CX Prestige rescue
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Thread: CX Prestige rescue

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default CX Prestige rescue

    Hi all,

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    I'm new here, and new to Citroens. My background is 15 years in the trade specialising in old Mercedes, particularly the full hydro W116 6.9 and W126 500 models, so I'm not new to cars that can lie flat on their bellies.

    I've long had an itch for a big Citroen, and particularly the CX. They are not readily available here in South Africa, so I've eventually opted for a non runner.

    Its a CX Prestige, auto, carb, aircon. It hasn't run for nearly 20 years, but it appears to be nearly all there, and very straight, I can't see any sign of accident or rust, and the interior seems very good indeed.

    Its lying flat on its belly, with flat tyres, on soft ground. I will be going to retrieve it this Saturday, so I would be grateful for any do's and don'ts and advice on where and how to try and lift the car, how to wedge the suspsension etc , so that I can tow it forward, and get it onto the roll back tray truck.

    Thanks in advance, I look forward to putting up some pictures of the rescue process.

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! Bruce Llewellyn's Avatar
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    Make sure you have plenty of time - you may need to dig holes under the car to install jacks to change wheels if they don't hold air. I have spent up to 4 hours getting a CX onto a trailer.

    Rear wheel covers can be removed by undoing a weird looking screw inside the rear door cavity. This has to be unscrewed and then pulled out against a spring to release the front of the wheel cover, then the cover is pulled forward and down to release it from the bodywork.

    Pump tyres up.

    Make sure you have the technical information on how and where to jack it. (see if there is an owner's handbook) These things have more than 60% of the weight on the front wheels, so they can easily nose dive off jacks.

    There are places where you can fit small hardwood blocks between the bump rubbers and the suspension arms, however these are not where you would expect them to be - the front bump rubbers are in oval tunnels in the front main cross member assembly - one is behind the end of the cylinder head at cylinder head height, the other is under the spare wheel (if fitted) Blocks 22mm x 30mm by 50mm work (from memory) depending on the condition of the bump rubbers.

    The rears are inside a 120mm diameter steel tube that runs across the car just in front of the rear wheels. They can be accessed from outside the car. The block goes between the bottom rubber and the steel 'blade' just as you wouldn't expect.

    DON"T jack under what look like chassis rails under the cabin area- these will buckle and put the chassis geometry out.

    DON't try to tow it unless you can see underneath - the exhaust can plough into the ground and make a really nasty mess, plus making the car impossible to move.

    DON'T get it rolling fast - as there is no way to stop or steer it with the engine not running. I have used another vehicle behind attached to the rear towing eyes to provide a way of braking a dead CX.

    DON'T force the steering to turn with the motor not running - this can break the inside of the steering hydraulic control unit. With the front tyres pumped up (30 psi) the steering will be very heavy with the car moving. The steering is only 2.5 turns lock to lock and with no hydraulic pressure there is a quarter turn of slack - this is normal. If it has to be turned, best to jack to reduce the load on the tyres.

    There are towing loops under the rear bumper, but towing forwards is usually best done by using a suitable rope or strap on the front lower suspension arm.

    As before, take your time - it's easy to damage these cars and they will fight back.
    Dano likes this.

  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    Thank you so much for your detailed response.

    Fortunately the car is located on flat, level ground, so the risk of it rolling away is not going to be the biggest problem. I fear that one or more tyres may not hold air, and I don't have any other Citroen wheels lying around. What is the PCD? I have lots of 5/112 Mercedes wheels, I don't suppose I'll be sol lucky that they will fit?

    I note your concerns about not forcing/damaging the steering, and not kinking the chassis rails. My understanding is that the car was moved (in its dead state) from one location to its present location about 15 years ago. I hope that this type of damage was not already done during that move.

    Thanks again for your help.

  4. #4
    Tadpole
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    OK I've found out that the wheels need to be 5/98, and ET44 or 49

  5. #5
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    The rescue mission is set for the morning of Monday 18 Dec 2017.

