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I find the Probax seats somewhat therapeutic on longish drives. I have to stop after two hours and stretch to prevent further nerve damage but with three laminectomies and prior L3-L5 fusion I would get out after a two hour drive and feel better than when I got in. Just had another fusion last month and as soon as I get my suspension back together I'm raring to get in for a drive.
 

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Really? Interesting. With my probax I've done all day in the car several times without complaint at all. They are obviously not well padded, but the shape is good enough it doesn't phase me, and I usually feel it on long road trips in the minivan so that's high praise to not in the Elise.
Yes, I do have stiffer springs and ohlins as well so my rates are a bit stiffer than most, but this is just my experience. I’m more worried about flats/breakdowns than my back hurting on long trips tho.
 

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I'm 50 and did the Hot Rod Power Tour in my Elise with stock seats. My biggest problem with long drives is my right ankle starts to hurt from the gas pedal with no cruise control. Be aware, even if you hinge the rear clam. you still have to unbolt stuff to open it. I don't see any reason to hinge the front clam.
 

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There are solutions out there. This is one that really works well, very popular with helicopter pilots.

 

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I did 3 trips from Miami to NJ stopping only for gas & urination*. 17 to 19 hrs in the stock seats. Very comfortable.


* My bladder and gas gauge are synchronized.
 

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So I'm in the process of buying my first Elise. It's an '05.

I got a few questions relating to cost. Need to prioritize, you dig?

1) What can I expect to pay to have the seats upholstered? I'm gonna be 50 this year and while I live outside Chicago, my work region is S. Ohio and Kentucky. Rather have softer seats for 6-7 hour cruise.
2) What can I expect to pay to hinge my clam shells?
3) What can expect to pay to redo/upholster the door panels?

Any answers that can give me a ballpark would be greatly appreciated baby!
I would try the seats out before you make choices. I have stock 2005 seats have have had zero issues on 9 hour drives with only 2 quick gas stops. I think it has to do a lot with body shape more than anything. My ankle will annoy me long before my back has any issues.
 

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Bernice - 2010 Chili Red Mini Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #27
I'm 50 and did the Hot Rod Power Tour in my Elise with stock seats. My biggest problem with long drives is my right ankle starts to hurt from the gas pedal with no cruise control. Be aware, even if you hinge the rear clam. you still have to unbolt stuff to open it. I don't see any reason to hinge the front clam.
Man, I had a Mazda MX-3 back in the 90's that was a stick with no cruise control. Chicago to Evansville, IN. 5-6 hours? My right leg would be killing me! That has me worried about long journeys in the Elise. Kinda why I wanted to know what people pay for redoing the seats. Besides the aesthetics of course.
 

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4 hours is my max in an Elise or Exige. Anything more than that is just painful. And I’m as dedicated as they come.
 

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adding my $.02 Had my seat inserts, door cards and steering wheel custom stitched and upholstered in alcantara for $750 in OR. Upholstery is something not to cheap out on, you get what you pay for. As for the Clam hinge, the BOE is the way to go. Finally, you aren't gonna want to do long, straight road trips in the Elise. Having done a XC roadtrip in mine, the worst part was having your knee lock up due to lack of cruise control, that's the true killer. Seats are otherwise very comfy since they cradle your back properly, unlike most commuter cars. It is doable, but ill advised.
 

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I've done Annapolis to Buffalo area, up and back overnight...about 8 hours each way, with no issues. Was in my mid/late 50's at the time.
 

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I think it has a lot more to do with age and injury history, but that's coming from a guy in his 50s that broke his L4 twenty years ago.
 

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You did not tell us your height or weight but here is my long distance drive experience. I am 5'8" and 180lb. I purchased my 05' Elise in Virginia and drove it home to Florida. My plan was to purchase a cushion at the first Walmart I saw. I decided the seat fit me perfectly after 30 minutes and never got the pad for the 10 hour drive. I've never redone the seats either. It just fits.

I would try for a while before I'd have someone cut up the seats, unless of course they are in bad shape when you get the car.
 

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Bernice - 2010 Chili Red Mini Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #34
You did not tell us your height or weight but here is my long distance drive experience. I am 5'8" and 180lb. I purchased my 05' Elise in Virginia and drove it home to Florida. My plan was to purchase a cushion at the first Walmart I saw. I decided the seat fit me perfectly after 30 minutes and never got the pad for the 10 hour drive. I've never redone the seats either. It just fits.

I would try for a while before I'd have someone cut up the seats, unless of course they are in bad shape when you get the car.
Makes sense, but I neglected to add that I'm curious about cost for aesthetic purposes too....
 

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Makes sense, but I neglected to add that I'm curious about cost for aesthetic purposes too....
That does make sense. You have lots of option then because you can find some great mods in google photos. That could get expensive because you are not just asking the shop to duplicate the existing seats. We are all looking forward to what you come up with, send photos!
 

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Bernice - 2010 Chili Red Mini Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #36
I did 3 trips from Miami to NJ stopping only for gas & urination*. 17 to 19 hrs in the stock seats. Very comfortable.


* My bladder and gas gauge are synchronized.
Ahahahahahahahaha!
"My bladder and gas gauge are synchronized"
I ain't been here long, but as far as I'm concerned, best Lotustalk post evah!
 

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IMO if your back hurts after a long drive you are sitting wrong. You cannot slouch or get out of position. I was more uncomfortable when I first bought my Exige, and realized this was the case. Also simple things like taking your wallet out of your back pocket help
I also made spacers to lower the pedals. Maybe I have T Rex arms but I could not get the driving position correct, now it is perfect, and it also helps with the right foot fatigue.
I also bought the cruise control setup that I intend to install before spring.
 

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The guy I know who had his redone never responded to me, too bad. His turned out really cool, though they look a little over padded which looks odd on these seats, but still.
 

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Bernice - 2010 Chili Red Mini Cooper S
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Discussion Starter #39
The guy I know who had his redone never responded to me, too bad. His turned out really cool, though they look a little over padded which looks odd on these seats, but still.
No sweat Forbes. Appreciate the effort!🤜🤛
 

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IMO if your back hurts after a long drive you are sitting wrong. You cannot slouch or get out of position.
Agree! My back often even hurts during short drives but I have noted that when it does I am always slouching. If I don't keep my shoulders pushed back against the seat then it feels like my spine is sitting between the padding and it is very uncomfortable. This is with probax seats too. I have very long legs compared to my arms so I am thinking maybe swapping to an aftermarket steering wheel with a spacer to bring it a bit closer might help keep me from slouching (or a harness).
 
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