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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Anglo-French Alliance   Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

Although I was planning to say hello here anyway, I received a very kind invite and thought it rude not to say hello. I'm very pro bangernomics and taking a DIY approach to keeping a sturdy old steed on the road for as little as possible.

My 1980 Princess, soon to be my daily again. Purchase price: £450 taxed (just) and tested.
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My 1998 Rover Maestro, which is currently my daily but needs a few bits and bobs sorted. Purchase price: £450 taxed and tested.
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Previously, I owned a 1985 VW Polo, cracking little car and one that I was going a long way to personalise. Sadly, circumstances forced me to sell this car recently.
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I'll add more info about how I've saved cash and done jobs properly on a shoe string budget at a later date.


Last edited by Vulgalour on Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:54 am

Bought a new throttle cable for about a tenner and, after battling with the weird new design of the bulkhead locater clip, I got it fitted. If it hadn't been for the clip (which came with no instructions, and was new to me) it would've been a five minute job. The car now drives lovely, you wouldn't think it'd done 190k when you're behind the wheel!

Today, because it's not snowing, I'm going to try and finish off the clean and polish on the passenger side to eliminate the ghost stripes and, if I have enough time after that, shampoo the seats and repair the cloth on the driver's seat.
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c5alan
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:51 pm

that bx takes me back I remember my dads although not an estate but was also white loved that car and the whole back end raising when she started great fun as a kid in the back. Good luck getting her sorted.

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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:09 pm

Now that is nice Wub

My brother used to have one but the saloon model in a sort of clotted cream colour.

Only thing was he bought a lemon and ended up having to overhaul the whole hydraulic system CA

But once that was OK boy was it a good car Thumb

If I remember right it had a cool secret compartment that hid your stereo?

OMG Shock the size of the load area with the seats down its a win win,economical,comfortable,its a car,could be used like a van you could even camp in there LRM

Looking forward to seeing more from this one Thumb

And I think the Princess and the Citroen compliment each other perfectly :Co:

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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:09 pm

@c5alan: I know the colour you mean and they really do look lovely in it. White is one of my favourite colours for the BX, suits them superbly, which is why I was delighted that this one came up at £250 with tax and test. Bit of a bargain.

@admin: Cavernous, which will be ideal because apparently I'm helping my brother move house later this year, so he tells me!

-----

That does look like fun* I shan't say no to indefinite tool loan, though I would feel happier at least putting some cash towards postage once I've got the parts to fit on the car. I'm not getting any rattling or even a lot of wear on the tyre yet so I should be good for a while. Autoshite PSA Tool Co-operative ftw.
___

It snowed again, it's really putting a crimp in getting work done because when it snows not only is there snow to contend with, but it's too cold for things like polish and claybars to work properly. That said, I did get some work done on the BX cosmetics. I had even more of a poke around things and found what looks to be a loose door pin. This door creaks but seems not to have dropped, the metal around the hinges is nice and sound so, do I leave this pin alone or do I try and knock it back in?
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Had a look in the wool store and found some wool that was the closest match I could find to the seats, it's a bit brighter but will dull with use and the seats will be slightly brighter when shampooed (that job got snowed off). A pair of embroidery scissors and a tapestry needle were my other weapons of choice.
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After only a few minutes I'd repaired the holes in the fabric. It's not perfect, I'm hardly going to be snapped up by the British Museum's textile conservators, but it's better than having a hole with foam on show and should prevent said holes getting any worse. Before on the left, after on the right. Eventually, this seat will likely be replaced.
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Then it was a case of yet more paint rectification. The bonnet and roof are covered in these stubborn little spots. They do come off with clay bar and cutting compound, but it takes a while.
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The bonnet actually came up surprisingly well. Yes, the front of the bonnet has a crack and lots of road rash, but the finish came up remarkably shiny given the condition of the weather today. The amount of brown tar sludge that came off was surprising too, I thought this panel was actually quite clean before I started and that it was the paint at fault.
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Repair or replace? This door has been quite badly bashed, looks like it's been opened into a lamp post or something. Two dents on the windowsill bit and a large shallow vertical dent finishing in a bit of a crater below the bumpstrip. I might have a go at beating this back into shape one day, it can stay as it is for now.
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Got all of this side, the bonnet and the roof in front of the hump all cleaned up. I'm quite pleased with the end result. I also managed to get the tailgate clayed, but I need a warmer day to get the vinyl off. Our neighbour seems puzzled as to why it's a) taking me so long to clean a car and b)I'm bothering.
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I was momentarily tempted to remove the bumper and discovered that actually it's rotted out in a very specific way. While the metal is a bit fragile, it's only rotted the top half of the wing behind the bumper, the lower half looks like there's enough to stitch a patch in and it's all flat pieces that are required. I'm still not removing the bumper, but now that I've been able to clean up the back end and properly inspect everything it looks less severe than the pictures make out. It's still bad, I know that much, but it's not as bad as I expected, there's more metal behind that bumper than expected, allbeit frilly metal.

