Saturday, November 26, 2016

Looking For Surfboards...In Texas

Ow....That's Gonna Smart

 I 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.


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 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.

Road Trip!

Mazda Heaven....Indeed

Stopped 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.

Battleship Grey

Did a slight "foamectomy" to both seat bottoms, before reassembling everything.

"Slight" Foamectomy

Seat Backs Reassembled

Reinstalled everything. From the first picture, you can see the difference in height between the NB1 and NB2 seats.

See What I Mean About The Rollbar?

Blue And Tan?  Yeah...No.

I went ahead and drove the car to work a few weeks ago and after spending some time in the new seats, I had to make a few adjustments.

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...

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