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Andy G
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Post by Andy G »

well done Philip, thats a crackin looking 16v.

Funny enough there's a white 16v Ph2 the next street along, been on the drive for a while judging by the state of it though?

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Kitch
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Post by Kitch »

Nothing that can't be put right Phil.

The ride height plays no part in the stiffness of the ride (unless it's so low that it bottoms out!) Thats all down to the spheres, and frankly the standard 16v sphere setup is perfect for the car so hopefully with a new set you should sort that out. Raising it back up is easy, just depends on whether it's been lowered by the height lever, or adjusting the height correctors on the ARB. Easiest thing to do I've found is to position it on drive up ramps, and with the engine running undo the nut on clamp on the anti roll bar which clamps the height corrector linkage to it (and activates it) and fiddle. Be warned, the car will start going up and down so make sure it's secure and for god's sake don't do it without the ramps :lol:
Xantia accm sphere is fine....theres a rumour they help a weak pump as they hold a larger capacity. I fitted one, tick time is longer but like that matters! It was over 30secs anyway! Now it's over a minute.

Rear arm bearings are quite probable. The ride height shouldn't affect them, and mine only rubs when it's fully down on the outer arch due to the chunky tyres (the E3A's). Probably a bearing, and you know the score with those.

Belts wise, only two belts it could be.....fan belt or pump belt. Both are easy to adjust, the fan belt is kept tight by the alternator so just undo the locking bolts and adjust the slider bolt.
The pump belt has a seperate tensioner like this:

Image

It's pretty self explanitory, but if it's anything like mine just bolting it in place keeps the belt tight. I imagine the belt is probably too small or something!

Matrix-wise, I can offer no help I'm afraid. Never had the misfortune to have to change one on a BX, but rest assured mine will probably fail within weeks now.

Hopefully the exhaust blow isn't the downpipe. Its the most expensive bit and the trickiest one to change due to poor access. It's not hard, but life would be kinda if it was the cross box :lol:

Clutches can be adjusted. There is a 13mm nut on the end of the clutch cable, and a 10mm locking nut. Undo them and tighten them up slightly until biting point reaches desired height. Try to stay as low as you can though, as a general rule.

I've spent around £2.5k, perhaps more on my valver in nearly 4 years of ownership. Just literally spent £300 this week alone, but its an old car and old cars need new parts these days, so it doesn't bother me too much.

If I can help just shout mate.
CCC BX monthly column writer bloke thingy - bx@citroencarclub.org.uk

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1983(A) 16TRS (Rouge Valleunga) - 1987(E) GTi 16v (Noir) - 1990(H) 16Valve (Rouge Furio)

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow »

Enormously helpful Kitch. I will let you know how I get on!

This is what the Forum's all about!
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• 2006 Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v

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docchevron
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Post by docchevron »

My valver will owe me over 10K by the end of this month, but it was never about the money..

Have to say though, from the list you have there I do wonder if it's the same car I drove a few weeks back!

The ride if anything was a little soft for a valver, especially at the front, but I gave it a good ragging and at no point did I get the rear wheels to touch the arches...
Certainly there wasn't any sign of the rear wheels being on the pi$$, no creaking and the MoT should have shown up creamed radius arm bearings....
The Xantia acc. Sphere wont make any difference at all to how it rides or performs, as Kitch says, it'll just make the tick time longer and give you a bit more "in reserve" for those "special" moments..

Valvers do ride a little lower than, er, other BX models, but yes this one is a touch low, easy to fix, again as Kitch pointed out, and as Kitch said USE RAMPS, and make bloody sure theres room for you under the car with it on low before undoing anything at all. Usual health and safety warning / disclaimer etc..

Also, if altering the ride height, get the tracking adjusted after.

Tyres play a part, but it seemed ok on the tyres it was shod with when I hooned about in it TBH.
I'd plump for Uniroyal Rallye 540's if you can get them, they pi$$ all over Pirelli's for noise, wet and dry handling and comfort. Both my cars wear Uniroyals, and I wouldn't use anything else. And both of my cars get "used"....alot!

Didn't notice any LHM leaks on the car, but then LHM is a cunning devil, that said, there was no staining on the drive so that must be new...

