Brakes inefficient on BX

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David
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Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by David » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:11 pm

Hi all, Just a quick update on my BX & a quick question.

My BX was taken for a MOT today, This is the first MOT it has been for in 5 years & since I have put the 4x4 system on it, so I told them to check everything thoroughly to ensure I had put it together properly.

They said everything looks fine, BUT the brake efficiency on all 4 wheels is below requirements, so unfortunately the car failed. Its the normal brake & the handbrake.

My question is what is the cause?

I have put new LHM in everything & bled the brakes out at least 3 times to ensure there is no air in the system. It has had a new handbrake cable & 2 new (used) brake callipers (one front & one rear) since its last MOT.

The brake pads are barely warn & the same is true for the disks, But the car has been stood for months & the brake pads & disks are the same ones from when I bought it 7 years ago.

The hydraulic system works fine, the steering is very light the suspension rises quickly & the brakes come on straight away when pressed. Also there is no ABS.

Any ideas on the cause?
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by Kaapelimies » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:34 pm

What were the actual figures you got in the brake test? Sounds odd.
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by Way2go » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:46 pm

If the car has stood for months without use, could it be that the discs have rusted and therefore efficiency is impaired?

If so, driving it and heavy braking may improve things but if they are too heavily pitted then replacements may be needed to cure.
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by David » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Thanks for the replies.

I can't remember what the actual figures were on the machine; apart from they were low.

The car has mostly been parked in a doorless garage, so I would assume there would be little rust on the actual disks (there will be some; there always is when something isn't used).

Last time I looked at the brakes, they had no pitting & there were no groves in the disks. It has done around 30 miles since I last had the wheels off (which was around august).

So its most likely rust on the disks causing problems & not something mechanical? Also is it possible for the pads themselves to go hard & have problems? I've never seen it before, but you never know.
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by mds141 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:50 pm

They do realise the handbrake operates on the front wheels I presume. I know it's daft, but it has been known to happen. Try loading the boot with some paving slabs/ bags of sand to give the brakes something to do. Also a good long session of Citrobics can't do any harm.
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by David » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:53 pm

Just a quick update on this.

I have got the BX back today, with a full 12 months MOT.

I couldn't mess around taking the car to & from the garage, so I just told them to sort the brakes out.

The fail sheet said: "all 4 brakes binding", "front brake application uneven", "front parking (secondary) brakes imbalanced" & "the parking brake has no reserve travel"

They have told me that they "bled all the brakes out", cleaned all the "brakes" (I assume disks), & "adjusted the handbrake"

However I have noticed straight away that some things ain't quite right.

The handbrake is coming up higher than it did before, The brakes now have a delay before the car stops & the rear view mirror inside the car has come off the windscreen!
They have also been messing with the centre console, After I told them there is nothing underneath it.
The last item on the fail sheet somewhat concerns me as the handbrake hardly came up any before they touched it, but now it comes up about double what it came before.

I am going to pull the wheels off, hopefully tomorrow, & see what horrors they have subjected my car to.

But on the plus side, they said that everything underneath is as it should be, there is no rust anywhere, all the 4x4 system is 100% as it should be & it has a MOT.
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by Way2go » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:36 pm

If they slackened off the handbrake cables rather than wind in the pistons, this might be your problem. If its not set right, this will also defeat the auto handbrake adjusters.
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by Defender110 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:17 am

David wrote:Just a quick update on this.

I have got the BX back today, with a full 12 months MOT.

I couldn't mess around taking the car to & from the garage, so I just told them to sort the brakes out.

The fail sheet said: "all 4 brakes binding", "front brake application uneven", "front parking (secondary) brakes imbalanced" & "the parking brake has no reserve travel"

They have told me that they "bled all the brakes out", cleaned all the "brakes" (I assume disks), & "adjusted the handbrake"

However I have noticed straight away that some things ain't quite right.

The handbrake is coming up higher than it did before, The brakes now have a delay before the car stops & the rear view mirror inside the car has come off the windscreen!
They have also been messing with the centre console, After I told them there is nothing underneath it.

The last item on the fail sheet somewhat concerns me as the handbrake hardly came up any before they touched it, but now it comes up about double what it came before.

I am going to pull the wheels off, hopefully tomorrow, & see what horrors they have subjected my car to.

But on the plus side, they said that everything underneath is as it should be, there is no rust anywhere, all the 4x4 system is 100% as it should be & it has a MOT.

Sounds to me they knew what they were doing. They have checked and released the tension on the hand brake cables that were causing the front calipers to bind due to wrongly fitted hand brake cables perhaps?

EDIT: Original post toned down.
Last edited by Defender110 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by Thread Bear » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:15 am

Does sound like a cable issue and a lack of use. Some pads are quite hard, so crud as well, means a bit of Schumachering to get things bedded in. Of course if the cable is hanging things up then that will only solve half the problem.

