C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
panky
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:44 pm
Location: Widnes
My Cars: 1991 Mini Cooper, 1971 Morris Minor Traveller, 1971 Commer Auto-Sleeper, 1969 Commer Jennings Roadranger.
'88 BX GTi (a long time ago)
x 8

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by panky » Tue May 14, 2019 9:33 pm

Love the baby moons 8)
Image

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 74

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Fri May 17, 2019 5:29 pm

I'm surprised you all liked the chrome trims so much! Today's update might be a bit disappointing for you now.

Today, I gave the rims on the BX a quick spruce up so that I could refit the restored wheel trims. The chrome trims look good but they're not as secure as I'd like them to be and I'm worried about losing one or more of them. Also, the challenge with the BX is to keep it as original looking as possible, especially given the rarity of low spec models like this one.

Image

Looks alright. I did put the trims on before the wheel bolts since after restoring the trims, they no longer grip the head of the wheel bolts as well as they did. This isn't a problem, the trim is designed in such a way that it doesn't prevent the bolt meeting the wheel face properly and the bolt is designed in such a way that you can't pull the trim off without undoing the bolt, so they're all nice and secure now.

I do have a schedule of jobs for the BX, in no particular order:
Change oil and filter
Change coolant
New timing belt, tensioner, and water pump
Re-black door frames and front bumper trim
Deep clean the interior
Paint correction all over

It's not much of a list at all really, it's just stuff that will take it from being a good car, to a great car.

User avatar
Tim Leech
Over 2k
Posts: 15205
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Burton on Trent
My Cars: 1958 ROVER P4 90 UWP 84
1963 VW BEETLE 1200 KGJ413A
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL BFA720L
1979 Rover SD1 3.5 V8-S TSL 982
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL DBV468W
1985 CITROEN BX 19GT C1TBX
1991 CITROEN BX 19TZI AUTO A/C BXi 19
1994 CITROEN XANTIA 1.8 SXi M908HRY
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
x 70

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Tim Leech » Sat May 18, 2019 9:19 am

Amazing a small job can make such a difference! Looks brand new!
1963 VW BEETLE 1200
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL
1979 Rover SD1 V8-S
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL
2002 Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE AUTO Nav
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 74

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Mon May 20, 2019 9:02 pm

I have two very tiny LHM leaks. One is at the brake master cylinder, I'm assuming this is going to be the little rubber o-ring/seal has failed since it's coming from one of the unions where it screws into the master cylinder. I have spare seals so I'll get one fitted when I do the timing belt which I should be ordering tomorrow. It looks like a less than fun job due to access, you can barely see it, but when I do the belt I should have access to the shop lift which will make it much easier.

The other tiny LHM leak is at the back, on the driver's side, and only when the car is at rest. When the car is running, at any height, there is no leak. Let it sit for a few hours and a very small spot of LHM appears under the rear displacer. I assume this is something to do with the return line.

Both leaks are really, really, tiny. We're talking a 1" at the very most spot on the floor overnight on the concrete from each. There's no noticeable consumption of LHM at the reservoir end of things and the suspension goes up and down swiftly and the accumulator/pump ticks rarely when running so I'm pretty sure this is not a serious problem and it certainly doesn't affect how well the car functions and drives.

I'm also hoping these are common problems and there is, therefore, a common solution.

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 74

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Tue May 21, 2019 10:33 pm

Today my wallet had a crash diet so I could order all the fluids and parts needed for the one big job outstanding on the BX: Timing belt. I've decided to do coolant, water pump, timing belt, tensioner, oil, and oil filter, all at the same time. It gives me a good service starting point that way and gives the car the best chance of staying as nice as it currently is.

