So my trusty Aixam is as usual ailing and one bit worse than most was the seats. In not a fan of Aixam seats, they are very light and breakable and I'm sure new expensive. So i went to the scrap yard and found a Smart car, for £15 (yes!) i got a pair of Smart seats, obviously i had to get em out so i had to buy the star shaped key thing they are held in with (£5.99) and i paid in blood too as the side windows had been shattered and the glass put lots of nicks and scratches in me.
So they do fit in the aixam but mount to the floor rather than the chassis sides. I thought, four bolts job done. No such luck, the floor is made of aluminium foil, the seat would rip through it far to easily. So i got some strip steel made straps for under the "feet" front and back and some for under the car that hook in the central chassis tunnel and overlap the chassis edge. And the Smart car rises towards the back to get the engine in so i made some S -shaped brackets to make them stand in the attitude they do in the Smart.
Now drilling all this and lining it up was a world of pain, which I've just finished. My advice is to use long bolts! , neat it's not but hell it's then possible! Tomorow ill test drive it and see how that all goes....
Oh if you're doing this sort of thing bear in mind they run the diesel lines under the carpet and as you cut the carpet away to get the straps in you will cut the line....trust me.. it stinks.
- Ok so a quick review of Smart car seats. After a day of driving about, i can say they are more comfy than anything Aixam have thought of. So far so good, they are a smidgen lower when mounted as i did on the floor, I notice i can now see out the rear view mirror better. Tipp up wise to get int he back.... harder, the passenger seat slips back as far as it can go and then the back folds flat forwards(to get golf clubs in) thats a possible way in..... I may have to fiddle with the mounts of my driver's seat as i feel a bit too far forwards at the moment.
haha , int it just great that we ALLWAYS find these things out after the fact . so is there no way that you could have used the aixam mountings to mount the seats , or did you just go the easy way ! ,or what you thought was going to be the easy way !.
- Part of the problem with Aixam seats is the way they mount. Basically, they blast rivet nuts through the ally box sections, this isn't really strong, and on cars, I've had they end up loose or dragging out and making a real mess of the area. So i had to make the mount in a different place. One way would be to bend straps inside the car and up the sides and rivet nut them on securely, strong but involved.
Yes i did go what i thought was the easy way.... and as usual, it wasn't!
- so few days using the car and i have one point. The seat is too low for me, sitting on a cushion was good. Smart car seats have what looks like a last moment spacer on the back mount. It looks like a solid steel cotton reel. If you take smart seats out collect them 'cos you get four and i found the useful, i put them on top of the seat frame under the rails, four M8bolts hold it on, so i put the spacers there with some 40mm stainless steel button headed bolts, seems to work well. Has to button heads to clear the rails normal heads wont fit.
- ok so seat news is i put in some nylon spacers of 30mm length and new bolts in stainless , and made a short link bracket for the passenger side front... seems that 30mm brings it more or a little less to where the Aixam seats would be. Hope thats it now and if your thinking of dong similar its not hard at all.
- Dam it all!.. least comfy but upgrading the Aixam has displeased the Car gods! As this very morning going up the bypass, a car punted the poor car up the boot. Still drivable but it did a surprising amount of damage for near zero to the other car. the back got pushed in and pinged back out to more or less the old shape but the inner wings bits sort of exploded as they pinged back out! Going for an insurance assessment tomorrow but to me it looks a write-off....