MatraSport Forum

Each model => Bagheera => Topic started by: SilentRunning on November 26, 2009, 05:13:50 pm

Title: Foolish musings - bahgeera diesel ?
Post by: SilentRunning on November 26, 2009, 05:13:50 pm
OK, so by way of introduction, I'm new to this forum & don't have a Bageera, or any other Matra for that matter. (I do have some other French classics, so plenty of experience of rebuilding rusty metalwork). But I'm seriously thinking that my automotive life is incomplete, and the gap might just be filled by something with 3 seats across it.

I've read archive posts about V6s, hot 16v screamers & supercharging. To avoid the risk of causing offence, perhaps I could ask the ardent petrolheads to look away now....

I like diesels, especially modern ones. I like the lazy driving style you get from ample torque. They're economical, so not too bad in the carbon footprint department. They don't go up in flames in a shunt the way petrol does. I could go on, but you get my drift.
Also, I have other cars that are for sunny Sunday afternoons, any other entry to the fleet has to be capable of everyday use.

Peugeot, Citroen, Ford, BMW, Mazda and probably others too all use versions of the 1.6 HDi. The most desirable produces 109 bhp, so a useful 20% increase on standard Bagheera.
As far as I can see, they are compact, ok, there's the small matter of intercooler - cooling to worry about, but that's not a showstopper.
Some potential donors have 14" / 70 section tyres, so the gear ratios are probably not too far off.
They are intended to lean back to fit under the modern super-mini bonnet, so the space in the Bagheera should suit.
Remove old engine & box, insert new ones & get 50mpg or 100mph performance with 5 or even 6 gears.

What could possibly go wrong ?

Am I hopelessly deluded?  Is there a future in this or should I book myself in for a head-enema ?

Title: Re: Foolish musings - bahgeera diesel ?
Post by: Bart_Maztra on November 26, 2009, 06:22:02 pm
Diesel for president!!!!
Why not putting aswell an automatic gearbox in?

Have a look here:,169.0.html (,169.0.html)

Doing a engine conversion is a very big job. It is not only a case of putting an other engine in, that's just the start.  You have to deal with engine mounts on the chassis, modifying drive shafts, making a new exhaust system, connecting the gear lever to the gear box, hydraulic clutch, connecting the cooling water pipes (and also for the interior heating), petrol tank (can it stay or move it or re-shape) fueling, space for the turbo, where to put the intercooler, ECU and electrics (big big job), upgrading brakes and suspension, ......

Just realize it is a big job. There are lots of examples of unfinished engine transplants. They all got the new engine in, and struggles with all the other bits, and gave up.

But you obviously need a bagheera first... And get that restored. Do not dream at this point about an other engine. You are not there yet.

Title: Re: Foolish musings - bahgeera diesel ?
Post by: SilentRunning on November 26, 2009, 06:50:01 pm
Wise words indeed.

Many thanks for the link to the diesel Murena, I managed to miss that.

Your're right of course that the starting point is the car, not the possible mods to it, but part of the justification to myself is the potential for this project. 
Plus, the best thing about projects that exist only in the mind is they are always possible; unfettered by the limitations of harsh reality, and they're always finished......

Title: Re: Foolish musings - bahgeera diesel ?
Post by: andyowl on November 26, 2009, 07:27:14 pm
The best diesel I had was the first engine I worked on. I was 16 yrs old and on my first job. The engine was wartime, built in Germany, but now British owned. Very reliable in principle but needed work on a regular e.g. weekly basis. Changing piston rings, 24/7 surveillance when running, cooling water was critical but plentiful and no need for anti-freeze.

It had 7 cylinders and produced around 7000 HP at 120 RPM. Cooling was by sea water but each cylinder had its own outlet thermometer and it had to be logged every 4 hours usually by the most junior person on the team (me!). Whether it was the calm Mediteraenean or the gale force Bay of Biscay those *!!* temperatures had to be checked. Cleaning fuel injectors "Don't put your fingers under the injectors when you test them because the diesel will blast straight into your skin and you'll die horribly".

The whole ship, including me, stank of diesel fuel. As work experience as a cadet Marine Engineer in the Merchant Navy it was great fun and the runs ashore all along North Africa are still fresh in my mind. 'Nuff said. But real ships are still driven by steam and a turbine steam ship is quiet, clean, efficient and a thing of beauty! That's the way to travel.

Just the smell of the diesel in our Winnebago can turn my stomach!

But why don't we construct a stream driven Bagheera and go for a land speed record?

Or better still an every day petrol Bagheera (like the grey one in my picture) which I enjoy just as much now as I always have since we bought it in 1978. Got to go. We are out to dinner tonight, by Bagheera of course!