C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

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Tim Leech
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Tim Leech » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:09 pm

Hmm, have you checked the bonnet lock is level and true, also that the hinges are straight and lined up, btw Princess looks awesome (as you can tell by my signature I am also a BL fancier), not sure about the Thunderbirds rear lamps mind you! :lol:

A red late Princess 2.0 HL would be my choice!
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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:40 pm

Everything went back together the way it came off and since I didn't touch the bonnet lock, I doubt that would be causing the issue. The bonnet has started to self-level on its own so maybe it just got slightly twisted while sat in storage untouched somehow? I have no idea.

Princess is on week 14 of daily driver duties at the moment, the little experiment on that front is going moderately well, and I can assure you those Thunderbirds lights (actually Galaxie items, but I'm sure you mean the puppets and not the American car) are something of a boon since other drivers actually notice when I hit the brakes.

That's something of a concern with the BX, as it happens, the brake lights are really very small and while perfectly adequate for the purpose, modern drivers simply won't notice them. For peace of mind I'm planning to fit a high-level brake light of some sort, I just haven't decided what sort.

Work on the BX has stopped since work got very busy and then I got quite ill. I'm hoping to pick up the updates again soon as the next job is of course to fill up the LHM once I've repaired that plastic return pipe I manage to touch with the grinder when doing the wing repairs.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:09 pm

The other day I acquired a box of hose connectors. It was significantly cheaper per unit than ordering the one I needed separately and I'm sure they'll be useful in the future.
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Reason being, I wanted to get that return line repaired. This was nice and straight forward. I just finished the cut I accidentally started with the angle grinder, using decent clippers this time, and then gently warmed the snipped ends of the plastic line before insert a double-ended barbed connector. A nice clean repair and is also quite effective. To help it seal, I wafted the heat gun over the whole thing afterwards so the pipe conformed closer to the shape of the connector.
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That was important to do so I could fill the car up with LHM. The bonnet is sorting itself out, slowly, and even though I've had a fiddle with what little alignment is available I've come to the conclusion it's definitely the bonnet itself at fault, not the surrounding bits and pieces. Shown here is after a few days in regular weather, I did notice at the end of today's efforts with some temperature in the engine, it had improved further. I'm hopeful a few hot engine cycles will persuade the panel back to a better alignment.
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Another minor issue was one of dirt. The glow plug light hadn't come on and it turned out that all the bodywork I'd been doing had ended up getting quite a bit of dust into the connection for the glow plug relay. It's the one next to the blue box. Disconnected, cleaned out the socket and plug, reconnected and all systems normal again. Additionally, there appears to be no drain on the battery even with the car sat idle for long periods, so that's reassuring.
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Today, the LHM arrived. I was eager to get that done to find out if replacing those pipes really had cured the leak. On putting the LHM in not a lot really happened, the brake pedal improved but the car was unwilling to rise and the brakes themselves didn't really do a great deal of anything. It's been a few years since I did anything with LHM so Mike and I had a look through the HBoL to see if there were pointers and there was; bleed valve on the accumulator sphere. It's the bolt to the radiator side of the sphere, obscured slightly by that rusty bracket. After following the instructions the system was successfully bled, except for one instruction...
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... we did it with the car on high. I had been a bit puzzled at how much LHM it was drinking and put it down to having empty lines. So we put the car on low, as per the instructions we didn't read the first time and predictably enough the car barfed LHM everywhere.
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I'd put about a litre too much in. Luckily I'd made use of a GSF sale to grab 5 litres of Total brand LHM stock they were clearing at about £5 per litre, so it wasn't like I flushed too much LHM and I suppose it'll be good rust proofing for that corner. Happily the STOP light functions correctly, lighting and extinguishing when it should.
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I remembered to knock out the wooden spacer blocks at the back before going for a test drive around the yard. The brakes surprised me, even though I was expecting them to be sharp, the steering feels very nice, the car is very comfortable. I'm incredibly happy. Most important of all, we had to find out if the car goes up and down.
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It is a very silly car, I like it very much.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by Warren Nel » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:50 pm

Brilliant.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by jamescarruthers » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:03 am

Looking good mate, well done. I hope you have happy journeys in it. The BX is such an amazing car.

