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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Advice / Vendor information (18101 hits)
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-02-15 22:47
Hi all,
     I am looking to purchase some seats for the buggy and was wondering if anyone has had any dealings with "Action Import Motors"? I am looking to find a vendor for the seats on the East coast to help save on shipping costs. If they're less than desirable to do business with, would you have any suggestions, keeping in mind shipping costs to Maine?


P.S.  I have been looking at a set of standard high back Race Trim seats in black vinyl w/ gray tweed or all black vinyl. Any comments would also be most welcome, positive or negative.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-02-16 04:08

Whatever you choose be sure to taKe very good measurements on height and width.

You might also post some pics of what you re considering for some valued advice from this forum before you buy.
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-02-16 13:40
Hi Jeff,
     Thanks for the come back. I will try to post some pics of what I am considering. I have taken a few measurements and come to the conclusion that they should fit. The standard seat is 21 inches across at their widest point, which is at the top of the seat cushion. The taper of the cushion from the bottom of the mount to the top of the cushion is about right to fit at the tunnel. I measured the floor board where I thought the seats would be located. I came up with 21 inches across the floor board to the outside of the rail. It was approx. 24 inches from the top center of the tunnel to the outside of the rail. I believe the height should be OK, unless I have failed to note something. They should fall well below the windshield and show bar. I am not sure of how they will be mounted yet, with the body off, it is difficult to contemplate the mount style.
     In my estimation they should fit snug. What does the Buggy Bunch have for comments. All comments are welcome. I would rather have all my ducks in a row before I order them.


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By Brian B 1822 Date 2013-02-16 13:45
The seats will end up all the way back as far as they go. Even into the area where the tunnel flairs out. You will want the seats as low to the floor as possible so your knees dont hit the dash. I used Miata seats for mine and they are purfect. Nice and comfortable easy to find on Craigslist and they recline. They have speakers in the headrest and bolt directly to the floor.
Brian Boggs,Katy Texas
ThunderBug, Surfer GT, 49 Dodge
By andrew s 1965 Date 2013-02-16 14:56
I ordered scatt seats from summit racing price was good and shipping free
I also bought seat slide to bolt to sets but made them too high an had to cut three inches out
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-02-16 16:06
I think at one point JCWhitney hasd some similiar knock off style of that seat and they often offer free shipping. That might have been a while ago....I am not sure.

Its a good seat for your application. Others would include:

1. Miata seats like Brian has suggested
2. Porsche 914 seats
3. Some seats from a Cobra replica. They pop up often, ship cheaply and are a kinda cool retro look.

One thing to keep in mind is seat base height (especially if you are tall) which includes the slide. You can get some real nice seats but they often stick your head above the windshield. Overall width is very important as well because the tunnel gets narrower as it goes back. If you have long legs you will need to slide them back.
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-02-17 01:59
Thanks for all the advice,
     I first looked at Miata seats on E-bay just to get an idea of the general shape and style. I really did not like what I saw and what I did find were less than desirable for the price. The Porsche seats I have to say were about the same, style wise, but their price was much higher. Maybe I am not looking in the right places, or at least, not the places the Buggy Bunch seem to be looking.
     Next I checked out JCW but did not find anything that seem to trip my trigger. They did have free shipping, but purchasing something that you are not comfortable with, even with free shipping, doesn't make sense to me.
     Later in the afternoon I remembered that I still had the floor board pattern for the buggy so I used it and the race trim seat dimensions to draw its mounting position on the pattern. (The red line is the final position in the picture that I will post.) If I place the seat fronts at 24 inches from the rear wall the back of the seats will be 4-5 inches from the rear wall, as Brian had said. Taking measurements from the tub and tunnel I determined that I could move the seat position toward the outer edge by 1 inch thus allowing a little more room.
     After doing all this I went back to the Samba and found someone that installed a set of low backs in his buggy which seem to fit well. They are 19 inches overall width and 25 overall height without headrest. I'll pot a picture of them. I also noted that the fronts of his seats were at the shifter which, if this is the case, would move my (Red) line about six more inches forward and thus six more inches away from the rear wall. ????? Although not what I really want they may be a relatively reasonable solution.
     Wish I could find someone that had installed the standard Race Trim (21 inches wide) in their buggy. Maybe its not possible and that's why no one has posted back. Comments please!!


P.S. I am 5'8"-5'10" tall. About 230 lb. If that helps anyone.