Where the handbrake bites is something of a personal choice, I feel. I do not like it stuck in the air so tend to have it bite quick. My Mum had to have a couple of clicks before any action as she had not the power in her short arms to get the thing on properly. Several times she had cars disappear. The classic was when she lost the 405 I ended up through the fence and down the embankment in France. A friend lent her a Saxo. It ended up parked next to the 405! The Goat Farmer was delighted to find this, when he arrived to clear up the mess with his tractor, with the promise of many evenings out on the story. The Saxo owner was well known for regular rescue out of ditches and culverts, being owned by a 92 year lady who had raced at Brooklands. She preferred driving her Mahari, known as 'The Rolls' due to the 2cv suspension. This got stuck far less often. 2CV 1 - Moderns United 0. Amazingly neither car suffered any damage from there experience, the wire fencing preventing them completely vanishing goodness knows where. Thereafter I built a bund round the car park bottom to catch any cars fleeing the area! :lol:

All else would seem to be the joys of using chaps who are not used to BX, or even Citroen. I am getting into having the clutch done on Gary. So far two garages have made 'Oh, its a Citroen' noises. To my understanding doing the clutch does not mean touching the hydraulics, but the comment is enough to have you go elsewhere. -- Yes I know I should do it. This is the type of job I now find difficult with my stupid leg issue.
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by Tinkley » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:22 am

Tuning the handbrake cables correctly is not too hard and if set correctly it auto corrects just fine, unless you have severe disc wear about 1.5+mm. A lot of MOT'ers don't get these BX brakes. One other easy way to force auto adjustment a bit is to press hard on the brake pedal a number of times, whilst working the handbrake. Done with the engine running and quite a lot pressure on the brake pedal, it usually gives something inside the required 7 clicks or whatever...... :wink:

It's only when you can't lock up a BX in the dry with good tyres that the braking is suspect!.

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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by citronut » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:43 am

you would think if they have bled the brakes they would not feel like there is still air in the system,
if they know how to bleed hydraulic citroen brakes that is

regards malcolm
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by David » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:56 pm

I have had the wheels off today.

On the rear brakes, it looks like they have just sanded the rust off the disks. They have not touched anything else on the rear, I'm actually wondering if they even had the rear wheels off.

The front is a complete different story.

They have sanded the disks the same, But they have also had the bleed screws open & have spilt LHM all over the brake callipers. I don't think they know how to bleed the BX system, as I'm almost certain there is air in the system (with a brake delay).

They have slackened the handbrake cable right off on the drivers side, but not touched the one on the passenger side, so why this is, I don't understand.

They have been messing with the rubber boot that covers the handbrake mechanism on the drivers side & not put it back on properly. They had the centre console out & left half my wires disconnected.

The brakes were only binding from lack of use. They were adjusted perfectly before & the cables are both free, not sticking at all. The disks & pads are hardly warn, so there shouldn't be any issues there.

I run out of daylight to do any more today, but I will bleed out the brakes & adjust the handbrake properly. I have not done it for a while, so could someone remind me what is the correct procedure to adjust the handbrake?

Also, should I have a look to see what they have been messing with behind the rubber boot, on the right front brake calliper for the handbrake? I find it a little strange that they have even touched it.
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by MULLEY » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:35 pm

The rubber boot on the caliper, they may have checked to see if the grease had hardened or had disappeared?
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by Way2go » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:09 pm

David wrote:
They have slackened the handbrake cable right off on the drivers side, but not touched the one on the passenger side, so why this is, I don't understand.
When you look down in front of the handbrake lever, you should see the fulcrum lever (to which each cable is attached) is in a balanced/even position when the handbrake is pulled on. If not, their adjustment is wrong!

IIRC to reset the auto adjusters of the handbrake, you first must screw the caliper pistons back fully (with the handbrake lever "off") then apply the footbrake until the caliper pads close and grip the disc again. Only then can you adjust the handbrake cables to the right operation length whilst observing correct fulcrum balance.

However, if you've paid for this job to be done properly, should you not be taking this up with the Garage for remedial action or return of monies paid for an incorrect job? :?
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Re: Brakes inefficient on BX

Post by citronut » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:40 pm

first thing to do when adjustung the hand brake is with both cables unhooked from the calipers, start the endine and press the brake pedal very hard ( but do not stamp on it ) 3 to 4 times,

then reconnect the cables and slacken the lock and adjuster nuts on both cables, then pull the outer cable to take up thew slack and hold it there, whilst winding the adjuster nut back up till it just just meets the caliper, both adjusters should be wound up the thread roughly equal to each other,
now pull the hand brake lever on and check the compensator/equalizer were the cables join the hand brake lever under the center consul, as Mr waytogo says this should be level,

once you are happy its all correct lock the lock nuts up and bung the wheels back on

regards malcolm
curent ride
K reg BX 17TD TZD est
also own
K reg D special

no longer have
H reg CX saffari 2.5 TRI (now gone to Malaysia)
R reg xantia 1.9TD est (gone to meet its maker)