PDA

View Full Version : Wedge Miata seats in a TR8



Darrell_Walker
05-07-2012, 06:23 PM
I just finished installing Miata seats in my TR8. I had a couple of reasons to be interested in this, the main one being an effort to preserve the original velour style seats that were used in 81. No reproductions are available, and in the last year the wear has accelerated. Also, burlap and foam are rapidly breaking down (the diaphragms are fine, however), and if I tried to replace those, I'm not sure the original covers would survive.

So I picked up a pair of 1990 Miata seats at a local wrecking yard that specializes in Mazdas. My main goal was to not make any permanent changes to my Wedge, and secondary goal was to minimize changes to the Miata seats, in case it didn't work out. I succeeded in the first, and only made the same changes to the Miata seats that are done when mounting them in a TR6 or MGB.

My initial attempt was to mount the Wedge track to the Miata seat. One advantage of this was that the Wedge track is also the mount for the seat belts. However, because of the way the Wedge adjustment handle works, it would need to be mounted at least an inch and a half away from the seat pan. So that was out.

My next attempt was two simple plates to mount to the Wedge using the original mounting holes, and with studs for the Miata seats. I got those all layed out for the passenger side, using 2" x 18", 3/16" steel bar stock. This seemed to work well, and I had the seat mounted on the same centerline as the Wedge seat.

Then I went to replicate this for the driver's side seat, and found that while the tracks on the Miata passenger seat where equidistant from the center, the right hand side track on the driver's seat was about 3/4" in board. So I took some more careful measurements, and found that the Wedge seats are about 1" inboard (using the steering wheel as a reference). And since the Miata seats are narrower, there is room to make them more in line.

Because I originally had the Miata tracks just inside the original mounting bolts (it was a very close fit), I had to move them over to the other side, but that was just about the right amount (1"). So that meant the right hand side bracket on the passenger side could remain at 2" wide (and I was able to flip over one of brackets I already made), and the left hand bracket became 3" wide. One the driver's side, because of the track offset, the right hand side is 4" wide (and again, I was able to flip and reuse one of the 2" brackets for the left side).

To mount the seat belts, I made some simple L-brackets that attach to the seats between the seat pan and rails.

Compared to a sagging stock seat, seating my seating position is about 2" higher. It actually feels a little more comfortable there, and getting in and out is much easier. The only downside is that seeing traffic signals is a bit more of a pain.

Eventually I plan to recover the seats with something that matches the interior better, but I'm still working on that. I also plan to add headrest speakers.

Mickey Richaud
05-07-2012, 06:26 PM
Brosky? :wink:

:thumbsup:

Darrell_Walker
05-07-2012, 06:32 PM
Brosky? :wink:

:thumbsup:

We've been collaborating. :smile:

DNK
05-07-2012, 06:40 PM
Now I for sure won't be able to wear a cap



...Compared to a sagging stock seat, seating my seating position is about 2" higher...

Darrell_Walker
05-07-2012, 06:56 PM
Now I for sure won't be able to wear a cap


There are two types of early Miata seats. I haven't found any definitive reference, but I think the earliest seats don't have the seat belt receiver mounted to the seat, and the later early seats do.

This picture shows the difference on the front:

https://mrmikes.com/mrmikesmiatawtrfall03.jpg

I think the "bullnose" seats stay flat for more of the seat, and might result in a slightly lower position. I have the "waterfall" seats.

Short of cutting the floor, though, I don't see how they can be mounted much lower. One possibility would be to remove the brackets on rear of the Miata seat, and bolt the track directly to the adapter bracket. But that would only gain you 1/4" at the most, and make mounting difficult.

HerronScott
05-07-2012, 10:00 PM
Now I for sure won't be able to wear a cap


There are two types of early Miata seats. I haven't found any definitive reference, but I think the earliest seats don't have the seat belt receiver mounted to the seat, and the later early seats do.


