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      10-16-2007, 10:33 PM   #1
YVR335i
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Height Issue: M3 Seats and Tracking

When I have my helmet on my head hits the roof in my 335. I have to tilt the seat back and extend the steering wheel as far as it goes, but I don't get a proper grip on the steering wheel. I'm assuming the M3 seats will be similar (they look similar). Does anyone know if it's possible to get a lower, manual seat option on M3, possibly through a special order?

On a couple of Boxters I was looking at, the manual seats seemed to be about an inch lower than the power seats. I'm hoping (probably in vain) that BMW might have a similar setup...

I'm guessing it would be an option to replace the driver's seat with an aftermarket version.

Thanks for your help.
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      10-17-2007, 12:03 AM   #2
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i doubt that they are going to have a manual seat option, but i'm sure you could have that changed at a shop. the m3 seats are different from the 335 seats, so you'll have to check for yourself or find some reliable specs which i'm sure are on here somewhere.
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      10-17-2007, 08:41 AM   #3
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I'm curious how the M3 seats are different from the 335i seats in ways that would effect headroom? Are they noticeably thicker?

I am 6'4" and had the 335i at the drag strip earlier this month and was able to put on the helmet just fine. I could still put my finger between the roof and the helmet. However, I have my normal seat position set to the lowest possible height and reclined somewhat. Sounds to me like my position is similar to the one you describe as not providing your with a good grip.
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      10-17-2007, 08:46 AM   #4
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If your 335 has a sunroof, there will be less headroom than in the M3 with the cf roof.

As it is in my E46 M3 with sunroof I have to recline the seat a little in order to feel comfortable with a helmet on. I expect the E92 will be about the same or maybe a little better without the sunroof.
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      10-17-2007, 10:57 AM   #5
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Im 6-4 as well. Sometimes its just tough being tall!
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      10-17-2007, 11:11 AM   #6
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M3 seats

Quote:
Originally Posted by redmtclimber View Post
i doubt that they are going to have a manual seat option, but i'm sure you could have that changed at a shop. the m3 seats are different from the 335 seats, so you'll have to check for yourself or find some reliable specs which i'm sure are on here somewhere.
"In order to provide an enhanced sporting character and more hold, the seat cushions and backrests in European vehicles have been further developed. In US vehicles, only the front seat backrests have been revised. The seat upholstery installed in US vehicles is the same as that used on the E92 series-model sport seat." -- BMW Aftersales Training manual

It sounds like the seat bottom cusion is identical to the standard E9x for the US. Not clear wheter Canada gets the Euro or US version.
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      10-17-2007, 11:28 AM   #7
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Good post Greg. I am now very curious about the exact differences the Euro and US M3 seats.
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      10-17-2007, 04:07 PM   #8
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I've wondered about this too. I've got a sunroof in my 325, which lowers the ceiling, and my helmet hits. I was hoping that no sunroof in the M3 would solve the problem.
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      10-17-2007, 10:32 PM   #9
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I forgot about the sunroof (or lack there of) as well. I wonder if any of the current owners in Great Britain can compare the CF roof M3 to a 335i for head room.
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      10-18-2007, 01:44 AM   #10
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The M3 Sedan should have significantly more headroom than the M3 Coupe, I believe. Maybe go for the M3 sedan?

In order to get that sexy super-low roofline in the coupe, BMW sacrificed the "tall drivers" market with the 3 series coupes, IMO. For example, I'm a little over 6'3" with a long torso and relatively short legs, and when I sit in a 3 series coupe my head hits the headliner with the seat all the way down. I have to recline the 3 series coupe's seats to a severe angle to fit appropriately, then I can't get the wheel far back in the right position for comfortable driving. It's like driving a reclined La-z-boy chair with my arms stretched out straight ahead.

Of if you're considering ///M alternatives, the M6 coupe (and 6 series coupes in general) has noticeably more headroom than any 3 series coupe. I have a 650i and it has plenty of headroom for me, and my 6er has a moonroof which steals even more headroom. It's no M3, but it fits me. Years ago I swore I'd never get another car without lots of headroom after driving around in a cramped Civic for a long time.

Sometimes it's inconvenient being "shortness challenged".
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      10-18-2007, 05:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinySteelRobot View Post
The M3 Sedan should have significantly more headroom than the M3 Coupe, I believe. Maybe go for the M3 sedan?

In order to get that sexy super-low roofline in the coupe, BMW sacrificed the "tall drivers" market with the 3 series coupes, IMO.
Good point. I've never sat in the coupe before. It seems it has an inch and half less head room according to specs. That's pretty significant
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      10-18-2007, 04:22 PM   #12
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I didn't realize the coupes were lower.

My previous car (Acura TSX) was a 4-door and, me being tall, the seat was back at the perfect position for me to left-shoulder check with the door pillar. Comfortingly, it was always there . (There's no pleasing some people.)

I sat in an M6 and it did seem larger. It's also a little bit more money...

I'll definitely take my helmet, go to the dealership, and try an E90 this weekend, maybe an M6 too.

A friend of mine suggested an aftermarket Sparco or Recaro seat. We were wondering how the BMW's systems would react to the lack of sensors and airbags in the racing seats.

Thanks again for your help.
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      10-18-2007, 09:02 PM   #13
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Is there weight sensor in the seat? I thought the airbags depended on the seat belts to deploy.
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      10-18-2007, 09:46 PM   #14
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We don't know - it's more speculation than anything else. There are some BMW tuner shops in town - I'll ask them tomorrow about the 335 seats.

Last edited by YVR335i; 10-18-2007 at 09:47 PM. Reason: Typo
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      10-19-2007, 06:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Is there weight sensor in the seat? I thought the airbags depended on the seat belts to deploy.
I could be wrong, but I seem to remember reading that the side airbags are actually packed in the side of the seat. Not sure.
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      10-19-2007, 08:04 AM   #16
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wtf. Still, I would imagine those would rely on the seatbelt sensor as to whether or not they deploy. I know most cars won't deploy the airbags if you're not buckled in.
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      10-19-2007, 08:45 AM   #17
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wtf. Still, I would imagine those would rely on the seatbelt sensor as to whether or not they deploy. I know most cars won't deploy the airbags if you're not buckled in.
Right but the racing seats would not have the airbags at all. I think that is what YVR335i is talking about in his post.
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      10-20-2007, 03:46 AM   #18
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I recall hearing that this would indeed set off the airbag sensor and there is a workaround.
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      10-20-2007, 12:15 PM   #19
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There is a sensor pad on the bottom of the passenger seat that can be fitted on aftermarket seats such as Recaro's. I have a set of Recaro's in my E46 and no airbag light.
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      10-20-2007, 01:08 PM   #20
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Thanks for everyone's input. I talked to a local tuner and a racing seat supplier and they both said that replacing the driver's seat would 'probably' be no problem. Of course, I don't think there are any seat adapter brackets for the M3 yet, but I think I could CAD something up based on an E46 bracket design.

Now I just have to wait for my M3
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