New Member Cannot Believe I'm Thinking of BXs Again

BX Tech talk
tobytronic
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2022 11:04 pm
Location: Burnley Lancs
My Cars: BMW E36 TOURING 1998, CITROEN XANTIA N/A DIESEL 1993, PEUGEOT 306 N/A XUD 1.9 DIESEL 1998, NISSAN MICRA 2008, Suzuki A100 1969 and a small museum of about 50 'Valuable' Engines including a new Evinrude 1.3 litre Two-Stroke with direct fuel injection to power a kit car and various stationary engines.
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New Member Cannot Believe I'm Thinking of BXs Again

Post by tobytronic »

Thanks for accepting me. I started working on Citroens in 1984 at A&J White Blackburn. Then i went to John Heyworth Nelson, where I eventually became foreman mechanic (note mechanic, not the oh-so-pretentious technician) and following a long break where I worked in secondary-school education, I did a brief stint at (it was so unpleasant working there, I cannot even remember the dealership's name, but it was just off the M65) and set up working on my own as a Citroen specialist.

A couple of advert in the local press and I never looked back. I used to order a heap of parts Friday afternoon, do six days a week with almost no hitches whatsoever. More than reasonable prices, top-notch work from a mechanic that had read about cars, electronics and motorcycles every day of my life since I was about nine. Brought my beautiful collie-cross dog to work with me every day too.

A series of health scares and a horiffic back injury put an abrupt end to the love of my life.

Found a saviour in selling antique automobile & model engineering books on eBay allowing me once again to mix work with my interests.

So i had no need to think about BXs for a while.

However, I was toying with converting my BMW E36 Touring to LE2 Jetronic injection to simplify and future-proof it, when I came across this forum which made me want a final BX before I'm too old to care...

The last BX I had was a truly mint 1.6 RS a 1991 model for £50 from eBay. I bought it from Salisbury about 300 miles away. A one-way train ticket bought at the last minute for £12, and a £5 bus ride; I collected it on a wintry day. It was sold as needing a head gasket. About six stops later for water, i saw it was only a split coolant hose. I took a breather hose off to put in place of the burst heater hose. Fitted perfectly and I think I never bothered to put a proper hose in its place. The plug leads had partially melted on the exhaust manifold and I drove the remaining 250 miles on about 1/16th" throttle pedal as any wider the engine cut-out from the misfiring. A very close to an as new 35,000 mile car for pennies. Probably fetch 50-100 times that now?

I've driven, worked on and owned more BXs than most. I've driven almost every model of 1980s to early 90s Citroen from brand new and owned at least thirty of the things, including fifteen BXs. I was possibly the first mechanic who figured out that dropping the rear axle when doing a repipe the only way to replicate a neat factory-look instead of the rat's nests that some places were turning out.

I have a mint N/A XUD Peugeot 306 which I was given by my very last customer who passed away last year aged 96. A very good early Xantia 1993 same XUD N/A 1.9 engine and my late father's very last car a Nissan Micra which the local kids though it was okay to vandalise...

So, hello :-)
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Dave_16v
BXpert
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Yorkshire
My Cars: BX 16 Valve Ph 2 Current
BX 16 valve Ph 1 past
BX Gti past
BX Gti Auto past
ZX Volcane keeping others going
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Re: New Member Cannot Believe I'm Thinking of BXs Again

Post by Dave_16v »

Hi Toby(?)

Welcome to this niche little area of the internet.
Sounds like you know a lot about the cars and with working on them as a "mechanic" you will be a good addition to the site if you keep popping by.

Will your "thinking" translate to buying one? 😊
Prefer it to the Lamborghini, like Signor Gandini!
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Jaba
1K Away
Posts: 1897
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:54 am
Location: Usually in the garage
My Cars: BX GTi, C3 Auto
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Re: New Member Cannot Believe I'm Thinking of BXs Again

Post by Jaba »

Yo and welcome to BX land. But you cannot fully enjoy ownership vicariously, you have to actually have one to be a true BX man.
The Joy of BX with just one Citroën BX to my name now. Will I sing Bye Bye to my GTI or will it be Till death us do part.
tobytronic
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2022 11:04 pm
Location: Burnley Lancs
My Cars: BMW E36 TOURING 1998, CITROEN XANTIA N/A DIESEL 1993, PEUGEOT 306 N/A XUD 1.9 DIESEL 1998, NISSAN MICRA 2008, Suzuki A100 1969 and a small museum of about 50 'Valuable' Engines including a new Evinrude 1.3 litre Two-Stroke with direct fuel injection to power a kit car and various stationary engines.
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Re: New Member Cannot Believe I'm Thinking of BXs Again

Post by tobytronic »

No I now realise i will never be a proper man until I get another BX. I had three in my garden at one point :-)
A story that popped into my head earier today:
It was around the time when the BX 1.7 Turbo-Diesel first came out. An apprentice mechanic was having a run of bad luck with things going wrong. None of which were his fault. Just bad luck with small repair jobs turning into monsters.

