Appeal for help!

BX Tech talk
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mnde
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Appeal for help!

Post by mnde » Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:47 pm

Hello there,

I've just found your Club site and registered myself :)

I'm from Woking in Surrey and have a '91 TGS Meteor that's been languishing in the garage for several months now with a suspected head gasket failure (fast consumption of oil and water, froth in oil filler cap/breather tubes and dipstick, radiator fountains water if engine started with cap removed, exhaust billows out continuous thick white smoke). Now I reeeally want to get the car back on the road before winter so I can give my poor 'ole GSA a much needed rest. Before I call out a Citroen mobile mechanic, is there anyone here local(ish) to me who could help me out?? I have a fair collection of tools, but I don't own a torque wrench or a trolley jack/axle stands. Here's what I'd like to do:

1) Head gasket and new bolts (which I can order in advance) - do I need a standard gasket or a special thicker one? (Eurocarparts/GSF advertise both). The cambelt was changed May 04. Probably no need to touch that...?

2) New rad and top hose (supplied). The existing rad leaks - and it was me relying on the coolant level light (which seemed to be reliable but patently wasn't) rather than manual checks that probably did for the gasket... :( I can obviously also supply the TOTAL Antigel needed. Possibly a good idea to do a system flush as well? And degunk the breather hoses.

3) Investigate grinding sound from o/s/f brakes This is a job I meant to do ages ago - but when I started the engine to get the car up on high... I realised there was summat wrong with the HG. Good job it happened on the drive! Anyway, at the time I bought new front pads and discs on eBay.

4) Fix auto-choke problem. At the moment the strangler flap is shut from cold - and it used to be shut after very short journeys... so the car is/was impossible to start without a screwdriver down the throat keeping the flap partly open. Possibly related to HG issue? (oil and gunk in the coolant hoses that go to the choke).

If anyone could spare some time to come and help out with some or all of the above, please let me know and we can get something organised. :D At the moment the car has no MOT or Tax, so it's important to get it roadworthy first so I can drive to a garage to get it MOT'ed - rather than having to organise a trailer/flat-bed truck.

Thanks!

Mark Evans
1982 Citroen GSA Spécial Estate
1997 Renault Mégane RT 1.4e
1991 Citroen BX16 TGS Meteor - gone to Scotland

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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:38 pm

Hi Mark and welcome to the forum.

I don't wish to sound unkind but are you sure it's worth it.
The cost of taking the head off, skimming and testing could be as much as the car is worth. If it turns out the head is cracked, you're stuck. :cry:

If you really want to get this car back on the road, I suggest the easiest and cheapest way is to buy a donor car with a known good engine and do a transplant. Lot of spares as well.

You can normally pick up a decent petrol BX for almost nothing today.

Thats what I'd do. Hope this helps.

Regards Ken.
They think it's all over, it is now!

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Vanny
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Post by Vanny » Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:17 pm

Very much in agreement that the engine is more than passed best!

I know its a bit of a long way away but im about to gain a 1.4 petrol engine which is known to be VERY good, its had a lot of love spent on it and absolutley flies. Only problem its a bit of a long way away, on the plus side its in a fully working car so perhaps you could come up, see it and have it dropped into the back of another car. Im sure some of the southern members would be able to help you refit it? My only concern would be that i think you need to swap the ARB to make it fit? Not really a problem as everything you need is sat doing not a lot!

Other than that its an Ebay job. The engines tend to last a fair while and dont usually die, so i suspect given how bad yours sounds that there is perhaps a more viscious problem?


Maybe the best option (as its clearly not currently drivable) is to get the T55 out and whizz the head off, maybe then you'll find a few more pointers as to the cause of death?

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mnde
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Post by mnde » Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:27 pm

Hello Ken, Jon and Vanny,

Thanks very much for your considered comments and advice. I have to say I was a little rushed when writing earlier, and I thought of more that I could have written... In particular, that I was very aware that if the HG situation was revealed to be worse than hoped for (cracked head, regrind etc.) then that would be game over.

The fact of the matter is that the engine has now done an indicated 156,000 miles. I say indicated because at some point the previous owner replaced the instrument binnacle because of failure of first the speedo and then the rev counter... or at least that's what he said. So, in the absence of any history at all, the mileage was never guaranteed to be genuine. But as a stop-gap car for £200, I wasn't complaining. And it's given me a good 8 months or so of service, including several trips to Manchester and one to Scotland!

As far as the rest of the car is concerned, apart from a leaky sunroof and a juddery clutch :-/ (stiff pedal), it's pretty sound. It was a smooth runner, not one ding anywhere, mint GTi interior, vg hydraulics (apart from slightly stiff front struts- only really noticeable if you put it up to "high", no probs with rear radius arms. It's a lovely dark metallic grey which polishes up very well, but the bonnet and rear spoiler could do with a respray because of stonechip/sun damage.. one small rust bubble at the top corner of the windscreen. Oh and the darned glovebox hinges snapped.