Again as Kitch said, sphere's will not make any difference to ride height, but softer spheres will obviousley allow more movement at the back end.
Even with genuine valver spheres I can get mine to bottom out at the back when it's being, er, spirited along..

Squeaky belt is more likely to be the alternator belt I would guess, again, not evident when I drove it, but if the HP pump belt was a bit slack you would expect it to squeel like a piggy when loaded up (ie turning the steering when stationary)...

As for the leak, the carpet was indeed wet, but I found no evidence of it being anti freeze, the moistness I rubbed my hand in (missus!) was rain water. The wet roof lining rather giving away that the O/S/F drain tube is blocked and needs a good, er, blow out..

But yes, the heater tap, despite spending some time trying to free it off is a bit past it's best to say the least. It was that badly seized that the operating arm had bent, and with all the will in the world the easiest thing to do is bung the other one in. Actually not that hard a job and can be done with the dash in situ as long as your methodical and a bit careful.

Are you REALLY sure the exhaust is blowing?
It has the smaller chromed tail pipe back box, and they always sound "farty".. but again, I found no evidence of a leak, and again, that would have been noted at MoT.

As for the clutch pedal, again as Kitch said, but it felt fine when I drove it, it took up about an inch off the floor, which is exactley how mine are set.
Are you sure the mat hasn't ridden up the bulkhead and restricted pedal movement??
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow »

Right, thanks for all the help everyone!

It's been for a thorough check-up with my specialist, Dennis who is hugely experienced too. He's maintained all our previous BX's.

This is what we found:

The front spheres are truly knackered and will be replaced. The rears are OK-ish, but I'm having a set of new 16v ones put on anyway. It's ride height is a little low by about 1/2 inch or so and he's going to correct that (in deference to our local speed bumps if nothing else!)

Accumulator's fine.

Leaks from front are due to strut return pipes being poorly fitted - using cable ties instead of the correct clips. Didn't find any other leaks. Pipework good.

O/S rear arm bearing is fubar. N/S not so bad but still worn. Obvious MOT fail there (even to me!). Those will done.

N/S rear rubber sleevy thing (don't know what it's called) damaged (over time) through being in contact with the metal that runs beneath them having been bent up by improper jacking. MOT fail.

Clutch cable appears close to the limit of adjustment but we will adjust as much as possible. The carpet's fine, but I might have to check the insulation underneath hasn't rucked up.

The engine's sweet.

The heater somewhere seems to have a slight leak, as well as there being a slight leak from the sunroof, so we'll get some compressed air through the tubes... As for the heater - some Bar Leaks should help?

The squeaky belt is a minor thing, but if we can get it to do it again, that'll get looked at.

All in all not brilliant from a car with a brand new MOT, which cost me a pretty penny in the first place. Not entirely pleased about having to effectively fork out another £500 or so.

But it is 17 years old and something will always need doing so once this is all sorted and a seyt of good tyres put on, I can concentrate a bit more on the cosmetics (rear bumper, minor hatch damage and bits and bobs).

In the end if I'm going to do this I might as well try to make it one of the finest, best sorted BXs around... and damn the expense (to a degree :D :roll: !!).
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• 2006 Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v

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docchevron
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Post by docchevron »

If you're doing the heater tap anyway, then it won't be any extra effort to change the matrix at the same time, they're only about £25 from GSF, and again, the dash doesn't need to be removed, so apart from limited access it's not too bad a job.

The rest surprises me, I'm amazed the MoT didn't pick up the arm bearing, and the spheres....
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow »

Dennis was amazed that there were two or three things that would've been an instant MOT fail. Shows you how unreliable an MOT really is!

As for the heater matrix, there's a replacement one in the boot. So that's not too bad.

Anyone fancy helping me on that one day?!
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• 2006 Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow »

Oh, and the wheels need balancing as there's nasty vibration at 70+ speeds.

The rest of the above work might remove the worst of this effect, but as I'm getting new tyres, that's not a big thing...

...unless it points to something else.

But I like the car.

Something's nutty there?! :D ^^bx>
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• 2006 Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow »

Kitch wrote:Nothing that can't be put right Phil.
Well, it would appear you are right, Kitch. After throwing well over £500 at the car with a hugely competent and understanding specialist, it is a transformed car. New spheres all round, new rear arm bearings both sides, rear height adjuster corrected, strut return pies fixed correctly, and a few oher bit and bobs....

