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Sport Seats

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Stewart 430, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Stewart 430

    Stewart 430 Guest

    Dear All,

    Can any body give me thier thoughts/recomendations or advice on what make, style or model of sports seats to put in my 1998 355.

    Regards

    Stewart
     
  2. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
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    David Jones
    Are you looking for adjustable, or non-adjustable?
     
  3. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ
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    Apr 3, 2001
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    Randy
    Very important question here. Also, what is the purpose of the seat? Replacement for driving around town? Spirited drives? Or trackable seat to hold your butt in place?
     
  4. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    Feb 6, 2004
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    Richard Wallace
    I am actually looking at the Sparco Milano (Tan Leather) - If you have the typical ferrari Tan - they are identicle in color... (Also have Black) Good solid seat. (and for once - these seats will fit (just need to fabricate the rails to match your old holes and the new seats - which is minor compared to what I have been researching. These are more spirited driving seats - if you want track specific - non adjustable - you will need to go MOMO or Sparco Sport line... Which both can be had in Carbon Fiber, etc.

    I have been looking for about 4 months - and have virtually looked at every one out there - driver seats. After I almost gave up and was going to buy a cheaper cloth seat and have someone custom wrap leather, etc. My price was about 3.5K per seat... Then I found this - and went to take a look at it in the flesh - great seat - and I will be ordering it at the end of the summer - for my winter project.

    Rich
     
  5. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ
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    Apr 3, 2001
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    Randy
    To add to Richard's recommendations - if it comes down to a one piece, non-adjustable seat, fiberglass vs. carbon fiber - the CF will only shave off ~5lbs. and will run ~600+ for each seat. Even fiberglass seats for the track hold up very well, and dollar for dollar, with a black backing, they work just fine. The CF can - depending on the model - be a bit stronger, but it all depends on how the CF mold was made.

    You might want to also look at other seats from various Ferrari's. One local owner with a 512TR found one seat from an F50 (but unverified) for ~$500. It's quite slick, but only one seat. Best of all, it matches very well with the car.
     
  6. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    Richard Wallace

    Schatten - I am with you - I would go Fiberglass or Alloy for track - unless you want a few pounds and pay much more...

    BTW - Smpatton The Milano's go for about $1,260 each seat - but the leather is much better for wear than the orginal 355's leather - so should go 5 years with minimal if any wear.. My 355 went about 3 and started showing.
     
  7. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
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    Agree with a lot of what has been said. Decided to go with a 'tween seat and have the Sparco Roadster seats here. Found the Milano and Torino just too damn heavy IMHO and trying to shave as much weight as possible (yet keep her street legal and as a daily driver). As i recall, the leather Milano is 37 lbs whereas the Roadster is 15 in cloth and i can always get custom leather cover.

    Mounting can be tricky as pointed out, yet the Roadster has both bottom and side mounting so going with side mounting with OMP low-rise alum brackets. Will be installing the new seats on May 2 or so. Please post pics of your seats once you get them installed.

    As for CF versus fiberglass, not much advantage for the $$ as pointed out here so went with fiberglass. And yes, learned there are different types of CF and why i DID NOT go with Cobra seats.
     
  8. Capt

    Capt Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    221
    North of Boston
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    Michael
    What were the 355 challenge seats? Are they to be had anywhere anymore?

    -Michael
     
  9. GTRPower

    GTRPower Karting

    Mar 24, 2004
    105
    Orlando, FL
    Full Name:
    Nick
    Last week I installed a pair of OMP ARS fiberglass seats in my 355. I used the OMP hardware mounts without sliders. The ARS fiberglass seats are slightly heavier than their carbon fiber counterparts- 8lbs vs. 5lbs. I'll save the $1K per seat. Interesting note- the OMP seats had the freshest date stamps I've ever seen- produced in March '04 for customer delivery in April '04! For some of you, you know the importance of that- the seats are FIA compliant for a vast majority of time they are in the customer's (my) hands...

