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PranK

Budget track seats

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Ok, so now that I have some decent tyres to use at Wakefield I need to work on keeping myself secure. I was flopping around all over the place. I love my seats but they do nothing to help me stay in place.

Back in the day you could get WRX seats pretty cheap but I don't remember them being very supportive and I'm a fairly large guy and in need of some support.

Is a fixed back seat good to use on the day? Could swap the seats. Last fixed seat I tried (a Bride in my GTR) was super tight.

Once I have a seat I can look at reducing my body roll and then I can start lapping Wakefield in under a minute. 

 

 

 

 

And a half.

 

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Have a look at https://www.velo.com.au/seats-3 

You can pop into Motorsport Connections and have a seat in them, see what you think. 

A harness makes a massive difference too, not sure if you'd be keen to go down that path, I'd say bolt in half cage, harness and fixed back seat is the way to go. 

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Yeah I wont be going as far as a cage. This is still a daily and I regularly have my kids in the back.

The Velo seats look good though and well priced!

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Recaro's seem to be a bit bigger than Brides - and you can get knock off Brides in XL sizes through Just Jap etc

I put a Recaro SR3 in my R34, it's a tight fit for the seat in the car - and it's a good fit for me at 6'1 and 130kg (fat bastard!)

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3 hours ago, Chris32 said:

you can get knock off Brides in XL sizes through Just Jap etc

We have one of these in our R33 track car. Had it for around 3 - 4 years, and works fine. Car is driven by 2 not-skinny-or-light drivers. 

You would also need a mounting bracket of some description. Ours uses a 1 piece bracket that bolts into the original 4 seat mounting holes, but the design of the bracket (and the fact that it's designed to get the seat quite low) means that it isn't a 10 minute job to install or remove - your 330i may be different.

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5 hours ago, GeeDog said:

We have one of these in our R33 track car. Had it for around 3 - 4 years, and works fine. Car is driven by 2 not-skinny-or-light drivers. 

You would also need a mounting bracket of some description. Ours uses a 1 piece bracket that bolts into the original 4 seat mounting holes, but the design of the bracket (and the fact that it's designed to get the seat quite low) means that it isn't a 10 minute job to install or remove - your 330i may be different.

Hey mate, what bracket are you using? Thanks. 

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On 11/19/2020 at 11:04 PM, Milkmun said:

Hey mate, what bracket are you using?

Not sure who makes it - we bought a pair (driver & passenger) off Gumtree about 5 years ago. They are specifically made for an R33 (and maybe 32/34?), and bolt into the original seat mounting holes. They look very similar to Ebay seat mounts

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The Just Jap Brides look pretty good. I love that the rails cost more than the seats! 

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1 hour ago, PranK said:

The Just Jap Brides look pretty good. I love that the rails cost more than the seats! 

That's because the rails are Japanese Bride, and the seats are Chinese copies. The Bride rails pricing wrt proper Bride seats looks more reasonable - a real Bride seat is a ~$2000 proposition.

Whilst it is important that the rails/mounts be very high quality (even more so than the seats!), even the Jap Bride rails are not ADR approved. The "ADR approval" on the seats is pretty meaningless if the rails are non-compliant and/or not engineered.

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45 minutes ago, GTSBoy said:

That's because the rails are Japanese Bride, and the seats are Chinese copies. The Bride rails pricing wrt proper Bride seats looks more reasonable - a real Bride seat is a ~$2000 proposition.

Whilst it is important that the rails/mounts be very high quality (even more so than the seats!), even the Jap Bride rails are not ADR approved. The "ADR approval" on the seats is pretty meaningless if the rails are non-compliant and/or not engineered.

Curious, have you seen/heard of any engineered seat rails?

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Just now, niZmO_Man said:

Curious, have you seen/heard of any engineered seat rails?

No. If you wanted to get aftermarket seats with aftermarket mounts legal then you would need to get an engineer to do a report on the mounting system and sign off on it. What level of testing that requires is a bit unclear to me.

There are obviously any number of motor trimmers, etc, that fit Recaros to all sorts of vehicles, who probably know exactly which engineer to talk to. (Not suggesting that they know which engineer will do anything shonky to make it easier for them - just which engineers have the best approach to the task). Alternatively, they may have had to do some possibly destructive testing on the mounts that they use, and once they have approval based on that they might get some sort of type approval to keep using them in the same vehicle type with the same range of seats.

