I know. It sounds funny right? No. Not that I am repairing the Lotus. I mean the seat part. They’re basically just bits of leather glued to a fixed back molded ABS bucket. Whats to fix?
Yes the Lotus seats are simple. Very simple. Fixed back racing style bucket seats made from molded ABS plastic to keep both the cost and weight down. Then, depending on how your car was optioned, they either threw some cloth or some leather over it. All versions have a foam cushion on the bottom to help absorb some impact. The other option that came on most (if not all) US federal spec Eliges was a driver seat lumbar support. It looks something like what your doctor uses to check your blood pressure.
A little hand pump that inflates a bag that is placed behind the leather of the seat. As you can see in the picture above. Mine is (was) broken. The plastic tube that feeds into the bag became frail and broken, and as such, the bag no longer holds air.
Step 1: Seat removal
It’s really quite simple. First slide the seat all the way forwards and remove the two 5.5mm hex key screws holding the rear rails in place.
Then, slide the seat all the way back and remove the two 13mm bolts holding the front rails in place.
Don’t forget to disconnect these two wires for the seat belt...
And finally, the 17mm bolt that connect the seat belt to the chair.
... And Vualla! (or whatever) your seat is removed.
Part 2: the not so simple part
In order to save weight, lotus used no clips or fasteners when installing the leather, everything is affixed with glue. This means you have to be careful to pull too hard or the wrong way when removing the cover so that you don’t accidentally rip or stretch the leather. As you can see, I used my friend, Mr. heat gun, to help loosen the glue.
Once the old air bladder was out, it was a quick swap to fit the new one in (no pics, I was all glue-ey).
Now its time to re-glue the seat back together.
But wait! Theres more!
Being a high mileage (read 40k mi) Lotus, the front of the seat cushion had become worn and somewhat flattened. I figured, while Im in here, I might as well mend 2 things!!!
So off to the arts and crafts store I went to get me some foam.
Some poorly made cuts later and...
... New front foam.
Several hours later (the glue takes a while to dry) and I now have a freshly padded, lumbar functional, Lotus seat.
Riveting stuff right there.
Bet you were all on the edge of your seats that whole time.
Stay tuned for more; Tales Of Lotus-ness
Its a working title.