1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

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van ordinaire
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by van ordinaire »

By accident, the diesel Visa was the 2nd fastest model (if you lump the GT & GTi together) "On country roads, you made progress by not having to slow down for corners." conjures up an image: a priceless turn of phrase which reinforces my resolve to get "proper" tyres for the C15 next time.

I'd quite forgotten Citroën's "trademark" non-selfcancelling indicators (obviously not driven the 2CV for far too long :cry:)

"If I had your skills and the space I would be tempted by a. . . . BX." Absolutement - I'd also feel a lot happier about what both the C15 & Xantia need doing. :yes:
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white exec
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by white exec »

Richard, I'll echo all you say about the non-turbo XUD. Our n/a BX19RD was relaxing, well-geared, and fast. Agree about a preference for the mk2 (especially the dash) as well.
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vulgalour
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by vulgalour »

I don't mind non-cancelling indicators, the Princess is like that (because I couldn't get the mechanisms back in when doing a repair, so I left them out) and it's actually less frustrating as a result, especially with the number of roundabouts I encounter on a daily basis.

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Another BX update! I found myself with a few hours to kill so it seemed as good a time as any to see what I could do on the car in the time I had available. I wanted to start with the most gaping hole first which is the passenger inner wing. That meant cleaning back to good metal, a surprisingly easy task since it really does seem on this car that the rust you can see is all the rust there is. I was surprised to find evidence of previous welding but no sign of patches being let in. There was a random line of welding on the inner wing near the suspension turret that didn't make any sense. The other thing that made no sense was the big patch of filler I hit that was covering nothing. Underneath the filler was the original paint and good steel, and the filler itself mostly came off in big chunks. Very odd.
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With that out and the last of the rust cut away on the inner wing that I needed to, I cut out some fresh steel and made up a piece to go in. I'm welding the patch on top of the original steel rather than butt-welding because this is repair work, rather than restoration, and the BX steel is very thin and difficult to butt-weld. Before welding the piece in I was sure to cut away all the rust and access to both sides of the repair is very good so I can be sure to paint and seal all of this afterwards so that it hopefully lasts for many years to come.
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Getting that panel in suddenly made the remaining repairs look a lot less daunting. This was the most complicated shape I needed to make and it went surprisingly smoothly and welded very nicely compared to the rubbish I'm used to working on. Packed up and left the car feeling a good bit better about the work left to do when I get my next bit of time off. I've got a bit more work to do to make the panel look as nice as it can, you can see the bit at the top where there's some rust I haven't patched, I'll deal with that next.
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I almost forgot, we also got the rear washer jet working again by removing it and putting some compressed air through it to clear a blockage. I had been concerned it was a split hose somewhere and I'd have to pull the car apart to find that, so it was a relief to discover it was just a blocked jet.
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Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur »

vulgalour wrote: 17 Jan 2019, 16:58 I don't mind non-cancelling indicators....
far rather those than the experience I have driving one of the 'Moderns' in the family; unsure if its typical. Some spotty boffin seems to have decreed that when using the 'Pass' Indicator facility that it blinks about five times before cancelling; which in many circumstances is far too long and gives other drivers erroneous information.

....perhaps a good job that many modern drivers seem to consider Indicator use 'optional'.

I did like my Wedge Princess, a 'last of the line' 1.7 O Series HL on an X; a surprisingly good car despite having a less than fabulous reputation for reliability, and of course being BL.
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van ordinaire
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by van ordinaire »

No problem with non- self cancellers, with which I became re-aquainted driving a MUTT in VietNam (US military spec appears to be 2" warning lights) but I actually like that "modern" feature having only experienced it on Amrican hire cars - & the Detroit industry standard seems to be 3 flashes.

I thought it was only Audis that had optional indicators - or is it BMW's? AND, of course, Northampton cars (still one of the few places with its own driving practises) where the intention to turn right (at some point) is signified by using the outside lane or, if only one, adopting the about to turn right position on entering the road from which the turn is to be made.
Citroens:-
'81 2CV Club :cry:
'05 C15 :!:
'97 Xantia Exclusive estate [-o<
others:-
Jeep XJ Cherokees x 3 :?
'96 Cadillac Eldorado
'99 Cadillac STS :|
& the numerous "abandoned projects" #-o
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vulgalour
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by vulgalour »

Ah yes, the good old HGV Swing beloved by many a supermini driver because those little cars are so difficult to get around those tight bends.

