Seat Belt and seat replacement

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Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby david924s » Mon 04.05.2020, 13:52

The seats in my car had been previously swapped to black and red ones from an RX8 (Jamie N's old car) but to be honest I wasn't a huge fan of them bit too large for my liking and unable to go far enough back for comfort so decided to swap them for something more appropriate (in my eyes).

Bought a set of black MX5 Mk2/2.5 seats which although heated are not motorised like the RX8 seats but that was never high on my agenda. Removed the RX8 seats and I was surprised to see how much smaller and lighter the MX5 ones are even compared to the non motorised RX8 passenger seat.

Loosely put the MX5 seats into the car and what a difference narrower and shorter with more room behind to go further back and still miss the B Pillar and the runners are much closer to the original Lotus mounts than the old ones. Had to swop the seat belt clips as the Elan belt buckle doesn't lock into an MX5 one but simple to do.

Just waiting for some MS flat bar, bolts, washers etc. to arrive so I can get them fitted properly hopefully this weekend looks from first measurements I can fit them to go quite far back and still recline using different width brackets mounted to the original seat bolts, 100mm at the front and 150mm to the rear this should allow enough adjustment to get the seats where I want them in distance and height.

Also took the opportunity to replace the passenger seat belt assembly which had stopped retracting and was looking worse for wear with a 2nd hand Elan one from eBay which to be honest looked almost like new, easy job B pillar off, speaker box out and 4 bolts 20 minute job as all the bolts came out easily.


Once I get the material to finish the job I will take some pictures.

Also now have the RX8 seats surplus if anyone wants them for £50 collection only for the pair, drivers motorised and was working on Saturday. can't seem to get pictures to work but I can send them if anyone interested.
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby Jamie N » Mon 04.05.2020, 20:21

That sounds like a nice mod David, mind post some pictures!. :wink:
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby david924s » Tue 05.05.2020, 08:30

Hi Jamie,
Have the new seats loosely in the car at present and they look good a little narrower than the previous ones and I should be able to get them to go further back towards the rear bulkhead as the backs are also narrower they also recline more without hitting the B Pillars. I will have to manage without the motorised drivers seat but I rarely moved it once set anyway, these new ones also have heaters in both so I could wire those in if I wanted to.

I will put some pictures up if and when the fitting material arrives did try in previous post but for some reason they wouldn't load.
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby HJ2 » Tue 05.05.2020, 09:43

Looking foreward to the Pictures! :D !
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby Rocklobster » Sun 17.05.2020, 21:43

Here's one I prepared earlier.
I had standard seats but there was lots of play in the mechanism and they rattled like hell, so I bought a pair of MX5 seats too. Took a bit of fitting, but they're much better. Narrower, more supportive and they look better (in my opinion anyway). The roll bar does restrict backwards movement, but I still get more movement now than with the originals.

MX5 seats highly recommended.

20200517_205226.jpg
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby david924s » Mon 18.05.2020, 08:10

Stuff finally arrived last week for me to start the MX5 seat fitment, two 6mm steal plates one 4" for the front and a 6" one for the rear cut to 450mm which easily fits over the existing seat mounting points and leave enough metalwork either side to fit the new seats to. Got all new STST bolts washers, slightly longer than the original floor mounting bolts to allow some spacers to fit under the seat mounting plates. 75mm M10 for the floor mounts and a mixture of 25/50mm for fixing the seats to the plates.

Probably went a little to over the top on the MS plate 6mm is a bugger to drill but got the drivers side loosely fitted on Saturday after a bit of adjustment to get the right position, passengers side should be easy just flip the plates from the drivers side and use as a template for the passengers side. I have ordered some more 75mm M10 bolts for the floor mounting but hex head as a couple of the mount points are close to the seat bolts so should make it easier to fit and remove if needs be, seems to be taking longer as getting the fittings is not as simple as popping to the local DIY shop these days.

Anyway with the drivers seat fitted loose in the car the fit is brilliant, the seat can go almost all the way to the rear bulkhead (or speaker box) does not catch on the B Pillar and to be honest now goes so far back I can't push the clutch in so definitely will have enough leg room and no more catching my knees on the steering wheel.

