1997 Mazda Miata: Seat Fixed...Finally
March 14, 2011
Gary Coleman. Danny DeVito. Emanual Lewis. Wee Man.
Until yesterday, these were the only four people that could drive our Project Miata comfortably.
Personally I've been complaining about the Miata's seating position since I drove a pre-production Miata back in 1989. The seat angle is all wrong (kinda dumps you into the footwell) and the seat is just mounted too high. Combine that with a steering column with no tilt and I've always wondered why Mazda wanted you to sit on a Miata and not in a Miata.
Until yesterday I thought the only solution to this is an aftermarket seat. I was wrong. Dan Edmunds had another solution. "Pull the seat foam out," he said. "I did it to one of my Miata race cars about 20 years ago."
So I did.
Yesterday I pulled out the Miata's driver's seat and went for it. I peeled off its seat bottom upholstory as much as possible, stuck a hand in there and began tearing. What I found was very dense foam more than two inches thick. More platform than padding. I even had to use a steak knife to cut some of it out.
When I was done, nearly all of it lay on my driveway, but only sections from under the driver's butt. I left the side bolsters and the thigh support alone. The entire process took about two hours, and I did loose more than a little knuckle skin (blood everywhere), but the results were worth it.
I'd still like the seat to be about a half inch even lower, but now the top of the steering wheel isn't covering the top of the gauges, and you no longer feel like you're sitting on top of the car.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief