Quick update of the Recaro SR11 seat from Evolution X in my M3. Installed pics below:
I used the Macht Schnell mounts and the seat is ever so slightly off center of the steering wheel. So far I’ve driven about 70 miles in them and they are very comfortable. Getting in and out of the car is still easy because the leg bolsters are fairly low. I am a 34in waist and these fit me nicely with some wiggle room to spare. I’d say a 36in waist would be snug. Seat height is lower than factory seats in their lowest setting by probably an inch. I now clear the sunroof when wearing my helmet. For me, this Recaro is equally as comfortable on highway trips as the factory seats and it’s no comparison once you move on to twisty roads.
The Recaro seats from the Evo X are perfect for a sport sedan or anyone who does not need to access space behind the seats regularly. A pair of these can be picked up for about $1k or individually for $500 or less, especially if the side airbag has deployed. Seats of this quality would easily cost $900+ each. There is a huge cost savings when you also factor in that these Recaros already include sliders. All you need are floor mounts which can be found for less than $140 and about $10 in hardware.
The Install Process
The underside of the Recaro rails have tabs riveted and tack welded in place. I used a Dremel 3000 and their reinforced metal cutters to slice through the rivets. Then, I used a hammer to pop the rivet out the other side. Now just pry the tab back and forth until the spot weld breaks loose.
Unfortunately this step wasn’t as simple as “Repeat 4x”. Some of the tabs had bends that made it impossible to get the Dremel in there to cut so I had to whip out the drill and carbide bits instead. That didn’t go so smooth either. I broke two bits off and had to bring the Dremel back out to clear space and slice the rivet head off.
And here’s what the underside will look like after all tabs are removed. You might opt to spray a coat of black paint over the aluminum.
Test fitted. The Recaro slider holes nearly line up with the Macht Schnell floor mounts. I had to enlarge the holes in the slider a tad.
I also had to cut the head of the mounting bolts off a tad to clear the inner slider rail.
Trimmed the bolts. Not the cleanest job cause I did it with the Dremel. Using a grinder would have been better. Be careful not to remove to much material.
My only concern at this point is the seat belt receptacle. I would love to re-use the OE Evo X receptacle as it is attached to the slider and has the perfect height. The E46 receptacle is lengthy and sticks up several inches higher.
Here are all the finished pieces laying out for installation.
Be sure to check out my BMW M3 and all the modifications on WheelWell.com