With winter just around the corner, I knew my timeline to get my last planned mod done was coming on fast. Like a kid, I saved all my golf course tip money and bought new Sparco Chrono Road seats, mounting brackets and sliders! You can never go wrong with new seats!
I always loved Sparco seats and had a few with previous cars I’ve owned. The only thing that made it tough was that for some reason, Sparco doesn’t make a seat base for the F56 Mini Cooper! This car has been around for almost four years so it was pretty frustrating.
The “only” base they have is too small, the tabs don’t even come close to fitting. Thankfully with the help of a friend for the NAM boards, he was able to weld some tabs onto the Sparco base for the gen 1 and gen 2 Mini’s. Without his help, there wouldn’t be any seats in my car!
Thank you hadjiikong! You made this mod possible, these seats wouldn’t be here without you!
In order to get the base to fit, the current tabs had to be extended. I got about two inches of steel added and you can see how well it turned out.
After I got the bases back then it was time to measure and drill the holes in the new tabs. Adding two inches of material was perfect and I didn’t have to cut any steel off to fit. With the holes marked, drilling began!
I used a step drill bit to start with a small hole then would slowly make it bigger, test fitting it every pass to make sure it wasn’t going to be too big. After almost an hour of drilling, test fitting, drilling, test fitting. I got everything lined up and the bases screwed down!
Since they are unique bases, ideally I would have installed the base with the sliders then put everything in at one time. With the way I installed the base I had to add the seat and screw it down from under the base.
This wasn’t the most ideal way to install the seats to the brackets, actually it was a PIA to get the bolts, washer and nuts lined up and screwed down while I was literally upside down, but ……. nevertheless, it got done!
The seats are awesome, they were exactly what I was hoping for when I bought them. My biggest fear was that I would be sitting to low to the ground and that isn’t the case. I do lose the heated seats but I don’t drive my Mini in the winter so no big deal!
The biggest advantage of swapping seats is weight savings! The stock seats were 63lbs each!! and the Sparcos with the base and hardware are 27lbs per seat!