Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

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Maxwell
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Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Maxwell »

Morning all,
My impulse Facebook Marketplace 16V E898 DVK (£650) has been with me a couple of weeks and I've now had time to get under and give it a thorough inspection. It's pretty far gone to my untrained eye. I believe it is rescuable, but needs a hell of a lot of work. I bought a pair of full sills and started jotting down all the work that needs doing. Both sills, the base of the pillars are shot; the front suspension turrets aren't great; rear quarter and subframe and fuel tank filler section. All four doors. Bubbling around the top corner of the windscreen. Sunroof stuck open and all the rails, cables and mechanism rotten solid. Roof adj to sunroof bubbling. Boot floor etc. Front wings.

The car was white from the factory and has been resprayed in a non-standard red at some point. The entire thing will need a great deal of work and a full respray. The engine runs but really needs to come out and be thoroughly overhauled. The electrics around the engine bay are pretty rough - lots of additional wiring and stuff that's corroded and broken, disconnected or chopped into.

Other aspects are as you might expect for a car that's sat 20-odd years.

While I am foolish and profligate enough to believe I'll persevere and complete the project, the projected cost and investment of time is formidable, and it's conceivable I'm biting off more than I can chew.

My overall objective is to have a moderately presentable 16V that I can use and enjoy; I'm not interested in winning any awards or future resale opportunities.

With all the above in mind, I have come to the conclusion that a Plan B - purchase a run of the mill sounder base car and transplant the engine and brakes etc - is likely a more sensible and feasible proposition. It'll never be a true 16V and I'll pay more for insurance, as it'll be heavily modified, but it's an opportunity to have the full 16V experience in a car that is relatively newer and sounder to start with. No need for full respray and shedloads of cutting and welding etc.

I have a 1992 16 TXi being delivered in a couple of days which has had the welding done and is - so I gather - generally sound. K908 BEW. It has minor fuel and LHM leaks, which I will sort and put it in for the MoT without delay. The plan is to enjoy the TXi while I whip the stuff worth keeping from the 16V and overhaul it all ready for transplant into the TXi in due course.

Apologies for the lengthy post; really appreciate the perspectives of forum members as to the sense (or otherwise) of the plan.

Cheers, Max

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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Maxwell »

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Maxwell
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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Kitch »

Certainly a time to pause, take stock of everything and decide on a plan.

Personally, I'd rescue it. You say the end value isn't a consideration (and rightly so, it shouldn't be) but recently a 16RS Pilot running a 16V engine struggled to sell for quite a long time. I wouldn't be surprised if, eventually, someone buys it for the bits and breaks it up to assist other cars. Although they're there to be driven, cars can only be original once; In that instance, they'll lose a rare Pilot model (and potentially a 16V, if one went into it as a donor.)
So, for me, I'd see the 16V through. The TXI is an interesting car, but they're actually much rarer than the 16V, so it'd be a shame to meddle with it. There's also no guarantee the areas you've found on the 16V won't need attention at some level on the TXI, as they're all common BX rot-spots. A roadworthy TXI to enjoy pootling around in while a GTi 16V gets restored in the background? That's a nice problem to have!

However, I'd actually be inclined to keep that car the colour it is. It looks like Rouge Florentin, which is a period correct colour for the BX. The GTi and 16V never came in it, but it does look 'right' somehow. Would make it stand out, and, done correctly, might actually make it quite desirable. Certainly unique. Go for all the correct badging etc, build it as if Citroen themselves made it as a factory car. And throw that tailblazer away and paint the rear boot panel satin black, because no original factory Rouge Florentin car ever had the black rear panel of the 'sportier' models. Would be a subtle, yet unique look. Many Citroen enthusiasts wouldn't even be able to tell it wasn't a factory colour, and white (the original colour) is the most common ph1 you'll find. In fact, white is the most common colour for a BX - period.

As for the condition of that particular car, 95% of other project valvers will be the same. If you're committed to doing it properly, you'll get all the info/help you need off here (and the 16V forum - Luke is very knowledgable). The only drawback is cost; £4k will buy a fairly decent ph1 16V, and that will definitely cost more to restore than £4k (albeit it in installments).

Follow your gut, at the end of the day, but that's what I'd do; A Rouge Florentin GTi 16v.
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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Jaba »

I can do nothing but agree with Kitch's persuasive case to save the 16v. My GTi is currently having rust fixed around the windscreen with the roof bars off - so I am practising what I am preaching.
Your choice of course.

BTW is the TXi one of those 1.6 monopoint injection models, I didn't know they were ever sold here.
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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Maxwell »

Kitch wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 12:16 pm
Certainly a time to pause, take stock of everything and decide on a plan.

Personally, I'd rescue it. You say the end value isn't a consideration (and rightly so, it shouldn't be) but recently a 16RS Pilot running a 16V engine struggled to sell for quite a long time. I wouldn't be surprised if, eventually, someone buys it for the bits and breaks it up to assist other cars. Although they're there to be driven, cars can only be original once; In that instance, they'll lose a rare Pilot model (and potentially a 16V, if one went into it as a donor.)
So, for me, I'd see the 16V through. The TXI is an interesting car, but they're actually much rarer than the 16V, so it'd be a shame to meddle with it. There's also no guarantee the areas you've found on the 16V won't need attention at some level on the TXI, as they're all common BX rot-spots. A roadworthy TXI to enjoy pootling around in while a GTi 16V gets restored in the background? That's a nice problem to have!

