Friday 6 September 2013

E21 316: E30 Sports Seats - fitted.

MJNewbs from eBay got back in touch and we finally negotiated a low enough price for the seats. The fronts are in great nick, only a slight fray to the driver's back-rest, but the rear seat back-rest has a few tear that I'll address in a later post.

Thankfully, the E30 seat bases fit onto the inner stock mount, next to the trans. tunnel, on the E21 so they are already sited neatly in the centre and only require the outer mount to be lowered. Here's how I finally got them to an equal height.

The outer seat-mount was cut away about 1.5 inches height from the lowest point of the floor-pan and the top half completely removed from the sill. This leaves a large flat T-piece section onto which a length of '2by4' style wood-beam was placed that sits at the same height as the inner seat-mount, give or take 2mm.

To strengthen the edge of the wood where the seat sits a piece of 2mm-thick angle-steel was screwed in place, clamping the wood to the remaining edge of the cut seat-mount. The M10 seat bolts run through the wood and are bolted to the floor-pan, so the wood only acts as a riser, not an anchor and the angle-steel helps to distribute any downward force on the wood, or twisting motion as the seat is adjusted.

I chose to bolt my seats directly through the floor-pan for strength and this leaves a gap under the base of the wood at the inside corners, which I stacked out with a nut and large washers. This gives the added benefit of the seats being bolted first to the wood, then through the floor-pan with the same bolt. The downside is the sealed floor-pan nuts will need removing should the seat need to come out in future. The alternative method, used by HSVTurbo in his build here, is to bolt the seats to a thicker metal bracket, then bolt the bracket through the wood and floor-pan. This way the seat can be removed from inside the car leaving the wood fixed in place, but I just don't feel this setup will be strong enough, even with the thicker metal bracket.

I used M10 nyloc-nuts with a dab of stud-lock inside and large-diameter [40mm] 'bumper' washers. A good blob of silicone-sealant was put between the washer and body, then round the outside of the seated nut. Finally, I coated them in a thick layer of Finnegan's WAXOYL Underbody Sealant, for protection obviously, but also to blend the shiny nuts and washers into the car's underside.

I still have the rear-seats, including the folding arm-rest, along with the door-cards/handles and rear trim-panels, so we'll have to see how much will fit after the MOT.

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