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View Full Version : 82-02 Camaro front seats in an Avanti - How to



sbca96
09-04-2006, 03:38 AM
Edit per new picture location : 12/1/08

NOTE : Firebird seats could also be used - Tom

Thread used to be "Dabnabbit Avanti front seat mounts!!!";)

OK .. I just took out my front seat, to finally figure out WHY its a
"rocking" chair. I found it only had ONE bolt located in a factory
captured nut, and the other three mounts where all broken and poorly
repaired. I am faced with a decision, do I spend the time to fab new
mounting brackets to put the factory seats back in (that I hate), or
do I just go ahead and mount the '97 Camaro seats I bought already?

Yah .. I am definately leaning toward the second option. I have a bad
back, and so just short drives create hours of pain on arrival when I
drive the Avanti. The Camaro seats seem to fit OK, the rails are the
same distance apart as the Avanti seats, but I will have to remove the
front built up fiberglass hump that the front mount was in. Someone
already cut a bunch of holes in it, weakening it a lot. I'm surprised
that Studebaker just rivoted metal to the fiberglass & called it good.
The rear outer mount has a steel plate, but the other three (the ones
that broke) did not. Oh, and in the process of trial fitting, I tore
my freshly dyed carpet .. thats 4 dollars worth of dye wasted!;)

Tom

CHAMP
09-04-2006, 07:58 AM
I the stock seats are causing you back pain I would change them. One of the few things I never liked on the Avanti is the front seats. I think the Camero seats are a much better looking seat. Go for it![8D]

GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

sbca96
09-05-2006, 05:40 AM
Well .. the only reply I got on this post was agreeing with me, so I
started the ground work for the swap. After thinking about it more, I
realized that there was no real reason to use the power seat part of
the Camaro seat, other then its "neato-ness". It also made the seat
sit TOO high up in the car. Looked stupid. I checked the distance
between the mounting holes on the stock seat, and it looked like they
would fit directly onto the Camaro seats. It was very close, but not
exact. I figured that considering how flimsy the stock setup was, I
could get away with notching the outside of the rails, and then bolt
the rail to the mount "capturing" the rail between the bolts. If it
was met with enough force to pull the rail out from between the bolts,
they it would break out the fiberglass holding the rail to the floor :

Front of seats :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_001a.jpg

Back of seats :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_002a.jpg

Distance between Camaro seat tracks :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_003a.jpg

Distance between Avanti seat tracks :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_004a.jpg

Notched rail end :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_007a.jpg

In process rail notching by Dremel :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_009a.jpg

Bolted up rail :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_010a.jpg

Seat in the car :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_012a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_013a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_015a.jpg

Tom

N8N
09-05-2006, 06:13 AM
Tom,

I've already posted my opinion of Avanti seats here:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.studebaker/browse_frm/thread/e43325eb5706aec5/5a51bed4706c9fe2#5a51bed4706c9fe2

it's hard to argue with someone who wants to switch.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

CHAMP
09-05-2006, 07:41 AM
Having never sat in an Avanti I didn't realise they were uncomfortable , I do know I didn't care for their looks. Those Camero seats are going to look good in your Avanti Tom.:)

GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

tomnoller
09-05-2006, 07:56 AM
Tom, As a 6'5" guy whose head rubs the roof of my '74 Avanti 'cause the seat back won't adjust, I envy you!

Western Washington, USA

Karl
09-05-2006, 04:20 PM
You are going love those seats. Put a set in the wife Vette. was like night and day.Color looks close too.I tried to use the stock bracket in the Twin. On my new seats. But that made the seat to close to the steering wheel. Mounted them just behind the bump in the floor.You may have to reposition your mirror. Just under the light switches.

CHAMP
09-05-2006, 04:45 PM
If you're going to try to match the colors of the front and rear seats with vinyl spray do the rear ones as they don't get as much wear. They look pretty close the way they are in the pics.:)

GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

sbca96
09-05-2006, 05:03 PM
Yah .. the color is VERY close, actually its almost DEAD on, with the
NON-sun bleached vinyl thats wrapped under the factory Avanti seats.
I know that I will like the seats, my 93 Camaro has the same ones, and
I have clocked almost 200,000 miles in those seats - darn nice!!:D

I am making up repair brackets at work RIGHT now, gotta get out there
and finish tapping some holes. Pictures later!

Tom

studegary
09-05-2006, 05:19 PM
Your back will thank you.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY
1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

Laemmle
09-06-2006, 05:32 PM
To each his own, but in the 42 years of Avanti ownership I have never found the seats to be a problem.......they are classic ...Studebaker had good sense to follow the style of classic Alfa's with their own seats.....classic, simple, and to me never an aching back!;)[^]:D[:o)]

bams50
09-06-2006, 05:46 PM
My opinion: Seats are one of those things that can always be switched back if a future owner wants to; and most older sporty car's seats are horrendous[xx(]

Switch 'em and put the originals with the stock wheels, brakes, and anything else you've upgraded!