    The seller has still been unable to locate the title document, which is a problem. The rules here have tightened up considerably, and only the registered owner may apply for a duplicate, by appearing in person at the licensing office. Hes about 85 years old, and not particularly cooperative.

  6. #6
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    you don't need to be to stressed. A flat tray truck will move it no problems, a good low angle flat tray will even load with flat tyres. If your using a car trailer, just uncouple it from the car and let the nose of the trailer go way up into the air, this will allow you to load the trailer without grounding or jacking the car.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  7. #7
    Tadpole
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    Thanks, I'm more excited than stressed. I'm really looking forward to cleaning up the car a bit and assessing what I have. I'm also curious to discover what the reason was for the car being parked up 20 years ago, presumably some or other mechanical issue.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    Good luck with the rescue - over 20 years ago I rebuilt a Prestige (stripped for rust repairs and a bare metal internal and external change of colour) and also moved 2 burnt Pallases and know how heavy they are to move when not running. I agree with everything Bruce L says, but would add that I found it easier to start at the rear when lifting a dropped car. I'd only do this if I knew there was no rust near the rear tow loops, and if you can get the rear spats and splitter panel under the bumper off.
    Remove spats, find a suitably sized chock for the rear tube (I used a round steel fence post enabling me to do both sides easily in one go), jack under rear tow loops after you've also removed the rear splitter panel, insert chock/s into tube. You'll now have easier (but angled, so not good for the CX factory jack) access to the correct jacking points at the rear. Jacking on one rear jacking point will usually lift that side far enough to then give enough access to get a jack under the corresponding front jacking point, enabling you to then chock the front or get an inflated tyre on. If I'd never seen under the CX I was trying to move I'd be very reluctant to drag one with flat tyres onto a trailer or tilt tray without chocking - from the factory they had little other than the muffler (which had a forward slide plate but still a lip which could catch) which protruded, but if the surface you're dragging it over is uneven you could easily snag the muffler and I've even seen longeron/ "chassis rail" mounting point plates bent by snagging when dragged. If there's some air in the front tyres, just chocking the back will probably give you enough clearance to see if the ground below is likely to create snags, but it also lowers the front bumper "under-riders" and tow hooks to a very low point.
    I'm intrigued by your description of spec, and I've seen others give a similar description for a Prestige in South Africa - by "auto" do you mean the semi-automatic badged C-matic or the ZF 3 speed? My understanding was the French only supplied the ZF auto with the fuel injection, but I wonder if there may have been an African export specification of carb + auto.
    Being the owner of a South African built GS, I'm also intrigued by the history of CX's in South Africa - do you know if any of them were assembled in South Africa or were they all fully imported? Does your car have a South African build plate? I'm wondering if this could be the explanation for carb + auto, as I know South African built GS's don't conform with what came out of the French factory.
    Bruce H

    Now 99 Xantia SX x2; 96 Xantia SX; 78 GS Pallas; 76 GS Club Estate x2; 76 GS Club; 74 GS Club; 88 VW T3 Reimo
    Before: AX Gti; BX 19TRi Estate; CX 2200 Super & Pallas; CX2400 Pallas; CX 2400ie Prestige auto; DS3 DStyle; GSA Club; Xantia Image Estate; Xantia Exclusive; Xsara VTR R4; 1.4 Special Estate; Virage; R16TS

    Contact for the Australian Citroen GS GSA and Birotor Register http://australiancitroengsgsaandbiro...com/index.html

  9. #9
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    Hi Bruce,

    Yes, I believe it is the ZF auto transmission. And definately the carb engine. I'm not the expert on this subject, but I had a lengthy chat with the chairman of the old citroen owners club here, and the gist of the story seems to be that by the late 70's/early 80's, Citroen was suffering from declining sales, the fully imported CX was a hard sell competing against cheaper 6 and 8 cylinder models from Mercedes and BMW. They therefore decided to compete at the top end of the market and bulk ordered a substantial number of CX units from France. In line with their decision to go upmarket, they were all auto, all prestige spec, all with electric windows etc etc. I believe all were carburetor as well. The way the story was presented to me, they were all 1979 spec, and it took until 1983 before all units had been sold. So any CX here titled 80, 81, 82 or 83, is in fact a 79 build. By around 83 Citroen pulled out of the country, and there were therefore no more imports, hence no injection models, and no series 2 CX's.

