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Discussion Starter #1
who has used or installed this seat?

http://www.sparcousa.com/pseats_comp.asp?id=176

i know it's pretty common. my questions were:

1: to install it on rails do you just buy the sparco universal rails?
2: if so, do you have to drill holes in the floor of the car to mount them?
3: do you sit higher, lower, or still stock height in the car?
4: what do I watch out for and be careful of when installing a seat?

--btw, thanks for all the replies!! I've changed my mind and I'm interested in the Sparco Speed. These are both very popular choices for seats. Leave your opinion or feed back on these seats....

oh and what seat are YOU running? :) post pics!
 

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sparco does not offer rails for the miata unless you use the universal. It would be easier to use other companies rails that are made for the car.
 

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sparco does not offer rails for the miata unless you use the universal. It would be easier to use other companies rails that are made for the car.
Yeah. At the very most you'd need to drill a couple holes in a piece of metal plate to mount the seat, or slightly modify the rails to accept a different manufacturer's seat.
 

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Re: SPARCO sprint*

i litterally put that seat in my car friday i love my seat it rocks hardcore lol......i had to custom make brackets for it luckily my friend has a welder adn we can...it only raised the actual height 1/8 of an inch but since its always straight up t looks like it towers over the stock passenger seat.....ill take some pics the next day its not raining here so u can see....and if u like how it all looks ill ask to see if maybe he'd make some more if we can get a couple people interested......but no promises...

-bryan-
 

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Re: SPARCO sprint*

(Orginaly posted by Moti (blackbird) on miataforum.com)

Choosing a racing seat -
------------------------

First thing to check is crash rating.
Very simple, an FIA approved seat must withstand a 15g crash to get the approval.
15g is a bad joke pretty much, as any POS almost can withstand a 15g crash and AFAIK most track accidents are averaging 25-30g's.

Some companies will advertize the actual crash rating of a seat, like my Cobra that are rating my Evolution at 42g.

Sparco, for example, are on the other side of the map, just advertizing that their seats are FIA approved, which as I mentioned, is as good as nothing.
They do make good competition seats that are widely used in professional motorsports, but those are ~$2k a piece and made of CF, the common seats from Sparco that you see out there - Sprint (tubular steel), Rev (fiberglass) and Corsa (fiberglass too, CF version is used in WRC cars) aren't the competition ones...

Material choice is very important too -

The best seats are normally made of CF or Kevlar or both, those are the strongest ones and normally carry a higher price tag.
I specifically like Cobra because they make good Kevlar seats, adviertize the actual crash rating and have relatively good prices for them, my seat, which is a full competition seat made of Kevlar, was only ~$1050 with the side mount brackets (~$170 for the brackets).

Next in the chain comes fiberglass, which is not all bad, but known to crash - literally break in pieces, in medium to high G impacts.

Next would come the tubular steel seats, those are something I will not recommend to anyone who really care for their safety and intend to do any type of DE event in their life, that kind of seat barely passes the rules for FIA rating and well known to bend in an impact... dunno about you but I'd really hate steel tubes bending on me if anything happens, I consider it to be a no no.

Aluminum seats aren't FIA rated and I personally find it to be a problem when you can bend the seat yourself, doesn't even take a real impact ... I know a lot of miata guys use them but all the ones I ever set in were just really uncomfortable.. it is a no no in my book as well.

Next, you want to make sure you fit in the seat well -

Have a seat, try it out, move in it, if you can move side to side, the seat is to big for you, a racing seat should have a snug fit to your body.
Seat your butt all the way into the seat - do you have enough support for your thighs? is the cushion you're sitting on comfortable? most manufacturers do offer extra cushions for more support, though obviously, the less cushions you use and more comfortable you are the better it is, you'll get more feedback from your car through the seat.

For a seat with shoulder "wings" (which is highly recommend for those high G corners), how does your body fit between the wings? are your shoulders free to move around? is it tight? does it make you arch your shoulders and upper back?
Weird as it may sound, the correct fit is pretty tight, tight to the point that it makes youarch your shoulders and upper back, and why is that -

When you're turning the steering wheel, one of your arms stretches a bit forward as it moves away with the wheel, making your shoulder span a bit narrower, if the seat fits you fine when you're sitting with your arms straight forward, now your shoulders are actually becoming narrower and you start moving in your seat because of the lack of support for your narrower shoulders.
This is important since you're buying the racing seat to support your body, right?

