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      12-04-2012, 06:25 AM   #1
dex37
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Track seats really worth it?

Hi guys,

I would like to hear your oppinion about sport/race seats. I am still novice into tracking. This year I just went to a a few drift and safety trainings and once to the Nürburgring. Next year I plan to do that more often. I am fan of meaningful modifications and I would like to develop my skills and "grow" with the car and then eventually change the parts which prevent me from learning or going faster.

So I will start with break pads, will remove the pins, so I can get more camber at the front and get another set of 18'' wheels for the track.

I am 6'2'' and I don't really like the seating position. This is actually what I hate most about the car. I almost touch the headliner even with the seat at the lowest position. Apperantly it will be quite dificult to sit inside the car with helmet. So I was wondering if a set of Pole Position are a really worth it, or maybe even one seat wrapped in the same leather as the rest of the interior. I have a E92 and I found mounting brackets which can slide and even tilt forward, so the rear seats remain accessible.

Are the seats going to give me a better feel for the car and what is happening? Are those seats suitable for a daily driver?

Thanks!
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      12-04-2012, 07:15 AM   #2
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SORRY ITS A LONG ONE!

I am no pro but I have learned and seen a few things in my time. Great choice in upgrading the brakes and camber first. If you decide to do coilovers, I have been told that a corner balance is the best bet with coilovers to max their potential and keep the proper amount of tire patch on the ground for all four tires. Not corner balancing coilovers leads to uneven suspension settings leading to uneven tire patches for each tire. A good driving school helps severly as well. I have learned my lessons from crashing my own STi on the track due to lack of knowledge and possibly not having a proper corner balance on my STi coilovers.

Saftey: I would go with it for this reason alone. I have witnessed personally at the Nurburgring a guy who flipped his personal STi. The guy had his window open and when I went to help him his left side of the body was covered in mud with streak marks because he made contact with the ground. Now with that being said he did have a Recaro race seat installed into the car that covered his entire body on the left side. I honestly think that if it wasnt for that seat and the harnesses he would have been ejected from the seat. The seat played a big role in saving his life by keeping him in the car due to its bucket design. Crashing a car on the track is not a matter of if but when without the proper training and equipment.

Feel: If you were to get one maybe go for one with a lumbar support if possible. Most seats are made to sit you properly upright and at the proper distance to the wheel. IMO overtime this may get uncomfortable for someone. As for feeling the car, I personally can say that it helps. The seat really hold you in and reduces the amount of movement your body makes with the motion of the car. This not only helps you to better control the car with ease of controlling the steering wheel but you will most certainly feel the car more because you are more stationary.

I hope this helps you in your desicion to purchase. I have seen a seat recaro makes that is not only functional but stylish to our cars. There are much more functional seats with less style made by Recaro, the choice is yours to make. The racing seats link is for drifting but it explains more.

Proper seating positions:
http://www.turnfast.com/tech_driving/driving_seating

Benefits to racing seats:
http://legendaryracer.blogspot.com/2...cing-seat.html
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      12-04-2012, 11:28 AM   #3
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Start with a CG Lock and report back.

Try to recline your seat a little more, not just lowering the bottom.
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      12-04-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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I don't think you're going to be ejected from a standard M3 seat with seatbelt on, as far as the potential safety claim above.

But it is much easier to control a car with race seats, less sliding around and gripping the wheel to stay in place. And it is safer if you also add a roll bar. It is a tradeoff between street comfort and track comfort, like most track mods.
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      12-04-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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Fixed seats are an excellent track upgrade with some significant compromises. First, long road trips can become brutal and painful. Second, your back seats are only really accessible from the trunk. Third, more of a PIA to get in and out of. Gets old pretty quickly when DDing the car.

I tried some Recaro Profi SPG replicas as a test and they were awesome at the track, brutal for daily driving. I now have some Sabelt Steel Tube frame seats which are better and tolerable but need more lower padding...easily fixed. Still, its barely tolerable for a 3hr road trip. Again, awesome on the track. Its much easier to stay ahead of the car and feeling what is going on.

If your concern is being belted in, I'd just get the Schroth Ralleye 4 harnesses and be done with it. Seats take quite a bit more commitment and won't be worth it for everyone. The min I would recommend are the Ralleye 4 harneses...I've had the OEM belt lose its tension midcorner...made for an interesting moment.
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      12-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
I don't think you're going to be ejected from a standard M3 seat with seatbelt on, as far as the potential safety claim above.

