BX Tech talk
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Post by BX16 »


Just got an old BX16 and the headlights flicker at all revs. This is most pronounced when you open the door as the internal light/s has the same flicker. Great for Haloween but sometimes people even pull over thinking they are being flashed!

Any ideas????
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Post by cavmad »

Evening Mr 16, sounds like a possible earthing fault which will hopefully be easy and cheap to sort out. Have you looked at the earthing poin(s?) to see if there`s any sign of trouble? Perhaps where the earth joins the body it`s a bit rusty or frayed?
I`m certain someone more technical than me could shed more light on this (if you`ll pardon the pun!).
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Post by jeremy »

That the interior lights flicker at the same time suggests its not a headlamp specific wiring fault.

Can I take it they are steady when the engine is not running?

If this is the case I think its an alternator fault - but before condemning it check:

Engine earths and the big plug by the battery - can be done with a meter if you know what you're doing - otherwise take the connector apart and clean it.

Alternator leads.

Does the warning light work properly - ie come on when the ignition is turned on - then go out and stay out?

Is the alternator drive belt tight - and NOT squealing ever?

I had this problem on my TD BX - in fact the lights got better - as the alternator regulator had failed and the thing was probably getting 16 volts or so. The battery was throwing out acid and in fact I could feel the additional drag as the voltage went up and down and slowed the engine. Wipers and flashers were very fast as well.
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Post by BX16 »

Thx guys,

Will check the things out u've suggested at the weekend when I got daylight!. It starts on the button and idles nice and steady. No smoke, rattles etc. Runs nice at 70-80 but doesn't feel smooth. Not exactly missing but I'm now wondering if the two things are related.

Will be in touch....
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Post by ken newbold »

My CX had this problem until I changed the alternator.

As for your unsmooth running, try cleaning the contacts in the distributor cap.
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Post by BX16 »

What a welcoming bunch!

Thank you all.

My weekend gonna be busy. Think I've found a good 'un but time will tell....
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Post by BX Bandit »

It does sound like your alternator is the culprit. I believe if it is the alternator then the flickering on/off is more of a bright/dim with a regular rythm to it and all electrics would be affected. Does your heater fan sound variable too? If it's not regular and more on/off then suspect earth/connector fault.
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