My BX14 RE

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Fumbler
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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by Fumbler »

David wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 12:03 pm
There's a mod mentioned somewhere on this forum about completely bypassing the ignition switch with relays, which I've done myself. There are 4 circuits on the ignition switch. Simply put, you just need to put relays in to take the load. It's particularly useful when the switch contacts are getting worn & produce high resistance. It might be worthwhile finding the post about it on here & looking into it further. Even if it's your starter motor that's causing the problems, it'd be worthwhile so you have less problems in the future.

Looking at the state of the starter motor though, I'd just replace it. Sure, it might be OK, BUT it might also be on the brink of failing completely, leaving you stranded somewhere. I've never worked on a 1.4 BX, but if it's the same as my Xsara, it's not too difficult to do, just you have to work by touch, instead of looking what you're doing.

As your your concern about the strut tops; when they failed on my car, they didn't dislodge or go through the bonnet, But the strut tops moved around affecting the handling & they knocked as they moved around or when going over bumps. If they're worn out, they'll need replacing in any instance. Once you get the parts, they're not that hard to do, provided that you've got all the tools & parts that you need.

Hope that helps.
Indeed it does. At the present moment in time, I'm only interested in taking the load off the starter switch in the ignition barrel by using a relay. I've ordered the materials I need and by doing a small bit of thinking, I've got the new circuit sussed out. When money allows I'll have a new starter motor in the big box of spares I have. As it's mounted directly under the intake manifold (genius positioning right there) with pipework in the way on one side. I have the feeling I'll be lying on the top of the engine to get it out! I suppose we'll see when I have the courage to do it. Fortunately the relay mod is easy. Making it neat is the hard part.

There are only two connection points I haven't messed about with. One is the connection to the solenoid and the other are the switch contacts within the ignition barrel. I suspect they're rather tired so I'll set to fitting the relay kit once I'm home.

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Re: My BX14 RE

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I've adjusted the wiper arm because the blind spot -from the rain- on my side of the screen was biblical. Meh, who needs to see around right-hand corners and directions anyway? I've made it better and all is kind of well. Naturally I didn't take any photos at all.

What I did do was instead was bypass the ignition switch with some wire to investigate the condition of the starting system. I recorded videos of cranking with the key and basically hotwiring the starter to the battery. Below are the results-



So it looks as if the ignition switch certainly isn't helping with things. It's a good job I've ordered the parts to make that circuit relay controlled. I've traced the wire from the solenoid to a taped-up bundle of wires. The taping was done by Waso when they fitted the alarm. Annoyingly most of the air system will require removal for good access, but it could be worse. It's not all that hard to remove the components. The slow cranking as a whole is most likely down to the piddly battery currently connected, which shall shortly be replaced, and the starter itself being grotty and tired. This shall also be replaced at some point as soon as I get the money.

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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by white exec »

Considering the likely iffy state of most of the important bits - IGN sw, maybe wiring, solenoid contacts, starter motor - your test produces a decent improvement. Just wait 'til it gets a relay, battery, and the other new bits: it should fly!

Plenty of PSA/Citroen owners have experienced all this, and across a good few models. You're in good company.
Chris

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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by Fumbler »

white exec wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 8:18 pm
Considering the likely iffy state of most of the important bits - IGN sw, maybe wiring, solenoid contacts, starter motor - your test produces a decent improvement. Just wait 'til it gets a relay, battery, and the other new bits: it should fly!

Plenty of PSA/Citroen owners have experienced all this, and across a good few models. You're in good company.
Misery does seem to like company. I forgot to get an inline fuse, so I'll buy one right away. Anyhow, what a result! It looks like I'm on track to fixing the problem.

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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by white exec »

It's normal for the Batt+ → IGN sw → starter solenoid connection to go unfused, simply because the current involved is subnstantial (25-30A typical), and blown fuses there would leave the car pretty much unstartable.

I'd suggest doing the same with your new IGN sw → new Relay → starter solenoid arrangement.
Just make sure the new cable run either side of the relay is done tidily (2.5mm²), well-insulated/protected, and away from sharp edges or undue heat, with the relay decently bolted/mounted, not left loose.
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Re: My BX14 RE

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white exec wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 8:50 pm
It's normal for the Batt+ → IGN sw → starter solenoid connection to go unfused, simply because the current involved (25-30A typical) is high, and blown fuses there would leave the car pretty much unstartable.

I'd suggest doing the same with your new IGN sw → new Relay → starter solenoid arrangement.
Just make sure the new cable run either side of the relay is done tidily (2.5mm²), well-insulated, and away from sharp edges or undue heat, wityh the relay decently bolted/mounted, not left loose.
In which case I can stop looking for one on eBay. Cable management, thanks to the space I have, won't be much of an issue. What I'll need to do initially is trace the original starter cable all the way back to the loom and then reroute it into the scuttle area where there's a handy little relay bar. Only 1 out of the 4 spaces is occupied so that'll provide a neat and easy location to mount the relay and obtain a good earth connection.

The cable I'm using is 2.5mm single-insulated PVC cable you commonly see drawn through conduits and, as a trainee electrician, it's something I'm familiar with. We were working with the stuff to connect up relays (of all things!) for a practical exercise and I nabbed some waste cable to do the hotwire. I have 5 metres of the stuff arriving this week! I also have plenty of zipties, crimp connectors and heatshrink tubing at home, ready and waiting.

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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by white exec »

Sounds perfick :)
I've done much the same, running some new black flexi-conduit where a new cable couldn't go through an existing one.
Have also made use of the spare relay positions in the bulkhead for extra relays for main & dipped beam. Handy empty locations!
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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by Jaba »

The place to take your relay connection from is by your left foot against the bulkhead and behind the front of the centre console. Its where a 4 way white connector plugs into a brown one. The white connector goes up to the ignition switch. Solder or connect a lead onto pin 3.

