Cyril's progress

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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Aerodynamica
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Cyril's progress

Post by Aerodynamica » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:41 pm

Hi all, I thought I'd show some updates on Cyril the BX as it happens Back to the start. It all started with a stray ebay bid on a red, Mk1 BX 16 TRS...

I'd been away and on return I'd won the BX!

"There and back again" or "the red BX"

October 23rd 2008, 4am.
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Up early and on a mission!

Rubbish weather:
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Edinburgh airport: 08:00
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Flight at 10am:
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Aaaaaarrrrgh!
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Cornwall>
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Bus No. 1
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Followed by bus No. 2 - a frantic race to reach Truro to get the train:

Got there!
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Picked up in...
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Seller's a car nut:
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THE BX!!!!!
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Owned
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Stopped for eats on A30 in Devon. To me the next photo is poignant as it's a Citroen under a 'Total' oil filling station - but it's really just because there are none of these in Scotland!
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Also, here was the first time I'd seen a Starbucks that was a stand alone building! and a service station - jeez they're everywhere..

Night falls east of Exeter, Image
I'm heading to David Rutherford's for some beers and a chat - it's during this leg of the journey that I find the dipped-main beam switch is sticky! - the lights go out when you press it! not good in these conditions on a road I am not familiar!! I find that flicking it quicker works better.

David's wall of tech.
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And after lights out the lights came out..
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Sleeping
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Friday 24th October. 07:30

What was it I bought yesterday? O shite..
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"What makes the arse - end of a BX hit the deck like this over night"?
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"ah yes, the DOSEUR monseur"
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Anyway thanking Mr. R for the digs and several hours later I'm north of Bristol, First stop:
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It's very dirty after the wet Dorset roads.
C - pillar windows are all crazed
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Bumper detached
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Doesn't look so good today.
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Traffic like this for several hours - but I had my iPod radio transmitter running through the ancient radio and that dashboard keeps me happy for some reason.
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Still! got the fakkin thing back home with no issues
Trip counter:
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In the carpark of doom:
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It seems that the rear suspension has a thing for sinking right down over night leaving not a hint of pressure at all next day - it's slammed!
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It's taken me until now to notice how faded the plastic bumpers are:

Interior
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Rear seats and crappy non-inertia reel belts that fall out and get caught in the door :evil:
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And this is why I wanted a BX - the load space even on the saloon is great:
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So that was it. Let the fix up commence..
Graeme M

CX 2400 Pallas LPG
2CV6 dolly (SORNed)
Mk1 Xantia 1.9TD SX

'c'est hydropneumatique'

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Post by frugg » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:03 pm

Really good =D> - you can beat a mk1 BX :D :D

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Aerodynamica
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Post by Aerodynamica » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:30 pm

And so the fix up commences.

I cleaned the car and gave the interior a vacuum - the boot floor trim is unmarked and the little clips at the front where the trim slots show the boot trim looks almost new under the slots - there's no sign of wear from years of unfastening - looks like they're untouched!

Had a quick look at the cambelt
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seems in good condition but I'll be replacing it in the next year.

Job one:
The HP pump is noisy and rattly and there's occasions where the regulator is clearly clicking a lot. I tested the accumulator by switching off the engine and sitting on the rear sill. The rear end sunk very far down and stayed there... a sure sign of a dead accumulator. So I picked one up from GSF and set to replacing it on a Saturday night when normal people are out clubbing.
The accumulator sphere was quite hard to access as there is a pipe that gets in the way of any removal tool - I decided to bend it a little to ease access, it worked and the sphere was not so severely jammed on
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I fitted the new one in no time and noticed a lot of LHM leaking everywhere - 'must be residual from the sphere removal' - I thought optimistically but I had feared that the pipe I'd mildly bent was a tad rustier than I'd thought.
It was. I found it oozing LHM but decided to see how badly by running the engine - this was the result:
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It's the pipe that takes the LHM from the FDV to the steering valve.

Oh piss. I thought I didn't have a suitable spare pipe of that size - it's the slightly larger bore type BUT! I did - was it going to be long enough? no. However it was an 'emergency' and I reckoned could do without the coiled part of the pipe so now it would be long enough!
Happy spare pipe find:
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Here's where it rusted: the pipe looked solid on initial appearance but the big foam rubber anti vibration thing was hiding some nastiness.
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I found the job of fitting the pipe union into the steering valve to be a complete chore - it's hugely inaccessible..

Once it was all back together and the system primed and repressurised it was working a treat. And the next day the rear suspension remained up as did the front:
Image It has stayed like this ever since and takes over 2 days to fully lower now!