Darrell,

I believe that with the 90-93 seats the seat belt receiver bolts to the tunnel while the 94-97 seats it bolts to the seat.

Scott

tdskip
05-07-2012, 10:11 PM
Thanks for the write up Darrell

Darrell_Walker
05-07-2012, 10:43 PM
I believe that with the 90-93 seats the seat belt receiver bolts to the tunnel while the 94-97 seats it bolts to the seat.


Thanks, Scott. Most folks doing this are putting them in TR6s or MGBs, both of which have the belts attached to the car body (I believe). So no one cares too much about the belt attachment, I guess.

For the Wedge, the attachment on the later seat is probably too high anyway, since the receiver is designed to bolt down to the track.

This14u
05-08-2012, 07:02 AM
Confirm the belt attachment on early seats. Just looked at my son's '90 and the belts bolt to the floor, not the rails.

Brosky
05-09-2012, 07:25 AM
I have a set of 93 seats in my TR6 and they did NOT have the seat mounts. The 95 seats that I picked up for the TR8 DO have the seat mounts and MR. Mike is making the covers to have no holes and go over them, after they are padded properly.

Darrell and I have been going back and forth, trading ideas and he has a great concept that is now all worked out.

My new seat covers will be done to match the TR8 interior color and should be here early next week. The new upgraded Millennium speakers will be here tomorrow and I'm still trying to decide on seat heaters. I'll probably get them, as I added a new fuse block to the TR8, so I have a good spot to pull power from.

DNK
05-09-2012, 10:19 AM
I'm liking all of that .
Was planning on seat heaters too,don't know if they will be needed in SC though.

Darrell_Walker
05-09-2012, 11:25 AM
I'm liking all of that .
Was planning on seat heaters too,don't know if they will be needed in SC though.

Are you leaving the Emerald City?

I'm thinking about skipping them, didn't really notice the cold this past year, though we did have a mild one. But I may stick the pads in just in case.

Darrell_Walker
05-09-2012, 11:33 AM
I have a set of 93 seats in my TR6 and they did NOT have the seat mounts. The 95 seats that I picked up for the TR8 DO have the seat mounts

From you pictures, you also have the two different seat types ("waterfall" vs "bullnose"). Perhaps that tracks the 90-93 and 94-97 break (all are considered first generation (NA) Miatas). Since you have both, you can compare the seat bottom shape, and if the later seat is slightly lower. When we compared measurements, the min and max heights appeared to be the same, but the profile looks a bit different from the pictures I've seen.

All "NA" Miata seats have the same floor bolt pattern, so the same brackets work. I believe the second generation ("NB") seats also have the same bolt pattern, but I don't see them used much. Maybe because the cars are newer, so scrap seats are not as available, or because they don't have headrest speakers, or because the headrest appears to be a bit higher.

GBRandy
05-09-2012, 02:41 PM
You can buy Miata seats already attached to the car for less than a TR8 + Miata seats right?

Darrell_Walker
05-09-2012, 03:12 PM
You can buy Miata seats already attached to the car for less than a TR8 + Miata seats right?


But then you only end up with a Miata! :smile:

And while I'm doing this mostly to preserve the original seats, it is also true that buying Miata seats and having them recovered will be cheaper than a full rebuild on my original seats. I'd be willing to pay that if it resulted in "original" seats, but it would not, since the 81 fabric isn't available. I did try for a bit to get another set of Wedge seats, but that made even less economic sense, as just a set of frames were more than the Miata seats cost me.

DNK
05-09-2012, 04:29 PM
Darrell, you can buy my old seats

Darrell_Walker
05-09-2012, 04:55 PM
Darrell, you can buy my old seats

If I decide the Miata seats are not for me, I might take you up on it.

GBRandy
05-10-2012, 10:06 AM
My seats come out tomorrow for re-bulding.

New foams, covers, custom diaphragm, headrests all to original specs / condition and will set me back $650 for the pair. Third time I have done this....I drive it too much.

The Miata seats look awfully tall in that car.

