LHM leak..... help!

BX Tech talk
User avatar
morningglory
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:32 pm
My Cars: 1994 TZD Estate in 'Canal-Boat Green'
x 4

LHM leak..... help!

Post by morningglory » Fri May 27, 2016 9:30 pm

My car keeps having little overnight accidents and leaving wet patches on my drive of a morning. I'm hoping someone may have some ideas or intelligent questions.

Its widdling from the front subframe, seemingly both sides. Looking underneath, it seems to be from some plastic, larger diameter (return?) pipes at the front of the driver's side of the front subrame. Also, the HP pump also looks pretty green around the gills and there are drips from the other side of the subframe. Visibility isn't that great as I don't have ramps or a pit, and I'm no expert.

I haven't need to top up the LHM in a couple of years/10 thousand miles until the other week when it swallowed a litre. I've then done some long trips this week and I've had to put in another litre. The car has only done 50k and is in otherwise fine fettle.

Anything I should check/look for? Any highly likely causes? Could it be the steering rack? I can do usual servicing stuff but not sure I fancy getting into fiddling with the hydraulic system. It might be a trip to the Citroen witch doctor and his wizardry...

Any help much appreciated.

Thanks,

Joe
Last edited by morningglory on Fri May 27, 2016 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1994 TZD Estate in 'Canal-Boat Green'

Image

User avatar
ken newbold
Over 2k
Posts: 4408
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:53 pm
x 5

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by ken newbold » Fri May 27, 2016 9:34 pm

Octopus, almost certainly
They think it's all over, it is now!

rutter123
Over 2k
Posts: 2184
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:54 pm
Location: South Lincs
My Cars: 65 Peugeot Boxer van 160k
Ven red tzd turbo 294k it will live again
Nissan Micra K13 the wife's run around
x 54

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by rutter123 » Fri May 27, 2016 10:58 pm

Agreed with Ken, unlikely the rack this will be an obvious visual leak, worth checking the front strut returns at the base of the struts and the other side of the front strut returns on the inner wings which lead to the octopus, most likely perished rubber pipes, sometimes you may get away with nipping the end off where its split and re-fitting but this WILL leak/split again after time. Octopus not a massive job but can be a bit tricky. If you are considering a garage to do the job my advice is a Citroen specialist not "the local garage up the road" who will know nothing but expect the bill to be a few hundred quid or more as its about 4 hrs labour to someone who knows what they are doing. Octopus is about £70 still available. It is something you can do yourself pretty straightforward stuff with a bit of care and marking all the pipes as you remove them as there are about 8 of them (just a push fit) all low pressure returns. The worst bit is the 2 above the rear of the front subframe. If you have a diesel its a bit more tricky but doable.
90 BX Tzd turbo 294k SORN undergoing major surgery
90 BX Tzd turbo estate 46k awaiting surgery
65 Peugeot Boxer Van the new workhorse
52 Toyota Rav4 180k Bulletproof Jap reliability

User avatar
morningglory
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:32 pm
My Cars: 1994 TZD Estate in 'Canal-Boat Green'
x 4

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by morningglory » Fri May 27, 2016 11:42 pm

Very glad I asked. Your knowledge is precious. Looking at an octopus change, I get it and am fairly confident with enough patience I would do it right. However, I might just end up with a nagging feeling of 'what if?', so I'll get my Citroen soothsayer to quote.

The stop light and (!) light flickered on a bit for a few miles before I topped up. The suspension went a bit hard and the steering seemed heavier (may have imagined that). Reckon it could've done any damage?
1994 TZD Estate in 'Canal-Boat Green'

Image

rutter123
Over 2k
Posts: 2184
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:54 pm
Location: South Lincs
My Cars: 65 Peugeot Boxer van 160k
Ven red tzd turbo 294k it will live again
Nissan Micra K13 the wife's run around
x 54

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by rutter123 » Sat May 28, 2016 9:36 am

Steering would go heavy without enough fluid and most likely the rear end would drop first as its furthest away from the reservoir, stop light and warning light will show if fluid is low or pressure drops below the required limit. i would get it sorted asap cos it will only get worse and cost a lot of £'s in lhm. The idea is, is to first remove the octopus as a complete unit, carefully mark where each pipe goes with a bit of masking tape ensuring the front strut pipes (2) each side are marked correctly, it's just a process of pulling each pipe thru in turn making sure they go in the correct position on the lhm reservoir (5 or 6) from memory, invest in a pair of long nose angled pliers this aids fitting the pipes and makes life a lot easier, best to start by fitting the 2 rear returns the ones above the rear of the front subframe first as these are the most awkward to get to, this is where your pliers will come in handy then you can position the octopus in place and 1 by 1 pull each pipe thru and replace likewise. some trimming of the octopus pipes may be required as they can be a bit longer than required. I would give the whole engine bay and underside a good steam clean before starting as it can be quite mucky under there. Take your time doing the job dont try to rush it as mistake will happen and you could end up with all sorts of problems/leaks, ensure all the plastic pipes are pushed fully home in the octopus and associated pipework and take note on how far they are pushed in, and the job should be a gooden. Have a pack of cable ties to hand as well to ensure no pipes rub on any moving parts.
You shouldn't have done any damage as the system is pretty much self bleeding once the octopus is changed as they are only low pressure returns.
90 BX Tzd turbo 294k SORN undergoing major surgery
90 BX Tzd turbo estate 46k awaiting surgery
65 Peugeot Boxer Van the new workhorse
52 Toyota Rav4 180k Bulletproof Jap reliability

tim
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:51 pm
Location: somerset
My Cars: 2 1992 BX TXD estates
x 1

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by tim » Sun May 29, 2016 11:55 am

I have said this before a while ago, but if you are renewing the octopod why put it where the old one was? It made sense on the production line but not now. Mount it on the bulkhead, easy to do, and 100% visibility. If you look at my old posts I think there's a photo in there to prove it. You just need to buy some extra lengths of pipe to marry up with the 'pod.

tim
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:51 pm
Location: somerset
My Cars: 2 1992 BX TXD estates
x 1

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by tim » Sun May 29, 2016 12:05 pm

I looked it up - Dec 20th 2011.

