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MG MGB Technical - Seat runners. Which way?

Hi, Yet another odd question. When we bought our '70 roadster the spring on the front seat came detatched as the seat was adjusted forwards and the lever was 'ahead' of the rail end. This kept happening and I could not see any way to avoid it. Initially it appeared that the spring was updie down and was catching ot the floor boly head. However it actually is the seat coming too far forward! It have since spotted on the rear end of the outer rail (on both seats) there is a small square block. Should this be at the front? I cannot see that level of detail on any parts list. Any thoughs
B Anderson

According to the Moss catalogue, there is only one seat slide assembly on all models - not sure if this is true or not. I have a Mk1 (1963) and i don't recall any block on the rails - just a simple angle with mounting holes, and square holes along the sides for the catch to engage in.

Here is a photo of the right side of the drivers seat with slide assembly attached. I don't recall anything that would prevent the seat sliding too far forward except for the mounting bolts that hold the assembly to the floor at the front - I recall that this obstructs the catch mechanism. In any case I have so much friction in the slide that movement too far forward would just be a dream!


John Minchin

Thanks John. Maybe the PBO added them for unknown reason. I know the man I got it from had had the seats out as he had to clean the carpet post a meeting with a pheasant (Lovely!) on a back lane maybe they went back the wrong way (his mechanic was new ish!). Ah the delights of the British countryside :). I guess I am lucky as the seats in most 'B's' I have had the chance to drive have been VERY stiff to move on the rails. I think I'll just drag a seat out and experiment. Not even sure if the holes will still line up if I swap the rails round
B Anderson

My floor rails are a mirror image of each other i.e. handed, except the inboard rail only has a hole for the rear stop block and not the actual block as the outboard does. Moving the seat forwards it seems to be binding against the tunnel that limits movement, I can't see any stop, and neither can I see how the spring would foul anything unless the bolt head were way too high. Are the seats and runners standard? People do fit non-standard seats.
PaulH Solihull

AFAIK They are original seats. covering and style are 'right' for the year (vinyl with 'woven' pattern don the middle) The 'block' is on the outboard rail at the back. I have a funny feeling that I will never know unless I take the seat out and give it a go. :)
B Anderson

The small square block (AHH8893) fits on the rear of the outer rail to limit rearward movement for reclining seats only. Barrie E
B Egerton

Thanks Barrie. I guess I'll need to formulate some sort of 'stop' then to stop the better half sliding the seat off the rails
B Anderson

How small is he/she? With my seat as far forward as the tunnel will allow I can't get in or out, let alone drive it. Could someone have moved the rails back to accommodate a much taller driver?
PaulH Solihull

Better half is 5ft 2in (we have a motalita wheel) and has to have a cushion to reach the pedals! I'll have to get the seat out and see if it has been moved back. I have no idea how tall the PO was!
B Anderson

The worst thing about these seat runners and probably a lot of others is lining everything up on re-assembly. Trying to line up the holes through carpets and sound deadening materials, I spent a whole day in frustration once, my fingers sore, cause you cannot get spanners in. I even considered modifying the system, any ideas out there? The conversion to Miata seats is very appealing but I don't relish the fitting. Mike
J.M. Doust

Assuming the original captive nuts, longer bolts that have been filed to a tapering bluntish point, help. I also heard of putting drinking straws on the end to guide it the in the hole. Removing enough carpet helps as does putting paint/ tippex around the resulting rim of the hole. (Just to see)

Masking tape each side-the whole seat frame, runner, wooden spacer together -not too much tape as you have to cut /break it. Do this with the seat in the "right back" position. Copydex (gentle contact adhesive) the ali spacers over the holes. Put the whole lot in (mines a roadster so easier) Insert front bolts loosely. Cut /break tape, slide seat forwards (keeping the runners square and parallel-bit of a fiddle) insert rear bolts and tighten. Slide back and tighten front bolts. AFAIR I used an open ended spanner and I think I jammed the locking lever "open" as it tilts it's runner.
Michael Beswick

I've never had a problem, and I've had mine in and out a couple of times for recovering and new strapping. The seat slides forwards far enough to clear the rear bolts so you can look down through runner and spacer to see the hole in the floor, and that is if the hole in the carpet doesn't position the spacer correctly. With those in but not fully tightened with a socket, whilst I can't look down through the holes at the front with the seat pushed fully back, it is only a matter of swinging each rail in turn in an arc with the bolt in place to feel the hole, then start it by hand. That's with a flat/ended bolt, a pointed one (make sure a nut goes on first if grinding a point) would be even easier. They do need tightening with an open-ended spanner.

The most important thing is making sure the inner floor runner doesn't fall off the seat runner while lifting the seat in or out.
PaulH Solihull

When I redid my seats I cut the heads off bolts and fit them into the captive nuts before reassembly. They act as locating studs. Then remove them and install the bolts. Worked fine. I used lots of anti-seize to try to preserve the captive nuts from corrosion.

My MK I seat hits the tunnel which stops forward travel before you reach the end of the track. With the bigger tunnel in the MK II's and up likely you don't get as close.

I'm only 5'4" and I can just fully depress the clutch. The padding under the carpet where the frame hits has been removed to maximize forward seat travel. I've considered fabricating some sort of wooden spacer block on the pedals but really haven't figured it out.

These cars have an amazing amount of leg room.

Robert McCoy

This thread was discussed between 11/12/2011 and 27/12/2011

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