E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Motorsports & Track Forum

Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports – this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-11-2004, 05:04 AM   #1
K-DOG
P.I.M.P.
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,463
My Ride: 2002, 330i 5spd
Lets talk racing(bucket) seats, I have questions....

Hey guys, I've decided that my next mod will be racing seats. I love the feel, the comfort, and the weight savings they will give over OEM seats. I will probably get either Corbeau, Recaro, or Sparco bucket seats(non reclinable type).

Now, I have a few questions. I know absolutely nothing about brackets/seatbelts. When you order brackets for these seats, do they work with the OEM slider assembly, or does everything need to be taken off? Seat belts, whats the difference between 4point/3point harness?? Which one is "better"? Or better yet, what is the major difference between the two? Which is more comfortable? How are the harnesses mounted?(from what I understand you need to bolt the ends into the floor of the car, is this correct?)

Any people who have owned bucket seats, please comment/give some feedback!! Did you get tired of them in a daily driver?

Thanks in advance!
__________________
K-DOG is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 05-11-2004, 10:14 AM   #2
malakia12
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Woolwich Township
Posts: 1,459
My Ride: 05 Xterra, 05 Sentra
Send a message via AIM to malakia12
I have never owned racing seats, although I will soon enough. On the other hand, my friend has, and he told me NOT to get the NON-reclinable seats if the car will be a daily driver. He said it is very Uncomfortable. If you were to put them in a race/track car, then it is understandable to definitely get non reclinable seats, but in a daily driver, you will feel very uncomfortable. you are at just that one position, you cant move at all. I don't think you would like that in a daily car. just a thought
__________________
Blown by AA :) SOLD!!!!
malakia12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2004, 02:30 PM   #3
K-DOG
P.I.M.P.
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,463
My Ride: 2002, 330i 5spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by malakia12
I have never owned racing seats, although I will soon enough. On the other hand, my friend has, and he told me NOT to get the NON-reclinable seats if the car will be a daily driver. He said it is very Uncomfortable. If you were to put them in a race/track car, then it is understandable to definitely get non reclinable seats, but in a daily driver, you will feel very uncomfortable. you are at just that one position, you cant move at all. I don't think you would like that in a daily car. just a thought
Yup, I've heard the same, but I never move/change my position when I drive. Also, this may not be enough, but I was sitting in different types of bucket seats for like 30 minutes, trying them out. I felt extremely comfortable....
__________________
K-DOG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2004, 02:43 PM   #4
MrMotorwerk
Der Meisterstück
 
MrMotorwerk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 2,411
My Ride: '02 330Ci
Racing seats are not ment for comfort. Theyre ment more for keeping you safe as well as holding you in place.

You are almost always going to have to replace your OEM seat sliders with racing bucket sliders. However some manufactures have adapters for specific applications which will allow a racing bucket to be bolted onto the OEM sliders. All aftermarket seats do not include mounting hardware (brackets, sliders...etc.) in their prices.

You should find a catalogue for the seat that you are considering and look at the applications chart to see what you will have to purchase from them to install the specific seat into your car.

A good compromise between a racing bucket and OEM sport seats would be the Touring/recling seats from Recaro.
__________________
Mr.Motorwerk
MrMotorwerk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2004, 03:22 PM   #5
teamdfl
Slow in, slower out
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,544
My Ride: 325it
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-DOG
...Now, I have a few questions. I know absolutely nothing about brackets/seatbelts. When you order brackets for these seats, do they work with the OEM slider assembly, or does everything need to be taken off?
In general, fixed bucket seats do not work with the OEM slider. You have to rigidly mount the seat to the floor. Also, rigid buckets should be braced in back against a roll bar or cage. I believe the European seats that are FIA approved are crash tested with no back bracing but most racing organizations in the US require bracing.




Quote:
Seat belts, whats the difference between 4point/3point harness?? Which one is "better"? Or better yet, what is the major difference between the two? Which is more comfortable? How are the harnesses mounted?(from what I understand you need to bolt the ends into the floor of the car, is this correct?)
I have heard about some driving school organizations banning aftermarket 3 and 4 point harnesses out of fear that they do not prevent you from going under the lap belt portion in a frontal collision. On the other hand, Schroth is TUV approved and seems to put a lot of engineering into their belts and anti-submarining technology. The bans may be directed towards the crappy 3 and 4 point "racing" harness that are available at the cheaper riceboy ggrapefruit shooter websites. I would definitely avoid any 3/4 point belts not made by Schroth. The difference between 3 and 4 point belts is generally the mounting options available in the car. Schroth offers a 3 or 4 point harness for each chassis depending on the factory mounting points available.