But it is much easier to control a car with race seats, less sliding around and gripping the wheel to stay in place. And it is safer if you also add a roll bar. It is a tradeoff between street comfort and track comfort, like most track mods.
If anything your upper body can be pulled outside the window exposing you to the ground during a flip which is what I mentioned save the guys life having the recaro seat. Being ejected from a car is possible, I am just stating the possible events that can occur and what a racing seats help to prevent.
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      12-04-2012, 12:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
If your concern is being belted in, I'd just get the Schroth Ralleye 4 harnesses and be done with it. Seats take quite a bit more commitment and won't be worth it for everyone. The min I would recommend are the Ralleye 4 harneses...I've had the OEM belt lose its tension midcorner...made for an interesting moment.
+1

Cool thing about those harnesses is that it uses the OEM female ends of your seatbelt harness and you just bolt another female end on the other side of the seat to complete it.
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      12-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dex37 View Post
I have a E92 and I found mounting brackets which can slide and even tilt forward, so the rear seats remain accessible.
Link?
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      12-04-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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The VAC mounts and slides do provide a decent range of adjustment but you're not getting too much behind the seat.
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      12-04-2012, 02:02 PM   #10
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Another bonus for the E90!
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      12-04-2012, 02:40 PM   #11
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Another bonus for the E90!
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      12-04-2012, 05:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Fixed seats are an excellent track upgrade with some significant compromises. First, long road trips can become brutal and painful. Second, your back seats are only really accessible from the trunk. Third, more of a PIA to get in and out of. Gets old pretty quickly when DDing the car.
It may depend on the seats you get or your build, but I have the Recaro Profi XL seats in my R32, and find them quite comfortable on longer trips, probably just as comfortable as the stock seats (albiet this is in an R32, whose stock seats were a form of racing seat). I had both seats installed on sliders, and it's not that difficult to get to the area behind the seats either. It would be more trouble if they were both fixed, definitely.

All that said, I really wouldn't recommend racing seats with a otherwise stock car, and I'm not that much of a fan of harnesses either (with stock seats). I've been swayed by the argument that it's best to have a complete system, meaning fixed back racing seats, 6 pt harness, and roll cage. At that point, it becomes suboptimal as a DD.

I've only driven the M one event on the track (2012 ofest), and didn't really find the stock seats and belts that bad for moving around, once I followed the proper method (put proper adjustment in seat memory, recline seat back, adjust belt until very tight, use memory button to return to proper adjustment with belt now very tight). If the car is going to be your daily driver, I'd just stick with that or maybe try the cg lock.
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      12-04-2012, 06:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STi_traitor View Post
SORRY ITS A LONG ONE!

I am no pro but I have learned and seen a few things in my time. Great choice in upgrading the brakes and camber first. If you decide to do coilovers, I have been told that a corner balance is the best bet with coilovers to max their potential and keep the proper amount of tire patch on the ground for all four tires. Not corner balancing coilovers leads to uneven suspension settings leading to uneven tire patches for each tire. A good driving school helps severly as well. I have learned my lessons from crashing my own STi on the track due to lack of knowledge and possibly not having a proper corner balance on my STi coilovers.

Saftey: I would go with it for this reason alone. I have witnessed personally at the Nurburgring a guy who flipped his personal STi. The guy had his window open and when I went to help him his left side of the body was covered in mud with streak marks because he made contact with the ground. Now with that being said he did have a Recaro race seat installed into the car that covered his entire body on the left side. I honestly think that if it wasnt for that seat and the harnesses he would have been ejected from the seat. The seat played a big role in saving his life by keeping him in the car due to its bucket design. Crashing a car on the track is not a matter of if but when without the proper training and equipment.

Feel: If you were to get one maybe go for one with a lumbar support if possible. Most seats are made to sit you properly upright and at the proper distance to the wheel. IMO overtime this may get uncomfortable for someone. As for feeling the car, I personally can say that it helps. The seat really hold you in and reduces the amount of movement your body makes with the motion of the car. This not only helps you to better control the car with ease of controlling the steering wheel but you will most certainly feel the car more because you are more stationary.