All I know is that if you go look at your state's vehicle standards website they will have something on there that says that seats must have OEM mountings or be approved.

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23 minutes ago, GTSBoy said:

No. If you wanted to get aftermarket seats with aftermarket mounts legal then you would need to get an engineer to do a report on the mounting system and sign off on it. What level of testing that requires is a bit unclear to me.

There are obviously any number of motor trimmers, etc, that fit Recaros to all sorts of vehicles, who probably know exactly which engineer to talk to. (Not suggesting that they know which engineer will do anything shonky to make it easier for them - just which engineers have the best approach to the task). Alternatively, they may have had to do some possibly destructive testing on the mounts that they use, and once they have approval based on that they might get some sort of type approval to keep using them in the same vehicle type with the same range of seats.

All I know is that if you go look at your state's vehicle standards website they will have something on there that says that seats must have OEM mountings or be approved.

From my experience here in WA (possibly completely different to the Eastern States) - it is virtually completely impossible to get an aftermarket seat engineered, they just will not sign off on it. You can have the best quality seat with the best quality rails/mounts, it doesn't matter. Aftermarket seat is not going to get approved. 

 

On top of that, any seat that COULD be engineered (so meets the requirements of being able to slide forwards and pivot forwards) is not ideal for track work. For track work you ideally want a fixed back seat, and you need to make sure that it does not interfere with the operation of your seat-belt/harness at all. You shouldn't use a fixed back with a regular seat-belt because the sides of the seat interfere with the way the belt secures across your lap. If you are using a harness, you need to make sure that your shoulders are in-line with about the half-way point of the openings in the seat. If the openings are too low or too high, then it again interferes with the way the harness works and can either put the crash load on your spine or can spread the harness in a crash and make it possible for you to fly out.

 

Seats are not really something I would cheap out on, they are absolutely critical in a crash. While obviously the idea is not to crash - imagine giving yourself permanent spinal chord damage because you compromised on the seat. Obviously this gets hard for daily drivers with track duties, because you have different considerations for each application. You end up compromising for both situations and making both less safe. If I were to do it, I would have a dedicated race seat with dedicated race mounts that I swap in when I'm doing a track day, and keep the OEM seats for the street. 4-point harness with rear harness mounts on the floor and you can pull this out for daily duties and switch back to the seat-belt. Whole lot more effort, no where near as efficient as just having the one setup - but much safer in my opinion.

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Yeah, that's ^ pretty much the meat of the matter. The other states may or may not be different wrt how hard it is to get a seat install approved. I think it is possible here (in SA) but shudder to think what the additional cost would be, relative to the cost of the seats themselves.

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I mean, while this is all true and all, I managed to get my V8 conversion fully engineered, and when doing so they must pass all elements of the car. It's like a super defect + RWC all in one.

It has aftermarket seats (OEM from a different car) and home made adapters (to adapt the seat to the rails)... which were/are Recaro rails for a R34.

This may not get the scrutiny you're worrying about, unless you've got bright blue/red seats or something that needs a HANS device or is a full fixed back style seat. I've used a harness with mine, and I wasn't going anywhere. All I can assume is that the engineers just figured they were stock seats.

But yeah. Don't cheap out on seats, harnesses, hans, safety. You may feel like a pillock with all the gear but if you're going home to a family at the end of the day no-one can really say you're being silly about it.

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To be clear, the seats would only be for the track and I'd be swapping them out for the street. That said, I'm not interested in doing anything to compromise my safety. Initially I was looking at seats from other cars to use for the reason that they are OEM and strong. I wasn't aware that the rails are not ADR approved even if the knock-off seats were.

I did look at M3/M4 seats but holy smokes, they're worth as much as the car almost. 

Maybe once I fix the body roll I'll have less reason for seats.

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As Murray said, if it's just for trackdays buy a Sparco or Velo fixed back with appropriate mounts. Technically you should take it to the track and fit it there rather than drive to the track in it..... but take your pick of what type of inconvenience you'll put up with.

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I've used a GC lock on my MX5, that worked quite well, which whilst it is a major compromise compared to a proper fixed seat, harness and bar, it did hold my lower body in place.

I did need to pull it apart once and use some blue locktite as the allen screws came undone, once I had done that I never had an issue with it.

Opinions do vary on them though

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