ZX corner

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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citsncycles
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Re: ZX corner

Post by citsncycles » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:05 pm

My Mate John had a 19D Auto ZX for many years, and the headlights (particularly on dip) were his biggest complaint.

Clutch noise sounds like it might be the release bearing - either that or excessive end float on the input shaft - I've known motors soldier on for years with both!
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Philip Chidlow
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Re: ZX corner

Post by Philip Chidlow » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:28 pm

A quick update on the ZX. It's been used daily and done a few long-ish trips and so far it's not put a foot wrong. It's getting new tyres (cold weather ones) in the next couple of weeks and, weather permitting will not only get a good clean and polish it'll also get it's minor exhaust blow fixed. If I get a chance - or rather if Phil B can - and we have a nice bit of fair weather we'll give the car a road test and prod around. Then we'll have a better idea if what's needed and when.

I think as an exercise in basic motor car design the ZX is brilliant. It does everything you'd expect it to do competently and it's cleverly design in parts, with very little there that doesn't contribute something other than decoration. Even a BX could be considered a bit blingy or dare-I-say fussy compared to this ZX. The engine's a peach - if a little noisy, and the economy's good at mid to upper 40's.

Of course, being 18 yrs old and French it does have some foibles and faults that need attending to, but the list isn't too long and I don't think it'll cost much to do either. As far as the headlights go I now have a new pair and some good Philips H1 bulbs. With some upgrading of the wiring I know they'll be tons better. And just for good measure I have a couple of Hellas to fit under the bumper...

The biggest cost will be the rear axle and subframe mounts. I'm going to get hold of another half-decent rear axle and pay Phil Boxall to refurbish it. Once it's ready to fit we'll do the whole rear ensuring it's nice and solid and rust protected. On the the front; drop links and other bits and pieces including, possibly new top mounts (with the turrets getting an overhaul as necessary). I really would like new shocks and springs and have found this (I'm tempted, but maybe I'll use just stuff that's closer to OE - KYB components look good for instance) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251241637679" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Brakes too will be done, with new (Brembo maybe) discs and good pads and shoes for the rear, plus new (Pagid) flexis front and rear. We're hopefully putting Motul RBF 660, Shell Donax UB Racing or similar brake fluid into the system too. OK it's only got 71 bhp or so but for some fun at low speed (less brake cooling of course) on the mountain roads of a Challenge, you can't be too careful.

Induction: the cold air feed goes on probably in the Spring, complete with Jetex cone.

So I am a n/a diesel powered boy racer... well might as well have a bit of a laff.

Other jobs are to fix the Central locking. It works when it wants to - someone suggested dodgy solenoid. Must check that out (if I knew where it was!) and the dash lights need replacing as only about a third of them seem to work. Not a job I really want to do. If the dash comes out then there might be a few other bits (check heater matrix and so on) that could be attended to. Definitely a job for a lazy summer weekend.

Essentially I would like to get the ZX (Zebedee as it's now called) nicely prepped for the Challenge, sure, but also as a thoroughly reliable and economical runabout. And I have no doubt it's going to be worth it.

*Another note* As Phil B and I are planning this to be our Challenge(s) car I want to explore the options for weight-saving (OK, OK eat less, I know lol) - for the CAR. Being a three door helps (and helps with body stiffness - the CAR!), removing the rear seat (I'm guessing that's not as easy as it sounds) will save maybe 45 kgs. Not much, but that's all our clothes, camping kit and tools I reckon. Can't really think of much else to take out: it's pretty darned minimal as it is!
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
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mat_fenwick
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Re: ZX corner

Post by mat_fenwick » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:02 pm

Have you thought about braided hoses? I've had good improvements on bikes before, but not a huge difference on cars. Earlier this year I had to replace the hoses on the van, and for the cost difference of £30 versus £45 I went for braided.

There was a noticeable improvement, but can't be certain whether that was partly down to the new calipers I fitted at the same time. Either way, might be worth looking at the cost difference if you need to do the job anyway.
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Re: ZX corner

Post by Philip Chidlow » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:12 pm

Sounds like a must. Kermit suggested the same... But where do I source them for the ZX?


