Elusive LHM leak

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Elusive LHM leak

Post by Thread Bear »

A classic 5 minute job this one. I changed the leaking accumulator drain rubber pipe from accumulator to clear plastic pipe leading back to the reserve. While I had the car up in the air I changed the front wheels. Then got ready to undo the accumulator sphere for change itself.
Thats when things started to go wrong. Geoff Capes put this sphere on. I cannot budge it. I have now broken the chain wrench that has until now never been undefeated. That gave me a smack in the eye worthy of a rugby match and meant 30 minute putting a lense back into my glasses. I still cannot focus properly.

So I gave up on that as time was pressing to go and meet someone. Back on its wheels, start up. A new LHM leak on the n/s front but on the front edge of the crossmember. Wheel off jacked up and look with car running. No leak. Wheel on back on ground, leak. Jack up, no leak. Down, leak. Another cycle and I got bored. Put blocks under the wheel so it was loaded. There is LHM coming from somewhere behind the crossmember end and running down the return for the suspension by the looks of it. But no split evident in the two visible pipes. I cannot really understand what is going on. I never touched any of that and expected the fault was to be the pathetic union of three pipes sat on top of the crossmember that falls apart about once a month. Any Ideas?

One thing is for certain this continual failure of the return system to be reliable, it takes particular delight in failing on a non moveable appointment, is rendering the BX useless as everyday transport. The irritation is that had I put the car into service as planned instead of having to rush without proper facilities, due to the van blowing up and no proper workshop, much of this silly nonsense would have been removed, as I am ever more firmly convinced that the hydraulic system needs to be re engineered to remove these weak points entirely. I had rather hoped a modification kit might have come into existence. It is the Achilles heel of the car design made no better by Citroen not supporting its older products. As it is I am beginning to feel I might have to shelve BX for the moment and buy something that has not got this in built issue, as I am running out of time to make this car reliable before I get into heavy property renovation. The knock on will mean clearing the decks of the support cars as the whole BX project gets subordinated by whatever comes in as replacement.

So I will give the car a few more days but the shed door is opening for long term storage for being naughty unless I can get the thing to be reliable.
Miguel - 16 TRS Auto S, light blue, 43k miles - £450
Pluto - 14 E S, White, 105k Miles - in work
Egbert - 19 16v Gti, White, A/C & Leather, - Keeper
Walt - 17 TZD Turbo S, graphite, 70k miles, good op extras - Keeper
Scraper- 17 TZD Turbo E, blue, 208k miles - parts
Homer - 19 TXD E, Red, 189k miles - £250
Gary - 17 TZD Turbo E, 118k miles - in work

'87 Trooper, Borgwards, Saabs, MG ZB, Bellamy Trials, Fiat Jolly & Bianchina, Goggo Dart, Messerschmitt, Heinkel, Bubblecars

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Re: Elusive LHM leak

Post by rutter123 »

sounds a tho you have a low pressure fluid return pipe leaking, one suspect is the fdv fluid return pipe which is a plastic pipe that runs from the fdv across the top of the gearbox and down onto a small rubber connector just above the subframe at the rear, the rubber can perish and leak in this area usually dripping off the back of the n/s subframe, and it will only be a few drips as this is a low pressure return line, i recently had this happen on the tgd an easy fix with 6 inch piece of 4mm fuel line and 2 spring clips.
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Re: Elusive LHM leak

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The security valve is on the n/s just behind the front wheel. The rubber connector to the clear pipe perishes and LHM can travel down the outside of the pipe until it drips off. It can be repaired with a stub of fuel hose but I've got to say it's quite a fiddle of a job because although you can see it, access is not good!
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Re: Elusive LHM leak

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Recovered my patience a bit this evening :? . Out helping move my mates cars to put industrial racking up at the back of his shed after he came over to collect me. A 6 hour stint of moving Piper, Marcos, Siva and such oddities around a large building :D . Just finished that and got home so a quick look to see what suggestions there were. This security valve thing sound like a likely culprit. Anyway since it is non terminal I should be able to get to Rob's and we can get the thing on a ramp and try and see what's going on. Also enough room to get a grunt bar on the stuck sphere if he has a Snap On chain wrench! Apparently I am developing a mild black eye 8) .
Miguel - 16 TRS Auto S, light blue, 43k miles - £450
Pluto - 14 E S, White, 105k Miles - in work
Egbert - 19 16v Gti, White, A/C & Leather, - Keeper
Walt - 17 TZD Turbo S, graphite, 70k miles, good op extras - Keeper
Scraper- 17 TZD Turbo E, blue, 208k miles - parts
Homer - 19 TXD E, Red, 189k miles - £250
Gary - 17 TZD Turbo E, 118k miles - in work