When I get the passenger side in I will take pictures of the seats and brackets although in reality they are just two thick steel plates mounted across the original seat mounting points, the beauty of using wide plate is it allows some wiggle room so the floor mounts and those for the seats can be shifted to enable both to be fitted to the plates and once the seats are in you only see the front edge of one plate.

Thing to bear in mind with MX5 Mk2.5 seats (or at least mine is that the rail mounting points are different centers front and back so narrower at the front than the back so don't make my mistake and drill the fronts and rears on the same centers or you will have to do what I did and re-drill another two holes. My own fault for assuming they were the same width.
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby Rocklobster » Mon 18.05.2020, 20:57

It'll be good to see some pics when you're done David.
I spent a while deciding which seats to replace my standard ones with and I thought the RX8 ones (and S2000's) looked too big and bulky, whereas the MX5's are much slimmer and neater. It's a good mod and very worthwhile.
I went the other way and used the Lotus seat rails. They were a pig to fit, plenty of cutting and welding tabs onto the rails, drilling, grinding, seats in, seats out, start all over again.... As with all things Lotus, patience is needed. I also bought some different aluminium spacers off ebay to lower the seats a bit.

Good luck with it anyway. Keep us informed and don't forget the pics.
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby david924s » Tue 19.05.2020, 15:23

Rocklobster wrote:It'll be good to see some pics when you're done David.
I spent a while deciding which seats to replace my standard ones with and I thought the RX8 ones (and S2000's) looked too big and bulky, whereas the MX5's are much slimmer and neater. It's a good mod and very worthwhile.
I went the other way and used the Lotus seat rails. They were a pig to fit, plenty of cutting and welding tabs onto the rails, drilling, grinding, seats in, seats out, start all over again.... As with all things Lotus, patience is needed. I also bought some different aluminium spacers off ebay to lower the seats a bit.

Good luck with it anyway. Keep us informed and don't forget the pics.


I too spent a long time looking for seats that would fit properly, or at least how I wanted and not look too far from the originals, the MX5 ones seem to fit the requirements and certainly go further back into the rear of the cab. I had no original rails to work with as the car had already been modified to take the RX8 seats so easiest option for me was to mount them onto two plates fitted between the original mount points. If the weather stays nice and some late deliveries turn up soon I may be able to finish this weekend.
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby david924s » Tue 26.05.2020, 15:00

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Managed to finish installing the MX5 seats in my car at the weekend, very pleased with the way they fit and go back further than my previous RX8 ones, also managed to get them fitted lower so no knee rub on the steering wheel and more head room, plus like I said I can push them so far back now that my legs don't reach the pedals so plenty of room for adjustment.

I did get some pictures but due to other things going on at the same time they are probably not the best but tried to show the fitment into the B Pillar area and overall fitment.

Had more pictures but size restrictions and the lack of any photo hosting apps on my PC prevent me posting them.
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby Rocklobster » Tue 02.06.2020, 10:08

Looks good David. They look like the right seats for the car. Well done.
There's a bit less cushioning overall, but I find there's more lateral support. Much better than the originals and they're not as bulky as RX8 or S2000 seats.
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Re: Seat Belt and seat replacement

Postby david924s » Tue 02.06.2020, 10:49

Rocklobster wrote:Looks good David. They look like the right seats for the car. Well done.
There's a bit less cushioning overall, but I find there's more lateral support. Much better than the originals and they're not as bulky as RX8 or S2000 seats.


Actually managed to get some time on Sunday to take it for a run after changing the plugs and sorting the rough running.

Much nicer to drive with these seats, more leg room than I actually need, more space between my knees and the steering wheel and comfortable not as adjustable as the previous RX8 seats but I rarely made use of their facilities to adjust so no problem there.

I also agree they look much more in keeping with the car, right colour, right size and shape just need to sort out the door card panels now with some black carpet (or similar for the bottoms instead of grey and either recover or dye black the leather inserts to match the seats and the easy bit put the Lotus floor mats back in the black rubber ones I only put in to save the carpets while working in the car.

Did have to use the seat belt buckles off the RX8 as the MX5 ones don't fit the Lotus belts and these are a little too long for my liking but that is an easy job to swop the buckles to the shorter MX5 brackets.

Another good thing is the old RX8 seats sold straight away for more than the MX5 ones cost me so overall a cheap upgrade with only the price of fixings to take into account.
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