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Author Topic: Bagheera Roll Cage wanted  (Read 67485 times)
suffolkpete
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« Reply #135 on: June 12, 2010, 11:00:55 pm »

Quote
In the end we used our smaller motorhome
  This must be the ultimate in one-upmanship.  A two motorhome family Smiley
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andyowl
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« Reply #136 on: June 16, 2010, 01:10:34 am »

Just a bit off-topic but maybe I should explain why we come to have two motorhomes!

My wife, known as Charlie, had a long spell in hospital in 2005. So serious was her condition, when she came out they estimated that she had only a 50% chance of surviving for 6 months. We decided that, as "this is not a rehersal", we had better enjoy what time she had left and we bought an old Winnebago "RV" so that we could take as many short holidays as her health would allow at the same time as having enough space to take her beloved cats (at the time we had six - moggies and pedigree alike). Good care and her own determination blesssed her with being one of the other 50% who do survive and as many of you know she is still very much with us. She has not regained her health as much as she or we would have wished but she enjoys her motorhome holidays whether they be a one day trip to Prescott, a four day trip to Etretat or a 14 day oddesey to Cornwall to see our 2 sisters.

She often needs easy and quick access to "mod-cons" and a bed to rest upon when her old problems recurr so when we go out together our preferred method of transport is by motorhome, even for supermarket trips. At 9metres long and with the width of a truck Winnie is a bit big for your average shopping trip and the problems (and risks) of squeezing him into and out of our back garden considerable. So when it came to wanting regular day-out trips  to MotorSport events coupled with the need to tow a 950kg Bagheera on a 500kg trailer plus a 100kg mobility scooter something bigger that a VW camper was required.

So we purchased a second motorhome based on a Peugeot Boxer van now known as "Sonny" (Son of Winnie and related to Sonny Liston, a Boxer). A mere 19ft long Sonny handles more like the panel van he based upon with very reasonable performance and fuel economy. Filling Winnie makes my wallet hurt! So we finish up as a very fortunate two motorhome family with two pensioners (plus 2x40+ year old "children" and their spouses and currently 5 grandchildren) and now only five cats but still able to take easy and relatively cheap holidays together. We can also compete and marshall at motorsport events and have been known to take one or other of the m/h to the Matra Club events!

If I caused offence by seeming to claim "one-up-man-ship" I sincerely apologise and without reservation. Nothing was further from the truth.

Footnote.. Dodgy earths affect not only GRP Matras but also very heavy duty American RVs! Winnie's starter motor is on the right side of the engine but connected to "earth" via the engine block earth strap on the lefthand chassis rail. The batteries are on the right side of the vehicle and their earths are connected to the righthand chassis rail. After replacing two suspect positive battery cables and still finding no improvement we started checking (again) all the earth points. Making a temporary earth cable directly from the starter mounting bolts to the battery negative posts there was instant starting just like there used to be! But where was the fault? All the earth connections looked OK and had been stripped and cleaned! We found it eventually - The chassis rails are not welded together as I had assumed but bolted! 16 years of exposure to everything the British weather can provide had caused invisible corrosion between the bolted chassis members and a high resistance earth path was the result. A 300A starter current creates quite a large voltdrop and that caused the starter to fail! A bit like a Bagheera really!

Best wishes,

Andy Owler
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suffolkpete
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« Reply #137 on: June 16, 2010, 08:35:09 am »

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I sincerely apologise and without reservation.
Likewise Embarrassed
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andyowl
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« Reply #138 on: June 16, 2010, 09:04:24 am »

suffolkpete wrote...  Likewise..

Thanks!

Andy
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andyowl
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« Reply #139 on: June 20, 2010, 09:52:05 am »

Check my posting about an AutoSolo Special offer and join the fun!

Andy
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andyowl
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« Reply #140 on: July 08, 2010, 08:27:18 pm »

The FDMC Summer Solo was last Sunday - thanks to Daren and Petra for coming in their Matra Murena-Honda! Maybe they will be competeing next time?