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Re: ZX corner

Post by mat_fenwick » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:01 am

I dunno - I didn't expect to find some for an old (fairly uncommon) German commercial vehicle...hardly the performance weapon of choice! But eBay came to the rescue :) I think the Volcane came with rear discs, so may have different hoses if there is a choice. I'd be confident other models were all the same though.

EDIT - Here you go! A bit more expensive than I'd imagined, so might be worth shopping around, even try Googling the part number for bargains.

The only time I've fitted them to a car with no other changes, I think I'd have been struggling to tell the difference. I put that down to the fact that bikes have long flexible hoses and short rigid pipes whereas cars are the other way around, hence hose expansion will have a smaller effect. Plus you're using your foot rather than hand to brake with. But if the price differential is small then maybe worth it for longevity and bling factor ;)
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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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Re: ZX corner

Post by Philip Chidlow » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:02 am

Interesting. OK so they're relatively expensive but if the discs, pads, shoes and fluid are all being replaced with high quality parts with possibly higher specs than standard then it makes sense to go the whole hog. I'll have to see what Santa brings lol


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Re: ZX corner

Post by Defender110 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:19 am

Philip Chidlow wrote: all being replaced with high quality parts with possibly higher specs than standard
Brembo?
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Philip Chidlow
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Re: ZX corner

Post by Philip Chidlow » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:35 am

Dunno. Brembo discs for the ZX are quite cheap. Bendix likewise. What would the recommendation be? And while we're at it, I'm completely open to suggestions for pads and shoes... :)


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Re: ZX corner

Post by Philip Chidlow » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:04 am

Tarox discs for my ZX would cost over £150. A bit excessive. EBC, TRW and Mintex are all possibilities however.


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Re: ZX corner

Post by Tinkley » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:10 pm

Personal opinion would be, you have got it right Philip. The Bendix set will be as factory unless an uprated kit, and I would expect the Brembo set to be at absolute minimum the same as the Bendix but probably slightly better. Part of the reasoning is that on the road (not track) there are a lot of twisty, hilly, and tricky roads in Italy where Brembo test stuff and most Italian stuff works on this. It has to if you drive with brio or you won't be around long... :lol:

Not had a problem with the Brembos' on my NordWest which could bunny hop at any time quite safely, yet had plenty of feed back and controllability. That bike was capable of a genuine 118mph so you did need some anchors. It would cruise at 100 til the petrol ran out, or your wrist sufferered Reynauds and you had to stop to let it recover...

I have seen first hand, old Leyland stuff, Marinas and Minis with near failed overheating brakes after a 10 - 15 mile descent from over 2,000 meters in the Alps. Never saw an Italian or a BX with the same problem, even if you factor in a caravan!. My old Sunbeam would have been OK with the Lucas Girling set up on it but I have been in some vehicles (especially Transit 2s) which did not have anything like enough brake power and/or sensitivity, and that was on mild slopes in Blighty.. :lol: No further comment on Transit 2 except in a strong wind on the A46 Leicester to Uppingham road they would rock diagonally at 60mph whilst a similar Sherpa was rock steady at 80mph. As our Romanian cousins would say 'you do the maths' ... :lol: I nearly ploughed a roundabout with a minibus full of people thanks to their awful brakes.

As for the pads for the Brembo discs, Ferodo, Ferodo, Ferodo...the patterns (proper Ferodo but not Piaggio/Gilera branded) I used on the Nordy were identical to the originals. In fact I would put 100 quid on them BEING the originals.
Bet they give best wear, performance in the wet and feel.
My experience of EBC is less good in the wet, they 'tear' the disc more and wear out slightly faster. If you look at the material it is a coarser 'grain' than Ferodo or Bendix pads. Not very scientific I admit but these days I prefer a more integrated more homogeneous material. I suspect this has better heat dispersal and certainly has fewer 'hard' points to 'tear' the disc surface, and yes this is almost exclusively on the non asbestos modernish pads. The Mintex on the BX are OK but squeal and have more wear, going back to Bendix.

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Re: ZX corner

Post by Philip Chidlow » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:21 am

Thanks for the insight. I'm going to give it some thought.... And, although at the end of the day it's not a WTCC car - I just have to give consideration to what it's going to be asked to do in 2015 - if not sooner lol
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Re: ZX corner

Post by Tinkley » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:12 am

Cheers Philip. My comments were meant to apply to road conditions not track stuff. We (the normal human drivers) need stuff that works in the real world and gives decent performance for our money.
Track and racing stuff at the bleeding edge doesn't worry about wearing discs out, pads, tyres, etc as long as the thing stops.
Doesn't mean we can't have a bit of fun sometimes on the road, two wheels or four.