I still have to scrub the bumpers, demoss the indicators, clean the lights, reblack the satin door frames, finish cleaning off the roof and shampoo the seats. I probably spent another 4 hours cleaning today which brings my total time spent up to about 16 hours including vinyl removal. Would have taken less time had the weather not been so cold!


Last edited by Vulgalour on Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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c5alan
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:56 am

dono if they changed the door hinge from the bx to the c5 but on the c5 there was a small clip round the top of the hinge pin to hold it in place when I had to swap doors I had to remove this and push the pin out and the door just lifted (dropped) off you should be able to push the pin up and replace the clip it was just a wee 'C' shaped bit of metal

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Don't steal it makes the government jealous

2003 Citroen C5 HDI Exclusive only 218,000 miles on her so just about run in now family owned from new SOLD
1997 fourtrak SOLD thanks goodness complete death trap
2002 Renault Megane Scenic 1.9 DCI 112,000 miles soon to be on biodiesel
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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:59 pm

@c5alan: I'll get that sorted, I meant to do it today but just didn't have time.

---

My Photobucket bandwidth seems to be back again, so it's time for an update. I've been doing more technical fixing things on the car now that the cleaning is good enough (though still not finished) so that I could make sure everything was tip top mechanically.

I gave the driver's side wheel a wiggle with the car jacked up to find out if there's any play there, a sure sign of ball joint failure, and found absolutely no play whatsoever. Seems like the issue of tyre wear is more likely down to tracking then, everything else seems in good order on this side. I checked the other side too for good measure and that is just as healthy.

With the wheel off, I could look for that LHM leak and I think I've found it. The perished pipe, indicated, was replaced only in May of last year and looks more than ready for replacement again. New LHM return pipe is £25-30 posted so not a bank breaker but something that'll have to wait a week or two at the moment.
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What's probably the cause of the quiet knocking noise and the occasional judder is this engine mount. I can still get a replacement for this, but I'm not expecting it to be an easy job.
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Looks like a wheel has been chafing this handbrake cable too, but it doesn't look recent. No harm done really, but I'll keep an eye on it anyway.
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In a bid to improve the cold starting issues - I've been having to manually prime - I fixed the cold air intake for the air box with some gaffer because the pipe has disintegrated and won't seat properly. This also helped me eliminate a jingle I was hearing when driving which turned out to be the jubilee clip bouncing around on the pipe and jingling merrily on anything metal it found.
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Finally, I turned my attention to the fuel filter. I still don't have a manual but tbh, thanks to the forums and the knowledge I've gained over the past couple of years I surprised myself by just wading in and getting on with disconnecting the filter to clean it out. Two bolts hold it in place and once these are undone you just disconnect the fuel lines (wedging them upright so fuel doesn't go everywhere), and when you've got the filter unit over a suitable recepticle (kitchen sink in my case) undo the allen bolt on the underside of the filter housing and cover everything with whatever's left in the whole thing because it's full of various fuel oils and diesel and just like me you forgot that's what happens.
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Speaking of veg oils, one of the previous owners ran the car on what looks like unfiltered used veg oil with some animal fats, it had made a proper mess in the filter housing. This filter is fairly new too, having been replaced not long before I bought the car.
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I did purchase a new filter, but didn't manage to collect it until too late in the day to do anything about it. Instead, I cleaned off the worst of the slime and greb from the old filter and reinstated it. I will put the new filter in that I have, but probably only after the old one has had chance to catch any more slime and crud that's still in the system.

Happily, I no longer have cold start issues, though the car is a bit lazy to fire up, this could be down to any number of things but I'm guessing lazy glow plugs, a partially blocked fuel filter and sludge still in the system are the main culprits. The fuel hoses I planned to replace actually don't look or feel as bad as they did since I've been using the car so they're untouched for now.

Pocket money now has to go towards fuel so I can get to Brooklands for the Austin Morris day and pick up some stuff for my Princess - sad I can't go in the Princess Sad - and after that I can start spending properly to get the BX tip top for the MoT in a few months time.

The list, as it stands:
> Welding, obviously £I-dread-to-think/FREE
> 1 LHM return pipe £30ish
> Timing belt & waterpump (doesn't show problems, but ought to be done and I have the parts to do this) FREE!
> 1 engine mount £10ish
> Tracking £15ish
> PAS fluid flush £?
> Glow plugs £20-40 for full set

Niggles:
> Acquire missing interior trim
> Acquire passenger door mirror
> Interior lights (works on passenger door switch, not on driver's)
> Central Locking (works after a fashion)
> Driver's side rear light cluster/lens
> Rear washer jet
> Tidier front washer jet/reinstate spray bar
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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:06 pm

Rather than tinkering with mechanical stuffs, I've gone back to some bodywork on Stripey. Finally got the rest of the stripes off the tailgate, this was made much easier by letting the sun warm the tailgate while I worked on the rear wing.
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Speaking of that rear wing, I attacked it with the flap wheel to eliminate as much rust as possible. I'd noticed that the flakes of paint were revealing more rust and although I didn't have perfectly matching paint (satin white, not ideal) I thought it best to arrest as much rust progress as possible. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, I was genuinely surprised at how honest the paint had been about the rust beneath.
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Some bits did fall off, but I was expecting this too. That's the top half that sits behind the bumper, the bottom half is still on the car, and the bracket that attaches the inner wing to the outer wing.
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That bracket was in a bad way. Looks like someone has bodged it to the car with fibreglass in the past, if it had been dealt with properly the rust probably wouldn't be so bad now.
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At least I don't have to go under the car to inspect what's what. Looks like I might need a little patch to the inner wing where the bracket sat.
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It also looks like there's a mud trap up in here that I missed cleaning out, so that needs dealing with sooner rather than later. I can get the hosepipe in a bit easier now at least.
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I gave the whole lot a coat of Kurust, and for the most part judging by the reaction colours, the metal is quite healthy except where the rust is obvious. It's a big repair, I have no illusion on that score, but it's not an impossible repair. After the Kurust had done it's stuff I roughly masked off what needed to be masked off and set to work with the paint. This is not my usual standard as it's only a preventative measure rather than a proper cure.
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Yes, it does bug me that the paint is a different colour and a different finish and it bugs me that I haven't tackled the inside of the arch, cut out the rot and welded in fresh metal... but I've done what I can and it at least looks marginally more presentable and less inclined to scatter bits of rust everywhere. It's a bodge at best, I make no excuse about it, but it should at least slow the rust down a bit while I save for the welder and serve as a marker for the likely areas to get welded up.
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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:14 pm

Just a tiny update today. A few moments ago a whole bunch of stuff arrived! It was like Wintereenmastide come early because every parcel revealed more BX goodies sent my way from the good folk of the internet. Thank you to all that sent me stuff at bargain prices, it is all useful. Set of (non BX) wheel trims, a fuel filter, big socket, ball joint removal tool, diesel engine HBOL, BX HBOL and a super special surprise gift that was hiding in the wheel trim box.
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That special suprise gift, amaze indeed. Handy too because it looks like one of my old clear bulbs (pictured below) was about to blow so I'd've needed to replace the sidelights soon anyway. Timely.
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Maybe wait till it's a bit darker to show them off better, they really are very yellow indeed...
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MUCH better now, so happy to not be looking at rusty steels anymore on this car. One step closer to three spoke alloys too.
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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:28 pm

I think I'd rather put the effort into making a Mk1-alike, I prefer the look of the bumpers without the rubber inserts, and the Mk1 wings, and the longnose bonnet... very, very low on my list of priorities though.

Since it got a bit darker I went out and took some photographs. It's a night much like the one Stripey first arrived. Only on sidelights, but they're delightfully yellow nonetheless! Just need to get myself on eBay.de for some proper yellow headlight bulbs too... priorities, this is a low one.
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The car really *has* come a long way.
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c5alan
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:18 pm

looking good quite a change you sure you just didn't just park it the wrong way round lol

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Don't steal it makes the government jealous

2003 Citroen C5 HDI Exclusive only 218,000 miles on her so just about run in now family owned from new SOLD
1997 fourtrak SOLD thanks goodness complete death trap
2002 Renault Megane Scenic 1.9 DCI 112,000 miles soon to be on biodiesel
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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:04 pm

Hah, I should've taped down the middle and only cleaned half of it shouldn't I? It's not turned out that badly for a £250 quid car.
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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:32 pm

Right, update time. After finding a source of fuel at 99.9p per litre available in a maximum of 30 litres per purchase, I could divert some funds elsewhere. I'm not as wealthy as I'd like to be, but I could at least do some under bonnet stuff. The rear wing has got no worse on the rust front, I seem to have arrested progress of the cornflakes there so I'm happy about that for the time being, though the new holes I made do make a funny noise at certain speeds.

I decided to finally get on top of the sluggish and stubborn starting issues. First up was to replace the suspect fuel hose that was pretty hard. I also found the fuel inlet pipe was leaking slightly where it meets the filter so that got a jubilee clip which appears to have resolved the issue nicely.
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This in itself made starting a bit easier, so I'm guessing there was probably a very minor air leak on one of these pipes. Next up was the glow plugs, I got a set of four NGK regular glowplugs for about £25 inc. VAT and, having done a spot of reading on the job, it looked like a quick half hour job. I set an hour aside just in case and set to work. It did look rather like the plugs were ready for replacement, they were all pretty tired looking though I'm basing this on how I'd expect spark plugs to look so maybe this is normal for glow plugs?
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All went very smoothly, it wasn't that difficult... here's a picture that illustrates the procedure.
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Impossibru? Why yes, that was the last glow plug I attempted to remove and it happened to be cross threaded. That hour I set aside for this job became three just because of that one glow plug. However, I did finally get it out with a little help from my friends and managed to install the new plug without cross threading it and the refitting procedure was swift and easy even with the back of my knees aching and numb fingers. Waited for the plugs to warm up, turned the key and the car fired up almost immediately. Things felt decidedly more practical now that I shan't have to wait for up to a couple of minutes before I could start the engine. Whether it's the replacement of the plugs or the fuel hose the engine feels smoother now too and less grumbly and willing to stall at lower speeds and junctions, though that may just be the euphoria of not having to be bent over the engine bay any more tonight!

The other day I found a litre of suitable oil bought for my departed Polo that went into the BX which also helped smooth things out a little. I've priced up a new thermostat as the existing one has a leak and a replacement is never a bad thing, and the lower ball joint since I now have the tools for the job and it needs doing. The LHM/PAS issues will be resolved fairly soon too, just a case of having the capital to resolve them as is often the case.
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:44 am

Love this bargain BX! You got very lucky with that glow plug.. hate it when a previous owners' bodges cause trouble Mad You'll find that sorting any tiny fuel leaks and those fresh glows will make a massive difference- that plunger on the top of the filter housing often used to cause trouble on the XUDs too.
My mate's mum had a white estate new brand new when we were kids.. we used to call it the iceberg! :Co:
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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Mon May 05, 2014 4:31 pm

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So, the BX ended up being terminally rotten which would have been okay if it didn't also need interior and mechanical work so that one became the first car I've ever scrapped.  Sad times, but the more I dug into the car the less was left.  For a while I've been tootling around in the beige Princess who is currently laid up awaiting some repairs.

