So after much research into custom seats, I decided to go with the Motorsports Southwest EIS foam seat kit for my Crossle 40f. There are several options out there: custom formed seats can be made out of creafoam beads (like a motorcycle helmet liner), old-school A-B foam, or the new-school SFI certified foam that I chose. Personal seats can be made for you at a shop, or you can buy a kit and do it yourself. Pro builds cost $1500-$2500, while kits run about $300-$500. My DIY project took me two full half-days to complete, with day one requiring the assistance of my racing buddy Tim Arnett to help with the set-up and pouring, and then a couple long sessions of cutting and shaping to finish things up.
I purchased the XL kit with a Long seat bag, for reference I’m 6′, 175# and the seat goes from my knees to my helmet. I probably could have gotten away with the Lg kit and standard bag, but I’m glad I ordered the bigger kit as it gave me extra room for mistakes during my first-ever seat attempt. The kit comes with a nomex cloth cover, but I will race my first weekend without it to make sure I’ve got the shape right. Since this is my first custom seat I don’t have anything to compare it to, but the MSSW kit was very complete, came with good instructions, and I’m happy with the result. The seat is firm but flexible enough to remove it in one piece with some persuasion.
[Edit – The cover proved to be challenge. After a couple race weekends of tweaking the seat shape, it was finally time to glue on the supplied nomex cover. I used a 3M spray glue, but it was difficult to get a smooth final finish. Lots of wrinkles even after attempts to trim in a few ‘V’s to get rid of the excess cloth around the corners. It works fine, just not as pretty as I hoped 😉 ]
Here are the required tools for shaping your foam seat, an electric carving knife (supplied in the MSSW kit) and a Surface Forming tool. Seen here is the additional piece that goes above the fuel tank and fills the gap behind my neck. I poured the seat with the bodywork off and with me not wearing my HANS and helmet so the foam would fill this area during the pour. I then cut off the top 3-4 inches of the seat in one piece with a hand saw so it could be easily removed for car fueling.