[DeTomaso] Dropped Pans

michael@michaelshortt.com michaelsavga at gmail.com
Mon Jul 5 19:17:18 EDT 2010

If you choose to bolt your seats to the floor directly, a couple of
grade 8 bolts and a collection of giant washers is not enough strength
to save your ass in an accident if you are using belts attached to the
seats.  You need a piece of steel to go across the front and rear sets
like maybe 3" by 18" to help spread the force across the whole pan so
that the seats don't pull through the floor's thin sheet metal and
impale you on the steering wheel.

Now having said that, I would also share that NONE of my race car
seats were even attached in the sports racers other than with Zeus
Fasteners ( to keep them in place ), the belts were what held me and
the seats in place, because the belts were always fastened to hard
points on the race car's tube frame or monocoque.

Just imagine the force of a 200 lb guy ( some of us are bigger ) and
hitting an immovable object at 70-100 mph, I'm no engineer, but the g
forces are substantial, easily over 1,000 pounds pulling you up and
forward.  Mount with the worst case scenario in mind and stay alive to
cry about your bent up Pantera.

Michael Shortt

On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 1:48 PM,  <JDeRyke at aol.com> wrote:
>  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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Michael L. Shortt
Savannah, Georgia
michael at michaelshortt.com

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