Is the BX a shitbox?
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    Fellow Frogger! Motorgnome's Avatar
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    Default Is the BX a shitbox?

    I know this is a contentious question on this page, & I don't care at all what the answer is, But I get the feeling that the BX is regarded as a "shitbox" . I can see that quality control was not the car's best known feature, & when chasing parts from many suppliers, I am greeted with ridicule when I say the magic letters.."BX". This does not bother me at all, as I can see the very many good features this car has & I am quite enthusiastic about returning it to excellent condition. I am just curious...Being new to the wonderful world of Citroen!

    Cheers! Jason

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    Member netmatelot's Avatar
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    They weren't when they were new, depends how they've been looked after in the interim period I guess!
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    They are a great car, but at an average age of 25 they do need some maintenance these days...
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    I reckon the BX is a sensationally good design, but it was let down a bit by the quality of some of the plastic. Mechanically, they are good and reliable if maintained properly, economical not least because of low weight design, but strong and they drive, ride, handle and carry big loads better than many new cars IMHO, especially the 19 TZi model. Excellent air conditioning.

    The ankle angle for the accelerator pedal is an issue for long distances - the solution being cruise control.

    So, maligned by some, loved by others and greatly under-rated. That's my view as an ex-owner.
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    JohnW

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    Welcome to the club! Every Cit owner in Australia has had his car called a shitbox, usually by a mechanic who has never worked on one. When you get the BX up to scratch you'll love it.

    I can understand most OZ tradesmen having no workshop experience of the hydraulic suspension, or some of the other more advanced hydraulics on uncommon models, but what sort of a pro would be put off by everything else?

    I was once given heaps over the Cit HDI diesel by a Ford mechanic who didn't realise where the Ford Duratorqs came from. Needless to say he hadn't actually worked on a Cit either. In Europe these are mass production cars, and that has come to mean lots of plastic, like everything else today. Cits aren't "different", they just do things sooner.
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    Fellow Frogger! Boyracer's Avatar
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    Default Is the BX a shitbox?

    I would have a nice BX in the garage in a heart beat!
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    Michael

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    JBN
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    I have owned two BX 19TRi automatics. I wouldn't call the BX a shitbox, but others may have different ablution habits to me. Rather, I found them to be a delight to drive and drive very hard. Their square design, particularly the hatch, allows better load carrying options than the Xantia that replaced it.

    The plastics are their greatest downfall. The plastics of the dashboard let the car down visually. The plastic heater tap, with two plastic tubes in the hot engine compartment is a disastrous design. Both mine went when trying to replaced leaking inlet rubber pipes that were crimped onto the plastic tubes protruding into the engine bay. The "engineer" who designed that should have been guillotined.

    It is not only the plastics, but the cardboard quality that lets the car down. The heater fan rheostat is a sophisticated disc of cardboard with some aluminium foil glued on it. Once it has warped over the years, the knob does nothing to control the speed of the fan, making both the heater and the aircon useless in that the air doesn't circulate. Citroen never really understood aircon or blower fans in either the CX, BX or Xantia. Mitsubishi (or I guess any of the Japanese brands) get this so right that one must come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a Japanese - French dictionary.

    Hopefully your doesn't have a sunroof as that would complete the trifecta. In France, rather than using the term trifecta, they use the term Tricolour. The blue alludes to the water coming though the sunroof on a wet day. The red alludes to the colour of your face due to the efficiency of the aircon when the blower fans don't work. The white alludes to the colour of your face when you find the heater tap has broken and they stopped making replacements decades ago.

    If the BX was built by Toyota, I would still be driving one.

    John

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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    The BX is a great little car, always lively to drive and comfortable. They are all old now and so need some work but they deserve a much better reputation than they seem to have.
    Michael
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    My daily vehicle is JohnW's old BX, and has done 15,000km in the last year. A shitbox in no way; it's an absolutely lovely drive!

    The interior plastics are the weak spot in my mind.

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    Hahahaha! I Do have two of the three...(I haven't gotten to the heater tap yet), but I have non functioning fan blower & a sun roof (haven't been in the rain or even washed it yet...It's been on the hoist since I bought it) . You've written A great summary I think, but I'm sure there are more...I'll let you know!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    I have owned two BX 19TRi automatics. I wouldn't call the BX a shitbox, but others may have different ablution habits to me. Rather, I found them to be a delight to drive and drive very hard. Their square design, particularly the hatch, allows better load carrying options than the Xantia that replaced it.