I have done this and took the lead direct to the starter solenoid bypassing the two or three connector blocks and giving more volts. I promised myself at the time to wire in a relay soon but as it cured the problem immediately I have not bothered so far.
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Re: My BX14 RE

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Jaba wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 9:43 pm
The place to take your relay connection from is by your left foot against the bulkhead and behind the front of the centre console. Its where a 4 way white connector plugs into a brown one. The white connector goes up to the ignition switch. Solder or connect a lead onto pin 3.

I have done this and took the lead direct to the starter solenoid bypassing the two or three connector blocks and giving more volts. I promised myself at the time to wire in a relay soon but as it cured the problem immediately I have not bothered so far.
So remove the cable going into pin 3 of the white connector, yes? Do I then use this wiring as a guide to find a route to the bulkhead? I sense some fiddly routing behind the centre console and to the loom exit on the passenger side is afoot with this method, but it sounds worth it.

Considering these connection points are inside the car, I reckon they're most likely still sound. I'm a little apprehensive with touching any wiring on the interior as they've already been toyed around with by some people in the 80s who stuffed a lot of (now redundant) cable in a lot of places.

I'm off to have a look to see what this looks like. I'm sure it'll be fine.

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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by Fumbler »

And, of course, all the plastics in the car are intact and well secured so I couldn't see what I was looking for. I could see the cabeling but that's it.

For the sake of effort, and the fact that half of the column screws are missing, how hard would it be to make the bypass directly at the switch itself?

I've had a bit more of a think about this and a rewire at either the connector or at the switch would be quite easy once I start things off. Why? Because of the old alarm cabelling! The cables from where the control unit was enter on the right-hand side of the bulkhead and are accessible if you prise out the choke cover. I shall need to remove a few cables to wedge my 2.5mm single through, and I'll feed it in from the bulkhead to save endless fishing around, but it's at least slightly easier than I had once feared.

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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by white exec »

As Jaba says, by-passing some of the connectors between the IGN sw and the starter solenoid may produce an extra volt or two at the solenoid - but it still leaves the IGN sw having to deal with the ∼25A current of the solenoid. Adding the relay is the obvious way to cure this, and to also reduce the loading on any intermediate connectors.

Simply powering the relay coil from the cable that originally connected to the solenoid is easy to do, as you've already worked out.
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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by David »

Fumbler wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 10:03 pm
And, of course, all the plastics in the car are intact and well secured so I couldn't see what I was looking for. I could see the cabeling but that's it.

For the sake of effort, and the fact that half of the column screws are missing, how hard would it be to make the bypass directly at the switch itself?

I've had a bit more of a think about this and a rewire at either the connector or at the switch would be quite easy once I start things off. Why? Because of the old alarm cabelling! The cables from where the control unit was enter on the right-hand side of the bulkhead and are accessible if you prise out the choke cover. I shall need to remove a few cables to wedge my 2.5mm single through, and I'll feed it in from the bulkhead to save endless fishing around, but it's at least slightly easier than I had once feared.
Personally, I wouldn't put the relay near the ignition switch. Remember that the starter circuit draws a lot of amps, so you need to keep the wires as short as possible. Personally, I'd put the relay behind the glovebox, just above the fuse box, so that the current doesn't have to travel as far. It easily cuts 2-3 metres of cable out just by putting it there. A shorter cable, means less volt drop, which means a faster cranking car!

The 8 main ignition cables (in 2 plugs) come out of & return to the main fuse box, One's a brown plug & the other is white. They're blue & yellow wires, IIRC, so you just need to find the one that operates the starter motor, cut it & put your relay in.

Hope that helps.
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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by white exec »

Agreed - The relay should go as close as possible to Batt+ and starter solenoid - as said, to keep its heavy-duty wires as short as possible.
That says it should go in the engine bay, not the cabin.
The Batt+ supply for the relay (and on to the starter solenoid) could come off the smaller of your two original cables already connected to Batt+. There's a handy connector already there you could tap into.
For tidiness, you might want to put it into the bulkhead relay bracket, although on the adjacent inner wing would be fine.

The wiring to the coil ends is light-duty, and length doesn't matter.
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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by Fumbler »

white exec wrote:
Tue May 25, 2021 10:24 am
Agreed - The relay should go as close as possible to Batt+ and starter solenoid - as said, to keep its heavy-duty wires as short as possible.
That says it should go in the engine bay, not the cabin.
The Batt+ supply for the relay (and on to the starter solenoid) could come off the smaller of your two original cables already connected to Batt+. There's a handy connector already there you could tap into.
For tidiness, you might want to put it into the bulkhead relay bracket, although on the adjacent inner wing would be fine.

The wiring to the coil ends is light-duty, and length doesn't matter.
I'm going to follow this method. I was thinking about this last night, and, in reality, I'm decreasing the load of the ignition switch by a massive amount. It doesn't matter that I'll still have several connections as the switch will now only power a relay's coil.

For the avoidance of confusion on my part, this is what I want to do:
  • Fit relay and relay coil earth to the bay in the bulkhead
  • Reroute the original solenoid wire into the bulkhead so that it can power the coil.
  • Make an all-new feed to the solenoid from the battery, with the relay being used to switch the solenoid


Creating a dedicated solenoid feed is preferable (and near definitely happening) as it eliminates the solenoid and coil feeds sharing the same wire, preventing the solenoid from taking all the current and causing the relay coil to switch off while cranking.
Last edited by Fumbler on Tue May 25, 2021 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My BX14 RE

Post by white exec »

That should work just fine.
Chris