Piercings can be removed and healed over, but tatoos are forever! (Not that I have ever had either)! [:o)]

Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2358680/1

bams50
09-06-2006, 05:49 PM
YIKES- just saw the pic and it looks great in there- WAY better than the buckboard that it came with.........;)

Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2358680/1

sbca96
09-06-2006, 08:03 PM
Some people are gifted with backs that are not bothered, to those I am
most definately envious. My back, however, can not stand these seats
for the 55 mile commute to work. As pictured, I am using the factory
seat rails, with a minimal mod to them. One which would not effect it
being switched back. Unfortunately one of the front bolts that hold
the rail to the fiberglass seat broke off in the seat, that spells a
disaster to me. Since I wont be switching them back, I will probably
just put them up in the attic and forget about them.

I got the drivers seat mounts repaired last night, and the seat is now
bolted securely to the floor, for the first time in the over 10 years
I have had this car, the seat DOESNT rock back and forth. Nice!:D;)
I took a bunch of pictures of the mounting that I made up to share on
the forum for others faced with this setup. The outer rear front seat
mount has a steel reinforcement that appears to go to the frame, the
inner rear front seat mount is a "captured nut" steel cage, rivoted to
a steel plate, and bonded to a fiberglass square, THEN bonded to the
bottom of the body!! Needless to say, 40 years of rust is stronger
then the bond to the body, and it broke off. Grabbing the cage from
underneath with vice grips helped get it off. I made another aluminum
mount to replace it. Hopefully things will go smoothly, & I will post
the pictures on this thread tonight.

Tom

sbca96
09-08-2006, 02:53 PM
To those waiting for further details on this swap, here is the latest
update. The drivers side front mounts were toasted, so I made up two
aluminum mounts. Here is a few pictures of the carnage :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_016a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_017a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_018a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_019a.jpg

Here is the 6061-T6 aluminum block I made up to anchor the seat. I had
to move out further then the factory rivots since the fiberglass was
so broken up around the hole.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_020a.jpg

Here is the block attached. I didnt bother with two mounting holes, I
split the difference. If I need to raise the seat, I can add washers
in between the seat track and seat bottom. Stainless screws, with a
zinc plated bolt.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_022a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_024a.jpg

This is the replacement inner rear seat mount, this is the one that
was completely GONE - nothing there but a through bolt with a big
washer on the underside of the car.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_025a.jpg

Drivers seat installed :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_028a.jpg

Here is the drivers and pass seats waiting to go up in the attic. You
can see how bleached the interior is from the sun. The underside
color is almost a match to the Camaro seats.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_029a.jpg

Tom

sbca96
09-08-2006, 03:45 PM
On to the passenger seat, removing the seat the two inner mounts broke
so I had to reattach the front plate, and I decided to replace the one
in the rear. Here is the front inner, I cut a square in the backside
to allow the plate to be removed.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_030a.jpg

This is the missing inner rear mount, it broke off - surprised?

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_031a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_032a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_034a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_035a.jpg

Took the factory metal plate, punched out the rivots, and tapped the
holes for a 10-32 screw.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_033a.jpg

Used a drill bit by hand, and countersunk the hole for a flat head :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_036a.jpg

Plate installed :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_038a.jpg

With the front two, and remaining rear mount, I remounted the seat, &
marked the floor to tell me where to position the new aluminum mount.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_039a.jpg

Seats are in! I think it looks much better, & tonight I will be going
to a show/cruise in Santa Maria, so I can see how they feel!

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_041a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_042a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_043a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_seat_upgrade/Camaro_seats_4_Avanti_044a.jpg

Tom

stude53
09-08-2006, 10:58 PM
Ihose are good looking seats. Thanks for detailed how-to and pics. I've started a journal of how-to tips from all sources just so I can access them anytime I want to without remembering where I saw it.

[img=left]http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j259/stude53/studesmall2.jpg[/img=left]Bob Feaganes (stude53)
53 Starliner Hardtop
Newton Grove, NC

sbca96
09-09-2006, 01:09 AM
Not just good looking ... OMG! I have to tell you, the difference was
even more then I was expecting!! Not only are they comfortable, but
they actually make shifting the manual trans easier! Partly due to
the "rocking" motion being gone ... but also because my lower back is
MUCH better supported by the seat back. As I mentioned, I have the
same seats in my 93 Camaro Z28, and have logged almost 200,000 miles
on it over the last 10 years, so I expected improvement .. never had
I imagined it would be this good. 200% improvement. Very happy!:D

Tom

CHAMP
09-09-2006, 08:43 AM
Thats some real nice work you've done there Tom! Everything looks very neat and profesional! And comfortable and so much better looking than the Avanti seats! Good job![8D]

GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

sbca96
09-09-2006, 09:34 PM
Thanks guys ... I like to do things right, no half-a$$ed stuff. You
would freak if you saw what WAS holding these seats in from previous
"Repairs" - if you can call them that.;)

Tom

bams50
09-11-2006, 09:19 PM
This thread got me to thinking about different seats for my 60 Lark... I have a 94 Plym. Acclaim with perfect red seats- rear seatbacks fold down...

