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Discussion Starter #1
I was sitting in the demo car the other day (they won't let anyone drive it-arrghhhh!) and felt I was sitting a bit low for best visibility out over the front of the car. I am fairly short at 5'7". Do any of you who have their cars already feel this way?
 

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If anything I think they are too high, the visors and top of the windshield frame get in the way at times. I am 6' tall.

It is not really a problem and the only thing I may do it take the visors off. Does anyone know how to do that?

Shinoo says that his CF seats allow you to sit 1" lower.
 

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I am 5-8" and the seat height seemed fine for me.

Hmmm, how can they call it a demo car if they won't let you drive it. Maybe they are restricting demo drives to people on the waiting list. You are on the list no?
 

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I raised my seats

I participated in an autocross last weekend and described the experience here:

http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=94954#post94954

My vision of some of the cones was blocked by my left mirror, especially when cornering to the left, which raises the mirror relative to the horizon. I actually found myself looking under the mirror in some tight left hander corners.

So I raised my seat this weekend. I will post a description on how I did it. I actually raised it 30mm, a bit over an inch. What a difference! I can see! I can see the instruments, especially the idiot lights. I can see the two front corners. I can see over the mirror. I can even get in and out more easily! The latter was a real surprise.

There is still over half an inch above my helmet to the hardtop. I am 5' 10" and have a 34' inseam, so most of my height is in the legs. Raising the seat helped with my outward vision.

Details to follow,

Michael
 

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I am 5'5 and I think the seats are too low for me after autocrossing last sunday. Ive been through a couple evolution schools and each time they stress to me how important it is that I get myself "forward and up" in the seating position.
Problem is my husband is 6'3....so the seats are fine for him.
 

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i am 5 9 and thought the seats were fine...i didnt like the sun visors there either and briefly looked at the demo to see if they would come off easily....not sure if they do
 

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With only one adjustment on the seat (not counting lumbar), it's difficult for Lotus to provide a perfect driving positon for every driver. Therefore there was some compromise as to where they placed the seat.

Sounds like a little tinkering will help you adjust it permenently to where you like it.
 

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OneFastLotus said:
I am 5'5 and I think the seats are too low for me after autocrossing last sunday. Ive been through a couple evolution schools and each time they stress to me how important it is that I get myself "forward and up" in the seating position.
Problem is my husband is 6'3....so the seats are fine for him.
On our Spec Miata we mounted the race seat on sliders and put large shims under the front. This meant that when you moved forward you also moved up. It was a great compromise for all but our tallest driver. For him, the extra height the sliders added at the very back was a bit more than he'd have liked. He only drove it once though, so it worked out great. I ran with the seat all the way back. Our shortest driver ran with the seat almost all the way up.
This did recline the seat a bit, but we wanted a bit more recline anyway.
 

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description of a raised seat

I finally got around to <a href='http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/elise/thecar/modifications/seat.html'>documenting</a> my raised seat. I raised it 30mm to start.

It is amazing how much of a difference it made for me. I can see out, see the front corners of the car better, and see over the left mirror even when the car is cornering to the left. I can even see the warning lights in the dash display. I am 5'10" with a 33" inseam.

Cost was $17 but I bought enough to do three cars!

I will replace the stacks of washers with aluminium spacer blocks once I decide on a final height.

A side benefit is entry and egress are much easier now since I do not sit down into the car as much.

I also removed the visors. I found them not to be very effective. You can just pull them off the rod around which they rotate by turning them back and forth.

Michael
 

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that doesn't look too safe there Michael. I wouldn't let you pass tech inspection at one of our local autocrosses if I saw that.


I do not see very good out the front windshield, but I am 6'2" , because of the visors and front lip of the hard top. I was pleaseantly surprised that I DO fit with the hardtop on and helmet.
 

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Michael two points...

1) You're not looking far enough ahead in auto-x if your vision is blocked by the mirror(s). I don't find the Elise's visibility of any particular concern, but did fit a lightinsight to help with seeing traffic lights from the front row. Not the same sort of issue though. The main vision issue (which will go away with familiarity) is the coke bottle shape of the car in terms of auto-x matters. The car is much wider behind you than it can seem from the driver's seat when it is new to you. We had some cone issues at the autocross today. I pushed the Elise pretty hard and had a National level driver codriving who is also an EVO school instructor, and other things. Both of us ran into the same issue. The Elise widens in the area along the sides behind where you sit - it has a wide butt so to speak. That's where we were smacking cones. This sort of thing crops up when you are cutting the distances from the car to the cone to the minimum. Again, with some more practice that will go away. This particular course had four slaloms and four chicago boxes and some tricky offsets and transitions which will really bring out something like this. It's less of an issue on other types of courses.

