If you have been following our Fox body notch project dubbed Project 666, you know that the car is already very fast. So far the car has a new TCI rugged C4 transmission and a 700+ HP Dart 427ci small block. While going fast is fun, we also need to update some of our safety devices. This time around we bolted in a pair of Kirkey’s 41 Series seats into the car with Holcomb seat brackets, a Holcomb bolt-in light weight steering column with quick release, and a Grant steering wheel.
The biggest eye catcher for 666 was shedding those old and very tired OEM seats and steering wheel. You can look at that flat factory seat and tell at a glance that it offered very little in the way of safety and support. This is why we choose the 41 Series Pro-Street Drag seat for our project car. These seats range in price from $175 for a 15-inch seat to $235.50 for a 20-inch seat. For our project, we used 16-inch seats.
Kirkey 41 Series – PN 41500:
• Constructed from MIG welded .100″ thick 5052 grade aluminum
• MIG welded on the inside for added strength
• Offset aluminum extrusion around perimeter of seat for added strength and safety
• Contoured high-density foam bottom provides complete leg and thigh support
• High-density foam on rib supports for added comfort
Kirkey seats plus Holcomb's seat brackets and light weight column were on the plate for this tech article
Kevin Derochi from Kirkey Racing said, “Our Pro Street Drag seat has been one of our most popular seats for the past ten years. It provides the driver with a safe seat that doesn’t break the bank that they can use on the drag strip as well as on the street.” The seats come as an aluminum shell with no cover. Kirkey makes the seats out of MIG welded .100″ thick 5052 grade aluminum. The seats are welded on the inside for additional strength and it has an offset extrusion around the seat perimeter for even more strength and safety. Should 666 ever get into the wall, we want all the protection we can get.
The bottom of the seat is padded with contoured high-density foam for comfort and to provide leg and thigh support. The same foam is put in the rib area as well to pad things a bit. We also opted for a couple of the black cloth seat covers at $110 for each piece. Derochi said, “We build all our seats and covers entirely in-house. The covers are die cut so each one fits the way it was intended. Each seat has been designed and engineered with CAD-CAM and built using the latest in CNC cutting, forming, and welding technologies.”
Holcomb Aluminum Front Seat Bracket – PN HMI60000-AL
• Aluminum construction with multiple mounting points
• Works with most seats except RCI
• Not for street use
• Includes Grade 8 hardware
The larger left bracket is designed for the passenger seat while the left two brackets are designed for the driver.
Holcomb Kirkey Adjustable rear Seat Bracket – PN DRC-60000-K
• Mounts to OEM seat mounting points
• Integral crotch strap attaching point
• Includes seat to roll bar brace
“The Holcomb aluminum seat bracket makes installing poly or aluminum seats in 79-04 Mustangs a straightforward affair,” said Ken Holcomb, owner of Holcomb Motorsports. “Multiple front to back mounting points allow seat placement to fit individual driver requirements. We also recommend a seat-to-roll-bar brace with these mounts, but is not included.”
Kirkey makes seat brackets for their seats, but they are not specifically made for use in Mustangs and we wanted a better bolt-in fit. Mounting the Kirkey seats to our Holcomb brackets is something specifically designed to work for Fox body Stangs like 666 – only requiring a drill, a marker, and measuring tools. For the passenger bracket, we followed along and measured a few times to be sure we had the seats correctly aligned for center before drilling. After marking the spots where we needed to drill to mount the seats to the brackets front and back, we drilled the holes and the preparation of the seats was complete.
The Holcomb brackets are very well made and are for racing use only. Holcomb does not recommend these brackets to be used in a street car. The front brackets have multiple mounting points so you can get the seat into your car perfectly and the hardware used in the bracket is grade 8 for strength and longevity.
When you start running fast, NHRA rules require a five point harness, and the integrated crotch strap allows for easy mounting.
The Holcomb Kirkey rear seat bracket is designed for the driver. This bracket has an integrated crotch strap holder provision and mounts into the factory holes on the floor. Holcomb said, “The bracket allows for an up or down adjustment of seat for better driver comfort. The seat-to-roll-bar brace is required by NHRA rules when mounting in an aftermarket seat, which is why it is included in the kit.” The installation of the rear bracket required drilling the aluminum seat shell after copious measuring to be sure we had the seat aligned just right. The rear bracket also includes a roll bar brace that must be used. We welded the rear section of that roll bar brace to our roll cage and attached the other section to our Kirkey seat making our install NHRA legal, not to mention safe.
Shedding Weight with Holcomb’s Column and Grant’s Wheel
Holcomb Lightweight Steering Column – PN DRC7993SC
• Reuses stock lower column connector
• Welding required for install
• One third the weight of factory column
• Includes DRC4000 steering wheel adapter
• Requires quick disconnect wheel
Grant Steering Wheel – PN 633
• Includes top marker
• Combination smooth and diamond vinyl wrap
• Pre-drilled dual 11/16″ switch holes
• Includes plastic plugs for holes
The mammoth stock column weighs in at 12 pounds while the Holcomb piece is only four pounds.
We also went with Holcomb for our lightweight steering column for 79-93 Fox Mustangs. It is topped off with a quick disconnect Grant racing wheel that is 13-inches in diameter and features a 3-spoke silver design with switch holes. The wheel is wrapped in black vinyl and has a top marker. We opted for no horn on our project, but the wheel is made to fit horn kit part number 3289 if you want a horn on a street/strip car.
“The drag race steering column is an easy bolt in replacement for 79-93 Mustangs,” said Holcomb. Our race steering column saves 4-10 pounds over the stock column. It uses a quick release hub and steering wheel adapter to mate up to the Grant drag race wheel, which features pre-drilled holes for mounting a line lock or transbrake switches. The pre-drilled holes mean your switches don’t get tangled and torn like they will on a stock column. We also designed our race column to utilize OEM lower steering shaft or Flaming River shafts for flexibility.”
The steering column install was surprisingly simple. Obviously, you have to remove the factory column first with the two bolts on the C-clamp. Once you get the factory part out, you can bolt the lightweight column into the car. The quick release is designed to bolt the Grant wheel directly to it.
The stock column's end must be cut off, slipped over the Holcomb column, and welded in place. The inner shaft does slide so you can place the steering wheel where you want it before welding.
The rest of the steering linkage bolts right back up after everything is set back to stock
Here is a shot of the completed interior. Not only is our new setup safer, but we also cut about 70 pounds from the car.
It is easy to get bit by the speed bug, but always remember you need to keep up with the safety side of things. With speeds approaching 140 MPH in the quarter mile, having a set of seats that hold us in place in case of an accident is key to minimizing any injuries. The weight savings over the factory seats plus our new lightweight column and wheel help us go faster as well!