Fitting the Recaro's
Right we finally decided to go for it and use the Recaro's that came with the kit. We actually went and measured a set of Cobra seats and the cusion was 70mm high (from the base) we can get the Recaro's down to that by removing a lot of the heavy metal bits underneath.
It was a bit scary actually starting to cut up these expensive brand new seats, but once we got going it was hard to stop. First we took the adjuster rail off.
Then we cut a lot of the seat mounting away, including the metal around the padding as you can see in the picture. When we have removed all we want, we will weld a couple of steel straps across the base so we can secure the seat to the support beams.
Katie tried the fitting of the new seat and was harrassed by a bloke tailgating her..
This is how we intend to support the seat from below, we have used box section steel rather than angled steel because using the box section you can hide all the attaching bolts and rivets so it looks quite neat.
I was explaining to Joey how we should weld a bit onto the box section so it went up and we could then bolt it to the vertical chassis member beside the seatbelt mount.
Joey suggested cutting the box section and then bending whats left up to suit (as per the picture), rather than welding a new bit on.
Its pretty impressive that he worked out this solution on his own, pretty good for a 12 year old don't you think?
Footnote: In the end we did not use Joeys suggestion and bolted the outer end of the Box section up through the Chassis. This does not detract from Joeys good idea and its pleasing to see that throughout our project Joey gained more and more confidence and his ideas were Utilised in quite a few other places!
This is Joey fitting the right side bolt through the chassis plate and the box section that will serve as the rearmost seat mount.
It was a hot day today looks like the little buggers gone to sleep.
We made a little step in the box section to keep it all level with the floor.
This is the rearmost steel strap, which we are positioning above the Box section,We are drilling two holes through the lot. We will then weld the bolts to the Strap and then weld the strap to the bottom of the seat then all we need is to plonk the seat in and put a couple of nuts on under the box section.
We will be putting two straps under each seat this should be well sturdy enough.
Here he is pilot drilling the inner bolthole through from underneath the box section.Then its a simple matter of lining up the top strap and drilling through from below. Then we drilled through full size from the top.
We decided just to be on the safe side we would add a second strip of thin steel to beef up the box section. We did this mainly as a precaution against the SVA man deciding that because we had only used one thickness of material on the Box section to secure our seats that would not be thick enough. In the end I'm sure it would not have been a problem anyway but better safe than sorry.
We Temporarily bolted the extra strip in place then rivetted it in place using countersunk rivets.
Here we see Joey opening up one end of the box section so we could fit the nuts and socket to bolt our inner seat belt mounting in place. We also fitted some extra strips inside these bits of Box section as previously described.
This is the Inner seat belt mount's fitted you can see 8 bolts which go into the Longitudinal sections and the two remaining bolts at the forward end go through the front Box section Crossmember!
Joey opened the holes up to the right size so after the nuts were secured in place we could cover the hole with rubber grommets. Notice the copious amount of Jointing compound and sealant used!
Back to the seats now, We have finally taken off as much as we need from the bottom of the Recaro's, it is amazing how much lighter this one is than the original.
The cushion height is now 50mm from the floor which is 20mm less than a Cobra seat. Looks like I will see through the windscreen after all.
Just check out the before and after view! This should knock a second off our 0 to 60 time on weight saving alone.
This shows what all our hard work has achived, look how low the Recaro is sitting in the car, compare it with the passenger seat on the right Quite a difference don't you agree, Ideal for the "Taller person".
Now onto the passenger side, the frame is a bit different so there is not quite as much to cut off. This is what we had to cut off the back of both seats, this bit slots over the bit of Dion tube sticking into the rearwall, this got us an extra 3 inches legroom.
This is the framework we are making to replace the original, we made use of the Robin Hood supplied handbrake angle and cut and bent it forward to meet the front bit of remaining original seat frame. We will be welding two more bits of angle to join it to the rear steel strap and then welding the whole frame to the recaro. The frame will be bolted through the two stiffening box sections that run across under the car.
Katie turned up for a quick game of Footy and a Beer.
But she was pretty soon roped into doing some of the seat frame welding.
"Phew Dad, this is hard work can we play Footy now ?"
Here we have finished the seat frame and Support sections and you can see the screw heads which just need trimming a bit shorter so we can fit the grommets.