Did you bled the brakes? They are dead ends in the system so it advisable to bleed them if you've done pipe replacement.

Once you've got the hydraulic system leak free it might be a good time to clean it all out with Hydraurincage?
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vulgalour
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:16 pm

Brake bleeding will be done when I get the exhaust back on since it's easiest to do all that on the lift rather than rolling around on the floor. That has to wait for a slot to be free on the lift, it's currently full of Rover. I probably won't get to do any of that until the weekend, however, Mike did check around the car and there doesn't appear to be any leaks. He also did some uppy-downy lever exercise and all seems well so we're both cautiously optimistic that the known issues are resolved.

Time and money are my enemies with the BX, a little more of both and I could be mobile quickly. Unfortunately I've got the Princess to MoT in a month and since that's my everyday car, it can't really be out of commission, especially since it's proven and the BX isn't at the moment.

For the BX, it needs the following before I can use it:
Refit front bumper
Refit exhaust backbox
Weld small hole on sill step
Fresh oil and filter
Since there's no history, I also need to do;
New timing belt
New tensioner
New water pump
Fresh coolant
to be road legal it also needs;
MoT
Tax
Insurance

I'm also keenly aware that while the tyres are road legal, one rear has a very slow leak on the rim and ideally they all want replacing with new. I'll likely go with the same kind of Uniroyals I have on the Princess since they're an excellent tyre. I could push through and get an MoT etc. on and get the BX in use very quickly, but I'd rather take my time and do it right so that my only worries will hopefully be general maintenance once its road legal, much as it is with the Princess.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by jamescarruthers » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:37 pm

Sounds like a good plan.

Does your lift leave the wheels hanging or not? I ask because I'm pretty sure you need weight-on-wheels to bleed the rear brakes.

Anyway, you're making impressive progress and hope you get a long drive in it soon.
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1992 Renault Master Mk. 1. Machzone Chateau camper. 2.0 LPG

Previous BX's:
A966 XRL -- BX 16 TRS
H767 BEG -- BX 14 TGE
B316 AMP -- BX 14 E

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:26 pm

Beware- brake caliper bleed valves have a nasty habit of snapping off esp the rears, gently does it and fit new ones for a few £'s to save headaches.
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:03 am

if I need the weight on the wheels, how do I get to the bleed nipples, safely or otherwise?

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:18 am

You will only need to put it into "service high" to bleed the rear brakes, then you can remove the rear wheels. It is possible with the wheels on but more hassle than its worth.
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by jamescarruthers » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:29 am

And I believe you can raise the wheel if it is hanging using a transmission jack if you find fluid won't come out of the rear brakes.
1987 Volvo 480 ES
1992 Renault Master Mk. 1. Machzone Chateau camper. 2.0 LPG

Previous BX's:
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H767 BEG -- BX 14 TGE
B316 AMP -- BX 14 E

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by rutter123 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:22 pm

I don't suppose it would do any harm to try that approach as the rear brakes rely on a certain amount of pressure supplied by the rear spheres, so long as the lhm is pushed along the bleed pipe the jobs a gooden,
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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:11 pm

Okay, so get it on the lift with it on the service setting, pull off the back wheels, and bleed as normal with the transmission jack (handily we do have one of those and it's VERY useful) under the hub to lift it if required. I'm sure it's a job that will make more sense with the car in front of me.

