Rob's BX is making him ill...help!

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RKM
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Rob's BX is making him ill...help!

Post by RKM » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:09 pm

Since writing my dissertation on my BX: see http://www.bxclub.co.uk/rob/, I
need to ask the advice of the knowledgeable members.

Mileage of said battleship is now 114,000, with the MoT due this week: GASP! However, there is a major problem that is affecting our relationship:

The POWER STEERING!!! At around 85K, I noticed the steering would sometimes go stiff then free up, usually when negotiating roundabouts. This gradually got worse and worse until when going round corners, I found myself “fighting” with the steering until it suddenly freed itself all of a sudden, making the uninformed driver jerk the steering, with possibly dangerous consequences. It would act stiff in both directions until the hydraulics and pump “kick in” then all would go light(ish) again.

My cure was to put the car an high, release the pressure regulator screw 4 turns, then scream the engine to 4,000 RPM whilst moving the steering lock to lock before retightening said screw and carrying on. The “bodge” would last approx 2000 miles before the steering would retire back to its irritating old self.

18 months ago, I had the system hydrafushed, and the steering was great for 1500 miles. Put LHM back in, and after 1000 miles, it started getting heavy again.

By 110,000 miles, the steering now was heavy at parking speeds, and was really affecting my driving: the BX is horrible without correctly functioning power steering, and my opinion, dangerous.

Service due at 112,500 miles, so I replace the HP pump with a known good second-hand replacement, and the belt is tight! LHM was still clean incidentally. Result: VERY light power steering indeed. Over the next 1000 miles the steering gradually got heavier and heavier, and is close to getting back to the way it was before I replaced the pump: i.e. horrible.

Since replacing the pump, the block at the front of the engine has started to leak LHM slowly. There is a block above the accumulator (is this the FDV??) with two blanks on its left hand side: it is leaking from there, not the pipes that screw in above it.

So the question is: what is the problem and how can I resolve it. I do not want my girlfriend driving the car until this serious problem is resolved: if it can’t be, I shall sell / scrap the car!

Advice gladly received!!


Roberto!

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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:16 pm

Hi Rob and welcome, I've found in 99% of all PAS problems as you describe it's the pump that getting tired.

OK it could be the FDV as it's leaking but these aren't the easiest things to change, I 'd certainly try another pump first and if that fails, then you'd have to try the FDV.

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Post by RKM » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:22 pm

yup...but I have already replaced the pump...1000 miles later I am back to square one!

However the car doesn't sink when I open the 12mm bolt on the pressure regulator, unless I take it off the high position, it wont pump up until the nut is closed again...is that unusual??

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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:28 pm

No that sounds fine. I know you've changed the pump once but it was a secondhand one and although it seemed fine it's likely to be 12 years old.

As I say, another pump is the easiest, therefor first option. A keen MOT tester may fail you if he sees a leak from the FDV as it is connected to the braking system but most aren't too familiar with Citroen hydraulics.

Where abouts are you.

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Kitch
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Post by Kitch » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:29 pm

I've got exactly the same problem, although mine has dissapeared completely.

I've put a different pump on it (although not a new one I admit)

I've put a different FDV on (again 2nd hand)

I've ruled out the pinion valve because it didn't start dying to one side first....they both went equally. In the stages of it dying it would always go heavy after hard braking too.

Starting to get pissed off with it now, although I have got used to driving it without PAS full time! Haven't checked the ram though?

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sleepy0905
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Post by sleepy0905 » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:30 pm

Mine did this a while ago so i replaced the pump with no cure i was then adviced it may the the FDV so it was changed it was fine for the first day then started again in the end i replaced the pinion valve ( what a bugger of a job) and hey presto we are now about 3 years on with no problems if this helps.
2014 Citroen C4 1.6 eHDI Selection Special edition 115Bhp

RKM
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Post by RKM » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:34 pm

The pump fitted was from a known car, and was working fine; nevertheless I will not rule it out completely.

Also, the steering comes back when the pump cuts in (Or is it out??!) - would that be the fault of the FDV??

Can anyone tell me how the FDV works, and are they known to leak?

Thanks again!

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Post by RKM » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:39 pm

forgot to say, I live in Malvern but often in Shrewsbury

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cavmad
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Post by cavmad » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:46 pm

Sounds exactly like my current runabout estate. I believe the system will require flushing thoroughly (and don`t forget the Cit-aerobics) and there`s a filter that`ll want cleaning out. I`m not sure if the FDV is `cleanable` but possibly worth checking. Then reassemble and hopefully you`ll have cracked it.
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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:46 pm

The FDV diverts LHM fliud around the system, brakes, steering and suspension. The Steering uses the most, so it's the first thing that suffers when things start to go wrong.

My XM also has an FDV which has just started to leak slightly in the same place you describe. There are also two filters in the ports of the valve that can block, but in my experiance when this happens the steering goes off completely.

If you change the FDV make sure NO dirt of any kind gets in the ports or you're wasting your time.

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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:52 pm

A new pump would set you back about 100quid, or you could have about 5 secondhand ones. What model BX is it for? and how long have you had it.

RKM
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Post by RKM » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:54 pm

OK; would the FDV be the culprit, as the steering comes back to life when the pump clicks in?

Also, the accumulator sphere is the original, but when the car is standing, the interval between "ticks" (or hisses!) is around 45 secs; however sometimes when accelerating hard, the pump clicks in and out rapidly.

Also I have noticed that in the morning, although the rear suspension doesnt sink totally, it is slow to rise in the morning. rear arm bearings were replaced two years ago!

Over & Out!!

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Barnsley BXer
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Post by Barnsley BXer » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:56 pm

Trust DR Ken,he knows his stuff
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Dear Drooper............................

RKM
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Post by RKM » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:59 pm

Ken, it's a TZD Turbo. Bought it in late 2002 with 67K. see link at top for pretty pics & description

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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:00 pm

I usually test the accumalator sphere by standing on the back of the car with the engine just switched off. The suspension should lift if the acc sphere is a good-un. This is your reserve brake pressure.

My moneys still on the pump. Whats everyone else reckon. :shock: