Tech Tip: How to Install Buddy Club Seat Rails

25 Aug

Mixing and matching parts can sometimes leave you with more questions than answers. Especially when the forums are filled with the ubiquitous “it should work” and “my friend’s cousin’s uncle has it”. Often times you’re left to take an educated guess, or just try it and hope for the best.

In this installment, we’ll talk about installing Buddy Club’s Super Low Down Seat Rail with a Momo Start 2012 Race Seat. These are a combination base/slider and side mount assembly offered for a variety of cars. While originally intended for the Buddy Club seats, they will also fit a wide range of aftermarket buckets that accept side mounting.

Now, many companies make seat bases. The problem is, they often take what I call the sandwhich approach. Seat base on the bottom, followed by a universal slider stacked on top, followed by the seat stacked on top of that. If it’s a side mount seat, you also then need to factor in the side mount bracket also comes into the mix. This means more stuff to buy, more cost, and, with everything stacked one of top of the other, you often find the seat sits higher than even a factory seat does! This is not only unappealing to the eye, it’s uncomfortable to sit in, and, if you’re doing track days with a helmet, you may find you no longer fit in the car once you’re strapped in.

The Buddy Club setup does away with the cluttered sandwhich approach, and does this with a bit of a different twist. The slider and base are incoporated into one cohesive unit – like a factory seat would have. There is an inside and outside base/slider half. The side mounts tabs (included) then attach in place, 2 per side. A handle connects the 2 slider/base halves, and all hardware is included.

This particular setup is being mounted to a Momo Start 2012 seat. It’s an FIA approved one piece fiberglass shell that is not only comfortable, HANS compatible, and very lightweight (19.6 lbs), very strong, and very afforable (just $450 per seat). Other seats from a variety of manufacturers will also work. Given the installation on these Momo seats, I’d say the seat needs to be no wider than 20.7 inches from outside to outside on the seats (these Momo’s are 20.6 inches when measured from outer end to end). Front to back mounting is more forgiving as the side mount tabs are slotted.

First step, is unpack all the parts and lay them out. Each Buddy Club box will contain 2 base/slider ‘halves’, 8 cap nuts, handle, and 2 shorter, and 2 longer side mount bracket tabs. The bracket tabs have multiple holes allowing you to custom tailor the seat height to your own tastes. So, if you need the front a bit higher than the back, you can do that easily.

href=”https://cornerbalance.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/photo8.jpg”> Buddy Club Super Low Seat Rail[/caption]

Next, using the supplied cap nuts, install the brackets to the pre-mounted studs on each rail half. Use the shorter bracket up front, the larger bracket out back. The Buddy Club logo goes on the outside of each seat, and the half with the extra tab (for the seatbelt) goes on the inside. The mounting tabs are slotted both where they mount to the seat and where they mount to the base/slider. This allows them to fit a variety of width seats. Since the Momo are rather wide for a bucket seat, the brackets were installed to allow maximum width between each rail/slider half. If you’re using a seat that is narrower, you’ll need to do this step a couple times so you get the spacing correct, so that the base not only mounts to the seat but lines up with the mounting holes in your car’s floor. Just set them hand tight, rinse, and repeat till you achieve the desired width. Using an open ended 12mm wrench, torque till they are snug.

Next step is mount each assembled rail half to the seat. In this case, the seats come with the necessary allen head bolts and washers. Accessing the threaded side mount holes is done after popping out the plastic insers the seats ship with as shown in the picture below. This is where you’ll have to decide what height you want the seats at. This setup shows the lowest possible setting that would clear the seat. Thread the hardware into the seat by hand first and be careful not to cross thread. Using a wratchet and allen head socket, snug them down. You can choose to finally torque them down here, or, if you want to adjust the front to back pitch, you can fully torque them down once they are installed in the car.

Next up, install the female seatbelt buckle and mount the inner slider/base half to the seat the same way you did the outside one. Make sure you use the same height for the inside bracket half as you did on the outside!

Once done it will look something like this

Next, take the whole seat and base assembly and slide it into the car. Line up the mounting holes on the base to the studs and/or mounting holes on your car’s floor, and retorque the bolts/nuts to spec per your factory service manual. Don’t forget to plug your seatbelt harness back in so you don’t get a light on the dash.

Now take the handle included in the Buddy Club box and slide it onto the tabs on each base/rail. A flashlight comes in handy when lining this up. The tabs are notched in such a way that once the handle is installed it sort of “clicks” into place. You’ll feel it for yourself when installing.

And viola, you’re done! The successful merging of 2 different brand parts. You can now slide the seat back and forth. If you didn’t torque the side mounts to the seats, now is the time to do that.

To order any of the components mentioned, just give us a shout at z1sales@z1auto.com

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2 Responses to “Tech Tip: How to Install Buddy Club Seat Rails”

  1. Tim November 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM #

    Inspect the welds! Unless Buddy club has addressed this problem already.

    http://my350z.com/forum/exterior-and-interior/542482-psa-buddy-club-seat-rail-owners-check-the-welds.html

    • Z1 Performance November 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM #

      haven’t seen it be an issue on any of the ones we’ve come across in the last ~6 months (we didn’t offer them prior to that, so can’t comment on older bases)

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