Pug: Mine's a 1.7 HL too! It's on a W plate so only a smidge older than yours would have been. A car that doesn't accelerate, it gathers momentum. A car that stops surprisingly well and a car that goes around corners better than it has any right to. In a couple of weeks I will have owned mine for 7 years and I have absolutely no intention of letting it go.
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by vulgalour »

Tiny BX update for you. I wasn't feeling up to doing welding today, I'm saving that for tomorrow. Instead, I got one of the wheel trims cleaned back and with a fresh coat of paint on. Rather than using sandpaper, I'm using thinners and plastic bristle brushes with regular wiping off with paper towel. I've used this technique before to good effect on plastics and as long as you don't leave the thinners on too long and rinse everything down with water when you're done, it doesn't do any harm to the plastic and leaves a nice clean surface to paint afterwards. It is quite a smelly process, so worth doing in a well ventilated area, and be patient since it's not a job that will whizz all the paint off in one go if there's been several repaints as there has on these.

The results do rather speak for themselves. The plastic primer I'm using is ever so slightly darker than regular grey primer which brings the silver I'm using that bit closer to the factory shade and knocks off that too-new look of bright silver wheel paint without going as dark as 'steel' or 'anthracite' finishes. I'm being a bit picky about these wheels, get the wheels right on a car and it's amazing what other cosmetic issues folks will overlook. The steel wheels I may have to do with the tyres mounted since I haven't a spare set of wheels to swap in, I'll cross that particular bridge when I come to it.

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vulgalour
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by vulgalour »

Right then, a proper update this time. My goal was to get the passenger inner wing finished today, no matter how long it took me. Then, naturally, the welding wire ran out just as I was starting to get the most awkward repair piece stitched in.
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Luckily, that happened at the point it was sensible to have a break for lunch, so Mike went and got a new reel of wire - the one in the machine had lasted us for a good four years, so there's no complaints here - and by the time he got back lunch was consumed and I could crack on afresh. The job went fairly smoothly, all told. I do wish my welding looked nicer than it does, it's slowly improving as I do more, I just wish I had the knack of making it consistent. I'll get there eventually.

I didn't take any progress pictures of the welding, it was just one of those jobs I got on and did. The inner wing near the suspension turret needed a square letting in before the outer panel was replaced, and I made sure to douse it all in as much protection as I could as I built it up. Once I was happy that all the welding that needed to be done was done, I went around all the seams and welds with seam sealer, keeping it slightly tidier in the engine bay by using a bit of masking tape to keep the edges tidy, being sure to peel it off before the sealant had cured.

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The slot for the bumper was a little tricky to build, I don't realy have a suitable small tool to cut it out. I found that a combination of the bench grinder and hand files got me a good enough shape to mirror the other side which is intact. I made sure to put a second bumper bracket plate on as a strengthener, as seen on the other side. With that all done, and the sealant ready enough, I went over everything with some fresh Alpine White. I didn't have time for lacquer or underseal today, that will come later. I need to clean out the rest of the inner arch this side to be absolutely certain no more welding is required before finishing off the paint and applying weather protection. After that, I can rebuild this side and put the wiring back properly again.

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The harsh lighting is not at all flattering. It doesn't matter, these repairs will be barely visible once everything is back in its proper place and the important thing is that the rust is now gone on this side. The other side should be much easier because the shapes I need to make are much simpler and I shan't be working in the dark as I have for most of the welding I've done so far. Not sure when I'll next do work on the BX, I have a moderately busy week ahead and possibly a busy weekend too. We shall see.
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by Gibbo2286 »

vulgalour wrote: 19 Jan 2019, 16:26 Ah yes, the good old HGV Swing beloved by many a supermini driver because those little cars are so difficult to get around those tight bends.

Pug: Mine's a 1.7 HL too! It's on a W plate so only a smidge older than yours would have been. A car that doesn't accelerate, it gathers momentum. A car that stops surprisingly well and a car that goes around corners better than it has any right to. In a couple of weeks I will have owned mine for 7 years and I have absolutely no intention of letting it go.

If you're still talking wedge O series, I have a new old stock water pump on my shelf here you can have free gratis if you wish.
Man is, by nature, a lazy beast, he does not need twice encouraging to do nothing.
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vulgalour
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by vulgalour »

I shan't turn that offer down, especially since I haven't got a spare on my shelf since I last replaced the pump.