The next task I had in mind was to sort out the faded bumpers: I was concerned that paint would be hard to take to the plastic so got some plastic primer. I had 2 tins of aerosol pant mixed in the right colour 'Rouge Vallelunga' and spent another evening in the garage.
Mild sanding to the bumpers - here's how pink they are:
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The paint sitting on a spare LPG tank
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Masked off all the black bits and lights out and covered the front wheels and waited for the plastic primer to set
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And after several hours of several thin paint layers
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Forgot to cover the floor so it's red too now :twisted:
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Bits back on
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But had to redo a headlight after it fell apart in my hand
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Not a great photo but you can see the difference between the front and rear bumpers here
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- by this time I'd also had a go at fixing the C pillar window but it seemed to be getting worse..
Graeme M

CX 2400 Pallas LPG
2CV6 dolly (SORNed)
Mk1 Xantia 1.9TD SX

'c'est hydropneumatique'

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Aerodynamica
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Post by Aerodynamica » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:39 pm

Really good Applause - you can beat a mk1 BX
- thankyou - I agree, it's one of my favourite Citroens ever..

So Cyril is slowly improving.

***BTW, for anyone who didn't see my original post on this car last year I've been doing this work since November - I didn't just do all this in a day or so!! I'm now just putting it all together in the blog section to bring it up to date***

Now, where were we? - Oh yes, painting the bumpers.
Graeme M

CX 2400 Pallas LPG
2CV6 dolly (SORNed)
Mk1 Xantia 1.9TD SX

'c'est hydropneumatique'

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Post by frugg » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:22 pm

Aerodynamica wrote: - thankyou - I agree, it's one of my favourite Citroens ever..
Now...
out of your cx and bx which is your favourite?

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Aerodynamica
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Post by Aerodynamica » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:43 pm

So the rear bumper got some of the same.

I noticed even from the original ebay photos that the rear bumper had some gray patches where red paint had rubbed off - it used to be a sign on Mk 1 BXs that the bumper had been replaced since the replacement items all came in gray and had to be painted - the factory fitted items were self coloured plastic to (almost) match the car.

I was not concerned as the car is structurally solid - the only rust being cosmetic on the off side door.

But I chose to plastic primer the rear anyway - couldn't be arsed to remove all the paint...
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Skip to the end..
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And between the drying paint layers I had a closer look at the C pillar windows: here's a close up of the crazed patch edge - I'd tried, solvents, cleaners, brushes etc to no avail - I even put a tine dab of nitro mors on this area
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to see if I could persuade it to melt of the crusty but but leave the smooth under layer..
It was a no..
Still, rear bumper looked better:
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Then in my frustration I went to town on the other C - pillar window and ended up completely ruining it (well, it was wrecked already but it was now uniformally bad looking after the lacquer I sprayed on it reacted with the plastic! I returned the following night and sanded it and painted it matt black for the time being:
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So now one is matt black and the other is as it was. I would really like to replace them but why can't I find any?

By now I'd been running Cyril for some weeks and this revealed some shortcomings in the suspension. The rear spheres seemed good, the fronts had plenty of movement but seemed oddly underdamped - were they wrong? I removed and inspected the damper center hole - it measured up to the size on my chart for the BX 16 front. I reckoned they just needed regassing so off to Mr Harper's in Glasgow (he's about 10 mins drive from me or 10-15mins cycling) so I had them bashed up to 55bar and refitted that afternoon - much better.

I had adjusted the ride height down frant and rear as they were both out by about 25mm giving the car a gawky appearance. It looked better and handled better after that but the height correctors were not very responsive - intermediate height was there on the way up but not on the way down and experience has now shown this is a sign of gungy correctors and/or worn out linkages.

Next job: front corrector rebuild and fix linkage.
Here's the beast
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Nice accessable mounting bolts and one pipe but the other 2 pipes looked hard to reach. The pressure supply pipe was a bit fiddly but not too bad and the return pipe -usually a rigid steel item like the others- on the BX it's a fixing with a rubber return hose connected to it - this is better because you can crack it while the correctors still mounted, remove the 2 easier pipes and then take the corrector mounting screws out so that you can simply hold the return pipe and wind the corrector unit off the connection! - never really been able to do that on any other Citroen I've worked on.
The part dismantled and gunged-up front corrector
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Here's the height corrector flexible linkage between the anti roll bar and the corrector's ball joint:
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This photo is actually the rear one coz I seem to have lost the front picture but they are very similar :oops: the brass pivot bush fitted on the end of the rod and on the bench a spare bush and a modified one. This bush has a loose fit in the subframe and the rod (steel) that pivots in the bush wears and altogether they have lots of slack play that cause the suspension to ride a little high or low - it's the same on CXs. The other part where it wears it the 'fork' that fits on the corrector's ball joint - both are steel and both wear at their respective contact points. Fork can be seen at the highest part of the photo.

Here, the rod and bush - you can see the years of wear on the rod about 20mm from the end
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This replaced the brass bush. It's just an M10 screw with a series of stepped bores in side going from 7.5mm down to 5.5
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The linkage with the old bush
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And fitted with the new type
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This makes a great difference when it's back together.

