Looking for a nice BX... and a suitable mechanic
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Looking for a nice BX... and a suitable mechanic

    Hi all,

    I need a little help . I am keen to purchase a BX in very good condition, but am struggling to find one that doesn't involve a trip to Sydney. Would prefer a car from around 1990, low kms, everything working, no immediate dramas. Am looking at simply maintaining a good car rather than trying to sort out a number of problems in one that hasn't been well maintained. Would like a 16V but they're too expensive, 19GT but they're getting a bit long in the tooth, so probably TRi or TZi would be best. Autos are not an option (too many stories of problems and ultimately not very engaging to drive). Looking at spending $2500-3500.

    In Adelaide BXes are fairly thin on the ground, as are Citroen mechanics. A couple of questions:

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    Interstate shipping? If buying a car sight unseen (crazy idea, I know) what's it worth to ship/train/truck from Sydney/Melbourne to Adelaide?

    Anyone been through the process of registering an eastern states car in SA? Is it as simple as it should be?

    Is there an Adelaide mechanic that would look at a BX, understand that it's not that complicated a machine, and not charge inflated prices (am I dreaming)? Previously owned a GS, so am not afraid of getting my hands green, but would like to have someone I can trust for bigger jobs. When I owned the GS, I found a couple that I couldn't trust and learnt a bit about servicing the car myself.

    Any advice is welcome. Have read the previous post regarding what to look for when buying a BX, and done a bit of net research, and now just want the car! Anyone know of a good BX that will suit needs, price and availability?

    Cheers ,

    Chris N

  2. #2
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    Chris, I have just moved from Adelaide earlier this year.

    Can't help you with a car, but as far as mechanics go, you need to see Leith Hughes ph No 08 8339 6731. Leith did his apprenticeship on D cits and some other stuff back in the '70s. Although he operates a general repair workshop and exhaust fitting business, he invariably has at least 6 cits in for various tasks (mostly D's awaiting restoration or other repair) and he will repair DS, BX, GS, CX, XM, Xantia and other hydraulic cits. He's quite handy with MIG and oxy welders too, useful skills if you're into early model cits.

    He's also in the process of restoring a D of his own (DS23 Safari Hydraulic, bit rare) and he is definitely a Cit enthusiast. His workshop is at Aldgate (near Stirling) and he's the only person in Adelaide I can personally recommend. I should add (from the perspective of possible conflict of interest) that since I met him a couple of years ago when I needed a couple of things done to my GS, we've become quite good friends; but if his work wasn't up to scratch, I'm quite certain we wouldn't be friends! But FYI anyway.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    I suppose you can contact Martin Bray at Clarendon and see if he knows where there's one for sale or if he may even have one.

    Failing that, there's always 'dogboy's Tri Estate that was an OK car from what I hear but had a problem with the auto; converted to manual it would be a different vehicle and have the advantage of being able to carry a load; they loved them overseas.

    There's a few on here that members may know well enough to give an accurate description.

    http://www.citroencarclub.org.au/for...pic.php?t=1636

    Short of just cooling your heels and waiting for something to bob up, possibly Sydney or Melbourne might have to be the go.
    I've bought a few from Sydney and with the cheap air fares, it's not such a big deal to get there and then drive home.
    Car carriers; I usually talk to one of the auctions as if I'm thinking of buying a car off them and just ask who they use as they seem to be ableto name them off the top of their heads. Be sure to tell tham it's a hydraulic Citroen when you ring. Rail is another option, again if getting it strapped down & untied can be organised at both ends.

    As regards mechanics, you can be guided by locals over your way better than most here, but I think Simon or Charles is down your way but is primarily a Renault mechanic and Lion Autos I think is Peugeot.
    Pug mechanics should be able to handle these OK due to them having a lot of common bits with a 405 but for some reason, the hydraulics seem to give them the eebies but again, the guy recommended might be your best option with the others as back up or vice versa.
    If you look at a TZi or Tri 122 be prepared for some oil consumption if it has not been rectified. A 16V if you aren't into doing plenty of DIY aren't really a good proposition unless you're well heeled.

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! Paul Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Rail is another option, again if getting it strapped down & untied can be organised at both ends.

    Alan S
    Alan - after the horror stories with the cars that came back from Perth on the train I would never send a car by rail - one D had a rear bump stop completely ripped off - another had spheres unscrewed from the vibrations - all very scary stuff - the NSW club president's D had a lot of repair work - and I think he is still fighting with the railway insurance.

