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      09-23-2012, 09:03 PM   #1
MMME30W
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Guidelines for Proper Driving Seat Adjustment? (6MT)

Did a search but did not find anything recent on this.

What is best way to adjust the driving seat for normal driving?

I'm no pro, but over the course of 30 years of driving enjoyment in MT cars (there was only that one AT Benz, honest) I've come to believe considerations are:

- set seat to pedal allow for ability to put sufficient leverage on brake pedal to stomp 'hard' if need be.

- set steering wheel distance to seat so that your wrists fall on the top of the wheel when arms fully extended.

- set seat height high as possible so that you can see the apex

- set elevation of seat so that 1st / 2nd to 5th / 6th gear throw occurs with minimal elbow angle change in a natural manner.

You guys that track your cars, what are your tips for proper seating?
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      09-23-2012, 09:18 PM   #2
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make sure your leg isn't straight (knee lock) when fully pressing down on the brakes, make a fist and put it on top of your head, that's how high you should be in the seat. most other things are personal preference.
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      09-23-2012, 09:21 PM   #3
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1) Set seat height such that head is about one fist height (i.e., 2-3 inches) from the ceiling. Maybe allow more room if planning to wear a helmet. Do this first since adjusting the height will often have an effect on the forward/backward position.
2) Set seat forward/backward distance such that leg is still slightly bent when brake is fully depressed.
3) Adjust seat recline to comfortable position. Usually track position is more upright than daily driving/cruising position.
4) Adjust steering wheel angle and distance for gauge visibility and arm position (as OP mentioned, optimal for wrist to be over top of wheel at full extension).

Here's a good video on the subject:
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      09-24-2012, 07:33 PM   #4
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^^^ Good video, thanks. I had forgotten about the "hand width" for seat height.

I adjusted my seat from scratch this morning, feels different but better.
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      09-24-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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Hands should be able to hang over the TOP of the steering wheel with both shoulder blades against the seat.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."

Last edited by aus; 09-24-2012 at 10:01 PM.
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      09-24-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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The part about your wrist hanging on the steering wheel is correct, but your arms should not be fully extended... unless you're a gangsta from the 90's.

For track days you should have plenty of bend in your elbows. Best way to ensure you have enough bend is to hold the steering wheel at 9 & 3 and be able to rotate the steering wheel completely to either direction without taking your hands off the wheel or feel that your arms are stretching so far that you can't complete a full turn. Remember that your arms will cross over each other during this scenario so if your arms are already extended in the default 9 & 3 position there is no way you can maintain control of the wheel when they're crossed over.

You can achieve this in the M3 one of two ways. Move the seat closer or extend the steering column out. Depending on your height it's likely the combination of both. You don't wanna be to close to impact proper foot position on the pedals and you don't wanna put your seat too far back that you're over extending your legs. So start off by moving your seat forward enough until your feet are in the proper position then extend the steering column out for proper hand position.

For DD you can reset the steering column all the way back and position your seat comfortably but I would never suggest that you are far enough that your arms are fully extended. You need to be prepared to react to an emergency situation and if your arms are fully extended you risk losing proper grip of the steering wheel during emergency steering.
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      09-25-2012, 12:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Pulse View Post
The part about your wrist hanging on the steering wheel is correct, but your arms should not be fully extended... unless you're a gangsta from the 90's.

...

For DD you can reset the steering column all the way back and position your seat comfortably but I would never suggest that you are far enough that your arms are fully extended. You need to be prepared to react to an emergency situation and if your arms are fully extended you risk losing proper grip of the steering wheel during emergency steering.
I think you're misunderstanding what people are saying about having the wrist overhang the top of the wheel with arms fully extended. This is a check to make sure that when driving, the arms are NEVER fully extended. If at full extension, your wrist overhangs the top of the wheel, your arm will be bent when gripping the wheel at all times. No one is suggesting driving with the arm fully extended at any point.

Last edited by Foodle; 09-25-2012 at 10:00 AM.
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      09-25-2012, 01:17 AM   #8
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Nice thread! Great video!
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      09-25-2012, 01:19 AM   #9
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Nice thread! Great video!
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      09-26-2012, 01:31 PM   #10
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Since you're an MT-only driver, make sure to leave extra room in the adjustment for the comfort of your manly-ness. I drive DCT in the E92 M3, so I don't have to worry about it in any of my cars, not even the manuals.

But seriously, I don't mean to have fun at your expense about 3rd pedal seating concerns - there's just sooooo much MANualism bouncing around here, I can't resist jerking the chain occasionally.
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      09-26-2012, 09:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodle View Post
I think you're misunderstanding what people are saying about having the wrist overhang the top of the wheel with arms fully extended. This is a check to make sure that when driving, the arms are NEVER fully extended. If at full extension, your wrist overhangs the top of the wheel, your arm will be bent when gripping the wheel at all times. No one is suggesting driving with the arm fully extended at any point.
Good point. In the video above the instructors arms are bent a bit more than mine normally.
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      09-30-2012, 11:54 AM   #12
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One of the great tips I remember is that your arm and elbow should be around 90 degrees when your hands are in the 9-3 position. I've always found that comfortable.
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