User avatar
JayW
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1590
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:40 pm
Location: Now listen here you mullet...
x 13

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by JayW » Sun May 29, 2016 12:47 pm

It's also equally easy to put it back where it was.

If you're changing it now, it's never gonna need another one in its lifetime!

Nothing wrong with its location, they're made of rubber and most have lasted over 20 years.
I have zero patience for your tedium.

User avatar
morningglory
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:32 pm
My Cars: 1994 TZD Estate in 'Canal-Boat Green'
x 4

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by morningglory » Tue May 31, 2016 2:06 pm

So is the octopus the only plastic/rubber piping at the front of the front subframe? It couldn't be any of the other return pipes? Is the octopus essentially all the return pipes to the reservoir?
1994 TZD Estate in 'Canal-Boat Green'

Image

User avatar
ken newbold
Over 2k
Posts: 4408
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:53 pm
x 5

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by ken newbold » Tue May 31, 2016 4:22 pm

Yes! the only other black plastic pipes you can see on the front of the subframe are merely sleeves, I know it looks like these are leaking, but in reality LHM is getting into them at the HC/Octopus end and dribbling out on the subframe.
They think it's all over, it is now!

rutter123
Over 2k
Posts: 2184
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:54 pm
Location: South Lincs
My Cars: 65 Peugeot Boxer van 160k
Ven red tzd turbo 294k it will live again
Nissan Micra K13 the wife's run around
x 54

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by rutter123 » Tue May 31, 2016 5:56 pm

All the return pipes at the front (and 2 from the back) ultimately end up at the octopus in one way or another then up to the lhm reservoir, over the years the rubber pipes degrade and start to split tho i have never seen the "body" of the octopus leak only its tenticles as it were. There are a few short lengths of rubber connectors scattered around the underside front and rear some only being an inch or 2 long and a also some rubber T or Y pieces on the rear beam that you may want to change whilst your at it, these do not come with the octopus.
90 BX Tzd turbo 294k SORN undergoing major surgery
90 BX Tzd turbo estate 46k awaiting surgery
65 Peugeot Boxer Van the new workhorse
52 Toyota Rav4 180k Bulletproof Jap reliability

Tinkley
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:27 am
Location: N Hants England
x 6

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by Tinkley » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:32 am

morningglory wrote:So is the octopus the only plastic/rubber piping at the front of the front subframe? It couldn't be any of the other return pipes? Is the octopus essentially all the return pipes to the reservoir?
Well there's also the little octopus or squid which is either 2 or 3 pipes depending on model year and build No. One feed or rather return of the little'un, goes to the front ride height corrector so very close to the front subframe. Not an uncommon leak point with 15-20 year old rubber.

User avatar
morningglory
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:32 pm
My Cars: 1994 TZD Estate in 'Canal-Boat Green'
x 4

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by morningglory » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:44 pm

For reference, my Citroen garage checked it was definitely the octopus before I bought one - £60 http://www.chevronics.co.uk/product/octopus-pipe-bx/

Garage then fitted it for three hours labour £90
1994 TZD Estate in 'Canal-Boat Green'

Image

Defender110
Over 2k
Posts: 5899
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:02 pm
Location: Harwood, Bolton
My Cars: Citroen BX MK1 Break.
Land Rover Discovery Series 1 200tdi 3 door
Land Rover Discovery Series 2 Facelift TD5
BMW X1
x 25

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by Defender110 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:32 pm

JayW wrote:It's also equally easy to put it back where it was.

If you're changing it now, it's never gonna need another one in its lifetime!

Nothing wrong with its location, they're made of rubber and most have lasted over 20 years.
/\ agreed, the octopus is a very reliable part that usually lasts 15 years plus in the position it was originally designed for so why change that.
Kevan
1987 Citroen BX MK1 diesel estate.(Currently in dry storage)
1997 Mercedes C230 W202 - daily driver.
2010 BMW X1 SE 2.0D Auto - Her indoors daily driver.
2003 Land Rover Discovery Series 2 Facelift TD5 - Daily driver / hobby days and camping.
1993 Land Rover Discovery 200tdi Series 1 3 door - in need of TLC

tim
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:51 pm
Location: somerset
My Cars: 2 1992 BX TXD estates
x 1

Re: LHM leak..... help!

Post by tim » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:20 pm

I will probably regret opening my mouth but anyway.... as to 'why not leave it where it is?' this is all fine and dandy for those with four-posters but for us proles with ramps and nothing else (including a roof), we could do with minimum time lying on our backs. I've done two now; both were covered in ten years of engine excretions and the removal job was filthy. Why would you wish to have another dose fitting a new one, when it is oh so simple to relocate it? The engine filth can't be doing the rubber product any good at all, and I suspect that it may well shorten the life of the 'pod
a fair bit. Nor, having had forty years' experience of pattern replacements, would I trust the quality of the rubber used in a new replacement. Someone else made this point back when I was fitting mine and said that theirs had lasted about two years! I know mine is happy cos I see it every time I open the bonnet. Entirely the call of the guy who is fitting it of course, we each do our own thing. But there was a sound logic behind shifting mine and I'll do the same again. Incidentally, the wife had a garage fit a new pod about 8 years ago, and it's starting to fail!