    Despite tying the cars down properly and putting instructions on how to deal with them, they were moved from one train to another, and the wooden blocks that they had been carefully placed on were not replaced. They sat on the upright metal centre strips for a good part of the trip.

    Adelaide to Sydney is not all that far - as you say with cheap air fares I would be driving it back.

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  5. #5
    Tadpole
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    Thanks for the advice.

    Yes, I think a flight to Sydney in coming weeks is in order. That way I get the joy of driving all the way back to Adelaide and discovering any problems with the car on the way . Am tempted by a Sydney 19GT that appeared in the trading post yesterday, mainly because it's cheap (and it's red). However, it's not as original as I would like. It has a Pug 2L carby engine, Pug front seats and some hail damage. Does anyone know this car? Seems genuine enough, owner is moving overseas, just wouldn't want to get to Sydney and discover I've made a mistake.

    Cheers,

    Chris N

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    Fellow Frogger! enthused!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris N
    Thanks for the advice.

    Yes, I think a flight to Sydney in coming weeks is in order.
    chris, Bill at continental cars st punchbowl said that he has a nice 16v coming in next week as a trade-in. Didnt give me a firm price, but im guessing it will go for around the 4 grand mark. of course... its still in sydney, so that doesnt help u much
    1992 mi16 1.9 litre - it's a love hate realtionship.

    whatever you do NEVER tell anyone your car is reliable. doesn't matter how much wood you touch!

    previous cars: peugeot 306xt, peugeot 205si, renault 20, renault 12 - sedan and wagon, renault 25, alfa 155 twin spark

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts cruiserman's Avatar
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    I would contact the people in Sydney that you are interested in looking at their cars and arrannge to meet them all in a common location, you get the benefit of seeing several cars at the same time can compare and buy the best condition/value car of the choices. If people cant be bothered to do that to sell their car then you may not want to see it either.
    Neil
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  8. #8
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enthused!
    chris, Bill at continental cars st punchbowl said that he has a nice 16v coming in next week as a trade-in. Didnt give me a firm price, but im guessing it will go for around the 4 grand mark. of course... its still in sydney, so that doesnt help u much
    Unless you want to spend a lot of time repairing all the dodgy work done on a 16valve that's been serviced up Sydney way, I'd steer clear of them.

    It really would need to be a 'toy' car that you could bring back to standard yourself in your spare time (just ask the few people that have bought them recently on here.... Macquared comes to mind).

    seeya
    Shane L.
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  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! sdabel's Avatar
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    Hi Chris,

    Leith is definatlly your man, he is a nice guy and true enthusiast. His workshop always has a few local Cit people hanging around.

    He is the only person in Adelaide not afraid of an XM, and when specialist knowledge is required he can refer you to someone just as good.

    Having bought a couple of cars interstate I reackon there is much less risk driving it back than having it shipped. Plus its a great way to get to know your new car! My tool kit? Decent torch, mobile phone, RAA card and credit card........

    regards
    sean
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  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    Thanks all for the advice. Will definitely have to get Leith to check over the car when I find one. Not afraid of doing a bit of work to get the right car into shape, just so long as it doesn't require too much attention.

    So, what is it about 16valves that make them so expensive to maintain? Are they worth the extra dollars? Or am I better off with the TRi or TZi, which seem to have fairly similar specs to the old 19GT but with the benefit of slightly newer technology. I'd just like to get the best car I can find, although would definitely like the sportier variant.

    Cheers,
    Chris N

  11. #11
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris N
    Not afraid of doing a bit of work to get the right car into shape, just so long as it doesn't require too much attention.

    So, what is it about 16valves that make them so expensive to maintain? Are they worth the extra dollars? Or am I better off with the TRi or TZi, which seem to have fairly similar specs to the old 19GT but with the benefit of slightly newer technology. I'd just like to get the best car I can find, although would definitely like the sportier variant.