One of the things that had been bugging me is the little LHM leak at the front. I was waiting to get the car on the lift to see if it really was one of the unions on the brake master cylinder when I realised today that there's a return hose on the top. While the car was running, I gave the hose a wiggle and sure enough, LHM came out. Stop wiggling it while the car is running, no LHM comes out. Turn the car off, LHM comes out. In the following picture, the black hose to the left that goes to the rusty thing (that's the master cylinder) is what's generating that little green puddle and making everything wet. I've unplugged a connector that sits right on top of this both so you can see it, and for access.
Image

The return line simply pulls off, and access is fiddly but not as terrible as it might be. You can see the little rubber hose that connects the plastic line to the metal stub on the cylinder has split in a few places and this is what was leaking.
Image

I'm guessing it's just a very old pipe which is why it's split like that. To replace it, Mike had a rummage and found some suitable diameter hose. Since this is only a return line, it doesn't need any clamps, it literally just pushes into place. 
Image

A bit of bumbling about after everything was cleaned off and it seems to have solved the leak. Also, looking down the back of the engine as much as I could, it looks like the tiny spot of black oil under the car has actually been from the LHM leaking here and running down things, washing off old oil from the rocker cover gasket leak - fixed recently - and dirt from the engine and dumping it on the floor. Hopefully I won't have any oil drops under the car now.
Image

I'm still trying to figure out what exactly is leaking on the back corner of the car, I suspect it's going to be a similar split old return hose issue since it manifests in much the same way. I just can't see where the leak is exactly, I suspect it's hidden up above the suspension stuff at the back, out of sight, so could be a nuisance to locate without exploratory dismantling.

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 74

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Mon May 27, 2019 6:39 pm

Diesel manual arrived recently so I could crack on with this timing belt job. First, we did a run to the tip and the BX proved itself to be capable and capacious and moved far more conifer trimmings than I was expecting it to. On getting back, the weather had brightened up and it looked a good day for getting on with the timing belt job. First up, drop all the coolant out since I was planning to do the water pump at the same time, and then work through the instructions in the manual to get through the various bits of dismantling. I'm not sure why it tells you to disconnect the battery, perhaps that's just a safety thing. All went well apart from a minor brainfart when I couldn't figure out how to get the alternator to move (Mike pointed out the bolt I'd missed), and then it should have just been a case of sticking the handbrake on, car in 5th gear, and undo the crankshaft bolt. Couldn't get the car high enough at home to use the breaker bar, so we improvised with a slightly shorter jack handle. Even with Mike and me on the bar, we simply couldn't get enough swing to undo the nut because immovable bits of car, or the floor, were in the way. A shorter bar had the other problem of neither of us having enough strength with a shorter lever to undo the nut.
Image

So after getting that far, I had to put the car back together. Typically, it absolutely threw it down while doing that too. Then I had trouble bleeding the air out of the system and eventually resorted to driving around the block. I now know the low coolant light works properly as a result and the heaters are ridiculously hot. I don't know if the heaters being on in the BX helps the bleeding process, it's just something I do out of habit. When the lift is free at the unit we'll have another go since we'll then have room for a longer bar which should help us crack that nut off. Mike assumes there's preload on the crankshaft because while we could get a good amount of rotation on the bolt, it wasn't enough to crack it off, and once you released the pressure of the socket and bar, the nut just returned back to where you started.

All very frustrating. I really have to have this job done before the 9th if possible because I'm a bit leery of doing a long distance motorway run on an unknown timing belt fitted to an interference engine in a car I actually rather like. I also learned on the trip around the block that if you forget to fit the air hose it's really rather noisy and droney, it's surprising how much difference that makes to how refined the car is inside.

Kaapelimies
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 206
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:01 am
Location: Hollola, Finland
x 8

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Kaapelimies » Mon May 27, 2019 10:48 pm

You can use an L-handle (or a lon enough slide T-bar) with socket, and use the starter motor. Make sure the bar has no play, use a cable tie or something to tie it against whatever you plan to use it. Make the start very short just to make the bolt loose!
Disclaimer: All you do bla bla not recommended bla bla break everything bla bla pissed off bla bla done!
BX 4x4 estate, several BX Van's and some more normal estates in Finland.

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 74

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Wed May 29, 2019 1:00 am

haha, everyone is suggesting the starter motor method to me! I can just see me launching the BX onto myself via the kitchen if I try it. Mike is going to see if he can get it sorted at the unit on the lift with some better tools, that seems the safer idea. I was surprised how short the belt change interval is, 45,000 miles between changes is very short.

