How to install a race seat | Project vintage race Mustang

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Update by Tim Suddard to the Ford Mustang Fastback project car
Nov 16, 2022 | Ford, Mustang, Vintage Racing, BimmerWorld, Ford Mustang, Vintage Race Car, Ultra Shield Race Products, I/O Port Racing Supplie

We needed a real race seat for our Mustang vintage racer, and after studying Ultra Shield’s seats at the PRI Trade Show, we decided one would be the perfect fit: sturdy, comfortable, reasonably priced and made in the U.S.

We went with the brand’s aluminum Road Race Halo model. It’s available in 14- to 18-inch sizes in half-inch increments, and pricing starts at $1054.95.

We chose a 17-inch seat.

This model is compatible with five- and six-point harness systems as well as head-and-neck devices. While we chose a black cover, red, blue, gray and purple are also available, as are striped covers and powder coating.

To figure out how to mount the seat, we first called I/O Port Racing Supplies. The company has been marketing safety equipment to our readers almost since the inception of Grassroots Motorsports nearly 40 years ago.

The crew recommended its SBB5 seat back brace, a piece approved by SCCA, IMSA, NASA, BMW CCA and others for seats that don’t carry an FIA rating.

From I/O Port Racing:

SCCA, NASA, BMW CCA Club Racing, and IMSA require such braces on all non-FIA-rated seats. Please note: the design of the brace requires you to drill holes in the back of the seat and attach the bracket to the seat. Drilling holes and attaching a brace to a composite seat may void the seat warranty and/or the FIA-rating. Check with your seat manufacturer and sanctioning body rules. Installing this brace to an aluminum seat will not void any warranties and will comply with racing rules. Installation instructions and all mounting hardware are included. Also see our seat back brace FAQs.”

This $139.95 bracket is adjustable from 2 to 14 inches and fits 1.5- through 1.75-inch roll bar tubing.

To mount the seat to the floor of the car, Ken at I/O Port Racing Supplies suggested the lowest possible position. This would lower the driver’s center of gravity and cause the brackets to flex less.

These aluminum seat brackets (part No. SB01 at $54.95) are designed for an aluminum seat like ours, while I/O Port sells different ones for composite seats.

Before drilling anything, we needed to find our ideal seating position. We simply propped the seat into position with blocks of wood and worked to find the best position with our driver crew. This method allowed us to get a rough idea of where the seat needed to go.

But what to mount the seat to? An early Mustang places its front seats on a riser of sorts. While this raised area does offer some protection from side impact intrusion–at least at the rocker panel area–it causes the seat to be mounted off the floor by almost 3 inches. This is not what we were looking for in a race car–again, we wanted to keep the driver low to the ground.

So we cut out this riser and welded in 1x2-inch bar stock. To make this modification even stronger, and thus safer, we laid 1/8-inch steel plate underneath this bar stock

To finish off our mounting system, James Clay of BimmerWorld sent us some threaded inserts to weld into the bar stock. Then we could attach the I/O Port mounts via these inserts.

Once the dust settled, we found the seat exceedingly comfortable for a range of drivers and we’re pleased with the way we mounted this seat into our old Mustang.

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