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E46 BMW seats in a 68 Mustang

Discussion in 'Interior Board' started by Boom, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Wanted to share some info and get ideas from the crowd on a project I've been working on. I haven't asked before since I didn't want a dozen people telling me it won't fit because their cousin's boyfriends goldfish tried it in a 56 Toyota panel van and they didn't work or that I have to cut out my floor and mount the seat to a skateboard under the car.

    With that said.....Who has tried to put newer BMW seats in their vintage Mustang? I'd love to hear the good and bad.

    Why would we try?

    Because the BMW seats are nicer, more comfortable, leather is common and they have all the power motors and switches mounted to the seat bottoms. Just run power and ground and you have a 37 way power seat.

    The struggle: They're huge and HEAVY. The mounts for them are alot wider and due in part to the electronics, they sit higher which places your head closer to the ceiling.

    I am going to try and mount a set of E46 seats that came out of a 2001 ish 3 series. I do not plan on making extensive mods to the floor. I would like to see if there's a way to make a bracket that allows mounting the seat to the vehicle with the minimal amount of mods to both.

    I picked up a set of these seats for super cheap since the guy tried to dye them from tan to black and gave up. So, since I go them dirt cheap I won;t be super sad if they don't work out, plus it gives me the ability to also try my own hand at dying the seats. That may be useful to know on another pair of seats or a future project.

    The seats when I picked them up:

    [​IMG]20171217_195242 by Brett, on Flickr

    Just sitting on the seat platforms, they are a pretty far forward in this picture so that they don't fall backwards.

    [​IMG]20171219_161559 by Brett, on Flickr
  2. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    I'm on version 2.0 of my bracket to mount the seat. The first version was too flimsy of metal. I really need to get my headliner in so I have a better reference on clearance. I plan on using the MTF one piece headliner.

    The below pictures are in my car, no carpet, no headliner. The car does have 69 seat pans which sit a bit lower then the normal 68 pans.

    [​IMG]20180127_174624 by Brett, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180127_174638 by Brett, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180127_174654 by Brett, on Flickr
    Grabber70Mach likes this.
  3. Midlife

    Midlife Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    You're right: that was a terrible dye job. Can you remove the dye at all?
  4. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    I haven't tried to remove it. My plan is to get proper dye and prep the material to change it to black properly. This guy had used some stuff from walmart/local craft store.
  5. Horseplay

    Horseplay I Don't Care. Do you?

    I spent a good deal of time playing around with a BMW seat for mine a long time ago. Liked the tone of the red leather and as you say all the electronics already present. In the end, I passed on the idea as it would have required lowering the seat pan and also the width would have been a real pain pairing with my console design and custom door panel arm rests. Mine is a 65 though so yours is a bit wider.

    Make sure you consider EVERYTHING when fitting an measuring. I had a car once where the seat would contact the door panel and the ensuing squeaking noise it would make drove me nuts. One major concern I can see from your pics might turn out to be clearance for your legs under the steering wheel. Position that seat where it gives you the right distance for your feet to the pedals and check EVERYTHING from that point.

    Making seat mounting brackets shouldn't be hard at all. I suggest sticking to the stock floor holes for bolt location and just welding out steel from there as needed.

    If you provide some measurement data like height to top of the front seating edge surface from the floor or seat width or distance from top of seating surface to the roof, etc. we could give you some comparative measurements and opinion on how it might fit compared to our set ups.
  6. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Yes I've been trying to keep everything mounting to the stock Mustang holes as possible, however I'm going to need to fab a mount at the rear of the BMW seat rails which is past the factory seat pan, over the rear footwell area. I don't plan on ever having passengers in the back so its not an issue there. I'm going to pick up some square tubing to help with making a riser/secure spacer to mount the rear of the seat rail on.

    It is hard to judge clearances with parts missing. I have some pieces laying around, I'll throw on an arm rest and check for rubbing there. I need to get the pedals hooked up so they are sitting where they would be on a functioning car. The steering wheel clearance looks much worse then it is.

