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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2009, 10:11:57 am »

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Audi's current boxes last 60000 km before needing a rebuild!

I take it that you have the DSG boxes in mind... and they last a LOT longer than that....If people would leave it alone..

You mean leave it with the dealer? Grin
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
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krede
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2009, 10:13:40 am »

No.. DSG boxes are pretty cool... but don't chip the engine. Wink...
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roy4matra
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« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2009, 11:39:04 pm »

Your strategy works, Roy, because you've owned your car from new and maintained it meticulously...

I am inclined to agree with Pete and Mr Dinsen. Roy's car is an exception, with it having been properly maintained throughout its life...

Whilst I would certainly agree with you all, that having had the car from new and I'm the only one that has worked on it, helped with the Murena; but I have had a number of old second hand cars previous to it, and those were also reliable, after I had done my initial check and overhaul.  This has to be done with any old car as it is initially an 'unknown quantity'.  So after buying it, you check it thoroughly, and do whatever is necessary from your findings, and then it should be reliable with regular maintenance.  That was what I was trying to point out.  I had two old Triumph Vitesse back in the seventies, a 2 litre after a 1.6, that both gave me years of regular reliable transport, after sorting out a few initial faults.  Then it was simply good yearly maintenance.

Yes, you need to get it back to a known good standard first, but you are simply asking for trouble if you don't, so I take this first step as something you simply must do - no option.  It can involve a lot of work, time and money if the car has been allowed to deteriorate.  Ask someone like Titus who is slowly getting his Murena 1.6 back into top condition.  The first year has been traumatic, but it is almost to the point where it will be a reliable proposition for regular use.  The last major hurdle is the trailing arms...

Roy
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suffolkpete
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2009, 10:19:54 am »

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Yes, you need to get it back to a known good standard first, but you are simply asking for trouble if you don't, so I take this first step as something you simply must do - no option.
  Absolutely.  The trouble is that for those lesser mortals who haven't had a career as a professional mechanic and an encyclopaedic, knowledge of all things Matra, the only way to achieve this, after you've fixed all the obvious things and reached a state of roadworthiness, is to drive it and deal with problems as they arise.  This will inevitably lead to some periods off the road.  And of course join the Matra Enthusiasts' Club.  Bring your car to a meeting and there will be no shortage of experts who can't wait to gleefully point out all the things wrong with your car and regale you with horror stories about their repair experiences (see my thread "One of those jobs I wish I'd never started" for a preview  Grin)  Seriously though, the Club is tremendously supportive and friendly and if you are thinking of buying a Murena, come to a meeting, look at a few and chat to the owners.  You don't have to be a member and you will receive a warm welcome.
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The last major hurdle is the trailing arms...
  Saving the best till last  Wink  Bet you can't get the bolts out.... Smiley
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Demolisher 2
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2009, 08:52:14 pm »

So, they're very unreliable if not kept in top condition. But isn't that true of any car that age? In the face of your best efforts to put me off the car, I still want one  Smiley . But a few more questions:

1.What's so bad about the driving position?
2.Is rear visibility as awful as most mid-engined cars?
3.What is the range of prices for Murenas in the UK?
4.How many Murenas are there in the UK?
5.What's the handling of the cars like (grip levels, tendency of back end to slide away, low-speed driving, high-speed, etc.)

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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2009, 09:43:18 pm »

So, they're very unreliable if not kept in top condition. But isn't that true of any car that age? In the face of your best efforts to put me off the car, I still want one  Smiley . But a few more questions:

I agree, it *is* true of any car that age. The Murena is no worse than other old cars!


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1.What's so bad about the driving position?

I think the driving position is excellent. I'd like to have my drivers seat back extended some 5-10 cm to give better headrest support, but these seats are really very good. It's tight, but not bad at all.

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2.Is rear visibility as awful as most mid-engined cars?

Actually not, no. Thanks to the large rear window, the rear visibility is quite good. I can't compare with other mid-engined cars, but I can't think it's worse than average.

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5.What's the handling of the cars like (grip levels, tendency of back end to slide away, low-speed driving, high-speed, etc.)

