TD struggling to drive me round the bend!

BX Tech talk
User avatar
docchevron
The Immoderate half of the admin team
Posts: 7529
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:03 pm
Location: A Bucket of Fish
x 7

TD struggling to drive me round the bend!

Post by docchevron » Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:01 pm

Ok. Can't think of what else to do apart from blowing my head off or catapulting the car off Southend pier!

It all started last week in the really hot weather.
The struts started to stick (Ones new, ones recon), then a knock starts somewhere in the front suspension (unable to suss out exactly where from), then the PAS dies. It's doesn't feel like theres just a lack of assistance, it feels like the racks seized. However, now and again it comes back to life for a few fleeting moments then goes stiff as hell again.
The hp pump belt is good and tight, the FDV is not old, the pressure reg and accum, sphere are not old, the LHM is new. The rack is one of the few original parts left on the car but I dont think its that. The ram dont leak and the pinion was good but dad thinks the red hot turbo may have cooked the seals??
Any ideas chaps? The MOT is not far off and the list of things to do is loooooooong already!!
Cheers
Chris G :(
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

User avatar
Vanny
Merseyside resident
Merseyside resident
Posts: 3422
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 11:48 pm
Location: BX Pub
My Cars: BX 16v Ph2
x 11

Post by Vanny » Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:15 pm

Have you go tthe exhaust heat shield on to protect the pinion seals?

I've always had one fitted, but there is every chance that the heat would kill the seals (seem to think AlanS has had experience of this?), i have a spare heat shield if you need it!

If you get under, there is a relatively large piece of brown plastic (its a dust protector) at the base of the column where the column goes into the rack, have a look see if thats melted, i reckon that would be the first bit to melt!

However i would suspect something hydraulic causing the problem! My seals are pretty shot (i know i butchered them with a screw driver on fitting) but the steering works fine, the hissing however is at time unbearable! What happens when you turn the rack from lock to lock, and when its sat dead straight? These racks are pretty much self bleeding (quite a nice design by all accounts) so it shouldn't be air locked, whats you fluid level like?

I think best bet is a slow or duff pump not getting fluid to the rack, perhaps a faulty FDV could be sticking! As best i know there is only ONE way to kill a rack/ram on the BX, and it takes some skill :D

User avatar
docchevron
The Immoderate half of the admin team
Posts: 7529
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:03 pm
Location: A Bucket of Fish
x 7

Post by docchevron » Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:27 pm

Heat shield present and correct. Cant see any signs of anything having melted! I have spare pumps/FDV's so I guess I'll crack on with changing them over the weekend inbetween doing the front brakes on an Optare Starrider midi-coach :evil: and driving a knackered old banger coach for a mates wedding :evil: :evil: . Why do people get married?.... I have a brand new ram and somewhere I have a brand new pinion so I guess if I change everything and it still buggers about then petrol and a match!
The rack will turn from lock to lock, cant feel any play in the straight ahead or on lock. When the assistence is there it turns happily from lock to lock but when it aint you need arms like a russion shotputter.
The fluid levels a bit interesting! It was fine, then when I put the car on low yesterday it threw a load out of the tank, today its back to normal without topping up. I reckon it drew a load of air in somewhere that pushed the fluid out to start with??
My head is fried and the low alcohol warning light is on so I think I'll mull it over down the pub with a pint of warm beer in hand!!
Cheers
Chris G
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

Brian
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:53 pm
Location: Bedfordshire UK

Post by Brian » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:09 pm

Hi,

Just a thought ...

Air/nitrogen in the LHM can produce all sorts of funny symptoms, leaking sphere ?...

User avatar
Kitch
Over 2k
Posts: 6181
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:36 pm
Location: Fareham, Hants
x 47

Post by Kitch » Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:13 am

Mine also has no PAS, its very reluctant to turn. And there is a light knocking, its faint and quite hollow, but ever present :(

I'll see what you come up with Chris, andd then copy what you do :lol:
Because I've changed FDV, pump, accm sphere, Pressure reg etc. only thing I've not checked yet is rack/pinion valve.

User avatar
docchevron
The Immoderate half of the admin team
Posts: 7529
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:03 pm
Location: A Bucket of Fish
x 7

Post by docchevron » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:06 am

Brian wrote:Hi,

Just a thought ...

Air/nitrogen in the LHM can produce all sorts of funny symptoms, leaking sphere ?...
It's a great thought but nope! Fraid not.
Having qoffed a few ale's I'm erring towards the rack itself. (Beer, wonderful brain lubricant!).
I need to crack this in the next 9 days so I'll let you know what the solution is for my car Kitch.
Assuming I suss it and dont send the old girl off in a blaze of glory!! (Couldn't really do that to her, she's outlasted every relationship I've had! Solo/inflatable doesn't count?!?)
Cheers
Chris G
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

jeremy
Over 2k
Posts: 2112
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:58 am
Location: Hampshire UK

Post by jeremy » Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:51 am

If the pinion valve fails its usual for one of the internal seals to go before the other - with the result that the steering is heavy on one side and not the other.

The FDV is often blamed as no-one really understands how it works - but is in fact an extremely reliable component. If it does fail it seems to prioritise the steering at the expense of the rest of the system and you could expect the light to come on at strange times.

