Lowering a Sprinter Seat

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totaljoint
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: Washington

Lowering a Sprinter Seat

Post by totaljoint » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:04 pm

I have had Sprinter seats in my pinz since I got it 3 years ago. Great ride and value ($55.00 /pair), just kept hitting my head, seats are too high. My Sprinters had the stock slider and frame bottom bolted underneath to allow the seat to slide.

Having little experience in metal work, I decided to follow Bernhard's idea of removing the slider and putting the Sprinter directly onto 1/4" aluminum. How hard can it be to drill/cut aluminum? :roll:
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Bernhard's schematic is for the passenger side. Some modifications need be made for the driver's. On mine, the steering wheel lines up with the brackets and therefor the aluminum plate. No offset was required. The plate I bought was 21.5" x 15" 1/4" 5053 aluminum. 5053 is hard, fun to drill (sarcasm here) and leaves sharp edges. It cuts well with an angle grinder and forever with a hack saw. A random orbital sander with 60 grit smooths out the edges and will give the surface a "brushed" look.
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This photo compares the 1/4" aluminum to the slider, it took off just over 2" in height
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I made the front toe catch out of 1/2 x 1/2" aluminum stock (would use 1/2" x 3/4" next time, but even at 1/2" wide the seat is solid). My Pinz floor and mounting brackets were Rhino coated, so I found cutting out 3/16" deep and 1/2" long gave a solid hold in the front of the seat, easy to slide in and no rattling around.
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Bolting the seat to the new plate required an access hole to reach the bolt heads inside the seat frame:
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Since the seat no longer slides back to see those little pins on the stock slider, I marked the front of the toe catches on the plate, so I can align them for easy seat intallation:
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My bottom seat cushion is now 6 1/2" off the deck.
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I can actually see the stop light in front of me without goose-necking my neck.
I'm keeping my stock seat with slider (nicely repaired with the "doubler") in case someone significantly shorter (read "wife" here) want's to drive. But for 99% of driving this setup seems to make the good Sprinter seat option, even better.

bernhard
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Re: Lowering a Sprinter Seat

Post by bernhard » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:13 pm

Ed,

Glad this worked for you! I am impressed you did this with an angle grinder , drill and hacksaw!! Grinders do not like aluminum!

Bernhard
Bernhard
1973 712M
1975 710K
2013 Tacoma TRD 4X4

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TechMOGogy
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Re: Lowering a Sprinter Seat

Post by TechMOGogy » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:05 pm

Good step by step and turned out nicely!
How tall are you?
72 Pathfinder | 75 710M 2.7i | 96 350GDT Worker

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totaljoint
Posts: 628
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: Washington

Re: Lowering a Sprinter Seat

Post by totaljoint » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:33 pm

Good step by step and turned out nicely!
How tall are you?
Thanks!
1:
After driving a few weeks, I need to add one more step. The original seat has a rail like extension under the slider handle which rests on the deck, for a reason.
The two box like mounting brackets on the Pinz's deck (for the slider's pins) are not meant to bear all the weight and stress of the driver's seat front.
The seat rocks left and right slightly when rotating legs/butt getting in and out putting a cyclic compression/tension stress on those welds.
Be sure and add some "feet" to the aluminum plate under the outer (door) edge where the old slider handle and rail was.

I fixed this with a few 7/8" inch rubber crutch tips over a 7/8" wooden dowel cut to length and held in place with a screw through the aluminum plate (a 1" crutch tip was too tall, the 7/8" with about 1/16" of dowel sticking out was the right height for my situation).
One crutch tip toward the outer front and one toward the outer rear of the plate fixed the problem. For good measure I put one on the front inner edge too, but probably didn't need that one. No more rocking, quite steady with ingress/egress and rough roads.

2:
I'm in the shrinking phase of life at just under 6.' Was probably taller before that last pot hole.
My son is just over 6'1" (and it doesn't stop!). We both fit fine with the seat platform now.
A friend is 6'4" and still hits his head until we recline the seat, then he fits... awkwardly.
I rode with one member who used have a 710 with this forum who was 6'2" or more and fit without complaint on his original seats, but they have a thinner bottom than the Sprinter's.

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