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Fit E88 1 series seats into a 2002


Mike Rowe

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Hi everyone, I have just purchased the front and rear seats from a 2008 E88 convertible.  My aim is to fit them into my 2002 Tii.

Has anyone on this site fitted these seats to a 2002 previously?  If so I would love to hear your experience.

The seats were good value, are comfortable, I think will look good and they are manual not electric.  I have attached a photo of the seats.

Any experience with a 2002 and these seats would be appreciated.

thanks Mike Perth WA

Beckenham 120  seats.jpg

Beckenham 120  seats rear.jpg

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In general, seat swapping into a 2002 from Something Else has two primary caveats:  overall seat width and height.  

 

Newer cars (and their seats) are wider than 2002s, and more importantly, 02 seats are set on tracks that are positioned well above the car's floorboards--unlike most every other possible seat donor car. Thus mounting donor seats in your 02 using the existing tracks (with an adapter--which can be fabricated) may well put your head into the headliner or out the sunroof.

 

The former problem may not be solvable--you can't narrow down the seats, but the latter can be by removing the existing 02 seat tracks and fabricating new ones that are mounted directly to the floor.  It's been done many times before, usually with good results.  It's just not bolt in, as E21 Recaros would be.  

 

mike

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Only in Australia....where Kangaroos box with humans! No offense...just in a joking fashion but ya....never seen a set like that on a 2002 but like Mike says, check the height and the width to compare with stock seats. Fabricating the stock brackets won't be difficult. 

Edited by resra
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Not those seats, but I put later model seats into mine (~2015 2-series sport seats).  

As Mike pointed out, you'll need to lunch the factory seat rails and make something else to get the seats lower.  The other thing I had to do was modify the transmission tunnel.  I didnt't want to, but I couldn't get the seats low enough and centered behind the steering wheel to my liking.

Go as low as possible, as I suspect your replacement seats probably have a height adjustment like mine.  I stacked some wood blocks on the floor pans to figure out exactly where I wanted them.  

Here's a photo of my fronts and the mount from when I installed them. 

 


The back seat bottom fit in with a little cutting and bending of the seat frame.  The back seat back cushions took quite a bit of work and are still a work in progress.  I had to section the seat back frames down by a few inches.  Also, I wanted to keep the fold-down functionality (60/40) of the seats and so fabricating the hinge mounts in a way that makes for painless back seat removal took a little bit of trial-and-error work.  Still need to figure out the upper latch, but that should be easy.   

I love having these seats in the car.

IMG_7378.thumb.jpeg.cdc3fd5ea9ac1a43ac82f986dc107a4c.jpeg.ac4cac377b0e64321bcbbac477288433.jpeg

 

IMG_7380.thumb.jpeg.6aa7c25c9ffa65fc58f00c6c02f63eab.jpeg
 

Edit - here’s a pic of the backseats the last time I had them in for a fit check. Note that I haven’t yet re-sewn the back cushion covers so they appear a bit floppy.  Prepare for some fabrication hours on those if the 1 series back seat is also too tall and needs to be trimmed down. IMG_8804.thumb.jpeg.f9e81ef6ed5283ddfa7d449b232776ee.jpeg

Edited by HobieDog
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7 hours ago, HobieDog said:

Not those seats, but I put later model seats into mine (~2015 2-series sport seats).  

As Mike pointed out, you'll need to lunch the factory seat rails and make something else to get the seats lower.  The other thing I had to do was modify the transmission tunnel.  I didnt't want to, but I couldn't get the seats low enough and centered behind the steering wheel to my liking...

 

Great work! I was thinking I might have to do something like this in my car, but I hadn't seen it done so it's nice to see that it's possible. I don't have original 02 seats, and every other seat I've tried to fit on the standard 02 mounting bracket has sat so far outboard I can't close the doors, and so high I can't even get in the car!

 

Did you run into any issues with gearbox fitment with that modification to the transmission tunnel?

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Hobiedog - thankyou very much for your input, its exactly what I was after!! 

Can I ask you:

(1) Your photo showing the cross rail to fit the seat - is that at the rear of the seat or at the front?  I think it looks like it is at the rear of the seat - if so what did you do at the front of the seat? Did you put another rail across?

(2) Lunch the factory rails - I haven't got a photo of the floor currently - is there a high original horizontal rail and did you completely cut it out of the floor thus making the floor flat?

(3) Transmission tunnel - did you cut a piece out and therefore flatten the curving nature of the tunnel to make more room, and di you do this on both sides (driver & passenger)?

(4) When you slimmed up the gearbox tunnel did this cause problems with mounting the gearbox and also the mounting points of the gearbox?

(5) What sort of gearbox do you have? (4 or 5 speed Getrag)

My car is RHD so may be different issues to you with gearbox mount/linkage etc and where they attach?

 

regards Mike 

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Hi HobieDog, me again, I have searched the web and found a photo of I think the seat rails you were referring to as needing to be torched - are they the small square tube welded on the side of the tunnel and opposite just under the door opening? 

