BX Purchase What to look out for
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Thread: BX Purchase What to look out for

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    Default BX Purchase What to look out for

    Hi All,
    I am considering the 1991 BX shown in Cars For Sale section and here on FaceTube..
    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...4206219600871/

    As this will be a first BX for me as well as the long distance involved I'm after some tips on buying a BX. I have a friend who will be in Tassie this long weekend who is happy to look at it for me and test drive but he knows nothing about Citroens or specifically hydraulic suspensions. He is no mug however and actually owns a nice old Triumph TR3 so I'm comfy with the inspector but want to give him some things to look for. The car is obviously a private import BX 19TZS (carby rather than EFI). It seems to have no rust and "everything works" is the seller's quote. He has only had it 6 months however which puts me on guard a little. He is apparently going to send me contact details for the mechanic who has worked on it for him and the previous owner so I may be able to get more info there. The paint on the bonnet is not so good / faded apparently but otherwise supposedly in good overall condition.
    From what I have read the obvious things to look for are LHM leaks, rust and the condition of the notorious plastic dashboard and fittings. Anything else on a BX that tends to go wrong.? Thanks in advance.

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    Cheers, Peter J
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    And importantly is the carby version an issue, in that I should wait for a good TZI injected model instead.??
    Cheers, Peter J
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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Grab that one ... It is the only BX I've seen that has good plastic interior bits. It is a personal import though, so I would personally consider it a parts car until I verified its belly wasn't rusted on from driving on salted, soggy pommy roads.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    Yeah, I thought rust would be a consideration but if it was imported in 1999 (on the compliance plate) it should have been rotted away by now if it was affected surely.? And / or would have been picked up at a rego check as well.? Any underside rust should be clearly evident to the eye by now wouldn't it.?
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  5. #5
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CXVingtCinq View Post
    Yeah, I thought rust would be a consideration but if it was imported in 1999 (on the compliance plate) it should have been rotted away by now if it was affected surely.? And / or would have been picked up at a rego check as well.? Any underside rust should be clearly evident to the eye by now wouldn't it.?
    No, you can't pick if the cars are rotten from "above". In theory the BX should be ok.... as they were galvanized. But even the galvanized BXs and XMs got quite rusty over there.

    If it was imported in '99 .... I wonder why the plastic is still good. Most only lasted a few very short years in Australia before the interior was absolutely trashed and destroyed by the sun!
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    No, you can't pick if the cars are rotten from "above". In theory the BX should be ok.... as they were galvanized. But even the galvanized BXs and XMs got quite rusty over there.

    If it was imported in '99 .... I wonder why the plastic is still good. Most only lasted a few very short years in Australia before the interior was absolutely trashed and destroyed by the sun!
    I have just noticed in the latest October " the Chevons " CCC NSW magazine a BX 2993 TZi
    For sale in Gosford. Price ...make an offer. David


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    The contact is David Dight 0405826212

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caisson View Post
    The contact is David Dight 0405826212

    Sent from my LG-K520 using aussiefrogs mobile app
    Many thanks David / Caisson.
    Cheers, Peter J
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    This one also turned up in August:
    Citroen BX
    "1991 bxtzi auto white with only 120ks and full service history"
    Located Hervey Bay

    Mostly normal used car checks in addition to the hydraulic concerns mentioned, but you could also raise it and see if the rear wheels are straight or cambered. Rear arm bearings are a weak point on most Citroens of the period. The corner bounce test at normal height is a good quick check on spheres as is the regulator cycle time for the accumulator. It will have a flow divider to supply the steering, so it might hiss on and off, but usually stops hen you move the steering wheel a little. Early XM is the same before the 6+2 pump arrived on the 24 Valve.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    This one also turned up in August:
    Citroen BX
    "1991 bxtzi auto white with only 120ks and full service history"
    Located Hervey Bay

    Mostly normal used car checks in addition to the hydraulic concerns mentioned, but you could also raise it and see if the rear wheels are straight or cambered. Rear arm bearings are a weak point on most Citroens of the period. The corner bounce test at normal height is a good quick check on spheres as is the regulator cycle time for the accumulator. It will have a flow divider to supply the steering, so it might hiss on and off, but usually stops hen you move the steering wheel a little. Early XM is the same before the 6+2 pump arrived on the 24 Valve.
    Thanks. I did see that one but assumed it sold to the Frogger who started that thread as he said he was very interested. I have emailed anyway to see if it is still available. Cheers.
    Cheers, Peter J
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caisson View Post
    The contact is David Dight 0405826212

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    This one in Gosford has sold.
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    Cheers, Peter J
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    Hi Peter,

    I might be able to have a look if you are keen.

    But as Shane mentioned, getting an interior this good will be near impossible. So if it drives ok, grab it! Sorting out more subtle mechanical issues should will much less stress than sorting a faded interior.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

    Driving - '90 XM, '85 CX IE Auto, 406 Coupe, 405 srdt wagon, '78 dyane, Resting (or Rusting): '73 Birotor '82 CX Presitige, '81 CX Break IE, GS X2, GS1015 Wagon, GS 1300 5sp Wagon, '76 GS 1220 Wagon, '75 GS Wagon, '58 2CV, '58 Vauxhall Velox

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewj View Post
    Hi Peter,

    I might be able to have a look if you are keen.

