Miata Seat Installation - September 2009


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Separating Seats

Hog Rings 1

Hog Rings 2

Seat Pans

Seat Rails

Seat Speakers 1

Seat Speakers 2

Speaker Mistake!

Leather Covers 1

Leather Covers 2

Custom Brackets




NOTE: If you're reading this it probably means you have or are thinking about getting Miata seats for your TR6. You may find it beneficial to read through the Miata seat section on my web site.  It covers every aspect from re-upholstering your seats in leather to repairing the seat rails so that they slide easily.

I've had Miata seats in my car since September 2009 and the only downside was the fact that I had to make up my own brackets to adapt the seat rails to the stock TR6 holes. After about a year of using my "custom" brackets, Joe Alexander sent me a set of the brackets that he's making and they fit fine.

In September 2010, I gave Rick Patton a set of Miata seats (that I had scored for just $50) with the understanding that he come up with a unique approach to Miata seat brackets. Rick's been pretty busy with all of the LBC products that he custom machines so it took a little longer than expected to get a set of brackets..............but......in true Patton design, they are functional, easy to install and beautifully machined.

Before the pictures, a couple of observations/comments:

Rick supplies all the bolts and washers needed to install his brackets for the standard 1/4-28 blind nuts in the floor. I discovered years ago that my car had a mix of 1/4-28 and 5/16-18 blind nuts. Obviously the PO had stripped some of the stock nuts and tapped them to 5/16 so I tapped them all to 5/16". That meant I had to buy all new grade 8 hardware to start the project.

The brackets are made from 6061-T6 billet aluminum which is a very high quality material.

Besides the fact that the  brackets are little "works of art".....the real beauty of them is that once they're in place, installing and removing the seats is a very simple task........ slide the seat forward and remove 2 flange bolts at the rear........... slide the seat backwards and remove the two front ones. The brackets stay firmly bolted to the floor, perfectly aligned to the seat rails. Anyone who has installed their seats knows what a royal PITA it is to get those seat bolts through the carpet, through the padding and into the blind nuts perfectly aligned.........it's no wonder so many of them get stripped out of sheer frustration. This is what makes them truly unique from any other design, be it homemade or bought.

So how does what I thought was simple, turn into a very complicated project?

Rick's no artist, but his software programs make him look like one..... it all starts as a simple drawing.
Then it gets put into his CNC machine for milling in wood.........lot cheaper then going straight to billeted aluminum.
Here's the wood pieces being test fitted to the driver's seat. the blue arrows point to the holes for the bolts that secure the seat to the brackets. The green arrows for the bolts to the TR6 floor and the red arrows are for the aligning pins on the Miata seat rails.
Once he got it all set in wood, it was time to figure out how to cut all eight pieces from one block of aluminum! He's using 6061-T6 billet aluminum.... not cheap!

Here's the complete kit as delivered... the one long bolt goes to the driver front right side bracket... you'll see why later on.

The seat rails are covered in great detail in another section on my site but here's the showing how you'll need to bend the brackets to get a straight flat rail. Basically clamp it in a vice and bend it until it's straight.
This is the front left passenger side bracket and you can see the multiple cuts he made to accept the shape of the Miata seat rail. The red arrows is the cut the for basic shape of the seat rail front mount. The blue arrow is for a protrusion on the bottom of the front seat mount. The pink arrow is the thread hole for the flange bolt that secures the seat rail to the bracket. The green arrow is the hole for the seat rail alignment pin and the black arrow is for the bolt that holds the bracket to the stock TR6 mounting hole.
In the picture above, the green arrow points to an alignment hole for a pin that's on the Miata seat rail. In the picture below the red arrow points to the pin. Unfortunately my pins were cut off but Rick's design lets you keep them to aid in alignment. Lay the bracket over the seat rail and mark now much of the tip protrudes through the bracket and needs to be trimmed (green arrow). You'll have to do this for both sides and both seats.
The seat rail resting in the bracket.... too bad I didn't color coordinate the arrows on both pictures.
The tr6 floor has a "stepped" area that needs to be accounted for so that's why there the groove (pink arrow).
When I originally made up my own brackets I drilled out the rivets that held the rear bracket to the seat rail. With Rick's kit you need that bracket, so I reattached it with hex head bolts (two pink arrows). Whether you have the original rivets of bolts, they fit into the slot cut into the aluminum. Here you can see the amount of detail in Rick's work. Besides the rivets/bolts, there are two step downs on the bracket.....the blue arrow points to the big on and the green arrow to a much smaller lip. In this picture the arrow colors do match up for alignment to show the machining detail.
Here's one problem that I had mostly due to the thick padding I have under my carpet....much thicker than normal. This is where the rear inside bracket will go and there's a metal reinforcement plate bolted to the floor. As you can see, the plate is crooked and the right side needs to pivot toward the seatbelt.
Just loosen the bolt and it will pivot. BTW.........Rick accounted for this piece by cutting a relief groove in the bottom of the bracket, but my padding was just too thick to let the bracket sit properly.

My solution was to use a spacer under the mounting hole.

The dotted white line shows where the plate is and how the spacer levels it all off.

Passenger side - Loosely position the four brackets on the floor and set the seat in place. Move the brackets as needed to get the seat rails to sit properly, insert the flange bolts (red arrows) through the seat rails and into the brackets. Push the rear of the seat away from the "B" Pillar and toward the tranny tunnel.......and tighten the bracket bolts to the floor (green arrows). On the passenger side you won't be able to get a wrench on the front inside bolt (yellow arrow) soooo.................
Here's the passenger front inside mount...... next to the tranny tunnel and the flange bolt (red arrow) and the hold down bolt (yellow arrow). As you can see, the hold down bolt is covered and difficult to get a wrench on it. I outlined the bracket location with masking tape and removed the seat.
I decided to substitute a socket head bolt for the hex bolt supplied.....it was just easier to tighten it down. The tape shows the proper orientation of the bracket. The Miata seat rails has an alignment pin shown earlier that needs to get trimmed and put in the hole by the red arrow.
So after getting that front bracket secured, here's the seat dropped onto the brackets and bolted down with the flange bolts.
And a view of the rear side of the passenger seat. You can see (green arrow) how I have the seat pushed as far toward the tranny tunnel as possible. The Miata seats are a tight fit at the "B" Pillar and Rick's brackets give you a good range of movement for the seat.
Here's the driver's side...... Red arrows point to the bracket to floor bolt locations.
Same procedure at the passenger side. Get the brackets loosely positioned, set the seat in place and bolt it to brackets with the flange bolts and then tighten the hold down bolts. ONE EXCEPTION..........the inside front bracket uses just one bolt that goes through the seat rail, through the bracket and into the stock TR6 mounting hole (red arrow). As you can see the other side has two bolts like the rest of the mounting locations.

And a view of the driver's rear seat bolted in place.