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Author Topic: Do I fit in a Murena?  (Read 33371 times)
roy4matra
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« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2023, 04:59:02 am »

No one has ever come up with a reason for it that I'm aware of, but Murenas built for the Belgian market had the gearlever and choke positions swapped over bringing the the gearlver closer to the driver, or in my case bringing the gearlever under my right knee.

I'm sure it has something to do with those great Belgian beers or moules frites. Undecided

Any Belgians out there who know the real reason

I know this is an old posting but not one I've noticed before, but I have just been directed to it, by another tall person who was trying to find out if he would fit in a Murena.

First, the answer to why the Belgian cars had the gear lever closer to the driver and on the left with the choke on the right, which is the opposite to most of the cars produced, is owing to a certain regulation in Belgian law which gives a set max. dimension for the position of the gear lever from the left side - the inside of the left hand door I believe, although I haven't read this rule myself so I have not seen the actual wording.  Therefore the real answer is that it was done to comply with Belgian law.  There are other differences on various Murena too, to comply with German laws for instance, so there are different alloy wheels, different front lenses over the lower lights, extra protection for the fuel tank, and different wiring with additional fuses for rear lights, to meet the laws of the country a car was destined for.  You need to be aware of these when buying a car in one country but then taking it to a different country as it may not comply.

As for the problem of whether a very tall driver can fit comfortably and safely drive a Murena, this will also depend on the actual person and whether they have long legs and a short torso, or short legs and a long torso, or a more equal balance of dimensions.  For someone with shorter leg length the seat can be a little closer to the pedals and that allows you to recline the seat a little as it is not up against the rear bulkhead between the cabin and engine.  That slight recline allows you to have a little more room to the roof to hopefully accommodate the longer torso.

If you have long legs necessitating the seat to be further back then the seat may be at the back of the fore and aft adjustment, and almost against the bulkhead, which means you cannot recline the seat back and you have to sit more upright.  This might then cause the torso to be too high and the head clashes with the roof or you have to tilt your head down, and that then causes problems especially on a longer drive, as the neck will suffer and you are having to look upwards, relatively, to see forward, as you are all the time having to compensate for the head being angled down.

So with two tall people of the same height, one may find they can fit and the other cannot.

Also with regard to the seat mountings, since the front of the seat has little clearance over the cross member just below it, you cannot lower the front of the seat.  The rear of the seat might be able to be lowered by modifying the rear of the seat frame/mounting but all that will do is angle the seat squab back which might give a little more space, depending on the particular tall person and just where his or her extra length is, legs or torso.

I have both an '82 (Belgian) car, which I've had from new, and an '83 (normal or French) car and have not noticed any difference in the seats between the two but next opportunity I get, I will take a look to see if there are any differences.*

Please note that when the positions of the gear lever and choke are reversed, the floor carpets also need to be slightly different to fit correctly.  In a Belgian car, the drivers over-mat has to be slightly narrower and the double size passenger over mat can be wider to fit the spaces between the outer sill edge and the central oddments box sides.  I found this right at the start with my new (Belgian) car as the first set of mats supplied were for a normal or French spec. Murena and they did not fit my car, in particular the drivers mat was too wide to fit.  Once I bought the ones designed to fit a Belgian spec car, they were fine.

One final point, I notice that 'Krede' says he was a tight fit when he collected his car from the U.K. but that photo also shows the car had a non-standard smaller steering wheel, and that could have made a difference too, as I would suggest that with a standard wheel his bent legs may not have been able to fit as they do with that smaller wheel, which they are still touching. (my legs are almost straight and fit comfortably under the standard steering wheel which also has a flat at the bottom to ease getting in or out)  He also suggests that the last cars have a lower mounting, but I don't see how as the limiting factor is the cross-member which the front of the seat only just clears.

* Update: I have now checked my two cars and the drivers seat is the same height above the cross member in both and in the position I have my seat, you cannot get your hand between the cross member and the seat, it is that close.  So unless they actually lowered that cross member, there was no alteration between '82 and '83 cars.