Next to fix the wear on the corrector ball joint:
The ball had to flat spots at either side as the fork of the linkage had pushed and pulled at it for 24years. Simply, you can turn the ball in its fixing just a little to move the flats away - it's stiff but it works. The fork wear can't be fixed so you just bend the fork dimensions in a vice to reduce the play to a fraction of a mm (careful not to over bend!) and check the ball and fork have a close but free fit seen here on a CX front corrector and linkage fork - loads a grease too!
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Started to fit it back together, corrector was refitted first by winding it back onto the return pipe and then the others and finally the 2 mountings.
Here it's back on and you can just see the new bush (arrowed) fitted tight in the subframe beyond the corrector:
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Linkage going back in with loads of grease:
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Lining up the bits
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Finally in place - here you can check how good the contact of the moving parts is before setting the ride height and tightening the clamp on the roll bar again
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Result: excellent front suspension after a few weeks (takes the modified bush a while to 'bed in')

Rear corrector linkage got similar treatment and access there is a bit easier.

After a few more miles of driving it turned out that the rattling from the front axle was the infamous anti roll bar links! very cheap from GSF and with a 10% discount even better. So easy to do that both were fitted in 2 hours.
Old and new:
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Old out
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New going in
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New in
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Other side
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Job done - that WAS satisfying due to the success/time spent/result factor :D
Graeme M

CX 2400 Pallas LPG
2CV6 dolly (SORNed)
Mk1 Xantia 1.9TD SX

'c'est hydropneumatique'

M

Post by M » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:47 pm

I am, in awe.:shock:

Well done that man.

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Aerodynamica
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Post by Aerodynamica » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:52 pm

Now...
out of your cx and bx which is your favourite?
I love them equally- when the CX annoys me with its lack of decent boot and practicality the BX is my fave as it's practical and old skool Citroen. But when I went to visit my hibernating CX recently I was in awe of it's appearance again! Slid behind the wheel and everything was fabulous again - it started easily after sitting in the cold for over a month and the sound of the old DS type lump just 'works' - I just cant do without it..

But the BX, I dunno, I just really like it - It has some similar styles to one of my fave non-Citroens, the S1 Lotus Esprit! just looking at the windscreen and pillars..

I think I love 'em all actually :oops:
Graeme M

CX 2400 Pallas LPG
2CV6 dolly (SORNed)
Mk1 Xantia 1.9TD SX

'c'est hydropneumatique'

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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:03 pm

Hugely impressive. Keep up the good work! ^^bx>
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• 2006 Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v

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Aerodynamica
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Post by Aerodynamica » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:42 pm

-Thanks Philip, it's all just to bring it up to scratch - it's not a restoration or anything
Graeme M

CX 2400 Pallas LPG
2CV6 dolly (SORNed)
Mk1 Xantia 1.9TD SX

'c'est hydropneumatique'

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Post by CitroXim » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:55 pm

Aerodynamica wrote:it's not a restoration or anything
Are you sure Graeme? Looks more like a concours job to me :wink: You'll be giving our Tim some serious competition at the next CCC Rally :lol:

First rate job and I do like the Mk1. That dash is to die for 8)

Funny how I like all my Citroens in MK1 guise.. I did have a MK2 Xantia for a while but my love of the MK1 got the better of me in the end...
Jim

'98 Xantia 1.9TD in Red - Gabriel the Bus...
'96 Xantia Activa in Red - My favourite toy...
'07 Pug 207 in Blue - The Deathtrap...
'15 Giant Defy Bike in Blue - Daily rider...
'16 Giant TCR Bike in Black/Lime Green - Fine weather only...

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Post by Aerodynamica » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:40 pm

Funny how I like all my Citroens in MK1 guise.. I did have a MK2 Xantia for a while but my love of the MK1 got the better of me in the end...
- I'm exactly the same Jim, Mk1 of everything (even the XM!!) - it's like they came up with a great design and then diluted it soon after to make it more appealing across the board.

My Dad had a Mk1 Xantia that I loved - it was our first new Citroen since the 2CVs! it was an ace car.
I am, in awe.
- don't be! it's just old car maintenance!
Graeme M

CX 2400 Pallas LPG
2CV6 dolly (SORNed)
Mk1 Xantia 1.9TD SX

'c'est hydropneumatique'

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Post by Aerodynamica » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:52 pm

It's not concourse but it's looking better:
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Bit of a crisis when LHM was spraying everywhere at one point - seemed to be coming from HP pump and going onto the drive belt and being chucked up when it was running.
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But! it turned out to be a low pressure return line from the octopus that I'd rerouted because it was split and replaced by some clear section pipe. BUT! it had moved and was rubbing on the drive belt which had finally eaten through it and the leaked LHM was being picked up by the belt and thrown up all over the place! Problem solved!

The next chapter will bring it up to date!
Graeme M

CX 2400 Pallas LPG
2CV6 dolly (SORNed)
Mk1 Xantia 1.9TD SX

'c'est hydropneumatique'

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Post by Kitch » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:58 pm

I love that car! Right now I'm regretting not buying it (I did try to swap a xsara for it!) but I can't have it and my valver, and I never want to get rid of the valver.

One day, when I've got more money and space, and the twins are all grown up, I'll buy that car from you :lol:

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Post by frugg » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:43 pm

Aerodynamica wrote:It's not concourse but it's looking better:
Looking 100% better ^^bx> - why not do a before / after shot of it when you have done.