Miata Seat Installation - Sept '09





A.R.E. Miata Seat Brackets

Not too long before his untimely death, Jack Drews (aka Uncle Jack) worked with Sean Alexander to develope custom brackets to make fitting Miata seats to a TR6 a whole lot easier. Jack's good friend and racing compadre Joe Alexander and his son Sean are now making and selling these brackets in small production runs. This is a great design so drop Joe an email to ask about availability and cost.

The kit comes with all the necessary hardware for attaching the brackets to the Miata seat rails with no drilling of any new holes required. The brackets are made to re-use the existing TR6 seat mounting holes and bolts. The only bolt you may need to source is a slightly longer one for the inside front mount. Joe doesn't supply this bolt as he doesn't know if you've tapped out your original mounting threads to a new size or a coarse thread. In my case, all of my mounting holes are now 5/16" UNC instead of the stock 1/4" UNF.

Before starting your installation, read this whole section through to the end where I offer a few suggestions/tips to make the installation even easier.

The kit contents: Each seat gets one long bracket, one short bracket and one spacer plus assorted nuts and bolts.

The brackets are 1/8" laser cut steel, pressed to shape and powder coated.

Here are the pieces all laid on on the passenger floor. As you can see, I've threaded the rear mounting bolts up from under the car which makes installation a whole lot easier.

Inside Front has a spacer that goes between the seat rail and the floor. This bolt uses the stock TR6 mounting hole.

The Inside Rear bracket is bent to conform with the bump in the floor. That floor bolt was too long and I ended up using a 1" bolt threaded up from under the car. The other slot is where the Miata seat rail will attach.

The outside front bracket and the bolt using the stock TR6 mounting hole. The slot on the right is the Miata seat rail mounting hole.

And the Outside Rear mount. This also ended up being a 1" bolt threaded up from under the car.

Because I had originally made up my own brackets, I removed a piece from the Miata seat rail on the left which would have matched up with the slot on the bracket...........but......no need to worry..........see next picture.

Guess what I didn't throw out afterall!
And here it is bolted back into place. :-)
Here's the bracket LOOSELY bolted in place.
Another view of the long bracket
The short bracket goes to the inside rear and is LOOSELY bolted in place

These seats are a tight fit but they will fit, slide back and forth and recline with no problem BUT.........they have to be positioned as far to the tranny tunnel as the brackets will allow. Otherwise the tilt mechanism, which is on the door side of the seat will hit the interior panel. The picture below shows how tight the fit is relative to the interior panel.

If you keep the floor bolt loose, you can get a wrench under the bracket to tighten that bracket nut.

A big awl or a Philips Head screwdriver is a big help.
It helps to line up holes!
Here's the front all done.
Keep the floor bolt/nut loose so you can slip a wrench under the seat rail bracket to catch the bolt hear.

The outside rear needing a shorter bolt (white arrow). Keep the seat rail nut (red arrow) loose so you can slide a wrench under the bracket. Once you tighten that down you can tighten the bracket to floor bolt/nut (white arrow).

This is the Inside rear rail all set for the floor nut to get screwed on............I may have actually gone with a shorter bolt then shown.

The rear is complete.........now go and do the same thing for the driver's side!

The kit is pretty much a drop in installation but of course I have a few suggestions/recommendations:

  1. I strongly recommend threading the rear bolts up from underneath the car so that the threads are protruding upward in the interior floor. This makes the installation so much easier. The bolt length will be dependent the thickness of your carpet and underlayment. I ended up using 1-1/4" fully threaded bolts slathered with anti-seize. The outside rear bolts are a little tougher to do as they have to go through the frame rail to catch the bottom of the captive nut............but it's still pretty easy to do with some patience.

  2. Loosely attach the long and short brackets to the Miata seat rails. Pay attention to the bend in the brackets........ the very first picture below shows the proper orientation. The kitchen counter would be the floor of the car.

  3. The Miata seats are a very tight fit but they do fit. The only problem area is with the tilt mechanism which is on the outside/door side of the seat. If you don't have the rear of the seats as close to the tranny tunnel as possible, the hinge housing will be blocked by the interior car panel and keep the seat from sliding back...........or it will tear up the vinyl on your interior panel. I pointed out this concern to Joe and suggested that they modify their rear brackets to allow for more lateral movement.