    It seems that prior to that bulk order of Prestiges, sales had been sporadic, and generally the '70's CX units here seem to be Pallas spec, SWB, manual.

    I'm sure that as I get more into this, I will be able to improve the accuracy of this story.

  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    CX Prestige rescue-img-20171202-wa0008.jpg
    CX Prestige rescue-img-20171202-wa0006.jpg

  11. #11
    Tadpole
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    Getting ready to set out on the 70km drive for the rescue mission :

    CX Prestige rescue-img-20171217-wa0008.jpg

  12. #12
    Tadpole
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    My first decent look in the daylight at what I've bought :

    CX Prestige rescue-dsc_3522.jpgCX Prestige rescue-dsc_3523.jpgCX Prestige rescue-dsc_3524.jpgCX Prestige rescue-dsc_3525.jpg
    Vincenzo and CXVingtCinq like this.

  13. #13
    Tadpole
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    Trying to get air in the tyres

    CX Prestige rescue-dsc_3526.jpg

  14. #14
    Tadpole
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    Out in the sunshine for the first time in 20 years :

    CX Prestige rescue-dsc_3527.jpg
    Vincenzo and CXVingtCinq like this.

  15. #15
    Tadpole
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    Safely home

    CX Prestige rescue-dsc_3528.jpg
    Vincenzo likes this.

  16. #16
    Tadpole
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    I then successfully blocked up the suspension as per your advice. Thanks all for the excellent accurate help.

    CX Prestige rescue-dsc_3529.jpg
    JohnW, UFO, denxm and 1 others like this.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    Great to see the rescue worked.
    Looking at the photos I'd disagree about it being a 79 build. Even in the Prestige range, which sometimes got specifications before the rest of the CX range, the ZF box wasn't marketed until 1981.
    From what I've read, the carb could still be ordered in 1981, so it seems that's what the South African distributor did.
    Without being able to see the box or the gear shifter, the photos would identify it as a ZF. The front wheels' position looks like you have the wider front track consistent with the ZF fitment, you have the ZF "automatic" badge on the boot.
    I haven't got the literature I've used to determine year of chassis numbers whilst I'm on holidays, and I can't read your chassis number clearly, but it looks like it reads MAMZ. My 1981 was an MAMV, but shared a number of the features of your car. There was a short period into which both your car and my old one fit, where the wide front track was fitted in the non-flared front arches. Once they went flared arches they also lost the stainless trims on the leading edge of the bonnet/ around headlights, and the stainless around the tail-lights, and the c-pillar trim lost the CX badging and changed pattern to graduated horizontal lines. From what I recall, your colour looks post the 1981 colour chart however.
    As your car looks to be a post 1980 build, you should be able to identify a build date from the ORGA/ RP number, rubber stamped on the inner wheel arch. Unless it has been sprayed over at some time, there should be 2 rubber stamped numbers - one AC paint code and a 4 digit ORGA. On mine they were on the left hand arch, one on the inner side of the sub-frame mount tower (behind those a/c hoses) and the other under all those relays. There's an ORGA decoder here CitroŽn Production Date Calculator
    Looks like you've found yourself a very tidy example, but there's lots in a CX to keep you busy.
    Bruce H

    Now 99 Xantia SX x2; 96 Xantia SX; 78 GS Pallas; 76 GS Club Estate x2; 76 GS Club; 74 GS Club; 88 VW T3 Reimo
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    Contact for the Australian Citroen GS GSA and Birotor Register http://australiancitroengsgsaandbiro...com/index.html

  18. #18
    Tadpole
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    Hi, thanks for your comments. I will certainly deflect to your greater knowledge as regards the build year. Having spent 2 hours with the high pressure cleaner, I now have a better idea of what I have. It is definately the ZF auto, visibly identifiable on the casing. From damage to the radiator support panel, it seems the engine has definately been out at some point.

