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      12-03-2011, 05:03 PM   #1
pb12
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Recaro Speed Install - No More FAIL!

Hello folks --

Today I attempted to install my recently aquired Recaro Speed into our 128i. I have for as long as we have owned the car been miserable in the thing, as I sit far too high. I am not particularly tall, at 5'10", but with the power seats that we have, I just could not get comfortable at all. In fact with a helmet on, I actually hit the roof, with the seat in its lowest position;





Not the best image, but you get the idea. I cant imaging trying to drive like this, I think i'd have my head slamming against the roof!

So I went for a trial run attempt for the instal today. I knew this would not be my final attempt as I am waiting on Macht Schnell to release their updated version of their OC3 occupancy sensor. (long story, hopefull to see it by January).

Anyway, I wanted to find out two things; Firstly, would I actually sit any lower in the car, and secondly, did I in fact have the correct mounts for the car.

Well, the bad first. The mounts I was sold, and assured were correct for my car and seat, were not even close to being correct.

The macht schnell mounts for the e82 attach to the car fine:



There are two ways you can mount the side closest to the door, and I tried both. One with the mounting wholes to the inside, (as seen here) and also with them toward the outside of the car. The mount near the transmission tunnel can only be mounted one way, as there is not enough room to flip it around the other. It made no difference, in either case you ended up with this problem:



The bolt holes don't line up, in fact, it's not even close. Now you will notice, that in fact in this position, the mounting hole isn't even lined up with a close mounting hole, that's actually the end of the mount where there is a space for its' mounting bolt. But, moving the other side back a bit to a different hole, makes no difference, you end up with essentially the same problem. Clearly this mount was not intended for use with the standard Recaro slider, in this particular car. Perhaps the mounting holes in the M3 are wider, who knows.

So at this point, I am waiting on another vendor to provide what they claim is a mount specifically for this car, and this seat, on the Recaro Slider. I have my fingers crossed, and will repost when I get my hands on it.

Anyway, I was able to sit in the seat to get a sense for its height verses the stock seat, and I was thrilled to find I sit a good 2 to 3 inches lower!



I had also been warned that the width of the seat may be a problem, but it looks to fit just fine:





One last pic to show the two seats side by side:



Not a completely fair comparison, because the Recaro will sit on some sort of mount, but it gives you a general sense of the difference.

I also weighed both seats. the stock seat weighs in at 63.4lbs, the Recaro, with mounts, (that didn't work, but what the hell) is about 24lbs lighter at 39.1. Just thought folks would want to know.

Anyway, a bit discouraging. I have not seen anyone else who has attempted the same install, but I can't possible imagine I am the first to try this. I have seen the Pole Position mounted in our cars, but not the Speed. The two seats do indeed mount differently, though they use the same slider, so I am a little confused. If anyone has successfully done so, please post, and let me know what mount you used!

pb12

Last edited by pb12; 02-29-2012 at 10:45 PM.
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      12-03-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
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Maybe don't buy the knock-off copy? VAC designed this, give them a call and see if they have a solution to your dilemma. Ask for Mike. Tell him Dan referred you. 1.866.714.2002
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      12-03-2011, 06:44 PM   #3
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Do these seats fold?
I'm looking for some seats that still allow access to the rear seats.
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      12-03-2011, 07:09 PM   #4
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Xerox445 - I didn't know these were knock-offs! I will give them a call on Monday.

Int2str - Yes, these do indeed fold, so you retain access to the rear seats.
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      01-19-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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Did you ever have any luck with this? I'm about to put in SRDs (the older model of the speed) in my 135.

Below is my experience thus far:

I've called up VAC and talked to them, they said that the mounts they make don't work with the bottom mount seat like this. But, I did find these that might work:

http://www.speedwaremotorsports.com/...re-e82-bracket

I also have HMS looking for brackets for me, possibly getting the whole assembly from Recaro. I am thinking that I might have to have a custom mount made though because the SRDs are a little wider than the speed at the shoulder, and I might need to push the seats as far to the center as possible.

Are you installing both driver and passenger? What are you doing about airbags (the OC3 turns off the passenger)?
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      01-19-2012, 02:48 PM   #6
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I made my own brackets for my Corbeaus because I couldnt get a straight answer about the mounts.
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      01-19-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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Do you get an airbag warning light? I'm assuming the stock seats have the airbags in the seats themselves, and been wondering about how you get around this if going with aftermarket seats.
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      01-19-2012, 07:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenm View Post
Did you ever have any luck with this? I'm about to put in SRDs (the older model of the speed) in my 135.

