new seats

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new seats

Postby Mr Fixit » Fri 15.05.2015, 23:42

Just collected . bit more to do though


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Re: new seats

Postby muley » Sat 16.05.2015, 07:19

Nice. I collect mine next Thursday (black ones, though)
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Re: new seats

Postby Jamie N » Sat 16.05.2015, 08:48

Looking good Nick, massive improvement on the old stripey's :wink: .
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Re: new seats

Postby dapinky » Sat 16.05.2015, 14:13

I know that there have been various documented methods to mount these seats in the elan, and the 'best' of the ideas varies depending on who you talk to....

..... the most widely adopted method seems to be grinding the welds which hold the ends of the seat runners in place, thus allowing the end portion to swivel on the big rivet (anyone who's got or fitted the seats will know what I mean!) to line up with the current holes in the floor (well, 3 will line up, and one needs a small extension plate making up).

An adaptation of this system is using 4 small steel bars to bolt to the seat holes, and bolt through the floor.

However, my concern with these methods was that the weight transferred down by the driver (or passenger) would not be borne directly by the structural members in the car, but into an area which is just fibreglass (I know it isn't quite like that, but you may understand what i mean - not such a huge issue at the front of the seat as the front of the runners is still in line with the steel member running across the floor to the outrigger, but at the rear, it overhangs by a few centimeters, and either transfers weight to a non-structural bit of floor, or stresses the swivel points.

I'm also fairly sure that my method doesn't totaly address the issue, and that a real engineer (as opposed to me, being a 'kerbside mechanic') could come up with something better.

However, I made up some plates from 10mm Aluminium (which cut quite easily using a standard circular saw - just don't rush the cuts and it makes a bit of a mess with swarf going everywhere!).

Each plate has 4 holes drilled which just bolt to the car, and then the seat - this means that the weight is transferred to the plate, which is transferred to the original mounting points. There will still be a bit of 'pivoting' but it is well spread out - only time will tell how well (or otherwise) it works.

The idea being that you cut the plates from a single piece of 10mm plate, 1000mm x 200mm which I got from ebay - exact dimentions are not too important, but I made up some hardboard templates first, and then cut as below - they needed to be trimmed a little, as they were a tad too long to fit across the width of the car - only about 5mm or so, and it can be cut with a saw, angle grinder or whatever, but better too big than too small on the first cut.

The front (narrow) plate was first to fit - it can only really go one way! - just lay it across the footwell above the spacer pieces and mark the holes for fitting it to the car (you still need the spacers, or at least, if you don't want to use them (or don't have them) then a few M10 washers will be needed - you'll see why you need them in a bit :wink: ).

Drill a 10mm hole (start with a 4mm, then 8mm and them 10mm bit) on your markings, and check that the bar will bolt through to the car (standard hex head bolts are fine, but you can use socket head if you wish). Remember, although Aluminium is far softer than steel, due to the thickness it will still take it's toll on 'normal' HSS bits - don't have the drill too fast, and lubricate the bit with white spirit or paraffin.

With that bar fixed, place the seat in the car, put it so that the front of the runners line up with the bar, and position is where you want it (if it's too close to the central tunnel it will rub, but if it's too close to the door it'll touch the doorcard - there is enough space to have ~10mm either side, but trial and error is the only way to find the right place!). Now mark the positions for the holes to fit the seats to the bar - remove seat, remove bar, drill 10mm holes, replace bar, bolt to floor, drop an M10 bolt down through the seat runners to check it all lines up, and keep it in place whilst you look at the rear.

Pull the seat as far forward as you can on the runners, and tilt it forwards to give maximum working space. You will clearly see which way up and round the triangular plate goes (I know it's trapezoidal, not triangular, but you know what i mean!).

It is a simple case of sliding it under the seat until it's where you want it, marking the 4 holes (2 to car, 2 to seat runners), taking it out and drilling the 4 holes. Replace it and check that it can be bolted to the car, and that the seat holes still line up - if not, then any of the holes can be slightly 'elongated' to ensure it all fits. Just drop some short bolts down through the runners and check that the seat slides properly on the runners, and tilts okay without fowling on the door cards etc (particularly the seat belt guides) - it will probably rub a touch on the B pillar cover, but it depends on where you have the seat positioned - I'm 6'1" with gorilla arms, so have it as far back as I can.

