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      10-23-2006, 12:20 PM   #1
Josh49
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E90 Racing: Headrest/Helmet Interference

In normal driving, my headrest is probably the width of my fingers from the headrest, if that. Last Friday I went for a drive wearing my helmet to see how bad it would interfere with having a helmet on, (I am autocrossing my e90 for the first time next Sunday with BMW CCA.) It is bad. With a helmet on, my head is pushed forward and it is a very uncomfortable drive. I ended up taking the headrest out. The headrest posts are concave rather than straight, so they cannot be reversed. For autocross I would be okay with driving without a headrest, but once I hit the track with this car, I don't think it'd be a good idea. Are other people having this problem with the e90 headrests and wearing a helmet? How are other people dealing with this??

The only thing I could think of is if I'm running without the headrest to buy a foam wedge neckbrace for under the helmet. (I don't like these at all)

Thanks in advance..
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      10-23-2006, 03:27 PM   #2
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Anyone??
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      10-23-2006, 03:41 PM   #3
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i actually had neck problems the first 2 weeks of driving the car...because of the headrest thrusted foward and angled....it was bothering to the point where i was thinking about getting the rods bent back a bit....it does tilt forward and back..but not enough~!

in the end...the 3rd week....i kinda got use to it..and it doesn't bother me as much...but it is still very uncomfortable...
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      10-23-2006, 04:03 PM   #4
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Not sure about the problem, maybe you can try to adjust the seat back? I go to track often in my 330 and wear Bell M4 Pro helmet and never had any problems with the headrest. Actually I've had many instructors of various body builds sitting in my car with helmets on and no one had complained.

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      10-23-2006, 04:16 PM   #5
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I've noticed the same. Headrest is angled towards the drivers head which is bad because the higher it goes the closer it gets.
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      10-23-2006, 05:46 PM   #6
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Hi Josh,

You definitely don't want to remove the headrest on an autocross course. I bet your seating position is exaggerating the headrest feeling like it's too far forward.

When I have my seat in the proper position and my headrest in the most upright position (a couple of clicks up), it's almost perfect position for the headrest to be touching the helmet, which is the ideal position.

"Proper seating position" is defined as having you feet able to easily be able to depress the clutch and still have a bent knee, and at the same time being able to have your shoulders touching the seat back and your wrists being able to hang on the top of the steering wheel (right about at the watch band area) without locking your elbow. You'll probably be a bit more upright than you're used to. The idea is that you have better range to turn the wheel without taking your hands off of 9 and 3 o'clock, and be able to shuffle sheer easily if you need more of a turning radius than you can achieve by not removing your hands from 9 and 3.

It will all make sense on Sunday. When you get there, I'll be setting up the timing gear or in the timing tent, so stop by and introduce yourself!! Remember we get an extra hour of sleep too!
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      10-23-2006, 07:16 PM   #7
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Ini, thanks for the response. I'm almost positive I am sitting in the right upright position. Even without the helmet I find the headrests in this car very invasive. We'll take a look on Sunday, I'd be surprised if my seat was that far off from how it should be... See you then...
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      10-24-2006, 12:58 AM   #8
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I usually just drop my headrest all the way down when I'm autocrossing or at the track. It seems to fit my helmet just right when I do. I have it tilted all the way forward though for normal driving and don't change the tilt when I push it down for the helmet. My main problem is with the helmet hitting the celing since I have a long torso. I have to open the shade on the sunroof to give myself a bit more clearance since I can't stand reclining my seat that much to make the helmet fit.
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      10-24-2006, 10:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghunger
I usually just drop my headrest all the way down when I'm autocrossing or at the track. It seems to fit my helmet just right when I do. I have it tilted all the way forward though for normal driving and don't change the tilt when I push it down for the helmet. My main problem is with the helmet hitting the celing since I have a long torso. I have to open the shade on the sunroof to give myself a bit more clearance since I can't stand reclining my seat that much to make the helmet fit.
Yeah, I have it all the way down and it is still interfering. If my head is straight, it is okay, (just barely touching).... I could see that make for a very uncomfortable drive as well..
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      12-27-2006, 12:43 PM   #10
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I have a similar problem, although not helmet related. The E90 standard headrests just seem to be too far forward. My wife, who is short, cannot get comfortable in the car due to the headrest position. The dealer offered to have the headrests modified by a local upholstery shop to remove some of the padding. I think this might be a good solution for the helmet issue as well. Have an upholstery shop remove the leather cover, resculpt the foam to the curvature of the helmet and replace the cover. This may require modification to the leather covering the headrest to make it look right.
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      12-27-2006, 02:17 PM   #11
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So did you get that done? That was a nice solution offered to you by the dealership, I like that they offered that to you. If you had this done - Did you have just the passenger headrest modified, or did you get both modified so that they match?

When I ran at the autocross, it bothered me, but I became so focused on driving I didn't notice it too much. If I really started to autocross a lot, maybe I could buy a new headrest (if it's not too much) and just swap that in for when I have a helmet on..