I had the wheels balanced today to find that two of the Speedlines are irredeemably f**ked and so I have to consider what to do now.

This is proving a expensive exercise but hopefully one which will prove rewarding in the end.
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• 2006 Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v

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Kitch
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Post by Kitch »

What you've got to consider I guess is that the value of the car is only going up really. 16v's always fetch the highest prices and are also the models which will remain desirable (to a BX fan) yet rare.
CCC BX monthly column writer bloke thingy - bx@citroencarclub.org.uk

The national BX register - click to submit a car!

1983(A) 16TRS (Rouge Valleunga) - 1987(E) GTi 16v (Noir) - 1990(H) 16Valve (Rouge Furio)

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow »

Fair point. The car once sorted will be worth £1,500 maybe as there won't be anything really wrong with it. Corrosion isn't a problem with this one.

But I am going to contact the garage that gave the MOT and complain, saying that I have an independent engineer's report, pictures and a bill for what it cost to put it right. I can prove they issued an MOT for a car that should have failed on at least three points. The car has done less than 400 miles since the MOT was issued a couple of weeks ago. I will ask that they pay for the work done.

I will point out that if they don't enter into a constructive dialogue or ignore me I will sue them and report them to VOSA.


:evil:
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
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cavmad
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Post by cavmad »

Phil, with respect, you can report them but I'd imagine they'll say one of the following: firstly if there were issues you knew about when you bought the car you should have had it examined by a VOSA appointed garage-by which I mean if you'd have phoned VOSA and told them of the problem they probably would have told you of a local garage (of their choice) to take it too. Secondly they might suggest that the garage that did the work carried out unneccessary repairs for their own gain and thirdly (though this may be the case anyway) I think you have to report the MOT in the first couple of weeks or so.
Don't get me wrong I'm not having at you go here, but I think they may ask some of the above.
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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow »

I'll speak to the DVLA on Monday as I'm going there anyway. The MOT was in fact less than two weeks ago. Fair point about the work having been done but I wasn't aware of the problems when I bought the car and with a new MOT it wouldn't have occurred to me to take it to a VOSA station - the fail points emerged quickly once the car was up on ramps while in for having new spheres fitted - which aren't an MOT issue if I'm correct. But excessively worn rear radius arm bearings, amongst others, are.

Nothing ventured nothing gained. If they don't want to compensate me I will write to VOSA with all the facts. See what happens. I don't care if they are prosecuted or lose their MOT test station status, or if the grease monkey who did the test is sacked. They shouldn't be allowed to dish out MOTs like that.

I notice that on the MOT certificate, the advisories box is ticked, but there's no advisory sheet attached. I would like to speak to them anyway.
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• 2006 Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v

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Post by jeremy »

Would you have taken your mother in law out in it? That's the test they have to apply if they are in any doubt. (Is the vehicle safe to take your family out in it or something like that)

By having the work done I think you'll have destroyed the evidence, even if you have kept the bits. I'm sure there is a caveat on the back of the certificate saying that a purchaser shouldn't rely on it as evidence of a vehicles condition - after all an unscrupulous vendor could easily change wheels over between a test and sale.

The authorities used to be particularly hard on testing stations testing vehicles they were offering for sale.

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docchevron
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Post by docchevron »

The spheres are a part of the MoT. IE, if they are flat, it will fail.

In all honesty I think you're on to a loser chasing the MoT station for recompence.
Report them to VOSA by all means, and they WILL investigate the garage, I know a few guys that work for VOSA.

But it must be remembered that the garage always has a get out clause.
The MoT is ONLY valid for the time the car is at the MoT station. In short as a legal document it means nothing.
Also the MoT certificate only means that at the time the car was in the station it met the minimum required standard for road legal condition.

It's more than plausable that the strut bellow was damaged when the tyre was changed, certainly the brace was not bent before the MoT, this I can say without fear of contradiction.

It's also possible that it was bent at the MoT station when they jacked the back end up, but that will never be provable..

Whilst you've spent a few notes on it already tyres are disposable items, as are spheres.
As Kitch said valvers can only go up in value, and in probably no more than 5 years there will be so few left that they will command a massive premium.
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...