GT mediated Awesomeness

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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saintjamesy89
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 »

Evening folks, time for another life of Tom update. You may recall that I've been doing a series of educational things for work, well I finished my exams on Friday and I CAN BE A REAL PERSON AGAIN! Saturday we celebrated by getting pissed drinking champagne for breakfast and lunch, then went to bed at 7pm because we were tired - daytime drinking for you! Sunday we spent in the garden, I unearthed the greenhouse from the jungle that is the bottom of the garden and put all the glass back in = one complete greenhouse! It took me the best part of the day, but glad it's done. We have some tomatoes and peppers that can go in there now, and we're experimenting with aubergines (moussaka) and cucumbers (gin) this year, so that's that.

The Kia Venga of dullness was moved on earlier this year, we (me!) wanted something a little bigger and more practical, certainly more *nice* so looking at all the criteria from me and Steve the onyl affordable option ended up being a Lexus RX 400h, It has a big boot, can do 40mpg if you try hard enough, goes like stink when it needs to and is 4WD (when grip/power is needed, separate electric motor at the back, itself giving out 70bhp in addition to the 3.3 V6 and the 170bhp front electric motor!) to help with the rural roads around where we live now, at least one of them regularly floods, so the ride height itself helps.

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Also we got a dog last September, we were talking about it for a while and something local and nice turned up, so we got her! She is Steve's dog (mine to follow later this year...) called Tulip, she's 10 months old now, she's a Lurcher (dad collie, mum greyhound x saluki) and she is gorgeous! Not sure what we did with ourselves before we got a dog (probably quite a lot tbh...). This is her as a puyppy(ish), then in March (interrupted in having a good investigation of the Hearse's new engine), this is the most recent photo I have of her that I can get to now, she has grown and filled out a fair bit since but thankfully has stopped growing, or at least really slowed down.
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Anyway, onto BXing! Today I went to see the GT and spent 2 hours fiddling, i'm working a night shift (right now, typing this in between work) so wanted to be home and in bed for 2pm to have a pre-shift sleep. I wanted to fix a little fuel leak from the fuel flow meter on top of the radiator top-mount (for the GT-only fuel computer 8) ) and look into the fuel flap that has never properly sealed, on the challenge fuel was splashing out of the flap on those mountain switchbacks! So that needs looking at.

Here they are, two BX's in a barn.
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The fuel leak was uneventful, just a split hose that I trimmed but I did notice all this coolant crystallisation! That needs looking at! The GT has always lost a tiny amount of coolant that I've either put down to 'old car' stuff, but perhaps there was a weep here all along? I think I replaced the thermostat back along and perhaps didn't seal it properly.

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The fuel flap was similarly easy, the insert to the flap that contains the lock and the sealing part was upside down! I hadf the french TRS to compare with thankfully to confirm my suspicions. There is a tab that fits into a cutout, but someone on this car had forced it into the spaces between the clip lugs that hold the the thing in. Unfortunately this had bowed out the plastic fuel flap slightly so we'll see how this gets on when the ol' girl is back in use.

You can see where the retaining lug/clips at 'north' of this insert are pushed out and bent.
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I gave it all a quick clean and wipe over whilst I was there, damn this car is nice! Not a spot of rust, although plenty of paint discolouration here.
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To finish I ran it for 15 mins so it got up to temperature, there was still enough coolant thankfully. It was quite nice really just sat in there making brum brum noises (me and the GT lol), I shuffled it about a bit too so the guy that rents the other end of the barn could get in and out easier, it still rolls and moves so that is a bonus! The TRS needs it's earths looking at (at least a new battery earth cable) as it would't turn over quick enough to start on the same good battery that started the GT in a couple of spins. Also need another battery, as I can't keep switching it around!

So what next? I'm hoping I can spend a couple of hours each week tinkering on them, I want to get the TRS running better so I can get the a/c in a better functional state before moving it across to the GT - that is the next job. Then I can move the TRS on and have more monies and space to do other GT jobs. Where they are stored is the other half's aunties farm, she sells her own produce (meat, dairy and eggs) on site and we do shop with her, so hopefully that justifies my trips there - it is only 5 minutes out of town anyway.

