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Too Tall

Discussion in '114 type 1600, 2002, 2002ti/tii (1967-1976)' started by michaelhair1, Apr 19, 2008.

    michaelhair1 guest

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    Anyone know a way to lower the driver's seat in a 1974 tii? My head hits the headliner. I know the seat goes down a little as you move the seat back, but my legs are too short for that (and my torso is too tall).

    Ideas?
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    Bimmerdan

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    I'm guessing you have the original stock seats in the car?
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    az3579

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    Would a 2002 seat have the same features as the basic seat in an E30?
    There should be a lever on the left side that you can push down, then move the seat back or forth to raise or lower the seating position...

    michaelhair1 guest

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    I'll answer both replies so far... Yes, I have the stock seats.
    As I said, the seat does go up and down somewhat as you move forward or back. My problem is that by the time the seat is forward enough for me to use the pedals, the seat has move up so high that I hit the headliner. Probably only an issue for a small fraction of the population who have short legs and long torsos.
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    MGarrison

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    I don't know for sure, although I would suspect 2002 seats don't have the degrees of articulation that E30 seats, particularly e30 sports seats, do. E30 seats slide forward and back w/out changing height; if you raise the seat height, as it rises, it also moves forward. The sport seats also raise/lower at the front end independent of the other adjustments. Additionally, the seatback angle is adjustable fwd/back.

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=2233&mospid=47141&btnr=52_2356&hg=52&fg=10

    Looking at the realoem pic for the basic 2002 seat, it looks like it just slides fwd/back, w/ no height adjustment. Since you seem to be running out of room as the seat moves forward, I'm wondering if it has been installed at an angle somehow, so that as you slide it forward, the angle also makes it slide up.

    Look at how it's mounted in your car, see if anything has been added or modified to the seat brackets. Given the seat design, (spring base over a seat pad & upholstery) I don't think there's much you can easily do to reduce its vertical profile. If you want to spend a fortune and know a really, really, really intelligent welder and metalworker, he might be able to re-engineer the stock seat to allow it to sit lower... but that would be a much bigger project than I personally would ever want to tackle.

    One option is to go to an aftermarket seat - Recaro's et. al. are typically a foam seat cushion w/ a elastic suspension, which has less of a vertical profile compared to the stock seat - plus, the aftermarket seat brackets usually have a fairly low mounting profile. If you're patient, you can probably find a reasonable deal from an ebay auction on a Recaro or other quality seat.

    Or, you could try the McDonald's approach - if you gain enough weight (get yourself up to say....600-700 lbs or so), you'll flatten the seat springs in the seat over time, and voila', instant headroom. Probably wouldn't be very comfortable though - in all kinds of ways!

    Another overkill approach could be to cut into the car and lower the spots where the seat mounts too (if that's even possible for the design of the unibody. That's fraught w/ safety issues however - the spots the bolts mount too are engineered to survive the stresses of a crash - you modify those and you're venturing into unknown territory. Always a bad thing to have your seat bust loose from the floor in an accident. Good luck working it out!
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    BMWCCA1

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    Not a good idea to mess with the stock seat supports for safety reasons. The seats mount to pedastals welded to the floor. While not the highest of technology, they won't be easily modified. There are no height adjustments in stock 2002 seats. BMW did spec a lowered seat when a sunroof was part of the build so if your car doesn't have a sunroof, perhaps seats from a sunroof 2002 (or maybe even a 320i) would help your situtation. If you have a sunroof, maybe that's part of your problem, too, in that it may not have the lowered seats (seats swapped in the past), or it just takes up too much space. Many have tried E30 seats but you'd have to remove the 2002 seat pedastals and reinforce the floor of the car to bolt the E30 seats in without compromising your headroom even more or relying on an usafe kluged mounting most seem to opt for of simply drilling holes in your 34-year-old floor pan. The sport seat from an E21 320i is a direct drop-in for a 2002 if you get all the mounting parts from the 320i, and it will give a bit more headroom.

