Buyers Guide? I want that BX... ^^

Tell us about BXs you have spotted on the road, or BXs/parts spotted for sale including eBay finds.
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TB2
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Buyers Guide? I want that BX... ^^

Post by TB2 »

Hello everybody,

As you can see I joined a while ago while browsing for the BX, but never got close enough to it. I really fancy this car and I already had a look at two of those this year but I didn't buy them anyway because I was unsure about how they run.

Now I found this oddity...

A 1989 BX TZD with only 58k miles, leader seats in the front and a huge cargo area in the back...

Front
Back
Side
Interior 1
Interior 2
Huge cargo area o.Ô
In detail
Roof

...and I'm really excited about it. Unfortunately it's a 3 hours ride to where it is located, but I definetly want to have a look at it. This looks so cool with that black leader and that big trunk. If I would buy it I would actually modify the front barrier so that it could be turned down if the front seats are pushed forward so that the area would be extended to the front. That would make for a great "caravan". (Me and my girlfriend traveled in a Suzuki Swift before and used it as a caravan so the BX would actually be big and comfy ;))

Now I really would like to know what I have to care about. I bought only few cars before and I only do the "normal stuff". Look under the wheel casings to check for rust, let the car lift up and down, look for wrong coloured smoke... But I don't know how to really test the car, especially the BX. And I just had a bad day finding out that the 1989 Audi 100 Avant Quattro I bought a few weeks ago for a couple of bucks is scrap metal on the inside. (I actually still dont trust the mechanic on that. It's a great car, it runs great ;)) The two BXs I had a look at before both had grumpy front struts, but I had a look at your magnificent DIY section so I could handle that myself.

Well, to make it simple:

- Where to check for rust?
- I read the pre-1990 models dont have plastic-covered pipes. Where to check if they are still ok?
- What else to check? Any hidden problems, especially with older models? What surprise could be awaiting me?
- Or do you even have a buyers guide somewhere in the forums? If so I couldn't find it...

He told me that everything is very fine with the car except that the front spheres need to be replaced and that the sunroof is sealed and can't be opened. But I expected that I would have to change the spheres anyway if I buy a used BX like that. I'm sure I could fix the roof. He didn't tell me what happened to the second headrest btw and he wants around 650 £ for it.

I'm gonna visit the owner on saturday, so I would really appreciate if you could help me out.

Thanks!

PS: I'm from switzerland, so it's 1500 Swiss francs (= 650 £), which is not much for a car, especially if it's a diesel with only 58k. It still has MFK (= obligatory security check, lasts 2 years) which means that I can just transfer the papers and drive right away for more than a year before having to go to the check again. 650 £ is not that cheap though for a 18 year old car on the other hand.

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MULLEY
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Post by MULLEY »

Hi, i used to live near Zurich many years ago :D.

Is that price expensive compared to other cars that were for sale?

A diesel with that low mileage, hmmm, is it genuine? dont take the owners word for it, you need to see paperwork, receipts etc...

Sunroof could be anything, bust motor or seized cables.

Its a pre 1990 model, so the hydraulic pipes arent plastic coated, so unless its been garaged for most of its life then they could go at anytime unfortunately.

Odd coloured alloy wheels are also a bit of a worry along with the daft rear seat conversion, doesnt indicate that it may have been looked after very well, i could be wrong of course?

Check that every switch & control works, does the suspension rise & fall smoothly?

Check for rust inside the engine bay on the seams, its usually obscured by the air filter if its got the square type one.

To be honest i could go on & on about what to check, the list is endless, which unfortunately is the same for all old cars.

Can you do any mechanical work yourself, or would you have to get a garage to do this? & more crucially, can you get spare parts cheaply?

I dont want to put you off as they are great cars, but they can have problems, some are cheap & easy to do yourself, others are more specialised & unless you can do them then you can easily spend more than what you paid for the car.