'87 Trooper, Borgwards, Saabs, MG ZB, Bellamy Trials, Fiat Jolly & Bianchina, Goggo Dart, Messerschmitt, Heinkel, Bubblecars

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Re: Elusive LHM leak

Post by Way2go »

Thread Bear wrote:Also enough room to get a grunt bar on the stuck sphere if he has a Snap On chain wrench!
It's easy to snap the chain wrenches on spheres! Actually a cold chisel at an angle on the weld and whacked with a hammer is very effective technique on the accumulator sphere. 8)
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Re: Elusive LHM leak

Post by BX Bandit »

So crude though! If you are into bx ownership anything longer than short term, a proper sphere wrench is worth buying or making
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Re: Elusive LHM leak

Post by Tinkley »

Do that accumulator!. Apparently when small unions etc fail it is a sign thatthe accumulator pressure is low. Still have to replace poxy failed pipe or union. I've had a couple of those little green Y pieces fail because of low pressure allied to old age.
I do have a monster chain wrench - must be 20-25mm across the chain if you need it. It was when the last but one car required a 4 foot bar to remove a rear one I decided to invest.

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Re: Elusive LHM leak

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I am pretty patient but I am not winning this battle :( . There have been two more LHM failures to fix and now the N/S suspension rubber has sprung a leak on the lower edge of the sort of square bit #-o . Either there is a lot of pressure in there or changing the spheres has changed the dynamic of the return system such that all the rubbers are failing. Therefore the car cannot be reliable until it has had the entire return system serviced, which was my original intention later in the year. Sadly therefore I think I hit break even on budget and the car comes off the road to be stashed until such time I can chuck away all the old rubber parts :cry: . That might be a longer time as unless Homer can save the day. I need another sort of car. That could lead to a change of interest. I doubt it though as I do not like most of what is out there!
I will attempt Stratford in Homer, or make an appearance in something, to fulfil obligations made to certain Forum members. I also still need to learn a heck of a lot about models and stuff for the future work in hand. So this one failure is not the end. Indeed I fear it was predictable as I am normally a pretty good judge of a car.

I NEED A RAMP! ](*,)
Miguel - 16 TRS Auto S, light blue, 43k miles - £450
Pluto - 14 E S, White, 105k Miles - in work
Egbert - 19 16v Gti, White, A/C & Leather, - Keeper
Walt - 17 TZD Turbo S, graphite, 70k miles, good op extras - Keeper
Scraper- 17 TZD Turbo E, blue, 208k miles - parts
Homer - 19 TXD E, Red, 189k miles - £250
Gary - 17 TZD Turbo E, 118k miles - in work

'87 Trooper, Borgwards, Saabs, MG ZB, Bellamy Trials, Fiat Jolly & Bianchina, Goggo Dart, Messerschmitt, Heinkel, Bubblecars

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Re: Elusive LHM leak

Post by Mothman »

Do you mean something like these?

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Re: Elusive LHM leak

Post by Thread Bear »

Good ramps indeed.

No the frustration is I am moving. I have no workshop back up as its all packed. Where I am moving to I have a new workshop/garage going up. I own the main garage building already as I bought it off site in Hampshire via a friend of mine who was working for English Heritage Buildings at the time. It was being replaced by a house. Its a 47 ft by 18ft oak framed job that folk who take country life get dribbley about. I got it for £3,000, flat packed it, took it home and stored it, bargain. It has four 10 foot bays and the second in is perfect for having a proper four post garage ramp installed. This will make working on BX so much simpler, and my other large cars. I need an older unit, Bradbury?, with adjustable wheel track so my oddball stuff can go on it, should be cheaper. Also it will allow the small cars to be stored in the roof space of the garage building, which I am extending into an L shape. It will be petrol head heaven and what I always wanted.
The house, what say you? Its a mess, ugly and inefficient but I bought the place so I could get a decent garage up at last. The plan is go green with windmill etc. Hopefully to the extent of no Utilities, tricky but possible.

Now the theory was I would have this done for next spring at the latest. The van therefore needed to be kept till Chrimbo time for moving in and building. But no, it blew up. All great plans have fundamental flaws. Gary the BX has been offered the opportunity to step up to the plate. Its failed. Cars round here have to pull their weight, even Messerschmitts get pressed into hard service doing the Post Office run etc. Its what vehicles are for. I always knew that there was going to be this issue of rotting rubber so Gary gets a second chance later. The hope is Homer can rise to the challenge. Battered and worn as he is, the rule of sod maybe that despite having done twice the mileage, and four times the work, he is the better car. Not least as invoices show regular maintenance with people who know, not a large gap of unknown fiddling by 'a mate down the road' as Gary X came with. I have a ready parts source, Gary X, well he blew it! However with my attention on building etc I need a back up car in case of troubles.

