New project, new problems

Whenever you buy a car for less than £500, it’s pretty realistic to expect some issues. Even my bargainous Bluebird required anti-roll bar drop links and a service and it now seems to be demanding a new thermostat too.

Small fry compared to my new BX though! To be fair, the BX was cheaper (by an entire £25) and good turbo diesels usually change hands for far more money. So, it’s fair to say that I was expecting the odd niggle. However, since I bought the car, it’s generally been doing this.

Citroen BX turbo diesel

My new car actually LOVES garages and hates driving at the moment, the reverse of a 1980s advertising phrase…

Sitting in my garage, awaiting parts and attention. The 2CV has been booted outside into the rain.

The drive home revealed a nasty clonk from the front end but when I went to investigate, I found other problems too. For a start, both hydraulic strut return pipes were broken. These allow the front suspension units to breathe, and allow fluid to return to the reservoir. Rather than do that, the fluid was instead spraying all over the front wheel. No wonder it was losing fluid!

This was the other problem.

Disc brakes seized slider

A brake that is broken

Can you see the problem? The pad on the left has suffered much more wear than the pad on the right. It was the same issue that dogged my Maverick earlier in the year – stuck sliders. With single-piston calipers, the whole assembly moves with the piston pushing against one pad, and effectively pulling against the other as it does so. It should give even braking but these calipers rely on sliders to allow the movement. If the boots that cover them get damaged, the sliders seize and the braking is lopsided, leading to unusual wear.

Dismantling the caliper revealed that sure enough, the boots were damaged. No problem. I whipped the reconditioned caliper off the other BX and fitted it to the new one. I ordered up various parts and replaced the return pipes and also a seized handbrake cable.

While doing this, I discovered a lot of play in one inner track rod, which might well explain the worrying clunk from the front end. There’s still a fair bit to do with this car, but at least it’s working again for now!

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