Seat Installation

Installing the seats and adjustment tracks turned out to be a much more difficult process than I had expected.  I knew it would be difficult since I had the high back racing seats and the seat track for the driver side.  I looked at the seat track instructions and figured those would help, more about more about even if I did not have the standard roadster seat.  Boy, I was wrong.  Nothing seemed to match up.. I called FFR and was told that the directions were still correct even though 11 years old, and that seat mounting was really owners choice and every car is a bit different.

So, I spent a lot of time looking at forums, posted a thread, and emailed with a couple people.  Ultimately I decided how I would proceed.  I would need to mount brackets made from angle iron to the sides of the seat, mount the sliders on the bottom of the angle iron brackets, and then fasten the sliders to the cockpit floor.  At my wife’s request I also decided to make the passenger seat adjustable, which turned out to be a good idea as it would keep the seats at the same height.  As I looked more at positioning the seats and where they would fasten to the floor I also noticed many of the fastening locations would not be into the chassis, they would only be through the cockpit floor sheet metal.  This would not be secure and safe, so I decided to add a support cross direction on the floor in the front and back mounting locations.  This could be attached to the chassis pieces and then the seat would attach through it, providing adequate strength.  In the meantime, I received the second set of seat tracks and was surprised when I opened them.  While the slides were the same as my originals, the fasteners were different, there were some spacers not in the original kit and the instructions were totally different.  By this time I had my installation plan so it did not cause problems, but I was surprised by all the changes in only a year.

Anyway, I move ahead and cut the angle iron to length and attached the seat tracks to the bottom.

I ended up also having to cut out a portion of the angle iron where the adjusting arm was to create space.

Then I determined where on the sides of the seat to attach the angle iron.  This took a long time as I wanted to make sure the track mounted on the floor where I wanted, the seat would then adjust up and back where I needed, there would be room for the seat harnesses to attach to the brackets, the seats would sit how I liked relative to the steering wheel and front/back of the car, I would not hit the transmission tunnel when the seat was forward, and the passenger side would not conflict with the emergency brake handle.  Whew!  Anyway, I got the position I wanted and mounted the brackets to the sides of the seat.

After doing this, I had to remove the brackets from the seat to take out the studs that were in the sliders.  These were not used in this installation.  I expected this to be a simple “unscrew from the slider”, but wrong again.  The studs were pressed it and I could not get them out.  I ended up having to cut them off, then drill the rest out using three increasingly larger bits to completely remove the stud.  This took a very long time as I had to do this for eight studs – two per slider.   I also had to go buy some extra drill bits as mine got “worn out”, but I also used this time to purchase extra nuts and bolts I would need as I could not use what came with the new tracks.   Eventually, it got done.

Then, I put the brackets back on the seat and put it back in place where I needed and  I went ahead and marked the locations of the tracks for the rear fastening points.  I drilled these and also marked and drilled the front.  I then pre-drilled the floor supports and mounted those in the cockpit floor.

I then took the brackets back off the seat and fastened them to the support pieces on the cockpit floor.  I had to do this as I could not get to all of the support piece mounting holes with the seat attached.

Finally, I re-attached the seat to the brackets, and the driver side seat was done!  It took probably 15-20 hours plus help from Julie to get this the way I wanted, but well worth the effort.  It came out great.

I then more or less repeated the process for the passenger side.  The sliders were all ready to go – the studs had been removed and the brackets cut – and I was pretty clear how to proceed, so this was done in only 4-5 hours.  Still a while, but I wanted them to match up as closely as I could.  There will be more work to do after I complete the cockpit sheet metal on the passenger side and then add the insulation and carpet, but the hard work is done!

More pictures can be seen in the Gallery

Cockpit, seat tracks, Seats, Sliders

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