Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
ZE1, E34, W140, RN38, Ford P400
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The stock ZE1 seats aren't bad, but for finicky bones with little padding who spend long periods behind the wheel, "not bad" isn't good enough. Meanwhile, the car that got me into cars - the 1989-1995 BMW 5-series (E34) - has, to my fussy backside, just about the best front seats of any car, of any age, at any price point, period. They also come with proper armrests, not like most cars' silly thing a half foot behind my elbow.

They barely fit. Shoving the inboard rail as close to the center body hump as possible, the doors just slightly squeeze the outer bolster. There's no good way around this, but it works. I also had to remove the mounting tabs for the wiring harness on the starboard side, and shove the harness a bit inboard; otherwise the passenger seat wouldn't fit at all. The steering wheel is somewhat off-center, which I find a little bothersome, not enough to override the significantly increased comfort. Height and length aren't issues.

I mounted mine using adapting brackets. The rears are 2x0.75x0.125" aluminum rectangular tubing, bolted to the body and the seat with M10x1.25 socket bolts and nuts into the factory holes, while the fronts are 1.5x1.5" wood strips, M8 hardware drilled through the floor, and two additional angle brackets on one side of the seat.

They are powered. Manual E34 seats were never sold in the US, otherwise I'd prefer those for weight and complexity reasons. Power is a 10g wire (probably overkill) from the battery positive terminal, though a 30A (factory BMW spec) fuse, through the firewall, split at the shifter, and connected to each seat's plug. The ground wire is just bolted straight to the original seats' front inboard bolt hole.

They are also heated. Heat would want an ignition-on relay to remove the risk of draining the battery by leaving the heat on (been there, done that), and I'll eventually get around to what should be a 45-minute job.

The way I mounted mine, the driver's seat is a little too far back. To remedy this without weakening the rear mount, I'd need to build a more elaborate mount, probably a three-sided affair secured not just by the rear factory bolt holes, but by the new holes in the front. Taller drivers won't need that.

The Insight's seatbelt latches bolt to the outside of the E34's respective post using the same M12x1.25 (I think) bolt with sprung washer. It fits just fine, as does the seatbelt outer anchor point using the same hardware.

87906


87907


87908


87910
 

Attachments

·
Linsight Designer
Joined
·
2,071 Posts
I'm amazed nobody has replied to this yet!
Sounds like a cool retrofit. I'd recommend eventually upgrading the wood+aluminumAngle to something more crashworthy... but if it works and you're comfortable with it, drive it 'til the wheels fall off ;).
 

·
Registered
ZE1, E34, W140, RN38, Ford P400
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'ven't done crash testing, of course, but the aluminum seems comparably strong to the car's body. The wood, obviously not, but in a head-on collision, it's going to be in compression anyway, while in a reverse impact, the seatback will hit the rear firewall.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 5S "Turbo"
Joined
·
11,188 Posts
Looks like an optical illusion that makes the seat look close.
 

·
Registered
ZE1, E34, W140, RN38, Ford P400
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I'll post another photo showing how there's plenty of room for the shifter.

The seats are 55-58cm wide depending on where measured, not includinjg the armrest (another ~3cm).
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top