You can run just about any belts you want at an autocross. I used to run Schroth 3 points in my rusty old 2002 with great results.

Real race harness are 5 or 6 points and require welded in reinforcements in the floor and/or roll cage mounting and are probably more than you want to tackle in your car.



Quote:
Any people who have owned bucket seats, please comment/give some feedback!! Did you get tired of them in a daily driver?
I had a fiberglass bucket seat in my old E28 daily driver/track car and did 25k miles a year for 3 years with the seat bolted to one position in the floor. I was able to mount the seat lower in the car which allowed me to sit up straighter. This made me MUCH more comfortable, even on longer trips (longest was 975 miles in one day by myself). The downside was the additional effort required to enter and exit the car due to the large side bolster inherent in a fixed bucket shell. I made the brackets to accomadate the stock 3 point belts as well as some 5 point harnesses for track duty.

http://teamdfl.com/bmw/e28/seat/racing_seat.html





I would guess that most people would consider a fixed bucket a severe PITA on a daily basis. If you are willing to tackle the airbag sensor problems inherent in replacing the stock seats, I suggest you look at a set of Recaro SRDs. They have harness slots and are considered a favorite among the open track crowd for street driven cars.



Ed
__________________
Mod the driver. Participate in your local BMWCCA autocross or driving school. Have you joined BMWCCA yet?


Last edited by teamdfl; 05-11-2004 at 03:25 PM.
teamdfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2004, 07:26 PM   #6
K-DOG
P.I.M.P.
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,463
My Ride: 2002, 330i 5spd
^Actually, Teamdfl I was not aware of airbag problems when replacing seats. I know that certain cars, like the Subaru STI have airbags built INTO the side of the seats--when you replace those, you get an error code. In the BMW's, from what I gathered, all the airbags are located around the seat itself.....Why would I get an airbag error code???

PS. The seats that I am looking at are: Sparco Fighter, Sparco Pro 2000, Sparco Evo, Sparco Corsa, Recaro Pole Positions, Recaro SPG, Corbeau FX1.

Also, is there any way to mount the 4 point/3point Schroth harness without plugging them into the rear seatbelts. I may actually get some passangers in the rear occasionally, so I would not want to have the rear be inaccessible because of the harnasses.
__________________
K-DOG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2004, 08:59 PM   #7
teamdfl
Slow in, slower out
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,544
My Ride: 325it
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-DOG
^Actually, Teamdfl I was not aware of airbag problems when replacing seats. I know that certain cars, like the Subaru STI have airbags built INTO the side of the seats--when you replace those, you get an error code. In the BMW's, from what I gathered, all the airbags are located around the seat itself.....Why would I get an airbag error code???

BMWs now have two stage airbags. A weight sensor mat embedded inside the seat provides the SRS electronics with a signal to help determine if the airbag should be fired off at low or high power. I have heard rumors of people extracting the sensor mat from the stock seat and inserting it under the cover of an aftermarket seat.


Quote:
...Also, is there any way to mount the 4 point/3point Schroth harness without plugging them into the rear seatbelts. I may actually get some passangers in the rear occasionally, so I would not want to have the rear be inaccessible because of the harnasses.
Schroth offers harnesses that bolt into the rear lap belt points on some cars. Of course, this will also mean you can't carry anyone in back. Proper harness installation requires that the shoulder straps do not drop below a certain angle as they come off the seat back. Too low an angle will cause spinal compression in an accident resulting in severe injury or death. If you use the harness, the back seat has to be empty.


Ed
__________________
Mod the driver. Participate in your local BMWCCA autocross or driving school. Have you joined BMWCCA yet?

teamdfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2004, 01:17 PM   #8
K-DOG
P.I.M.P.
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,463
My Ride: 2002, 330i 5spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamdfl
BMWs now have two stage airbags. A weight sensor mat embedded inside the seat provides the SRS electronics with a signal to help determine if the airbag should be fired off at low or high power. I have heard rumors of people extracting the sensor mat from the stock seat and inserting it under the cover of an aftermarket seat.
Really?? I think I've read on the BMW website that it is a two stage deployment, but it checks for weather you are wearing a seat belt or not. If your seat belt is not plugged in, it deploys faster, if it is, it deploys slower.....

