Longevity..

Anything about BXs
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toddao
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Longevity..

Post by toddao » Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:20 am

I read for the first time yesterday one of the downloads available on the opening page of our website entitled :

'Jalopy Aug 1993. Mr X speaks of 6 years with an 84 Mk1 BX'

I find it incredible that almost twenty years after he wrote that - and was already consigning the BX to bangerdom - that so many of us are still rolling around. It's also revealing his experiences with a brand new BX. Not great I would say. Though it was an early Mk.1. Maybe after almost thirty years, the niggles have been ironed out? Or at least well known.
But who'd have thought so many of the flimsy French cars would survive so long?
Todd


this yellow writing is really hard to read

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Post by mat_fenwick » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:42 am

I've heard it recommended never to purchase a brand new car soon after a new model comes out, due to the probability of niggling faults. It's a choice I'll probably never have to make!

This thread is quite apt considering BX Meteor's posts on Paul's blog...

I still have pipework replacement to look forwards to, but with regular inspections I hope to catch any problems before a major leak, and then replace all in one go. Greasing the unions seems to mean they come undone without issues -I was quite pleased last week that I had no problems with hydraulic fittings seizing or rounding off.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

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Post by Dollywobbler » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:49 am

Odd really, when you consider how many BXs have sailed past 150,000 miles. Not necessarily without problems, but then how many cars can avoid problems entirely?

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Post by B-Hive » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:31 pm

Well..

let me add my two cents...

Proud and smug am I.....i did a 600km round trip today in the GT with a friend who owns an M3 BMW.. The grunt and grip of my GT had him gabbing for the Jesus handle well below the car's capability. All of this on skinny old tyres....

The feel. response and satisfaction of the BX design really came into its own...25 years beyond its inception.... happy BXer.. :D
Current
85 BX GT Mk1..
86 BX TRS Mk1
87 BX TRi


Gone
85 BX TRS mk1 auto... SOLD
90 BX TRi..parts....cubed

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Post by Paul296 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:57 am

As a major piece of engineering and design with often years and millions of pounds spent in research and development, a car could - in theory - last indefinitely I would have thought. The reason current cars have short (and increasingly shorter) production runs and find themselves in 'knackered old banger' territory within 5 or 6 years of leaving the production line, is largely down to consumer capitalist economics; you buy something, it breaks, you dump it and move on to 'this years model'. The consumer gets to stay fashionable and the manufacturer gets to carry on making a profit. On a planet of infinite resources it's probably a pretty good system (maybe) - trouble is - we don't.

Anyway, the point is, how long a car lasts is largely down to both the owner and the prevailing culture; if it was in the manufacturers interest to make reasonably priced parts readily available for old cars they would; it's not so they don't. Similarly, as the motor car - in our culture - has become a barometer of the owners success/status/identity, 'this years model' has become a prerequisite if you're to look like you're ahead of the game. It's those two factors that have conspired to give us the 'buy, use, dump, get another' culture we now 'enjoy'. Personally, I think it's not just stupid, but a criminal waste.

I'm always fascinated when I see pics of all those 'Yank tanks' that are still doing the rounds in Cuba. After the American trade embargo in the early sixties the Cubans had to make do with the cars they had, and consequently nearly 100,000 fifties American cars are still on the road there (admittedly, many now have Soviet diesel engines and parts and the Cuban climate means that tin worm isn't quite such a problem). But since the 1950s many must have clocked up multiple millions of miles.

Call me a sentimental old fool, but looking at them; the ingenuity, care and attention that has obviously gone into their maintenance, has given them a sort of dignity and a human quality that make them endlessly fascinating to me, while new cars by comparison - for all their factory fresh 'up to the minute' slickness - just look really boring.