    The plastics are their greatest downfall. The plastics of the dashboard let the car down visually. The plastic heater tap, with two plastic tubes in the hot engine compartment is a disastrous design. Both mine went when trying to replaced leaking inlet rubber pipes that were crimped onto the plastic tubes protruding into the engine bay. The "engineer" who designed that should have been guillotined.

    It is not only the plastics, but the cardboard quality that lets the car down. The heater fan rheostat is a sophisticated disc of cardboard with some aluminium foil glued on it. Once it has warped over the years, the knob does nothing to control the speed of the fan, making both the heater and the aircon useless in that the air doesn't circulate. Citroen never really understood aircon or blower fans in either the CX, BX or Xantia. Mitsubishi (or I guess any of the Japanese brands) get this so right that one must come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a Japanese - French dictionary.

    Hopefully your doesn't have a sunroof as that would complete the trifecta. In France, rather than using the term trifecta, they use the term Tricolour. The blue alludes to the water coming though the sunroof on a wet day. The red alludes to the colour of your face due to the efficiency of the aircon when the blower fans don't work. The white alludes to the colour of your face when you find the heater tap has broken and they stopped making replacements decades ago.

    If the BX was built by Toyota, I would still be driving one.

    John
    A truly brilliant bit of writing. I loved it.
    I often am amused by the truculence of DS believers. The design is brilliant, the execution considerably less than good. CX believers are also blind to the inadequacies of the build quality and some persistent failures like inadequate engine mounts that pervade nearly of all Citroen and PSA products. How often have I wished for a Toyota built DS ? Imagine though a DS or Cx or BX designed and built by ...... shudder ... ROVER ( in the best of British sit up and beg style ). The Citroen experience is as good as the product ( and lets call the current crop uninspiring and of the period ) but in this country tempered by the skill and knowledge base available locally. The FORD reference above could also be applied to the Territory diesel engine. I am amazed at the way the local press is so devoted to the German stuff. Clearly equally flawed yet never discussed. Witness the recent VW debacles .. yes that is plural. The poor old AL4 transmission so loathed is a German product. The becoming troublesome AM6 gearbox ( fitted to many vehicles like VW transporters ) is a Japanese product.
    Plastics will come back and haunt the entire human race.
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    I didn't find special problems with older Rovers. They were well built for their time. Old Toyotas were noted for value for money rather than unusually low maintenance. Remember the Tiara and Corona and locally assembled stuff? (Our elderly members can).

    We talk about plastics in old vehicles, and the BX is an old vehicle, but has there been a no-plastics car interior since the Morris Minor? The designers want light weight, and ease of forming or moulding, and lower production costs. Plastics are the obvious solution. They are now replacing aluminium castings in engines for the same reasons.

    Against that is durability, but in Europe and North America and Japan cars are not expected to last long enough for plastic failures to be a problem.
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    I've owend 2. A TRI 122 and only a week ago bought a 16v. Some might have deemed the TRI a 'shitbox' cos it broke down a few times and cost me a fair quid in parts. But any car 25 years or so is going to have issues.

    They have countless endearing features such as tons of room in the hatch - simply one the most glorius gearboxes - they simply love being driven and on it goes. As far as I can tell they have three foibles. Yes the plastic is attrocious. Just accept it will rattle. The sun roof. Both of mine have had one and I wouldn't have it anyother way. So long as you remember that the rubber is not meant to stop all the water. The secret is to keep the drainage channels free of gunge. You don't want bucket loads of water in there but it will cope with quite an amount. There are simple tricks to fixing this problem and both of mine survive living in the Northern Rivers where it rains every other day. Thirdly is the front suspension. Macphearson Struts are just the pits. Make sure the lower ball joint and arm bushes are ok. Lubricate the strut both externally and internally. Failing that have them rebuit.

    Smoothing out the BX front struts.

    I find them just like an eager little terrior. Always happy and willing to go. Fun to drive, economical and still pulls looks. What more could you want?




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    Member twistedeez's Avatar
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    P.S. both heater and aircon work beautifully on the 16v. The air-con is crazy cold.
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    Are BX's shit boxes? Of course they are that's why we love them. But there a reliable, practical, economical, fun to drive shit box.