How do i know this, i've got 3 BX's, only 1 is currently working & even that needs some work doing on it.

Even the best cars will need some maintenance doing on them unfortunately.

Good luck with your decision. If after viewing it you have some specific questions, feel free to let us know & hopefully we can tell you more.

There are plenty of guys on here who have a lot more knowledge & expertise than me, so they should be able to tell you what items you need to do straight away if you buy it.

Hope this has been of some use?

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TB2
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Post by TB2 »

MULLEY wrote:Is that price expensive compared to other cars that were for sale?
Not really. They both were a bit cheaper but at a doubled mileage and without MOT
A diesel with that low mileage, hmmm, is it genuine? dont take the owners word for it, you need to see paperwork, receipts etc...
Check that every switch & control works, does the suspension rise & fall smoothly?
Check for rust inside the engine bay on the seams, its usually obscured by the air filter if its got the square type one.
Thanks for these tips!
Sunroof could be anything, bust motor or seized cables.
I can fix electrical/mechanical stuff if I get the spare parts
Its a pre 1990 model, so the hydraulic pipes arent plastic coated, so unless its been garaged for most of its life then they could go at anytime unfortunately.
I read that there are spares available but tricky to fit. Supposed I wouldn't be able to fit new pipes myself, how much do you think that would cost in a garage?
Odd coloured alloy wheels are also a bit of a worry along with the daft rear seat conversion, doesnt indicate that it may have been looked after very well, i could be wrong of course?
I've been thinking of different scenarios. The conversion seems to be made quite professionally. Look at those narrow leader coated remains of the rear bench on both sides. Maybe the owner was a painter, plumber or plasterer, something like that, and used the car to carry around his stuff in the three hicktowns he was working in. That would explain the low mileage and the weird conversion. Anyway...
Can you do any mechanical work yourself, or would you have to get a garage to do this? & more crucially, can you get spare parts cheaply?
I can do all the stuff that doesn't require opening the engine or using a strong torque wrench. I can't weld eighter. But I'm sure I can handle most of the stuff, especially the simple replacement of electrical parts or things that only need some mechanical work. I have a compressor and quite a lot of other tools. Citroens aren't that uncommon in Switzerland. More importantly I can get a lot of spare parts from germany which is kind of a spare part heaven... ^^
How do i know this, i've got 3 BX's, only 1 is currently working & even that needs some work doing on it.
What's wrong with them?
Good luck with your decision. If after viewing it you have some specific questions, feel free to let us know & hopefully we can tell you more.
Hope this has been of some use?
Yes, thanks a lot, I'll be cautious. I'm mostly concerened with rust, because the streets get salted intensivly in winter around here. With such an old car corrosion is usually the main problem.


---


edit:

I just did a quick search on spare parts. This shop in Austria seems quite good: http://www.citroen.ac/ I didn't compare prices though, but it has spheres, pipes and every single tiny nut, bolt or seal. There are other shops, too that sell all the BX parts needed. But there is indeed a lack of shops in Switzerland itself. But that's not such a problem as I know people on the other side of the border, and the border isn't far away if you life here ;)

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Post by paulwitchard »

The odd rear seat conversion could be what the french call a 'voiture de societe' - it seems to be the local version of a 'repmobile'. There are a lot of hatchbacks and sometimes estate cars with only front seats but a big loading area. I have seen a BX estate of Ebay.fr in the colours of EDF/GDF.

No idea whether they exist in other european countries.
Paul in Normandy - BX 1992 Millesme 1.9D, 1999 Peugeot 806 2.1 TD (the Bus) - gone bang on the M25, in a scrapyard somewhere in the SE of England, 1985 Visa Decouvrable, 1990 Land Rover 110TD (Great Uncle Bulgaria),1999 Isuzu Trooper, 1991 Hymer motorhome with Peugeot J5TD power, and a shedfull of mopeds!

paulwitchard
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Post by paulwitchard »

The odd rear seat conversion could be what the french call a 'voiture de societe' - it seems to be the local version of a 'repmobile'. There are a lot of hatchbacks and sometimes estate cars with only front seats but a big loading area. I have seen a BX estate of Ebay.fr in the colours of EDF/GDF.