The Murena is very well balanced. This applies to the 1.6 as well as the 2.2. The former is lighter and closer to 50/50 weight distribution than the 2.2, which has a 40/60 weight distribution. Back end doesn't easily slide away - it's actually difficult to get the back end sliding, even in very slippery conditions. But once it does, you have no chance of getting control over it again! But the Murena always tends to slide evenly over the front and back, and it's not difficult to drive. Different than a front engined car, but not difficult!

The steering is very light in normal conditions, and in a corner you have an excellent feeling of how the grip is, and by noticing how heavy the steering feels, you will know whether the grip is good or not. So I think it's easy to stay out of trouble.

You can feel the road in a Murena. This is both under low speed and high speed driving. Some find that uncomfortable, but I actually think it's a comfortable car.  The front is very light and this means that it handles large bumps in the road quite well. Depending on tyres, wheel balance and state of the front suspension, you may have some vibrations at higher speeds, and I tend to feel that the Murena is at it's best at about 80 km/h.

- Anders
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 09:46:27 pm by Anders Dinsen » Logged

'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
krede
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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2009, 07:41:50 am »

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I agree, it *is* true of any car that age. The Murena is no worse than other old cars!

I too, agree.... What could make the Murena appear worse than other cars, might be the limited access to the engine..making ,even simple tasks, difficult.

As for your questions... I don't entirely agree with Mr.Dinsen Smiley

1) There are three main issues with the driving position,

-Seat support in turns
-Head room
-And the gear leaver getting in the way of your right leg

If you browse the forum, you'll find that I have posted about all these topics in the past  Wink (because whereas Mr.Dinsen is moderately build.. I am 187cm high, and with a centre of gravity concentrated towards the waist Wink )

Steps can be taken to improve upon all of the above, but I recommend that you get in a murena and see for yourself instead.

I would note that the Original steering wheel is much preferable, as the "flat bottom" allow more room for the thighs.. its larger than most after marked steering wheels giving better response, and finally it sits closer to the driver (its not "flat") meaning that IF you have decent length legs (Anders!! Tongue ) you won't have to reach as far for the it. 

2)Here I am happy to agree with Mr. Dinsen.. a Murena offers excellent rear visibility! and not just for a mid engined car. It's better than a lot of recent "normal" cars.
However the rear window DO have a tendency to steam up in the damp, and the demister really is fighting a hopeless battle.

5)I think the same applies as for reliability... at this age no two cars will be the same, unless they have been meticulously maintained.
In any case, I wouldn't recommend that you buy a Murena for it's handling. I know many people go on about this, but I don't find the handling particularly good.

-In my view the mid engine layout is only to allow the (very) low nose.. and possibly for some production reasons
-I had my car on a scale once...and the weight distribution was more in the order of 35-65 than 40-60. 
-I find the springs too soft, and the car to have to much travel before the dampers "kick in" giving my car somewhat of a "hinge in the middle feel". I have tried to remedy this by fitting adjustable dampers. but not to any effect.
-During normal conditions you won't notice any effect of the mid engine layout.
In the rain you are well advised to drive carefully.
But in my experience you will be fighting under steer long before you'll have to worry about the rear getting out of line.
-The right tyres are key!!.. it cannot be stressed enough! on wrong/worn tyres a Murena is prone to under steer and the front wheels will lock up almost immediately when braking hard or in the wet. With the right tyres braking is excellent, and you will have to make a particular effort to lock up the wheels. Smiley   
-I find that the car is at its best up to about 110-120 km/h. beyond that, the front begins to feel "light".

But again... try a few out.. and make your own judgement   Smiley 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 07:47:18 am by krede » Logged
suffolkpete
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« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2009, 06:39:51 pm »

