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Sport Seat Installation / Seat Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Sport Seat Installation / Seat Removal

Time:

1 hr

Tab:

$2500

Talent:

**

Applicable Models:

Porsche 986 Boxster (1997-04)
Porsche 986 Boxster S (2000-04)

Parts Required:

GT3 seats

Hot Tip:

Good pairs can be found on eBay relatively easily

Performance Gain:

Tight, snug seat performance

Complementary Modification:

Install a racing harness and bar
101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster. The book contains 312 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 950+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Boxster owner's collection. The book is currently available and in stock now. See The Official Book Website for more details.

Having the right seats really make a huge difference in any car. The good news is that the seats that are used on the venerable Porsche GT3 or even sport seats from a regular 996 can be easily fitted into the Boxster. The GT3 seats are sportier, are more supportive, and have the appropriate cutouts in order to accommodate an appropriate multi-point racing harness. The GT3 mounting brackets also have a lower bar to accommodate a sub-belt too. Stock seats, particularly the power ones, weigh a ton, and the GT3 seats typically save about 30 lbs of weight or more over the stock seats. At about $3000 each, genuine Porsche ones (with the Porsche crest embossed on them) are not cheap, but they are definitely the coolest seat around. Aftermarket ones and OEM Recaro seats can be had for less: replicas tend to run around $1500 a pair.

In order to mount the seats to your car, you need a set of seat mount brackets. Brey-Krause manufactures a dizzying array of brackets and adapters for race seats, and is the obvious choice when selecting a seat bracket. The parts required for installation depend upon the seat, the year of your Boxster, and whether you plan to mount the seat to the floor or to sliders. In general, I recommend the adapters that allow you to mount the seat to the stock non-power seat sliders. The GT3 seats also tend to sit lower in the car than stock seats or aftermarket race seats, which is great if you're tall and your helmet tends to stick up too much in the car. The GT3 seats should be a direct swap into the 1997-04 Boxsters with no airbag computer programming required.

If you install an aftermarket seat in your car, you will initially have a problem with the airbag computer giving you errors. You need to reprogram the computer (using the Porsche factory PST-2 or PIWIS) to ignore the error signals. The late model cars with side airbags in the seat also need to be disabled. If you use a five-point harness with your seats, then you will need to disable the seat belt sensors. Finally, you need to turn off the Automatic Weight Sensor (AWS) for the passenger seat. If you take your car to the Porsche dealer or an independent with the PIWIS tool, then it should take about 20-30 minutes for them to reprogram the air bag controller for you.

NOTE: People who install hard sports seats do not run the buckle down through the seat as it is made of metal and hard plastic and will not fit. Most people think they get enough protection from the belt mounted on the outside and usually this will pass tech inspection for DE days.

Here's what the Genuine Porsche GT3 seats look like in a highly modified Boxster (this is the Boxster on the front cover of this book).
Figure 1

Here's what the Genuine Porsche GT3 seats look like in a highly modified Boxster (this is the Boxster on the front cover of this book). The customer who designed this highly-modified Boxster Speedster wanted the ultimate in high performance seats.

This photo shows a close-up shot of the GT3 seats mounted in the Boxster.
Figure 2

