MatraSport Forum

Each model => Murena => Topic started by: macaroni on August 23, 2006, 12:50:00 pm

Title: Is a 1.6 worth the bother?
Post by: macaroni on August 23, 2006, 12:50:00 pm
I am thinking about buying a Murena 1.6, but wondered if it was worth the bother or should I hold out for 2.2?
I drive to work for 25 miles on winding country roads and that will be what the car mainly does.

Does the economy of the 1.6 make the relative lack of performance worthwhile?

Also, I have a good condition Weber 38DGAS carb, will this fit the 1.6 engine?
I see carjoy do 4 branch exhaust manifolds for the 1.6, so some tuning should be possible.

Any advice gratefully received.



Title: Re: Is a 1.6 worth the bother?
Post by: Will Falconer on August 23, 2006, 08:10:45 pm
You should really try both before making a decision as the 2.2 is quite different from the 1.6.

I've owned 1.6's as well as  2.2's but much prefer the 2.2, (and if I were buying now would only buy a 2.2 S ) but other people who've owned both prefer the 1.6.

I think the 1.6 makes a better car for commuting because it warms up quickly and has a lighter clutch.

Although there are tuning parts available for the 1.6 the improvements are at best modest - don't buy one as a tuning project. The 4 branch manifold is actually a necessity as the original manifolds are no longer available.

Title: Re: Is a 1.6 worth the bother?
Post by: Lennart Sorth on August 23, 2006, 08:48:46 pm
There aren't many ways to tune the 1.6, a 4-into-1 exhaust manifold is one, and I've heard about people fitting twin carbs, - but I think the result had a bigger influence on economy than power.

HOWEVER, the 1.6 is (50 kg) lighter, and has a slightly better weight distribution, with the center of gravity  closer to the drivers head - which I assume is the reason for some reporting the 1.6 as a "nicer" car to drive. We've had that discussion on the Matra maillist many times over the years, with owners of BOTH 1.6 and 2.2's have commented.

Certainly, lift-off in a curve doesn't nessecarily give you a problem in a 1.6, whereas a 2.2 can bite back at you. This may however also be induced by the larger engine-braking effect from the 2.2 engine, - it really is difficult to separate the differences.

The best way to find your own preference is to try both versions, - but the cars are today of much varying state, so even then , it is hard to compare.

The 1.6 has a visual disadvantage, as it has an inch narrower track at the rear, and as far as I have been able to find out, all later 1.6 versions are using too many 2.2 components, - either in the chassis or the springs or whatever, - but the result is that all the "DX" (1983) 1.6 cars are sitting almost an inch too high at the rear.

The ride-height can possibly be corrected (new springs, or cutting the old ones), but the track is harder (if you dont want to destroy your bearings by fitting extenders)

I cannot give you any real opinion, - my car *was* a 1.6 (1983), and I loved it as such, but a number of mechanical reasons caused me to opt for a 1.9i transplant. This has given my car the power of a 2.2, with a weight distribution as the 1.6  - but that is a completely different story.

Title: Re: Is a 1.6 worth the bother?
Post by: Matra_Hans on August 23, 2006, 10:04:24 pm
I agree with Lennart. The 1.6 engine is an old Simca push rod engine you can add Devil exhaust which will raise the noise level and which is heavy and you can add the two double twin Weber carburettors from a Bagheera but it this will give you max 5 extra HP. The original 1.6 exhaust was a 4-in-1 cast ion manifold you can now a days get a copy made of welded tubes.

As 1.6 and 2.2 Murenas takes more or less the same price I will go for a 2.2. (actually I do have a 2.2 all ready), power for the standard 2.2 is only 115 HP which is not much more the 1.6 but you will get more torque, and the 2.2 has a big potential for tuning. As Will is writing go for a 2.2 S with 142 HP.

I have been driving a 1.6 Bagheera for 5 years (not the standard engine) and after that a (tuned) 2.2 for almost 10 years and my experience is that fuel consumption is almost identical. Fuel consumption depends more on your right foot than on the engine size.

The 2.2ís weight distribution is with almost 60% at the back, but that is the same as the Audi Le Mans racer, so it can not be that bad.

Regards Hans

Title: Re: Is a 1.6 worth the bother?
Post by: macaroni on August 23, 2006, 10:07:10 pm
Thanks for your replies, even though I am still confused!!

There is a 1.6 for sale for £1395 and a 2.2s for £2250, both red, both well looked after, but both too far away for me to test.

I am very tempted by the 2.2s...

How hard was the 1.9 conversion? Does it matter which Murena is the donor car?

I will be using it for a a 25 mile each way commute on winding country roads.


Title: Re: Is a 1.6 worth the bother?
Post by: Will Falconer on August 23, 2006, 10:27:27 pm
A genuine S for £2250 is worth going to try, with the cash to buy it ready in your wallet!

At that price the difference in economy  is academic.  An S is good for over 28mpg and the price diffrerence will pay for a lot of petrol.

I prefer the S's because they were made at the end of the production run and enjoyed many minor improvements, not least of which for me as a tall person is the better seats. It feels like a proper sports car, whereas  to my mind even late 1.6's are a bit thinly  upholstered  and lack the comfort and quiet of the 2.2s