Below is my experience thus far:

I've called up VAC and talked to them, they said that the mounts they make don't work with the bottom mount seat like this. But, I did find these that might work:

http://www.speedwaremotorsports.com/...re-e82-bracket

I also have HMS looking for brackets for me, possibly getting the whole assembly from Recaro. I am thinking that I might have to have a custom mount made though because the SRDs are a little wider than the speed at the shoulder, and I might need to push the seats as far to the center as possible.

Are you installing both driver and passenger? What are you doing about airbags (the OC3 turns off the passenger)?
We offer floormounts and seat belt receptacle brackets on our site that are compatible with both BMW Performance/Sportster CS seats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfe View Post
Do you get an airbag warning light? I'm assuming the stock seats have the airbags in the seats themselves, and been wondering about how you get around this if going with aftermarket seats.
1ers will get airbag and seat positioning errors if the OC3 module or coding is not performed to circumvent this.
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      01-19-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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Yes, I get an airbag light, but I run race harnesses so I don't need the airbag. Going with harnesses is cheaper and better than running all the (expensive) crap you need to run the regular seatbelt. Why even run race seats without anything to hold you in them? You can code the light to turn off as well.
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      01-19-2012, 10:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom @ eas View Post
We offer floormounts and seat belt receptacle brackets on our site that are compatible with both BMW Performance/Sportster CS seats.



1ers will get airbag and seat positioning errors if the OC3 module or coding is not performed to circumvent this.

But not for the SRD/Speeds they are bottom mount vs side mounts like the BMW Perf/CS.

OC3 Disables the airbag, so not streetable.

Do you have solutions for either of these points??
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      01-19-2012, 10:43 PM   #11
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......
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Last edited by HondaGoneRogue; 01-19-2012 at 10:45 PM. Reason: Not worth it.
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      01-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenm View Post
But not for the SRD/Speeds they are bottom mount vs side mounts like the BMW Perf/CS.

OC3 Disables the airbag, so not streetable.

Do you have solutions for either of these points??
Haven't tried Speed/Speed S seats, no one has really requested them. We'll give it a try as time permits, I have one in the showroom.
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      01-19-2012, 10:56 PM   #13
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How about the second point?
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      01-19-2012, 11:08 PM   #14
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N/M, I got it for ya.

Note: The Macht Schnell OC3 Seat Occupancy Sensor Emulation Module will disable the passenger dash airbag to prevent unsafe deployment. For this reason, this module is not intended for street vehicles and can result in possible injury or death if proper restraint conditions are not followed. Not compatible with euro models

I really hate when vendors come in with no usable advice, but still feel the need to drop a sales pitch for products that no one even needs. I'm glad some people do research before buying because these guys will sell you shit you don't need or can't/shouldn't use.
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      01-19-2012, 11:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaGoneRogue View Post
N/M, I got it for ya.

Note: The Macht Schnell OC3 Seat Occupancy Sensor Emulation Module will disable the passenger dash airbag to prevent unsafe deployment. For this reason, this module is not intended for street vehicles and can result in possible injury or death if proper restraint conditions are not followed. Not compatible with euro models

I really hate when vendors come in with no usable advice, but still feel the need to drop a sales pitch for products that no one even needs. I'm glad some people do research before buying because these guys will sell you shit you don't need or can't/shouldn't use.
You are essentially removing airbags (integrated within the seats) when the stock seats are removed. Dashboard airbags are dangerous, even moreso if fired off while not buckled in.

Advice: If you are not comfortable with this decision - don't do it.
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      01-19-2012, 11:14 PM   #16
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The seemingly only way to run seats like these is with a 4l5l6 point harness. But then you should have a harness and roll bar. Disabling the airbags and using the OEM safety belts is asking for trouble. It should be criminal to suggest someone run stock belts while running a module that disables airbags. (hence that legal blurp above).
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      01-19-2012, 11:55 PM   #17
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This thread has some more useful info. I hate to share it though, as a lot of the questions are answered ass-backwards and indirectly. But take from it what you will.

I will say Tom was a tad bit more "helpful" in this one: http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=314749
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      01-20-2012, 01:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaGoneRogue View Post
N/M, I got it for ya.

Note: The Macht Schnell OC3 Seat Occupancy Sensor Emulation Module will disable the passenger dash airbag to prevent unsafe deployment. For this reason, this module is not intended for street vehicles and can result in possible injury or death if proper restraint conditions are not followed. Not compatible with euro models

I really hate when vendors come in with no usable advice, but still feel the need to drop a sales pitch for products that no one even needs. I'm glad some people do research before buying because these guys will sell you shit you don't need or can't/shouldn't use.
You know... I was going to say it, but I figured my post count is kinda low to be smack talkin to vendors

Thanks for the actual useful/relavent info
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      01-20-2012, 08:28 AM   #19
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N/P man.
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      02-23-2012, 11:02 AM   #20
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Guys, I wanted to give you all an update on this. After calling pretty much every vendor and getting the same answer, or an "I'll go check this out" and never call back, I was ready to pretty much give up and sell the seats.

