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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 03:08:07 AM   #1
nasieg
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Default Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

Installing an after market seats is such a PIA. I never realized that there were so many challenges to overcome.

Yes, there are a few "proven" ways to do it and I tried 3 of them, but none of them were satisfactory for multiple reasons.....added weight, seating position and some look ghetto.

One of the main motivations installing this particular seat is the weight savings. The Sportster CS weighs about 37 lbs versus 61 lbs for an electric stock seats, but by the time you add a standard floor mount with sliders you add at least 13 lbs back, which kind of defeats the purpose somewhat.

All things being equal, I would have lived with the weight penalty, had it been straight forward, but there were other issues I discovered. The ride height is too low for me with a Planted or Wedge seat mount.
I understand that many prefer the extra head room with the seat all the way on the floor, but for me that is too much of a good thing. I am 5'9" and I have my stock seat about 2" up from the lowest setting. More importantly though, because the transmission tunnel gets wider on the bottom and towards the front, you end up having to move the seat further to the left, or even more off center than it already is, which I did not like at all. This is actually the main problem in my opinion. The Sportster Seats interfere with the transmission tunnel on the front inside, due to the high side bolsters, if mounted very low. So much so that you end up sitting about 2" off the center of the steering wheel.

Another issue is the seat belt receptacle. On both the Planted and Wedge floor mount, the seat belt receptacle location interfered whit the actual seat in certain positions. It really needs to be mounted on the seat, so it slides with it. The problem then is that the receptacle is about 2-3" higher than it is on the stock seat and the buckle ends up half way in your lap. So the best solution is to mount it on the bottom of the base and as far to the inside to clear the seat, but that is impossible if the seat is all the way on the bottom.

Do you get the picture? It is kind of a nightmare getting all of these things lined up. Recaro does make their own seat mount with everything integrated and I gather that it would be the perfect solution, but I have not found any of them for sale and something tells me even if I could get my hands on one, they probably cost $400.

So, I spent countless hours brainstorming and reverse engineering a solution and finally have finished my install today. The end result is that I got my seat almost perfect to the center of the steering wheel. At least as good as stock. I can still adjust front to rear, although not on the fly, but can change it if I needed to. On top of that I managed to get it all done with only 6 lbs of weight added, and retained roughly a 20 lbs weight loss per seat.

I still have to get the parts anodized and powder coated, which will complete the job.

Maybe this is why a lot of guys go with the Pole Position's or any other shell seat. I think the install on those is a bit more straight forward.
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Last edited by nasieg; Thu, Dec-29-2016 at 03:16:07 AM.
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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 03:17:41 AM   #2
WestRace
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Default Re: Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

Not bad.
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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 04:19:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

Looks good. Sucks you ran into the other issues.
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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 09:57:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

Damn.. and I was thinking of a set of Sportster's. Awesome job on the mounts!
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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 10:08:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

looks good!
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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 01:45:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

Quote:
Originally Posted by HassanEido View Post
looks good!
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestRace View Post
Not bad.
Thanks for the compliments.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StReCh4130 View Post
Looks good. Sucks you ran into the other issues.
Thanks. The main issue is that I'm not 6' feet tall .

I think if you where to sit far enough to the rear, then the transmission tunnel becomes less of an issue, as it gets narrower.
Also, some might not mind having the seat shifted more off center. The stock seat is actually a little off already, I just didn't want to add to that.

On a unrelated note, I think I read the new M2 has that issue also. I think it is a pretty common problem to get a seat centered with the steering wheel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightship View Post
Damn.. and I was thinking of a set of Sportster's. Awesome job on the mounts!
It is still THE seat of choice IMHO. The "issues" will be with all seats. If you look at how the stock seat is designed, they did quite a job engineering the way it mounts. The rails and linkage are all pretty tightly packaged. Also the front outside bolsters are pretty rounded off, to allow for more clearance to the center console, wear as a lot of after market seats have more bulk there, which makes it difficult to push the seat forward.
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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 01:59:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

Great work.

I thought the sportsters were 33lbs
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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 02:26:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

Interesting reverse of peoples normal issues-- normally people want to get the seat as low as possible!

I wonder if there's a compatible buckle receiver with a shorter run out there.
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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 02:45:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

Looks great and clean.

Since we are on the sportster subject in here, has anyone ever removed the rear shell of these?
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Old Thu, Dec-29-2016, 03:02:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts

Can sportsters be mounted without sliders?
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Discussing Finished my Recaro Sportster CS seat install with custom floor mounts in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)