Ow....That's Gonna SmartI installed a Blackbird Fabworx Single Diagonal Rollbar in the car a few months back to get the car ready for track days and also as a added safety feature on the street.
One thing I noticed about this roll bar was that it comes really close to my head, with the NB1 seat in a comfortable driving position. I now see why the Hard Dog Single Diagonal roll bar has the diagonal brace offset slightly, to allow the driver some extra head room.
I don't regret buying the Blackbird bar, but I think that for a mostly street driven car, the Hard Dog might have been a better choice.
I have the bar padded with SFI approved padding, but the thought of hitting the bar with my oversized noggin, just wasn't that appealing to me. Unfortunately this is a real possibility with the shorter NB1 seats. Since I primarily plan to drive the car on the street, I wasn't really interested in installing a set of aftermarket seats at this time.
So, I hit up Car-Part and started searching for a set of NB2 "Surfboard"seats.
Surfboards?The factory seats used in the 2001-2005 Miata/MX-5 cars, had a much taller seatback and headrest than the earlier seats. They look kind of like a surfboard, so that's the name that stuck for them. It's a popular upgrade for earlier model NB1 cars (like mine) and NA Miatas as well. I've been keeping my eye out for a set locally, but haven't had much luck. I thought using Car-Part.com might net me a set locally, or at the very least, in Kansas City.
Foiled Again!Surprise, surprise. There's not a very big supply of used Miata parts in this area. A search in the Kansas/Missouri/Arkansas area didn't show a lot of promise, unlike my search for the same parts in Texas. Plenty of hits there. Go figure. I figured it was a good excuse to go see my folks and snag some seats for the car.
Mazda Heaven....IndeedStopped by Nissan-Mazda Heaven in Ft. Worth, TX to check out what they had, before I headed further south to my parent's place.
If you need ANYTHING Miata related in the TX/OK/KS area, this is the place to go to. They ship as well, so I have a feeling I'll be talking to these folks again.
Found a set of blue cloth NB2 seats in "decent" shape. Definitely pricier than what I was used to paying for seats from a junkyard, but I needed them and they had them, so..yeah capitalism and stuff. I also picked up a 2001+ Header and a spare gauge cluster for a possible future project.
|"The Doorknob", Earning Its Keep|
Time To Make The Chimichangas...Got them home after spending the weekend with my folks and tore them down to properly clean the seat covers, and the foam.
Bought a plastic storage tub and filled it with water and some liquid upholstery cleaner from a spot carpet cleaner. Washed the covers by hand (gently) and then hung them to dry.
I'm glad I washed them, because the water was pretty filthy after I was done.
Wiped the seat foam down with some Clorox Spray Cleaner with bleach, and painted the seat pans with POR15.The pans got a little rusty while in the junk yard. Rattle canned the pans with some semi gloss black to cover the POR15.
Did a slight "foamectomy" to both seat bottoms, before reassembling everything.
|Seat Backs Reassembled|
|See What I Mean About The Rollbar?|
|Blue And Tan? Yeah...No.|
Removed a section of rollbar padding directly behind the Driver's Side seat. It interfered with reclining the seat enough for it to be comfortable.
Reinstalled the foam section I cut out for the "foamectomy" on the Driver's Side. The angle that I was sitting at with the foam cut out, just wasn't that comfortable on long drives. I might take it back out and cut some more foam out to try and get it perfect, but I think I'll see how I like it for right now.
Need to order some aftermarket upholstery to change out the blue cloth for tan leather. I thought I wouldn't mind it that much.
I was wrong.
I think the NB1 seats were a bit more comfortable than the NB2 seats, but I can't question the fact that the NB2 seats offer a lot more protection with the rollbar installed. So, until I make a final decision about the "Surfboards", I'm going to hold onto the NB1 seats for awhile longer.
Who knows? I may grow to like them.
Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot...