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The french biscuit box on steroids: Citroen AX First 16v

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  • The french biscuit box on steroids: Citroen AX First 16v

    So here's my piece of metal fun from the Netherlands, it's a bit of a story so I hope you like reading

    The Citroen AX First 16v, aka the 'ugly' french biscuit box (and yes it can also drive on 4 wheels ) ).

    A bit of a background story:
    I own and have owned quite a few cars (mostly French and Japanese) one of them is a Citroen AX First from 1993. Bought as a scrap vehicle since the engine was completely busted. Replaced the engine and the idea was to use it for a few months and sell it. However I liked it so much that I decided to keep it and modify the beast a bit, using it for Track days and having a bit of cheap fun.

    At first the engine (1.4 8v with 95hp) and brakes were upgraded and even with the bizar body roll it had the thing was pretty quick, much more quicker than most people (including myself) would thought possible.

    People at the Nurburgring loved it and most people went rofl whenever I passed them in the biscuit box, so it was quite the joke I hoped for.

    But a few years later I decided to modify the thing a bit more "serious".
    -Swapping the engine from a Saxo VTS (1.6 16v ) with small mods which in a car that only weights about 700kg and since it is made of old french tin cans that will make it go pretty fast.
    -Complete conversion of the drive train/suspension from a Saxo VTS/ 106 GTI (bye bye body roll ).
    -The exterior had to stay 100% the same (including some plastic wheel covers with happy things like Teddy's on them).

    I've made a "small" selection of picture's of the work that has been done, however in reality much more modification was done to make everything fit, everything from the suspension to the exhaust system had to be modified to make it fit. The biggest problem was fitting some decent tires without changing the rear wheel arches to much at the rear, since there's really no space at all. Citroen made a more sporty looking AX with round and wider wheel arches and stuff so bigger tires can be fitted at the rear, but I wanted to use the 'shopping' version to make it look like a proper sleeper. It's quite common in the UK to swap an AX with a 16v engine but here in the Netherlands only a handful of people had done it before, so there wasn't that much documentation and it was more or less trial and error.

    It began with a donor car.

    Disassembly of the car (there was quite some rust that had to be removed first).

    Test phase 1 so we could check the bits that needed to be modified on order to make the radiator e.t.c fit.

    Painting of the engine bay after the welding was done (front was moved forward to make room for the radiator and the new engine mounts welded it in.

    So let's put the engine back in then.

    New suspension and bits

    And some more months of hard work the engine was done and the car could be driven (the rear suspension still had to be swapped).

    On the dyno!, and it made a healthy 140bhp and 165nm of torque.

    All this work took around one year to complete and some extra 6 months to get rid of little problems, but the car was more or less done!.

    The result was a car that weights 750kg, does 0-100 km/h in 6.4 seconds and has a top speed of 210 km/h (it can go faster but the gearbox is quite short).
    Going fast in a straight line is fun, but I was even more pleased with the handling it has. It's like driving a go kart with a big engine in it, very solid even at high speeds. It's wasn't
    supposed to be a 100% track day based car so it still has some comfort and it could be driven as a proper daily (not that I use it as one).

    It's the only one in the Netherlands of it's kind (16v engine in straight arched chassis), and the only legal one with the engine and amount of
    horses that it has on the cars documents. I was even lucky enough to get an article in the biggest car magazine in the Netherlands: Autoweek, about the car.

    Of course after all the hard work it was time for some proper fun at the Nurburgring:

    And here's a lap around this marvelous circuit with the little tin box:

    Hope you like it and don't go call it the Red Turd! .
    Last edited by _Drake_; 29-01-2013, 06:17 AM.
    The french biscuit box

  • #2
    Ultimate sleeper and Porche killer.
    Modifying is a lifestyle!
    Originally posted by milkchicken
    Oh man I hate it when the bolts on my car decide to strip, its so awkward.. I'm like dude I've got a partner I can't be seen doing this...


    • #3
      I'm loving it! yeah it's the perfect sleeper, even more so than the old boy cressie that Moog and Marty built

      I have to admit that I did laugh when I saw the pic of the AX on 2 wheels at the top of the thread- must have been a laugh to drive


      • #4
        Cool car. Looks like loads of fun.
        2008 Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo
        1994 Nissan Skyline R33 GTS-T


        • #5
          nice work the car looks maaaaad and you could beat any little saxo or 106 gti with that


          • #6
            love the ax great little car . i have been after one for ages .

            theres a few mental ax VTS swaps over here in uk . great car
            Forza Horzion club Tag F40R madCOACHdriver


            • #7
              have you swaped the rear beam aswell to make 4 wheel bolt hubs and disc brakes ?
              Forza Horzion club Tag F40R madCOACHdriver


              • #8
                Yes, a complete conversion including the rear beam plus some uprated powerflex bushes.

                Never really made any picture of that though, this one is the best i could find:

                It fits but you can't put your finger between the tire and the rear arch .
                Last edited by _Drake_; 17-12-2012, 10:16 AM.
                The french biscuit box


                • #9
                  Wow, this is one insane Citroen!!!

                  Actually, this is a sensible idea and mega kudos for pulling it off so cleanly


                  • #10
                    Alright a little update, the following is planned for this year, the car currently is placed in storage until the weather gets better (snow and stuff) :

                    -New paintjob for the cam covers (powdercoating in gunmetal awesomeness!).
                    -Replacing the rear bushes on the Lower Control Arm.
                    -Inner steering arm bushes.
                    -Cam belt.
                    -Welding the exhaust manifold (little crack in one of the Y sections).
                    -Some new special lightweight speakers.
                    -Moving the droplinks of the front swaybar from the struts to the lower control arms (Which would make the steering less heavy, however it's quite experimental and needs some custom welding work).
                    -If MCM come's to europe, letting Marty have a go in it?

                    Btw to make the post a little less booring than just a written update:

                    0-180 with a bit of wheelspin, keep it mind it's just a small 1.6
                    Last edited by _Drake_; 29-01-2013, 07:57 AM.
                    The french biscuit box


                    • #11
                      I found this on the table when i got home today:

                      Some mad goldy FK Highsport coilovers, which i won on Ebay for a ridiculously low price.

                      Not that there's something wrong with the current springs and dampers, but the springrate on the FK is far more suited for the bigger 16v engine than the current one's.
                      The french biscuit box


                      • #12
                        that is an awesome sleeper.. just needs some sticky tyres and it would murk allot more expensive cars on the track I love small hatchbacks with engine swaps..
                        I survived the great harness debate of 2013 without a crushed spine!

                        My Nissan history

                        Watch me rebuild then blow up my S14A SR20DET


                        • #13
                          WANT. You remind me - I need to rescue our AX off my sister before she scraps it... Awesome car, awesome sleeper style.
                          - 1990 BMW (E30) 320i Touring - 325 engine swap
                          - 1993 Subaru Legacy Turbo Wagon


                          • #14
                            Nice one man!

                            We have also many AX's going on in Greece, peugeot 106 gti 16v and saxo vts 1.6!It is like the first choise of a teenager when somebody buys a car to buy one of these death traps.They get excited by the speed and crash on trees and etc.But they are really respected cars and I quite like them!


                            • #15
                              That is the most awesome french car I have ever seen. Looks like so much fun, at the same time it would scary as hell.
                              Last edited by MadeinJapan; 15-03-2013, 11:05 PM.
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