No idea whether they exist in other european countries.
Paul in Normandy - BX 1992 Millesme 1.9D, 1999 Peugeot 806 2.1 TD (the Bus) - gone bang on the M25, in a scrapyard somewhere in the SE of England, 1985 Visa Decouvrable, 1990 Land Rover 110TD (Great Uncle Bulgaria),1999 Isuzu Trooper, 1991 Hymer motorhome with Peugeot J5TD power, and a shedfull of mopeds!

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TB2
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Post by TB2 »

paulwitchard wrote:The odd rear seat conversion could be what the french call a 'voiture de societe' - it seems to be the local version of a 'repmobile'.
Interesting... ^^

I was just wondering about those hydraulic pipes. People talkt about "sets" of pipes, but this Austrian shop sells pipes on a roll:

Image

Yeah, it's labeled a brake pipe on the picture but they say that you can use these as hydraulic pipes as well (which makes sense to me) if you own a "flaring tool" which I'm sure I can borrow from a friend who has just about 'everything'. The shop sells the pipes for 20 Euros per 25 feet or 70 Euros per 82 feet.

Could I really just buy these pipes in case the others break? And what happens if the pipes brake anyway? Would I be experiencing a continous loss of hydraulic fluid or would the car just fall to the ground quite quickly?


---


edit:

And there's this other funny problem that he's from the French part of Switzerland and my French suck big time... :lol:
He just rang me up and was explaining some more stuff to me, something about that the pump and/or the main accumulator have been renewed few 1000 miles ago and same goes for the brakes. he will actually drive in my direction so that I don't have all the way down to him and he's also ok with dropping the price a little ;) Stuttering bits of French I asked him about the receipts but he told me that he lost them but that he would ask his mechanic if he can have copies of them :roll: Of course the car has been driven by an old man and so on...

Whatever, I'm keen to see that car. At least it has MOT and I also made a list of thing to check on the hydraulic system:

- Clicking sound at most every 20 seconds, not less
- Sitting on the bumpers, wait 10 seconds for the level to adjust
- Should get to highest level in 30 seconds
- Power steering should not make the pump go on all the time
- No *clonk* sound at the end if dropping to the lowest level

Hope I will be able to push the price down even further if I would actually buy the car.

Btw this page rocks, great buyers guide: http://www.tramontana.co.hu/citroen/mai ... enance.php

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Post by Vanny »

that looks incredibly like a custom job that, especially as it has the seat bolsters still in. From memory 'Enterprise' models (which had this configuration as an option) where very much stripped out in the rear and didn't have holes for seat belts or side bolsters. Goes look like a damn good job if it is a custom conversion though!

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Post by MULLEY »

Blimey, thats a good reply to my ramblings :lol:. Sounds like you can probably do most jobs yourself then, thats half the battle won already.

If a hydraulic pipe bursts, because its under pressure it will spew out quite quickly & the STOP lamp will come on, suspension will drop, power steering will disappear & your brakes will stop working.....

That pipe is just the ticket, you could as a precaution re-pipe the entire car, which if you can do yourself isnt that expensive. Dont forget that some pipework is a larger size than 3.5mm.

They do suffer with rust, but most of its hidden away, you'd have to get underneath to see any of it. Check the door hinges for rust, thats a common area (they may just need a bit of welding).

I guess a good test drive is in order, & if it feels good, then thats a good sign. Turbo should pull nicely from 2000ish rpm, shouldnt be loads of smoke either, but that might just be build up in the exhaust if the car hasnt had a good blast along the road in a while.

I wont bore u with what's up with my cars, i've done plenty of posts on the issues, so have a search under my postings, not very exciting i'm afraid. I am hoping that i will get all of them totally sorted & the 2 that are off the road at the mo back on.