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Had a few free hours today, plenty of time to get that repaired inner wing cleaned up, painted, and undersealed. The cleaning up bit went really well right up until I found some more rust to repair. So I changed tack, and instead decided to repair the rust that was there instead, starting with the closing panel between the headlights and crossmember. This was difficult because I couldn't get any tools in to make a really tidy job so I have to admit I cleaned up the rust, chopped back what I could, and then overplated it instead. The other option would have been to cut the crossmember front face down and weld it back on and I didn't really want to go that extreme on this repair. It's not seen so after welding some really ugly blobs I smothered the whole thing in paint and sealant on both sides to hopefully keep the rust at bay for a good while longer. It's all hidden by the bumper too, so the finish here is less vital than in other areas.
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On cleaning out the arch, the bit under the washer bottle I thought was solid turned out not to be. It has indeed already been repaired, the problem was the metal to one side of the repair had rotted out, possibly in part because the drain hole wasn't as clear as I thought it was. Luckily, I had access to a sort of long thin wire brush attachment that was exactly the right size to clean the drain hole out. Again, fairly ugly welding on top of ugly welding in an area I simply don't have the right sort of tools to clean up so it got a good smear of goop to keep it presentable and weather proof. As with the repair above, this area is never seen, so it needn't be pretty.
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Then it was time to tackle the remaining repairs required. When I started cleaning the arch out what I thought had been just cracked underseal ended up being rot and I needed to cut a long thin strip out, clean everything up, and rebuild it. This has been repaired before, it just seems this bottom edge had blown on the seam. There was also a small spot that opened up when I was cleaning up the washer bottle area, right between the big repair I'd done, and an older small repair, so a square had to be let in there too.
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I had enough time left to get it all seam sealed and a splosh of white paint on. It's now ready for the work I went in to do at the start of the day, so at least that gives me something other than welding to do this weekend.
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While I was doing all this I noticed the towing eye was bent.
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So I went to straighten it and...
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Super. That'll be a bit more rust to remove and repair then. All the welding is these annoying little squares on edges, none of it takes particularly long to do individually, it's just a lot of faff. Still, I am glad I decided to deal with this now and nip these problems in the bud. The car is far from rotbox status, which is good, it's just a little tedious to sort through.
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by 1080 »

I have a few BX NOS parts left. I definitely have a new Lucas headlight unit. PM me if you want me to list the h/light on eBay. When I worked at dealerships in the 80s the 17RD was the one that really hated garages as the TV ad' promised. Less to go wrong?
Looks nice. No sunroof too, so should be sound near door hinges.
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vulgalour
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by vulgalour »

If you have any of the following, I may be interested soon. I've just got to get over the Jan/Feb hump and wait for work to get going again. Things are a bit slow at the start of the year, it's not the best time to be buying a car.

Timing belt
Water pump
Front-to-rear pipes
Citroen branded rubber front mats
Mud flaps with just 'Citroen' on them, no reflectors
Any grey plastic/grey cloth interior parts
Door handle scratch guards - this car had them when new, they were removed by one of the previous owners (not the one I bought it from)
Rear reflective strip/heckeblende/tailblazer - this car had one when new, it was removed by one of the previous owners (not the one I bought it from)

I'll probably find more things as I work through the car, that's my list for now. Mostly I need to get the car MoT'd before I start buying frivolities like bits of trim and spare headlights. I will be amassing spares as I have for my other cars because that's always useful, I just have to get through this first round of repairs and associated costs before I do.
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by Gibbo2286 »

[quote=vulgalour post_id=599033 time=1548439258 user_id=19708]
I shan't turn that offer down, especially since I haven't got a spare on my shelf since I last replaced the pump.

PM your address and I'll pop it in the post.
Man is, by nature, a lazy beast, he does not need twice encouraging to do nothing.
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vulgalour
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by vulgalour »

Gibbo: I shall send you a PM momentarily.

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I had some free time today to get in and do some work on the BX. Just as well really, as I was finishing up I was starting to feel decidedly run down and now I seem to have some sort of Generic Illness, which is a bit annoying. Anyway, what did I get up to? Did the easy stuff first and refitted the relays and tidied the wiring in the front corner. There was a loose relay kicking about that doesn't go anywhere and rattles so I suspect that was a broken one that got replaced and forgotten about since it matches the other relays fitted to the inner wing.
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Got the whole of the inner wing undersealed. I made a small mistake by forgetting the wing rail portion of this is visible when the outer wing is fitted, so I'll have to do a little cleaning up of that later. I was just going to go over the bits that I'd worked on and ended up doing the whole inner wing instead just because it looks smarter all in one finish. Paid special attention to the bit under the nose since that area seems particularly prone to rust and did the shelf that I'd repaired to mirror the other side that's still solid.
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In a belt and braces approach I did the inside of the outer wing as well after I'd sorted out the rust blemishes on the edges. BXs don't seem to suffer from rotten front wings from what I've seen so this probably wasn't necessary.
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I'm glad I spent the time remaking the arch return lip and the little tab as both of these are needed to fix the arch liner in place. The liner clips onto the arch lip and a bolt goes through the wing and liner into the tab. The fixings for the lower portion of the arch liner had disappeared (perhaps they weren't there when I removed the liner?) so I drilled some holes to accept some button-head screws that I've used for this sort job before with good effect.
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Washer bottle on this side was also reinstated, which was very easy to do.
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I didn't have to modify the wheel brace to get it in the cubby, I just had to figure out the specific way that you put it in the space, so that saved me a job and it's nice to see it in its proper place.
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Finally, the outer wing, headlight, and indicator was fitted. I spent a bit of time fiddling with alignment to get things where they should be. Everything is very easy to assemble and the car is now looking much more like a car again.
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vulgalour
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Re: 1987 BX 17RD "Bleriot"