Post some pics if you had this done!!
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      01-02-2007, 01:27 PM   #12
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I haven't had it done yet. I haven't actually decided if I want to have it done but I'm going to visit the upholsterer to see what he has to say about it and see if he's done anything like this before. I'll update this post when I decide (either way) and post pictures if I have it done.
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      01-28-2007, 11:26 AM   #13
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I have a similar problem: even without a helmet, non-sport seats are a deal-breaker because of the invasive headrest.

Since I'm ordering a car, my solution was to order the sport package, to get the sport seats. Gos suggested trying to order the sport seats by themselves, because I had indicated I liked the non-sport steering better, and I'm going to ask my sales manager if this is possible.

-Mike
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      01-28-2007, 01:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyu View Post
I have a similar problem: even without a helmet, non-sport seats are a deal-breaker because of the invasive headrest.

Since I'm ordering a car, my solution was to order the sport package, to get the sport seats. Gos suggested trying to order the sport seats by themselves, because I had indicated I liked the non-sport steering better, and I'm going to ask my sales manager if this is possible.

-Mike
If you order sports package and want to switch steering wheels for the non-sport steering wheel, I would swap with you..

PS. I wonder how the logistics of that would work though..
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      01-28-2007, 06:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh49 View Post
If you order sports package and want to switch steering wheels for the non-sport steering wheel, I would swap with you..

PS. I wonder how the logistics of that would work though..
:-) I'd probably stick with the sport wheel, just to keep it stock. The wheel design is a minor preference really; what's hard to give up is the more feelful steering of the 16" wheels / thinner tires. At least I think that's what causes the better steering. Anyway, worst comes to worst I can swap wheels (move from 17" to 16"). It's easier and cheaper than swapping regular seats for sports seats! More likely, though, I'll come to appreciate the 17s over time. I'm just reacting to my immediate impressions on a 10-minute test drive, anyway.

-Mike
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      02-02-2007, 02:44 PM   #16
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I hate those headrests

I absolutely hated the forward thrust of the headrests enough that I got a $10 E46 headrest (black leather, like the 07' 328i) off ebay and stuck it in. (and yes, I know they are adjustable: not nearly enough) The posts are a bit smaller in diameter, but it seems to be okay. Now my head can sit straight on my neck, without bending forward. Before, I'd get home from a 45 minute commute with a bad neck cramp. I've never found anything as nice as the comfort seat headrests in my 740il. Ditto for the seat. I really miss it. If it would fit (NOT!), I'd scrounge one and install it in the e90.
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      02-02-2007, 08:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supr7 View Post
I absolutely hated the forward thrust of the headrests enough that I got a $10 E46 headrest (black leather, like the 07' 328i) off ebay and stuck it in. (and yes, I know they are adjustable: not nearly enough) The posts are a bit smaller in diameter, but it seems to be okay. Now my head can sit straight on my neck, without bending forward. Before, I'd get home from a 45 minute commute with a bad neck cramp. I've never found anything as nice as the comfort seat headrests in my 740il. Ditto for the seat. I really miss it. If it would fit (NOT!), I'd scrounge one and install it in the e90.
My gf complained that the headrest doesn't tilt far back enough because it hurts her neck and she had her hair tied up pony tail....yet 10 mins later she fell sleep halfway through the trip to VT.

Since my interior is beige color, I can't find a E46 headrest off ebay in the color to match...
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      02-03-2007, 02:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777ER View Post
My gf complained that the headrest doesn't tilt far back enough because it hurts her neck and she had her hair tied up pony tail....yet 10 mins later she fell sleep halfway through the trip to VT.

Since my interior is beige color, I can't find a E46 headrest off ebay in the color to match...
How about an E90 sport seat headrest? Somehow the sport seats don't have the problem (at least for me). I think the part is about $200.
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      02-03-2007, 12:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyu View Post
How about an E90 sport seat headrest? Somehow the sport seats don't have the problem (at least for me). I think the part is about $200.
Where can I find the part # for it?
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      02-03-2007, 01:14 PM   #20
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http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...81&hg=52&fg=10

This shows the different parts numbers. Could someone post a picture of a sports seat headrest? Does it look any different?
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      02-03-2007, 01:21 PM   #21
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52107147427 $146.20
Black Leather without Sport

52107147461 $146.20
Black Leather with Sport Seat.

I'd be curious if they were interchangeable, and if they are even that different.. Could be the one is mounted further back in the seat.. Visually are they different??
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      02-03-2007, 02:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh49 View Post
52107147427 $146.20
Black Leather without Sport

52107147461 $146.20
Black Leather with Sport Seat.

I'd be curious if they were interchangeable, and if they are even that different.. Could be the one is mounted further back in the seat.. Visually are they different??
In the "e90 interior pics" thread there are several pictures that might help. It looks as though the sport seat rods are mounted more or less in the center of the seat back, that is, they don't appear to be mounted further back (which is good). The headrests do also have a slight concavity which suggests more room. But it does seem possible that the front of the sport headrest is simply thinner, which is exactly what you want. If it fits, it might work.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352
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