BX Recomission questions

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BX Recomission questions

Post by SimonA »

Hi Folks,

I have an opportunity to buy a BX 16v that has been parked up in a dry garage for around 5 years that was running when it was parked there, I'm going to go back and look at it again and take some pics in the next week or so. I have to say I'm quite keen whereas my partner is 50/50 as she wonders exactly how much work it will be to get it back on the road and MOT'ed, yes she is probably the sensible one.

So I need advice and guidance from wiser and more experienced heads than mine.

As I see it, before I do anything stupid, like throw a new battery in it and try and start it, what I'd need to do would be, not necessarily in order:
  • Drop the fuel tank and completely flush it then refit it
  • Remove the spark plugs and see if the engine can be turned over by hand
  • Replace the cam belt and water pump
Should I also consider at this point consider replacing the starter motor (manifold off job?) and fuel pump ?

Once the above is done and fuel flow is confirmed and I know the cam belt isn't about to snap then try cranking it over ?

I'd appreciate all and any comments.

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Re: BX Recomission questions

Post by xantia_v6 »

It is hard to predict. If the storage conditions have been dry, and the car was previously in good condition, fitting a battery and turning the key might be enough.

My XM had sat in a garage for over 3 years, and I just put in a battery. It started, the hydraulics pressurised and I drove it 300km home.

My XJS sat from 1998 until 2014, and it started ok after fixing an unrelated fault, but it ran terribly until some fresh fuel was put into the tank.

I would be a bit wary of the timing belt age.

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Re: BX Recomission questions

Post by jamescarruthers »

Simon, your three points are very good starts. Particularly checking if the engine turns over by hand.

5 years isn't really that long so if it was fine before, it will likely be free and fine now.

I'm on the optimistic side like Mike, xantia_v6

I recently recommissioned a Volvo 480 which sat in a garage for 20 years. I took the spark plugs out, put some oil down the bores and then went back the next day to see if it turned over by hand--gently back and forward until you have confidence that it is free.

Personally, I chanced the existing timing belt just by taking a look at it an deciding it was okay on visual inspection alone. It's your call on this one though! It is wise, it just depends upon how brave you are (you could argue I was pretty stupid). You will of course have to change it pretty soon any way, but I wanted to see if the engine did run or not. The coolant system was rotten so I could only start it for a few minutes anyway.

I had a spare 480 to swap bits about when it wouldn't start, which was lucky. I was buoyed by the fact that it wasn't seized and was happy to continue until I worked out the problem.

If the fuel tank is pretty empty, you could probably get away with adding a good amount of fresh fuel. I added 40L to an empty tank and just flushed it through using the fuel pump, collecting the fuel in the engine bay. However your idea of flushing the tank completely is more thorough and correct.

So, if I were you, I'd verify that there is full oil and coolant then try and see if engine turns by hand without plugs and after leaving a few drops of oil overnight in the bores. Then, spin over on the starter with the battery to see if oil pressure builds. If it does, put the plugs back in and try and start her up with fresh fuel.

If it starts, you'll be full of enthusiasm and can then change the oil after its got a bit of heat in it and then do the timing belt pretty soon after.

Good luck and keep us informed!
(and don't be tempted by Easy Start to speed things up! If all is well, it should start; if not, you've got work to do!)
1987 Volvo 480 ES
2006 Citroen C6 Exclusive 3.0 petrol/LPG

Previous BX's:
A966 XRL -- BX 16 TRS
H767 BEG -- BX 14 TGE
B316 AMP -- BX 14 E