Pic of garage might get posted on my blog.
Miguel - 16 TRS Auto S, light blue, 43k miles - £450
Pluto - 14 E S, White, 105k Miles - in work
Egbert - 19 16v Gti, White, A/C & Leather, - Keeper
Walt - 17 TZD Turbo S, graphite, 70k miles, good op extras - Keeper
Scraper- 17 TZD Turbo E, blue, 208k miles - parts
Homer - 19 TXD E, Red, 189k miles - £250
Gary - 17 TZD Turbo E, 118k miles - in work

'87 Trooper, Borgwards, Saabs, MG ZB, Bellamy Trials, Fiat Jolly & Bianchina, Goggo Dart, Messerschmitt, Heinkel, Bubblecars

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Re: Elusive LHM leak

Post by Tinkley »

A bit of bad luck I think TB. You put your finger on something with your last post and something in your Excess etc blog. The luxury of space, an undervalued commodity which will be in shorter supply in the 21st century. I was lucky to get an old bungalow with space to put a workshop for boat building/repair and it has a (leaky asbestos concrete panel roof) garage - currently with 3 m/cycles in it. After 250-300 tons of earth was removed and a small matter of a 100 foot Dougls Fir theres off street parking. Many are not going to be quite so lucky for space, don't get me started on planning etc :roll:

The rubber bits ie suspension returns, cooling hoses, junctions etc are always going to be suspect on even a 13-15 year old car, along with belts etc. At least when they are done you can have some confidence in it. You are still welcome to borrow the chain wrench BTW, it is unusual for an accumulator to be so difficult its usually the rears. Maybe it has never been changed which would be a good cause of extra pressure and the leaks. I agree with Kitch, the GSF front return rubbers (whilst easy to change) are the incorrect grade of material and do not have the life of earlier versions that they sold or the originals.

On my first Athena (13yrs old with 53k on it) I changed all major cooling hoses, belts, returns, rear arm bearings, spheres, etc and it was pretty reliable. After 60k the alternator played up but otherwise no other issues. I still reckon that was good cheap motoring. That alternator was the last time I called out the RAC too - a hit it with heavy hammer jobbie to get you home, then replace.

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Re: Elusive LHM leak

Post by Defender110 »

Thread Bear wrote:I am pretty patient but I am not winning this battle :( . There have been two more LHM failures to fix and now the N/S suspension rubber has sprung a leak on the lower edge of the sort of square bit #-o . Either there is a lot of pressure in there or changing the spheres has changed the dynamic of the return system such that all the rubbers are failing.


Strut return pipe failure is a common fault with the old pipes or non-genuine pattern parts but persistent failures can also be a sign of the struts themselves bypassing too much LHM, they are only designed to weep.
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Re: Elusive LHM leak

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Tinkley wrote:After 250-300 tons of earth was removed and a small matter of a 100 foot Dougls Fir theres off street parking.
Interesting.........how much did it cost you for the felling of such a tree? I presume the root system was quite extensive too? :?: :)
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Re: Elusive LHM leak

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Hi W2G, it cost £1250 (2004 prices) to take down 6 Scots pines, smallest 50', largest 80' debrush the Douglas Fir and with a 1200mm bar Stihl drop the remaining 60'+ of it. Perfect drop, alongside the bungalow. My neighbours 5 doors down could tell me the exact time(!) it dropped. Lovely hinge about 32-35 width. We had her roped with a purchase to the base of a big Leylandii to induce the initial motion and a lot of brush to break the fall and stop bounce. Perfect job by the boys who chipped the brush and left the branches and ringed the pines. I had had Fir planked with a Lucas Mill 600mm 6 tooth petrol engined circular. Some of that tree is my back door, holding up the kitchen roof, dormer window sides etc.

The pine went in the wood burners - I'm not too fussy as long as its dry. The Fir scrap burned well and for a long time too. BTW the D Fir was 65 years old and 100'+. Theres a few of them round here, I think from WW2 when Canadians were stationed roundabout. Prices for doing the job (I got quotes) varied by a factor of 3 so get a lot of quotes and not from pikeys.

The root system was extensive but not mega deep as I'm on the greensand ridge at the western end of the Weald. Bedrock is about 5-6' down. However it did cost the blade of an electric (crap) chainsaw and took a 3 ton Kubota digger 12 hours to extract the root. Also a 5 ton fork and the digger to get the root onto a lorry after I had mattocked all the earth off the root stems. Well worth the money for tree felling. The earth moving was part of root removal and creating a base for the workshop - 10 ton scalping, 10 ton ballast etc. Also required retaining drained wall - 9" concrete blocks with steel rods and concrete filled plus facing bricks. It's these 1800 bricks I shifted in the BX....from a local brick company who made the original house bricks in 1935!.

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Re: Elusive LHM leak

Post by Way2go »

Wow! Quite an operation! :shock: Thanks for the story. :D
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