I am so glad I can get projects going again! There are many, and i'll have to split my time between house (new kitchen, boiler, decorating, re-wiring amongst others), garden (pond clearing, patio, finish shed, hot tub installation etc) and cars (two BX's, a Lexus and the Hearse). BUT It feels like we're getting somewhere in life now, work is going well (so far!), the house will be nice when its more 'done', the garden is getting there and the car situation is also on the up.

Until next time, Tom.
I'm not a Saint, or a James, but a Tom Saint-James!

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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Tim Leech »

Well done Tom, dogs are awesome, we can’t imagine life without our little man, sadly he’s getting old and that’s a worry.

My GT hasn’t turned a wheel this year but will do soon.
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 »

I can remember when you had the inspector lady around for him Tim, seems like quite a while ago!

My GT has turned about 2 revolutions of a wheel I think, forward and back a bit :D

Phase 1 of the great aircon challenged has commenceth! I spent considerable time over in the barn today tinkering. My main aim was to sort the battery electrics and earths for the TRS so it started and ran better, I can report a full success here! I started fiddling, but got cross about the lack of access so removed the air filter housing, such a huge great thing on a MK1! Access now solved, I removed the battery to gearbox earth and battery negative lead and it really is no wonder that it struggled to turn over with such poor earths.

Rusty, frayed and split battery earth cable with it's *slightly* large replacement, I wasn't sure of the length required so went a bit OT!
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Battery negative lead was passable, but now much improved.
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Next issue was the gearbox top earth point, on removing the bolt the thread came out with it! So no good now, a different earth point is required.
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Not sure what this little guard, well - guards! But it was a convenient earth point once the metal was nicely cleaned up.
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There was an additional, small battery earth wire going from the negative lead to the body (inner wing), the new neg lead didn't have the facility to introduce additional leads, so I compressed the cable end between the two big spade connectors for now on the battery clamp. I will get another spade end - I didn't have any of this size with me, but it worked fine so hopefully will do for a bit.
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The GT got a new battery! I couldn't be doing with keeping swapping the battery from one BX to another... I have been very impressed with the GT's old battery, it has lasted ages and has been almost completely discharged a couple of times and not regularly run very much at all over the last 8 years, so I went for another Varta, but an upgraded one just because.
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I ran the TRS for a little while to it got upto temperature, it hasn't been run since last august so i'm sure it'll do it some good. I also wanted to shuffle it around a little so access to the barn was easier for the other tenant. I really could do with changing the oil, it's probably utter crap by now. I took a video which i'll attempt to upload tomorrow, a couple of observations:
-Black smoke when you rev it hard
-Had a couple of bubbles in the coolant after it was turned off (slightly concerning)
-Still hunts at idle
-After tapping the carb body with my hammer, the periodic stalling seems to have gone away (blocked float maybe?)
-Not running right still, after a bit of a rev it dies off and either stalls, or may idle.
-Exhaust sounds odd, I wonder if there is an obstruction somewhere.
-Tyres flat again!
-HP belt squeaky and irritating
-Turns over really quickly now the earths are sorted.
-No leaks!

So when it was in the correct position, up on axle stands she goes and remove a/c components-a-go! Wheel arch liner piece with compressor shield, nifty.
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Dryer, off. Will get a new one as this one is bound to be rubbish by now and they aren't hideously expensive.
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Oil coming out of the a/c hoses going into the expansion valve. Thought these lines should contain gas not oil! NB the amount of gas that came out when I disconnected the 1st hose was not even enough to disoldge the dead spider next to it, so no wonder the system was in/op.
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Lots and lots of swearing, clanging, adjustment of position (above, below, sideways etc) changing of tools and extensions later yielded this. A dissassembled engine bay a/c system (not the condensor, ran out of time), the worst parts were the two rear compressor bolts, they were very difficult to get to with averything else in the way (including the body of the compressor!). The a/c hoses were also on REALLY tight, even when the retaining nuts were removed the rubber seals took quite some effort so the hose could be removed.
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Does anyone have thoughts on re-using the hoses or having new ones made?

