When I first purchased ‘Project Kouki’ in Japan it came with a few good modifications. It did, however, also come with some not so good ones. Today I took on the job of finally getting the seat in a better position in the cabin. The problem I had with my current seat rail is that it sits too high so my helmet is constantly touching the ceiling carpet and too far to the right, making it touch the door card. A fun fact about sun roof equipped S14s, is that the ceiling sits lower than usual. With these two problems on my list to fix, I was off to Yahoo to see what I could find.
As my S14 Zenki in New Zealand didn’t have an aftermarket seat, I had never needed to research about seat rails. It turns out there are a lot of brands and types, so finding the right one to fit my requirements was going to be a challenge. I looked through Yahoo for a week or two before choosing to go with the Juran RZ Type. The only reason I did was because I already had a few other Juran products and they hadn’t let me down yet.
The seat rail was made to order, meaning it took a couple of weeks to get to me. It was exciting to see the delivery man show up with the fresh looking box from Juran. It was packed okay. A little piece of styrofoam protecting the handle from bending, but apart from that, the rail was free to move around. Instructions, and fitting brackets with screws and bolts. Everything looked to be there.
Japanese is still something that I can’t read very well, especially when it’s not day to day kanji. I had a quick look through the papers that came with the seat rail, and it didn’t completely screw with my mind. It looked like a somewhat easy task getting the seat parts from the box, assembled and then into the car.
The Juran rail came with four mounting brackets, along with two bags of different sized bolts, washers and nuts. The thing I was ecstatic about was that it also came with the seatbelt bolt and nut. On the old seat rail, it’s a mismatch of bolts, washers and nuts that does my head in every time I swap the seat in to go drifting.
This is what the Juran rail looks like out of the box and assembled. Compared to the old Bride one below which is actually for the A31/C33 Nissan, not the S14, but it’s been modified to fit. Already you can see that it looks lighter with the brackets not being in one, long piece, as well as 3 levels of height adjustability unlike only 2 on the Bride seat rail.
I hadn’t actually bothered to check what brand of seat rail was in the car until I purchased the new one. Side by side you can easily see that the Bride seat rail isn’t made for the S14 at all. The front left bolting point is the main give away. The goal here, was to mount the brackets on the Juran rail as far to the left as possible to push the seat into the centre of the cabin. So far most of my measurements were all guess work, I only found out if it would fit better once it was in the car.
Things were looking good when all the bolt holes lined up to the car, I purchased the right seat rail. Looking at just the rails it wasn’t that easy to tell if the seat was going to sit in a better position. I needed to bolt up the Recaro seat and see first hand if I had wasted my money or not.
This is a very used Recaro Profi SPG seat. When I purchased the car last year, the seat actually had a cover over it, I had always thought that I had some generic unbranded aftermarket seat. It wasn’t until I was in the passenger seat one day that I looked to the side of the seat to see the Recaro label. I quickly ripped off the seat cover to find those white (or in this case sun struck yellow) Recaro letters across the head support of the seat. You can see here what I mean about the seat touching the door card. It’s been touching its whole life by the looks of it as the material around that point has been heavily damaged.
I put the seat in with both rails to see what the result of a couple of hundred dollars had got me. It was looking good. I could slightly see that the seat was sitting in a better position with the new rail. It still isn’t centred as much as I wanted it to be but it’s better than before.
Here you can see the difference of how the new seat rail doesn’t touch the door card compared to the old one. It’s only a little move but it’s enough to stop putting unwanted force onto the shoulder support area of the seat. A few more millimetres over would have been perfect.
It was now time to see if the Juran rail had fixed the other problem. Was the seat lower? It looked lower, the photos also made it look lower. However, there was only one real way to test that fact, by getting in and putting the helmet on. What do you know?! No more rubbing, my head was free to move about without the ceiling taking any grief.
It was a good day here at Ambition Works HQ. The Juran seat rail did the two things that I was hoping, it made the seat not touch the door card, and lowered the position of it as well. I’m not saying that Bride seat rails are bad, but in this case, the Juran rail does the job much better than the modified Bride rail.
Photos: Shaun Constable | Words: Shaun Constable
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