So just for fun I pulled the rear seat and stuck it in the Lark- and it fits GREAT!![:p] I LOVE how it looks... so now, not only am I going with different seats (at least temporarily), I'm leaning towards changing the color to salmon to go with the seats...[8D]

See what you made me do? [:o)]

P.S. I saw in TW that SI sells what seems to be a repair kit for this specific problem (front seat mount broken loose)...

Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2358680/1

sbca96
09-12-2006, 12:15 AM
The ability to "recline", no 'fall forward' hinge, and the lumbar are
the main reasons I went away from the factory seats. When I was doing
the Gtech testing on the brakes, the passenger side seat kept folding
forward each time I stopped, I finally left it down. These seats do
not fold forward unless you lift the handle on the seat back, and they
have a pretty finely spaced reclining catches. You lift the handle
at the seat bottom for that. I have a plastic cover peice that will
finish off the side of the drivers seat, but I need to cut it a little
bit to clear the seat track adjuster arm. The drivers was power, but
the passenger was not, so the passenger had less plastic. If someone
was to want to do this, then non-power seats would be best.

I saw the floor repair kit, but the parts I made cost me nothing, but
the time invested to make them, the aluminum was from the scrap bin.

Tom

rusty65
12-01-2008, 10:57 PM
You mean you replaced the front AND back seats from the Acclaim to the Lark?If so, what modifications did you have to do to get the fronts to fit?I have been looking thru some junkyards for a set of modern front seats for my Daytona.Yeah, I'm a lo-tech kind of guy and I was looking for something that wouldn't require a lot of modification.Measurements are- 11" front to rear and approx.17" side to side.Any ideas/suggestions?Or should I continue to go thru the pick-and-pull with my tape measure until I luck out?

theGman
12-01-2008, 11:21 PM
I mounted a pair of 2002 Firebird buckets in my '81 Avanti II. I kept the power seat; I am 6'2, 250 pounds, and I wanted the seat to go back further. Before removing the awful factory seats, I checked measurements, up down, seat forward, seat all the way back, seat travel distance, etc. on both sides, space between door and seat, etc. etc.....this was a great reference tool. I wanted the seats further back. The Firebird seats ended up being about 3 inches or so further back, so I can drive in comfort!

I did similar mounting tricks in mine, and spent forever it seems adding/removing washers from new bolt holes, adding a support plate, etc. but it was all worth it. The seats are level and square. The drivers side power is nice also. (Passenger side was manual).

Paul

Almost forgot; these seats were a charcoal color, much nicer than the stock country gray, so I had the back seat reupholstered to match the front pattern, and replaced or dyed everything else, including the headliner, so the charcoal color inside looks great with the red outside. PO had just installed a new black carpet, so this helped out a lot.

bams50
12-02-2008, 06:06 PM
quote:Originally posted by rusty65

You mean you replaced the front AND back seats from the Acclaim to the Lark?If so, what modifications did you have to do to get the fronts to fit?I have been looking thru some junkyards for a set of modern front seats for my Daytona.Yeah, I'm a lo-tech kind of guy and I was looking for something that wouldn't require a lot of modification.Measurements are- 11" front to rear and approx.17" side to side.Any ideas/suggestions?Or should I continue to go thru the pick-and-pull with my tape measure until I luck out?


As you see, that post was from over 2 years ago. From what I recall I started backwards- I was looking for a rear seat that would fit well in the Lark body; when I did I'd get whatever front seat(s) matched that. I looked at the Acclaim and it looked like it would fit, so I tried it- fits great, maybe an inch or two short. And, those cars had some of the nicest interiors ever; so I grabbed them. Fronts are pretty easy to mount.

I'd recommend doing that if you want a matched set- find a rear you like that is close in size AND will match the contour of your floor, and get the fronts that match.

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

sbca96
12-03-2008, 04:36 AM
quote:Originally posted by theGman

I mounted a pair of 2002 Firebird buckets in my '81 Avanti II. I kept the power seat; I am 6'2, 250 pounds, and I wanted the seat to go back further. Before removing the awful factory seats...

How the heck did you get them to fit with the power mechanism? They
sat way too tall in my opinion. Thats why I did away with them, and
just used the Stude sliders. If memory serves the 81 Avanti II came
with Recaros, you didnt like them?[:0]

Tom

Warren Webb
12-04-2008, 12:10 AM
Personally, I like them !! You could also later on have them recovered with the vertical pleats to match the rear seats & nobody would be the wiser, except the experts here in the forum...LOL. But seriously, for the comfort & safety aspect its a great modification.

