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Old 01-03-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
DIYguy
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1997 SC2
Default Leg room improvement for front passengers

I am off work this week so I finally got around to doing something I have wanted to do for ages now. I hope this is still of interest to folks, as it has been the subject of quite a few threads.

My SC2 has always been shy on front leg room for me. I am between 6'1" and 6'2-1/2" depending upon which convenience store camera you wish to believe (to paraphrase Ron White ).

My wife and I are the only passengers on the weekend, and a carpool rider (who is even taller than me) and I are the only passengers during the work week. So rear seat legroom is of no importance to me.

I fabricated a set of brackets from 2"x4"x.120"wall and 2"x2"x0.080"wall steel tube stock. I do have power tools which made it a lot easier, but anyone could do this using just a hand drill, a hack saw and some files.

In the front you need to bridge over the floor brace. On both sides of the center tunnel are wiring harnesses that must be moved out of the way (no big deal, just push them back about an inch).

Cut 1.5" length sections of the 2"x4" heavy wall tube for the front mounts. Don't go any wider or you may have problems mounting them. Cut out one longer side on each to form U-channels (or form the channels yourself from strip stock if you wish). Eyeball the front and rear holes by holding them up under the seat rails and marking through the rail mounting holes. That's plenty close enough, don't worry. Drill them 3/8", front and rear.

Cut 6" long sections of the 2"x2" medium wall tube for the rear mounts. You have to use the tubing because the rear mount points are raised from the floor level. Then notch out 1-3/4" of one end of each as shown in the photos. Fit them up to the floor mounting points in the car from the rear and drill 3/8" holes to mount them snugly up against the original mount points with the original bolts. Tighten them up finger tight only for now.

Install the front brackets onto the seat rails using either 10mm or 3/8" bolts, washers and nuts. Tighten them finger tight only at this time. I prefer to keep everything metric so I used all 10mm hardware. See photos.

Install the seats using the original front mounting bolts onto the front mount points. Snug up the bolts. You will then see that the rear mounting points on the seat rails will be on top of the rear spacers you made.

Move the rear spacers as necessary and mark through the mounting bracket holes. Again, this need not be awfully precise, close enough is close enough.

Remove the seats and brackets. Drill the rear spacers at the newly marked points. De-burr everything carefully and paint them using the color of your choice. I happened to use matte black because my carpeting is black. They don't photograph well, they are really, really dark.

After they dry, install the front brackets on the seat rails and tighten the bolts and nuts securely. After installation you will not be able to access this hardware, so tighten them like you mean it. Install the rear brackets onto the floor (see photos) using the original hardware and tighten them securely because you won't be able to access them once the seats are installed either. You will still be able to move the brackets sideways slightly to adjust the rails, don't worry.

Install the seats onto the front mount points while saddling over the floor braces. Install the original front bolts using just a few threads. Do not tighten them up yet.

Using 10mm or 3/8" hardware (again I prefer to keep it all metric), put bolts up from inside the mount tubes and stack at least 2-3 "fender" washers onto the bolt threads. Then lower the seat rails onto the bolt threads and install flat washers and nuts. The reason for the fender washer stack is that the adjuster mechanism will snag the original rear floor mount bolt heads otherwise.

Tighten up the front mount bolts first making certain that the new saddle brackets are snug against the floor pan rails (you don't want them flexing). Sit on the seats and run them forward and backward a couple of times to make sure the tracks are not skewed. Then tighten up the new rear mounting bolts. Check for smooth seat adjustment action again and adjust as necessary.

You are done. Enjoy having about another 3-3/4" of leg room whenever you need it. The seats will still go far enough forward for most shorter folks. Just don't expect any compliments on leg room from rear seat riders.

As for safety, the front brackets are the most critical and I purposely used heavy wall tubing for them. They are way heavier gauge than the actual seat rails, so they might bend in a rear collision, but they won't break before the seat rails do. The rear brackets are not all that critical. They do nothing in a rear collision anyway and in a front collision the seat belts do all the work. Do please wear your seat belts at all times, and of course do this modification only at your own liability.

I hope this helps.....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg _FrontBracket.jpg (39.9 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg _FrontBrackets1.jpg (90.9 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg _FrontBracketsFab.jpg (172.5 KB, 88 views)
File Type: jpg _FrontBracketOnRail.jpg (75.7 KB, 96 views)
File Type: jpg _FrontBracketsInstalled.jpg (169.2 KB, 113 views)
File Type: jpg _RearBracketsFab.jpg (127.4 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg _RearBracketsInstalled.jpg (177.6 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg _RearBracketsWithHardware.jpg (103.4 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg _NewLegRoom.jpg (150.3 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg _NewVsOld.jpg (162.5 KB, 141 views)

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DIYguy

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97SC2 Saturn, Cruze Eco, Chevy SS P/U, Honda VT1100C

Last edited by DIYguy; 01-03-2013 at 08:43 PM..

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Old 01-03-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
DIYguy
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1997 SC2
Default Re: Leg room improvement for front passengers

A couple more photos......

The rear brackets do fit snugly against the floor pan, BTW. They shouldn't flex during normal driving.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg _Finished.jpg (179.3 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg _Finished1.jpg (151.5 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg _RearBrackets.jpg (53.2 KB, 69 views)

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DIYguy

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97SC2 Saturn, Cruze Eco, Chevy SS P/U, Honda VT1100C

Last edited by DIYguy; 01-03-2013 at 08:40 PM..

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Old 04-13-2018, 08:33 AM   #3
ErikTande
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Default Re: Leg room improvement for front passengers

I know this thread is old, but this is awesome, thanks!

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