While the new wheel bearing has made the new BX much more pleasant to drive, it’s also allowed me to pick up on other issues. The front end felt loose and clonky, while the exhaust was adding its own clonks at the rear. I didn’t fancy crawling underneath the vehicle so in a fit of laziness, I headed down to Lisburne Garage to make use of the ramp. Sean quickly identified a very worn lower balljoint (offside) and a worn inner track rod end (nearside). It will be returning to him for those to be sorted out as I seem to have a lot on my plate at the moment.
The exhaust was easily fixed though. Poor alignment and a rather dubious exhaust hanger had combined to leave the newly-fitted back box perilously close to the nearside rear suspension sphere.
Adjusting the bracket on the back box and using cable ties to restrict the freedom of the rubber hooks stopped the wobble and gave further clearance. Sorted!
The really good news is how solid this car is beneath. There is rot in places, but very, very little of it and most key rot spots are in fine condition. Such as this rear crossmember.
I genuinely had no idea what this was meant to look like, as both my previous BX estates were a touch soft in this area. The trick now is going to be keeping it this good – a challenge given how cold March has been, and how much salt is being hurled onto our roads.
The downside was discovering a pretty mucky oil leak from the back of the engine, probably the turbocharger. That said, it might just be the typical leaky rocker cover, but I don’t think so. Accessing the turbocharger itself is not at all easy, so I’m not sure how to get a firm diagnosis just yet.
I have been chatting to the previous, previous owner of the car today though, who confirmed that the previous, previous, previous owner was a sales rep. That explains why it seems to have clocked up 70,000 miles in just one year – 2000 to 2001. Not bad for a car already 7 years old by that point. I had wondered why the mileage jumped so much, though it still did 35,000 the next year.
It’ll be doing a few more miles this weekend too, as I’m planning (and I use the term very loosely) a 600 mile road trip to deepest, darkest Kent and back. Should be a good trial run. I have a nasty habit of forcing my BXs into instant long journeys. In fact, the silver TXD was purchased in September, and visited the South East in October and November, then Devon in December and February. When it comes to covering distance, they’re really rather good. I hope this one proves to be as good…