    But as Shane mentioned, getting an interior this good will be near impossible. So if it drives ok, grab it! Sorting out more subtle mechanical issues should will much less stress than sorting a faded interior.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
    Thanks a million Andrew. Very kind of you but I have put it on hold just at the moment as I have a better prospect from a Frogger in Hervey Bay QLD as per post # 9 above. And I haven't heard back yet after initial contact from the vendor of this Hobart (Sorel) car. I'll PM you if developments warrant your generous help.
    Cheers, Peter J
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    Quote Originally Posted by CXVingtCinq View Post
    Thanks a million Andrew. Very kind of you but I have put it on hold just at the moment as I have a better prospect from a Frogger in Hervey Bay QLD as per post # 9 above. And I haven't heard back yet after initial contact from the vendor of this Hobart (Sorel) car. I'll PM you if developments warrant your generous help.
    Hervey Bay eh? That smacks of the late and wonderful Alan Smith, who posted here for years about BX matters. The auto is ZF if I recall and they seemed to go for quite a while with the right fluid

    BXs are superb and reliable cars in most ways but are old and will need things doing. You've almost no chance of getting an uncracked dashboard other than the one Shane suggested you grab. Ours was a TZi and I loved it to death. Well over 200,000 km with no serious trouble. We replaced the hydraulic return lines (I paid to have the horrible job done!) and the odd other things. Fabulous AC too.
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    JBN
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    I had two BX TRi automatics. In both cases, the cars were given away as the automatic gearbox died. It is possible that the problem was caused by getting the automatic serviced at an Automatic Transmission Specialist, who may have used a later Dexron to the Dexron III that they should be fed.

    The heater controls on the BX are pathetic. The fan control "rheostat" is a bit of aluminium foil pasted on a circle of cardboard. The real problem with the BX is the heater tap. Its made of plastic with some of the plastic poking into the hot engine bay. One can make one out of copper tubing with an appropriate valve.

    If one has a sunroof, apart from letting in the sun, it also lets in the rain. A great idea in Europe where the sunny days make up a small percentage of the year and the sun isn't very hot. In sunny Sydney when you have sparse vegetation on your head, they are torture.

    I did refurbish the flow divider for the power steering under the guidance of an expert in the field but he passed on and I have long forgotten.

    I wouldn't worry about the rear arm bearings as they are easy to replace for not much time or money. They are normally on my list of things to do when I first acquire a trailing arm hydraulic Citroen (CX, BX, Xantia).

    Other than the niggles above, they are a great car. Great to drive, very roomy hatchback, very comfortable seats. The Xantia that replaced it feels heavier to drive, the hatchback isn't quite as accommodating and the seats are not as soft. Perhaps its my fault in that over that period of years, my bum didn't get any bigger - its still bony and loves soft seats like the CX, BX and 2CV.

    John
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    Thanks for the info John. This has supposedly done only 120,000 and has full service history. It doesn't have a sunroof. I am also not a fan of sunroofs. The only thing I am a bit wary about is the auto transmission as you mention. It will be the dreaded AL4 from PSA I thought however I see JohnW from Perth thinks they were ZF boxes as were the CX.? If purchase goes ahead I'm thinking I should have the transmission fluid drained and replaced with Dexron II to be safe.? Still trying to get photos and details etc from the vendor who is very busy.

    Thanks to all for their invaluable experience and comments to date.
    Last edited by CXVingtCinq; 10th October 2018 at 02:50 PM.
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    AL4 boxes came in much later - think C5 & 406 and later (maybe in very last Xantias).

    At the risk of starting a storm of controversy (dons flame-proof suit - remember them?) JBN has muddied the waters badly here - Dex III is a no-no in these older ZF boxes (I have a ZF 4HP18 in my 605 - same as the XM). It is DEX II (or ESSO LT 71 141) that is the only fluid that should ever be put in BX, Xantia & XM ZF boxes (excluding the 4HP20). Note that CX is different again...

    The problem is we have all moved on and tend to forget old conversations - fortunately AF remembers more than we do! Here is a thread from the good old days - read, mark and inwardly digest!

    Oil for slugomatic gearboxs

    Cheers

    Alec

    PS - Dex II is now hard to get. I got a lifetime's supply by going to my local Mobil depot and buying a 20 litre drum of ATF220 . It is also the right stuff to use in power steering (not applicable to Citroens of course).
    Last edited by Armidillo; 2nd October 2018 at 12:57 PM.
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    Dexron III or Dexron II?? I might be quite wrong, but thought these auto BXs predated AL4. (Edit, just read Armadillo's post!!)

    I drove one once with 200,000 km on the clock and it worked fine. Totally agree re someone else's sunroof! Our factory sunroof on the 306 was perfect for 23 years but the car was always garaged.

    It does sound like a very nice BX.
    Last edited by JohnW; 2nd October 2018 at 04:18 PM.
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    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Dexron II vs Dexron III thread link Alec. Very interesting. I will certainly go with D II equivalent if purchasing this BX.
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    Cheers, Peter J
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  20. #20
    JBN
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    Sorry all. I meant Dexron II. I used to buy it as Castrol Transmax M. When that disappeared I got 20 litres of Mobil ATF 220 (their Dexron II product). It is now a toss up which goes first - The Xantia VSX or the supply of Dexron II. At the worst, I will go first.

    John
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  21. #21
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    Just a note..Dex II is available from Penrite Oils as well I just bought 10 litres .

    Cheers!
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  22. #22
    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    This is the only currently available Dexron II type from Penrite that I can find on their web site..
    https://www.penriteoil.com.au/applic...ic-atf-mineral

    Is this the one you mean.?
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    Cheers, Peter J
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  23. #23
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    Yep! That's the stuff.
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