This photo shows a close-up shot of the GT3 seats mounted in the Boxster. These seats are adapted to a set of manual seat adjusters, and maintain the functionality of adjustable seats, while offering a super-easy bolt-in solution.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Mach1Mike Comments: Hi Wayne
In the photos, the tunnel side belt is shown OUTSIDE of the seat. I presume this was an artifact of the photo shoot, and that when in use you would weasel the buckle down and poke it back through the hole in the side of the seat ?
March 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be, I will have some one check into it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ErikVN Comments: Hi, I have a base 2007 Cayman and I'm 6'5". What's the best combo for a lower seat? It's for a street car that's occasionally auto-x'd
March 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Possible; install a race seat directly to the floor, in the position you like it in. Then leave it there.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Xoq Comments: Do we know the size of the bolts that connect the sliders to floor? Mine are stripped and rusty.
February 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't, but I know who will.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jking Comments: The power in my driver seat is dead. I will be able to unscrew the two Torx bolts in front but have no way of moving the seat forward to get to the back two torx bolts. What's your advice ?
December 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Located the fore / aft motor, Then activate it using fused power and ground. be sure your are not near seat when you move it, or you could inure yourself. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pabo Comments: I have a 2003 Boxter. The power seat on the passenger side will not work to move the seat back. How do I replace the switch, or if needed remove the seat since the switch will not work?
May 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: To remove the seat, you will have to access the wiring under the seat, disconnect it, then locate the fore / aft motor wiring and manually activate it using fused battery positive jumper wire and battery negative jumper wire. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring diagram.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
MAGNUS Comments: I AM UPGRADING MY MANUAL SLIDE POWER TILT SEAT IN MY 99 BOXSTER TO A FULL POWER SEAT NO HEATER. iS THERE ANYWHER TO SOURCE A DIAGRAM TO THE COMPUTER UNDER THE SEAT TO RUN THE SEAT?
July 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your best bet to buy a repair manual. It would have the wiring diagram you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jim Comments: Are there any photos indicating what secures the "inside" seat tract on a 1965 SC Porsche which would allow you to remove the drivers seat. The outside track is not in question, just the inside track.
April 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have any photos to share. I posted your question on forum, a meber in the community maybe able to help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
cayvman Comments: Wayne, are these the GT3 Sport Seats or the GT3 Seats?
Thanks, great article.
July 13, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hmm, I'm not aware of any more than one type of GT3 seat for the early GT3 cars (996, 2005, etc.) - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
webnuts4u2 Comments: The dealer or someone with the programmer can set the seat belt warning light so that it comes on for a few seconds when you start the car and then goes off. The mechanic at my dealer a racer himself did that for me.
March 16, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jimmy Comments: I can remove the front bolts. But my driver's power seat not move, because the wires under it mess up at all. Then I can not remove the rear bolts. Do you know which wires connect to forward motor I can connect to battery to move the seat forward? Thank you very much.
March 4, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Without knowing the year of your vehicle I cannot be positive. On some models they are blue/black and blue/green. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
HJ Comments: I installed Recaro Pole Positions in my 2004 Boxster.
1. The airbag warning light did not go into fault mode. No issues there.
2. The biggest trick with these seats is getting the rake correct. The Boxster floor is sloped backwards so when you set up your seats out of the car, you'll want to have the seat back tilting further forward than you'd otherwise like.
3. My recommendation is to use 100% Recaro hardware. It bolted together perfectly.
4. One thing I did was to have a friend modify the Recaro seat brackets so that the seat could be as low as possible. A new rear mounting hole 18 mm lower than the lower of the two standard holes was drilled, but after the vertical slots were filled in. The seat might have been able to go lower still, but not by more than 2-3 mm.
5. The Boxster steering wheel is incredibly huge. I wish Porsche had stuck with a sportier version instead of the City Bus version. It might interfere with your knees if your race seat is tilted back too far to maximize headroom.

It now takes me about 10 minutes a side to swap seats, including threading the seatbelt through the outboard harness hole.
February 15, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds great. Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
HJ Comments: Removing the seats appears to be extremely straightforward.

1. Lower the top then disconnect the battery.

2. Move the seats full forward. Using a female Torx socket don't recall the size, I think T40, undo the two bolts securing the rear of the sliders. You want the seats full forward because when you move it back to remove the front bolts, it will be covering the seat rails. If you undo the front first, then the rear of the seat rails will be exposed and the bottom of the seat will be under the steering wheel, making it hard to remove.

3. Move the seats full backward. Using a small flat screwdriver gently pry up on the tab in the middle of the plastic cover over the front of the sliders. Pull the cover forward towards the footwell. This will expose the second set of Torx bolts holding the seat rail in.

4. I used a heavy rubber mat slid down between the center console and the side of the seat to protect the console. Tip the top of the seat toward the outside of the car, which will expose a large connector. Disconnect it and remove the seat.

June 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
HJ Comments: What is the EXACT procedure menu commands for disabling the airbag warning light? Can the light be disabled but still have the airbags fire off?
June 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: As far as I know, there is no procedure to disable the airbag warning lamp (I'm assuming this is for a track car?). On the early cars, you can simply remove the light bulb. For later cars, a small piece of appropriately placed electrical tape maybe? :) - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Brad Comments: Atricle is great, but, how do you physically remove the old seats and install the new seats? What is the process?
April 29, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are four Torx bolts that hold the seat to the car. You move the seat all the way to the back and remove the front two, and then move it all the way to the front and remove the rear two (or you can do the rear first). I have a photo of the front attachment screws in my air bag / child seat article here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/96-MISC-Child_Seat/96-MISC-Child_Seat.htm - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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