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Old 01-20-2012, 07:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is your seat too low? Hard to enter/exit?

That has been my most annoying complaint of a wonderful car. It has been so hard to exit that it made driving it for running everyday chores in town an annoyance. I tried raising it with an inch of stacked washers under the attaching points, but that seemed precarious or unstable. And this was not enough to solve the entrance/exit problem. I'm 5'8" tall, so my feet wouldn't touch the ground as I tried to exit with both feet down, and it was too strenuous to use one foot down, leaning outward and pushing with my left hand on the inside of the seat.
So, I used one inch square aluminum tubing and 3" factory-style bolts on the four corners, two tubes high (one lying flat over the other), to solve the stability problem and the height problem at the same time. It is mahvelous, though it does have one drawback: the seat drives fine, and has plenty fore-aft movement for entry/exit and driving position. But, academically speaking, the seat travel is stopped an inch or so short of full rearward position by the headrest coming to rest against the roll bar. Again, this isn't a problem with driving, but limits travel to the rear. It would be an even easier entry/exit if the seat could go full travel rearward, but at least the added height makes it much better than it was before.
If anyone is interested in what it looks like, I could do pics (meant to photograph the parts in progress, but momentum to get'er done overrode my desire to memorialize the work). It is a simple process, but requires precise drilling of holes and positioning of the aluminum tubing and attaching points. By the way, it's as stable as original, though my ride height is as though I were a 6 footer with factory-mounted seat. And I have plenty of head room.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You just need to work on your technique.
I am 5'9" and have no problems.
Do you have exceptionally short legs?
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had just the opposite problem. My helmet would hit the hard top so I had to get the S111 TALLrails to lower it an inch or 2.

Post pics. Some of the shorter folk might be interested.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Technique

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepe View Post
You just need to work on your technique.
I am 5'9" and have no problems.
Do you have exceptionally short legs?
No, I'm just exceptionally OLDE, with 2 bulging disks in lower spine.

When the car is flat and level it isn't too bad, but when the parking space slants slightly away from the road center level ( in this direction \ ) it is much worse when trying to enter or exit, mostly exit.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyntgr View Post
No, I'm just exceptionally OLDE, with 2 bulging disks in lower spine.

When the car is flat and level it isn't too bad, but when the parking space slants slightly away from the road center level ( in this direction \ ) it is much worse when trying to enter or exit, mostly exit.
You know you're old when you're spelling "old" with an "-e" at the end, like "YE OLDE INN" LOL!!!!
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The car requires the same skills to enter and exit as it provides once inside. I suggest you enter and just live there. That way you'll always have a smile on your face!! Or if your back refuses to cooperate, trade it in for an Evora.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Trouble getting in and out? That has never been mentioned here before.....
Actually that is part of the fun. Seeing if you can be co-ordinated enough to get in and out without looking like you have palsy or something. Both my hips and knees were blown out when a 19 year old decided to run a red light doing 65 in a 35 zone and hit me on my Harley. So I know it can be difficult. But remember, IT IS SO WORTH IT once you are in!
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Watch the YouTube videos about how to get in and out of the car. I watched those videos for 2 weeks before I actually got the car and only had occasional hangups.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I had the same problem. Plus I found that I sat too low in relationship to the steering wheel. I couldn't see the turn signals for example. So I bought a little seat pillow from brookstone for 40$. Getting in the same, but getting out is a little easier because it pivots as I rotate with one foot out. I had always felt too low. I guess they designed it for 5'10".



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Old 01-21-2012, 02:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyntgr View Post
I'm 5'8" tall, so my feet wouldn't touch the ground as I tried to exit with both feet down, and it was too strenuous to use one foot down, leaning outward and pushing with my left hand on the inside of the seat.
OK, maybe you are not doing it the way I am. I am NOT Charles Atlas. I am NOT flexible. But I can get out of my stock Elise.

I am 5'-8.5" with shortish legs. Raising the seat is not an option for me, although I have driven my buddy's car which has had its seat raised.

I can put out my left leg, then tilt my right leg to put out my right foot, with my right knee passing under the steering wheel. I wind up sidesaddle with both legs hanging out the door, with my butt still in the seat. Neither of my feet are on the ground, because they just don't reach that far. I then place my left hand behind me to the inside of the driver seat as you said, but my right hand goes on the sill. I then lean forward so my head is out the door (this works even if I have my helmet on). I continue to lean way out and push with both my hands, sliding on my legs until my butt is on the sill and my feet reach the ground. I can now sit there if I am tired that day. When I'm ready, I stick my hands out in front of me and stand up as if I were sitting in a chair at home.

I don't know if you have tried this method, but after trying all kinds of different ways, this is what works the best for me.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Just put left leg out and straddle sill plate with your butt. Just let those hips move laterally and its easy. Kind of like the lateral move on the bed during sex. You can still do that right??
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It used to be a process for me but I've gotten used to it. If I do it too many times in a day though, the back of my thigh gets a little sore..

Me:

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Old 01-22-2012, 06:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoof View Post
It used to be a process for me but I've gotten used to it. If I do it too many times in a day though, the back of my thigh gets a little sore..

Me:

A video of me getting in and out of my Elise
+1 This works for me and I'm also a little olde.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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American inventor needed to develop a light weight "butt kicker" that raises the seat when you open the door.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have used both the Shoof and the Pilethier movements with success, BUT, with the seat thus 2" higher, it is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much easier and "normal" to enter and MOSTLY, to exit. I ain't going back to too low unless I have to for reasons I haven't discovered yet. I'm riding as high as if I were a 6 footer (2 inch higher trunk and 2" longer legs), and so it's the normal ride height for a taller person. When exiting, I step out with my left leg, or both legs, depending on Shoof or Pilethier exit, and either way, it's much easier. This ease of exit is accentuated when my car is parallel parked on a street where the parking space slants downhill to the right side of the car (which makes it necessary to exit UPhill). This seat lift makes multiple exits on errands in town a LOT more enjoyable.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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After all these years, the only problem I have is when the parking space is so tight that I can't open the door more than a few inches. When that happens, I simply open the soft-top on my side, stand up, and get out. I guess this isn't an option if you have a hard top, but it does work if you're parked in a tight space and can open the roof. I have also had some friends who are "foldability" challenged and they find that they can get in and out better if I open the top on their side and give them the extra head room.

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Old 01-26-2012, 08:26 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hahaha I have done the soft top trick in tight spaces too. I think everyone looks at you like you have lost your mind, but it really does work. Now, with the hardtop, I generally park in the back forty so I don't run into this problem. Actually, I park in the back forty all the time, but sometimes people think their car is cool and park next to me.

I removed my soft top at a red light one day and the kids in the car next to me thought it was the coolest thing they had ever seen.

Luckily I have a high "foldability" rating and I am skinny enough to enter and exit with ease. Still, not a car to take on a first date unless you're real sure of your date in terms of fun, choice of apparel, size, etc.

This is a very entertaining thread to me for some reason haha
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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The video above is how it's done. If you can't do that, either head to the gym or suffer.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:40 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
The video above is how it's done. If you can't do that, either head to the gym or suffer.
Other than be careful not to put too much stress on the steering column (looks like he's pulling on it pretty good at first to get out). I use my right hand to push from the seat while I have my left hand on the sill. Don't touch the door, wheel or especially the windshield.

The best is when I have passengers that have never been in it. When I tell them "don't touch the windshield or you could break it, don't use the door or you could bend it" they look at me like "ok, how the **** do I get out?". Just use your hand and push yourself out from the seat, works great...
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Watch this vid.

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