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Old 12-08-2013, 01:52 AM   #1
BR3W CITY
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Going to lengths for legroom.

A good chunk of you guys have seen me post whore my truck around here, and I really love it....but I just can't get past this legroom thing.

Some people might laugh, and ask WHY I then put hundreds of hours into body/paint/interior/engine and drivetrain swap etc...in something thats a little too small; because I really love this truck.

That and I had back surgery a year ago, and the seating position is a little hard to maintain with my current body mechanics. I need a little more "stretch" to my legs. I already have a tilt colum and smaller wheel, with the column "inward" as far as it can be adjusted. I'm running Procar lowback buckets on custom brackets, as far back as they can go while still maintaining a little bit of lean for comfort. Even past that, my gas peddle is about 1" back from its old position, allowing for a chunk more legroom....but I NEED MORE!!

SO...lets talk going to LENGTHS for LEGROOM.
Have any of you thought of or done the following;

Cut the back double-wall to gain the extra 1" for the seatback.

Change the seat heights drastically to gain a better angle (if not actual room)

*Now it gets crazy*

Cut the back cab wall OUT mini-truck style and boxed the area between the cab and bed. This is hard to explain but was done on mini-trucks to fit pass-through subs and stuff like that. I figure it would allow for the low-backs to slide even further rear.

Cut/boxed/tubbed the drivers foot well so I can recess the pedals farther. This would be the best solution in my head, but I KNOW how big of a pain it could become.

I'm pretty serious on all this tho. I love my truck, and since my surgery I don't spend as much time behind the wheel. This is a shame, since FINISHING the other phases of the build were what got me through cancer mentally. I've got plenty of cash into it already, and I'm not content moving onto something new...cuz nothing holds a place in my hart like this thing does.

Lets talk. I've got the cash, probably the tools, probably the skill, and probably the time....just not a good plan.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:27 AM   #2
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Put higher stands under your seats.
Raising them increases leg room.
Also, by raising them, you should be able to move them back even further.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR3W CITY View Post
A pic of the seats with the better cam

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Old 12-08-2013, 02:38 AM   #3
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

This sounds like a perfect excuse for a crew cab conversion.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:01 AM   #4
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

It sounds like we share very similar driving issues. I too run Procar Lowback seats, but I also have to use a lumbar support pillow which pushes my hips even closer to the pedals. This convinced me to cut the top off the steering column bell where it contacts the dashboard, so I could push the steering column/wheel another inch forward.

I’ve thought about removing the rear double wall for the extra inch, but don’t have the skills to tackle something like that, and it seems managing the modifications cosmetically would be very difficult.

Switching to an overhead cable throttle pedal added a bit of space, and power brakes allowed moving the pedal forward an inch or so. The hydraulic clutch setup I’m running let me lower the pedal some and still achieve full release. But I really like the idea of lowering the foot well further as a permanent solution most of all. I don’t know how much headers might complicate things, but with manifolds it seems like there should be plenty of open space in that area to make a serious contribution to comfort.

Also, the top of my seat backs are exactly 4.5” from the bottom of the rear window gasket, in case that helps compare where yours are mounted. If they could be raised and remain comfortable, that would tend to move them back a bit.

Another option would be a different seat with a thinner back, but I haven’t found one yet – other than fiberglass or aluminum race versions with limited or no padding, and I couldn’t tolerate that level of discomfort.

Personally I wouldn’t be willing to do anything that modified the outside/back of the cab. I’d sell the truck and buy something else I really liked before I would go to that extreme.

I certainly sympathize with your issues. I’ll be staying tuned in the hopes some ultimate solution appears. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:29 AM   #5
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Here's a more extreme method to get legroom.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=532910
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:02 AM   #6
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Make it a 5 window. I think the side windows from a 70's Dtasun truck would look good filling the space behind the doors.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:17 AM   #7
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Probably not what you want to here but...Change up to a Suburban or a Panel truck, I have Big 60/40 Cadillac seats from an 89 Sedan Deville they are raised up 3" to clear the rear floor I am 6ft and can not reach the pedals with the seat all the way back.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #8
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Sometimes being 5'7" has it's advantages.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:49 PM   #9
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

I dealt with the same issues on my 64 Stepper. I tried everything I could think of. Nothing as major as some of your suggestions.
Finally I figured it out.....I bough a 65 Suburban!

Moving the seat up was the biggest gain I made.
Sorry
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:10 PM   #10
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

x2 on the crew

x2 on the 5 window


If you have the tools, skill, and money...

I'd say shorten the bed slightly, extend the cab slightly and really have something both unique and functional.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #11
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

In the meantime, before doing any of these more extreme mods, just raise the seat up higher off the floor - use a taller base.
If you notice the pic of your interior I included in my post above, raising your seat will also allow you to slide your seat base back.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:27 PM   #12
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostMy65 View Post
In the meantime, before doing any of these more extreme mods, just raise the seat up higher off the floor - use a taller base.
If you notice the pic of your interior I included in my post above, raising your seat will also allow you to slide your seat base back.
I agree, from watching the Drive To Buy Ammo video you need to raise them about 4 inches because your legs are arched and that's hard on the circulation. Take the seat out and just attach a couple of 4x4's to them and see if its enough or too much.

How was your legroom with the bench seat? Next question, how tall are you?

