dreaded LHM fluid under car

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timbo
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dreaded LHM fluid under car

Post by timbo » Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:43 am

Had the car parked at it's lowest suspension setting the other day and when I started back up and drove off (with the suspension back at normal height) I noticed a puddle of oil from next to the front passenger wheel. I took careful note to see if the leak got worse but it didn't. I returned home and went through the full range of suspension travel but there were no drips that I could see. I set the suspension to the lowest again and left it overnight. Sure enough the next morning there was a small puddle on the ground. I could not see where it was coming from. I'm thinking a pinhole or small split in a hose/pipe??? It really is getting to the stage where it's just not worth fixing anymore. I cannot afford to let a mechanic loose at it and I have nowhere to work on the car (even if I were mechanically minded LOL) ... If i had the money I would spend it fixing the car up.. it's great to drive despite all the problems.

jeremy
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Post by jeremy » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:12 am

There are a couple of return tubes from each of the front struts which may be the cause of your problems. Take the wheel off and have a look for bits of pipe that have become detached - and try and refit them. It may be that they have come off at the subframe - or that the return pipe in the subframe has perished.

Thats the esy bit. New return pipes are available - but in my opinion are a waste of time as the problem usually means that the strut has developed an internal leak - and the new pipework will not seal as its being asked to carry more fluid than its intended for. This will always be accompanied by creaky struts.

New struts are in fact very easy to fit if you have the correct big spanner for the top nut. New struts will transform the ride.

Old ones can be overhauled - providing they have not scored important parts. However this is a time consuming process and needs a bench vice uiries a few years ago - the parts are not cheap.and big spanners again - and from my enquiries a few years ago the parts are not cheap - or easily obtained - my nearest dealer denied they were available! I replaced the offending one.

What you must remember is that all motoring costs money - and unless you regard the car as disposable - which means you enjoy driving something that is deteriorating - and that bits drop off and are not repaired until something major goes and you throw the car away. - you are going to have to maintain it - which costs some money but does mean you have a car that you like and is reliable.

timbo
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Post by timbo » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:25 am

thanks Jeremy. You've probably read my earlier posts about the car I inherited. I've just had the fuel lines and a bit of the steering replaced and it is running (just). It has all the usual problems that the BX gets according to this forum. Yep the struts creak (have given them the squirt of WD40). There is a problem with the carb at takeoff revs, the rear bearings are knackered and the accumulator shere needs replacing. Two mechanics I have spoken to now have said it's just not worth replacing anything due to the cost. If I can't fix it myself (on the side of the street) then it's a case of selling the car to somebody who can. Shame because we drove back from Tenby a few weeks ago with a huge load in the back and the car was just great to drive, even with the state of the suspension as it is... I'll have a look and see if i can trace the sorce of the leak

jeremy
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Post by jeremy » Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:24 pm

Mechanics will always tell you that the car's not worth repairing. You've got to ask yourself what you want to drive - and is this the car for you.

Contrary to popular belief cars costing £500 are not guaranteed to run for ever without expenditure and its a fact of life that whatever you buy thats old will require some repairs soon after you get it and discover its problems. If you talk to people who do seem to get away with running cheap cars for nothing - you'll find that they always have problems - and seem to discard vehicles quite often.

If you like it - think how much something better will cost you to buy, and then to get working properly and then repair your own.

pitman
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Post by pitman » Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:46 pm

I recently replaced the so-called octopus (because the local Citroën dealer damaged it during a repair and refused to sort it out for free or even 50/50. But that's another story ... $%&**)

There is very small return pipe on top this sort of manifold that's behind the lower engine moutings and beneath the height corrector.

This can be easily torn off if you haven't been careful enough when acting there. Because in this corner, underneath the fuel lines, it is very narrow and all the rubber return hoses are very crowded.

If the return hoses are not already worn and fragile (mine weren't at all!) you might have loosened something because many are only stuck together.

It is a quite dirty job down there, but if you could manage to find out where it is leaking from that could be a good start.