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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:45 am

Paul296 wrote:a car could - in theory - last indefinitely I would have thought.
Just Google 'Irv Gordon' to read about his Volvo P1800 he's owned from new, and now coming up to 3 million miles. With continued spares availability, I think cars can outlast us at least. It's going to get more difficult in years to come but most parts can be reconditioned (with enough skill or money); however that obviously puts the car off the road for a while.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
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Post by Willy » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:31 am

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Some of the 400,000 cars cubed under the scrappage scheme (under the scheme's rules they could not be broken or exported)

Find a BX in the first picture and win a BIG prize!
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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:34 am

Some of those in the second picture look like they would have had a value way over the £2000 offered in exchange though!
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

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Caffiend
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Post by Caffiend » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:56 am

I can't see most modern cars being around in 30+ years time - too many sealed units that have to be entirely replaced or need very specialist (rather than 'any expert mechanic') attention. I'm not even sure that 5-6 yearly replacements of cars are as much down to appearances/keeping up with the Jones, as the worry and expense of resolving warning lights which could be anything from 'air filter is a bit grubby' to 'electrical fault' to 'big ends gone' to 'sealed unit is faulty' (and needs replacing at vast expense) :S - and the poor owner has no way of finding out which because the entire engine block is sealed to prevent tinkering about!

EDIT owing to cross-post: bet that's the case with a number of the apparently practically-new cars that Mat just commented on - warning light could be any one of 397 faults and means car can't be easily sold so owner has just decided to cut his/her losses.

We've chosen cars that can be kept going through a bit of creative engineering and a little help from our friends. BXs are also still only 20-odd years old. I grew up with dad's 1934 year old Triumph - found in a field in 1969, took him about 6-7 years to fully restore (and pre-WWII Triumph parts really WERE hard to get old of, the warehouse having been bombed in 1940-something). Fewer people owned cars in the 1930s too, so second hand were equally rare. BGU 409 is currently showing on DVLA as unlicensed (shame :() but was still *on the road* (part-time at least!) at the grand old age of 50-odd when Dad "upgraded" to a 1929 Alvis, so no reason why a fair few BXs that are now being loved and looked after shouldn't be still around in 2032 - and beyond.

I also predict that anyone with machining skills and a lathe and/or upholstery skills and/or who can weld will become increasingly popular.
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Post by Dollywobbler » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:33 pm

Caffiend wrote:I can't see most modern cars being around in 30+ years time - too many sealed units that have to be entirely replaced or need very specialist (rather than 'any expert mechanic') attention.
I tend to agree here. Up to the early 1990s, cars peaked in terms of efficiency and robustness. Since then, it's been full speed ahead on ever-more complication and more and more parts unique to a model, which will make keeping one going in years to come every more difficult.

We're incredibly lucky with the BX really. Right through from 17 diesel to 8v GTi, there's a very large amount that's very similar. Even a lot of the Mk1 interior is identical to the later Mk2. The BX had pretty much a decade of very little major changes. And they're simple - whatever anyone says about the hydraulics. Anyone who's driven the modern equivalent - the C5 - will know that there's a whole ream of electronic goodies to go wrong. Given that warning lights are now an MOT failure, a lot of cars will be scrapped because it won't make economic sense to go chasing quirky faults (like my father-in-law's Pug 307 that occasionally refuses to start for no apparent reason).

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Post by Mickey taker » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:52 pm

t he scrappage scheme was the biggest abortion any government if modern day has created, perfectly good cars crushed for no other reason than greed !!!!
More pollution is created in the production of new cars and disposal of those older ones than any car on the road could cause.
It disgusts me
1991 BX Meteor 1.6

light travels faster than sound, thats why you look intelligent and then you spoil it all by opening your mouth !!!!!

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Post by Dollywobbler » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:19 pm

Ugh. Don't get me started on the scrappage scheme. Kia and salesmen were the only people who profited. Well done Mandleson! Slimeball.