All tucked up again and time for home. I foolishly left the printed out wiring diagrams and technical bulletins at home, I had planned on checking the juice at each component to see what was/was not working. Ah well!
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I'm not a Saint, or a James, but a Tom Saint-James!

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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Jaba »

saintjamesy89 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 10:19 pm

Does anyone have thoughts on re-using the hoses or having new ones made?
Hi Tom, those old hoses will be brittle by now and will anyway be much more porous than newer hoses. If you decide to get new ones then you could have two new charging valves fitted somewhere near the condenser and drier connections making access easier and keeping them away from road spray. The new hoses probably wont be cheap.
As the oil circulates around with the refrigerant its probably best to get it all flushed out before regassing, especially if it is still R12 mineral oil which is not compatible with the later R134a oil.
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by xantia_v6 »

The A/C system contains a measured quantity of oil, most lives in the compressor, but some circulates with the refrigerant and there is always some in each component, making it difficult to guess how much oil to add when recharging a system that has been drained or had parts replaced. Talk to your A/C tech, he may want everything flushed out, or he may want it left as-is.

If the A/C system was originally filled with R12 gas, it will need new charging ports or adaptors added for R134A. R134 leaks faster than R12, so it is recommended to have new hoses made.

I have had 4 old Jags converted over the years, on one I had new hoses made, no problem other than expense, the next I tried with the original hoses, but one was porous and you could just about see the oil oozing out through the rubber, I had a new hose made, but the fitter was a bit ham-fisted and broke the evaporator fitting, so that was a big waste of money. The next one I did not change the hoses and there were no leaks. The last I did had 1975 hoses and no leaks, but after a while a high pressure hose popped out of its crimped fitting. So you can take your chances.

Make sure you find a tech that has experience converting R12 systems so that he has the knowledge to use a compatible oil and calculate the correct gas charge weight. Even better if he has crimping tools for making up hoses.

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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 »

Thanks for your replies and advice folks. I've organised a compressor service and conversion to R134a, not cheap! But better than putting an unknown unit on the car and spending ages tracking down faults.

I'm investigating how to get hold of new hoses, there isn't anyone obvious who's local to me, so I'd be grateful for any recommendations you learned chaps might have.

I had a thought today (ouch!) about the alternator and crank pullies, i wonder if these use a different belt? The a/c belt is ribbed and i have a sneaking suspicion that the GT's alternator belt isn't, as long as the alternator is good i suppose i could just swap these over. The crank pulley though...

Not sure when I'll next be up to tinker on the BX's, i might get a couple of hours this weekend but otherwise it'll be the following Sunday. Next week is looking very busy work wise and finishing with a night shift on Friday. I'll want to look at the condensor, radiator and fans next. I knew this was going to be a complicated project!
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 »

Time for another BXing installment! I'm going to go ahead and apologise in advance for any typos, grammar mistakes or silliness, this is my first day off after a really difficult week and a half of work, I have finally got a promotion after much discussion between my managers manager (he's on my side, rally nice guy) and HR, and now can expect another two rises between now and September as I get signed off on more stuff, anyway they have put me straight onto 12 hour day and night shifts aswell as normal days (9 till 5:30) and as some staff are still furloughed, we are all doing extra. So i'm having a pre-dinner beer whilst I write this up, with a bottle of red getting to temperature in the kitchen for dinner, this particular bottle we bought on the Citroen Challenge I went on in 2017 (i think!). What was I saying? Oh yeah, tired + beer = likely frivolity. If you can;t be arsed, I won;t blame you from skipping to the pictures, there is an AWFUL LOT of words here, so apologies, but if you have ever had a conversation with me you will know that I can go on a bit!