My race car didn't have these in so someone must have already removed them.  The issue I had in my race car when fitting a race seat was the floor is much lower at the rear than at the front which meant I had to put thick spacers at the rear to get the seat level.  At the front I just bolted flat to the floor.  The race seat however was fixed and did not slide forward and back or recline. There is a bulge though mid down the height of the tunnel that reduced the width available - maybe that was wear the seat rails were originally?

2002 floor seat rails.jpeg

2002 floor seat rails2.jpg

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20 hours ago, resra said:

Only in Australia....where Kangaroos box with humans! No offense...just in a joking fashion but ya....never seen a set like that on a 2002 but like Mike says, check the height and the width to compare with stock seats. Fabricating the stock brackets won't be difficult. 

This bastard was real!!

Imagine running into him😳

IMG_1541.jpeg

IMG_1540.webp

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4 hours ago, Mike Rowe said:

Hobiedog - thankyou very much for your input, its exactly what I was after!! 

Can I ask you:

(1) Your photo showing the cross rail to fit the seat - is that at the rear of the seat or at the front?  I think it looks like it is at the rear of the seat - if so what did you do at the front of the seat? Did you put another rail across?

Yes, the square tube is what I ran across at the back to bolt the seat to.  I made that level with the hump that runs across the floor, between the front and back floor pans., so the front of the seat rails sit directly on top of the hump.  For the front, I probably could have just drilled through the floor and bolted it down, but I did end up cutting out a small bit of the front floor and welding in a piece of 10x10cm 14 ga steel square of metal and drilled through it to bolt the seat through.  Bolting through the floor in the front without welding in the thicker metal would probably be fine, but the indentations on the hump weren't allowing my seat rail to sit flat and I liked the idea of the thicker metal there...

 

 

4 hours ago, Mike Rowe said:

(2) Lunch the factory rails - I haven't got a photo of the floor currently - is there a high original horizontal rail and did you completely cut it out of the floor thus making the floor flat?

See below comment.  

 

4 hours ago, Mike Rowe said:

(3) Transmission tunnel - did you cut a piece out and therefore flatten the curving nature of the tunnel to make more room, and di you do this on both sides (driver & passenger)?

Yes, both sides as I wanted both of the seats to be in their same relative location.  I cut out the curve and made it completely straight down.  My seat rail sits right at the end of it now.

4 hours ago, Mike Rowe said:

(4) When you slimmed up the gearbox tunnel did this cause problems with mounting the gearbox and also the mounting points of the gearbox?

This is all at least 45cm's aft of the end of my 4 speed gearbox, which I think is more than enough for the 5 speed as well.   So, you're not even close to the  gearbox or the mount for it BUT, the mounts for the center support bearing for the driveshaft is mounted there and you will need to be careful to be sure it winds up back in the same place!  That's not challenging, but something you'll want to be aware of before getting too caried away with the grinder.  

 

4 hours ago, Mike Rowe said:

(5) What sort of gearbox do you have? (4 or 5 speed Getrag)

My car is RHD so may be different issues to you with gearbox mount/linkage etc and where they attach?

 

regards Mike 

 

I don't think you'll have any issues with the RHD vs LHD - all of this work is pretty far back from the transmission. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Mike Rowe said:

Hi HobieDog, me again, I have searched the web and found a photo of I think the seat rails you were referring to as needing to be torched - are they the small square tube welded on the side of the tunnel and opposite just under the door opening? 

My race car didn't have these in so someone must have already removed them.  The issue I had in my race car when fitting a race seat was the floor is much lower at the rear than at the front which meant I had to put thick spacers at the rear to get the seat level.  At the front I just bolted flat to the floor.  The race seat however was fixed and did not slide forward and back or recline. There is a bulge though mid down the height of the tunnel that reduced the width available - maybe that was wear the seat rails were originally?

 

 

 

Yep, those are the original seat mounts.  They have some value to folks who are undoing exactly what we are doing here, so cut them out carefully if they are in good shape.  The bulge midway down the transmission tunnel is exactly where the original mount sat, and it is exactly what needs to go in order to get these seats centered and low.  

 

13 hours ago, JamesRamsay said:

Did you run into any issues with gearbox fitment with that modification to the transmission tunnel?

 

No issues at all with gearbox, this is all about 45 cm's aft of the end of the gearbox.  


I will say that you may want to first start with just chopping out your original mounts and not getting into modifying the tunnel at all, and then set your seats inside on wooden blocks and see how you like the fitment.  They were high enough and off-center enough to really bother me and I knew it would always bug me, so I bit the bullet and did the additional work.  May be different for you.

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HobieDog, thank you for answering every one of my questions!  You have helped me look at this with a bit more confidence.  I won't be starting this just yet but will update this post as I work out what I need to do. I will also try the back seat in the car and see what issues are there.  The back seat I have has a small hatch that opens in the middle and a bag that comes through for skis!  So, I don't have the split seats like you have, which hopefully may make it easier to attach? regards Mike

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 "For the front, I probably could have just drilled through the floor and bolted it down, but I did end up cutting out a small bit of the front floor and welding in a piece of 10x10cm 14 ga steel square of metal and drilled through it to bolt the seat through."  

HobieDog do you have a photo of what you did at the front?

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