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By Brian B 1822 Date 2013-02-17 14:56
Thomas, there is way more info on the Samba about this very subject. Do a search on there. The race trim seats will fit most likely. Standard bug seats will fit I guess, just may be too high and like you say they have to stay forward. I moved my shifter back 5" so I cant referance that to tell you where mine ended up.
Brian Boggs,Katy Texas
ThunderBug, Surfer GT, 49 Dodge
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-02-17 15:57
Hi Brian,
     I got up this morning early and did just that. I found a couple threads on the Samba that covered much of the topic. There was a guy that installed 21" wide Corbeau seats an had pics of the install. They did fit but did look like they were stuffed in and a reader brought up a good point that it was going to be difficult to operate the seat adjustments. There was not a pic of how they fit behind the seat, bummer.
     I did run across a post that lead me to the PRP site where the buggy owner said he installed the Roadsters, 19" width, which look similar to the Race Trims, but also include a heftier price tag. The site allows you to choose colors and material types which is nice but I can not seem to find a way to see what your selections have produced. So their selection tool needs some work, in my estimation.
     I'll keep reading and asking questions, its not like I need them tomorrow. Its snowing here today so it will be awhile yet.

Thanks for all the advise.

By andrew s 1965 Date 2013-02-17 16:55 Edited 2013-02-17 17:00
scatt has dimensions on all seats with this link which is nice
i have the pro  90  not saying it is the way to go and you can buy cheaper elsewhere besides scatt direct.
I have the seats in two buggies and i am happy with them
goog luck
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-03-06 00:56
Hi Everyone,
     Here is where I am at presently after looking at, measuring and sitting in various seats. I work at a local used car dealer turning wrenches. Some retirement!!!
     I worked on a 2005 Blazer the other day which had a nice set of seats, 20" across, which looked and sat nice but they were all cloth, not to practical in Maine where, "If you do not like the weather, just wait a minute!"
     A freind of mine has a few old cars in a barn that I visited the other day, I sat in XR-7 seats and late 70's- early 80's Chevy Monza seats. They are both 20" inches wide by 34 high and sit fairly low, bolt directly to the floor and have seat adjusters. I liked the Monza seats the best, more padding. My friend has a few sets that he has pulled out of parts cars so I took a driver's seat to the buggy and set it on the pan where I could better visualize the fit and look. I took a couple profile pictures that show the clearances. I have posted those pics but be aware that the drivers seat is worn and torn. I am looking into have new seat covers made before I make any final decisions.

Comments please!!


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By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-03-06 03:34
My gut would say way to tall and too wide.

My head would be above the windshield with those.
By ManxBug Date 2013-03-07 02:37
I was thinking the same, you are going to be above the windshield.
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-03-07 13:33
Good Morning Guys,
     Thanks for your thoughts. I never thought that seats would be a major stumbling block. I think I will wait till I can get the body set on the pan and look a little closer. Trying to balance cost, fit and style seems to be difficult. I know what you guys have tried to get across to me about spending the extra to get the ones to fit the job. I'll just keep looking! Maybe I will pull one of the XR-7 seats and and place it on the pan for picture taking session. What height do you feel would be the max?

By Lloyd B 2301 Date 2013-03-07 15:07
Just a quick observation.  You stated you are 5'8" or 5'10"  and 230 or so.  I am 5'10"  and a bit more in weight than you, seats that might fit you may not fit me.  Placing the seat for a trial fit is a good idea. you do not want to be looking over the top of the windshield, and you want to not have your legs stuffed up under the steering wheel. Example, my Son is also same 5'10" as I, however I am longer in the legs than him. I have a shorter torso and longer legs, I generally have to scoot seats back on most cars that others drive, even folks that are taller than I.

Fit For You is Important.

Just my uneducated thoughts

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-03-07 16:14
What you are hearing is years of experience trying to save you some time. I am on my 4th buggy personally. When I started out I tried all the passenger car seats as well. They are generally to wide, to tall, and just don't look right. If you are trying to get seats for under a $100 to fit in a buggy right you are wasting your time.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't go look and try. By all means do so. Sometimes its about the journey. Everyone is telling you where you will end up...but sometimes getting there on your own is fun.

Here are the seats I would focus on (in no particular order):
Porsche 914
Factory Five seats
By Lloyd B 2301 Date 2013-03-08 02:23
Those three are all low to the ground cars and the seats are "built" low.  All good suggestions.  you could perhaps even look to the MG's and such.
By ManxBug Date 2013-03-08 03:36
Don't forget that re-covering used seats is probably going to cost more than buying a set of racing seats.

I tried some celica seats and quickly replaced them.
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-03-08 12:16
Good Morning Guys,
     I appreciate all the comments and I really do see your points. My problem is that the seats that you are suggesting just do not seem to exist up here, or at least in my area. I visited the yard that I deal with most, fairly large for one up this way with computer search capabilities and they said that they would try but not to be surprised if nothing comes back. I have not heard anything back and that was a month ago.
     As far as the covering of old seats, from what I have been seeing on E-bay, none on CL, those that I could get would have to covered anyway. So how would I get ahead doing that? My thoughts on the XR-7 and Monza seats was that I would most likely get them for cheap, real cheap, and then put the money that I would have spent into the covers. But if you guys, and I trust in your judgement, don't think they will work in my application that's out the window.
     I looked at the race trim UTV seats and could get by with them, but should I spend good money for something that I really am not totally happy with?