I haven't been able to get to the unit because of work commitments, but Mike has been keeping an eye on the car. From what I remember, the car sinking overnight is normal for BXs, and indeed all LHM Citroens before the mk2 Xantia, and this one does that too. It sinks more at the back than the front and, once started, it rises up quite quickly to normal height. However, Mike has said there's "a dark patch that doesn't look green or oily" on the floor underneath the rear passenger suspension arm/sphere area. Without looking myself, I'm not sure what that could be. It could just be rainwater since it's been raining a lot, or it could be that something else at the back corner is leaking. I had been aware the boot on that corner was wet in places and couldn't locate the source of the wetness so didn't know if there was an active leak, or if it was from the ruptured pipe that's since been replaced.

If I get chance over the weekend I'll have a proper look and see what's going on. I'm hoping it's nothing and there's just a rain puddle under the car. If there was space in the unit I could have parked it inside with some cardboard underneath so I could see for certain if it was leaking from anywhere, that's just not an option at the moment.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:30 pm

Mike had mentioned there was a patch of something under the BX, from his description it sounded like it could have been the side we'd fixed. Today, by chance, I ended up swinging by the unit so I could get a look. There is indeed a patch of something under the BX, and that something looks like LHM. It's not a big leak and it's dripping from the bottom of the trailing arm.
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I didn't have time to have a look underneath and investigate further today. I'm wondering if it's the union for the new pipe that goes into the height corrector weeping a little and just needs tightening up a bit since that's in this sort of area. It could of course be something else, there's plenty of things that can leak. I'm not overly concerned because it's not a bad enough leak that it's constantly dripping or pouring out when the system is under pressure. I'll investigate over the weekend if the Princess jobs go smoothly and I have time.

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Re: C'est Bleriot - 1987 17RD Hatchback

Post by vulgalour » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:34 pm

Right then, been a while since I updated here, things have been busy so there's not been a lot of BX fettling time available. I had a look at the windscreen seal to see what was needed today because, when I was inside the car, I noticed the passenger footwell was damp. Since I've no sunroof and as far as I'm aware the door seals and window seals are good, I assumed the heavy rain combined with the not-quite-sorted corners on the windscreen seal may have been the cause. A quick investigation revealed the windscreen trim seal hadn't actually stuck down for the most part and while the windscreen appears well bonded to the frame, water had got in under the rubber seal. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning out the sealant from the channel between the windscreen and the windscreen hole before rust treating everything so that anywhere I'd scratched through the paint and any residual surface rust was not going to be an issue. There was space inside the unit today so I could leave the BX indoors for the treatment to cure before applying fresh sealant and reapplying the rubber seal trim.
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The leak at that back corner hadn't reappeared and indeed, the suspension is fine. So perhaps that was residual from some other problem. With the BX indoors I'll be able to see if it's leaking afresh when I next visit the car. Where last time the bumper absolutely refused to sit in place properly, this time it went in with merely moderate effort, on my own. Just as well really since Mike was busy fixing other cars today so it was good not to have to pull him off those jobs to help. I didn't have any washers or screws with big enough heads for the bottom bumper holes so I couldn't put those in at the moment. That said, with the side slots and top three screws fastened down the bumper is a very snug fit now (bonnet isn't fully shut in the first shot).
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Also remembered to reinstall the grille.
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The bonnet has settled a little more, it's almost where it should be now. For some reason the headlight on this side is sitting wonky, if I got it straight then it popped off the bottom inner ball joint so I'm not sure what needs adjusting there to sort it out.
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The electrics have come over all French. The rear drivers side light cluster won't work at all. I've cleaned the connectors, the bulb, the sockets, the earth points I could find, and nothing. This is very annoying because it was working perfectly fine. The front side repeater on the opposite side and the front sidelights on both sides have also decided to go on strike and have been similarly disinclined to cooperate. As a result, left the car like this because I couldn't really go any further.
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There was just one last job I did which was to refit the back half of the exhaust which quietened the car down considerably. The glow plug relay gave no bother at all today, suspension is working lovely, brakes still nice, etc. Just to get to the bottom of the electrical gremlin really.