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Making Seat Adapters


Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

As part of a long restoration project, I had two Recaro Seats reupholstered and left them in storage until recently. To my complete amazement, the seats were overstuffed so that they have too much padding and their overpadded widths make them impractical for my 02.

Given the leather used and the obvious attention to detail, I am prepared to use the Recaros in an E3 (Bavaria) that was previously restored, except for the seats. I currently have E9 reclining seats, but they are a bit shabby. Here's the problem. The attaching tracks on the reupholstered Recaros have a width of approximately 14.5" (give or take with/without adapters) The E3 tracks are almost 5" wider. I am not interested in welding the floor of the Bavaria, but am considering using a solid plate with appropriate drill holes or an erector set's worth of aircraft grade aluminum channels bolted together or maybe Tig'ed to adapt these seats. I have also wondered about making a giant square frame out of thick angle iron so that the floor space (under the seat) is somehow useable, this is where Mrs. seems to loose most of her important belongings.

Too be clear, I have read the FAQ re seats (which include Integra seats -hint to other poster) and many other posts, but there is no consistent method of safely adapting smaller seat tracks to a larger track width - without welding and reengineering the floor as I have had to do with other cars.

Please tell me there is a simple, quick, semi permanent and elegant way to resolve this problem other than using the seats made for the tracks.

Thank you in advance.

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you could take a couple of pieces of sturdy bar stock that are as long as the width between the Bavaria's seat tracks, drill holes in the ends to attach either the Bavaria tracks or the '02s (if they match the Bavaria's floor drillings), then drill holes in the bar stock where the original seat tracks fastened to the seat frame. Bolt bar stock to seat, and tracks to the ends of the bar stock and you have it.

Surely 3/16 or 1/4 inch stock 1- 1/1/4 inches wide would be plenty sturdy, and you'd still have access to the underseat space.

cheers

mike

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Guest Anonymous

I like the suggestion.

Two things bother me though, first, the seats already sit too high and the bar stock is going to increase the overall height. I might try it though with a couple of bends on each side so that the stock runs against the floor rather than in the air. Wait a minute. You said bar stock, but did you really mean channels or some sort of square tubes?

The other concern I have is stressing the stock laterally rather than horizontally. For example, when braking the stress is placed longitudinally on the stock tracks and assuming the fasteners are in place, the load is transmitted to the floor and its bolsters evenly. By going with the width approach you suggest, the stress seems focused on the attachment points rather than the whole floor (following the tracks). But, bending the stock to conform to the floor may work!

Thanks.

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3/16" or 1/4" bar stock is plenty sturdy to hold the seat in place--that's the same thinkness as a '73 front bumper bracket that's supposed to take a 2 1/2 mph impact. I don't think you're gonna deform a piece of 1/4 " thick, 1 1/4" wide piece of steel with heavy breaking unless the seat occupant weighs 500 lbs (carry any gorillas?) or the seat belts are fastened to the seat vs the floor/door pillars.

Bending the bar stock into a flat U shape with serifs would lower the seat; if you heat bend the bar stock you're not gonna weaken it like you would cold bending.

mike

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Guest Anonymous

Okay, I'll get the torch out. The kids will think its a fire breathing dragon if I do it this evening, instead of handing out candy!

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Guest Anonymous

On my Bavaria the front attaching bolts are horizontal. You are better off making a square to tie the whole thing together. I did something similar. I used the frame that was used on later E3's to raise and tilt the seat and welded plates to that frame and then bolted on the Recaros. But that presupposes you have such a frame.

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Guest Anonymous

Thank you for the info. I had cut out flat stock (not bar stock) that I was planning to box much like the pictures. I think Mike's suggestion would work and is doubtlessly much simpler and I have used it for an off road vehicle. I have been toying with cutting up some old spring steel (leaf springs) for that extra lift!

Maybe the squareness or framing of the adapter is overkill, but I guess I'll feel better if someone else has to sit on it other than myself. People will say: "The car may not run well or look good, but that's one hell of a seat adapter!" lol

Thanks all.

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