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Getting an 'Indi Seat' Fitted Professionally?

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:30 pm
by RobManser
Can anyone recommend someone experienced who can fit a bead style 'Indi-Seat' professionally? I've done a couple before with mixed results, but this time around for a new car I wanted to spend a bit of money getting it done properly (I have back problems and a good seat is essential to me).

I arranged for this to be done with a leading manufacturer and supplier of these seats last week. When I contacted them the day before to confirm, they told me they couldn't make it. We re-arranged for tomorrow and the same thing's just happened again - not a word from them, and when I contacted them to confirm, they told me they couldn't make it again. Needless to say I'm not impressed!

I'm supposed to be testing at Silverstone on Friday, so ideally I'd like this done tomorrow prior to my test day, but if not then anytime soon would be good.


Re: Getting an 'Indi Seat' Fitted Professionally?

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:24 pm
by tristancliffe
I have done fittings all over the country for various amateur and professional championships for Indi-Seat. Having said that, I'm not really doing them anymore as my job doesn't really mix with days out doing other work. I was intending to do one for Mr Purcell tomorrow, but found out on Monday that I'm unavailable that day due to a course I've been booked to go on.

I'd always recommend contacting Chris Norton of Indi-Seat directly via their website (unless they are the company that have let you down). There are alternative bead seat people, but they are all using the technology that Chris pioneered, and all the others are still using resins and materials from ten years ago, whereas Indi-Seat are always improving and updating their kits.

I'd advise against "the day before" though.
A seat takes about three hours with the driver to mould - trying it dry for an hour or two until totally happy, and then adding resin for the final hour of finalising the seating position. It then takes a while to cure - it used to be about 6 hours if you rushed it with hairdryers, but a newer quick-fire resin has probably decreased that, except I haven't used it. Overnight is better). Only once it's cured a reasonable amount can you start cutting it up, removing waste, cutting belt slots, and begin taping up edges (or the whole lot if, like me, you prefer TESA tape to fabric), which takes between one and two hours depending on the shapes and sizes.

That means the fitter will be rushing to get it done (cutting it before its fully cured) in the hope of being able to go home by 7 or 8pm.

In my opinion, it's better to get it done in advance, so things aren't being rushed, you're not worried about putting the car in a trailer or making sure it runs etcetera.
You can even save some money by, the next day, cutting off the excess yourself with a hacksaw blade or hot knife, and applying TESA tape (avoid normal duct tape!) yourself.

I have made two seats in a day for Formula-E teams, but both were a bit rushed, it took two people (one to apply the hairdryer whilst I made the second one), and we had to start cutting before I was happy it had cured enough to really warrant it. They were fine in the end, but it wasn't my best seat!

Sorry, I got carried away there.

Re: Getting an 'Indi Seat' Fitted Professionally?

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:35 pm
by RobManser
Thanks Tristan - info much appreciated. I want to get this one right, so it sounds best to wait. I have an old seat for someone else I can use on Friday and I'll throw some towels or sponges on it. Sorry if my post was a bit ranty - I needed to vent! I actually first contacted them in May last year (after a failed DIY attempt) and we'd had this fitting booked for ages. I'm pretty easy going, but I'm stunned at their lack of professionalism.

Re: Getting an 'Indi Seat' Fitted Professionally?

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:01 pm
by tristancliffe
Chris and Max are pretty darn professional 99% of the time, and in my experience treat a Monoposti just as importantly as Ferrari F1. There is no preferential price or service for either end of the market!

Not sure what else to say, but my first thought is don't let it sour you too much as they are very nice people running a business to normally very high standards without ever being "bastards". I wouldn't be surprised if they see this and get in touch.


Re: Getting an 'Indi Seat' Fitted Professionally?

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:07 pm
by RobManser
Thanks, I'll assume there's two side to this story and something has genuinely cropped up out of their control at the last second and for some reason they couldn't contact me. I'll try to make do for Friday with bits of sponge etc and fingers crossed I can get a seat made in time for the next test at the end of April.