Unreliable CX
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Thread: Unreliable CX

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Unreliable CX

    Hi, I have owned and enjoyed my 1987 CX 2.5 GTI auto for over ten years. However of late she has started misbehaving.
    For no apparent reason the engine would drop down to 2 cylinders and believe me their is nothing worse than a CX running on two cylinders! Sometimes the engine would keep running and a few 'blips' on the throttle fire back to all for. Sometimes it would stall and either restart in a few minutes or have to be taken back home on the back of a truck.
    Over the last three months the following have been replaced; the coils (with new coils), plug leads, plugs, a rebuilt alternator and new battery.
    This seemed to have cured the problem and my confidence in the car improved.
    However, after 1000kms of motoring the problem has reared its ugly head again. It now appears to happen when accelerating , drops down to 2 cylinders and stalls.

    Has anyone out there experienced this issue?

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    I really would like to solve this CX malady.

    Roger

  2. #2
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Sounds like the flywheel position sensor. . .
    CX-BASIS :: eShop

    Cheers
    Chris
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  3. #3
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    Hello,

    I am not familiar at all with CX's but I had same symptoms on my DS 21i.e.

    Turned out to be in order of importance
    1. Faulty injectors (even though they had been refurbished and tested out of car as OK). I replaced them all. Not even sure your car is fuel injected
    2. Faulty spark plug (one only). Again they were all replaced earlier in Nov 2016
    3. Broken cable to Pressure sensor
    4. Wrongly set Throttle Position Sensor

    Finally I note that if plugs had
    1. carbonned up or
    2. got covered with excess fuel (flooded because of item 3 above)
    They would not-self clean with a good run. I had to
    for 1. clean them out of car or
    for 2. leave car for a day

    Regards
    Ian
    Feel entirely free to ignore this
    Blueduck (aka Ian Downie)
    1974 Citroen D Special with DS21i.e. engine and 5 speed gearbox
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  4. #4
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    wiring connections ... 2cylinders is almost always coils or the wiring connectors to them. However, I"m betting you have flywheel sensor problems. You car will have two flywheels sensors. No doubt if you heat them in a saucepan of water, one of them will go open circuit as it gets heat soak into it (that's where the intermitant working comes into it ... the things work until heat soaked).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger
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    If you take the flywheel sensors out, note which one has a spacer under it.
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  6. #6
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    If you take the flywheel sensors out, note which one has a spacer under it.

    Don't these CXs have that "cassette" type ignition points thing in the distributor which creates problems? And maybe Dizzy cap and rotor problems?
    Or is this one all modern and electronic?
    Cheers.. George1/8th.

  7. #7
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George 1/8th View Post
    Don't these CXs have that "cassette" type ignition points thing in the distributor which creates problems? And maybe Dizzy cap and rotor problems?
    Or is this one all modern and electronic?
    Cheers.. George1/8th.
    two transformer coils... wasted spark. That's why one dead coil will leave the car running on two cylinders
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    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! Greg's Avatar
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    You have a normal CX......All were unreliable, and believe me I know. I used to fix them.

    As said previously, first place to look is the flywheel sensor and the coil, but the sensor is usually a dead stop. The coils never gave much trouble, but the're old now so can be anything really.?

    Best regards,

    Greg
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  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    You have a normal CX......All were unreliable, and believe me I know. I used to fix them.

    As said previously, first place to look is the flywheel sensor and the coil, but the sensor is usually a dead stop. The coils never gave much trouble, but the're old now so can be anything really.?

    Best regards,

    Greg
    Oh ... The coils ... a heat sensitive coil matches his symptoms.

    On the two sensor cars, one of the sensors kills the car dead .... when it dies, however the other will allow it to still run ( just ... very, very poorly). The later single sensor cars obviously don't run with a dead sensor. So if your stranded you can get the car onto a trailer by swapping the sensors, but it'll run to poorly to drive home.

    CX's were and are brilliant cars ... I'd never be without mine Certainly there not unreliable if you know all the "common issues" and keep an eye out for them. ie: wiring ... cooling fans (wiring), tachmetric relay ( well wiring, the relays doesn't play up), coils ( well the wiring plugs on them, the coils themselves dont' seem to die) ... the big electrical plugs under the spare wheel will give you intermittent issues .... The glass fuses go intermittent ... The flywheel sensors can these days be changes for japanese sensors fitted to "other makes". If you have the originals, carry a spare with you! Oh, don't forget the big earth point above the battery.... Can anyone say "electrical problems" It's all fun though

    Others are no headlight relays (low beam will suddenly go up in smoke oneday with no warning), no starter solenoid relay, that dreadful paris rhone 100amp alternator with external diode block system ( crispy wiring, dodgy diode connections), the regulator getting fried with the later alternators.

    I'd jump in mine and drive it anywhere, anytime without a seconds hesitation (my wife however would prefer never to leave the yard in it ).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Last edited by DoubleChevron; 12th March 2017 at 06:46 PM.
    auto likes this.
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
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  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    Thanks to everyone for their replies.
    The car finally refused to start while waiting fo rthe new sensor to arrive. My car only has 1 sensor. I have a spare engine and removed the sensor from it, put in my car and she started immediately.
    I fitted the new sensor as soon as it arrived and voila I had my mighty CX back.
    I took her for a test run and all was perfect until I had to stop for a red light at a very busy intersection. Gentle acceleration on the green light and back to running very roughly on 2 cylinders for a few seconds before firing back on all four.