So considering the high mileage and the unknown niggle with the clutch, I did get a quote for a complete engine swap last year. Can't remember what it was, but it wasn't as much as I was expecting. Recently I have been trawling eBay looking for a suitable donor (or... replacement) car. If that is the course I take, I would much rather stick with the 1.6 than go down to the 1.4 ... although I did have an idea that the TD would be the way to go, with petrol prices as they are - and the Meteor was made in a diesel! Last week I also happened to check out the website for Ivor Searle, who specialise in providing/fitting reconditioned engines on an exchange basis.

Ho hum. I _know_ that I could pick up a pretty decent BX for peanuts, and let this one go... but... :( I dinnae want to (!_pay_ to!) scrap it.

I know all about this, being a GSA owner. Most G's are are worth zilch, so major repairs don't make monetary sense unless you can do it yerself... so it's all a question of sentimental value, the value of the car to you. Sigh...

I know one thing. I really miss driving my Meteor. :cry: More of a crash-landed Meteorite at the moment...

Mark.
1982 Citroen GSA Spécial Estate
1997 Renault Mégane RT 1.4e
1991 Citroen BX16 TGS Meteor - gone to Scotland

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mnde
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Post by mnde » Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:32 pm

jonkw wrote: 3) The front brakes. Might get away with discs and pads, personally I think I might be tempted to fit a known good s/hand front caliper on the "bad" side.

Jon
Back in August last year, while in for MOT work, the (Cit specialist) garage had to replace both front calipers with s/h reconditioned units... because while attempting to bleed the front brakes, they managed to snap both bleed nipples...

Mark.
1982 Citroen GSA Spécial Estate
1997 Renault Mégane RT 1.4e
1991 Citroen BX16 TGS Meteor - gone to Scotland

Stewart (oily!)
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Post by Stewart (oily!) » Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:52 pm

I agree, find a TD lump complete with gearbox and pop that in, If you PM me I will give you the lowdown on fitting the later 1.9TD engine which makes for a rather nice BX :twisted: , the front grinding could be a wheel bearing or possibly prematurely knackered pads due to dragging brakes due to a damaged handbrake cable outer, sounds like one worth rescuing.
Stewart
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Xantia Td estate, going soft

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Kitch
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Post by Kitch » Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:44 pm

Pardon the suggestion, but why are you so eager to keep this one going?

Why not buy another BX instead. As already stated....they're very cheap these days and would be alot less work.

M

Post by M » Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:27 pm

You could always buy a BX Club window sticker - and it will cure everything wrong with it probably












I'll get my coat shall I? :roll:

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mnde
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Post by mnde » Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:25 pm

Image

Here finally is a picture of my BX, taken on Glen Fruin, near Faslane, in May 2004.

I had a sit in it tonight, cold and lifeless in the garage. It was quite depressing really since I found on top of everything else, the heater temp control has seized :( I half-heartedly tried to start it, thinking "at least the engine hasn't seized!"

I noticed it's actually showing 164,000 miles - not 156,000.

So 114,000 makes that BX Athena sound like a spring chicken!

My local Cit specialist has said they can arrange for a firm to recover my car to their workshop... now I just need to tell them where I live and chat with them about the problems with the car so they can quote me...

Should've done it in the summer... :roll:

Mark.
1982 Citroen GSA Spécial Estate
1997 Renault Mégane RT 1.4e
1991 Citroen BX16 TGS Meteor - gone to Scotland

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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:15 pm

Mark, why not go for the Athena in Doncaster and transfer the parts over to yours.

I know it's a long way and quite likely to cost a bit in fuel but I'm sure your garage won't be working for nothing either.
They think it's all over, it is now!

tom
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Post by tom » Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:19 pm

Taking into account the time to sort this engine out, it just doesn't make sense. Your devotion to the BX cause does you credit but for heaven's sake go and buy another powertrain. Use the money you save on replacing the octopus. Buy the right scrapper and you'll get all the spares you need.

tim leech

Post by tim leech » Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:23 pm

BOO HISSS My Bx's have club stickers on all three and they are still a bit broke each, do I get a refund?

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mnde
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Post by mnde » Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:31 pm

OK, I'm convinced that an engine swap is the way to go...

but I'm not convinced that this Athena is the answer, because of the distance.

Either way I shall be paying a garage to carry out the work, and also to source an engine - for convenience's sake! I am aware of at least one engine supplier in Guildford who is breaking BXs.

The specialist in Bedfordshire working on my GSA quoted me £400 for a BX engine swap, which seemed quite fair... but it would cost a lot to get the car up there. A breaker nearby had a BX16 engine he was willing to sell for £40.

Then again... the Athena is a free engine, and I'd get to test it out on the journey back... The downside is that I'd be paying the garage labour charges to remove it before it could go in mine.

(Hint, I *cannot* do this myself)

:-k

Mark
1982 Citroen GSA Spécial Estate
1997 Renault Mégane RT 1.4e
1991 Citroen BX16 TGS Meteor - gone to Scotland

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DavidRutherford
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Post by DavidRutherford » Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:29 am

In which case, ditch the car you have (Fleabay it?) and buy a decent TZD TD for £400.

£400 buys a whole load of very nice turbo-weasel BX.
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