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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The stock driver's seat on my 94 is starting to look pretty crappy. The side bolster is getting pretty beat up, including a large hole (the little rivet on my jeans grabs it all the time when I sit down). And on top of that I have a bad back. With the stock miata seat I find myself slouching way too much, even after short trips my back gets sore. I need to sit up very straight to avoid that. So ... has anyone found a seat thats good for a bad back?

Ideally I'd like a fixed back seat with an FIA rating, that'd be good for autocross and daily driving, without costing a fortune. But since I don't want to spend over $500, I don't expect that I will find something in that range with an FIA rating. Also I'd prefer side mounts, so I can mount the seat as low as possible, (I'm 6' tall).

I know I'll probably need to test them out before I actually buy one, but I'm just looking for a starting point.
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I have a corbeau forza. It's fixed back, FIA rated, and is very comfortable IMO.

I also love corbeau because they are cheap, comfortable, and they make mounting brackets that bolt right into just about any car.

I hate having to fuss with mounting an aftermarket seat, so the corbeau miata specific seat bracket makes installation a breeze.

I picked my forza up locally for $120.
 

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I constantly suffer from lower back pain. After sitting in a lot of different recaro, sparco, and other fixed back bucket seats one truly stands out - the Cobra Imola. I don't know how well it fits your needs though as it is over $500 ($529 to be exact), you will have to make custom rails for the side mounts (easy) and not-so-tenderly take a BFH to your transmission tunnel (FUN!) to get it to fit. But it is extremely comfortable and constructed of Kevlar - far superior to any steel tube (easily bent) or FRP (easily shattered) bucket seat.

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the tip on Cobra Imola. Definitely seems like the cheapest kevlar seat I've seen, and if its comfortable thats a huge plus. Still want to test one out in person though.

In the mean time, I might try adding some memory foam to the seat back to improve the lumbar support. Anyone done that?
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In the meantime you could always do a free foamectomy??
I also have a bad back, and found the stock seats felt like ****. I removed the foam from the bottom of the seat and stuck some of it in the backrest to add lumbar support(you could arrange it however you want).

It ended up getting me a little further under my rollbar, holds me in better, and actually feels WAY more comfy especially on my spine. It'll work till I figure out which bucket I want.
I recommend it, and at least it would feel better until you can find the right bucket seat for you. Everyone has different tastes for what's comfortable, so definately get some opinions and then try them out.
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yeah, its OG Racing up in Sterling. I went there looking for a helmet a couple of months ago (unsuccesfully btw, i have a strange sized head). I guess I should just make another trip up there, and sit in a couple of the seats for a bit. If I remember correctly though, all of the seats on display are Sparco.
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Another option might be talking to the 'van himself, haha. He just got a Corbeau seat I think...

Oh, and That7Guy who's in Arlington/Bethesda, he's got a seat of some kind.

If you need a spare seat while doing a Fomectomy, I've got a beat to hell driver's seat from a 93. A friend is mocking them up for his 510 so the alignment pins are missing from the seat rails, but they'll still bolt into the Miata 100% fine.
 

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I also have a Corbeau Forza and it's way more comfortable than the stock seats. I have a bad back as well and it feels great even on long (4-5 hrs) drives as well as all day track events. Way less fatigue with these seats, i highly recommend them.
 

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hey, just want to add some info. i'm an industrial designer. i've designed office and automotive seating for about 10 years now. there is a distinct area of this design dedicated to anthropometrics of seating and tasking while in a seated position. some companies spend more effort in this than most.

if you have a bad back, you need to test-sit ALL the option you are considering. one person's recommendation is not effective for another.

furthermore, you need to be aware of your own posture while seated in other aspects of your daily life. if your office chair is crappy, you're spending a large portion of your life fighting that chair whether you realize it or not. exercising your muscles is key, as is being able to adjust your position while seating over time.

do you keep objects in your pockets? do you carry your wallet in your back pocket when you drive? take it out. re-adjust you seating posture.

really, the cost effective method to a better sit for your posture will be a customized OEM seat. placing various layers of foam or cloth (towels) in certain places will help you to determine where you need more or less support. keeping note of this will help you when you talk to an upholsterer. they can shape the foam to your liking. shaping that foam is easy, too (you can do it yourself with basic tools. you can layer foam in different thicknesses and densities to attain the shape AND compression you want (layering different densities is VERY similar to a pregressive rate spring suspension).

most automotive seat foam is molded and self-skinning foam. it's a constant rate compression. if you break the skin, it's characterisitcs change (for the worst, ususally).

just wanted to throw this out there. you can get a better result customizing than buying something off0-the-shelf for the same or better price.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Good information Kung Fu Jesus. I've tried making seat cushions before, I took an old towel, folded it and wrapped it with duck tape to keep shape. It worked pretty good, but looked terrible, and it wasn't exactly a permanent solution.

I sit all day at work. And between that, sitting in the car, and relaxing on the couch ... i do a lot of sitting. (Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty active, but I just spend a lot of time sitting.) I've been trying to watch my posture, especially the last couple of weeks, which lead me to think about changing / modifying the seat.
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kung fu is 100% right.

I have a bad back and I had to try out seats, I went and sat in the shop in a seat for 30 min playing Gameboy just to see how it felt. I left with an Ultrashield. I have added a small lumbar pad to it. its perfect for me. but its probably hell for another owner.

I wrecked my back in a motorcycle accident.
 

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just for health reasons, exercise your back and learn some stretching techniques that focus the lower back. i sit a lot too, i'm also a big dumb white guy. 6', 240#. i try to keep active. i goto the gym with my wife. i focus on the nautilus machines that strengthen my lower back and i no longer have problems. i played competitive hockey for 11 years before a catastrophic knee injury. i have a sensitive back from the sport, too. a lot of times, when i talk to people and friends about back pain, i find out they sit in a crappy chair at work. some health plans will reimburse you if you buy your own office chair. some employers will help you and buy one for you if it isn't frivolous. i bought my own office chair when i worked for a company that was reknown for it's office seating (got a huge discount), i've taken it with me to other jobs and 10 years later, it's still as comfortable as the day i bought it.

lower back muscles also need strong corresponding muscles in the front. i'm working on my gut, but it's a slow-going.

good luck!
 
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