Anyways, so there is no way to have bucket seats and still have utility of the rear? Im guessing regular seat belts and bucket seats will not work lol?? There are no other solutions to adopt harnesses???
__________________

Last edited by K-DOG; 05-12-2004 at 01:50 PM.
K-DOG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2004, 02:02 PM   #9
teamdfl
Slow in, slower out
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,544
My Ride: 325it
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-DOG
Really?? I think I've read on the BMW website that it is a two stage deployment, but it checks for weather you are wearing a seat belt or not. If your seat belt is not plugged in, it deploys faster, if it is, it deploys slower.....
Double check to make sure. Perhaps I'm mixing up my airbag and mkanufacturer info.


Quote:
Anyways, so there is no way to have bucket seats and still have utility of the rear? Im guessing regular seat belts and bucket seats will not work lol?? There are no other solutions to adopt harnesses???
You can do anything you want with enough time, money, and effort. If you feel comfortable running a bucket without a back brace, do it. I attached the lap belt portions of the stock seat belt in my E28 to my overdesigned and overweight steel seat brackets. If you want to run the stock belt, just remember that you are trusting your life to whatever you bolt it to. A bent piece of sheetmetal and a hardware store bolt won't cut it.

See if you can find some SRDs to try out. I think they are now called the Speed model instead of SRD.

http://www.recaro-seats.com/

__________________
Mod the driver. Participate in your local BMWCCA autocross or driving school. Have you joined BMWCCA yet?

teamdfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2004, 07:51 AM   #10
notE46
Where am I?
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: CA
Posts: 1,807
My Ride: M Coupe
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-DOG
Really?? I think I've read on the BMW website that it is a two stage deployment, but it checks for weather you are wearing a seat belt or not. If your seat belt is not plugged in, it deploys faster, if it is, it deploys slower.....

Anyways, so there is no way to have bucket seats and still have utility of the rear? Im guessing regular seat belts and bucket seats will not work lol?? There are no other solutions to adopt harnesses???

your both correct. the seat mat sensor is so if there is no one sitting in the passenger seat, then that air bag wont fire.
__________________
'87 325iS Sold but not forgotten.
'08 MINI Cooper S Mellow Yellow
'00 M Coupe Dakar Duck
'02 330ia
notE46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2004, 09:39 PM   #11
K-DOG
P.I.M.P.
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,463
My Ride: 2002, 330i 5spd
So like I said, are there any specific solutions for having buckets seats in the front and still retaining utility of the rear seats?....What would happen if I mount a 3 point harness and bolt it RIGHT behind the bucket seat. I know you said that it may be a safety issue....but I'm not planning to be going 150+mph anytime soon.

PS. This looks like the best deal I found so far....
http://store.yahoo.com/ntnsracing/sparcorevseat.html
__________________

Last edited by K-DOG; 05-15-2004 at 09:41 PM.
K-DOG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2004, 10:28 PM   #12
malakia12
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Woolwich Township
Posts: 1,459
My Ride: 05 Xterra, 05 Sentra
Send a message via AIM to malakia12
they look very similar to what I just got. I say go for it, they look
__________________
Blown by AA :) SOLD!!!!
malakia12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2004, 08:59 PM   #13
rohde88
Registered User
 
rohde88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 854
My Ride: S2000
Ok, here's what I can contribute. I had a Sparco Torino in a Camaro. I wanted a reclinable seat for trips to Cornell, but better bolsters. I am tallish 5'11" and my helmet would hit the ceiling. The brackets Sparco provides (as an $80 option) are modified not custom made for my car and cause the seat position to be even higher! So I bought their slider and mounted it to a custom made 0.25" iron bracket I had manufactured. It sits much lower and i loved it.

No harness because I'm lazy and am confused as to whether I need anti-sub or if no rollcage and shoulder straps keep your head up in a rollover.