Other side supports are obviously important too, thigh support is normally offered in a much better way than any stock seat offers, but make sure it isn't too wide or you start moving in your seat again.

head rest should be at least at the height of the middle of your head or taller, with helmet or without.

Harness slots are very important - where are they located in relationship to your body? are they at the height of your shoulders? slightly higher? this is good.
Are they slightly lower? the location of your harness bar will determine if the seat is useable for you or not - the harness should be as horizontal as possible, if the harness bar is considerably lower than your shoulders and the harness slots are considerably lower you're in an unsafe situation where your body will not be supported properly in case of an impact, it will actually move in the direction that your harnesses will "want" to stretch to.
If the harness slots are much lower than your shoulders the seat is not for you, period.

Reclining seats aren't racing seats, if anyone has one of those in mind go ahead and post it in the show car section.

Leather? well, it looks cool but as you said, it really isn't the best material for a racing seat... you don't see many leather seats in race cars do you ?
Alcantara looks good too and is much grippier, you do see those in racing seats sometimes.

Also note if there are any tough material patches in high wear areas, keep that seat looking good for longer time .

Last but definitely not least - are you comfortable?
Remember that a good racing seat, even though it should have a pretty snug fit should be comfortable.

Seat mounts -
The best mounts as far as safety goes are fixed side mounts, non adjustable, no sliders. You set the angle that you wish to sit in and bolt it to the floor (normally to secondary brackets and than to the floor).
This is also the best way to get those extra inches need for a broomstick test for the ones here that might be thinking about track driving.

Sliders are sometimes required for cars with multiple drivers with different dimensions.
I am not sure if bolting a side mount seat to sliders is even possible, you might be stuck with the normal mounts at the bottom in this case... I would suggest to avoid using sliders if possible.

No matter which one of the two methods you're using, make sure you're using high grade fasteners, I used for my seat 12.9 grade bolts to connect the seat itself to the side mounts and also to connect the side mounts to the steel brackets that are bolted to the floor (you'll make this brakcets to adapt between the side mounts and the stock mounting holes and also to set your position of driving), than I used the OEM bolts to connect the steel brackets to the original mounting holes.

The OEM bolts that hold the seat down are high grade and I recommend re-using them, the 12.9 grade bolts I used are probably a bit of an overkill, so I must have spent $4.00 more on buying them... call me a reckless spender , I would hate to snap bolts in an impact.

I would also recommend using the original mounting holes if possible, those are the strongest points that you can attach the seat to before doing a serious modification, if you must use the floor (say because you're really tall and need the seat all the way back while using side mounts) make sure you have some good size backing plates on the underside.

I may have forgotten a few more things so if someone jumps in a post them that'll be great, this covers the most of it though.

=================================================
The good and the bad -

Good racing seat don't carry $200-300 price tags, it just doesn't exist.
Since you don't have spare parts for yourself save the extra $200-300 and buy a good seat.
The good is that you'll be much safer and far more comfortable, well worth those couple hundreds extra.
 

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Re: SPARCO sprint*

Tube frame seats including the Sprint are the least comfortable seats I've sat in. They feel like the seats in amusement park rides, and even with a Bride rail they sit a bit high. Ergonomically they're just very poor... instead of having a composite shell that's roughly human-ass-shaped, they're just straight metal bars. Padded, but still straight bars that will never be both comfortable and supportive.

That racing seat guide is good, but some of his comments don't apply for a dual-purpose, street/track car or for autocross use.

Some things to expand upon that post:

- FIA homologation is only one piece of the puzzle. Aluminum seats are safe and trusted by many racers ONLY IF braced to the roll cage of a race car. FIA homologation is EXPENSIVE and not required by many Japanese sanctioning bodies so many quality Japanese seats won't carry it. For instance, Bride only homlogates their seats that are likely to be used for international competition. The other full buckets are built with the same construction standards and are as safe.. but still won't pass tech for a full race car. Fine for a street/track or autocross car though. If a manufacturer produces some FIA seats and the (full bucket) seat you want isn't, inquire why with the dealer or manufacturer, and if possible inspect them - they may well be made to the same spec, just without FIA to lower the price.