     Could someone comment on what the total height of the seats should be as well as the pan-to-seat height?

By Brad H 1498 Date 2013-03-08 12:37
Tom, Get your body on the car and then try your seats. Until then it's all just guessing and speculation. You might find that they work just fine. I have race seats in my car and if it wasn't for the fact that it's a tube chassis they wouldn't fit. Get the pedals in the car, then put the body on, then try your seats. Once you get a good fit between the seats and pedals for a comfortable driving position you can move on to steering wheel and shifter.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-03-08 15:36
Wonder how these seats might be?
By Lloyd B 2301 Date 2013-03-08 15:59
you could also take a look at this site:    fill in the blanks for the vehicle you are looking for and the region.  Your local wrecking yard should be able to have things sent to them from other yards.

Also do a look up on LKQ :

As for Recovering seats, the cost can vary Widely, depending on where you are in the country. Best for that to look for a good local shop or someone you know and trust.
Keep in mind, most seats made for cars, are not outside seats, if you do not have a top and keep it on, you will have all the elements on your seats.  Check with a Boat shop for possible recovering of seats?

Just my uneducated thoughts

By Brad H 1498 Date 2013-03-08 16:49
Although it may vary a lot by region, I think you'd still be looking at $200 a seat to get them done by anyone with any kind of skill. Marine vinyl would definitely be the best for covering a seat for an open car. Get black, it's like having built in butt warmers LOL I still got scars on the backs of my thighs from a buddies car........

By ManxBug Date 2013-03-09 01:04
I have something like these. They are a little hard on the bum but I added a little extra foam.

Total is only $95 per seat with mounting hardware.
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-03-11 01:07
Good Evening All,
     Again, Thank you all for your comments and ideas. As I said earlier I can't believe how hard this is.
     Friday night I went out to the build site with my son, who is slightly taller than I. I set the Monza seat on the floor and located the roll bar in its approximate position, then had my son sit in the seat. The roll bar was about 6 inches higher than the top of his head. If I were to use the seats I am quite sure that I could reduce the seat height another 2 inches by reworking the seat mounts. Just mounting them to the pan would reduce the height another inch just by allowing the mounting studs to go through the pan.
     Whatever I do I will check it out with the Buggy Bunch before I make it a done deal. Right now I will just let it simmer in the back of my mind, as much as buggy fever will allow, until I can get more reliable information by setting the body on and checking leg to pedal distance and steering column clearances.

     Thanks for your thoughts but I am trying to stay away from the fiberglass shells as I have some back and hip issues that make them low on the list of options. If I were in high school again they would most likely be on the top of the list. $$$$

     How high are the fronts of your seats off the pan? You have a Deserter like me so the windshield height should be about the same.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-03-11 02:45

My Deserter is all prepped for paint so I don't have any seat reference on the actual car.

I have 3 sets of seats for my next 2 cars. 1 set is from an old Lotus (in my shed), 1 set is some Tenzo racing seats (in my closet) and the other set is a set of Corbeau Classics (sitting right behind me). The Corbeaus are 6" tall to the top of the seat base sitting on the floor. Add another 1" for sliders.
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-03-11 22:39
Good evening Jeff,
     I was wandering how you were coming along. Have been watching your build but haven't seen any posts as of late. Wow, Paint! I can only dream of that day.
     I had the Corbeau Classics on my list but seem to wince a little at the cost. But as I progress through the thinking and trying of other seats I am beginning to think that I may need to succumb to the inevitable and pay the long price. Ouch!

Time will tell.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-03-11 22:57
Yeah...paint takes me a couple of hours the night before and a good chunk of the following day to lay down the paint. between the cold winter and my scheduling I haven't been able to find that time. I have everything ready to go...I just don't want to push the weather. This weekend might just work out weather wise so maybe on Monday I will be posting some new pics. I definitely want the paint done before I head out for an early April vacation. That week will give it some proper curing time before I start fitting parts.

If I only knew which two sets I was using for my projects I would sell you the last set. I won't know until I try them all in the Deserter and the SR.

The tenzos are brand new and I got them for $250, the Corbeaus are used but I got them for $250 as well. The Lotus seats are cool as all heck. They have 1 small rip but they were free!

Keep searching Craigslist. If you would consider low backs the seats at the FFR sight come up often for $200 or so a pair and people have no problem shipping. If you sign up and post a "wanted" ad you will get some responses. I have never used them in a buggy but they might give a nice retro feel. The set of high back Cobra seats I got were from Maine I think. I drove up and got them for I think $250 for the pair.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-03-13 03:07
How about something from here:

I have bought from them before and shipping was reasonable.
Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Advice / Vendor information (18101 hits)

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