Italian Engineering at its absolute FINEST…

This is yet another installment of The Neverending Race Seat Saga…

Friday, I picked up:

1) 1 Sparco Evo 2 Plus seat in black
2) 1 set Sparco steel side mounts (black)
3) 1 set Sparco seat slider tracks
4) 1 Sparco direct-fit seat base for a ’99-’04 Mustang, driver’s side
5) 1 Sparco hardware kit advertised as “All you need to mount your seat”

You’ll recall that this was ordered in early April. Owing to epic incompetence at (pick one or several) Sparco in Italy, Sparco USA in California, and the local Sparco distributor Motovicity, it took almost 3 full months for this to arrive.

Today, I went down to MRT to set about installing it. Note that all of the pieces-parts above are from the same manufacturer. This was a deliberate act on my part as the theory is that single-sourced pieces-parts will play well together.

This proved to be Lie #1.

Lie #2 was that the $8 hardware kit was “all you need to mount your seat”. It consisted of 4 short M8x1.25 grade 12.9 Allen-head cap screws, 4 longer M8x1.25 grade 12.9 Allen-head cap screws, 4 flat washers, and 4 M8 Nylock nuts. You need the 4 short screws to mount the seat to the side mounts, and 4 long screws, washers, and nuts to mount the side mounts to the seat base or sliders. No hardware was provided with or for the seat slider tracks, but as this proved out, that wasn’t ultimately an issue. No washers were provided, either, aside from the 4 flat ones listed — given slots in various brackets, you need washers, but they weren’t there.

Lie #1, however, had multiple parts. The seat tracks and the seat proved to be totally incompatible. The tracks will be returned for credit. If you mount the side mounts to the base directly in the only holes they fit into, the seat won’t fit between them.

What should’ve been an hour’s work took almost 3 hours as I had to enlist some help to reshape the side mounts and expand several slots in order to mount the side mounts somewhat splayed to the front in order to fit the seat in between them.

At least the seat base fit the car as it is supposed to.

The new seat is in the car. In a fixed position. Which is probably too far forward for me for anything beyond short-term autocross use. Fortunately, I have a solution on the way. A friend in the St. Louis area had made a “low boy” seat slider for Mustangs as he’s rather long-in-the-torso (longer than I even), and as he no longer has a use for it (he’s sold that car and is building a new one that won’t need it), he’s getting it to me at some point in the not-terribly-distant future. With luck, I’ll have it in time for the week of summer shutdown I’m forced to use precious vacation days for the first week of July, and I can perform the mods necessary to put this seat and its side mounts on it and accommodate the ’99-’04’s inboard seat belt mount (earlier cars had it fixed to the floor tunnel. I’m not drilling holes in the car unless absolutely necessary, and that’s not necessary).

So while the current setup is an improvement over the previous seat, not having a slider is a bit difficult. On the good side, my head, even with helmet, is no longer hard into the roof of the car, so my C-spine will be better — and the low boy slider will improve my headroom even further.

No pictures — by the time I’d finished, it started raining and I was in a scramble to get the car into the trailer before it got TOO wet and spotty.

Anyway, logic meets Italian engineering and loses…

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2 thoughts on “Italian Engineering at its absolute FINEST…

  1. fakefrenchie

    Only you would have these kinds of problems. Which is why I read your LJ. Well, I guess other people could have these kinds of problems, if they are into racing and cars. But no one else I know writes about such neat car-related problems. *grin*

    Reply
    1. autojim Post author

      Well, it worked on Sunday, but the slider will be in my posession this coming Monday and the solution is close at hand!

      Reply

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