Once I remove the behind the seat tank I can move my bench back more. Right now its okay room wise, I'm 6'5" tall but I'm sure long road trips will be a pain. But the heated seat and back will help me out quite a bit to keep the muscles loose.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:19 PM   #13
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Thanks for the replies. I want to avoid the crew cab idea just because we already went through a ton of bodywork in the last years to get it to this point. I fit comfortably "enough" before surgery, but would hate to switch to a new project so soon (especially with all the motor stuff I have in the works for next year)

I'll do the seat raising first; we build the brackets before everything else was done, so I haven't re-made them with all the other thing in place.


As for the cutting the back wall; I think with my air-saw it really wouldn't be hard. I would use the rubber/pvc panel edging and recess the seat the extra inch....however if raising the seat helps, this would become pointless because of how the wall tapers off.


I'm 6'4", with long legs. Dan you're right, my legs are arched a bit when driving. The passenger side has the perfect about of legroom (but no pedals obviously).

When I had a bench seat, the legroom was still pretty bad, but the seat itself was very thick.


I'm curious about the last part, which no one touched; tubbing the drivers footwell area to recess the pedals. I'm using DBW, so I can effectively make my pedal ANY shape, so long as the sweep on the sensors stays the same. I have hydroboost brakes, so again, a custom pedal is possible.

*there are also LOTS of things in planning stages for the next level of performance in the truck. I have a certain amount of money tied up on some custom stuff we are trying, and really don't want to "start over" on the body, as that was never the main focus of the project. *
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:30 PM   #14
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Tubbing the floor/firewall and moving the pedals further away from the seat might be a cool option. I wouldn't think that would be too difficult.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:43 PM   #15
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Just as long as you keep the floor/firewall at the same angle or lean it out more at the top to keep the engine compartment air flowing out. We had a guy come into the shop that couldn't figure out why the engine compartment was so hot. He enlarged the footwells but made them flat and it was blocking the airflow like a dam.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:47 PM   #16
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

I'm 6'-3" and my trucks get the 88-94 chevy bench, the position and thinner back do the trick.
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:43 AM   #17
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

I'm gonna necro my own thread since fall is here and that means project season.

I did as you guys recommended and raised my seat about 2-3". That was the height that still fit my upper body in a good driving view/arm angle on window, and changed my leg position a bit.

Unfortunately, its still just not enough. I still don't have a good position that allows enough "Stretch" on my legs for my back, while still being able to normally operate the gas and brake pedals.

This means that I find a solution, or do something I've avoided even really thinking about, selling my truck.

For some reference; with the gas tank removed and your seat all the way back (whatever seat you have), extend your legs out to the angled floor (behind/aside the pedals). That distance is where i need my PEDALS to rest, thusly placing the floor 3ish inches behind.

This means that I would need to push the floor OUT the same 3ish inches to gain the kind of extension needed. I do think its possible at my skill level, the question tho starts to become the results of that action. The impact to underhood space, pedal placement/linkages etc.

So, if anyone has any structural ideas or possible problems, let me know what you think...or I guess make an offer on the truck :/
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:33 AM   #18
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

I hope I am not in that same boat, I have an MRI tomorrow on my back, that would suck after all the work.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:43 PM   #19
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

My 36' was built for a person with an average height of 5'4". I ended up modifing the firewall to a 90 degree eliminating the 45 degree portion. It was a HUGE improvement.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:10 PM   #20
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

I can't remember where but just recently I saw a thread somebody posted about reducing their pedal travel to the bare minimum and they gained a lot of leg room -at least in the driving operation. Of course the work is doubled if you have a man. trans ;>}
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:35 PM   #21
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

I could do that, but with the engine the truck has, a touchy throttle would be instant death. Plus you can't really reduce pedal travel on the brakes, at least with my hydroboost I'd be nervous to.
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:28 AM   #22
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LEEVON View Post
I'm 6'-3" and my trucks get the 88-94 chevy bench, the position and thinner back do the trick.
Same thing I did...works great....
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:07 AM   #23
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

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Same thing I did...works great....
Same here. I think the '88-'94 is the best seat for our trucks. I wound up taking 2" out of my seat brackets because I like to sit low and as far back as I can. I still haven't worked out the ergonomics for the pedals yet. I plan to pie cut the brake pedal arm to move the pedal pad closer to the floor and I may add a small extension or just use a late '60s power brake pedal pad to get the inboard edge of the pad closer to the gas pedal. I like to keep my heel as a pivot point and just rock my foot right and left for the brake and throttle. My biggest issue with our trucks is that you have to take your right leg completely off of the seat to go from the throttle to the brake.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:15 AM   #24
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJSR View Post
My 36' was built for a person with an average height of 5'4". I ended up modifing the firewall to a 90 degree eliminating the 45 degree portion. It was a HUGE improvement.
This sounds like it would be the easiest and not much in the way.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:34 PM   #25
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Re: Going to lengths for legroom.

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Originally Posted by jonathan-m View Post
This sounds like a perfect excuse for a crew cab conversion.
Thats my vote ... or just do an extended cab on it .. i think i have seen a few decent ones that have been done .. the easiest being cutting the cab behind the door and setting it back how ever much you need for leg room , or even farther for storage etc.

I too , even thought I am not that tall feel cramped and want to do something to get more leg room .. more on that later ...
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