    She now sits unloved in the carport.

    What do I do now?

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Renew the Coils?
    I sure am glad mine is an old C-Matic with conventional ignition and a carby!
    Cheers Gerry

  12. #12
    Tadpole
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    That was one of the first things I did. Brand new coils from CX Basis.
    Frustration levels are building as fast as the money spent tally.

    Cheers, Roger

  13. #13
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auto View Post
    That was one of the first things I did. Brand new coils from CX Basis.
    Frustration levels are building as fast as the money spent tally.

    Cheers, Roger
    wiggle the wiring connections around to the coils while it's running ... I bet the cylinders drop in and out. Have you removed the spare wheel, the cover under it and checked all the big multi-plugs yets. I'm betting I can get this car to run/drop cylinders just by wiggling the wiring connectors around. On a CX it's almost never the electrical bits ... it's the wiring to them.

    When I first purchased my CX turbo ... gee's it would have to be 15 years ago ... I drove it upto the Maleny Cit-in in Queensland .... It kept coasting to a halt on the side of the road ... my fix was to pop the bonnet ... shake all the wiring harnesses ... and it would be away .... for another few hours!

    seeya,
    shane L.
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    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  14. #14
    Member Sturla's Avatar
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    You might have had multiple failures. Bad sensor - fixed. Intermittent ground issue - still unsolved? Check all ground connections, especially the one Shane mentions on the inner wing above the battery. Wires and connections can be bad way up into the insulation sleeves and crimped connections that you do not see easily. On my 85GTI the feed to the coils had a bad crimped green wire onto the two yellow, all hidden under the wrapping. When the engine moved it would house similar effects.
    -74 DS23 bvh, -78 CXgti, -85 CXgtiT1

  15. #15
    JBN
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    I had a CX 25IE in the UK. The engine would stop whenever it liked to. The worst feeling was being in the fast lane (of three) uphill on the M25 at 70mph have the engine die, whilst trying to coast to the inside lane. Around town it would just stop and refuse to start. My wife became adept at phoning me at work with a rough location of where I could find the car. When I got there (ie some time later when engine had cooled) the car would start and drive home without fuss.

    I tried to sort out the problems but eventually gave up. Once I saw the political advantages of being "superman" and magically returning the wayward CX home, compared to my wife who seemed to bring the kiss of death to the CX.

    The C-matic that I had in Australia was OK after I had a torque convertor kit put in which didn't work, forcing me to buy a new torque convertor that did. Throwing away the Weber 34DMTR carby that had a lever fall off and jam the throttle at full revs with my wife successfully negotiating Kings Cross in Sydney at midday with a jammed throttle on one of her first drives in the car. That was replaced by twin Weber 45DCNF carbys which were bliss. Luminition electronic ignition gave trouble free ignition. Every time the alternator became cactus, it meant that the seals on the waterpump shaft were cactus and that coolant was leaking onto the alternator killing it.

    But they are lovely cars, being irresistible to masochists.

    John

  16. #16
    Tadpole
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    And I want to buy one of these CX's.

  17. #17
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    I had a CX 25IE in the UK. The engine would stop whenever it liked to. The worst feeling was being in the fast lane (of three) uphill on the M25 at 70mph have the engine die, whilst trying to coast to the inside lane. Around town it would just stop and refuse to start. My wife became adept at phoning me at work with a rough location of where I could find the car. When I got there (ie some time later when engine had cooled) the car would start and drive home without fuss.

    I tried to sort out the problems but eventually gave up. Once I saw the political advantages of being "superman" and magically returning the wayward CX home, compared to my wife who seemed to bring the kiss of death to the CX.

    The C-matic that I had in Australia was OK after I had a torque convertor kit put in which didn't work, forcing me to buy a new torque convertor that did. Throwing away the Weber 34DMTR carby that had a lever fall off and jam the throttle at full revs with my wife successfully negotiating Kings Cross in Sydney at midday with a jammed throttle on one of her first drives in the car. That was replaced by twin Weber 45DCNF carbys which were bliss. Luminition electronic ignition gave trouble free ignition. Every time the alternator became cactus, it meant that the seals on the waterpump shaft were cactus and that coolant was leaking onto the alternator killing it.

    But they are lovely cars, being irresistible to masochists.

    John
    classic wiring connector issues. My father purchased my CX turbo from a guy in the UK. He'd purchased it very cheaply and it came with a huge number of invoices for work done as it would randomly cut out on the side of the road. SO the old guy purchased it really cheaply .... got it home and proceeded to unplug every single plug he could find, clean it and re-assemble. He got to one of the computer plugs and found one of the pins was recessed ... so grabbed it and pulled it forward ... and the car never cut out again.

    it's seems to almost always be the wiring. DOn't be conned into buying expensive replacement computers etc... look at the simple stuff and you will likely find the issue can be fixed for nothing ... permanently!
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    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  18. #18
    JBN
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    Actually Shane, I overcame the problem in the same way. All the multiplugs beneath the spare I just cut, soldered and sleeved. Replaced the flywheel sensors and all the relays.

    The wet UK weather is very cruel to electrical connections, you could always pick the brass connectors by their green colour.

    John

  19. #19
    Tadpole
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    I must have been very lucky. My CX has been 100% reliable for over 10 years and has covered many thousands of kms around NZ. Cheers

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