However, I'd actually be inclined to keep that car the colour it is. It looks like Rouge Florentin, which is a period correct colour for the BX. The GTi and 16V never came in it, but it does look 'right' somehow. Would make it stand out, and, done correctly, might actually make it quite desirable. Certainly unique. Go for all the correct badging etc, build it as if Citroen themselves made it as a factory car. And throw that tailblazer away and paint the rear boot panel satin black, because no original factory Rouge Florentin car ever had the black rear panel of the 'sportier' models. Would be a subtle, yet unique look. Many Citroen enthusiasts wouldn't even be able to tell it wasn't a factory colour, and white (the original colour) is the most common ph1 you'll find. In fact, white is the most common colour for a BX - period.

As for the condition of that particular car, 95% of other project valvers will be the same. If you're committed to doing it properly, you'll get all the info/help you need off here (and the 16V forum - Luke is very knowledgable). The only drawback is cost; £4k will buy a fairly decent ph1 16V, and that will definitely cost more to restore than £4k (albeit it in installments).

Follow your gut, at the end of the day, but that's what I'd do; A Rouge Florentin GTi 16v.
Thanks for the detailed response and rationale, Kitch. I realised as I was reading, that - deep down - I share the perspective. A 16V in a TXi shell will always be a creation; a mongrel of dubious character. I'd much sooner be knocking around in an original E-plate, than having to explain and rationalise. I understand the perspective re the TXi - its rare and arguably one of the most practical BX options for daily driving given the monopoint injection engine.

There's a touch of dismay, though, as the quick, dirty and easy option seemed so compelling for a fleeting moment.

I'll get my BX kicks in the TXi and take some time to decide the fate of the 16V. Spending a few £k over several years isn't especially daunting, I just need to ensure that I don't run out of drive and enthusiasm once several grand-in. I'm sure many have and do.

Unless I'm certain of commitment re the 16V, I guess it'll be up for sale in a few months' time. Given that I'm in for transport and fuel lines and a few other odds and sods, any views on its value will be appreciated. If I lose a few quid, that certainly isn't the end of the world. I have new sills and a competent, yet reasonably priced, welder coming to survey in the coming weeks.

Thanks again for your feedback and offers of advice and support - valuable and much appreciated.

I'll post an update when the TXi lands on Thursday and when it goes in for the MoT.

Cheers, Max

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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Maxwell »

Jaba wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 4:45 pm
I can do nothing but agree with Kitch's persuasive case to save the 16v. My GTi is currently having rust fixed around the windscreen with the roof bars off - so I am practising what I am preaching.
Your choice of course.

BTW is the TXi one of those 1.6 monopoint injection models, I didn't know they were ever sold here.
Thanks Jaba, that's helpful and appreciated perspective.

I'll get the TXi on the road and take stock of the 16V over time. It'll be interesting to hear what the local welding guru has to say when he views it. I'm certainly not ruling out investing the time and commitment to get her back on the road, I just want to be sure I'm embarking an a mission that will be successful.

Either way, I have ruled out the engine swap, heeding your's and Kitch's feedback.

Cheers, Max

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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Kitch »

Get the TXI on the road (because they're nice old buses, really) and then score a run out in somebody else's 16V at a CCC event, or something. That'll keep you determined, once you know how fun they can be.
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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by rutter123 »

Re-shell it.
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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Tim Leech »

I agree, keep or sell the TXi and the 16v, but making a 16v TXi is not worthwhile, and will always be not a real 16v,

As BXs get rarer they will fetch more money, the 16v will be the one that fetches the most.

I have a Sd1, and most of those have been made in to Vitesse clones, loosing their original engine, and having wheels and spoilers added, so much so not that many original cars exist now
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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by DLM »

Late to this, but would agree with the general opinions here.

The TXi - a very rare beast, is potentially (and arguably) a more reliable option than many petrol BXs with a carb now. This assumes the basic monopoint injection hardware works as it should. I'd google ZXs and Peugeot 1.6i XU models of similar vintage online to see if there were any particular quirks. Can't recall what the early XU Xantias had in that department. I recently ran an AX for more than a year with similar basic monopoint injection (though mated to a TU, of course) and it gave absolutely no starting or running trouble apart from rotten fuel lines - I'd replace all the rubber fuel lines ASAP with the best you can afford.

As a friend put it - the setup is along the line of "a carb with injection".

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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Tim Leech »

The Xantias were all multi point injection from memory, having driven a TXi, as you say they start without fuss and I found more responsive.
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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by David »

I agree with what the others have said; repair the 16v and keep the TXI as standard. All the lower spec cars have been overlooked and abused for years so that not many are left.

That being said though, if you're really desperate to see what the 16v engine can do, then you could always just temporarily drop the 16v engine in the TXI, but leave everything else as standard, while you're repairing the 16v car, so that you can put them both back to original when the other car is ready for its engine. That way you can have some fun with it and you'll have both original cars when you're done, It just depends on what you want to do.
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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by RobC »

Nice idea from David. The 16v wiring loom etc might be a bit annoying to install and then remove again, but I guess you don’t need to make it too neat if it’s just temporary.
Not sure if you can get away with the same exhaust down pipe - you might need to swop that over as well.
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Re: Save the rotten 16V or transplant into newer TXi?

Post by Kitch »

I wouldn't even consider a 'temporary swap', personally. So many components to switch over, the risks of damaging or losing something along the way is too much. You also lose the originality of the TXI, as it'll never go back the way it was.

Just my two 'penneth, though.
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