I hope this helps you in your desicion to purchase. I have seen a seat recaro makes that is not only functional but stylish to our cars. There are much more functional seats with less style made by Recaro, the choice is yours to make. The racing seats link is for drifting but it explains more.

Proper seating positions:
http://www.turnfast.com/tech_driving/driving_seating

Benefits to racing seats:
http://legendaryracer.blogspot.com/2...cing-seat.html
Thank you for your reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
Start with a CG Lock and report back.

Try to recline your seat a little more, not just lowering the bottom.
Thanks, but what is CG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
I don't think you're going to be ejected from a standard M3 seat with seatbelt on, as far as the potential safety claim above.

But it is much easier to control a car with race seats, less sliding around and gripping the wheel to stay in place. And it is safer if you also add a roll bar. It is a tradeoff between street comfort and track comfort, like most track mods.
So true. Brakes or Suspension decision is the same issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Fixed seats are an excellent track upgrade with some significant compromises. First, long road trips can become brutal and painful. Second, your back seats are only really accessible from the trunk. Third, more of a PIA to get in and out of. Gets old pretty quickly when DDing the car.

I tried some Recaro Profi SPG replicas as a test and they were awesome at the track, brutal for daily driving. I now have some Sabelt Steel Tube frame seats which are better and tolerable but need more lower padding...easily fixed. Still, its barely tolerable for a 3hr road trip. Again, awesome on the track. Its much easier to stay ahead of the car and feeling what is going on.

If your concern is being belted in, I'd just get the Schroth Ralleye 4 harnesses and be done with it. Seats take quite a bit more commitment and won't be worth it for everyone. The min I would recommend are the Ralleye 4 harneses...I've had the OEM belt lose its tension midcorner...made for an interesting moment.
Thank you for your input. That is my biggest concern. I travel very often on longer distances. The Autobahn here is quite good, but still. And as you said gettin in and out of the car might get annoying too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dellort_M3 View Post
Link?
It is from Wiechers The page is unfortunately only in German I think. But if you need any information, let me know. Here is a pic, which a friend of mine made.


Quote:
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Another bonus for the E90!
That's true. I still like my E92 though
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      12-04-2012, 06:25 PM   #14
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Thanks, but what is CG?
http://www.cg-lock.com/general/buy
It's an American device, but you should be able to order from Germany.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex37 View Post
Thank you for your input. That is my biggest concern. I travel very often on longer distances. The Autobahn here is quite good, but still. And as you said gettin in and out of the car might get annoying too.
:
See my post above for a recommendation on what I've found to be a fairly comfortable long distance driving seat, since this is a concern of yours.
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      12-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dex37 View Post
Thank you for your input. That is my biggest concern. I travel very often on longer distances. The Autobahn here is quite good, but still. And as you said gettin in and out of the car might get annoying too.
Forgot to mention. If your girlfriend likes to wear skirts, she will probably put on a good everytime she gets in and out. If she's shorter than 5'6" she'll might be staring at the dashboard.

Look at my post here...

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...10&postcount=5

Here is a pic of a passenger in my E46 (seat...no sliders).

http://www.hart-photography.com/phot...wImage=1822445
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      12-05-2012, 07:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swartzentruber View Post
It may depend on the seats you get or your build, but I have the Recaro Profi XL seats in my R32, and find them quite comfortable on longer trips, probably just as comfortable as the stock seats (albiet this is in an R32, whose stock seats were a form of racing seat). I had both seats installed on sliders, and it's not that difficult to get to the area behind the seats either. It would be more trouble if they were both fixed, definitely.

All that said, I really wouldn't recommend racing seats with a otherwise stock car, and I'm not that much of a fan of harnesses either (with stock seats). I've been swayed by the argument that it's best to have a complete system, meaning fixed back racing seats, 6 pt harness, and roll cage. At that point, it becomes suboptimal as a DD.