Darrell_Walker
05-10-2012, 11:14 AM
My seats come out tomorrow for re-bulding.

New foams, covers, custom diaphragm, headrests all to original specs / condition and will set me back $650 for the pair. Third time I have done this....I drive it too much.


Please post pictures when they are done. Perhaps I need to send my seats to your guy, no one here will do that kind of work for under a grand! And buying foam and covers from any of the sources I've found would be at least that much, and the original cloth isn't available anyway (so I'd have to go to vinyl or leather).

GBRandy
05-10-2012, 12:44 PM
I'll post when complete....but here are some images of what I am starting with.

I got the covers from Rimmers and pretty happy with the quality.

They had the back foams, but not the seat foams. The local Auto Uph guy is going to build me a set along with the diaphragm.


https://www.tessfamily.com/Upload2011/RST48222.jpg

https://www.tessfamily.com/Upload2011/RST48219.jpg

My seat is shot:

https://www.tessfamily.com/Upload2011/RST48221.jpg

Darrell_Walker
05-10-2012, 01:03 PM
I got the covers from Rimmers and pretty happy with the quality.


OK, I misunderstood. I though the price included making new covers. That's the part where I'm hosed, tartan isn't correct for my car, and no one seems to make the velour.

DNK
05-10-2012, 09:44 PM
...The Miata seats look awfully tall in that car.

Randy, you got a problem with neck protection? :devilgrin: :jester:

GBRandy
05-11-2012, 10:46 AM
...The Miata seats look awfully tall in that car.

Randy, you got a problem with neck protection? :devilgrin: :jester:

From a safety stand point I don't think those seats offer much support when inverted. :wink:

DNK
05-11-2012, 02:17 PM
What's your point? :eeek:

Darrell_Walker
08-16-2012, 05:45 PM
It took a while, but I now have my new custom seat kits from MrMike's installed. I wanted a cloth seat, and found a tweed fabric with the texture I wanted, and a color that I think coordinates well with the stock Golden Tan interior. Just a few quick pictures in the garage, need to find someplace with better lighting to get some good shots.

I'm very happy with the quality of the kits from MrMikes, if you are looking to recover a Miata or Fiero seat, I recommend him highly:

https://mrmikes.com/miatahome.htm

mrv8q
08-16-2012, 06:17 PM
That looks good!

3798j
08-16-2012, 06:31 PM
Agree, it does look good.

Brosky
08-16-2012, 08:11 PM
If you like the solid leather look on your Miata seats, you could always do what I did. So many options to modify these cars......

hondo402000
08-17-2012, 05:52 AM
I got my leather seat covers from Katskins for My TR6

Hondo

tdskip
08-17-2012, 07:59 AM
Nice work Darrell. Any comments on comfort vs original seats?

Guys - the TR8 original seats had head rests so there should be that big of a difference in whiplash assuming the heads rests are properly positioned. No?

Jerry
08-17-2012, 12:14 PM
I don't know on the TR8, but an upholstery guy here in town said it is much easier to fit the seats on reverse sides when using Miata seats in a Triumph TR6 or TR4. IE: Passenger seat on drivers drivers side and vice versa. I am considering this conversion on my TR3A. I need a seat with a higher back and head rests would be nice, but in such a low car they may stick up and be ugly.

Jerry

Brosky
08-17-2012, 06:39 PM
They would be higher looking in a TR3, but it would be interesting to see just how high. Maybe not as bad as you think.

Darrell_Walker
08-20-2012, 10:57 AM
Nice work Darrell. Any comments on comfort vs original seats?

Guys - the TR8 original seats had head rests so there should be that big of a difference in whiplash assuming the heads rests are properly positioned. No?

Both are comfortable, though perhaps in different ways. You sit a little bit more "on" the Miata seat, while you sink into the Wedge seat. You sit a bit higher in the Miata seat, but that position (at least to me) seems a little more natural in relation to the instruments/controls/etc (other than seeing overhead traffic signals).

