C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

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

Post by jamescarruthers »

I can highly recommend Mike Jordan at Just Alternators and Starter Motors: jasm.co.uk

You'll get your original unit back batter than new if you have the time to send away for overhaul. Probably cheaper too.
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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

Thanks for the tip off. Starter motor has behaved itself today so hopefully it was a temporary thing. If not, I've got a reference right there to come back to.

---

Good news! The BX is running again. After some trial and error I found the spot the pump seemed to run best and now the car starts quite willingly which is great.

Bad news! After a while of running at idle the car stalls. If you apply a lot of throttle and let off, it stalls. Raising the idle made no difference and moving the pump just made the car stall quicker.

I have no idea what the cause of this is. The car is driveable, and perhaps some fresh fuel would help even though what's in isn't that old. It doesn't seem to be exhibiting any of the air leak signs it was before and the pump isn't make any unusual noises or leaking (just as well really, considering) so I suspect this is a timing or set up issue rather than anything actually being broken. The only problem I've faced in setting up is that to get the car to run its best, the pump is all the way at the end of the adjustment, by which I mean turned fully towards the windscreen, and I'm not sure that's correct. If I turn the pump back it stalls more quickly, and if I turn it back further you start to get knocking noises, so it is where it is.

Help and advice, as always, welcome on this one. I do want to get someone with more knowledge than me to set this up properly and get it to best tune so it runs the best it can, I just have no idea who to go to for that since I'm not after any sort of performance gains here, I just want it set up right.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 »

I have a few diesel starters if u need one, a valeo a lucas and an unknown, the lucas only covered approx 20k before the car was scrapped.
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 »

Are you sure your mechanical timing is correct? Not one notch out.
If your pump is all the way advanced/retarded it sounds as tho its compensating for that.
Did you set your timing with the flywheel and camshaft locked in the correct position and then rotate the pump pulley a few mm's to line it up with the belt letting the tensioner take the strain of the pump pulley.
Or maybe the belt has slipped due to the tensioner being slack.
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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

I locked the pulley by putting bolts through it into the plate that the pump mounts onto and I did that by finding the nearest position it would bolt in at. The bolts were not then removed until the pump was reinstalled so, in theory, it should all align correctly. I didn't touch the tensioner or the belt itself since there was no need to, so the engine side of the timing should be perfectly fine.

That said, it's entirely possible the pump's timing isn't perfectly aligned with the engine's timing. I'm out of my depth with this job so I'm going to be looking at getting someone out to set the thing up properly. I can drive the car as it stands so that's something and there's a chance it's bad fuel or something else but I must admit after talking to a few other people and doing some online research, it seems more likely that the issue is down to incorrect timing somewhere.

Rather than mess about with this, I think it's much more sensible to get a professional or talented amateur out to sort it properly. I can't imagine it'll be a big job for someone that knows how to do these things properly compared to me making my first ham-fisted attempt.

Starter motor has gone back to behaving normally again but it's probably wise to acquire a back up. I'll find out which one is actually fitted to mine, because we know what Citroen are like with their Lucky Dip approach to what's fitted, and probably grab one of yours as a just in case measure.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 »

Correct way to set timing
Turn crankshaft until you can

Insert 7mm dowel or similar through the hole in crankcase (behind starter motor) this should align with a hole in back of flywheel
Lock camshaft with 8mm bolt
You will find the belt doesn't quite line up with pump so rotate the pump pulley clockwise a few mm's, you'll need to remove the retaining bolt for this
Then tension the belt ensuring its taught between cam and pump.
It is a bit of a 3 handed job
The HBOL gives a pretty good description.
Then you should be good.
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

I had hoped to take the car on a short handful of miles errand today to get the bits I need to sort the other car out and instead it rewarded me by refusing to idle long enough to even get it into gear. Starts willingly enough, it just won't idle for very long at all and rotating the pump doesn't improve matters at all so I begin to wonder if this is really a timing issue alone, or if there's something else at play.

