BX: Tyre and error

Buying the BX on Tuesday means I had less than a week to prepare it for the following Monday, when I will be driving it 250 miles to Kent. It’s been an interesting week. First, I discovered there was almost no oil in the engine. Easily solved and thankfully no damage seems to have been done. Then I changed the upper engine mount, hoping it’d remove some nasty transmission shunt. No such luck, so I’ll have to change the lower mount at some point too.

Yesterday introduced a new drama, when I decided to replace the decidedly low-on-tread rear tyres. When the wheel came off at the tyre centre, I got a bit of a shock.

Jeepers! Brake pad is trying to escape

Yes, that brake pad is trying to escape from the caliper. Note how it has been rubbing on the inside of the wheel. Alarming. It had been like that long enough for a distinct wear ridge to develop on the pad – it’s overlapping the lip of the disc. The tyre place kindly removed that lip and shoved the pad home. I then nervously and gently drove home.

The good thing about buying another BX is that I know the cars well, and have various spares floating around. I know that somewhere in my garage, there lurked a complete second-hand caliper, with the pads (and importantly the retaining slider) still in place. Now, where was it?

After a fairly comprehensive ‘man search,’ I had a bit of a panic. I couldn’t find it, and time was running out. It was now 1pm on a Saturday. Motor factors were starting to close for the day all over the land, and the chances of getting a new fitting kit posted to me in time for a Monday morning departure were starting to look about as likely as me scoring an advertising deal for men’s grooming products.

There was nothing for it. I needed to conduct a thorough search. So, like an archaeologist, I began to sift through the detritus of the ages (less than two year’s worth worryingly) to find the Holy Grail. Unlike Indiana Jones, I managed to do so without having to battle snakes and quickly-closing doors. I found it!

The Holy Grail. For me anyway…

That sliding pin was extracted, cleaned up and fitted to the new caliper. I even managed to find the correct pin to hold the slider in place. Where did I find that? In a spare caliper that came with the BX. The one which also had a slider. DOH!

A test drive proved that all was well – not that there were any notable symptoms of the fault in the first place. The handbrake is much improved though. I also tightened up the straps holding the strut return to the suspension leg, and re-attached a CV joint cover which was oozing grease.

Not that the work ended there. Rather belatedly, I decided that today, I should check the gearbox level. This is done by first removing the filler plug. If fluid starts leaking out, all is well. Fluid did not start leaking out. Stupidly, I hadn’t thought to buy gearbox oil when I was in town the previous day, so a hasty (and very enjoyable) drive in the 2CV followed. I bought a litre of oil. The BX swallowed all of it and still showed no signs of being full. Bother. I added a further 100ml or so of slightly-too-thick oil as it was all I had. Oil began to seep out and the plug was refitted.

It has made a huge difference to the gearchange – it’s now much sweeter. I’m very glad I checked it. Now I need to consider which spares/tools to pack for the roadtrip. I’m really looking forward to it!

The workplace, courtesy of Rob Parker-Norman


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