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MG MGA - Too tall...!

Fitted my lovely newly upholstered seats to my seven year restoration project yesterday. After gazing at them for some time, I wriggled into the driving seat and started to day dream about winding Italian lanes...

One slight problem, as a taller gent (6ft 1"), I noticed that even though I had followed the advice on Barny's site regarding the slanting wooden wedges underneath the seat rails, the top of my head was sticking well above the top of the windscreen. I cannot believe someone hasn't come up with an ingenious solution (and I don't mean a home lobotomy). I was thinking maybe going back to the upholsterer and getting them to slice the seat cushion down to reduce the height..? Any better ideas, or am I worrying about nothing...?

Related question:- I am in the process of fitting the aluminium sidescreens. Once I attach the small sidescreen clips - how do you close the door with them in place ??

Thank you all in anticipation of some good idea's..


Aleks Stojanovic
Aleks Stojanovic

Aleks. My view is that you are worrying about nothing. That's what sports car driving is all about - the wind in you hair. I am 4" shorter than you but I have a sports screen that is also 4" shorter than the standard height. The screen deflects most of the air above your head and the rest ruffles the hair line which I find is part of the adventure. Your new seats will ease a bit with use so I think your issue will lessen over time. Personally I would stick with it for a while to see how you get on.

Steve
Steve Gyles

My cousin was 6'5" tall and didn't seem to have any trouble driving the MGA.

-Del
D Rawlins

Hi Aleks
I have the same problem as you, I am 6ft 1" tall too but, to make matters worse, this is made up of a long body and shortish legs.
So I do tend to sit pretty high in the car. I have got used to this and I have found that wearing a baseball cap and a jacket with a high collar to keep the back of my neck warm lets me cope fine with the draught.

Also, standard seats will give you a couple more inches of legroom than the more comfortable deluxe-competition seats because their seat backs are much thinner those on the deluxe seats.

I once was offered the chance to drive a twin-cam (which is something that I have always wanted to do), unfortunately though, even though the seat was moved fully back, there was just not enough leg room for me to drive it.

In answer to your height issue, like Steve says, I think you will quite like the MGA driving experience even with standard seats.

Even if you do manage to lower the seat height, you will still get lots of buffetting from the slipstream at high road speeds, this is because the standard MGA windscreen is pretty upright by modern car standards and this creates lots of turbulence.

I have fitted a much more powerful engine in my MGA and it will happily cruise at 90 mph, but after a few minutes at those speeds I find that I have slowed down to around 70 mph as it is more comfortable at that speed.

I have heard of owners modifying their floors by fitting a metal tray with the back edge lowered a couple of inches instead of the wooden floor panel.

This is something I have considered doing but after quite a few years of driving the car into Europe on trips of up to 2000 miles, I think I quite like the car as it is.

Also, at 67 years old, lowering the seat height could turn the process of me getting out of the car into something from a comedy sketch show.

Cheers

Colyn

PS
The small clips on the front of the side-screens should just locate onto the edge of the windscreen frame and stop the screen from flapping around in the breeze.
Colyn Firth

Original Dunlopillo seat cushions were fairly soft foam and had large vent holes running most of the way through from the bottom, which made the cushions even softer.
http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/interior/int111a.htm

Modern replacement cushions are usually solid foam with no vent holes, making them somewhat more firm than the originals, so you end up sitting higher. Some people use a hole saw to cut plug holes our from the bottom similar to original (be careful not to bore all the way through, or to tear a hole in the top when removing the plugs). Other people (particularly tall people) may shave up to an inch off the bottom of the cushion to sit lower.
barneymg

Hello Aleks. Please, where to buy the clips for sidescreens? I've been searching for months and I can not find them.
Gabriel Martínez

Hi A lens

I am 6ft 2inches and had new seats a couple of years ago, yes they were a bit high to start with but soon relaxed to a more comfortable height. You will find driving is a different position to just sitting there going brum brum.

Barry
B Bridgens

The clips are available from Todd Clarke.. "CLASP BRACKET WITH SLEEVE—side curtain frame, prevents blow-out—includes fasteners" Part number is SC8

FAX +1 215 348 4160 clarkespares@att.net / www.clarkespares.com

or closer to home from Angloparts
133.981 Bracket, side screen to windscreen
Dominic Clancy

Ok. Thanks, Dominic.
Gabriel Martínez

On my latest resto, I dropped the floor 1".

Simple to do. I traced about 1 3/4" around and installed a 1" spacer around the edge. Then installed a new board to take the seat frame.

I also cut about 1 1/2 off of the seat foam.
MAndrus

I am 6' 2" and my seats were refilled many years ago with some modern hard foam which made me sit a bit too high in the car. I am now rebuilding my seats and have had some new cushions made from Dunlopillo latex material which is soft and full of holes. I have used the softest latex for the centre section of the cushion so that I sink into the seat but have used a harder standard foam for the outer edges, hoping to get some lateral support. In the metal well I have used the hardest latex material.
I have done a quick test with the leather just laid on top and it feels better.
Its still work in progress though.
The latex cushions were made by Foam for Comfort in Leeds.




John Francis

Put the seats right back & just slide your backside forward on the seat so you slink down a bit. There's still plenty of leg room
I B Morris

Mitchell,
I cant quite visualise your modified floorboard, does it fit beneath the chassis brackets or on top?
Cheers
Colyn
Colyn Firth

Re- Modified/lowered floorboards

Did you have issues with the exhaust pipe and heat against the lowered floor? This is an issue somewhat with the standard floorboard.

Bill
Bill Haglan

I think MGAs were made for me - I am 5'8" - just perfect fit.
Cam Cunningham

John, -- Do you have any more pictures of those composite seat cushions? That looks like a good idea.

I have new complete seat assemblies from Moss USA just installed in my car, and still getting used to the seating arrangement. The base cushion is definitely taller, even though it is the same part as I installed in 1986 (Gee,only 32 years and 400,000 miles).

A friend just got new cushions the same parts, and is currently in process of installing them in his car. I got him to agree to try coring one to have the comparison, and we did. Having put sixty 1-1/4 inch diameter holes underneath, the cushion sinks at least an inch when sat upon,and it has lost the bouncy ball feeling. See the details here:
http://mgaguru.com/tales/mobile94.htm#040918

I think it is significantly more comfortable, and the taller guys may appreciate the lowering effect, as well as how easy it was to do the coring without carving anything. My friend is somewhat shorter in stature (like me), and he decided not to core the driver side seat cushion (personal choice).


barneymg

I have two driver's seats for my roadster - one is the comfy version and the other is the low version (that I use all the time) together with my Moto-Lita 14" steering. This combination gives me plenty of room to get in and out (I'm 183 cm - 6 ft).
My coupe has the low profile seats also. See photos attached. Not sure how the construction compares to original seat construction and height.
Mike

Mike Ellsmore

...another pic looking from the top.
Mike

Mike Ellsmore

Barney
I sent the cushions off to have the covers refitted with new side panels and piping on the base cushions but was quoted a high figure so will be collecting them again tomorrow. I should be able to take some more pics over the weekend before I head up to Bob West for him to have a look.

My original seats are still in lovely condition apart from a couple of small tears in the base side panels. Also some of the stitching in one of the panels in the drivers seat back has split. All the trimmers I have spoken to say its not really feasible to remove the seat back cover and re-stitch. Do you have a view on whether its possible?
John




John Francis

This thread was discussed between 27/03/2018 and 12/04/2018

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