April 3, 2020

How to Install Tillett Seats

A quick 5-step guide using Planted or Pro Car Innovations adapter brackets

So you want to replace the stock seats in your car? Too heavy, not enough support or just not comfortable? With a seat from Tillett and a few extra pieces, this can be a fully reversible bolt-in install. The hardest part will probably be to wrangle the 50 lbs OEM seat out of the car without bumping it into the car’s interior. Here’s a rundown of how this was done in a Porsche, but this basic method will be the same for any road car, whether a Mustang, Corvette, Nissan GT-R or whatever you have.

The process starts with selecting the right seat for your car. The Tillett B5 Race Car Seat is by far the most popular Tillett seat we sell due to its versatility as a road and track seat. It’s easy to make the 3-point OEM belt work, which you’ll need to drive with to be DOT compliant, but it can also have a concurrent 5/6-point install for when you track the car. The Tillett B1 Carbon Race Car Seat is also an option, featuring higher side bolsters and carbon fiber construction, but this comes at a premium. The Tillett B6 Seat or Tillett B6 Screamer Race Car Seat series could also be an option if you make the location of the 3-point belt receptacle work (or it’s a track-only car).

Either way, with a seat selected, the way to make the install very simple is to use an adapater bracket from Planted Technology. These mount into the OEM seat’s chassis bolt holes and give you a flat surface with seat belt receptacle mount on which to mount the new seat.

This will allow you to reverse the install anytime you need, like when you need to sell the car and want to get it back to stock. We keep a few in stock as much as possible and can also order others for you easily:

Alternatively you can also use a set of adapters from Pro Car Innovations. These are a bit different because they include the upright mounting brackets in addition to the flat base. One really neat feature is that with loosening four bolts, you can slide the seat forwards and backwards for comfort or different driver heights. Note that we have not verified fitment with the B5 on these brackets yet.

Below is a quick overview of how an install via Planted Technology seat bases went with a Porsche Cayman. It’s basically the same procedure for any other car.

Step 1: Remove the original seats

In most cars, you’ll need to move the seat all the way forwards and backwards to access the bolts, typically 4 of them.

Porsche seat bolt access

Once you have the bolts out, find the electrical connector which connects the seat to the car. Any modern car will have some sort of cable to connect to the seat electrically, for seat belt indicator, occupancy sensor, air bags, electric adjust, seat heater or otherwise. Disconnect this while the seat is loose but still sitting in the car.

Before you fully pull the seat out, put some moving blankets on the door sill to avoid damaging the car. Try to drape one over the door as well, usually with the window down is easiest.

Step 2: Test mount the Planted adapter

Once you’ve attached the L angle brackets to the seat, thus creating a flat plane with 4 mounting holes on the brackets, see how this lines up with the Planted adapter. If you’re using a seat slider, obviously have this mounted onto the seat’s brackets as well. In most cases, you’ll be find 4 holes on the Planted adapter that will directly line up. You’re done with this step if so.

If they don’t line up, you’ll have to drill the Planted bases. First, use some c-clamps to hold the seat on the base in the location that you want to install it, like in the picture below. Then mark the holes and drill. You can size up a drill bit or use a stepper bit to give yourself a little wiggle room to install since your holes may not be perfectly centered. Don’t size up much though, try to be accurate, because the bigger the hole, the more wiggle room, the more the seat can move in a crash and the less safe it is. Also, if the brackets are designed with enlarged or oval holes, try not to enlarge the drill holes on the Planted base. Either the brackets or the Planted base should have holes that are exactly the size of the hardware being used.

Holding Planted base in place

Step 3: Mount seat onto Planted base

Using Grade 8 or Metric 10.9 (12.9 if you can get it – even stronger) bolts, nylon lock nuts and washers, screw the pieces together. As is standard procedure for any car install, use a torque wrench for the final install.

Tillett seat mounted to Planted base

Step 4: Install the seat belt receptacle

Most modern cars have the seat belt receptacle on the seat so that it slides with the seat and is always in the right position to be comfortable and safe. Take it off the OEM seat and mount it on the hole that Planted provides on the vertical tab. Make sure you get the angle of it roughly right to be comfortable and then snake the electrical cable back to the general area where the corresponding socket is on the chassis. Zip tie the cable to the seat base so that it doesn’t flow around.

Seat belt receptacle installed

Step 5: Seat goes in the car

With the protective moving blankets still in place, move the seat into position in the car. First, get the electrical install all set and test it. Some cars will complain that the occupancy sensor or the air bags are no longer present. In many cars this is an easy code to cancel with the right OBD tool. It is the responsibility of the installer to determine the specifics of this for their car.

Once the seat electrical connection is all set, mount the seat back into the chassis using the OEM bolts unless you think they’re now too short given the thickness of the Planted base.

Tillett B5 in Porsche Cayman

Step 6: Go for a drive

What else would you do? All those tools will find their way back to where they came from on their own, guaranteed.

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