I have been putting this project on the backburner for years as I anticipated the same issue I had with my track day car in that any aftermarket seat always ends up with you sitting up higher than the stock. Not that big of a deal if you're 5'8", but at my height I am already looking into the windshield pillar. So I thought I would post these visuals of the difference between the driver's seat (stock) and passenger (Miata) when you are 6'. A couple other considerations are if you have a roll bar the Miata seats lose even more seat travel due to the higher headrest....... and that neat tonneau cover I have enjoyed the last several years will no longer fit. I guess I could have used a laser to give a better visual, but this is good enough for those considering the project. Level is sitting on the top of my head. Basically the Miata seat is a good 1 1/2" taller. I'll probably go ahead with the project anyway as I don't think the blue plaids are available anymore... not to mention I am tired of spending $$$ on covers that only last a couple years. We shall see after driving with them for a while, but I anticipate that it will be too annoying looking under the window frame than any benefit of comfort & headrest speakers.
Last edited by gzfqy6; 02-21-2016 at 06:46 PM.
Thanks to Paul's help I finally got my M seats in. As you have already figured out the replacement seat my be to high for 6'+ drivers. I can't see the turn indicators or the Ign light and
I have to duck to see stop lights. Seats are very comfortable even more so than in my 6. I only have 250 miles on the 8 so will have to see if I can live with them being so high or not.
If you squint, the color match isn’t all bad. Actually it is better in person than camera and let’s face it everything is a different shade from the sun anyway. The installed height is awful…. I can hardly see any of the gages. I am hoping I can adapt because I really like the way they turned out. If not, I will try shaving the foam….. which of course means I will probably destroy them cause I just can’t leave well enough alone
Last edited by gzfqy6; 04-08-2016 at 09:55 AM.
You can do a "foamectomy" on the bottom cushion, basically cut off the foam that goes into the depression in the seat pan. That lets you sink into the seat a bit, but doesn't change how they look when you are not sitting on them. It appears to be a common mod even for Miata owners:
Very helpful Darrell, I have been worried about head clearance in a coupe. This is what I have been looking for, I even thought of cutting down the mounts in the floor of the car or having a mod done to the headliner. This will be perfect when I install the new leather seat covers.
Some of this is redundant for this site. Just thought I would share my story i sent to my other car mates as we always poke fun at our good intention failure projects with our "Tales From The Garage".
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2016 1:44 PM
This one is so typical of my bone-head projects it isn't all that interesting or amusing, but still has merit in sharing for humbling sake.
This one like most contains my two worst contributing personality flaws. Cheap & stubborn. Cheap which of course is an illusion (or is it delusion) as most know cheap almost always renders itself twice as expensive as originally perceived when all is done. Stubborn of course is the fuel that feeds the delusion that Cheap will somehow actually work out this time even though it never has.
Task at hand: Replace TR8 seat covers..... for the 3rd time! “Cheap crap” or should I say “expensive crap”. These things are costly and hardly of lasting endurance. Enter the buzz on TR8 forums discussing the merits of using the Miata seat as an alternative. With some research I note that I can acquire the seats from a salvage yard, purchase the covers, add speakers for the headrests and fabricate necessary bracketry for the two seats for about half of redoing 1 of the Triumph seats...... I'm on board!
Reluctantly I proceed as my experience in trusting people in telling the truth about seat height manifest itself on my track car when the company's lowest racing seat (with shaved foam) ends up sitting higher than the stock seat. Note the two look pretty close when sitting side by side..... but there lies the illusion. You sit in the Triumph seat while you sit on the Mazda.
The driver side is the Triumph and the passenger Mazda. Notice the approximate 3" difference...... no, not my nose.... the seat height
Also noted, with the high back design I cannot use my tonneua cover which I have gotten quite accustomed to. At this stage stubbornness kicks in with abandon. "These obstacles will not defeat me" my misguided right brain tries to convince the left. I discover that if I slide the seat all the way forward & recline the seat back I can button down the tonneau and the seat height is something I will adapt to and hey, there's speakers in the seats...... and of course it still is cheap. You all know where this is heading, don’t you.
Fabricating done. Not that big of a deal as I just needed an adaptor to account for the different seat tracks and the Triumph mounts the belts to the seat versus the body for the Mazda. The ridiculous part is how I screw up not taking the time to measure things and just assume (nothing like blunders within ones expertise) the driver same as passenger. Lest you all find that too hilarious I know plenty of you engineers not sharing their engineering blunders at home also.
Finished. I like the way it looks. Color match is actually better in person than the camera. Being in the sun none of the trim in the car matches anymore anyway.
…… but wait, I actually have to drive the car. As long as I drive between 0-20mph or 100-140mph & shift at 2000rpm I’m ok. Looking straight at the windshield frame is a nice touch……. But by jiminy cricket, I’m going to get used to this. After all it was the less expensive (cheaper) alternative. First thing that comes to mind is…. Are all the people on the forum 5’4” or something? Who in their right mind would think this is a nice driving position. I drive the car to work several days and note a couple other interesting details. The seat itself is not that comfortable & those cool speakers in the headrests must be a goofy ohm rating or something because they are pretty much useless. Man this project is getting more rewarding all the time!!!!
While sitting in the chiropractor’s office (due to driving with my neck at a 45 degree angle to see) I think (still not to give in to defeat) I can shave enough foam in a manner that will not destroy the way the seat bottom looks & drop me enough that I won’t have to look out the car with my head crooked. Apparently this has been done quite regularly by the Miata crowd as someone sent me a youtube link after I butchered them up on my own. The idea is to cut the middle center without cutting the sides there-by the bolsters still keeping the seat fabric taught. What you see here is the 1st cut on the bottom. Much more would follow with very little remaining in the end.
Jenni helped me mark the progress (and I use the word progress sarcastically) as I whittled down. End result is around 1 3/8” higher than the Triumph.
Final results are that the ride height is better, but not good. The seats are a little more comfortable, but not as good as the Triumph ones. The speakers are novel, but useless with the car running let alone moving. Well time to sign off now. Need some time to order new foams for the Triumph seats & search for an upholsterer to make me some seat covers. Yup, I love when a plan comes together……. Two sets of seats is much “cheaper”
The above seats are available for anyone close enough to Detroit, MI area (I won't ship them) to pick them up. $100 includes adapters, shaved foams and full foams.
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