotted that :lol:
1992 BX19 TGD estate 228K Rusty - SORNed
2002 C5 HDi SX estate

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Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:36 pm

Got the gas kit installed and running on gas, still need to do a bit of fine tuning regarding the injector nozzle size as the software reckons the nozzles are too big, and there is a bit of hesitancy when you blip the throttle. Obviously the gas injection times cannot be any shorter than the petrol injection times, so looking at the lambda readings it's tending to run a bit on the rich side.

On the BX I have treated it to a set of new front brake pads and a new exhaust from the downpipe onwards. Unfortunately this means I do lose the straight through part that bypassed the cross box, but performance is still good. And noise is a lot less, which did bug me a little about the old system.

Interestingly when phoning round for the intermediate pipe (the only bit I didn't have on the shelf) one supplier said "No further production", another said it could be there next day and another had it in stock! As ever it pays to shop around.

Last time I did the front pads I tried genuine ones, which cost me all of £2.99 plus P&P from eBay. Not only were they more resistant to fade (in fact I never got them to fade) they lasted just over 20k miles rather than the 7k I got from the previous set of pattern pads. So back on with genuine pads again, although they did cost me a whopping £26 this time! Looks like the brake discs will need doing again by the time these pads are worn out, but I've got a year or so to look for a bargain. The more stuff I buy in advance the less likely it'll be to be off the road waiting for parts, getting more important now given its age.

It's now coming up to 100k miles I've done in it - bought it at 97k and it's now 195k. So far the mechanical bits I've NOT replaced are brake/suspension pipes (apart from strut returns), rear brake calipers, exhaust downpipe, wheel bearings, wishbone bushes, ball joints, track rod ends, gearbox and offside driveshaft. Still, some bits (like the engine) were for improvement rather than to replace something that had worn out.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)

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Post by electrokid » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:04 am

It's now coming up to 100k miles I've done in it - bought it at 97k and it's now 195k.
I think you'll be overtaking the mileage on mine quite soon then :-) I had front disks / pads / calipers replaced early last year - mainly due to a sticky caliper which was an advisory nearly 5 years ago but survived with a bit of copper grease on the shaft that allows it to 'float' :-) Big improvement - brakes are now silky smooth :-) I've had the car for 5 years now and its next MOT is due in less than 3 months - I've got no concerns at all - one of the very best cars I've ever owned - brilliant :-)
1992 BX19 TGD estate 228K Rusty - SORNed
2002 C5 HDi SX estate

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Post by mat_fenwick » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:38 pm

The LPG kit is in and running :D

Turns out I'd been sent the wrong sized nozzles, and the correct sized ones were on back order from Italy (and had been for a while), so I removed them from the injector rail, filled them with solder and drilled them out to 1.75mm. After playing round with the pressure by removing one of the springs from the vaporiser I finally got the injector times within the acceptable band (the lambda readings will adjust the mixture till it's correct, but it's best if they only have to trim it slightly). Ideally I'd drill them out to 1.80mm as they are on the small side of acceptable but it runs well as it is.

The only way you can detect what fuel you are on is by looking at the switch - I've even swapped between the two fuels under load climbing a hill, and not only was there no change in speed, the changeover was imperceptible! Plus as it's slaved from the petrol ECU, when you do things like putting the A/C or heated screen on the idle speed is raised, which obviously it couldn't do when running on a specific gas only map. I'm well chuffed!
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)

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Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:47 pm

More non BX news! Anti pipe freezing system this time.

If you remember a while back Electrokid suggested a solenoid controlled valve to allow a trickle to flow below a certain temperature. I got a Eurotherm controller which is slight overkill but free, I needed to buy a 24Vac transformer to operate the solenoid (again free) but that hardly broke the bank at £7.

However it turned out that the controller wasn't suitable. As standard they have 2 plug in output module slots, 1 fitted with a solid state relay module, and 1 fixed output module which is a 2A relay (the one I need). Unfortunately this had been disabled in the firmware. So I phoned Eurotherm, spoke to a very helpful Tech guy who said that normally the cost to enable this would be £47 plus VAT, but that given what I was trying to do, if I sent it to him personally he would 'unlock' it for nothing. :D So a box containing the controller, some beer, and chocolates is now on its way to him...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)

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electrokid
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Post by electrokid » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:22 pm

And it's DIN rail mounted...

We like DIN rail :D
1992 BX19 TGD estate 228K Rusty - SORNed
2002 C5 HDi SX estate

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Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:30 pm

electrokid wrote:And it's DIN rail mounted...
Sadly not, but I've mounted everything inside a neat little enclosure - photo when it's up and running. Calibrated it at work, and got an error of 0.004 degrees C at 0, which will probably just about do for what I need it for...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)

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Post by electrokid » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:45 am

and got an error of 0.004 degrees C at 0, which will probably just about do for what I need it for...
Yes that's probably close enough :lol: :lol:
1992 BX19 TGD estate 228K Rusty - SORNed
2002 C5 HDi SX estate