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3rd gen head room w/ helmet...

Old 04-10-06, 01:12 AM
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3rd gen head room w/ helmet...

Hi I am looking for some solutions to my head room issue.

Right now I have the stock seats and belts and I cannot sit comfortably in the car with a helmet. I have done a few track days like this and it is uncomfortable and awkward. I have to lean the seat way back it fit and then have to reach too far for my steering wheel. It is difficult to get a good feel for the car like this.

Any specific seats that would let me sit lower? I was looking at the kirkeys.

I was also wondering if anyone had removed their head liner. It isn't something i want to have to do but im willing.

I feel like my lack of comfort in the car is keeping me from improving on the track.

I'm open to any suggestions.

Also if anyone has pictures or descriptions of their setups I would like to see em.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-10-06, 02:10 AM
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One popular thing to do with Miatas to get headroom (rollbar head clearance is a big issue with them) is to take the seat covers off, remove the seat foam, cut some of the foam off and then put the seats back together. Most of the time it's done to the bottom only, but some can be taken out of the back to get your butt further back into the seat, which can help get it lower. They sometimes call it a "foamecotomy". Search miata.net for more information. My dad did this with his Miata and loves it. You may want to try that before running off and spending your hard earned $$$.
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Old 04-10-06, 07:48 AM
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I have a friend that is 6 foot or so and he put in a Sparco America seat to help with head room. It allowed him to mount it lower in the car which gave him the added room.

I guess this would be the case with any aftermarket seat with the right mounting?
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Old 04-10-06, 09:53 AM
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Use a competition harness........The lap belt and shoulder harness will push you down far enough to clear......at least it did for me in my R1.....Sunroof car would be a different issue. The competition seat is another way to go as well.

If you autocross you should have a harness.....it will improve your ability to control the car.

BTW, I'm 6'4

Last edited by SHPNOUT; 04-10-06 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Added height.....
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Old 04-10-06, 10:20 AM
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I'm 6'3", removed the seat cover, used a good bread knive and remove some of the foam. I think that I took out half of mine on the bottom. Helped get me another 2" from my helmet to the headliner. I also have a sunroof car. That and putting a aftermarket steering wheel in fixed my "size" problem.
SHPNOUT, when is your group doing another track day at Thunderhill? If you have any spaces left, let me know.
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Old 04-10-06, 02:01 PM
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I'm 6-foot and took about 3 inches of foam out of the bottom of my seat. I could just get in with my helmet rubbing the headliner. Definitely not the best driving position.

The 5-point harness didn't really help in this regard.

If you are the only one who drives the car, I would consider fabbing up some lower profile rails for the seat and bolt the seat in place to see if that helps. The following URL shows what a guy did with his miata:

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/158355/4

With respect to a new seat, I would probably stay away from the Kirkeys or other aluminum seats since you can't add a rear seat brace w/o a roll bar. Look for an FIA certified seat that doesn't require a rear brace.

-bill "how low can you go" rankin
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Old 04-10-06, 02:57 PM
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Chris, get some Kirkeys. They are nice and suprisingly comfortable.
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Old 04-10-06, 03:07 PM
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Personally, I'd not get an aluminum seat, as there are some serious safety concerns with them and how much they can and will deform in an accident, especially if there's no seat back brace.
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Old 04-10-06, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Black91n/a
Personally, I'd not get an aluminum seat, as there are some serious safety concerns with them and how much they can and will deform in an accident, especially if there's no seat back brace.
What are you talking about? All the hardcore racers use aluminum racing seats. Your car isn't legal unless you have a back brace for your seat anyhow. You've got to be pretty country to run without one.
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Old 04-10-06, 05:28 PM
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He doesn't mention running a roll bar or cage. Pretty hard to properly back brace an aluminum racing seat without one.
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Old 04-10-06, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by turboeric
He doesn't mention running a roll bar or cage. Pretty hard to properly back brace an aluminum racing seat without one.
It's perfectly legal to run the brace to the strut tower brace.
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Old 04-10-06, 06:49 PM
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I know aluminum seats are popular with club racers, but I don't recall ever having seen one in a professionally driven car (Grand-Am, Speed World Challenge, ALMS, etc). They all use composite seats that will have been FIA tested and approved. I suspect the aluminum seats are allowed in club racing because they're not totally unsafe, so many people use them already and it's there to help keep the budget low.

I'm not saying that it'll kill you or anything, but there are legitamite concerns about them deforming on impact, potentially causing driver injuries. A sheet of aluminum can be easily bent just by pushing on it hard, so when your entire weight is pushing on it in a 30g impact it's most definetely going to bend.

They should only ever be used with the back brace, as per the rules, and I've seen pictures of many people installing them in street cars without the brace, which is dangerous. In that case you're much better off in the stock seats.

According to the SCCA club racing rules, non FIA approved seats must be braced to the main hoop of the roll cage, so bracing it to the strut tower brace is most definetely not legal there. It may be ok for drag, as there's much less stringent safety rules there, but that's not what he's asking about. Strut tower braces are also not designed to accept those kinds of loads, as they're only meant to take compressiona and tension loads.
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Old 04-11-06, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LUPE
It's perfectly legal to run the brace to the strut tower brace.
Geezus! Have you *seen* pictures of what happens to the strut tower brace when used as a harness brace?!!! The picture where it was bent in half after a moderate collision? Please repeat after me, boys and girls:

The FD rear strut brace is NOT Structural!

You should certainly never even consider using it to attach a back brace to.

If I were teching the car and saw that rig, I would probably not pass it.

I am putting a Kirkey in my FC track car so I have nothing against the seat. But I have a roll bar to brace the back to. If you don't have a roll bar, I would recommend going with a single piece fiberglass or steel tube seat, FIA certified if you can afford it.

And please don't use the strut bar as a harness bar!!!

-bill

Last edited by wrankin; 04-11-06 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 04-11-06, 03:14 PM
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BTW, there was a pretty good discussion on seats in this thread:

https://www.rx7club.com/race-car-tech-103/racing-seat-suggestions-ae-519184/

Good luck,

-b
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Old 04-13-06, 05:47 PM
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I cut a few inches off my seat foam, then I got a Corbeau Forza II seat, no rails just bolted to the floor. Makes it hard to steal unless you are my size :-D
Oh and I put in a roll bar and a 5pt harness, all this really helps keep you planted in your seat. I test drove a stock FD with tan leather seats and I slid all over the place! Terrible! Oh I have an R1 so my stock seats were not slippery...
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Old 04-13-06, 07:00 PM
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Dude, there was just a thread about this. Something about his seat being too high. Could be the seat, beware of Brides, according to that thread.
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Old 04-14-06, 05:26 PM
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Wow, I didnt realize you could get 3" of foam out of the seats! I have a project coming up I think.
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Old 04-14-06, 05:34 PM
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Take all that foam out of your seat and it will look deflated.
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Old 04-14-06, 07:48 PM
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Sure, if you take ALL the foam out of the seats they'll look empty, because they will be empty.

Normally what the foam removal does is take some foam out from where you sit, but it leaves the side bolsters more or less intact, and the seat cover gets reattached to the foam, so it doesn't look much or any different, just a little lower. Now this can most certainly be taken to extremes where it'll look strange and no longer be comfortable.

My dad did the foam removal on his Miata seats and they still look normal. Maybe in a side to side comparison you could tell, but only by looking closely and having a frame of reference, which isn't there as he did both seats.
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