bmw 2002

An Old Car Gets "New" Seats

Mar 15, 2009

     Now that the car is running and drivable, it's on to making it safe, reliable, and comfortable.  Before I left Arizona, I managed to pick up a pair of FloFit seats for a song.  Not a complete steal, but I got both of them for about what I'd expect to pay for just one (and no shipping charges).  FloFits are basically Recaro knock-offs, and these are in fantastic shape.  Frankly, anything would be better than the stock seats.

     Stock 2002 seats, even in good condition, aren't the most comfortable things in the world.  I remember being driven to kindergarten in a 2002.  The crappy vinyl would make the back of my legs sweaty and that rock-hard faux-cloth design would leave its pattern imprinted in my skin.

     All those decades in the Arizona weather really took their toll on my car's seats.  They are completely stock and don't seem to have been refurbished at any time.  The foam is rotten, the vinyl is hard and cracking, and the springs are giving way from use.  Sitting on them is uncomfortable;  in some places the cracked vinyl pinches and you rock about so much that you feel like you're sitting in a canoe.

Both front seats are original.  The hardware is in great shape, but the padding, covering, and springs are rough.

stock seats

Right:  old and busted.  Left:  "new" hotness.

old and new seats

Beyond being comfortable, stylish, well-bolstered, and all-around great, the true beauty of these FloFit seats is that they drop right in to the 2002 without an adaptor plate or rails.  The slides on the bottom of the stock seats can be removed and bolted onto the FloFits, meaning the new seats mount into the car just like the originals.

Slides on the underside of the seat bolt onto mounting brackets on the car.  The black lever at the bottom of this picture disengages a lock (silver piece with three square holes) on the outboard slide, allowing the seat to slide forward and back.

seat removed

The inboard slide on the underside of the passenger seat.  By moving the slide forward and backward, you can access the two bolts that hold it to the seat.  Here you can see the rear bolt.

inboard slider

The outboard slide is different.  It has square teeth that engage with the lock on the car.

outboard slider

I simply removed the slides from the original seats and bolted them right onto the FloFits.  Couldn't be easier.  Again, moving the slides forward and back gives access to the holes which mount them to the seat's underside.

sliders on new seats

I find it easiest to position the seat in the car and tighten the two front bolts first.  By sliding the seat backwards, you get easy access to these bolts.

front mount

To gain access to the rear bolts, you have to slide the seat far forward and tilt forward the seatback.

rear mount

A tremendous improvement.  Just repeat on the driver's side.  A little bit of carpet and the interior would look half-decent.

flofit seat installed