I had until 2pm today to tinker, so had an extra large coffee and walked the dog extra early so I could get up to the GT and tinker away! However my extra effort, and let me just emphasise that it IS an effort, of waking up earlier than I usually would on a day off was mostly ruined by having to queue to AGES in PetsatHome, the dog is due worming and de-fleaing and whilst the vets are still only open for emergencies we've resorted to a more retail outfit - my sisters discount helps matters too :D Tulip has a sister arriving on July 1st, so we want to have her porperly wormed and klingon free by the time the baby Sprocker spaniel 'Sprout' arrives (oh god, what have we let ourselves into...).

So that out of the way (we have a less than happy dog just now "Daddy this cheese has got yucky lumps innit") I got to the BX's for just gone 9 to tinker away. I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to get up to today, so decided to remove the rest of the engine bay a/c stuff from the TRS (i'm not putting off taking the dash apart AT ALL). I brought extra tools, coolant and oil draining apparatus, lunch, water, sweets and a wee-bottle, we all know you've gotta go when you've got to go! I'm sure the farm cows wouldn't mind hedge-watering, but the farmers might! It was quite a good tinkering session really, I can't for the life of me find my BX HBOL (haynes book of lies) so actually had to think and look at what I was doing, I do try and avoid thinking too much on my days off, but hey, it needed doing.

I was expecting to have to swap the GT and TRS radiators around, as the twin fan setup will be needed on the GT for the a/c, so to avoid starting messing around with coolant draining I had a go at the blower motor/fans first. As i'm sure most of you know, a/c cars have an additional blower fan, It was quite fiddly to get it all out, after struggling to get the last bolts out I gave in and took the windscreen wiper arm and scuttle panel off, which is necessary to remove the blower unit anyway, so really I shouldn't've been so lazy and just removed it in the first place! This is good, as the GT's wiper arm has shed the majority of its paint which has been bothering me for quite some time! It is one of those little jobs that will get sorted 'one day', but now the wiper is off I can actually get on and do it. Satin black should do the trick I think.

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You can see where the additional blower fits onto the cutout in the standard (larger, on the right) motor.

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Recirculation flaps, clean ones (top and far left) from Alex should work lovely, TRS units (bottom right and middle left) didn't work on the car but whos knows what electrical fuckwittery is going on.

Waaaay back when I was hunting down individual a/c components I bought some stuff from a lovely guy in Germany (Alex, BX 14 GT on here) who had converted his standard fuel injected MK2 14 to have a MK1 dash, he wanted to also have a/c but the car ended up being very rusty so was to be scrapped, IIRC he found a way to get the BX welded affordably after he sold me all his a/c parts :D The point being I have a choice of additional blower motors and recirculation flaps, Alex cleaned up the ones he had and tested them, so if the TRS ones don't work, I have these nice clean ones to use.

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What filth! Lots of crud under here! Blower motors removed, but recirc flaps in place still, interestingly both the recirc flaps and blower motors seem to be wired in series, so creating an extension of the GT's wiring (at least for the blower motors) shouldn't be too difficult. Another interesting point (keep you socks up folks), the airflow in the GT (one blower fan) feels about the same that in the TRS (two blower fans), maybe even better! There are lots of factors that could influence this, including the GT (non a/c) haveing a 1, 2 or 3 fan speed settign whereas the TRS (a/c) has a continuously variable slider for the fan speed - i'm hoping it is just dirty contacts or something but we'll see whan it is all cleaned up and transferred to the GT.

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Recirc flaps gone, I had forgotten I will need to drill and cut the GT's bulkhead for these. I'll also need to drill a hole for the dryer and in the bulkhead for the hoses to attach to the expansion valve on th interior. The dryer could probably be mounted without drilling a big hole in the inner wing to be honest.

TRS
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GT
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TRS
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GT
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In the absence of recirc flaps, the GT seems to have an exterior air exclusion flap - this is what can be heard closing I think when you move the fan control lever to '0', or to the left of 1 at least. I also removed the GT's single blower unit, the scuttle panel and wiper blade too of course.