    Anyway, define shit box, when the newest version is 25 years old there a shit box. Doesn't mean there no good.
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    1000+ Posts Gamma's Avatar
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    A Shitbox defined....

    Etymology
    shit +‎ box

    Noun
    shitbox ‎(plural shitboxes)

    (slang, vulgar) A dump; a rundown, messy or disgusting item.
    My car is a shitbox; so is my house.



    Honestly......this, I thought was a question much muttered under ones breath...but never one to grace a French car forum...

    As for myself it would have been the 16TS. I only got to push onto a car trailer as the steering column collapsed into my lap along with 10lb of rust the first time I tried to start it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamma View Post
    A Shitbox defined.... Etymology shit +‎ box
    Noun
    shitbox ‎(plural shitboxes) : (slang, vulgar) A dump; a rundown, messy or disgusting item.
    My car is a shitbox; so is my house.
    Honestly......this, I thought was a question much muttered under ones breath...but never one to grace a French car forum...

    As for myself it would have been the 16TS. I only got to push onto a car trailer as the steering column collapsed into my lap along with 10lb of rust the first time I tried to start it!
    You've nailed the related issue I reckon. "the BX" is by no means a shit box. Some peoples' BXs might be and your 16TS obviously was, but in general both are bloody brilliant cars. So in the case of the BX, the answer is NO, although some might be through neglect.
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    JohnW

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    What a great, balanced all-rounder a good BX was.

    And versatile too.

    With both subsequent owners of my TZI wagon posting on this thread.....I wonder if they appreciate my two sons were conceived in that car? Guys.......?

    Regards,
    Rhys
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post

    ....

    With both subsequent owners of my TZI wagon posting on this thread.....I wonder if they appreciate my two sons were conceived in that car? Guys.......?

    Regards,
    Rhys

    Too much information
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    What a great, balanced all-rounder a good BX was.

    And versatile too.

    With both subsequent owners of my TZI wagon posting on this thread.....I wonder if they appreciate my two sons were conceived in that car? Guys.......?

    Regards,
    Rhys
    I never tried to get the front seat wound back so far, but then the wagon space would have sufficed.

    We subsequent owners had no idea the car had so much "history" Rhys.
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    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    What a great, balanced all-rounder a good BX was.

    And versatile too.

    With both subsequent owners of my TZI wagon posting on this thread.....I wonder if they appreciate my two sons were conceived in that car? Guys.......?

    Regards,
    Rhys
    I wondered what the stubborn stains were!

    I've got a foam mattress cut to fit the cargo area now, so sleeping is more comfortable than being contorted into the back seat.


    Edit: It appears from the number of people responding about the same car, I currently own one of the few BX's that is considered excellent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FedGrapes View Post
    Edit: It appears from the number of people responding about the same car, I currently own one of the few BX's that is considered excellent.
    Mine is fantastic, but i don't know if it has seen that much action


    I have also noticed that it is slowly attracting more attention. Over the last few months I have noticed more people stopping to "admire" it when parked or asking me about it. Maybe the BX is finally shrugging off it's "shitbox" status?
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    Michael
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    I wonder if they appreciate my two sons were conceived in that car? Guys.......?

    Regards,
    Rhys
    Any pictures? As long as they aren't on ExVet's camera....

    Peter
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelr View Post
    Mine is fantastic, but i don't know if it has seen that much action


    I have also noticed that it is slowly attracting more attention. Over the last few months I have noticed more people stopping to "admire" it when parked or asking me about it. Maybe the BX is finally shrugging off it's "shitbox" status?
    I think you are right. Cars start "new", move on to "old" and "undesirable" and then, around 20-30 years from new, some (not all, think Datsun 120Y if you can stand it) become "interesting". And nothing looks like a BX, that is for sure. Very clever design.
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    JohnW

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    Shitbox is just a term for old cars isn't it. Once there club plate worthy they start to get interesting.

    Xantia's are shitboxes now, so are early C5's. It's just a term we use to describe an old car.

    I wouldn't call a Datsun 120Y a shitbox, I'd call it the biggest pile of crap on 4 wheels, it's down there with HQ Holdens and XA Falcons. Not good enough to be called a shitbox.
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