I reported on a lot of good cars being binned. I managed to save this one though!
Image

Kudos to Kia for letting me drag it out of the world of scrappage. It's a Bond Equipe GT4s fitted with a 1600 Vitesse six-cylinder engine. It was absolutely dreadful and cost me a simply daft amount of money. It still lives on though, with an enthusiastic new owner.

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Post by saintjamesy89 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:34 pm

As Mick alluded to, it makes much more economic sense to make efforts to keep cars that are already OTR, there. Sure, this would mean that the rate of progress in economy, power etc would be slower, but instead of scrapping the car and buying a new one - which will use more resources and create more pollution even before the new car is on the road, fair enough it will pollute less (when comparing to similar power/size older car) but the sum of production+OTR emissions+resources for parts needed for maintenance will be huge compared to a car already OTR that can be updated for relatively little, perhaps even DIY-style (add a cat, megasquirt, megajolt or go LPG etc). And then there's the issue of reliability, and available parts as Caffiend mentioned, older cars are just that much more simple to repair (generalising, I know, but it has been my experience so far) even though parts availability may be lesser - that is something that could perhaps be improved, either at the governmental or entrepreneurial scale of things.

In that sense, creating policy to steer people toward already OTR cars, better parts availability (and continuity) and if necessary updating them, or perhaps having a hefty new car tax to dissuade new car buyers, then that may help save resources, time, effort and lessen emissions all whilst keeping the currently OTR cars just there - OTR.

e.g. My MK2 astra 1.4 had it's carb rebuilt last summer and it has fuel saving tyres on it, this pushed it's average mpg up to consistently over 50 (best=54), it has scope to further increase mpg (by reducing fuelling on the carb) and I could fit a fancy exhaust system with a cat to lower emissions. I could even fit a closed loop LPG system and increase compression to further increase mpg and lower running costs. Sure, this will lower the power a bit, but it's more torquey than powerful anyway, so that is of less importance to me. If I wanted it to be fast, i'd buy a GTE or 16v GTi BX for occasional use.

That's my thoughts anyway. Plus (a BIG plus), with one or two exceptions, I don't like the look of new cars, and appearance (of my car, at least :D ) is important to me. Give me an 80's or early 90's petrol hatch anyday.
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Post by Willy » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:04 pm

Although common sense is generally along the correct lines, it's not quite as simple as "keep old on the road forever".

In a massively simplified example, essentially what is cheapest to keep on the road is really the best for the planet, or whatever your motive may be. We all know that early 90s diesels are probably the cheapest vehicles to own - low fuel costs, and low repair bills. Go older and you get higher fuel costs (fewer diesels around) and higher repair bills (less durable vehicles). Go newer and you get questionable, but small, fuel savings (lower running costs), but massively inflated maintenance costs. The greeny-chop argues, however: "But my Polo Bluemotion does over 70mpg and conforms to the Euro V emission standard for clean air, it's irrelevant that it I have to fork out a few hundred every year to repair the DPF and fix an EGR valve electrical fault". But where is that few hundred pounds going? Not only is it paying for the manufacture of replacement parts - often made from very exotic and energy intense materials to manufacture, but is sustaining economic activity in terms of the mechanic's business. Economic activity, or spending, whether you like it or not, is driving pollution and natural resources depletion - just spending your money in different ways moves that pollution and oil usage around a little bit. Spend the least amount of money on motoring every year and you will be living the most sustainable lifestyle - buying a £300 old diesel with 12months T&T then scrapping it on (probable) expiry, after achieving a year of 55mpg, is weirdly the most sustainable method of personal powered transport.

This is the problem with excessive taxation due to "emissions classes" etc - pay road tax according to road usage, otherwise that, and the scrappage scheme, are massive market distortions.
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Post by Mickey taker » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:38 pm

Well if you ask me it all started to go wrong when they ditched the morris minor and brought out the allegro :lol:
1991 BX Meteor 1.6

light travels faster than sound, thats why you look intelligent and then you spoil it all by opening your mouth !!!!!