Whether your car or truck is an older classic or a more recent model packed with safety features, odds are you made the final purchase decision because driving it was enjoyable. And maybe you've made powertrain and suspension upgrades that allow you to enjoy driving it at its limits on the track or on the trails. We at CARiD understand these passions, and we salute you.
If you're serious about taking your vehicle to either of these places, you also need to upgrade to a quality racing or performance seat - because these seats with enhanced side bolstering and rigid construction will keep you anchored firmly in place much better than your OEM one could ever dream of. Whether you're pulling multiple g-force numbers around a curve or you find yourself at extreme angles during rock crawling, a properly designed seat allows you to stay focused on precision driving instead of struggling to stay in it.
Whatever your reason for upgrading to a replacement custom seat, it's important to note that installing it in your vehicle is not an overly complicated process. You will, however, need new seat mounting brackets in order to bolt your custom seat to the floor. Seat manufacturers usually always make their own such bracket and frame components for use with their brand of seats. Since these mounting brackets are not included with your seat purchase, you'll need the right ones.
In this article, we'll define what the different seat frame components are in order to help you understand what each part generally looks like, and what role each one serves. Underneath each definition, we'll list applicable products by different seat manufacturers that can be found in the Seat Brackets and Mounting Hardware section of our website.
"Vehicle Specific" Vs. "Universal Fit"
On the right-hand top corner of each product page, you'll see a notation that reads either "Vehicle Specific" or "Universal Fit". Vehicle-specific means the seat components have been purpose-built to fit vehicles of a specific year, make, and model. These parts typically bolt in place easily without drilling or custom installation, unless you opt to perform additional welding. Universal-fit seat components are designed to be installed on a range of vehicles, and may have a number of mounting holes. These are more likely to require drilling during installation.
Installing A Roll Cage? We've Got Braces Designed For Anchoring Your Seat To It.
If you've got a roll cage installed in your car or 4x4, we've got seat back mount brackets, side mount brackets, and tabs that allow seats to be welded rigidly to the vehicle floor and/or to a roll cage (see more below). You'll give up any ability to adjust your seat position, but you'll gain the security of knowing your seat will stay right where it's planted should things get hairy.
Seat Frame Components
Seat Back Mount Brackets
These are solid plates designed to attach to the back of your seat for purposes of securing it to the bars of a racing roll cage. We've got universal-fit ones made by Kirkey (aluminum) and ButlerBuilt (choose steel or aluminum).
Also described as "seat mounts" or "seat bases", these are basic support plates that bolt to the vehicle floor and serve as a mounting point for other seat items that are placed on top of them. Seats with front-to-rear adjustment will have seat slider bars that bolt to the top of these brackets. In some cases, seat brackets may come complete with integrated slider rails already attached. Depending on vehicle application, seat brackets may be one piece, or multiple individual pieces.
We've got seat brackets from Sparco (for Sparco racing seats only), OMP (OMP racing seats only), Procar (Procar seats only), and Planted Technology (can be used with multiple brands of racing seats), for a wide variety of makes and models.
We've also got Weapon-R seat brackets (for Weapon-R seats) for Japanese imports back to 1986. Various Jeep models are served by seat brackets from GenRight (for GenRight seats only) and driver and passenger side brackets from Bestop (fit factory original and Bestop TrailMax II seats).
If you take your Jeep CJ or Wrangler through water, you'll appreciate the stainless steel construction of Kentrol Seat Brackets (for OEM seats) that will remain impervious to corrosion. We've even got the PRP Seats Rear Bench Mount for 2007-17 Jeep JK Wranglers that's designed to accommodate two rear bucket seats or one bench seat.
Seat Lift Supports
These are gas-charged struts that allow seat height to be maintained once it's set. When these wear out, you'll notice the seat sinking to a lower position over a short time because they no longer hold pressure. We've got the OEM replacement RhinoPac StrongArm Seat Lift Support for select Chrysler Corporation vehicles.
Seat Mount Adapters:
These are used for adapting an aftermarket custom or racing seat to OEM factory sliding tracks.
We've got a range of adapters for Jeep Wrangler seats from Smittybilt (for Smittybilt front seats) and Bestop (for Bestop TrailMax II seats) as well as the universal-fit Buddy Club Racing Spec Seat Rail Adapter Plate (for Buddy Club seats).
If you are installing a racing seat and want it to be firmly anchored to the floor, the JAZ Cadmium Plated Steel Fixed Seat Mount provides two adapter mounts (specifically designed for any polyethylene or aluminum racing seats) that will keep your seat fixed in place because they do not have sliding capability.
Seat Mounting Tabs
Also known as "seat tracks", these are horizontally-mounted assemblies that allow a seat to slide from front to back, then lock in a chosen fixed position. They typically include seat tracks and caster wheels for movement, with some kind of spring-loaded release lever. In some cases, they may even be height adjustable. Seat sliders can be sold individually, or together with a seat bracket.
We've got the Braum Dual Lock Sliders Kit (designed to fit virtually all racing seats), the Buddy Club Racing Seat Spec Rail (for Buddy Club seats) for compact Asian cars from 1985-present, and the Jaz Seat Mount (specifically designed for any polyethylene or aluminum racing seats).
Additionally, the universal-fit Cipher Auto Universal Racing Seat Sliders (Cipher Auto racing seats only) offer a choice of "single locking" configuration with an arm that locks into detent holes on one side, or "dual locking" configuration with a wraparound bar that locks into tracks on both sides.
If you'll be installing any Bride brand racing seat, the Cusco Bride Seat Rail is purpose-built to fit them and can be selected for Asian cars back to 1965 along with some BMWs. The PRP Seats Slider Kit is a universal-fit application, while their Driver Side Slider Mount (and Passenger Side) are vehicle-specific to Volkswagen models from 1949 through today. If you've got a 1966-72 GM mid-size vehicle, Restoparts Seat Tracks offers OEM replicas of individual seat tracks.
Side Mount Brackets
These are long, universal-fit brackets that bolt to the side of any seat and to the floor. Designed for racing applications, these pieces hold your seat rigidly in place and prevent it from shifting around. Since these do not allow adjustment of the seat bottom adjustment, they'll typically have multiple holes to allow the user flexibility in selecting the mounting position.
We've got side mounting brackets from MOMO (choose aluminum or steel construction), Sabelt (steel or aluminum), Kirkey (aluminum), NRG (steel), and OMP (choose steel construction in 350mm or 380mm lengths).
If Your OEM Seat Mount Is Worn Out, Upgrade To A Custom Seat & Seat Frame
Unfortunately, sometimes OEM seat frame components can jam up or break completely. When this happens, your seat may rock back and forth or wobble when you're driving. Your seat may lean to the side, or worse, sit in a permanently lopsided position. If a seat doesn't slide into adjustment because it's jammed completely or stuck on one side, you've got a problem as well.
We mention this because OEM seat frame brackets, sliders, tracks, and other pieces do wear out. Sometimes the vehicle manufacturer may have unknowingly made these components too thin and weak in the interest of shaving vehicle weight and production costs. In other cases, stress on seat frame components can go unnoticed after an accident - until something gives out.
If you find any of your seat slider, adjuster, or mounting brackets and hardware worn out or broken, consider upgrading to one of our custom replacement seats and seat frames instead of replacing with OE parts. Most likely, you'll come out ahead - spending less money for a stronger seat that's anchored better than your OEM one was.
Whether by necessity or desire, the upgrade to a custom, sport, or racing style seat demands that you pay attention to the way the new seat is mounted. Seat brackets and hardware are the safe and efficient way to make sure your new seat stays put, with you in it!