Anyone know what aftermarket seats will fit in Fed Elise? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone know what aftermarket seats will fit in Fed Elise?

the title pretty much says it all. If no one knows, could we get some measurements from the 111R guys? Also, any idea what the stock seats weigh (non touring)?

Thanks,
Steve
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 10:10 AM
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Having driven two differnt SIIs and having sat in a Fed. Elise I'm not sure why I would want to change the seats. What is your reason for wanting different seats?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 11:38 AM
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There are probably 3 good reasons to change the stock seats...

1. Weight - aftermarket seat can save quite useful amounts.

2. Lateral support - I know from tracking my S1 (virtually identical seats) that if you're a skinny git like me you slide about all over the shop (especially on leather).

3. To fit a 4/5 point harness and have the shoulder straps in the right place (e.g. coming up and over your shoulders, not down at a very shallow angle from above) - again particularly important if you're weight challenged like me!

Larger people would see little benefit from any of the above I suspect!?!?!?!

Sector 111 (see homepage of this site) offer a set of sexy CRP jobs and I'm sure there are others - again see homepage of Elisetalk.

Paul
PS - to the best of my knowledge Elise seats aren't handed - so you just buy two identical seats. Stock runners should work. Serious track folks in the UK remove the runners totally and bolt right through the floor.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 10:30 PM
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Unless the seats are specifically made for the Elise then hardly any fit.

Or you can fit only one seat and keep the standard passenger seat, or remove the passenger seat completely.

The only one that has a chance of fitting is the Cobra Monza, but even with his one you can't really fit 2 at the same time unless you don't mind that the driver's seat can't be moved back very far anymore and it's interfering with the passenger seat. This is installed by KMS in Japan I think..

Lotus sells a Corbeau motorsport seat, but you can only fit one on the driver's side. They just re-cover the passenger seat in the same material/colors, because 2 of these would not fit in the car.

Biggest problem is often the width of the shoulder area and the width of the seat base, which causes problems with either the passenger seat or fitting it between the chassis side-beam and the center console.

A big problem is also to fit the seats low enough. Unlike most other cars the seats on the elise actually drop *below* the runners at their lowest point, so most side-mounts are way too high and you need custom brackets made. Otherwise you feel you are sitting too 'high up' (a common complaint with the Lotus/Corbeau seat)

This gets especially tricky if you want to keep the driver's seat slider as the seat bottom needs to be profiled to clear the adjustment mechanism and no off-the-shelf aftermarket seats have this AFAIK.

For this reason there are several aftermarket seats available for the Elise (for instance Reverie carbon seat http://www.reverie.ltd.uk/shop/products.php?g1=b29f82 or www.Eliseparts.com seats) , but not from the 'big' names like Sparco, Corbeau, etc.

Most of the aftermerket seats are meant to be bolted in place and use fixed seat mounts though.

Structural 'oddities' of the Elise also mean that you have to plan/design where/how to attach/anchor seat belts/harnesses.

For instance you can forget using the floor panel under the seats. It's totally non-structural and way too weak to attach any belts, even with load-spreader plates (not to mention that you'd have bolts sticking out under the car, ready to 'catch' on things).

You need to use the chassis beam(s) and seat mounts/rails for this purpose.

It's not rocket-science, just needs a little more planning and thought than in 'normal' cars.

Bye, Arno.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 01:07 PM
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errr.... there is a piggin' geat Aluminium cross member where the front seat anchor is and (if memory serves) similar at the back formed by part of the rear firewall x-member as it angles down?

Granted running between them is a piece of tin-foil (designed to vibrate nicely and necessitate wedging a wad of cloth under the seat). The undertray isn't visible inside the car and is a second skin running along the bottom... so visible bolts won't be an issue methinks?

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 01:17 PM
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Arno, I'm sure you get tired of hearing this but,

You're the man!!

Just letting you know again your insightful comments are really appreciated.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 01:30 PM
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Re: Anyone know what aftermarket seats will fit in Fed Elise?

Quote:
Originally posted by offroadr35
...any idea what the stock seats weigh (non touring)?
Stock seats on 111S weighed approx 8.8 kg.

Our ReVerie seats will bolt right into the Elise's stock sliders. I'm meeting with them in England next week to finalize some of our fed car products.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 02:49 PM
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That is one sexy seat...

Hey Shinoo... is a foam or padding kit likely to be available or are you just leaving that up to individual upholsterers?

Paul
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul MD
... is a foam or padding kit likely to be available or are you just leaving that up to individual upholsterers?
There is a foam kit available.

The seat is also available in silver and in a wider size.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul MD
errr.... there is a piggin' geat Aluminium cross member where the front seat anchor is and (if memory serves) similar at the back formed by part of the rear firewall x-member as it angles down?

Granted running between them is a piece of tin-foil (designed to vibrate nicely and necessitate wedging a wad of cloth under the seat). The undertray isn't visible inside the car and is a second skin running along the bottom... so visible bolts won't be an issue methinks?

Paul, the stuff behind the seat has the fuel tank in it, you do not want to be drilling holes in that.
The floor is only one layer not two as shown by the people with the footwell corrosion having holes right through the single layer and being able to see the road.

