I recently got some seats from Cipher Auto. My stock ones were pretty destroyed as you can see in the pics below. That alone was enough reason for me to upgrade. I've been looking into sourcing a full black cloth interior, so this had the fronts covered. I've owned several sports cars in the past few years, and was really begining to miss the aggressive bolsters that hold you in while doing spirited driving. The OEM seats in my 1990 BMW were about as far from "sport" as you can get.
I placed the order on a friday for the pair of seats and brackets. Up here in the Northeast we've been getting hammered with snow, so I expected to be waiting for a while to actually get these. But they arrived at my door the following friday. Only one week to get all the way across the country. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed with the speed that they processed, packed and shipped my order. I can only imagine that it was all done the same day I placed the order.
Here they are packed all nicely:
As much as I wanted to tear into them and start assembling the seats, I waited until the next day. By the time I actually got home, it was way too late to start working on a project. Saturday came, and I was ready to have at the seats. Broke out the tools, and some coffee then went to town. Very few tools were needed.
All I needed was:
13mm socket (or wrench)
17mm socker (or wrench)
#2 Phillips screwdriver
Standard Allen Key set
Pliers (preferably needle nose)
I was very impressed with the construction of the seat. I made sure to give all the aspects of the seat a quick inspection to make sure it was solid. This is what's going to be holding me in place, I had to make sure there were no weak points or oversights. All the rails and joints were good. Not loose, no play. The reclining mechanism was also contructed well. It looks like it can handle the beatings thrown at it in a daily driven vehicle.
Quick shots from my inspection:
The assembly was very quick and easy. The included instructions are detailed with pictures. There are only 4 steps as laid out. And all the needed hardware was neatly packaged. One bag of parts for each side.
Hardware and instructions:
All put together:
The next step was to mount the brackets. This also was extremely easy. The mount with 4 Allen Key bolts that get threaded to nuts in the seat rails. Keep in mind that the seat brackets may be directional on your vehicle, they were on mine. One nice thing about the brackets, is that they are height adjustable. There are 3 different positions available. Because of the way the floor is shaped in my car, I went with the middle option.
Installing them into the car will vary by vehicle. Mine was simple. There were only 4 17mm bolts per seat holding them in . Plus an additional 17mm bolt holding the seat belt buckle to the seat bottom. Because of the location of the bolts, I found it easiest to use a ratcheting wrench to do the install. A socket/ratchet combo was too big to fit in the space. Also, please excuse the mess on my floor. The burlap from the old seat was leaving an awful mess. And I don't currently have a shop-vac at my condo to give a good clean. This will all be taken car of at my shop at some point during the week.
Install in process:
I've had the seats installed for 2 days now. Sunday I spent a good portion of the afternoon just driving randomly so I could get a good feel for the seats. I really like them. Extremely comfortable, and they hold you in nicely when you need it. The construction is solid, and never feels like it's weak or going to give. The sliding action and reclining motion are both very smooth and don't hang up at all. Having a coupe, I noticed that the full forward postion allows plenty of room to get in and out of the back seat. I actually crawled back there just to test this feature out. Being that my car is older, it has a very simple interior. That is one of the reasons I liked these seats to begin with. Very plain and simple design. The black cloth matches my interior well, and will look even better with the rest of the black interior I am sourcing. But, they are available in a variety of other styles and designs with a handful of other colors and stitching options. So the odds are they have something available to match your interior as well.
At some point this summer, expect a part 2 of this review. I have a lot of driving I'll be doing this summer. So, I will be letting everyone know how they hold up to all my abuse I throw at them.