Here's my take, as a 1.6 owner.  I'm 5'8" and 160 lbs and I find the driving position very comfortable, although reaching 5th gear is a bit of a stretch.  I can easily do a 300 mile round trip to a club meeting in a day.  Prices? difficult to say because they come on the market so rarely, but I reckon £1500 would buy you a scruffy runner needing a bit of work.  £4000 would buy you a really nice one, but your problem will be finding one.  Join the Club and look in the small ads.  There are usually a few for sale in France, but prices tend to be higher because left-hand drive depresses UK prices.  I think Roy reckons there are about 35 on the road in the UK.  Road holding is very good.  Long suspension travel and a soft ride is a French thing, even on sports cars and you either like it or hate it.  Excellent road holding and low power mean you'd have to try very hard to get into trouble, at least in the dry.  There's quite a bit of low speed torque which makes it ok to drive in traffic, but overall gearing is a bit low for prolonged motorway cruising.  The worst aspect of driving it is the long travel and vague gearchange. Where it really comes into its own is on good "driving roads" with good mid-range acceleration, and sharp handling.  A good blat round the local B roads on a fine Summer evening is guaranteed to bring a grin to my face.  They are great fun to own and drive, but be prepared for a bit of pain to get it up to everyday use standard.
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Titus
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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2009, 07:20:29 pm »

The next MEC UK meeting is in Norfolk on Sunday 5th April. A long way from Scotland, I know, but if you have any questions and want to see the cars in various states of roadworthiness it would be well worth the trip down.

I'll be there in a 1.6 Murena as long as I can get the trailing arms back on. They are coming off for a refurb next week. Wish me luck with that little job  Smiley

The exact address has not been published in the magazine yet but I believe it is to be held at our fellow club member Stuart Dobson's business address which I have googled as Waveney Pumps, Station Road, Norwich, NR15 2EB.
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suffolkpete
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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2009, 08:12:19 pm »

Note that it's not Norwich, but Tivetshall St Margaret, which is actually just North of the town of Diss.  I'll be there in my 1.6 if nothing breaks between now and then.
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I'll be there in a 1.6 Murena as long as I can get the trailing arms back on. They are coming off for a refurb next week. Wish me luck with that little job   Smiley
  Your problem is not going to be getting them on, but getting them off in the first place.  You have my most heartfelt best wishes after my recent experience. Grin
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Titus
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« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2009, 09:42:33 pm »

Is the post code correct then, Peter.

Yes, you're correct in the assumption that getting them off may be a problem, but what I meant about getting them back on is the time available for the referb between getting them off and replacing before the meeting. I'm having one of our club members to do the necessary welding who has done several 2.2 ones in the past but not 1.6s as far as I'm led to believe. I had the off side one welded up on the car as a tempory fix a couple of weeks ago. The picture shows why. But the intended trip to Romorantin in May whould have been a worry without doing the job properly.

Your £1500 running car price is correct. That's roughly what I paid for mine in 2007. Needless to say your top end price of £4000 has been exceeded by my rolling money pit. No complaints though, bearing in mind the smile this car gives to an enthusiastic owner. Although I hope this cash drain is finally coming to an end.

Oh, I forgot the paint and trim costs to come. Roll Eyes
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suffolkpete
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« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2009, 10:05:59 pm »

Yes, the postcode is correct, it's just that the address on the website is incomplete.  Norwich, or Naaaarch as we say in these parts, is just the post town.  The NR postcode covers a good bit of Norfolk (and parts of Suffolk to our annoyance). 
That's a truly horrific trailing arm you've got there.  I can understand the urgency to get it fixed.  I had to replace my LH one with a spare, but it was nowhere near that bad.  Might get it refurbished and swap it back at some stage.
BTW, what's happened to your car?  The picture looks as if you've left it out in the sun and it's melted  Wink
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njesper
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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2009, 11:10:28 am »

1.What's so bad about the driving position?

I'm 187cm, and Ok with the driving position. I have adjusted the angle of the gearstick a little plus shortening it a tiny bit.
Only thing is, when I drive with my winterjacket on, my hairdo gets ruined a bit in the top, otherwise I'm ok with it.
I love all the space in the cabin. I have tried to get into a lotus Europa once, and felt the I was being burried alive. It took me some time extra to get out again, and IT DID NOT LOOK ELEGANT  Grin
Some close to where I live, has a Mr2, and I get scary flashbacks, when I see the space in the cabin (or lack of it, compare to a murena).

2.Is rear visibility as awful as most mid-engined cars?

Rear visibility is wonderful I think. Rear sidewindows also help even further.
Something much more annoying is the low stance, meaning headlights from Suv's especially tend to blind you, and you sit and curse, because you thought, they forgot about their longbeam light. BUT... this would be an "all sportscars" problem  Cool

3.What is the range of prices for Murenas in the UK?

