Roy's Matra Enthusiasts pages
FAQ's: Frequently Asked Questions
- One of my lights doesn't working even after replacing the bulb. Where do I go next?
On the Murena most lights are powered via the circuit and fuse board at the front left under the bonnet. The four edge connectors that join the circuits to the board (grey, green, yellow and white) have terminals inside that are liable to crack and lose positive contact to the board. If this happens, whatever that circuit supplies will probably only work intermittently or not work at all. You will have to replace the wire terminal in the plug and then all will be well. These terminals were available from Rover dealers under the part numbers: ADU 7972 and ADU 7973 although it's been a while since I needed any, so I can't say for definite if they are still available. Also you can try Ford as they used them too. If the lamp not working is one of the front driving lamps, check the security of it's bracket to the chassis. It earths through this contact, and if it is loose or corroded, then it will not work. The other places to check for bad connections are the multi-plug connectors near the headlamps. If it is one of the rear lamps that is not working, and you have a German spec. car, there is an inline fuse mounted behind the lamp. The German regulations say both rear lights must not be on the same circuit so that if it fails they both fail. So the rear lamps are fed from the unfused side of the board at the front and separately fused at the rear, behind the lamp.
- Where do I get Murena door mirror spares or replacements?
The door mirrors on a Murena are almost identical to some Lancia Delta (1981) and some Monte Carlo models. The one difference was the colour of the glass. The Murena used clear glass whilst the Lancia models used a blue tint. The mirrors are handed and the glass is convex which gives a good rear view. If you replace a broken original with flat glass you will quickly realise the view is useless by comparison. Although right and left look very similar, there is enough difference that if you try to fit the wrong glass it might break. Since these are virtually impossible to get now, you don't want to break one needlessly! To remove the glass only, you need to push a knife in behind the plastic rim and prise it off, it is simply clipped in all the way around. The glass sits on four small rubbers pushed on to four pegs - be careful not to lose them! The mirror is no longer made for either Matra or Lancia so we both have problems and a diminishing stock of good ones. Never throw broken ones away, as many of the parts can be saved and it is often possible to build up a good one from several broken ones!
If you have a mirror that won't adjust up or down, and in fact usually rotates down on its own, then the gearing inside the tube section is damaged or broken. This can usually be repaired with good gears and parts from another broken mirror. If you only have a cracked glass, you could use one of the stick on mirror glasses available from most car accessory shops, and stick it on top of the broken one. However, please note these replacements are usually flat glass and are not suitable for the Murena. It needs convex glass. Most damaged mirrors though in my experience are because the casting has broken, usually because the mirror was hit or snapped forwards. I have tried several ways to repair this casting but none have been successful. I believe the only way would be to alloy weld it, but the casting is often porous, very small where it breaks, and it would be difficult if not impossible to do this. So take great care with these mirrors!
A while ago Greig Dalgliesh made some new parts for these mirrors - the casting that was poor and commonly broke, he made from solid aluminium - not cheap but made an original mirror far better. He also made some new long brass centre rods which always got broken when the casting broke. So if this is your problem and Greig still has some parts left, you may be able to repair your broken door mirror with his parts to be better than the originals.
A few people have tried to 3D print the epicyclic gear mechanism parts that are inside the alloy tube, but the parts are not always successful, mainly as the original ones had metal support pins moulded inside the carriers but these were not in the 3D printed ones, so I found they didn't last long. A new development in 2020 has been a gear kit made with metal parts, which should overcome those plastic part problems. They are being trialled at this time and could be available soon.
You need to be very careful with these mirrors. If you think someone might knock it whilst parked, or you might catch it whilst working on the car, carefully fold it inwards first. Lancia had three or four versions over a period of years, but only the first series is like ours. The last version had a head that remained fixed and the mirror glass adjusted inside it, unlike ours where the whole head adjusts, but unfortunately they won't fit the Murena unless you want to start modifying the door! On the continent, I have seen an alternative fitted, but it is smaller, uses flat glass and is closer to the body since it no longer has a head extended from the door, but fits closely on the 'triangle'; and therefore does not give a good rear view like the original. However, it is one alternative. Another I have heard about but not seen myself, is the possibility of fitting a BMW door mirror. My guess is this is the sport style that is extended away from the door on 'legs' but whichever type it is, it will involve some modifications. Also as it is a BMW part, it would be expensive! If you are prepared to go non-standard, then I am sure there will be more than one possibility or alternative, but you will need to search around and try it out yourself.
- One or both of my Murena rear lamps are broken. Where can I get replacements?
The rear lamps on a Murena are a combination of Talbot Horizon base units with unique lenses attached in place of the Horizon ones. These unique lenses are virtually no longer available. There have been some replacements remade on the continent but they are about 180 Euro each. If you wish to keep the car original, unless you can find some secondhand ones, or repair the damaged ones, you may have no other choice. However, if you need a good lamp to pass an M.o.T. it might be possible to simply fit two complete Horizon lamps. The lens will obviously not conform to the cars' shape, and will have to be shaped but as a quick short term fix it will make it legal. If you are open to changing the car away from standard, there have been some other alternatives in Europe. One involved using those round rear lamps like the Ferrari often uses, surrounded by a black plastic in the shape of our original lens, so blending in with the shape of the car.
- I cannot get RHD Rancho / Murena headlamps. What can I do?
The original RHD Rancho and Murena headlamps are extremely difficult to get or are no longer available. Replace the mountings with Wipac open body mounting sets (5669) for the Murena or Wipac closed body mounting sets (5400) for the Rancho and fit the common English standard 7 inch headlamps. For standard halogen bulbs (472) use the Quadoptic lamp units (4694) or you could buy sealed beam units for low cost. You will need to do some slight modifications in the case of the Murena, but these are fairly easy and one of our club members has written a full article on this after doing his own car. This appears in our club magazine July 2009. The reference numbers are from the Wiring Products catalogue (Tel: 01159 305454).
- Where can I get a Matra windscreen?
For a Rancho windscreen, since this is a standard Simca/Talbot part, you should try these sources first. The Djet/Jet windscreen was virtually the same as that fitted to a similar age Alfa Romeo Giulia SS, but that will be rare now too, so you may need to try the specialists for one. For the M530, Bagheera, and Murena models, have you tried UROglas? (www.uroglas.com) This company deals in unusual glass and can often provide windscreens or other glass for unusual cars. They say they can even supply a heated screen for a Murena (at a one-off price about double normal). However, one tip - give their details to the windscreen specialists that will be replacing your windscreen and let them obtain the glass. If it is damaged in transit, it will then be nothing to do with you!
- My Murena glass hatch doesn't lift on it's own, or it lifts only slightly.
The rear glass is supported by two pressurised struts, and these can leak so slowly over a period of time, that without a noticeable leak, they can no longer lift the weight of the glass. If this is the case, then when you lift it manually to it's top position, the glass probably won't stay there, but will start to drop again. In this case, you must replace the struts. However, you may be able to get them re-gassed providing the seals are still good. This will cost a lot less and be as good as new ones.
However, if you find the glass will stay up once you have lifted it manually, assisting the struts, then you may have a problem of one or both of the hinges seizing up. This does happen if the car is not used regularly and stands around. So spray the hinges with some penetrating oil and then work the glass up and down to free them off. Then lightly oil the hinges to keep them free. You should now find the glass will lift on it's own, when you release it. The reason you couldn't tell the hinges had become tight is that you have quite a lot of leverage distance from the hinges, at the rear of the glass where you lift it, and the glass is very heavy and the struts are taking most of the weight. If you had removed the glass, you would have immediately noticed the seized hinges when you tried to move them!
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This was last updated 5th April '21