C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

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deltic
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by deltic »

Interesting posts about your leaks! My BX seems to leak in random places from week to week, front, rear, side to side. Currently there's a lot of condensation on both front and rear screens, the steering wheel seems to have gone mouldy and there is an odd patch of water on the mat under the steering wheel... Thus a little investigative work will be due this weekend. In part I suspect this is due to not using the car much so that there's less chance of drying out. In part I think it could be poorly fitting door seals and/or doors. I also think that after having new rear spheres (i.e. the rear end stays up) water from the sunroof is finding its way down the front rather more usually down the rear as the rear is not sinking as much. The joy of BX!
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deltic
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by deltic »

By the way I meant to say welcome to Kent. I'm in Sittingbourne, so I'd be interested to hear how you get on with garages.
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

It doesn't seem to want to be dry here. I never notice it raining but clearly it is. Not ideal for a car that likes to let a bit of water in really. Currently, my parking situation is a little bit tucked down the side of the garage where the previous owners kept their caravan. Until we remove a chunk of hedge so we have full access to the dropped curb again, it'll have to do, but hedge removal is a pretty hefty job and can wait a little bit while we work through the other house move stuff.
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Building carports is a way off too, for the same reason, though that is the short term measure. I'll come back to this in a mo. Usefully, since cleaning the car up and doing the various repair works I had a good clean datum point to see where water was coming in and the trickle has been coming in steadily for long enough now that it's left some nice orange telltales.
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Someone has been here before trying to cure this water leak, both sides, and honestly it's a tricky one to unpick without removing the dashboard. I'm pretty sure the leak is directly related to the previous windscreen surround repairs and the A pillar door hinge repair since it's coming from that sort of area. The difficulty is figuring how the water is getting into the area it's leaking out of into the car. I know it's all sealed up from the outside on the inner wing because I did all that, and there's no obvious ingress from the door hinge repair either. The windscreen, so far as I can tell when I removed various trims, isn't letting water in or suffering from rot either. The only place I could find anything was behind the washer bottle in the scuttle area. There was some loose sealant in this area that I dug out and daubed fresh on when things dried out and this drastically reduced how much water was getting in so I suspect that's the right sort of area. It's not 100% sealed yet, when the weather is better I want to really dig into this area and eliminate any holes and rot that might still be hiding, it's probably a fairly small repair that's required along with a lot of time to dismantle everything to get to it, so probably not a fun job.
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On the plus side, since adding drain holes to the rear reflector panel the boot is staying properly dry now and the rear screen hasn't fogged up excessively so I'm cautiously optimistic I've sorted that out. The other job today was clearing some rubble from the end of the parking area in part to get the car back a bit further and test for Princess space, and in part to show just how tight the garage is here. You can literally get the BX (or the Princess, they're about the same size) in the garage and nothing else, which is honestly a bit disappointing.
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Ah well, jobs for future days. The important thing is I've got off-road parking for the cars and a garage that can be used as a little workshop in the meantime. The plan is to build a carport on each side of the garage and replace the astroturf with some hard surface. That will keep the worst of the weather off and, as I understand it, not land us foul of any planning permissions since car ports are regarded as 'temporary structures'. Then in a year or three we can look at building a really fancy garage and proper hard standing to smarten everything up and increase practical working and storage space. I'm happy enough for now.
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deltic
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by deltic »

deltic wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:08 pm
Interesting posts about your leaks! My BX seems to leak in random places from week to week, front, rear, side to side. Currently there's a lot of condensation on both front and rear screens, the steering wheel seems to have gone mouldy and there is an odd patch of water on the mat under the steering wheel... Thus a little investigative work will be due this weekend. In part I suspect this is due to not using the car much so that there's less chance of drying out. In part I think it could be poorly fitting door seals and/or doors. I also think that after having new rear spheres (i.e. the rear end stays up) water from the sunroof is finding its way down the front rather more usually down the rear as the rear is not sinking as much. The joy of BX!
It's the front sunroof drain holes...
1991 BX GTi auto, grey, 137,000 miles (2015, 2017 & 2019 Citroen Classic Challenge veteran)
2006 C4 VTR+ 2.0 Coupé, silver, 68,000 miles
2007 Hyundai Coupé SIII 2.0, sky blue, 53,000 miles

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 »

Or poss the drain tubes have come adrift from the headlining hence water running down the windscreen pillars and into the a-pillars.
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by deltic »

That's what's worrying me!
1991 BX GTi auto, grey, 137,000 miles (2015, 2017 & 2019 Citroen Classic Challenge veteran)
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

I don't have a sunroof.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

The starting problem is back again. However, this time I have some extra information to perhaps identify the issue. I do now know what makes the issue worse since this problem has persisted long enough for me to collate some information.

- If it's 2C or below outside, the car will have trouble starting

- If it's damp outside, or actively raining, even if it's below 2C, the car usually has less trouble starting (I have no idea why this would be)

- cycling the glowplugs before attempting to start the car makes no difference

- Using a bit of throttle when starting helps only to half pedal. Use full pedal and it will struggle and die quicker.

- If the car is having a non-starting sort of a day, the colder it is the longer it takes.

- A long run at motorway speeds eliminates the starting problem for several days, regardless of temperature or humidity, and it will operate as a normal car

- Repeated short runs in a short period make the starting problem much worse, sometimes to the extent that even trying to start the car once warm will take a second attempt before it wants to go.