The Wedge headrests are quite low, and really can't lift up too much, so I think the neck support with the Miata seat is much better. Then of course there are the headrest speakers, which are a nice addition.

Darrell_Walker
08-20-2012, 10:58 AM
I don't know on the TR8, but an upholstery guy here in town said it is much easier to fit the seats on reverse sides when using Miata seats in a Triumph TR6 or TR4. IE: Passenger seat on drivers drivers side and vice versa. I am considering this conversion on my TR3A. I need a seat with a higher back and head rests would be nice, but in such a low car they may stick up and be ugly.

Jerry

I think MGB owners do that, but I've not heard of issues with TR4-TR6. I've seen a fabric loop that you can install over the recliner handle, so that you can operate it when it is up against the tunnel.

DNK
08-20-2012, 11:26 AM
,,,You sit a bit higher in the Miata seat, but that position (at least to me) seems a little more natural in relation to the instruments/controls/etc (other than seeing overhead traffic signals).

...

How tall are you, Darrell ?

Darrell_Walker
08-20-2012, 11:26 AM
,,,You sit a bit higher in the Miata seat, but that position (at least to me) seems a little more natural in relation to the instruments/controls/etc (other than seeing overhead traffic signals).

...

How tall are you, Darrell ?

Six feet

DNK
08-20-2012, 11:28 AM
You don't have problems with your hair being above the frame?

Mickey Richaud
08-20-2012, 12:44 PM
You don't have problems with your hair being above the frame?

Not if he's like a lot of us!

DNK
08-20-2012, 12:51 PM
I'm fully Coiffed and don't mind the hair blowing.
It's just that I can't wear a hat to keep ol sol out of my eyes.
Baby blue and light sensitive :cooler:

Darrell_Walker
08-20-2012, 02:58 PM
I think the windscreen directs it up and over, though I've not really measured how much, if any, of my head is above the top of the windscreen. Plenty of buffeting on the back of my head, but the Wedge seems much better in that respect than my 4A.

DNK
08-20-2012, 03:25 PM
Maybe have a long torso

Darrell_Walker
08-23-2012, 12:02 PM
I don't know on the TR8, but an upholstery guy here in town said it is much easier to fit the seats on reverse sides when using Miata seats in a Triumph TR6 or TR4. IE: Passenger seat on drivers drivers side and vice versa. I am considering this conversion on my TR3A. I need a seat with a higher back and head rests would be nice, but in such a low car they may stick up and be ugly.

Jerry

Hi Jerry,

Another option might be a Fiero seat. They seem to be used in MGBs a bit:

https://mrmikes.com/mg.htm

And the style might match the TR3 a little more (not as modern looking at the Miata seat, in my opinion). I don't know if they are as narrow as the Miata seat though, so you will need to check the fit. When I was looking for my Miata seats, there were several Fieros in the Pick-N-Pull lots.

Brosky
08-24-2012, 06:48 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]I don't know on the TR8, but an upholstery guy here in town said it is much easier to fit the seats on reverse sides when using Miata seats in a Triumph TR6 or TR4. [/QUOTE]

Jerry, with the new brackets available for the TR6 from ARE, the seats go in very easily now.

Jerry
08-24-2012, 09:39 PM
I like the look of that Firo web site. I wonder where I can find the diminsions of the seat.

Jerry

Darrell_Walker
08-24-2012, 10:33 PM
I like the look of that Firo web site. I wonder where I can find the diminsions of the seat.

Jerry

I found this:

https://mrmikes.com/fieroseatspecs.htm

It is measurements of the mounting holes, but gives you some idea.

You can check the Pick N Pull inventory:

https://www.picknpull.com/check_inventory.aspx

I think they charge like $35 per seat.

Jerry
08-24-2012, 11:11 PM
The car did come with seats. I think they are Spitfire seats but I am not sure yet. They would need new foam and covers but they could be a starting point.

Jerry