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New Seat...

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1995-1999)' started by bmwmfan, Mar 19, 2008.

    bmwmfan guest

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    I've posted replies in a few other threads, but I thought it best to start a clean thread on the topic...I'm tall, 6'7" and as a younger guy I didn't mind folding myself up into a car to get the kind of performance and fun driving the M3 delivers. As I get older, and after two herniated disks in my lower back, I'm coming to appreciate a properly fit vehicle. I don't want to sell the car, but I think I may have to. Does anyone have any suggestions for aftermarket seats that would lower my seating position by a couple inches?
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    MGarrison

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    Well I'm not as tall as you, but have had to go to aftermarket seats to make myself comfortable in the bimmers I've had -

    Personally, I've used Recaros, although there are a slew of aftermarket seats out there - If you're willing to forego electric adjustments, you can probably get the lowest seating position using a manual sliding bracket.

    I think TC Kline makes brackets for Recaros that sit a bit lower than the stock Recaro brackets. To fit in my E30, I went through having stock Recaro brackets modified several times until I got what I wanted. Helpful to know a metalworker/welder for projects like that.

    bmwmfan guest

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    Thanks for the quick response. What Recaro seats should I be looking at? I should probably find a dealer and go try to sit in a couple different seats. As far as knowning a metal fabricator...I'm fully capible. I just put new seats in my Taco for exactly the same reason.
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    mjweimer

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    Your best bet is to find a local race shop and sit in various seats. There are so many choices and options available it is staggering.

    Once you find the right seat, make sure it is able to be used properly with the factory three point seat belt (I assume you are keeping these). A lot of the racing seats are designed for use with racing harnesses only and will not allow a normal belt to fit properly/safely on your body.

    Again, a good race shop should be aware of all of these issues.

    Good Luck!

    bmwmfan guest

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Ya, I'm keeping the 3 point. I'll start my search for a local race shop! :)
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    MGarrison

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    Indeed, ditto's on Oscar, er, Weimer's ;) reply. You won't really know if you find a seat comfortable unless you sit in it. And retaining stock belt functionality, also very important.

    If you don't want/need a seat that's specifically for racing/track driving/auto-x:

    You won't want a seat with over-sized side bolsters that make ingress/egress for daily usage a hassle.

    A 'suspension-seat' design can make for a more comfortable 'ride', as it were. Compared to foam on a solid sheet-of-steel base, a suspension seat has the foam seat cushion supported by something with some give. Recaro, for instance, uses webbing/rubber 'straps' attached to the seat base frame, or at least they did on their seats years ago (today might be a different story, but advanced materials might offer the same result too, possibly).

    Since you're taller, you might want a larger frame seat - some seat makers make 'xl' models of their seats.

    Many of the sport seats have racing shoulder-harness belt pass-throughs, and a 1-piece seatback design without a moveable/adjustable headrest. If you don't need to accomodate race belts, you might want a seat w/ a headrest, instead of an integrated headrest.

    A tilt/recline seatback. Obviously easier to access your back seat if you can flip the seat forward, and more comfortable to have recline adjustability.

    Consider leather as an option - the bolsters on a cloth upholstered seat will wear, eventually. Might depend on how often you're hopping in/out of the car.

    Here's a few links - maybe someone can kick in w/ some other brands to consider besides Recaro, Corbeau, & Koenig.

    http://www.koenig-usa.com/classic.html
    http://www.recaro.com/index.php?id=3746&region=3&L=2 (The Recaro Style XL Topline, or Recaro Trend)
    http://www.corbeau.com/products/gts2/gts2.shtml
    http://www.parcars.com/parseating/2_1index.html
    http://www.andysautosport.com/bmw/1992_1998_3_series/interior/seats/racing_seats/recaro/
    http://on-trackperformance.com/recaro seats Index.htm

    bmwmfan guest

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    THANK YOU!!!! I may end up keeping the car afterall :)

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