    Cheers,
    Chris N
    Having owned a 16V for just on 5 years, I suppose I can speak with a bit of authority although this is a contentious issue mainly because the explanation doesn't always answer to reason.
    I've had a fair bit of experience working on 16Vs, not out of choice but out of necessity which is why I usually weigh into things associated with them.
    Firstly I think they are a great designed engine and a great designed car; pity they weren't designed for each other. Take a look under the bonnet if you want to know what I mean. See if you can see the starter motor, try to figure out how you'll loosen or tighten the large bolt on the alternator or where the accumulator sphere can come out, where are the gear linkages and where did Haynes say the oil filter was?
    The 16V engine was basically an afterthought that came about 5 or 6 years after the release of the model. It has been claimed it took almost 9 years to develop the head and for anyone who appreciates something both refined and challenging in mechanical things, it's almost the ultimate. Take a look at what Loeb's doing with a modified version or what Aari Vaatenen did at Pike's Peak, that gives some idea of how good it is, 18 years after it originally hit the market.
    Take the BX per se' - Rides like a limo in comparison to modern cars, stops better than most sports cars, handles as good as most sports cars, carries 5 passengers and a load of luggage with ease whilst maintaining its level ride and stability, almost totally rust free and economical in anyones languge, a bit plasticcy and hence a rattle box but has possibly the best air/con bar none on the market and not an expensive car to keep on the road providing you have some input into what work is done.
    Now: Marry the two and let's see what you've got.

    An expensive car; originally $54,000 from memory which is even rich by todays standards. Has very comfortable seats, a slightly harsher ride due to sports style suspension, ABS, a striking appearance that makes them stand out in a crowd (even of other BXs), an incredible sound and the look on anyone's face the first time they flatten it and watch as the tacho hits 4500 and the engine gets a second wind and hurls it all towards 7000 in a twinkling of an eye has to be seen to be believed; a cross between amazement and horror.
    The types who bought them new seemed to be wives of professionals, in the case of my car a muso wanting something different (like he was) and mainly what they used to call "white collar workers" so by and large people who wanted something different but who in the main weren't mechanically savvy types so relied on the service agents to do the routine stuff and once out of warranty, the nearest specialist who could tell a good story. They sat at around $30K - $35K for a few years in used car yards and so again were in the price bracket of the buyers vulnerable to getting dodgy work at top shelf prices until around 5 or 6 years ago when they dropped suddenly into my price bracket. Amongst the service records I saw for my car was one account just prior to me buying that was for testing the ABS for around $565 that ended with the statement along the lines of they couldn't find the fault but for the owner to rest assured the car was safe to drive. I fixed the problem by fitting a new sensor to one front wheel.
    I have had more than my fair share of problems with the car, most being results of faulty workmanship on past jobs. Cambelt fitted too tight, rear arm bearings not done correctly causing premature failure, dirty LHM system due to supposed fluid change charged for but obviously never done, heat shields not refitted after work causing clutch cable to be damaged and fail as well as steering coupling and pinion seals, air/con damage caused by bridging safety switch instead of fixing leak, starter motor failure due to dodgy connection and bodged wiring to the solenoid, heater valve seizure due to not regularly changing coolant, pipes rubbing on coolant hoses due to incorrect fitting of new hoses to heater rail, hoses leaking at rear of engine due to oil being allowed to dribble onto them, ABS sensor lead broken internally due to long term breakage in support mounted on strut and allowing flexing of coax, hose to intake of pump rotten due to busted CV boot allowing grease to spit onto elbow directly above and not cleaning off when new boot fitted and so it goes on.
    Few if any of those problems can be directly attributed to the car or its design but to straight out sloppy workmanship and herin lies the problem. You can rectify without too much problems faults in design or manufacture or at least be aware of them, but when you are doing rectification work, it's all an unknown commodity. This car of mine is now to the stage that I can use with a reasonable amount of confidence as I showed recently when I got up one morning and took one of the boys for an 800+ klms run to collect a car after just checking underbonnet fluids and tyres. On a trip they have no peers.
    The problems seemed to have arisen for the repairers due to the complex appearance and in their mentality of looking for shortcuts due to the time absorbing jobs and in so doing, they have shortened the job by a few minutes or in some cases legthened it unwittingly but in the process set off a heap of future problems. When these are added to the hot nature of the mechanicals coupled with the fact that the car was designed as a LHD 8 valve and ends up as a RHD 16 valve shoehorned in under the bonnet, the service problems get magnified. As an around town car, I do not like them at all. They are a definite open road car to fully appreciate their attributes.
    By comparison, we have a TZi which has been a picture of reliability, is a good performer and gives the best of both worlds of comfort and performance and would be my choice if I had to rely on anyone else to do my service work.
    It seems as soon as you eneter a lot of workshops and announce you've got a 16V, they start thinking 4 figures regardless of what is wrong and bills $4K to $5.5K seem more the rule than the exception. If the job isn't going to make the grand, they find a way to get it there. (I think "going through it" is the common term they use)

