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LLave

Seat and Seat Belt Upgrade For Street Car

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Hello Hybriz. 

 

Originally, I had the idea that I would be building a track car. However, I have reevaluated my project and life situation and realized that I will be way more use and enjoyment out of a street car, a "track capable" street car. 

 

I have zero factory seat mounts in my chassis, they were rusty and have been removed. So I am starting with a bit of a blank state. I have a set of OMP fixed back seats (FIA approved) and two sets of recaro double locking sliders. My plan was to build a roll bar (not cage), stuffed tight to the roof with a harness bar for some schroth 4 point AMS belts. 

 

My concern is that fixed back deep bucket sets with 4 point harnesses may be a mistake for a street car. It may make it difficult to look behind me or check my shoulder. I would have to go through all the fab work to discover I built something that just does not work well.

 

I have been thinking about selling the seats and sliders and going with a OEM seat and possibly seat belt configuration. Something like 350z, S2000, WRX or Evo seats. Perhaps with a modern factory seat belt. Maybe 240sx or I saw another hybrid z who used the Miata retracotrs Link:

http://forums.hybridz.org/topic/55212-seat-swap-list/?p=975906

 

I am not afraid of some fab work, that has to happen either way and I am not looking for supreme comfort necessarily, I just want to make sure I choose a package that is both safe and appropriate for spirited street use and maybe a very occasional track day. 

 

What are your thoughts and/or experiences? Has anyone here put some street miles in with fixed back buckets and harnesses? I am experiencing some paralysis by analysis, I need to get this figured out before I can move on with the chassis work. 

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I can tell you it sucks. That's what I have in my 240z now (corbeau buckets with some harness) and turning to look for traffic and getting in and out is a pain. In my 280zx I have some sparco buckets with small wings,  (sparco ultra's i think they are discontinued) and it's a lot easier. I also opted to keep my stock seat belt which makes it so much easier. I've driven cross country in the 280zx with those buckets (slept in the seats at rest stops) and my back did not like it at all. 

 

Either way (harness or with stock seat belts) it is not "comfortable" by any means. 

 

If I was more of a fabber, I'd try and fit some s2000 seats in. They are mighty comfortable. I also daily drive a 2012 wrx and it's seats are great, but I think just a little too wide for an s30 body.  

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I am still stuck on this... I just feel that fixed back seats and harnesses are a little over kill for what is realistically a primarily street drive Z. I am considering going for some sort of late model seat, maybe WRX. Thing is, what seat belt setup to use. Anyone have any advice for street seat belts?

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I'm just gonna put this right here:

http://forums.hybridz.org/topic/113348-sparco-r100s-in-a-240z/

 

These worked beautifully in my 240z, with a rollcage, using the stock rails (slightly modified, of course).  You get front to back movement on the rails, and recline from the seats.  I used a 4 point (leveraging my cage), and have zero visibility issues.  I love it.  They're more comfortable than the stock seats, safer, have bolsters so I don't slide everywhere, and my harness locks me in, unlike the useless waist-only inertia reel on the stock belts.

 

Re-doing this without the stock mounts or rails will give you way more flexibility on placement (for a cage) and also headroom (I'm 5'11" and it's suuuupppeerrr close with a helmet on).  Buy sparcos rails, weld and drill, and you'll be good to go in no time.   :)

 

Edit: If you do decide to track or autox, these seats + harness make a WORLD of difference.  I used to spend my right corners on the tranny tunnel, left on the roll bar / door, now I'm flat locked in and only focused on the next corner

Edited by BrandenZ

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I am still stuck on this... I just feel that fixed back seats and harnesses are a little over kill for what is realistically a primarily street drive Z. I am considering going for some sort of late model seat, maybe WRX. Thing is, what seat belt setup to use. Anyone have any advice for street seat belts?

 

I think your suspicions are correct.  I had a fixed back racing seat with high wings on the seat and back in mine for a several years.  Once your finally got in it was comfortable enough, but it took a very specific ingress/egress routine.  I've switched to OEM Miata seats and I'm much happier now.

 

A fixed multipoint racing harness on the street would be _at best_ really frustrating -  unless you are racing every weekend, you would almost certainly grow to hate it pretty quickly.  At worst it could be dangerous - During street driving you have many additional tasks that don't happen during racing at the track that will now be impossible without un-belting,  Rolling down the passenger side window or checking your packages that are sliding around on the rear deck, for instance.  Need something out of the glove box?  Nope.  Maybe even adjusting the radio, depending on your seating position.  And always remember to close the door _before_ belting up. 

 

They also won't be much help if you get pulled over for speeding.

 

As far as OEM seat selection, I would recommend against any seats that have integral seat belt mechanisms.  They are great from an OEM point of view and they do a better job of having the belt in the right position, but they put all of the accident forces into the seat mounts, and the Z's chassis was not designed for that.  That type of seat is probably too big for the Z anyway, but I thought I'd mention it.

Edited by TimZ

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I have bride fixed buckets ....and there not that bad if you only drive your car once or twice on the weekends.....if its a daily then dont bother for sure.....i need a quick release just to get in and out of the seat.....i left the stock belts just for ease of use and because taking them out would be illegal where im from.....but authentic brides even the fixed buckets are pretty comfortable if your small enough to fit in them properly.....i also have 6pts but will wait until i start hitting the track to install them.......whatever you do dont use 4 pt harnesses ...in a bad crash you will slide right out of them .."submarining" is the term i think ....anyways always get belts with a sub belt or crotch strap.