There have been people fixing that with the car on axle stands and you need nothing more than a description and maybe a helper with small hands. :lol: :lol:
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tom
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Post by tom » Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:22 pm

Before you get too worried, try parking the car on the level with the suspension in the normal driving position. If it isn't leaking now, you might just have overfilled it. While the puddle is by the passenger's wheel, it probably isn't that but it is worth a try.

timbo
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Post by timbo » Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:58 pm

I've had the car parked flat on both the top and normal heights and no leaks at all. It seems to only occur if the car is at the very bottom. Simple solution is not to have it too low :)
I will list the items that now ned attention on the car and you guys tell me if it's worth it (so to speak):
accumulator (other spheres)
struts
bearings
complete brake lines
possibly complete LHM lines
distributor oil seal
clutch
timing belt (no history on this but all other belts are new)
Remember that this work will be carried out by a mechanic so add in the labour costs :cry:

pitman
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Post by pitman » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:33 pm

If you do it all at once I'd be saving that money and buy a Ferrari instead ... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Here my comments:

- accumulator (other spheres)

peanuts: 20 £ from GSF and 15 mins work

- complete brake lines
- possibly complete LHM lines

Are you sure that's necessary? That's about one day of work ...

- distributor oil seal

seal possibly a tenner and not that much work, 30 mins ?

- clutch

4 - 5 hours work + 100 £ new clutch. What problems have you now?

- timing belt (no history on this but all other belts are new)

Someone could take the timing belt cover off and have a look at it
BX Leader 19 Diesel - 1986

timbo
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Post by timbo » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:39 pm

so would you say that it would cost 7 to 8 hundred pounds then??

pitman
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Post by pitman » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:02 pm

Yes. :(

The biggest part is the clutch. Is it really worn? What's wrong with it?

Are all the metal pipes corroded?
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timbo
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Post by timbo » Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:06 pm

There have been a number of times when accelerating under a good bit of power (but not hard) that the clutch is slipping with the foot off the pedal totally. the pedal is very high (still haven't got to adjust the height yet). The clutch is disengaging when pushing the pedal down about 2 inches and the pedal is about 2 inches higher than the brake pedal... so I scrape the top of the foot just about every time i change gear. There is also a bit of a buzzing sound so the thrust bearing is on it's way out I would expect.

pitman
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Post by pitman » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:49 pm

To me it seems that the clutch is going to its end but I'm not an expert that much.

Maybe someone else knows more.

Rests the renewal of the LHM pipes. Do they really need to be changed completely?

Looking at the timing belt can give you a clue but surely it's difficult to tell when it will break only from looking at it.
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docchevron
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Post by docchevron » Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:23 am

I recon all of these things can easily be fixed at the side of the road apart from the pipes (assuming they really need doing? Do they leak? If not, smother the bu**ers in grease and forget about them for the time being)
Unless you live on a motorway, changing a clutch (done that at the side of the road on many cars, the quickest I've done a N/A diesel BX was 5 hours, not rushing, regular fag breaks etc).
Cam belts are easy to do anywhere, I did one in a motorway services once.
If you like the car I'd stick with it. Do you know anyone that'll lend you a driveway for a few hours if you're wary of working roadside?
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...

timbo
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Post by timbo » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:47 am

I haven't had any more fluid leak from the car since i haven't let it drop to the lowest setting. I have done the sphere checks by turning the motor off at the normal ride height and the car will drop but not rise again. So the accumulator needs doing. The front struts give a little knock if i push down on them but are a bit better after I lubed them. The rear struts are really bad and I know the bearings are knackered and creak really badly (as i said previously i have 4 wheel steering). I don't have access to anywhere mechanical (and i live above a pub so no easy parking). I am not mechanically minded which makes it worse. If i have step by step instructions with pics then it's not too bad. But i have limited tools and being new to the UK i have limited knowledge of where to access things. I really would like to see the bx up to scratch bcoz it's just a great car to drive :)

pitman
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Post by pitman » Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:02 am

timbo wrote:I have done the sphere checks by turning the motor off at the normal ride height and the car will drop but not rise again. So the accumulator needs doing.
The replacement of the accumulator sphere is only to reduce the amount of clicks you can here easily. Those clicks mean that the hydraulic pump is switched on and off and that gives a stress to the seals and the pump. Therefore it's good to have those clicks only half a minute or even a minute or so.

But the function of the hydraulics itself is the same with many clicks or a few.

All of the work you described can be done one after another, so you could spread it.

You could find out how good your garage is starting with the simpler and more urgent jobs.

I got here (Yorkshire) a garage that charges only £ 15 for labour and has not a good reputation but at least they never turned any reworking down and never charged for it.
BX Leader 19 Diesel - 1986