Lotus Elan

Plus 2 Seats

PostPost by: mikealdren » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:22 pm

There are a few old threads on this but X1/9; XJS and MGB seats are now either expensive or knackered.

MX5 seems the only answer but the later seats are 51 cm wide and this is marginal for width. Also +2 seats are flat with the floor tilting upwards but MX5 seats are higher at the front to suit flat floors.

Has anyone any comments on the suitable available seats and which MX5 options are suitable.

thanks
Mike
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:23 am

I would consider building to suit
Lots of new technology :evil:
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:48 am

Interesting thought, I hadn't thought of building seats, I am looking to keep the cost down but I'll have a search on line.

The alternative is to recover the seats in leather but that's expensive.
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PostPost by: HCA » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:29 am

mikealdren wrote:Interesting thought, I hadn't thought of building seats, I am looking to keep the cost down but I'll have a search on line.

The alternative is to recover the seats in leather but that's expensive.


Expensive is relative! How much do you contemplate spending, and why are you changing the seats?

Whilst I am quite comfortable in older cars, I do prefer seats with a head restraint - in fact I feel quite naked without one. So I set out looking for something suitable and quickly came across the Federal option, but the bare frame was a grand, then upholsters were not happy having to make up foam that in the end took the price over 2k per seat!

Then I discovered BF Torino, made in Italy but not seen them in the UK seat outlets. In the end opted for their Nurburgring R:
http://shop.bf-torino.com/bf-autositze/ ... ng-r.html/
at 49cms width, they fit in the seat well much better than the standard seats. I will have to make a small modification to the seat runners though, but at 900€ each, I thought not a bad price - and this price includes trimming to a colour of choice (I have to supply the hides) and they will make the centre panels to match the rears - ie 50mm ribs. With shipping from Italy to France should not be much, I reckon all in maybe 2100€. (I guess though with the GBP falling through the roof, you might not consider it exactly cheap...but maybe things will pick up :? )
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:09 pm

Yes, it's all relative. £1,000 for a retrim may be good value but the costs are escalating and MX5 seats are £2-300 or the original, plastic seats are free......
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PostPost by: greg40green » Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:13 pm

Do you require Lotus Elan seats with heads rests ie ' Federal seats ' ?


mikealdren wrote:Interesting thought, I hadn't thought of building seats, I am looking to keep the cost down but I'll have a search on line.

The alternative is to recover the seats in leather but that's expensive.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:17 pm

Finding alternative seats for a +2 I think is difficult.
I haven't found yet what I think are suitable alternative seats for my car.
It isn't just the width of suitable seats, the height of the seat back including headrest is critical in a +2. The ones I have measured that I thought might be suitable I have eventually come to the conclusion that the back of the seat with a headrest would be just too high.

Alan.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:27 am

Interesting point Alan, the older solutions, X1/9, XJS, early MX5 are all low of course. Looks like re-trimming my Lotus Seats might be required.

There are modern solutions but they are usually bucket seats which are great for the track but I'm not sure they look right on a road car and most of them don't tilt or recline. The same issue with Elise seats.
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PostPost by: alanr » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:55 am

Yes Mike like you my current line of thinking is that having the originals re upholstered is the best solution but it is very expensive.
I have spent some time experimenting with replacement foam on mine, the covers not being too bad and ok for the time being but long term I would like a better solution.
MX5 seats are all different according to the year of the car and I am not sure they look right anyway. I haven't looked at Elise seats will they fit?
As I said before, not easy to sort is it!...

Alan.
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PostPost by: dougal9887 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:08 am

I have X1/9 seats in mine. I struck it lucky at 99p the pair on Ebay, already retrimmed for a stalled X1/9 restoration.
So worth keeping a lookout for. They fit very well, are very comfortable and the looks suit the car well IMHO.
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PostPost by: alanr » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:37 am

Hi Dougal,

Is it possible for you to show a photo of the X1/9 seats fitted in your car? It would be a great help.

Thanks,

Alan.
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:25 am

I always wanted to put these in my Plus 2 when I had it (I had them in my Mini)

Replica Microcell Contours (as used in the works Escorts and Minis). I think they would be perfect in terms of the 'correct' period look and they are also supremely comfortable.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:49 am

They look good Jono but do they tilt for rear access in a plus2?
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PostPost by: sprintsoft » Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:09 pm

Hello Mike,

look for MG TF seats on eBay. Just now I can see prices from £75 for a well used pair up to £360 for an immaculate leather set.

I used a pair of these in my Plus 2 while the old ones were getting renovated. These give great side support (unlike the originals).

They fit the width perfectly, having the headrests is a nice benefit but does prevent tilt forward.

You may need to trim off the seat sliders if they come complete.

Regards
Iain
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:50 pm

mikealdren wrote:They look good Jono but do they tilt for rear access in a plus2?


The whole seat will tilt on the front of the sub frame (the backs are not adjustable). I figured this would not be an issue given that an early Plus 2 does not have a tilting back and also given the infrequency of use of the rear seats.

The version without the headrest might be better if this was a concern.

Not cheap these seats - around £850 a pair when I got mine but they are really nice quality, look great and are very comfy. The basket weave used matches perfectly the rest of a Plus 2 S interior

Jon
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