    I wanted to get a lower seating position... but that wasn't going to work as well as I wanted. In the end the seating position is about 1" lower although an additional inch would have been ideal for helmet headroom. The seat bottoms sit on the carpet. I didn't use sliders either- so both are mounted in a fixed position. I don't know how some of you sit in this car- I am not the tallest (5'7") and I have headroom issues when I am sitting in a "good" driving position.

    The OMP hardware kits leave a lot to be desired, and the instructions... well, let's just say I don't read Italian very well.

    In any case, *****ing aside, the seats are far more comfortable than the OEM seats which, to me, feel terrible. I just completed a 700 mile trip to Mid Ohio from Chicago in the car with the new seats yesterday and I have no complaints. Obviously, this motorsports derived seat gave me no problems at the track...

    Also- from what I understand the OMP ARS carbon seats are the same as the Ferrari 355 Challenge seats, minus the embroidery.
     
  10. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,387
    MO
  11. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Steven
     
  12. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
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    The Butcher
    Don't you have a GTS? How will you get the top in the car if you can't move the seats or seat backs? It may seem a small point...until you get caught in the rain :)....also I found the rear firewall is the ideal place to mount the amps (they don't interfer with the roof) and it's nice to be able to get to them too.

    I guess a custom bracket could be made to let the whole seat rocket forward out of the way.

    I'm very sad to learn that there are problems getting the Cobra Misano...I had already put them on my christmas list.....
     
  13. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Oh, I should add the most production fiberglass is just sprayed with a chopper gun, which is the weakest way to make it, but very fast. They just use more until the seat is strong enough. Mat or cloth is a big improvement, much stronger per pound. Uni-directional fiber is the strongest per pound if you are sure what direction strength is required, it is extremely strong in the direction od the fibers, but extremely weak at 90 degrees to the fibers, they usually end up laying fiber in several directions the put a layer of cloth on the outside for looks. All the methods can produce a seat of equal strength, but better lay-ups will make the seat lighter. Another trick used a lot is to make the surface cloth CF for looks, then use FG for the inner layers. This save money on material but adds a little weight.
     
  14. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
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    Mark,

    Have a GTS and never have the top behind me. It is either ON or OFF. If rain comes i know places to duck into, yet so far have NEVER been caught out. You mentioned mounting amps???? If you mean for a stereo system, onlt the very basic one in the GTS and have been debating yanking the one in the car. Pretty much worthless and why i have the Honda. The right and left feet are all the "sound system" i desire :)

    Getting the Cobra Misano is a task indeed, yet i wonder if they are "worth" it. Of course "worth" and "value" are relative terms. To each their own. As for how fiberglass is done to make a seat, there is where i would trust Sparco. They KNOW their stuff and seem to do it the RIGHT way. Same goes for Sparco CF. See how they alternate CF and Kevlar fibers in their seats.

    As for my choices, hate faux CF and decided that "wet look" CF was not a good choice (aka Cobra seat). CF done right seem to equal Sparco or OMP (and is what Ferrari uses as well). Naturally feel free to conduct your own research and talk to structural engineers and come to your own conclusions.

    The project i am deep within is employing the expertise of MANY people as this is indeed a SAFETY issue FIRST AND FOREMOST!!! This also explains why i chose Schroth Profi II-FE asm 4/5-way harness system (http://www.schroth.com/products_en/privat/privat.htm) . We must remember that the 308 has ZERO air bags so you want to have some controlled reduction of velocity versus just a sudden stop.


    LEGAL Mumbo Jumbo:
    FULLY desire you doing your own independent research and then you can draw your own conclusions. Will make NO guarantee that my choices are "correct" and the most safe... though have been using "DOT approved" as guidelines.
     
  15. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
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    I am a mechanical engineer and did my senior thesis on race car chassis structural design :)

    It really comes down to preference and meeting your needs. I really don't think there is no "right way" to make a seat. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. The manufactures try to strike a balance between cost, appearance and weight to produce a safe product and there are many many solutions to the problem. I do like the Sparco Roadster seats you picked out, but I love the Cobra Misano…ahhh the reason they call it customizing.
     