Roy
« Last Edit: February 05, 2023, 12:06:07 am by roy4matra » Logged

Murena1400
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« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2023, 09:45:44 pm »

The 1983 and 1984 cars had a seat that was lowered 15mm in order to remedy the height problem a little.
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roy4matra
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« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2023, 01:14:00 am »

The 1983 and 1984 cars had a seat that was lowered 15mm in order to remedy the height problem a little.

Please tell me where you get this information from because I own a 1982 and a 1983 car (and I have a 1981 car that I strip for spares) and the seats are all the same height!  Also as I have pointed out, there is not enough space between the driver seat and the cross member to lower it, and if it had been lowered at all, then why is the gap between the seat and the cross member of my cars, exactly the same?  If you lowered the seat even a tiny amount, it would be fouling on the cross member.  So I'm sorry but I don't believe this 15mm lowering - but if you have some drawings or proof, I will take another look and examine mine again.

There were no cars made in 1984 although the 'S' models made in 1983 had chassis plates with a 1984 'EX' code.

Roy
« Last Edit: February 10, 2023, 01:22:02 am by roy4matra » Logged

Matraman
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« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2023, 06:53:31 pm »

Head room is tight for me in my 1983 Murena with its original cloth covered seats. I'm 6 ft 2 inches and my hair just brushes the roof lining. It's not a big problem, just slightly irritating at times. Maybe a thinner less "fluffy" roof lining would help, or I could shave my head!

I've wondered if a slightly thinner more dense padding in the centre section of the seat base would gain an extra couple of centimeters, has anyone ever tried it?
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Andrew
Murena1400
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« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2023, 10:11:16 pm »

The 1983 and 1984 cars had a seat that was lowered 15mm in order to remedy the height problem a little.

Please tell me where you get this information from because I own a 1982 and a 1983 car (and I have a 1981 car that I strip for spares) and the seats are all the same height!  Also as I have pointed out, there is not enough space between the driver seat and the cross member to lower it, and if it had been lowered at all, then why is the gap between the seat and the cross member of my cars, exactly the same?  If you lowered the seat even a tiny amount, it would be fouling on the cross member.  So I'm sorry but I don't believe this 15mm lowering - but if you have some drawings or proof, I will take another look and examine mine again.

There were no cars made in 1984 although the 'S' models made in 1983 had chassis plates with a 1984 'EX' code.

Roy

Simple, it comes out of the original service documentation made by Matra and supplied by Talbot. This bulletin explained the lowering of the seat and how to raise it again if the customer required so.

1984 is mentioned by matra as the model year for series E, so I always adhere to the official terms when it comes to model years.
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Murena1400
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« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2023, 10:18:23 pm »

See attached screenshot explaining the modification.
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Matra_Hans
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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2023, 02:02:37 pm »

I have a Murena 1881 German model. The previous owner has lowered thedrivers  seat approx. 1.5 cm by cutting the brackets and welding them together in a shorter version.

regards Hans
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roy4matra
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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2023, 06:27:43 pm »

See attached screenshot explaining the modification.


Thank you for the copy of that service information sheet.  It appears we never got these service information bulletins in the U.K. so the only one I have up to now, is the modification for moving the fuel tank vent valve to the top of the tank as they did for the 'S' models.  I have changed mine and it is much better there.

Were there many of these service update bulletins issued and do you have copies or can you say where I could obtain them myself?  Thank you for any help with this.

As for the driver's seat modification, the bulletin states 'After Sales' modification rather than a factory modification, and if it had been a factory modification, there should be a fabrication number noting the point at which it changed, as they did with other design change points.

I have spent some time today trying to measure mine as accurately as possible, but it is difficult with the seats still bolted in the cars, yet the '82 and '83 cars still appear to be the same.  So I believe that it was not a factory modification, but a modification by the dealer if requested.  Knowing a little of how Matra were not always accurate in some of the things they did, such as fitting early gearboxes to late cars and vice versa, and none of the 2.2 gearboxes having numbers stamped on them, so you can't tell untill you open them up; it could even be that the seat base was an '82 base which they still had left over when they started '83 car builds, but covered in the '83 material.