I briefly owned a Mk1 VW Golf cabriolet (since scrapped, which is a shame) which I couldn't gel with so through a convoluted swap of sorts ended up getting another Princess that had been off the road since 1997, didn't run and had a shagged interior.  This car has been sold and will be off to pastures new to have the last jobs done.  I've rebuilt the head, sourced a new interior (for 99p), replaced the doors, bonnet and boot lid courtesy of a breaker car that was destined for the banger track and got the old bus running and stopping.
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With a view to replacing the red Princess I was made aware of a Renault 6TL that's been off the road since 1993 which I bought for £80 but have also had to sell for personal reasons, just finalising the deal on that one.  I've not even seen this car in person but have been able to help from afar with advice and tools.  Originally the plan was to drive over to Wales to deliver the red Princess to its new owner and then drive the Renault home again, a journey of 500-600 miles in two cars that have been off the road a very long time and would have only just been recommissioned.  Sadly, this plan fell through.  I regret having to part with this little car, but it'll be in safe hands.  Surprisingly solid wee thing really and since it's based on a Renault 4 mechanically, parts are cheap and easy to acquire.  Got extra lucky when I was given a pair of NOS original Renault front wings for it.
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Then there was the orange Princess which I got a tip off about.  I was in a position where I was considering breaking the beige Princess and keeping this one but on further inspection it turned out the orange car was too far gone where the beige on was solid and I made use of it as a money saving breaker.
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I've still got the beige Princess, I have a new rear axle to finish refurbishing and a rebuilt head both from the orange car, she also has the interior from the orange car which is like new and I got lucky with replacing the one damaged interior handle so the whole interior is as it ought to be.  Been a few aesthetic changes like the design on the boot too, before I got the orange car with the smart black interior I had this whole colourful thing planned but now I think we're sticking to beige and black
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Finally, I've inherited a Citroen Xantia estate.  After experiencing the BX for a sadly brief period of time I knew that when the opportunity to take on another hydropneumatic white estate was going to be one I wasn't going to pass up.  It needs a new clutch which is a job I don't have the skill or patience or tools to do at home, and it will need other things too in the future, but with an MoT until November it's worth investing a bit of money in.  This is by far the nicest car I've ever owned and while it has a few French car niggles, nothing on it is insurmountable.  It's only done 99,000 miles which is barely run in for the 1.9 turbo diesel engine Citroen put in these, has had money spent on it in the past and runs on veg oil so it's really, really affordable motoring.  So far this car has cost me exactly £0 to own and I'm pretty pleased with that.  Lots of cleaning still to go, but there's an excellent car lurking under the cosmetic neglect.
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I'm still doing everything on nearly no cash and lots of effort and I've no plans to change that.  The Xantia should take a lot of the workload off the Princess so I can enjoy the Princess on those days when I want to drive something a bit more basic.  I'm sure there will be more vehicles in the future for me, it's been a ludicrously busy period of chopping and changing for anyone let alone a person like me who doesn't really like changing cars at all if he can help it.
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greendefender123
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Tue May 06, 2014 7:32 pm

That was a shame about the bx being rotten. When i started reading about it and saw the picture of the back i thought iv got to get one of those! Theres a dumped Xantia the other side of our hedge that next door have abandoned and are using a old volvo. Still looks in good nick tho. Nice princesses!
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PostSubject: Re: Anglo-French Alliance   Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:13 pm

Love the Xantia you have aquired.  Clap  That came up really nicely after cleaning it. What sort of mpg does it get on the veg oil? With a new clutch and regular servicing that should do quite a few years motoring.
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