The old Morini had Grimeca discs which were chrome plated and had special pads for them designed for the chrome surface. Wear limit was 0.1mm on disc thickness. They worked fine as long as you had the Ferodo pads for them. All others (pad types) chewed up the chrome....
Only strange behaviour was in the wet. If you had been riding in hot dry conditions for a while ie several weeks and it rained hard it took a little while for the pad surface glaze to disintegrate. The first few lever squeezes had to be a bit firmer than normal. After they had 'normalised' they were fine. Much better than the Japanese brakes which were stainless and the nothing happened til it grabbed hard!... usually too hard. Personally I prefer the European take on lever/pedal pressures, ie push/pull hard if you need to stop hard rather than ultralight push/pull lock up position almost instantly. It is just the hydraulic pressure engineering and ratios but in a panic I believe it is safer to not have instant grabbing with light pressure. Yes I know ABS is supposed to solve the problem but it would not have saved my last accident and it can (if not engineered correctly) hide the true power being applied to the brakes. I just like the feedback.

I have ridden a few bikes with not quite enough brake - Kawasaki 500 from the late 80s' being one and it is simply not safe. If you can lock up the front - just, in the dry at low speed you have enough, if combined with good tyres. Note the BX (and I'm sure your ZX) complies with this 'rule of thumb' approach to brake power.

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Re: ZX corner

Post by Philip Chidlow » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:25 am

The ZX brakes are nicely balanced in this respect. Progressive and relatively easy to cadence brake (no ABS!). Heel and toeing (I rarely do - more for a bit of fun than anything else) is easier with the ZX than with the BX. It's been a few months since I drove a BX but I remember the brakes on those as taking some getting used to when transitioning from a 'normal' car, but they were fabulous.

So, based upon research, advice and budget, it looks like this combination: Brembo discs with Brembo or Ferodo pads. Mintex rear shoes. Motul RBF 660 brake fluid and braided flexible hoses all round. The wheels are holed steels (which will be trim-less on the Challenge) and the tyres will be 175/65/14 Kleber Dynaxer HP3. Over this winter it'll have Riken Snowtime tyres. Combined with suspension overhaul (front springs, front and rear shocks (all KYB probably), new subframe mounts and all the drop links/tie-rod ends etc and a refurbished rear axle as deemed necessary) it should feel pretty secure.

I am completely aware though that this is an 18 year old car and that anything like brakes or suspension etc. is only going to be as good as it's weakest link. So before I jump in with both feet the structure will be once again checked and fixed as necessary (on the ramps a few weeks ago it passed muster, but to be sure we'll be paying more attention to those 'hard-to-reach' structural parts) - even considering strengthening the front strut turrets and ensuring those places under most stress are 100%. Oh how I wish we had a garage workshop with lift!

Another thing to do is to make sure the driver's seat doesn't break: the 3-doors suffered from this so if anyone's breaking a 3-door ZX or Pug 306 and the front seats are good, let me know ;) I hadn't really considered this for the Challenge, but now, as I type this I wonder if there are suitable generic sports seats (that don't crush your buttocks!) that might be adapted to fit? mmmm... ;)
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Re: ZX corner

Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:10 pm

Philip Chidlow wrote:considering strengthening the front strut turrets and ensuring those places under most stress are 100%.
Check very carefully for corrosion - I had a ZX in recently for a cambelt change and I wish I'd taken a photo for you. Inside the turret the underbody coating was largely intact, apart from a small crack in it. This had allowed water in which was then trapped, and when picked at was rather flaky. The only sign from above was a slight staining around the seam. Not the first I've seen with rust in this area.
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1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
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Re: ZX corner

Post by Philip Chidlow » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:39 pm

I think I'd rather be safe than sorry, so yes, we're going to be doing a fair amount of digging about before spending much. Vactan might be the first thing to order along with some seam sealer and Phil Boxall's welding time! Having said that it's not looking too bad having prodded around from both sides of the arches/wings. To be sure though it'll be a case of removing things like the PAS fluid reservoir and heater plug relay box etc.
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• 2006 Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v