60 Lark convertible
61 Champ
62 Daytona convertible
63 G.T. R-2,4 speed
63 Avanti (2)
66 Daytona Sport Sedan

MikeValent
12-04-2008, 05:02 PM
Maybe it's a question of the driver's size. I have an 83 Avanti with the Recaros and consider the Recaro seats to be garbage. I'm six-four and 220 pounds.

I'd like to get my hands on a set of the original Stude Avanti front seats as (except for the backs needing maybe 5 degrees more rake) I found them to be very comfortable.

MikeV
Pompano Beach, FL
83 Avanti 377I

okc63avanti
01-09-2009, 12:35 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I do like the Camero seats. My drivers side was leaning back at about 5 degrees when I got the car. I am just shy of 6' tall and weight about 265 lbs (was over 300, 6 months ago). I was driving one day on expressway when the seat broke laying back on me. I managed to keep car staight and then set up like sitting on a stool and got home. The fiberglass shell under vinyl was competely cracked. I found a spare Mazda Miata seat to replace mine and managed to adapt the seat to current bolt holes using heavy strapping metal. I do not like the Mazda seat and think the Camero seats look good. Any other nice seat options would be appreciated as well.

Also I figure one whack from someone in the rear end (God forbid) without high back and shoulder belt and you are probably cursed with back problems the rest of your life, or perhaps a broken back or even death.

I figure

<div align="left">John</div id="left">

<div align="left">'63 Avanti, R1, Auto, AC, PW (unrestored)</div id="left">

Pat Dilling
01-11-2009, 06:39 PM
If you want a seat with shoulder harness built in, take a look at seats from a Chrysler Sebring convertible. I am in the process of putting a set in my 53 this winter. Key is they must be WELL anchored to sustain the load put on them by seatbelts in a crash. I actually have an extra set of these seats if anyone on the left coast is interested. They are tan and the driver seat is power.

Pat

Pat Dilling
Olivehurst, CA
Custom '53 Starlight aka Stu Cool
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n194/stucool53/StuCoolsmallerSigpic.jpg

okc63avanti
01-11-2009, 10:50 PM
Pat

Do you have a photo of the Chrysler Sebring seats?

John

<div align="left">John</div id="left">

<div align="left">'63 Avanti, R1, Auto, AC, PW (unrestored)</div id="left">

Pat Dilling
01-12-2009, 03:44 PM
quote:Originally posted by okc63avanti

Pat

Do you have a photo of the Chrysler Sebring seats?

John

<div align="left">John</div id="left">

<div align="left">'63 Avanti, R1, Auto, AC, PW (unrestored)</div id="left">


Here you go

http://www.clubhotrod.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=40408

I'm asking $250 for the pair.

thanks

Pat

Pat Dilling
Olivehurst, CA
Custom '53 Starlight aka Stu Cool
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n194/stucool53/StuCoolsmallerSigpic.jpg

sbca96
05-15-2009, 10:53 PM
quote:Originally posted by Warren Webb

Personally, I like them !! You could also later on have them recovered with the vertical pleats to match the rear seats & nobody would be the wiser, except the experts here in the forum

The later 4th Gen Camaro seats have vertical pleats.

http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/vehicle-pictures/2000/chevrolet/camaro/0340-052-rear-seats-480.jpg

http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/vehicle-pictures/2000/chevrolet/camaro/0340-051-front-seats-480.jpg

I would be concerned with using the seat back to take the full force
of a seat belt, unless you significantly upgrade the mounting of the
seat anchors. The stock setup works OK since the seatbelt is thru
the floor and anchored separately of the seat mount.

Tom

64V-K7
05-18-2009, 09:31 AM
My 1970 Avanti uses a pair of seats from a 90's Firebird GT

http://www.studebaker-info.org/0381/597e.jpg

Inflatable sidewings and lumbar support. Nine gazilion ways to adjust too....

http://www.studebaker-info.org/7168422/sig2.jpghttp://www.studebaker-info.org/64v2488/sig3.jpghttp://www.studebaker-info.org/0381/sig4.jpg
Bob Johnstone
www.studebaker-info.org

64 GT Hawk
55 President State Sedan
70 Avanti (R3)

JBOYLE
05-18-2009, 11:25 AM
quote:Originally posted by 55Prez

My 1970 Avanti uses a pair of seats from a 90's Firebird GT


What year is your dash, and why did you change it?

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

GinettaG12P
09-09-2015, 06:00 PM
Following the "how-to" instructions that sbca96 posted (with one minor modification), I installed tan seats from a 2002 Camaro in my 1963 Avanti. They look like the factory put them there and the color is about a spot-on match to the Elk interior.
47214