Anyway, whatever the reason, thank you again for the information and drawing.  You can see why the front mountings were only reduced 10mm as that is all that can be done to avoid the cross member.  They could do a little more at the rear as that does not come close to the cross member, but I have to say that a 15mm drop is so small that it only allows a person about 1/2" taller really.

One question: if the seat mountings are shorter, then how do they suggest the seat can be returned to it's original height if required, as that cannot be seen in the copy you have scanned?  Was it just inserting spacers of the required height?

Roy
« Last Edit: February 11, 2023, 06:44:53 pm by roy4matra » Logged

Murena1400
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« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2023, 09:03:28 pm »

See attached screenshot explaining the modification.


Thank you for the copy of that service information sheet.  It appears we never got these service information bulletins in the U.K. so the only one I have up to now, is the modification for moving the fuel tank vent valve to the top of the tank as they did for the 'S' models.  I have changed mine and it is much better there.

Were there many of these service update bulletins issued and do you have copies or can you say where I could obtain them myself?  Thank you for any help with this.

As for the driver's seat modification, the bulletin states 'After Sales' modification rather than a factory modification, and if it had been a factory modification, there should be a fabrication number noting the point at which it changed, as they did with other design change points.

I have spent some time today trying to measure mine as accurately as possible, but it is difficult with the seats still bolted in the cars, yet the '82 and '83 cars still appear to be the same.  So I believe that it was not a factory modification, but a modification by the dealer if requested.  Knowing a little of how Matra were not always accurate in some of the things they did, such as fitting early gearboxes to late cars and vice versa, and none of the 2.2 gearboxes having numbers stamped on them, so you can't tell untill you open them up; it could even be that the seat base was an '82 base which they still had left over when they started '83 car builds, but covered in the '83 material.

Anyway, whatever the reason, thank you again for the information and drawing.  You can see why the front mountings were only reduced 10mm as that is all that can be done to avoid the cross member.  They could do a little more at the rear as that does not come close to the cross member, but I have to say that a 15mm drop is so small that it only allows a person about 1/2" taller really.

One question: if the seat mountings are shorter, then how do they suggest the seat can be returned to it's original height if required, as that cannot be seen in the copy you have scanned?  Was it just inserting spacers of the required height?

Roy

The bulletin states that is is a factory modification starting at model year 1983, the next page, that I did not copy, states that the new seat bases are used after the old ones are depleted and the reference number stays the same.

If I measure the base on the - S - I have and a 2.2 from 1982 I clearly see the difference.
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roy4matra
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« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2023, 04:48:36 pm »


The bulletin states that is is a factory modification starting at model year 1983, the next page, that I did not copy, states that the new seat bases are used after the old ones are depleted and the reference number stays the same.

If I measure the base on the - S - I have and a 2.2 from 1982 I clearly see the difference.

Thank you for the added information.  I think that explains why mine are the same - as it says 'after the old ones are depleted'.

roy
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Matraman
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« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2023, 06:36:49 pm »

Does the bulletin say that the seat brackets have to be cut and welded or is it just a case of removing washers / spacers?

I would quite like to lower the rear mounting points by 15mm if it's not too complicated.
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Andrew
roy4matra
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« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2023, 11:22:33 am »

Does the bulletin say that the seat brackets have to be cut and welded or is it just a case of removing washers / spacers?

I would quite like to lower the rear mounting points by 15mm if it's not too complicated.

Having checked mine closely to see if they were the same or different, I can tell you they had no spacers fitted that could be removed, to lower the seat, so the original ones Matra fitted that were lower were new lower height brackets.  Therefore to modify an earlier car you would have to remove the seat, then cut, modify and re-welded them to drop the height.  Now I have had experience with welded seat frames where even professional factory seats have failed simply with normal use, by the forces set up when applying the brakes, (the pressure on the pedal creates an equal force back on the seat) so if you cut and weld seat frames you need to make sure the welding is first class.

Roy
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Matraman
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« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2023, 12:29:54 pm »

I think for me this needs to be something which is tackled if I ever need the seats reupholstering. The lack of headroom isn't severe enough to warrant disturbing the original seat and upholstery. It's good to know that there was an official factory bulletin for the modification though.
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Andrew
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