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Next, onto the condenser! I was a bit anxious about this, I was really hoping not to have to find and purchase a new one of these as the cost of this a/c project is ramping up - not that I expected it to be cheap, especially having bought and imported a whole BX for the purpose! Thankfully, it looks ok, there are no crystals or obvious evidece of a leak, but then with a/c refirdgerant baing a gas I don't expect there to be much to see if there was a leak. The condenser slots between the radiator and coolant fans, it has lugs that sit in a lower support panel and is held in place by the top radiator panel, so once the top panel and fans are off it just lifts out, simples! I likes simples.

Two top panels are the same = good. Do I go the whole hog and paint this? Maybe, it'd be nice.
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Twin fans and top mounting bracket easily removed, the most difficult bit is unplugging them! Silly electrical connectors are behind/underneath the passenger headlight (RHD) with all sorts in the way, I was reluctant to give them a good tug because french electrics.
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Fans removed gives surprisingly good acccess to the condenser.
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Dirty, but looks ok (I think!)
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Condenser bottom support panel, needed to swap over the rubber bungs as the TRS ones had an extra slot in them for this panel.
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The extra fan upper (1st image) and lower (2nd image) mounting brackets are very sensibly bolted onto the car, whereas the original ones are welded or bonded, this makes swapping over nice and easy.
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HOWEVER, how on earth do you install captive nuts in panels or box sections where there is no access? I think I will have to drill holes in the slam panel and the cross member underneath the radiator to allow me to secure these mounts. Is this going to be a structural integrity issue? Being ignorant, I would hope that drilling two lower (under radiator crossmember) and one upper (slam panel) 10-15mm hole would be ok?

Where the slam panel hole would need to be, drilling though the top to allow a nut to go inside this section above where my finger is. Not sure what the triangle is all about, it was under the yellow sticker I peeled back! Here a new sticker could go over the top of the hole, making it neat and tidy. I'm sure I sawa new set of enginebay stickers on ebay recently, must investigate.
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It seems that MK1's used a set of two single fans, I was expecting them to both be in a single unit. The TRS' fans are the top two and the GT's the bottom one here. I wonder if MK2's used the same?
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I stole the TRS' relay mounting bracket, it has 6 relays whereas the GT has 1! I have a few wiring diagrams/technical bulltiins so I can hopefully figure out what relays I need and where, but that can wait till I get into the dash and need to think about all the wiring requirements, i'm not looking forward to that tbh. For the TRS I'm thinking a relay or two for the radiator fans, one for the compressor and one for the air blower motors, maybe one for the autobox too?
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I realised that after I removed the a/c hoses, I didn't label or photograph them to know which go where! A very nice man, and a proper BX'er has offered to make me up some new a/c hoses at cost, so I have these at home ready to be sent off now I have a record of which goes where!
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There are a couple of things i need to do next before any more BX a/c stuff happens, research and purchasing etc.

-Buy new a/c belt, GOOD NEWS! The a/c belt is the same width/pattern as the GT's non-a/c belt, that means I don't have to swap alternators and crank pulley's about, thank goodness
-Buy new dryer/receiver
-Buy new sump gasket x 2, one for the normal sump and one for the alloy a/c sump
-Buy a load more 10mm bolts and nuts, I seem to be very good at losing these and what remains are quite rusty
-Think about short-nosed bonnets, would it be at all possible to cut the existing bonnet? It'd make things much simpler (paint/colour, GT badge etc)
-Think about radiator fan switches, I know the GT's works but I don't think the TRS' works, i'd be happier with a new twin-fan switch

Next job is the oil sump, unfortunately I have read that some poeple have had flywheel clearance issues. Let's see what happens here, I really hope this isn't going to be an issue, it seems the options are to replace the flywheel with a smaller unit or grind down the sump - neither are ideal! But I would probably go with modifying the sump for ease and lesser expense, we'll see.

Laters.
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by mat_fenwick »

saintjamesy89 wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:36 pm
HOWEVER, how on earth do you install captive nuts in panels or box sections where there is no access? I think I will have to drill holes in the slam panel and the cross member underneath the radiator to allow me to secure these mounts. Is this going to be a structural integrity issue? Being ignorant, I would hope that drilling two lower (under radiator crossmember) and one upper (slam panel) 10-15mm hole would be ok?
Probably the easiest way would be to install rivnuts - if you're installing a lot of them best to get the proper tool, but for a few it is possible to improvise with a screw, nut and washer.
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Basically hold the allen key stationary, and use a spanner (ideally a ratchet spanner) to wind the nut towards the rivnut. An oiled washer between the nut and rivnut stops the latter from also rotating, so compresses it and locks it into place.