My day had plenty of "events"! I drove Baggy Joe there as Charlie was not well and I could not therefore take Baggy Joe on the trailer (We have a concession that allows me to use the trailer to enable us to bring Charlie's mobility scooter). Baggy Joe did the 35 miles without incident or overheating (just!) but declined to start when I wanted to move to the scruitneering area. The starter appeared to engage, with 30+Amps showing on the meter, but the engine did not turn over. I tried hitting the starter from above but there is just not enough room to give it a decent bang! I asked some other competitors to give me a push to the top of a slight slope in the hope that we could start it on the clutch. The engine rotated but would not fire! Eventually I asked them to stop and gave the starter one more try - and it fired up normally! It also started normally for the rest of the day!

As it started one of the pushers said "You have a leak in the inlet manifold". He had seen oil mist coming out of the flange where the blower pipe joins the inlet box when the engine was reved to the speed where the blower was pressurizing the inlet box. I tightened the four M8 bolts and that seemed to improve the starting.

But it still felt as though there were only three cylinders working during the first four laps of the circuit. Very rough running and a dislike of ticking over. After the four runs and after the engine had cooled down somewhat I took out the plugs having already noticed that #1 plug lead did not seem to be on tightly. It wasn't! But even after I had squeezed the connector the engine was still running badly. When I pulled the plug out it was clear that there was oil escaping from the engine-to-blower pipe system and the plug insulator and plug lead were very oily. The spark electrodes were also oily showing that it had not been firing correctly. With the plug lead, electrodes and insulator cleaned and dried we returned to four cylinders with loads of power under my right foot!

But the engine-to-blower pipework remained an embarrassment. I had used plastic pneumatic fittings a) because I had them, b) because I am familiar with their use and c) I was in a hurry (this pipework was installed last December before the Matra Club UK meeting). Pneumatic pipework is not normally tested for leak tightness - nobody minds if a little air is lost - but when there is oil going through the pipe and oil drips out it is a very different scenario! Especially in competition! And especially when breakage of the pipe or fittings would dump all the engine oil very quickly onto the road and leave me with a dry sump and no oil! So this week I have replaced all the pneumatic pipes and fittings with 5mm bore PTFE / stainless steel wire braided hose and suitable compression fittings. The whole Do-It-Yourself kit cost £55 but that included adaptors for the oil pressure transmitter and warning light switch as well as fitting for me to install the oil control solenoid valve in the future. The assembly of the fittings was a bit tricky at first but all the joints seem to be oil-tight. This is a great relief and I shall not now be in fear of the scruitneers rejecting my entry because of amateur and inappropriate oil pipework.

Now to sort out the starter motor! Another earth problem perhaps. This would make my third in five weeks!

Once again a deadline approaches. We now have an entry for the Debden Sprint on Sunday 11th. It clashes with the British F1 race - not to mention a certain football match in the evening! Now who should I support??

Andy
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suffolkpete
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« Reply #141 on: July 10, 2010, 06:00:01 pm »

Quote
Now to sort out the starter motor! Another earth problem perhaps. This would make my third in five weeks!
  Or could it have been a jammed starter that was unjammed by your attempts to bump start it?
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andyowl
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« Reply #142 on: July 12, 2010, 09:51:32 am »

Yes, it could have been a jammed starter motor although I did try rocking the car after it had declined to rotate. Vibration while it was being pushed easing off the solenoid is my theory. I always worry when water is spilt while topping up the filler cap and visualise it going straight into the starter motor casing. Having said that, I have never seen rust inside a Baggy starter motor.

I have now fitted a new heavy duty earth lead using a spare bolt hole on the gearbox mounting flange direct to the battery terminal. The rotation seems now to be more "enthusiastic" and it started immediately every time at the Debden Sprint yesterday.

Andy
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andyowl
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« Reply #143 on: August 15, 2010, 09:41:33 am »

Victory at the Debden Sprint, July 11th, or how an OAP Rookie got his first trophy (This article was written originally with our local motor club "FDMC" in mind - the first on a Matra they have ever published - so please forgive me repeating things that this expert forum already knows!)

Hoping to score some points in the ACSMC Hamilton Sprint Challenge Baggy Joe (1977 Matra-Simca Bagheera) and I entered the “Borough 19 Motor Club” event at the Debden airfield circuit near Bishops Stortford in July. As members will be aware this car and driver have not been exactly covered in awards since we started competing in May 2009, in fact it would be true to say that we have been very consistently at the end of any class we have entered, whether it be AutoSolos, Sprints or Hill Climbs. “Fun is our objective and glory is not expected”, as I wrote when we embarked upon the restoration of the £200, 33 year old, car in December 2008. I was surprised when we finished 5th out of eight entrants in our own AutoSolo Challenge in 2009 and we would have been 4th if we had entered the last ‘Solo of the season! Turning up on the day does actually help you gain points!

