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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: My Homemade Racing Seats
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 1:30 am
Posts: 573
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
After looking around for car seats, I decided to make my own. I have experience sewing and I felt I was capable of making them. I own the Haynes "Build you own sports car" and it gives a template of a seat, which I used.
Image

I made the seats out of 16gauge steel. I cut it using a jig saw and I made all the bends at home using a vise, clamps and scrap steel. They were primmed and painted black. (This picture is after the first coat of black)
Image
I bought surgical tubing and cut a slit along the length of it. I then glued it to the edges of the seat to protect people from the sharp metal.


I cut plywood to fit in the seat.
Image

I then cut up foam and glued it to the plywood
Image

I bought black vinyl and glued it to 1/8" foam. I cut all the strips to size and started sewing.
Image

This is a picture at the same stage, only right side up.
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After cutting out holes for the harness, I had to sew these pieces in by hand. (The material which is in the hole for the harness) I couldn't use the sewing machine because the material was too thick at this point. It took me ~45mins to do each hole.
Image

The vinyl was stretched over the foam and stapled to the plywood on the back. (Sorry, no picture)
The end product looks like this:
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I'm pretty proud of it. I have complete two in total, both of which look alike.

Costs:
Steel $60.84
Foam/ vinyl $65.21
Tubing/ spray adhesive $41.15
Paint $10.81
Total $178.01

So, thats ~$90 a seat and about 20hours of labor.

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My Build Log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=3054


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:52 pm 
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spindlefied
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Wow, that looks pretty slick!

I can't sew to save my life but maybe I can talk the wife into it....

How much do they weigh in the end?

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Scratch built book frame with an 83 Celica donor 22RE. SHE'S A ROLLER!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:52 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Looks very professional. How is the weight?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:26 pm
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Location: SoCal
What's it weigh? That makes me appreciate just how much work it is to do! I'm pretty sure if I tried it the covering would come out all lumpy, and I'd end up buying a seat anyway...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:55 pm 
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Well now he HAS to answer how much it weighs... us all asking within moments of each other.

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 Post subject: LOCOST SEATS
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:13 pm
Posts: 311
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Excellent :!:

Shows what can be done at home by someone willing to take on the project.
Quite fitting for a Locost car, and MUCH better than the suggested seats in "The Book" IMHO. Even if that is what the original had. The original also had about 50 hp.... (well, not much anyway).

Now if you had drilled about 1,000 3/8" holes in them to make them lighter and more trick looking... you could have added another 3 hours to the project. :lol: I laugh because I have done it. Not on seats though. Yet.


Last edited by JagLite on Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:47 pm 
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Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Man, you guys all think alike. I'm not too worried about weight in my car, because I'm using a 5.0L engine.

The passenger seat weighs 32.5lbs. (Steel portion weighs 22.5lbs)
The drivers seat weighs 34.5lbs. (Steel portion weighs 23.5lbs)

I forgot to mention that I made the passenger seat 1" narrower than the drivers. (My engine is shifted to the passenger side by 1" to give me more room) That is why the driver's weighs more.

I joke that any future Girlfriend has to be able to fit in the passenger seat, or else I wont go out with her. Its kinda tight in that seat :roll:

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"The decision to build a car is not one reached through a rational mindset. It is a decision that is made because we have to do it! It makes no sense, but neither does love, children and taxes" -Sam Buchanan

My Build Log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=3054


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:59 pm 
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I decided to take a picture of the two seats together for you guys.
Image

If I had enough ambition, I might consider drilling a million holes, but I'm not too interested in doing that.

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"The decision to build a car is not one reached through a rational mindset. It is a decision that is made because we have to do it! It makes no sense, but neither does love, children and taxes" -Sam Buchanan

My Build Log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=3054


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:26 pm 
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spindlefied
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
That's it - I'm doing it. But mine will be aluminum.

Then I'll probably drill the holes..... :D

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Scratch built book frame with an 83 Celica donor 22RE. SHE'S A ROLLER!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:30 pm 
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Always Moore!
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Woah those are slick. Nice work.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:03 pm 
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Location: Casa Grande, AZ
I like the aluminum idea, and maybe 1/8 inch hardboard instead of the the ply. The possibilities are many.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:46 pm 
Nice work!

By the way, the seats in Champion's book are basically what were in the original Lotus. So maybe they're not so inappropriate after all :)

One suggestion - you can be a little more artistic with the foam carving (or maybe you didn't take that picture). I spent quite a bit of time with mine reshaping the foam, and it worked out really well for comfort.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:05 am 
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Location: Visalia, Ca
Those seats turned out great. I wish I read this 9 months ago!

Rod

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:26 am 
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Location: Lexington, KY
Awesome, Max!

-dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:42 pm 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Location: Louisville, KY
mookie wrote:
That's it - I'm doing it. But mine will be Aluminium.

Then I'll probably drill the holes..... :D


From my quick research, it seems as though aluminum seats are cheaper to buy than build. If you compare the price of the material to build a seat vs buying a pre-made Kirkey (or similar) it's pretty much the same. Obviously, you can build your own cover the locost way, but the 1/8" aluminum is just not cheap like steel. For example, the Kirkey Economy drag seats (similar shape to what maxlessca made) is 91 bucks from Jegs! Not to mention the fact that u may need different shielding gas/wire/rod/etc. to weld aluminum if you aren't yet set-up to weld the soft stuff.

So, in my opinion, building your own steel seat makes sen$e, but maybe not aluminum...

*EDIT* I forgot to say "Nice job" on those seats! Didn't mean to flame your thread, just offering an alternative to aluminum home-made seats. Nice work!

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