What to Look For in an Aftermarket Racing Seat


If you are truly looking to style up car, truck or SUV, then a good custom seat is a logical upgrade. There are many aftermarket companies out there that produce quality racing seats for either road or track use. Prices can vary from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for a seat depending on your taste and the size of your bankroll.

Beside the bling effect of having some sweet looking racing seats in your vehicle there are some performance benefits. Because racing seats are made out of lighter materials than your factory seats they reduce the overall weight of your vehicle which is always a positive for tuning.

Racing Seats are universal for all vehicles; however, each seat will need to latch to a seat rail, which is car specific. Companies such as Bride and Recaro make racing seat rails especially designed for particular car models, or otherwise you can customize your stock one to fit an aftermarket racing seat. There are two types of racing seats. The first is a side mount, which uses brackets that are installed to the floor and to the side of the seat. The second type is one that sits on top of rails and bolt in from the bottom. You simply unbolt your factory seats and bolt the new rails in place without any other modifications. If you plan on using a racing seat with another company’s seat rail, make sure that it is compatible before you waste your money and time.

The next thing to consider is your restraining device. Will you factory seat belts work or do you need to upgrade to a racing harness. If you’re new racing seats have wide lateral support areas your factory seat belts might not be able to securely keep you in place coming out of that turn.. However, in most applications, your factory seats belt will do just fine. An alternative and really the icing on the cake are to install a four or five point racing harness. You have already shelled out good money for an expensive racing seat; you might as well finish off the desired look by having a colorful racing harness draped over your seat.

If you own a 2 door vehicle with a back seat you should also check with your local DMV to determine if you need to have at least one seat that can recline forward. Some states do have laws on the books for this so again you don’t want to spend your hard earned money and then have Johnny Law site you for a fix it ticket.

Finally, the last thing to consider when purchasing your racing seats is the comfort level. Remember that depending on what your vehicle is used for, daily driver or weekend track car, you will be spending a lot of time in the seat. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable. Try seating in as many racing seats as possible since all racing seats are not made equal. A fixed back racing seat will not give you as many options as a reclinable racing seat does. If your vehicle is going to be used as a daily driver then a reclinable seat might be in your best interest.


Source by Todd A Schafer

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