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Old 10-18-2009, 09:24 AM
Irelands child's Avatar
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Cutting BMW Recaro's down

The previous post reminded me that I have a possible problem.

My upholsterer did my Glide bucket seats and while they are very nicely done - are way too high for me(I'm 6'4") in my '31A roadster - and do not look "right" in the car. I've considered building a bench seat but would have a problem with access as the wiring is in a compartment in the upholstered panel behind the passenger seat. I brought my concerns to my guy and he gave me a set of BMW Recaro's that he had in his '32 three window. They are extremely comfortable and are low enough for my 6'4" so my head isn't above the windshield frame.

My question is - they recline nicely for my driving position and do not extend above the rear deck former, but if they are brought to a more upright position, say for another person to drive or just to change position during a trip then they extend above that rear former. These seats do need to be eventually recovered and at that time I would consider shortening the height a bit. I also need to cut access for the shoulder belts. Can this seat frame be shortened relatively easily?? It appears that there is a solid piece of steel internally, but have no idea as to the rest of the construction.

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Dave W
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:21 AM
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It would be highly unusual for a seat like that to have a solid all steel frame. More likely than not it has a tubular steel frame around the perimeter of the seat back. You will need to take the seat cover off to find out, and only then will you be able to determine how tough a job it would be to lower them. If you're really lucky, all that might need to be done is cutting down the foam. If you're not lucky, it would require lowering the frame itself along with the foam.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
It would be highly unusual for a seat like that to have a solid all steel frame. More likely than not it has a tubular steel frame around the perimeter of the seat back. You will need to take the seat cover off to find out, and only then will you be able to determine how tough a job it would be to lower them. If you're really lucky, all that might need to be done is cutting down the foam. If you're not lucky, it would require lowering the frame itself along with the foam.

Dan - I was able to sneak my hand behind the center padding after cutting the hog rings and it is a sheet steel backer rather then the tubular framing that I expected. I'm planning on using those seats with the cloth upholstery for a while (funding is a it short) so made up a couple of webbing loops that are bolted in place to hold the shoulder straps in place - and it's tough stuff.

What I think you are telling me is that I have to take it apart, then decide IF it can be done then HOW!!

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Dave W
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:47 PM
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bmw recaro's do have an all steel frame...assuming they are genuine recaro...i've redone several sets for my 2002's
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:49 PM
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Then they must be gennies!! And I don't have any reason to question the individual that 'donated' them to the cause - the back adjuster says BMW - and they have a steel frame top to bottom on the back

Dave W
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:30 AM
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One way or another, no matter how the frame is made, the seat cover and foam have to come off to figure out how to cut the seat down. If the seat back is all steel it will be a simple job to lower it. All you have to do is cut down the frame and the foam.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
One way or another, no matter how the frame is made, the seat cover and foam have to come off to figure out how to cut the seat down. If the seat back is all steel it will be a simple job to lower it. All you have to do is cut down the frame and the foam.
Great -
One more question - what is your estimate of material needed to do this job - I have a bit of nice marine vinyl left over, about 4 yards (54"x ~ 90") plus a bit more in a tag end and smaller pieces, probably another yard. Not a problem to order more, but I don't need any more 'extras' when we are planning a major home/state relocation in the spring

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Dave W
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:25 AM
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Two yards for each seat should be plenty. A yard of fabric is 36" by 54", 4 yards would be 144" by 54" what you have is 2 1/2 yards, and that is pushing it as far as having enough for two seats
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Two yards for each seat should be plenty. A yard of fabric is 36" by 54", 4 yards would be 144" by 54" what you have is 2 1/2 yards, and that is pushing it as far as having enough for two seats
Thanks Dan - I had a gut feel that upholsterer's had a "different way" of measuring fabrics rather then the 36"x36" that the rest of the world uses for 'things' . So I'm really short a yard, but ordering 2 or 3 yards would make sense.

Dave W
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:30 PM
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Yes, in the upholstery world we think in "running yards" (36" by 54" which is 1 yard across the width of the roll of fabric), not square yards. You won't need more than two yards. (72" by 54"). The only other thing that is different is when we deal with real leather, and then everything is measured in square feet.
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