04 Dec DT.:M:. – Brace Yourself
It’s been ages, so let’s remedy that with some more content centered around M’s E46 M3 race car for the streets.
Last time we took a look at the car, we had just finished removing the Dynamat sound deadening material using science — dry ice, specifically. Now, with the car stripped down to its sheet metal, devoid of anything else necessitating removal at the moment, we went to work on the seat mounts. You see, we won’t be using traditional E46 M3 seats with this build — not only would they clash with the stripped interior, they’d clash with the whole idea of the car in general. The owner, M, dropped off the car with a different set of seats instead. These come directly from a Porsche Carrera GT. Either way, the CGT seats aren’t exactly built for the E46 M3, so we had to modify one part of the structure that connects the seat bracket to the car.
We started by finding the spot welds on the specific piece of sheet metal we’d intended to remove. One the spot welds were drilled out, we removed the offending metal piece. The floor still needed tending to, as the spot welds were still jutting out of the floor. A few quick passes with a grinder brought the metal to a much smoother finish.
With the floor space prepared, we created a new rear half of the seat mounting area from steel bar, welded into place using the TIG method of welding. The steel bars are welded to each other, and also to mounting plates that we cut out and shaped to the sides of the seatwell. From there, we welded those mounting plates to the M3’s body, and Bob’s your uncle. Seeing as how these mounts are designed for the CGT seats only, we have threaded bolts coming out from the metal bars in exactly the positions required to mount the CGT seats’ brackets. Those bolts are welded into place from the underside for a bit cleaner of a look, and so we can use all the threads on the bolt (otherwise the weld bead would interfere).
In order to triple-ensure that the seat was mounted in the correct position without being angled awkwardly or being off-center of the wheel, we test-fit both seats in the car. We installed the padding on the driver’s seat to make sure we weren’t too close or too far (we weren’t), as well. Of course, careful measuring early on proved worthwhile, as the seats fit exactly how we wanted them to.
In case you were wondering, we taped up the backs of the seats to prevent the material from being scuffed during multiple installations and removals from the M3. Same goes for the seat’s cushioning; may as well keep it clean for when the car’s finished, right?
Now that the seats are done, we’re busy ordering a few things and getting ready to jump into the next big step on this build. Trust us, you won’t be able to miss the next part — it’s gonna be big.