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7th gen seats in a ST185: Howto w/ pics

Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:49 pm

I wanted to stick some 7th gen GTS seats in my AT as, like most, my stock seats were thrashed. The GTS seats fit the bill as they're cheap ($400 or so for a like-new pair), very light compared to the stockers due to the design and lack of power stuff, and they have a much thinner construction, which means more headroom for tall guys like myself.

I did a bit of research into stuffing them in, and didn't really find anything meaningful, save a few suggestions that three of the mounts bolt right up. This is not the case, so, here's the process for stuffing them into an AT:

The first step is preparing the GTS seats. The rear brackets will not work at all without heavy modification to the car, and the AT rails won't work at all with the GTS seats. As such, the best solution I found was to use the GTS seat rails and fabricate new rear brackets. Getting the old ones off is something of a PITA. The best method I found was to drill out the rivets, then drill out the spot welds on the rails, and finally pound a blade punch (or screwdriver) between the rail and bracket with a 3 pound hammer.

You'll also need to swap the seat belt buckles from the AT seats to the GTS seats, as the GTS buckles are too short for the AT tabs. It's a simple matter, though the AT buckle brackets are slightly thinner than the GTS brackets, so you may want to source a washer to take up the slack.

Once the seats are prepped, you can fit them up. There's only one bracket hole which is a near to perfect fit, the front tunnel side. The placement pin can be popped in, and you can then bend the tab down slightly with a BFH, at which point the stock bolt should go in easily. The door side mounts are a bit more difficult, as the GTS rails are about a 1/2" narrower than the AT rails. However, if you give them some TLC with a BFH, the tab can be aligned properly and the bolt can be torqued down, which will bend the tab as it needs to be.

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From there, new rear brackets must be fabbed. It's next to impossible, at least without significantly raising the seat hight, to use the stock rear bolt locations. So, you'll have to pop a few holes for them through the floor. I fabbed my brackets out of some 1/4" x 1" steel barstock. The door side is a simple S bracket with two 90 degree bends, and the tunnel side two 45's. They're fairly easy to make with simple hand tools, but you'll need an oxy/map or oxy/acetylene torch to heat the steel enough to bend it properly. After they're bent, just mark and drill them, and give them a good coat of your favorite rust paint. I used POR-15.

Mounting the brackets to the rails is something of a PITA, as you need to have enough room in the rail channel for the rail to slide over, else the seats will not slide completely back. With a little creativity, you can slip a M7 bolt into the rail, but the proper way to do it would be using a steel hot rivet as is used on the stock brackets. Either way, in a collision, the rails aren't subjected to much lateral sheering force, so they're probably just as strong if not stronger than the factory brackets using bolts.

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To secure the brackets to the floor, I used M10x1.25 bolts of the same grade as the stock ones, though I inverted them and put a bigass washer under them. Then, I secured them to the floor with another washer and nut. This prevents the bolts from getting bent or rusty and makes removing the seats in future quite easy.

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So, 7th gen GTS seats in an AT. I figure I gained about 2" of head room, which was more than worth losing a bit of lumbar support of the stock seats, to say nothing of having something to sit on that doesn't look like it's been run through a blender.

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Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:30 pm

RICE!! :twisted: I mean... COOOOOL :shock:

Mon Apr 17, 2006 4:55 am

that's cool and all but i think it's bad to make your own holes for the seat track as the stock bolts holes are generally reinforced. it's still better to make a track for use in the stock bolt locations.

think about it, the seat is what is holding you in the car. if the seat rips out of the floor....

plus, it'll be another hole on the floor. i hope you undercoated the area.

regardless, still cool to have new seats :).

Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:21 am

are there any seats that would bolt on w/o any modification?

Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:12 pm

Can you take a picture from farther away? Basically like your bottom picture, but I would like to see the car in the photo too.

Just trying to get a picture of what they look like in the car.

Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:38 pm

tweekgt4 wrote:that's cool and all but i think it's bad to make your own holes for the seat track as the stock bolts holes are generally reinforced.


As are mine, with large 1/8" thick washers on both sides of the bolts. All that's holding the threads in for the stock mounts is 16 gauge pressed steel. For mine to come out, you'd have to rip two ~4" holes through the floor pan. If you're loading the seats with that much force, you've got bigger issues to worry about. Namely your organs turing into jell-o.

If you were extremely paranoid, one could run a cross bar between the two bolts under the car out of 1/8" barstock or something, but if you load the seat and rails with enough force to rip those washers out of there, the seat will come apart long before anything else does.

plus, it'll be another hole on the floor. i hope you undercoated the area.


No, I silicone'd the washers and bolt heads, and then POR-15 coated everything. The bolts will last longer than the rest of the car with that crap on them.

Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:38 pm

jprine01 wrote:Can you take a picture from farther away? Basically like your bottom picture, but I would like to see the car in the photo too.


Sure, once I roll it out of the shop. Kind of tight quarters in there at the moment. :)

Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:25 am

what about the lumbar? still work?

Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:33 pm

A few more pics can be found here.

And no, the power options do not work. Namely as the GTS seats do not have them.

Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:54 pm

Conan wrote:RICE!! :twisted: I mean... COOOOOL :shock:
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:23 pm

I just did this on my 185, but I was able to use all the stock mounting points on the floor, had to drill one hole on the rail. For those of you that are ANAL about your cars and seating position, the 7th gen seats do not fit perfectly centered with the steering wheel, the seats seem to be a little tighter next to the doors and there is a 1-1.5" space between the seat belt clicker and the cd storage area, so the seat isn't sitting perfectly square with the steering wheel, mabe .5-1 inch to the left of the steering wheel (for us LHD cars)

Ryan

Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:23 am

Nice writeup Simba.

If the seat is tighter to the door, is there enough room to move the brackets over on the seats?

Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:05 am

TomsGT4 wrote:If the seat is tighter to the door, is there enough room to move the brackets over on the seats?


Not really. In order to true them perfectly, you'd have to cut the original rear mounts out of the floor of the car and fabricate something else, as they get in the way of the flat GTS rails.

That said, the spacing difference is tiny. Half an inch at most for my install.

Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:58 pm

no to shabby... :)

Re:

Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:50 pm

Ryan31783 wrote:I just did this on my 185, but I was able to use all the stock mounting points on the floor, had to drill one hole on the rail. For those of you that are ANAL about your cars and seating position, the 7th gen seats do not fit perfectly centered with the steering wheel, the seats seem to be a little tighter next to the doors and there is a 1-1.5" space between the seat belt clicker and the cd storage area, so the seat isn't sitting perfectly square with the steering wheel, mabe .5-1 inch to the left of the steering wheel (for us LHD cars)

Ryan


Got any pics of your install? If you just had to drill some holes, I assume no holes in the floor or additional brackets need to be made?
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