- A quarter of a tank of fresh fuel, or more, will eliminate the starting issue usually for a day, regardless of outside temperature etc.

- Some days, it just starts with no fuss, regardless of all the variables, as though there's no problem at all.

I'm still at a bit of a loss on this one. I've gone through the fuel etc. to try and eliminate the usual suspects and everything appears to be operating as it should. Sometimes there are bubbles in the fuel line sometimes there aren't, and the presence or absence of bubbles does not directly correlate to the difficulty or ease of starting the car. The bubbles in the fuel line are only present when you turn the car off, at which point you see them returning down the hose (I fitted clear hose to see what's happening). The glowplugs, which are new, tested fine with the multimeter and while I know new parts does not always equal success, it seems very unlikely those are the culprit. Fuel consumption is normal, so the car doesn't seem to be running excessively lean or rich, and it doesn't smoke, so I assume that side of things is good too.

For now, I'm running the fuel tank as empty as I dare just in case there's some old fuel or something sloshing about in there that's perhaps causing an issue, it can help with petrol cars, I've no idea if it helps with diesels, and given that it always runs a bit better with fresh fuel in I'd say it can't do any harm. Worst case it'll drag something through from the tank and block the fuel filter (which is clean and moderately new, I did check).

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 »

Is the cold start valve on the fuel pump working (lucas/CAV)? From memory it's an alloy type canister that screws into the thermostat housing with a short cable to the fuel pump. Quite sure it operates like a wax stat, the cables can seize and also the arm it connects to on the pump can stick
Might be worth a look.
Not entirely sure it's the same set up on an n/a 1.7 as the turbo diesel
I had a similar problem on a t/d years ago with persistent cold start issues.
Once replaced and the arm on the pump freed off problem solved.
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

As far as I can tell, the arm is free and I couldn't see anything particularly amiss. It's on a Bosch pump rather than a Lucas one. The cables don't have excessive slack and everthing appears to move as it should. It's a slightly frustrating issue since it's outside my sphere of experience and whenever someone else has looked at it to try and diagnose the issue, the issue simply hasn't been there to diagnose.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Jaba »

That waxstat serves to advance the pump slightly for cold starting. When I had a bosch pump this had failed so the pump was never advanced and this did not make any difference to starting. You could prove this by slackening the cable to stop it affecting the pump.
In theory, as there is no ignition to worry about this should be easy to fix as it can only be a fuelling issue and bad starting is most commonly associated with air leaking in somewhere somehow. But I know you have checked all this. What about the fuel preheater has this been bypassed ?

So what are we left with as long shots -.......the pump itself, the fuel inlet filter in the tank, the fuel shutoff solenoid valve, leak back pipes, injectors and air getting in somewhere but I know you have had a good go at diagnosing this.
Does draining off water in the filter and/or priming it have any helpful effect.
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

Priming manually just makes it smoke when trying to start and doesn't improve the starting ability. Preheater has not been bypassed as far as I can tell. I'll try slacking off the cable so it can't do anything, if that makes things even worse then maybe we'll be onto something there. The last time I had the filter out there was no water to drain out to speak of.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

Today, it was raining. The good news is that means the BX was, as usual, much easier to start and it highlighted that the sealing I had done behind the washer bottle had improved water ingress issues quite a lot. I also learned that the driver's door only drains out of the front drain hole once you open the door and while it does drain very fast since the drainholes are all nice and clear, it does seem a bit weird that it won't drain when the door is shut. And no, that isn't how the water is getting into the driver's footwell, I did double-check. So, the thing to do before starting the car was to disconnect what I understand to be the cold start cable. There wasn't any slack in the cable before doing this, nor when I reconnected it.

Now, the car did start slightly easier than on a dry cold day, but no easier than usual than on a wet day, so the results of this were inconclusive. There didn't appear to be any external bits to adjust at the pump end of the cable so I assume the adjustment would be done on the arm on the back of the housing at the other end of the cable. The two adjustment screws are very stuck, but there is a little movement in the arm anyway, which I assume is as it should be, I didn't fiddle about with it for fear of making it worse and due to not having much time spare to faff with this today.
Image

Here's a wider shot of where that cable above actually runs. I took both pictures from opposite sides of the engine for extra confusion. The accelerator cable doesn't have excessive slack, nor is it excessively tight, and it moves freely. I can't see anything obviously amiss so I imagine the fault I'm looking for that's causing the cold start problems is a hidden part.
Image

Typically for a rainy day, the car started perfectly happily throughout my errands and ran perfectly fine. The very first attempt to start the car with the cold start cable disconnected did fail where normally it would succeed on a rainy day like this, the second start was reluctant, but did go eventually from a sluggish chug to normal running within a few seconds. I'm not sure if any of the above information helps clarify the problem, or just muddies the waters further.

Hopefully I've actually understood what I'm looking at properly. If not, I'm happy to be put right so I can get a better understanding of what's going on, I'm not brilliant with engine stuff.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 »

Sounds like it's gonna be a process of elimination, try bypassing the fuel filter but fit one of those in-line filters instead.
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

It has been suggested that it might be a valve clearance issue, which I hadn't considered. As on the Princess, the valve clearances are shims and buckets, so it's not really a job I want to get into. Shouldn't be a difficult job, just a tedious one, and I haven't any shims or a micrometer at present so I couldn't do it even if I wanted to.

Fuel filter bypass idea, however, is much easier to achieve since I do have a spare in-line fuel filter, so I'll give that a go at some point soon.