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Thread: How to install aftermarket seats

  1. #1
    Member Since
    Jun 2004
    99 Astral Silver VX #1872 + 99 Ironman WIP
    Thanked: 1

    Wrench How to install aftermarket seats

    Here's a brief step by step of aftermarket seat installation, using the stock seat sliders.

    First: Get a VX, 99-01, any year will do...

    Then: Remove the seat(s). At this time I would like to recommend that you do one side at a time, starting with the passenger seat, if you have to make a run to the hardware, & you most likely will, you'll be glad you did.

    Start by sliding the seat all the way forward, & remove the covers on rear attachment points, they just pry off, get a fingertip under the slider & spread the bottom of the cover until it disengages the little tab & they pop right off.

    Then remove the bolts that fasten the rear attachment points to the floor.

    Slide the seat all the way back, remove front fasteners, this should be self explanatory.

    Next: Remove the seat from the cockpit & recline it most of the way, then lay it face down on a blanket. A bench about thigh high comes in real handy about now.

    If you're working on the psgr seat, now is the time to disengage the cable that runs up into the back which causes the seat to slide forward when the back is folded forward. You will lose this function with the replacement of the stock seats. Sorry no pics of that operation, but should be obvious. (1 small screw holding a cable bracket) You won't have to deal with this on the drivers side.

    Next step: Slide the sliders all the way towards the front of the seat, allowing access to the holes in the bottom of the slider frame. Remove the two rear bolts that fasten the frame to the seat.

    As you can see, it's good to have a magnetic retriever (thanks Trooper Dave) at this point.

    Now slide the sliders all the way towards the rear of the seat, exposing the bolts that hold the slider to the slider frame. This will allow you to move that end of the slider an inch or two inboard, allowing access to the front two bolts which fasten the slider frame to the seat.

    OK...that brings us to the hardest part of the whole ordeal...

    With the drivers seat still in place, go on down to the nearest hardware & git you some 3/16" x 2" x 36" steel...two peices. You will need to cut four peices @ about 17 1/2". I used an abrasive wheel on a 4" mini grinder, but a hacksaw will do if you're blessed with a lot of time. Round the corners a bit on a bench grinder, then smooth all the cuts & grinder work with the wire wheel...which IMO should be on the other end of any bench grinder...
    These four pieces of steel become the adapters that allow for proper positioning of the new seat mounting holes.
    Now, mark center on the new bracket(s) & also on the slider frame. With the adapter bar centered next to the holes, mark where the holes will need to be to bolt both peices of steel to the slider frame, using the former seat mounting holes.

    In the above pics you can see the holes already drilled, notice that the rears line up straight across & the fronts are staggered. Depending on the seat you choose, you may have to move any or all of these holes to suit your application. (in,out,fore,aft)
    If fabrication is not your cup of tea, either take this project to a competent fab shop, or be prepared to purchase more steel...

    OK, moving right along...
    Here is what I chose to replace my well worn Recaros with...

    I discovered that on one of the new mounting holes, there was metal in the way. I decided to use a combination of grinding a bit of the head off the cap screw.

    And also removing some material from the slider frame.

    After that, things fit together quite nicely.

    In this pic, notice that the bolts are pre-installed in their holes, that is because there is no room to install them from the top. I used 5/16 x 3/4" stainless bolts, washers, & nyloc nuts x 8. Also, if you find metric washers that'll fit 5/16" bolts, you will find the aesthetic properties will be much better...

    Bolting it all back together should be pretty much the reverse of disassembly. Remember to move the front of the sliders inward to fasten the adapter bars to the sliders...use a little loctite blue on all your fasteners...go drivin around & smile alot.
    Don't forget to paint your door panels an appropriate garish color.
    Don't forget to install a racer boy steering wheel too...

    A few afterthoughts...

    Typical "racer boy seats" aren't near as comfortable as your stock Recaros.
    Were I to do this again, I think I would be inclined to have my Recaros re-covered in some nice black suede, with bright red accents.

    They also sit higher than Recaros. I think that I lost about an inch or a bit more headroom in this operation, though I do have a few ideas on how I'm gonna lower the rear mounting points, which will help with comfort & headroom.

    Good Luck to all who try this mod...

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Ldub For This Useful Post:

    ipd (09/21/2018)

  3. #2
    Member Since
    Mar 2015
    Thanked: 34
    Nice write-up. Loss of functionality and concerns about aftermarket seat comfort are why I ended up going with covers on my stockers. It looks good with your A/M steering wheel.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to ipd For This Useful Post:

    Ldub (11/12/2018)

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