You will have noticed that the Aluminium looks a bit scruffy by now, and as soon as you know it fits properly, you can tidy it up - the ends can be slightly rounded and the cut edges levelled up a bit with an electric sander (or angle grinder) - but only the front edge of the front bar can really be seen when fitted, and this *should* be the nicely finished edge on the sheet that you purchased..

If you don't want to see shiny (or dull) aluminium plate in the car, now is the time to give them a squirt of paint (I actually used satin black vinyl wrap, but only just to play with it - far easier to use a can of satin black aerosol - or you can do them red if you have red carpets, or whatever else you want.

When it comes to final fitting, there are a few options I found - and I'm not sure I settled on the 'best' method, but it seemed like the way to do it at the time....

Firstly, you need to decide how high up you want the seat - at my height, I like it as low as possible to maximise view out of the windsceen (and I still remove the drivers side sun visor flappy thing), so used M10 penny washers instead of the aluminium spacers - I found that the minimum number required was 6 washers on 3 of the fittings, and 8 on the rear outboard possition (where the slightly longer spacer is fitted) - but they can be increased equally if you wish. Any less than that means that there is insufficient space for the bolt heads which attach the seat to the plate.

insert 4 bolts from underneath the plates (I used flanged head bolts with penny washers to spread the load, but you may decide not to) and then put the plates into the car. Loosly fit the 4 bolts (through whatever spacers you are using) from the top (again, I used flanged head bolts and penny washers) and wind them up a few turns - but not tight to the carpet.

You will now have the plates 'fitted' with 4 studs sticking upwards - drop the seat over the studs and put the nylock nuts on. These are the ones you need to tighten first, as if you tighten the plates to the car there may not be enough space to get a spanner between the plate and the carpet to grip the bolt head. Then tighten the 4 bolts down to the car - Job done (nearly!).

Remember that the inner seat mounting bolts are captive, but the outer ones need penny washers and nylock nuts.

As far as the seat belt buckles go, I used the Elan ones, not the Honda ones (I don't know if they fit anyway, but my seats came without them, and at least the Elan ones will definately fit the seat belt, and have the correct wiring for the dash warning light.

Again, depending on personal preference and size, you may wish to modify the bracket for the seatbelt buckle - it is slightly 'cranked', and i found that in it's original state the buckle pressed into my hipbone when attached to the Honda seat - simply straightening the bracket (take it off and hit it with a hammer on a flat bit of concrete!!) makes it more vertical when fitted, and far more comfortable to those of us with (cough) 'wider hips'.

You will need to re-use the correct bolts for the seatbelt mounting - they are an imperial thread, not a metric one - it may look like an M10 thread, but although an M10 will go in okay, it will be slightly loose & won't tighten up properly and will be a safety issue - the correct thread is 7/16" UNF. Technically, new bolts *should* be used, and proper ones come with threadlock already applied - I am happy to re-use mine (if the threads are good and the bolts not corroded) with a dab of blue threadlock applied. (Red and Blue threadlock have different properties, so use the right one).

of course, you need to plug in the seatbelt warning wires, and I tidied up the whole lot with some plastic bolt covers over the exposed nylocks - but you don't need to.

As far as bolt lengths go, I used M10x25mm for fitting the seat to the plate (these ones) and M10x50mm for the plate to the car (these ones). I used a total of 72 penny washers, but if you use the OE aluminium spacers, you need far less (IRO 20 or so).

Please note, the OE seat fittings used different length bolts depending on which of the 4 positions they are used - there is nowt to stop you re-using any of the bolts if you need to, but i would suggest at least using new nylock nuts where fitted. As the inboard ones are captive, you need to ensure that they are neither too long nor too short (there is a bit of leeway, but they need to be far enough into the enclosed fitting to grip properly, not just one turn of thread - and not so long that they 'ground out' on the bracket before being tight enough - it will depend entirely on the spacing used as to the thread length you require. There is enough threaded portion of the 50mm bolt to shorten it by up to 10mm or so if required, or you can get something like 60mm fully-threaded setscrews and cut them to the required length - the choice is yours, but the sizes i used fitted mine okay (I did have a variety of bags of bolts to trial with, though).

Before you start, you may wish to consider fitting seat heater pads - worthwhile at this stage if you think you may benefit from them.