    I was aware of te narrow and wide track variants, but I am not experienced enough to identify them at sight. I'm pleased to have the un-flared arches, as I prefer the cleaner look of the unflared units.

    There is of course good and bad with the car, good is the excellent interior, and generally very good state of all brightwork. I've had a good look underneath, no rust apart from the scuttle panel lip around the right bonnet hinge, and the right front fender is crusty. The right front fender seems to be full of bondo, so I think theres a bit of history there.

    Bad is the engine bay wiring. Everything has been butchered, cut, jointed, taped, lots of wires going nowhere. THat is sure to be challenging given my lack of familiarity with these cars.

  19. #19
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    That metallic Blue is the best colour on the CX ....

  20. #20
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    No rust and good trim is wonderful. That's the really difficult stuff!

    You'll have a lovely car when it is going. Are you near Pretoria?
    JohnW

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  21. #21
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    John, I'm in Edenvale, about 70km south of Pretoria, about 15km east of Johannesburg.

    Old Coot, I have since discovered that the car is not as unmolested as I first thought, and it has in fact had a colour change. The original colour was silver. I'm not sure which way I'll be going when it comes to bodywork, but the colour decision is anyway a long way off.

  22. #22
    Tadpole
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    CX Prestige rescue-img-20171219-wa0005.jpgCX Prestige rescue-img-20171219-wa0007.jpgCX Prestige rescue-dsc_3530.jpgCX Prestige rescue-dsc_3531.jpg
    Last edited by s class; 21st December 2017 at 01:37 AM.
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  23. #23
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s class View Post
    John, I'm in Edenvale, about 70km south of Pretoria, about 15km east of Johannesburg.
    We'll be in Pretoria in September at a conference. Who knows, we might manage coffee together? What's under the cover behind the Prestige???

    It looks a lot better clean, doesn't it. You have to love CX wiring, looking at all the relays on the left front!

    Look forward to future news.

    Cheers
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Peugeot 306 XT 1995 (daughter's)
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  24. #24
    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    Looks great, and I agree, that blue does suit them very well. The wiring mess may be the reason it was moth-balled and could be a blessing in disguise. If that was all that stopped it you could hope / expect it to be still good mechanically. And the wiring in a CX is such a complex mess you can have it done properly now and not have the common gremlins / issues in the future. Good luck. And keep the progress updates coming.
    JohnW likes this.
    Cheers, Peter J
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  25. #25
    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s class View Post
    the car is not as unmolested as I first thought, and it has in fact had a colour change. The original colour was silver.
    This means you probably won't find the rubber stamped numbers, as they appear to have sprayed over everything on those inner arches.
    If it was silver in this age range it would have been Gris Perle, sometimes translated as Micrometallic grey. It's the colour I chose to have my Prestige changed to when it was resprayed. Kimmo on here is now its current owner.
    Bruce H

    Now 99 Xantia SX x2; 96 Xantia SX; 78 GS Pallas; 76 GS Club Estate x2; 76 GS Club; 74 GS Club; 88 VW T3 Reimo
    Before: AX Gti; BX 19TRi Estate; CX 2200 Super & Pallas; CX2400 Pallas; CX 2400ie Prestige auto; DS3 DStyle; GSA Club; Xantia Image Estate; Xantia Exclusive; Xsara VTR R4; 1.4 Special Estate; Virage; R16TS

    Contact for the Australian Citroen GS GSA and Birotor Register http://australiancitroengsgsaandbiro...com/index.html

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