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Racing Seats Buyer’s Guide

By Chris Myer

There are essentially four easy steps in the seat buying process:

•Step 1: Select a Racing Seat Style That Suits Your Needs
•Step 2: Pick a Racing Seat That Fits Your Car
•Step 3: Pick a Seat That Fits You
•Step 4: Buy a Seat Bracket

Step 1: Select a Racing Seat Style That Suits Your Needs

For purposes of this discussion, let’s break racing seat styles down as follows:


Shop Reclining Seats

Shop Fixed-Back Seats

Shop Suspension Seats

Shop Bench Seats
Reclining Seats Fixed-Back Seats Suspension Seats Bench Seats
These are ideal for the street car that wants to make a powerful statement without compromising comfort. Doing some serious racing? These are your choice. Look here too if you are restoring a historic car or completing a kit that needs a classic bucket seat. Including Jeep seats and offroad seats. Nobody knows more about them than Corbeau. Find the performance and comfort you demand for your offroad adventure. Hey, why not? Sometimes a bench seat is exactly what is required. And nobody has a finer selection of bench seats than Corbeau.

Racing Seats USA makes it easy to select the right style of seat. Simply go to Shop By Style and select the style you prefer. If you are looking for a specific brand or use then you can also Shop By Brand or Shop By Use.

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Step 2: Pick a Racing Seat That Fits Your Car

Racing Seats Vehicle Fitment Post Video LinkRead below or check out this handy video post on vehicle fitment
 

Corbeau Seat DimensionsThis is generally only a big deal if you have a small car, but if you get a seat that won’t fit you will not be happy. So, unless you’re putting your racing Seats into a very large car or truck, you should do a few quick measurements. Corbeau seats have 5 measurements, as shown in the image at left. Other brands provide similar measurements. Take a tape measure, jump in your car and get an idea of the available space. The most important measurements are the bottom width and the shoulder width.

Measuring Available Shoulder Width

First, find the very center of your stock seat at shoulder height. Do this by measuring the width of the stock seat at the shoulders and then finding the spot half-way across the seat. This is your starting point. Now, with the door fully closed and the window up, measure from this point out to the window. That is half, so double that number. This is the maximum available shoulder width. We recommend you find a seat that is at least 1-2 inches more narrow. This is important since the location of the shoulder on different seats is at different heights, and you may not have as much room with the aftermarket racing seat.

Measuring Available Bottom Width

With the door closed, measure the narrowest width from the door panel to the center console. This measurement represents the widest seat bottom that will fit in your car. Select a seat that is at least 1 inch more narrow than this to be safe.

You will notice that we provide a diagram similar to the one above for every racing seat we sell. Now that you have the measurements you can compare the seats you like to your available space. Also, each section page provides a filter to reduce the seats shown to those that are wider, typical, or more narrow than the rest. Here are a few more pointers:

  • Aftermarket racing seats are usually taller than stock seats – Most high quality aftermarket seats are thicker in the bottom than the stock seat, so you’ll sit a little bit taller. If you already have head clearance issues you may need to consider the custom seat shaving service that Corbeau provides. They can remove, shave approximately 1 inch and replace the padding in the bottom of the seat. When you are ready to order your seat call and mention this when ordering.
  • Fixed Back Seats are not usually a good match for standard-cab pickup trucks – Fixed back seats come with a pre-set layback angle. Often, the rear window and cab wall require these seats to be installed too close to the steering wheel for most drivers. We recommend a reclining seat for standard-cab pickup trucks.

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Step 3: Pick a Seat That Fits You

Is your midsection diameter 34″ or smaller? Great–you can skip to the next section. If you are over 34″ you will need to read on. With most racing seat descriptions on this website we offer guidelines for how big a driver will be comfortable in that seat. For other brands, the guidance is limited to suggesting that the seat is a better fit for a small, medium, or large drivers. Even the waist size suggestions can’t strictly be compared to your pant size. Man men, in particular, are able to fit into one size pant and then carry far more weight just above that point. Don’t kid yourself here, it is your comfort that is at stake. Measure yourself at the broadest part of your midsection. If you enjoy a snug fit and are not spending hours at a time in the car then a slightly smaller seat may work. But we recommend that you get as much seat as the manufacturer recommends for your size. Other tips:

  • Consider the bolsters – Bolsters are the padding at the thigh and back that keep the driver securely centered in the car during high G-Force maneuvers. A tall bolster is going to be more limiting for bigger passengers. It can also be challenging for handicapped drivers when entering and exiting the seat. This is especially true on a tall vehicle like a 4WD truck.
  • Don’t forget your passenger’s needs – If you are small and it is at all likely that you will have some not-so-small passengers riding with you, you may want to consider a larger seat. This is particularly true if that person will be riding with you frequently or over longer distances.

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Step 4: Buy a Seat Bracket

Corbeau Seat DimensionsAftermarket seats come with either bottom mounting points, side mounting points, or both. Seat brackets are available to allow bottom-mounted seats to bolt directly into most year/make/model combinations. This is definitely the way to go. Unbolt your old seats, bolt the bottom-moun racing seat to the bracket and the entire assembly directly into your car. Too easy!

Racing Seats with side mounting points present additional benefits and challenges. By placing the mounting points on the side of the seat, it allows the seat to be positioned as low as possible, physically touching the surface on which it is being mounted. And it is possible to use a sidemount seat with a bottom-mount bracket by attaching the seat to the bottom-mount brackets with a set of sidemount brackets. This allows you to take advantage of the ease of installation even on sidemount-style seats. View the entire list of Racing Seat Brackets here!

While the paragraph above covers 90% of our customers, there are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Mounting Baja SS, Ultra SS, Baja Low-Back and Baja XP Seats – These seats are unique in that Corbeau designed them with four vertical mounting tabs. This makes them especially well-suited to custom applications like a sand rail or rock crawler. However, this is one of our best-selling seats for ALL applications. A special adapter is an available option when ordering that allows these seats to be used with the entire range of Corbeau custom brackets.
  • Mounting Corbeau Seats in Jeeps® – Corbeau obviously has a special spot in their hearts for Jeep owners. While any Corbeau seat can be mounted into Jeep applications using a custom bracket, some of the Corbeau line are manufactured so they can be mounted directly into the Jeep CJ and YJ without the purchase of a bracket, including the Baja JP, the Baja RS, the Moab, and the Safari Bench Seat. They also offer direct fit adapters for the Baja SS, Ultra SS, and the Baja Bench Seats.

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Any Other Questions? Call Us!

We love to get phone calls! You’ll find our toll-free phone number at the top of every page on this website. We always have someone here between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM Eastern. It is our priviledge to take your phone call!

2 Comments

  1. September 7, 2016    

    The seats in my car are kind of old and need replacing. I will probably end up replacing them with something similar to what I have but obviously better. I was just interested in the suspension seats. I imagine they are only for offroading vehicles, but could they be put in a regular car?

    • September 7, 2016    

      Absolutely, James! In fact, the Corbeau Baja XRS suspension seat is our single best-selling racing seat and is being enjoyed by it’s owners in cars and trucks of all sorts!

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