    I'll also post of some measurements once I get the seat securely mounted.
  7. Horseplay

    Horseplay I Don't Care. Do you?

    You can fab a triangular piece for the rear overhang projecting off the rear of the seat pan. That way it doesn't have to interfere with the feet of rear passengers as much
  8. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    I thought about that but due to the angle of the seat pan and the length of the BMW seat rails its just not really feasible. I'll post a picture here in a bit to show what I mean.
  9. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Couldn't get a good angle for a picture, basically the rear of the seat rails hang off about 4 inches and thats pretty much the entire backrest and such. I made a bracket that supports the weight and helps relieve pressure on the front 2 mounts.

    [​IMG]SEAT PAN MOUNT E46 by Brett, on Flickr

    Looking for the bolts to put the armrest on for clearance testing.
  10. B67FSTB

    B67FSTB The NorCal dude from Belgium

    Talking about seats.
    I am in the process of buying Recaro seat , the LX-C model.
    Its a seat that sits very low so I give it a try.
    I bought them for 300€ but need new upolstery as you all can see.
    They will be covered by black leather and should look like in the last pic.
    I am aware that most seats of todays cars sits too high and when you want power seats its impossible to match them in a mustang without major modification.
    Therefore and of the stance , which I like , and the fact that I am 6 ft tall my choice is a recaro seat.
    It has been done in a mustang I have read somewhere in a other mustang forum.
    My 2 eurocent.

    Attached Files:

  11. B67FSTB

    B67FSTB The NorCal dude from Belgium

    Pontiac Fiero seats are suitable too I believe but have a built in headrest.
    I was also in the market for a set of porsche 911 seats .
    They too sits very low as I can recall.
    Just some ideas regarding seats with a headrest because thats the reason why I tossed the mustang seats.Some security in case of a back end collision.
    Thats why I equipped my car with a 3-point seatbelt harnass too. Our highways ( autostrade and autobahn ) aren't the biggest but probably the fastest !!! :p:D:rolleyes:
  12. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Thanks for the info! I have a Fiero seat sitting here also as a backup, picked up from the junkyard for $20 in perfect shape (its tan tho)

    My Original plan was to use Procar seats but they are pretty expensive and I've heard mixed reviews about both comfort and that they sit higher.
  13. B67FSTB

    B67FSTB The NorCal dude from Belgium

    Switching to Recaro seats isn't cheap either.
    I too have 2 seats from procar , I believe the elite series as I can recall but they don't sell any spare parts anymore.
    Procar seats aren't known here but recaro's do.
  14. Horseplay

    Horseplay I Don't Care. Do you?

    I used Fiero seats and couldn't be happier. Only required very minor modification to the seat rails to install them using the stock bolt locations. They are nicely bolstered too. Only thing is if you are a larger guy they are narrow and some healthy eaters will not fit in them. The seated height is good and the top of the seat height "fits" the car very well when viewed form the side. I have seen way too many seat choices that just look wrong from the outside in this regard.
  15. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    I unfortunately only have the passenger side seat currently. The car I pulled them from was immaculate, except for the entire drivers door and seat area. Must have been hit extremely hard.
  16. B67FSTB

    B67FSTB The NorCal dude from Belgium

    Last weekend I drove to the netherland to pick up my recaro seats and I disasymbled the baddest one.
    Foam from the LH bolster is worn. No surprise.
    I am in the progress to built a console so the Recaro sliding mechanism will fit the orignal holes of the seat platform.
    The Recaro sit very low so I have room beneathe the seat for a console.
    some pics.

    Attached Files:

  17. B67FSTB

    B67FSTB The NorCal dude from Belgium

    some morepics.
    Last two shows how you can extend the seat.
    I have to keep that in mind to position the seat to the steeringwheel and pedals.

    Attached Files:

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