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Racing seat suggestions for AE

Old 03-15-06, 12:42 AM
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Racing seat suggestions for AE

I'm looking for suggestions for racing seats that will fit in an 88 AE with the four point Autopower roll bar installed. Any suggestions? My son wanted the Sparco, "Fighter" (at least that's what I think it is called, too tired to look it up). I thought that we should wait until we install the Autopower roll bar so that we can see what room we have to work with.
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Old 03-15-06, 02:57 AM
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Recaro A8's all the way... In black leather...

Nice Supra btw... My buddy Rich (uask4it) had a black '93.5 Premier... He's got a '97 RSP now...
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Old 03-15-06, 06:38 AM
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What's your budget? What's you application (auto-x, track days, timetrials)? Are you going with a 6 or 7 point harness? Is this a track-only car or are you planning on running is on the road?

The Sparco Fighter is listed as a "Street Seat" by Sparco, not a true race seat. Have said that, it looks like a fine seat for most non-critical (ie. non-road racing) applications. You may want to look at some of the Corbeaus as slightly less expensive alternatives.

One thing to look at is the width of the seat in the hip region. A larger person may or may not fit into the seat and this could make longer trips in the car pretty miserable. I'm a big guy and would not fit comfortably in many of these seats.

-b

Last edited by wrankin; 03-15-06 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 03-15-06, 10:28 PM
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Budget is not too much of an issue but we don't want to go broke over the seats. Leather is definitely out, too much $$$$.

My son wants to drive the car on the street (at least as long as we can get it pass emissions in MA, which may not be too much longer) so we don't want a true "race seat".

We fully intend to do auto-x, occasional open practive track days and time trials when my son is old enough. So far we have discussed a four point harness (i.e. shoulder and lap).

He is 5'9" and 160lbs while I am 5'7" and 200 lbs so finding a seat that accomodates us both will be an interesting exercise. We'll take a look at the Corbeaus. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 03-16-06, 10:35 AM
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Correct, the Sparco Fighter is not a race seat and should not be used as such. The problem with most, if not all, of the Corbeau seats is that they are not designed for racing or even hard road use.....they have a history of breaking and failing in the reclining mechanisms (seat) and the slider assembly (base), even the Corbeau Forza (would fit you both) is known to fail internally at the steel frame welds.....the seat lost its FIA approval years ago for this very reason...also, it is extremely upright and has springs to suspend your backside-- not super comfortable down the road. The only Corbeau I would recommend would be the FX1 as it is a fiberglass shell and you can side-mount it to get some recline, but the slider assembly is still the weak point, and will not allow for much headroom.

Seats that would fit you both would be the Sparco EvoL (old "Evo 2"), any of the Cobra "GT" width kevlar seats (stronger, lighter, cheaper than fiberglass Sparco/Recaro/Momo seats), and the Momo Cup GT-- a little square in the back, but wide enough for you.

In street seats, pretty much anything will work, but remember-- you get what you pay for. Corbeau seats are affordable for most people but the quality suffers, though they do have a new option for this year to shave the seat base 1" for a nominal charge, to gain headroom. Recaro seats are fantastic in quality and longevity but have become rediculously expensive even in the last 6 months. Same with Sparco, but not nearly as expensive. Momo has a few good seats but availability has always been an issue, as the company is focused more on wheels for SUV's than performance or safety products for the US market.

I have been amazed by the quality of Cobra seats, they remain the best bang-for-the-buck and have tremendous quality without all of the price hikes the last few years. Best racing seat by far, and great adjustable "street" seats that are built nearly identically to the Recaros-- Pirelli mat suspension (no springs) and german recline *****, and now even have a full tilt bar in the rear for access to the rear 2+2 seats or storage bins. The problem with non-Corbeau seats is that the base adapters themselves can cost $100-$130 plus sliders ($55 for Sparco/Momo, $85 for Recaro/Cobra), while a slider/base adapter kit from Corbeau is only $89 for the FC.....again, the quality is in the slider, and you MUST use a Corbeau slider for a Corbeau seat....another limitation.

HMS in Mass should be your nearest place to find most of the above seats to be able to sit in.........always go to an authorized Dealer or Distributor, they can be found on each of the manufacturer's web sites....they always get you the best deals (no matter what some guy drop-shipping used seats can get for you online) and can get current, new product and back them up with repair service and warranties. Remember, if you don't buy from an authorized dealer or distributor that is in good standing with the manufacturer, no warranties or service will be honored at all.

FWIW, I use a Cobra Imola2 GT kevlar seat with aluminum side mounts and Wedge Engineering (manufacturer for all Sparco, Momo, Recaro, Cobra, and Corbeau bases) that weighs 26lbs with all hardware and steel. The passenger side uses a Corbeau Baja SS offroad seat with adapter and Corbeau base/slider, weighs 27.5lbs total and meets my class rules. I chose the passenger seat based on cost and comfort and minimum racing class requirements (15lbs, fully upholstered seat, height requirements) but would rather put the stock seat back in for track use if I had a passenger or instructor.

-JW

Last edited by DaveTurnerMotorsports; 03-16-06 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 03-21-06, 01:42 PM
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With the Rollbar installed you lose a lot of height in the seat. I could not get the Corbeau sliders and Forza II to fit with my 6 pt Autopower cage. Seat would hit the front to back bar at the top. A little narrower headrest portion would be great.
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Old 03-21-06, 02:10 PM
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We bought Cobra Imola S seats (GT - wide model) with Cobra side mounts to be mated to Wedge Engineering seat base brackets (hopefully with sliders) that are currently being fabricated. The Autopower that we ordered is a four point model. We've got our fingers crossed but we'll report back on how it all goes together or doesn't.
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Old 04-19-06, 10:41 PM
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Well, the drivers side went in without too much fussing but the passenger seat hits the door and the top door trim. The passenger seat doesn't come as close to the driveshaft tunnel as the drivers seat. We're going to have to mess with the Wedge Engineering seat base brackets. Yikes!
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Old 04-20-06, 10:30 AM
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Ahhh, welcome to the world of race parts - where things never quite fit as advertized.

The solution tends to be along the lines of "get a bigger hammer". ;-)

Good luck,

-b
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Old 04-20-06, 01:47 PM
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pics?
good luck on your pass. side seat!


I had a Sparco Ultra in my FC on stock sliders with an adapter plate.
it was great and lightweight, FIA certified and comfy on long trips, but the height was as tall as stock seats so I wanted something lower.

RxBen has a Momo seat, fiberglass, bucket seat, fabbed to stock sliders and its very low and very nice, wider than my ultra and just as light. I forget the model, it may be the Start? it is a $230 seat at most sites, very very nice and FIA certified!
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Old 04-21-06, 02:52 PM
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The car is still at Enhanced Street Performance in Sterling, MA getting the tranny rebuild finished up along with another short shifter installed (Ebay one rattled like crazy). We'll take pics when we get it back. The Wedge Engineering bracket isn't going to work on the passenger side. We may try to use the stock slider. More to come.
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