No idea, sorry  Huh

4.How many Murenas are there in the UK?

No idea, sorry  Huh

5.What's the handling of the cars like (grip levels, tendency of back end to slide away, low-speed driving, high-speed, etc.)

I love the handling of the Murena.
When parking, you don't need servo-assist, because it's so wonderfully light in the front.
When driving normally, and wanting to switch lanes, it's like cutting with a surgeons knife. It just keeps impressing me, when it does exactly what I want. It's not only a sportscar concerning accelleartion/brakin, but very imporant, also in cornering. Feels aggressive.
When driving fast, you need to "steer" a bit more, than with a normal "heavy nosed" car. All that aggressivenes has to be controlled during hi speed, and it can be a little tirering in the arms for long drives, but common it's a sportscar  Cheesy

Concerning weight distribution, I will have to say, there are serious reasons why center engined sportscars are still highly regarded.
Perhaps the murena could have been a little more heavy nosed.

Basically when you have a center engined sportscar, you have a very "neutral" setup. And that's what all racedrivers want.
Meaning that, feedback from the car, when driving hard, is very good and corresponds very closely to the way you drive it.
Only thing is, that when driving along the limits of the cars handling, it will be more unforgiving, when crossing those limits, because you risk either understeer, or oversteer with the car.

Normal front engined cars are specifically made to understeer in crisis-situations, because that is what most people can react best to. And if you have a car that might either oversteer or understeer, things get much more complicated.

Two weeks ago, me, my wife and our kid (sitting in the middle of course in an autochair - just pulled out the back of the middle seat, and everything fits perfectly - meaning that a murena is a TRUE family car also (as long as you only have one kid  Grin)... everybody sitting in a row, and enjoying the ride together... well back to story Roll Eyes) went to visit my dad. When having to head for Copenhagen again, I fearred having to scrape of ice of the windshield in the cold, but to my surprise, there was only a layer of "slush Ice".... wonderful I thought.... WAAAAAIT a minute..... this also means "brown soap on the road", but I did not think of it.

We started the car, went to the left turn to the ramp that connected to the highway. But just before turning in, I found that we were perhaps going a bit too fast (45 km/ph or so), so I started braking, and we immediately felt the back of the car wanting to pass us, by starting to slide out. By instinct, I let go of the brake and started clutching and the car immediately stopped sliding (that's what I mean by good feedback and response from a mid engined car), trying to brake gently again, just to feel the back starting to slide again. I let go again, and gently steered the car into the corner instead, and the car just followed the line, and we were on the ramp to the highway.

THANK YOU for the 3-day course on Laguna Seca driving mid engined formula cars. It really paid of. I did not have to think of it at all, I just did it.

And you can't blame the murena for this situation. Actually we drove veeeery slow back to Copenhagen, and idiots just passed us doing 110 km/h compared to our 80 Km/h, and after some 15 minutes of driving, traffic started building up, and of course, because of an accident. So I was happy about driving carefully that night.

Otherwise, except from this kind of weather, I feel that the car is very stable during driving (helped alot to get the front wheels lined up, I must say  Tongue).

Well, enough about my thoughts. I love the car, I must say.  Wink

Jesper
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 11:26:03 am by njesper » Logged
Titus
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« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2009, 02:09:46 am »

BTW, what's happened to your car?  The picture looks as if you've left it out in the sun and it's melted 

Only slight modificatons are required. Remove your Murena from its rightful home, allow your girlfriend/wife to put a large chest freezer in the back of the garage, thus reducing available space for your pride and joy. Next, turn up the heating in the garage as your freezer won't work in cold conditions and your dinner will be none existant. Return your Murena for a slow bake, nose out in the cold however. Take a hefty sledge hammer and bash in the front of the car to make it fit the new space and sprinkle with plenty of comedy dust.  Don't forget to hit hard and apply much of the afore mentioned dust. Failure to do so may result in an Austin Metro. It will fit the garage but...

Job done! Leg room is a bit tight though.

Hope this answers your question Peter.
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suffolkpete
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« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2009, 12:42:05 pm »

If they ever re-make "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" it could have a starring role.  Grin
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