I've only driven the M one event on the track (2012 ofest), and didn't really find the stock seats and belts that bad for moving around, once I followed the proper method (put proper adjustment in seat memory, recline seat back, adjust belt until very tight, use memory button to return to proper adjustment with belt now very tight). If the car is going to be your daily driver, I'd just stick with that or maybe try the cg lock.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swartzentruber View Post
http://www.cg-lock.com/general/buy
It's an American device, but you should be able to order from Germany.
See my post above for a recommendation on what I've found to be a fairly comfortable long distance driving seat, since this is a concern of yours.
Thanks! From what I've heared the Recaro Pole Position are actually quite comfortable for a racing seat. I will defenetly be mountet on sliders. I want to keep my car a DD. I will try the technique with the seatbelt. I found the seats ok on the track, but at the drift trainings I was moving around much more. The problem with the height remains though.

I am also not a fan with harnessess with stock seat and especially without a cage, so I will keep the stock seat belts.

I'll have a look at that CG Lock. I didn't know it till now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Forgot to mention. If your girlfriend likes to wear skirts, she will probably put on a good everytime she gets in and out. If she's shorter than 5'6" she'll might be staring at the dashboard.

Look at my post here...

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...10&postcount=5

Here is a pic of a passenger in my E46 (seat...no sliders).

http://www.hart-photography.com/phot...wImage=1822445
She is exactly 5'6'' But she sleeps all the time, when she is in the car, so that's not a problem I didn't consider the topic with the skirt This might be a deal breaker Or I will change only the driver's seat, but then I really don't know if it will look that good. I will wrap the Pole Position also in fox red, but still the shape of the seat is completely different.
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      12-05-2012, 08:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dex37 View Post
Thanks! From what I've heared the Recaro Pole Position are actually quite comfortable for a racing seat. I will defenetly be mountet on sliders. I want to keep my car a DD. I will try the technique with the seatbelt. I found the seats ok on the track, but at the drift trainings I was moving around much more. The problem with the height remains though.

I am also not a fan with harnessess with stock seat and especially without a cage, so I will keep the stock seat belts.

I'll have a look at that CG Lock. I didn't know it till now.
Do you know that your seat serves as the anchor points for your seat belt? Replicating that with aftermarket seats is not very easy and unproven. In addition, you have to be very mindful that the belts "ride" on your body properly, tight on your hips.

Do you also know that there's a device in the seatbelt receptacle that detonates under crash to tighten the belt (pre-tensioner) and if there's an aftermarket seat eyelet in the way, it will destroy the seat and/or damage the buckle.

All stuff to consider when you go messing around with years and millions of dollars of crash data collection and engineering.

Try a CG Lock and a volleyball knee pad on the door side knee to help brace yourself.

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      12-05-2012, 10:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Do you know that your seat serves as the anchor points for your seat belt? Replicating that with aftermarket seats is not very easy and unproven. In addition, you have to be very mindful that the belts "ride" on your body properly, tight on your hips.

Do you also know that there's a device in the seatbelt receptacle that detonates under crash to tighten the belt (pre-tensioner) and if there's an aftermarket seat eyelet in the way, it will destroy the seat and/or damage the buckle.

All stuff to consider when you go messing around with years and millions of dollars of crash data collection and engineering.

Try a CG Lock and a volleyball knee pad on the door side knee to help brace yourself.

Most floor mounts will have an adaptor (extra cost) that you can bolt the tensioner so you can retain the 3 pt seats. Even in a sedan but you'll just need 2 of those adaptors. But, of course, not crash tested.

Again, agree and I personally wouldn't recommend fixed seats in car that is your only daily driver for safety and comfort concerns. My E46 will be a streetable track car that I will drive on the street occassionally that I will never take my family in again so fixed seats work.
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      12-05-2012, 12:03 PM   #19
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My seats have been one of my favorite upgrades, they do however make your car much more extreme in terms of a DD. They can be a pain to constantly get in and out of, it's also difficult to get out if you pick a parking space where you can't fully open the door. I recently took a 5 hour round trip from long island to connecticut, driving through bumpy new york city streets. My butt was numb by the time I got home, there is compromise, especially if you upgrade your suspension.
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      12-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #20
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racing seat = worth it
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      12-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #21
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OK, I really don't want to sacrifice safety. It seems that the seats only make sense with roll cage and 4 or 6 point harnesses.
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      12-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #22
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The only race-like seats you should even consider for a street driven M3 are the BMW Performance seats since they have airbags. I'm not aware of any other seat that has side airbags and considering the way people drive these days, you need all the protection you can get.
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