- A race car should have fixed seat mounts. For street, HPDE, or autocross, sliders can ABSOLUTELY be used with a side-mount full bucket, though. For this I'd either use custom-fabbed angle brackets on factory sliders or a set of Bride sliders (F-something-type). There are cheaper ways to go, I've used them, they're cheap for a reason.

- If you're doing HPDEs, bank for a pair of seats if you get something FIA. The rules state that the car should have equal safety equipment for driver and passenger, and an FIA seat is considered a safety upgrade. As always with HPDE it's up to the driver and instructor to confirm the car's safety, so if the instructor is fine with a stock seat then it's okay, but in my experience I don't meet my instructor until they're hopping into my car!

- For autocross, the STS2 class has a minimum seat weight of 15lb. For this you might actually want a metal seat, though you can do tricks to bring the weight up like stick something flat between the seat shell and the butt padding, like a tile or a steel plate. This weight doesn't include mounting brackets. Rumor has it this rule may change for '07 to raise the minimum seat weight but allow that weight to include brackets and sliders.
 

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Re: SPARCO sprint*

I have the Sparco Speeds which are similar to the Sprints.
Great support even when driving from Canada to Deal's Gap.
These are not cheap APC seats.

I modified my stock rails to accept the seats so they still maintain the slide and the stock seat belts.
 

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hm. i was interested in those too, but read all that m.net stuff about cheap seats. it's definitely something to think about...
 

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Just b/c someone brings useful info from another forum, whether its M.net or even Drifting.com (lol) doesn't make it bad. In fact, useful info like that is welcome here....as long as the close-minded moderation doesn't come with it. :D I don't think we'll have to worry about that though.
 

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Re: SPARCO sprint*

I also used Bride rails on the ones I had. They sit a little taller than the stock seats which I did not like. If you fabricate your own fixed rails they might sit a little lower. The sitting position is also very upright. Otherwise they were fine seats.
 

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I agree that info from other sites is good and AKADriver's post is well detailed.

BUT

The part I dislike is every time some asks about a seat someone brings up FIA regulations.

There are a lot of people out there that just want a good looking, comfortable seat of good quality that will NEVER TRACK THEIR CAR and do not care if the seat is FIA approved.

The original post was only about installation.

OK I am off my high horse now.

Carry on :)
 

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Re: SPARCO sprint*

Looks like we have a M.netter here....
Go to any good racing forum and people will agree about hard mounted composite seats that fit right. YOU DO NOT SKIMP ON SAFETY, but you use 4 pt harnesses so I guess you don't understand that.



If you are going to drive fast, even on the street, at the least give yourself a chance.

Safety is the only thing I'm close minded on. Injuries can happen to you. If you get a serious one, you will be feeling it for the rest of your life. Hell look at Sebastien Loeb, he crashed his mountain bike and broke his arm badly. He said hes having pain when he makes quick steering movements, odds are that wont go away completely. Having a bad arm/shoulder is now part of his life.

My personal worst nightmare is being paralyzed or a gimp because of a crash.
 

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i appreciate the m.net input (in fact, i've read that already on m.net). i plan on tracking the car, and the car won't be a dedicated track-only car, ever (although it may come to spend 90% of its drive time doing track/auto-x/CR meets and 10% of its drive time as a street car).

not sure what OP was planning though. :)
 

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so how would something like the momo start factor in here. Another cheap seat, but made of fiberglass. More comfortable? How bought the forza? Is there a cheaper seat of good quality?
 

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Re: SPARCO sprint*

Granted the Sprint seat may not be top of the line or the most amazing thing out there but it does the job it was made for...pretty dam well actually...its not like sparco is an ebay brand.....also not everyone has about 700-1500 to spend on ONE seat, idk some of the people on here but i'm not in my 30's or have the luxury of having mommy and daddy pay for everything. Nor am i looking to be the best in SCCA or drag times or pretty much anything actually, i'm looking to have some fun in my roadster and still have something a lil nicer than stock.

If this post offends anyone idc, i'm not one to tend to go on rants but shyt like that really grinds my gears...

from this post i've thought of my new signature : Self made, Not Mommy Paid.

-Bryan-
 
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