  16. steve f

    steve f F1 World Champ

    Mar 15, 2004
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    steve
    what about these
     
  17. g60racer

    g60racer Karting

    Mar 2, 2004
    73
    San Diego
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    Brendan Prout
    Hard to find these days, but for adjustable sport seats the Recaro Trophy is excellent. Very deep side bolsters, will bolt onto some Ferrari seat tracks (308's i know of for sure), available in full leather, with or without bum warmers. And at only $1000 apiece in leather, good deal.

    Here are mine:
    http://www.hostdub.com/albums/g60racer/panrecaros2.jpg

    http://www.hostdub.com/albums/g60racer/recaro1288.jpg

    Here is a set I have uninstalled as of yet, these ones are half leather, with cloth centers.
    http://www.hostdub.com/albums/g60racer/Cnv0027.jpg
     
  18. rexrcr

    rexrcr Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2002
    1,572
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    Rob Schermerhorn
    Yellow woven with black is Kevlar (yellow) with carbon fiber. The designer is getting the strength of carbon fiber with the toughness of Kevlar, at the cost of a little additional weight (assuming all variables equal).

    I wouldn't venture a guess of seat strength unless I tested them myself, or found the seat conforms to FIA standards (which will be a one-piece seat). That said, I would not use a fiberglass seat unless it was in a Kart. Carbon fiber, or Carbon/Kevlar, yes. Aluminum, yes.

    Also, I think you're talking about pre-preg carbon fiber vs. wet lay-up, and uni vs. omni directional cloth. If designed and manufactured properly, strength should be similar or the same, with uni-directional layers laid down in different directions. A wet lay-up may or may not be heavier, depending on vacuum baging and the amount of epoxy remaining in the lay-up.

    Best regards,

    Rob Schermerhorn
     
  19. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Wow, lots of great info here! It is good to have choices and good to see others not happy with stock seats :)
     
  20. Brassovaries

    Brassovaries Karting

    Nov 3, 2003
    50
    Rochester
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    Dinah
    Interesting thread, very timely as I am about to order a pair of replacement race seats (currently only have one, the original VID) on my '98 355 Challenge, and I'm waffling between the Fiberglass and CF (not a trivial choice). Rob, could you elaborate on this comment that you would NOT use a fiberglass seat? Mine is an oft-tracked car, yet I am trying to weigh the cost/safety issues. Obviously, if the safety advantages of CF FAR surpass those of fiberglass, then it is $$ well spent. Ergo, I'm curious to hear more...there is nothing worse then spending money twice because the original item didn't do what you wanted.

    Dinah
    '98 355 Challenge #27
     
  21. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

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    I'm confused too. Just looking at the mechanical properties, I would only give CF a weight advantage, but would not think a seat would be safer. Including Kevlar in either FG or CF greatly improves the toughness...I guess what it really does is prevent cracks from propagating through the layers. I don’t see an inherent advantage to CF over FG. I’m probably missing something.
     
  22. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Agreed, do not feel either are inherently "safer", it seems to be more of a weight issue. As an example, let us say a Sparco normal Fiberglass seats is $500, going with same type of seat CF is about $1k EACH more $$$. Not sure $2k TOTAL (for both driver and passenger) is worth a weight saving TOTAL of 15 lbs. But hey, if you have an EXTRA $2k burning a hole in your pocket, more power to you :)
     
  23. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
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    Dennis
    It should be added that many aftermarket "street" seats (i.e., not the one-piece track seats) will NOT fit in a 355 -- too wide. Make sure to take measurements before you buy. You might be able to get them to fit if you modify the center tunnel and/or the parking brake surround.

    A friend just sold me a pair of Sparco America seats out of her 355 (I'm going to use them in another car), and she tossed in a modified center tunnel piece that Ferrari of Washington cobbled together for her (replaces the stock piece). That's how she got those in there (Sparco America seats are extra wide, BUT they are only one-piece seats).

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  24. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    The Sparco Milano's according to the measurements will fit in the 355.. Just as a side note.
     
  25. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    I move to the inside of my 308 next,
    and have been wondering about these seats from Sparco
    Fighter $499
    Corsa $599
    Evo $579
     

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