2) The stack of washers should be considered just a trial fit sort of thing. If you do decide to keep the higher seat height, you need to do it in an OE type fashion. Seats are safety related.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the feedback! Those washers do look a bit scary, but I am sure something stronger can be fabricated in time.

I am #13 on the list at Silver Star in Thousand Oaks California. Starting months ago I began calling periodically asking when the demo was to arrive because I wanted to drive it. They said "we don't know when it is coming but we will let you know as soon as it does". Then I find out the demo arrived , not from them, but on this forum! I call them up for a test drive and they say "call us back in two weeks and we might give you a test drive. But if you say anything to anyone, you won't get it!" I call them two weeks later and they say "we sold the demo for $11000 over list and nobody is going to get to drive it". So I don't even get a chance to drive the car before I buy it? "You'll get to drive YOUR car as soon as it arrives".
I hope my service experiences are better after delivery!
 

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SteveK, that sure sucks.

My opinion of Silver Star just dropped a couple notches.

They were pretty bad about returning calls too. Since they apparently don't have voicemail, messages are left by sticky and I average about one return call every four stickies.

Sorry to hear they didn't let you test-drive.

Desert Euro has been rather short on information, but very friendly. They did let me test-drive their demo, and always reply to email. You might try there and see if they still have it.

How is the delivery pace at Silver Star?

Did I just hijack a very good thread on seat height? I hope not, since I will need to raise mine too. Maybe some aftermarket Aluminium blocks instead of washers? Properly machined, they should be quite profitable.. maybe with "steps" for different heights?
 

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Re: description of a raised seat

sandsmuseum said:

It is amazing how much of a difference it made for me. I can see out, see the front corners of the car better, and see over the left mirror even when the car is cornering to the left. I can even see the warning lights in the dash display. I am 5'10" with a 33" inseam.
Funny how those proportions work. I am 6' with a 30" inseam, making me sit about 5" taller than you. On various other threads there are photos of me in the both the S1 and S2s . In each it is clear how high I sit compared to many others.

When I test drove Ian Smith's LSS I would have had to constantly duck down to see thru the windshield -- if I hadn't already had to duck because of the hardtop. :)

Those like you can raise the existing seat.
Those like me are gonna need a low custom seat -- or get necks that don't cramp as easily as mine does. :(

Here's a photo with me in the passenger seat next to Randy.
He seems perfectly situated.
Notice how I had to keep my head tiipped forward so that my helmet remained barely below the rollbar.



If I were driving, there is no doubt my helmet would be banging against the top of the A-pillar.
I'm gonna have a hard time autocrossing from my preferred, forward, crunched over the steering-wheel position with the existing seats.
 

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Ancient,

In your car, you may want to try putting a cushion of some sort behind your lower back and moving the seat backward. This has the effect of reclining your sitting position. I believe hangar111 offers extra cushions upholstered to match your interior.

-Nate
 

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Thanks Nate. I'll try variations on that to get relief.
I only just realized when glancing at my avatar.
My head is above the rollbar in the little fiat too, and I drove that thing for more than 10 years. :rolleyes:

Ah, so that's the reason for my chronic neck problems!
:)rolleyes: -- I'm a wee bit slow folks)
 

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lowering the seat completed

I experiemented with the seat height using the washers. The height adjustment is a delicate balance between being high enough to see over the outside rear view mirrors and low enough to see under the inside rear view mirror.

Some remarked that I was not looking far enough ahead. I meant to take a picture from my view point at the last autocross but forgot my camera. I was entering one turn, long before the apex, and was unable to see the next(!) turn entry or apex out the side window, due to the outside mirror position.

I decided about 25 mm was the right amount. I used one inch steel box section tubing to raise the seat, similar to the aluminium box section used to mount the passenger seat. Some clearance problems were encountered. Pictures and instructions are avaialble on my website:

http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/elise/thecar/modifications/raiseseat/seat.html
 

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SteveK said:
I was sitting in the demo car the other day (they won't let anyone drive it-arrghhhh!) and felt I was sitting a bit low for best visibility out over the front of the car. I am fairly short at 5'7". Do any of you who have their cars already feel this way?
I'm about 5'5" and the visibility is fine for me.
 
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