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Old 04-02-2006, 07:23 AM   #1
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Seat position?

This one has been rolling around in my head for some time...

The boxster seats obviously sit low in the car, to lower the CG among other things I guess. But I like the seat as upright as possible, and I like to sit as high as possible. (I jokingly complained to the dealer when i test-drove my car that I couldn't rest my arm on the door while driving, like I did in my Miata. He said he'd get on the phone to Germany that afternoon and tell the Porsche engineers about that...).

But every time I get my car back from the dealer/service the seats are tilted back and low. I've also read, without explanation or authority, that "tilted back and low" is traditional Porsche driving advice. That said, one Porsche driving school instructor suggested that you should be able to comfortably place your wrists on the top of the wheel--for me at 5'9 that doesn't mean "tilted back and low."

I understand the desire to be as far from the airbag as possible, and that seating position should allow you a relatively unobstructed view of the instrument cluster, and be comfortable of course.

I guess my question is, does seat position just come down to personal preference or are there factors I haven't mentioned here that overwhelmingly suggest one way is right or wrong?

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Old 04-02-2006, 07:39 AM   #2
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great question -- personally, i approach the seat position issue in cars like i do in whitewater kayaking -- sit upright in the "moderately aggressive" position rather than leaning back in the "reactive" posture -- i am just over 6' and have the seat raised to one pump below its highest position, tilted almost straight up, and forward enough that my right foot can engage the clutch, steering wheel "de-telescoped" all the way towards the instruments, and tilted all the way up. quite comfy.

i couldn't imagine and wouldn't feel comfortable sitting in a "tilted back" posture. hard to imagine that it's recommended.
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Old 04-02-2006, 10:36 AM   #3
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I can't imagine that "tilted back and low" would be any kind of advice for driving. Well, unless you've got limo tint and are cruising in my neighborhood...

Provided that your vehicle has enough adjustment, you should try to find a position that allows you to perform all necessary actions without shifting your body. If you find that you are constantly "twisted" or leaning to the right when shifting - then you're not close enough. Not only is that bad "form", but it can be hard on your body after hours of driving.

At 5'9", I would think you would need the seat up several pumps (at least). High enough to feel comfortable but without feeling like you have to look under the top of the windshield. The seat should be adjusted forward until you can comfortably shift and fully activate the pedals. The steering wheel should then be adjusted (forward/back & up/down) to give you a slightly relaxed grip (you shouldn't feel like you have to reach or lean forward). If it seems that getting the proper distance for pedals brings you too close even after adjusting the steering wheel - then adjust the seat backs.

Well, that's how I do it anyway....
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Old 04-03-2006, 05:26 AM   #4
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One thing I will add, I always want to be safetly under the roll bar just in case of a roll over. Thus, although I would like to sit a little higher, I keep mine in the middle.
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Old 04-03-2006, 05:34 AM   #5
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I'm 6.0" and I put the seat as far back and low as it will go. I have long legs and a long upper body so honestly, it can't sit low enough for me. I have it just about right where it is now, but if the seat could lean back a few more inches I would have it there. I dunno why, but the car fits me better that way.

When I race, I use a Momo non-adjustable raceing seat in my Talon. It sits you pretty straight up, so the bracket I made to keep the seat in the car puts it really low as my helmet needs to clear the roof and door when I'm getting out of the car. I prefer to sit up so I can bang gears better, gives me better leverage.

If you look at this pic you can see my helmet is damn close to the roof.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhduxbury
....and forward enough that my right foot can engage the clutch, ....
Right foot? Never heard that before - Why?
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:32 AM   #7
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"Right foot? Never heard that before - Why?"

Because that puts the body into a position where the shifter is "at hand" for optimal shifting. In general the lower body closer - upper body further back and lower (the "easy-rider" type position) works best in a Porsche.

If you are too upright (seat ratcheted too high) you're blocking your own foot from the optimal foot-application to a floor mounted gas predal, which would be best described as an ankle rotation to the right (using the tendons on the outer portion of the ankle). If you're too upright you're using the wrong part of your foot and leg (the forward and inner).

As I've commented before, I think body positioning and the resultant muscles that are applied is the primary reason people have trouble operating the Boxster's gas and clutch pedals and find them counterintuitive. Contrast this with say a late model Audi with a top-mounted gas pedal that is more conducive to what's intuitive.

Incidentally, if you apply the gas to your Box as described above, you'll accelerate alot quicker and noticeably improve your fuel economy.
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Last edited by SD987; 04-03-2006 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:02 PM   #8
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So, if I'm reading this correctly, you're describing a semi-reclined position with your heels closer together and underneath nearer the sides of the brake so that your right foot rotates to the brake more than lifting. If so, that describes how I sit.
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:50 PM   #9
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It is of course difficult for me to comment on your driving position, but your statement sounds about right.

"semi-reclined position"

If this equates in your mind to your ass feeling slightly lower than your knees (instead of roughly the same level), then yes...

"our heels closer together and underneath nearer the sides of the brake so that your right foot rotates to the brake more than lifting"

You make a good point in that the heel should be rotating (feeling like it's dropping back and to the right) instead of leading the switch from the toe-end of the foot, which most people do but results in inconsistent placement of the foot. When leading with the toe-end you usually have to make a subsequent adjustment, kind of like groping in the dark for one's glasses. Switching with the heel end puts your foot in the same place on the accelerator each time. It also makes it easier to overcome the "height" difference between the accelerator and the brake pedal as moving from gas to brake with the heel first causes the front part of the foot to raise up.

As far as the relationship of the heels to each other, I think the placement of the right foot should match the pedal switching move described above, however, I think of equal importance is the relationship between the knees and the heels. If the weight of your knees "feel" like they outside your heel lines ("bowlegged") than you're going to be really thrown around when cornering. If you keep your knees within or equal to your heel-lines you'll be able to maintain a consistent relationship between your body and the pedals. I find this knee/heel relationship is easier to maintain when "semi-reclined".
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:50 PM   #10
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Boy SD987, you hit the nail

on the head. I just bought a new Audi S4 a month ago and I'm alternating between it and the Box (mostly based on kid transport, but weather, too). Switching between them has a lot of differences, but the one i hadn't focused on until i read your post was the difference between the feel of the gas pedals. I had expected the clutches to be quite different (and they are) but now that you say that, the gas pedals do have a quite different feel to them. I'll have to experiment with sitting at a lower angle in the Box and see if they feel more similar then...

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