[DeTomaso] Dropped Pans

JDeRyke at aol.com JDeRyke at aol.com
Mon Jul 5 13:48:55 EDT 2010

 So if you don't install the rails on the seats, then how do you get the 
seats bolted to the floor?

You measure carefully and drill 4 new holes to exactly match the threade 
holes in the seat base, and eliminate the rails. The welded nuts in the floor 
won't fit anything except stock adjustment rails. With most kits, you'll 
likely need spacers in front, as a seat that sits perfectly horizontal is 
uncomfortable to drive- you constantly feel like you're sliding under the dash. 

15 years ago at a Nor-Cal Tech Session, I suggested to Roger Sharp that a 
seat-pan 'kit' was a waste of money- if you don't need adjustment, all thats 
really needed is to slice the stock pan on the sides and back, bend it down 
at the front crossmember and use a sheet filler-piece around the edges. That 
tends to give a little fore-&-aft taper to the new seat base, avoiding the 
need for extra spacers. He promptly did this and the job was finished in a 
few hours (drivers side only). Do NOT cut right at the edge of the console as 
that makes welding in the 3-sided filler piece harder. Allow for some metal 
overlap in the filler piece(s); butt-welding long pieces of thin sheet 
metal is almost impossible due to heat-expansion/shrinkage. Some aftermarket 
seats will be much more difficult to fit than others. I once fitted a nice 
looking pair of Ferrari Boxer seats to a Pantera, and the bolsters were so wide, 
stock seatbelt plates and retractors in the rockers wouldn't fit, and the 
stock rake adjusters on the seats needed shaving in 3 places!

As for how much drop is possible, measure your car to be sure you don't 
drop the floor so far that the seat pan becomes the lowest part of the car.... 
especially if you don't use seat rails. One encounter with 'normal' road 
debris could have disasterous results to your sitter... I don't use (or need) 
dropped pans since we have two quite different-sized drivers, but I've driven 
a few with dropped pans several hundred miles, and if the seat base is 
higher in front than in back and your legs happen to match up to the location, 
they're at least as comfortable as stock. Good luck- J DeRyke

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