But, one of my buddies that works at AST told me I should give Vorshlag a call and have them see if they could fabricate something up. Well, after a long wait (for me at least lol), I took my car and seats to see them. The guys there are awesome, they knew exactly what I wanted, and how to deliver it. Terry, being a tall guy himself, knew that I needed to sit lower in the car, and they had developed other mounts for BMWs to do exactly that.

The seats are were a very tight fit (I have the SRDs not the Speeds, same seat, but they are about 50mm wider shoulder-shoulder), but they were able to squeeze them in and just barely rub the door. The results are amazing, I feel like I'm driving a different car now. The seat sits a good 2 if not 3 inches lower. The top of my helmet with me sitting up straight is below where my head used to be, without helmet, doing a gansta lean to sit in the car comfortably. I had a Z before my 135, and I always felt pretty comfortable in it and I would say this is lower than even that was. Did I mention that they also incorporated a dual locking sparco slider? The finish/fit on the mount is the same quality you could expect from any Vorshlag product, really really great stuff. They took some photos that are on their Facebook page and will be on their website later today I'm guessing. I'll post some on this thread too when I get a chance. Currently they are looking into solutions to disable the lights from the seatbelt sensor, weight sensor, and airbag. We think that maybe with a combination of coding and the OC3, that maybe we can get all the lights off, but still have the passenger airbag enabled.

The best news for you guys is that I talked to Terry about doing a group buy for these, he said if I can get at least 5 people on this, they would love to do that for us. But, even my one off custom fabricated piece was reasonable, less than one of the seats for both mounts, install, and frustrations lol.

So to break it down:
1) mount recaro bottom mount seats in 1
2) sits a good 2-3 inches lower than stock (great for guys over 6'1")
3) dual locking slider (FIA approved)
4) uses stock rear seat buckles for belts
5) super nice quality pieces
6) still working on coding/trickery to keep passenger airbag
7) seats with mounts weighed in at a little over 33lbs

Here is a link to the page where the pictures will be uploaded to:
http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Service/Race-Seat/

and of course their FB page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vorshlag/460717830112
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      02-23-2012, 01:48 PM   #21
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Keep us updated on the airbag situation! Once that's handled somehow, I see new seats in my future very quickly!

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      02-23-2012, 02:08 PM   #22
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Thanks for the kind words, Stephen. We try to make seating better for tall and short racers alike. I finally cropped the pictures from his install and figured I would share. Pictures from his install starts here.





Here are the weights. Stock passenger seat shown at 60.8 lbs. The Recaro SPD with the Sparco slider was 33.3 lbs and our brackets were 2.8... so weight saved looks to be about 49 and a half pounds. Not bad - and he can finally sit upright with a helmet on, which is a huge plus.



The brackets we made don't look like much work, but that's deceptive. These incorporate integral long nuts welded into and through the tubes for the sliders to mount to, and access holes to bolt these brackets to the stock mounting holes in the floor. They bolt in and out easily - without having to disassemble the seat from the slider. Super short stack up height for the entire set-up. We also beefed up the washer area for the hardware from the Sparco sliders to the Recaro SPD mounting holes (the SPDs are made with M6 thread inserts, so we made a long washer to spread the load out against the slider, for use with the M6 SHCS hardware it came with).



The stock 135i front seat belt receptacles have an explosive charge in them to pretension the belts during a crash ("crazy Germans"), and are wired into the same plug as the power motors and other systems, so the front belt receptacles cannot be removed for re-used with an aftermarket seat. Instead we used a pair of rear 135i seat belt receptacles (they use the same male buckle style) and made a solid mounting tab on our steel brackets for those to bolt to.



The Sparco sliders have a huge range of travel (18") and allow you to still access the rear seat, fit tall or short drivers, and are the safest and shortest (height of slider) slider option we've found. I'm 6'3" and fit in Stephen's 135i with a helmet on and room to spare.

These came out pretty nice. Making custom brackets for a car like this is usually a "one off", and takes much more time than you can imagine. There are very few off the shelf seat bracket/slider solutions that work for taller folks wearing a race helmet. If you are in the north Dallas area and have a "seat situation" like Stephen, we can possibly help.

Cheers,

Last edited by Fair; 02-23-2012 at 03:23 PM.
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