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"Cobra braked" 63 Avanti gets Camaro seats


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OK .. I just took out my front seat, to finally figure out WHY its a

"rocking" chair. I found it only had ONE bolt located in a factory

captured nut, and the other three mounts where all broken and poorly

repaired. I am faced with a decision, do I spend the time to fab new

mounting brackets to put the factory seats back in (that I hate), or

do I just go ahead and mount the '97 Camaro seats I bought already?

Yah .. I am definately leaning toward the second option. I have a bad

back, and so just short drives create hours of pain on arrival when I

drive the Avanti. The Camaro seats seem to fit OK, the rails are the

same distance apart as the Avanti seats, but I will have to remove the

front built up fiberglass hump that the front mount was in. Someone

already cut a bunch of holes in it, weakening it a lot. I'm surprised

that Studebaker just rivoted metal to the fiberglass & called it good.

The rear outer mount has a steel plate, but the other three (the ones

that broke) did not. Oh, and in the process of trial fitting, I tore

my freshly dyed carpet .. thats 4 dollars worth of dye wasted!

I started the ground work for the swap. After thinking about it more,

I realized that there was no real reason to use the power seat part of

the Camaro seat, other then its "neato-ness". It also made the seat

sit TOO high up in the car. Looked stupid. I checked the distance

between the mounting holes on the stock seat, and it looked like they

would fit directly onto the Camaro seats. It was very close, but not

exact. I figured that considering how flimsy the stock setup was, I

could get away with notching the outside of the rails, and then bolt

the rail to the mount "capturing" the rail between the bolts. If it

was met with enough force to pull the rail out from between the bolts,

they it would break out the fiberglass holding the rail to the floor :

Front of seats :


Back of seats :


Distance between Camaro seat tracks :


Distance between Avanti seat tracks :


Notched rail end :


In process rail notching by Dremel :


Bolted up rail :


Seat in the car :





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To those waiting for further details on this swap, here is the final

update. The drivers side front mounts were toasted, so I made up two

aluminum mounts. Here is a few pictures of the carnage :





Here is the 6061-T6 aluminum block I made up to anchor the seat. I had

to move out further then the factory rivots since the fiberglass was so

broken up around the hole.


Here is the block attached. I didnt bother with two mounting holes, I

split the difference. If I need to raise the seat, I can add washers

in between the seat track and seat bottom. Stainless screws, with a

zinc plated bolt.



This is the replacement inner rear seat mount, this is the one that was

completely GONE - nothing there but a through bolt with a big washer on

the underside of the car.


Drivers seat installed :


Here is the drivers and pass seats waiting to go up in the attic. You

can see how bleached the interior is from the sun. The underside color

is almost a match to the Camaro seats.


On to the passenger seat, removing the seat the two inner mounts broke

so I had to reattach the front plate, and I decided to replace the one

in the rear. Here is the front inner, I cut a square in the backside

to allow the plate to be removed.


This is the missing inner rear mount, it broke off - surprised?





Took the factory metal plate, punched out the rivots, and tapped the

hole for a 10-32 screw.


Used a drill bit by hand, and countersunk the hole for a flat head :


Plate installed :


With the front two, and remaining rear mount, I remounted the seat, &

marked the floor to tell me where to position the new aluminum mount.


Seats are in! I think it looks much better, & tonight I will be going

to a show/cruise in Santa Maria tonight, so I can see how they feel!






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