Despite needing to add weight to the car, there’s still a few places to take it out of less-than-ideal places, and add it back in better places.
One of the big things that’s always bothered me is the seat mount. Back in the ol’ STS days, at the front and rear of the stock seat rails we’d bolted lengths of 2″ steel angle iron to make a cradle for the seat, and ran some long bolts through the seat and the angle iron. It was ugly, heavy, and was starting to get some wiggle. Sub-optimal. So, I tore it apart and had a look.
I made some some CAD (Cardboard Aided Drafting) templates:
I cut some 1″ x 1/8″ bar-stock, and broke out my engineering mallet (3 lb mini-sledge). A bench vice and a hammer, and an angle grinder for some fine-tuning / massaging, and I whipped up a couple of these for the front. Once the fronts were completed and bolted down, I’d get to the rear.
A little drill-press action and some weld-nuts. The air-gap is a standoff built into the nuts so there’s some space to weld, and prevent welding into the threaded area.
Next it was time to put the rails back in the car (there was a lot of in-and-out there) to measure up where the mounts needed to go, tack them in, and mark the seat for drilling. To do that, I whipped up a pair of transfer punches from bolts on the bench grinder. Put the seat in place and whack with a rubber mallet, then drill.
More cutting, grinding, hammering, and welding to get the rear pair made up.
Repeat fitting the rails back in the car, bolt the fronts down, and transfer-punch those holes to the rear of the seat. More welding, a little paint, and holy crap, it actually looks decent. Like I bought ’em!
I know it’s just a few brackets, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.The more I play with the welder, the happier I am with the results, and with being able to zip useful things together.