Post by vulgalour »

I have had a productive day off, even with a lazy start to my day. Didn't start fantastically well when I managed to nick a plastic LHM pipe, I assume this is low pressure so I can probably put a splice or joiner in it with no ill effect. My own fault this one, I thought I'd moved everything out of the way and hadn't. I put some blue tape on it to remind me that it needs sorting as this is the sort of thing I'm likely to forget about otherwise and be a nuisance to find when the car is running.
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I nicked the pipe when cutting out the inner-inner wing. Although the rust was much worse on the other side, a much larger patch was required to this area on this side. The welding went really nicely too, some of the best I've ever done, and I wasn't overlap welding this since the steel is a good bit thicker than that used on the outer panels.
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With that in and doused in relevant potions, I could get the outer panel on. Originally I was going to keep the original arch curve and put a patch in the middle until I cleaned up the piece I chopped off and decided it was too much work to repair. So a big patch again it was to be. The marker pen spots are for where to drill the spotweld holes, a job I didn't get around to doing today.
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After welding in the big patch I moved on to the next most difficult area to repair while the big patch cooled down. The strengthening leg that runs from the A pillar and across the inner wing had holed in the bottom edge, and had quite a few pinholes. I cleaned it back, poked out where the metal was thin, and worked out how much I needed to chop out. It ended up needing a much larger repair than I'd anticipated.
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It was also a slightly peculiar shape so I employed my tried-and-tested masking tape solution to making awkward repair panels. You start by putting a border of tape around the edge of the piece, and then filling in the gap in one direction with tape. Once it's filled, run a few strips of tape in the opposing direction to tie it all together. Make a note, mental or otherwise, of which piece of tape you laid first as this will help you remove the template afterwards.
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Using an old fashioned pencil, use the edge of the graphite to rub along the edges of the cut hole. A softer pencil like a 2B is better for this rather than the HB I had to hand, it's also less inclined to poke through the masking tape.
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Once you've marked all the edges, simply peel the template away starting at your first piece of tape. Don't try and flatten the template out straight away and try not to handle it too much. Offer the template up to your piece of metal, if it lays flat then you can simply stick it down (providing you haven't handled it too much) and use it as a cutting template. If the template doesn't lay flat you can simply cut into it wherever it curves to help it to do so, which is particularly useful for even more complicated panels. If the tape won't stick, simply use a little more around the edges or double a piece of tape back on itself and stick that to the back of your template. Once you've done all this (it's much quicker in practice than this makes it out to be), simply cut out your metal as usual and then peel the template off.
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It saves so much time! Now you can fine tune the edges and add any folds required and get a much nicer finish to the job. It certainly made my life easier. For the lower bend on this panel I used a socket extension clamped in the vice with the repair panel to get a softer radiused curve while the upper bend was just done in the vice with a hammer and no former, the old fashioned way. This meant the panel matched the shapes of the original panel much better and made welding it in much easier too.
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That's the last really big bit of welding done on the car (I hope). The only nuisance was when I was starting to clean up my ugly welds I noticed a couple of pinholes and went to just blob them up. Instantly blew big holes. So I'll have to let another small piece in to repair that. Underneath the strengthener where it meets the A pillar is another selection of ugly welds as I couldn't get any of the tools available into the very tight space. I'll do my best to clean it up with the tools I do have and the sealant and paint and underseal will hide the cosmetic sins afterwards.
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I didn't have time to do more, unfortunately, so it was just a case of assessing what's left on this side to do and it's really not a great deal. The aforementioned bit of thin metal to cut out and replace, a small piece below the strengthener, and a larger piece that I'll either do as three small patches, or one large piece, depending on how it looks once cleaned up.
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I did notice there's no drain hole under the driver's side washer bottle so I'll have to add a hole once I've finished filling up all the other holes that shouldn't be there.