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FFCobra Captain
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's your experience been using the standard FFR seats (new style with metal frames) at HPDE track events? In my last car, I did a couple events with the old style seats - but those fiberglass frames flexed a lot. Just wondering if the new seats do a better job of holding you in.

I am in the process of swapping out my Kirkey vintage low-backs for the FFR seats. My first goal was to use a base that would stay in the car and would support both seats. Since the FFR seats are narrower than the Kirkeys, I wasn't liking the look ( you could see the tracks sticking out and it looked cheesy), so I bailed on that plan.

I don't do many track events, and could swap the FFRs for the Kirkey's in about an hour or two (I work slow)...but I know I'm lazy and might not do it. So I'm thinking about just selling off the Kirkey seats.

Don't want to sell them off if I'll hate doing a track event in the FFR seats.
 

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Hi Dan. I'm in the process of converting from the old style FFR seats to the vintage Kirkeys. I'm trying to get more room in the car plus the old ones move around pretty good. Do you have any pics of how yours are installed? I wanted to keep the sliders I have but I too think I'm going to need to fab up some kind of a plate for the Kirkeys to sit on? Thanks Scott
 

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I installed the other way. Already had mounted FFR seats to tracks and Breeze angle mount plate. I went with Kirkey vintage seats, but their Kirkey mounting brackets would not reach far enough to attach to my plate. Ended up using some robust SS angle brackets to make fit. Now I can exchange seats pretty easilly for track use. However, I've just kept the Kirkeys in. It's a bit of an effort to get in/out, but I am very snug when driving.

Even if just for tracking, I would highly recommend keeping the Kirkeys(at least the driverside). With the FFR seats, it won't matter how tight you make the belts, you will slide in the seats significantly. I even had the submarine belt installed correctly thru the seat. Also, the fiberglass frame will flex a lot.
 

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I've got the FFR metal framed low backs and I've done a few track events. My experience has been that I slide around a LOT and it is exhausting trying to hold onto the steering wheel to prevent sliding around. I also find that I'm pushing with my legs to keep myself stable in the seat. By the end of a session I'm worn out and I'm definitely losing lots of time trying to "hang on".

So... I've purchased a pair of Kirky vintage low backs and plan to install them during the Christmas holiday. I'm a little concerned about getting in and out of the car with the Kirkeys. (How bad is it?) I've been sitting in them in the living room on the floor and they are very comfortable but boy do they hug the hips. I'll probably need a hoist to get myself out of those.

Other than the track days, I love the FFR lowbacks. Look great. Very comfortable but they do put me up higher than I want to be.
 

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If you're only going to do an event or two, low-backs are kinda OK, but most instructors like myself are scared of them, because they are deadly in a bad crash. No back support, and the belts do not hold you. I hate them. Street only.

In my FFR, a track car, hi-backs with correct belt locations. You are held in place correctly, have support, and have a better chance in a crash. I pesonally do not accept the "vintage look" excuse if you are going to get serious on the track. Every Cobra I have instructed in with the lo-backs is told to upgrade the seats. If they don't believe me, I take them out in my car and let them feel the difference with a seat they does it's job. Yeah, doesn't look "correct", but if you are going to run serious, then be serious about safety.

OK, I'm done ranting, and not wanting to offfend anyone, but this is a hot-button issue with track folks like myself for safety. Many of us instructors will not even ride in one with lo-backs on the track.

And, no griping about getting in and out! Try getting in and out with a proper roll cage and no doors. Man up!
 

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Problem I had with the new steel framed seats besides the sliding around they about broke my neck with my heavy full faced helment. Definately go with a high back for track use. Not only for safty but to hold your head in place.
 

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If you're only going to do an event or two, low-backs are kinda OK, but most instructors like myself are scared of them, because they are deadly in a bad crash. No back support, and the belts do not hold you. I hate them. Street only.

In my FFR, a track car, hi-backs with correct belt locations. You are held in place correctly, have support, and have a better chance in a crash. I pesonally do not accept the "vintage look" excuse if you are going to get serious on the track. Every Cobra I have instructed in with the lo-backs is told to upgrade the seats. If they don't believe me, I take them out in my car and let them feel the difference with a seat they does it's job. Yeah, doesn't look "correct", but if you are going to run serious, then be serious about safety.

OK, I'm done ranting, and not wanting to offfend anyone, but this is a hot-button issue with track folks like myself for safety. Many of us instructors will not even ride in one with lo-backs on the track.

And, no griping about getting in and out! Try getting in and out with a proper roll cage and no doors. Man up!
I totally agree. High backs are the way to go if you are going to track your car!
 

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Kirkey High backs

If I were going to the track, these are the only kind of seats I would use. From personal and painful experience (to the car, not me) these are the seats you want to be strapped into if you are going to have any kind of a crash in the FFR. I think the high back is a very important factor, and the lateral support is second to none. When I slide into my car I just drop my butt down into the seat and I am locked in there.
 

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FFCobra Captain
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Giving me a good idea.

I'll sell off the Kirkey seats I have and look around for a decent high-back seat that I can easily swap out for the next track event. The Kirkeys I have are 18" anyway and those are a bit too wide for me...I slid around in them a bit.

Next track event wouldn't be till spring anyway, so I'll have some time to find one.
 

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Here's a great comparison, if you're old enough to remember............

Imagine driving a 1972 Chevy Impala with bench seats, and trying to corner hard. You're all over the seat! Then, you jump into your buddy's vette, and you're held in place.
 

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FFCobra Captain
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Been there....1968 Camaro - stock seats - 3 point seat belt - running all out at Sebring. It sucked. I drove my old FFR there and it wasn't as bad as the Camaro...but I do remember the flex in those old FFR seats.
 

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I learned to drive in a 1976 Gran Torino Wagon. talk about body roll and sliding across the seats!
 

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I installed 17" Kirkeys. Still had play in the hips, so I glued in some packing styrofoam sheets to the sides. Fits like a glove. I also glued in lumbar support, now the seat's more comfortable than any other I've sat in.
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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Look at the Ultrashields.
Ultra-Shield Race Products
I have one of these in the 20 degree version. What I like about these vs the Kirkeys, is that the shoulder wings wrap forward enough that they are nearly 90 degrees to the seatback. The Kirkeys come out at about 45 degrees so you must have the shoulder belts super tight or you move. I have cut away some of the left side of my seat since i have a hardtop. That allows me to slide into the seat and I don't even notice the shoulder wings.
 
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