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! ARCHRIVAL's Avatar
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    Icon14 Viva 16v

    I concur with ALAN on everything he has said re the 16v i have owned mine for going on 4 years and for all that time caned the ass off it .The car just keeps on getting better , it has now done almost 200,000k , uses no oil and besides still fixing previous butcherous repairs my only major cost was a failed crank sensor that cost $6-700 to track down ,other expenses all relate to hard driving worn brakes, front rotors and front tyres almost every pad change and latest cooling system overhaul and knock sensor failure . A MILDLY EXPENSIVE TOY BUT GREAT BANG FOR YOUR BUCK .Brilliant country tourer great for round about gymnastics but hates traffic jams and slow tedious traffic .Pity the power doesnt kick in until that magic 4500rpm but who needs to be first across at the lights.Thats my
    BX 16v 89, I Renault Floride 62, Volvo P1800 68, Aston Martin DB6 68, Daimler 250V8 68, Jaguar XJC 76, Falcon Ute XL 62, Falcon Ute XY 4WD, Jeep Grand Larado 03, Mazda 6 Wagon 05, inter 483 tractor 86, makita cordless drill CX TURBO its dented D Special 1 62 ID192000 Xantia V6 2000 Cadillac STS stolen by the princess,KANGA 720DL LOADER

  13. #13
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARCHRIVAL
    I concur with ALAN on everything he has said re the 16v i have owned mine for going on 4 years and for all that time caned the ass off it .The car just keeps on getting better , it has now done almost 200,000k , uses no oil and besides still fixing previous butcherous repairs my only major cost was a failed crank sensor that cost $6-700 to track down ,other expenses all relate to hard driving worn brakes, front rotors and front tyres almost every pad change and latest cooling system overhaul and knock sensor failure . A MILDLY EXPENSIVE TOY BUT GREAT BANG FOR YOUR BUCK .Brilliant country tourer great for round about gymnastics but hates traffic jams and slow tedious traffic .Pity the power doesnt kick in until that magic 4500rpm but who needs to be first across at the lights.Thats my
    Your gonna love the CX turbo... None of that "wait till we hit 4500rpm" stuff... Just about any gear is the right gear (as long as your on boost), she just squats down as the rear suspension drops and launches into the distance in a most un-citroen like fashion

    I used to swear everyone was trying to kill me whenever I drove the BX, the CX though is intimidating ... You know those pr!cks that tailgate and pull out in front of you when driving a BX .... In the CX it's an extremelly rare occasion they do (and if they pull out in front --especially wank tanks ... you just line up there drivers door ... and don't show any signs of braking till the last second. The look on there face is priceless Especially as the air-horns that would raise the dead get into action, and the headlights start melting holes in there drivers door). The trick is to just hit both sides of the binnacle ... You see they swapped the sides of the horn switch between the series I and series II CX. It still confuses me till this day, so hitting both always guarantees highbeam and air-horns

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! ARCHRIVAL's Avatar
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    Icon8 Cann't wait

    Sounds like this is going to be fun but with all the w..k everyones putting me thru its going to be a good 3-4 weeks before I'm going to get the pedal to the metal . First tilt tray that arrived at shannons chickened out when he presumably read the instructions re transport so car only left the auction rooms today I hope , ten days for the trip then with WA rego rules has to go over pitts immediate with temporary permit to travel arggg..... then they will pick something back for inspection got to get the new wheels and tyres then rego etc geezz life was easier when the cars were match box and the road was the sand pit
    BX 16v 89, I Renault Floride 62, Volvo P1800 68, Aston Martin DB6 68, Daimler 250V8 68, Jaguar XJC 76, Falcon Ute XL 62, Falcon Ute XY 4WD, Jeep Grand Larado 03, Mazda 6 Wagon 05, inter 483 tractor 86, makita cordless drill CX TURBO its dented D Special 1 62 ID192000 Xantia V6 2000 Cadillac STS stolen by the princess,KANGA 720DL LOADER

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    Guys, I've just been sorting through a huge box full of old car and bike mags looking for another magazine, and quite coincidentally have found an issue of Modern Motor from January 1990 with a 3 way comparison test between the BX 1.9 GTi16, Pug 405 Mi16 & Alfa 75. Incidentally, the list price for the BX (and the 405) was AUD$42,900, Alfa $37,290.

