Sunday 9 June 2013

More Upgrades - Half Hood and New Seat

Half Hood

When I had my car put through the IVA by GBS, I opted to have them fit the windscreen and the weather gear.  I have a full hood and once it is on and fitted, it is pretty good at keeping things relatively dry.  However, getting it to fit is a right PITA (Pain in the ****) as the material shrinks when it is cold. You fit it at the front and then the rear poppers don't fit or you fit it at the rear and you end up struggling to get the fronts clipped in place.  I think it took me best part of 20 minutes to fit it last time, but at least it was still in the garage at home.  It would not have been fun trying to fit it with the rain lashing down.

The solution is to have a half hood fitted.  These clip to the windscreen and over the roll bar and then are held down with straps which you tighten up.  Fitting takes a couple of minutes max.  I could have had a go at making one myself but decided to hand it over to the experts and went to visit Jill and Nick Judd at Soft Bits For Sevens (  They had the car for the day as it was the first half hood they had made for a GBS Zero and I think they have made a cracking job of it.

It has a small window at the back so rear visibility is not compromised.

When not in use, it can either be kept in the boot or if you think it may be needed in a hurry, it rolls up neatly in to a cover which in turn clips to the roll bar stays.  It may be better to position it on the inside of the stays, but you get the idea.

I am really happy with the finished product and would thoroughly recommend Jill and Nick.

When I fitted it at home, although I didn't time myself, I reckon it took me about 2 minutes to fit as opposed to the near 20 minutes it took me to get the full hood fitted.  In my mind that is a proper result!!

New Seat

When I was building the car, I was conscious of the budget.  It would have been very easy to go for the higher spec items at every turn but it would have sent the budget through the roof, which in turn would have delayed getting on the road.  It would also have deprived me of the upgrades I am doing!

One of the budget spec items I chose initially were the seats.  They are OK for short journeys but the cushions dig in to the backs of my legs on longer journeys.  I looked at lots of options to replace them from the likes of Westfield, Intratrim, Interiors Seating and looked from full leather seats to Carbon Fibre race seats.  I trawled the Internet forums looking for advice and also tried out many different seats.  The net result was that I decided on race seats.

Next was which ones.  You can buy single skin ones from eBay for about £90 but I am a firm believer in that you get what you pay for, so discounted them.  I considered a pair of JK Composites as they have some very favourable reviews, but would have had to wait 4 or 5 weeks.  In the end I decided to only replace the drivers seat (I very rarely carry a passenger) and go for the best I could afford and justify, so I bought a Tillet B6 GRP seat (I couldn't justify the Carbon Fibre version!).  I took advantage of a 15% WSCC discount and the fact that the seats were in stock and placed my order.  3 days later I collected a very big box from my local FedEx depot.

Once home, the first job was to remove the old seat.

Here are the seat runners all laid out ready to fit.

These are the runners fitted.

You can see a number of spacers are used to avoid the runners hitting the indentation in the bottom of the seat.

Finally, the adjustment bar is fitted.

Next job was to fit drill the holes for the bolts.  I made up a template based on the dimensions given in the instructions and placed it in the car.  I put the seat in place and played around with the position of it so I new where to place the template.

Four holes later and it was ready to fit.  One of the options I took when I built the car was for a lowered floor so that I would sit lower in the car.  This is fine with the normal seats but with the Tillet seat you sit even lower.  It was actually too low for me so I fitted the seat on to some 1 inch box section to raise 
it up.  It may only be an inch but it makes all the difference.

Here it is fitted.  Looks the mutt's nuts doesn't it!!  I can also assure you that it is surprisingly comfortable.

If you are interested in Tillett seats speak to David at Nationwide Technical Products or look here I would highly recommend them.