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 74

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Fri May 31, 2019 11:04 pm

Biggest mechanical job the car needed is now completed, that being the timing belt replacement. It's an awkward job, not impossible to do at home, and also not exactly ideal either. I found it impossible to undo the crankshaft bolt at home with the tools I did have and had to take the car to Mike's unit to make use of the lift and the really big bars and when the belt needs doing again, assuming I still have the car then, I'll be giving the job to someone else rather than trying to DIY it. I don't know when the old belt was done which is the reason for doing this, it gives a good datum point for future servicing. The belt that came off was worn, but not excessively so, and didn't look monstrously old. I believe it is a replacement belt, I find it unlikely the car's estimated 110k would have been possible on the original belt and if it were the original, I'd certainly expect to see more age related wear and damage than there is here.
Image

Image



Report post

Posted just now

Biggest mechanical job the car needed is now completed, that being the timing belt replacement. It's an awkward job, not impossible to do at home, and also not exactly ideal either. I found it impossible to undo the crankshaft bolt at home with the tools I did have and had to take the car to Mike's unit to make use of the lift and the really big bars and when the belt needs doing again, assuming I still have the car then, I'll be giving the job to someone else rather than trying to DIY it. I don't know when the old belt was done which is the reason for doing this, it gives a good datum point for future servicing. The belt that came off was worn, but not excessively so, and didn't look monstrously old. I believe it is a replacement belt, I find it unlikely the car's estimated 110k would have been possible on the original belt and if it were the original, I'd certainly expect to see more age related wear and damage than there is here. 

201905-34.thumb.jpg.178172c9619e748331039f8a6ca45ba5.jpg

201905-35.thumb.jpg.2bc01c7d5c13af289f9fc9ed07f638af.jpg

I could have probably chanced a few more thousand miles on that belt, realistically. While we were doing the belt we also did the water pump and I had planned to do the tensioner but for one reason and another, didn't have one. The tensioner on the car was in really good shape anyway, as was the idler pulley, so I doubt it'll be an issue. Just as well the water pump was replaced at any rate, whoever had been in here before had used white bathroom sealant (or something very much like it) which had got into the water pump itself and there's probably little bits of it in the engine too. Not a great deal I can do about that at this point, and since it's not been a problem so far I have to assume it will continue to not be a problem.
Image

I would have liked to show you in more depth how the job was done. However, there were some slight difference between my engine and the manual (because of course there was, it's a Citroen) and much of the job required more arms than most people come with as standard combined with the need for lemur fingers. All in all, it was an irritating job because of access, particularly getting the timing belt to sit in place which needed two of us to stop it popping off while you were trying to seat the top or bottom sections of it. Super annoying. Still, could be worse, we could have had to be doing a clutch on a Xantia with a turbo. For putting the locking rod/dowel/drill bit into the hole to lock the flywheel we had to remove the starter motor and use a smaller dowel than suggested in the book, it was little things like that which were a bit annoying.
Image

On hunting for oil leaks, we couldn't locate the source of the oil on the back of the engine, it doesn't appear to be coming from anywhere at all so Mike and I have come to the conclusion it's historic and probably from the leaking return line to the brake doseur since that's the area it's underneath. The sump plug is definitely weeping a bit of oil and it looks like the sump has been bashed a long time ago. A new copper washer (I assume it has one, I haven't checked) should resolve the issue at any rate and since an oil change is the next service item I'll do it when I do that. Other leaks that we think we've identified are of the LHM variety at the back. Like at the front with the brake doseur line, the leak at the back only happens when the car is parked up overnight and sure enough, on checking over the rear boots, there's those same age-related perish lines on the rubber boots. When I can afford to, I'll order a replacement pair of boots and then hope it's not too horrendous a job to replace them. It's worth noting the passenger side boot has had some sealant applied to the perished areas which is now starting to fail. Since it's only a return leak and only happens when the car is parked, I'm filing this under Because Citroen rather than something to be really worried about.
Image

