Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/17/19 1:36 p.m.

i am a CHEAP man. Abraham Lincoln cries when I let a penny go. 

 

that being said, I HAVE to do something about the seats in my car. the butlerbuilt aluminum is great for autocross, but a serious killer on my back and neck on the street. 

I have 96-97 NA seats sitting here. faded, torn, foam deterioration, etc. and they are black. 

 

what I want to do: recover the 96-97 NA seats with tan upholstery. perform a selective foam repair/foamectomy/ contour reshaping for my screwed up back. add seat heaters, and fresh headrest speakers. 

 

I know how to do all this, and have done it multiple times with various seats of different eras. (most recently an NB seat, a neon R/T seat, and a GMT400 Silverado seat). I have seat heaters, speakers, various durometers of foam, hog rings, etc on the shelf. 

 

so, now that it sounds like this thread is pointless because I know what im doing, I get to my questions.

 

the least expensive, and best reviewed upholstery kits I can find are the sierra auto tops. they're $100 for both seats, versus triple for the next ones that I can find that actually fit the 96-97 seats.

 

these, in particular

 https://www.amazon.com/stores/SierraAutoTopsSeats/SierraAutoTopsSeats/page/32BA01EC-5414-4AD5-896E-027E362E3B1B

 

but they are made for the 1990-1995 seat base foam. apparently wont work with the 96-97

 

having never seen a 96-97 seat side by side with a 90-95 seat, is it possible to add the missing foam at the leg area and make these fit? or are the side bolsters, hog ring wires, etc all in different places as well? 

 

if im unable to easily modify the 96-97 foams, is it possible to get a pair of passengers side foams, and use one on the drivers? 

 

like I said, im trying to do this as cheaply as I can. this car is a toy, not a daily. and honestly, id rather dump money into power, air conditionoing, and seat time. 

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
9/17/19 1:42 p.m.

I'm not sure about in your area but tan leather NB seats seem to go for next to nothing around here. I bought a set in near perfect condition for $80. Might be a better starting point if you can find them cheap enough. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/17/19 1:45 p.m.

I'm not aware of any difference in the 96+ foam. If you're doing a foamectomy at the same time, I'm not sure it matters.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/17/19 1:47 p.m.

i just never loved NB seats. out of the 4 NBs ive had, both NB1 and NB2, i could just never get confortable to matter what. the NA is shaped different, and lots better before messing with them. i have to think theyll be even better after some tailoring. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/17/19 1:51 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

i didnt think so either until i started hunting upholstery kits. im taking amazon reviews and stuff over on miata.net with a grain of salt, as theres a LOT of noise in the signal at both places. 

ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
9/17/19 1:52 p.m.

Since it's a toy and not a daily, I figured I'd throw this out there.  I dropped a Kirkey aluminum race seat and fabric cover in there.  If you can fabricate your own mounts, you can get it done for less than $300 I believe.  As a 6'1, 220 lb guy I find it more comfortable than the stock seat and much better for driving.  It does send you down a bit of a rabbit hole though- detachable steering wheel, disabling airbag, 5/6 point harness, etc.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/17/19 1:57 p.m.
ShinnyGroove said:

Since it's a toy and not a daily, I figured I'd throw this out there.  I dropped a Kirkey aluminum race seat and fabric cover in there.  If you can fabricate your own mounts, you can get it done for less than $300 I believe.  As a 6'1, 220 lb guy I find it more comfortable than the stock seat and much better for driving.  It does send you down a bit of a rabbit hole though- detachable steering wheel, disabling airbag, 5/6 point harness, etc.

The butlerbuilt has some foam, and a cover. And custom built mounts. And a removable steering wheel. And 5 point cam locks. I can do some more with it, but its a serious pain on the street.

The na seats are for street driving. Taking my kid to ice cream. Going to a cruise night. The random fun car Friday for work. Etc. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
9/17/19 6:12 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

The earlier NA seats are visually different from the later NAs. The bolsters are a little higher and the nose of the center section protrudes a little more. The late NA cushions are the same as an early NB as far as I can tell.

This is an early NA seat........

 

These are later NA seats.....

 

You can see the slightly different nose profiles and the different number of trim lines across the cushion center sections (3 vs 2).

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
9/18/19 8:50 a.m.

Back to the original question........I would think you could adapt the early cover to your later foam. Contouring the nose is some glue and foam. There may be a different number and location for hog ring trenches between the early and late. You may not have to hog ring every trim line down either.  Or, it might make sense to find a trashed pair of early seats just to salvage the cushions. Weigh the cost of a second set of seats against the extra cost of the proper covers for the foam you already have.

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
9/18/19 9:41 a.m.

if the hog ring locations are different, zip ties should reach.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/18/19 12:35 p.m.

Well, i may have worked out a trade for my seats and a few bucks for earlier seats. Maybe. Ill find out Friday. 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/18/19 1:31 p.m.

Ditch the foam on the Butler, use some memory foam samples (they are often free if you ask).

Once you see they work well, glue them in place and cover them with fabric.

Trim the bolsters on the door side to make getting in/out easier while you keep enough to not fall out of it.

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