When the wind changed direction and the exhaust fumes blew back into the car it had a distinctly paraffin-y edge to it too, which seemed a bit odd. I wonder if the issue is bad fuel now, combined with an incorrectly timed pump. I'll get the other car working (hopefully) so I can go to the garage and get some fresh diesel for the BX, maybe it will help.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

Got a lift up to the fuel station and got a jerry can of diesel for the BX. Dumped it in and watched the fuel gauge bob up and down, which is not normal, it's usually a nice clean sweep, so something is up there. Anyway, fresh diesel meant the car would idle for long enough to actually select gears and I could sometimes get it to hold on the throttle when it tried to stall and recover back to idling normally. That was something. So I decided to run to the fuel station and stick more fuel in to see if it would make any more difference. It did, the car was more willing to idle but still tried to stall sometimes, the fuel gauge now swept cleanly rather than bobbing, and I got home fine with the car stalling just as I pulled onto the drive. Then, when I got out, I noticed a puddle of diesel on the floor.
Image

What I can't figure out is where it's coming from. It's not where I had the jerry can when I was using that and I didn't spill any from the jerry can either. There's no obvious sign of where it's leaked out and it's definitely diesel. It must have come from the back of the car because it's parked now where it has been while doing fuel stuff. The drop on the bumper is from where I filled up at the fuel station. Looking underneath the car there's a couple of spots of LHM under the rear displacer which is from the bit where the sphere meets the socket as far as I can tell.
Image

Image

Diesel tends to stick around when it leaks so I expected to see something obvious under here. My gut feeling is that there's a leaking return pipe somewhere at the back, I've done the hoses at the front and everything is staying fuel tight up there as far as I can tell, but I've done nothing at the back because of the tediousness of access.

I'm admitting defeat on this one. It will have to go to a specialist, or a talented enthusiast, to get to the bottom of the issue. I am at a loss and have no desire to do more on it.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

Rutter: I did read your post on the instructions and honestly, I just haven't the patience with this any more. I can't see anything that looks like a place I could put a dowel behind or near the starter motor either. I've had enough of feeling like I'm getting nowhere with this, better to give it to someone else to fix.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Jaba »

Your timing probs aside there is an anti stall adjustment. It is different on Bosch and Lucas pumps. I don't remember which you have but if its Lucas it involves using a 3mm feeler and adjusting for a smooth deceleration from 3000 revs. Its in the Haynes if you have one if not then it can be found online.

I fully understand your loss of patience with all this. We have all suffered in this way. I tried three different diesel pumps on one car with similar luck to yours. I ended up doing an engine swap from another car which I had to scrap when the rear subframe fell off ! This was after spending hundreds on a diesel pump recon that I actually never got round to fitting. It is still on my shelf.
Bon courage anyway
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

Given a couple of easy suggestions to try on this one. First was to try running the car with the fuel flap open, in case it was a blocked breather for the tank. Car was harder to start, and stall more quickly. Not sure what that tells us other than the car prefers the fuel flap shut.

Other suggestion is to run from a jerry can of diesel direct to the filter, elminating the fuel tank and associated items in theory. That's a fairly inexpensive and easy thing to try so I'll do that once I get another jerry can of fuel to do it with.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 »

I can't see that bad fuel or old fuel being the problem
My t/d has been stood a few years and starts with no issues on old diesel, sounds as tho yours is suffering from timing probs fuel igniting too early or too late giving off an as you say paraffin or traction engine smell.
I suspect you're a tooth out on your pump timing, yes it will run as such like this at max advance/retard on the pump adjustment without mechanical damage, I doubt it's anything to do with the recon pump and as Mr Jaba says your anti stall may need some adjustment.
Find a local diesel specialist who could prob put it right in a few minutes (annoyingly)
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

Oh I'm sure that someone with knowledge will take one look at it, twiddle a screwdriver, and fix it in a minute or two and I'd happily pay for that at this point.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour »

Today, there was a new patch of diesel under the car and it's about in the area where the pipes come out of the tank so I begin to suspect there might actually be a split or pinholed return line. In my reading of other diesels, a split/holed return line can cause unpredictable stalling, it seems to effectively lean out the fuel by drawing in air and the longer the car runs, the more air it sucks in. Car stops running, air is expelled in the usual way through the breather pipe etc. and there's no air to be drawn up to hinder a restart.

If I run the car from a jerry can, and take the return line from the engine to an overflow container instead of allowing it back to the tank I assume that will allow me to diagnose whether or not there is a split return line issue at the back of the car by isolating it from the system.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Jaba »

Yes you could test the return line leak theory that way but its air leaks on the supply side not the return that gives problems with starting and running.
Typically these small supply line air leaks do not leak fuel out its just the pump suction that draws in air as you showed a while back with the clear tubing. A small air leak affects starting only whereas a larger leak affects the running too.
If there are air leaks in the supply line then priming before and while its running will be a good clue if it runs normally with a bit of priming while its running.
As you only got your fuel leak after filling up it might just be a leak on the fuel filler hoses or vent - thats unusual though.
I mention all this as there just might be something there that helps.
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