Image

After all that work the car felt no different really, a bit smoother perhaps, but that could just as well be placebo effect. Bleeding the coolant system was much easier when Mike identified where the bleed screws actually are, something I couldn't find last time for some reason. This really marks the starting point of my service history with the car, now it's just a case of doing any new jobs while they're small and steadily improving the car as I go.

panky
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:44 pm
Location: Widnes
My Cars: 1991 Mini Cooper, 1971 Morris Minor Traveller, 1971 Commer Auto-Sleeper, 1969 Commer Jennings Roadranger.
'88 BX GTi (a long time ago)
x 8

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by panky » Fri May 31, 2019 11:33 pm

Great report yet again and very useful for the future
Image

User avatar
Tim Leech
Over 2k
Posts: 15205
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Burton on Trent
My Cars: 1958 ROVER P4 90 UWP 84
1963 VW BEETLE 1200 KGJ413A
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL BFA720L
1979 Rover SD1 3.5 V8-S TSL 982
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL DBV468W
1985 CITROEN BX 19GT C1TBX
1991 CITROEN BX 19TZI AUTO A/C BXi 19
1994 CITROEN XANTIA 1.8 SXi M908HRY
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
x 70

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Tim Leech » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:19 am

Found this in my pictures from when Bill Cameron (CCC Club Treasurer) owned it.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
1963 VW BEETLE 1200
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL
1979 Rover SD1 V8-S
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL
2002 Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE AUTO Nav
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 74

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:47 pm

I don't know any of the history besides what Dean could tell me on this one. I'm guessing Bill owned it before the person Dean bought it from since it looks in much better shape there than it did when Dean bought it and it still has its accessories fitted which were gone when Dean got the car. Interesting choice of wheel trim, they suit the car (surprisingly) but I have no idea what they're from.

User avatar
Tim Leech
Over 2k
Posts: 15205
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Burton on Trent
My Cars: 1958 ROVER P4 90 UWP 84
1963 VW BEETLE 1200 KGJ413A
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL BFA720L
1979 Rover SD1 3.5 V8-S TSL 982
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL DBV468W
1985 CITROEN BX 19GT C1TBX
1991 CITROEN BX 19TZI AUTO A/C BXi 19
1994 CITROEN XANTIA 1.8 SXi M908HRY
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
x 70

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Tim Leech » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:57 pm

Bill owned it about 7/8 years ago, the guy who bought it off Bill did quite a bit with and had a few other cars as far as I know.

he got rid of it due to no power steering

If you search through the archived you may find a bit about it.
1963 VW BEETLE 1200
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL
1979 Rover SD1 V8-S
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL
2002 Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE AUTO Nav
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 74

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:06 pm

When I have a chance I'll do just that. The lack of power steering is part of the appeal for me, though I do appreciate it can make longer drives a little more tiring because of the constant micro-adjustment you have to do that the pas does for you.

I've been away for a couple of days and I've driven a whopping (for me) 600 miles in the BX. Stage one of the weird and protacted house move was being undertaken, you see, so the BX was loaded up with Stuff and we schlebbed off down the motorway. Weather was muggy, roads were surprisingly okay and just before an accident that was being cleared I found myself beside a layby and ready for a lunch break, so I stopped just in time for a giant road caterpillar to rumble past, so that was neat.
Image

Image

The drive home was a little more eventful. It started raining just when I arrived in Maidstone and stopped just as I got back to Thornaby, for the duration of the drive home getting over 50mph was mostly impossible because the wiper simply couldn't go fast enough to clear the screen and many other drivers were experiencing similar issues. It was a fairly horrible drive home because the car was empty so got buffeted about a lot more than on the drive down. I was very grateful for the Uniroyals and having a lot of motorway miles where the vast majority of other road users were incredibly sensible.