    It is an 8 page article with 2 pages of specs. If anyone would like it please let me know, free to good home (within Oz) for cost of postage (say $5?).

    Regards,
    Brett

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Chris,

    The BX Tri model from 1987-88 has a low compression normal unleaded petrol engine DFZ which is very long lasting, doesn't use oil and operates with moderate economy. The 1989 TRI122 and later TZI have a later DKZ higher compression Fuel and Ignition ECU engine which seems to have a piston ring problem. Most of these engines use oil at about 1 litre every 2000kms and can suffer unreliable wide throttle response. These engines seem to be worse if heavier grades of oil are used in them. My suspicion is that carbon build up behind the rings and they get stuck on the piston groove causing lots of blow-by. It is very difficult to sort this without an engine rebuild.

    So try to go for a 1987-88 tri for more trouble free motoring.

    Ken W

  17. #17
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken W
    Chris,

    The BX Tri model from 1987-88 has a low compression normal unleaded petrol engine DFZ which is very long lasting, doesn't use oil and operates with moderate economy. The 1989 TRI122 and later TZI have a later DKZ higher compression Fuel and Ignition ECU engine which seems to have a piston ring problem. Most of these engines use oil at about 1 litre every 2000kms and can suffer unreliable wide throttle response. These engines seem to be worse if heavier grades of oil are used in them. My suspicion is that carbon build up behind the rings and they get stuck on the piston groove causing lots of blow-by. It is very difficult to sort this without an engine rebuild.

    So try to go for a 1987-88 tri for more trouble free motoring.

    Ken W
    I'll go with what Ken says too. My wife stacked on over 100,000km's on her BX (180,000 - 280,000kms) within a year or so... After that it did maybe 10,000kms a year for several years. Biggest expense was all those oil changes and the vast quantities of petrol it uses to cover that distance.

    I retired it recently to the back yard with a clutch that wouldn't disengage. I reckon if I spent $800bux on it, I'd have a car that would easily run for the next 100,000+kms with little to no work ($800bux == arm bearings, clutch, front strut seals, various engine rebreather hoses).

    She's just tired from never being garaged in the cars life, and hard constant, unrelenting use. The hydraulic and drivetrain are still perfect.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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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


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  18. #18
    1000+ Posts Dave's Avatar
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    Those good old Tri's are troopers, I've got a tri bottom end on my GT and it stands the abuse of high compression and a fair wack more power than normal and shows no signs of giving in anytime soon.

    Dave


  19. #19
    twm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Having owned a 16V for just on 5 years, I suppose I can speak with a bit of authority although this is a contentious issue mainly because the explanation doesn't always answer to reason.
    I've had a fair bit of experience working on 16Vs, not out of choice but out of necessity ................
    Alan S

    Alan

    Did you have too much coffee?

    seriously though great comments.....

    I am enjoying my 16v, but there are all those little niggly things as you say. ALso I have been driving it for 3 or 4 weeks now and still dont feel that I have got used to it yet (in a good sense) it keeps suprising me but havnt quite worked it out. They have a real personality. BTW I usually drive at least 100k a year so have a few million kilometers worth of experience.


    Terry
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  20. #20
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Terry,

    You've got one big advantage over me and a lot of others with 16Vs and that is that it was owned by an enthusiast who was capable of a fair amount of DIY so as a result, the jobs that were done and became time consuming and niggly, he would have persevered with rather than worked around them.
    That car of yours would be one major exception to a lot of what I posted above unless you're terribly unlucky.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  21. #21
    Tadpole
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    Brilliant!

    You guys are a wealth of info. Am making enquiries through the local Citroen Car Club as well as through some interstate dealers. I'll soon be back in a Citroen...

    Cheers,
    Chris N

  22. #22
    UFO
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    Try this

    http://www.citroencarclub.org.au/for...pic.php?t=1645


    And Shane, I hope you were talking about the car and not Ang?

    She's just tired from never being garaged in the cars life, and hard constant, unrelenting use. The hydraulic and drivetrain are still perfect.

    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

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    Fellow Frogger! sdabel's Avatar
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    Hi Chris,

    The SA Citroen Club AGM is soon, if your not alrady a member then that's a good time to change that!

    regards
    sean
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