S2000 mounting plates.jpg


3.jpg


6.jpg


This system can be adapted for any type of aftermarket (or replacement) seats, as long as the plates fit to the car points, the actual size and shape can be varied to suit the new seat mounting points without having to canibalise the seat mountings which may or may not lose any structural integrity (depending on the quality of any welding which you may employ etc).

The plates will never really need to be taken off the seats, and the whole shebang can be removed from the car by undoing the 4 bolts which fit the plate to the vehicle and lifting it out.

It may well be easiest (well, it is FAR easier) to bolt the plates to the seats off the car and then fit them in - but only if you're 100% sure that all the holes will line up and leave the seat in the right lateral location - hence my explained method of first doing it.

Should you decide that you want to have the bolts which fit the seat to the plate the other way up (ie dropped in from the top) it will, no doubt' look a bit tidier, and you won't need the plastic covers (which are totally optional anyway) - however, do consider the length of thread which will protrude under the plate and ensure that there is enough room for it to fully engage the nut and not ground out on the floor - otherwise it will induce stress into the fibreglass floorpan.

One final note - beware of the dreaded 'project creep' - whilst you're taking the seats out it is a good time to decide that the carpets need a good clean, then you'll want to replace them ('coz they'll show up the unworn areas which you normally can't see), so you'll decide that it is a good idea to replace the underfelt with closed cell foam which doesn't hold water, and then, whilst you're in there, the rusty outriggers and jacking points are easy to get and and repair........ a quick job hs turned into a major job, but you'll be glad it's done when you're finished :D

PS - it can be a real struggle to get the old seats out of the car, and thus the new ones in if you can't open the doors fully....... until your helpful wife walks past and asks why you don't just fold the roof down and lift them out :oops: :oops: :oops: (in fairness, it was a long time ago - back with my first Elan - but she doesn't let me forget how much lack of common sense I can display at times :lol: ).
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Re: new seats

Postby Mr Fixit » Sat 16.05.2015, 19:59

Thanks for the help, I was bit bit concerned about the weight transfer as well so looking at plates. You were right about 'scope creep' as a lot of things are much easier with the seats out so;-

Changing dials facial to Lockwood silver;- I'm also fitting chrome bezels but the new ones are not as deep and the originals so looking to make a perspex screen for each gauge, (or may glue in)looks like I can reuse the old gauges so have new Oil pressure, Boast and Voltage gauges new & spare!! Any comments on bulb changes for the gauges would be helpful :-)

New handbrake and boot
Fixing dash drop;- To do along with the main instrument facias
Fitting Jamie's A pillar seals
Fitting new cover seal;- almost done Trial fit look really good
Fitting all the door seals;- to do
Refurbish the door cards
Cleaning everything

Oh and fit the new seats when changed the colour as the design lead (:bowdown: ) wants the grey as the original seat colour. The originals are OK, driver seat foam is OK but the wire has all come out, however the bases are fine;- Again surplus when done.

Last thing is top fit new light pods al la Chris P

So whats for next weekend;- A drive out then :burnout:
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Re: new seats

Postby mitreklov » Tue 26.05.2015, 11:55

Great write up Dave, it has inspired me to seriously consider replacing my stock seats with S2000 one.

Could you clarify a couple of things for me. The Honda seats appear to be much wider at the shoulder compared to the stock ones, when fitted do they foul the B pillar cover and as such not push back as far as the original seat?
Also, what needs to be considered with the seat belt socket, will the stock seat belt buckle fit the Honda socket or do you need to swap the belts and/or socket?

I hope this makes sense, your guidance and experience would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Re: new seats

Postby mitreklov » Tue 26.05.2015, 12:03

Sorry Dave I've just re read your post and picked up the paragraph on the seat belts I missed the first time I read it. :oops:
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Re: new seats

Postby dapinky » Tue 26.05.2015, 12:35

Tim,

no worries on missing bits of a previous post - we all do that!

As far as the width of the seat at the shoulder, I can't say how it compares with the original, but it does touch the B post trim. What I can say is that because of the 'rounded' shape, even with the wing of the seat touching the trim, the actual seat back is still nearly on the bulkhead.

As I have roll bars fitted, the seat can't go all the way back anyway (only probably by an inch or maybe two).

I'm 6'1" and can drive quite comfortably - but if you like the seat to be quite reclined, then there will undoubtably be slightly less room.