Fitting a 6 point harness is not easy as there is nothing under the seat to attach the centre crutch strap to. The straps can either go back under the seat and attach to the waist seatbelt mounts or can go sideways and attach to the seat rails. I believe some people have used spreader plates under the floorpan to do this but then as Arno says you have bolts sticking out under the car.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 10:25 AM
 
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I believe the Sparco Roadster seat will fit [drivers side]... Mounting is the only real question?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jdl8r
I believe the Sparco Roadster seat will fit [drivers side]... Mounting is the only real question?
Fitting it low enough to be exact.

No 'normal' side-mount brackets allow you to drop the seat bottom below the mounting level so you will need custom brackets made.

Apart from that i should fit for the driver at least unless it's really wide at the shoulders.

Bye, Arno.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Swizz
The floor is only one layer not two as shown by the people with the footwell corrosion having holes right through the single layer and being able to see the road.
Yup.. And it's only 1 1/2 to 2mm thick and I do *not* trust it to carry the required 750Kg (1400lbs?) loading that crotch straps can give.

Shoulder and lap belts need fixing ponts that can handle 1400Kg/2800lbs loading each, so that requires a direct chassis connection (or on the seat rails/frame).

Quote:
The straps can either go back under the seat and attach to the waist seatbelt mounts or can go sideways and attach to the seat rails.
Yup.. When attaching to the rails it's a good idea to include a steel brace between the runners, so they can't be pulled inwards during a crash.

Quote:
I believe some people have used spreader plates under the floorpan to do this but then as Arno says you have bolts sticking out under the car.
Yup.. Some people also drill through the rear chassis channel and use an eye bolt + spreader plate under the car to fixate the lap belts.

This is OK if you don't mind the bolts sticking out under the car.

Anyway.. For people contemplating these mods, please also contact Lotus or Lotus Motorsport and ask them how they see a safe installation. Saftey first!

Bye, Arno.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 03:32 PM
 
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I can't believe that a kit for aftermarket seat fitting doesn't exist already? We can't be the first folks in the world contemplating a seat swap for the likes of Sparco/Ricaro etc.

I found a website that actually have instructions for mounting a harness bar... Can't find it at the moment?

Anyhow, it's been done - now it's just a matter of finding out who and where and how.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 04:03 PM
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The rear firewall base extrusion has about a 1/2" return horizontal to the ground through which the rear of the seat runner is bolted as mentioned by Arno. The fuel tank isn't 'in' anything, it is merely mounted behind that thin aluminium skin behind the seat.

Track folks in the UK use spreaders widely having drilled out or removed the hank-nuts.

I fail to see why a crotch strap couldn't be affixed to the front seat anchor x-member (the one you stand on to get in) but will defer to Lotus on that one.

Shoulder straps affix to the harness mounting bar and laps typically to the existing 3 point lap hard points. If the shoulder straps are mounted and adjusted correctly there should be little force actually applied to the seat, the driver needs to be anchored to the car.

Paul

Last edited by Paul MD; 03-23-2004 at 05:55 PM.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 04:08 PM
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Thanks Shinoo!

Eeeek - not sure I wanna tackle the NJ Turnpike in that seat... may have to get creative!

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2004, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jdl8r
I can't believe that a kit for aftermarket seat fitting doesn't exist already? We can't be the first folks in the world contemplating a seat swap for the likes of Sparco/Ricaro etc.
Not the first, but most people in europe find that there are no real aftermarket seat options available from the 'big' names (and the Elise market is too smal for them to develop a specific seat), so they use 4-point belts with a harness bar and the regular seats or seats with slots like in the 340R/Exige.

Or they use the examples give in this thread..

the Elise has some pretty specific issues in the size and mounting department that make it not very interesting for the big manufacturers to design anything. (cost too high for limited sales)

Good area for small manufacturers to step in and do custom desgined items or specific modifications to off the shelf parts.

Quote:
Originally posted by Paul MD
I fail to see why a crotch strap couldn't be affixed to the front seat anchor x-member (the one you stand on to get in) but will defer to Lotus on that one.
2 things with that.

First of all, the front chassis beam is hollow, but closed off from the bottom by the thin aluminium floor sheet. (the inside of the rear beam can be accessed when the shear panel under the fuel tank is removed and there's not too much glue insde it..)

You'd need to cut holes to access the bottom of the front chassis beam. Not safe to use a spreader plate directly under the beam on the floor sheet. You need to secure it against the back of the beam itself.

Cutting the floor is not a really big issue as the floor skin is non-structural, but something that may be 'scary' to many people and could influence re-sale chances as the car is 'damaged'.. Floor skin plate is glued/bonded in place, so can't be replaced.

The second issue is that this mounting point would potentially attach the crotch belt too far forward making it dangerous according to most belt manufacturers.

A 5-point crotch belt must be fitted as close to vertical as possible, while a 6-point is often allowed to be fitted with the attachment points at the rear (close to or at the lap belt points), but not pulled forward.

Depends on the belt manufacturer. I have SCHROTH set of belts and these only allow a +/-20 degree anggle from pure vertical for the crotch belts for a 6-point as well.

Bye, Arno.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2004, 07:14 AM
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Granted, hacking holes in the floor pan is a bit extreme for most non-racers... most track day/road cars I saw (with harness) used a 4 point for just this reason, giving improved stability over the inertia 3 point.
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