BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Anything about BXs
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Thread Bear
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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by Thread Bear »

Sorry, I am still laughing at the notion of a Mini having power steering. Its not a Mini really, is it, if it needs that? Nice enough cars, but more retro styling in an industrial desert of new ideas. I am waiting for the Chrysler Sherman all wheel drive sports two seater for the European market. There is even an aquatic version (used by the PR dept to suggest how light the car is, with added nubile).

A handy cheap insurance deal makes a bit of a difference to keeping a BX, or other old timer. Sad to say even a minor bump rather means a trip to the great scrapyard in the sky but in terms of cheaper motoring for the clewed up its nothing but good news. The bummer is the Road Fund License. No real way round this and a killer for those without off road parking.
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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

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electrokid
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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by electrokid »

I thought it was sudden and unpredictable failure of the pump that was the problem with the mini PS - coupled with less experienced drivers who didn't realise that the steering wasn't actually completely stuck and would still respond if enormous effort was applied ?

I think that ECUs going into limp mode could be a safety issue in some circumstances. I've heard of indicators continuing to operate a few times after they have been cancelled - whilst that is probably also not seen as much of a problem there will be circumstances where it will be.

A lot of effort is applied to try to make sure that as many problems as possible are solved or avoided but there will always be the odd failure that gets through. It annoys me a bit that the residual problems with modern kit seem to be seen as a minor consequence of trying very hard and being very modern whereas problems with older designs seem to be seen as a consequence of using a particular technology when in reality a similar amount of effort was successfully used to produce things such as the excellent, and actually very reliable, BX hydraulic system.

As for 'crap design' - well possibly - but then engineering design is often much about doing the best thing for the least effort / cost - sometimes 'the best thing' wins (BX hydraulics) and sometimes the least effort / cost is more obvious
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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by Stinkwheel »

electrokid wrote:sometimes 'the best thing' wins (BX hydraulics) and sometimes the least effort / cost is more obvious
To be fair the BX and the XM hydraulic systems were a compromise in themselves, citroen had already shown us how to do it properly with GS/A and CX double wishbone set up on front suspenders.

The Macpherson strut sytle hydraulics are done purely because they were cheaper than the double wishbones which gave better ride and handling.
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electrokid
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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by electrokid »

Totally agree re double wishbones even though the way the Macpherson struts are implemented on the BX is a lot better than some things I've driven. There are many compromises within any design - just a feeling in my water that some modern designs start out with cheapness at the centre of the drawing board then engineered to be workable / safe as possible whereas some older designs had 'successful engineering' as the starting point and then designed for cost effective manufacture.

RE electric PS pump - easy to see why it's an interesting idea - no need to have a belt from the engine which may have to be redesigned for different models depending on available space so there's cost saving there - ability to use any range of engines with or without provision for a PS pump, and the rack / PS pump design is easily transferable from one vehicle design to another.

But... would I want a car with an electric PS pump that has known issues or would I want a car with an engine driven PS pump with a proven track record of reliability - I don't really know what the answer is because I've never had problems with PS but then I've always had engine driven pumps.

I just think that there are perceptions that are skewed towards 'the modern' for no good engineering reasons. That, for example, problems with electric PS pumps are bound to happen because they are a new idea and innovative whereas problems with BX hydraulics exist because it's an old idea past its 'use by' date.

I think that hydraulic suspension is better than sprung suspension - but better suspension had to be a concept at the start of the design.
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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by Thread Bear »

Stinkwheel wrote:
electrokid wrote:sometimes 'the best thing' wins (BX hydraulics) and sometimes the least effort / cost is more obvious
To be fair the BX and the XM hydraulic systems were a compromise in themselves, citroen had already shown us how to do it properly with GS/A and CX double wishbone set up on front suspenders.

The Macpherson strut sytle hydraulics are done purely because they were cheaper than the double wishbones which gave better ride and handling.
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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

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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by mat_fenwick »

electrokid wrote:some modern designs start out with cheapness at the centre of the drawing board then engineered to be workable / safe as possible whereas some older designs had 'successful engineering' as the starting point and then designed for cost effective manufacture.