All in all, I don't believe that there is a lot of difference in the actual seating position between the two seat types.
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Re: new seats

Postby brian s » Tue 26.05.2015, 19:39

anyone tried fitting these
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Re: new seats

Postby mitreklov » Wed 27.05.2015, 06:55

Thanks For the reply Dave. Looking around the forum it seems the S2000 seat choice is the way forward.

Thanks again.

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Re: new seats

Postby Mr Fixit » Fri 29.05.2015, 12:43

I've now fitted theses and have the following additional notes for you. I used the original lotus seat belts and swooped over the fittings, a slight bend sorted out the fitting issue and allowed me to use the connection for the warning light. I based on brackets on Dave's suggestion but then realized that I could remove the Honda extension pieces from the of the seats and make it significantly smaller as well as moving the fixing nearer to the original mounting points reducing the turning moment on the mounting point as well as reducing the weight !!
However this meant fitting the bolt through the Honda seat rail which was a fiddle, I cut slots into the rear runner so could adjust and then used bolts with and Allen key head so I can tighten them. As far as the front goes I have fitted the Honda from holes under the new brackets lowering the front of the seat a little and this works well and looks neat.

They fit well and only just touch the B pillar but I need to tinker with the rear fitting just to clear the metal base o the Honda seat when adjusting rearwards. I may also slot the holes in the brackets to move the seats inboard more.

When it stops hissing down I will get some photos and post the dimensions of the revised plates.
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Re: new seats

Postby tb10 » Fri 29.05.2015, 14:07

Hi Guys,

I fitted the SLK seats with AirScarf but I'm yet to feel the warmth from the seats or from the airscarf eh Martin :poke:

:lol:
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Re: new seats

Postby chrisP » Fri 29.05.2015, 15:28

The SLK seats look good, is there much difference in weight compared to the originals and what fitting difficulties did you have?
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Re: new seats

Postby tb10 » Fri 29.05.2015, 15:52

Hi Chris,

Weight difference from memory was minimal and I applied the same fitting details as Dave posted above and it was very easy. Dave does mention the slight 'camber' in the bodytub but some washers dealt with that! However, the seats do sit 'too high' in the car for me so I am considering taking them out and ditching the aluminum cross members, welding new anchor points in line with the original fixing points and reinstalling the aluminum spacers as OEM.

Someone smaller might be ok but the sunvisor is 'just' encroaching into my eyeline but if i slide down the seat a little bit then its no problem but not ideal.

I've also got two of these switches now, not one as in this photo, so when the electrics are done, the one switch will operate the driver heated seat and the sister switch, the airscarf and the same for the passenger side.

regards

John
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Re: new seats

Postby maz_r » Fri 29.05.2015, 18:11

tb10 wrote:...but I'm yet to feel the warmth from the seats or from the airscarf eh Martin :poke:


Half a cotton picking minute..I mentioned this at the last WM meet and you said the car was in storage?!??!
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Re: new seats

Postby dapinky » Fri 29.05.2015, 18:44

....you definitely said that you hadn't got any of them on the road.....

... so get to the back of the queue of people waiting for Martins electronic skills.....

...with the hot weather, my fan timer is FAR more important than your neck warmer :D :D :D
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Re: new seats

Postby Fredjohn » Fri 29.05.2015, 18:52

dapinky wrote:....you definitely said that you hadn't got any of them on the road.....

... so get to the back of the queue of people waiting for Martins electronic skills.....

...with the hot weather, my fan timer is FAR more important than your neck warmer :D :D :D



:agree: me too, Martin: I'm Italy bound! 8) 8) 8)
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Re: new seats

Postby tb10 » Fri 29.05.2015, 19:31

Yes,yes OK, but I'm pre-booking the 'specialist', AKA Martin, and in any event, all of the fan timers will be ready by .............. November (probably) when my neck will be cold :lol:

regards to all!!

:cheers:

John

PS It is in storage but insured and MOT'd so I'll tax it on Sunday and drop it off to yours then Martin 8)
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Re: new seats

Postby maz_r » Fri 29.05.2015, 21:18

sigh

(Sure John, just put me on the insurance and fill her up will you - don't expect to ever see it again, however :wink: )
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Re: new seats

Postby epipete » Fri 29.05.2015, 21:38

Oh come on, the timer is by far the most vital, critical and demanded item on the M100 agenda, November is a little late for me :shock:

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