Since the end of the 2009 season we have fitted a “period” Shorrock Supercharger and it makes a dramatic difference to the performance! Power is up nearly 30%. The Bagheera was given very enthusiastic reviews when they were first announced by Matra in 1973 but everyone agreed that the car’s mid-engined layout could handle more power. In response Matra did install a 1442cc engine with dual twin choke Webers in the Series 2 models instead of the previous 1293cc. A still larger engine was available in the form of the 1592cc as fitted in the Talbot Horizon but that was kept for the Bagheera’s successor, the 1981 Murena, after over 44,000 Bagheeras had been built. Only when we took the head off to fit the “de-compression plate” did we find out that Baggy Joe already had the 1.6Litre engine! I thought he was going well! We have owned a 1.4L S2 Bagheera from new in 1978 and are very familiar with its (lack of serious) performance, brilliant although the car is in every other respect.

The snag with supercharging is that the MSA (Motor Sport Association) regs regard any engine fitted with “forced induction” as having a 40% boost in capacity and FDMC and other MSA clubs rightly follow that practice. On top of our 1.6L engine therefore adding 40% gives us a notional capacity of “over 2,000cc”. My entry form to Borough 19 declared both the larger engine and the blower and they then put us into the “Modified, over 2000cc” Class. Difficult to argue with really and we settled with being “in with the big boys”. Hey! This is only for FUN!

On the day we turned up after the 90 minute trip around the M25/M11 ready to do our best. This was only our second 2010 Sprint (the previous one being the FDMC Rushmoor event in the Spring where we came virtually last as usual) and we wanted to put into practice the many things we had learned since the blower was fitted and the 50mm/2” SU carburettor tuned. The Rolling Road session was very helpful but sadly there is no available tuning session to get an extra 30% performance out of the driver!

We are still playing with pressures for the Yokohama A048 “List 1b” sticky tyres but 2.3bar (33psi) seems to be getting close to optimum. Understeer has been reduced to the point of neutrality but getting the new power down on the road is harder. It needs a dollop of courage and skill for the driver and that has not yet been developed. With Baggy being a three seater he is quite wide and I found the Rushmoor roads quite narrow albeit without Armco, unlike the Hill Climb we did at the Bugatti Owner’s Club Prescott Hill in May. Hanging the tail out does not seem to be a good idea when you have very little idea of how it will handle at the limit. Baggy Joe swapped ends so fast at the Borden ‘Solo that I barely remember anything except that the view out of the windscreen was going left to right rather than straight on!

The Debden route included a 180º roundabout and on the last run I decided that I might as well go for it and hit the throttle after the first 90º trusting to the wide run-off area to handle any unexpected excursions. To my amazement the car adopted an opposite lock lurid drift and rocketed out onto the straight! That was good – I must try that again! And I did through the slalom section after the last proper corner! Wow! That WAS FUN!

Helping with the clearing up and checking my time on that last run I thanked the organisers for a really great event and hoped I would see them again next time. “You’re not going are you?” she asked. “Well, yes, we have a long way to go on a Sunday evening”. But we have something for you! You won your Class and we have a trophy for you”. Amazed wasn’t the word! I had assumed, as we were the only entrant in the “Modified, over 2000cc” Class, that we would barely “get a mention”. But true enough, at the prize giving, we won a trophy! I was ridiculously pleased. Entirely out of proportion to being First (and Last) in Class.

Moral: Being a “one off” in Class has merit! Nobody to come second to, no invidious comparisons and maybe a trophy as a memento of the day! I could get to like this!

Keep on developing!

Andy Owler

Picture:
- Our first Trophy

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andyowl
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« Reply #144 on: August 18, 2010, 08:25:37 pm »

This message is also on the Marketplace section of the Forum...