I just think that there are perceptions that are skewed towards 'the modern' for no good engineering reasons. That, for example, problems with electric PS pumps are bound to happen because they are a new idea and innovative whereas problems with BX hydraulics exist because it's an old idea past its 'use by' date.
Well said. Not forgetting that perceived problems and real problems may not always be the same thing, and problems (even if no more frequent than before) which occur with a new or innovative design tend to be more widely reported which skews people's perception...
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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by citsncycles »

The media does play a big part in the preconceptions of a car. Back in the 70's there were reports floating around listing all the reasons why Moskavitches were dangerous, the most memorable being that if the wheelnuts weren't tight the wheel may fall off! Show me a car where that doesn't happen! I also remember when I was running a Skoda Rapid 136 people telling me it was rubbish, while their Favorit was a much more reliable car bacause it was a VW! they would be quite shocked when I was able to show them that they both had the same engine!
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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by Way2go »

citsncycles wrote:while their Favorit was a much more reliable car bacause it was a VW!
??? :? IIRC the Favorit was a genuine Czech Skoda car that pre-dates VAGs involvement. (This was later tarted up in the VW era and relaunched as the Felicia.) Like the BX there was Bertone influence in the Favorit styling. VW's real design influence and trumpeted relaunch of the marque started with the Octavia.

I actually drove a Favorit around the Czech countryside and although a bit "rattley" it was reliable and acquitted itself well on both the level and mountainsides. :D
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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

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You're right. VW took Skoda over after the launch of the Favorit, but the undeservedly poor reputation of Skoda, coupled with some clever VW marketing (as well as their own reputation for quality) managed to convince many that Skodas suddenly became a quality item overnight simply due to VW ownership! The only issues I had with my Skodas were down to the complicated (and long!) cooling system, which was prone to airlocks at one end of the car or the other - probably why I don't find BX cooling systems an issue. They seemed no more tinny than the Austin Rover products my parents owned at the time, were actually better equipped at base level than the equivalent Maestro and they certainly had better rust proofing! While the swing axles on my 105 Estelle could produce scary handling, the Rapid with it's semi trailing arms was fun to drive, and another of those cars I miss.
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BX 19RD Estate Mk1 - Timex!
BX 4X4 Estate - Oh god, I've done it again!
BX 17RD MK1 - it called to me!
BX14 TGE, - SOLD
XM Turbo SD,GS Club Estate,Visa 17D Leader,HY Pickup,Dyane Nomad,Dyane 6,2CV AZL,Falcon S,Trabant P50,3x Land Rovers (88" series 1,109" series 2a FFR,series 2a Marshall ambulance),DKW F7, Lambretta LD150 x 1.5,Mobylette SP93,Ural Cossack,Ural M63,CZ 250 Sport,Honda Varadero 125,lots of bicycles & tricycles including (but not only) Sunbeams,Higgins & Bates!

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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by Thread Bear »

Ah, VW. The master of selling dogs.
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: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by deltic »

Just by way of an update my GTi is now taxed and tested for another year. Pleased I got my insurance renewal quote down by £99.00 - nearly a third. And by way of a celebration I was going to use to it to drive over to North Weald for an evening photo shoot on the Epping Ongar Railway only to end up with a flat tyre. It looked a little soft but instead of pumping up just went down... So off I went in the C4 and on leaving North Weald at 23.30 I managed to rip the side out of one of the tyres. Punctures on two different cars in one day! Guess what the £99.00 insurance saving went to? Yes a £118.00 tyre for the C4...
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Re: BX or not to BX? (and new MOT!)

Post by Tinkley »

If you want fun with electric power steering, try asking FIAT how many units they have replaced under warranty on the 500 (I think) or maybe the Panda. My understanding is about 50% + fail....
probably just after the warranty period if they got the engineering 'right'.... :lol:

Oh Deltic if you get steel wheels for your C4 with higher aspect ratio tyres the tyre cost becomes below 60 quid, and you won't dent the alloys!.