Dashboard creaks

BX Tech talk
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white exec
BXpert
Posts: 547
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:04 pm
Location: Sayalonga, Malaga
My Cars: 1992 BX19D Millesime
- LHD, NA, AC, RP_5800
1996 XM 2.5TD Exclusive
x 54

Dashboard creaks

Post by white exec »

Creaking from the ship's rigging is not unknown with BX, as so much plastic is assembled next to plastic.

The steering shroud has been particularly annoying on our '92 19D, and has ended up getting constant pokes, a raised knee, and while-driving investigations about where the creaking (and occasional rattle) was coming from.

Months ago, opened up the shroud, and put some pipe insulation around a relay and a connector, to stop them clonking loose on the lower part of the shroud. Clonks gone, but creaking continued.

One particularly annoying creak would come from the small 'shelf' below the instrument window, with any movement of it producing lots of noise. Shoving a finger down the gap between the instrument window and the shelf would shut it up, but not for long.

Action today, which looks successful . . .

1. The small shelf (held in place with two small csk torx on the underside) was creaking where its forward edge rests on a plastic moulding running the full width of the instruments. A length of black gaffa/duct tape on the underside of the shelf surface silenced it. A few more small pieces of gaffa were added into the hollow of the shelf (at the ends) for good measure.

2. The dimmer rheostat was found to be creaking/clonking in its snap-in aperture, and not a particularly snug fit. A length of pvc insulation tape was put round the dimmer's mating surface, and that shut that up.

3. 'Lights on' sounder found to bounce around on its plastic clip. Small piece of foam added to pad-out the movement.

4. Both upper and lower main shroud halves engage together with a shallow tongue/groove running all around — plastic-on-plastic again, and allowing movement (and creaks). The same arrangement exists for the two small insert panels for the lighting switch and wiper stalk/IGN switch.
Adding tape on these slender edges was not an option, and likely too thick anyway. Decided to give one coat of PVA to each joint. Allowed to dry, PVA goes colourless, and is easily wiped off. Allowed to dry for 10mins before assembling.

All looks good, and a snugger fit for all the parts. Time will tell, as always.
___________

One of the criticisms of the BX interior was its massive use of plastic panels, and nothing wrong with that as such.
What's not good is the way many of these are optimistically fitted together, with cost obviously in mind. Interesting to compare the plastic dash of BX with that of the XM, where most of the plastic-to-plastic joints were given a thin felt lining, to prevent just this issue.
XM and Xantia got this right, as did ZX. All were exceptionally well screwed together; lessons learned! [-X
Chris

RobC
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Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:15 am
Location: East London
My Cars: 1991 Citroen BX 16v
x 26

Re: Dashboard creaks

Post by RobC »

Good tips, thanks. Definitely plenty of creaks in my dash
1991 Citroen BX 16v

krekov
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:13 pm
Location: Cracow
My Cars: 1989 Citroen BX GTI 16v
x 2

Re: Dashboard creaks

Post by krekov »

The main problem of the BX's interior is that the dashboard is entirely plastic, with no metal reinforcements. The rigidity of the entire assembly is not very good, leading to creaks during driving.
What aggravates this issue is the way complex elements were made: by loosely welding several plastic pieces together in some points using heat. This is particularly noticeable on the gauge cluster shroud.

Like you said, using glue to hold said complex elements together vastly reduces rattles. It's what I did in my 16v.
Generally, this car uses way too many plastic clips and welding to get around using more bolts.
Had the interior parts been put together with proper metal bolts and washers, I doubt it'd creak as much as it does.

Like the period reviews said - the interior quality is just below acceptable. I drove a basic Fiat Punto from 1993 and it didn't make any creaking noises even on bumps.

User avatar
white exec
BXpert
Posts: 547
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:04 pm
Location: Sayalonga, Malaga
My Cars: 1992 BX19D Millesime
- LHD, NA, AC, RP_5800
1996 XM 2.5TD Exclusive
x 54

Re: Dashboard creaks

Post by white exec »

Good points, krek'. The choice of a PVA coating on the small tongue/groove was done to try to prevent direct plastic-to-plastic surfaces from sliding over each other, which equals creaking. The PVA acts as a cushion, rather than a glue - which is why I tried to let it dry before fitting the parts together. A black 'rubberised' paint (very fashionable at the moment) might do a nice job on these joints.

The job done this morning seems to have worked: silence from the dash area on a 30km journey this afternoon. Pleased with that!

I also recently lined the upper and lower glove compartments (it's a LHD car, so has both) with 2mm black needle felt, to prevent the contents from clattering against the sides of the units. Has worked well.

Gaffa tape seems to work well in keeping two contacting plastic surfaces apart, and swatting the creaking.
You're right about the almost complete absence of metal in the dash structure!

One further creaky item (I dislike them intensely!) seems to be the RH (passenger side) front door finisher, where the window switch is. Likely another bit of plastic resting on something else... Another job.
Chris

krekov
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Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:13 pm
Location: Cracow
My Cars: 1989 Citroen BX GTI 16v
x 2

Re: Dashboard creaks

Post by krekov »

I've found that B pillar covers are major offenders. I recommend sticking something between the middle pillar cover and lower sill finisher, the one that has a big seatbelt bolt on it.
It's also advisable to put something between the middle and top plastic piece holding the interior lights, too.