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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 Mon, Dec-10-2012, 03:44:47 PM   #1
trw92a
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Default M3 seat desk chair: built thread

Hello all. This is one of my first posts. I don't own an M3 but I've always loved the style and comfort of the e46 seats and decided I wanted to make a desk chair out of one.

Here is the final product sitting on the showroom floor.


I was inspired by a lot of racing seats converted into desk chairs I've seen online. Only a handful of e46 seats have been converted to desk chairs. The only other person I could find that has built one was build by Brett who I found on this forum thread (http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=3176298). His came out very well and he gave me some tips on how he mounted his seat to his chair. This is his chair pictured below.



I wanted mine to be a bit different and decided I wanted to use an M3 wheel as a base for the chair. Although heavy and cumbersome I liked the style and how it eventually turned out.

First I started with an e46 M3 seat I bought from a gentleman in Pennsylvania who wrecked his M3 and was parting out the interior. I requested the passenger seat as it would have minimal bolster wear. (car only had about 50k miles)



Next I removed the electric motors and rails from the bottom of the seat. Grinding off the metal arms that would normally be used for height adjustment. Picture of the underside of the seat below.



Then I picked up an old office chair from a friend who was getting rid of his to use as a donor for the cylinder. Thanks Jarek!

Next I bought an M3 CSL replica rear wheels from Steve in Connecticut. Steve and his father own a garage where they part out M3's (mostly e46) and had every part I could imagine. The wheel is a bit scuffed and had a piece of the alloy cracked off in the back so it wouldn't hold air, making it useless as a wheel but fine for my application. In addition to the wheel I bought an SMG shift knob that I would eventually use for the height adjustment lever.

My friend Dave (www.streetdreamsdetail.com) helped out with spraying from wheel cleaning compound to remove the large amount of dirt and brake dust that had initially been on the wheel. Thanks Dave!





I needed a way for the seat to all come together. Initially I was going to get a brake rotor and weld the bottom of the height cylinder to it, but the 1/8" metal of the cylinder didn't seem adequate for supporting the weight of myself and the seat, so I constructed a sleeve out of 2" galvanized pipe which I welded to a 5.5" x 5.5" x 3/16" steel plate. After drilling the holes to match up with the bolt pattern I did a quick test fit before painting it red.








To mount the cylinder plate to the chair I needed to get come steel stock (3/4" x 1/4") and bend it to clear a rod on the seat. I then U-bolted one side of this bracket to one of the black horizontal bars and welded the other side of the bracket to the other horizontal bars. These black horizontal bars were originally connected to a motor and would be used for the electric height adjustment.



From here the chair with the cylinder and wheel with the painted red steel sleeve were separate components. I wrapped electrical tape in rings around the cylinder to allow a tighter fit when I slid it into the sleeve.

Then the finished product. It sits a bit high and I will need to use longer carriage bolts to space out and lower the height of the sleeve. Otherwise it is very comfortable, although I will need to mount some casters or something to make it slide around the floor more easily.

Thanks for reading and any questions/ comments are appreciated.


-Tyler
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Old Mon, Dec-10-2012, 03:51:34 PM   #2
Flow
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Default Re: M3 seat desk chair: built thread

What a fun project.
The E46 M3 seat is not very comfortable though.

Thank you for sharing and showing pictures.

Also, please share what other cars you have in that garage :o
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Old Mon, Dec-10-2012, 04:03:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: M3 seat desk chair: built thread

Wow thats brilliant.
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Old Mon, Dec-10-2012, 04:14:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: M3 seat desk chair: built thread

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The E46 M3 seat is not very comfortable though.
Subjective, my seat is very comfortable...note that I do have full power/lumbar though.

...sorry to derail, there is already another full thread on the comfort of stock seats somewhere.

Nice job on desk chair! Might want to throw some wheels on it though unless you use it more like a stool.
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Old Mon, Dec-10-2012, 04:14:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: M3 seat desk chair: built thread

Thanks guys. I drive an 06 MINI, all the cars in the background are from Radical Motorsports of New Jersey. (rmsofnewjersey.com) Cars pictured in the background in the garage in the shot of the seat (unmounted) are my dad's 1931 Ford Model A, 1930 Mack Model AB and a 1947 tractor (not sure the brand). Cars pictured in the showroom are Red 1962 Morgan Roadster, Radical SR3 (Gulf vinyl style), and 05 Ferrari 360 spider.
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Old Mon, Dec-10-2012, 04:25:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: M3 seat desk chair: built thread

Great "build," really like how this came out.

Who is this "Steve" in connecticut though? Living in CT myself, he seems like a useful resource, would like to know how to find him.
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Old Mon, Dec-10-2012, 04:35:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: M3 seat desk chair: built thread

That's sick man! I would have used the wheel for some other house furniture but still awesome!
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Old Mon, Dec-10-2012, 05:13:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: M3 seat desk chair: built thread

Steve's user name here is asmod3us and he can be reached at sba224@nyu.edu
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Old Mon, Dec-10-2012, 06:09:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: M3 seat desk chair: built thread

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Steve's user name here is asmod3us and he can be reached at sba224@nyu.edu
I have dealt with Steve on a few things in the past. Great guy to deal with!
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Old Mon, Dec-10-2012, 06:22:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: M3 seat desk chair: built thread

i want one!!
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Discussing M3 seat desk chair: built thread 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)