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I'm the owner of a 2003 MG TF[see photo], I love the car although being 6'4" it borders on uncomfortable when driving longer distances and is not very dignified getting in or out, and my knees brush the steering wheel quite often.

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Simply getting a larger car is not an option because I bought the TF because I love the car and knew beforehand it would have its drawbacks with driver comfort.

I have a few hypothetical suggestions on how to improve my leg/knee/body room such as low-slung bucket seats and an aftermarket steering wheel with lower diameter.

My question is, would these modifications improve my comfort whilst driving? If not are there any other solutions I can look into?

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If there is room behind the seat now (ie: you could slide the seat back further if it would let you), I'd pull the current seat out and remount it further to the rear. It sounds as though you'd only need about 2-3" more space to make it worth it. Most seats are bolted down using four mounting points, two on each seat rail. If these are bolts (or studs) which are run up through the floor, do something like the following:

  • Remove the seat
  • Measure back the desired distance from the old studs/holes
  • Mark for new mounting holes
  • Before you drill, ensure you aren't going to be drilling into any fuel lines or such which may cause unwanted damage
  • Drill holes for new mounting points
  • Ensure your new holes will mount the seat as you want
  • Cut the old studs off at the floor (skip this step if there are bolts holding the rails in place)
  • You have two means to ensure a safe mounting point where you drilled the holes. 1st - if you have access to a welder, use it to weld new nuts to the body from underneath, then use some spray paint to seal the area to keep rust at bay. 2nd - if you don't have a welder, use wide flat washers to either side body metal to provide extra support.
  • Reinstall your seat

These instructions are not all inclusive, but should give you an idea on how you can remedy your situation without too much hassle. This type of method would keep everything stock looking, but give you the added leg room.

  • Hi Paulster, thank you for your informative answer although unfortunately this is a mid engined car and my seat is already as far back as possible – user90843843434 Jan 7 '15 at 14:45
  • The only other way to gain more room is to get thinner aftermarket buckets. The main issue you are going to run into there is thinner seats usually means less padding, which equates to less comfort. This seems like kind of a Kobayashi Maru or "no win scenario". Even with thinner seats, I'm not sure you'll gain the 2-3" I was talking about. Another option may be to "BFH" behind the seat to get you some extra room. You'd just have to watch out for getting it to the point of touching the engine. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 7 '15 at 17:00
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    @Zak - Was just thinking, you may be able to gain some room under the steering wheel by removing the current sliding tracks under your seat and replacing them with some thinner non-sliding mounts. You'd be lowering the overall height of your seat, which would give you some more room. This wouldn't give your legs any more stretch-ability, but it might put them out of the way of the wheel. Just another thought. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 7 '15 at 21:47
  • +1, that's a good suggestion and will look into it, room to steer is obviously a priority, thanks! – user90843843434 Jan 7 '15 at 22:20
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    Just FYI: I spent 5 hours swearing and throwing tools around when I modified my old Corsa's seat railings to accept the new seats. It's NOT a fun job. You'll also need to make triple sure you're not drilling into something important or that you're not drilling into a hollow compartment. – Captain Kenpachi Jan 8 '15 at 11:56
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It would certainly help. Just be careful of bucket seats. If you have a bigger than average backside, the bucket seat's lateral supports tend to dig into your thighs and will make for an infuriating long distance trip.

Also, spend a bit more money and get good quality items. I had a set of NRX (made in China or something) seats which broke after two years. I then fitted a set of Sparco seats and they've been fine for ages. They weren't that much more either.

And finally: keep it classy. Aftermarket equipment that looks like aftermarket equipment makes your car look bad.

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