introduction and hydraulics problems

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image1990
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introduction and hydraulics problems

Post by image1990 » Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:11 pm

Hello all,

Great to find an English-speaking BX forum after months grappling with French mechanics vocab. on the bxworld list :)

I live in France and have been driving a 1990 BX Image 1.6 (aka Maud) since the start of the year. After being driven around the snowy Alps all winter with no complaints whatsoever, things are starting to go a little bit pear-shaped hydraulics-wise and I wanted to see if any of you had any thoughts.

So, the problems:
- the "conjoncteur/disjoncteur" (is it a pressure regulator in English?) ticks about every 6 seconds, so I'd guess the accumulator is due for replacement

- LHM leaking dripping off the large metal structure just in from the right-hand front wheel. Not a lot of fluid, just enough to make a little stain on the tarmac.

- this afternoon, at the end of a longish drive on a hot day, the STOP light and temperature warning came on at the same time. I pulled over to have a quick look and there didn't appear to be anything amiss, and she got me the last five minutes home with brakes and suspension as normal.

-also, the car sinks pretty quickly - back end within 15 mins or so.

What I'm wondering is whether these problems are linked or if it's just sod's law that a whole lot of separate things are happening at once. Particularly r.e. the stop light, do you think it could be an electrical rather than hydraulic issue?

Thanks a lot for any suggestions - it'd be great to know at least vaguely what's wrong to avoid the garage fleecing me too badly!

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cavmad
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Post by cavmad » Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:21 pm

Good evening `Image` and welcome along. The `Stop` light might have been due to low water/coolant or possibly oil though if the LHM is leaking it might have got to a point where the the level dropped enough to make the light come on as what was left was being circulated?
The leak from the metal structure by the right hand front wheel sounds like the octopus, there are guides elsewhere on this forum to help you through the replacement/repair of this I believe.
Some of my BX`s have sunk very quickly after turning off but it didn`t bother me or seem to get any worse if that helps?
I`m sure some of the more technically gifted members will be able to answer your questions with more experience/detail than I have though!
As I say welcome along and hope to hear that you have sorted your car`s problems before too long.
Vauxhall apologist.

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Post by Stewart (oily!) » Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:44 pm

Hi Image and welcome to the club, to run through your BX list, yes the accumulator sounds like it needs replacing, How close to the wheel are your LHM drips? It may be a front strut return pipe which is not serious and quite easy to do.
STOP light and temperature, check water level and next time it happens open the bonnet and listen for cooling fans running?
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Post by jeremy » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:53 am

Welcome Image.

To test the accumulator run the car at normal height for a couple of minutes to let everything settle then turn off the engine and sit in the boot. The car shpuld drop a long way then after 30 seconds rise again if the accumulator is good. A new sphere should slow the ticking and is vital to the proper functioning and safety of the system. If the ticking is still fast then the chances are that the regulator non-return valve needs re-seating which is not difficult and costs nothing.

Leak at the front? - easiest one is an overfilled reservoir or small leak in that area - otherwise the front strut returns and the steel pipes that they plug onto may be causing the problem - which is probably best solved with ingenuity.

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Post by image1990 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:53 am

Thanks very much for all your thoughts. Thinking about it, the accumulator has probably been on the way out for a while - it was ticking every 10 secs ago when I took over the car.

As for the location of the LHM drips, they're coming from the front of the metal structure about 40 cm or so in from the right-hand wheel. I shone a torch under when the car was running the other day and apparently no drips, so it seems to be happening when the pressure is released and the car's at rest. I've only had to top up the reservoir once since I noticed the drips, so the rate of loss can't be that great.

Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention - the belt on the high pressure pump has started slipping and making an embarassing shrieking noise, usually in front of the Swiss border guards on the way into Geneva :roll: I'm a bit nervous about following the Haynes method using a blunt object as a lever to adjust the pully - ought I to leave it to the garage or is it fixable by a mechanical dunce?

un grand merci!

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Post by Stewart (oily!) » Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:07 pm

Not totally familiar with your model of BX but the vee belt tightening procedure is fairly well described in your haynes manual, the lever they recommend is usually the wooden handle of a hammer or a tyre lever.
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Post by Way2go » Tue Aug 01, 2006 3:31 am

image1990 wrote:As for the location of the LHM drips, they're coming from the front of the metal structure about 40 cm or so in from the right-hand wheel. I shone a torch under when the car was running the other day and apparently no drips, so it seems to be happening when the pressure is released and the car's at rest. I've only had to top up the reservoir once since I noticed the drips, so the rate of loss can't be that great.
un grand merci!
This sounds very much like the problem when I needed the Octopus to be replaced. The main loss is each time you park & turn the engine off. With LHM costs it is better to fix sooner rather than later. :roll:

I also had a routine change of pump belt and the new one was a pain in the **** as it needed tensioning about 8 times over a period until it finally stopped stretching. Each time I thought it was Ok after a few weeks off it screeched again! :shock:

With regard to the STOP & temperature, when I had this it was sorted by flushing Rad & Engine with "Wynns Professional Flush" (Run engine for 100 miles with flush in before dumping) Afterwards light stayed off and the Rad fans cycled better.

