Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it take?

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AdrianO
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Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it take?

Post by AdrianO » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:44 pm

My local BX man has quoted me 5-7hrs labour to replace a set of four front/back pipes. Which seems to me rather long to me (and quite expensive, obviously). Is this reasonable? (Discounting the gotchas to expect with old motors).

The actual issue (literally!) is a slow leak from one of the group of 4 on the nearside just as they pass over the nearside trailing arm - easily established by taking the n/s wheel off. It's occurring at the point where the 4 pipes pass thru a clip which attaches to the body via a springy bracket; an obvious place to retain moisture I would have thought. I guess this is a LHM return, as the LHM has not been squirting everywhere (had one of those after an official Citroen dealer did a repair, lolol), merely dripping leisurely. But the big decision I need to make is whether to repair just that one pipe, or have all four replaced in one go. What is the consensus on this?

We're talking a '91 Meteor with 90k (!) on the clock. There were rust MoT fails in the past (n/s wheel arch, subframe), but as it now lives in a much drier part of the country, I expect rusting to slow down, and overall it's a good looker for its age. It actually got thru its MoT this year almost scot free - just a pair of tyres needed - so I'll tolerate a bit of expenditure to keep the beauty running.

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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by Kitch » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:07 pm

I would say that's actually quite short!

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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by ken newbold » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:40 pm

5 -7 hours is probably about right, however be prepared for a couple of extras. He will have to bleed the rear brakes afterwards, the bleed nipples are notorious for not coming undone, depends how long they've been stuck in. Worst case senario would be new calipers.
It's certainly not worth just changing one pipe, they'll all be in the same condition and others will break as the car is being worked on.

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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by rutter123 » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:14 am

You can have all these pipes made up by Plaedies for approx £100 made to measure, not too bad to fit if you are doing all 4 at once even easier, the worse part of these jobs is access, if you have a post lift its a doddle if not its half a day on your back. I would say 5/7 hours labour is about right, but it wont be that easy, we all know that. How much are their labour rates?
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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by Thread Bear » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:34 am

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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by KevR » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:38 pm

I've got a ramp, but the trouble is the white BX has been stuck on it for the past couple of years waiting for me to get round to putting all the suspension back in. So I still have to roll around underneath all the others.... Obviously need a ramp for each vehicle...
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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by saintjamesy89 » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:48 pm

rutter123 wrote:You can have all these pipes made up by Plaedies for approx £100 made to measure, not too bad to fit if you are doing all 4 at once even easier, the worse part of these jobs is access, if you have a post lift its a doddle if not its half a day on your back. I would say 5/7 hours labour is about right, but it wont be that easy, we all know that. How much are their labour rates?
Sorry to hi-jack, but the made up pipes from Plaedies, do they come flanged and with unions? I tried emailing them this morning, but the address they have on their pdf website must be out of action.
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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by AdrianO » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:45 pm

Thanks, everyone, for your replies.

I thought access could be one problem. I have only axle stands, so I would have to put the car on bricks. Which is not a big deal for me as such. But the awful question is whether there is anything else apart from the pipes which might need to come down/be taken out/loosened off to do the full Monty, which could lead to problems?

However, at a garage rate of £50/hr (IMO a lot for a back street premises), and since the leak is on one low pressure return pipe with dead easy access, the obvious common sense rule applies - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So I will try for a simple mend on just that one, and hope nothing else starts leaking in sympathy.

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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by Tinkley » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:01 pm

If it is the short rubber pipe between two transparent return pipes just to the n/s of the c/l of the car, it can be replaced pretty easily. If it was a high pressure pipe, believe me you would know about it! (I've had one go before now!).
There is also a short length somewhere from the rear ride height corrector that can perish. Other than these two short runs, there are only the longer transparent returns AFAIK. I believe the ID of the tube/petrol pipe or other oil resistant tubing is 5mm, good factors sell it by the foot.
Just make dead sure the car is fully locked out and supported before you crawl underneath it.... :wink:

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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by ken newbold » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:05 pm

ken newbold wrote:5 -7 hours is probably about right, however be prepared for a couple of extras. He will have to bleed the rear brakes afterwards, the bleed nipples are notorious for not coming undone, depends how long they've been stuck in. Worst case senario would be new calipers.
It's certainly not worth just changing one pipe, they'll all be in the same condition and others will break as the car is being worked on.

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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by ken newbold » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:32 pm

One further thing, NEVER stand you car on bricks if you intend working on it, they can crumble or the car can drop off them all too easily. Axle stands or blocks of wood are the only way to go.

You can borrow mine if you're anywhere near me, but NOT bricks [-X
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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by Mike E (uk) » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:04 am

ditto the above.............

I did this job on one of mine many years ago.

Definitely replace all 4 pipes, if one is corroded enough to leak, another won't be far behind.

You don't want it failing on a dark December night in the rain.

It's not a hard job, with a 4 post lift it wouldn't be a big deal. just a bit time consuming.

It took me at least 7 hrs, but I am an amateur with a small inspection pit and jacks.

Once replaced, you won't have to get it done again.
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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by tim » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:41 pm

Hi. I've done this on both our TXD estates. Not difficult.. but surely the cluster of four you refer to is the feed side? The returns are flexible hose, I seem to remember, and run along the driver's side. no need for steel here, though I imagine this may vary on earlier models? Either way it is DIYable; either that or pay a fortune. When the White One popped a feed hose it wasn't the full jet, just an embarrassing puddle (yep, rust). As has been said, bricks are suicidal. What works for me is having two ordinary ramps at the front, drive up on those then put some good chunky axle stands under the car in the appropriate places at the back. When the car is on minimum setting for work, it should be roughly level and there will be plenty of room to lie underneath.(Cost of ramps, one hour's worth of garage labour... fairly good tradeoff.) For obvious reasons Pleiades will not supply them 'pre-bent', you will have to unroll them and bend them to match the orginals yourself. Do one at a time and matching them up won't be an issue. For whatever reason, my rear brakes did not need to be bled as they were only disconnected for a minute or two and didn't lose a lot of fluid. Note the point about seized nipples! don't try to shift them, give them to an engineer intact.
Free tip, thoroughly hose blast the underneath of where you are to work. Otherwise you will be on the receiving end of a fine shower of dry dust and crap the whole time you are working there.

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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by rutter123 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:42 pm

Good sturdy blocks of wood, not bricks or concrete blocks, i use 6x4 blocks of wood and a trolley jack under the rear beam, then you can use blocks under your trolley jack to lift even higher, you should be able to get the rear end at least 2ft off the ground, even more if you can find some wind up ramps, i got a pair from ebay for £40 which is less than an hour labour, even better if you can get the front end up on ramps first then start jacking the back up bit by bit.
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Re: Replacing front/back LHM pipes - how much time does it t

Post by ken newbold » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:23 pm

tim wrote:Hi. I've done this on both our TXD estates. Not difficult.. but surely the cluster of four you refer to is the feed side?
The bottom of the four pipes is a return, it's a metal one due to the length of the run and sometimes passes quite a lot of fluid. I once tried to repair this with a rubber piece jointed in, it's funny now but not at the time.
Started the engine and allowed the sytem to pressurise, the rubber joint blew up like a balloon and went BANG! fuid everywhere. :lol:

If you follow the pipe forward, you'll see it joins onto a rubber piece on the front crossmember just below drivers feet, ish, the rubber then goes up and into the reservior.
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