Before I could fit the seats I needed to position the handbrake, and the side and back carpets. Having these in place would allow me to see how things really fitted and looked... More on these later.
The first job was to fit the runners to the seats; and when doing this I noticed some bumps under the leather where the runners were supposed to be butt-flush to the bottom of the seat. Was not happy with this, so a judicious session with the scalpel revealed the bumps were where the countersunk seat assembly screws had not been countersunk in… Pretty shoddy workmanship by the trimmer if you ask me…
Having made the runners sit flush with the seat bottom by countersinking the protruding screws, I placed the driver's seat 'in position' (taking care not to squash the heated-seat cable) to mark up for the handbrake and runner holes; but, with the seat back as far as it would go, i.e. butt-tight to the tunnel and the side just behind the driver’s door, there was an ~9 cm gap between the back of the seat and the back of the cockpit panel. I speculated the gap would be about ~7 cm when the leather trim is in place… This was wasted space that I needed to recover.
So my dilemma was; there was room for the seat to go back more, but there was no width for it to go back anymore… However, I noticed an ~5 cm GRP lip just behind the door catch area that was getting in the way; so, I got thinking… If I cut that off it would create another ~4 cm for the seat to go back further.
Quick e-mail to GDHQ, and Andy confirmed I could cut this bit off without compromising anything… Phew!
So with this excess GRP out of the way I could start again.
With the driver’s seat, and now the steering wheel, in position, I sat in my dormant creation to see how everything felt, or to be more precise, to see if I fit… And for me, the seat was a tad low, so I raised it up 2 cm.
Centred up the steering column for it to be in-line with me, then I jiggled about in the seat a bit for it to find its natural position. Pedals felt good and I had good spacings between the clutch, brake and accelerator; and after my sitting and jiggling session, I concluded I had a good pedal/leg angle and a comfortable steering wheel position, i.e., with my elbow just resting on the tunnel I had a good (natural) angle for my arm to get to the gear stick, and I had a comfortable grip on the wheel… It was essential that everything [ergonomically] felt good.
Checked to see if any of the dials were obscured by the steering wheel… And again all seemed okay…. Had a good look at the handbrake area to see how much room I had, and I don’t think there will be any issues there either; It’s going to be snug though.
Then, over to the passenger side and performed the same procedure, but with the seat raised up the same amount as the drivers side. Sat for a while, then jiggled around a bit to let the seat find its natural position before gingerly exiting and marking up.
Quick visual check (‘quick’ being about an hour) from various positions around the car, to see how things looked; and I decided that I could do no more but to drill the seat runner holes.
I also made load-spreading plates for the fixing points. Because I raised the seats up a bit, I needed to make sure each downward pressure points (four per seat) were not concentrated at the drill hole points.