    That all being said, I'm constantly amazed at how much headroom a 2002 has, and I've been amazed at it for over 35 years since I bought my first 1600-2. I'm a touch over 6'-1" with a 32" (Levis) inseam, so I'm a bit tall in the torso, too. Yet I'm able to fit comfortably in a stock seat 2002 wearing a helmet. You must be really tall!

    michaelhair1 guest

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    Thanks. The part about getting a seat from a car with the sunroof sounds promising. No, I'm really not that tall. It's just the torso thing. When I sit at a meeting around a conference table, I'm always the tallest person. But you are right - the 2002 shold be the last car to give me a problem. So maybe there is more to the story, like somehow the seats I have are higher than they are supposed to be. The earlier response about looking for problems in the mounting could be on to something. I'm tearing everything down right now, getting ready for paint, so I'll be seeing all that real soon.
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    Bimmerdan

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    I ended up going with some Koenig aftermarket seats and they definitely sit lower than the stock seats did. Like MGarrison said, that may be a good option for you. It is odd that you wouldn't be able to fit comfortably even with the stock seats though, I don't remember mine getting higher as I pulled the seat forward? I'm curious to see what you find when you pull the seats out.

    Mikeinnc guest

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    michaelhair1 guest

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    Thanks, This is probably exactly what I'm looking for. I'm just bummed that there is no solution that uses stock seats (although I've heard good things about the E30 seats, Scheel also).
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    BMWCCA1

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    But there is a solution using stock seats, they're just not from a 2002, unless you use lowered sunroof seats. I'm using the "stock" E21 320i sport seats made by Recaro for BMW, as well as a standard Recaro LN which came with a mount specifically for a 2002. Neither requires any modification to the car, the seat pedestal, or anything safety-related.

    How 'bout some objective measurements here. My '76 is a sunroof model. You set your seat in your driving position and measure the distance from the point where the seat bottom meets the seat back to the roof with your seat and I'll measure it with the Recaro LN and the BMW E21 Recaro and we can compare. I'm sure someone can give us a measurement with another stock setup just to compare to yours, too. We still have no data on you "torso thing". What's your inseam in Levi's (a standard metric in our society!) versus your height? We can figure this thing out without you resorting to cobbling-up your tii. ;)

    BTW, the on-line BMW part listings are screwing us here. They no longer show complete seats for 2002s, instead showing only a few seat parts. So there is no confirmation of lowered sunroof seats for your model. I'll have to check the old orange books to confirm, but they're shown on the window sticker for my '76. Listed as a $12 option: Low Front Seats.

    michaelhair1 guest

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    O.k., here is some actual data:

    My height: 5'-9" (and a half...)
    My inseam: 30"
    Height from seat bottom to headliner: 35 1/4". Of course, it will compress to some degree when I sit in it, but we shall assume that yours compresses about the same. The seats are in good shape and the bottom is reasonably firm.

    I like the idea of using "sunroof version seats", or converting my seats, but with the discontinued parts you mention converting may be tough.

    Let me know how the measurements on your car compare.

    Thanks.

    AIREDALE guest

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    Seats

    I am 6'1", also with a 32" inseam so I am all torso and understand what you have.

    Thankfully (?) I also have a 37" sleeve so I push the seat almost all the way back and recline it just a bit, and no bumpee head on s/r frame.

    You have to experiment.

    And I definitely agree to keep the original seats but that's my aesthetic and not others.

    Another way to fiddle with it in a way that may not change the car's interior is to see if there's a tilt/telescope kit out there that might work.

    michaelhair1 guest

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    Well, that doesn't really help me... I only have a 33 inch sleeve.
    Also, even if I found a kit that helped to tilt the seat forward, I don't like sitting like that. I actually like tilting back a little.
    So I guess I'll just keep thinking.
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    MGarrison

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    I suspect he's referring to a kit that would tilt/telescope the steering wheel, allowing it to be moved further rearward and accomodating a more reclined seating position for you. I just wasn't around (at least as an adult) for the 2002 heyday, so I don't recall ever hearing of an aftermarket kit to allow a steering wheel to tilt/telescope. That would be a good question for Joe Chamberlain or Mike Self, however -

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