I would like to buy two or three Matra Tee-Shirts to wear under my race overalls next weekend at the Etretat (Le Havre) Hill Climb event (Challenge Franco-Britanique.)  Also to wear to the "Reception" at the Benouville Marie on Saturday night (Charlie and I, with all the other competitors, are invited).

I would be happy with 1, 2 or 3 shirts!

They need to have the design in the centre to show while I am wearing the race suit. I remember seeing such a design at Mortefontaine. All the Matra models were represented on the front of the shirt. But I didn't have the need to buy them then. Now I do!

I would prefer the text in French (or English)! Any colour.

The UK Club does not have any. The Matra Passion website does not show any. Any suggestions?

All three Tee-shirts should be XXL or XL.

Round neck shape (no collar) and short sleeves would be ideal.

Hope you can help!

Andy Owler

 
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Spyros
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« Reply #145 on: August 18, 2010, 10:23:19 pm »

I see from time to time some Bagheera T-shirts on ebay. But not currently.

Another possibility would be to contact José (Portugal) who makes the followings : http://www.bagheera-cafe.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=691&hilit=t+shirt

Or... you use a special transfer paper and an inkjet printer and you make your own.
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andyowl
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« Reply #146 on: August 19, 2010, 09:35:42 am »

Thanks Spyros. I'll try both ideas!

Andy
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andyowl
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New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #147 on: August 20, 2010, 08:21:46 pm »

Titus wrote on the Market Place section ... "You could make your own..."

I purchased from Marks and Spencer this morning 4 T-shirts at GBP5.00 each with just that in mind!

The photo from Suffolk Pete I show on the left of this message will be the image plus "Matra-Simca Bagheera S+" in text (just in case nobody knows what they are looking at!)

I'll send a pic to the forum when I have done the first one!

Thanks for the response!

Andy
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andyowl
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New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #148 on: August 20, 2010, 08:42:58 pm »

I just heard that the organiser of the Etretat Hill Climb event next weekend has invented a new Class just for Baggy Joe! How about that?

As he is no longer a "Standard" Bagheera we are now in the new Class "Prototype Du MSA - capacity illimitee".  Our new race number is # 779.

The only other car in the "Prototype Du MSA" Class is my friend Tony Gomis in his  CanAm Marcardier with a highly tuned Gordini Alpine-Renault engine. His sub-class is "Moins de 2.000cm3". He holds the class record for the hill! Tony is #778

In the next class ""Prototype Du FIA" is Gerard Magro in his gorgeous CG-Simca. He also holds the hill record for his class! His number is #780.

What an honour to run between these two great cars!  I do hope I don't embarrass the Matra Marque.

I wonder if Baggy Joe will be granted a Class Record for the hill??? The thought leaves me quite breathless!

Would anyone be interested in seeing the Entry List? Quite a mixture of manufacturers. Mostly British entrants  I have to say. Why do so few French compete in their own events?

Andy
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andyowl
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« Reply #149 on: September 03, 2010, 10:36:01 am »

Etretat was brilliant, including the weather!

First in Class again, and for the same reason! But overall, out of 94 entries, we came 50th! No so bad even though many of those lower down the order were pre-WW2 or even pre-WW1! A real mixture of cars old and even older!

Pictures below include the scrutineering in front of the Mairie, Baggy Joe being dominated by a Vauxhall Viper 1913 with an 11.8 Litre V8! (When he started it I could feel it in my stomach)!.

Waiting in line for my run up the hill showing the variety of cars entered, the CG-Simca driven by Gerard Magro (Hill record holder and FTD this weekend) and a shot taken by Gerard through the wheel of his CG waiting for Baggy Joe to leave the start line.

His Fastest Time of the Day was 53 seconds while my best time was 69.8 seconds. Just a little bit of catching up to do!

Finally a apology to those I accused of stealing my camera last year. I have found it buried below the overcab bed matress in the motorhome where I must have put it last year in the commotion after the differential broke in two. With such a nice crowd how could I have thought such a thing?

The French were very hospitable again, locals and competitors alike. The crowd in the Place de Mairie were very interested in the lone Bagheera and some German tourists gave my (limited) German a workout too.

Looking forward to next year.

Baggy Joe behaved very well with the only maintenance being 25cc of water added to the system.

What we need now is better breathing into and out of the cylinder head. Perhaps a new thread would be appropriate?

Andy
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