I'm personally not a big fan of low mileage old cars, i always tend to thing that because they haven't done much running, then most of the parts are probably original factory fit items, & are more than likely going to need replacing.

Mind you, i did buy a few months ago my 1.9n/a TXD with 78k on the clock (its a 1992 car) & its proved pretty good so far.

Had a crack in the windscreen fixed for free by one of those companies that occasionally turns up at a supermarket. Needed a new strut return pipe, kindly fitted by a club member at a ccc meeting. Got local garage to fit some front brake pads, check the rears & did a coolent test.

Another club member helped me change the cam seal (it was pissing oil out) & he kindly adjusted the clutch that was slipping.

I changed the oil, oil filter & air filter myself, due another one in a few hundred miles, so its cost me about £100 i guess on top of the £260 the car cost (i had to buy the road tax seperately). So nearly 6000 miles later its been pretty good.

Oh, driver side strut is creaky (i have a spare to replace it with), & the rear arm bearings have shown themselves up in the last couple of weeks. So apart from a few dash bulbs that are out & one courtesy light not working the car drives fine.

Hope your haggling works, if the seller is fond of it, make lots of noise about how you will love & cherish this car etc...more inclined to sell possibly for a bit less if he knows its going to a good home :).

Best of luck.

If you have any specific technical queries, post them on the technical section, others have lots more experience than i do, so they will provide you with good advice & recommendations.

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TB2
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Post by TB2 »

We couldn't meet today because his wife went to the hospital...
So we'll meet on monday. By the way: Upon telling him that I will most likely have to replace the hydraulic pipes he told me that the ones in the middle and the rear part of the car were replaced not long ago.
Well we'll see on monday about that...

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Post by MULLEY »

Might be lucky then & only have to replace a few rather than all of them....

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TB2
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Post by TB2 »

Well, now it's mine ;)

The front sphere's are totally flat so the ride on the highway was really bumpy, nearly dangerous... But it lifts and drops in time, all the electrical stuff works (even the sunroof motor, though it is seald with silicone or something - the motor does some noise though if you press the buttons). The "clicking sound" appears way to often ( once a second) but I hope that is mainly because of the flat front spheres. Just after leaving his place with the car I got lost on some narrow bumpy streets and once the front axis actually jumped up in the air, after that I hit the break hard and then turned left. Just in that moment I felt how the power steering got lost and then the STOP lamp went on. Pretty scary, learned the first lesson. But I - foolish me - think that this will be solved when replacing the flat spheres. Btw the rear doors can't be opened, because one of the boards used for the conversion is riveted to them. Odd conversion, that...

So what needs to be done now is:

- Replace front spheres
- Get a second headrest (the right one is missing o.ô)
- get new wiper blades and fill up wiper water (the pumps work, tested) ;)
- recondition the air conditioning sometime, it's kinda emtpy. But it's winter now anyway...

The rest seems nice. Positive things:

- No rust at all, not at the seams, not on any visible part or pipe, not even flash rust.
- The hydraulic pipes seem to be replaced on the whole car. I'm not completely sure yet, but the pipes going to the front spheres look brand new and are coated
- I enjoy the TD engine... o.Ô Compared to my old swift 1.0l 54bhp engine it is incredibly nifty!
- Interiour has only very minor damage
- All other mecanical stuff seems ok so far

I'll post some stuff somewhere in here soon... Technical questions and some pictures of the weird conversion maybe ;)

Thanks for your tips...

... yet another bx owner :)

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MULLEY
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Post by MULLEY »

Congrats, sounds like its low on lhm if you went round a corner & the STOP light came on & your power steering disappeared. Lets hope its not the pump on the way out....

Budget on replacing the accumulator as well incase thats flat, if your ticktime is only 1 second then its probably that. The ticktime should be quite longish, do a search under the technical section for further info.