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Seats: Fixed buckets are fine, but if you need to or want to recline they obviously won't do that. Lack of lumbar in most makes longer drives a bit tiring as well. Depends on how often/long drive for. I like them more for racing, even stockish reclining seats have a bit of flex and can kind of throw you off if you are going back and forth. 

 

Harnesses: I really like harnesses, they really hold you well when adjusted right. Regarding watching for blind spots, in the Z I got a wider rear view mirror so I rarely turn my head to check my blind spot as I can see everything from that mirror, and given that I drive with the windows down I can usually hear a car right next to me, or see them in the fender mirror. In my daily I kept the stock seat belts as harnesses and regular mirrors make it  really difficult to check when you are properly strapped in.

 

My problem with the modern seatbelt is that in an accident it is designed to work with a airbag, but the lack of it means that while you are still retained you can get some nasty whiplash and such, the schroth harness would keep you strapped to your seat unless it was a massive accident where the ASM portion would come into play. I suppose at that point it would be the same situation as having a regular belt. 

 

Bottom line, I like harnesses in the Z, they don't bother me much. In a daily I think it is a bit cumbersome.

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My problem with the modern seatbelt is that in an accident it is designed to work with a airbag, but the lack of it means that while you are still retained you can get some nasty whiplash and such, the schroth harness would keep you strapped to your seat unless it was a massive accident where the ASM portion would come into play. I suppose at that point it would be the same situation as having a regular belt. 

 

 

 

That is an excellent point regarding swapping in a late model seat belt. The car is certainly not a daily driver, it is also certainly not a "track car". Lost in no mans land...

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I hear ya, I have 5 point crow harnesses in my Z with a set of 4 point schroth harnesses waiting to go in, I feel like it will eventually end up at 3 point with the way it is going. Sometimes I just do the lap belt until I get read to leave or enter traffic, just too much head turning and stretching to reach key pads etc makes being buckled a difficulty.

 

I want to say I track my car all the time, but really I just put around town. Driving the car puts a smile on my face, and buckling in kind of makes it more special then just getting in a normal car. 

 

It sounds like you have decent fab skills, why not make mounts and install the roll bar so you can run the 4 point, and have a regular 3 point with a reel when you go around town? I have that on my daily, the harnesses unclip and I store them under the carpet in the rear and when I want to use them I clip them all back in and voila. depending on what style you have you might be able to run the reel on the schroth harnesses, I kind of doubt there is enough room, but a 4 point reeled harness does exist.

 

https://www.schrothracing.com/tuning/autocontrol/autocontrol-II

 

Found it, maybe it is just a 3 point/faux 4 point.

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Thanks for the reply! I was actually looking into the Schroth SMART harness.... Though part of what I love about the Z is nothing is too smart, its simple and it works. 

 

What kind of seats do you run in your Z? I have a set of OMP fixed back buckets that I was going to use, however, I am now sort of leaning toward something more... street car like. 

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I have some no name reclining buckets. Less then 100$ a seat. Really flimsy cushion so it feels almost OEM lol.

 

I'm honestly looking at a set of the sparco r100's. Local race shop sells them so I plan on test sitting, and maybe seeing if they can come up with a way to adapt them to my current setup so I don't have to drill any more holes.

 

I've thought about some OEM seats, I have an rsx and the seats are pretty popular for swapping, but they have a really heavy sliding mechanism, and not quite enough bolster to hold me in. 

 

I'd say sit around, I think the OMP buckets are not bad at all, but then again I don't drive very far. It kind of boils down to the harnesses once again. Without them there are several seats with solid head rests that could be used. With them you are going to need a seat with a hole in the headrest or a detachable one to keep the belts from sliding around. And I'm not sure if OMP has them, but some of the race seat manufacturers have a lot of cushion additions like a lumbar pad with I think velcro that you just throw on your seat to make it a bit more comfortable.

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I run my 240Z on the street and track with 2 sets of belts installed for my fixed back Cobra Monaco seat.  The 3-point retractable belt from Motorsport Auto works great for the street and easily tucks away for track events when I use my HANS-friendly Schroth 5-point system.

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Closing the loop on this one. 

 

I finally got this all sorted. I ended up with 2004 WRX seats, modified to fit in the Z while retaining the adjustable height mechanism on the driver side. I picked up a set of Wesco roadster retractable seat belts. Designed and built a little mounting pad on the rear strut tower. Seems to all work pretty well. 

 

Mildly interesting pictures:

 

 

 

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That seatbelt mount looks damn near OEM. If i didnt know any better id say it was. Good work! Bookmarked for when i get around to the seatbelt point of my build. Must have been in a different seat thread, but last year i posted a picture of 2010 wrx seats in  my z. IIRC they are slightly narrower than the stock z seat and fit quite well.

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On 7/21/2018 at 5:46 AM, Evlevo said:

That seatbelt mount looks damn near OEM. If i didnt know any better id say it was. Good work! Bookmarked for when i get around to the seatbelt point of my build. Must have been in a different seat thread, but last year i posted a picture of 2010 wrx seats in  my z. IIRC they are slightly narrower than the stock z seat and fit quite well.

Thanks man. Upgraded OEM is sort of what I am going for. 

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