He seemed to be over it and I gave him some simple jobs that couldn't possibly go wrong.

A first service on one of the above BXs. He returned from roadtest and drove into the workshop. Every time he set off, you could hear a grinding of gears, which only lasted about one second. The car was brand new. 600 miles. It took about eight gearbox overhauls to finally work out the cause. Citroen UK could not shed any light what was going on.
I will reply later on with the solution.
tobytronic
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2022 11:04 pm
Location: Burnley Lancs
My Cars: BMW E36 TOURING 1998, CITROEN XANTIA N/A DIESEL 1993, PEUGEOT 306 N/A XUD 1.9 DIESEL 1998, NISSAN MICRA 2008, Suzuki A100 1969 and a small museum of about 50 'Valuable' Engines including a new Evinrude 1.3 litre Two-Stroke with direct fuel injection to power a kit car and various stationary engines.
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Re: New Member Cannot Believe I'm Thinking of BXs Again

Post by tobytronic »

By the way, the BX BE line of gearboxes can be fully overhauled with the 'box in situ. Saves your back and time too. The first Citroen Factory Manuals showed you how, but it is really self explanatory. Thank you.
tobytronic
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2022 11:04 pm
Location: Burnley Lancs
My Cars: BMW E36 TOURING 1998, CITROEN XANTIA N/A DIESEL 1993, PEUGEOT 306 N/A XUD 1.9 DIESEL 1998, NISSAN MICRA 2008, Suzuki A100 1969 and a small museum of about 50 'Valuable' Engines including a new Evinrude 1.3 litre Two-Stroke with direct fuel injection to power a kit car and various stationary engines.
x 2

Re: New Member Cannot Believe I'm Thinking of BXs Again

Post by tobytronic »

So, it was clearly a fault withing the box. The service manager, a brilliant ex-merchant navy engineer, could only think of replacing the second-motion shaft - the lower shaft with the four fixed gears on it.
Now with the new part fitted, the box now also had a terrible whine and was still showing the original fault. The part number for the new shaft was wrong as they'd not updated the micro-fiche info for the new model.

So after a few further gearbox strips by other mech's, I was given the task. I always do my best work in bed. That is, every problem eventually succumbs to hours of reasoned thought, rather than simply throwing new parts at the job. I still had at more than a few goes at fixing this by now horrible car. And it turned out to be:
The reverse gear selector shaft was machined incorrectly. The sliding reverse idler gear was still every-so-slightly still in-mesh and the box effectively locked-up for a brief moment until the reverse gear was - noisily - thrown out of mesh.

Now, the best part of all of this was that shortly after fixing it, I went on a Citroen UK 'Technician' training course. Amazingly useful they are too.

At the time I was lucky enough to look like I was about 16. Although I was foreman mech at John Heyworths, the instructor thought I was just a kid.

Back to the training course, the bit where people introduce themselves on the first day, the instructor asked me why I was on the course. "To go out every night and get wasted?"

Later on we went into the training workshop and was expertly demonstrated how to overhaul the BE range of gearbox and after pulling it in bits, he said to me "Right put that back together" at which everybody laughed.

And I put it all back together. Very quickly like I was some sort of mechanical prodigy.
You see by the point I had taken the above car's gearbox in bits so many times, I was by then the World's Expert on the BE Gearbox :-)

He did ask me at the end of the course, if I'd been on the course before, and how impressed he was at my knowledge. You see, when I was 18, all of my family lost their jobs within a few weeks of each other. I started my first self-employed enterprise, a Datsun & Japanese car garage. With £30 borrowed from my grandma. At 18 I had to fix every single car that entered my garage. I only failed to do that once.

So by the time I was doing BXs, I'd a LOT of experience behind me, even though I looked like a 'Kid' :-)
Sorry for the length of this. Just a mind full of junk to unload whilst I convince myself to not get another BX.
Great website btw.
rutter123
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My Cars: 90 Bx Tzd turbo ven red 295k
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Re: New Member Cannot Believe I'm Thinking of BXs Again

Post by rutter123 »

Do it. Save one from its fate, think prices have topped out for the nicest examples, but still plenty of choice for reasonable £s if you gonna DIY.
90 BX Tzd turbo 294k SORN undergoing major surgery
90 BX Tzd turbo estate 46k awaiting surgery
65 Peugeot Boxer Van the new workhorse
52 Toyota Rav4 180k Bulletproof Jap reliability