Pics- www.cardomain.com/id/rohde88

Ron
rohde88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2004, 09:17 PM   #14
teamdfl
Slow in, slower out
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,544
My Ride: 325it
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-DOG
So like I said, are there any specific solutions for having buckets seats in the front and still retaining utility of the rear seats?....What would happen if I mount a 3 point harness and bolt it RIGHT behind the bucket seat. I know you said that it may be a safety issue....but I'm not planning to be going 150+mph anytime soon...
Running the shoulder straps at a sharp downward angle like that will result in spinal compression and severe injury or death in even a mild frontal collision. In general, you should run the shoulder straps as close to horizontal as possible. Schroth uses the rear lap belt mounts in some cars resulting in about a 45 degree downward angle only when they believe the stock seats are capable of suporting the harness load in an accident. Their literature is preety clear about not using even rear lap belt mounts in unapproved cars. Floor mounting immediately behind the seat is unacceptable. I seriously doubt there is any mounting solution that will allow passengers in back while harnesses are used up front.


Ed
__________________
Mod the driver. Participate in your local BMWCCA autocross or driving school. Have you joined BMWCCA yet?

teamdfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2004, 09:20 PM   #15
teamdfl
Slow in, slower out
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,544
My Ride: 325it
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohde88
...No harness because I'm lazy and am confused as to whether I need anti-sub or if no rollcage and shoulder straps keep your head up in a rollover. ...
That is a common concern but I don't know if it based in reality. In about 8 years of driving schools, I have not seen or heard of any injury in a rollover due to harness use without a roll bar or cage. It does not mean that it can't happen but I think the concern receives a lot more attention than it deserves. Talk to the chief instructor or chief of tech for your local club to find out what they recommend regarding harnesses and roll bars.


Ed
__________________
Mod the driver. Participate in your local BMWCCA autocross or driving school. Have you joined BMWCCA yet?

teamdfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2004, 09:23 PM   #16
rohde88
Registered User
 
rohde88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 854
My Ride: S2000
That's sounds good, a kid on my FSAE team said that the seat is designed to collapse under a rollover preventing your head from getting crushed. My objection is that SCCA Solo II allows the use of a harness without any type of cage. Isn't safety their foremost concern?

Ron
rohde88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2004, 09:40 PM   #17
teamdfl
Slow in, slower out
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,544
My Ride: 325it
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohde88
That's sounds good, a kid on my FSAE team said that the seat is designed to collapse under a rollover preventing your head from getting crushed. My objection is that SCCA Solo II allows the use of a harness without any type of cage. Isn't safety their foremost concern?

Ron
The risk of a rollover in Solo II is almost nonexistant so the harness w/ or without a roll bar question never comes up.


Ed
__________________
Mod the driver. Participate in your local BMWCCA autocross or driving school. Have you joined BMWCCA yet?

teamdfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2004, 11:02 PM   #18
K-DOG
P.I.M.P.
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,463
My Ride: 2002, 330i 5spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamdfl
Running the shoulder straps at a sharp downward angle like that will result in spinal compression and severe injury or death in even a mild frontal collision. In general, you should run the shoulder straps as close to horizontal as possible. Schroth uses the rear lap belt mounts in some cars resulting in about a 45 degree downward angle only when they believe the stock seats are capable of suporting the harness load in an accident. Their literature is preety clear about not using even rear lap belt mounts in unapproved cars. Floor mounting immediately behind the seat is unacceptable. I seriously doubt there is any mounting solution that will allow passengers in back while harnesses are used up front.


Ed
So would it be feasible to use a regular seat belt for the bucket seats when passengers are in the rear....or are there also dangers invovled??(seatbelt too high for the seat position??)
__________________
K-DOG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 12:03 AM   #19
rohde88
Registered User
 
rohde88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 854
My Ride: S2000
I used the stock 3point, but it kinda rode up because my seat was so low. So I found this GM part that held the belt down and attached with velcro.

Ron
rohde88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 07:07 AM   #20
teamdfl
Slow in, slower out
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,544
My Ride: 325it
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-DOG
So would it be feasible to use a regular seat belt for the bucket seats when passengers are in the rear....or are there also dangers invovled??(seatbelt too high for the seat position??)

I used the stock 3 point in my old car and occasionaly carried a passenger in back before the rear seat came out permenantly. Since I made my own mounting brackets, I was able to position the lower belt mounting points to allow use of the stock belt. Simpson has some good harness mounting info:

I would think that the angle requirement for the lap belt portion of a stock 3 point would be similar to what is pictured here.


Ed
__________________
Mod the driver. Participate in your local BMWCCA autocross or driving school. Have you joined BMWCCA yet?

teamdfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use