As an aside, I have a book which may be of interest - I can loan it to you when I send you the hoses if you want?
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 »

That's great info, thanks Matt! Will look into those Rivnuts, saves me drilling holes in panels. I'd love to borrow your a/c manual too :D
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 »

Hoses sent off for copying, Mat and i have discussed alternative charging ports as having them aylt the compressor couplings risks all sorts of road dirt, salt, grime and wet.

Got the compressor back today, £200+ later mind! But, it's shiny, has a warranty and looks like a proper job.
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Jaba »

Glad you took on board the idea of charging ports away from road spray. Its a mystery to me why Citroen had only one port on the high side and right underneath the car too. You will need 12 orings of varying sizes to connect it all up again. Another thing to look out for is when you want to remove the evaporator from the central plenum you have to extract the temperature sensor first. This is not the easiest of operations needless to say.
The recon compressor looks good. Cheaper than buying new I notice as I paid more than that for a new Nissens one a few years back.
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1985 CITROEN BX 19DTR C943DYA (again)
1985 CITROEN BX 19GT C1TBX
1991 CITROEN BX 19TZI AUTO A/C BXi 19
1994 CITROEN XANTIA 1.8 SXi M908HRY
x 107

Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Tim Leech »

My TzI has aircon which has never worked in my ownership..,following
1963 VW BEETLE 1200
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1985 BX 19 DTR Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL
1979 Rover SD1 V8-S
1980 Morris Marina 1.7 HL
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

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saintjamesy89
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Location: Cider country
My Cars: 1985 Citroen BX19 GT
1988 Volvo 740 2.0 GL Hearse
2007 Lexus RX 400h SE
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by saintjamesy89 »

Its felt lile a long week or rwo, but i spent the afternoon BX tinkering today. I had great aspurations of swapping the sumps over and installing the condensor and radiator fans.
In reality, all i managed was to remove the YRS alloy sump and clean 90% of the gasket from the block. Horrible job on a MK1 with HP pipes and the under engine brace that runs from the lower radiator panel to the body/subframe, quite a few things to remove with very little access.

The old oil smelt of petrol and was very thin, there was a fair bit of sludge in the pan too so im glad that's out of the TRS' engine at the very least! I don't really want to leave the engine open underneath so will see if i can get up there one evening in the week, its looking like a busy one so we'll have to see.

The sump is off though, there is some damage to.one of the bolt holes, and a small cracked area, but i hope these won't be an issue. I absolutely did not put it in the dishwasher whilst the OH was at work... its come up quite nicely now.
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20200622_151248.jpg
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I'm not a Saint, or a James, but a Tom Saint-James!

Mes voitures:
1985 Citroen BX19 GT
1988 Volvo 740 2.0 GL Hearse
2006 Lexus RX 400h SE hybrid

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Tim Leech
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Location: Burton on Trent
My Cars: 1963 VW BEETLE 1200 KGJ413A
1979 Rover SD1 3.5 V8-S TSL 982
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL DBV468W
1985 CITROEN BX 19DTR C943DYA (again)
1985 CITROEN BX 19GT C1TBX
1991 CITROEN BX 19TZI AUTO A/C BXi 19
1994 CITROEN XANTIA 1.8 SXi M908HRY
x 107

Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by Tim Leech »

Dishwashers make excellent parts washers!
1963 VW BEETLE 1200
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1985 BX 19 DTR Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL
1979 Rover SD1 V8-S
1980 Morris Marina 1.7 HL
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

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mat_fenwick
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:08 pm
Location: North Wales
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Re: GT mediated Awesomeness

Post by mat_fenwick »

Ideally you'd get that welded, but a penny washer (trimmed) would probably do a reasonable job of spreading the load and enable you to use that hole.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
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1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
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