Just as I got off the motorway I started to hear an occasional rubbing noise, that became a much more pronounced rubbing noise when turning hard right. The only casualty of the trek has been a fastening on the splashguard which is now a little loose and sometimes rubs a tyre, so I'll have to replace whatever fastening has broken or fallen out. BX was otherwise composed, relaxing, and trouble-free and proved itself to be everything Dean said it was and certainly felt well worth the investment of time and effort it's had. It'll need a bath, it's a bit grimy, not that it shows that much which is unusual for a white car.
Image

Fuel economy for the way out was about 65mpg, and on the way back about 60mpg. I expect economy on the way home would have been better if I could have kept the speed up a bit, 60mph seems to be the sweet spot for this car, though it'll happily wind up much further if you ask it too and we did spend a brief bit of time in the German Car Lane of the motorway which is something I never normally do.

User avatar
vulgalour
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Middlesbrough & Kent
My Cars: 1980 Austin Princess 1.7 HL
1987 Citroen BX 17RD
x 74

Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:17 am

I decided today would be the day I replace those two blown bulbs in the instrument cluster. I know this is a horrible job having done it before on my old estate so I did know what I was in for. I found the selection of bulbs I'd salvaged from the other cluster that came with the car and Mike and I went through them to find out which ones were good and which ones weren't. A good half of the salvaged bulbs were bad, and half of the good ones were such a sloppy fit in the cluster that they were unusable. I will be modernising the binnacle insofar as I'll be fitting some new regular brightness LEDs, purely because the failure rate is usually much lower than that of incandescent bulbs. I'm not interested in fitting ultrabright LEDs for this application because I don't like bright dials glaring at me at night.

The other thing I wanted to do was give some of the plastics a scrub since I hadn't done this side of the dashboard. So, off with rather a lot of stuff.
Image

It's not necessary to remove all of this to do the bulbs, as it happens, I did it this way mostly for the purposes of cleaning the column shroud more easily. I did discover that the lower panel is cracked on the ignition side and has a mismatched screw fitted. I can either repair the trim panel or try and find a good replacement, the latter would be my preference in this instance. To get the instrument panel out there's a trim piece that runs across the bottom of the instrument cluster, underneath on the outer edges are two tiny star-headed screws you need to remove. Once that's done you can undo the two large flat-headed screws that secure the bottom of the cluster to the dashboard. Then, you pop out the switch panel (or blanking plate panel in my case) to the lower right, and the oddments tray/digital clock bit in the centre of the dashboard (two cross-head screws). That allows you to get to the plastic wing nuts that hold the top of the instrument cluster in place, providing you can jam your hands in to get to them.
Image

With those undone, the whole binnacle pod can be eased forwards. Then, unplug the connectors along the top of the instrument cluster and ease the whole thing forwards. It's actually easier to do this without the steering wheel fitted and since that's just a single nut it's worth popping it off to make life easier. Then, it's a case of figuring out which bulbs go where, you can remove a bulb and angle the cluster so the light comes through the windscreen and illuminates the hole for the bulb you removed, that way you can see more easily if you've found the correct bulb that needs replacing. The bulbs themselves twist out and are fairly easy to replace. While it was all apart I gave the burnt looking vinyl a good scrub as I'd done on the passenger side. The main difference was that on the driver's side it did lift quite a bit of yellowy dirt, though some is stubbornly clinging on. I'll need to keep cleaning this to get it back to clean vinyl again, it's a bit of a slog because access isn't great even with the binnacle removed.
Image

There was the usual grime hiding around the edges of trim which all came off fairly easily, then it was time to reassemble. For all this job is fairly hateful, dismantling and rebuilding the dashboard components isn't too terrible. In not too much time, I had it all back together again.
Image

Image

Typically, as you deep clean one area it highlights another that needs more attention than you thought it did. I plan to remove the seats and carpets to shampoo them and when I do that I'll be able to give the centre console a proper scrub.
Image

Then it was a case of waiting a while to test the lights because I decided to do this job on the longest day. Happily, the lights that had blown are now working. Unhappily it looks like the battery telltale has now blown and possibly a bulb or two on the right hand side of the cluster, so I'll get those LEDs ordered as soon as I can. So much for improving things.
Image