The regulator is self checking really if its ticking correctly - and the light stays out. The accumulator is easy to check by sitting in the boot with the car at normal height with the engine just turned off. - Car should sink and rise again after 30 seconds.

In fact the regulator and accumulator are not in the steering circuit.

So - its the pump. The steering needs a high volume of high pressure LHM and this will find out pumps that are otherwise satisfactory.

Heavy steering usually happens on cold autumn mornings!

Your siezed struts may be nothing more sinister than the car failing to maintain a proper height - either due to stiff height corrector linkages (including the operating rod up with the steering pinion which goes into it.) I find a can of spray grease and some ordinary grease and a brush help lubricate these linkages. You may find things improve if you raise the car and drop it back to its proper height. If this brings an improvement then the linkages are suspect.

As as Brian suggests - a leaky pipe fron the reservoir to the pump can cause all manner of mysterious problems - worth looking in the reservoir for bubbles - or milky like bubbles. The usual cause is when the LHM has been changed and the pipe end at the reservoir is getting a bit old and tatty.

Finally BX and other cars with an external PAS ram will always feel slightly heavier on one side - this is due to the differing effective piston areas in the ram - as the operating rod reduces the piston surface area on the side its attached to by its footprint.

User avatar
docchevron
The Immoderate half of the admin team
Posts: 7529
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:03 pm
Location: A Bucket of Fish
x 7

Post by docchevron » Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:30 am

jeremy wrote:If the pinion valve fails its usual for one of the internal seals to go before the other - with the result that the steering is heavy on one side and not the other.

you could expect the light to come on at strange times.


So - its the pump. The steering needs a high volume of high pressure LHM and this will find out pumps that are otherwise satisfactory.

Heavy steering usually happens on cold autumn mornings!

Your siezed struts may be nothing more sinister than the car failing to maintain a proper height - either due to stiff height corrector linkages (including the operating rod up with the steering pinion which goes into it.) I find a can of spray grease and some ordinary grease and a brush help lubricate these linkages. You may find things improve if you raise the car and drop it back to its proper height. If this brings an improvement then the linkages are suspect.

As as Brian suggests - a leaky pipe fron the reservoir to the pump can cause all manner of mysterious problems - worth looking in the reservoir for bubbles - or milky like bubbles. The usual cause is when the LHM has been changed and the pipe end at the reservoir is getting a bit old and tatty.
Thanks Jeremy, I'm 'umbled by your knoweledge! All of these things I should know but have forgotten (too much/ not enough beer!?!?),
Will hoof another pump on tomorrow and see what happens. I have found brand new ram/pinion so that'll be my next port of call if the pump change doesn't improve things.

I'd agree about the light except it's never worked in the 9years I've had the car!!! Not the bulb!

I've noticed the ride height has been creeping up on the front so will be resetting it and checking all the linkages aswell. Will lubricate struts in the ususal manner, change the roll bar bushes since I've found some new ones and hope things come back to life. The gas axe is waiting!!!!!!!!
Thanks for advice, will apply violence and fluent french cursing directly!!
Cheers
Chris G
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

User avatar
docchevron
The Immoderate half of the admin team
Posts: 7529
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:03 pm
Location: A Bucket of Fish
x 7

Post by docchevron » Sat Aug 05, 2006 3:07 am

Bit of an update. Aint done owt to the car (work getting in the way etc) but drove it to work today via Bristol 2cv's cos I always have dinner with them on a friday. Mannie said if there was a ranp available I could stick her on it to lower the ride height. Alas three dead cars on ramps meant that didn't happen but.....
struggled with car into work, parked it up and trundled off in yet another rattly knackered bus. Returned at 0100 this morning, got in car. The steering was bloody awful for the first few hundred yards then camr back to life. Drove home fine untill I reversed car on to drive, then dteering reverted back to having no assistance. Pushed a load of LHM out the tank onto the drive (oops). Switched car off, looked under bonnet, fired car up, LHM settled down to normal level, dropped car to low, then high, low etc.
The steering seems fine at the moment but will try again in the morning. I'm eering towards the ram and/or pinion now. Will tear it to pieces directly and see if I can cure it tomorrow/sunday
Cheers
Chris G
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

jeremy
Over 2k
Posts: 2112
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:58 am
Location: Hampshire UK

Post by jeremy » Sat Aug 05, 2006 8:03 am

The ride height should not vary throughout the life of the car and is not a regular adjustment point. What does happen is that the linkage to the height corrector siezes - and then the car doesn't rise properly etc. Cleaning and greasing should solve the problem, but some of the mechanism is very difficult to get at - especially a front height corrector on a TD.

I use things like spray grease and ordinary grease and a brush to apply it.

User avatar
docchevron
The Immoderate half of the admin team
Posts: 7529
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:03 pm
Location: A Bucket of Fish
x 7

Post by docchevron » Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:45 am

Agreed, but the corrector is not old and the linkage is well lubed and free. It's rode a bit high since I've had it but seems higher at the moment. It got written off in January (some uninsured pleb in a private hire taxi hit me very hard in the front) I'm thinking maybe it's disturbed the roll bar or bent the linkage? I put the car back together ina hurry and didn't check to carefully around the subframe.
Ive gota go to Wales to collect a 205cj but I'll def have a ganders when I get back.
If it didn't go wrong all the time I'd only get bored!!!!!!
Cheers
Chris G
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...