Irritating problems but you can resolve. :D
1991 BX19GTi Auto

image1990
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Post by image1990 » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:17 pm

This sounds very much like the problem when I needed the Octopus to be replaced. The main loss is each time you park & turn the engine off. With LHM costs it is better to fix sooner rather than later. Rolling Eyes

I also had a routine change of pump belt and the new one was a pain in the **** as it needed tensioning about 8 times over a period until it finally stopped stretching. Each time I thought it was Ok after a few weeks off it screeched again! Shocked

With regard to the STOP & temperature, when I had this it was sorted by flushing Rad & Engine with "Wynns Professional Flush" (Run engine for 100 miles with flush in before dumping) Afterwards light stayed off and the Rad fans cycled better.

Irritating problems but you can resolve
Thanks! It seems that the local mechanic has sorted most of it out. He owns a BX himself (even more knackered-looking than mine) so I think he know's what he's doing. THe new accumulator sphere has sorted the ticking and he's re-adjusted the belt to stop it shrieking. The drips are indeed from the octopus, but he was of the opininion they're so minor as to be not worth worrying about. They sell LHM in the supermarket for 5 euros a bottle, so I'll just keep a stock on standby :)

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Post by image1990 » Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:23 am

To resurrect this leaky hydraulics thread from a few weeks back, the BX is just back from the obliging local Citroen dealer, having had a rear suspension arm replaced and a good general check over (they've given up trying to persuade me that my car's b***ered and that I'd really prefer a nice shiny C4 :) ). According to the mechanic, the minor leak when the car is at rest is coming from the front height corrector, whereas the octopus was diagnosed as the culprit by the guy who replaced my accumulator sphere a while ago. Do you think this simply means that there's a leak in the octopus somewhere /near/ the height corrector?
I'd like to avoid getting the octopus replaced if possible, having read what a tricky (and potentially expensive) job it is, so if you have any suggestions based on your own experience, they'd be extremely welcome!

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Post by ellevie » Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:26 pm

Hi image1990,
Yes, I think your are probably right. Have a look at this post --- it might help. Good luck !
http://www.bxclub.co.uk/forum/viewtopic ... c&start=30
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Post by Baldbazza » Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:46 pm

image1990 wrote:To resurrect this leaky hydraulics thread from a few weeks back, the BX is just back from the obliging local Citroen dealer, having had a rear suspension arm replaced and a good general check over (they've given up trying to persuade me that my car's b***ered and that I'd really prefer a nice shiny C4 :) ). According to the mechanic, the minor leak when the car is at rest is coming from the front height corrector, whereas the octopus was diagnosed as the culprit by the guy who replaced my accumulator sphere a while ago. Do you think this simply means that there's a leak in the octopus somewhere /near/ the height corrector?
I'd like to avoid getting the octopus replaced if possible, having read what a tricky (and potentially expensive) job it is, so if you have any suggestions based on your own experience, they'd be extremely welcome!
Hi image1990 and welcome. I'm not convinced about the octopus. This sounds very much like the pipe I've just replaced (there are several very recent threads on the technical forum). My leak was just above the chassis member just behind the front wheel and about 40mm in, just as yours. It was worse after the engine had just been turned off, presumably when the rear suspension was sinking and the LHM returning to the reservoir. It was where the metal return pipe from the rear height corrector joins the rubber return pipe back to the reservoir - the rubber is bent at about 90 degrees here. The rubber pipe had perished, pretty much throughout its entire length. The bad news is that this is effectively a 'mini-octopus'. This pipe goes back almost to the reservoir, where it is one of two pipes that joins a larger pipe back to the reservoir. The second pipe is the return pipe from the front height corrector (and is a pig to replace); the larger pipe goes to the flow distributor valve and the power assisted steering valve. The junction where the two smaller pipes joins the larger one is extremely fragile. This pipe is still available from Citroen but is very expensive - over £50 + VAT in the UK. I'd be interested to know what French prices are like! One thing I did find is that, although the leak was from one place, it was pretty obvious that the whole pipe (pipes?) had perished and needed replacing. Good luck!
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image1990
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Post by image1990 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:45 am

Thanks very much for all your suggestions. It now remains to work out what the "mini-octopus" thing is called in French. I'm still not entirely clear from the description whether this is a single piece of piping though(humour me, I'm a novice :) ). Also, I've not got power steering, so might this affect which spare part I need to track down?

Merci encore!

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Post by ellevie » Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:13 am

image1990 wrote:...It now remains to work out what the "mini-octopus" thing is called in French.
BX Octopus:
Pieuvre ou araignée = faisceau de retour hydraulique
Octopus or spider = hydraulic return harness

octopus part numbers:
small 95 603 421
big 96 030 258
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image1990
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Post by image1990 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:12 pm

Brilliant, thanks! I reckon all you Hampshire BX gurus will be due a pint from me if I ever dare to bring Maud back from Geneva to Petersfield :)